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Mike Baehr's Blog
Description:
Flog posts by Fantagraphics' consumer marketing/web editor/hand model guy. Say, buy some books why don't you?
Archive >> September 2011

Daily OCD: 9/28/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Robert CrumbreviewsPaul NelsonOlivier SchrauwenMoto HagioMichel GagneMichael KuppermanmangaLove and RocketsKevin AveryJohnny RyanJoe SimonJack KirbyinterviewsGilbert HernandezDaily OCDCarl RichterB Krigstein 28 Sep 2011 6:51 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010

Review: "This is hugely imaginative, exultantly silly, gag-a-minute writing that manages to comment on the popular culture of the last century while willfully wallowing in it — Python with a wry dose of Pynchon.... Were you, dear reader, to ask me if the brevity of [Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010]'s chronologically arranged but narratively stand-alone chapters made it an ideal book for bathroom reading, I would call you a coarse, disgusting pig-person, demand that you leave my office, and wipe down the chair you'd been sitting in. ... But, yes." – Glen Weldon, NPR Monkey See

Interview: SF Weekly's Casey Burchby, who says "Drawing inspiration from Mad among other influences, Kupperman's brand of humor is punchy and ridiculous... Like the best satire, it reflects a vision of our world that is simultaneously accurate and abstracted. ​Kupperman's new book, Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910 - 2010, comes from the same comedic source," talks to Michael Kupperman: "Some of my comedic influences are deliberately funny, others are not. The unwittingly bad, the pompously ineffectual, the flimsily maudlin -- these are all genres I warm to. The Sunday comics page on 9/11 this year was a good example. Like it does anyone any good to see Hagar and Momma weeping."

Prison Pit Book 3

Review: "I literally dropped everything to read this thing.... Volume three in Ryan’s madcap ultra-violent combat comic [Prison Pit] is firmly in the vein, so to speak, of the first installment: No-holds-barred body-horror battle between monster-men who look like refugees from an alternate-universe He-Man whose house artist was Pushead instead of Earl Norem.... It is... a series fixated not just on surviving the present moment on a narrative level, but on drawing that moment out to ludicrous lengths on a visual level. Its action is defined by page after page of grotesque bodily transformations depicted beat by gruesome beat.... The introduction of the 'arch enemy' is a tantalizing link to the past for a story that draws so much of its power from living (and dying) in the now." – Sean T. Collins, The Comics Journal

 Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson

Review: "Everything Is an Afterthought presents a vision of the heyday of rock journalism, times that have long past.... The story Kevin Avery tells is of someone who believed passionately in the art that moved him... Few of the artists profiled in the selected works do much for me — late ‘70s Rod Stewart, Jackson Browne, [Warren] Zevon — but Nelson writes about each with such care and insight that I went back to listen to all of them again." – Alex Rawls, Offbeat

The Man Who Grew His Beard

Review: "Oddly enough, the title, its font and also the cover art of The Man Who Grew His Beard made me think of the 1985 book The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by neurologist Oliver Sacks describing the case histories of some of his patients, which given the completely insane collection of shorts in this book, both in terms of the stories and art, may not be entirely coincidental, I suspect. If surreal, single-panel humorist David Shrigley were ever to do comics, this is exactly what they would be like, to the point that I had to do a quick google search to check Olivier Schrauwen wasn’t a nom de plume for Mr. Shrigley. He isn’t." – Jonathan Rigby, Page 45

Palomar: The Heartbreak Soup Stories [Sold Out]

List: Comics Bulletin includes Palomar by Gilbert Hernandez among their "Top Ten Comics to Share with Your Boyfriend and/or Girlfriend": "Palomar is really defined by its characterization, with the town's mayor Luba and her family often acting as the center. The stories set in Palomar are a large part of why Love & Rockets became such an important work as they showed how the scope of novels could be applied to the medium."

B. Krigstein Volume 1

Profile: At Trouble with Comics, Alan David Doane details his appreciation of the work of Bernard Krigstein, noting: "A few years ago, Fantagraphics Books released B. Krigstein: Volume One by Greg Sadowski. This oversized hardcover artbook/biography is one of the finest of its kind ever released, and although Krigstein’s story is largely one of restriction and boundaries, it should be noted that B. Krigstein Vol. 1 is not a depressing book. Its author was meticulous in his creation of a lasting, vital document of the subject, a man who took life and art very seriously and suffered greatly for both. The book is, in fact, a celebration of the life and work of Bernard Krigstein, and even if you think you know who that is, I guarantee you that by the time you get to the end of the book, you’re going to know the man and his work one hell of a lot better."

A Drunken  Dream and Other Stories [Pre-Order]

Plug: At The Atlantic, Noah Berlatsky spotlights A Drunken Dream and Other Stories by Moto Hagio in a slideshow feature of alternatives to sexist superhero comics

Plugs: Martha Cornog of Library Journal spotlights some of our upcoming releases in the latest "Graphic Novels Prepub Alert":

The Life and Death of Fritz the Cat

The Life and Death of Fritz the Cat by Robert Crumb: "Crumb's infamous and ever-horny Fritz has been reprinted before, but not recently and never in hardcover.... An underground classic, with touches of critical brilliance amid its college-kid-wannabe plots."

The Crumb Compendium

The Crumb Compendium by Carl Richter: "Mr. Natural turns 45 next year, as many years as his creator Robert Crumb has been publishing. Fantagraphics is billing this compendium as the 'definitive reference guide' to Crumb's oeuvre, covering published comics plus other artwork, merchandise, articles and interviews, characters, and photographs. Richter is a Crumb collector who served as consultant to Fantagraphics on The Complete Crumb Comics set, and Crumb himself helped out. Hey, guys, keep on truckin'!"

Young Romance

Young Romance: The Best of Simon & Kirby's 1940s-'50s Romance Comics by Joe Simon & Jack Kirby, ed. by Michel Gagné: "The guys who created Captain America also jump-started romance comics with several vanguard series. Top selling until the Comics Code clashed with '60s permissiveness, the genre captured feminine readers even if plots and characters tended to push patriarchal sex roles and a Stepford Wives take on coupledom."

New Comics Day 9/28/11: Love and Rockets
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under New Comics DayLove and RocketsLos Bros HernandezJaime HernandezGilbert Hernandez 27 Sep 2011 6:02 PM

This week's comic shop shipment is slated to include the following new title. Read on to see what comics-blog commentators and web-savvy comic shops are saying about it (more to be added as they appear), check out our previews at the link, and contact your local shop to confirm availability.

Love and Rockets: New Stories #4 by the Hernandez Brothers

Love and Rockets: New Stories #4
by the Hernandez Brothers

104-page black & white 7.5" x 9.25" softcover • $14.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-490-0

"I have now had multiple friends contact me to tell me that they'd just finished the conclusion of Jaime Hernandez's story 'The Love Bunglers' in this issue and had been crying and needed to talk about it with someone. If you thought 'Browntown' in last year's volume was emotionally brutal, well — this one tops it." – Douglas Wolk, Comics Alliance

"There’s a lot of good, big-name books out this week, starting with the fourth volume of Love and Rockets ($14.99). Rumor has it that Xaime Hernandez’s contributions to this issue are even more exemplary and emotionally devastating than in Vol. 3, which seems almost impossible, but I’m eager to find out either way." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6

"CONFLICT OF INTEREST RESERVOIR: I can’t help but think of Jaime’s segments of Love and Rockets: New Stories #4 as something of a piece with Jim Woodring’s (wonderful) Congress of the Animals this year — both proffer potential book-format endings for long-lived alternative comics by suggesting the possibility of major, substantive change in their protagonists’ lives, which naturally might as well mark a fresh beginning as well — although Gilbert’s uninhibited vampire fiction is perhaps more in keeping with the thrust of this week’s column..." – Joe McCulloch, The Comics Journal

"...I can't imagine there being a better comic out this year than Jaime Hernandez's work in this latest volume. If there's anything that comes close, I'll be overjoyed." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter

"Also picked up Love & Rockets #4 by those Jaime and Gilbert cats, which is, as usual, a masterpiece of comics storytelling despite its lack of Swamp Thing. L&R, always recommended." – Mike Sterling

Daily OCD: 9/27/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Moto HagiomangainterviewsDrew FriedmanDaily OCD 27 Sep 2011 5:59 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Even More Old Jewish Comedians

Interview: Brian Heater's conversation with Drew Friedman at The Daily Cross Hatch continues: "Another reason I want to quit these books is that there’s always younger comedians coming up, and I just can’t keep up. Howard Stern’s gonna be an old guy in a couple of years.... I’m not crazy about some of them, and I just don’t want to think about drawing Adam Sandler when he’s an old man, or Ben Stiller, or even Jerry Seinfeld. It just doesn’t appeal to me."

from Heart of Thomas - Moto Hagio

Commentary: Divine Decision reports on our Moto Hagio The Heart of Thomas news en Español

First Look: Bill Griffith: Lost and Found - Comics 1969-2003
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Coming AttractionsBill Griffith 27 Sep 2011 3:56 PM

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/covers/2011/bookcover_griflf.jpg

Here's your first gander at the final cover for our mammoth upcoming collection of Zippy creator Bill Griffith's comic book work, Lost and Found. The especially observant among you will note that the artwork is the same as the preliminary version; we just have a new title treatment. The book's running a bit behind schedule because it has expanded quite a bit from when we first announced it — the original subtitle was "Comics 1970-1994" — but it's off to the printer now for a late December release!

Things to See: 9/26/11 Roundup
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Things to seeTaking Punk to the MassesSteven WeissmanSteve BrodnerStephen DeStefanoRon Regé JrRenee FrenchPaul HornschemeierNoah Van SciverMaxLorenzo MattottiLilli CarréKevin HuizengaJohnny RyanJim WoodringJim FloraJim BlanchardJasonFrank Santorofan artEleanor DavisAnders Nilsen 27 Sep 2011 2:36 AM

lettering - Jason

Lettering by Jason for Athos in America; other recent Cats Without Dogs blog posts include Woody Allen movie reviews and an R.E.M. top 5

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201109/littleguy.jpg

• From Kevin Huizenga, a couple of images from an upcoming anthology contribution (the originals of which are part of the Dylan Williams benefit auctions)

Frank in the Museum of Sex - Jim Woodring

Frank in the Museum of Sex, a recently-completed painting by Jim Woodring; also, Frank and the Living Rock, a drawing; Icebreaker, a drawing; and Frank in an unusual place, a photo

Aqualad - Steven Weissman

• Aqualad action by Steven Weissman at Repaneled; also his weekly "I, Anonymous " spot

Taking Punk to the Masses poster design - Jim Blanchard

• Unused (amazingly) poster design by Jim Blanchard for EMP's Nirvana: Taking Punk to the Masses exhibit

Cartoon Utopia - Ron Regé Jr.

Cartoon Utopia drawings by Ron Regé Jr. (still raising cash to aid in the completion of the book)

robot - Eleanor Davis

Eleanor Davis robot portraits and trial sketches for the GR2 Robots art show; also a band sketch and custom book cover

Epistemics - Paul Hornschemeier

Paul Hornschemeier continues posting Forlorn Funnies prep artwork and other drawings on his The Daily Forlorn blog

storyboard - Stephen DeStefano

Stephen DeStefano gets Trekky in this recent storyboard work

Lorenzo Mattotti - The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

• Versions of Lorenzo Mattotti's cover illustration for The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in various states and media

Caliban - Max

Caliban from Shakespeare's The Tempest and more by Max

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201109/johnny-ryan.jpg

Prison Pit fan art by Jon Light

Plus:

Updates on Frank Santoro's Tumblr including new drawings

New updates on the Jim Flora blog with vintage spot illustrations

Glow-in-the-dark prints by Lilli Carré

• A Noah Van Sciver "Chicken Strips" story from 2007

• One of Renee French's patented cute-n-creepy guys

Steve Brodner redesigns the symbol of justice in light of the Troy Davis execution

More travel sketches by Anders Nilsen

Customized Mome 22s available from Josh Simmons
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Wendy ChinMomeJosh Simmons 27 Sep 2011 2:22 AM

customized Mome page - Josh Simmons & Wendy Chin

If you would like your copy of Mome Vol. 22 to come with "a bunch of weird drawings on the indicia page" by Josh Simmons and Wendy Chin, you can buy such a copy from Josh here. (Josh explains his contributions and collaborations in the issue here.)

Josh also has a new edition of his Cirkus New Orleans minicomic available (documenting his time in the sex circus, as chronicled in his interview in The Comics Journal #291).

Cirkus New Orleans - Josh Simmons

Things to See: Tim Lane's Hopeville for the Riverfront Times
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tim LaneThings to see 27 Sep 2011 1:21 AM

Riverfront Times - Tim Lane cover

Tim Lane's 5-page illustrated feature for the Riverfront Times on St. Louis's "Hopeville" homeless camp (here in Seattle our homeless camp is called "Nickelsville" after our former mayor) is now up on his blog to read. Above, the RFT cover (designed by art director Tom Carlson), which was featured as a "Cover of the Day" by the Society of Publication Designers, with a scan from Tim's sketchbook; below, the finished page based on that sketch.

Hopeville page - Tim Lane

New Leon Beyond minis
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Kevin Huizenga 27 Sep 2011 12:35 AM

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201109/braindump_cover.jpg

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201109/factheacov.jpg

Astute readers know that one of the webcomics we regularly feature in our weekly roundup here (and one of my personal faves) is Amazing Facts... and Beyond! with Leon Beyond by Kevin Huizenga and Dan Zettwoch (the latter of whose strips we regretfully skip due to the fact that he is not a member of our roster of published artists, even though they are equally awesome to Kevin's... but I digress). Not one but TWO new minicomic collections of the strip are now available through the Catastrophe Shop: Vol. 4, Brain Dump, and Vol. 5, Factual Healing. Get yours now and get self-factualized!

Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes is here (in the office)!
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under DisneyComing AttractionsCarl Barks 26 Sep 2011 6:29 PM

Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes by Carl Barks

The delivery guy just dropped off our advance copies of Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes by Carl Barks and we couldn't wait to tease you with a couple of photos! This is a book that many of us here have wanted to see for a very long time, we worked very hard to make it happen, and we're pretty darn pleased with how it came out if we do say so ourselves. We'll have more comprehensive previews in our usual photo & video formats for you soon.

Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes by Carl Barks

Daily OCD: 9/26/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Richard SalareviewspreviewsMoto HagioMichael KuppermanLove and RocketsLos Bros HernandezJohnny RyanJaime HernandezJacques TardiinterviewsGilbert HernandezDaily OCDCarl Barks 26 Sep 2011 6:12 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

The Hidden

Review: "Sala’s work is like a fusion of Hergé and Charles Addams, yielding a simple, cartoon-like style that makes his moments of gothic horror all the more disturbing. ...[The Hidden] is a beautifully pulpy and incredibly imaginative book that gives a fresh spin on a well-used set-up." – Publishers Weekly

Review/Interview: SF Weekly's Casey Burchby, who says "Richard Sala's new full color graphic novel, The Hidden, fuses two classic horror tropes — the story of Frankenstein's monster, and the ever-popular zombie apocalypse — into a new form that is surprisingly free of cliché and enriched with a strange sensitivity, owing far more to the classic horror literature of the 19th and early 20th centuries than it does to more contemporary EC horror comics, slasher flicks, or Stephen King," talks to Sala, who says "...as I began to write the book, elements of it started to seem oddly autobiographical — on some kind of psychological level, that is — and I realized the story had become less about Frankenstein specifically and more about the act of creation and its consequences."

The Arctic Marauder

Review: "This French artist's unabashedly campy tribute to Jules Verne's proto-steampunk adventure yarns [The Arctic Marauder] is all about the art — spectacularly composed black-and-white evocations of arctic landscapes and Victorian contraptions.... Tardi has drawn a tribute to a venerable genre that partakes of its wonders while poking gentle fun at its preposterous twists and turns. The result is pure fun." – Laura Miller, "The Best New Graphic Novels," Salon

Prison Pit Book 3

Review: "Ryan’s line work is at its best in some parts of this volume, showing the ability to continually come up with inventive weird visuals. The first half of the book is nothing but new forms of violence and strange creatures that become different strange creatures. Every page brings a new visual that you will never, ever be able to forget. The second half shows off more minimalist compositions, giving the book an interesting asymmetry. The only bad thing about Prison Pit Book 3 coming out is that it will be another year until Book 4 is released, especially with the cliffhanger that this volume ends on." – Chad Nevett, Comic Book Resources

Review: "Johhny Ryan’s artwork on Prison Pit could be described as cartoonish, but to be honest it’s better described as looking like the insane doodling of a madman, as found etched upon the walls of his padded cell — I would not be surprised to find out that this book was ghost-written by Charles Manson!... Ryan draws gore like no one else, and his creature designs are the stuff of nightmares — one of the monsters in the latter part of the story makes Cthuhlu look like a character from a children’s story!... Prison Pit: Book 3 is a comic unlike anything you’ve ever read before — the plot is outlandish, and the artwork is violent, bloody, gory, and completely unapologetic in its brutality.... Rating: 10 out of 10" – Edward Kaye, Newsarama

Commentary: Robot 6's Sean T. Collins comments on the must-read Comics Journal interview with Johnny Ryan: "I’ve spent years enjoying Ryan’s scabrously offensive humor comics like Angry Youth Comix and Blecky Yuckerella, as well as his extravagantly vicious action comic Prison Pit, and I’ve often wondered where his search-and-destroy ethos originated.... Thanks to Pearson and Ryan’s jawdroppingly candid conversation, I finally feel like I understand..., at least a little."

Love and Rockets: New Stories #4

(Not a) Review (Per Se): "This isn't a formal review, per se, but instead a few gut-reaction thoughts on the remarkable new issue of Love & Rockets: New Stories (#4). I've never bothered to do this before in a review, but the nature of this issue demands that I note that there are spoilers below." – Rob Clough, High-Low

Links: Another comprehensive round of Hernandez Bros.-related links from Love & Maggie (thumbs up for the mug shots)

Analysis: "I really like the formats of both (Beto’s) Love and Rockets: New Stories and (CF‘s) Powr Mastrs. They are really different but somehow very similar. At least to me anyways." – Frank Santoro, The Comics Journal

Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes

Review (Audio): The Extra Sequential podcast discusses "the whacky and funny Fantagraphics collection of Carl Barks’ much loved 1940s Donald Duck stories," Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes: "We tell you why creator Carl Barks is loved for his storytelling prowess and surprisingly funny and absurd humour in his Donald, Scrooge, etc. tales..."

Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010

Interview: Comic Book Resources' Tim O'Shea has a funny and informative Q&A with Michael Kupperman: "Actually I’ve been hearing from [Twain] a lot. I thought that one meeting would be it, but since then he keeps reappearing, asking for help dealing with today’s publishing industry. He’s written a new novel called Prairie Rumpus, which I feel is dated in its use of slang and locale. Meanwhile I’ve got a lot of interest in my novel The Fart Vampires, a lotta heat building up."

Plug: "The most excellent Michael Kupperman has begun touring in support of his time-traveling Clemens-as-superhero comic, Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010. This Saturday night, Kupperman will take his “Twain in the Membrane” book tour to the Mark Twain House in Hartford for a reading and signing." – Michael Cavna, The Washington Post

Preview: Graphic Novel Reporter presents a 9-page sneak peek (excerpted from our own PDF excerpt) of Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010 by Michael Kupperman

from Heart of Thomas - Moto Hagio

Commentary: At About.com Manga, Deb Aoki reports on our publishing announcement regarding Moto Hagio's The Heart of Thomas (note that the "The" was initially left off our announcement by mistake), calling it a "very exciting development" and saying "Fans of  A Drunken Dream and Other Stories will also be glad to hear that Matt Thorn, the translator of this critically acclaimed book will also be handling the editing/translation duties on this title as well."


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