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Jen Vaughn's Blog
Description:
Cartoonist, journalist 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.

The End of the Fucking World Limited Edition Risograph
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Chuck Forsmanart 4 Jun 2013 12:39 PM

Forsman Risograph

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!

The End of the Fucking World book cover

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

 

No Straight Lines wins Lambda Literary Award for Best LGBT Anthology
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Justin Hallawards 4 Jun 2013 10:22 AM

No Straight Lines

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!

Lambda Literary Awards

Behold the Fantagraphics' Bar Car!
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under staffFantagraphics Bookstoreevents 3 Jun 2013 4:33 PM

 Bar_Car

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 ShagFantagraphics Bookstore's annual entry is going for cool, not speed. Come watch us win.

Power_Tool_Crowd
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. 

Behold the Fantagraphics' Bar Car
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Untagged  3 Jun 2013 3:32 PM

 Bar_Car

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 ShagFantagraphics Bookstore's annual entry is going for cool, not speed. Come watch us win.

Power_Tool_CrowdThe 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 process for The End
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under artAnders Nilsen 3 Jun 2013 1:52 PM

The End

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 End process

Pretty, pretty, pretty.

Daily OCD 5.30.13
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Tom KaczynskiPeter BaggeMichael KuppermanLove and RocketsJohn BensonJaime HernandezGuy PeellaertGreg SadowskiGraham ChaffeeGilbert HernandezFloyd GottfredsonEric ReynoldsDisneyDash ShawCrockett JohnsonCathy MalkasianCarl BarksBarnaby 30 May 2013 5:23 PM

The fastest hot-to-trot release of online Commentaries & Diversions:

Good Dog

• 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."

Wake Up, Percy Gloom

• 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."

Bagge's Other Stuff

• 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.."

3 New Stories  New School

• 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."

Mickey Mouse Color Sundays

• 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."

Donald Duck: The Old Castle's Secret

• 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."

Barnaby

• Interview (audio): Associate Publisher Eric Reynolds and co-editor, Philip Nel, talk Crockett Johnson, Barnaby and Ruth Kruss on Inkstuds with Robin McConnell.

Beta Testing the Apocalypse

• 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.

The Adventures of Jodelle

• 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."

Four Color Fear

• Review: Bob Temuka of the Tearoom of Despair checks out Four Color Fear edited by John Benson and Greg Sadowksi. "The flashes of genius amongst the gore in these comics can be breathtaking, and there is still plenty of creepy fun with the rest." While sold out in print (currently), you can still read this digitally via comiXology.

Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 2

• Plug: Excellent photos from Michael Kupperman's reading and signing for Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 2 with Lisa Hanawalt at the Drawn and Quarterly Bookstore.

Maggie the Mechanic

• Review: Stuff I Read This Week and the Darling Dork revisit Maggie the Mechanic by 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 sits, rolls over and speaks at comiXology
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Graham Chaffeedigital comicscomiXology 29 May 2013 2:38 PM

Good Dog

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.

Good Dog

Also available is a free short mini-comic about Ivan's pal, Kirby!

Bad Dog

"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 

New Comics Day 5.29.13
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under New Comics DayGraham ChaffeeGene Deitch 28 May 2013 6:49 PM

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.

Good Dog

Good Dog by Graham Chaffee

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)

Cat on a Hot Thin Groove

The Cat on a Hot Thin Groove (Softcover Ed.)
by Gene Deitch

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


Frank Thorne Art Show in New Jersey
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Things to seeFrank Thorneart showsart 28 May 2013 4:00 PM

Frank Thorne

The king of erotic, creator of Lann, Ghita of Alizar, Moonshine McJuggs (Playboy), plus The Iron Devil and Devil's Angel is having an art show in New Jersey. Frank Thorne, all of 82 years, graciously invites you to see his new mixed media and pantings this Sunday, June 2nd from 2 to 5pm at the deCret School of the Arts. From the press release:

Thorne began his comics career in 1948, penciling romance comics for Standard Comics. He turned out a multitude of stories for Flash Gordon, Jungle Jim, The Green Hornet, and many more. For Marvel, he continued the Red Sonia character through most of her 1977-79 solo series, where he established her characteristic image as a ferocious and beautiful female barbarian wearing a chain mail bikini, which later became a popular fantasy literature archetype. Free admission, parking in the back. For more information contact Mark Romanoski

So come one, come all to see the latest Frank Thorne work at the deCret School of the Arts (1030 Central Ave, Plainfield NJ) this Sunday!

Daily OCD 5/24/13
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Ulli LustSteven WeissmanPeter BaggeMatthias WivelLove and RocketsKim ThompsonJulia GfrörerJohnny RyanJasonJames RombergerJaime HernandezJacques BoyreauJack DavisGuy PeellaertGilbert HernandezFloyd GottfredsonEd PiskorEC ComicsDrew FriedmanDisneyDavid WojnarowiczDash ShawDaily OCDChuck ForsmanAnders NilsenAl WilliamsonAl Feldstein 24 May 2013 12:30 PM

The coldest Dip'n'Dots of Online Commentaries & Marketing: 

Peter Bagge's Other Stuff

• Interview: Comic Book Resources and Alex Dueben interview Peter Bagge about Other Stuff and his favorite collaborations in the book, "The earliest one in the book, "Life in These United States," didn't come out looking at all like I had envisioned it…what Clowes did with it was truly remarkable. Also, Gilbert [Hernandez] radically changed the faces, ages and even genders of almost everyone in the "Me" strip. That threw me for a loop! Though it didn't negatively impact the story in the slightest."

• Review: The A.V. Club looks at Peter Bagge's Other Stuff. "Other Stuff also brings together strips Bagge has written about rock icons, along with a few cartoon essays, and strips featuring his characters Lovey and The Leeways, who respectively represent hipster adventurism and dogged domesticity. It’s a full picture of who Bagge has been as an artist and humorist over the past 20 years, and as such is as valuable for newcomers as fans…" writes Noel Murray.

• Interview: Peter Bagge is interviewed on Societe Perrier by Christian J Petersen on comics, Seattle and growing up clever. "Did your parents encourage your creativity? No, though they didn't discourage it. They were drunk."

The Adventures of Jodelle

• Review: The Quietus looks at The Adventures of Jodelle by Guy Peellaert and Pierre Bartier. Aug Stone writes, "Jodelle is fantastic in every sense of the word, filled with in-jokes and time-defying references, nudity and sex (not always coinciding), exaggerated violence, but most importantly a sense of pushing the edges of possibility…The original Pop Art comic and one of the first ‘adult comics’ (released a year after Barbarella by same publisher Eric Losfeld), Jodelle is an artistic tour de force."

• Review: Bookgasm looks at The Adventures of Jodelle by Guy Peellaert. "…let the fleshy neon visuals explode into your eyeballs.…It won’t have the same impact today, as many of its visual ideas have been appropriated and subverted into the mainstream culture, but as both a time capsule of its era and as a visually stunning romp, it remains a unique experience that should certainly be at least sampled by any adventurous modern reader of comics. Playfully provocative, funny and smart, THE ADVENTURES OF JODELLE pops with a soft-lined splash of lurid color," writes JT Lindroos.

• Review: It's Nice That and look at The Adventures of Jodelle. "Peellaert was every bit the master of his craft and with enviable vision and flair managed to transform a previously safe medium into something exciting and dangerous…It’s intoxicating stuff!" exclaims James Cartwright.

• Plug: Russ Meyer and Juxtapoz plug The Adventures of Jodelle.
Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life

• Interview: Robin McConnell of Inkstuds interviews THE Ulli Lust, cartoonist of Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life.

Sexytime

• Review: Mr. Media looks at Sexytime and interviews editor Jacques Boyreau

Hip Hop Family Tree

• Interview: HeroesOnline and Seth Peagler interview Ed Piskor about comics, music and Hip Hop Family Tree. Piskor states, "There were some interesting things to look at while writing the book. It’s necessary to know the political/economic climate at the time. The fine art scene plays an integral role in the development of early Hip Hop as well, which many people might not know. If it wasn’t for the downtown scene gravitating toward graffiti culture it could have all died out in the early 80s."

Love and Rockets: New Stories #5 Julio's Day

• Review: I Reads You reads Love and Rockets: New Stories #5 by Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez. Leroy Douresseaux writes, "This publishing format is designed to appeal to the people who decide what will make the shelves of bookstores.…this is another volume of New Stories which proves that Love and Rockets is as strong as ever and is ready for 30 more great years."

• Review: Kotaku's roundtable discuss what they did and didn't like about Julio's Day by Gilbert Hernandez. Evan Narcisse posits "I did like how the family lived on the fringes of the 20th Century. It reminded me A LOT of Gabriel Garcia Marquez' 100 Years of Solitude. The weird almost-incest, characters with the same names and weird proclivities, home-as-a-black-hole-you-can't-escape, the outside world as an exotic dangerous place, nature as this karmic equalizer …"

7 Miles a Second

• Interview: Nicole Rudick of The Comics Journal interviews James Romberger and Marguerite Van Cook about 7 Miles A Second and their creative life together. James mentions, "…it is about empathy, the only thing we have that allows us to touch each other. So if there’s anything positive to be taken out of the book, it’s that we should be working toward a more empathetic experience while we’re on the planet."

EC Comics

• Review: Comic Book Resources looks at 50 Girls 50 by Al Williamson. "It’s interesting seeing how different some of the artwork is – Williamson liked science fiction, apparently, and was occasionally bored with the other stories William Gaines or Al Feldstein gave him, but there’s no story here that doesn’t at least offer something sublime…Fantagraphics has done a really nice job bringing a lot of the 1940s/1950s stuff back into print, and if they keep picking such cool stuff like this, I’ll just have to keep buying it!" exclaims Greg Burgas.

• Review: Spectrum Culture looks at 'Tain't the Meat by Jack Davis. "Davis was a phenomenal draftsman whose dynamic line work could imbue even static scenes with restless energy, and whose clean but detailed layouts could bring to life queasiness-inducing tableaux of rotting corpses and piled intestines…Al Feldstein and Carl Wessler wrote the lion’s share of these tales and had a knack for mixing cruel irony and creeping dread.…EC has been gone for decades now, but volumes like this help ensure that its influence won’t be forgotten." writes David Maine.
 
New School

• Review: The Portland Mercury on Dash Shaw's New School. "The experience of reading New School is like temporarily inhabiting the body and brain of an artist: This is what growing up might feel like for someone who lives and breathes colors and shapes," writes Allison Hallett. "It's heady, hallucinatory, and bizarre, but it's grounded in the simple experience of growing up in the shadow of a beloved older sibling."

Prison Pit Book 4

• Interview: Societe Perrier by Christian J Petersen interview Johnny Ryan. "You seem to be exploring a darkside in your work but you soften the blow with humor. What would your real darkside look like? Prison Pit. "

Black is the Color Barack Hussein Obama

• Plug: Buzzfeed tells you what you want to read in the webcomics department: Steven Weissman's Barack Hussein Obama (and co) and Julia Gfrorer's Black is the Color (coming out soon in print)!

Mickey Mouse Vol 1 Mickey Mouse Vol. 2

• Plug: Duckburg Weekly looks at Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 1: Race to Death Valley and Mickey Mouse Volume 2: Trapped on Treasure Island by Floyd Gottfredson. "With Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Classic Collection Fantagraphics Books published a must-have for everyone who's interested in early works of the Walt Disney Company!…[Vol. 1]offers amazing articles about the 'birth' of Mickey Mouse, bonus panels which were never published and different artists in the spotlight (such as Al Taliaferro and Jack King)…Again [in Vol. 2] there is a chapter with incredible bonus material which informs about the villains, Floyd's colleagues and additional comic strips."

The End

• Interview: It's Nice That and James Cartwright interviewed Anders Nilsen about The End, coming out in print this fall. "…some of it is pretty raw, and that’s how I felt at the time. Some of it is funny, too, I think, which is also part of the experience. It can feel very absurd at times. If it feels like a crazy emotional roller coaster to read, then it’s doing the job."

The End of the Fucking World

• Plug: The Daily Rios reviews Chuck Forsman's The End of the Fucking World in its serialized form.

Kolor Klimax

• Review: The Comics Journal reviewed the Kolor Klimax anothology, edited by Matthias Wivel. Robert Kirby writes, "I found myself drawn back to each several times…That, for me, is the common vibe generated by this and other Euro-comics anthologies: the sense of possibility and novelty that comes from having available a whole new frontier of previously hard-to-come-by alt-comics by accomplished artists to explore. Comics speak a universal, intuitive language, but this 'Nordic Hypnotica' opens Americans up to previously unfamiliar dialects that are a pleasure to read, enjoy, and occasionally decode."

Any Similarity

• Review: Kitty Sneezes looks at Drew and Josh Alan Friedman's Any Similarity to Persons Living or Dead is Purely Coincidental. "Shemp acts both as a beacon of Drew Friedman's amazing artistic skill, but also as a signpost of what you'll find.…strips starring the semi-forgotten figures of old media. Figures like Abbott & Costello, Chet Huntley, Joe Franklin or Tor Johnson come up frequently. I especially love the Tor strips. And usually, though there's a surrealist bent like you'd find in the work of Michael Kupperman, there's usually a sense of love for the work of these people" writes Rev. Syung Myung Me.

• Plug: A JASON mural in Oslo!

• Commentary: Michael Netzer says some nice things and does a beautiful drawing of Kim Thompson. 

• Commentary: Casey Burbachy writes about the history of Fantagraphics and our partnership with digital comics publisher/distribution company, comiXology on Publishers Weekly.

• Cool: A lot of our cartoonists have contributed to the Exquisite Corpse comic on Trubble Club!

• Commentary (photos): Inkstuds host Robin McConnell took some loverly photos of Larry Reid, Jacq Cohen and me at Emerald City Comic Con.

• Interview: Jacq Cohen describes why TCAF rocks and our new books there on Forbidden Planet International and soon to be in a store near you.


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