Our own Eric Reynolds forwarded me this link: The co-writer and co-star of the upcoming film Paul sports an Eightball #23 t-shirt in this short behind-the-scenes video (and presumably on screen during the film). Such a shirt was never produced commercially as far as I know, so this must be a custom job from the film's wardrobe department. Look for more Fantagraphics set dressing when the film arrives in theaters (release date TBA). And speaking of Fantagraphics set dressing, how about that new season of The IT Crowd?
Online Commentary & Diversions returns after a slow news day yesterday:
• Review: "Hensley’s clean art, drawn in a 1960s cartoon style (and complete with bright color pallete) is a bizarre mish-mash of the best in ‘60s teen book cartooning with the absurdity of an episode of The Monkees and the severity of indy comics. ...Hensley’s biting humor [is] either as spontaneous on the final page…or so well timed and planned that you don’t see it coming. In all honesty, I had trouble figuring Wally [Gropius] out — I expected a nostalgic pastiche with an edge, but what I got was an unpredictable and sometimes unsettling reading experience, literally not knowing what to expect from page to page. And that’s where Hensley excels, with a narrative sleight of hand, his seemingly innocent characters hiding more base and sinister motivations, using classic cartooning techniques to conceal a darker underbelly." – Christopher Irving, Graphic NYC
• Review: "...[W]hat really defines Billy Hazelnuts [and the Crazy Bird] is a genuine sense of excitement on the part of the author, as though, like the daughters he’ll eventually read the book to, Millionaire seems eager to discover what sort of adventures await his hero on the next page. ... Billy Hazelnuts is dark and weird and funny and strangely warm — it’s a book you wish you could have discovered at a much younger age. Thankfully, it’s pretty fun as an adult, too." – Brian Heater, The Daily Cross Hatch
• Plugs: "This gorgeous softcover collection of Dame Darcy's Meat Cake comic series is a thick slice of delicious Victorian romantic, horror, humor with just a hint of Southern gothic. ... So beautifully drawn and entertaining, Werewolves of Montpellier should make members of Team Jacob consider changing their name to Team Jason." – Benn Ray (Atomic Books), Largehearted Boy
• Interview: At The Comics Journal, Marc Librescu continues his talk with Gahan Wilson: "A lot of the reasons that [today’s] horror movies are so not entertaining or not much fun, and leave you with a very yuck taste, is that they’re brutal. And I think they’re brutal because the people who are making them are brutalized, basically, putting it right smack down there on the table. And they’re kind of a little fuggy, and that’s not good for an artist."
Patrick Rosenkranz not only wrote our forthcoming book The Artist Himself: A Rand Holmes Retrospective, he directed a half-hour documentary about the Rand Holmes Retrospective art exhibit at the Lasqueti Island community hall in 2007. This short video presents highlights from the film. The complete film was originally planned to be included on a DVD bound into the book, but as the book expanded from 208 pages to 328, we sadly had to cut the DVD to keep the cover price from becoming prohibitive. We'll let you know if and when the complete film becomes available elsewhere.
112-page full-color 10.25" x 14" hardcover • $29.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-348-4
"...[M]ore nuanced and detailed than ever before." – Joe McCulloch, Comics Comics
"Oh, these are so gorgeous it's not even funny. We're on an upswing in terms of the legacy enjoyed by Hal Foster's legendary creation -- people are reading it again, and enjoying it..." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
48-page full-color 7" x 10" softcover • $12.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-359-0
"I’ve seen shorter Jason works featuring a werewolf character or two before, but a whole comic all about werewolves by him kinda blows my mind. See, he doesn’t draw his characters as humans, but as anthropomorphic animals, right? So the werewolves in this story are anthropomorphic cartoon cat men when they’re in their 'human' form, and when they’re in their wolf-man form they’re basically anthropomorphic cartoon cat men with shaggier hair. I’m sure I’m thinking too much about it; I’ve read a review copy already, and I’m happy to report one need not think too much about anything in here—it’s another fairly straightforward, bittersweet comedy from an artist who’s become something of a bittersweet comedy factory over the years. It’s a pleasure, from cover to cover." – J. Caleb Mozzocco, Newsarama
"New Jason – top o’ the list. The popular harassment this time around involves romantic werewolves (or at least a romantically-addled fake werewolf and the authentic lycanthropes he’s irritated) — sure to score big with the Twilight die-hard inside your head..." – Joe McCulloch, Comics Comics
"Every ten months or so, the Norwegian cartoonist Jason unleashes a new, brief, brilliant graphic novel on the world... This one involves a bored burglar who dresses up as a werewolf, and what happens when he encounters actual werewolves." – Douglas Wolk, Comics Alliance
"The idiosyncratic Norwegian cartoonist Jason delivers a tale about a burglar who dresses up as a werewolf...and the real-life werewolves who are less than impressed with his antics..." – Cyriaque Lamar, io9
"New Jason. I know of many people that look forward to these books in this format as much as anyone has ever anticipated anything in comics." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
Form your own impressions by checking out the previews for each book at the links above, and get the scoop on availability from your local shop.
Rand Holmes was Canada’s most revolutionary artist in his heyday, the star cartoonist at the Georgia Straight newspaper in British Columbia during the 1970s. His hippie hero, Harold Hedd, became the spokesman of the emerging counterculture as he avoided work, explored free love, and flouted drug laws. The Adventures of Harold Hedd spread across the globe in the wave of underground comix and newspapers of the era and Holmes became famous — or at least notorious. While his comic character was bold and blatant, the artist was shy and quiet, well on his way to becoming a complete hermit.
This book is an intimate and expansive account of a very private man who expressed his deepest feelings in the then disreputable medium of comix. “He didn’t talk much but he sure wrote a lot,” avowed his widow Martha. This biography/retrospective includes generous selections from his private journals and correspondence, family photo albums, sketchbooks, and personal anecdotes from his friends and colleagues. His artistic history began haltingly on the lonely windswept plateau of Edmonton, flourished in Vancouver and San Francisco, and concluded peacefully on Lasqueti Island, a remote backwater in the Straits of Georgia where he lived out his dreams of pioneering and homesteading.
Holmes’ life story is richly illustrated with drawings, comic strips, watercolors, and paintings that span his whole career, from the hot rod cartoons he drew as a teenager, dozens of covers for the Georgia Straight, pornographic cartoons for the sex tabloid Vancouver Star, to complete comic stories from Slow Death Funnies, Dope Comix, All Canadian Beaver, Death Rattle, Grateful Dead Comix, and many more. The full-length Harold Hedd comic novels, Wings Over Tijuana and Hitler’s Cocaine are reprinted in their entirety together for the first time. This unique collection of art documents a lifetime of work by one of the most talented artists of his generation.
Holmes died in March 2002 from Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and his ashes are buried next to the Art Centre he helped build on Lasqueti Island. A retrospective exhibition of his original work was held five years later at the community hall.
Author Patrick Rosenkranz met Holmes in his salad days and remained in touch throughout his life. The Holmes family gave him complete access to their art collection and personal files, and encouraged him to tell the whole truth about Rand Holmes’ life and work.
Download an EXCLUSIVE 22-page PDF excerpt (9.5 MB) which includes the first 5 pages of the biography, the entire 7-page story "And Here He Is... The Artist Himself!" and the first chapter of "Harold Hedd in Hitler's Cocaine."
Jonathan LeVine Gallery in New York City presents Mangle, an exhibit of paintings and drawings by Dave Cooper. It opened last Saturday and continues through July 24. Most, if not all, of the works in the show will be collected in the book Bent, which I believe is at the printer now for a September release. (Hat tip: The Beat.)
"This Saturday at midnight I'll be over at Second City's de Maat theater, taking the stage with hosts Joe Kwaczala and C.J. Toledano for the second installment of the The Late Live Show, a live-on-stage-in-front-of-live-people talk show. We'll talk about... well, I have no clue what we'll talk about, but I can guarantee I'll make a poop joke somewhere in there. That's my promise of quality."
We have four new issues of Ignatz Series series coming soon, available individually or get all 4 for the price of 3 in our Ignatz Summer 2010 Super-Pack! One of them comes with a special exclusive bonus, and to help you catch up on the stories, all back issues of these 4 series are 20% off for a limited time! Read on for details.
In the concluding chapter of Sergio Ponchione’s dreamworld masterpiece, the mysteriously omnipotent O’Blique and the inquisitive Professor Hackensack wrap up all the loose ends, as we see what happened to the three protagonists of the first issue, and what Cryptic City is now like after the cataclysmic events of #2-3. Oh, and we also learn the meaning of life — all in Ponchione’s wildly inventive, super-detailed graphics.
In the climactic final issue, a tormented Angela finally finds her way into “The Forest” and final peace. We could tell you what happens to the other denizens of the apartment building whose lives we’ve been following throughout this 4 issue series, including a struggling couple, the kids, the Creature That Lives in the Basement and Feeds on Dreams, and his envoy the White Rabbit, but wouldn’t you rather find out for yourself?
32-page duotone 8.5" x 11" saddle-stitched softcover with jacket • $7.95 (part of the Ignatz Series ) ISBN: 978-1-60699-421-4
Ships in: July 2010 — Pre-Order Now http://www.fantagraphics.com/niger3
Peculiar happenings in the Burnt Spruce Forest take the spotlight away from the rapidly-growing Dolly. Answering last issue’s question, “What are those crackling and rumbling sounds emanating from Wingman’s nest?,” a rock suddenly sprouts wings! A meeting is convened among the birds and the theory is advanced that it’s a fossilized egg suddenly sprung to life. Back at Cesare’s nest where Dolly lives, a monstrous intruder once again threatens to cut short her brief life...!
32-page duotone 8.5" x 11" saddle-stitched softcover with jacket • $7.95 (part of the Ignatz Series) ISBN: 978-1-60699-426-9
Ships in: July 2010 — Pre-Order Now http://www.fantagraphics.com/sammythemouse3
Our hero Sammy finally gets a chance to sit by himself — but for only three pages! There's more disembodied voices telling Sammy what to do which is followed by the anger, frustration, cursing and free-floating dread you've come to love from this gorgeous, surreal, FUNNY-animal series. Where the heck is Puppy Boy? What's that shovel for? Why all the terrified glassy-eyed staring off into nothingness? You may or may not find out in Sammy the Mouse #3!
While supplies last, get a FREE limited-edition print with this issue! These two-color prints were hand-pressed by Zak Sally and are signed and/or embossed with the La Mano Press seal.
On his blog, Drew Weing has posted 103 pages (so far) of his forthcoming graphic novel Set to Sea, so head on over there for a huge sampling of the book and tune in every other day or so for a new page. (Of course, we hope you'll also read the story in book form!) Drew is also a thoughtful commentator whose posts are always worth reading.
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