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.
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.
The longest, unabridged edition of Online Commentaries & Diversions:
• Review: The Village Voice is almost hospitalized while reading Michael Kupperman's Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 2. "Kupperman heaps absurdity upon absurdity…The result is a jubilant rococo, the strips all thrilling ornamentation…No exaggeration: I coughed hot soup out of my nose while reading the new hardbound volume of deadpan dadaist Michael Kupperman…" states Alan Scherstuhl.
• Review: Comic Book Resources looks at Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 2 by Michael Kupperman. Brian Cronin loves the Moon 69 story. "The devolution of the ads as the story continues might be my favorite part…The second collection of Kupperman’s individual Thrizzle issues JUST came out and it includes [Moon 69]! So go buy it, dammit!"
• Review:Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 2byMichael Kuppermanshines at The AV Club. "Kupperman's work only gets funnier when read in bulk... Kupperman's comics take pre-existing popular culture-TV shows, advertising, other comics-and tweak them just a little until they become hilariously absurd," states Noel Murray.
• Review: Glen Weldon reviews The Comics Journal #302 on New Republic, exclusively the Maurice Sendak interview conducted by Gary Groth. "Why on earth would I want to read 100 pages of caustic carping? Because Sendak is funny. Deeply, passionately so. Read in full, Sendak’s zingers lose their venom and evince a sincere and surprising warmth. He comes off as bitter, but not embittered—a fine distinction, perhaps, but a real one."
• Plug:USA Today's Pop Candy mentions TCJ #302. "This week I've been reading the wonderful (and massive) issue No. 302, which contains a huge Maurice Sendak tribute as well as his final interview"
• Revew: Chris Estey of KEXP writes on some of our new titles like The Comics Journal #302, edited by Gary Groth, Kristy Valenti and Michael Dean. "Probably my favorite single issue magazine of 2013, it is actually a freakily-elevated edition of the long-running only-trustable trade magazine devoted to comics…it gives us a chance to sample the gamut of an ever-evolving and surprisingly inspiring art-form."
• Revew: Chris Estey of KEXP reviews our newest book of music criticism The Grammar of Rockby Alexander Theroux. "Ripping through this hilarious rage on banality and unexpected pleasures I thought, they don’t make writers like this anymore…Drop that boring band biography and fetch this, if only for the mountains of lists of rarely-heard missing gems he has sampled and tasted beforehand for you."
• Review: Pop Matters has to tune into The Grammar of Rock by Alexander Theroux. John L. Murphy writes, "Naturally, the fun of The Grammar of Rock lies in its acerbic prose as well as its aesthetic insight…You’ll either laugh or you won’t. I laughed."
• Review:Washington Independent Review of Books also looks at Alexander Theroux's The Grammar of Rock. "Reading Alexander Theroux’s The Grammar of Rock is like hitching a ride with a suspiciously awake truck driver who talks endlessly for hours…All in all, this book is a very cold love letter," says DJ Randy Cepuch.
• Plug: Wired runs 10 sketches by Janet Hamlin featured in her upcoming book,Sketching Guantanamo. Hamlin remembers sketching Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, "He would turn and pose — a deliberate turn, facing me, holding very steady."
• Review:Julio's Day by Gilbert Hernandez gets reviewed on on The AV Club. "Julio's Day(Fantagraphics) is as much about what's not on the page as what is...Fashions, mores, and technologies change; but desires and disappointments do not," writes Noel Murray.
• Review:Nerds of a Feather give an outstanding rating and review a recent reprint of Jack Jackson's work. Philippe Duhart writes, "Los Tejanos and Lost Cause are the products of serious historical research, and as such they are clear exhibitions of comics' potential as a viable media for academic and journalistic work…I appreciate that Johnson sticks with the perspective of the “losers” -- Juan Seguin's struggles against racism following Texas’ rebellion and Texan Confederates' struggle to regain a sense of honor following the defeat of their cause."
• Review:Fingers on Blast reads Linda Medley's Castle Waiting Vol. 1. "The tales weave their way together seamlessly thanks to Medley's art. There is no simple way to describe it, but to say it draws you ever deeper into the story."
• Revew: Chris Estey of KEXP writes on some of our new titles Peter Bagge's Other Stuffwhich" features Bagge doing some sharp-witted journalism (on comedy festivals, especially) and historical stories…it is an electric, howlingly funny, bona-fide classic mangle of manic music history, prickly satire, and perfectly rendered cartooning."
• Review:Novi Magazine picks apart feminist storytelling in Moto Hagio's The Heart of Thomas. "While Thomas depicts male characters, Hagio codes femininity into every element of the story, with every effort towards drawing in her assumedly female audience…" writes Dan Morrill.
•Review:BookDragon plugs The Heart of Thomas by Moto Hagio. "…it’s certainly proved its lasting effects. Never mind the rockets, sometimes turbulent feelings can take you much, much further…" writes Terry Hong.
• Plug:Comics Forge is looking foward to The Adventures of Jodelle by Guy Peellaert as much as we are! "This was one of the trend setting 1960’s comics that you will see echoed worldwide during that time and when this style of pop art was raging as the most important thing since sex was invented…It looks like it is going to be a beautiful book, like most of the books that Fantagraphics puts out, you can feel the love."
• Review:Scoop covers Buz Sawyer Vol. 2: Sultry's Tiger by Roy Crane in one hell of a history lesson on newspaper and adventure comics. "Buz Sawyer may be the peak of the adventure strip as a genre…Crane’s ability to walk a fine line between hyper-realism while still incorporating an easy to read and understand style places him among the greats in comic history," says Mark Squirek.
• Review:Scoop covers Mort Meskin's Out of the Shadows. "He is so skilled at body language that without reading a single word you can see the kid’s enthusiasm for his grandfather’s story grow across the first three panels,"writes Mark Squirek.
• Interview: Comic Book Resources and Alex Dueben interview Tom Kacyznski about his books. Kacyznski says, "There's an easy willingness to imagine the collapse of everything instead of small changes in the political system that could fix a lot of the problems that we're having. Those kinds of themes interest me."
• Review:Beta Testing the Apocalypse by Tom Kaczynski gets a look-see on B-Sides & Rarities. Elizabeth Simins writes, "Kaczynski’s style involves a pretty dedicated commitment to setting scenes with lyrical descriptions as much as imagery, which is something I associate with the space between “regular” fiction and comics…You should read it."
• Review:Grovel reviews The Hypo by Noah Van Sciver. "It’s a surprising but fascinating insight into the psyche of a man that outsiders would normally assume to be a sort of political superhuman, but Sciver adds depth and soul to the two-dimensional image of the man with half a beard and a top hat," penned Andy Shaw.
• Review:Comic Pusher enjoys their read of Chris Wright's new book: "In Black Lung Wright presents a world of ceaseless violence and pain, his reflectively brutal cartooning interwoven with elegiac prose, with the very syntax of comic storytelling breaking down under the memory and transformative agony of loss and obsession," says Jeffrey O. Gustafson.
• Plug: Jade at D&Q Bookstore digs into Your Vigor for Life Appalls Me by R. Crumb. "The extraordinary title is only matched by the incredible insight into the iconoclast’s mind and the ultra-snazzy portrait of an early Crumb on the cover, sporting a corduroy jacket and tie…A definite must-read for any Crumb fan."
• Review:The Comics Journal digs Black is the Color by Julia Gfrörer. Sean T. Collins writes, "Gfrörer’s most moving comic to date, Black Is the Color eroticizes suffering not to glamorize it, but to endure it."
• Interview: Robin McConnell interviews Julia Gfrörer about her webcomic and soon-to-be-in-print book,Black is the Color on Inkstuds.
• Review: Comics Bulletin loves Charles Forsman's The End of the Fucking World. Geoffrey Lapid writes "Instead of allowing you to step back and look at James and Alyssa through wistful adult hindsight, Forsman's fluid and subdued linework take us right into those moments that you only understand when you're 17 years-old, proudly oblivious and doomed…James and Alyssa feel like real, substantial characters rather than simple broad strokes alluding to a deeper history."
• Interview: Ed Piskor is interviewed by Jackie Mantey for Columbus Alive during his Ohio art residency and on Hip Hop Family Tree. "The purity of intent is something that’s important to me with anything I come across," Piskor believes.
• Interview: Kelli Korducki interviews Jaime Hernandez on behalf of Hazlitt about Love and Rockets. Jaime answers, "I like the way women react to situations. Guys in a certain situation mostly try to keep it cool, keep their cover, keep things in control. With a lot of women I know, you get eight different reactions to a situation."
• Review: Jon Longhi looks at Spain Rodriguez in Having a Book Moment.Cruisin' with the Hound, a recent collection, is "it's all gang fights, hot rods, teenage mayhem and its wonderfully entertaining and beautifully illustrated."
Wednesday is here yet again and we have a new digital release through comiXology just for you. A visionary work of comic art for all-ages: Portable Frank. Readers who haven't discovered Jim Woodring's Frank stories have a colossal treat waiting for them in this all-ages gem collecting the character's greatest adventures.
Frank is a unique, visionary comic, exquisitely drawn and so fully realized that adults and children alike find themselves drawn deeply into Woodring's hallucinatory mindscape. The stories, almost entirely wordless, unravel like a good puzzle, rewarding re-reading, providing an experience as immersive as that first love affair, that first samadhi, or that first breath. Simply put, the world of Frank must be experienced to be understood. For all its mystery, the world of Frank is a simple, delightful, mesmerizig example of world-building at its most fanciful, surely to delight parents and children alike, for only $14.99 at comiXology.
"The ancient myths and folk tales of all cultures which have been preserved for so many centuries have meaning for us today because the fantastic elements in them are rooted in immutable reality. The Frank stories belong to this class of literature." – Francis Ford Coppola
"Jim Woodring may be the most important cartoonist of his generation. The Frank stories are masterpieces, each and every one. Read them. Re-read them. Re-re-read them. Every cell in your body will remember this spellbinding, visionary work." – Scott McCloud
The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund continues to bless objects with Jaime Hernandez's artwork. They have taken his Libby image from the Membership Card seen below (and shirts and hoodies) to make gorgeous limited edition prints. Utilizing the press at Aardvark Letterpress and help from CBLDF Member Store The Secret Headquarters in LA this 11 x 14 inch print is available to people pledging at the DEFENDER Level ($250) and higher.
Here Jaime is approving the design by cartoonist Malachi Ward to accompany his own artwork. Deputy Director Alex Cox states, "Mr. Hernandez was involved in the design process, and as you can see, an enormous amount of love and care went into to getting these prints just right." Visit their site to see how the prints turned out, here's a hint: GOOOOOOOOOLLLLLDDD.
In the wake of 9-11, alleged terrorists were housed on a U.S. military base in Guantanamo, Cuba. While there, these terrorist suspects were confined in "indefinite detention," off the American mainland, unaccountable to the U.S. judicial system, nameless and faceless to the world. At the military trials of Guantanamo, which started in 2006, no photographs were permitted in the courtroom. Only one person was allowed to cover the trials, not with a camera but with her pencils and pastels. Janet Hamlin has been the only sketch artist covering the trials from 2006 to the present, granting the suspects humanity and dignity while allowing the world to see the process through an unapologetic lens.
Sketching Guantanamo is both a collection of her most potent and revealing sketches drawn during this period, as well a chronicle of her experience at Guantanamo.
Fantagraphics publisher Gary Groth states, "Janet's courtroom sketches and commentary comprises a significant moral document, of interest to every citizen who cares about what the United States government is doing in his and her name. Sketching Guantanamo helps bring out of the shadows and into the light of public scrutiny these extra-judicial trials."
Before entering the viewing booth at the back of court, Hamlin is subjected to daily thorough searches, wanding, and metal detecting in three separate checkpoints. All a reader needs to do is open the book to be transported to the infamous base. Hamlin's drawings and accompanying text provide a rare insight into the military courts of Guantanamo; they've appeared on ABC News and Comedy Central's The Daily Show, and were recently featured in The Colbert Report's story on censorship of the trials. With nearly 150 drawings, the book will also include photographs of the surrounding facilities to enhance Hamlin's illustrations and commentary. It also includes a foreward by Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award winner Carol Rosenberg, a member of a reporting team that won a 2001 Pulitzer Prize.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Janet Hamlin graduated with honors from Art Center College of Design and lives in New York. Her clients include Time Warner, Universal Studios, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, IBM, HarperCollins and Associated Press to name a few.
176-page full-color 11" x 8.5" hardcover Cover price: $28.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-691-1 Published by Fantagraphics Books
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