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"Hello, my name is Daniel Maw and I am a graduate art student at the University of Tennessee Knoxville. Recently, I worked with some of my fellow graduate colleagues (we range in age from 23 to 31) to curate a show highlighting contemporary print media in all its facets. I recommended we show the work of Chris Ware, including Jimmy Corrigan. In order to showcase the epic nature of this comic we elected to purchase two copies, cut the bindings off each, collate the pages, and display all  pages in a grid on a 23 x 10 foot wall. It is quite impressive to take it all in at once as it demonstrates the tremendous amount of talent and work that went in to the creation of the book."
Wow, no kidding! Many more eye-boggling and more-detailed photos, including the installation in progress, can be seen at Daniel's blog. Very cool, Daniel, and thanks for sharing!
(Update: here is a link to the gallery website with more info about the exhibit; when the exhibit ends it will be archived here.)
FANTAGRAPHICS & EDITOR GREG SADOWSKI PARTNER ON SIX NEW BOOK COLLECTIONS OF CLASSIC COMIC BOOK MATERIAL
Fantagraphics Books is proud to announce that it has struck a deal with comics historian and editor Greg Sadowski to produce six new collections of classic comic book material for the Seattle publisher. Sadowski is a Harvey and Eisner Award-nominated editor who has previously overseen the publication of the acclaimed collections SUPERMEN: THE FIRST WAVE OF COMIC BOOK HEROES 1936-1941, as well as B. KRIGSTEINand B. KRIGSTEIN COMICS. He is a former staff editor and designer for Fantagraphics Books and currently works freelance from his home on San Juan Island in Washington State's Puget Sound.
"Greg has written one of the landmark cartoonist biographies (and only the first half yet!) with B. Krigstein, and the collections of comics from the '40s and '50s that he's edited for us — B. Krigstein Comics and Supermen!, to date — have been meticulously assembled, with an eye toward selection, flow, and accompanying historical text. We're pleased that he's got such an ambitious agenda ahead," says Fantagraphics Publisher Gary Groth, who acquired the books.
The books will be released one per season, beginning with FOUR COLOR FEAR: FORGOTTEN HORROR COMICS OF THE 1950s in June 2010 and produced in collaboration with comics historian John Benson (SQUA TRONT). The second book, due in Fall 2010, will be a collection of legendary artist Alex Toth's work for Standard Comics in the 1950s. The remaining books will be release in subsequent seasons, with exact schedules to be announced. The full list of books follows after the jump below.
• List: At Robot 6, Sean T. Collins's top 6 "deeply creepy 'alt-horror' cartoonists" includes Renee French ("her frequently deformed (more like unformed) characters and hazy, dreamlike, soft-focus pencils recall [David] Lynch's unnerving debut Eraserhead with its dust-mote cinematography and mewling infant thing"), Hans Rickheit ("It just so happens that his 'normal' is grotesque and harrowing to the rest of us"), Al Columbia ("It's as though a team of expert [animation] craftsmen became trapped in their office sometime during the Depression and were forgotten about for decades, reduced to inbreeding, feeding on their own dead, and making human sacrifices to the mimeograph machine, and when the authorities finally stumbled across their charnel-house lair, this stuff is what they were working on in the darkness") and Josh Simmons ("one of a very few comics creators still capable of shocking... doing serious, dangerous work")
• Review: "West Coast Blues is a brilliant story, and Manchette was a phenomenal writer of the modern world, putting others to shame at times. Just that simple, really. This is a book that can’t be reduced to familiar genre markers." – Brian Lindenmuth, BSCreview
• Review: "Bruce Paley tells his tale with no frills and no holds barred. ... The book is at times quite funny and other times terribly depressing, but it is never dull and I found it hard to put down. Carol Swain’s artwork fits the mood of the book well. It’s fairly simple but it hits all the right notes and evokes the right emotions. I was completely unfamiliar with her work prior to this book, but I’ll keep an eye out for her in the future. ... I found this book to be incredibly compelling in its own laid back sort of way. ... There’s no shortage of books out there about the 1960’s and ‘70s, but this one felt a lot more personal than most. Paley’s words mingled with Swain’s artwork so perfectly that you almost felt like the guy was sitting across the table from you, sharing a beer or two and swapping stories. If you’re interested in that era or you just like a good autobiography, I’d give Giraffes in my Hair: A Rock 'n' Roll Life a shot." – Chad Derdowski, Mania.com
A dream of mine was dashed last week, when the TMNT property transfered hands (for $60 million) from a flesh-and-blood man, Peter Laird, to a corporate entity, Nickelodeon. What had seemed a plausible book idea that would storm the world whenever I, you know, got around to proposing it (A TMNT book in the vein of "Batman Collected" meets "Bizarro World" by way of Kramer's Mome meets the "Marvel Encyclopedia" and, of course, "BEASTS!"*) is almost surely a lost cause now.
My Argentian "Kalkers", my ceramic French mini-figures, that baby-turtles animation cell up above, and my whole lot of compulsively collected TMNT merchandise* is going back in the closet. Also going in the closet is my hope of convincing Dash Shaw to do a TMNT story that the original series should have made when Eastman/Laird decided to bring on outside artists who got "wacky" instead of exploring the complexity of the characters' personalities (ala the flicker that was the "Return to New York" storyline and more akin to the trend in the Marvel universe that has made such successful films possible).
Sure, Fantagraphics' Eric Reynolds had his fun at my expense: "Yeah, it'll be a shame to see them commercialized." But I'm not the only one here at Comics Cred Central who loves the Turtles. Fantagraphics office manger, Zuniga, is pretty broken up about this sale too. And this is a guy who's serious about comics--a guy who was personally invited out by the Wu Tang Clan at ComicCon but said "No, I've gotta sell comics."* I'm telling you, it's a shame what the property could turn into. Especially when a great book could still be made.
But hey, I'm optimistic and somebody at Nickelodeon showed up to work this week with a big pile of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles tasks on their "To-Do" list and I want to make that person's job easier: I'm the graphic designer you need.* Note: I'm marginal at "wacky." Also "testestorone-fueled." But, man, have I got a book idea for you!
...I hope they at least get Chris Duffy involved. He's already in their payroll system and the man's been good to comics.
The Comics Journal is about to take two major steps forward in its evolution. First, after 33 years and several incarnations, TCJ is answering the peoples’ prayers and upping the Web content on tcj.com. Next, the print publication will be consolidated around two expanded semi-annual editions, each customized to fit its content.
The new, full-service tcj.com will deliver everything readers love — in-depth interviews, smart columns, sharp criticism, real journalism — on a daily basis. And not only will readers get the traditional Comics Journal content faster, but they will also be able to access features beyond the reach of print magazines: videos, slide shows, audio files, original-art galleries and an army of both new and established Journal-caliber bloggers filtering the comics world through their unique perspectives. In short, it is the dawning of a Comics Journal that knows no bounds.
Focusing on what print does best, the Comics Journal magazine will be more beautiful than ever, an elegant combination of interviews, articles, and objet d'art. Uniquely sized and formatted, evocatively visual and tactile, each issue will be an event. Readers will get their first look at the direction The Comics Journal will be moving in with issue #300.
Coming in November 2009: issue 300 of The Comics Journal and a comprehensive new website!
Blurbs, "Babe" and big bucks in this episode of Online Commentary & Diversions:
• Review: "The Red Monkey Double Happiness Book features two full-length stories, 'The Leaking Cello Case' and 'John Wesley Harding.' Both stories start off in the every day then morph into oddball mysteries that never go quite where you expect them to. As odd as some of the capers and misadventures get they are always conveyed with a kind of casual, deadpan poker face that manages to make them all the more believable. ... The art is a curious mix of cartoonish realism, and the city of Cape Town is vividly portrayed... Red Monkey Double Happiness Book is a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining read for the mystery/crime comic fan looking for something a bit different than the harder noir stuff that seems to dominate these days." – Brian Lindenmuth, BSCreview
• Review: "...[T]he appearance this week in bookstores of Hans Rickheit’s comix masterpiece, The Squirrel Machine, is a genuine milestone in the... artistic business of reconciling one’s inside to one’s outside, so much so that I must confess that I am truly taken aback by Rickheit’s entire effort, in the best sense of the word. This carefully constructed tale... strikes me as being one of the few original works of art that I’ve seen published in North America over the last two decades, on a par with the better work of Dan Clowes or Charles Burns. ... This is not a tale for the squeamish nor is it a tale for the literal-minded; it is very much a bravura performance in the tradition of Surrealism, or Fantastic Art, or even Symbolism... In short, strongly recommended!" – Mahendra Singh
• Feature: Matthew J. Brady presents "12 Things I Learned from Supermen!" including "In these stories, disbelief must often not only be suspended, but strung up and mercilessly whipped, then drawn and quartered"
• $$$: Via The Beat, somebody sold a mint slabbed copy of Albedo #2 (1st appearance of Usagi Yojimbo) on eBay for $5100, making it possibly the most expensive Fantagraphics comic ever sold (corrections welcome); Stan Sakai comments on his LiveJournal
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