• Review: "As journalist Avery documents in this cohesive biography-cum-first anthology of the onetime Rolling Stone record review editor’s oeuvre [Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson], Nelson was a gifted early practitioner of new journalism and, though a child of the Sixties folk and rock counterculture, one of its most vocal critics.... Reading his inconceivably insightful profiles of Bruce Springsteen, Leonard Cohen, Warren Zevon, and Rod Stewart helps make sense of a needlessly guilt- and disappointment-laden life — here was a hyper-romantic Midwesterner by birth but a New Yorker by necessity who thought he could transcend mundane cruelties by dedicating himself to the popular arts. Seamlessly incorporating the perspectives of Nick Tosches, Robert Christgau, and Jann Wenner, Avery has crafted both a cautionary tale and a celebration of a noir-influenced writer who deserves a place alongside Lester Bangs for his ability to live, always, in the music. Devotees of folk, establishment rock ’n’ roll, and pulp fiction will rue not having discovered Nelson sooner." – Heather McCormack, Library Journal (Starred Review)
• Review: "[Richard Sala's] latest appetising shocker The Hidden returns to the seamy, scary underbelly of un-life with an enigmatic quest tale... Clever, compelling and staggeringly engaging, this fabulous full-colour hardback is a wonderfully nostalgic escape hatch back to those days when unruly children scared themselves silly under the bedcovers at night and will therefore make an ideal gift for the big kid in your life — whether he/she’s just you, imaginary or even relatively real." – Win Wiacek, Now Read This
• Review: "I had the opportunity to do a Q&A panel with Johnny Ryan at SPX last weekend. One of the more interesting parts of discussion was when Ryan said how each volume of Prison Pit had to have a different vibe or theme so that the different books didn’t feel interchangable. That’s certainly true in volume three, as we see the inclusion of a new character, who, while just as violent and vicious as CF, is completely different in attitude and demeanor. Plus, he has one of the most amazing (and utterly grotesque) resurrection scenes I’ve ever seen. There’s also a neat little bit toward the end where it seems like Ryan is heavily drawing upon the Fort Thunder crowd, particularly Mat Brinkman. All in all, it’s another excellent volume." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6
• Review: "This [fourth] volume [of Prince Valiant] covers the most of the WWII years, 1943-44, when the paper shortage was at its highest. As Brian Kane notes in the introduction, this meant creator Hal Foster had to format the strip so parts could be cut for papers that had been forced to shrink their page count.... Still, while no doubt hampered by this new situation, it did nothing to harm his storytelling skills, and Valiant remains a hugely enjoyable action strip, as Valiant battles a variety of ne’r do wells on a quest to find his true love, Aleta." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6
• Review: "I’ve talked at length before about how good the Mome anthology has been, and while I’m sad to see it come to a close, it’s nice to see it end on such a high note. Seriously, this is the best volume of Mome yet, with standout contributions by Chuck Forsman, Eleanor Davis, Laura Park, Dash Shaw, Jesse Moynihan and Sara Edward-Corbett. But really, there’s not a bad story in this entire book. It might seem weird recommending the last book of a series, but if you gotta only read one of these things, this would be the one." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6
• Interview: Brian Heater's conversation with Drew Friedman at The Daily Cross Hatch continues: "But a couple of guys claimed that I didn’t get their names right, like Don Rickles. His PR guy contacted us and said, 'he’s really angry. His name is not Archibald, it’s Donald Rickles.' So, we said in the second book 'Don Rickles says his name is not Archibald, so that will be corrected in a future volume.' Sid Caesar was annoyed. He called Fantagraphics and started yelling at Kim Thompson, because he claimed his name is not Isaac. He was on the phone with him for half an hour. He was doing Jewish schtick and German dialect. Kim was amazed."
• Review: "...Mark Twain’s Autobiography 1910-2010 is both hilarious and very strange. The book exudes a unique mood of giddy amazement... Credit for both the mirth and oddness belong to cartoonist Michael Kupperman, who illustrated the book based on a manuscript he says was given to him by Twain. Given the fact that the off-kilter humour of the book is very similar to the sensibility displayed in Kupperman’s earlier work, notably his dada-esque comic book Tales Designed to Trizzle, the cynical might assume that Mark Twain is only the nominal author of this book. Yet it’s fair to say that the spirit of Twain hovers near the volume.... Aside from his debt to Twain, Kupperman belongs to the tradition of erudite humor that runs from Robert Benchley to Monty Python." – Jeet Heer, The National Post
• Review: "...[Eye of the Majestic Creature] is phenomenal.... The character, Larry, who is leagues more animatic and expressive than some of the characters around her (no doubt on purpose, as the character leaps out of each panel) is responsible for carrying the entire weight of the narrative through dialog. She does so fluidly, and through nuanced avenues.... I really enjoyed this collection, and I want to see more from this creator.... There is significant depth to this fantastic story about a girl, her guitar, and the quirks associated with staying alive." – Alex Jarvis, Spandexless
• Review: "Set to Sea is the kind of comic that you give to people you love with a knowing look that says 'read this, you'll thank me later.' The kind of book that is not exclusively reserved for aficionados of the comics art form. The kind of work that, by virtue of its poetry, leaves the reader in an emotional state once he's read the final page, and that simply demands to be flipped through again immediately so that the reader might breathe in this adventure's perfume for a little longer." – Thierry Lemaire, Actua BD (translated from French)
• Review: "Paul Hornschemeier uses the medium of cartooning [in The Three Paradoxes] as the message he is sending, as each new chapter in the book references different cartoon styles and axioms.... The skill of Hornschemeier is abundant on these pages, as he effortlessly transitions from style to style. Despite that, each style fits within the story; none is so strange that it breaks the reader out of the story.... The book gets a lot of information packed into its relatively smaller frame. The book’s presentation is similarly phenomenal...; it’s really solid and uniform.... I loved it. Well done, Paul." – Alex Jarvis, Spandexless
• Plug: "Fantagraphics has prepared a nice preview video for the fourth and final [Final??? Not at all — I don't know where they got that idea. – Ed.] issue of Love and Rockets: New Stories in stores soon. It features a 35-page story called ‘King Vampire’. Oh boy, if even the Hernandez bros succumb to the vampire craze, this really is the end of the world now, isn’t it?" – Frederik Hautain, Broken Frontier
Did you know our website has a well-stocked bargain section of Clearance Sale items and Closeout Deals? Well now you do! Here's just a couple of the excellent items we have marked down & priced to move:
Fred the Clown by Roger Langridge — Fred the Clown, the thinking man's idiot, has an eye for the ladies, but all they have for him is a carefully placed kneecap. Part Samuel Beckett, part Tex Avery; beautifully drawn, utterly inspired lunacy. Langridge's recent mainstream work has made him a critical darling — pick up this 2004 collection for some pure, unadulterated Langridge!$16.95$11.30 — You Save: 33.33%!Order Now
After nearly 30 years, Love and Rockets just keeps getting better, and this issue of the annual 3rd incarnation finds the Brothers Hernandez at the peak of their storytelling powers.
Jaime Hernandez's emotionally powerful stories in the last issue of Love and Rockets: New Stories ("The Love Bunglers" and "Browntown") were among the most critically-acclaimed comics of the year. In this new issue, Jaime ups the ante even more. The final chapters of "The Love Bunglers" continue tracking Maggie's romantic travails in the here and now, with an escalating series of entanglements and a shocking event which sends things hurtling to a stunning conclusion over the breathtaking and heartrending final ten pages. Nestled in the midst of this is the masterful "Return for Me," a sequel of sorts to "Browntown" in which teenage Maggie returns to Hoppers and a new life.
Meanwhile, on the Gilbert side, things lead off with the 35-page cover story "King Vampire": Two lovable teens, Cecil and Trini, want to join a local vampire club, but real vampires show up and things get deadly serious. Cecil loves it but Trini has her doubts about going all the way. It's another starring role for budding starlet "Killer" — and one of those vampires looks an awful lot like a certain Z-movie actress from Gilbert's post-Palomar world… Then High Soft Lisp's Fritz returns in "And Then Reality Kicks In," a 15-page walk-and-talk in which Fritz reunites with an old beau. This complex and layered dialogue may be Gilbert's finest piece of writing yet.
Plus an all-star all-cartoonists letters column!
Exclusive Savings: Order Love and Rockets: New Stories issues in pairs (issues 1 + 2 or 3 + 4), or all 4 together, and save 25% off the combined cover prices! Click here to order.
• Review: "...21’s eloquence is visual, and it is a very real eloquence. The character of Roberto Clemente is nearly hugged to death in this particular portrayal: he’s virtuous and charming and earnest and respectful to elders, and thus kind of dull. But the world around him is alive, and Santiago’s expressive (and occasionally, bracingly expressionistic) approach to portraying Clemente’s wild athletic genius ensures that it remains thrillingly present. Santiago’s art is impressively mutable and subtle, with the early scenes in Carolina in particular and the off-field action in general drawn with a clean, evocative realism and the baseball action shading towards the comics-y abstract.... [A] fitting and vital tribute." – David Roth, Los Angeles Review of Books
• Review: "If you're onboard for the third installment of something so purposefully vile as Prison Pit, you know what you're getting into. You're not going to be shocked by violence and gore, but you're still going to have a great time... We get a collection of creatures and monsters beating the shit out of each other in the most juvenile way possible, but Johnny Ryan does such a handsome job of designing these creatures to be as ugly and awful as possible. It's an ugliness that you see in the margins of your seventh-grade notebook when you were drawing pictures of horrible things because this was the only thing that could excite you during social studies or whatever, and it's exciting to look at because you never know what you're going to see next." – Geoffrey Lapid, Death-Ray Ozone
Jason has been honored in his native Norway with his own postage stamp! It's one of a series of 4 featuring artwork by contemporary Norwegian cartoonists in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the first comic to be published in Norway, as Jason explains on his blog. If we can just get the USPS to follow suit with some Love and Rockets or Eightball stamps, it might save them from bankruptcy!
"Many fans have long known that there’s more to Franco-Belgian comics than Tintin and Asterix — and those who didn’t know will be delighted to learn it.... Dapper private detective Gil Jordan is the star of these funny adventure stories, aided by ex-burglar assistant Crackerjack, eccentric friend Inspector Crouton, and no-nonsense secretary Miss Midge. 'Murder by High Tide' sets an antiques dealer’s death at an irresistible location, on a tidal causeway leading to the decrepit Tower of the Merrie Knight. And in 'Leap of Faith,' escaped convict Joe the Syringe stays one leap ahead of the good guys as he seeks revenge on his attorney. Plausibility may not be the watchword here, but no matter: these are a ton of fun and the full-color art, beautifully produced and fairly bursting with sweat beads, stink lines, and other emanata, is an animated delight." – Keir Graff, Booklist
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