Cathy Malkasian's second Percy Gloom graphic novel is another fable that the author brings to vivid life through her lush and detailed pencil renderings, surreal humor, absurdist characters, breathtaking landscapes, and luminous storytelling.
Kindhearted, Candide-esque Percy wakes up from a 200 year nap and finds himself in a strange new land. Searching for his mother, lamenting his long-lost love and soul-mate Miss Margaret, Percy meets bizarre, wise, naive, and sometimes dangerous characters, encounters inspired inventions, and forges friendships, discovering a few unexpected verities along the way.
Not to mention the singing goats and furniture parades.
Assembled from work done in Anders Nilsen’s sketchbooks over the course of the year following the death of his fiancée in 2005, The End is a collection of short strips about loss, paralysis, waiting, and transformation.
It is a concept album in different styles, a meditation on paying attention, an abstracted autobiography and a travelogue, reflecting the progress of his struggle to reconcile the great upheaval of a death, and finding a new life on the other side.
The book blends Nilsen's disparate styles, from the iconic simplicity and collaged drawings of his Monologues for the Coming Plague to the finely rendered Dogs and Water and Big Questions.
Originally released in magazine form in 2007 (which received an Ignatz Award nomination for Outstanding Story), The End has now been expanded to more than twice its original length, including 16 pages of full color.
The first, hardcover edition of No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics was a smash hit and sold out lickety-split. We've hustled back to press for a new softcover edition, still featuring tons of great comics by Alison Bechdel, Howard Cruse, Edie Fake, Ellen Forney, Roberta Gregory, Andy Hartzell, Ralf König, Ed Luce, Steve MacIsaac, MariNaomi, Trina Robbins, Eric Shanower, and dozens more, all under Maurice Vellekoop's candy-colored cover art. Nominated for both a Lambda Literary Award and an Eisner Award this year, the book will fortunately be back on shelves in about 3 months. Browse a 34-page PDF excerpt and pre-order your copy right here.
Written by black, gay science-fiction writer, professor, and theorist Samuel R. Delany, and drawn by artist/martial arts instructor Mia Wolff, Bread & Wine is a graphic autobiography that flashes back to the unlikely story of how Delany befriended Dennis, and how they became an enduring couple — Delany, a professor at Philadelphia’s Temple University, Dennis, an intelligent man living on the streets.
For casual readers and fans, Bread & Wine is a moving, sexually charged love story, with visuals informed by Wolff's professional physical pursuits. Her black-and-white pen-and-ink work not only expressionistically represents the characters' "body language" and the bustling New York setting, but is also filled with impish art references and visual puns. The scholarly potential for the book, based on the poem "Bread and Wine" by the German lyric poet Friedrich Holderlin, not only encompasses queer, African-American, and graphic novel studies, but also exploration in the literary and paraliterary academic fields.
This edition includes an introduction by Watchmen writer Alan Moore, commentary by the book’s protagonists, Delany and Dennis, and a new interview with Delany and Wolff.
The fastest hot-to-trot release of online Commentaries & Diversions:
• Review:Good Dog has it this week. Graham Chaffee's return to comics gets a starred review from Publishers Weekly. "Chaffees’s art is both lyrical and dramatic when it needs to be, mixing Craig Thompson and Gilbert Hernandez. As with White Fang and Black Beauty, Chaffee goes inside the psychology of animals without over sentimentalizing and shows why the human/pet relationship is so precious for both sides."
• Review: Diamond Scoop is all over Wake Up, Percy Gloom by Cathy Malkasian. "Malkasian fills the story with multiple levels, never once making any of them obvious. Her experience as an animator shines through as her pencil and panel construction holds an incredible sense of movement inside a graphic novel format.…More than a fable, Percy Gloom is part of story telling myth that can be traced back to campfires around a cave. This is an inspiring work that speaks to all levels of our existence."
• Review: Bob Temuka of the Tearoom of Despair checks out Peter Bagge's Other Stuff. "This book is excellent… the looser Bagge's stuff gets, the better. Other Stuff is funnier than [Everybody Is Stupid Except For Me], even if there is that same sociological satire, because it has Bagge people wigging the fuck out, and nuthin' is funnier than that.."
• Review: Shawn Starr of The Chemical Box reviews 3 New Stories by Dash Shaw. "3 New Stories is a comic which explores the juxtaposition and superimposition of images within the structure of text/drawing based comics (a.k.a. traditional comics) as a means of underlining the thematic nature of it's stories.…Shaw codes the pages of '3 New Stories' with layers of visual subtext that work as an interesting color palette and also through their existence as “images”, create additional layers of meaning to each page and the narrative as a whole."
• Review: Bill Boichel from Copacetic Comics enjoys New School by Dash Shaw. "This purposeful leveling of the high/low, fine/popular distinction in the arts has a specific aim in reinforcing the "message" encoded within the narrative. The basics of the story we are given in New School are about as old school as you can get, centering on two brothers, each sent by their father on a quest to a faraway land. The brothers, Daniel and Luke, are each given names with strong biblical associations. The latter, however, additionally references the modern mythology of Star Wars. This dual reference serves as a key opening the door to New School's narrative strategy."
• Review: IndieWire has a suggestion for you in regards to Micky Mouse Color Sundays by Floyd Gottfredson (edited by Groth and David Gerstein). Jerry Beck writes, "Leave it to Gerstein, with co-editor Gary Groth and the team at Fantagraphics, to reprint these rare strips with the greatest of care. The reproduction of the line art is superb, the coloring is vivid and faithful to the original newspaper printings … stop what you are doing and order this book today. 280 pages of absolute joy."
• Review: KC Carlson of Comics Worth Reading read and weeps (from laughter) in the latest Carl Barks collection, Donald Duck: The Old Castle's Secret. "I read it as a child. Yet I remember clearly every detail about it. Such is the power of Carl Barks’ work. His storytelling is designed to appeal to youngsters as well as folk who are as old as Scrooge.…I laughed so hard that I had to put the book down for a couple of minutes. Sharp-eyed readers should also pay attention to other jokes hidden in what Donald is reading in other stories throughout the book."
• Interview (audio): Associate Publisher Eric Reynolds and co-editor, Philip Nel, talk Crockett Johnson, Barnaby and Ruth Kruss on Inkstuds with Robin McConnell.
• Review:Comics Grinder makes some new meat with Beta Testing the Apocalypse by Tom Kacynski. "Kaczynski’s humor is, at times, acerbic, with an attitude…Read as a whole, the author’s vision comes through as heart-felt, witty, and maybe even, perhaps, genuinely concerned…Architecture is seen as a possible solution to the many ills of one struggling nation," writes Henry Chamberlain.
• Review:The Austin Chronicle weighs The Adventure of Jodelle by Guy Peellaert. Shannon McCormick writes, "Christ, this thing is gorgeous…Like his American Pop Art idols and comrades, Peellaert’s work smashed distinctions between "high" and ‘low’ modes of art, drawing from the visual language of advertising, cinema, fashion, and youth culture, as well as classical and neo-classical sculpture and architecture."
• Review: Stuff I Read This Week and the Darling Dork revisit Maggie the Mechanicby Jaime Hernandez. "A large part of the fun of Love and Rockets is seeing how the Herndandezes grew and developed as creators, with experimentation giving way to clarity of vision…You can look at these characters and still recognize them perfectly well, only sans several decades of growth…there’s still plenty of greatness to be found here."
• Interview (audio): Gilbert Hernandez talks about kids' comics, Love and Rockets, plus D&Q's Marble Season on The Dinner Party.
• Plug (video): Staffer Jen Vaughn speaks very briefly on working for Fantagraphics and comics at TCAF on Comics Bulletin (I apologize for speaking in 3rd person)
This Saturday, June 1st and Sunday, June 2nd, Jaime will be at Øksnehallen, signing your well-worn copies of Speedy Ortiz Dør or Mekanix or other translated titles that have an "o" with a slash through it!
Øksnehallen is located at Halmtorvet 11, situated in the heart of the old meat district in the centre of Copenhagen.
Join Lorenzo at 6:30 PM as he presents his latest work, OLTREMAI, and as he discusses his life as an illustrator -- including his work on the Eisner-nominated The Crackle of the Frost, and The Raven, his collaboration with Lou Reed!
Tickets are $15 non-members, $10 members, $7 students/seniors. The Society of Illustrators is located at 128 East 63rd Street.
In this brand new graphic novel from the acclaimed author of Bottomless Belly Button and BodyWorld, Dash Shaw dramatizes the story of a boy moving to an exotic country and his infatuation with an unfamiliar culture that quickly shifts to disillusionment. A sense of "being different" grows to alienation, until he angrily blames this once-enchanting land for his feelings of isolation.
All of this is told through the fantastical eyes of young Danny, a boy growing up in the '90s fed on dramatic adventure stories like Jurassic Park and X-Men. Danny's older brother, Luke, travels to a remote island to teach English to the employees of ClockWorld, an ambitious new amusement park that recreates historical events. When Luke doesn’t return after two years, Danny travels to ClockWorld to convince Luke to return to America. But Luke has made a new life, new family, and even a new personality for himself on ClockWorld, rendering him almost unrecognizable to his own brother. Danny comes of age as he explores the island, ClockWorld, and fights to bring his brother home.
New School is unlike anything in the history of the comics medium: at once funny and deadly serious, easily readable while wildly artistic, personal and political, familiar and completely new.
Good Dog marks the welcome return of alternative cartoonist Graham Chaffee, one that comiXology has made available digitally the same day as the book is out in print! Ivan, who is plagued by terrible nightmares about chickens and rabbits, is a good dog — if only someone would notice. Chaffee combines illustrative gravitas with cartooning verve for a richly textured, dog’s-eye view of the world. Preteen-and-up dog fanciers, especially, will warm to the well-meaning Ivan and his exploits with a motley assortment of Scotties, Bulldogs, and mutts. Chaffee combines illustrative gravitas with cartooning verve and creates a richly textured, dog’s-eye view of the world. The story is a rousing Jack London-esque adventure as well as a moral parable. Available for only $12.99 on comiXology.
"Getting into the mind of a dog -- that's a real trick. I know, I've tried. Getting into the whole heart and soul of a dog is another whole feat. Graham Chaffee not only does it with aplomb (he draws GREAT dogs), he gets into the whole dog's life -- and so should you." -- Nick Abadzis
This week's comic shop shipment is slated to include the following new titles. Read on to see what comics-blog commentators and web-savvy comic shops are saying about them (more to be added as they appear), check out our previews at the links, and contact your local shop to confirm availability.
96-page black & white 8.25" x 10.25" hardcover • $16.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-653-9
"hardcover parable for all ages (CONTAINS LIGHT CUSSING), concerning a stray dog who navigates the concept of - yes - goodness" –Joe McCulloch, The Comics Journal
"I got choked up a couple of times which is the one of the best things a comic can do to me. Compliments to Mr. Graham Chaffee. Really solid storytelling and excellent art. Reminiscent the best way of Jack London's The Call of the Wild." – Farel Dalrymple (Pop Gun War)
168-page full-color 11.75" x 9.25" softcover • $35.00 ISBN: 978-1-60699-617-1
"Deitch achieves what only the greatest cartoonist can — a deep spiritual resonance with minimal representation. The Deitch covers are thrilling for their quiet beauty. [...] This is a terrific rediscovery of a forgotten giant of a small world." – New York Press
"In the spirit of cats & dogs living together, Fanta also has a new softcover edition of The Cat on a Hot Thin Groove, a 2003 compilation of Gene Deitch's mid-century covers and cartoons for Record Changer magazine; $35.00. Hipsters!" -Joe McCulloch, The Comics Reporter
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