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|Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under The Comics Journal||30 Oct 2009 8:45 PM|
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Archive >> October 2009
In a must-read interview at Comic Book Resources, Kiel Phegley talks to the entire editorial staff of The Comics Journal (Mike Dean, Kristy Valenti and el jefe Gary Groth) about the future print and online iterations of the magazine as outlined in our announcement earlier this week. It's quite the scoop, and juicy details and revelations abound!
Just arrived in our warehouse and ready to ship:
One man’s heartfelt and irreverent record of his time on this rock, Zak Sally’s unflinchingly veracious book, Like a Dog, is both direct and oblique, which we find rather miraculous considering the messy and murky waters of human experience it manages to navigate. Like a Dog is among the few comic book testimonials burdened by the yen to understand and articulate the mundane and the magnificent. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself laughing and crying as you claw your way through each hard fought page!
Of all of Sally’s creative pursuits (including a career in music spanning 15+ years), Like a Dog is the one he’s been working a lifetime toward. This hardcover book collects the best of his acclaimed short stories from the past 15 years, created in between band tours and recording sessions, published in his Eisner-nominated self-published series Recidivist (the first 2 issues of which are reprinted here in their entirety) and in publications like Mome, The Drama, Your Flesh, Dirty Stories, and more.
Like a Dog spotlights Sally’s uncanny ability to create emotional havoc out of claustrophobic images, situations and dialogue. Stories like “Don’t Move,” “The War Back Home,” and “Two Idiot Brothers” share little in common on the surface but are united by Sally’s forbidding style, creating a sense of dread that permeates almost every page.
Sally also turns his eye towards nonfiction in Like a Dog, including “At the Scaffold,” the story of the imprisonment and trial of Fyodor Dostoyevsky for allegedly subversive behavior, and “The Man Who Killed Wally Wood,” a story about Sally’s brush with a former publisher of the legendary comic artist (who, contrary to the title of this strip, took his own life after a long battle with alcoholism). It also includes two collaborations: “Dread,” written by NEA Fellowship recipient, Edgar Award finalist, and O. Henry Award winning author Brian Evenson (Altmann’s Tongue); and "River Deep, Mountain High," co-created with fellow cartoonist Chris Cilla.
Like a Dog also includes extensive “liner notes” by the artist, previously unpublished material, an introduction by John Porcellino (King Cat), and other surprises.
Download an EXCLUSIVE 10-page PDF excerpt (2.3 MB).
We are pleased to debut a brand new weekly strip in this week's webcomics update:
The House of No by Mome contributor Derek Van Gieson! These are Derek's rejected New Yorker cartoons, and we'll be adding a new one every week. We'll leave it up to you to guess why they were turned down — for our money, they're pretty damn funny.
And in our veteran strips:
Happy day-before-Halloween — lots of treats in today's Online Commentary & Diversions:
• Bookmark: And I thought I was thorough! Hats off to Love and Rockets fan blog Love & Maggie, your one stop for comprehensive L&R/Hernandez Bros. link gathering, commentary and more (hat tip to Mike Sterling)
• Profile: Newcity's Beatrice Smigasiewicz talks to Paul Hornschemeier about the conclusion of his Mome serial "Life with Mr. Dangerous" and other topics: “People are routinely surprised to find that in person I joke around all the time and am obsessed with comedy: they think that I must walk around in a constant fog of philosophical conundrums and Weltschmerz.”
• Staff: Oh snap! Our own Jason T. Miles is now blogging at Comics Comics. Holy crap that guy can write
In light of our announcement about the newly revamped, semi-annual version of The Comics Journal debuting next year, we have new subscription options available for 6-issue (3 year) and 3-issue (18 month) subscriptions. Also, we are ceasing to offer online-only subscriptions.
If you are a current subscriber, details about the transition from your old subscription to your new one have been sent to you in the mail. We've made sure that, in every case, current subscribers will come out ahead on the deal.
Going forward, all new subscriptions will begin with the first issue of our new expanded semi-annual edition, no. 301, due Summer/Fall 2010, until the issue is released; after that, they will begin with the issue following the currently-available issue (e.g., when no. 301 is released, subscriptions will begin with no. 302, and so on). This means that if you purchase a subscription now and you don't want to miss issue no. 300, you will have to purchase that issue separately when it becomes available. We apologize for this slight, unavoidable hiccup in our subscription schedule.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.
We recently received the following email:
"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!
Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:
• 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
• Opinion: Reactions to our announcement about the evolution of The Comics Journal from The Comics Reporter's Tom Spurgeon (with Q&A with Gary Groth), Comic Book Galaxy's Alan David Doane, Johnny Bacardi, The Beat's Heidi MacDonald, and CBR's Steven Grant
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
Here after a slight delay is our preview video/photo slideshow preview of Popeye Vol. 4: "Plunder Island". I went slightly overboard with this one but holy smokes is there a lot of great stuff in this book! Click here if the embedded player is not visible above, and/or to view it larger in a new window (recommended). And don't forget our exclusive 15-page PDF excerpt (6.4 MB) with 5 pages of Sundays and 10 pages of dailies is still available for FREE download!
On your way to the Robert Williams exhibit opening at Tony Shafrazi Gallery in NYC this weekend, why not stop and pick up one of 13 pairs of custom, hand-painted Robert Williams Vans sneakers? The above promotional video, passed along by our own Lord of the Lowbrow, Larry Reid, provides all the details (and a fascinating look inside a Chinese sneaker factory)! And if those are a bit out of your range, don't worry, there will be another, less-exclusive Williams Vans release for Fall/Winter, too.
(Previously in sneakers/skatewear: Jim Woodring x Chuck Taylor, Gary Panter x The Simpsons x Vans, Peter Bagge x Manik, Vaughn Bodé x Puma, more Robert Williams x Vans, R. Crumb x Vans, R. Crumb x Burton)
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The Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale St., Seattle WA 98108. Tel: 206-658-0110.