Kevin Huizenga has revealed the cover art for Ganges #4 over on his blog — there will be a few tweaks before it goes to press, but this is pretty close to the final version. The issue makes its debut at Comic-Con next month and it's in the Previews catalog this month (with the old cover art) for shipping to comic shops in August! (Hats off to Sean T. Collins at Robot 6 for scooping us with the reveal.)
Well this seems apropos for the 6/9 edition of Online Commentary & Diversions:
• Review: "Fermentation and fog: That's the atmosphere in which Dave McKean's graphically charged Celluloid breathes and pants and gasps.... You ever wonder what Lynd Ward would've wrought in full color if he'd been doubly possessed by the god Eros and William Gibson's Wintermute?... Let's not dally with euphemism: McKean's vivid, wordless dreamscape isn't simply erotic, it's downright pornographic. But with a masterpiece like this, Dictionary.com's going to have to redefine 'pornography.'" – Wayne Alan Brenner, The Austin Chronicle
Good grief! We just received another shipment of Prince Valiant books and once again some of them got slightly marred in transit. Thus we are continuing to offer them to you at half off the cover price! This includes Vol. 1 (1937-1938), Vol. 2 (1939-1940) and the new Vol. 3 (1941-1942). As before they're perfectly readable — just cosmetically less than perfect. They're so cheap! Please help us get rid of them once and for all! Click the links above to order.
Sibyl-Anne and her fiancé Boomer live in blissful peace in the French countryside until the evil rat Ratticus, evicted from his previous residence, sets his eye on the quiet acre that the couple share with their friends (a porcupine, a crow, and a rabbit).
After a hilariously unsuccessful attempt to infiltrate the quiet little community in drag (which leaves a member of the cast smitten, Some Like It Hot-style), the devious Ratticus engineers the takeover of a neighboring rat colony and builds it into an army that sweeps Sibyl-Anne and her friends off their homestead and onto an island. Battles by land, by sea, and even by air ensue, until finally the wicked are defeated and peace is restored. Macherot’s charming mouse’s-eye views of bucolic idyll and his fast-paced, witty storytelling turn this book into something like a Pixar version of The Wind in the Willows.
Part of Fantagraphics’ program of bringing American readers the best of post-Tintin Franco-Belgian all-ages comics, Macherot’s “Sibylline” series (as it is called in French) is widely regarded as one of the great classics of the field, and is slated for re-release in French in 2011 as part of a “Complete Sibylline” project. This is the very first instance of Macherot’s work being translated into English.
This second of four volumes reprints in full color the rare Captain Easy Sunday pages from the 1930s. Roy Crane’s Soldier of Fortune, Captain Easy, fights for gold in the frozen north, is mistaken for a bandit, protects a formula for artificial diamonds, is stranded on a desert island, visits the tiny Balkan country of Kleptomania, and faces a firing squad. Captain Easy hobnobs with millionaires and bums and beautiful girls (of course), and winds up in the middle of a full scale war. In short, it’s another rousing series of adventure and humor encapsulating the gallantry, derring-do, and rough-and-tumble innocence of a bygone era and a bygone genre, written and drawn with panache, and practically painted in a vibrant spectrum of colors that you have to see to believe.
Special features of this volume include a foreword by series editor Rick Norwood, an illustrated introduction by fellow cartoonist and Crane aficionado Paul Pope, an essay by the late Bill Blackbeard, and a gallery of rare Captain Easy comic book covers.
Long before the first superhero, Roy Crane’s courageous, indomitable, and cliff-ganging rough guy served as the template for characters that later defined comic books, and set the aesthetic standards for the newspaper strip. Crane’s mastery is why Peanuts creator Charles Schulz said of him (circa 1989): "A treasure. There is still no one around who draws any better."
Wandering Son creator Shimura Takako has just begun a new series titled Awajima Hyakkei (One Hundred Views of Awajima), serialized at the web manga site Pocopoco. I can't read it but it sure looks pretty! Wandering Son translator and editor of our manga line Matt Thorn introduces the series and provides some context and outspoken commentary that you won't want to miss on his blog.
• Review: "Gilbert Hernandez is one of the great craftsmen of modern comics... Hernandez’s new Fritz book, Love from the Shadows, is as bracing as a slug of bottom-shelf rotgut.... Hernandez artfully approximates the broad, thrilling badness of late-night movies and their inept special effects, and uses it as an excuse to show off some of his gifts: spacious compositions built around texture as well as forms, pauses heavy with foreboding, a sense of body language and facial expressions so acute that we can recognize both the story’s characters and the 'actors' playing those characters." – Douglas Wolk, The New York Times Sunday Book Review
• Review: At CBR's Comics Should Be Good, Sonia Harris looks at Gilbert Hernandez's trilogy (so far) of "Fritz Films" graphic novels: "Filled with the longing of unfulfilled desire and lost innocence, these stories are the kind of schlock film that is accidentally life-alteringly great and I suspect Hernandez might have missed his calling as a screenwriter in the early ’60′s… That’s the thing, this kind of movie doesn’t really happen any more which is why Hernandez’ use of the comic book medium to tell Fritz’ movie roles is particularly delightful."
• Review: "In her debut release, Leslie Stein proves that comic strips are so much more than those old Cathy cartoons you'd read around the kitchen table on Sunday mornings. Instead, this semi-autobiographical tale,Eye of the Majestic Creature, follows protagonist Larrybear on a trippy journey throughout Chicago, San Francisco, and NYC in hopes of figuring out her life.... Drawn in a totally out-there Surrealist style, this quick page-turner is proof that while you might be too old for Garfield and Friends, there are cartoons you can still relate to...and love." – Liza Darwin, Nylon
• Review: "...Eye of the Majestic Creature... blend[s] autobiographical self-discovery, surreal free-association, philosophical ruminations, nostalgic reminiscences and devastatingly dry wit to describe life filtered through a seductive meta-fictional interior landscape. This lady laconically tans under vastly different suns and the results are enchanting and entrancing." – Win Wiacek, Now Read This!
• Review: "There’s precious little around for kids and especially girl readers in American funnybooks... so this intriguing and wildly imaginative series [Yeah!] which seamlessly combined fantasy, science fiction, fashion, pop and school cultures in a wild blend of frantic fun and thoroughly deserves another chance to shine." – Win Wiacek, Now Read This!
• Commentary: The anecdote and photo of a little girl and Yeah! that lead off Sonia Harris's latest "Committed" column for Comic Book Resources' Comics Should Be Good are beyond adorable
• Review: "Alex’s days are punctuated by alcoholic constipation, artist’s block, trashing his flat and avoiding childhood friends and his favourite teacher from high school, now a raving dipsomaniac surrounded by cats. He is also tormented by a rather good expressionist painting he apparently produced during a bender, and impure thoughts about his Asian neighbour and a beautiful former classmate... In short, a very good but not at all cheerful study of the consequences of achieving your ambitions when you’re a self-loathing dog-headed cartoonist." – Grant Buist, The Name of this Cartoon Is Brunswick
• Interview (Audio):Inkstuds host Robin McConnell and his cohort Colin Upton talk with fellow British Columbian Mark Kalesniko about his new graphic novel Freeway
• Commentary: Our own Eric Reynolds has become ESPN.com's go-to expert on baseball cartooning — the article also discusses Jack Davis's work for Topps
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