Vol. 19 of Mome isn't even out yet and we're already wrapping up work on the landmark 20th volume, due in October. Beginning with this issue the anthology sports a new design by Fantagraphics Art Director Adam Grano. The cover star is Fuzz from Ted Stearn's current ongoing Fuzz & Pluck serial "The Moolah Tree."
A set of photos from the 1974 San Diego Comic-Con at the Comic-Convention Memories blog has been making the rounds. Of particluar interest at the end of this batch: photos of Charles M. Schulz on stage talking and sketching, joined by Peanuts animation director Bill Melendez. Oh, to have been in that audience!
• Review: "This graphic memoir chronicles the author’s struggle with the aging of her father and stepmother. The subject matter isn’t pretty. Still, [Special Exits] is intriguing, well-written and thought-provoking." – Nick Smith, ICv2
• Review: "You have to be a real expert in Jason-character physiognomy to even be able to tell that the lonely expat main character in Werewolves of Montpellier is sometimes wearing a werewolf mask. After all, the guy's an anthropomorphized dog at the best of times. In the end, that ends up being the gag. You're not some uniquely unlovable monster, you're just a guy with problems, like anyone else..." – Sean T. Collins, Attentiondeficitdisorderly
• Review: "I have always had a soft spot in my heart for the Peanuts comic strip. I grew up on the old paperback collections and it was always a great day when my mom bought me a new one. Now, thanks to Fantagraphics, the entire run of Peanuts is available to fans in their beautiful, year-by-year collections of Charles Schulz’ masterful and hilarious comic strip. This collection puts us into the years of 1975 - 1976 and includes all of the daily and Sunday strips for the period. ... Thank you Fantagraphics! Grade A" – Tim Janson, Mania
• Review: "The most recent issue is probably the strongest [Hate] Annual to date, 36 pages of concentrated hilarity, including the longest Buddy Bradley story in quite some time. Just as impressive are his one-page strips about scientists from DiscoverMagazine..." – Rob Clough, The Comics Journal
• Analysis: "For the first time, this hapless figure, this half-man, half-animal is a picture of heroism and nobility, his metamorphosis achieved not through cosmic dances or tops but by cruelties inflicted on him by that creature of many masks and tricks, Whim. Earlier in Weathercraft , an infernal creature plucked from the pig-man’s gullet sanctions enlightenment. He who once resembled the demons surrounding the decapitated Ravana becomes whole and fully clothed, now cognizant of his true nature." – Ng Suat Tong, The Hooded Utilitarian
• Interview: From last Friday, Chris Mautner's revealing conversation with Tim Hensley at Robot 6: "Sometimes it's infuriating to read about a bunch of attractive saccharine pupils in the suburbs. Maybe [Archie] could add a brain damaged character. Maybe Moose, but more likely he never learned to read — have they already done that? Somewhere off-panel there's a convalescent hospital with all the rejects in it. But I wasn't attempting a Dark Knight makeover where everyone has stubble and never prevaricates."
• 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
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.
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