I don't know why, but watching a video review of a book you put together is infinitely more dread-inducing than a print review. But I guess we got off pretty easy with this week's Comic Book Haters video podcast. I'm not sure there's anything more entertaining than listening to three guys with thick Jersey accents trying to make sense of something they're not very familiar with. I'm actually quite grateful to the Haters for giving MOME a shot, because it's clearly not in their wheelhouse, per se, and it would have been easy for them to choose something else to review. But they didn't, and hey, they kind of liked it. Thanks, guys!
I just scored the first six (correction) five issues of BIG FUN magazine and am mystified that it's taken me over two years to discover this noble endeavor. Publisher Mark Schwartz has produced six impressive collections of classic adventure comics by Roy Crane, Noel Sickles, Warren Tufts, and others. My personal favorites are a bunch of advertising strips for oral hygiene products by Frank Robbins. The reproductions are all choice and the paper and production impressive. The two most recent "issues" (they're really full-on trade paperbacks) were done print-on-demand, but if you like the Crane/Sickles/Tufts school of cartooning, these are really must-haves. Learn more, and order, HERE.
Forget about Marvel's Secret Invasion or DC's Final Crisis. The real comic book event of the summer comes in the unassuming guise of a hardcover collection of illustrated short stories. Abandoned Cars (Fantagraphics) is the breathtaking debut book by St. Louis writer/illustrator Tim Lane. Lane drew on a number of inspirations-everything from "pre-Comics Code" comics like Will Eisner's The Spirit to Bruce Springsteen's concept album Nebraska to inform this collection of atmospheric tales about the human condition. "Over technique, over stylization, more important than anything else is emotional impact," he says. This isn't to say that the book lacks either technique or style, but that for all its visual dazzle, there's an emotional tug, sometimes sympathy, sometimes revulsion. Refreshingly, the book isn't slavishly devoted to genre or to its inherent comic book-ness (no tights or monsters). So why not just write a straight-up short story collection? "The stories I like to tell are conducive to comics," he says. The book signals the arrival of a major new voice on the American literary landscape, with or without the illustrations.
Saturday September 27, 5PM, 2 hours Ojingogo & Pohadky & Hall of Best Knowledge Book Party! Featuring Matthew Forsythe, and Pat Shewchuk and Marek Colek, and Ray Fenwick! The Central, 603 Markham Street (next to The Beguiling)
This is a release party for two new Drawn & Quarterly books as well as an official Toronto book event for Hall of Best Knowledge, at a bar next to The Beguiling. Each author will be giving a 10-20 minute presentation from their work. A signing period with all four authors will follow.
Sunday September 28, 3:30PM, 45 minutes Hall of Best Knowledge @ Word on The Street Queen's Park Circle (Avenue Rd. south of Bloor, Comics & Graphic Novels Tent)
Fenwick will be giving a 45-minute presentation, talking about the making of Hall of Best Knowledge and other works, followed by a Q&A.
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