Online Commentary & Diversions observes the U.S. holiday tomorrow and returns on Friday:
• Review: "Children of the early Cold War who grew up with a pre-Spider-Man Ditko will find plenty to love in these restorations... Contemporary fans will no doubt find a lot to like in this volume, as well, both as a piece of mid-century pop-art, and as a first-hand look at the singularly warped sensibilities of one of the artists that would go on to shape the modern superhero book as we know it. Ditko clearly revels in his pre-Code world, constructing giant man-eating worms, and serial killers, and goblins. The artist draws on a broad scope of genre, demonstrating diverse artistic and storytelling talents... Strange Suspense is a treasure trove of weird excitement from one of the mavericks of mid-century comics." – Brian Heater, The Daily Cross Hatch
• Plug: "I want to marry this comic book: ...John Pham’s Sublife Vol. 2... is so lovely. I have a preview copy on my nightstand, and I just can’t keep my eyes — and hands! — off it." – J. Caleb Mozzocco, Newsarama
• Plug: The Brazilian edition of the first volume of The Complete Peanuts was released earlier this year; Diário do Barão says of it "Definitely, this was the best gift that I gave this year. It is even better than the Transformers Collection Megatron."
...in Denmark, under a different title (Alkymisterne), from our pals at Aben Maler (co-publishers of From Wonderland with Love — ooh, they've got previews). Jim Woodring shares his thoughts on the occasion on his blog, along with a link to this translated review from tegneseriesiden.dk ("To go into [Weathercraft] is like sticking your head deep in a witches' pot and letting your brain cook slowly. It is an attack that has the ability to flush from the visual into your other senses, it is like to smell and hear and above all feel with the eyes, synesthesia in cartoon form"). Meanwhile, North American readers will have to wait until our version, which will look different, comes out this Spring.
As expected, a Huizenga-heavy Online Commentary & Diversions:
• Review: "Pim & Francie: The Golden Bear Days is a downright sadistic journey through the lives of its titular characters, playing out like fragments of a fairytale, had the rawer stories of yesteryear from the likes of the Brothers Grimm been followed to their logical conclusions in the context of our hyper-graphic society, rather than having been hijacked by the likes of Walt Disney. ... The book succeeds rather well as both an introduction to the artist’s work and as a standalone art book. It’s simultaneously lush and sparse and terrifying and wonderful." – Brian Heater, The Daily Cross Hatch
• Plug: "Ganges #3... [is] a journey through what's still adding up to be considerably less than a day in the life of observant Glenn Ganges, the narrative eye diving in and out of memories and perceptions and impressions and all the stuff that makes up human experience, serving to summarize all of Huizenga's experiments in comics storytelling so far. It's not what happens here but how it happens, the 'how' alone revealing the complexities of the person, a biography of craft-as-occasion, the hundred revelations to a man remaining still. Jokes too, and real police action." – Joe McCulloch, Jog - The Blog
• Plug: "Ganges #3:... Kevin Huizenga is just a terrific creator. I'd not be too far off comparing him to someone like Paul Grist, a real master of the page and composition, even if the styles and tones are wildly different. Grist is bombast and insanity and Huizenga is meditative and beatific." – "Lydia Park," The Rack (she's fictional, but that has to be someone's opinion, at least partly, right?)
• Plug: "Ganges #3... The likely book of the week in a very, very, very strong week overall. I don't think people will fall in love with this Kevin Huizenga effort the way they did the first two (and particularly the first one) in this great-looking Ignatz series, but it's as challenging and rewarding a read as those two initial books." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
• Plug: "Kevin Huizenga knocks it out of the park once more in this third issue of his ongoing Ignatz series from Fantagraphics. ...Huizenga manages to make the most mundane material come alive with his ingenious layouts and penetrating insight. I've never seen insomnia portrayed so agonizingly accurately or inventively. Seriously, to try to capture these kinds of everyday emotions and experiences in prose as well as he does here would be nigh-impossible." – Chris Mautner's "Pick of the Week," Robot 6
• Plug: "Ganges #3... [is] deliciously inventive... if you doubt that a story about someone trying to fall asleep could be fascinating to read and look at, do yourself a favor and have a look at it." – Douglas Wolk, Comics Alliance
In the third issue of Kevin Huizenga's Eisner Award nominated comic, Glenn Ganges still can't fall asleep. In "Mind and Body" Glenn tries lying still, but his mind — The Wanderer — keeps thwarting his plans! In "Getting Things Done" he gives up trying to get to sleep and tries to get some things done... until the cops show up! All executed in Huizenga's strikingly crisp, lovely two-color "clear line" style, and presented in our deluxe oversized Ignatz format.
Now available for preview and pre-order after a lengthy absence: two freshly reprinted volumes of The Complete Crumb Comics.Vol. 7: "Hot 'n' Heavy!" features several Mr. Natural tales and some of Crumb's wildest sex comix and much more; and Vol. 12: "We're Livin' in the Lap o' Luxury!" spotlights Crumb's American Splendor collaborations with Harvey Pekar (as seen in the movie) and other diverse works. These books are scheduled to be in stock and ready to ship early next month and in stores right around the same time (subject to change).
Our photo & video slideshow previews are lined up below, with a new preview of this past summer's reissue of Vol. 9 included for good measure! If they are not visible here, and/or to view them larger in a new window (recommended), click for Vol. 7, Vol. 9 and Vol. 12.
Now arriving in mailboxes across the country, including possibly yours: our brand-new catalog, with 100 pages of the world's best comics and graphic novels, including sneak peeks at several of our early-2010 releases. If you'd like to receive one, just give us a call at 1-800-657-1100 (206-524-1967 outside the U.S.) and we'll send you one totally free of charge! For the impatient and/or environmentally-minded, we've also got a low-res PDF of the catalog that you can download right here (7.3 MB).
By the way, online shoppers, if you're looking for gift ideas, we've got 'em:
Now available from Desert Island, this signed screenprint featuring Pim & Francie artwork by Al Columbia is limited to an edition of 60. Each print is individually hand-dyed in tea and oven-baked (seriously) for that aged look and unique textural variations on each print. Only 30 bucks!
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