This week's comic shop shipment is slated to include the following new titles. Read on to see what comics-blog commentators are saying about our releases this week, and contact your local shop to confirm availability.
192-page full-color 9" x 12" hardcover • $39.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-166-4
"This hardcover book by Strange and Stranger author Blake Bell features what looks to be substantial prose biography and appreciation, along with plenty of artwork from an artist who helped build the foundation for Marvel as both a publishing powerhouse and a fictional universe." – J. Caleb Mozzocco, Newsarama
"This is the next deluxe Fantagraphics hardcover/art book/biographical thingy by Blake Bell, of 2008′s Strange & Stranger: The World of Steve Ditko. The title suggests some focus on a specific period in the artist’s development and comic book history." – Joe McCulloch, Comics Comics
"A new one from comics historian Blake Bell; haven't read it yet, but it sure sounds interesting." – Douglas Wolk, Comics Alliance
"Bill Everett is one of my top three all-time mainstream comics industry figures, if not number one, and I can't wait to dig into this book." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
"Then there’s Fire & Water: Bill Everett, the Sub Mariner and the Birth of Marvel Comics by Blake Bell, about the long-forgotten artist (and Daredevil co-creator) that I just finished reading and heartily recommend..." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6
320-page full-color 7.5" x 10.5" softcover • $29.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-343-9
"Oh man, it’s a good week for reprints, starting off with Four Color Fear, a collection of classic pre-code horror tales..." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6
"Editors Greg Sadowski and John Benson have collected 320-pages of horror comics and covers from the likes of Jack Cole, Reed Crandall, George Evans, Frank Frazetta, Jack Katz, Al Williamson, Basil Wolverton, and Wallace Wood, casting their net far wider than iconic horror comic purveyor EC for a wide variety of scary stuff." – J. Caleb Mozzocco, Newsarama
"...[A] collection of smaller-house scary comics from the glorious, mainstream past..." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
"One of the more promising retro books this week... — this softcover selects lost books from the golden age of horror comics that had unique aesthetic merits." – Cyriaque Lamar, io9
"If I could splurge… to really stimulate the economy, I’d throw in Four Color Fear: Forgotten Horror Comics of the 1950s, from Fantagraphics, because I love good vintage comics—and bad vintage comics, for that matter." – Brigid Alverson, Robot 6
• List:Carol Tyler, one of the coolest people in the U.S.A., is officially acknowledged as "Cool Illustrator" on the "Cool Cincinnati" list by CityBeat, whose Jason Gargano says You'll Never Know is "an unforgettable search for truth about what happened to her father during the war, simply yet expressively drawn. In many ways the You’ll Never Know series is the project Tyler has been building to her whole career, which has included autobiographically informed cartoons for a number of publications... and a well-received 2005 book, Late Bloomer. Let’s hope she keeps blooming, keeps giving us unique, heartfelt stories that are rare in any form, let alone the graphic kind."
• Roundtable: At The Factual Opinion, Tucker Stone and Michel Fiffe have a long (and spoiler-filled) discussion about Love and Rockets: New Stories #3, predicated on their "shared belief... that the most recent issue of Love and Rockets contains the greatest work of Jaime Hernandez' already legendary career."
• Interview: Is there a better name for a website to run a Q&A with Johnny Ryan than Fecal Face? "M: If you weren't drawing/making comics for a living, what would you be doing? J.R.: I’d probably be in jail."
In the spirit of the Covered blog comes Repaneled, with artists interpreting their favorite comics panels, such as Robert Goodin's version of Johnny Craig, top, and James Ward Edward Clark's version of R. Crumb, above. Give it a bookmark, and we'll be bringing you future entries by and of Fantagraphics artists in future Things to See posts.
As part of our "Tardi Tuesday" presentation, here is a "lost" preview of West Coast Blues , one of the batches of photos & video that we never got a chance to upload last summer. Better late than never! Click here if the embedded player isn't visible below or to enlarge it in a new window (recommended).
Both a rip-roaring adventure series set in pre-World War I Paris and a parody of same, Adèle Blanc-Sec has been enchanting, thrilling, and puzzling readers worldwide through four decades.
With various American attempts to publish Adèle having dribbled into nothing decades ago, Fantagraphics Books, fresh from its triumphs with Tardi’s West Coast Blues, You Are There, and It Was the War of the Trenches, launches a spectacular, newly retranslated, hardcover series that intends to collect every one of its nine (soon ten) volumes.
In this premiere installment, Adèle becomes involved in an interlocking series of mysteries that involve a revived pterodactyl, a frightful on-stage murder, a looming execution by guillotine, and a demon from the depths of hell — plus of course moronic gendarmes, loyal (or perhaps traitorous?) henchmen, and a climax atop the Eiffel Tower.
The Adèle Blanc-Sec series is currently being adapted into a series of films by the renowned action director Luc Besson (The Professional, The Fifth Element), bringing this quirky, very French series to a new worldwide audience.
"...Plot twists aplenty, including a murder or two, as well as a parade of mysterious characters and double-crosses... In crisp drawings with just the right combination of caricature and architectural precision, Tardi wonderfully captures turn-of-the-century Paris." – Publishers Weekly
Download an EXCLUSIVE 12-page PDF excerpt (2.7 MB) with the beginning pages of each story.
A lot of catching up to do with this batch of clips & strips — click for improved/additional viewing and possible artist commentary at the sources:
• A couple of things Bill Griffith has recently shared on Facebook: the rejected first draft of the home screen for the Zippy Comix iPhone app, and a "lost" Wacky Packages design that Bill says is "almost sacrilegious"
• Review: "...Moto Hagio, whose work might officially be classified as shōjo manga, ...is apparently one important, daring renegade in the manga world. This handsome collection that encompasses almost four decades (from 1971-2007) of Hagio’s short stories comes complete with a thorough, illuminating interview with Hagio conducted by the volume’s translator, Matt Thorn. [...] Hagio’s collection of 10 short manga stories [A Drunken Dream and Other Stories is] filled with unexpected twists and endings." – Terry Hong, BookDragon (Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program)
• Review: "Malkasian weaves her story carefully [in Temperance], pulling the different narrative threads together in unexpected places, and while the parallels to the real world are clear, this is no simplistic fable. [...] Malkasian’s art is incredibly expressive, and her characters are filled with vitality..." – Brigid Alverson, Robot 6
• Review: "There are no great deeds in Tardi’s comic [It Was the War of the Trenches]. No Légion d’honneurs, no Croix de guerres, no Victoria or Iron Crosses. No suggestion that only the brave and courageous have the right to cry out in protest. No sense of fellowship, no pitched battles to gratify our base senses and desires, and certainly nothing of that most typical of war time sensations, boredom." – Ng Suat Tong, The Hooded Utilitarian
• Review: "In many ways, Ghita is like a female, uncensored Conan. ...Everything has its place in the script. The artwork, with excellent black ink, I do not need to explain that is excellent..." – Andreas Michaelides, Comicdom (translated from Greek)
• List: Feel the love as 50 comics pros each name their 5 favorite Fantagraphics releases (minus some ringers as determined by Tom Spurgeon) at The Comics Reporter; read some additional flattering commentary by participant Mike Sterling; Sean T. Collins comments "The result shows just how deep a bench that publisher can field. Greatest comics publisher of all time."
• Interview:Comic Book Resources' Shaun Manning gets all the latest scoop from Stan Sakai, including details about the long-gestating Usagi Yojimbo Special Edition set (coming in December): "It'll be all the Fantagraphics stories in a two-volume slipcase hardcover edition. I'm looking forward to it. It's also going to publish all the extras that were only in the hardcover [collections], with the exception of the full-color story that was published in the book 4 hardback, because that was reprinted recently in [Dark Horse's] 'The Art of Usagi Yojimbo.' But this is the sketches and covers and things that were included with the hardcover editions. So it'll be a lot more, plus it'll be about the same price as buying them in the trade paperback."
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