Adam Grano says, "I've been working here for more than six years and this is the first time I've been privileged enough to receive a note on Gary's personal stationery." I've been here 16 years years and I've never been so lucky; I'm enormously jealous. I'd like to believe that Gary designed it himself.
Just a reminder that tomorrow (Jan. 26) is the last day of our 2008 Critics' Picks sale, wherein all of our 2008 titles that have been selected as the best of the year by the pundits and pros are marked down 20%! Click here for the full selection and don't delay in placing your order -- the clock's a-tickin'!
Here are some thoughts on last year's comics that I would like to share with you. I don't dare call this a "Best Of" list -- these are merely some comics that I read and that stand out to me, excluding Fantagraphics releases because it's my job to love them all equally, though you'll find some stuff from Fanta folks in here. Listed more or less alphabetically:
• Against Pain by Ron Rege Jr. (D&Q) - A nice hefty slab of Ron's unique vision. I'm always compelled by Ron's stuff and it's great to have this much of it in one place.
• Capacity by Theo Ellsworth (Secret Acres) - A warm, cleverly constructed, visually stunning tour through the artist's amazingly fertile creative imagination. Ellsworth synthesizes his mind-bogglingly detailed fantastical world-building with autobiography in a really natural and satisfying way without seeming like a crazy person, which is quite a feat.
• Dead Ringer by Jason T. Miles (La Mano) - A big, haunting slab of swampy beauty, mortality, cartoon gore, poetry and lovely chipboard. Morbid, funny, sublime, and lowbrow all at once. I get to sit next to this guy at work.
• Fight or Run: Shadow of the Chopper by Kevin Huizenga (Buenaventura) - Huizenga makes an experimental comic and the result is pure, distilled, uncut, unadulterated Comics Fun. Nifty!
• The Man Who Loved Breasts by Robert Goodin (Top Shelf) - Like a master class in expressive cartooning. Just look at George Olavatia's face from panel to panel, for Pete's sake.
• Trubble Club (online and self-published mini) - Cute, weird, gross, sad, funny jam comics from over a dozen participants (including Laura Park and Lilli Carré). Almost every panel goes in a delightfully unexpected direction.
• Welcome to the Dahl House by Ken Dahl (Microcosm) - His story in Papercutter hooked me on his acerbic worldview and crackerjack cartooning. This is mostly earlier stuff and as such a little rougher but it brings you up to where the greatness is.
• Renee French's blog - I look forward to Renee's daily drawings more than anything else in my RSS feeds. I especially love her lo-fi cameraphone (?) doodle snapshots and she occasionally flat out blows my mind.
We've brought our previous website poll to a close. In answer to the question "Following Palestine and Ghost World, what should get the Special Edition treatment next?" the top response is "The Bradleys / Buddy Bradley saga" after an early lead for "Complete (non-Frank) Jim Woodring" and a long period of domination by "Complete Eightball." See the final results here. (UPDATE: apparently we've been the victims of ballot-stuffing -- see the comments for details.) So does your top choice have a chance of being made? Well, they've all been discussed at one point or another, but so far the only one to make it onto our schedule is Usagi Yojimbo: The Special Edition, debuting at Comic-Con this summer as a two-volume slipcased hardcover set with loads of extras -- our biggest Special Edition re-issue yet!
Our new poll asks "What never-reprinted Fantagraphics series would you most like to see collected?" Vote in the right-hand column here on Flog or on our home page. As far as I know, none of the choices have actually been discussed as a possibility, but who knows, if we get an overwhelming response...
Time for the new installment of Steven Weissman's in-progress pages from "Blue Jay," an epic 32-page story from Chocolate Cheeks, the next collection of the Yikes! gang's adventures. In this week's installment: dang, those parents are heavy sleepers.
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