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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 >> March 2009

Better Late: Unlovable party
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under videoFantagraphics BookstoreeventsEsther Pearl Watson 19 Mar 2009 3:00 PM

In the spirit of Jason's recent SDCC 2008 reports (but not quite that tardy), here are the photos and video of the gallery opening and book launch party for Esther Pearl Watson's Unlovable at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery in Seattle back on February 7, 2009. If you or your reader don't like embedded slideshows, click here to browse the photos.

Below, Rusty Willoughby (Llama, ex-Pure Joy, ex-Flop) serenades the crowd. I recorded every song but the first one; click here for the YouTube playlist if the embedded player isn't visible. And stay tuned for photos and video from the Humbug exhibit and Dame Darcy's performance last weekend.

Daily links: 3/19/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Michael KuppermanLove and RocketsLos Bros HernandezJaime HernandezGilbert HernandezGary Panter 19 Mar 2009 1:58 PM

• Review: 50 Words or Less on Love and Rockets: New Stories #1

• Review: Newsarama on Jimbo's Inferno by Gary Panter: "Great designs and scratchy, kinetic action fill every single panel... Jimbo's Inferno is a truly beautiful comic book."

• Preview: OK Erok posts a few panels from our preview of Tales Designed to Thrizzle #5 by Michael Kupperman (not out yet, despite what they say)

• Bookmark: Shelf Life: 25 Years of Love & Rockets, Marc Sobel's column closely examining every issue of Love and Rockets Vol. 1, has moved from the currently-defunct Sequart site to its own blog; the most recent entry focuses on Love and Rockets X

Daily links: 3/18/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Stan SakaireviewsPeanutsPaul HornschemeierLilli CarréJosh SimmonsJim BlanchardHumbugBasil Wolverton 18 Mar 2009 2:01 PM

• Review of the Year: Brick Weekly holds forth on The Wolverton Bible: "If you think that God was the greatest contributor to the Bible then you are wrong. In fact, when compared to the creative feats of legendary cartoonist Basil Wolverton, God’s work seems trite and superficial at best. So, throw out all of your old Bibles because you don’t need them any more..." And it goes on from there...

• Reviews: The San Antonio Current says "The Wolverton Bible collects everything [Basil Wolverton] did for the [Worldwide Church of God], presenting illustrations in chronological Biblical order — from Adam springing up from earth á la Spider-Man’s nemesis the Sandman all the way through the Old Testament and then hopping to the fantasy-friendly Book of Revelation, where eyeless corpses run rampant and jet planes tumble helplessly from the sky"; furthermore, "Humbug could be a comics blockbuster... it fills gaps in some cartoonists’ CVs and entertains like hell while doing it."

• Reviews: Andrew Wheeler rounds up some recent books: of The Lagoon by Lilli Carré he says "Carré has an expressive style reminiscent of Richard Sala -- and her stories are in the same literary territory as Sala's as well, so the gloomy blacks and busy cross-hatching add to the ominous, overwhelming feeling... there's real spookiness in these pages -- and she's telling a story in ways (particularly trying to evoke sounds and scents through a comics page) that I've rarely seen"; and of Jessica Farm Vol. 1 by Josh Simmons, Wheeler says "Josh Simmons might just be the Gutzon Borglum of comics. Simmons's... plan... is crazy, and I admire it for that."

• Reviews: Read About Comics reads The Complete Peanuts 1961-1962 and states "Now that I've finally hit the 1960s strips... I can't help but feel that I've entered the real Golden Age of Peanuts... I can’t wait to dive into the next volume."

• Interview: ComicBookMovie.com chats with Stan Sakai about the success of Usagi Yojimbo

• Things to see: Jim Blanchard's awesome portrait of Marty Feldman

• Things to see (and buy): The Paul Hornschemeier show print previously Flogged here is now up for pre-order

Tales Designed to Thrizzle #5: Previews & Pre-Order
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under videopreviewsnew releasesMichael Kupperman 17 Mar 2009 3:31 PM

Tales Designed to Thrizzle #5 by Michael Kupperman

Now available for preview and pre-order: Tales Designed to Thrizzle #5, the latest 32-page slice of insane comedy genius (or is it genius comedic insanity?) from Michael Kupperman. This comic is scheduled to be in stock in late March/early April and in stores approximately 4 weeks later.

View a photo & video slideshow preview embedded here. Click here if it is not visible, and/or to view it larger in a new window (recommended). And visit the product details page for a downloadable, 4-page PDF excerpt starring Twain & Einstein!

New Comics Day 3/18/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under new releasesNew Comics DayEros Comix 17 Mar 2009 2:40 PM
Scheduled to arrive in comics shops this week from our Eros Comix imprint: The Tijuana Bibles Hardcover Vol. 1, containing 500+ pages of explicitly smutty vintage tomfoolery. Hit that link for more info and previews and then hit your local shop tomorrow (as always, call ahead to confirm availability).
Daily links: 3/17/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Zak SallyreviewsPaul HornschemeierJoe SaccoJaime HernandezHumbugDash Shaw 17 Mar 2009 2:11 PM

• Review: For Robot 6, Chris Mautner waxes rhapsodic about Humbug: "It's very easy with a book of this nature to engage in wild hyperbole... And yet, how else to talk about a project of this nature, a large collection of work featuring some of the most stellar cartoonists of their day, originally edited by one of the most important and influential humorists (and I really don't think this is hyperbole here - I'd put him up there with Richard Pryor in terms of significance) of the 20th century?... Something should be said about the packaging and restoration work, which is nothing short of astounding... I think it’s pretty safe to say that this collection will be on my top ten/best books of 2009 list at the end of the year. Really, how could it not? Apparently I like it more than breathing."

• List: From GQ, another one of those ubiquitous "what to read after Watchmen" lists, this one with The Girl from HOPPERS by Jaime Hernandez ("Hoppers... makes Gotham and Metropolis seem as bland as Scranton"), Safe Area Gorazde by Joe Sacco ("Graphic in every sense of the term... it’s the best argument around for comics as a journalistic medium"), and Bottomless Belly Button by Dash Shaw ("honest, meditative"), as well as work by Jessica Abel and Charles Burns

• Opinion: Zak Sally posts his take on the Watchmen movie

• Things to see: Stills from a short film adaptation of a Paul Hornschemeier story

Fenwick Finalist for Pigskin Peters
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Ray Fenwickawards 17 Mar 2009 1:08 PM

Hall of Best Knowledge by Ray Fenwick

Congrats to Ray Fenwick, whose Hall of Best Knowledge is a finalist for the 2009 Pigskin Peters Award for "avant-garde comics and other non-traditional works," part of the Doug Wright Awards, Canada's top comics honors. Winners will be announced at TCAF on May 9.

Blazing Combat: Previews & Pre-Order
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under videopreviewsnew releasesBlazing Combat 17 Mar 2009 12:20 PM

Blazing Combat by Archie Goodwin & Various Artists

Now available for preview and pre-order: Blazing Combat, the first-ever complete collection of the legendary 1965-1966 war comic written by Archie Goodwin and drawn by such luminaries as Frank Frazetta, Wally Wood, John Severin, Alex Toth, Al Williamson, Russ Heath, Reed Crandall, and Gene Colan. This book is scheduled to be in stock in late March/early April and in stores approximately 4 weeks later.

View a photo & video slideshow preview embedded here. Click here if it is not visible, and/or to view it larger in a new window (recommended). And visit the product details page for a downloadable, 19-page PDF excerpt containing the first three stories!

Daily links: 3/16/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Ted StearnRory HayesRobert CrumbreviewsRay FenwickpreviewsPeanutsMomeKevin HuizengaJules FeifferJohnny RyanJacques TardiIvan BrunettiHumbugGary PanterDash ShawBob LevinBill SchellyBill MauldinBeastsAnders NilsenAl Jaffee 16 Mar 2009 3:33 PM

This is a meaty one:

• Review: For The Savage Critics, Sean T. Collins says The Last Lonely Saturday by Jordan Crane is "pretty much the best love story in comics form I've ever come across... It's an intelligent, moving, beautiful, terrific little comic."

• Review: Rob Clough says that Beasts! Book 2 "mingles myths, warnings, fairy tales, correctives, and genuinely unexplained phenomena and allows its artists to run with them. The end result is a consistently beautiful, lovingly assembled book that forms a kind of metacommentary on the entire notion of the fantastic."

• Review: For the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, the wonderfully-named Burl Burlingame reviews Man of Rock: A Biography of Joe Kubert by Bill Schelly

• Review: For Robot 6's "What Are You Reading?" column, Tucker Stone encounters Duplex Planet Illustrated #2

• Review: The SF Site's "Nexus Graphica" says R. Crumb & David Zane Mairowitz's Kafka is "a terrific guide to Kafka's life and work — Mairowitz deftly sums up Franz' family/Jewish/pre-Holocaust European experiences and influences, and Crumb's heavy inkings lend the exact tones of darkness to recreations of both Kafka's life — and work." (See sidebar)

• Blurb: Gear Live's "Comix 411" "vote[s] yes" on Ho! The Morally Questionable Cartoons of Ivan Brunetti

• List: Tom Spurgeon of The Comics Reporter weighs in with his Best of 2008 lists. In the top 10 "Archival Editions" there's Where Demented Wented by Rory Hayes at #7, Popeye Vol. 3 at #6, The Complete Peanuts Vols. 9-10 at #3, Explainers by Jules Feiffer at #2, and Willie & Joe: The WWII Years by Bill Mauldin at #1; Most Outrageous: The Trials and Trespasses of Dwaine Tinsley and Chester the Molester by Bob Levin is named "Best Book on the Subject of Comics"; the top 25 "Best Comics (First Run, First Translated, Definitively Collected) of 2008" includes Fuzz & Pluck: Splitsville by Ted Stearn at #19, Bottomless Belly Button by Dash Shaw at #15, Sammy the Mouse #2 by Zak Sally at #12, and Ganges #2 by Kevin Huizenga at #4 

• Interview: Robot 6 talks to Anders Nilsen about his most recent book, Monologues for Calculating the Density of Black Holes

• Interview: The final installment of The Daily Cross Hatch's interview with the great Al Jaffee finally gets around to Humbug

• Transcript: The Daily Cross Hatch presents our own Eric Reynolds's talk at MCAD at the opening of the MOMEntum exhibit

• Preview: The First Post presents a slideshow of images from Humbug, saying "the short-lived Humbug [was] an exquisite satirical work that, over its 11 issues, routinely equalled MAD in its displays of creative genius... providing a level of trenchant satire that was almost unheard of at the time."

• Preview: Notions & Potions excerpts a page from Ray Fenwick's Hall of Best Knowledge

• Preview: Bryan Munn, in "hyping" The Complete Peanuts 1971-1972, states "Now that two whole decades of Peanuts have been reprinted in the deluxe hardcover format published by Fantagraphics and designed by Seth, we can really get a sense of what a huge achievement this project is and will continue to be for a generation."

• Preview: SFScope covers our Tardi announcement

• Bookmark: Quotes on Comics gives you what's in the name, presented randomly for your diversion

• Things to see: Animated Gary Panter unaired commercial (via Comics Comics)

• Things to see: This month's Vice cartoons by Johnny Ryan

New from Fantagraphics' poet laureate
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under staff 16 Mar 2009 11:27 AM

staReduction by Nico Vassilakis

Our own Nico Vassilakis has a new packet of visual poetry ephemera titled staReduction out from Bookthug of Canada consisting of deconstructed alphabet sketches and an accompanying essay booklet. Do check it out if you like interesting things. Only 8 bucks (not sure if that's CDN or US).


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