Our weekly strips from Kupperman & Weissman, plus links to other strips from around the web. Hans Rickheit has apparently decided that your mind is not sufficiently blown because he has launched a second ongoing webcomic, starring his recurring characters Cochlea and Eustachia!
If you've always wanted to get a behind-the-scenes look inside our glamorous offices and see what things are like around here on a day-to-day basis, this segment that The A.V. Club came by to film for their "Pop Pilgrims" series should give you a pretty good idea. Host Dan Telfer and his crew got the grand tour from Gary Groth, and we had Peter Bagge stop by to give his perspective and insights. My favorite parts are the bits that show my co-workers just going about their day and getting shit done. (I missed all the hubbub that day because I was on my way to... oh, some darn convention or other.) They wrote up a nice profile of us too — be sure to check it out.
We're trying something new! Every couple of weeks we'll be spotlighting a loosely thematic selection of a few of our recent and older titles just to, you know, remind you that they exist, and to entice you to buy them we're offering them at a whopping 40% off for four days only, Friday through Monday! Selections and themes have been suggested by our warehouse manager, who is chock full of good ideas. This outing: "A Hairy Bestiary"!
Beasts! Book 1 [Softcover Edition]: A classic mythological menagerie, comprised of creatures that were thought at one time to actually exist, depicted by about a hundred acclaimed artists and cartoonists. Now in softcover after 2 sold-out hardcover editions. Regularly $24.99, now $14.99 — Order Now
Billy Hazelnuts and the Crazy Bird by Tony Millionaire: The long-awaited sequel to the Eisner-winning graphic novel! The cantankerous little golem's second adventure is a crazy potion of all-ages fun, humor, thrills and chills in the inimitable Millionaire style. Regularly $19.99, now $11.99 — Order Now
Rocky Vol. 1: The Big Payback by Martin Kellerman: This mostly autobiographical daily strip details the rudely hilarious travails of a young cartoonist and his layabout pals and neurotic girlfriends. A smash hit in its native Sweden, now in English for the first time. Regularly $12.95, now $7.77 — Order Now
Werewolves of Montpellier by Jason: A faux werewolf-cum-burglar runs afoul of a real society of werewolves who don't take kindly to the pretender. Lycanthropic thrills, romantic dilemmas, situation comedy, existential drama — in other words, pure Jason. Regular price $12.99, now $7.79 — Order Now
Remember, these savings are only good through Monday, June 27!
• List:Castle Waiting Vols. 1 & 2 take two spots on Nancy Pearl's "10 Terrific Summer Reads" list at NPR.org: "The black-and-white drawings are precisely crafted, with small, endearing touches that render each character entirely unique. The dialogue is clever and filled with subtle grace notes of drollness and humor. The set will be especially appealing to readers of all ages who enjoy seeing and reading traditional fairy tale tropes teased and played with, all with a sense of good-humored fun."
• Review: "...Congress of the Animals finds twisted fabulist Woodring at the top of his darkly delightful game: Open the book at random and the odds are very good that your gaze will alight upon something that stings, bites, drips, oozes or squelches. Tentacled plant-beasts threaten the unwary, factories powered by crushed blackbirds produce who-knows-what, slimy amphibians enact bizarre rituals and a tribe of naked, faceless men whom the jacket copy refers to as "blind gut-worshippers" — easily the most potent nightmare fuel Woodring has ever produced — drug passersby for mysterious purposes of their own. You certainly won't want to live inside the covers of Congress of the Animals, but it's a fascinating and thrilling feat of imagination, and one hell of a place to visit." – Glen Weldon, NPR.org
• Review: "This book does something I love. It takes me inside a world I’ve never known.... Shimura’s writing does a good job of exposing the readers to the realities of being transgender. Wandering Son ignited my imagination and got me trying to relate to and understand these characters as deeply as possible.... Shimura has crafted an excellent opening volume.... The quiet pace and subject matter make this series a perfect read for the alternative comics crowd. Fans of shoujo and josei manga will enjoy it too. I’d love for everyone to at least give the first volume of Wandering Son a try. It’s a rare gem of emotional honesty and complexity that rewards those willing to take the risk and move outside their typical reading habits." – Ed Sizemore, Comics Worth Reading
• Review: "Monologues for Calculating the Density of Black Holes by Anders Nilsen... touched a special spot that I strive towards in my reading; it created atmosphere. There’s a weight to the unhinged timeline and nonsensical dialogue. It feels calculated, even as it touches on topics such as 'Godzilla vs. Richard Simmons.' The drawings are simple, yet they effortlessly convey time and feel appropriate for the content. It was a quick read, but one that I’ll be revisiting. Check it out." – Au Yeah!
• Interview:Newsarama's Michael Lorah talks to Wilfred Santiago about the creation of 21: The Story of Roberto Clemente: "A baseball sequence is all about interpretation; there are cold, unchangeable facts. If the batter hits a home run to left field in the second inning, etc., then those are unchangeable facts about that scene. So it’s about the reading of the particulars. I mean, if you are saying sad things while laughing maniacally, it’s different than if you are saying them while sobbing and in tears. Therefore, it’s all about what role that particular game sequence plays in the story as a whole. It’s not a book about baseball, even though there’s baseball in it."
• Interview (Audio):Inkstuds host Robin McConnell rang up Dave McKean (on Skype presumably) for a conversation about his latest book: "Celluloid, fresh out from Fantagraphics, is a remarkable work exploring pornography through a very particular lens. Needless to say, it is fantastic."
• Review: "As you can see on every page of Fantagraphics' gorgeous new collection Mickey Mouse: Race to Death Valley, the young Mickey was a brash, spirited, resourceful, and endlessly charming character, a pluckish everymouse adventuring through life one scrape — and one daily comic strip — at a time. Poring over this book is like swimming in the very headwaters of popular American culture.... Mickey Mouse: Race to Death Valley stands beside Fantagraphics' collections of E.C. Segar's Popeye and Charles Schulz's Peanuts as a treasure of modern American culture — a reminder that, once in a while, the most popular thing is the best thing." – Alan Scherstuhl, SF Weekly
This week's comic shop shipment is slated to include the following new title. Read on to see what comics-blog commentators and web-savvy comic shops are saying about it (more to be added as they appear), check out our previews at the link, and contact your local shop to confirm availability.
"The 1936-1937 Sunday installments of Roy Crane's proto-lots-of-things adventure comic strip continue." – Douglas Wolk, Comics Alliance
"...I’d also consider one of the nice collected editions of vintage comics that is coming out this week; the Fantagraphics Captain Easy collection looks tempting..." – Brigid Alverson, Robot 6
"Magnificent color adventure comics from Roy Crane, published as crisply as modern collection technique allow. I'm reading this right now." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
"CONFLICT OF INTEREST RESERVOIR: Captain Easy, Soldier of Fortune: The Complete Sunday Newspaper Strips Vol. 2 (1936-1937) will in all likelihood give you what the title indicates, in addition to an illustrated introduction by Paul Pope, an essay by the late Bill Blackbeard and comments by editor Rick Norwood..." – Joe McCulloch, The Comics Journal
• Review: "I held off buying the new hardback series collecting Hal Foster's Prince Valiant because I already have complete reprint collections of that groundbreaking comic strip. But I finally broke down and bought Prince Valiant Vol. 1: 1937-38, and I'm glad I did. The reproduction is crisp, and the strips are presented in the size they originally ran, that of a newspaper broadsheet. This is how Foster's gorgeous artwork was meant to be seen, and I have to be careful not to drool on the pages." – Andrew A. Smith, Scripps Howard News Service
Comic Book Resources' Alex Dueben rang up our fearless leader, Gary Groth, for a wide-ranging chat about the state of Fantagraphics and the comics industry in general. It's chock full of ever-so-juicy tidbits and Gary's trademark unvarnished opinions on topics like the comics market, Pogo, digital, The Comics Journal, the DC "renumbering gambit," working with Disney, copyright battles... just go read it already!
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