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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 >> November 2009

Daily OCD: 11/23/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under The Comics JournalSupermenreviewsPortable GrindhousePeanutsPaul KarasikNoah Van SciverLove and RocketsJosh SimmonsJim WoodringJaime HernandezGipiFletcher HanksDerek Van GiesonCharles M SchulzBest of 2009Al Columbia 23 Nov 2009 2:55 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions:

• List: Who says we don't publish superheroes? Tom Spurgeon of The Comics Reporter counts several of our publications among his 83 Best Superhero Projects of the past decade: Supermen!, the two Fletcher Hanks books, Eightball #23, and"Ti-Girls Adventures" by Jaime Hernandez from Love and Rockets: New Stories (also mentioned: Josh Simmons's unauthorized self-published mini-comic... you know the one)

• Review: "[Pim & Francie]'s spine calls its contents 'artifacts and bone fragments,' as if they're what's left for a forensic scientist to identify after a brutal murderer has had his way with them; Columbia obsessively returns to images of 'bloody bloody killers.' ... Many of the pieces are just one or two drawings, as if they've been reduced to the moment when an idyllic piece of entertainment goes hideously awry. But they're also showcases for Columbia's self-frustrating mastery: his absolute command of the idiom of lush, old-fashioned cartooning, and the unshakable eeriness of his visions of horror." – Publishers Weekly

• Review: "With [Pim & Francie], Al Columbia has created not only one of the more unsettling works of horror in the medium of comics, but it also happens to be one of the greatest myth-making objects... Whether Columbia planned more complete stories for any of the efforts collected here is an interesting question, but for my money he has instead come up with dozens of nightmarish scenarios that have a greater cumulative effect by skipping set-ups or endings. The ending, one suspects, is always going to be a variation of horrific death and dismemberment." – Christopher Allen, Comic Book Galaxy

• Review: Hillary Brown & Garrett Martin of SHAZHMMM... try to figure out what to talk about when they talk about You Shall Die by Your Own Evil Creation! by Fletcher Hanks

• Analysis: The Funnybook Babylon podcast discusses the upcoming changes to The Comics Journal. I haven't screened it; I hope they're nice about it

• Analysis: Oliver Ho of PopMatters compares the new book Celebrating Peanuts to other landmark Peanuts publications, including our Complete Peanuts series

• Plug: "I am not nostalgic for VHS... However, where VHS leaves a trace, it is surely through the covers... In December Portable Grindhouse: The Lost Art of the VHS Box appears... the book looks quality." – Forgotten Silver (translated from French)

• Links: I'm proud to be credited as the primary source in essential Love and Rockets fansite Love & Maggie's latest link-dump mega-roundup, but there's plenty of stuff in there that I've missed so hop to it! They do good work over there

• Things to see: The cavalcade of new Jim Woodring panels continues: more jungle, odd machinery

• Things to see: At Covered, Noah Van Sciver takes on a 1975 OMAC cover by the King

• Things to see: Matthew Forsythe pays homage to Gipi's Wish You Were Here #1: The Innocents

• Things to see: Outtakes from Derek Van Gieson's Mome story "Devil Doll" (also, sketchbook stuff)

Abandoned Cars variant covers
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tim LanepreviewsComing Attractions 23 Nov 2009 1:56 PM

Abandoned Cars by Tim Lane - cover A

Abandoned Cars by Tim Lane - cover B

When you buy the new softcover edition of Tim Lane's acclaimed short story collection Abandoned Cars when it comes out this coming Spring, you'll have your choice of covers, seen above: freight-jumping and fist-fighting will come in an even 50/50 split. They both look so great — how to choose? (Buy both, of course!) More info and closer looks at Tim's blog.

First Look: Lucky in Love
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Stephen DeStefanopreviewsGeorge ChieffetComing Attractions 23 Nov 2009 1:38 PM

Lucky in Love by Stephen deStefano & George Chieffet

At his blog, cartoonist/animator Stephen DeStefano has a sneak peek at his artwork for the upcoming graphic novel written by George Chieffet, Lucky in Love, to be published by Fantagraphics in summer 2010. Stephen's worked on everything from 'Mazing Man to The Venture Bros., which makes him a-ok in my book.

from Lucky in Love, artwork by Stephen DeStefano

Previously unseen Clowes album art
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tim HensleyrockDaniel Clowes 23 Nov 2009 12:27 PM

Victor Banana Split album art by Daniel Clowes

Unused Daniel Clowes artwork for Victor Banana's Split album, circa 1989 — see this and much more (cassette J-card!) at Blog Flume courtesy of Tim Hensley.

The Great Anti-War Cartoons - Previews, Pre-Order
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under videopreviewsnew releasesCraig Yoe 22 Nov 2009 6:57 PM

The Great Anti-War Cartoons

Now available for preview and pre-order: The Great Anti-War Cartoons, edited by Craig Yoe. This book collects over 4 centuries of the best protest art, spanning the globe and the political spectrum. Images of outrage, irony, despair and hope prove that the pen is indeed mightier than the sword. Download an exclusive 10-page PDF excerpt containing the entire first chapter, "Planet War," right here. This book is scheduled to be in stock and ready to ship sometime in the next week or two and in stores shortly after that (subject to change).

View a photo & video slideshow preview of the book embedded here. Click here if it is not visible, and/or to view it larger in a new window (recommended).

Webcomics update for 11/20/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under webcomicsSteven WeissmanmetaJohnny RyanDerek Van Gieson 20 Nov 2009 5:02 PM

Strips for you, strips for you, we've got weekly strips for you...

The House of No by Derek Van Gieson

Art appreciation in this week's The House of No by Derek Van Gieson...

Blecky Yuckerella by Johnny Ryan

..."the mammajamma is IN" in this week's Blecky Yuckerella strip by Johnny Ryan....

Barack Hussein Obama by Steven Weissman

...and more diplomacy with Barack H. Obama in this week's strip from Steven Weissman!

Daily OCD: 11/20/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Steve DitkoRichard SalareviewsPortable GrindhousePaul HornschemeierOlivier SchrauwenMiss Lasko-GrossLilli CarréJoe DalyJacques BoyreauHans RickheitGilbert HernandezFantagraphics BookstorecontestsCarol TylerBlake BellBlabBest of 2009audioAlexander Theroux 20 Nov 2009 4:20 PM

Oh lordy, I felt like I was never going to get through this installment of Online Commentary & Diversions:

• Interview/Reviews/Contest: The Seattle Geekly podcast visits Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery ("full of dangerous amounts of awesome") and talks to curator Larry Reid as part of their current episode's focus on "geek gifts"; plus reviews of Strange Suspense: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 1 ("If you're interested in the history of the comics genre, this is a must-have") and Hans Rickheit's The Squirrel Machine ("steampunk style mashed up with H.R. Giger... the art is amazing"). Plus, they're having a contest giving away a copy of Strange Suspense!

• List: Graphic Novel Reporter begins their Best of 2009 survey of educators and comics pros; so far A Mess of Everything by Miss Lasko-Gross ("Lasko-Gross’ words and pictures felt incredibly authentic") and Luba by Gilbert Hernandez have been named

• Review: "Rolling in like a slow, fuzzed-out guitar line from an Orange-brand amp, The Red Monkey Double Happiness Book lives up to the good vibes promised in its title. ... Having recently finished Thomas Pynchon's Inherent Vice and Jonathan Lethem's Chronic City, I couldn't help but consider The Red Monkey Double Happiness Book as a distant third-cousin to those titles. ...The Red Monkey Double Happiness Book is a weekend read, best consumed with your feet propped up, opposable digits or not." – Alex Carr, Omnivoracious (Amazon.com)

• Review: "Paul Hornschemeier excels at a sort of cryptic-cute comic that is better read than described. It's a blend of darkness and sharply delineated perfectionism that, whether he likes it or not, sometimes brings to mind his Chicago contemporary Chris Ware What he knows, though, is that he can go places Ware can't — Hornschemeier's style is every style. ... His diversity of styles is most apparent in All and Sundry: Uncollected Work 2004-2009... It's just a stew of stuff that, like the best sketchbooks, offers an intimate invitation to spy on the ramblings of a formidable creative." – Byron Kerman, PLAYBACK:stl

• Review: "For being a company that puts out the reprints of one of the safest comics of all time, Peanuts, Fantagraphics sure lives on the edge of the comics medium, particularly in the realm of anthologies. Blab! is just such an anthology, featuring a variety of visual quirks that hover closer to straight up art pieces than comics work, but still do not seem out of place with the more narrative pieces that slide between the pictorial pages. ...[T]here's probably someone for everyone in Blab!, if you take the time to look." – Panel Patter

• Review: "Richard Sala’s reinvention of Snow White is a sparkling macabre gem. The 2-color art glows in handsome sepia that is pitch perfect for this delightfully demented tale of a strange land. Sala populates Delphine with cast of horror carnival rejects that is diverse enough to both excite and confound the imagination. This issue [#3]’s creepy locales: dark tunnels, a creepy house, and a gloomy castle are the true stars of this chapter. They make this scary tale an absolute winner. ...[Grade] A" – Leroy Douresseaux, Comic Book Bin

• Reviewer: A new book review from Laura Warholic author Alexander Theroux for The Wall Street Journal, this time of an interesting-sounding collection of "literary invective" called Poison Pens

• Plug: "I grew up in the video age and I’m still in awe of the technology that first allowed me to watch thousands of movies in the privacy of my own home. Call me sentimental and nostalgic, but when I first got wind of Jacques Boyreau’s upcoming book Portable Grindhouse: The Lost Art of the VHS Box it made me giddy with excitement." – Kimberly Lindbergs, Cinebeats

• Events: Graphic Novel Reporter has photos of C. Tyler giving her presentation at the Miami Book Fair last weekend

• Things to see: Two from Lilli Carré — a new animated drawing and a peek at her strip in the new issue of The Believer

• Things to see: Some great new stuff from Olivier Schrauwen recently, too

Cartoonist tunes
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under rockRobert CrumbPeter BaggePaul Hornschemeiermary fleenerDaniel ClowesChris WareArcher PrewittAl Columbia 20 Nov 2009 2:19 PM

Can You Imagine?

The new episode of the Inkstuds podcast is a special treat: an all-music show featuring music by cartoonists. The playlist includes: The Action Suits! Peter Bagge's Can You Imagine?! Al Columbia's The Francies! The mysterious Extravagant Bachelor! The Crumb Family! Archer Prewitt! Chris Ware! Paul Hornschemeier's Arks! Mary Fleener's Wigbillies! And (drum roll)... Blueshammer! Awesome.

Will Elder: The MAD Playboy of Art documentary
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Will Eldervideo 20 Nov 2009 12:51 PM

A 20-minute documentary which shares a name with our book, in two parts on YouTube.

Link trail: Robot 6 <– Mike Lynch

Gahan Wilson: Fifty Years of Playboy Cartoons - two sneak peeks!
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under previewsnew releasesNeil GaimanmetaGahan Wilson 20 Nov 2009 7:04 AM

Gahan Wilson, 1961

As part of our ongoing excitement for our soon-to-arrive giant 3-volume set Gahan Wilson: Fifty Years of Playboy Cartoons, we're pleased to present two exclusive sneak peeks at the book!

First, read Neil Gaiman's delightful Introduction (found in the second book; Hef's is in the first one) on our website right here.

Next, download an exclusive 25-page PDF excerpt containing all of Wilson's strips from 1958-1959, including a series of strips spoofing Sherlock Holmes (8 MB). Enjoy!


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