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Jason Miles's Blog
Description:
laugh child

BETTER LATE: Sandy Egg-O! part five
Written by Jason Miles | Filed under comics industrybehind the scene 20 Mar 2009 2:31 PM

And this is what Comic-Con looks like after all the fans, cartoonists and celebrities have left for home.  Union guys are farting and shouting at us to hurry up and ship out so they can get their drink on. It's a blessed life (I mean that).

This Flog is dedicated to the workers.

Jamie Salomon of Drawn & Quarterly. This guy's taken a bullet for comics.

Alvin Buenaventura of Buenaventura Press puts the finishing touches on pallet.

Tom Devlin and Rebecca Rosen of Drawn & Quarterly pack up while sporting Canadian Plaid. (Please note formula: Northwesterner/Me = Plaid/Flannel Connoisseur)

Excelsior!

BETTER LATE: San Diego 2008! part four
Written by Jason Miles | Filed under Zak SallySome DouchebagNeil GaimanJordan CraneJim WoodringBlake Bell 18 Mar 2009 3:58 PM

Isn't this nice? I think it's foolproof.

Hobo Crane! "Jes' gettin' some joe 'fore hoppin' th' freight." 

Heartthrob's Neil Gaiman (televised) and "Ditko Doyen" Blake Bell.

Action shot of zak Sally as he snears (jealously) at my latest find.

NO!

BETTER LATE: San Die Go 2008! part three
Written by Jason Miles | Filed under Zak SallyJordan CraneJean SchulzJaime HernandezGilbert Hernandez 17 Mar 2009 3:14 PM

L to R: Gilbert Hernandez, Natalia Hernandez & Jaime Hernandez.

Fuck hyperbole. Just fuck it. It doesn't exist when it comes to Gilbert & Jaime Hernandez. Is there any doubt, ANY DOUBT WHATSOEVER, that they are two of the greatest cartoonists? I dare you.

The exquisite and lovely Jean Schulz signs copies of The Complete Peanuts. I've been left astounded, the handful of times I've had the good fortune to chat with Jean Schulz at Comic-Con. She radiates calm just by saying "Hello," and that's saying something considering the din and cacophony of Comic-Con.

 

At his booth, Jordan Crane "takes a call." Look at all that beauitful stuff!

Sammy The Mouse author zak Sally studies his phone. I'm not sure which day it was, but after the show we went to this burrito place for eats. I was in line to order and about every 30 seconds or so I'd hear some form of befuddlement or rage coming from our table and I'd look over to see zak laughing and cursing at his phone like a crazy person. So I took a picture.

There is no reason for a cup to be this large... I have certain dietary restrictions when I'm at Comic-Con... I must eat burritos every night and I insist on drinking pop from a bucket! Free refills!

BETTER LATE: San Diego 2008! part two
Written by Jason Miles | Filed under staffMark ToddKim DeitchJohnny RyanEsther Pearl WatsonBlake Bell 16 Mar 2009 4:56 PM

Fantagraphics Warehouse strongman, Ajax salutes the Comic-Con and my camera. This was the second year Ajax worked Comic-Con and our second year without the riffraff crowd lingering around our booth and shoplifting our shit. Coincidence?

 

The Sultan of Shit, Johnny Ryan at the Buenaventura booth. I just read New Character Parade #2 and laffed alot. You should buy it so you can laff alot too.

Strange & Stranger scribe, Blake Bell mugs for the camera.

The AMAZING Kim Deitch personalizes a copy of Shadowland for a fan. There's not much more I can write about Deitch. He's the greatest! I really enjoyed and strongly recommend the simultaneous reading of Deitch's Pictorama and The Comics Journal #296. Very rewarding.  

Unlovable author-extraordinaire, Esther Pearl Watson and Bad Ass Mark Todd at their booth with a Popple !?

BETTER LATE: San Diego 2008! part one
Written by Jason Miles | Filed under Paul KarasikJordan CraneJim WoodringDan Nadel 13 Mar 2009 4:19 PM

I had a great time at San Diego Comic Con 2008!  I've been going for about 6 years in a row and each new year it swells and festers, expands and quivers like a giant quivering zit.  I love it!  Here are some photos...

 

I really like this photo of Jim Woodring.  Raconteur of Blue Collar Surrealism and Cartoon Mysticism, Jim Woodring is a hero of mine, and has been since I was twelve!  He is a constant source of sage wisdom, a profitable dawning of understanding and articulating human as well as immortal folly; Jim's work continues to alter my experience.

This is the last book I would've imagined finding at Comic-Con.  I highly recommend you find a copy of Kenneth Patchen's The Walking-Away World and Jim's introduction nails it. 

(L to R:  Dan Nadel, Paul Karasik & Jordan Crane)

Like his work, Paul is replete with useful information... it's the kind of information that escapes most folks... and if you don't know what I'm talking about you need to track down a copy of Bad News #2.  I like this photo because it looks like he's giving a lesson.

(L to R:  Jordan Crane, Paul Karasik, Dan Nadel & Jim Woodring)

Isn't this great!?  Maybe it's just me, but I love how impassioned Dan looks, how considerate Paul looks, how mischievous Jordan looks and then there's Jim to the far right, hard at work drawing another PERFECT Frank head.

More to come...

HUMBUG 3/7/09 part six
Written by Jason Miles | Filed under Untagged  6 Mar 2009 2:00 PM

I forgot to mention!

We made HUMBUG buttons for the show !

 

These are available ONLY at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery.

Ok, I'm done.

HUMBUG 3/7/09 part five
Written by Jason Miles | Filed under Humbug 5 Mar 2009 5:00 PM

Your prayers have been answered!

More photos of original HUMBUG art by the likes of Will Elder (gush! gush!), Al Jaffee (get laughy with Jaffee!) and Arnold Roth (makes a mean chicken fat broth!).

The work pictured below will be on display at the Fantagraphics Books this Saturday March 7th to celebrate the release of HUMBUG.

 

The original for Will Elder's "Fake Santa Clauses" from HUMBUG #6, including tissue overlay indicating where to place the spot color.

 

The same without overlay. What you can't see in the photo are the several different pieces of paper glued together making the drawing complete. It wouldn't be altogether inappropriate to call this piece a collage. If I remember right, there's 6 to 8 different pieces of paper fixed together for the drawing alone, not including the lettering and type. 

Note the white paint. I seem to hear a lot of talk about how much or how little a cartoonist uses white paint... implying the less white paint the better... This has always struck me as comics-jock bullshit...  I've even read cartoonists advertise the sale of their original art with sheepish addendum's shamefully stating the use of white paint (and by "white paint" of course I mean white-out or correction fluid, etc.). I'm here to tell you (or you could see the show yourself) that for HUMBUG, Elder & Jaffee (Roth's a different story) used A LOT of white paint and A LOT of different pieces of paper... some of their originals look like they committed cartoon surgery! AND the printed work is neither better nor worse for it! The printed work is fucking awesome! These guys were/are super human talents and it's pretty cool to peak behind the printed process (circa 1955 to 2009) to catch a glimpse of how they made their masterpieces.

 

Here's a detail. Notice the cut line around "Fake Santa Clauses" head...

I had the good fortune to go through A LOT of original art for HUMBUG. Primarily I went through originals for the three aforementioned cartoonists. The most common reoccurring tendency for all three cartoonists, the one thing that unified their craft, was the numerous times they re-drew and pasted on a characters head or face.

 

Here's a detail from a piece by Arnold Roth. Roth's originals are quite a bit different than Elder's and Jaffee's. There's hardly any white paint used for correction. When Roth uses white paint he uses it for effect. Spy the white paint in the hatching surrounding the characters above. But! Time and time again, exhibited in Roth's originals, there are many heads re-drawn and pasted overtop pre-existing work.

 

Detail of Old Blue Eyes by God - Whoops! I mean Will Elder! Check out the new cranium Elder fashioned for Sinatra... Now, I have my theories about all this. It's no secret Harvey Kurtzman was a perfectionist and it's not hard to imagine him asking a cartoonist to change a characters facial expression...

 

... but I had my doubts, simply from the sheer amount of correction and collage found in Elder and Jaffee's work, it's equally not hard to imagine them turning in their pages with re-drawn heads. Going through Arnold Roth's originals however has reaffirmed my hunch that Kurtzman was directing the facial character or "acting" of his fellow cartoonists' work. The only "correction" a Roth HUMBUG original ever exhibits is when he's redrawn a characters head or face, as is the case above with his pin-up of Dave Beck from HUMBUG #1.

 

Tangent Time: Seattleites and Teamsters take note! I can't express how happy I am to have Roth's original, satirical pin-up of Seattle's own Dave Beck hanging in our gallery/bookstore. My Mother's side of the family hails from this neck of the woods and it just so happens they were neighbors of Beck's back in the 50's... right around the time Roth penned this piece. My Mother and Aunt played with Beck's kids as he was being interrogated by Robert F. Kennedy and when he was succeeded as the President of the Teamsters Union by...

 

... Jimmy Hoffa by Arnold Roth with redrawn head from HUMBUG #7.

Parting Note: Astute readers and happy owners of our HUMBUG collection can flip open the first volume to the title page and peep examples where Jack Davis re-drew Karl Malden's face !



HUMBUG 3/7/09 part four
Written by Jason Miles | Filed under Humbug 4 Mar 2009 9:00 AM

Look at this!

LOOK AT IT!

Closer!

CLOSER!    

 (Click on the image above. Seriously. Click it for the detail.)

How did he do this!?!     It's not scratchboard and it's not ink.     Even resident alchemist Ted Jouflas doesn't know how Arnold Roth drew (?) this savage portrait of Mike Wallace from HUMBUG #5. 

 Look at it!     Or don't look at it on the stupid computer.     See the real thing this Saturday March 7th at the Fantagraphics Bookstore in gorgeous Georgetown Washington and help us celebrate the release of HUMBUG our latest pièce de résistance!

HUMBUG 3/7/09 part three
Written by Jason Miles | Filed under Humbug 3 Mar 2009 9:47 AM

 

 

We hope you've enjoyed our continuing photographic preview of but a smidgen of the art & artifacts to be on display at the Fantagraphics Bookstore Saturday March 7th 2009 to commemorate the release of HUMBUG .

HUMBUG 3/7/09 part two
Written by Jason Miles | Filed under Humbug 2 Mar 2009 9:00 AM

Folks lucky enough to make our public preview and book launch for HUMBUG this coming Saturday March 7th, will find themselves audience to the originals of the 2 covers by Arnold Roth & Al Jaffee for our newly published masterpiece.     Behold...

The Arnold Roth originals we got for the show are unbelievable!     Upon first spying them, most folks here at the office didn't think they were original drawings.     They thought they were old stats.     Roth's work is classy, precise and hilarioius.     Sadly, for Roth, I think the full appreciation of his work is still yet to come.     I predict HUMBUG readers will come away smitten with Roth.

 

The above image is of Al Jaffee's original painting for the cover with vellum overlay showing the potential space for title placement and credits.     Early on in one of our editorial meetings, it was decided by Gary Groth (Editor), Adam Grano (Designer) and myself (Assitant Editor) that it'd more exciting to share the magnatude of Jaffee's hypnotic work sans credits.     To my way of thinking, Jaffee is peerless when it comes to his painted work (runner's up include ALL of Jim Woodring's color work and Dan Clowes' cover paintings for EIGHTBALL #17, 18 and the first hardcover edition of GHOST WORLD).     When Jaffee's painting, the decal like result hums flouescence and stikes some harmonic, vaudvillian chord replicated by none!     Jaffee kills me.

HUMBUG Designer Adam Grano evades the camera.


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