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.
•Interview (audio): NPR affliate 89.c KPCC interviewed both Significant Objects' editor Joshua Gleen and contributor Mark Frauenfelder (of BoingBoing and MAKE). Madeleine Brand says, "One's man trash is another man's treasure, especially if it comes with a really good story."
•Review:The Comics Journal shakes down Flannery O'Connor: The Cartoons, edited by Kelly Gerald.
•Interview (video):Bill Moyers interviews on comics journalist Joe Sacco "I'm not interested in tears, I'm not even interested in sentimentality. But I am interested in telling peoples' stories who are repressed or are poor." Sacco and collaborator Chris Hedges will join Bill Moyers for a chat TONIGHT, Wednesday, July 25 at 2 PM ET.
•Commentary: More insight on upcoming books from Fantagraphics as Bleeding Cool covered the SDCC Fantagraphics/D&Q panel. On Chris Wright's Black Lung:"The story was hard to follow, but that’s a good thing, because it sounds like the sort of surreal, go for broke, graphic storytelling that readers expect when they buy a Fantagraphics book. . . lyrical, anthropomorphic, violent and layered. Enough praise couldn’t be shed for this book. . ." On Ron Rege, Jr.'s Cartoon Utopia: "Beings from the future try to help us evolve, sending us messages, trying to show us what life can be like without “forced entertainment” (i.e. television). Drawn in an idiosyncratic, gorgeous, dense style. . ."
•Review:The Comics Journal locks their tractor beam onto Josh Simmon's collection called The Furry Trap. Brandon Soderberg says, "Josh Simmons’ work eschews the cheap thrills and glib cynicism of most horror comics. . .Simmons is a belligerent cartoonist, drawing without censure, adding a nervous energy to an ostensibly pleasant, bubbly style — like Gary Panter doing Where’s Waldo?, or Peanuts with all the existential despair laid completely bare. And he’s fully dedicated to simple, panel-to-panel pay-off, . . ."
•Plug: Summer art sales continue, this time with Johnny Ryan's A Famous Night (gig posters for concerts the never happened). Buy one for your walls and never have to entertain you in-laws at home again.
•Review:Comic Book Resources focuses on Barry Windsor-Smith's The Freebooters. While examining the first page, Greg Burgas said,"It’s amazing that Barry Windsor-Smith didn’t go blind drawing this page and the two that follows it, but luckily for readers, he managed to produce many beautiful pages after this. This is a fantastic way to begin this comic. . ."
Today is New Comics Day!In the second series of comics to be released digitally after Love and Rocketsgoing digital, Michael Kupperman's critically-acclaimed humor series Tales Designed to Thrizzle #3 and #4 are now available for download at $2.99 each. Thanks to comiXology you can buy issue #3 that has long been sold out featuring devil girls and their Owls, Snake'n'Bacon, The Mysterious Avenger, history of porno coloring books and much, much more.
"Is there anything more delightful than a new issue of Michael Kupperman’s hilarious comics? ...I submit to you that there is not." – Newsarama
"Be warned: This comic is dangerously funny... A masterpiece of absolutely gut-busting comedy. The entire Wizard office was rendered completely helpless by its hysterical tales... Trust us, this is a future cult classic." – Wizard (R.I.P)
Speaking of cool clothes, the Love and Rockets shirts that premiered at Comic-Con International in San Diego for the L&R 30th Anniversary can now be on your back! Graphitti Designs is ready for your orders and has a whole new batch of shirts printed. Six different styles and one additional option for women's sizes (in the dark blue) makes it a bit hard to choose. Better buy them all!
The short-toothiest Online Commentaries & Diversions:
•Plug: Island of Dr. Moral and Mome contributor Jem Eaton (aka Jeremy Eaton) is have a big ol' summer art blow out. From now until July 29th you can purchase original pages of art at half their normal price. Parodies galore in four color fury with that Eaton touch can hang on your wall; it is hard to pass up art with titles like ROCK NERD FEVER!
•Review:Walt Disney's Uncle Scrooge: Only a Poor Old Man gets a ringing endorsement from Captain Comics. Andrew Smith bluntly states, "If you're not buying the Carl Barks library, you should be. . . At no point does anything ring false; at all times the reader feels comfortably wrapped in the comforting folds of an old blanket. You're in the hands of a master, and the ride couldn't be smoother -- or funnier."
•Review:Full-Page Bleed focuses on Michael Kupperman's Tales Designed to Thrizzle #7 & 8. Tom Murphey says, ". . . Tales Designed to Thrizzle,are wild but beautifully executed super-accelerators that smash bizarre ideas together at high speed. His stories flow with an unstoppable dream logic, so the wildest leap of imagination is treated like the next reasonable step."
•Commentary:CNN Geek Out discusses the rise of digital comics at SDCC and notes the Hernandez Brothers will have work available via comiXology."ComiXology’s other big announcement at the show was a long-awaited deal with Fantagraphics to bring Los Bros Hernandez beloved alt-comics classic Love and Rockets to digital format," said Rob Saulkowitz.
•Plug: As a fundraiser, the University of Texas at El Paso is running a limited edition sale of Maggie prints (50 in total). The tax-deductible purchase will help support the Hernandez Brothers Collection of Hispanic Comics and Cartoon Art, housed at the University of Texas at El Paso Library. Ordering information is available at the site.
•Review (audio):Factual Opinion covers Jacques Tardi's New York Mon Amour in extensive detail thanks to Matt Seneca, Tucker Stone, Chris Mautner and Joe McCulloch. "It's a tourist's New York, no, not that - it's a Kafka New York."
In all the Comic-Con prep and lead up, you might have missed a very nice preview of Jaime Hernadez's God and Science: Return of the Ti-Girls. Ada Price of Publishers Weekly on God and Science says,"This 7 page preview showcases young super-heroines contrasted with super-heroines at the end of their careers, a raucous prison break, and a confrontation in space." Seven solid black-and-white pages await you.
PW also shared the love for Jaime Hernandez in a God and Science review stating,"For what's essentially an evocative throwback to the kid's superhero comics of yore, there's a lot going on here--youth versus seasoned oldsters, absolute power corrupting absolutely, mother/child dysfunction--and it's all wrapped up in a package of terrific dialogue, stellar artwork, and enough raw fun to drown in." You can pick up your own copy of God and Science PLUS a Before Love and Rockets mini-comic here.
•Commentary: Ron Richards of iFanboy writes a con review and 1/2 of his swap was Fantagraphics fun, "I did a little dance when I saw [Love and Rockets: New Stories #5] was available . . . After the amazing #4 of this series, I can’t wait to see what Los Bros Hernandez come up with this time out"
•Commentary: Heidi MacDonald and Cal Reid finalize their digital SDCC thoughts on Publishers Weekly: "Comixology announced [many] new e-book distribution deals . . . . and perhaps most significantly, Fantagraphics, which had been a staunch hold out on the digital front. The Fantagraphics partnership will kick-off with the jewel in the crown: the much-loved work of the Hernandez Brothers starting with Love and Rockets New Stories #1-4 ."
•Commentary (photos): Cal Reid and Jody Culkin on Publishers Weekly photo-document a lot of the fun going on at Comic-Con including the Hernandez Brothers panel and signing.
•Commentary: Sonia Harris enjoyed her Comic-Con experience according to the report on Comic Book Resources. "[No Straight Lines editor] Justin Hall had a big year, speaking on panels about gay comic book characters and hosting a party on Friday night at the increasingly interesting Tr!ckster event for the launch of No Straight Lines."
•Interview:Chicago Pride finds the time to talk to editor Justin Hall on No Straight Lines, "My worry was that the literary queer comics were going to vanish, that there was no one looking out for that work. Especially with the gay publishers and the gay bookstores dying out."
•Review: Tom Spurgeon on the Comics Reporter covers the Tales Designed to Thrizzle digital comics release, "Kupperman's work looks super-attractive in print, which while that sounds counter-intuitive to its digital chances, is actually a vote for the print version having its own sales momentum that digital won't all the wayoverlap."
•Review:NPR hits home with Flannery O'Connor: The Cartoons. Glen Waldon: "What emerges is a portrait of a much-beloved artist as a young woman, when the sardonic and even brutal humor behind O'Connor's most memorable creations is still gestating."
•Plug (award): Cannibal Fuckface from Johnny Ryan's Prison Pit is a nominee in the Designer Toy Awards for "Best Toy from a Comic." Cast your vote today or we might bludgeon you.
•Plug (pictures): Can't make it Los Angeles? Check out artwork Keenan Marshall Keller posted from FREAK SCENE art show featuring Johnny Ryan (with Prison Pit pages), Jason T. Miles, Jim Rugg and many more.
•Commentary:A.V. Club enjoyed the Fantagraphics/D&Q panel at San Diego and Noel Murray believes, "real legacy of Comic-Con [is] the elevation of the medium’s literary merit and public profile combined with the preservation of its past . . . The outcome of all that? Handsome hardcover editions of Floyd Gottfredson Mickey Mouse strips . . ."
•Commentary: Cameron Hatheway of Bleeding Cool was a bit livid that Mickey Mouse Vol. 1 and 2 beat out our other title up for the Archival Reprint Collection/Project Eisner. "A part of me thought Prince Valiantwould be a sure thing because of its 75th anniversary this year, and people would be getting all nostalgic. Way to go, majority of voters; Prince Valiant will continue to roam the seven seas and seeking adventure without an Eisner to his name. I hope you’re all proud of yourselves! How do you even sleep at night? A pox upon your castles!"
•Commentary: Directly from the Comic-Con floor, Tom Spurgeon from The Comics Reporter is rich with the compliments, "speaking of Fantagraphics, I was surprised to see the Dal Tokyo book. It looks great. I also really liked the design on the second Buz Sawyer volume, a really atypical image being used."
•Commentary: Tom Spurgeon dishes up the best comics to buy at Comic-Con International and online on The Comics Reporter. On Gary Panter's Dal Toyko, ". . . I'm trying to get over the notion of only recommending comics that catch some sort of big-time marketing hook or novelty current as opposed to just being awesome comics. This is the kind of book that has peers, not betters." In reference to the Kickstarted, Fantagraphics-distributed The Cavelier Mr. Thompson by Rich Tommaso, Spurgeon mentions "It's one of the works that the generation-two alt-cartoonist serialized on-line. I heard three different people on the [Comic-Con] floor waxing rhapsodic about Tommaso's natural-born cartooning sensibilities."
•Commentary: Director of PR, Jacq Cohen, was interviewed on the Graphic Novel Reporter about her Comic-Con memories and First Second editor, Calista Brill, loves our books: "I got myself the latest in Fantagraphics' beautiful collected Uncle Scrooge series."
•Commentary: Overheard at Comic-Con. Matt Groening was talking to Eric Reynolds about Twee-Deedle in reference to "perfect" comics reproduction and he said, "Speaking of perfect..." and leaned over and grabbed a Donald book and said, "These are PERFECT."
•Plug: Mark Frauenfelder on BoingBoing mentions Significant Objects (because he's in it!): "Culture jammers extraordinaire Rob Walker and Joshua Glenn bought a bunch of less-than-worthless objects at thrift stores and garage sales and then assigned people to write a short story about one of the objects."
•Review:Reason.com reviews Daniel Clowes work making comics into art. Greg Beato says, "Clowes. . . brought a different sensibility to his comics: An obsessive compulsive commitment to craftsmanship. . . Clowes strove to make the comic book as artful as possible, a complex but organic object that was perfect in all its parts. "
•Interview:The Guardian prints a small Q&A with Daniel Clowes who IMMEDIATELY posts his full answers to some the questions since someone had fun in the editing room. "It doesn't take much to alter the tone or meaning of someone's words in an interview with some editing."
•Interview: Gary Groth interviews Gilbert Shelton at SDCC on the Beat and The Comic Books, Heidi MacDonald, "Among the topics were origins of Wonder Worthog and Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, talked about working with Harvey Kurtzman and how he knew Janis Joplin. . ."
•Plug:The Comics Bulletin covers the Comic-Con International and the Fantagraphics panel on new releases. Danny Djeljosevic says, "Fantagraphics is Fantagraphics. They put out killer material and in beautiful packages to boot."
•Review (audio): Dann Lennard of Kirby Your Enthusiasm podcast covers THREE of our books in his Australian-based comics podcast. Is That All There Is? by Joost Swarte "If you like Herge and Tintin, it might not be for you. It's pretty full-on. . . if you're into sex and violence, you might like this." On Sincerest Form of Parody, edited by John Benson: "This full color book . . .collects work from another EC publication called Panic, not quite as good as MAD and didn't last as long, but features quite good artists and humor. It's the pick of the other titles." In regards to The Hidden by Richard Sala, Lennard says its "actually quite a powerful, horrific book of violence, it's really quite sickening in places."
Professor Van Sciver has chosen to examine a young Mary Todd, the future Mrs. Lincoln (hubba-hubba), in his Lincoln Lessons. "Mary could impress Abraham with her political erudition, and her passion for great literary works and poetry, specifically their mutual love for Shakespeare of which they could quote pieces from heart" says Van Sciver but she was also bogged down by untimely migraines and possibly depression.
My very first Comic-Con International at San Diego was rather fan-freakin'-tastic. It is easier than people make it out to be but I imagine that if it started on TUESDAY night instead of Wednesday, we all would have died. This pictures are my con pictures so if that are mostly different than our previous CCI photo diaries. The caveat train is pulling away from the station!
Wednesday: I showed up the morning times with PR Director Jacq Cohen and our co-workers, Mike Baehr and Janice Headley had the table set UP! Aside from our many new releases we were thrilled to have new Love and Rockets shirts available. Here is the Fanta-crew dressed in all but that one with all those dirty words on it. Soak it in, that's the one time you'll ever see Gary Groth with his shirt untucked.
Oni Press and SCAD teacher Chris Schweizer immediately came over to look at his favorite cartoonist, Jason. Everyone will be sportin' a Schweizer nose-tupee next year, just you watch.
Then we caught Eddie Campbell reading our Prince Valiant while at the Top Shelf booth but once again, who could blame him?!
Speaking of Top Shelf, we spent most of the week occasionally locking gazes these lovely gents. Director of Digital, Chris Ross, and cartoonist of Cleveland, Joseph Remnant.
That night, Comics Reporter Tom Spurgeon, CBR's Kiel Phegley, International Freelancer Douglas Wolk and Fantagraphics' Jacq Cohen and I posed for a bunch of photos and examined gorgeous work at the CBLDF fundraiser.
. . . Until the BOSS showed up. Then we took Gary Groth and heir-to-the-throne Conrad to the Tri!ckster spot on J avenue to browse their books (our own event to happen on Friday night)
Friday: Two of the funniest men in comics, Steven Weissman and Johnny Ryan (creators of Chocolate Cheeks and Prison Pit respectively) chat up Jacq and Janice.
Gary Panter's Dal Tokyo finally came out for this show. Jon Chad's Leo Geo from Roaring Brook is a similar trim shape. They are perfect for the collector of art objects with really, really deep bookshelves. Trim de jour!
This photo COMPLETELY encapsulates the family aspect of not only Fantagraphics but most comic companies. Gary Groth watches, eats and even signs some of Gilbert Shelton's Fabulous Furry Freak books.
The Hernandez Brothers continued to work hard interviewed by MTV (below), Entertainment Weekly, MultiShow Brazil and many other news outlets.
For the Tr!ckster event parties, we co-sponsored a queer-themed drink and draw party to coincide with our new queer comics anthology called No Straight Lines. Check out this big sexy bear!
Drag Queens Dolly Disco and Grace Towers posed in the best Michael Jackson-Circus of the Damned leotards and put all us ladies to shame.
Jacq and I ran as fast as our heels could take us to the Eisners, saw Mickey Mouse Vol. 1 and 2 be awarded for Best Archival Collection/Print in comic strips! Eddie Campbell and Andrew Aydin tried to steal me away but no siren song is as sweet as Fantagraphics.
Saturday: No worse for the wear, Jacq Cohen and I adhered to my STRICT 5-2-1 rule. 5 hours of sleep, 2 meals a day and 1 shower to maintain humanity at cons. Jacq added 2 sets of clothes and I admit, it pays off. (And you like that OLD SCHOOL equipment? I'm trying to refit the credit card slider into a denim fanny pack . . . maybe for SPX)
Meanwhile, Drawn and Quarterly upped their dress game with full-on bow ties for Tom Devlin from Beguiling owner Peter Birkemoe. We were a bit jealous.
The Hernandez Brothers continued their BREAKNECK pace of signing books and getting visits from artists like Joe Keatinge, Matt Fraction and Bongo Comics' editor Chris Duffy!
While it may seem like you have seen a hundred Hopeys at comic cons (or dated a hundred Hopeys -- Jacq Cohen), this is the first cosplay the Hernandez Brothers have seen in thirty years of comics. Thank you, Dawn, for your Boot Angel get-up!
Jaime Hernandez and cartoonist Ed Piskor talked shop.
Almost had a heart attack when we saw this. I'm not ruining anyone's day by saying over 50% of our books are not for kids so it is sometimes surprising to see them pouring over Peanuts or Uncle Scrooge Comics (especially when The Furry Trap is TEN feet away)
BOOM! designer and fellow Center for Cartoon Studies alum, Carol Thomspon, laid her hands on our sweet trans-manga Wandering Son and couldn't let go.
So that's the whole she-bang! Thank you to the CCI organizers and all the people who helped out, bought comics, asked questions and brought me coffee. See you next year!
Given the 30 Anniversary celebration of Love and Rockets this week, our article and fact-making robot decided we should have a separate post on all the goings-on. If we missed your 30th Anniversary coverage, please
know. Commentaries and fun memories below:
•Interview: Heidi MacDonald interviews Associate Publisher Eric Reynolds on going digital with comiXology starting with Love and Rockets: New Stories. On THE BEAT Reynolds notes, "When the notion of 'digital comics' first became a reality, I’ll admit that many of our authors and many of us in the office actively resisted the idea and pretended to tell ourselves we’d never embrace it. But I think we’re all pragmatic enough to understand the realities of where the future is headed."
•Commentary:CNET noticed a lot of comiXology announcements at San Diego Comic Con International but put a spotlight on Love and Rockets: New Stories. Seth Rosenblatt continues, ". . . few people read the "Love and Rockets" comic when it was first published, but it inspired every single one of the people who did to make comics. Of course, that probably didn't happen on a one-to-one basis, but "Love and Rockets" is nevertheless a massively influential comic that probably has stronger sales now than it ever did when it first hit the stands."
•Commentary: Marc Frauenfelder of BoingBoing says little about Fantagraphics going digital but it packs a punch: "Fantagraphics, the world's greatest comic book publisher. . ."
•Commentary: Tom Spurgeon of the Comics Reporter made a call out for all press people to cover Love and Rockets' 30th Anniversary while at Comic Con, in addition to a digital comics distribution announcement. "I also think it's wholly appropriate that Fantagraphics is kicking this off with the Hernandez Brothers and Love And Rockets, certainly the first major project they published there at the company (although not the official first project they published) and obviously a mighty contribution to American popular art." This was followed by a con report stating, "My hunch from reading these things on the faces of people and talking to those around them is that Los Bros Hernandez had a very good show."
•Interview: Geoff Boucher from the LA Times asked Jaime Hernandez for his 30 best Comic-Con memories. "7. I remember when those “Turtle” guys started. . .20. I remember the days before comics were called “graphic novels."
Pam, one of the many fantastic Comic-Con International organizers
•Commentary: Sean T. Collins took a page from Tom Spurgeon's playbook and wrote a full week of Love and Rockets coverage as lines formed to meet the Hernandez Brothers. One small bit of the snippet of his lengthy coverage: "Gilbert and Jaime are both masters of the form of comics. . . Mario Hernandez is the great lost alternative cartoonist, the Lost Bro Hernandez. His interest in cosmopolitanism, leftist politics, the conflation of activism and terrorism by the authorities, the pas de deux between terrorism and authoritarianism, the revolutionary and counterrevolutionary power of art and pop culture, the Third World as a petri dish for first-world government’s reimportation of radicalism, all within the framework of vaguely science-fictional thrillers — he is in many ways the perfect comics-maker for our present moment."
•Commentary:Entertainment Weekly covered all aspects of the Hernandez Brothers panel. Jonathan W. Gray says, "Early artwork from the brothers, including the self-published first issue of Love and Rockets. Groth also showed a slide with Jaime’s rendering of a female Robin, an image that, according to Jaime, inspired the creation of Carrie Kelly in Dark Knight Returns" and overall, "The Hernandez brothers are legends who produced the most enduring indie comic series in history with Love and Rockets. It’s important that their sprawling oeuvre remain accessible for new fans, and their new agreement with Comixology to reprint their work digitally ensures that."
•Plug: Steve Appleford of the Pasadena Sun interviewed the Jaime Hernandez for the 30th Anniversary of Love and Rockets . "[My brothers and I] would go as often as we could to the shows. Whoever had the car, if we could afford gas."
•Commentary: Noel Murray of the A.V. Club spent a hell of a lot of time on the convention floor and covered the Hernandez Brothers panel: "Cartoonist Mike Allred stood up during the Q&A and gushed over the Hernandez brothers, saying that reading Love And Rockets as a young adult had rekindled his love of comics, not just because of Los Bros’ aesthetic and narrative sophistication, but because Jaime and Gilbert were able to put across what they loved: about Kirby, about punk rock, about wrestlers, and about women."
•Commentary: David Luna on Comic Book Resources covered the San Diego Comic-Con panel called 30th Anniversary of Love and Rockets featuring all three of the Hernandez Brothers and a packed room. Jaime Hernandez stated, "I got my cake and ate it too because I like drawing women and if I made them strong enough, not strong enough beating up people, but powerful just in their personalities and their lives and their brains, then I could draw them any way I wanted to."
•Plug:Mister Phil remembering and scanning ads from Love and Rockets back in the 80's is one of the greatest joys on the internet right now. See above.
•Commentary:UT San Diego.com and Peter Rowe touch on the Hernandez Brothers contribution to comics in their unique way. Gilbert Hernandez speaks, "[Characters who age and change] is a hallmark of great comic strips that inspired the [us], like 'Gasoline Alley.' Superhero comics are built on hype," he said. "But comic strips earn your respect over time."
•Plug:Love and Rockets get a con-based mention in Baldo comic by Hector D Cantu and Carlos Castellanos. See above (reformatted to fit our FLOG).
•Review: One of the original critics and reviews of Love and Rockets in the 80's, Brian Hayes writes a short 'n' sweet memory about the series, both old and new! On Hayfamzone: "Gary Groth and his associates have enriched the world of comics by publishing [Love and Rockets ] for all these years."
•Commentary: Sonia Harris spoke on a lifetime of love with the Hernandez Brothers' 30th Anniversary on Comic Book Resources. Harris exclaimed, "Gilbert Hernandez . . . told me that he remembered me from my first ever comic book convention in London, nearly 25 years ago. . . I explained to Jaime that after a misspent youth identifying with Hopey, then an awkward adolescence identifying with Maggie, I’ve now come to identify more with Izzy."
Fantagraphics and comiXology are proud to announce their second digital release following the groundbreaking news that Love and Rockets was going digital. Michael Kupperman's critically-acclaimed humor series Tales Designed to Thrizzle #1 and #2 are now available for download at $2.99 each.
The next month is designed to thrizzle with the release of all eight issues of Tales rolled out two per week over the next four Wednesdays. Download the sold-out Issue #1 and 2 right now! Issues 3 and 4 will be released Wednesday, July 24th; issues 5 and 6 on August 1st and issues 7 and 8th on August 8th.
"It's one thing to be too funny for TV, but Kupperman's even too funny for most alternative press. His are the best kind of laughs... no heavy satire, no easy targets, just goofiness of the highest intelligence." – Robert Smigel
"It has become cliché to say I laughed until I cried, but when I'm done reading one of these underground comics my shirt is literally soaking wet. This guy may have one of the best comedy brains on the planet right now." – Conan O'Brien
"The second funniest cartoonist worldwide, after me." – Tony Millionaire
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