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.
The blackest ink in the pot of Online Commentaries & Diversions:
• Review:AV Club shows presidential love for Barack Hussein Obama and The Hypo. Noel Murray on Steven Weissman's book: "For the most part Barack Hussein Obama is just wild fun, built around the notion that a president can be easily reduced to his public image—and that we, the people, have the right to manipulate that image for our own delight." And Murray on The Hypo: "[Noah Van Sciverrenders] an American icon as a lumpen everyman, fighting through the same fog that many people find themselves in—even if few of those ordinary folks wind up in the Oval Office."
• Review:Publishers Weekly picks The Hypo by Noah Van Sciver as one of the best new books of the month. "Van Sciver’s psychologically astute examination of what might be termed Abraham Lincoln’s “lost years” (1837–1842) is as gripping and persuasive as the best historical fiction. . . .A thoroughly engaging graphic novel that seamlessly balances investigation and imagination."
• Review:Paste Magazine reviews Steven Weissman's newest book and Hillary Brown gives it a 8.1 (outta 10). "With its gold foil stamp and red, white and blue partial jacket, Barack Hussein Obama could well be a semi-official graphic rendering of a presidency. . . If this book is a portrait of anything, it shows the grind and the way that hope and idealism erodes when faced with the everyday, and that is valuable"
•Review:La Tempestad on Barack Hussein Obamaby Steven Weissman. Rough translation states "Through these pages, Weissman satirizes and creates a parallel reality of based on the stewards of American power."
• Review:MetroPulse enjoys reading Ralph Azham Vol. 1 "Why Would You Do That To Someone You Love" by Lewis Trondheim. Matthew Everett states "There’s action, drama, pratfalls, bad-ass mercenaries, and a last-panel surprise that promises future volumes will head off in entirely unexpected directions. . . Ralph Azham is off to a near-perfect start. It’s a quietly marvelous addition to the English-language catalog of a working world master. Get it while you can."
• Review:The Quietus peeks at Dal Tokyo by Gary Panter. Mat Colegate can barely contain himself: "Panter is probably one of the single most influential underground American cartoonists of all time, a kind of Ramones to Robert Crumb’s Jefferson Airplane, which makes his relative unknown status a bit baffling. A cartoonists’ cartoonist, maybe?. . . The man’s inks are practically sentient, devouring white space like it was candy floss as his crude likenesses become imbued with a very deliberate purpose, that of guiding the reader through Panter’s personal inferno: the urban Twentieth Century."
• Review:The Quietus continues comic coverage on Joe Daly's Dungeon Quest: Book Three. Mat Colgate states,"Dear J.R.R. certainly never had one of his characters wank off a gnome, did he? Indeed Dungeon Quest’s good natured, silly humour gives it much of its character and combines with Daly’s beautiful Charles Burns-esque artwork to make the book much more than the sum of its parts. It feels like a real labour of love and when you read it you’ll see why. Nerdgasm guaranteed. I’m in love with this comic."
• Review:Unshelved looked at Dungeon Quest: Book Three by Joe Daly. Gene Ambaum writes "I never know where this weird, Dungeons & Dragons-ish adventure will take me next. . . Every dungeon should have a vending machine [a la Dungeon Quest]! Makes more sense than turning a corner and finding an elf with a fully-stocked shop where there’s little to no foot traffic."
• Review:The Quietus focuses New York Mon Amour by Jacques Tardi. Mat Colgate states"Using only black, white and red, Tardi illustrates a seedy, roach-infested New York that’s utterly plausible. You can practically smell the trash on the sidewalks as you follow the hapless narrator’s spiral into madness and murder. . . .if you know anyone looking to take the plunge into comics, someone who’s interested in what the medium can do and the fascinating ways it can do it, then point them in this books’ direction."
• Review:BUTT Magazine sinks its teeth into No Straight Lines, edited by Justin Hall. "Justin’s 328-page anthology is a very thorough introduction to the world of GLBT comics. His knowledge on the subject is pretty extensive, probably because he’s been a fan of the medium since he was a kid. Justin tells me that’s how he learned to read. . . In fact, the entire collection features a healthy dose of realism from a genre usually characterized by fantasy."
• Interview: Brandon Soderberg of The Comics Journal interviews the elusive Josh Simmons on The Furry Trap and his recent short film, The Leader, plus horror in all aspects: "Often, the best horror is about losing. And maybe struggling to keep a shred of dignity while you do. But often, you don’t even get that. Sometimes, you get your throat cut while a clown is pulling your pants down. It’s not enough that you’re getting murdered, you’re being humiliated at the same time!" Simmons eloquently states.
• Review: Los Angeles Review of Books ponders Listen, Whitey! The Sights and Sounds of Black Power by Pat Thomas. Rickey Vincent says,"The book is meticulously detailed, reflecting Thomas’s skills as a researcher (and record producer), yet conversational in tone, balancing the voice of a rock critic with the heft of a historian. . .The book remains consistent with its vision, and Thomas delivers black power with authority."
• Commentary:SFWeekly talks about Love and Rockets' art show at the Cartoon Art Museum, Chris Hall explains "If Love and Rockets brought one innovation to the comics field, it could be its lack of misogyny. . . Love and Rockets has, from the beginning, been praised for consistently depicting strong, complex women characters."
• Commentary:Jordan Hurder posted some APE coverage on the Hernandez Brothers and our company: "Fantagraphics crushed this show. It helps that they had Los Bros celebrating 30 years of Love and Rockets and Jim Woodring was already there as a special guest, but there was a consistent buzz around their table, and there were lines for pretty much every signing they had."
• Commentary:Jaime, Gilbert and Mario Hernandez appeared at APE much to JK Parkin of Robot 6 's delight. "All three Hernandez Brothers were at the show, and when they hit the Fantagraphics table the crowds surrounded them."
• Interview:The Comics Reporter links to some great vids from SPX interviews with Jaime Hernandez, Gilbert Hernandez and Daniel Clowes.
• Review:Simcoe looks at Walt Disney's Uncle Scrooge: Only a Poor Old Man by Carl Barks. Glenn Perrett says, "The stories are entertaining and the illustrations are excellent with a wonderful use of colour. . . Walt Disney's Uncle Scrooge: Only a Poor Old Man will appeal to young and old."
• Review:Pat Afforo looks at Stigmata by Lorenzo Mattotti and Claudio Piersanti. "If anyone has not read it you are definitely in for a ride and it is not a smooth one at the very least. This book covers a lot of different topics: religion, redemption, reincarnation, sin, good vs. evil, and above all love."
• Review:AV Club has high hopes for Rich Tommaso and his future books starring The Cavalier Mr. Thompson. Noel Murray posits,"Tommaso’s talented enough that The Cavalier Mr. Thompson might one day be seen as the lurching beginning to something truly great. . ."
•Interview:The Guardian asks Chris Ware some questions. In answer to Rosanna Greenstreet's question 'Which living person do you most admire and why?' Ware answers,"For intellect: Art Spiegelman. For art: Robert Crumb. For poetry and vision: Gary Panter. For decency: Barack Obama. For genuine goodness: Charles Burns. For genius: Charlie Kaufman. For soulfulness and love: Lynda Barry. For words: Zadie Smith. For unique life's work and superhuman effort expended: Ira Glass, Dave Eggers."
This weekend in sunny ol' San Diego cartoonist Joyce Farmer is a guest and panelist at the San Diego Comic Fest, Friday - Sunday, October 19th-21st.
On Friday, October 19th from 4:00-5:00 pm head over for the panel called "An hour with Joyce Farmer." As one of the first woman underground artists, Joyce will sit down with her friend and underground cartoonist, Mary Fleener, to discuss her career, her upcoming plans and, most all, Special Exits, her “graphic memoir” based upon her own experience caring for her father and stepmother in their final years.
Sunday, October 21st starts off with a bang with a panel on Underground Comix from 10:00-11:00 amwith Joyce, Mary, Jackie Estrada and more. "From San Francisco to San Diego: the panel of underground cartoonists from back in the day will discuss such topics as the connection between the undergrounds and San Diego (and Comic-Con); how the undergrounds got started; what made them such a distinct break from the past; their connection to the San Francisco psychedelic scene, rock and drugs; and the difficulty of selling them to people under 18."
Joyce Farmer will have some copies of Special Exits at both panels if you want one personally signed! Enjoy the show.
Election season getting you down? Think no more of it as you download the latest in Fantagraphics and comiXology's digital storm, The Hypo by Noah Van Sciver. We can all agree that President Abraham Lincoln was a great man and leader of the country but what were the seeds that sprouted this enormous forest of a man?
The debut graphic novel from Noah Van Sciver follows the twentysomething Abraham Lincoln as he loses everything, long before becoming our most beloved president. Lincoln is a rising Whig in the state's legislature as he arrives in Springfield, IL to practice law. With all of his possessions under his arms in two saddlebags, he is quickly given a place to stay by a womanizing young bachelor who becomes his friend and close confidant. Lincoln builds a life and begins friendships with the town's top lawyers and politicians. He attends elegant dances and meets an independent-minded young woman from a high-society Kentucky family, and after a brisk courtship, becomes engaged. But, as time passes and uncertainty creeps in, young Lincoln is forced to battle a dark cloud of depression brought on by a chain of defeats and failures culminating into a nervous breakdown that threatens his life and sanity. This cloud of dark depression Lincoln calls "The Hypo."
Dense crosshatching and an attention to detail help bring together this completely original telling of a man driven by an irrepressible desire to pull himself up by his bootstraps, overcome all obstacles, and become the person he strives to be. All the while unknowingly laying the foundation of character he would use as one of America's greatest presidents. Available for purchase at comiXology today!
"Noah Van Sciver has brought new soul to this hard, weird time in Lincoln's life. The Hypo is a story of suffering & yearning, artfully told." -Joshua Wolf Shenk, author of Lincoln's Melancholy
"A thoroughly engaging graphic novel that seamlessly balances investigation and imagination." -Publishers Weekly
"[Van Sciver renders] an American icon as a lumpen everyman, fighting through the same fog that many people find themselves in—even if few of those ordinary folks wind up in the Oval Office." -Noel Murray, AV Club
Entrecomics, a Madrid-based comic book company, recently put out a call for Cannibal Fuckface Fan Art, the main fucktagonist of Johnny Ryan's Prison Pit series. Entrecomics and Fulgencio Pimentel co-edited the Spanish edition, Pudridero, that combines Books 1 and 2. So far the response to the contest has been overwhelming, both in volume and ability. The contest winners will recieve copies of Prison Pit, other comics and it sounds like there is an exhibition or two in the works. Maybe even a print booklet?
More than one person at Fantagraphics can read Spanish but the Google translation of the Entrecomics site is rather perfect: Johnny Ryan (Boston, 1970) is one of the authors of the most renowned American alternative scene and disgusting. So choice, Johnny would be proud.
In the face of the election season, voters on both sides of the issues and firmly encamped in their parties were shocked at the turn of events from the first Presidential Debate and the only Vice-Presidential debate. But it was a shock to no-one at Fantagraphics for we have all read Steven Weissman's graphic novel Barack Hussein Obama. He managed to capture the essence of America so well that he even predicted the future.
This is how Obama was reacting on the sidelines during the VP debate as Biden laid down the law:
This is what Biden was thinking by the end of the debate:
But this is what Biden said:
When interviewed later by the media, all he could say was this:
How contrary of him! But don't take my word for it. Check out Barack Hussein Obama out for yourself and see all the pickles he gets into with Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton and the Obama girls. And tune in Tuesday to see what happens in the debates next!
The Cleanest Mug in the Kitchen of Online Commentaries & Diversions:
• Review:Booklist reviews the Mysterious Traveler: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 3, by Steve Ditko and edited by Blake Bell. Gordon Flagg notes these horror stories feature "Ditko’s distinctly off-kilter drawings and boldly potent composition" and the "meticulous restoration means that the stories look far better here than they did upon their original appearances."
• Review:Booklist enjoys Mort Meskin's Out of the Shadows, edited by Steven Brower. "Meskin’s powerful compositions add a fitting dynamism to superhero tales featuring the Black Terror and Fighting Yank. His bold use of shadows and other solid black areas impart a moody atmosphere to horror and crime stories, and even the romance and sci-fi pieces included here benefit from his economic illustration style and attractive page designs," writes Gordon Flagg.
• Review:Black Gate picks up Linda Medley's Castle Waiting: Volume 2 for a good read. John O'Neill stated, "it retold the fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty (sort of), as seen by an odd cast of mostly minor characters. It was well written and beautiful, feminine in perspective and mood, incredibly slow-paced, and wholly original. I loved it."
• Interview: Gary Panter spent a whole hour talking to Benjamen Walker on the Too Much Information show at WFMU about life, Dal Tokyo, the evolving medium of comics and more.
• Interview: New Statesman interviews Chris Ware on Building Stories, Jimmy Corrigan and the time inbetween books. "Kim Thompson at Fantagraphics was really willing to experiment [with format]; I remember how much he and I sweated the idea of putting out a comic book that was just 1/2" shorter than the standard format in 1993."
Just in time for the presidential debates and November election season, Fantagraphics and comiXology are proud to release the brand new Barack Hussein Obama for digial download. Steven Weissman's surreal view on the time and the powerful man in the world is too funny to be true. This book represents a whole, fully-realized parallel America, a dada-esque, satirical vision that is no more cockeyed than the real thing, its weirdness no more weird, its vision of the world no more terrifying, where the zombie-esque simulacra of Joe Biden and Hillary and Newt and Obama wander, if not exactly through the corridors of power, through an America they made and have to live in, like it or not. The book twists and turns with regular beats and mini-adventures including a feathered-Obama.
Didn't Mitt Romney mention shutting down or killing a 'Big Bird' of some kind? Don't let Malia or Sasha Obama hear that. In Weissman's universe, they are unstoppable, punny forces of nature running around in a Nancy-Drew fashion.
This week it is time for terror in an uncomfortable way what only Hans Rickheit can create. All 161 pages of Folly: Consequences of Indiscretion is now available via comiXology to haunt you. This volume is a steam punk descendent of the counterculture comics of the '60s, and is as wildly imaginative and richly artistic as it is subversively sexual and violent.
This digital edition includes an exclusive story, "Sigmund Freud," a tribute to Jack Kirby which does not appear in the print edition! Originally distributed into the world as Xeroxed pamphlets, these "underground comix" reflect the true nature of its nomenclature: Here are the archeological findings of the subterranean ruins of the psyche. Finally, these scattered elements have been compiled into a compact, lushly illustrated bedside reader. Give your cerebellum a tug and become a spelunker of the subconscious as we trespass among the scorched archaic wastelands of the offspring of apes and fools. Here we find the profane, beautiful progeny of prurient ideals. Immerse yourself in the nocturnal meanderings of unnamed protagonists. Ponder the uncomfortable sexuality of the twins, Cochlea & Eustachia. Recoil at the doings of a dwarfish malefactor in "Hail Jeffrey," or simply stare at the pretty pictures. Suffice to say that readers of The Squirrel Machine will not be disappointed especially for only $18.99.
When asked about his work, Rickheit instructs you not misuse this tome. Keep it as your own cherished object; a shameful, guarded secret. The filter for reality’s blinding glare. Detritus of the Under-Brain. The Unspeakable Thing You Always Knew.
"It's as if other masters of visual bodyhorror — Cronenberg, Burns, Dan Clowes, Tarsem Singh — are weird by choice. Rickheit, it seems, just can't help it. There's a conviction to his creepiness, a compulsive nature even in his early draftsmanship." -S.I. Rosenbaum, The Boston Phoenix
• Review:Dal Tokyo by Gary Panter is listed in The Times of UK as one of the essential books for Chris Ware. Ware says "Gary Panter is the William Blake of comics; a true poet who sees and feels what the rest of us can't, and he's done more to expand the power of drawing in the medium thatn probably anyone else alive." Original article here.
• Interview: Cartoonist and creator of Jimmy Corrigan, The Smartest Kid on Earth Chris Ware is interviewed by Phawker by Rita Book.
• Commentary: ArtVoice visits the Spain Rodriguez retrospective at the Burchfield Penney Center in Buffalo, NY. Jack Foran says,"Rodriguez was a kind of incorrigible rebellious type. . . when abstract expressionism with its two-dimensionality principle was dogma—he was into three-dimensionality, in spades—and his blue-collar employment in Buffalo area manufactories, where the curriculum was the much more interesting subject to him of simmering socioeconomic class warfare."
• Review: Rob Clough of High-Low reposted his Seqart post on Megan Kelso and The Squirrel Mother. Cough states, "What makes Kelso one of my favorite artists is her total devotion to the medium and a constant desire to improve. . . Kelso's art is all about the narrative. Every word and every line advances the story; there are no extraneous pyrotechnics. Indeed, Kelso's line is more elegant than spectacular."
• Review:Publishers Weekly enjoys Love and Rockets New Stories #5. "In the 30 years they’ve been writing and drawing Love and Rockets, Los Bros Hernandez have created wonderfully complex story lines and characters. . . This web of superior magical-realistic storytelling involves readers in the perplexed yearnings of a huge cast of unforgettable characters unaware of their own capacity for general self-delusion and occasional self-discovery."
• Commentary: Hannah Means-Shannon contines her SPX coverage with more on the Bros on The Beat. On the "Life After Alternative Comics" panel, Jaime Hernandez and Daniel Clowes spoke about the past and present of their comics-making environment. "Dan Clowes addressed the 'wasteland' of comics in the early 1980’s and the origin of his LLOYD LLEWELLYN series and the strange, often intriguing piles of fan mail he received from readers and prison inmates."
• Interview: Also on Phawker is an interview of Charles Burns, creator of Black Hole. He weaves stories by "paying close attention to the way my brain functions. I sit and write every day and it amazes me how often I repeat myself – come up with the same “brilliant” solution to a plot thread only to discover notes from years earlier where I’ve already clearly laid out the same ideas."
Cartoonist Jem Eaton is messing with our minds in a creepy way! With his Cartoon Jumbles, Eaton is mashing up all of the best comic characters for an upcoming APOPALYPTIC AMERICA show as we mentioned before but this time, its personal. Jim Woodring personal!
To quote Jem, "Woodring’s enigmatic Frank is reborn into the boneyard skin of EC Comics’ The Crypt Keeper, the transcendent meeting the corporal, the material decay of the parochial burial tradition finding itself at odds with the ephemeral grace of the Unifactor, where the notion of 'end' and 'beginning' walk arm-in-arm along fate’s mystical path, lost to each other’s definition, the terror of the Christian resting place illuminated in its absence, the Keeper’s haunted visage set upon his accompanying jiva, itself bound to the skeletal vocabulary of the golgotha, Frank’s animated stride now the dutiful march of the gravedigger’s parade, the earth’s bosom rupturing the toils of his collected trade, the minions of his progressive existence on display, momentary artifacts of entropy’s ever-racing beauty."
The APOPALYPTIC AMERICA exhibit in Seattle, Saturday the 13th, 6-9pm, at One Night Stand Gallery, 6004 12th Ave South, Suite 13A. You can head over there after stopping by the Fantagraphics Store for the THE HORROR: From the EC Comics Library. since it it located in the building RIGHT above the Fantagraphics Store! It's bound to be a frightful night in Georgetown and Seattle!
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