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.
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
The newest and week-old pre-SDCC stinky socks found under your bed-style Online Commentaries and Diversions minus the hullabaloo about Love and Rockets:
•Interview (video):Noah Van Sciver is interviewed by documentary film maker Dan Stafford on his upcoming book about Lincoln's depression, The Hypo, coming out this fall. "Lincoln battled things his whole life. He battled with poverty in his youth; the part that I cover, battling with depression; the struggle of his own fate followed by keeping the nation together, how we know him best."
•Interview: The Advocate and Jase Peeples takes some time to speak to No Straight Lines editor Justin Hall on comics and the LGBTQ community. Hall says, "There are interesting parallels between comics and queers; both have a hard time getting respect by the dominant culture, and both have problems understanding their own history."
•Interview (audio): On the heel's of Pride Month, Comic Book Queers interview a gaggle of people including No Straight Lines editor Justin Hall. Hall states, "We turned the project into a class. I taught at the California College for the Arts and the backbone of the class was bringing in queer cartoonists and had the students interview them."
•Commentary: On The Rumpus editor Justin Hall writes about the history of Queer Comics. You can read more in the anthology!
•Interview:The New York Times and Penelope Green cover uncoventional taxonomy in Significant Objects while interviewing editor Joshua Glenn. Glenn states, "Even if we don’t identify ourselves as collectors, we are collectors of things. And things are collectors of meaning in various ways."
•Commentary:Electric Literature covered the fun book launch of Significant Objects at the Strand on July 10th. Editor Joshua Glenn is quoted by Karina Briski: "the stories become the things of value, all on their own."
•Review:Pop Matters enjoys Walt Disney's Uncle Scrooge and Mickey Mouse Vol. 3: High Noon at Inferno Gulch (edited by David Gerstein and Gary Groth) with childlike wonder but still has those nagging questions. Michael Barrett: "There’s still no explanation for how some animals are “humans” while others are just animals, like how Mickey can ride a horse in the West and then come home to be greeted by his pal Horace Horsecollar."
•Review: The Tearoom of Despair takes a look at the Hate Annuals by Pete Bagge. Bob Temuka laments, "Bagge has actually done so many comics over the past decade and a half, that he is almost – shamefully – taken for granted. While new books by the likes of Clowes or Ware are almost an Event, a new mini series from Bagge might get a couple of reviews, most of which will point out that it’s more of the same."
•Commentary: Video gamesite, 1Up features some satirical video game adaptations including Pete Bagge's Hate, Ghost World by Dan Clowes and the most epic Jimmy Corrigan panel by Chris Ware.
•Review: Music magazine and site Under the Radar enjoys the writings of Stephen Dixon's What Is All This? Uncollected Stories. Hays Davis: "Stephen Dixon has a gift for revealing mundane environments as vibrant social microcosms. With that, it seems almost apropos that Dixon's flown under the radar commercially for decades, though he's always garnered respect in literary circles"
At the shortest Eisner Awards ceremony known to Comic Con International in San Diego, Fantagraphics walked away with 10 nominations in 8 categories and one solid win. Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 1 and 2 by Floyd Gottfredson (edited by David Gerstein and Gary Groth) took the Eisner for Best Archival Collections/Projects for Comic Strips, beating out our own Prince Valiant #3- 4 by Hal Foster (edited by Kim Thompson) and other smashing works like Tarpe Mills' Miss Fury.
We sincerely thank everyone for their support and love of this excellent material. Gottfredson was a master of the medium and we are proud to be a home for his work. Our wheels are still spinnin' from the win but we have much more work to do.
FANTAGRAPHICS and COMIXOLOGY ANNOUNCE DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION AGREEMENT
Love and Rockets: New Stories #1-4 Available Now To Help Celebrate 30 Years Of The Hernandez Brothers’ Groundbreaking World
July 14th, 2012 – San Diego, CA. / New York, NY. — Today in a wide-ranging panel celebrating the 30th anniversary of publishing the Hernandez Brothers’ groundbreaking Love and Rockets series co-publisher Gary Groth, president of the 36 year-old publishing house, announced Fantagraphics Books’ entrance into the digital age through a brand new digital distribution agreement with comiXology, the revolutionary digital comics platform with over 75 million comic downloads to date and a library of more than 25,000 comics and graphic novels.
To mark the occasion, Fantagraphics Books and comiXology have immediately made available the first four issues of the Hernandez Brothers’ phenomenal Love and Rockets: New Stories. Groth also announced that following Comic-Con, comiXology will debut Love and Rockets: New Stories #5 on the same day as the print release is available in comic book stores this September. Subsequently, Fantagraphics will begin to release certain titles from their extensive front list and back catalogue across the entire comiXology platform.
“Fantagraphics Books is one of the longest running, independent comic publishers around with an incredible array of titles. I’ve been chasing them for three years to be a part of our platform and am thrilled not only to bring their books to the digital world, but also to be a part of celebrating the 30th anniversary of Love and Rockets," said comiXology co-founder and CEO David Steinberger. "I’ve long been a fan of Hernandez Brothers’ work, and couldn’t think of a better way to kick off our new relationship with Fantagraphics. There are many happy people in the comiXology offices today.”
"We’ve been exploring our digital options for a few years now, and the more I learned, the more I kept coming back to ComiXology," said Eric Reynolds, Fantagraphics Books Associate Publisher. "Seeing these first four issues of Love and Rockets: New Stories in comiXology’s Guided View is exciting.”
Fantagraphics and comiXology worked closely together to acquire the highest resolution source material to make sure these volumes of Love and Rockets: New Stories look great in comiXology’s new high–definition comic format — CMX-HD — for Love and Rockets fans that are reading on the new iPad.
In early May, comiXology revealed they had crested 65 million comic and graphic novel downloads since the beginning of the platform, with 15 million of those downloads happening in 2012. ComiXology recently unveiled that only one month later in June they had hit 77 million downloads — an addition of 12 million downloads — continuing on a trajectory of record-shattering growth.
About Fantagraphics Books
Fantagraphics Books has been a leading proponent of comics as a legitimate form of art and literature since it began publishing the critical trade magazine The Comics Journal in 1976. By the early 1980s, Fantagraphics found itself at the forefront of the burgeoning movement to establish comics as a medium as eloquent and expressive as the more established popular arts of film, literature, poetry, music et al. Fantagraphics has since gained an international reputation for its audacious editorial standards and its exacting production values and continues to expand the comics medium by releasing the highest quality books.
Founded in 2007 with the mission of bringing comics to people everywhere, comiXology — in just five short years — has revolutionized the comic book and graphic novel world. From creating the industry leading platform for digital comics to tools and services for brick and mortar retailers, comiXology has lead the charge in exposing new audiences to the rich history and culture of comic books. With the development of the Comics by comiXology digital comics platform — — available across iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire and the Web — comiXology provides the easiest way worldwide for people to enjoy comics at just the click of a button! Regularly ranking as the top grossing iPad app in the entire iTunes App Store, Comics by comiXology was recently chosen as a preloaded app on Amazon’s Kindle Fire. Providing digital comics across multiple platforms, comiXology will not stop until everyone on the face of the earth has been turned into a comic book fan.
30 Years. Three. Zero. In 1982, Gilbert, Jaime and Mario Hernandez published their first comic with Fantagraphics, which debuted at that year’s Comic-Con International in San Diego. In 2012, Fantagraphics Books announces the best anniversary present you can give the comics making trio: a year of celebrating Love and Rockets.
Jaime Hernandez remembers his first Comic-Con well. “The first time we spotted Love and Rockets some guy was already selling it for half-off.” Fellow professionals took an interest in the Hernandez brothers’ creation. “Chris Claremont walked up and joked that all the women on the cover should have ‘X’es on their belts,” Jaime joked. “I brought along some pages from the next issue and Frank Miller looked through them ‘studying’ my inking style.”
Thirty years later, fans will line up around that same block to get books signed at this year’s Comic-Con International, where Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez are invited special guests of the show and will even have a special section devoted to their work in the official convention souvenir program. Look for a major Love and Rockets-related announcement to be made at the show as well during the Love and Rockets panel on Saturday (see below for more details).
Fantagraphics and the Hernandez Brothers will debut three new books at the show. First up is the newest work by Gilbert and Jaime, Love and Rockets: New Stories #5 , featuring Gilbert’s return to Palomar and Jaime’s much-anticipated follow up to “The Love Bunglers” (from #4). Also debuting is God and Science: Return of the Ti-Girls, Jaime’s superhero epic combining material from Love and Rockets: New Stories #1and#2 plus 30 all-new pages by Jaime. Meanwhile, don’t forget the children: Comic-Con also hails the release of Gilbert's children-focused graphic novel, The Adventures of Venus.
Fantagraphics is also partnering with Graphitti Designs for the 30th Anniversary and debuting six new Love and Rockets t-shirts at the show. SDCC attendees might want to pack one shirt less for the show, instead picking up one of these colorful designs featuring their favorite Hernandez characters for a great price of $18.99 each, available at the Fantagraphics booth.
Panel by panel and page by page, Fantagraphics is proud to have a thirty year relationship with such prolific creators as the Hernandez Brothers and welcomes all SDCC attendees to come to the Fantagraphics Booth (1718-1722) and visit these special guests, who will be signing daily. Also, don’t miss the 30th Anniversary of Love and Rockets panel on Saturday at the con, from 1:30pm – 3:00pm in Room 24ABC. Fantagraphics publisher Gary Groth will moderate a lively trip down memory lane with all three Hernandez Brothers and make a major announcement regarding the future of the series.
For more information as it is released, check the Fantagraphics blog for announcements. Thirty years of the Love and Rockets is at your fingertips!
Joshua Fry Speed: a man of charisma and friendship is the subject of Noah Van Sciver's second history lesson regarding Lincoln. Roommate and confidant to a young Abraham Lincoln, Speed plays a large role in Van Sciver's new graphic novel The Hypo. Find out more about the history of Speed on Van Sciver's blog and pre-order the The Hypo today!
The new prepackaged Online Commentaries & Diversion:
•Commentary:The Huffington Post made it over to the Robert Crumb exhibit called "Crumb: From the Underground to the Genesis" at the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville in Paris: "Never one to shy away from his love-hate relationship with women, Crumb invited the world into his most perverted fantasies, one which includes riding on his mother's boot."
•Interview: Zachary Hunchar of Technorati questions Pete Bagge about a long life in comics. "People expect their entertainment to be for free now," said Bagge. "Musicians compensate for it by performing live more often, but the only equivalent to that for cartoonists is more comic conventions."
•Interview:WTF Podcast with host Marc Maron digs into the essentials of Tony Millionaire's work: "[Marc's place] is like my place, I have a very small garage, built for a model T, and it's cluttered. I have all the corners I need to work in."
•Commentary: Tom Spurgeon is afraid of all the press releases for San Diego Comic-Con will overwhelm your normall-observant Hernandez Brothers' radar. On the Comics Reporter, he made an impassioned called for Love and Rockets coverage during the 2012 Comic-Con International: "It's vital for the medium we love . . . that we treat San Diego as a place where Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez have been in attendance more than 25 times each more than we treat it as a place Steven Spielberg has been to once. Both Jaime and Gilbert remain vital, exciting cartoonists. . ."
•Plug: Gene Ambaum of Unshelved touches on Oil & Water by Steve Duin, Shannon Wheeler and Michael Rosen: "[an] anti plastic activist and bird enthusiast,” who wears a strange cyclops-like lens to aid his bird watching, says he has 'the poop story to end all poop stories.' He doesn’t tell it until the end of the book, so I had to keep reading."
"Who was Miss Owens?" The talented and handsome cartoonist of upcoming book The Hypo, Noah Van Sciver, addresses some of the history in his graphic novel. Before Mary Todd, Abraham Lincoln was engaged to another! Find out more at Noah's blog and pre-order the book today.
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