• Review: "Punk and the movies met when the former was very young. When punk eventually grew up, the movies still insisted on viewing it as a child. Their union, nowadays perverted by mutual materialistic bloat, has been rather like an arranged marriage: long-lasting, with moments of real understanding, but fundamentally fraudulent. Zack Carlson and Bryan Connolly's hefty new tome Destroy All Movies!!! The Complete Guide to Punks on Film chronicles this tragicomedic marriage in A-Z encyclopedic form encompassing more than 1,100 movies, 450 pages, and lots of vintage promotional imagery." – Dennis Harvey, San Francisco Bay Guardian
• Review: "The artwork is as beautiful, subtle, and well-crafted as the stories. [...] Significant to Hagio’s stories is her ability to so masterfully communicate emotions in the artwork. Hagio uses body language as well as facial expressions. Her artistic genius is seen in character’s eyes alive with emotions radiating off the page. [...] A Drunken Dream and Other Stories is a wonderful collection of stories for mature readers. The stories embody a complex mix of emotions. Hagio isn’t offering us easily digestible pap, but solid food that will take time to process and absorb properly." – Ed Sizemore, Manga Worth Reading
• Plug: "It's... wonderful to note the imminent publication of Joyce Farmer's Special Exits. It speaks well to comics as an art form that there's a prominent place for powerful work from an older cartoonist that may have more to offer in terms of underground cred than in a modern marketplace track record." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
Destroy All Movies!!! contributing writer and former Scarecrow Video employee Andrew Toms writes about his involvement with the book on the Scarecrow blog: "Let me start off by saying that it’s not a requirement to have a fondness or even familiarity with punk or new wave music to really appreciate this book. While Destroy All Movies is rooted in being the ultimate (and only) record of punk appearances in film, this hilarious premise is more a testament to the decade and its influence on the films that were born from it. The 80′s, along with the few years that bled into and out of it, were responsible for an incredible cache of brash, wildly subversive and ridiculous films as well as spawning the video rental culture that places like Scarecrow still embody." Read the whole thing (and get more info about the book signing at Scarecrow on Friday) here.
Chris Diaz is back with another adorable video from the floor of APE 2010. See me and Janice acting goofy, Tony Millionaire, Dan Clowes and a bunch of other happy comics people. Ah, nostalgia. Thanks Chris!
Created in 1984 as a supporting character for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Stan Sakai’s Usagi Yojimbo has vaulted to the very forefront of iconic modern comics characters and is a perennial favorite amongst young boys and adult fans. Usagi Yojimbo chronicles the action-packed wanderings of a masterless samurai (a “ronin”) in feudal Japan — as told with funny-animals. (If PIXAR and the late Akira Kurosawa were to collaborate on a movie, it might very well look like this.)
For the first ten years of his career, the battling bunny was published by Fantagraphics Books. In honor of his 25th anniversary, Fantagraphics is releasing a deluxe slipcase set collecting the seven first Usagi books. With over 1000 pages of story, this is the complete, definitive, early Usagi. This Special Edition will also be brimming with extra material, including a complete full-color gallery of the more than 50 Usagi covers from that period (never-before-collected); preparatory sketches, including Sakai’s original first draft of the “Samurai” story; two “non-canon” Usagi stories by Sakai co-starring the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (with whom Usagi also shared screen time in the TMNT TV series); the rare behind-the-scenes "How I Draw Usagi Yojimbo" strip; Introductions by Stan Sakai and Stan Lee; and a feature-length, career-spanning interview with Sakai.
Download an EXCLUSIVE 31-page PDF excerpt (2.9 MB) containing the first 3 parts of the origin flashback story "Samurai"!
Enjoy "Good Grief: The Story of Peanuts", a half-hour BBC Radio 4 audio documentary on Charles M. Schulz and Peanuts, hosted by Pete Paphides, who talks to Jean Schulz and members of Schulz's family as well as fans like Chris Ware, Chip Kidd and Russell T. Davies, interspersed with vintage clips of Schulz himself and audio from the Peanuts TV specials. (Via Bleeding Cool.)
This week's comic shop shipment is slated to include the following new titles. Read on to see what comics-blog commentators are saying about our releases this week, and contact your local shop to confirm availability.
96-page full-color 8.5" x 11.5" hardcover • $24.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-382-8
"Being Fantagraphics’ fourth entry in its current effort at bringing the great Jacques Tardi to English, this time starting up a full-scale sub-series dedicated to the artist’s long-running, rather droll evocation of turn-of-the-century fictions, centered on an awesomely controlled, never-smiling heroine prepared to tangle with any peril, be it a prehistoric creature or mad science." – Joe McCulloch, Comics Comics
"The first American volume = the first two French volumes of Jacques Tardi's semi-parodic 'adventuress in the weird Paris of 1911' series..." – Douglas Wolk, Comics Alliance
"Fantagraphics' Tardi roll-out reaches new heights with this first in a series of books translating Tardi's fun and of course beautiful-looking turn-of-century adventure series." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
"There's several noteworthy, oddball trades out Wednesday. ...Fantagraphics is reprinting Jacques Tardi's The Extraordinary Adventures Of Adele Blanc-Sec in English — the first installment features the adventurer battling a pterodactyl..." – Cyriaque Lamar, io9
"Jacques Tardi’s mystery adventure stories set in pre-WWI Paris are being retranslated and republished by Fantagraphics in a new series of books. I’ve only read The Eiffel Tower Demon, but if Pterror Over Paris is anything like that, then this should be a great package." – J. Caleb Mozzocco, Newsarama
"My top choice of a splurge item is Fantagraphics first volume of The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc Sec... I can’t resist a French, turn-of-the-century pterodactyl hunter." – Michael May, Robot 6
32-page full-color 8.5" x 11.25" hardcover • $14.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-402-3
"Also Fanta, also French..., a sort of plastic-body-horror take on Toy Story in which a pair of costumed ankle-biters journey to a land of mutilated playthings. At 32 pages, I believe this qualifies as the first-ever longform Blanquet work released on its own in English." – Joe McCulloch, Comics Comics
"Stéphane Blanquet draws this uncharacteristically kid-friendly, Toy Story-gone-sour tale of a secret sanctuary for abused toys invaded by a pair of kids who haven't always treated their stuffed animals as kindly as they ought to have." – Joe McCulloch, Comics Comics
"[A] graphic novel... that [is] more slipping out than arriving on the stands with fanfare, ...from [a] quality cartoonist... with [an] impressive creative pedigree... I look forward to reading [it]." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
"I’m extremely curious about Fantagraphics’ new kids eurocomic line, which kicks off this week with the release of Stephane Blanquet’s Toys in the Basement. I’m especially curious in this case as Blanquet isn’t up till this point an author known for his all-ages friendly material. In fact, it’s quite the opposite; his work is usually typified by ugly, sweaty people doing horrible, disturbing things. So, yeah, I want to see how he dials it down (if at all) for the kiddies." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6
"...I like the idea of a kid-friendly comic that isn’t afraid to be creepy, and this one — in which a boy dressed in a pink bunny suit stumbles into some weird French version of the Island of Misfit Toys — looks like a challenging read." – Brigid Alverson, Robot 6
• Review: "I wasn't expecting to be blown away by Destroy All Movies!!! [...] I was sure I would get tired of reading it after a few pages. The opposite happened — I got hooked and couldn't stop. Zack Carlson and Bryan Connolly, the editors of this mind-bending reference of cinematic trash culture, are obsessives to be sure..., but not the kind who exhaust you with eye-glazing otaku trivia that doesn't matter to anyone but other obsessives. Instead, their reviews (written by Carlson, Connolly and their cohorts) are accessible, insightful, entertaining, and funny in a way that doesn't ruin their usefulness. [...] As usual, Fantagraphics' in-house designer Jacob Covey produced a drop dead gorgeous book that enhances the experience. With a cool flexibound cover and a tub of Jamie-Reid-pink and Photoshop's halftone filter, his treatment feels appropriately retro and timeless at the same time." – Mark Frauenfelder, Boing Boing
The Google translation of the description of this short animated film by Nicolas Mahler: "A series of cinematic miniatures of the essence of music and the process of their reception. Music is first excreted, and then received. Sausage or spherical. The subsequently resulting sound is not the actual sound of the instruments shown, but the perceived timbre of abstract music representation." It's funny, too! (Via Jacob Covey.)
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