Wandering Son has garnered extensive praise (from the GLBT community, from manga fans, and from comics fans in general) for its uniquely funny, warm, and sensitive treatment of the travails of two Japanese tweens who find themselves coping with the knotty issue of gender identification as they slowly realize that maybe they aren't who they were meant to be.
In this latest volume, love is in the air. It's in the trees and on the streets. It's hanging on the walls and piled in great heaps on the floor. Or is it really love? These sixth and seventh graders don't really know. But something is definitely amiss. They can't sleep, and when they do sleep they have strange dreams. They get angry and cry for no reason. They blush and grin like idiots for no reason. And it isn't even spring. But the standard rules apply: If A is in love with B, B is certain to be in love with C, and C is likely to be in love with D, or possibly A.
And now it seems a good third of the alphabet is in love with our shy protagonist, Nitori-kun. But the flip-side of love is jealousy, and hate. The simple friendships of childhood develop into the complex, tense relationships of adolescence. Friends become strangers, or worse. But while everyone seems to have caught the bug — even characters whose names you can't remember — Volume 4 revolves solidly around the triangle of Nitori-kun, Takatsuki-san, and Chiba-san. Yet centrifugal force seems to push the three away from each other, and there is a certain grimness as they say goodbye to elementary school, and put on the (highly gendered) uniforms of junior high school…
Hot on the heels of Gene Deitch's The Cat on a Hot Thin Groove comes another collection of jazzy midcentury music illustrations, The High Fidelity Art of Jim Flora. Lovingly compiled and authored by Flora doyens Irwin Chusid and Barbara Economon, and designed by Laura Lindgren, this softcover coffee-table book will be swingin' and be-boppin' its way to you this Summer. Take it away, Irwin:
"It features all of Flora's known album and EP covers (including back cover illustrations) from 1947 to 1961 for Columbia, RCA Victor, and their affiliated labels, along with music-themed fine art works, illustrations, and sketches. The book was completed last week and will head shortly to the printer. (Despite what it says at Amazon, the publication date will be sometime in August, not June 30. We dawdled a bit.)"
Guy Peellaert: The Adventures of Jodelle and Fragments of the French Pop Years at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery.
The late French artist Guy Peellaert was among the most influential figures in European pop culture throughout his career. His collaborations with personalities like Serge Gainsbourg, Yves Saint Laurent, Mick Jagger, Wim Wenders, David Bowie, Martin Scorsese, and others left an indelible mark on contemporary culture. The legacy of this important artist is celebrated in a new book and exhibition, Guy Peellaert: The Adventures of Jodelle and Fragments of the French Pop Years at Fantagraphics Bookstore opening May 11, 2013.
The book begins with Peellaert’s stunning 1965 comic album The Adventures of Jodelle, newly translated by Fantagraphics co-publisher Kim Thompson. The deluxe volume then examines the breadth of the artist’s work in comics, illustration, graphic design, dance, film, and fashion, including his infamous 1967 “Happening” at the Passage Saint André des Arts that culminated with models fully disrobing – resulting in sensational headlines worldwide while raising the bar for avant garde fashion.
The opening at Fantagraphics Bookstore on Saturday, May 11 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM includes musical entertainment by K recording artists Angelo Spencer performing lyrical French language songs. Pop Art aficionados, Francophiles, and music fans alike will appreciate this event, which coincides with the festive Georgetown Art Attack.
Guy Peellaert: The Adventures of Jodelle and Fragments of the French Pop Years
Opening Saturday, May 11, 6:00 to 9:00 PM Musical entertainment by Angelo Spencer Exhibition continues through July 9, 2013
Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery 1201 S. Vale Street. Seattle, WA 98108 206.658.0110 | www.fantagraphics.com Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM
From 1:00 to 5:00 PM, they will feature a panel discussion with writers and illustrators working in the field (like Carol!), free comic books (in celebration of Free Comic Book Day), a comic book swap, artist and writer's booths, the Comic Con Drawing Contest award ceremony, and more. It's an all-ages event, and a wonderful way to celebrate comics!
"…his paramount creation was the celebrated if obscure newspaper strip Barnaby, which, from its distinct visual look (minimalist, Thurberesque drawings; typeset word balloons) to its wry, understated humor, was unlike anything else ever to hit the comics page…There have been sporadic reprintings, but this effort, the initial installment in a five-volume series, is the first to collect it in its entirety. Even Mr. O'Malley couldn't conjure up a more welcome endeavor." – Gordon Flagg
"Because day in it means a lifetime (like what we mean by saying, "in Grandma's day"), the title of this spare graphic novel denotes an entire century… For lengthy stretches of his story, he's unspeaking, in the background, nowhere around as we watch the more dramatic lives of friends and family flare in bizarre illness and death, in madness and violence, and in love, at home more than in the wars and wanderings they are called to. All along, he lives with his mother, the still center of a century-long family storm that Hernandez's mastery of comics somehow makes somberly beautiful." –Ray Olson
"This welcome reissue publishes the work to its originally intended large page size and restores the original watercolors…The gritty yet gaudy artwork by Romberger, a friend of Wojnarowicz's who worked closely with him on the project, convincingly conveys the seedy milieu of Wojnarowicz's younger years as well as his later rage and frustration as he awaits his death, with the expressionistic colors ratcheting up the nightmarish intensity. Two decades on, Times Square is cleaned up and the AIDS crisis in America is largely contained; but Wojnarowicz's defiant cri de coeur retains its harsh potency." – Gordon Flagg
Available with a limited-edition bookplate signed by R. Crumb for an additional $30. The bookplate has been uniquely designed for this book, and each bookplate is printed on acid-free cardstock and hand-signed by the author. Please indicate your preference when adding the item to your shopping cart.
Another year's worth of prize Crumb here, folks — including the second issue of Zap!, the introduction of Angelfood McSpade, lots and lots of Mr. Natural, the long Fritz story "Fritz the No-Good," and plenty of little-seen and rare art, plus all of Crumb's contributions to the legendary Snatch comics, possibly the raunchiest book in the raunchy history of the undergrounds. There's also a jam or two with some of the other Zap! artists, the little-seen alternate version of the famous Janis Joplin Cheap Thrills album cover, the alternate version of the cover to Zap #3... all wrapped up with Crumb's hilarious new cover and an extensive set of photographically illustrated biographical notes from Crumb himself.
"Fantagraphics' Crumb project advances into wilder, woolier, scarier, more fantastic, and lewder and still lewder territory in [Volume 5]... This is definitely X-rated material — make that triple-X! — but it's brilliant, scabrously hilarious, absolutely basic to understanding the 1960s American counterculture, and authentically mind-blowing." – Booklist
1991 Harvey Award Winner, Best Domestic Reprint Project
We're still keeping tabs on our Mome-veteran Andrice Arp, and tonight, Thursday, May 2nd, she has some original artwork debuting at the SoHiTek Gallery in Portland, OR!
To celebrate the gallery's birthday, they have curated a show dedicated to our astrological sign, the Taurus. Dig In Your Heels: A Taurus Art Show features work from Sean Christensen ABT, Cameron Hawkey, Graham Kahler, Marsuplala, Mark Quemada, Amber Smith, Daria Tessler, Rebecca Urias, as well as Andrice! She explains on her blog:
So maybe I've been looking at too many sci-fi paperback covers from the '70s lately. Whatever, I think maybe it's OK. I'm also super excited to be OIL PAINTING again! I've been thinking about it for quite a while, and this show seemed like a good opportunity to pull out my box of oil paints that I haven't opened since I moved to Portland.
Nice! SoHiTek Gallery is located at 625 NW Everett St #102, in the Everett Station Lofts in downtown Portland.
Portland, if you missed Dash Shaw last weekend at Stumptown Comics Fest, or if you simply can't get enough of him (we understand), join him tonight, Thursday, May 2nd, at Floating World Comics for a signing of both his new graphic novel, New School, as well as the one-shot comic book, 3 New Stories.
If you weren't one of the lucky few to get your hands on a copy of New School, then you definitely don't want to miss this chance! Library Journal and Paste both named it one of their most-anticipated books of the year. And, as Mike put it, it's a big honkin' book!
Dash will be signing copies of his new books from 6:00 to 10:00 PM, with a gallery full of original artwork. At 7:00 PM, he'll do a presentation of his animation works (including the Sigur Rós video, “Seraph”). The exhibit of his work will be on display through May 31st.
Come one, come all! It's time to spend those tax refunds on something good like some original art from Charles Forsman. You may have first seen his art in the Mome anthology from Fantagraphics but Forsman is a prolific cartoonist with many, many mini-comics under his belt. Above is a page from Snake Oil #6, below from a story in Mome, clocking in just at $100. Get a page or two now before Forsman's two books, The End of the Fucking World and Celebrated Summer come out later this year (and the prices on this type of artwork skyrocket!).
The tantric release of Online Commentaries & Release:
• Review:The LA Times and Noel Murray interviews Gilbert Hernandez about Julio's Day, Marble Season (from D&Q), plus the future books Love and Rockets: New Stories #6 and Maria M. LA Times: Gilbert says " ‘Julio’s Day’ is very simple. I mean, there’s a lot of heavy stuff going on, but I wanted it to read like a very simple, direct story."
• Interview:comiXology interviews Gilbert Hernandez about his most recent comic Julio's Day on their podcast.
• Review: Tom Spurgeon looks at Gilbert Hernandez's latest work, Julio's Day, on the Comics Reporter. "I found Julio's Day moving at times, again for reasons I'm not really certain I can fully articulate. The idea that we may be known as much for the choices of those around us and things that happen in proximity to ourselves as much as if not more than by the choices we make is either the ultimate comfort or the first back-of-throat rumblings of an existential howl."
• Plug:Publishers Weekly lists Julio's Day as a pick of the week: "A marvelous and tightly scripted epic whose last page is a heart-stopper."
Review: Charles Hatfield of The Comics Journal flips through Julio's Dayby Gilbert Hernandez. "When it comes to Beto, the lightning keeps striking, and if it doesn’t strike exactly the same place twice, it does testify to the same divided genius…It is the great lost Beto comic, belatedly given new form and new life.
• Review:Grovel's Andy Shaw reads Julio's Dayby Gilbert Hernandez. "Just buy it now. This is Gilbert Hernandez at his finest, distilling a lifetime into a single volume of pleasure and pain.Julio’s Day is a literary classic, and another incredible piece of work from a true master of comics."
• Plug:Largehearted Boy plugs Julio's Day. "Gilbert compresses the history of the 20th century as well as the life of a man into a riveting, masterful story," writes Benn Ray.
• Review:The A.V. Club looks at The Adventures of Jodelle by Guy Peellaert. "The essays-which at 80 pages take up more of the book than Jodelle-are this volume's real selling point... Peellaert foregrounded the eroticism of advertising, and exposed how pulp imagery affects the public's understanding of everything from politics to gender. And he did it without resorting to polemics. The Adventures Of Jodelle book-both the comic strip and the supplemental material-is a delight both visually and intellectually," writes Noel Murray.
• Plug:Largehearted Boy plugs The Adventures of Jodelle by Guy Peellaert. "Think of Barbarella animated in that Yellow Submarine style and you get the idea of what Jodelle's adventures look like. This is comics as art."
• Plug: Angel House Press is celebrated National Poetry Month with a focus on visual poetry, inspired by latest collection of it The Last Vispo, edited by Nico Vassilakis and Crag Hill. Check here for a month of visual poetry.
• Review: Heroes Complex at the LA Times looks at 50 Girls 50 by Al Williamson. Noel Murray writes, "These pieces are classic EC: punchy, knowing and ironic in the best sense of the word, in that they force readers to examine their own expectations. The best stories in '50 Girls 50 have readers rooting for heels, or celebrating war, all while framing the situation in such a way that readers question their responses." In reference to the whole EC Comics Library line, Murray writes, "All of these books are essential purchases for comics fans, but for those on a budget who are looking to prioritize…These are the books that best show off how EC took genre stories seriously, striving to create comics that didn’t treat readers as naive or ignorant."
• Review:Fangoria reviews the next two EC books. Rick Trembles enjoys 'Tain't the Meat by Jack Davis. "Jack Davis’ dark comedic touch is all over this collection, diffusing the ghastly nature of the stories somewhat, an aspect to his work that was obviously lost on his opponents." Meanwhile with Al Willliamson's 50 Girls 50, Trembles writes "here we’re dazzled by romanticized sci-fi heroics and delicate line-work of the ilk of FLASH GORDON’S original artist Alex Raymond, Williamson’s main inspiration. Dinosaurs, spaceships, and outlandish otherworldly creatures populate the flora of faraway worlds, accompanied by buxom, exotically garbed beauties."
• Review: Nick Gazin sets his VICE sights on 'Tain't the Meat by Jack Davis. "Even though he wasn't a perfectionist, Jack Davis's laziness is better than most people's best work. When Davis does invest himself in a drawing it's just a mind bender. This is a must have for anyone who loves horror, EC, Jack Davis, any of that stuff."
• Review: Comics Bulletin looks at 3 New Stories from Dash Shaw. "This is a short, floppy-sized comic, but it's incredibly rich in complexity and depth. Shaw delivers an amazing collection of stories here."
• Interview:DigBoston and Clay Fernald talk to Dash Shaw about 3 New Stories, New School, Bottomless Belly Button and more. Shaw says, "Words and pictures are very different. They don't sit comfortably next to each other. Some cartoonists try to bring them closer together. Ware is like that. I like that space between things. I want the differences between things to be activated."
• Plug: Largehearted Boy hosts Atomic Books look at new comics included 3 New Stories. "Dash Shaw is a modern comics master. He experiments with everything from structure to narrative to color. If you're unfamiliar with his work, he's sort of like Gary Panter illustrating a Chris Ware story, or, in this case, 3 stories of dystopian societies," writes Benn Ray from Atomic Books.
• Review:Nerds of a Feather enjoys Tom Kaczynski's Beta Testing the Apocalypse. Beta Philippe Duhart states "The thin lines, sharp angles, and rigid geometry…brings a clarity and simplicity that expertly balances the abstractness of the themes at the heart of Beta Testing the Apocalypse…One doesn’t need to have read Žižek to grasp Beta Testing’s themes and criticisms. One only needs to have only gone apartment hunting."
• Interview:Comics Bulletin and Keith Silve interview James Romberger and Marguerite Van Cook on 7 Miles A Second. Van Cook remembers, "David was a poet of the soul, there was always a tension between beauty and the vileness of what society did to anyone who was not of the mainstream. I once asked him what he did with the money he got from hustling when he was so young and he told me he would take a bus to the country and walk around. We thought it was so ironic that selling one's body and selling art had many of the same qualities. We laughed rather darkly, about how the body and art are commodified and priced so arbitrarily."
• Interview (video): Back in January, Carol Tyler spoke to University of Southern California Provost's Professor Henry Jenkins and students as part of the USC Visions and Voices series. Mike Lynch was good enough to blog about it as soon as USC put up on the internet. She speaks about personal life and drawing comics, including the You'll Never Know series.
• Plug:Manga Bookshelf lists its first quarter favorites of 2013 and include Moto Hagio's newest book. "The Heart of Thomas was my most eagerly anticipated manga of the year, and while its January release date set the bar perhaps unfairly high for the year to come, I can’t bring myself to be sad about that."
• Review:Comics Worth Reading pulls out the Castle Waiting Vol. 2: Definitive Edition by Linda Medley. Johanna Draper Carlson writes "…it’s engrossing and beautifully drawn. I was surprised, reading the whole thing at once, how much of what figures in the final chapters was mentioned very early on. It gave me new appreciation for Medley’s long-term storytelling."
• Review:Calgary Public Library's Teen Blog speaks out on Castle Waiting Vol. 1 and 2 by Linda Medley. Adrienne writes, "Castle Waiting is a great comic book that takes elements from fairytales such as 'Sleeping Beauty' and combines them with a good dose of humour and plots about bearded ladies, two-headed girls, pregnancy and hidden libraries..I highly recommend her"
• Review: Strange Journal reviews Castle Waiting. "I’ve really fallen for it, it’s what they’d call a triple threat in show business: It can sing, dance AND act…In the tradition of Jeff Smith’s Bone and the better parts of Dave Sim’s Cerebus, Medley has conjured an amazing and beautiful world and filled it with flawed, interesting folks eking out their existence in a castle on the edge of the world," states Adam Blodgett.
• Review: Delphine by Richard Sala is reviewed on Comics Bulletin. Jason Sacks "We're used to fairy tales telling the story of a journey by a girl from innocence to the real world. Delphine inverts the gender of those classic tales, but uses those familiar tropes to tell a familiar story. Richard Sala treads a world of metaphor and allusion, a world that feels as familiar as Grimm's Fairy Tales and as mysterious as our own heart."
• Review: Nick Gazin sets his VICE sights on Out of the Shadows by Mort Meskin (edited by Steven Brower). "Shadows everywhere. The stories are just a lot of old timey chatter where people call each other chum and stuff but the compositions and choices that Mort Meskin made are pretty sophisticated."
• Interview:The Comics Journal posts an article titled Crockett Johnson and the Invention of Barnaby. Philip Nel writes about it all including the creation of fairy godfather, Mr. O'Malley's favorite catchphrase. Barnaby is coming so soon, we'll all cry "Cushlamochree!"
• Review: iFanboy hypes up Impossible Tales: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 4 (by Steve Ditko and edited by Blake Bell) coming out this May. Josh Christie states: "Steve Ditko is one of those guys you could picture on the Mount Rushmore of comics creators…Like so many of the great comics from the 1950s, the drug-fueled, macabre scenes look more like something out of an alternate dimension rather than from the states’ apple pie and bubblegum past."
• Review:Arkham Comics reviews Messages in a Bottle by B. Krigstein (edited by Greg Sadowski). A rough translation states, "Messages in a Bottle is a magicalbook,atimeless andstunningclarity:a lesson incomics aswe do notmeet every day."
• Review:Noah Van Sciver's The Hypo is reviewed on We Read Comics "Sciver absolutely nails it…We see Lincoln's plain spoken style, his humbleness, his self-doubt, and his honesty here with so much fucking economy and elegance."
• Interview:Noah Van Sciver appears on Comic Impact to talk about The Hypo and his newest comics project.
• Plug:The End of the Fucking World (Spoiler alert!) on The Chemical Box. "Similar to Derf’s analysis of Jeffery Dahmer in 'My Friend Dahmer', you can see James (along with Dahmer) struggling with their basic instincts."
• Plug:The Beat waxes on about Julia Gfrörer and Black is the Color. Zainab Akhtar writes, "Gfrorer’s work is consistently excellent, featuring themes of myth, folk lore, mysticism and spirituality, coupled with her fine-lined, evocative art."
• Plug: Demencha calls Ed Piskor a Hip Hop Archeologist and more in reference to Hip Hop Famiy Tree. "His classic indie comic composition and narrative ease make the strip readable, informative (who knew Rammelzee went tagging with Basquiat?), and respectful to the art forms and artists it covers," writes J.P. McNamara.
• Review: In an oddly religious review, Mirrors of Christ looks at Eye of the Majestic Creature by Leslie Stein. "Sadly in this story the lyre (guitar) did not participate in the worship of God but in the desire of the flesh."
• Review:Orgasm reviews Sexytime edited by Jacques Boyreau. "…if you want an oversized coffee-book that your guests might enjoying flipping through the pages as you bring refreshments, Sexytime is for you. And hey, it might even get you laid."
• Review:Josh Simmons' story from The Furry Trap, 'Mark of the Bat' is reviewed on Vorptalizer. Seat T. Collins comments, " 'Mark of the Bat' picks and picks and picks at our dovetailed drive for cruelty and need to feel superior to others until the fingernail tears off. It leaves a mark."
• Plug:Comics Workbook enjoys reading The Portable Frank digitally thanks to comiXology.Leah writes, "Woodring’s way of transitioning images between panels (in, ya know, a pretty trippy way) lends itself really well to the panel by panel viewing of the digital reader."
• Plug: Tucker Stone mentions the new issue of The Comics Journal on the Comics Journal, not trying to get to incestuous. "The new issue of the Journal is pretty good; the Tardi interview is great."
• Plug:Textures of Ether looks at Abstract Comics. "Do Abstract Comics artists need to be aware of comics history?…Molotiu’s articles explore the theory behind Abstract Comics and are always interesting to read. They would make a welcome addition to any future AC anthology."
• Review: Nick Gazin checks out Cruisin' with the Hound by Spain Rodriguez on VICE. "Spain's comics always feel lively and real and there's this sense that he was probably too cool to be making comics but somehow he was. You can tell he was for real because he put the most energy into drawing motorcycles and cars and his people always look kinda like they're secondary to their machines. Great book from a great artist and story teller."
• Plug: Musical notation in Peanuts is analyzed on the Hooded Utilitarian. "In this sense, Schulz again collapses into Charlie Brown — locked out of high art virtuosity and romantic opportunities, disappointed in art as in love.…Schulz has, perhaps, found a way to invert Lichtenstein," writes Noah Berlatsky.
• Plug (video): Al Jaffee and Robert Grossman are interviewed on the Imperium about the Harvey Kurtzman retrospective at the Society of Illustrators. Jaffee states, "His concepts were, to us at the time, revolutionary because he was breaking the third or the fourth wall, whatever you want to call it."
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