Wednesday just got weirder with a side of thrizzle with another hit from Fantagraphics available at comiXology. Michael Kupperman's second all-comics collection of surreal slapstick and crazy non-sequitur goofiness Tales Designed to Thrizzle Volume 2! Including an a full issue's worth of never-before-published, brand new Thrizzle material and a newly colored version of issue #5! Featuring: America's favorite mustachioed physicist/writer double team of Twain and Einstein (solving new crimes and barreling through exciting new adventures), the crime-fighting team of Snake and Bacon ("Sssssssssssss!") in Reservoir Dogs 2, the crusty Quincy M.E., and the true story of the first lunar landing, guest starring Woodward & Bernstein, Lt. Columbo and... Quincy again??... in "Moon 69."
For $19.99 get this and more PLUS a little office favorite called "Murder, She Goat." Download a copy from comiXology today or head over to your local comic store for more laughs and guffaws from Michael Kupperman.
"It has become cliche to say I laughed until I cried, but when I'm done reading one of these underground comics my shirt is literally soaking wet. This guy may have one of the best comedy brains on the planet right now."-- Conan O'Brien, Entertainment Weekly "Must List"
This week's comic shop shipment is slated to include the following new titles. Read on to see what comics-blog commentators and web-savvy comic shops are saying about them (more to be added as they appear), check out our previews at the links, and contact your local shop to confirm availability.
128-page black & white/color 8.5" x 11" softcover • $19.99 ISBN: 978-0-93019-375-1
"...[S]ince I'm going off the deep end anyway, I'll add The Complete Crumb Comics, Vol. 3: Starring Fritz the Cat ($19.99), from Fantagraphics, so I can relive my wasted youth in full archival style." – Brigid Alverson, Robot 6
112-page full color 10.25" x 14" hardcover • $35.00 ISBN: 978-1-60699-588-4
"Any Hal Foster fan worth his or her salt should be snapping up Prince Valiant, Vol. 6, collecting Val's lengthy excursion to the New World (i.e. North America) in pursuit of the vikings that have kidnapped his wife. It's a great run, featuring Foster's usual exquisite eye for detail and backgrounds and storytelling skill." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6
"...[H]aving just read the Foster, I know that one is [beautiful]." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
"Two blasts from the past down here, starting with Prince Valiant Vol. 6: 1947-1948, a Hal Foster collection that readily describes itself; $35.00. And then you can relive some early funny animal classics in The Complete Crumb Comics Vol. 3: Starring Fritz the Cat, the storybook of choice for your inner child; $19.99." – Joe McCulloch, The Comics Journal
The most checked-out book of Online Commentaries & Diversions:
• Review: Prison Pit Book 4 by Johnny Ryan is getting the hits this week. Gene Ambaum of Unshelved writes,"This reminds me of nothing as much as the violent, disturbed drawings I’ve seen in some middle-school boys’ notebooks. Next year, I’m going to tell [my daughter] it’s like a mind-map for her male classmates. If she believes me, I hope we can put off conversations about her dating for a few extra years."
• Review: Mark L. Miller of Ain't It Cool News enjoysJohnny Ryan's latest Prison Pit Book 4. "This is the kind of sick shit that would warrant a trip to the school counselor if you found this crudely etched into the back of your child’s Trapper Keeper. Johnny Ryan once again taps into something primal and pure with his crude drawings of gore, sex, and violence."
• Review:The Quietus and Mat Colgate leaf through some of the best books of 2012 including Prison Pit Book 4 by Johnny Ryan. "Every second spent reading 'Prison Pit' is a joy. A violent, scatological, faecal matter, blood and pus smeared hoot.…There's something brilliantly subversive about 'Prison Pit'," chuckles Colgate.
• Review: The AV Club checks out some new releases like The Comics Journal 302, co-edited by Kristy Valenti and Mike Dean. Noel Murray states, "Business as usual for a publication that was treating the cultural significance of comics as a known fact decades before graphic novels were making the bestseller list."
• Review:The Quietus and Mat Colgate leaf through some of the January releases including 7 Miles a Second by David Wojnarowicz, James Romberger and Marguerite Van Cook. Colgate states, "Wojnarowicz was fearless about his artistry and aware that the mere facts of a life are barely a percent of the whole, preferring to reveal the truth through dreams, violent fantasy and allusion. 7 Miles a Second is a shocking book, but for all the right reasons."
• Review: Forbidden Planet's Daily Planet looks at some new releases from Fantagraphics like 7 Miles a Second by David Wojnarowicz, James Romberger and Marguerite Van Cook. Matthew Rosenbery states, "The stories serve as beautiful and brutal snapshots of a brilliant life lived too hard and extinguished too soon. It is not too much to say that we all owe a great cultural debt to Mr. Wojnarowicz and picking up this book and trying to understanding his life is a good first step toward understanding that debt."
• Review: Comics Bulletin looks at Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 2 by Michael Kupperman. Daniel Elkin finds it smirk-worthy: "Tales Designed to Thrizzle Volume Two has its place in the construct. It is 'silver and exact' like Sylvia Plath's Mirror and reflects the 'terrible fish' that has become our understandings of the world."
• Review: The Heart of Thomas by Moto Hagio gets the a full styling by Manga Bookshelf. Melinda Beasi writes "…teens and pre-teens who go to regular, modern public schools essentially live in their own society that is very much separate from the rest of the world, and it’s a society that is, frankly, terrifying…it views that kind of sacrifice as… well, ultimately pointless…Hagio makes it clear that running away is not the answer." Melinda continues on the book as a whole, "I also expected it to be very dated and I thought the story might not appeal to my tastes as a modern fan. Instead, I found it to be both beautiful and emotionally resonant to an extent I’ve rarely experienced—especially in [Boy's Love] manga. This is a book I’d wholeheartedly recommend to any comics fan, without reservation. It’s an absolute treasure."
• Review: The AV Club checks out some new releases like The Heart of Thomasby Moto Hagio. "with small cliffhangers at the end of each chapter to pull readers deeper into Hagio’s fantasyland. The intrigue deepens page by page (and this is a 500-page novel, mind), while Hagio develops her bracingly radical vision of a mini-society where homosexual attraction is so commonplace as to be the norm…" writes Noel Murray.
• Review:You'll Never Know Book Three: A Soldier's Heart by Carol Tyler gets a thorough and thoughtful review from Rob Clough on High-Low. "…this sounds a bit all over the map, that's because it is, but Tyler slowly pulls the strings of her narrative taut in some astonishing ways, especially in the third volume…It's a remarkable example of an artist being totally honest about their own feelings of grief and joy in a manner that provokes growth and fully embraces the relationship between the two."
• Review: Dylan Thomas of Minneapolis' Southwest Journal looks at Tom Kaczynski's Best Testing the Apocalypse. "Kaczynski uses science fiction as a microscope, poking at contemporary anxieties like blooming bacteria in a Petri dish. The genre provides the room he needs to examine the systems that shape our lives, whether they be architecture, urban design or capitalism."
• Review: Hillary Brown of Pasteenjoys the dark ride of Delphine by Richard Sala. "Sala’s rules; like testing gravity by dropping a penny from a building, the coin’s never going to fall up. Delphine is worth reading at least twice. Sala’s spell is strong."
• Review: SF Signal looks at Ralph Azham Volume 1: "Why Would You Lie to Someone You Love?" by Lewis Trondheim. "His humanoid animals, a staple of his work, place the story squarely into fantasy – along with the medieval-esque village and the magic – but the wry humor gives the story a modern feel" says Carrie Cuinn.
• Plug:Paste Magazine looks forward to the most anticipated books of 2013. These include Lost Cat by Jason. "The cranky Norwegian has seemed to soften a bit as he’s aged, and the description (detective searches for potential soulmate) goes along with that impression," write Hillary Brown. On Dash Shaw'sNew Schooland 3 New Stories. "In a few short years, Dash Shaw has proven himself a restless artist, committed to pushing what comics can do and what his own talents can accomplish… it’s nice to see him return with two works, no less."
• Plug: Publishers Weekly also released a list of the most anticipated books of 2013 which included Dash Shaw's New School. "The art disorients the reader and brings you right inside the troubled protagonists’ mind."
• Interview (video): Speaking of Dash, he recently spent a few days at Sundance for his Sigur Ros animated music video. A very short interview awaits you.
• Interview: Alexander Theroux is interviewed on Rain Taxi by Paul Maliszewski. Theroux, author of Estonia , The Strange Case of Edward Gorey , Laura Warholic and more states, "Revenge—I have written about this somewhere before—is the main subject of the modern novel, if it isn’t that of literature in general."
• Review:The Los Angeles Review of Books looks at Gary Panter's Dal Tokyo. Nicole Rudick writes "Panter’s medium is comics rather than architecture, but the effect of his work is the same: Dal Tokyo questions accepted notions of structure and meaning — taking them not as truth but as convention — and, taking Brecht’s advice, builds not 'on the good old days, but on the bad new ones.' "
• Review:The Weekly Crisis dissects the first panel of "Landscape!" a comic within Blazing Combat and how it contributed to the end of the series coinciding with the Vietnam War. Dan Hill states "At a time when an anti-war stance was tantamount to being a traitor to your country, it was also the beginning of comics beginning to tackle the uglier aspects of war, telling us exactly ‘how it is’. It showed us that comics could discuss and show issues more related to the real world than capes, tights and outlandish fantasy."
• Review:Paste Magazine looks at Linda Medley's Castle Waiting Vol. 1 (softcover). Sean Edgar writes, "Ultimately, Castle Waiting is an elegantly-written, uplifting take on European folklore supported by sterling art. As long as voices as talented and creative as Medley’s are around, stories like this will always be timeless."
• Interview: Robin McConnell of Inkstuds interviews Chris Wright for a second time, this time on his most recent graphic novel, Blacklung.
• Plug:The GLBT Roundtable's Rainbow Project lists best books for teens that encapsulate the GLBT-community issues. The Rainbow Project lists Shimura Takako's Wandering Son series as part of the Top Ten Books of 2012 as the characters "tackle problems such as gender identity, love, social acceptance, and puberty."
• Plug: The GLBT Roundtable also released a list of the best books for adults, Over the Rainbow, and the comics anthology No Straight Lines, edited by Justin Hall,was listed in the top ten.
• Interview: Tim O'Shea interviews Lilli Carré for Comic Book Resources on her process with Heads or Tails. "I went through all my stuff and arranged them not chronologically, but by how they each fed into each other… I don’t know if the dialogue I write or the way I draw is particularly well-crafted or not, but with both the art and dialogue I go with my gut and do what feels natural to me."
• Review: New York Journal of Books takes a turn around the room with The Complete Syndicated Pogo Vol 2 "Bona Fide Balderdash" by Walt Kelly. Mark Squirek writes, "Like the greatest of myths and fables, Pogo travels across time and ages. It is a world much like that of Aesop and trickster tales. It is a world capable of making a six year old smile with glee, a hipster smirk whether they want to or not, and a college professor laugh out loud… So graceful is his work with pencil and pen that you could loose yourself for hours in shear artistry of the panels he constructs."
• Plug:Westfield Blog suggests some books for you likeThe Complete Syndicated Pogo Vol 2 "Bona Fide Balderdash" by Walt Kelly."Walt Kelly’s art is a joy to look at and his dialogue and word play is just stunning. Pogo is a strip that you get more and more out of the more you read it," states Wayne Markley. And for Basil Wolverton's Spacehawk, "In the history of comics, there are very few, if any, that had such a unique style as Wolverton which, while as far away as you can get from classic illustrators like Raymond or Foster, it is every bit as good in its own unique way."
• Review: HeroesOnline looks at the latest Prince Valiant Vol. 6: 1947-1948. Andy writes "…the pace is fast, the action and intrigue are plenty and the violence is un-apologetically bloody. In addition, Foster was a stickler for historical accuracy in depicting everyday life in the 6th century."
• Review: Ryan Sands of Same Hat writes his 'belated' best of list which inludes Nancy Likes Christmas by Ernie Bushmiller and The End of the Fucking World by Charles Foresman.
• Plug: Tom Spurgeon announced the Peanuts Every Sunday book on Comics Reporter. More information tomorrow.
• Plug: Robot6 talks about Great but Forgotten anthologies. Fantagraphics' "Zero Zero ran for 27 issues, a longer run than most of the anthologies on this list received, but I don’t think it’s ever gotten its due as the truly great anthology of the ’90s." Chris Mautner continues with Blab, "I do think people have forgotten how cutting edge and exemplary an anthology Blab was, at least initially. For a while there it was running some seriously incredible work, like Al Columbia’s apocalyptic The Trumpets They Played, and the Jimmy Corrigan story that eventually became Acme Novelty #10, easily the most harrowing and darkest material Ware has produced to date." And finally Blood Orange, "Lasting a mere four issues, Blood Orange offered a mind-bending array of cutting-edge comics." WORRY NOT, we still have issues from someofthese.
Hot on the heels of his acclaimed Mark Twain’s Autobiography 1910-2010 comes Michael Kupperman’s second all-comics collection of surreal slapstick and crazy non-sequitur goofiness, all from the pages of his beloved comic book series Tales Designed to Thrizzle.
Tales Designed to Thrizzle Volume Two features two of Kupperman’s recurring duos: America’s favorite mustachioed physicist/writer double team of Twain and Einstein (solving new crimes and barreling through exciting new adventures), and the crime-fighting team of Snake and Bacon ("Sssssssssssss!") who make a special return just to star in Reservoir Dogs 2.
Elsewhere in this volume the crusty Quincy, M.E. makes his comic book debut, struggling through the fantastic landscapes of his own dreams in "Quinception" (in which St. Peter also gets his own comic book). And learn the true story of the first lunar landing, guest starring Woodward & Bernstein, Lt. Columbo and... Quincy again??... in "Moon 69."
Also: The Jungle Princess battles rhino traders... A story of Broadway theatrics in "All About Drainage"... Slightly cursed merchandise and other dubious products... Cockney grave robbers... Cowboy Oscar Wilde... McArf the Crime Dog takes a bite out of scum... The origin of The Hamanimal... A photocomic starring comedian Julie Klausner, "Voyage To Narnia"... Break out your crayons for the highly educational "Train & Bus Coloring Book"... The story of French national hero "The Scythe"... and "Murder, She Goat."
Plus! This volume contains a full issue's worth of never-before-published, brand new Thrizzle material featuring "Mandate the Magician," "Fart Boobs," "The Odd Couple of Draculas," "Skull Groin," "Gladiator & Snivolus," "Mr. Flopears," "Gordon Ramsay's Fairy Tale Toilet Kitchen Nightmares," "McGritte the Surrealist Crime Dog," a new Twain & Einstein adventure and ever so much more!
7 Miles a Second is the story of legendary artist David Wojnarowicz, written during the last years before his AIDS-related death in 1992. Artists James Romberger and Marguerite Van Cook unsentimentally depict Wojnarowicz's childhood of hustling on the streets of Manhattan, through his adulthood living with AIDS, and his anger at the indifference of government and health agencies. A primal scream of a graphic novel, 7 Miles a Second blends the stark reality of Lower East Side street life with a psychedelic delirium that artfully conveys Wojnarowicz's sense of rage, urgency, mortality and a refusal to be silent.
Originally published as a comic book in 1996 by DC's Vertigo Comics, 7 Miles a Second was an instant critical success and has become a cult classic amongst fans of literary and art comics, just as Wojnarowicz's influence and reputation have widened in the larger art world. This new edition finally presents the artwork as it was intended: oversized, and with Van Cook's elegant watercolors restored. It also includes several new pages created for this edition.
"Revolutionary.... a runaway, over-the-top circus... An excursion into areas few, if any, comics creators have tread." – Jim Steranko
"Seven Miles a Second veers between an almost unbearably gritty naturalism and the incendiary heat of surrealist hallucination." – The New Yorker
"A revelatory work of art." – Art in America
"A cult classic... both a celebration of the unlimited potential of the comic book form, and a perfect melding of inspiring, iconoclastic imaginations." – Jim Jarmusch
National Book Award nominee, critic and one of America’s least compromising satirists, Alexander Theroux takes a comprehensive look at the colorful language of pop lyrics and the realm of rock music in general in The Grammar of Rock: silly song titles; maddening instrumentals; shrieking divas; clunker lines; the worst (and best) songs ever written; geniuses of the art; movie stars who should never have raised their voice in song but who were too shameless to refuse a mic; and the excesses of awful Christmas recordings. Praising (and critiquing) the gems of lyricists both highbrow and low, Theroux does due reverence to classic word-masters like Ira Gershwin, Jimmy Van Heusen, Cole Porter, and Sammy Cahn, lyricists as diverse as Hank Williams, Buck Ram, the Moody Blues, and Randy Newman, Dylan and the Beatles, of course, and more outré ones like the Sex Pistols, the Clash, Patti Smith, the Fall (even Ghostface Killah), but he considers stupid rhymes, as well — nonsense lyrics, chop logic, the uses and abuses of irony, country music macho, verbal howlers, how voices sound alike and why, and much more.
In a way that no one else has ever done, with his usual encyclopedic insights into the state of the modern lyric, Theroux focuses on the state of language — the power of words and the nature of syntax — in The Grammar of Rock. He analyzes its assaults on listeners’ impulses by investigating singers’ styles, pondering illogical lunacies in lyrics, and deconstructing the nature of diction and presentation in the language. This is that rare book of discernment and probing wit (and not exclusively one that is a critical defense of quality) that positively evaluates the very nature of a pop song, and why one over another has an effect on the listener.
FANTAGRAPHICS BOOKS TO PUBLISH IN CASE WE DIE, A NOVEL BY DANNY BLAND
(not final cover)
SEATTLE, WA 1/23/13 -- Fantagraphics Books is proud to announce the forthcoming summer 2013 publication of In Case We Die, the first novel by longtime Seattle music figure Danny Bland, which follows a pair of addict outsiders who find themselves locked in the palpable, dizzy grunge-rock drug scene of '90s Seattle. The book will also be supported by a unique audiobook project from Seattle's Local638Records.
It wasn't the pounding headache or the all-too familiar taste of blood in my mouth that woke me that morning, but the stink of cat piss. They all have cats. Cats and bad tattoos and mops of dyed black hair that reek of cigarettes and watermelon Bubblicious. They all have ripped fishnets and dark red lips and Daddy issues.
Both love story and horror story, In Case We Die is a semi-autobiographical and visceral story of love, crime, addiction, redemption and revenge. Bland, a 25-year veteran musician (The Dwarves, Cat Butt, Best Kissers In the World) and road manager (Dave Alvin and the Blasters, The Supersuckers) and longtime Seattlite, brings his own experience to a harrowing tour through Seattle's darkest underground.
"When I first read a draft of In Case We Die, I did it purely as a favor to Rachel [Flotard, proprietor of Local638]," said Fantagraphics Associate Publisher and acquiring editor Eric Reynolds. "Rachel is hard to say no to. But I read it and loved it and actually tried to convince Danny to get an agent, and sell it to a big NY house who could land him a big movie deal. I actively discouraged him from thinking about Fantagraphics. But Danny told me all the reasons he thought that would be a bad idea, and I knew we were kindred spirits. He's shown great faith in us packaging the book he envisions and I'm proud to make that happen, because it's a book I'll be particularly proud of not just as a publisher, but as a Seattlite. It's a quintessentially Seattle novel."
Vulnerable to the high relief of heroin addiction, Bland's characters — Charlie Hyatt and Carrie Finch — are beloved, unapologetic protagonists whose epiphanies are as blinding as their weaknesses. Finch, 21, beautiful and dangerous, drowns out the voices in her head and the consequences of a misled life with electric guitar, booze and petulant misbehavior. Her single abiding faith takes the form of an unlikely savior — 60s psychedelic musician Roky Erikson. At the ripe old age of 28, Hyatt attempts to make sense of the cards he has been dealt; a miserable job, a drug habit he cannot afford and the wildly unstable woman he had chosen to love.
In Case We Die will also exist as a remarkable audio book project to be released by Local638Records [ http://www.local638records.com ]. An exclusive roster of legendary artists, musicians, actors and friends have lent their support and donated their talent by reading and recording chapters of the book including Dave Alvin (Blasters, Knitters), Greg Dulli (Afghan Whigs, Twilight Singers), Duff McKagan (Guns & Roses), Donal Logue (Sons of Anarchy, American Splendor), Blag Dahlia (Dwarves), Wayne Kramer (MC5), Eddie Spaghetti (Supersuckers), John Doe (X, Knitters), Jacob Pitts (actor, Justified), Damien Echols (West Memphis Three), Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees, Queens of the Stone Age), Rob Delaney (comic, Twitter superstar), Lou Beach (author, artist), Steve Earle (singer, songwriter, actor), Mark Boone Jr. (Sons of Anarchy), Amiee Mann (singer, songwriter, actress), Marc Maron (WTF podcast), John Sinclair (White Panther Party, MC5 manager), Lew Temple (The Devil's Rejects, The Walking Dead), Mark Arm (Mudhoney) and others t.b.a., with a portion of the proceeds benefitting MusicCares, a non-profit organization helping musicians and roadies gain sobriety and obtain medical care.
Two damaged people can balance a seesaw for a long time, even finding the illusion of safety; but when one gets off unannounced, the other will fall. As Finch finds sobriety, her sanity and her relationship with Hyatt falter until an inevitable event brings the two back together a decade later.
In Case We Die will premiere in Seattle this July with a number of local events t.b.a. promoting the release, with a wide release in August.
"Our anti-hero is floating in a tiny lifeboat made of heroin, graveyard shifts & rock music. His companions are two fabulous women; a bombshell who robs banks & a beautifully pale rock violinist who can barely dodge suicide. ICWD is much funnier & more satisfying than any other junkie rock'n'roll tragedy." – John Doe (X)
"Bland is a brutally funny and bravely honest writer. A perfect guide through the bloodshot streets and desperate bedrooms of the underground wilderness." – Dave Alvin (Blasters)
"In Case We Die is a poetic and elegant journey ... straight to the gutter." – Wayne Kramer (MC5)
This Thursday, Dr. Ana Merino will give the first lecture in spring series at the Ohio State University. "Comic Books and Latino Identities: The Power of Los Bros Hernandez" is the title of her talk on Thursday, January 31st at the Cartoon Room of the Ohio Union. Join this comics scholar, who has worked as an ICAF Executive Committe member, professor at Dartmouth College and the Center for Cartoon Studies and much more, from 4-5:30pm for her critical analysis of culture, identity and the printed page.
From the OSU press release: In the 1980s, Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez transformed the way most comic characters were developed by adding a crucial landscape of alternative identities and cultures to the white mainstrem American. Both Brothers projected aspects of their own experience growing up as Latinos in the USA with "Love and Rockets" They consolidated a rich and inspiring way to develop graphic fiction in their work, strong women, especially US Latina and Latin American characters, became the cornerstone of a new vision for comics. DIversity in every sense was added to the space of comics, bringing a much needed multiethnic vision.
Gilbert, Jaime and Mario Hernandez started something grand 30 years ago that Beto and Jaime still produce. Should Dr. Merino's talk spark an interest in a new reader, you know where to find us. Heck, we even made a handy dandy reading guide .
15 seasons. 1,072 games. 41,011 minutes of basketball. Every kid, fan and often other players wished they could "Be Like Mike." The man who inspired a generation of children to lace up their high-tops will be depicted in a kinetic graphic novel fit for the greatest basketball player of all time. Wilfred Santiago, the creator of the acclaimed and best-selling 21: The Story of Roberto Clemente, depicts Jordan's public successes, private struggles and all the noise in between in his dynamic full-color graphic novel called Michael Jordan: Bull on Parade.
Eric Reynolds, Associate Publisher and known ball-hog, had this to say on the upcoming release in March of 2014: "Wilfred's dynamism makes Jordan as visually electric as a Kirby superhero comic, but Santiago also brings a good biographer or documentarian's passion for getting at the essence of his protagonist. I can't believe there aren't more American comics like this, but few cartoonists have the skill and feel for the subject of sports to pull it off as artfully and maturely as Wilfred."
While reading Michael Jordan: Bull on Parade you will smell the sweat, hear every squeak on the parquet floor and feel the "swish" on every nothing-but-net shot. Jordan went from being a teenage and college superstar to leading the Chicago Bulls to six NBA Championships. To quote Santiago, "Michael Jordan is a once in a lifetime phenomenon. Add the exhilarating game of basketball and you get one hell of a graphic novel." We couldn't agree more. Coming to your home court in spring of 2014.
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