Ensconced in the avant-garde of the extraordinary social and cultural upheavals that were drawing 1960s Europe into the building wave of postmodernism, a Belgian advertising dropout, fed up with the corporate world, conceived the first "adult comic book" virtually off the top of his head.
By creating The Adventures of Jodelle, a deluxe comics album that wore its revolutionary Pop sensibility on its sleeve, Guy Peellaert obliterated the conventions of what had up to that point been a minor, childish medium. Ironically appropriating the face and body of the teen idol Sylvie Vartan, he fashioned a new kind of heroine, a sensual, parodically beautiful spy. For his setting he chose a defiantly anachronistic Roman Empire, into which irrupted the most flamboyant symbols of a conquering America, the originator of all fantasies.
Every page of this fascinating saga features a flood of topical references and in-jokes, operating playfully on the border that separated so-called "high" and "low" cultures. Peellaert drew from the most exciting stimuli of his time, subjecting them to his powerful formal innovations: Pop Art, extreme fashions, strident advertising, shock graphics, and cinematic techniques all collided in virtuoso compositions of extreme sophistication, whose inspirations ranged from classical paintings to Gottlieb pinball machines.
Published to thunderous acclaim in France in 1966 and then throughout Europe and in the U.S., Jodelle was an instant classic, whose influence would spread far beyond the confines of comics. It also triggered Guy Peellaert's "Pop Period," a creative whirlwind marked by his 1967 creation of PRAVDA, an unforgettable character that has since been acknowledged as a major component of the European Pop movement.
Completely remastered and featuring a new translation, this long-awaited reprinting of The Adventures of Jodelle is accompanied by an 80-page, lushly-illustrated textual supplement created in partnership with the artist's estate which traces the creative path travelled by this maverick artist, who multiplied his chosen means of expression, skipping from comics to cinema and moving through fashion, periodicals, and television, including collaborations with many of the great figures of mythical 1960s-era Paris, from Serge Gainsbourg to Yves Saint Laurent.
"Guy Peellaert was to Europe what Andy Warhol was to America — except Guy had more talent!" – Jim Steranko
"Peellaert's comic strips were the literature of intelligence, imagination and romanticism." – Federico Fellini
"Lusciously designed flat color patterns and a dizzying forced perspective reminiscent of Matisse and Japanese prints. Graphically, Jodelle sets a new record in comic-strip sophistication." – New York magazine
"Peellaert's contribution to comics was as fleeting as it was unforgettable. It was he who brought Pop Art into the Ninth Art. Intensity and velocity, these would be the core principles of this unclassifiable, extraordinary artist." – Pierre Sterckx
"The artist seems to perpetually reinvent the comics form anew, without carrying the weight of any previous tradition." – Thierry Groensteen
"As an art student in the Swinging Sixties, I discovered the first adult-oriented comics, like Barbarella and Guy Peellaert's The Adventures of Jodelle. At that very moment a whole new universe opened up to me. Having grown up in a home where comics were banned and considered mindless, that discovery was really one of adulthood and maturity." – Milo Manara
The fullest mailbox of Online Commentaries & Diversions:
• Interview: Alex Dueben interviews Richard Sala about Delphine on CBR . "The main story, which is depicted with ruled borders, was always linear. But I allowed myself more room with the main character's inner life. All of that -- the memories, dreams, fantasies, wishful thinking -- all of that is depicted in panels with soft, cloud-like, non-ruled borders. And so I was able to add to the character's inner life -- his thoughts and fears and confusion -- as I went along." And,edit to the article, we also have The Hidden and The Grave Robber's Daughter available at comiXology.
• Interview:Wilfred Santiago is interviewed by Christopher Borelli about Bull on Parade for the Chicago Tribune and Michael Jordan's 50th birthday. "[Santiago] said a graphic novel seemed like a perfect medium for exploiting athleticism, then added: 'But also, Jordan, as a figure, never seemed that interested in satisfying people. Which is interesting to me.'"
• Plug: Tom Spurgeon on the Comics Reporter talks about TCJ 302, edited by Gary Groth, Kristy Valenti and Michael Dean. "There's an amazing Roy Crane section in there that's as good as you can imagine practical advice from a practical-minded comics craft master being. The Sendak is hilarious and sad." Spurgeon gives a review for TCJ 301 as well. "Publishing Groth's big interviews in print like this is an effective use of one of comics' most versatile thinkers and aiming a very good and only intermittent writer like Kreider at something as odd yet Journal-appropriate as the entirety of Cerebus seems to me fine editorial planning."
• Review:Page 45 reviews 7 Miles a Second by David Wajnarowicz, James Romberger and Marguerite Van Cook. "Romberger painfully captures the frailty of forms and tenderness of touch, but equally the delirium of David’s mad fucking visions and dreams. Marguerite Van Cook’s colours are virtually toxic…This is not a beautiful book; it’s an ugly book, a brilliant book, a Last Will & Testament which I hope you will hear," writes Stephen L. Holland.
• Interview: James Romberger interviews Tom Kaczynski about Beta Testing the Apocalypseon the Hooded Utilitarian. Kaczynski made a list, we love those: "Overall I can cite 3 primary ways I use color in the book. 1. Color as a naturalistic element (as lighting, depth, etc.) 2. Color as pure design element. 3. Color as information."
• Review: Julien of the D&Q Bookstore is excited to read Moto Hagio's The Heart of Thomas. "Like the other Magnificent 49ers (the legendary first wave of female comic artists), Hagio's work is fearlessly avant-garde and visually stunning. Over her fruitful and now slightly less under-translated career, she has set the bar for all manga artists to follow, up to this day, and not just shonen-ai or shoujo mangaka."
• Review:Publishers Weekly loves Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 2 by Michael Kupperman. "Kupperman deploys a stunning arsenal of art styles to bring home the laughs, from stilted woodcut art to a kind of Tintin lite…Kupperman is pretty much his own genre of humor now."
• Interview: Gary Panter was interviewed by Nick Gazin on VICE on Dal Tokyo, creativity and other fun. Gazin describes the book, "…trying to follow the story like it was a traditional comic is hard it feels like we're seeing the inside of Panter's brain. We go where he wants to take us and the landscape reflects his current mood and interests. Not everybody can do whatever they feel like and make it as interesting as this book."
• Plug: Jeff Kinney from Diary of a Wimpy Kid reminisces about his father and their shared love of Carl Bark's duck comics at Disney Dads. Kinney says, "I consider [Carl Bark's comics] to be the best form of storytelling I’ve ever read. My father always made sure to leave the comics page open in the newspaper in the morning so we kids could read them. I think that without my father, I wouldn’t have ended up on the career path that I’m on.
• Review: Johanna Draper Carlson reviews Young Romance edited by Michel Gagné on Comics Worth Reading. "It’s neat to read these long-ago tales of girls acting out of jealousy or determining how to make the right love decision in such an easy-to-hold hardcover with restored coloring. I love seeing more of this forgotten period of comic history, particularly since it was so widely popular and yet so ignored these days," writes Carlson.
• Plug: Jim Hanley's Universe blog creates The Definitive Love & Rockets Reading Guide and Full Bibliography by Jeffrey O. Gustafson to whet your appetite for our Love and Rockets Companion and Reader. "Featuring mature, character based stories, the quality in art and story of the work of [Hernandez brothers] represent the high-water mark of independent, creator-owned comics, indeed comics period."
• Plug:Peter Bagge 'hates' on Beavis and Butthead in this month's MAD magazine, reported by Paste.
• Plug:Noah Van Sciver continues the funny at Denver Westword with the 10 biggest buzzkills at a concert. Read this and laugh or maybe recognize the horrible person that you are.
Following some hints and speculation here and there we're pleased to announce the upcoming 7th book in our EC Comics Library series. In October, just in time for Halloween, Fantagraphics will be casting off Sucker Bait and Other Stories illustrated by Graham "Ghastly" Ingels and written by Al Feldstein et al., a collection of 25 of Ingels's infamous horror stories from Tales from the Crypt, Shock SuspenStories, Vault of Horror and his showcase title Haunt of Fear.
Reached for comment, noted horror afficionado and editorial kibbitzer Kim Thompson had this to say: "Until I re-read all these stories, I'd forgotten how inventively disgusting Al Feldstein and Graham Ingels could be when they put their minds to it. I can't imagine any fan of grisly horror passing this up. (The murderous revived rotting elephant alone is worth the price of admission as far as I'm concerned.)"
This hardcover volume will clock in at approximately 208 pages and, like the other volumes in the series, be presented in glorious black and white.
Booth 510 is located near the frontline of the exhibitor floor, in the second row as you cross the Sky Bridge. Please note: this is a condensed version of the map. You can view the full map here.
Our Outreach Fiend, Jen, will also be droppin' some knowledge at the panel "The Big Picture" on Friday from 4:20-5:15 PM in Hall C, where she'll discuss how the landscape of the comics field has changed along with fellow panelists Allison Baker, Shannon Watters, Kelly Sue DeConnick, and Emi Lenox.
As a recent thank you to Publisher Kim Thompson and editor Kristy Valenti (and more) for moving offices, I hatched up a scheme to paint the library door in our basement. If you haven't visited the Fantagraphics office recently, the lovely 70s shag carpet was ripped up awhile ago leaving the basement aesthetics a bit similar to that of a cattle kill floor. NO LONGER!
Inspired by Guy Peellaert's smashingly neon art in Jodelle, Office Manager Steph Rivers and I pulled out the carbon paper to adapt the drawing to our door. Also called graphite paper and available at art or architecture stores, it is an invaluable tool for mural making or large scale painting projects.
And then we let the Vitamin-C-infused paint hit the door. Now our library door matches the library door in Jodelle! Steph on the left as I sneakily took a photo.
The finished product may have worked too well. Now everyone at the office wants a new door. Maybe a Graham Chaffee one or Johnny Ryan....
Now time to paint all the book spines to match the ones in this library. Mwuhahahaha!
Anders Nilsen's The End is now in the can and off to the printer for release later in Spring. It's an 80-page hardcover collection of short strips and drawings created in the aftermath of the death of his fiancée in 2005. By turns wrenching, meditational, abstract, moving, and darkly funny, and encompassing both Nilsen's looser sketchbook style and his more finely rendered comics, it's truly a unique work. Some of the material was released as an Ignatz Award-nominated 32-page comic of the same name in 2007; this version is reformatted and, obviously, greatly expanded. See an 11-page excerpt right here.
Join Mario on Thursday, March 7th from 7:00-9:00 PM as he discusses his contributions to the groundbreaking comic book series. Learn about the formative years of Los Bros Hernandez as Mario goes behind the scenes of Love and Rockets, one of the most beloved and critically acclaimed indie comics of all time.
This event is free and open to the public. Guests who donate $10 or more to the Cartoon Art Museum will receive an exclusive Love and Rockets 30th anniversary print. The Cartoon Art Museum is located at 655 Mission Street.
344-page black & white 8.5" x 7" hardcover • $28.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-634-8
Ships in: March 2013 (subject to change)
So what do we have for Peanuts fans this time around?
An ill-considered attempt at flirting sends Charlie Brown to the school doctor... Linus's ongoing romance with the too-young "Lydia" of the many names continues... Snoopy is joined in the trenches by his brother Spike... Sally engages in a career as a playwright by penning the school Christmas play but mixes up Gabriel and Geronimo... A hockey mishap sends Snoopy to the doctor for knee surgery, in a (clearly autobiographical) sequence that lasts only until everyone figures out that dogs don’t have knees... Linus and Lucy’s kid brother Rerun begins to take on the greater role that will lead to him being one of the dominant characters in the 1990s... and Snoopy, inevitably, writes a "kiss and tell" book.
As we reach the 19th (!) book in this epochal, best-selling series collecting arguably the greatest comic strip of all time and head toward the end of the 1980s, Charles Schulz is still as inventive, hilarious, and touching as ever... and this volume even features a surprise format change, as the daily strip switches from its trademark four-square-panels format to a more flexible one-to-four-variable-panels format which, along with Schulz's increased use of gray tones, give this volume a striking, distinctive look.
This volume's introduction is by a fellow comic strip legend, Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau.
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