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.
Back in 1984, a punked-out Ulli Lust set out for a wild hitchhiking trip across Italy, from Naples through Verona and Rome and ending up in Sicily. Twenty-five years later, this talented Austrian cartoonist has looked back at that tumultuous summer and delivered a long, dense, sensitive, and minutely observed autobiographical masterpiece.
"the book ripples with exuberance:…Lust’s pen-and-ink work (augmented by the pale green tint of European paperbacks) depicts the stretched and crimped features of the people from whom she bummed change, the architecture of St. Peter’s Basilica and the chaos of a Clash concert with equally manic panache, and her line is as seemingly unkempt but as deliberately molded as her younger self’s punk-rock shock of hair." –Douglas Wolk, The NY Times
We are very excited to reveal the cover for a book that will shake you silly while laughing in your face: In Case We Die by Danny Bland. This debut novel by the veteran Seattle musician follows a pair of outsiders who find themselves locked in the palpable, dizzy grunge-rock scene of early-'90s Seattle. Read this book on your daily commute, coffee shop, in line to a rock show, just not the library because you will choke on your own loud laughter and squeeze out a tear if your ducts are in working order.
"Ours is a story written on hotel room walls with fifty cent words" states the dedication to this story of falling in and out of love and life. Right now Danny is is most likely in a Ford Econoline van on a long stretch of highway, driving a rock band to its next engagement, but we can't wait for him to tour the states reading to you from In Case We Die. More sneak peeks are ready for you to inject soon, more information at the In Case We Die website and you can pre-order the book from us today.
It's Tuesday, you're reeling from a weekend of bombed-out emoting and drinking and maybe some excellent decision making! We have a few friends with some sweet artwork based on our cartoonists' work. Steve Desiena has a Jungle Princess by Michael Kupperman. Check out her hilarious adventures in Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 2.
Meanwhile, Geoff Henao has a Jason tattoo. Get ready for the newest Jason book, Lost Cat, coming outin July.
Charles Forsman, cartoonist of the upcoming The End of the Fucking World and Celebrated Summer, has a sweet summer gift just for you. The first 50 people who preorder The End of the Fucking World from the Fantagraphics website will receive a risograph print of the poster above (drawn and printed by Forsman himself!). There's even a penciled signature. I got mine on the wall already but that's because I preordered and pulled a string or two. So pull your own string by buying this soon-to-be-hit book!
Praise for the mini-comic series:
"This is a crime comic disguised as a slacker-road-trip comic, and Forsman delivers its methodical hum eight pages at a time with an astounding precision." – Comic Book Resources
"[TEOTFW] pulls you in like no other comic this year. Stunning in its simplicity and brave in its subject matter." – MTV.com
Last night the 25th Lambda Literary Awards were presented and Justin Hall received one for No Straight Lines in the LGBT Anthology category. Congratulations to Justin and all the contributors to this amazing anthology that showcases four decades of queer comics, a historical tome of first person documentation and literary comics! No Straight Lines is ALSO up for an Eisner Award in Best Anthology. The hardcover version of the anthology sold out very quick last year but fear not, we have a softcover coming out in a few months. Browse a 34-page PDF excerpt and pre-order your copy right here. Can't wait? Buy a digital version of the book today at the comiXology website!
Pull up a stool to our entry in Hazradfactory's famous Power Tool Races at the Georgetown Carnival this Saturday. The Fantagraphics Bar Car blends Pina Coladas while leisurely tooling down the track. (The resulting cocktails will be served to race officials following each run.) Inspired by the mid-century motifs of Shag, Fantagraphics Bookstore's annual entry is going for cool, not speed. Come watch us win.
The Power Tool Races commence at noon and continue all afternoon, concluding with a delirious demolition derby. Enjoy an afternoon of free entertainment including acrobats, aerialists, brass bands, tall bikes, belly dancers, stiltwalkers, fortune tellers, burlesque acts, beer gardens, drag shows, interactive art, carnival games, and 17 bands on 4 stages (featuring Bonneville Power and Tom Price Desert Classic with Fantagraphics own Martin Bland.) Noon to 8:00 PM in Seattle's festive Georgetown arts community.
Anders Nilsen wrote a beautiful and thorough post on his process for creating The End in addition to where some of the disparate parts were printed and many of the outtakes.
"It can be a bear keeping everything flowing just right - balancing the rhythm and content of the individual pieces with chronology while also keeping two-page spreads on even/odd pages... Keeping all this straight can be a little crazy-making."
The fastest hot-to-trot release of online Commentaries & Diversions:
• Review:Good Dog has it this week. Graham Chaffee's return to comics gets a starred review from Publishers Weekly. "Chaffees’s art is both lyrical and dramatic when it needs to be, mixing Craig Thompson and Gilbert Hernandez. As with White Fang and Black Beauty, Chaffee goes inside the psychology of animals without over sentimentalizing and shows why the human/pet relationship is so precious for both sides."
• Review: Diamond Scoop is all over Wake Up, Percy Gloom by Cathy Malkasian. "Malkasian fills the story with multiple levels, never once making any of them obvious. Her experience as an animator shines through as her pencil and panel construction holds an incredible sense of movement inside a graphic novel format.…More than a fable, Percy Gloom is part of story telling myth that can be traced back to campfires around a cave. This is an inspiring work that speaks to all levels of our existence."
• Review: Bob Temuka of the Tearoom of Despair checks out Peter Bagge's Other Stuff. "This book is excellent… the looser Bagge's stuff gets, the better. Other Stuff is funnier than [Everybody Is Stupid Except For Me], even if there is that same sociological satire, because it has Bagge people wigging the fuck out, and nuthin' is funnier than that.."
• Review: Shawn Starr of The Chemical Box reviews 3 New Stories by Dash Shaw. "3 New Stories is a comic which explores the juxtaposition and superimposition of images within the structure of text/drawing based comics (a.k.a. traditional comics) as a means of underlining the thematic nature of it's stories.…Shaw codes the pages of '3 New Stories' with layers of visual subtext that work as an interesting color palette and also through their existence as “images”, create additional layers of meaning to each page and the narrative as a whole."
• Review: Bill Boichel from Copacetic Comics enjoys New School by Dash Shaw. "This purposeful leveling of the high/low, fine/popular distinction in the arts has a specific aim in reinforcing the "message" encoded within the narrative. The basics of the story we are given in New School are about as old school as you can get, centering on two brothers, each sent by their father on a quest to a faraway land. The brothers, Daniel and Luke, are each given names with strong biblical associations. The latter, however, additionally references the modern mythology of Star Wars. This dual reference serves as a key opening the door to New School's narrative strategy."
• Review: IndieWire has a suggestion for you in regards to Micky Mouse Color Sundays by Floyd Gottfredson (edited by Groth and David Gerstein). Jerry Beck writes, "Leave it to Gerstein, with co-editor Gary Groth and the team at Fantagraphics, to reprint these rare strips with the greatest of care. The reproduction of the line art is superb, the coloring is vivid and faithful to the original newspaper printings … stop what you are doing and order this book today. 280 pages of absolute joy."
• Review: KC Carlson of Comics Worth Reading read and weeps (from laughter) in the latest Carl Barks collection, Donald Duck: The Old Castle's Secret. "I read it as a child. Yet I remember clearly every detail about it. Such is the power of Carl Barks’ work. His storytelling is designed to appeal to youngsters as well as folk who are as old as Scrooge.…I laughed so hard that I had to put the book down for a couple of minutes. Sharp-eyed readers should also pay attention to other jokes hidden in what Donald is reading in other stories throughout the book."
• Interview (audio): Associate Publisher Eric Reynolds and co-editor, Philip Nel, talk Crockett Johnson, Barnaby and Ruth Kruss on Inkstuds with Robin McConnell.
• Review:Comics Grinder makes some new meat with Beta Testing the Apocalypse by Tom Kacynski. "Kaczynski’s humor is, at times, acerbic, with an attitude…Read as a whole, the author’s vision comes through as heart-felt, witty, and maybe even, perhaps, genuinely concerned…Architecture is seen as a possible solution to the many ills of one struggling nation," writes Henry Chamberlain.
• Review:The Austin Chronicle weighs The Adventure of Jodelle by Guy Peellaert. Shannon McCormick writes, "Christ, this thing is gorgeous…Like his American Pop Art idols and comrades, Peellaert’s work smashed distinctions between "high" and ‘low’ modes of art, drawing from the visual language of advertising, cinema, fashion, and youth culture, as well as classical and neo-classical sculpture and architecture."
• Review: Stuff I Read This Week and the Darling Dork revisit Maggie the Mechanicby Jaime Hernandez. "A large part of the fun of Love and Rockets is seeing how the Herndandezes grew and developed as creators, with experimentation giving way to clarity of vision…You can look at these characters and still recognize them perfectly well, only sans several decades of growth…there’s still plenty of greatness to be found here."
• Interview (audio): Gilbert Hernandez talks about kids' comics, Love and Rockets, plus D&Q's Marble Season on The Dinner Party.
• Plug (video): Staffer Jen Vaughn speaks very briefly on working for Fantagraphics and comics at TCAF on Comics Bulletin (I apologize for speaking in 3rd person)
Good Dog marks the welcome return of alternative cartoonist Graham Chaffee, one that comiXology has made available digitally the same day as the book is out in print! Ivan, who is plagued by terrible nightmares about chickens and rabbits, is a good dog — if only someone would notice. Chaffee combines illustrative gravitas with cartooning verve for a richly textured, dog’s-eye view of the world. Preteen-and-up dog fanciers, especially, will warm to the well-meaning Ivan and his exploits with a motley assortment of Scotties, Bulldogs, and mutts. Chaffee combines illustrative gravitas with cartooning verve and creates a richly textured, dog’s-eye view of the world. The story is a rousing Jack London-esque adventure as well as a moral parable. Available for only $12.99 on comiXology.
"Getting into the mind of a dog -- that's a real trick. I know, I've tried. Getting into the whole heart and soul of a dog is another whole feat. Graham Chaffee not only does it with aplomb (he draws GREAT dogs), he gets into the whole dog's life -- and so should you." -- Nick Abadzis
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.
96-page black & white 8.25" x 10.25" hardcover • $16.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-653-9
"hardcover parable for all ages (CONTAINS LIGHT CUSSING), concerning a stray dog who navigates the concept of - yes - goodness" –Joe McCulloch, The Comics Journal
"I got choked up a couple of times which is the one of the best things a comic can do to me. Compliments to Mr. Graham Chaffee. Really solid storytelling and excellent art. Reminiscent the best way of Jack London's The Call of the Wild." – Farel Dalrymple (Pop Gun War)
168-page full-color 11.75" x 9.25" softcover • $35.00 ISBN: 978-1-60699-617-1
"Deitch achieves what only the greatest cartoonist can — a deep spiritual resonance with minimal representation. The Deitch covers are thrilling for their quiet beauty. [...] This is a terrific rediscovery of a forgotten giant of a small world." – New York Press
"In the spirit of cats & dogs living together, Fanta also has a new softcover edition of The Cat on a Hot Thin Groove, a 2003 compilation of Gene Deitch's mid-century covers and cartoons for Record Changer magazine; $35.00. Hipsters!" -Joe McCulloch, The Comics Reporter
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