|Things to See: Ray Fenwick works for Oprah|
|Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Things to see, Ray Fenwick||23 Nov 2010 10:52 AM|
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Archive >> November 2010
Click for improved/additional viewing and possible artist commentary at the sources:
• Jackie No-Name diorama cutout and Belligerent Piano intro page from Smoke Signal #3 courtesy of Tim Lane
And more Things to See from the past week:
Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:
• Review: "Greg Sadowski‘s excellent Four Color Fear: Forgotten Horror Comics of the 1950s (Fantagraphics Books) was the first of a quartet of books on horror comics to surface this fall, and for my money, it’s arguably the most invaluable of the bunch. [...] There are some real revelations here, and I can tell you that this hardcore horror comics scholar/collector/creator is eternally grateful for all that Sadowski and Benson have added herein to a richer knowledge of these unique comics and this grossly misrepresented and misunderstood period in comics history. With an eye toward entertaining fully as well as curating, Sadowski’s greatest accomplishment here is making Four Color Fear such a fun and engaging read, cover-to-cover. [...] In this, Sadowski brings far more care to his anthology than any of the original editors of these comics seemed to; the cumulative effect, at times, is intoxicating, and the ways in which both the individual art styles and the narrative content are woven into a satisfying tapestry are often witty, sly and insidious. There’s a lot of smart work, here, and as a result it’s a super read for everyone, whether you’ve never before sampled this era’s strange fruit or are (like me) a long-time fan and collector." – Steve Bissette, The Schulz Library Blog
• Review/Interview: "That meeting place between responsible parenting and letting your kids love monsters is at the heart of the new graphic novel Rip M.D.... The parental dilemma (just how much horrific stuff should we let our kid get into?) is mined as a story point, while the book itself serves as a family-friendly gateway to gruesomeness. ..[T]the story focuses on Ripley’s personal growth as he accepts responsibility for these monstrous misfits. It’s a legitimately positive message delivered via a story about creatures, all of which sits close to Schauer’s heart. 'I grew up an only child, predominantly surrounded by adults,' Schauer recalls. 'I had to find something to entertain myself. It turned out to be monsters. [...] I’m trying to pull from the emotion I felt when I first saw those classic monsters, not as something to fear but something that was misunderstood.' [...] Rip M.D. doesn’t skimp on the macabre while reinforcing the ideal of an understanding family and the importance of not passing judgment on society’s outcasts…at least until you know them well enough to deliver an informed diagnosis." – Jack Bennett, Fangoria
• Review: "In High Soft Lisp, Gilbert traces the relationship history of Fritz Martinez, the ultimate sex goddess in a career full of them, and in so doing reveals that her every fetish outfit and sexual free-for-all is fruit from the poisoned tree. Lots of characters in this book enjoy the living shit out of Fritz’s sexuality, not least Fritz herself, but to a man and woman they’re revealed to be creepily predatory about it, embracing the worst in themselves and encouraging the worst in Fritz. And here’s the thing: What have we been doing over the hundreds of pages we’ve spent watching Fritz adorably and kinkily fuck her way through the post-Palomar cast of Beto’s comics? What has Beto been doing? What does that say about all of us?" – Sean T. Collins, Attentiondeficitdisorderly
• Review: "Mome... is where the smart kids with the sharpest pencils, shiniest pens, biggest brushes and best software go to play before they blow your minds in great big award-winning graphic novels. It is intense, sometimes hard to read and crafted to the highest production standards. This volume signals five incredibly impressive years and the eclectic graphic mix presented here augurs well for the next fifty… Whether you’re new to comics, fresh from the mainstream ghettos or just need something new, Mome always promises — and delivers — a decidedly different read." – Win Wiaceck, Now Read This
• Interview: Bef got two minutes with Jaime Hernandez
• Plug: In the head-scratchingest gift guide ever, Tom Mason of Comix 411 suggests our Prince Valiant volumes as a wedding gift for Prince William: "One or two volumes would be nice for the royal couple. They can pretend it’s history."
Monday's Strip by Stephen DeStefano has come to a hopefully temporary end, at least until we can coax some new strips out of Stephen. Here's this week's Weissman, plus links to other strips from around the web:
Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:
• Review: "...The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec Vol. 1 is finally seeing a U.S. release, and it’s long overdue. [...] The stories are romping adventures that would appeal to a young-adult crowd, but have plenty of edge and playfulness for grown readers; they function both as an evocation and sly satire of classic adventure stories like Tintin. The clever stories, with hidden meaning always skirting around their simplicity, are perfectly complemented by Tardi’s art; readers familiar with one of the greatest names in French comics will need no introduction, but newcomers will be blown away by his mixture of clean lines and rough edges, and his absolute mastery of mood as he delivers some of the finest illustrations of Paris ever crafted. [Grade] A" – The A.V. Club
• Review: "Little Maakies on the Prairie is... glorious filth rendered in high style, with frequent nods to E.C. Segar and George Herriman. It’s beautiful, it’s disgusting, it boasts a sentient goiter running amok, and it features a handsome landscape layout courtesy of Chip Kidd. Ultimately, it occupies some hinterland between hyper-repetitive and constantly surprising — not bad for a cartoon that began life scrawled on a barroom napkin. [Grade] A-" – The A.V. Club
• Review: "If Michael Weldon’s Psychotronic Guide To Film (and its follow-up) still sits on your shelf being of use, or at least making you smile, then Carlson and Connolly’s Destroy All Movies is the book for you. If these words mean nothing to you, then listen up: A world of film and a way of looking at them is about to open up that will change everything for you. [...] What it all adds up to is a wonderful, personal bizarre alterna-history of cinema. [...] This is a great book that will live with you for a long, long time." – John Mitchell, North Adams Transcript
• Interview: At Interview, Hunter Stephenson writes of Destroy All Movies!!!, "Like an algorithm zapped across a smoggy landscape of wastoid cinema and blown-out amps — from the sleaze of 42nd Street to Malcom McLaren's London — no suspect VHS or DVD was left unturned in the hunt for liberty spikes, rebellious acts, and agape mouths of paled normies. ...[E]ach film is allotted a paragraph to several pages for reviews, supplemental interviews, and analysis that range from wittily divisive (Todd Phillips's Hated) to impassioned reconsideration (Valley Girl), all written in a fluid, knowledgeable manner and laid out in the clean and smart design expected of Fantagraphics, the book's publisher," and talks to editors Bryan Connolly & Zack Carlson, who says "Penelope Spheeris's Suburbia... is actually my favorite film of all time, and it inspired the entire book on the deepest levels. Spheeris wanted to tell a story about believable kids and a horrible struggle, so she cast real kids to play those parts. It's almost entirely non-actors, and that movie is the wildest for me. Punk or not, it's the best movie I ever saw."
• Plug: "Destroy All Movies!!! The Complete Guide to Punks on Film is an exhaustive reference work that is every bit as brash and entertaining as its subject matter." – Notcot
• Plug: Maximum Rocknroll plugs the Destroy All Movies!!! tour: "If you live near SF or LA and love punxploitation movies like I do, you’re in for a treat this weekend. Brush your long hair into a mohawk, get some sushi and don’t pay, then head to the movie theater for some bad dialog and pointless violence…"
• Review: "The inescapable ripples of long-ago events over which the characters we love had no control, and the ripples their own shitty actions send out, ensnaring others: That’s what hit me so hard about Three Daughters. Luba, Fritz, and Petra can have all the wacky sex adventures they can stand — they’re still paying for someone else’s sins in a way that can just clear the decks of their lives at a moment’s notice." – Sean T. Collins, Attentiondeficitdisorderly
64-page full-color 9" x 12.5" hardcover • $18.99
Ships in: January 2011 (subject to change) — Pre-Order Now
King of the Flies Vol. 1: Hallorave was named one of Amazon's Top 10 Graphic Novels of 2010. Now, here is the second installment in Mezzo and Pirus’s creepily sexy suburban soap opera — a French Twin Peaks graphic novel as written by Stephen King and drawn by Charles Burns.
Eric the fly-head-wearing teenager is back (as well as his hapless mother and her “fiancé”), as are not-quite-ingénue Marie, the worldly Sal, Denis the drug dealer and his now one-handed father, and of course the loopy retro bowling thug Ringo... plus several new cast members, including one who died at the very beginning of the first volume and has now returned to roam the earth.
Once again, the story is told through a series of seemingly unrelated short stories which eventually become intricately braided into one sprawling tale of a community haunted by obsession, rage, regret and despair — in sum, a graphic novel for the 21st century.
King of the Flies is designed as a trilogy of albums, which will combine to form a single graphic novel of stunning intricacy and intensity. (The concluding chapter will appear in late 2011/early 2012.)
Download an EXCLUSIVE 7-page PDF excerpt containing the entire first chapter (2.3 MB).
Video & Photo Slideshow Preview (view in new window):
Bonus Savings: Order King of the Flies Vols. 1 & 2 together for 20% off!
Just arrived in our warehouse and ready to ship:
208-page black & white 8" x 10" hardcover • $26.99
Joyce Farmer’s memoir chronicles the decline of the author’s parents’ health, their relationship with one another and with their their daughter, and how they cope with the day-to-day emotional fragility of the most taxing time of their lives.
Elderly parents Lara and Rachel, who have enjoyed a long and loving married life together, are rendered in fine, confident pen lines. Set in southern Los Angeles (which makes for a terrifying sequence as blind Rachel and ailing Lars are trapped in their home without power during the 1992 Rodney King riots), backgrounds and props are lovingly detailed: these objects serve as memory triggers for Lars and Rachel, even as they eventually overwhelm them and their home, which the couple is loathe to leave. Special Exits is laid out in an eight-panel grid, which creates a leisurely storytelling pace that not only helps to convey the slow, inexorable decline in Lars’ and Rachel’s health, but perfectly captures the timbre of the exchanges between a long-married couple: the affectionate bickering; their gallows humor; their querulousness as their bodies break down.
Though Lars and Rachel are the protagonists of Special Exits, Farmer makes her voice known through creative visual metaphors and in her indictment of the careless treatment of the elderly in nursing homes. Special Exits gracefully deals with the hard reality of caring for aging loved ones: those who are or who have been in similar situations might find comfort in it, and those who haven’t will find much to admire in the bravery and good humor of Lars and Rachel.
Joyce Farmer, best known for co-creating the Tits ’n Clits comics anthology in the 1970s, a feminist response to the rampant misogyny in underground comix, spent 11 years crafting Special Exits, a graphic memoir in the vein of Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home or Harvey Pekar, Joyce Brabner, and Frank Stack’s Our Cancer Year, about caring for her dying father and stepmother.
"One of the best long-narrative comics I've ever read, right up there with Maus... I actually found myself moved to tears." – R. Crumb
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