• Review: "The creator [of Wandering Son], Shimura Takako, is a well-established manga artist recognized for her LBGT focus, certainly not your usual manga fare. In the series’ debut-in-English, Shimura treats both protagonists’ journeys of self-discovery with gentle honesty; her characters are wide-eyed and adorable, uncertain and searching." – Terry Hong, BookDragon (Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program)
• Review: "...I was pretty intrigued to see how Jason’s illustration would work with someone else’s writing. The short answer is that it works amazingly well.... The Isle of 100,000 Graves is an inventive and original tale, filled to the brim with absurd and hilarious dialogue, delivered with impeccable timing by Fabien Vehlmann. The story is brought to life with wonderful artwork by Jason, and eye popping colours by Hubert. I can’t recommend this book highly enough, I don’t think I’ve laughed this much at a comic in years!" – Edward Kaye, Hypergeek
With the much-anticipated arrival of The Comics Journal #301 about a month away, TCJ.com gives you your first real taste of the issue beyond our photo & video teasers: an excerpt from Gary Groth's interview with Joe Sacco about Footnotes in Gaza. Go, read!
Joyous news for those of us who feared we had seen the last of Tammy Pierce: Esther Pearl Watson reports on Facebook that she's completed the first 120 pages of Unlovable Vol. 3! Will it cover summer vacation at Meemaw's on Lake Texoma or jump to first semester Junior year? I can't tell from these tantalizing glimpses of the work in progress. Esther's always busy with multiple projects so a completion date is unknown, but in the meantime if you haven't experienced Tammy's sophomore year yet, get to it!
• Review: "Taking Punk to the Masses: From Nowhere to Nevermind is the latest volume dedicated to the celebration of punk — specifically, in this case, punk music from the Pacific Northwest. But unlike its notable forebears..., it complements its substantive oral history and vivid testimonials with an array of arresting visual artifacts — pivotal punk imagery that includes iconic show posters, electrifying performance photographs and heaps of wild costumes and dilapidated guitars — to tell its rambunctious story.... Paradoxically for a volume dedicated to such a proudly ragged and rough-hewn aesthetic, Taking Punk to the Masses is a beautifully constructed gem. Even more peculiarly for a history lesson wedged between hard covers, it'll make you hear the music that has so spectacularly inflamed your speakers and headphones for three decades." – Jason Diamond, NPR.org
• Review/Interview: "When Leslie Stein’s Eye of the Majestic Creature is summarized, it sounds too precious and odd for human consumption, like some horrible blend of Ziggy and Zippy. That’s far from the case, however. The first four issues of Eye, now collected in book form by Fantagraphics, never tip over into cutesy treacle or become mired in faux hipsterism. Far from it — there’s a sense of melancholy and awareness that, while never overwhelming the book, grounds it in a recognizable reality. Adopting a simple, rubbery style, Stein manages to create both a likeable, sympathetic main character and maintain a tone of reflected grace. It’s a surprisingly strong and self-assured comic for such a relatively young creator." – Chris Mautner, The Comics Journal
"I try not to consciously draw upon any artist or movement in the creation of my work, I do not want to be derivative of anyone or thing in particular. I’m influenced by almost everything, though. I love music and film and literature and art. I take it all in and try to forget about it, knowing that some of it will come out unconsciously." – Leslie Stein, interviewed by Mautner
• Review/Interview: "With a meandering tone and structure reminiscent of Eddie Campbell's Alec stories, Stein depicts a relatable (but not necessarily realistic) slice of life tale, and the fact that the stranger, more colorful elements of her story — from a female protagonist named Larrybear to anthropomorphic musical instruments to characters drawn as animals — never overwhelm the realistic elements. It's a fun and thoughtful book that has its own tone and rhythm in a way that's a triumph for the talented, young cartoonist." – Alex Dueben, Comic Book Resources
"I think the unfortunate thing with a lot of autobiographical comics is that they're all done by the same kind of people with the same kind of mentality. For me, what would be interesting would be to get an autobiographical comic done by the popular girl in high school. What her comic would be like would be way interesting to me." – Leslie Stein, interviewed by Dueben
It's down to the last couple of days for Zak Sally's Kickstarter project for his self-published, self-printed edition of Sammy the Mouse Vol. 1, collecting the first 3 Ignatz Series issues. The project already met its funding goal a couple of weeks ago but Zak is making one last plea for additional funds so that he can make the book a little fancier, hire some promo help and maybe pay himself a little bit for the printing. And of course it's your last chance to get in on the nifty pledge incentives. If you haven't pledged yet, what are you waiting for?
• Review: "Stein's cartooning is broad and trippy, and if she occasionally becomes intoxicated with her own gimlet-eyed sensibility, she's never afraid to turn that dark wit on herself. Eye of the Majestic Creature... is ultimately the tale of a young woman rejecting the things that shaped her and attempting to figure out what comes next for her. Thanks to Stein's loose, amiable approach, you'll want to know that, too." – Glen Weldon, NPR Monkey See
• Review: "Readers needing their Peter Bagge and/or Hate fix will always get it, to some degree, in the Hate Annual. Hate Annual #9, however, is one of the better editions, and that’s probably because of what Bagge presents here. 'Heaven' and 'Hell' appeases by giving us a peek at what’s going on in Buddy’s life right now, but we also get a hefty narrative that gives us something akin to the classic madness that was Buddy and Lisa’s life in Seattle." – Leroy Douresseaux, I Reads You
• Profile: Brian Hoag of the McCook Daily Gazette has a Memorial Day tribute to Bill Mauldin: "During WWII, Bill Mauldin's cartoons appeared in the military Stars and Stripes newpaper, and showed a sarcastic humor side of war that the combat troops could relate to. Not one to shy away from pointing a finger at the top brass, General Patton tried to get Mauldin censored as George thought the 'humor' wasn't so funny." (Via Mike Lynch)
We're resuming offering some finds from our recent clean-sweep of our attic on eBay. Our current offering: The Voyage of the Ayeguy, a 1980 limited edition set of painting reproductions from renowned sci-fi artist Josh Kirby. Bidding closes on Sunday.
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