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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 2011

Daily OCD: 11/30/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Wilfred SantiagoWalt KellyT Edward BakShimura TakakoreviewsmangaJoe SaccoJacques TardiJack DavisDisneyDaily OCDCarl BarksBlazing Combat21 30 Nov 2011 7:14 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Wandering Son Vol. 2

Review: "Shimura Takako’s story of two adolescents—a boy who wants to be a girl and a girl who wants to be a boy—isn’t exactly fast-paced in terms of plot, but [Wandering Son] book 2 continues the excellent work of book 1 and raises the emotional stakes a bit.... There’s... a slowly unfolding pleasure to Shimura’s story. Sensitive to the plight of young teenagers and potentially transgender youth alike, she’s managed to create a compelling story without including much that, considered in isolation, is particularly dramatic, which speaks to the realism of her efforts." – Hillary Brown, Paste

Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes

Review: "This is really fantastic storytelling. Another review of this volume [Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes] compared it to Tintin, and I think that’s very apt. There’s the adventures in foreign lands, the constant peril, the occasional wacky gags thrown in to alleviate said peril, and of course good old American ingenuity that, thankfully, never verges on jingoism quite as much as Tintin sometimes did.... I picked this up thinking it’d be a good chance to see if I liked Carl Barks and what the fuss was all about. Well, now I get it – and I’m hooked. ...[T]his is well worth the purchase for any fan of classic comics." – Sean Gaffney, Manga Bookshelf

Pogo Vol. 1

Review: "Kelly’s genius was the ability to beautifully, vivaciously draw comedic, tragic, pompous, sympathetic characters of any shape or breed and make them inescapably human and he used that gift to blend hard-hitting observation of our crimes, foibles and peccadilloes with rampaging whimsy, poesy and sheer exuberant joie de vivre. The hairy, scaly, feathered slimy folk here are inescapably us, elevated by burlesque, slapstick, absurdism and all the glorious joys of wordplay from puns to malapropisms to raucous accent humour into a multi-layered hodge-podge of all-ages accessible delight.... Timeless and magical, Pogo is a giant of world literature, not simply comics, and this magnificent edition should be the pride of every home’s bookshelf." – Win Wiacek, Now Read This!

21: The Story of Roberto Clemente

Review: "...I was extremely impressed by Santiago's artistic abilities. He manages to shift the comic page in ways you'd never think of for a biography, using all sorts of layouts, from jagged panels to Family Circus ovals to standard grid formats. His characters wiggle their way through when in motion, show their feelings on faces that are slightly oversized and full of expression, and sometimes contort themselves into shapes that aren't quite natural. It's an artistic tour de force and shows that bio comics do not have to be the stolid, one step at a time narrative that we often see. ...21 is an excellent book... Clemente is every bit the important figure in baseball history that Robinson was, and more people need to know his story. 21 is an excellent place to start, either for you or the baseball fan in your life." – Rob McMonigal, Panel Patter

Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture - A Career Retrospective

Plugs: For Robot 6's ongoing "Holiday Gift-Giving Guide" survey of comics creators, Kagan McLeod says "I just read last year’s It Was the War of the Trenches by Jacques Tardi and would recommend it. Not really cheery holiday stuff, though. Along the same theme is the Blazing Combat collection which also came out last year," and "I’m hyped for Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture: A Career Retrospective, which comes out in a few weeks." 

Safe Area Gorazde: The Special Edition

Feature: L'actualité features Joe Sacco (bien sur) and pages from Palestine and Safe Area Gorazde in a slideshow of comics reportage, calling him "the current pope" of the genre

Fantagraphics booth - TCAF 2011

Travelogue: T. Edward Bak wrote more about his trip to St. Petersburg and sent it along with some photos to Tom Devlin who posted it all on the D&Q blog

Happy birthday, Mark Twain
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Michael Kupperman 30 Nov 2011 2:55 PM

Mark Twain

176 years old and still going strong!

What's in the December Diamond Previews
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Thomas OttRobert CrumbPrince ValiantPeanutsMonte SchulzMatthias WivelHans RickheitHal FosterDiamondCharles M Schulz 30 Nov 2011 4:38 AM

Shipping February 2012 from Fantagraphics Books

The new Diamond Previews catalog is out today and in it you'll find our usual 2-page spread (download the PDF) with our releases scheduled to arrive in your local comic shop in February 2012 (give or take — some release dates may have changed since the issue went to press). We're pleased to offer additional and updated information about these upcoming releases here on our website, to help shops and customers alike make more informed ordering decisions.

This month's Spotlight item is a new softcover edition of Swiss horror-meister's short story collection Cinema Panopticum; our anthology of Scandinavian cartoonists Kolor Klimax: Nordic Comics Now is "Certified Cool"; and the issue also includes the new volumes of our best-selling The Complete Peanuts and Prince Valiant series; a new, expanded edition of The Complete Crumb Comics Vol. 1 with 60 newly-discovered, never-before-published pages; Folly, a collection of Hans Rickheit's inscrutable and discomfiting minicomics; and the final (prose) novel in Monte Schulz's jazz-age trilogy, The Big Town.

See them all here!

Amazing back-in-the-day pics of the Hernandez Bros. & Peter Bagge
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Peter BaggeLove and RocketsJaime HernandezGilbert HernandezFantagraphics history 29 Nov 2011 9:20 PM

Carol Hernandez, Jaime Hernandez, Dave Stevens, Gilbert Hernandez, Matt Groening

Oh, you know, just Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez doing a signing with their pal Matt Groening at Golden Apple Comics in L.A. in 1984 when Dave Stevens stopped by to say hi to them and Gilbert's hotcha gal Carol. ¡Ay carumba! (And is that a turntable under the V poster? Even cooler!) This got posted over at the Love and Rockets/Hernandez Brothers Facebook page way back in March and I've been too flabbergasted for the last 8 months to post it until now.

But lo! Via a Tumblr blog called One-Chair Barbershop comes, unattributed and without context, this vintage photo of Peter Bagge from his NYC street-art stickering days, to pair up and kick the dust off this old Flog draft. Flex those guns, Pete!

Peter Bagge

Video Interview: Drew Friedman talks to Mr. Media
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under videointerviewsDrew Friedman 29 Nov 2011 8:59 PM

Drew Friedman sat down with Mr. Media's Bob Andelman for a chat at the International Society of Caricature Artists convention in Florida a couple weeks ago (where Drew was keynote speaker). Come for Drew's Jerry Lewis impression, stay for the live drawing demonstration! [YouTube link]

Daily OCD: 11/29/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Wilfred SantiagoShimura TakakoRichard SalareviewsPaul NelsonmangaLove and RocketsLos Bros HernandezKevin AveryJohnny RyanJasonJaime HernandezinterviewsGilbert HernandezDisneyDaily OCDcontestsCarl BarksBest of 2011 29 Nov 2011 8:36 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Wandering Son Vol. 2

List: At MTV Geek, Brigid Alverson names Wandering Son by Shimura Takako one of The Best Manga Series of 2011: "Wandering Son is a delightful, quiet manga about a girly boy and a boyish girl.... This is not your typical gender-bender manga playing a gender switch for laughs (and fanservice); it's a quiet, subtle story of a boy coming to terms with himself."

 Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson

Review: "Believe it or not, music criticism was responsible for some of 2011's finest books, with Kevin Avery's impeccably researched Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson leading the pack.... Avery has done an outstanding job assembling a collection of the writer's work, fully illustrating why he was such an influential presence in his time. But, sadly, especially in our time, it also reads as something of a cautionary tale — ...you might wonder why on earth anyone would ever choose rock criticism as a career in the first place." – Bill Holdship, Detroit Metro Times

Prison Pit Book 3

Review: "I have no idea if it was part of cartoonist Johnny Ryan's overall plan for Prison Pit, but this latest book in the growing-to-classic-status series strikes me as a 'step-back' installment. This is where a series that was once less certain in the market place eschews some of the instant gratification of its first couple of books for the sake of layering in additional plot elements that look like they'll pay off further down the line. It's the kind of work that makes you think that its creator is thinking of the long-term as opposed to focusing solely on the short. Prison Pit had some of that particular swagger from the very beginning; this book seems even more settled and confident.... As was the case with the first two books, Johnny Ryan makes his case for mastery at a second, very specific genre, connected to the first through the extremes of expression involved." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter

Love and Rockets: New Stories #4

Reviews (Audio): The November 20 episode of Easy Rider, the radio show for "rock, punk rock, country, power pop, garage and comics" from Radio PFM out of Arras in northern France, features Johnny Ryan's Prison Pit Book 3, Love and Rockets: New Stories #4 by the Hernandez Bros., and Jaime Hernandez's Esperanza among their Comics of the Week

21: The Story of Roberto Clemente

Interview: At Memory Is Fiction, Craig Staufenberg talks with Wilfred Santiago: "Any subject or theme can work in comics, the narrative has unique, endless breakdowns. It’s a unique prism, anything that’s seen through it is distorted in a comic book way. The author, the cartoonist, just brings to light a particular side of that prism. I try to quit comics but it keeps pulling me back."

Invisible Hands - Richard Sala

Interview: Network Awesome Magazine has a fun Q&A with Richard Sala about the Invisible Hands animated shorts: "They used stop-motion.  The staff would blow up my drawings onto colored paper and then cut out all the figures and  movable parts.   The pieces were then positioned on three layers of glass – to give depth – with the camera looking down.  Next, the director, Denis Morella, carefully moved the pieces around – including the mouths, to match the dialogue – for each click of the camera.  I grew up loving stop-motion – everything from Ray Harryhausen to Gumby – so, I thought doing the animation that way was pretty cool."

Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes

Plug: Comics writer Jeff Parker reveals that Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes by Carl Barks is at the top of his holiday wish list at Robot 6

I Killed Adolf Hitler

Contest: Over at The Beat, Heidi MacDonald is giving away her spare copy of Jason's I Killed Adolf Hitler to one lucky winner

Daily OCD: 11/28/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Walt KellyTony MillionaireSteve DuinShimura TakakoShannon WheelerreviewsPaul NelsonOlivier SchrauwenOil and WaterMichael KuppermanMichael J VassallomangaLove and RocketsKevin AveryinterviewsGreg SadowskiGahan WilsonFour Color FearDrew FriedmanDisneyDaily OCDCarl BarksBlake BellAlex Toth 28 Nov 2011 8:42 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Oil and Water

Feature: At New Orleans-based website Gambit, Alex Woodward looks at Oil and Water — "As the book gets deeper south and deeper into the complexities and relationships of oil to the Gulf and its people, the stories get murky and collide, mimicking an ebb-and-flow that at first is much like oil and water, then gradually homogenizes. The Portlanders come to grips with their own misconceptions, and the characters that were once miles away from their lives become embedded into their own." — and talks to the book's creators (writer Steve Duin, artist Shannon Wheeler and editor Mike Rosen)

Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010

Review: "...Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010... is mainly an excuse to insert Twain, Zelig-like, into every decade between 1910 and today. Of course he made a lot of money in the 1920s and lost it all in the 1930s. Of course he and Albert Einstein were repeatedly struck in the head by a hammer-wielding monkey. And of course he sleeps with Mamie Eisenhower ('this lady was one hot dish.') It's all told in Kupperman's Marx Brothers-style absurdist deadpan voice, and if you like Tales Designed to Thrizzle, then you'll love this book. It's packed with laugh-out-loud moments..." – Paul Constant, The Stranger

Nuts

Review: "Gahan Wilson's Nuts features kids talking the way adults really talk... The kids in Nuts are vain, covetous, not so very bright, and they stagger around, reeling, from one unpleasant surprise to the next. They get their hair cut ('Sometimes I wonder if it's just that he's a lousy barber...') they look at some gory magazines, ('We're just not ready for that shit') and they attend funerals of uncles ('My God—I never saw them acting this way before! They've all fallen apart!'). Weirdly, by giving his kids the vocabularies of adults, he really captures the neuroses of childhood. We begin life as we live it now: Dazed, angry, and bitter at our own fundamental lack of control."  – Paul Constant, The Stranger

Pogo Vol. 1

Review: "Fantagraphics has a nice introduction giving a brief biography of Kelly, and describing many of the struggles he had with Pogo and syndication. There is also a fantastic notes section at the end, which points out historical trivia as well as giving the context for some of the strips.... It’s possible that the appeal of Pogo may be lost on folks who are so used to everything that it influenced, be it talking animal comedies or political satires. Doesn’t matter to me, though. This strip is funny, well-drawn, and features a huge mass of likeable characters doing entertaining things. Put it together with Fantagraphics’ excellent presentation, and you have a definite must-buy." – Sean Gaffney, Manga Bookshelf

Setting the Standard: Comics by Alex Toth 1952-1954

Review: "Greg Sadowski and Fantagraphics’ Setting the Standard is perhaps the best book on Alex Toth that has been published thus far... Sadowski takes a straightforward, comprehensive approach and so Setting the Standard can rest comfortably on the bookshelf next to Fantagraphics’ other excellent recent collections of essential comics such as Hal Foster’s Prince Valiant, Roy Crane’s Captain Easy and Buz Sawyer and Carl Barks’ Disney epics.... There are... many passages of thoughtful comics storytelling. The romance work is often brilliantly articulated and visualized... Toth’s handling of horror and suspense is intuitive, sometimes harrowing and exhibits his more radical inventions.... In Sadowski’s book, Toth’s work speaks for itself and the artist likewise. The book’s assemblage and design are very well done to make a package which is pulpy but tasteful, not cheap nor overly slick, not high/low cute or old-boy sentimental. It provides a complete and important body of work by a great cartoonist." – James Romberger (contributor to the final Mome), The Hooded Utilitarian

The Man Who Grew His Beard

Review: At his blog Mandorla, Santiago Garcia reviews The Man Who Grew His Beard by Olivier Schrauwen en Español

Love and Rockets: New Stories #4

List: MTV Geek rounds up "10 Sexy, Sexy Comic Books... That Are Also Really Good" (a title which begs the question, but anyway...) and doesn't forget to include Love and Rockets on it

Links: Love & Maggie pipes up with another comprehensive batch of Love and Rockets-related links

Four Color Fear: Forgotten Horror Comics of the 1950s [2nd Printing]

Plug: Boing Boing's Cory Doctorow puts Four Color Fear on that site's Gift Guide 2011 (unfortunately the book's currently unavailable, having sold through 2 printings already)

Wandering Son Vol. 2

Plug: Thanks to Deb Aoki for including us on the list of "10 Hot Spots for Cyber Monday Deals for Manga Gifts" at About.com Manga (thanks to today's deal on the Wandering Son books)

Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes

Plug: Jim Rugg (contributor to the final Mome) recommends Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes in his "holiday gift list"

 Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson

Interview (Audio): Kevin Avery was a guest on the November 26 episode of In the Studio with Bob Reid and Blair Packham on Toronto's CFRB Newstalk 1010 to discuss Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson

The Secret History of Marvel Comics - preliminary cover art

Behind the Scenes: At his blog, co-author Blake Bell begins a weekly series of looks inside the in-progress book The Secret History of Marvel Comics

500 Portraits

Advice: Tony Millionaire offers some sound and practical career advice to aspiring illustrators — seriously

Even More Old Jewish Comedians

Gossip: Drew Friedman made today's New York Daily News gossip page with the heartwarming tale of a Thanksgiving miracle!

Cyber Monday 2011 SALE!
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under sales specials 28 Nov 2011 1:23 AM

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201111/cybermonday2011.jpg

It's time for our third annual Cyber Monday sale! Starting now and all day Monday, Nov. 28, 2011, all of our regularly-priced, currently-available and pre-orderable 2011 releases are marked down 30%! That's a fantastic deal on over 75 items, including but not limited to:

• Beautiful collections of classic comics material starring beloved characters like Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse and Pogo Possum

• More gorgeous volumes of classic newspaper strips Buz Sawyer, Captain Easy, Krazy Kat, Peanuts (two volumes and box set), Popeye, Prince Valiant, and Willie & Joe, not to mention pin-up gags from Humorama digests and cartoon ads drawn by the greats

• New & reprinted stuff from fan favorites Wilfred Santiago, Peter Bagge, Jim Woodring, Mark Kalesniko, Johnny Ryan (all three series), Kevin Huizenga, Jason, Jaime Hernandez, Gilbert Hernandez, Gilbert & Jaime together, Gilbert & Peter Bagge together, Michael Kupperman, Gahan Wilson, Megan Kelso, Joe Sacco, Richard Sala, Tim Kreider, and Jordan Crane

• Exciting newcomers & Fanta first-timers like Leslie Stein, Steve Duin & Shannon Wheeler, and the gang in the penultimate and final volumes of Mome

• Snazzy art books from Tony Millionaire, Drew Driedman, Jack Davis, and Joe Kubert

• Deluxe collections of vintage comics material: Alex Toth and the greatest Golden Age covers,  

• Volumes from international greats and up-and-comers like Lewis Trondheim, Dave McKean, Joe Daly, M. Tillieux, Mezzo & Pirus, Thomas Ott, R. Macherot, Lorenzo Mattotti (with Claudio Piersanti and Lou Reed), David B., Martí, Olivier Schrauwen, Shimura Takako and Jacques Tardi times three

• Underground comix collections from Bill Griffith and Robert Crumb

• Thought-provoking prose books: nonfiction by Alexander Theroux; fiction by Monte Schulz; and music history and criticism tomes about Paul Nelson and the Seattle scene

• The big fat The Comics Journal #301

• And some other stuff too, including already-discounted sets marked down even further — see the whole selection here!

It's been another brain-melting year... and now's your best chance to get caught up and spread the love of comics with beautiful gifts for all your friends and family!

The sale is on NOW and ends at the stroke of midnight Monday night. Don't delay! Order online or by phone (1-800-657-1100; 206-524-1967 outside the U.S.); this sale does not apply at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery.

Weekend Webcomics for 11/25/11: Kupperman, Weissman & more
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under webcomicsVictor KerlowTony MillionaireTim LaneSteven WeissmanMichael KuppermanMaakiesLewis TrondheimKevin HuizengaJon Adamsjohn kerschbaumArnold Roth 27 Nov 2011 6:46 PM

Our weekly strips from Kupperman & Weissman, plus links to other strips from around the web:

---

Up All Night by Michael Kupperman (view at original size):

Up All Night - Michael Kupperman

Barack Hussein Obama by Steven Weissman (view at original size):

Barack Hussein Obama by Steven Weissman

And elsewhere:

The All-New Cartoon Boy Adventure Hour by John Kerschbaum at ACT-I-VATE:

The All-New Cartoon Boy Adventure Hour by John Kerschbaum

Amazing Facts... and Beyond! with Leon Beyond by Kevin Huizenga:

Amazing Facts... and Beyond! with Leon Beyond

Belligerent Piano by Tim Lane:

Belligerent Piano - Tim Lane

Humblug by Arnold Roth (3 new strips this week):

Humblug - Arnold Roth

Lucky by Gabrielle Bell :

Lucky - Gabrielle Bell

Maakies by Tony Millionaire:

Maakies - Tony Millionaire

Les Petits Riens by Lewis Trondheim (scroll down at the link for additional updates):

Les Petits Riens by Lewis Trondheim

Truth Serum by Jon Adams (see also last week's late update):

Truth Serum - Jon Adams

What's in the Backpack by Victor Kerlow:

What's in the Backpack - Victor Kerlow

Daily OCD: 11/25/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Wilfred SantiagoWalt KellyUsagi YojimboStan SakaiShimura TakakoreviewsMickey MouseMaurice TillieuxmangaJack DavisinterviewsFloyd GottfredsonDisneyDaily OCDCarl BarksBest of 201121 25 Nov 2011 8:26 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Pogo Vol. 1

Review: "The good news: it’s here, it’s real. The better news: it’s incredible. Walt Kelly’s lively, robust, and poetic world is faithfully and lovingly produced in this, the first of a proposed twelve volume series. The hardcover is printed horizontally, maintaining the integrity of the 'strip' format, with ample margins to avoid any gutter-loss. Fantagraphics knew this first volume would be scrutinized by hardcore Pogo fans, and they’ve outdone expectations, dating each strip, providing historical context for the more esoteric 1940s references, and even reproducing the color Sunday strips.... Through the Wild Blue Wonder is one of our Best Comics and Graphic Novels of 2011, and there might not be a better gift this holiday for the historical and literary comics fan." – Alex Carr, Omnivoracious (Amazon.com)

Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 1-2 box set

Review: "The usually tight-gripped Disney empire agreed to turn over their most treasured property to Fantagraphics (yes, again!). The results are eye-opening, featuring a Mickey that might be unfamiliar to most present-day fans. The stories are dense, packing plenty of dialogue into the strips — and the themes are darker than the bright-eyed, factory-sealed tales of today. Mickey is multi-dimensional in the first volume, Race to Death Valley, making rash decisions without much concern for everyone’s safety. Thankfully, Minnie is by his side to both reign him in and sometimes encourage his recklessness. The reproduction is crisp — the black inks are meticulous in their separation, and the book is augmented with over 50 pages of essays and Mickey esoterica. Volume 2, Trapped on Treasure Island, published last month, and Fantagraphics has a gift edition slipcase that contains both volumes. This dynamic look is a revelation in the life of the character who started it all for Disney." – Alex Carr, Omnivoracious (Amazon.com)

Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes

Review (Audio): Washington DC comics shop Big Planet Comics looks at Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes in the latest episode of their podcast

Plug: At Comic Book Resources' "Black Friday Comics Shopping Guide": "Fantagraphics is all over the legacies of some of the best artists ever to work for the Walt Disney company with Floyd Gottfredson's Mickey Mouse, vol. 1 ($29.99) and Carl Barks' Donald Duck ($24.99). Disney's most famous characters need no introduction, but their modern incarnations are so far from their roots that these collections will surprise anyone seeing these strips for the first time. Any of these volumes is a guaranteed smile."

Wandering Son Vol. 2

Plug: Deb Aoki's Manga Gift Guide at About.com Manga includes Wandering Son Vols. 1 & 2 by Shimura Takako: "This critically acclaimed series is available as over-sized hardcovers, which makes them especially gift-worthy, but the story is also charming and sensitive in a way that doesn't bash the reader over the head with a preachy agenda. Volume 2 is due out soon, so get that too if you can."

Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture - A Career Retrospective

Plugs: The Comics Reporter's indispensable "Black Friday Holiday Shopping Guide 2011" (in progress) makes mention of some of our publications (Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture and Gil Jordan, Private Detective: Murder by High Tide among them) and affiliated artists

21: The Story of Roberto Clemente

List: Robert Birnbaum, a.k.a. Our Man in Boston, names 21: The Story of Roberto Clemente by Wilfred Santiago one of his favorite books of the year on "The Best List of 2011"

Stan Sakai, at the 2007 San Diego Comic-Con

Interview (Video): School Library Journal's Eva Volin caught Stan Sakai on camera at Comic-Con in San Diego for a quick Q&A

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