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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

Things to See: more of Jason's Athos in America sketches & notes
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Things to seeJasonComing Attractions 13 Sep 2011 12:11 AM

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

As we pointed out a week or 2 ago, Jason has been posting some rough sketches and handwritten dialogue, along with brief comments on background and storytelling technique, for each of the stories in his upcoming book Athos in America on his Cats Without Dogs blog. Here's the complete set: "So Long, Mary Ann," "The Brain That Wouldn't Virginia Woolf," "Tom Waits on the Moon," "A Cat from Heaven," "The Smiling Horse" and the title story "Athos in America."

Daily OCD: 9/12/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Warren BernardSteven BrowerstaffShimura TakakoRoger LangridgeRick MarschallRichard SalareviewsPeanutsNoah Van SciverNeil GaimanMort MeskinMomeMickey MouseMichael KuppermanMarschall BooksmangaLove and RocketsKim DeitchJohnny RyanJohnny GruelleJoe SimonJasonJacques TardiJack KirbyinterviewsFloyd GottfredsonDrew FriedmanDisneyDave McKeanDaily OCDCharles M SchulzBlazing CombatAlex Chun 12 Sep 2011 8:10 PM

A double dose of Online Commentary & Diversions:

Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 1: Race to Death Valley

Review: "Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse: Race To Death Valley by Floyd Gottfredson will be warmly received by comics aficionados but should also intrigue Disney animation buffs who aren't necessarily plugged into comic strip history. Editors David Gerstein and Gary Groth have not only scoured the planet for the best surviving artwork on Gottfredson's first epic continuity, which ran in newspapers from April to September of 1930; they've provided background essays (by a raft of experts), vintage press materials and artwork to put it into the context of Walt Disney's burgeoning career, and Mickey Mouse's budding stardom.... I have a feeling that this book, crafted with such obvious care, will earn Gottfredson a new legion of admirers." – Leonard Maltin

Drawing Power: A Compendium of Cartoon Advertising 1870s-1940s

Review: "Popeye hawking newspapers? Donald Duck selling gasoline? You'll find them and a whole cavalcade of comic strip characters in Drawing Power: A Compendium of Cartoon Advertising, edited by Rick Marschall and Warren Bernard. In a hundred-plus pages you are treated to a sampling of cartoon print ads from the 1890s to 1940s. There are short informative blurbs about the cartoonists (some of whom were featured in ads themselves) and the history behind the ads. A great treat for fans of comic strips, Americana, and ephemera." – The Christian Science Monitor "Top Picks"

Review: "Not long ago a very interesting book was released which aims precisely to investigate and chronicle the parallel paths of comics and advertising from 1870 until 1940 entitled Drawing Power: A Compendium of Cartoon Advertising. Fantagraphics Books offers a hearty volume... which is our guide with text and images to the 'commercial' roots of the comic strip and the amazing work that resulted from comics creators who worked in advertising.... Drawing Power: A Compendium of Cartoon Advertising is a book that will surely pique the interest of those involved in the communication sector, but also all who are drawn to pop culture. An excellent edition from Fantagraphics..." – Lida Tsene, Comicdom (translated from Greek)

The Hidden

Review: "Richard Sala’s The Hidden is yet another undead saga, though it’s more ambitious than most.... As the backstory deepens, Sala ties The Hidden to older literary traditions, weaving in pieces of folktales and the legend of Frankenstein. Because Sala has had a career-long fascination with B-movies, gothic illustrations, and general ghoulishness, this plot is right in his wheelhouse. But The Hidden isn’t just an entertaining riff on well-worn horror concepts. Taking his cues from Mary Shelley, Sala explores human vanity and arrogance as a way of showing how everything can go so wrong so fast." – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club

Mome Vol. 22

Review: "...Mome 22 concludes the run of one of alt-comics' longest-running and most essential anthologies. Like Weirdo before it, Mome bridged the gap between veteran cartoonists and the new breed... Here’s hoping that as with Zap, Raw, Arcade, and so many that have gone before, another anthology will rise to take Mome’s place. And soon." – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club

Wandering Son Vol. 1

Review: "...Shimura Takako is a master at portraying subtle events in a slice of life story about adolescence that never feels didactic.... One of the things I like about Wandering Son is the way many of the events in the book are simultaneously safe and filled with dramatic tension.... Like the storyline, Shimura’s art is simple but nuanced.... As you’d expect from Fantagraphics, the production quality for Wandering Son is excellent. I hope that more manga is on the horizon from them. While I’ll happily read more cheaply produced manga, it is nice to have a variety of options. Carefully curated manga like Wandering Son is a treat." – Anna Neatrour, Manga Report

Isle of 100,000 Graves

Review: "Jason’s deadpan, anthropomorphic characters make his books must-reads for me.... I'd give [Isle of 100,000 Graves] to my daughter... and my wife... in hopes that, after laughing at the Hangman’s Academy’s students, teachers, and administrators, they’ll agree to dress up in multi-colored hoods and carry instruments of torture next Halloween." – Gene Ambaum, The Unshelved Book Club

The Pin-Up Art of Humorama

Review: "Chun fills his collections with the best cartoons – the ones that can still delight readers, and Covey uses his lively and inventive design sense to make these old cartoons fresh and vital. With The Pin-Up Art of Humorama, Chun and Covey will once again make you believe that the art of Humorama is still alive and kicking – although the line ceased to exist decades ago. [Grade:] A" – Leroy Douresseaux, I Reads You

The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec Vol. 1: Pterror Over Paris and The Eiffel Tower Demon

Review: "This Fantagraphics edition collects the first two French albums of Les Aventures Extraordinaires d’Adèle Blanc-Sec (Pterror Over Paris and The Eiffel Tower Demon) in a large format hardback edition, and it’s beautifully presented. First released in 1976, Jacques Tardi’s story has a timeless quality, set in an alternative, steam-punk universe, shortly before World War I.... Tardi’s art recreates the scenery beautifully, with stunning backdrops bringing the architecture and beauty of Paris to life. ...[A] compelling and enjoyable mystery story with an alternative Victorian feel." – Grovel

Blazing Combat [Softcover Ed. - Pre-Order]

Review: "Comic fanboys have read Sgt. Rock or The Howling Commandos which are realistic in many ways, but there was a time when a comic mag got down right truthful. I’m speaking of Blazing Combat #1-4 (1965-66, Warren) and recently Fantagraphics collected the run in both hardcover and softcover. Blazing Combat was an anthology comic that showed the very dark and very real side of war. A loose followup to the EC Comics War genre books, it showed US G.I.’s dying in terrible ways, commanders giving orders with little regard for consequences and the militaristic definition of collateral damage. Jim Warren let it all hang out when it came to editing Archie Goodwin’s writing... Of course Goodwin is a genius and I’m usually more of a word-man when it comes to comics, but this time it’s the art that captured my attention. It’s a who’s-who of monster talent..." – Chris Marshall, Collected Comics Library

Fred the Clown

Review: "Fred [the Clown] is a figure of innocence, a lovelorn sad sack who keeps getting hit by custard pies — and, even harder, by life — over and over again, but keeps standing back up to go on. Langridge mostly tells his story in short wordless comics stories... in his usual style, a crisp modern interpretation of the classic '20s animation look... They're slapsticky stories of a sad clown, using the accouterments of vaudeville and early Hollywood, that nonetheless feel entirely new and fresh and funny. I don't know how Langridge does it, but he does it very very well." – Andrew Wheeler, The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent.

Celluloid [Pre-Order]

Plug: "You must buy @DaveMcKean's NSFW book 'CELLULOID' at your local comics or book store. Or in a plain brown wrapper..." – Neil Gaiman

Prison Pit Book 3

Preview/Plug: Comicsphere re-formats and re-presents one of our previews of Johnny Ryan's Prison Pit Book 3 to their readers, with Josh West saying "This is set to be 120 pages of ‘once you see it, it can’t ever be unseen’ scenarios and, honestly, Comicsphere couldn’t be more excited! Unbelievably unpredictable, violent, satirical and likely to entertain more than anything else on the shelves through September, the Prison Pit makes Hell look like nothing more than a relaxing Sunday morning stroll through a (really hot) meadow."

Interview: Comic Book Resources' Tim Callahan has a wide-ranging conversation with Johnny Ryan about Prison Pit and other topics: "I guess I have this fascination with stories where the 'hero' is not a hero at all. He's a loser or an idiot or a scumbag, but somehow the author makes us give a shit about him or her.... I think this is a strain that also runs through my work. It's about bad people, doing bad things, but I try and trick people into caring about or liking these people."

Preview/Plug: Comicsphere gives the same treatment as above to our excerpt of Jacques Tardi & Jean-Patrick Manchette's Like a Sniper Lining Up His Shot, with Josh West saying "...Jacques Tardi returns to the world of guns, crime, betrayal and bloodshed with this stunning, grisly, and remarkably faithful interpretation of Manchette’s last completed crime thriller."

Mr. Twee Deedle, Raggedy Ann’s Sprightly Cousin: The Forgotten Fantasy Masterpieces of Johnny Gruelle

Plugs: Robot 6's Michael May singles out a few of our upcoming releases from the November Previews catalog for spotlighting:

"Mr. Twee Deedle: Raggedy Ann’s Sprightly Cousin – The Forgotten Fantasy Masterpieces of Johnny Gruelle – I almost drowned in the amount of praise Fantagraphics poured on Gruelle’s work in the ad, but simply looking at the cover, it appears to be justified."

"The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec, Volume 2: The Mad Scientist/Mummies on Parade – Even if I wasn’t already turned on to the awesomeness of Jacques Tardi’s Belle-Époquian heroine, 'Mummies on Parade' would be enough to necessitate this purchase."

"Athos in America – Jason returns to The Last Musketeer and includes other Jasony stories like 'The Brain That Wouldn’t Virginia Woolf.'"

Pogo - Vol. 1 of the Complete Syndicated Comic Strips: Through the Wild Blue Wonder

Plugs: Graphic Novel Reporter includes almost everything we have coming out over the next 3 months in their "Great Graphic Novels of Fall 2011" roundup, particularly the Adult Fiction and Nonfiction categories (though we feel we should point out that Alexander Theroux's Estonia is neither fiction nor a graphic novel)

The Complete Peanuts 1981-1982 (Vol. 16)

Plug: "We’re over halfway done, and have moved into the last 20 years of the strip with the release of The Complete Peanuts: 1981 to 1982. Can you believe how fast time is flying? Kudos to Fantagraphics for maintaining the incredibly high standard of quality and presentation they established at the outset, with this entry featuring an introduction from cartoonist Lynn Johnston. More!" – Ken Plume, FRED

Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010

Interview: Newsarama's Albert Ching talks to Michael Kupperman about his new book Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010: "One other character I frequently think of when doing Twain — writing that book, or doing him in Thrizzle — is Dave Thomas from SCTV doing Walter Cronkite. Which in some ways is very similar — this kind of roguish, semi-self-befuddled character, roaming around having adventures."

Even More Old Jewish Comedians

Interview: The Daily Cross Hatch's Brian Heater begins a multi-part chat with Drew Friedman: "Basically when Monte Beauchamp who edits those books invited me to do a book, I thought about what I like to draw the most. I like to draw comedians and old Jews. So I put those two together and started working on them between assignments over a year. I just got pleasure in drawing them. I could put aside any annoying assignment I had and just get down to drawing those old Jewish faces. That’s what it came down to."

Howard the Duck - Noah Van Sciver

Interview: Washington City Paper's Mike Rhode had a little pre-SPX Q&A with Noah Van Sciver: "I'm excited to stop by the Fantagraphics table and say hello to those guys and see what's new." Well shucks!

From Shadow to Light: The Life & Art of Mort Meskin

Analysis: At The Comics Journal, From Shadow to Light author Steven Brower examines the dream comics of Jack Kirby, Joe Simon, and Mort Meskin

Love and Rockets: New Stories #4

Links: Another comprehensive round of Hernandez Bros.-related links from Love & Maggie

The Search for Smilin' Ed!

Lore: "’71 was a weird year for me. I never had quite so many women coming and going, as I did that year in the apartment I shared with Gary. But I was still drinking too much and just overdoing it in general, hedonistically speaking. I was getting very little good work done (gosh, I wonder why?) and was generally pretty miserable." – Kim Deitch's epic memoir-in-music "Mad About Music: My Life in Records" at TCJ.com forges into the 1970s

Fantagraphics booth - TCAF 2011

Staff picks: Our own Ambassador of Awesome (and funniest Flogger) Janice Headley is the guest contributor to this week's Robot 6 "What Are You Reading?" column

Jim Woodring & Diane Noomin at the Library of Congress, Jim at SPX
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Warren BernardJim WoodringDiane Noomin 12 Sep 2011 12:56 AM

Some Small Press Expo staff and guests visited the Library of Congress to check out some of their cartoon archives on Friday before the show — these photos are all ganked from the SPX twitter feed:

Jim Woodring, Diane Noomin, Jonathan Barli, Bill Kartalopoulos

L to R: Jim Woodring, Diane Noomin, Jonathan Barli of Rosebud Archives, and our pal Bill Kartalopoulos

Roz Chast & Jim Woodring at the Library of Congress

L to R: Roz Chast, a Library of Congress staffer identified only as Martha, and Jim Woodring checking out some William Steig cartoons

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201109/spx-bernard-loc.jpg

SPX Executive Director and Drawing Power co-editor Warren Bernard

Jim Woodring at SPX 2011

Here's a slightly embarrassed-looking Jim at the show modeling the highly-covetable SPX tote bag which features his artwork.

More SPX pics as we find them!

Weekend Webcomics for 9/9/11: Kupperman, Weissman & more
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under webcomicsVictor KerlowTony MillionaireTim LaneSteven WeissmanMichael KuppermanMaakiesKevin HuizengaHans RickheitArnold Roth 12 Sep 2011 12:21 AM

Our weekly strips from Kupperman & Weissman, plus links to other strips from around the web (Super late! Totally my fault, sorry!):

---

Up All Night by Michael Kupperman (view at original size):

Up All Night - Michael Kupperman

Barack Hussein Obama by Steven Weissman (view at original size):

Barack Hussein Obama by Steven Weissman

And elsewhere:

Amazing Facts... and Beyond! with Leon Beyond by Kevin Huizenga:

Amazing Facts... and Beyond! with Leon Beyond

Belligerent Piano by Tim Lane:

Belligerent Piano - Tim Lane

Cochlea & Eustachia by Hans Rickheit:

Cochlea & Eustachia - Hans Rickheit

Ectiopiary by Hans Rickheit:

Ectopiary - Hans Rickheit

Humblug by Arnold Roth (3 new udpates):

Humblug - Arnold Roth

Maakies by Tony Millionaire:

Maakies - Tony Millionaire

What's in the Backpack by Victor Kerlow:

What's in the Backpack - Victor Kerlow

Jaime Hernandez wins the Ignatz for Outstanding Story!
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Love and RocketsJoseph LambertJaime Hernandezawards 10 Sep 2011 9:06 PM

Love and Rockets: New Stories #3 by the Hernandez Brothers

Word comes over the Twitter wires that "Browntown" by Jaime Hernandez, from Love and Rockets: New Stories #3, has won the 2011 Ignatz Award for Outstanding Story at tonight's ceremony at the Small Press Expo in Bethesda, MD. Congratulations to Jaime for this richly-deserved recognition! And they better get another brick ready for Jaime next year for "The Love Bunglers Parts 3-5" in New Stories #4. Just saying.

Updated to add: Additional congratulations to new Mome contributor Joseph Lambert for picking up 2 big awards, Outstanding Cartoonist and Outstanding Anthology or Collection for I Will Bite You!

Jim Woodring at Politics and Prose in DC TONIGHT!
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Jim Woodringevents 9 Sep 2011 2:27 PM

Congress of the Animals by Jim Woodring

Jim Woodring makes a pre-SPX stop at venerable Washington, DC independent bookstore Politics and Prose at 7 PM tonight to present and sign Congress of the Animals! More details here!

SPX Graphic Novel Gift program gives the gift of Fantagraphics
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Warren BernardShimura TakakoMiss Lasko-GrossLove and RocketsLilli Carré 8 Sep 2011 6:56 PM

We received the following message from Small Press Expo executive director Warren Bernard, with permission to share it with our readers:

"Yesterday I went up and presented the graphic novels to the Montgomery County Public Library (MCPL) as the final act of the SPX Graphic Novel Gift Program. Attached are 2 photos. The first is the Director of the MCPL, Parker Hamilton holding a copy of one of your Love and Rockets books. The second is a picture of the books we donated as well as the people involved. On the far left is your A Mess of Everything and third from the right is your Love and Rockets."

(Also visible in the first picture, a big stack of Escape from "Special"; in the second picture, Wandering Son Vol. 1.)

Parker Hamilton, Director MCPL

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201109/img_2509.jpg

Left to right:
Mary Louise Daneri, Chief Collection Management MCPL
Parker Hamilton, Director MCPL
"Me!!!!!"
Annette Klaus, Graphic Novel Collections Manager MCPL

Our thanks go out to the MCPL staff for selecting our books and to Warren for asking us to participate — it was our pleasure to contribute.

Each of the donated books comes with this bookplate print drawn by Lilli Carré, which we already posted about but it's so gorgeous I don't think anyone will mind if I include it here again:

SPX bookplate - Lilli Carré

As we previously noted, Warren will be putting his Executive Directing duties on hold for a couple of hours to sign his book (with Rick Marschall) Drawing Power at our SPX table this weekend!



Daily OCD: 9/8/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under The Comics JournalMomeLove and RocketsJaime HernandezJacques TardiDaily OCD 8 Sep 2011 6:14 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

The Comics Journal #301

Plug: "I’ve only had the brick for two weeks, and I’ve barely made it through one-fourth of it, happily so. For over 30 years, The Comics Journal has been a comics respite from hype and fluff. It keeps the rest of in check and on our toes. I’m a better comics reader because of it (and a reluctantly patient fan)." – Alex Carr, Omnivoracious (Amazon.com)

Plug: "Here’s another hard-boiled Tardi adaptation of a Jean-Patrick Manchette novel. I liked the other one I read, so I assume I will like this one." – Greg Burgas, Comic Book Resources

Love and Rockets: New Stories #3

Commentary: Sean T. Collins re-posts Comic Book Resources' video interview with Jaime Hernandez on that site's Robot 6 blog, adding his own commentary: "Ask anyone who’s reading the series in its book-formatted New Stories incarnation — including this autumn’s #4, which picks up where last year’s massively acclaimed 'Browntown'/'The Love Bunglers' storyline left off — and they’ll tell you: Jaime’s making some of the best work of his career, some 30 years after L&R made its debut."

Mome Vol. 22

Conflict of Interest: Our own Eric Buckler spotlights Mome Vol. 22 in his weekly "Indie Comics Digest" for The Snipe

Things to See: Tony Millionaire made a t-shirt for his kids' school
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tony MillionaireThings to seefashion 8 Sep 2011 4:38 PM

Longfellow Elementary t-shirt - Tony Millionaire

Tony Millionaire:

"I made a t-shirt for my kids school, see how many vaginas you find hidden in the drawing."

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha Tony!

(Seriously though, I'm kind of coveting this shirt.)

Ghost World discussion at Heroes Aren't Hard to Find Sept. 24
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under eventsDaniel Clowes 8 Sep 2011 2:36 PM

Ghost World: Special Edition by Daniel Clowes

Comics fans in Charlotte, NC, surely Heroes Aren't Hard to Find is your #1 comics shopping destination and surely you keep up with all the happenings there so this is surely not news to you, BUT ANYWAY they are having a discussion group meeting on September 24 to talk about Daniel Clowes's Ghost World, and they're offering a 10% discussion-group discount on Ghost World: Special Edition (which is already available in comic shops at a newly reduced price)! More info & details here.


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The Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale St., Seattle WA 98108. Tel: 206-658-0110.

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FBI•MINIs

FBI•MINIs

FREE exclusive FBI•MINI comics with qualifying mail-order purchases! (More details here.)

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