|Written by Eric Reynolds | Filed under Jonathan Bennett||23 Nov 2011 10:12 AM|
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Archive >> November 2011
Forget about Black Friday. It's time to get in line for Black Monday, when Lou Reed descends upon Brooklyn on December 12th!
Join Lou at BookCourt [ 163 Court Street ] at 7:00 PM. He will be signing and discussing The Raven, his collaboration with legendary Italian illustrator and cartoonist Lorenzo Mattotti, based on the work of Edgar Allen Poe.
The last time Lou signed The Raven, The New Yorker was there to report: "Mattotti's illustrations, which were projected in a slide show, saturated the room with a kind of terror and despair. There was also something about the sound and sudden fits of fury in Reed's voice that seemed to mirror Poe's tormented vision."
As if you needed further convincing, this event is free. Don't miss this one, Brooklyn!
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.
"It’s certainly Fantagraphics’ week, with the release of two amazing reprint volumes." – Johanna Draper Carlson, Comics Worth Reading
240-page full-color 7.5" x 10.25" hardcover • $24.99
"Fantagraphics' reprinting of the complete Carl Barks duck comics, wisely, starts not with the master funny-animal cartoonist's earliest material but with a period in which he was firing on all cylinders: the late-'40s era of grand adventure stories, four of which appear here alongside some shorter stories, one-page gags, and explanatory material. Shorter version: this is where you'll find the square eggs." – Douglas Wolk, Comics Alliance
"I was so impressed by Fanta’s Mickey Mouse: Race to Death Valley, a book that I would have never guessed I would enjoy so much, that I’m eagerly looking forward to discovering this hidden treasure." – Johanna Draper Carlson, Comics Worth Reading
"The importance of Carl Barks' influence on comics cannot be overstated." – Librairie Drawn & Quarterly
308-page black & white/color 11.25" x 9.25" hardcover • $39.99
"And if I’m really binging, I’d add the first volume of Fantagraphics’ Pogo collection..." – Brigid Alverson, Robot 6
"Splurge-wise, how unfair is the universe for making the color, one-volume Bone available on the same day as Fantagraphic’s Pogo: The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips, Volume 1?... Bone and Pogo are especially impossible to pick between, even with the massive price difference." – Michael May, Robot 6
"...[T]he collection of Walt Kelly’s Pogo that hits stores this week is gorgeous. I have some of Fantagraphics’ previous Pogo volumes and this one blows them away." – Roger Ash, Westfield Comics Blog
"It’s difficult, when contemplating reading such an acclaimed classic, not to worry that the material won’t live up to the expectations created by the praise, or to wonder if the strip was fresher in its original time. (Especially with strips that comment on contemporaneous events, especially political ones.) I have no fear with Pogo, because if nothing else, the characters are so darn cute and well-cartooned, I know I’ll enjoy seeing them." – Johanna Draper Carlson, Comics Worth Reading
"Fantagraphics has been promising a complete reprint of Walt Kelly's wonderful comic strip for four years or so now (after reprinting the first few years' worth in paperback in the '90s). They apparently had some difficulty finding high-quality sources, but they've really gotten it right -- this looks fantastic. And this volume actually delivers more than its title suggests: besides the 1949 and 1950 syndicated strips (daily and Sunday), it includes Pogo's four-month run, from October 1948 to January 1949, in the New York Star." – Douglas Wolk, Comics Alliance
"Another big, big, BIG one is Walt Kelly. Essential satire from a master, Kelly's strip ran from 1948 until his death in 1973. This collection was first announced in 2007 and has finally arrived. Necessary stuff, comics fans." – Librairie Drawn & Quarterly
352-page 6" x 9" hardcover with color illustrations • $29.99
144-page black & white 7.75" x 9.75" hardcover • $19.99
"...[A]ll the really cool, must-have books are in the splurge category this week (as usual). In one corner, after years and years of fits and starts and delays and promises galore is the first volume of Fantagraphics Complete Pogo collection, Through the Wild Blue Wonder. In the other corner we have the first volume in Fantagraphics other, other, other big reprint project, Donald Duck, Lost in the Andes, which collects some great stories by the masterful Carl Barks.... Just forget about your budget this one time. Your bank account will understand." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6
"CONFLICT OF INTEREST RESERVOIR: Oh shit, Disney animation showdown. Walt Disney’s Donald Duck Vol. 1: Lost in the Andes presents the first in a line of hardcover Carl Barks reprints, newly re-colored with all of the supplements you’d expect; $28.99. In the opposite corner, Pogo – The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips Vol. 1: Through The Wild Blue Wonder begins a comprehensive 12-book collection of the Walt Kelly strip in b&w and color; $39.99. And while I don’t think the 144-page, Deepwater Horizon spill-focused graphic novel Oil and Water has anything to do with Disney, it does mark a comics-writing appearance by longtime writer-on-comics Steve Duin, teamed with artist Shannon Wheeler; $19.99." – Joe McCulloch, The Comics Journal
If you're like Spencer Rothbell here, who tweeted this photo over the weekend, you've already received your 2012 Fantagraphics Ultimate Catalog of Comics in the mail. It's jam-packed with our 2011 releases, a few upcoming 2012 releases, and a bunch of backlist stuff. It also details our exciting FBI•MINI mail-order bonus program, which we announced yesterday. And, of course, there's a handy order form for ordering everything!
If you're not already on our mailing list, contact us to request your free copy, and if you just can't wait and/or want to have it on your computer or mobile device, we've also made it available as an 11.5 MB PDF download.
Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:
• Review: "Rick Marschall and Warren Bernard’s Drawing Power is a provocative visual examination of the wonderful world of cartoon advertising.... Marschall and Bernard have mixed an unusual batch of artistic and economic history. After reading this book, you’ll never look at comic strips and capitalism the same way again." – Michael Taube, The Washington Post
• Review: "It's a little silly for me to do the full-disclosure tap dance... I'm quoted ten times in Kevin Avery's Paul Nelson biography-collection-tribute, Everything Is an Afterthought, and thanked prominently in the acknowledgments.... [The book is] better than you might figure.... With Nelson, the wild card was Avery, an unknown from Utah whose national track record starts here. But he's done inspired, diligent work. Constructed from a greater proportion of direct quotes than is normally deemed proper, the biography is doubly gripping as a result... And though the critical analyses that triggered this admiration shone less brightly than I'd hoped, the narrative writing I'd put less stock in compensated." – Robert Christgau, The Barnes & Noble Review
• Review: "Over the past decade, probably the single biggest frustration we've experienced here at The Copacetic Comics Company was the inability to offer customers the opportunity to experience the magic of Carl Barks in book form.... The influence on American culture of the Disney duck comic books Carl Barks wrote, penciled, inked and lettered for roughly a quarter century is incalculably large.... Carl Barks is one of the true titans of comic books, one of the very few who can hold their own with the likes of Jack Kirby, Will Eisner, Harvey Kurtzman and R. Crumb. His fluid cartooning and storytelling is simply unmatched.... Now, at last, ...his collected works will once again become available for North American readers... in what — based on the evidence of the first volume — is sure to be the most outstanding edition ever produced.... The Fantagraphics edition of The Carl Barks Library is ideal in almost every way and is sure to be the definitive edition of the works of this great comics master." – Bill Boichel (we presume), The Copacetic Comics Company
• Interview: Comics Bulletin's Jason Sacks sat down for a chat with Bill Schelly about chronicling the life and art of Joe Kubert: "Think of the effect he's had. It's like an amplifier. He's used amplification through all his students. His philosophy about good storytelling techniques, solid drawing fundamentals and all those things he's imbued in all those students who go out to every field of artistic endeavor and, in fact, internationally. So his effect is really international."
• Plugs: "Just in time for Christmas, Fantagraphics has published the first volumes of two archival comics series that promise to be amazing.... Carl Barks’s Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes — is a beautiful, 240-page, full-color collection... If you’ve got kids, it’s a terrific introduction to Barks’s DD mythos.... Walt Kelly’s Pogo was one of the great hilobrow comic strips of all time.... Go, Fantagraphics, go!" – HiLobrow
Impatient Adèle Blanc-Sec readers have been quizzing me about when they can expect the next Adèle volume, so I thought I'd give everyone a swift update that's not buried in the comments section on the tcj.com message board.
First, just as it was necessary to release The Arctic Marauder before the second volume of Adèle Blanc-Sec in order to fully sell the gag of the former book's cast suddenly showing up in the latter's, we need to publish yet another earlier Tardi book, Adieu Brindavoine, before moving onto our third Adèle book, because Brindavoine plays a major role in it and its continuity feeds straight into the Adèle continuity.
Second, while I love the "Adèle universe," I also love all of Tardi's other work, so I don't want to focus too heavily on those to the exclusion of all else. Thus the next book will be New York Mon Amour (featuring the re-translated and re-mastered Roach Killer, plus the legendary RAW-published "Manhattan" and three other NY-set Tardi stories that haven't been published in English before), in the Spring of 2012, and then, in the Fall of 2012, the full-color War of the Trenches semi-sequel Putain de Guerre! (tentative English language title for now: Goddamn This War!). Spring 2013 should see the release of Adieu Brindavoine in principle, but it's also entirely possible that some other Tardi book will muscle its way to the front of the line (Jacques has told me about his next project and it sounds like a doozy, so I'll want to slot that in as early as possible when it's completed). So Adèle #3 is likely to be at best Fall 2013, and quite possibly 2014, especially if I decide I want to start the "Nestor Burma" series or something.
Third, quitcher bitchin'! The poor French Adèle fans have been following this serial for three and a half decades, sometimes with gaps of close to ten years between books. So a two- or three-year wait between two volumes (which, I might add, are reprinting two Adèle books at a time) doesn't seem like a huge hardship, now does it? And cranking out ten Tardi books in four years (plus the Unfinished Fatale we just released as an FBI•MINI) is, if you ask me, a pretty decent pace overall.
I always was very fond of the mini-comics format -- take two to four 8 1/2 x 11 sheets, fold them once, staple, and voilà! You have an adorable little 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 comic book for mere pennies. But I could never really figure out what to do with this old-school, low-tech format.
For this catalog season, we have created 21 "FBI•MINI" booklets (most in this format, although there are a few oddities), as premiums for customers who order books directly from us. They are available free with the purchase of their "matching" book or books -- or for those customers who've already bought those books but are desperate to get the FBI•MINI, free with the purchase of $50 worth of any other Fantagraphics mail-order merchandise.
We've put together some pretty amazing stuff. For instances, there are four foreign FBI•MINIs featuring material that is being released in English for the very first time: an eight-page David B. story from the 1990s, an eight-page full-color Sibyl-Anne story by Raymond Macherot, a twelve-page collection of Joost Swarte's very earliest, most underground-y work -- the stuff that didn't make it into Is That All There Is? -- and most amazing of all, 21 pages of an abandoned Manchette/Tardi story that has only been printed once in an obscure French collection, and never in English. That's 49 page of prime European comics available here for the first time.
There are four sketchbook collections (an amazing gathering of Jim Woodring work preparing for Congress of the Animals, an intricate set of sketches and more by Stephen DeStefano for Lucky in Love, a collection of Kim Deitch's legendary pencilled conceptualization drawings... and a hilarious blurt of Prison Pit character doodles from Johnny Ryan).
There's a non-Segar Popeye strip from the Segar era that didn't make it into our Popeye series (since it wasn't by Segar)... a collection of terrific "coming attractions" pages from Golden Age comics to go with Greg Sadowski's upcoming Golden Age covers collection... a dozen great "Humorama" drawings that didn't quite get into the Humorama book... a striking facsimile of a Maurice Tillieux original Gil Jordan page, complete with watercolored color indications on the back... and a never-before published Joe Sacco strip.
Plus 16 pages of Alex Toth art from the Setting the Standard era, but here reproduced in crisp black and white from the original photostats... Tony Millionaire's hilarious illustrated essay on failing to secure a TV gig for Billy Hazelnuts, complete with a preview of his upcoming Billy Hazelnuts Volume 3... a collection of the legendary Ivan Brunetti Nancy strip try-out... and 12 gorgeous full-color pages of scary Richard Sala faces.
And we've also got some obscurities, such as 12 pages of Bill Griffith comics that got axed from his epochal Lost and Found, a never-before-reprinted Critters-era "Nilson Groundthumper" story by Stan Sakai, and some truly Jurassic-era comics from Peter Bagge and Los Bros. Hernandez.
If any of these catch your interest (and if you're reading this blog surely at least one of them will) you can click right on any of them to a more detailed listing on our website -- or just click right here and all 21 will pop up for you to peruse.
Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:
• Review: "Barks, the artist, is a master cartoonist, drawing lively, expressive characters with a graceful sense of movement. His beautiful, detailed backgrounds plant the ducks in a fully realized world that adds weight to his storytelling.... But besides the entertaining plots, Barks’ appeal is in his characters. He gives his ducks many human frailties and while they usually try to do the right thing, they make mistakes, get angry, frustrated, and even fail. Fantagraphics Books... does its usual high quality work here as well. The design and layout of the book is a handy comic-book size hardcover with bright, colorful reproductions of the comics. Besides the comics, there are articles on Barks and analysis on each story... For both newcomers to Barks' work and diehard fans, [Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes] is a book that any comic book reader would love to find under the Christmas tree." – Rich Clabaugh, The Christian Science Monitor
• Interview: At The Comics Reporter, Tom Spurgeon talks with Rich Tommaso about his coloring work on our Carl Barks Library series — "[Disney] said we didn't have to be so religious about it. They wanted to make sure the color for the ducks, the reds and blues and the yellows, that those were pretty much bang-on. But they agreed that there was a little bit of leeway. If something looked like a bad color choice, you could find something in the ballpark range of that color. So that's what I would do." — and about his own comics work
• Review: "All aspects of Kubert's career are touched on in this tome, which is loaded with beautiful colour reproductions of its subject's artwork and complemented by a lengthy and insightful critical commentary by comic book historian Bill Schelly. Over the course of the book's 224 pages, you can see quite clearly how Kubert's art evolved and how his storytelling skills developed, but also how his unique style, those striking touch and sinewy images that could have been rendered by no one else, has remained intact. As with Fantagraphics' previous coffee table comic art books, The Art of Joe Kubert makes you want to see more — all! — of the artist's work." – Miles Fielder, The List
• Review: "Frank Zappa once said 'most rock journalism is people who can’t write, interviewing people who can’t talk, for people who can’t read.' However true that might be, Paul Nelson was one who most definitely could write. And he interviewed people who could talk, and plenty of people read what he wrote. Kevin Avery certainly read what Nelson wrote, and has now written Everything Is an Afterthought, which is both a biography of Nelson and a collection of his work, including some pieces that have never been published.... Like the best critics, Nelson was primarily a fan of what he wrote about, subjects that struck a chord with him. And here’s a bio and a collection of his work written by a fan of his." – Robert O'Connor, Spike Magazine
• Plugs: The Los Angeles Times "Hero Complex Holiday Gift Guide for 2011" includes Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes by Carl Barks and both volumes of The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec by Jacques Tardi
• Plug: Proud contributor to our first Walt Kelly Pogo volume Mark Evanier talks up the book on his blog: "It's a wonderful book and though I am a Consulting Editor — I think that's my title — I can rave about it because I deserve very little credit for its wonderfulness. Any book that properly presents the work of Mr. Kelly is going to be, by definition, wonderful...and Carolyn Kelly (daughter of Walt, companion of mine) and Fantagraphics Books made sure it was properly presented."
Plug: "...Michael Kupperman's new book [Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010]... has everything a boy could want, including Mark Twain on the track of the elusive yeti!... Albert Einstein is a major supporting player in the book (he and Twain open a detective agency, natch) and somehow it behooves me to remind everyone that in real life for really real, Einstein's granddaughter married a renowned bigfoot hunter. That is a fact you can look up on your computer!" – Jack Pendarvis
• Plug: At Seattlest Heather Logue's recommended lit events for the week include Peter Bagge's Black Friday signing at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery
• Interview: Robot 6's Tim O'Shea talks with Shannon Wheeler, with a couple of revealing behind-the-scenes tidbits about Oil and Water in the second half: "Steve [Duin] understands a scene really well. When all the characters visited the bird cleaning facility there was a large storytelling arc with multiple subplots. I would have been afraid to juggle so many elements. I would have focused on the single note of the horror of the facility. Steve isn’t afraid to trust the reader to understand. I’m a lot less trusting of the reader. Steve showed me how to have more faith in the narrative."
Over on the Abstract Comics blog, Andrei Molotiu has leaked word about The Last Vispo Anthology: Visual Poetry 1998 - 2008, edited by Crag Hill and Nico Vassilakis and to be published by us in Fall of next year. Above, "Emma," a piece by Nico which accompanied the news. Fantagraphics loyalists may also know Nico as our longtime warehouse/shipping manager, and we've long been proud to boast one of the foremost practitioners of visual poetry, a.k.a. vispo, on our staff, so this book is near and dear to our hearts. Vispo and abstract comics are related disciplines, so readers of our Abstract Comics anthology should definitely keep this on their radar. An announcement about this book is forthcoming, but we figured we'd share as long as the news is out there.
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The Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale St., Seattle WA 98108. Tel: 206-658-0110.