• Review: "Kelso’s work radiates a warmth, poetry, sympathy, and simultaneously earthy and otherworldly essence that few comics creators have brought to the table with such quiet confidence and grace. The closest comic in recent memory to match Artichoke Tales, both in breadth and depth, is Jeff Smith’s Bone. [Grade] A" – The A.V. Club
• Review: "...Fantagraphics’ hardcover edition of The Book of Mr. Naturalfeels like the perfect introduction to R. Crumb’s most enduring creation—and to the sexual peccadilloes that occasionally get both character and creator in hot water. ... It’s fascinating stuff, and should be mandatory reading for anyone who squirmed through Terry Zwigoff’s excellent Crumb documentary—or for anyone looking to get their danders up at Crumb’s allegedly misogynistic tendencies. [Grade] A-" – The A.V. Club
• Review: "[Editor Eric] Reynolds has done an amazing job of balancing serials with a variety of single-page strips and one-shots. Expanding Mome to include translations from international cartooning stars, short works from established cartoonists and left-field contributions from illustrators not known in the comics world have kept things interesting on an issue-to-issue basis. The eccentricity of Reynolds’ taste as an editor has been another major factor in preventing Mome from getting into a rut. ...[T]his issue of Mome is a fine overall read, and the first half is especially spectacular." – Rob Clough, The Comics Journal
• Review: "Percy Gloom is a moving, engaging, enlightening book. It’s exactly the sort of comic readers should be demanding – thoughtful and intelligent, a beautifully drawn narrative that unfolds its layers over the course of multiple readings. Cathy Malkasian’s produced two winning graphic novels, and she’s clearly a talent that deserves a far wider readership." – Michael C. Lorah, Newsarama
• Profile: For The New York Times, Reyhan Harmanci reports on how Mark Bodé is carrying on his late father Vaughn's legacy: "Vaughn Bodé created a world in his comics that Mark has fleshed out, making oil and spray paint paintings from his father’s cartoon panels and unfinished sketches. The younger Mr. Bodé perfected his father’s signature pieces: the ever-slouching Cheech Wizard, the science-fiction-inflected planet full of lizards, the cartoonishly lewd 'Bodé broads.' As Mark Bodé, 47, who is based in Daly City said, 'I am mortal and he is immortal, and the two of us work well together.'"
More specifically, Paul Karasik and Mark Newgarden need help tracking down scans of tearsheets for several Nancy strips for inclusion in the forthcoming standalone expanded edition of How to Read Nancy:
NANCY 6/ 29/55 NANCY 8/8/59 DEBBIE (AKA LITTLE DEBBIE) by Cecil Jensen 6/ 27/ 55 FRITZI RITZ 12/31/30 Any examples of pre-1925 work by Bushmiller Any MAC THE MANAGER strips (1924)
And, of course, Nancy's first appearance : Fritzi Ritz 1/2/33
I have finished THOR #159, and thought it was very good. I'm glad that you finally cleared up the Blake/Thor issue, but one thing still puzzles me. Why, after Thor was taught the virtue of humility, wasn't his secret identity of Don Blake disregarded altogether? (Don't ya think this entitles me to a frost-free, wrinkle resistant, fade proof, gold-plated No-Prize?) I'll close my letter with the omnipotent phrase of "Never look a gift Forbush in the mouth".
Gary Groth 7263 Evanston Springfield, Va. 22150
From the letters page to THOR #162 (Marvel Comics, 1969). Found here.
Norman Pettingill is a true underground cartoonist, known and admired by a small coterie of cartooning connoisseurs, but completely unknown in the wider world.
Norman Pettingill was an avid trapper and fisherman from Northern Wisconsin, and a self-taught artist. In 1947, at the age of 51, he created hundreds of pen-and-ink drawings and marketed many of them as postcards, printing and distributing them himself. His cartoon drawings were relatively huge and his postcards, therefore, had to be uniquely over-sized at 7” x 10”. He combined a gift for the fine detail and verisimilitude of illustration with the visual exaggeration and outrageous wit of cartooning.
By merging his fascination with nature and backwoods culture with his wild sense of humor, he depicted an out-of-control hillbilly wonderland of talking grizzlies, dancing morons, nightclubs, giant mosquitoes, tumble-down shacks, pipe smoking grannies, flying skunk fur, google-eyed drunks, hilarious hunting mishaps and moonshine soaked fishermen! Pettingill’s world is reminiscent of Al Capp’s Li’l Abner comic strip, but Pettingill’s hillbilly heaven is made grittier and more tangible by his obsessive penwork and the attention he gives to each teetering outhouse, every overflowing spittoon and each wiry hair growing out of a mountain man’s warty face. He reveled in exposing the commercialization of outdoor activities, debunking the romance of a woodsman’s life, and demythologizing the expertise of the outdoors-man. His landscapes and drawings of wild animals could be breathtakingly wondrous, and even his most grotesque depictions of hillbillies were fused with a love and respect for the rituals of a primitive life in the boondocks.
This book is the first published retrospective of Pettingill’s work, containing over a hundred of the artist’s best and rarely seen drawings, printed in an oversized format under a unique cover printed on plywood.
• Review: "In plot terms, Werewolves of Montpellier is about an art student/thief who dresses up as a werewolf before he goes out to break into people’s homes at night, which a society of actual werewolves is not amused about. What that boils down to on the page, though, are scenes of people sitting next to each other at the laundromat, looking at each other in silence or talking about French actresses while playing chess — and each time, it’s utterly fascinating, and the scene draws you in almost immediately and you don’t want to stop. Jason tells stories with comics in ways that never occur to a lot of people who make comics." – Marc-Oliver Frisch, The Beat
• Roundtable: The critics at TIME.com's Techland (Douglas Wolk, Evan Narcisse, Mike Williams and Graeme McMillan) discuss Werewolves of Montpellier: "I pretty much have a love/love relationship with Jason's books. ... It's true that you have to pay attention to catch the details: the fact that Jason draws everyone with animal heads makes it a little bit harder to read some of the characters' interactions. But maybe Jason's central joke is that you have to take extreme measures to create certain kinds of drama when a lot of the time people aren't feeling anything in particular." – Wolk
• Review: "The 13th volume in Fantagraphics' republishing of the complete Peanuts, The Complete Peanuts 1975-1976, could also be subtitled 'The Peanuts of the Absurd.' In the past Schulz had toyed with some absurdist plotlines, e.g. the talking school building. However, between 1975-1976, Schulz took those ideas to a whole new level. ... It's a must for any Peanuts fan or anyone who is a serious fan of comic strips." – Tom Varner, The Real TV Land
• Interview: At Comic Book Resources, Alex Dueben talks to Jules Feiffer: "The point wasn't to make a living, the point was to express myself. I figured, as I say in the book, that given a shot at expressing myself, everything else would fall into place. It turns out I was right about that."
Commemorate the holiday with a bang at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery on Monday, July 5. Lovely Los Angeles-based UNLOVABLE artist Esther Pearl Watson will appear with her husband and collaborator Mark Todd from 1:00 to 4:00 PM and we’ll be hosting a festive urban barbeque. Best of all, everything in the store is on sale 20% to 50% off for one-day-only! All day long!
What better way to conclude a holiday weekend than with complimentary hot dogs, baked beans, cold beverages, and cheap comic books! Don’t miss this opportunity to meet these accomplished young artists and stock up on essential summer reading at bargain prices.
The store will be closed on Sunday, July 4, but open regular hours 11:30 to 8:00 PM on Monday for this spectacular event. And mark your calendars for Saturday evening, July 10 with the enchanting Dame Darcy debuting her new MEAT CAKE collection.
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