Martin Terrier, ice-cold mercenary-turned-contract-killer, has his future all mapped out: He has just executed what he intends to be his final job and is ready to move on to the next phase of his life, which involves discreet retirement accompanied by a long-lost girlfriend. But Terrier’s employers are emphatically not pleased with his decision, old enemies begin to re-emerge, and soon Terrier is forced to once again ply his brutal trade.
Five years after West Coast Blues, his acclaimed adaptation of Jean-Patrick Manchette’s Le Petit bleu de la côte ouest (a.k.a. Three to Kill), Jacques Tardi returns to the world of guns, crime, betrayal and bloodshed with this stunning, grisly, and remarkably faithful interpretation of Manchette’s last completed crime thriller. Manchette himself claimed to have written the novel in an attempt to emulate the ultraviolent, hellbent-for-leather, pitch-black ambiance of Robert Aldrich’s Kiss Me Deadly, and Tardi matches him bullet for bullet and blow for blow. As The Village Voice noted of the original novel (La Position du tireur couché, released in English under the title The Prone Gunman by City Lights in 2001), “Thirty pages before the finale, it’s hard not to wonder how the book could possibly end... But the book does end, in circumstances far worse than you might easily imagine, on a note of extraordinary bleakness.”
• Review: "...[Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse] is not just a great Mickey Mouse comic, it's one of the best comics of all time.... When Gottfredson took over the Mickey Mouse newspaper strip in 1930, he created stories that still hold up eighty years later as solid well-done comics. That alone would be an incredible achievement, especially considering how few stories from the era even seem readable to a modern audience, but Gottfredson takes things to an entirely different level with comedy that's still funny and adventures that are genuinely thrilling.... As to the book itself, Fantagraphics has done their usual amazing job of design on it... The strips are crisp, there's a ton of bonus material (including biographical information, details on the process, and a bunch of additional strips), and the book even feels nice in your hands while you're reading it. They did a seriously remarkable job putting it together, which is fitting considering how good the material is.... It's a great collection, and one of the few that anyone who likes any sort of comics could — and should — pick up and enjoy." – Chris Sims, Comics Alliance (all emphasis his)
• Review: "It feels like there's been an onslaught of pirate stories in the last several years, but Jason's deadpan visual style mixed with Vehlmann's absurdly dark humor make for a special tale of skullduggery.... Hilarity and adventure ensue, but not without a tremendously affecting and emotionally complicated final scene, making [Isle of 100,000 Graves] a wild ride in the truest sense of the term." – John Seven, Worcester Magazine
• Plug: "Legendary writer Bagge (Hate) and artist Hernandez (Love and Rockets) teamed up ten years ago for this comic [Yeah!] about a spunky all-girl, all-universe rock band. Now the whole series has been collected for the punk/sci-fi girl in your life." – Dan Kois, New York
• Interview: Christopher John Farley has a brief Q&A with Paul Hornschemeier at The Wall Street Journal's Speakeasy blog: "I tend to write far more than I draw, I may have an image pop into my head, but those are usually just isolated points of inspiration: from there the writing takes over."
This 2003 drawing of Daffy Duck by Peter Bagge hit the internet a couple days ago thanks to Again With the Comics and has been making the rounds... Can you imagine (no pun intended) a Bagge written-and-drawn Looney Tunes? That sounds like just about the greatest thing ever. Hey WB!
I don't happen across R. Kikuo Johnson's work online too often so I was happy to learn via Douglas Wolk that Kikuo contributed illustrations for Douglas's article on the iPad's impact on the comics industry at Wired. Go for the art, stay for the analysis.
Paul Hornschemeier’s latest book, Life with Mr. Dangerous, was serialized in Fantagraphics Books Mome anthology before being collected by Random House/Villard. It follows the saga of a newly single woman in her mid-20s stuck in an unfulfilling job as she struggles to find meaning and order in her life. The story is insightful and often funny, filled with situations that anyone who was ever young will recall.
Eroyn Franklin’s Detained explores immigrant detention centers in Washington State. Each side of the book is a continuous panorama that follows two immigrants as they navigate Seattle’s former INS building and the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma — a powerful and evocative examination of cultural isolationism and the politics of xenophobia. This self-published book is exquisitely topical and extremely cool.
Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale Street in the heart of Seattle’s enchanting Georgetown arts community. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone 206.658.0110. See you all soon.
In the summer of 1945, a great tide of battered soldiers began flowing back to the united States from around the globe. Though victorious, these exhausted men were nevertheless too grief-stricken over the loss of comrades, too guilt-ridden that they had survived, and too numbed by trauma to share in the country’s euphoria. Most never saw a ticker-tape parade, or stole a Times Square kiss. All they wanted was to settle back into quiet workaday lives without fear. How tragic that the forces unleashed by World War II made this simple wish impossible.
Willie & Joe: Back Home brilliantly chronicles the struggles and disillusionments of these early postwar years and, in doing so, tells Bill Mauldin’s own extraordinary story of his journey home to a wife he barely knew and a son he had only seen in pictures. The drawings capture the texture and feel, the warp and woof, of this confusing time: the ubiquitous hats and cigarettes, the domestic rubs, the rising fear of another war, and new conflicts over Civil Rights, civil liberties, and free speech. This second volume of Fantagraphics’ series reprinting Mauldin’s greatest work identifies and restores the dozens of cartoons censored by Mauldin’s syndicate for their attacks on racial segregation and McCarthy-style “witch hunts.” Mauldin pleaded with his syndicate to let him out of his contract so that he could return to the simple quiet life so desired by Willie & Joe. The syndicate refused, so Mauldin did battle, as always, through pen and ink.
"More than anyone else, save only Ernie Pyle, he caught the trials and travails of the GI. For anyone who wants to know what it was like to be an infantryman in World War II, this is the place to start — and finish." – Stephen Ambrose
"He was one of the great cartoonists who has ever been — in and out of the Army... he was a genius. His cartoons are still funny and perceptive. Bill was a sergeant, but no general officer in WWII had more power than Sgt. Bill Mauldin." – Andy Rooney
Download and read a 20-page PDF excerpt (1.5 MB) with strips from 1945 and 1946.
If you've been wondering what Portable Grindhouse editor Jacques Boyreau has been up to, we'll soon be swinging into production on his next book project, Sexy Time (stay tuned for sexy details), but in the meantime he's been working on a film project called Color of Hell, and here's the brand new trash-tastic teaser trailer. I wouldn't be surprised to see Fritzi show up in this movie!
• Review: "...[J]ust as Woodring’s wordless walkabouts are voyages of discovery for his anthropomorphic protagonists, so they should be for each of us. Wonders wait around every corner, so I’ll leave you to wonder what wonders they’ll be. What I can promise you [in Congress of the Animals] is the same, exquisite level of craftsmanship you’ll have become accustomed to." – Stephen L. Holland, Page 54
• Review: "...[Celluloid is] a spectacularly lush, surreal and expressionistic affair which engages the mind as well as refreshing the parts which other beers fail to reach.... Gorgeous cover, beautiful production values!" – Stephen L. Holland, Page 54
• Review: "[Isle of 100,000 Graves] is an absolutely hilarious adventure romp from Vehlmann and Jason ... Jason’s hangdog art style perfectly complements the deadpan humour [Vehlmann]’s penned here. A child running rings round all and sundry is a tale that’s oft been told, but rarely with the panache and wit displayed you’ll find within these pages." – Jonathan Rigby, Page 54
• Lore: We're very excited about the new column over at TCJ.com: "Mad About Music: My Life in Records," by the great Kim Deitch — if you know Kim's work you know that a) music is a big part of his fictional and actual worlds (and that blurry area where they intersect) and b) he's a great raconteur, so this series should be a treat
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