Been meaning to write reviews of things I like but just can't seem to stay on top of it, I can't write as fast as I read, and not enough things that I read engage enough to want to sit down and write about them. But Jacob's Cold Heat post inspired me to mention a few things, real quick-like...
Cold Heat Special by Jon Vermilyea - What Jacob said below. This special issue of the Cold Heat series is way better than any of the other issues, which frankly kind of mystify me (and my pal Dan Nadel's unabashed enthusiasm for it only makes me feel like some kind of lame dilletante for not getting it). But this is just a great comic book by Jon Vermilyea, accessible to just about anyone (and not contigent upon having any familiarity with Cold Heat), and the 16" x 23" silkscreened cover is so fucking attractive that I want to frame it. I'm not sure the art on the inside needed to be this big (11 1/2" x 16" or so), but the treatment is worth it for the cover, and the inside tells a genuinely charming story that would work at any size, and reminded me of some of Jaime Hernandez's or Jordan Crane's more fantastical work. I really liked it. If this had been submitted to me for Mome, I would have jumped for joy upon reading it.
We are truly living in a Golden Age of classic comics strip collections, and as such we're collaborating with CHECKER PUBLISHING (Flash Gordon, Little Nemo, Steve Canyon), DRAWN AND QUARTERLY (Moomin, Oh Skin-nay!, Walt and Skeezix), and IDW (Dick Tracy, Terry and the Pirates) to produce a cool, oversized promotional sampler that comic shops can distribute in November (cover pictured above). This full-color 11" x 17" tabloid showcases some of the very finest Gasoline Alley, Dick Tracy, Krazy Kat, Little Nemo in Slumberland, Steve Canyon, Terry and the Pirates, Dennis the Menace, Flash Gordon, Yellow Kid, Little Orphan Annie, Peanuts and Popeye strips. How can you go wrong?
Designed like an old-time classic newspaper comic strip supplement, Comic Strip Masterpieces will feature superb reproductions, including many stunning full-color Sunday pages! There will also be a "sequel" of sorts to the hugely popular Unseen Peanuts (an annotated spread of Peanuts strips from the upcoming ninth volume of Complete Peanuts that have never been reprinted since their original newspaper release almost 40 years ago), as well as biographical notes on the cartoonists, a checklist of classic comic strip reprints, and more. Reading Comic Strip Masterpieces will be like traveling back in time to an era when comic strips were actually good!
So badger your shop already to stock this! And for those of you unable to get to a comic book store, we're also making a PDF available for download RIGHT HERE. It's a 4.6 MB download, and nowhere near as cool as the actual printed sampler itself, so don't let this electronic version prevent you from getting a physical copy from your favorite retailer. Tell 'em Fantagraphics sent ya!
In Chapter 7 of Mister Wonderful, the action moves out of the cafe while Marshall just tries to hold on for dear life. I hope everyone is reading this strip, it's really been great. It's a slightly different strip for Clowes, and seems perfect for its NYT audience. The main character, Marshall, is already shaping into one of Clowes' most fully realized and endearing characters after a brief seven pages, and the subtle formal play between Marshall's interior monologue, the visual "action" (this week's simple "HA-HA"s hit like brick), and dialogue has been masterful and shows Clowes at the peak of his powers. I feel grateful that we're still only like a third of the way in.
Forbes' annual top-earning deceased celebrities list is out, and once again, Charles M. Schulz is near the top of the list, coming in at #3, behind #1 Elvis Presley and sandwiched between two Beatles (after John, ahead of George). I don't know why this thrills me every year, but it does. I mean, the Beatles and Elvis? Sure. But a shy cartoonist from Minnesota? The mind reels. Schulz really was the Beatles of comics.
There is one conspicuously absent name not on this list: are we to infer that the Beatles aren't the only celebs more popular than Jesus? (Just a little joke, America! Please don't burn our books.)
JOE SACCO Tuesday, November 13, 2007, 7:00 pm $10 ($8 for Walker Members and Rain Taxi subscribers) Walker Art Center 1750 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis
Celebrated cartoonist JOE SACCO visits Minneapolis for a special presentation co-hosted by Rain Taxi Review of Books and the Walker Art Center. Appearing in conjunction with the Walker exhibition Brave New Worlds, Sacco will offer a visual tour of his acclaimed approach to comics journalism, in which he combines the techniques of eyewitness reportage with the medium of graphic storytelling to explore complex, emotionally weighted situations in some of the most conflicted and war-torn regions of the globe.
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