Above, the cover for Randy Bradley, a novella by Jake Bohstedt Morrill from NYC small press Solid Objects, illustrated by Michael Kupperman. The book itself is described as "thrillingly crazed" and "cheerfully demented," which sounds like it's in Michael's wheelhouse. This is his second job for the publisher; we reported on the first one here.
Today's Online Commentary & Diversions, good buddy:
• Review: "...Love and Rockets: New Stories #4 is one of the best comics I’ve ever had the pleasure to read.... The potential hinted at in ‘Browntown’ and the first parts of ‘The Love Bunglers’ (all from last year’s Love and Rockets: New Stories #3) is developed here to a genuinely emotional and satisfying climax that, despite coming out of nowhere, feels utterly in-character and appropriate for the world of Locas, and is delivered with such virtuosic storytelling that I’m kinda choking up a bit right now just flicking through it again! The cartooning on display is really some of the best ever committed to paper. It’s such a joy to see a a guy like Jaime, who’s been around since before I knew what comics were, doing some of his very best work this far into his career." – Berserker Magazine
• Review: "Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez have been writing and drawing Love and Rockets for so long now that their newest work has become like the ever-growing peak of a tremendous mountain that stretches back through all previous incarnations of the series and the iconic characters that they keep returning to. ...'And Then Reality Kicks In'... is the kind of elliptical, emotionally charged storytelling that Gilbert does best, where all of the substance lingers unspoken between the lines, slowly accumulating force through his whimsical, charming dialogue.... 'The Love Bunglers'... is just stunning, ...the work of an artist who really knows and loves his characters and their long, tangled histories. The final act of this story is jaw-dropping in its audacity, and the last ten pages whip by in a rollercoaster of conflicting emotions. Jaime's craft is absolutely assured." – Ed Howard, Thinking in Panels
• Lore: "A big personal step forward for me occurred in North Carolina... I joined Alcoholics Anonymous and quit drinking. That happened in 1983 and I haven’t had a drink since. This laid a solid foundation for me to otherwise improve myself, to learn how to be more generally focused, to work harder, and to finally grow up a little" – Kim Deitch's epic memoir-in-music "Mad About Music: My Life in Records" at TCJ.com finally reaches its concluding chapter
We've had a small quantity of Eightball #22 (the original comic book version of Ice Haven) lurking unnoticed in our warehouse for a while, and we are finally bringing them to the light of day, offering them to you, our mail-order customers...
...However! Due to demand for this out-of-print and highly sought-after item, we are limiting purchases to customers who order at least $50 worth of other stuff. See the product details page for more information and get shopping!
Tiny Showcase announces: "Tonight we have the pleasure of launching an edition of Kupperman's new book, Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010, signed by the artist and coupled with an exclusive print. A combination archival-digital print with a translucent, glow-in-the-dark screen print overlay -- this showcase is designed to thrizzle. Everything you've ever dreamed of launches tonight at 7:30pm on Tiny Showcase." (They're in Providence so I believe that's Eastern time.)
We'll update with an image of the print once it's available, but we wanted to give you some advance warning since these Tiny Showcase editions are, uh, tiny and tend to sell out fast.
When I first spotted a scan of this Enid & Rebecca cover of ARTnews on Tumblr last night I just assumed it was a forgotten bit of '90s or early-'00s nostalgia, but then Peggy Burns went and pointed out that it's the current issue, with an article on comic art in the fine-art world. Well all right! (Though I respectfully disagree with Peggy that comics require the attention of the fine-art world to be said to have "arrived." We're here on our own terms, maaaan.)
• Review: "Beautifully bound, this is graphic journalism on a human and environmental disaster with long-term consequences far beyond here-and-gone traditional news coverage. Honestly told, well written, beautifully illustrated and accessible to a wide audience: Oil and Water should reach readers of all ages and satisfy the most discerning critics. BRAVO!" – Craig Seasholes, JacketFlap
• Review: "More a graphic book than straight comic book or straight novel, it plays to the strengths of both mediums. Kupperman’s prose recalls the casual absurdity of early Woody Allen or Douglas Adams, and as there is no real overarching narrative other than Mark Twain’s fictional life, he is able to indulge his every comedic whim, be it a film noir genre parody or a chapter that’s mostly just a list of silly names. The artwork, rendered in black, white and blue, is fabulous as always. The greatest part of his art is how deadpan it is. His simple, clean lines have a retro style that wouldn’t be out of place in a Golden Age comic book or an old magazine advertisement....Mark Twain’s Autobiography 1910-2010is a testament to Kupperman’s strengths as both writer and artist." – Brandon Beck, Spandexless
• Review: "...Gilbert Hernandez... and... Peter Bagge... design an alternative dimension for alternative music in their graphic novel Yeah!, one that includes the spazzy siren call and pratfalls of teenage girls and the twitchy slapstick of music business screw-ups from other galaxies. ...[T]hese two secret masters of rock fandom and mavericks of cartooning show zest-finesse and feisty satire chronicling the lives lived on the margins of collaborated garage bomp in a series of outrageous stories that could only be true in the music world they’ve personally known..." – Chris Estey, KEXP
• Interview: Jean-Emmanuel Deluxe of French record label Tricatel talks to Drew Friedman (en Français), and so of course the first topic is Jerry Lewis: "The French understand clearly what so many Americans are unable to grasp, that is to say that Jerry Lewis is an actor AND a brilliant and innovative director. Unfortunately, people will not realize it until long after his death."
• Interview: Brian Heater of The Daily Cross Hatch wraps up his chat with Drew Friedman. Oh look, here's a familiar topic: "Jerry Lewis is a very serious guy. When I talk him, he’s very serious. He asks me what I’m doing and how I do this and that, as if he’s taking notes. He’s so interested in what I’m doing. He doesn’t want to talk about himself, which is kind of strange."
If you were a fan of Dash Shaw's comics adaptations of Blind Date TV episodes in Mome (and who wasn't?) you'll be happy to know that the series lives on beyond the anthology's demise, with the latest installment in video format. Dash explains, "this time I took an episode and paused it every 5 seconds and drew the frame. Then I put the drawings into a timed slideshow with the original audio over it." Watcb above or at Dash's The Ruined Cast website.
• Profile:CT.com's Alan Bisbort talks to Michael Kupperman in advance of his appearance at Hartford's Mark Twain House tomorrow: "Kupperman, to be clear and fair, is quite fond of Twain, so his own caricatures are done with the affection one has for an eccentric uncle. His portrayals of Twain are interchangeable with his equally affectionate depictions of Albert Einstein — Twain and Einstein have, in fact, regularly appeared together in Kupperman's comic strips over the years — so he was pleasantly surprised by a recent serendipitous Internet purchase. 'I ordered a Twain wig and mustache from the official Twain website,' he says. 'And the label said "Twain/Einstein" so I must be on the right track.'"
• Interview:Paul Hornschemeier has a brief chat with MSN Postbox: "I think both my stories’ trajectories and my [philosophy] degree are both symptoms of a central disease. While I tend to gravitate toward comedy and joking around in a social context, I think that I’ve always been pretty introspective when I’m sitting around by myself. Which you tend to do a lot as a cartoonist — as in all of the time."
• Review: "Fantagraphics keeps the hits rolling throughout 2011 and The Arctic Marauder is the latest in their Jacques Tardi translations line.... The art is wonderful. Tardi has this rounded style that is unique and easily identifiable, all at once his signature. The level of detail is astounding, in the background and mechanical details as rendered faux woodcuts. The 9×11.75″ pages present the art in gloriously large detail: be sure to drink in every inch of this black and white work.... At $17 for a sixty-four page oversized hardcover this is a great value: while the vintage prose was lost on me it stands as a great period work with wonderfully detailed art." – eBabble
Register and Login to receive full member benefits, including members-only special offers, commenting privileges on Flog! The Fantagraphics Blog, newsletters and special announcements via email, and stuff we haven't even thought of yet. Membership is free and spam-free, so Sign Up Today!