• Review: "There really is no cartoonist in the world quite like the great Joost Swarte. His stories are surreal, silly, sexy and sometimes spectacular. They're gorgeously drawn in a classic European style that lights up every page of this wonderful and gorgeous book [Is That All There Is?]. Don't worry about these stories being too obscure or strange -- this book fun and silly and awesome. ★★★★★" – Jason Sacks, Comics Bulletin
• Review: "Wilfred Santiago’s graphic novel captures the talent of Clemente the baseball player while also showcasing and illuminating the many simple and human qualities of the man that forged him into an honest and authentic hero. 21′s complex yet accessible narrative and profound artwork make it a swift and affecting experience, one that I plan to enjoy on multiple future readings. If you’re a fan of baseball and things that are really well done, you could do a whole lot worse than to check out the novel for yourself." – Kyle Davis, Call to the Pen
• Review: "Editor/designer Greg Sadowski returns to his tireless exploration of the comic book with this magnificent collection of 176 full color covers [Action! Mystery! Thrills!], dating from the Golden Age. As in his previous volumes..., Sadowski supplies copious end notes and annotations. Though this time, the information additionally reads as an entertaining history of early comics.... Sadowski once again delivers an essential book for anyone with an interest in comics history." – Rick Klaw, The SF Site: Nexus Graphica
• Review: "...[C]urrent fans of the [Zippy] strip are in for a surprise, a shock, and, ultimately, a major treat, when they pick up Griffith's new career retrospective, Lost and Found: Comics 1969-2003... The journey from these energy-packed, overstuffed, unpolished early comics to the elegant masterwork of the present is a journey greater than that of Gary Trudeau with Doonesbury or Charles Schultz with Peanuts.... His early reign as an oversexed adolescent-minded wiseacre gives way to a long golden afternoon of wry and wistful philosophizing, with frequent salient eruptions of deserved ire and malice toward all!" – Paul Di Filippo, The Barnes & Noble Review
• Interview: At Literary Kicks, Alan Bisbort talks to Bill Griffith about his career-spanning collection Lost and Found: "When I put this new collection together, Fantagraphics had been trying to get me to do this book for about ten years. When they first suggested it, they wanted some of the early, pre-Zippy work, along with the other non-Zippy work of more recent years. But I told them at first that 'that stuff has got to be hidden. Maybe when I’m dead someone can bring it out' but then over a period of time I grew to accept my arc, so to speak, whatever my arc is."
• Review: "Wandering Son... is a measured, sensible and sensitive series... Part of Wandering Son's hook is a distanced view at discomfort with one's own body. The manga is written to evoke the feeling of being ill at ease in one's own skin, such that everyone who has went through puberty can sympathize with these characters, regardless of their own relationship with sexual identity issues. I'm not so sure how particularly, generally appealing the prospect of reliving those feeling may be, but that sort of identification is a crucial part of what makes Wandering Son a superlatively fascinating manga.... Though it may or may not be an effective mirror to our own lives, it has its reader thinking about everything, both small and significant, [that] shape[s] us. As a result, Wandering Son proves to be deeply involving in an unconventional way." – Scott Green, Ain't It Cool News
• Review: "[The Life and Death of Fritz the Cat]'s beautifully drawn, even the earliest material. Fritz’s face is as expressive as all get-out, though you may be surprised at how dainty Crumb’s line is mid-period. One thing, however, remains consistent throughout and once more it’s Winston who hits the juvenile nail on its dream-addled, sex-obsessed head. 'Oh you’re such a child! Such a self-centred, egotistical child!'" – Stephen L. Holland, Page 45
• Review: "I believe that the Drunken Dream collection of stories lays the groundwork for measuring all of the wonderful components of girls’ comics. It’s a heck of a yardstick, I’ll tell you that.... It’s impossible to read through these panels and not feel your own life in them — and that’s why Hagio is such a brilliant writer. Shoujo manga is all about feelings, and Hagio is the master of feelings. The Queen of Feelings. THE EMPRESS OF FEELINGS.... I had never heard of the 24 Year Group before reading this anthology, but I feel like my life has been dramatically enriched by this collection. I want to buy three copies of it so that I can loan 2 to new people and have a back up loan copy for the eventual time when one of them gets stolen." – NOVI Magazine
• Commentary: At The Creators Project, Emerson Rosenthal talks to our own Larry Reid for an article on "the rise of DIY publishing and the revival of the printed word": "'The "Great Recession" forced us to get better with design if anything […] what you’re getting is a better looking book, more sustainable, and cheaper on the shelf. If anything, it’s a better product,' says Reid. 'At the same time, the self-bound ‘zine is definitely on the rebound.'"
This week's comic shop shipment is slated to include the following new title. Read on to see what comics-blog commentators and web-savvy comic shops are saying about it (more to be added as they appear), check out our previews at the link, and contact your local shop to confirm availability.
196-page full-color 6.5" x 8.75" hardcover • $24.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-478-8
"A new and even-odder-than-usual book of short pieces by the marvelous Norwegian cartoonist Jason; as usual, I find that his stuff seems very lightweight at first and then sneaks up on me. My favorite of the stories in here is 'The Brain That Wouldn't Virginia Woolf,' which is (in both form and content) an attempt to graft together things that don't actually fit together at all." – Douglas Wolk, ComicsAlliance
"Jason’s stuff is always awesome and this sort-of prequel to The Last Musketeer should be no exception." – Michael May, Robot 6
"The Beguiling Recommends: ...New Jason!" – Chris Butcher, The Beguiling
"If you are already a fan of Norwegian artist Jason’s work, you’ll probably just pick this. His output has been consistently that good. Some folks get turned off by the anthropomorphism or ligne clair (some call it simplistic) style of his work but fans like the mix of tragic themes and adult writing mixed with the fun adventure graphic novel style of the Tintin books. His coloring is moody with a warm, somewhat noirish palette. As usual with his books, it looks good on a shelf with it’s cloth-bound spine and hardcover format. Oh and the book collects six new stories of 'love, crime, alcohol, and severed heads.' Oh my." – Perry Shirley, The Escapist
"If I had $30, I’d... grab Athos in America, the latest book by cartooning superstar Jason. Instead of a stand-alone story, this is a collection of short tales along the lines of his Low Moon, one of which involves the title character, previously seen in The Last Musketeer. There’s also a take-off on The Brain that Wouldn’t Die that’s surprisingly sad and bittersweet." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6
"...all Diamond will list is Athos in America, the newest 196-page hardcover collection of original color work by the fabulous Jason, and that’d be enough for me..." – Joe McCulloch, The Comics Journal
"Book of the week... Fantagraphics gives us: Athos in America. A new collection by Cartoonist Jason. Absurd, funny...." – Señor Hernandez
"I'm in the midst of reading this new short-story collection from Jason. It's good, but Jason is so reliable you can basically [buy] the new works sight unseen at this point. I'm warming up to the hardcover presentations of this material." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
We managed to get our hands on a small quantity of the recent hardcover reprinting of Jim Woodring's The Frank Book, which was an almost-immediate sellout upon its release just 4 months ago. Find out all about the book and see copious previews here, but don't spend too much time making up your mind because they're sure to go fast!
These legendary stories, from the classic first fifteen issues of Bagge's Hate comic, are a defining icon of Seattle's early 1990s culture (the Seattle Weekly has written, "20 years from now, when people wonder what it was like to be young in 1990s Seattle, the only record we'll have is Hate."), as well as Generation X in general (as seen in such films as Kids and Pecker). This is the first time these hilarious stories, starring the hapless Buddy Bradley and his cast of loser cohorts, have ever been available under one cover, and never have they been available at such a low price (it would have cost at least three times as much to read all of these classic stories in any previous editions). Bagge's riotous tales of the early 1990s subculture are more hilarious now than ever, find out why he has been praised by R. Crumb, Matt Groening, John Kricfalusi, Publishers Weekly, Entertainment Weekly and many more. Comedy genius.
Noted music producer and scholar Pat Thomas spent five years in Oakland, CA researching Listen, Whitey! The Sights and Sounds of Black Power 1965-1975. While befriending members of the Black Panther Party, Thomas discovered rare recordings of speeches, interviews, and music by noted activists Huey Newton, Bobby Seale, Eldridge Cleaver, Elaine Brown, The Lumpen and many others that form the framework of this definitive retrospective.
Listen, Whitey! also chronicles the forgotten history of Motown Records. From 1970 to 1973, Motown’s Black Power subsidiary label, Black Forum, released politically charged albums by Stokely Carmichael, Amiri Baraka, Langston Hughes, Bill Cosby & Ossie Davis, and many others, all represented.
Also explored are the musical connections between Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Graham Nash, the Partridge Family (!?!) and the Black Power movement. Obscure recordings produced by SNCC, Ron Karenga’s US, the Tribe and other African-American sociopolitical organizations of the late 1960s and early ’70s are examined along with the Isley Brothers, Nina Simone, Archie Shepp, Art Ensemble of Chicago, Clifford Thornton, Watts Prophets, Last Poets, Gene McDaniels, Roland Kirk, Horace Silver, Angela Davis, H. Rap Brown, Stanley Crouch, and others that spoke out against oppression.
Other sections focus on Black Consciousness poetry (from the likes of Jayne Cortez, wife of Ornette Coleman), inspired religious recordings that infused god and Black Nationalism, obscure regional and privately pressed Black Power 7-inch soul singles from across America. 90,000 words of text are accompanied by over 250 large sized, full-color reproductions of album covers and 45 rpm singles — most of which readers will have never seen before.
Glitz-2-Go finally collects nearly 40 years of comics stories by Diane Noomin, best-known for her work as cartoonist and editor of the women comics anthology Twisted Sisters.
Noomin’s career in underground comix began in 1972 and included appearances in Wimmen’s Comix, Young Lust, Short Order, Arcade, Real Girl, Lemme Outta Here, El Perfecto, True Glitz, Aftershock, Mind Riot, Titters, and Weirdo.
Glitz-2-Go stars Noomin’s signature character, DiDi Glitz, the frustrated middle-aged glamour-puss and anxiety-ridden suburban Sisyphus. All of her stories, beginning with her debut “Restless Reverie” in 1974’s Family Fun Comics, are finally back in print for the first time in over 30 years.
Noomin was a pioneer in the emergence of women cartoonists in the 1970s. Along with cartoonist and co-editor Aline Kominsky-Crumb, she edited and contributed to Twisted Sisters Comics in its original incarnation as an underground comic book in 1976, and in the early 1990s edited the celebrated collections Twisted Sisters: A Collection of Bad Girl Art and its sequel Twisted Sisters: Drawing the Line, featuring the work of a generation of women cartoonists.
Like many women who wrote and drew underground and alternative comix in the ’70s, Noomin’s contribution to the form has been unjustly overlooked. This book goes toward rectifying that by collecting all of Noomin’s best comics as well as spotlighting Noomin’s other creative outlets such as reproducing set and costume designs and cast photos of I’d Rather Be Doing Something Else: The DiDi Glitz Story, performed by the women’s theatre company, “Les Nickelettes” in San Francisco in 1980 and photos of a larger-than-life DiDi papier-maché sculpture of DiDi that Noomin did for San Francisco’s Little Frankenstein Gallery in 1994.
Fantagraphics has been at the forefront of preserving the best comics by the groundbreaking “underground” generation of cartoonists who revolutionized the form in the ’60s and ’70s. Glitz-2-Go is the first solo collection by Diane Noomin.
“Diane developed characters in an altered reality to express her alienation, with her scathing black sense of humor and an incredible eye for detail. Her visual universe is so kitsch, so stupefyingly overdone, something like a mixture of Liberace, Joan Rivers and Jackie Mason — Graceland on the Borscht Belt.” – from the Foreword by Aline Kominsky Crumb
“Tarty, naive Glitz is part Barbie Doll, part Alice in Wonderland and part Madonna.” – ArtForum
“Diane Noomin has been producing some of the most hysterically funny comics on the market.” — Hypno Magazine
• Interview (Audio): On the new episode of the Jordan, Jesse, Go! podcast "Cartoonist Tony Millionaire joins Jordan and Jesse at Thorn Manor to teach us etymology, school dance etiquette, and generational pop culture."
We pulled a fun li'l prank on readers in the final issue of Mome, in which Kurt Wolfgang's "Nothing Eve" serial was hijacked by [spoiler redacted]. Well now you can see how the story really goes as Kurt has posted the next few pages of the story up at the New Bodega blog.
In this month's issue of Booklist you can find reviews of three of our recent releases, excerpted below:
Bill Griffith: Lost and Found – Comics 1969-2003: "Prefaced by Griffith’s long, anecdotal accounting of his work and including stories featuring other characters who’d eventually join the strip’s cast as well as 48 pages in full color..., this collection attests the perdurable wit, style, and smarts of one of the greatest of the 1960s San Francisco underground cartoonists." – Ray Olson (Starred Review)
Athos in America by Jason: "What’s amazing is how much [Jason] can squeeze from so little. Though their emotional register usually falls somewhere between disappointment and death, the stories make an eclectic bunch.... Sure, Jason’s following his muse down the wormiest of rabbit holes these days, but you wouldn’t want him any less weird." – Ian Chipman
The Big Town by Monte Schulz: "It is as impressive as it is ponderous, and the maximalist mentality of overloaded historical detail is precisely what some will love and others will leave. Readers as taken by the era as Schulz is won’t find a bigger bonanza." – Ian Chipman
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