• Review: "From the opening panel until the final words, Tardi's adaptation of Manchette's crime novel [West Coast Blues] sizzles with a dazzling graphic intensity... Much like the 1950s American crime novels they emulate, Tardi and Manchette offer a impressive display of destructive violence, wanton love, and disregard for life. Showcasing Tardi's singular artistic talents, the brilliant West Coast Blues emerges as one of the best crime graphic novels ever produced." - Rick Klaw, The SF Site: Nexus Graphica
• Review: "[West Coast Blues] is slyly funny without being jokey; thrilling without ever seeming manipulative; cool, distant and ironic in its narrative voice; immediate in its depiction of violence. What do Tardi's illustrations add? Mostly a crowded sense of daily life, an ironic, sense-sharpening departure from the dark, shadowy atmospherics that sometimes nudge noir toward mere style." - Peter Rozovsky, Detectives Beyond Borders
• Review: "If you were a Martian trying to figure out America in the second half of the 20th century, you could do worse than to start by reading Jules Feiffer’s Village Voice cartoons [collected in Explainers]." - Sarah Boslaugh, PopMatters
The great Jerry Lewis has invited Drew Friedman to be his guest at the MDA Labor day Telethon this coming weekend in Las Vegas! How cool is that? He's going to be showing the central image of the below piece (Jerry kissing the Oscar) that Drew did several years ago for the NY Observer and which also appears in Drew's book, THE FUN NEVER STOPS! The piece should appear during a segment paying tribute to Lewis receiving the Humanitarian Oscar earlier this year. No word yet about when the segment happens, but hopefully it'll be on the early side. The telethon begins Sunday evening, 9 PM, EST. Check yer local listings.
Last night I headed down to Seattle's great Elliot Bay Book Co. to see my old friend Chelsea Cain read from her latest novel, Evil at Heart, the third book in her NY Times bestselling thriller series from Minotaur (following Heartsick and Sweetheart), featuring serial killer Gretchen Lowell and her nemesis-slash-soulmate, Detective Archie Sheridan. The series has sold a kajillion copies, been featured on HBO's True Blood, and been praised by no less an authority as Stephen King as well as just about everyone else on the planet, so you don't need to take my word for it when I tell you that if you like a good, character-driven thriller, you should really pick these up.
Now that Chelsea's a superstar in the book world, I thought it would be fun/self-serving to point out one of her earliest "literary" efforts, a little-seen entry in the world of underground funnybooks. Back in 1997, Chelsea was one of the first people to proudly take up the challenge of contributing to my then-new anthology for Fantagraphics, Dirty Stories, a fairly self-explanatory collection of transgressive, "smutty" comics that also featured work by Jaime Hernandez, Dylan Horrocks, Reneé French, Peter Bagge, Jessica Abel, Paul Pope, Dave Cooper, and many others. Chelsea collaborated with our mutual pal Jeremy Eaton on a funny little parody of sexual politics, power, and political correctness titled "The Adventures of Whitecop: P.C. Misogynist." The book is long out-of-print (although volumes two and three are still available), but you can read the entire story on Jeremy's blog; it's a hoot. Here's the first page:
All you Cain collectors out there will need to update your checklists and try to find a second-hand copy of this rare gem.
Oh, and since I already pointed out the self-servingness of this post, according to Chelsea at her reading last night, there's a character in Evil at Heart named after me. *Blush!* I can't wait to find out what cruel fate awaits me.
September is a-cumen in with Online Commentary & Diversions:
• Review: "[The Red Monkey Double Happiness Book], about a monkey-footed man who muddles around a beach community in South Africa, is amazing... Both stories are laid-back, funny, and entertaining... Totally [recommended]. [Joe] Daly is one of my favorite new talents in comics, and... this is... one of my top five comics to be released this year so far." - Paul Constant, The Stranger
• Review: "You'll Never Know... is a daughter's pursuit of her father's untold war story as she seeks to recover what he has wilfully held back from her... [Carol] Tyler manages to unravel the saga brilliantly at every level of narrative and artistic execution. Basic training for the war, courtship of her mother that happens almost simultaneously, the invasion of north Africa and conflicted events in the artist's own life with husband, daughter and father in turmoil emerge seamlessly. Memory and the present flow together, make sense together... After all this time, the second world war has grown closer to comic art in the best sense." - Paul Buhle, Morning Star
• Interview: At The Daily Cross Hatch, Brian Heater begins a multi-part Q&A with The Squirrel Machine creator Hans Rickheit: "I kind of live in my own insular world. The notion that anyone reads my comics other than myself is kind of weird and mystical."
Going to Burning Man this year? You might be able to hitch a ride around the site from our pal Jeannie Schulz in the H.M.S. Beagle here, reports Dan Taylor of The Press Democrat (via The Daily Cartoonist).
Jason's Sshhhh! is being adapted into a short film by Norwegian animators Animidas (with the slightly shortened title Shhh!). Follow the progress of the production and see lots more stills at the official Shhh! blog.
At his blog, Derek Van Gieson presents some haunting teaser images from parts 2 and 3 of "The Devil Doll," his WWII story (written by Michael Jada) which will be serialized in upcoming volumes of Mome.
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