Cartoonist, journalist, designer and lover of all comics! Here to encourage you to read Fantagraphics books and then pass them on to your friends AND family. Especially those Eros ones. Graduate of The Center for Cartoon Studies.
Wilfred Santiago's baseball biography comic is ready to read on the way to your next away game at comiXology. 21: The Story of Roberto Clemente follows Clemente's life from his early days growing up in rural Puerto Rico, the highlights of his career (including the 1960s World Series where he helped the Pirates win its first victory in 33 years, and his 3000th hit in 1972 during the last official at-bat of his life) as well as his private life and public mission off the field.
Named one of Library Journal's Best Books 2011: Graphic Novels, one of Booklist's Top 10 Graphic Novels: 2012 (for 2011 books), one of ALA/YALSA's Great Graphic Novels for Teens 2012, 21 is a great book for teens, adults and baseball fans all around. 179 pages of the struggle and success of a immigrant baseball player achieving the American dream can be yours. Batter up!
"...21: The Story of Roberto Clemente... is drawn with a jagged whimsy that gets at the sudden sharpness of a baseball game's action, the frenzy that comes from out of nowhere to temporarily replace the long, slow stretches of waiting, scratching, spitting and eyeballing opponents that are endemic to the sport…Comic books bring a different kind of narrative that's not possible in any other medium — not books, not movies.'" – Julia Keller, Chicago Tribune
"Santiago evokes the world Clemente lived in, from the dusty Puerto Rican streets where he played baseball with bottle caps and tree branches to his years as a perennial All-Star. The art is scratchy and abstract when it’s dealing with home and homesickness, and then hardens into the stuff of superhero comics whenever Clemente steps to the plate." – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club
BAM, BeerAndMovie Fest, returns for its 4th year in the Portland market. Sponsored exclusively by Ninkasi Brewing and Fantagraphics Books, BAM takes place April 5-11 at the Academy Theater, and April 5-May 2 at the Laurelhurst Theater. Sexy Time editor Jacques Boyreau tells you why you need to be there:
With BAM (BeerAndMovie) in its 4th year, can BAB (BeerAndBook) be far off? Let's hope it ain't! If the alignment design (by Olga Lopata) between Fantagraphics Books and Ninkasi Brewing that adorns our marquee is any omen, expect BAB soon.
Back to BAM...as the info posits, we got some cool movies ready to go. Speaking to the mosh of BAM, what fest has ever existed that so neatly connected ANNIE HALL with THE DUELLISTS (portraits of obsession); or HARD BOILED with PATHS OF GLORY (studies of body counts); or WHERE EAGLES DARE with STARSHIP TROOPERS (paragons of WW2 fetish); or ROAD HOUSE with KELLY'S HEROES (macho magical realism meets feminine absurdity). Yes it is so---BAM occupies the most potentially integrated, schizoidal zone of Pop Rep Cinema known to man or venue...Zoinx! All you need do is recall that in our first year we paired BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA with ADVENTURES IN BABYSITTING.
The Academy series comprises 4 titles showing every day, April 5-11: ANNIE HALL (1977), STARSHIP TROOPERS (1997), ROAD HOUSE (1989), and HARD BOILED (1992). All Academy titles are on 35mm film.
The Laurelhurst series runs 4 consecutive weeks, with each title playing for the whole week: April 5-11 WHERE EAGLES DARE (1968), April 12-18 PATHS OF GLORY (1957), April 19-25 KELLY'S HEROES(1970), April 26-May 2 THE DUELLISTS (1977). All Laurelhurst titles are digital prints.
So sit your butts in some seats for sweet films and win some Fantagraphics books while you're there! Brew Views says "it’s still a great excuse to gather with a group of friends, the Swayze and some giant bugs for a beer—or six." There's even an art contest called "Interpreting Patrick Swayze" going on during the fest. Wanna draw the Swaze? You can turn in your art in the theater during any show or email it directly to
. Here are some of early entries:
Tim Colley captures the Road House homoeroticism between Swayze's "Dalton" character and the mysteriously named "Jimmy" (played by Marshall R. Teague).
Tim Colley channels The Swayze in sensitive black and white.
Colley goes "meta" with this Swayze-as-tat piece.
Academy Theater 7818 SE Stark Street Portland, OR 97215 503.252.0500
Laurelhurst Theater 2735 East Burnside Street Portland, OR 97214 503.232.5511
The Year of Gilbert Hernandez begins with a bang with Julio's Day, now available via comiXology. Or truth be told it begins in the year 1900, with the scream of a newborn. It ends, 100 pages later, in the year 2000, with the death rattle of a 100-year-old man. The infant and the old man are both Julio, and Julio's Day (originally serialized in Love and Rockets Vol. II but never completed until now) is Hernandez's latest graphic novel, a masterpiece of elliptical, emotional storytelling that traces one life - indeed, one century in a human life - through a series of carefully crafted, consistently surprising and enthralling vignettes.
This singular, standalone story released this week both digitally and in print will help cement Gilbert Hernandez's position as one of the strongest and most original cartoonists of this, or any other, century. And you can read it anyway via your tablets thanks to comiXology.
"A haunting performance and about as perfect a literary work as I've read in years. Hernandez accomplishes in 100 pages what most novelists only dream of — rendering the closeted phlegmatic Julio in all his confounding complexity and in the process creating an unflinching biography of a community, a country and a century. A masterpiece." – Junot Díaz
This week's comic shop shipment is slated to include the following new titles. Read on to see what comics-blog commentators and web-savvy comic shops are saying about them (more to be added as they appear), check out our previews at the links, and contact your local shop to confirm availability.
104-page black & white 7.5" x 10.75" hardcover • $19.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-606-5
"This is the second major book for Gilbert Hernandez in what may be seen as his year, a changes-the-way-you-view-it collection of a recent… serial…Gilbert Hernandez can do it all." –Tom Spurgeon, Comics Reporter
164-page full-color 10.25" x 13.25" hardcover • $45.00 ISBN: 978-1-60699-530-3
"Guy Peellaert was to Europe what Andy Warhol was to America — except Guy had more talent!" – Jim Steranko
"Lusciously designed flat color patterns and a dizzying forced perspective reminiscent of Matisse and Japanese prints. Graphically, Jodelle sets a new record in comic-strip sophistication." – New York magazine
344-page black & white 8.5" x 7" hardcover • $28.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-634-8
"the time period when Schulz moved into three-panel dailies on a more regular basis. It comes in the second half of the book, and it's jarring at first -- you realize just how much of Peanuts' unique energy came from Schulz's ability to shape his characters' dialogue through silences, false starts and awkward points of discussion." –Tom Spurgeon, Comics Reporter
Just a cool note that some of our artists' work has been appearing onThe Colbert Report and The Daily Show. It's friggin' awesome because you (dear reader) have been with us for a long time, supporting the likes of Tony Millionaire or our political comics, this is Janet Hamlin's first book with us, and now they are showing up on your computer monitors or TVs or Google glass. Above, Steve Colbert ran a picture of Tony Millionaire's cover to the classic Moby Dick. Below is a clip of Jon Stewart on The Daily Show discussing Guantanamo Bay detainee, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and his reaction to courtroom sketch of himself by Hamlin. Hamlin was the only media allowed to visually document the trials from 2006-early 2013.
Janet Hamlin's work also appeared on The Colbert Report last month in a piece on censorship of the Guantanamo Bay courtroom trials with Stephen Colbert. You can pre-order her book Sketching Guantanamo from us today. Enjoy the twisted system that is American justice in action.
The coldest shrimp cocktail of Online Commentaries & Diversions:
• Interview: Alex Dueben of Comic Book Resources interviews editor Greg Sadowski about Messages in a Bottle: Comic Book Stories by B. Krigstein and about Basil Wolverton. "When I was putting together the first Krigstein books, Marie [Severin] was still actively working, so it made sense to hire her to do the coloring. Krigstein mentioned that she was his favorite colorist, so it was a decision I felt he would have approved of. I thought it would be a nice tribute to them both to encourage Marie to take her time and really give Krigstein's work the thought it deserved, and boy did she deliver," says Sadwoski.
• Plug: iFanboy writes on The Adventures of Jodelle by Guy Peellaert. "Drawn in pop-art style, Jodelle was one of the early comic shots fired in sexual revolution of the 1960s; thoroughly modern and wholly…The story itself is still a hoot, but the essay – which places the story in its fascinating historical context – is what makes The Adventures of Jodelle a must-buy," states Josh Christie.
• Interview:Mobile Reviews asks Stephen Dixon of the novel His Wife Leaves Him why does he write. Part of Dixon's great answer, "I never answer it or even try to. It can only hurt my writing. And if I didn’t write, what would I do?"
Fantagraphics is proud to announce Spacehawk, the whole space shebang by Basil Wolverton is available for digital delight on comiXology. Spacehawk had but one mission in life: to protect the innocent throughout the Solar System, and to punish the guilty. Every story from Spacehawk’s intergalactic debut in 1940 to his final, Nazi-crushing adventure in 1942.
Basil Wolverton is one of the greatest, most idiosyncratic talents in comic book history. Though he is best known for his humorous grotesqueries in MAD magazine, it is his science-fiction character Spacehawk that Wolverton fans have most often demanded be collected. While Spacehawk is the closest thing to a colorfully-costumed, conventional action hero Wolverton ever created, the strip is infused with Wolverton’s quintessential weirdness: controlled, organic artwork of strangely repulsive aliens and monsters and bizarre planets, and stories of gruesome retribution that bring to mind Wolverton’s peer, Fletcher Hanks. Spacehawk had no secret identity, no fixed base of operations beyond his spaceship, and no sidekicks or love interests. Only his mission. Your mission is to read this book!
"What you read [Spacehawk] for is the character design, that amazing Wolverton grotesque that is as unmistakable as it is unforgettable. I mean to say, this guy could really draw monsters [in this] weighty tome that almost strobes with awesome." -Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing
"Basil Wolverton rises to the occasion and gives the reader a detailed and hilarious look at megalomania while throwing in some fantastic aerial fight scenes…Fantagraphics Publishing brings Wolverton’s art to the reader in as detailed and perfect a form as possible. Each wave of space, every geometric shape and all the incredibly ugly aliens look better than they ever have in their entire lives." –Mark Squirek, New York Journal of Books
The tallest seedlings of Online Commentaries & Diversions:
• Review:ForeWord looks at Dash Shaw's New School. "Like its predecessors, New School is unlike everything else out there.…It’s a startling, yet aptly mundane vision of one man’s future, made all the more believable by Shaw’s expressive, cartoony drawings and generally solid scripting…ultimately, it’s an entertaining and thoughtful graphic novel," writes Bill Baker.
• Review:Paraphilia Magazine covers the two Malcolm McNeill books about his collaborations with William S. Burroughs. "Observed While Falling is an invaluable addition to the library of any Burroughs fan…Having shed light on a previously dark corner of the Burroughs legacy, will hopefully provide vital research material for critical analysis of this gravely neglected work produced during a largely overlooked period in his career," writes Edward S. Robinson. The Lost Art of Ah Pook enchants, "Mc Neill’s images – they’re more than mere illustrations – are rich, complex, and often very strange indeed. Disturbed and disturbing…Mc Neill’s large-form images are remarkable works of art…throughout the quality of Mc Neill’s draftsmanship is of a rare standard."
• Review:Comics Worth Reading recommends Pogo Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 by Walt Kelly. "These upscale volumes collecting the classic Pogo comic strip are archival quality, beautifully reproduced and a pleasure to look upon…Pogo is well-loved for a reason. The strips are beautifully drawn and keenly observent of human nature."
• Interview (audio):Janet Hamlin is interviewed by Anna Maria Tremonti on CBC Radio show, The Current, about working on Sketching Guantanamo and being at the courtroom trials. "What I'm working on that day is determined by whatever activity is in court…"
• Review (audio): Brian Heater is a guest on Bullseye with Jesse Thorn and brings up Peter Bagge's Other Stuff. Heater gabs, "…the iconic underground cartoonist of the 90s, anything depicted a slacker or the grunge era was probably by Bagge. Other Stuff has an overly cartoony look that is nicely juxtaposed by true-to-life stories…"
• Interview (video):Ed Piskor is interviewed by Jared Gardner during his Columbus Museum of Art Residency and speaks on his life through comics and Hip Hop Family Tree. "I grew up in just a hip hop environment, my house was the nucleus between three parks in town you could go to any given one and see some hip hop going on, rudimentary stuff …a few slabs of linoleum and a boombox," answered Piskor.
• Review:ConSequential reviewed The Hypo by Noah Van Sciver recently. "Van Sciver’s depiction is sufficiently sympathetic as to make the reader really root for him as he struggles against rival suitors, Mary’s family and his own anxious temperament. …the fact that it’s endearing, engaging and an all-round good read should make it your kind of thing as well," writes Lucy Boyes.
• Plug:Our Man in Boston profiles David Wojnarowicz and 7 Miles a Second. "Artists James Romberger and Marguerite Van Cook vividly depict David Wojnarowicz’s life and struggles in a much improved edition…" says Robert Birnbaum.
• Review:Grovel reads Beta Testing the Apocalypse by Tom Kaczynski. "Anyone that likes the exploration of ideas, particularly the relationship between humanity, geography, architecture and technology, might get a kick out of reading something different, especially presented in such an unusual form," writes Andy Shaw.
•Review:MetroPulse checks out the EC Library Comics from Wallace Wood and Harvey Kurtzman. "EC had no fear of getting political, long before comics 'grew up.'…Fantagraphics’ EC Comics Library is a must-own for anyone who considers themselves a serious comics fan."Corpse on the Imjin! is "Thoroughly researched and meticulously detailed, Kurtzman’s stories are grim stuff in an era when most Americans believed their country could do no wrong… Grade-school boys reading these dark tales at the time must have had their minds completely blown." Meanwhile, Wally Wood's Came the Dawn! "The tales here are mostly crowd-pleasers with the sort of twist endings that would later become a Twilight Zone trademark."
• Review:Everything is an Afterthought by Kevin Avery is examined in Caught by the River. Andy Childs says, "it becomes apparent that when the history of rock’n'roll is ever written as it should be then he, Nelson, will take his place as a pivotal and hugely influential figure…Kevin Avery does a masterly job in re-constructing Paul Nelson’s reputation and after the enthusiastic critique in the first half of the book the examples of his work in the second half do not disappoint at all."
"…best known for his stories for the legendary EC Comics—8 of which are included here—Krigstein also produced remarkable work…in genres ranging from crime and horror to war and westerns.… Although Krigstein was a masterful illustrator…capable of varying his style to suit the demands of the story, his genius lay in how he broke down the scripts, using multiple, subdivided panels to audaciously manipulate time.…Krigstein’s thoughtful, intelligent approach to telling a story should be an eye-opener to readers of today’s mainstream comic books, which increasingly rely on huge panels filled with vacuous excitement and overblown rendering."
The creator of the acclaimed graphic novels Bottomless Belly Button and Bodyworld hits the road in support of his new graphic novel, New School, as well as the one-shot comic book, 3 New Stories. At each location, Dash Shaw will be signing copies of his new books before their wide release, often with a gallery full of original artwork and presentations of his animation works (including the Sigur Rós video, "Seraph"). New School is a full-color, classic coming-of-age story that encapsulates the current generation, both trapped and enthralled by pop culture. Shaw dramatizes the story two brothers, one moving to an exotic country where an ambitious new amusement park recreates historical events and the younger one who goes to find his brother after years of little contact. New School is unlike anything in the history of the comics medium: at once funny and deadly serious, easily readable while wildly artistic, personal and political, familiar and completely new.
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