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Mike Baehr's Blog
Description:
Flog posts by Fantagraphics' consumer marketing/web editor/hand model guy. Say, buy some books why don't you?
Archive >> June 2009

Flora's Big Bank Robbery
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Jim Floraart 24 Jun 2009 4:14 PM

From Jim Flora archivist & doyen Irwin Chusid comes the following announcement:

Jim Flora Art has released a limited-edition fine art print of a hyperactive 1960s painting entitled THE BIG BANK ROBBERY. This three-tiered tableau depicts characteristic Flora mayhem: inscrutable monsters with misshapen features, Lego architecture, bug-eyed buildings, gumdrop color fills, and -- yes -- a bank robbery.

Jim Flora - The Big Bank Robbery

http://tinyurl.com/flora-bankrobbery

Only thirty (30) prints of Big Bank Robbery were produced for this edition, and the first five (5) are available at a launch price of $165 each. Prices will increase for subsequent prints as the edition depletes.

Produced by Flora archivist Barbara Economon, the print was meticulously crafted from and color-matched against the original work.

More Flora fine art prints
http://www.jimflora.com/fineartworks.html

Jim Flora website
http://jimflora.com

Jim Flora blog: rare works featured regularly
http://jimflora.blogspot.com/

Jim Flora on Facebook
http://tinyurl.com/flora-facebook



The Comics Journal #298: now online
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under The Comics Journalpreviews 24 Jun 2009 4:07 PM

From Journalista:

The Comics Journal #298

Now online for subscribers — and available soon in better bookstore and comics shop shelves nationwide — The Comics Journal #298, chock full of all the comicky goodness you need to get through the summer. Check it out:

  • Diego Assis presents a full-length interview with breakout comic-book stars Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá, who discuss their self-publishing apprenticeship in Brazil, their entry into the North American comics scene, their work on such titles as Casanova and The Umbrella Academy, and exactly who does what on their various projects.
  • Shaennon Garrity sits down for a chat with Perry Bible Fellowship creator Nicholas Gurewitch, who explains how he became an Internet cartoon sensation, where he goes next after ending his weekly run on the strip, and the joys of being an envelope artist.
  • Michel Fiffe tracks down one of the most fascinating cartoonists to rise out of the superhero-comics scene in the last three decades, Trevor Von Eeden, in a no-holds-barred conversation that illuminates Von Eeden’s struggles in the New York City corporate-comics industry and the attendant racism that came with it.
  • You will definitely not want to miss our comics section this issue, which features a massive gallery of Percy Crosby’s legendary newspaper strip, Skippy — the first publication of these exquisite strips in decades!
  • Bill Randall takes us through an issue of the renowned avant-garde manga anthology AX, and prepares us for the eagerly anticipated English-language collection of comics from said magazine scheduled for release later this year.

As always, we’ve got free excerpts from the new issue of the Journal on our TCJ.com website, fiendishly selected to whet your appetite: Here are choice bits from the Moon/Bá interview, the Gurewitch interview and the Von Eeden interview. It’s a wondrous bouquet of cartoon excellence — The Comics Journal #298! Accept no substitutes.

Daily OCD: 6/24/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under SupermenstaffRichard SalareviewsPrince ValiantpreviewsPaul KarasikNell BrinkleyMichael KuppermanLove and RocketsJohn PhamJasonJacques TardiGilbert HernandezFletcher HankseventsDash ShawaudioArnold RothAnders NilsenAl JaffeeAbstract Comics 24 Jun 2009 3:53 PM

A double batch of Online Commentary & Diversions:

• List: Bdzoom reports that l'Association des Critiques et journalistes de Bande Dessinée (ACBD) has placed Bottomless Belly Button by Dash Shaw on their summer reading shortlist (there's Tardi on there too)

• Review: "Nell Brinkley was an icon for several generations of women... The art [in The Brinkley Girls] has been beautifully restored, a task that must have been pure torture given the density of Brinkley's drawings and that sophisticated color work. My hat's off to whoever did that fabulous job." - Allan Holtz, Stripper's Guide

• Review: "At one point in her comic-style memoir [You'll Never Know Book 1: A Good and Decent Man], Carol [Tyler] talks to us directly and says, 'The war was never really buried under tons of mental concrete. Rather, it was an active shaper of life, affecting moods and outcomes ... more than anyone ever knew.' Indeed. This is an important and deeply spiritual contribution to American culture." - David Crumm, Read the Spirit

• Review: "[You'll Never Know Book 1: A Good and Decent Man] is not your blood and guts portrayal of a ruthless soldier but rather an investigation into the emotional costs that war has on the combatant and the family that they sire, presenting a familiar story of the 'greatest generation' in an unfamiliar way." - Quentin Williams, two.one.five Magazine

• Review: "...Supermen! [is] a beautifully designed volume of early American comics... The edition is both aesthetically pleasing and sturdy, featuring clarified reprinting of the colour strips, covers, and scattered elements of advertisements and back matter." - Michael Leader, Den of Geek

• Review: "[West Coast Blues] is everything you would expect from a suspense thriller... Visually the comic book is also great. It's everything you would expect from Tardi... I don't believe that anybody else than him would have been able to visually translate Manchette's novel so well. It's like they worked together and that the comic book is the original material. Bottom line, this is another great comic book by Tardi. If you have never read anything by him you should. Luckily for North American readers, Fantagraphics announced that they that they were going to translate Tardi's work starting this fall." - Patrick Bérubé, Comic Book Bin

• Review: "You Shall Die By Your Own Evil Creation!... gathers all the remaining material that the alcoholic, abusive [Fletcher] Hanks did during his brief tenure as a comic book creator in the late 1930s and early 40s... [T]here’s still plenty of weird and wonderful tales to delight and disturb... [and] there are panels here that are rather stunning in their ability to create tension and drama... The work remains strange, powerful, funny, terrifying and yes, at times beautiful..." - Chris Mautner, Robot 6 (be sure to read the comments for an important clarification from editor Paul Karasik)

• Review: "Fans of Norwegian cult comics star Jason are in for something of a treat with Low Moon... what we have here are five stories, each of which would’ve previously warranted a collection in its own right, delivered together in one delicious hamper of Jason goodness... There’s never been a better time, then, to jump aboard the Jason train... This is as essential as comics gets." - Bookmunch

• Review: "It’s hard to think of a modern cartoonist with a more recognizable drawing style than Norway’s Jason... But Jason’s storytelling is just as distinctive as his drawing style... [and] the artist’s narrative approach has grown more adventurous over the years. Jason’s latest collection, Low Moon, is evidence of this trend... The reader, meanwhile, just lapses into a giddy comics coma." - Casey Jarman, Willamette Week

• Preview: Previews posts 7 pages from Low Moon. Have we mentioned it's in stores today?

• Preview: Action Yes throws a big spotlight on Abstract Comics with "A Quick Introduction to Abstract Comics" by Tim Gaze; several excerpts from the anthology, including part of editor Andrei Molotiu's introduction; and new comics (one, two) from Molotiu; not only that, the same issue includes new visual poetry from our very own Nico Vassilakis

• Interview: Brian Heater of The Daily Cross Hatch concludes his 2-part chat with "the visionary" Jason. Sample quote: "I worked in a furniture factory for nine months... I really hated it. So I went to art school instead. Turned out to be not that much of a difference, of course."

• Interview: The hosts of The Comix Claptrap podcast "talk comics shop and try to get LA gossip from talented cartoonist, John Pham, of Sublife, Kramers Ergot 7 and Mome fame"

• Plug: At The Geek Curmudgeon Rick Klaw says "I've been eagerly awaiting" the new Fletcher Hanks collection You Shall Die by Your Own Evil Creation!; previously, of Prince Valiant Vol. 1: 1937-1938 he simply says "WOW!"

• Plug: In addition to the previously linked online excerpt, New York Magazine also drops Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 1 by Michael Kupperman into the "Lowbrow/Brilliant" quadrant of their "Approval Matrix" in the print edition

• Plug: "Low Moon: It’s the latest from Jason. Or, in other words, it’s one of this week’s absolute must-reads." - J. Caleb Mozzocco, Newsarama

• Plug: "Pick of the week: Low Moon... [B]y this point Jason has proven himself to be one of the stellar talents in Fantagraphics' roster (which is really saying something, by the way) and this collection of short stories... should likely only cement that reputation as the artist plays with such traditional genres as the Western, film noir, and alien abductions. All offered with the usual dollops of sardonic humor and heartfelt sympathy." - Chris Mautner, Robot 6

• Plug: "Jason is sly and brilliant. [Low Moon] is highly recommended." - Corey Blake

• Plug: "Low Moon: New Jason, from Fantagraphics. All I need to know... This guy's a treasure." - Jog - The Blog

• Plug: John Jakala of Sporadic Sequential takes us to task for the smaller trim size of Luba vs. Palomar, but concedes "the smaller size is actually easier to handle when reading. OK, you win this round, Fantagraphics"

• Events: Publishers Weekly reports on the panels at the 2009 MoCCA Festival, including the Humbug panel with Al Jaffee & Arnold Roth and Paul Karasik's Fletcher Hanks presentation

• Speaking of whom: Paul Karasik posts an all-too-rare blog entry, this time on the sequential storytelling of Renaissance master Giotto

• Things to see: Richard Sala unearths an alternate, unused cover for Peculia and the Groon Grove Vampires

• Things to see: A new batch of sketchbookery from Anders Nilsen

Gary Groth & Kim Thompson speak!
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Gary Grothaudio 24 Jun 2009 10:33 AM

Our head honchos and "the best known good cop/bad cop team in comics today" Gary Groth & Kim Thompson appeared on Bob Andelman's "Mr. Media" interview show on Blog Talk Radio Monday night to talk about all things Fantagraphics. Needless to say, if you have any interest in the history and current state of comics and the comics industry, it's a must-listen. Listen in streaming audio in the embedded player below or, if you don't roll that way, click the link above.

Kupperman, Bell, Sikoryak in Brooklyn TONITE
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Michael KuppermanGabrielle Bellevents 24 Jun 2009 9:55 AM

Don't make me say "tunes & 'toons"! Tonight at 8 PM at Union Pool in Brooklyn, Gabrielle Bell, Michael Kupperman & R. Sikoryak appear alongside 3 bands for a night of interdisciplinary fun:

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New Comics Day 6/24/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under new releasesNew Comics DayJason 24 Jun 2009 9:38 AM

Apologies for the last-minute alert... according to the official shipping list, Jason's new book Low Moon is scheduled to arrive in comics shops today.

Low Moon by Jason

As always, check out our bounteous previews and info about the book, confirm availability with your local shop (if they didn't order it, they're chumps), and choogle on down there to snap it up.

Daily OCD: 6/22/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewsPeter BaggeNell BrinkleyMichael KuppermanJules FeifferJohnny RyanJason 22 Jun 2009 10:25 PM

Let's see what Online Commentary & Diversions are out there:

• Review: "[Michael Kupperman's] work is sublime in the truest sense of the word, speaking to me as a reader in ways that can be discussed and broken down but not quite fully communicated in their Rightness... About the only other humorists who have affected me in the same way were the Marx Brothers... Kupperman saturates each page [of Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 1] with crazed ideas, bizarre connections, and references that aren't really references. Even a reader who may not be familiar with what Kupperman's (often obliquely) mocking is still pulled full-tilt into the gag. No matter what the concept, once Kupperman's laid his hands on it, it's no longer recognizable as anything but his." - Rob Clough

• Review: "...[T]he deadpan expressions of the characters [in I Killed Adolf Hitler] say more than pages of words could say... there’s a kinda sweet little love story in there about the protagonist and his girlfriend, and what they find out about themselves and each other in the process of trying to correct history." - Thinking About...

• Review: Tom Spurgeon at The Comics Reporter looks at Peter Bagge's science-history strips for Discover magazine

• Plug: "Low Moon: New Jason!... I think these are mostly shorts... I'll read the hell out of them. I love Jason." - Matthew J. Brady

• Events: The Los Angeles Times reports from Jules Feiffer and Elliott Gould's recent appearance at Cinefamily

• Profile: "...The Brinkley Girls [was] a sophisticated series capturing the modern American working girl with a combination of glamour, spunk, feminine allure and curly hair..." - "I Want to Be a Brinkley Girl," First Person Singular

• Things to see: It's the latest strip for Vice by Johnny Ryan. Looks like he's doing their infamous "DOs & DON'Ts" for the new issue, too... look out!

Laura Park draws for you (and your money)
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Original ArtLaura Park 22 Jun 2009 10:18 PM

Mome contributor and all-around wonderful cartoonist Laura Park is currently soliciting commissions. Send some monetary love, get some delightful art. Ah, commerce!

Back in stock, at a reduced price: Willie & Joe: The WWII Years by Bill Mauldin
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Willie and Joenew releasesBill Mauldin 22 Jun 2009 4:19 PM

We are pleased to re-offer one of our most lauded books of 2008 at a newly reduced, affordable sticker price of $45.00.

Willie & Joe: The WWII Years by Bill Mauldin

Willie & Joe: The WWII Years
By Bill Mauldin; edited by Todd DePastino

"The real war," said Walt Whitman, "will never get in the books." During World War II, the closest most Americans ever came to the "real war" was through the cartoons of Bill Mauldin, the most beloved enlisted man in the U.S. Army.

Here, for the first time, Fantagraphics Books brings together Mauldin's complete works from 1940 through the end of the war. This collection of over 600 cartoons, most never before reprinted, is more than the record of a great artist: it is an essential chronicle of America's citizen-soldiers from peace through war to victory.

Bill Mauldin knew war because he was in it. He had created his characters, Willie and Joe, at age 18, before Pearl Harbor, while training with the 45th Infantry Division and cartooning part-time for the camp newspaper. His brilliant send-ups of officers were pure infantry, and the men loved it.

After wading ashore with his division on the first of its four beach invasions in July 1943, Mauldin and his men changed — and Mauldin's cartoons changed accordingly. Months of miserable weather, bad food, and tedium interrupted by the terror of intense bombing and artillery fire took its toll. By the year's end, virtually every man in Mauldin's original rifle company was killed, wounded, or captured.

The wrinkles in Willie and Joe's uniforms deepened, the bristle on their faces grew, and the eyes — "too old for those young bodies," as Mauldin put it — betrayed a weariness that would remain the entire war. With their heavy brush lines, detailed battlescapes, and pidgin of army slang and slum dialect, Mauldin's cartoons and captions recreated on paper the fully realized world of the American combat soldier. Their dark, often insubordinate humor sparked controversy among army brass and incensed General George S. Patton, Jr.

This is the first of several volumes publishing the best of Bill Mauldin's single panel strips from 1940 to 1991 (when he stopped drawing). His Willie & Joe cartoons are presented in a deluxe, beautifully designed two-volume slipcased edition of over 600 pages. The series is edited by Todd DePastino, whose Mauldin scholarship is on full display in a biography of the artist released in February 2008 from W.W. Norton. Willie & Joe contains an introduction and running commentary by DePastino, providing context for the drawings, pertinent biographical details of Mauldin's life, and occasional background on specific cartoons (such as the ones that made Patton howl).

600-page b&w/color 7" x 9" two-volume slipcased hardcover set NOW $45.00
Add to CartMore Info & Previews

Daily OCD: 6/19/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Roger LangridgereviewspreviewsPeter BaggeMichael KuppermanJohn BensonFletcher HanksDaniel ClowesCarol TylerAnders NilsenAbstract Comics 19 Jun 2009 4:56 PM

Sweet mercy, I'm finally up to date on Online Commentary & Diversions!

• List: Graphic Novel Reporter names You'll Never Know Book 1: A Good and Decent Man by C. Tyler ("gorgeous... beautifully illustrated") and the Abstract Comics anthology ("a visual experience unlike any other... a magical, wonderful trip") to their list of "The Hottest Graphic Novels of Summer 2009," in the nonfiction category

• List/Review: "Shouldn't we build a monument of some kind to John Benson? He is responsible for some of the best research, compiling and editing of comics history. [Confessions, Romances, Secrets & Temptations] is... full of excellent and sometimes quite eccentric interviews with St. John romance cartoonists and writers. An indispensible peek inside the industry and its characters." - Dan Nadel's "current favorite books about comics history," Comics Comics

• Review: "...Fletcher Hanks comes across as a villainous sort in his own bylined book [You Shall Die by Your Own Evil Creation!] — a vessel of combined artistry and wrath, whose published legacy is as nightmarish as it is brilliant. The art reproductions capture vividly both Hanks’ aggressive drawing style and the garish colors of the original Depression-into-wartime publications." - Michael H. Price, Fort Worth Business Press

• Review: "[Peter Bagge's] Reason features... add up to a splendidly funny-and-angry new book called Everybody Is Stupid Except for Me... Bagge rejects party-line herd-following in order to raise a uniquely sane voice among political cartoonists... [He is] one terrific cartoonist, with a keen constancy of purpose." - Michael H. Price, Fort Worth Business Press

• Preview: "It's no secret why Michael Kupperman is a favorite of Robert Smigel and Conan O'Brien — he's one of the most weirdly funny writers around... Tales Designed to Thrizzle is the dirtiest, funniest comic book to come out in a long time." - New York Magazine presents an exclusive 8-page excerpt from Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 1

• Profile: The Parsons Institute Illustration Department blog Words & Pictures catches up with alum John Kerschbaum

• Events: Say hi to Roger Langridge at Heroes Con this weekend and by all means buy a Fred the Clown book from him

• Things to see: Italian blog Nuvole Parlanti looks at some of the album cover art of Daniel Clowes

• Things to see: A new batch of sketchbook comics from Anders Nilsen; also, congrats to Anders for winning a blue ribbon at the New York Book Fair for his Odyssey book cover illustration


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