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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.

Holiday Gift Ideas (hint: they are ALL books)
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Walt KellyNoah Van SciverMichael KuppermanLove and RocketsJustin HallJaime HernandezGilbert HernandezGeorge HerrimanGary PanterErnie BushmillerDisneyDaily OCDCharles M SchulzCarl BarksBasil Wolverton 26 Nov 2012 12:46 PM

Holiday Books

Now that the mess of Halloween is swept under the rug and Thanksgiving is over or has turned into subcutaneous fat around your middle-section, we can get back to what is really important: egg nog and books to buy for your loved ones be they the birthday-celebrating Sagittarius or Capricorn in your life or for an annual wintertime holiday. Many of our books have been featured on holiday gift guides and we even have thematic releases coming out just in time for the holidays. So peruse while you finish up your holiday shopping lists. (And remember our CYBER MONDAY sale is going on RIGHT NOW for 30% off 2012 titles and more)

Spacehawk

For the monster in you and that book to connect generations of family members, look no further than SPACEHAWK by Basil Wolverton. Cory Doctorow of Boing Boing believes "what you read it for is the character design, that amazing Wolverton grotesque that is as unmistakable as it is unforgettable. I mean to say, this guy could really draw monsters [in this] weighty tome that almost strobes with awesome."

Krazy & Ignatz Vol. 1 Krazy Vol. 2 Krazy Vol. 3 

For the completist and nostalgic fan, Publishers Weekly gift guide highlights the first three volumes of Krazy & Ignatz: Complete Sunday Strips 1916-1924 by George Herriman (for a whopping $95). PW states "One of the most admired and influential comic strips of all time, Krazy & Ignatz is collected in Krazy & Ignatz: Complete Sunday Strips 1916–1924, which contains the first nine years of George Herriman’s masterpiece into one (of three) handsome tomes." 

Pogo Box Set

For more strip and comic book archival collections Tom Spurgeon of The Comics Reporter suggests Walt Kelly's Pogo Vol. 1-2 Box Set. "I love the early Pogo work best of all the Pogo work, and these volumes are attractive in a way that's extremely difficult to guarantee with a post-World War 2 offering. They were cramming the strips into papers by then, making tear sheets and originals an even greater premium than is usual." A little history with your recommendation.

The Hypo

Speaking of history Publishers Weekly calls it a 'good yarn,' but The Hypo by Noah Van Sciver is also for 'that person who loved the film Lincoln' as Comic Book Resources puts it. "This is an angle of Lincoln that rarely gets seen, and Van Sciver's strong plotting and detailed artwork make this an engaging and easily accessible read to any reader."

No Straight Lines

In the mood for more biographies or memoirs? Publishers Weekly suggests No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics, edited by Justin Hall. The NY TIMES also featured this "sampling of comic books and comic strips featuring gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender themes and characters has strong language and sexual situations, but a lot of laughs too. It is a wonderful toe dip into the genre," states George Gene Gustines.

Mark Twain's Autobiography   Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 1

"For the person who reads John Hodgman" cartoonist, quippest and sharpest tack on the internet block Michael Kupperman is the man for you. Rob at Panel Patter continues, "He's the author of my favorite book of 2011, Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010, as well as the Tales Designed to Thrizzle anthology series. His work features outrageous satire . . . sending Twain off on wacky hijinks with Albert Einstein. Nothing is sacred and everything is skewered by Kupperman, who is a perfect fit for the lovers of Daily Show-like comedy.

Dal Tokyo

For the person who enjoys process over narrative the "punk icon Gary Panter’s angular world of neon brutalism" Dal Tokyo is the perfect gift for the 'Visual Splendor', says Publishers Weekly.

Love and Rockets New Stories #5 Maggie the Mechanic Heartbreak Soup

Tom Spurgeon of The Comics Reporter recommends comics for people WHO ALREADY LIKE THEM. #1 on his list is anything by The Hernandez Brothers. "They made some of the very best comics the year that Love and Rockets began; they made some of the very best comics this year." Start from the beginning with Gilbert's Palomar Series in the book Heartbreak Soup or with Jaime's Locas Series starting with Maggie the Mechanic. Is your loved one a huge fan? Get the latest book, Love and Rockets: New Stories #5.

Charlie Brown's Christmas Stocking

But wait! (There's more) We also have blue spruce trimmed books for your holiday and year-long enjoyment. First up is the perfect stocking stuffer Charlie Brown's Christmas Stocking, this adorable little package collects two of Charles M. Schulz's best "extras" from the 1960s: two Christmas-themed stories written and drawn for national magazines are FINALLY collected in book form. The Comics Reporter says, "There aren't a whole lot of Charles Schulz-related items that have yet to be published; this holiday-related book is one of the few hold-outs." Charlie Brown's Christmas Stocking was also featured on The LA Times Gifts for Under $25 "Charlie, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus, Schroeder, Frieda, Violet, Shermy and Sally all make appearances, and the book also includes a pocket-sized biography of Schulz." Created in the classic square style of Charlie Brown small book collections, this book is sure to warm your hearts without the need of a glowing fire or mug of mulled cider.

Donald Duck: A Christmas for Shacktown

Walt Disney's Donald Duck: A Christmas for Shacktown by Carl Barks is the third book in our Carl Barks Library which chronologically prints stories from this master. "A Christmas for Shacktown" is a rare 32-pager that stays within the confines of Duckburg, featuring a storyline in which the Duck family works hard to raise money to throw a Christmas party for the poor children of the city’s slums (depicted by Barks with surprisingly Dickensian grittiness). The Comics Reporter's Tom Spurgeon states, "I used to love the unabashed sentimentalism that saturates a story like this one, at least in the initial pages."

The rest of the book is also full of GOLD and not necessarily snow-covered. 240 pages in full-color glory make this a must-have no matter what the season. Featured on The LA Times Gifts for Under $50 "Fantagraphics has been reprinting Carl Barks’ classic Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge work, and this third volume focuses on Barks’ peak period in the early 1950s."

Nancy Likes Christmas

Finally, the second book of Ernie Bushmiller's famous strip Nancy is out for pre-order. Nancy Likes Christmas: Complete Dailies 1946-1948 is three more punny years of the fabulous life of an odd looking little girl. Order through us and you'll receive an FBI mini comic to throw in that stocking over the fireplace (be it real or the Netflix fireplace) as well. Spurgeon again, "it sounds good. I'm pro-Nancy and everything." It's kinda like being pro-education. We all agree it's a good thang.

Order now for the holidays! We even have the you must buy by this date to ensure proper delivery and minimum tears.

Daily OCD 11/21/12
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under staffOlivier Schrauwenoffice funNoah Van SciverNico VassilakisMoto HagioLorenzo MattottiLinda MedleylibraryJaime HernandezJacques TardiJack JacksonFlannery OConnorDaily OCDCrag HillChris WrightCharles Burns 21 Nov 2012 3:52 PM

The strongest umbrella in the wind of Online Commentaries & Diversions: 

The Last Vispo

• Review: Paul Constant of The Stranger looks at The Last Vispo: Visual Poetry 1998-2008, edited by Nico Vassilakis and Crag Hill. "As an art book, it demands hours of investigation. . . For those linguistic pioneers looking to find the future of fiction, this could be one of the most informative poetry anthologies to be published in the new millennium."

Adele Blanc-Sec

• Review: NPR's My Guilty Pleasure looks at the Jacques Tardi graphics novels of Adèle Blanc-Sec who is "young writer with the brains of Sherlock Holmes, the body of Angelina Jolie and the stoic fortitude of the Marlboro Man." Rosecrans Baldwin states, "The books are part adventure comic, part hardboiled fiction. They're terrific whodunits that conjure up all the precise atmospheric detail of, say, a Georges Simenon novel, but with twice the plot."

The Crackle of the Frost

• Review: The Crackle of the Frost makes NPR's Graphic Novels that Fell Under the Radar of 2012 list. Glen Weldon states, "it's Mattotti's breathtakingly vivid paintings, pulsating with the mysterious poetry of unsettling dreams, that add a welcome and indelible splash of Kafka and Murakami."

Blacklung

• Review: Blacklung by Chris Wright gets reviewed on Nerds of a Feather. Philippe Duhart says, "Wright’s genius is further evident in his ability to use these aberrant cartoonish characterizations to convey human emotion, particularly terror. Wright’s portrayal of violence is stark and chilling – despite or perhaps because of his singular style. . . Black Lung worked on all counts. Plus, pirates."

• Review (video): Kapow Comics down in Australia reviews Chris Wright's Blacklung. Al states "this is a complicated book with musings on philosophy, literature, mortality and especially, religion has a big focus." Sonya says, "Every single character changes in this story, their journey changes them . . . [Blacklung] prayed on my mind. It lingers with you."

Flannery O'Connor: The Cartoons

• Review: Glen David Gold looks at Flannery O'Connor: The Cartoons edited by Kelly Gerald in the LA Review of Books. In an attempt to see how the bread is made, Gold, "Cartooning was O'Connor's first artistic passion. . . . An article in the local paper and a pile of rejection slips from The New Yorker indicate how serious she was. . . not an early blush of Flannery the fiction writer at work. But I'd still recommend it to the curious. Come at it without expecting same genius, but look at it because it's an extreme close up of biography."

Los Tejanos and Lost Cause

• Review: Publishers Weekly looks at Jack Jackson's Los Tejanos and Lost Causes. "Comics’ current vogue for nonfiction was pioneered in these two works from the late underground comix founding father Jackson, who died in 2006. Jackson brought an R. Crumb–style crosshatching and love of facial grotesquery to these two densely researched historical graphic novels."

The Heart of Thomas

• Plug: Publishers Weekly and Ada Price show a sneak peak of The Heart of Thomas by Moto Hagio. Enjoy 14 pages of pure genius but don't forget to read each one right to left! We're talking manga here.

The Hypo

• Review: Rob Clough of The Comics Journal enjoys The Hypo by Noah Van Sciver."he’s made a fairly significant leap as both a draftsman and a storyteller in a relatively short period of time . . . Van Sciver’s greatest achievement in this book is his storytelling restraint. He lets his cross-hatching gets across the grime . . He wants to show the reader a different side of the Lincoln we grew up reading about in the history books, but also wants the reader to connect this younger man to the future president."

Castle Waiting Vol. 1

• Review: Fantasy Literature takes a peek at Castle Waiting Vol. 1 by Linda Medley and Ruth Arnell is in love. "the charming ink illustrations have a piquant charming quality that match the story wonderfully. . . Linda Medley has written a gentle feminist fairy tale comic book that truly deserves to have a wider audience."
 
Black Hole
 
• Review: Sonia Harris of Comics Book Resources reads Black Hole by Charles Burns all in one sitting, one evening. "Reading Black Hole all at once in a nice, tidy bundle, it is impossible to experience what Black Hole was for all those years while it was slowly seeping out, issue by issue.  . .  it is visceral poetry, a true expression of the medium with imagery and words working together to create the most intimate impact. Black Hole is beautiful and terrible, it is a treasure."

Jaime Hernandez

• Interview: Antonio Solina of Italian site Lo Spazio Bianco interviews with Jaime Hernandez .

Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival The Man Who Grew His Beard

• Commentary: On the Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival, Coming Books are Burning in Hell talk non-stop about the mystery cartoonist that is Olivier Schrauwen of The Man Who Grew His Beard. BCGF coverge by The Beat (Heidi) describes the Olivier Schrauwen exhibit and Hannah Means-Shannon on the panels. Julia Pohl-Miranda from Drawn and Quarterly snaps a pic of me and former intern Anna hard at work (and pretty hot, you can see our sweat)

• Commentary: OSU Librarian, Caitlin McGurk, visited the Fantagraphics office and wrote up a nice report on us at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum blog!

Abandoned Cars at comiXology
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Tim Lanedigital comicscomiXology 21 Nov 2012 1:06 PM

Abandoned Cars on iPad

This week, Fantagraphics and comiXology are thankful to release Tim Lane's Abandoned Cars for your digital reading devices. This collection of graphic short stories, noir-ish narratives that are united by their exploration of the great American mythological drama by way of the desperate and haunted characters that populate its pages. Lane’s characters exist on the margins of society—alienated, floating in the void between hope and despair, confused but introspective. Some of them are experiencing the aftermath of an existential car crash—those surreal moments after a car accident, when time slows down and you’re trying to determine what just happened and how badly you’re hurt. Others have gone off the deep end, or were never anywhere but the deep end. Some are ridiculous, others dignified in their efforts to struggle to make sense of, and cope with, the absurdities, outrages, ghosts, and poisons in their lives.

 Tim Lane comics

You'll be thankful for your crowded family American holiday dinners or for the empty streets as you enjoy the week alone. Either way, this 160 pages of execllent comics from Tim Lane are available to read on the bus, train, plane or car for a mere $16.99 at comiXology.

 “[Tim Lane] makes illustrations in that Brill Cream-soaked, hard-boiled, noir style with heavy hatching circa R. Crumb.” – Juxtapoz

"It’s vaudevillian and it’s Old Hollywood. It’s rock n’ roll and beat poetry. It’s introspective and depressing and quite often funny, and depicts a world that exists on the fringes of society where the American Dream meets the cold, harsh reality of life as viewed through a grimy windshield."  – Chad Derdowski, Mania

Tim Lane’s stories resonate with a dramatic intensity and emotional life that’s genuinely rare in comics today. Heartache, hope, loss and redemption — all in their naked glory on every page. And his drawing is phenomenal!” – Glenn Head

The Bizarre Art of F**king
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under reviewsmiscJacques BoyreauDaily OCD 20 Nov 2012 4:27 PM

 Bizarre Magazine

Bizarre Magazine recently ran an article by Stephen Daultrey featuring some primo "JUICY" posters from our arty porn poster book Sexytime, edited by Jacques Boyreau and Peter Van Horne. Seeking to celebrate "the age of trashy porn with tales of enemas, garage lube, balcony wanking" and Sexytime, Daultrey and Boyreau's words effectively magic a nostalgia within the reader that I didn't think possible.

quote

 The 1960s brought on such a world that "Grindhouse movie producers had begun competing about who could up the filth factor," Boyreau points out. This pushed the crazitude of poster art to a higher level, porny and punny. Think enemas, pumps and dumps.

Juice
Daultrey laments the availibility of VHS tapes and internet porn meant a lessening need for "suggestive and sometimes absurd posters [that] made the films even more trendy and often operated as standalone works of art that were almost entirely autonomous from the fuck films they promoted."  Sexytime quote

But that's the beauty of the posters seen in Sexytime says Boyreau, "They activated their own post-porn, personal narratives. They're much like how Impressionist paintings or religious, symbolic paintings can induce visionary relationships between body and soul."

Mothers are Forever

To read more, pick up the next Bizarre Magazine for the full article and buy a copy of Sexytime. That one at the library has at least '69 holds' on it and is smelling a wee bit ripe.

Sexytime Cover

Suds up Percy Gloom
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under office funCathy Malkasianarbitrary cuteness 19 Nov 2012 4:13 PM

 Percy Gloom Soap

Cathy Malkasian thinks we're dirty. What else can we expect when she sends us a box of beautifully-crafted soap? We're working so hard on publishing books; its a sweaty business. To be fair, she sent the box to Eric Reynolds but he is nice and clean enough to share with the rest of us. Each soap is a charcter from Malkasian's 2007 hit, Percy Gloom. Look at those perfectly molded soaps, Percy even has his cute hat on!

Soap
 
Malkasian's next graphic novel is due out in April entitled Wake Up Percy Gloom! S0 get soapy and squeaky clean for the next book. You'll have to pardon me for ending this FLOG! post early, I've got a sudsy, frothy Percy soap face to stick into my sweaty under-arms.
 
Wake Up Percy Gloom


The Hypo Pacific Northwest Tour Recap
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Peter BaggePat MoriarityNoah Van SciverField TripFantagraphics BookstoreDavid Lasky 19 Nov 2012 2:49 PM

 Fantagraphics store

Here lie the records from The Hypo Pacific Northwest Tour starring Noah Van Sciver. Recently the Fantagraphics store hosted cartoonists David Lasky and Van Sciver as guests of honors for a signing, Larry Reid arranged their gorgeous work out on the wall. The two signings were perfect, graphics novels about a young depressed Abraham Lincoln struggling to be a great politician and a young family in a depressed era struggling as music makers. The Hypo is available on our website while The Carter Family by Lasky is available at Abrams. 

Fanta signing
Frank M. Young, David Lasky, Ellen Forney and Noah Van Sciver pose with their books. Young (who survived as a TCJ editor for 13 months in the early 90s) and Lasky are both local to Seattle but Van Sciver was the Denverite on the move. Another Fantagraphics' favorite Ellen Forney stopped by to say hi (holding up her new book, Marbles). 

Frank M Young, David Lasky, Ellen Forney and Noah Van Sciver

One dad brought his very interested and inquisitive children to the signing. They asked Noah many, many questions about Lincoln.

Noah Van Sciver and kids

Our production and art director Jason T Miles wins the staring contest with Van Sciver.

Jason Miles and Noah Van Sciver
Smartly, right-handed Lasky and left-handed Van Sciver smartly sat with their drawin' hands away from each other. Check out the amazingly posh table cloth provided by store curator, Larry. Nothing says MONEY like two books about depressed poor people! Luckily, each have their silver linings. 

Hands
Dennis Driscoll from K Records sang both songs by the Carter Family and some 'old' languid creations of his own. Forgive me but he needed a volunteer for the troll song.

Dennis Driscoll and Jen
Upstairs, an Intruder comic art show was also opening up at the One Night Stand Gallery. Noah and Kaz Strzepek enjoy the show.

Noah and Kaz
Intruder and cartoonist Marc J Palm jaws on with Floating World's Jason Leivian.

Marc Palm and Jason L.

The next day Short Run (a small press comics show in Seattle) was held at the Vera Project who had the sickest looking screen printing setup ever! Their vacuumed-table allowed for perfect printing on the thinnest of paper like this here comic.

Screen printin' comics
The celebrated locals also sat pretty at their tables. Pat Moriarity shared space with Noah Van Sciver while Peter Bagge commanded attention, standing and selling and constantly talking.

Pat and Noah

Peter Bagge

The party continued at the Black Lodge, here Noah yukks it up with Fantagraphics' Jacq Cohen and Pat Moriarity (stolen photo from Robin McConnell).Black Lodge

The Hypo Pacific Northwest Tour hit the road again after a successful Short Run, this time over the border in Vancouver, Canada.

Lucky's
Noah's reading at Lucky's Comics took place on a rainy afternoon but that didn't stop us!

Noah Van Sciver

Another artist's soft sculpture provided some texture to the room during the reading.

Noah at Lucky's
Jason Zumpano, a local musician stopped by (far left) as well as local Ph.D. students and book sellers, interested in Noah's graphic novel.

Jason Zumpano and Noah Van Sciver
Store owner Gabe and Noah.

Gabe and Noah
Check out some the Fantagraphics books on the display!

Our books, Lucky's shelves
We stopped by the Vancouver Comic Con (it takes place about every other month) organized by Leonard Wong. Below Noah cuts in line to speak to James Lloyd from Bongo Comics. Noah and James

We spent the rest of the time drawing in a cafe, waiting for the bus.

 Noah Van Sciver

We were both sad because we saw a cute dog get attacked by another dog and then we read in the paper about a giraffe dying at the zoo. Noah commemorated the cute dog on a bookplate for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.

CBLDF

I drew that sad giraffe who died, a little after two OTHER giraffes in the zoo. C'mon, Vancouver.

 Giraffe

The trip continued to Floating World thanks to Jason Leivian but the pictures were so epic, they exploded (digitally) when sent via email. But that's okay because I have another original Van Sciver for you. Remember that troll song? This JUST came in the mail today for me from Noah. What a funny man. 

Troll

Enjoy The Hypo and his other comics today! Thank you to everyone who came out, bought a book, talked to us, bought us drinks or showed us the way.  

 The Hypo















Daily OCD 11/16/12
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under William S BurroughsRaymond MacherotPeanutsNoah Van SciverMickey MouseMalcolm McNeillLove and RocketsJoe SaccoJaime HernandezFlannery OConnorDrew FriedmanDisneyDaily OCDChris WrightCarl BarksAlexander Theroux 16 Nov 2012 8:05 PM

 The first bit of frost of Online Commentaries & Diversions:

The Lost Art of Ah Pook

• Review (video): Last Gasp's John Longhi reviews The Lost Art of Ah Pook by Malcom McNeill, a story originally created with William Burroughs. Longhi says, "I can see why Burroughs wanted to work with McNeill because he's one of the few guys who could capture the crazy wacked out details of his story writing. . . [It contains] all the wonderful social discord that made his writing fantastic."

Blacklung

• Review: Blacklung by Chris Wright gets high marks on Paste Magazine. Sean Edgar says, "Blacklung is a weird, compelling creation, telling a harrowing story of redemption and savagery through art that could initially pass as adorable before you get to the tongue necklaces. Highly recommended for those with strong stomachs." 

The Hypo

• Review: School Library Journal announces their BEST BOOKS OF 2012 and in the graphics novels section, Noah Van Sciver's The Hypo is listed. "Van Sciver makes Lincoln real by picturing one of the hardest times in his younger life. . . Dickens-style squalor and melodrama plus Austen-style romance, all done in gritty cross-hatching."

Flannery O'Connor

• Plug: The NY Times listed Flannery O'Connor: The Cartoons at the top of the Best Bathroom Reads of 2012. Dwight Garner believes "the prints collected here are droll and strange." Two of our favorite words to describe Fantagraphics-style creators such as Flannery O'Connor.

Mickey Mouse Volume 4: House of Seven Haunts Donald Duck: A Christmas for Shacktown Charlie Brown's Christmas Stocking

• Plug: Ken Plume mentions some of our books on his 2012 shopping guide: "Alongside the Peanuts collection, [Walt Disney's Donald Duck: A Christmas for Shacktown and Mickey Mouse Vol. 4 "House of the Seven Haunts"] reinforce the assessment that no one is doing archival comic collections as well as Fantagraphics."

Drew Friedman

• Plug: Drew Friedman is Boing-Boing-ed thanks to his amazing drawings, this time of John Severin from MAD/EC/Cracked comics. 

Sibyl-Anne Vs. Ratticus Gil Jordan: Murder by High Tide

• Plug: Black and White adores Raymond Macherot's Gil Jordan, Private Detective: Murder By High Tide and Sibyl-Anne Vs. Ratticus . Miguel saw the English and French versions, "And I fell in love. . . [Macherot's] worlds are (usually) full of deceptively cute anthropomorphic animals, and in his best work, under that kids-friendly surface of pretty little animals there is real threat."

God and Science Spanish edition

• Review: Roughly translated from Ediciones La Cupula, Jaime Hernandez's God and Science: Return of the Ti-Girls is reviewed. "The excitement that overwhelms us after reading each of the installments of the saga of  [Ti-Girls] is directly proportional to its artistic excellence, his talent as a storyteller and human greatness that lives in his cartoons."

The Strange Case of Edward Gorey   Laura Warholic

• Review: Lanacion reviews the writings and works of Alexander Theroux (Laura Warholic, Estonia and The Strange Case of Edward Gorey) and translated, barely, Matias Serra Bradford states, "If left as an untreated rarity, Alexander Theroux seems mysterious to the fantastic and impossible point of determining the trajectory of a particle and its position."

Joe Sacco

• Review: The Snipe News looks at Joe Sacco's Journalism collection. "the decade’s worth of stories. . . are most notable not from any kind of torn-from-the-headlines sensationalism but for the empathy the author brings to his subjects. . . . Sacco has a feel for displaced persons in general."

Uptight: comiXology carries the great Jordan Crane
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Jordan Cranedigital comicscomiXology 16 Nov 2012 5:19 PM

Uptight iPad

The wait is over. Jordan Crane's long sold-out Uptight issues #1 and 2 (plus 3 and 4) are now available via comiXology for your eyes' delight. Adult melancholia and delightful all-ages adventures go side-by-side in this versatile, masterful one-man anthology in stunning black and white detail. Each volume has its own jewels like the tragic ghost story "Take Me Home" in Issue #2. A fan of The Clouds Above? Be sure to check out Simon and Jack's continueing adventures in #4. For the low price of $2.99, you can enjoy solid storytelling and exquisitely drawn comics.

Uptight 1-4

 "Luscious... elegant... I fairly swooned." – The Comics Reporter

"There's something very friendly and reassuring about his drawing style. Jordan Crane is without a doubt one of the best guys in the alt comix game right now and my only criticism of him is that I wish he turned out more work. Jordan's making the comics that everyone else is trying to make but unlike them, he's succeeding at it." - Nick Gazin, Vice 

"It speaks to Crane’s versatility that he can pull off a slice-of-life relationship story and a fable in the same comic book." – Rob Clough, The Comics Journal

Esther Pearl Watson in Person and in Paintings down in Texas
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Original ArteventsEsther Pearl Watsonart 15 Nov 2012 5:12 PM

Ester Pearl Watson

November 18th - Waxahachie, TX.  HIDDEN BEHIND THE STARS featuring the artwork of Esther Pearl Watson opens up this Sunday on the plains of Texas at Webb Gallery. From 3-7pm on Sunday November 18th, you can rock out with music by Quintron and Miss Pussycat while gazing at amazing paintings by Ester. At 7pm, see a premiere screening of Quintron and Miss Pussycat's new movie "The Mystery in Old Bathbath."

Esther Pearl Watson is one of Webb Galleries favorites. Her work is fantastical, beautiful, witty, colorful, dark and autobiographical all at the same time. Many of the works depict her childhood, of growing up with a father obsessed with the idea he could build a flying saucer and sell it to NASA or Ross Perot. Her newest body of work addresses perception and legibility of painting with the addition of surface texture and sculptural elements such as starry fabrics and sculpted meteorites. She grew up in the DFW metro-plex, but currently resides outside of Los Angeles.

Colorblind

Esther Pearl Watson earned her MFA at California Institute of the Arts in 2012 and a BFA at Art Center College of Design. Her work has been exhibited at Nancy Margolis Gallery, Billy Shire Fine Arts, Lesher Center for the Arts and Oakland Museum of California. This is her first exhibit following her Masters Graduation from CalArts.

Unlovable Vol. 1 and 2

In addition to paintings, Esther will also have copies of her two Fantagraphics graphic novels, Unlovable, loosely based on a teenager’s diary from the 1980s found in a gas-station bathroom. Tammy Pierce is one of the most unfortunate teens and unabashed malcontents on the other side of the 80s. Serialized in the back of Bust Magazine, Watson has an incredible talent for humor in frantic, scrawled drawings. Adding paint and gouache to the mix just make everything cuter. Hope ya'll can come out! (my apologies to other non-ya'lling Texans).

Webb Gallery - downtown Waxahachie, Texas
209 W. Franklin
972.938.8085
www.webbartgallery.com 

Page from Unlovable

Unlovable page



Daily OCD 11/14/12
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Wally WoodSteven WeissmanRon Regé JrRobert CrumbPeanutsLilli CarréJoost SwarteJohnny RyanJim WoodringJaime HernandezJacques BoyreauHarvey KurtzmanHal FosterGreg SadowskiGary PanterFloyd GottfredsonEllen ForneyEC ComicsDisneyDaily OCDChris WrightCharles M SchulzCharles BurnsCarl BarksBasil Wolverton 14 Nov 2012 6:20 PM

 The first rain-free (HA!) day of Online Commentaries & Diversions:

The Cartoon Utopia

• Review: The Comics Journal looks at Ron Rege Jr.'s The Cartoon Utopia. Katie Haegel writes, "Almost impossible to categorize, the work in Cartoon Utopia is both fully realized in a formal sense and wonderfully idiosyncratic. Like, it’s really out there. . . to me the work is much stronger when it depicts magic in action, which Regé accomplishes by telling us stories about historical figures and their relationship to the natural world."

• Review: Robot 6 reviews The Cartoon Utopia by Ron Rege Jr. Chris Mautner writes "with Rege drawing science, new age spiritualism, the occult, astrology and Jungian archetypes to come up with a personal grand unification theory. There are no plots or characters in the book to speak of, instead Rege merely muses and illustrates his theories, which mainly have to on the interconnectedness of all living matter."

• Plugs: Best covers of the week by Andy Khouri on Comics Alliance. Ron Regé Jr's The Cartoon Utopia: "This cover really makes me smile, and maybe gives me a sense of four-color spiritual well-being. But cartoon utopia looks more outdoorsy than I expected."

• Review: Page 45 enjoys the gentle pages of The Cartoon Utopia. Stephen L. Holland states, "Regé is back with a spiritual manifesto and ode to creativity: a singular, secular vision delivered with all the fervour of a religious sermon. It’s a call not to arms but to peace and perception unshackled from the conditioning of ages, exhorting all to see new possibilities, infinite possibilities, so enabling one’s full potential to be realised in both senses of the word."

Barack Hussein Obama

• Review: Barack Hussein Obama by Steven Weissman is reviewed on Bookslut. Martyn Pedler says, "His Obama begins as a kind of smug, stoner everyman: telling 'your momma' jokes, discussing old movies with visiting dignitaries . . .  Weissman’s pages -- drawn in ballpoint into a moleskin notebook -- use a four-panel gag structure that makes the book immediately addictive."  

• Review: Publishers Weekly takes on Barack Hussein Obama by Steven Weissman.". . . readers will likely have to be content with being one part giddy and three parts puzzled. . . Perhaps that’s Weissman’s point: that the farce of contemporary politics has the capacity to make one simultaneously giddy, confused, and disenchanted."

• Interview (audio): Speaking of Steven Weissman, Obama and the elections, he is interviewed on KPFK 90.7 FM's show Beneath the Surface

Charle Brown's Christmas Stocking  Heads or Tails

• Review: Comics Worth Reading looks at Charlie Brown's Christmas Stocking by Charles Schulz. KC Carlson says, "Charlie Brown’s Christmas Stocking is the perfect stocking stuffer for any Peanuts fan — which is probably most of the planet!"

• Review: Comics Worth Reading looks at Charlie Brown's Christmas Stocking by Charles Schulz. KC Carlson says, "Charlie Brown’s Christmas Stocking is the perfect stocking stuffer for any Peanuts fan — which is probably most of the planet!"

• Review: Cartoonist Lilli Carré finds herself Boing-Boing-ed. Brian Heater describes Heads or Tails collection, "These strips, which originally in the pages of places like The Believer and Mome, find the artist dipping her toes into new pools, the sort of freedom afforded by the low commitments of the short story form, often to truly wonderful effect."

Prison Pit Book 4  
 • Interview: Eddie Wright of MTV Geek interviews Johnny Ryan about Prison Pit 4 and why us humans love it so much. "Well, I think it connects to comic fans because it's the stripped down essence of what popular superhero comics are, which is men beating the living shit out of each other. People love it."
 
• Review: Reglar Wiglar spit takes while reading Johnny Ryan's Prison Pit 4. Chris Auman says, "This is Ryan’s depraved ID unleashed in its purest form: blood, guts, genitalia and fecal matter abound—actually they don’t abound so much as they’re sprayed all over absolutely everything in a fantastical sci-fi orgy of digustedness.
 
Came the Dawn Corpse on the Imjin! Spacehawk
 
Blacklung Dal Tokyo Spacehawk Mini
• Plugs: Best covers of the week by Andy Khouri on Comics Alliance. continues with Wallace Wood's Came the Dawn: "And while we're talking smart use of interior art, here's another superb example. This collection is all about the mastery of Wally Wood, so the cover presents a taste of his work in an uncluttered and respectful way, while also establishing a trade dress for Fantagraphics' new EC artists line." Chris Wright's Blacklung: "I see a lot of Joann Sfar in this densely demonic and stylishly constructed cover, and that's enough to convince me to investigate the work of newcomer Chris Wright." Spacehawk mini-comic by Basil Wolverton: "Basil Wolverton may be best known for his grotesque caricatures in MAD Magazine, but he worked in a lot of genres. Spacehawk was evidently one of his early works, and if this gorgeously lurid cover is anything to go by it was a delightfully daffy sci-fi pulp."

• Review: Booklist Online carves out a place in their hearts for Wallace Wood's Came the Dawn. Ray Olson writes, "This volume presenting all his horror and crime stories chronologically shows him refining what is at first a crude though powerful sense of mise-en-scène into one that is assured, highly detailed, and lightly caricatural."

• Review: AV Club reviewed all our new books Came the Dawn by Wallace Wood and Corpse on the Imjin by Harvey Kurtzman. Noel Murray writes, "in writer/artist-driven volumes, printed in black and white, with additional essays and archival material . . . [and] both immediately reveal the value in the artist-driven approach. . . Feldstein’s stories were like the comic-book equivalent to some of the seediest B-movies, and Wood’s art fit Feldstein’s text, with lots of deep shadows and wrinkles reflecting a complicated world." On Basil Wolverton Spacehawk, "As with Kurtzman’s war comics, it’s remarkable to see art so twisted applied to such vivid pulp tales—almost as though Wolverton was trying his hardest to be Alex Raymond, but couldn’t help turning out images to rival Salvador Dalí." Gary Panter's "Dal Tokyo would evolve, strip-by-strip, into a distinctly Panter-esque swirl of science fiction and pure abstraction, in keeping with the artist’s one-of-a-kind sense of design, and his pursuit of comics that resemble music and poetry."
 
•Plug: Web Cast Beacon reviews all free Halloween Comics Fest freebies. They enjoy Tales from the Crypt and Spacehawk. YES, mail in those ad coupons, people. 
 
Problematic
• Interview: Jim Woodring is interviewed by Peter Bebergal on hippies, hallucinations and all the good stuff that goes into his latest work, Problematic, a skechbook. "I frequently saw things at night — silently jabbering heads at the foot of my bed, distorted animals and objects hanging in the air over me. Often I saw a huge staring eye that made me vomit with fear."
 
Mickey Mouse: House of the Seven Haunts Mickey Mouse: High Noon at Inferno Gulch
• Plug: On Boing-Boing, Mark Frauenfelder tips his digi-hat to Floyd Gottfredson: "Gottfredson's Mickey is a plucky, goodhearted imp, bursting with energy and impulsively eager for adventure. . . [Carl] Barks will always have a special place in my heart, but I've added Gottfredson to my short list of great American cartoonists."

The Lost Art of Ah Pook

• Review: Page 45 looks at The Lost Art of Ah Pook and Stephen L. Holland ponders "Malcom Mc Neill has taken the time to put this eye-frazzling book of art – some of it sequential – into context, for the work itself is very much lost. . . There are vast scenes of ancient ritual, carnal lust and very modern warfare transcending time just as they were always intended."

Walt Disney's Uncle Scrooge: Only a Poor Old Man Action! Myster! Thrills!

• Review: Booklist Online likes Walt Disney's Uncle Scrooge: Only a Poor Old Man by Carl Barks. Ian Chipman states, "from the bitter cold of the Klondike to the bottom of the Caribbean. . . Barks’ comics are an absolute treasure that have aged remarkably well, and are finally getting wide-scale publication to introduce them to a new generation of readers."

• Review: Gene Ambaum of Unshelved happily views covers from Action! Mystery! Thrills!, edited by Greg Sadowski. "Beautiful full-color reproductions of unblemished comic book covers show the amazing art and the breadth of genres on the newsstands before Fredric Wertham screwed everything up in the 1950s. . . The colors are bright, and the art is just plain fun."

Is That All There Is? Prince Valiant 2: 1939-1940
• Review: Is That All There Is? by Joost Swarte gets reviewed on Bookgasm. JT Lindroos states, ". . . it’s impossible not to enjoy this ultimately all-too-brief volume for every single panel it presents. Swarte is consistently projecting an incisive and curious mind at work, perfectly tuned to his showstopping skills as an artist nonpareil."

• Review: Comic Book Daily reviews Prince Valiant Volume 2: 1939-1940. Scott VanderPloeg write, "All of it beautifully drawn as only Hal Foster could. Each page is a visual feast that begs to be savoured."

Sexytime The Complete Crumb Comics

• Review: Rod Lott of Bookgasm spends a long, loooong time checking out Sexytime. "[Editor Jacque Boyreau] has a knack for picking images; much like Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart and hardcore porn, Boyreau knows it when he sees it. And luckily, he shares it, this time from the visual-presentation experts of Fantagraphics Books — a match made in poster-art heaven."

• Plug: Matt Bielby writes about The Complete Crumb Volume 1 by R. Crumb in Comic Heroes Magazine: "It's incredible stuff, much of it obviously for completists only, but even the most obscure volumes track a fascinating, and developing, world view."
 
Charles Burns   Ellen ForneyJaime Hernandez
• Interview: Charles Burns is interviewed on Cult Montreal by Emily Raine about The Hive, his creepy artwork and the Black Hole movie. "It’s not my intention to be creepy per se, or that’s not the reason I’m writing stories. I think they end up being whatever they are. Maybe I’m just a creepy guy, I don’t know."

• Interview (audio): One of our favorite creators, Ellen Forney, speaks to KUOW/NPR on bi-polar disorder, comics and her new work, Marbles. 

• Plug: Jaime Hernandez will be at the Copenhagen Comics Fest in Copenhagen, Denmark in June of 2013. Mark them calendars!


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