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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 2011

Daily OCD: 6/30/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Wilfred SantiagoThe Comics JournalreviewsMickey MouseLou ReedLorenzo MattottiKim DeitchJim WoodringJasonFloyd GottfredsonDisneyDaily OCDaudio21 30 Jun 2011 6:55 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Congress of the Animals

Review: "Expectations are foiled at every turn [in Congress of the Animals] precisely because Woodring is digging deep into the rich soil of his own imagination; he's pulling these stories up from the same place that myths and legends come from, and in that way, his books have the weird weight and unmistakable freshness of myth. These are stories that haven't been told before, but they come from the place where stories are born, so they're instantly recognizable to everyone. And because they live in the prelinguistic language of cartoons, almost anyone on the planet can look at a page and immediately understand what is happening." – Paul Constant, The Stranger

Plug: Further, Jim Woodring's appearance at Elliott Bay Book Company tonight is today's "The Stranger Suggests," Paul Constant saying "Every one of Woodring's comics is an epic poem, a psychedelic novel, and a deeply personal memoir. If you can't identify with his protagonist, the innocent-but-fickle Frank, there's something wrong with you."

Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 1: Race to Death Valley

Review: "In Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse Vol. 1, part of an ambitious, multi-volume reprint project from Fantagraphics, 21st century readers are reintroduced to this largely forgotten Mickey and his unfortunately largely forgotten cartoonist. It’s like meeting Mickey Mouse for the first time — and learning the little guy is actually a total badass. ★★★★ [out of 5]" – J. Caleb Mozzocco, Las Vegas Weekly

Isle of 100,000 Graves

Review: "Mordantly hilarious, this superbly cynical fable [Isle of 100,000 Graves] rattles along in captivating fashion: a perfect romp for older kids and a huge treat for fans looking for something a little bit different. Jason’s work always jumps directly into the reader’s brain and heart, using his beastly repertory company to gently pose eternal questions about basic human needs in a soft but relentless quest for answers. That you don’t ever notice the deep stuff because of the clever gags and safe, familiar 'funny-animal' characters should indicate just how good a cartoonist he is. His collaboration here with the sly and sardonic Vehlmann has produced a genuine classic that we’ll all be talking about for years to come." – Win Wiacek, Now Read This!

The Raven

Plug: "...[W]hile it seems like an oddball idea to put an individual spin on masterworks like Poe's, [The Raven] actually looks gorgeous, the artwork fantastic and macabre..." – Sydney Brownstone, The L Magazine

Plug: "Lou Reed has been quite busy these days. When he's not collaborating with Metallica on a record, he's spending time putting together a graphic novel based around his 'spiritual forefather' Edgar Allen Poe, called, appropriately, The Raven. ...Reed's Poe-esque lyrics have been collected into a book and illustrated with paintings by New Yorker cartoonist Lorenzo Mattotti. And yes, the book looks just as creepy as you'd expect." – Jamie Feldmar, Gothamist

21: The Story of Roberto Clemente

Interview (Audio): Inkstuds host Robin McConnell's latest guest: "Wilfred Santiago’s comic biography of Roberto Clemente [21] is a great look at a specific time in not only baseball, but also touching on mid century american racial and political tones. Wilfred skillfully tackles a range of issues in this great collection. It was a delight to discuss this great book with him."

The Search for Smilin' Ed!

Lore: Kim Deitch's "Mad About Music: My Life in Records" column continues over at TCJ.com, with the new third installment focusing on television

Drawing Power: A Compendium of Cartoon Advertising 1870s-1940s - Previews, Pre-Order
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Warren BernardvideoRick Marschallpreviewsnew releasesMarschall Books 30 Jun 2011 3:14 AM

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/covers/2011/bookcover_drawp.jpg

Drawing Power: A Compendium of Cartoon Advertising 1870s-1940s
edited by Rick Marschall & Warren Bernard

128-page full-color 9.5" x 13" softcover • $28.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-399-6

Ships in: July 2011 (subject to change) — Pre-Order Now

The history of the genre known as Cartoon Advertising is addressed for the first time in the oversized, full-color, 128-page, fully illustrated book Drawing Power. “There are many obscure masterpieces to be found lingering at the intersection of American Commerce and Comic Art,” says co-editor Rick Marschall. Drawing Power covers the years from the Gilded Age and the pioneer illustrated magazines of the 1870s to the 1940s, just before American entry into World War II.

This landmark volume features the work of iconic cartoonists doing work that mostly has been lost to history, by the nature of its in-the-moment splashes. There are examples by Thomas Nast, Joseph Keppler, F Opper, Bud Fisher, George Herriman, John Held, Jr., Charles Dana Gibson, Percy Crosby, Peter Arno, Gluyas Williams, Milton Caniff and over 60 other cartoonists. Generous portfolios are devoted to the substantial work in the genre by R F Outcault, Dr Seuss, cartoon sheet music, and more.

Many famous products and many famous campaigns and slogans – but also forgotten gadgets and outrageous claims – are found in Drawing Power. Dr Scott’s Electric Cigarettes from the 1880s… Yellow Kid cigars… the Campbell Soup Kids… Rose O’Neill’s Jello-O ads… Snap, Crackle, and Pop… Little Orphan Annie’s Ovaltine… Mr Coffee Nerves… they are all here! Other “pitchmen” include Popeye, Mickey Mouse, Barney Google, Walt & Skeezix, and more!

But Drawing Power is not just a fascinating stroll down memory lane. It is a serious look at a significant category of American culture… one that has not been anthologized nor analyzed until now. Drawing Power: A Compendium of Cartoon Advertising is guaranteed not to shrink, even after repeated washings. Smooth, satisfying, easy on the throat. No longer will your friends notice your dishpan hands, once you have read Drawing Power! Buy two today!

Download and read an 11-page PDF excerpt (4.8 MB).

Video & Photo Slideshow Preview (view in new window):



Daily OCD: 6/29/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Wilfred SantiagoShimura TakakoRoy CranereviewsmangaLou ReedJim WoodringDave McKeanDaily OCDCaptain Easy21 29 Jun 2011 6:54 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Wandering Son Vol. 1

Review: "...[Wandering Son] is absolutely fantastic and deserves every one of the awards it will doubtless win. ...[I]t’s an honest look at what Shu and Yoshino are going through. There’s no magic pool, no funny crossdressing, no easy solution to the dilemma that these two face. What I also like about the series is that its secondary characters are often just as interesting as the main pair: they’re all in fifth grade, after all, when everyone is struggling with their identities and the consequences thereof. Shu and Yoshino just get the worst of it." – Ted Anderson, The Hub (YALSA)

Congress of the Animals

Review: "Woodring’s someone whose work demands repeated reads. For longtime fans, Congress of the Animals is another puzzle piece in Woodring’s complicated world of art. For newcomers, it’s likely going to be the first enjoyable step of discovering that world and Woodring’s back catalogue." – Nick Dean, Skyscraper Magazine

Plug: Seattle Weekly's Brian Miller recommends Jim Woodring's appearance at Elliott Bay Book Company tomorrow evening and says of Congress of the Animals, "Frank's adventures take place in a kind of Byzantine fun-house phantasmagoria of windows-slash-orifices, faces without faces, and extruded intestines. The spirit is like Disney meets Hieronymus Bosch, a comic surrealism in which Frank undergoes an exile and return from his beloved home."

Plug: Gurldoggie also spotlights Jim Woodring's upcoming appearance

Captain Easy, Soldier of Fortune: The Complete Sunday Newspaper Strips Vol. 2 (1936-1937)

Review: "In this selection [Captain Easy, Soldier of Fortune Vol. 2] Roy Crane’s irrepressible humour comes perfectly into focus and this enchanting serial abounds with breezy light-hearted banter, hilarious situations and outright farce... This superb hardback and colossal second collection is the perfect means of discovering or rediscovering Crane’s rip-snorting, pulse-pounding, exotically racy adventure trailblazer. The huge pages in this volume... provide the perfect stage to absorb and enjoy the classic tale-telling of a master raconteur. This is storytelling of impeccable quality: unforgettable, spectacular and utterly irresistible. These tales rank alongside the best of Hergé, Tezuka, Toth and Kirby and unarguably fed the imaginations of them all as he still does for today’s comics creators." – Win Wiacek, Now Read This!

The Raven

Interview: At New York magazine's Vulture blog, Jennifer Vineyard talks to Lou Reed about adapting Edgar Allen Poe for The Raven (among other topics): "Do you know what it’s like to try to rewrite one of the most famous poems in the history of the world? It’s a can’t-win situation. No one is ever going to say that the rewrite is better than the original. That’s not going to happen."

Celluloid [Pre-Order]

Interview: At the Suicide Girls website, Alex Dueben talks to Dave McKean about his new book Celluloid: "It’s always a bit strange doing something that is exclusively about sex and putting it out for people to look at. There are people who are bound to draw some sort of parallel between you as an individual and the stuff you’re putting in the book, which is not necessarily there to be drawn, but people do. So I tried to keep my identity out of it as much as possible."

21: The Story of Roberto Clemente

Profile: Time Out Chicago's Jonathan Kinkley profiles local boy Wilfred Santiago: "21: The Story of Roberto Clemente is a lovingly written and superbly illustrated biography of the baseball legend.... Stylistically, he considers himself something of a chameleon, tackling each challenge with a new visual approach. 'Actors change accents to play different characters,' says the artist, 'and I have the same graphic flexibility to interpret different kinds of stories.'"

The Comics Journal #301 excerpt at TCJ.com: Robert Crumb Genesis interview
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under The Comics JournalRobert CrumbpreviewsGary Groth 29 Jun 2011 2:44 PM

The Comics Journal #301 - Crumb interview detail

TCJ.com keeps rolling out the exlusive previews from The Comics Journal #301: today's feature is an excerpt from Gary Groth's interview with Robert Crumb about Genesis. This one hypes itself.

What's in the July Diamond Previews
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Walt KellyMickey MouseJohnny RyanJoe KubertGreg SadowskiFloyd GottfredsonDisneyDiamondComing AttractionsBill SchellyAlexander Theroux 29 Jun 2011 3:45 AM

Shipping September 2011 from Fantagraphics Books

The new Diamond Previews catalog is out today and in it you'll find our usual 2-page spread with our releases scheduled to arrive in your local comic shop in September 2011 (give or take — some release dates have changed since the issue went to press). We're pleased to offer additional and updated information about these upcoming releases here on our website, to help shops and customers alike make more informed ordering decisions.

You'll find hotly-anticipated titles like the next volume of Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse by Floyd Gottfredson (a Diamond "Staff Pick"!), Pogo Vol. 1 (yes, Pogo!); The Art of Joe Kubert ("Certified Cool"!); the new Prison Pit; the Golden Age cover collection Action! Mystery! Thrills!; and our next prose book, Alexander Theroux's Estonia. See them all here!

Daily OCD: 6/28/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewsMomeMickey MouseLou ReedLorenzo MattottiFloyd GottfredsonDisneyDaily OCD 28 Jun 2011 5:23 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 1: Race to Death Valley

Review: "Of all the comics libraries I've seen, this one has by far the most complete and diverse collection of ancillary material. The intrigue of reading the earliest (1930-1931) Mickey Mouse strips (including a number written by Walt Disney himself) in restored and remastered form would have been reason enough to pick this book up, but the essays, commentaries, character sketches, and archival features all add immeasurably to one's appreciation of Gottfredson, the creator who invented the funny-animal adventure genre." – Chris Barat

Mome Vol. 5 - Fall 2006

Interview: The Daily Cross Hatch's Brian Heater talks to our own Eric Reynolds about Mome, with part 1 focusing on the anthology's beginnings: "We wanted to publish more people that we weren’t really able to do, in terms of giving them book deals. Oddly enough, it seems like our production on that front really took off along with Mome, as far as publishing new people like Josh Simmons or Paul Hornschemeier, you name it. But that was essentially the reason. I was seeing more and more newer cartoonists coming out that I was interested in, but maybe didn’t have a book in them, yet. And it was really means to an end, as far as working with people that I had been admiring from afar."

The Raven

Scene: LocalBozo reports from Lou Reed's The Raven reading at the Strand bookstore last night

The Pin-Up Art of Humorama - Previews, Pre-Order
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under videopreviewsnew releasesAlex Chun 28 Jun 2011 2:05 AM

The Pin-Up Art of Humorama

The Pin-Up Art of Humorama
by various artists; edited by Alex Chun; designed by Jacob Covey

216-page duotone 5.75" x 7.75" softcover • $19.99
ISBN: 978-1-56097-959-3

Ships in: July 2011 (subject to change) — Pre-Order Now

During the 1950s, Abe Goodman — brother of Marvel Comics publisher Martin Goodman — was the largest buyer of cartoons in the world. Publishing out of New York City under the Humorama banner, Goodman churned out scores of cheap digest-sized magazines boasting inventive titles like Romp, Stare and Joker that featured hackneyed jokes, cheesecake photos and the publications’ bread and butter, single panel pin-up cartoons.

These magazines were an unlikely proving ground for neophyte gag cartoonists as well as a welcomed alternative to the daily grind of comic book sweatshops. In the 1950s and 1960s, these digests featured the likes of Playboy’s Jack Cole, Archie’s Dan DeCarlo and glamour girl legend Bill Ward. In addition to these three pin-up cartooning luminaries, other notables who contributed included longtime illustrator Jefferson Machamer, Basil Wolverton, MAD’s Dave Berg (“The Lighter Side”), and future syndicated cartoonists George Crenshaw (Belvedere), Bill Hoest (The Lockhorns) and Brad Anderson (Marmaduke). Drawing from private collections of original art and thousands of Humorama digests, editor Alex Chun has once again selected the best of these long out-of-print images and designer Jacob Covey has lovingly "remastered" them in a period-accurate two-color format that duplicates the original experience of these innocently raunchy classics. You'll also find a Foreword and bonus pinup by noted purveyor of comics raunch Howard Chaykin.

Download and read a 20-page PDF excerpt (2.8 MB).

Video & Photo Slideshow Preview (view in new window):

Exclusive Savings: Order this volume and get any previous single volume in the Humorama digest series (Dan DeCarlo Vol. 1 or 2, Bill Ward, or Bill Wenzel) for just $10.00 - that's nearly 1/2 off the cover price! Make your selection when placing your order.

Things to See: 6/27/11 Roundup
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tim LaneThings to seeSteven WeissmanSteve BrodnerSergio PonchioneRichard SalaRenee FrenchNoah Van SciverMomeMark NewgardenLorenzo MattottiLilli CarréLeslie SteinJasonEleanor DavisDrew FriedmananimationAnders NilsenAl Floogleman 27 Jun 2011 10:53 PM

Internazionale - Lorenzo Mattotti

• A gallery of Lorenzo Mattotti's recent cover illustrations for Internazionale's annual fiction (I think) issue

Renee French

Renee French's cute guy with awful infestation and cute guy with jaunty hat

fashion - Eleanor Davis

Recent sketches by Eleanor Davis

sketch - Sergio Ponchione

Sergio Ponchione sure does great dedication sketches — here's a recent batch

Barfo Family concept art - Drew Friedman

Drew Friedman presents the history of the Barfo Family, complete with concept art by himself, Art Spiegelman and Mark Newgarden

Tim Lane illustration

• Illos by Tim Lane for The New York Times and The Progressive

Steve Brodner for The New Yorker

Steve Brodner's illustration for a New Yorker article on racial tensions in the UK

Babes on Broadway - Richard Sala

Richard Sala's newlyweds and Babes on Broadway

Jason - pinup

Jason gets sexy with his lone attempt at cheesecake circa 1988 and a Prince illustration from the same time period — plus more teenage sketches at The Old Cat and the Dog

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201106/dancer.jpg

• Watch Lilli Carré's dancing lady in animated-GIF action

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201106/eotmc5-panel.jpg

Leslie Stein wraps up the last page of Eye of the Majestic Creature issue 5, which picks up where the book leaves off

Tiny Joe & Junior - Steven Weissman

• It's the return of Steven Weissman's Tiny Joe & Junior! Plus his latest "I, Anonymous " spot

 The Denver Spider Man - Noah Van Sciver

Noah Van Sciver presents "The True Tale of the Denver Spider Man," his story from Mome Vol. 15

sketchbook - Anders Nilsen

Sketchbook drawings & comics by Anders Nilsen

Daily OCD: 6/24/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Shimura TakakoShannon WheelerreviewsmangaLorenzo MattottiLewis TrondheimJim WoodringJacques TardiDaily OCD 27 Jun 2011 6:33 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Wandering Son Vol. 1

Review: "Gender-bending is nothing new in manga, but it's rare to see the transgender sexual identity issues depicted in a realistic way, rather just as a plot gimmick. With her spare, elegant art and slice-of-life storytelling, Shimura resists the urge to use sensationalism, to tell her sweet and sensitive, albeit unusual, coming-of-age tale.... Just as Shimura treats her two tween characters with respect, so does Fantagraphics' hardcover edition of this story. By presenting Shimura's simple, yet elegant artwork in a larger page format and reproducing her lovely color pages on thick, creamy paper, Fantagraphics has showcased this story in a very special way. The translation is also worth noting, for finding a happy medium between conversational English and maintaining the Japanese setting of this story. Wandering Son is a refreshing example of a graphic novel that gives readers a glimpse of a life rarely seen and a story rarely told. Worth a read, and worth sharing." – Deb Aoki, About.com — Manga

Review: "In Like a Sniper Lining Up His Shot Jean-Patrick Manchette and Jacques Tardi present an unrelenting and unforgiving French noir graphic novel by two masters of the genre. As straight as a shotgun’s barrel and as tight as a bullet, the story bulldozes over people and ethics to an ending that is as merciless as the protagonists themselves. Highly recommended." – Bart Croonenborghs, Broken Frontier

Approximate Continuum Comics

Review: "If you’re not familiar with Trondheim’s cartooning (and hoo-boy, you should be), he blends funny-animal body-types with breezily convincing cityscapes to create an imminently readable and visually gorgeous narrative. Trondheim is one of the easiest cartoonists to read, and one of the most satisfying to experience. Approximate Continuum Comics wanders far and wide among topics and settings, but the whole book also tells one long tale about a period in its creator’s life, and by the time you’re done with it you feel you’ve spent some very worthwhile time with a great storyteller. Because you have." – Alan David Doane, Trouble with Comics

Stigmata [Pre-Order - with Special Offer]

Review: "In their graphic novel Stigmata, Lorenzo Mattotti and Claudio Piersanti have created an exceptional example of a successful collaboration of art and text. Stigmata, which tells the story of a man suddenly afflicted with the eponymous phenomenon, is rendered entirely in astonishingly frenetic, swirling line work. Mattotti has hidden a world of grotesqueries under a smokescreen of pen and ink, and through his perfectly restrained, gritty parable, Piersanti shapes that world into a contemplative and captivating read." – Jeff Alford, About.com

Review: "For a reader who knows little or nothing about religious tradition outside the caricatures created through self-promoters of the strident and extreme, by those who abuse their faith and others under the cloak of religion, or by the media this story [Stigmata] may very well intrigue, horrify, and maybe even move. It is not a doctrinaire work; it is a human one." – Grant Barber, Three Percent (University of Rochester)

Congress of the Animals

Interview: At The Comics Journal, Nicole Rudick talks to Jim Woodring: "I had the story before I knew I was going to do it as a hundred-page comic, and those Frank stories kind of write themselves. I set out to gather material for them and when I have enough of it, and it’s the right kind of stuff that fits together in such a way, it makes a whole that works. So I didn’t really set out to write Congress of the Animals as a personal story, but once I had the story in hand and I realized that it was that personal — I had that in mind all the time I was drawing it and that influenced some of the visuals, the factory, for example, and the faceless men."

Oil & Water by Steve Duin & Shannon Wheeler

Commentary: This week's guest contributor to Robot 6's "What Are You Reading?" feature is Oil & Water artist Shannon Wheeler

Plug (Video): Harvard Book Store's Ryan Mita recommends The Arctic Marauder by Jacques Tardi

Periodical Pandemonium Sale! 30% Off Comic Books, Anthologies & More
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under sales specials 27 Jun 2011 1:46 AM

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201106/periodical-2011.jpg

It's time for another one of our periodic warehouse-buster sales, with a great big selection of good old fashioned floppy-style comics, our Ignatz Series comics, a bunch of our great anthologies (including Mome), some magazines and other stuff, all marked down at least 30% now through Thursday, June 30, 2011 — that's only 4 days to get in on the savings! Browse the full selection here.

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