The first image is from Nostalgia Press's 1978 re-colored version. The second image is from Fantagraphics Books' 1991 re-colored version. The third image is from the original Syndicate proof sheets which will eventually be used in Fantagraphics' Prince Valiant Volume 6 later this year.
While I think the Danish colorists behind the 1991 version made a (heh) valiant effort at capturing the glory of Foster (the less said about the Nostalgia Press version the better), it's pretty obvious which one is the keeper here. (Also, Foster didn't make the native Americans the color of boiled lobsters.)
Guess what classic... well, it seems almost wrong to call something this slickly designed and smartly edited and overall wonderful a "fanzine," but let's go with "fanzine" anyway... so guess which classic fanzine is returning after a five-year hiatus this Spring?
We are proud and pleased to be publishing our first Nicolas Mahler book (a full-color hardcover, no less) this coming April: ANGELMAN. As a special blog bonus, we will serialize the first quarter of the book with the rest of our weekly digital comics, beginning this Friday... at the end of which, you will be so absorbed in Angelman's travails that you will have no choice but to pick up the book. Enjoy! Here is the title page of the book, to further whet your appetite.
Between this and Jaime Hernandez's GOD AND SCIENCE, Fantagraphics' 2012 goal will be to remind everyone that the super-hero comics genre isn't completely played out.
There are many ways to describe R.C. Harvey, but, as anyone who has accidentally dropped his nearly-1,000-page opus Meanwhile... A Biography of Milton Caniff on his or her toes can attest, "man of few words" is not necessarily one of them. (I say this as someone who read each and every word in Meanwhile... with delight and fascination.) So it should have come as no surprise to us when Harv, commissioned to write a set of elucidatory notes for the first Pogo volume and given no word limit (as is our jauntily laissez-faire method here at Fantagraphics), turned in a 13,000-word monster of an essay entitled "Swamp Talk." Given available space, it was a bit too much, and Harv and contributing editor Mark Evanier had to go in with a machete and whack it down to size (less than half—and still not short by any means, as those who are enjoying the book already know).
But the fact is, Harv's original full-length "Swamp Talk" has plenty of delightfully chewy bits in the parts that were cut, so with the kind permission of Harv and Pogo co-editors Evanier and Carolyn Kelly, we're pleased to present the unexpurgated "Swamp Talk" in digital form here — perfect for perusing with the book on your lap.
And if you don't have the book yet, well... Rowrbrazzle! What are you waiting for?
Should Harv feel the need to ascend into the quintuple digits on "Swamp Talks" in future volumes, the "shortened version in print, full version on the internet" template seems like the way to go so far as we're concerned.
Impatient Adèle Blanc-Sec readers have been quizzing me about when they can expect the next Adèle volume, so I thought I'd give everyone a swift update that's not buried in the comments section on the tcj.com message board.
First, just as it was necessary to release The Arctic Marauder before the second volume of Adèle Blanc-Sec in order to fully sell the gag of the former book's cast suddenly showing up in the latter's, we need to publish yet another earlier Tardi book, Adieu Brindavoine, before moving onto our third Adèle book, because Brindavoine plays a major role in it and its continuity feeds straight into the Adèle continuity.
Second, while I love the "Adèle universe," I also love all of Tardi's other work, so I don't want to focus too heavily on those to the exclusion of all else. Thus the next book will be New York Mon Amour (featuring the re-translated and re-mastered Roach Killer, plus the legendary RAW-published "Manhattan" and three other NY-set Tardi stories that haven't been published in English before), in the Spring of 2012, and then, in the Fall of 2012, the full-color War of the Trenches semi-sequel Putain de Guerre! (tentative English language title for now: Goddamn This War!). Spring 2013 should see the release of Adieu Brindavoine in principle, but it's also entirely possible that some other Tardi book will muscle its way to the front of the line (Jacques has told me about his next project and it sounds like a doozy, so I'll want to slot that in as early as possible when it's completed). So Adèle #3 is likely to be at best Fall 2013, and quite possibly 2014, especially if I decide I want to start the "Nestor Burma" series or something.
Third, quitcher bitchin'! The poor French Adèle fans have been following this serial for three and a half decades, sometimes with gaps of close to ten years between books. So a two- or three-year wait between two volumes (which, I might add, are reprinting two Adèle books at a time) doesn't seem like a huge hardship, now does it? And cranking out ten Tardi books in four years (plus the Unfinished Fatale we just released as an FBI•MINI) is, if you ask me, a pretty decent pace overall.
I always was very fond of the mini-comics format -- take two to four 8 1/2 x 11 sheets, fold them once, staple, and voilà! You have an adorable little 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 comic book for mere pennies. But I could never really figure out what to do with this old-school, low-tech format.
For this catalog season, we have created 21 "FBI•MINI" booklets (most in this format, although there are a few oddities), as premiums for customers who order books directly from us. They are available free with the purchase of their "matching" book or books -- or for those customers who've already bought those books but are desperate to get the FBI•MINI, free with the purchase of $50 worth of any other Fantagraphics mail-order merchandise.
If any of these catch your interest (and if you're reading this blog surely at least one of them will) you can click right on any of them to a more detailed listing on our website -- or just click right here and all 21 will pop up for you to peruse.
A group of us are waiting to be served in a restaurant. The waiter arrives, and the person facing me evidently ordered paper-wrapped baked owl. (What he gets looks like a little owl mummy.) I puzzle over why this seems somehow wrong and disturbing even as the diner peels off the first bit of the wrapping, releasing a gust of cooked-bird steam and exposing a naked, baked owl wing. It actually looks pretty tasty.
The diner sitting next to me is Françoise Mouly, which, although tenuous at best, is enough of a connection for me to consider this a comics-related dream and include here. As I wake up I wonder if the French term for this delicacy might be something like hibou en croûte, but that's more like a meat baked in a pastry shell, like beef wellington.
In case you're wondering, a few minutes' googling here and now reveals to me that the correct term would have been hibou en papillote (but there is, mercifully, no such dish).
The lady is complaining that the fall has broken her just-purchased "ballen" (round Christmas tree ornaments) and her "piek" (an ornament for the top of the tree), but both words have a sexual connotation ("balls" and "dick" if you will), resulting in a Beavis and Butt-head huh-huh-huh effect.
"Balls" works easily in either language, but the "piek" follow-up stumped me for days (not least because I had to ask Joost to explain it, which he did).
And then I figured it out. The penis reference was a cul-de-sac, but...
As readers of Lewis Trondheim's APPROXIMATE CONTINUUM COMICS know, Lewis allowed the subjects/victims of his autobiographical graphic novel (which included many sequences about his days sharing a studio in Paris with several cartoonists) the right of rebuttal... but only in writing. He declined to print Émile Bravo's illustrated comment, which appears here instead. ACC poked fun at Bravo's tendency to sing jingles and tell bad jokes.
HE JUST DOESN'T REALIZE!
Bravo: Funny how some readers are so fascinated with Lewis. Fan #1: Hey! I've got every Trondheim and I bought the deluxe print run of McCONEY. Fan #2: When's the next comic? Fan #3: And how is Brigitte doing? Fan #4: And... And...
Bravo: Wow... They really want to be part of his family... Bravo: ...But Lewis is merciless... Lewis: That's all well and good, but I think what you really need to buy is a brain!
Bravo: So they come and take revenge on innocent supporting characters. Fan #1: Oh, are you the Émile that sings that "Casto" jingle? Bravo: Ha! Ha! Yes indeed... (etc.) Fan #2: Ha! Ha! Do you know the one for Mousseline Purée, too? Fan #3: What about the joke? What's the punchline?
Bravo: Oh jeez! Entering into the public arena carries with it responsibility, and a hell of a lot of power!
Anyway... Lewis completed his move to the South of France today... We are no longer part of his immediate entourage. I can say whatever I want at the studio and not worry about ending up playing the fool in a comic book.
Free at last! YAAAHOOOOOO... I don't give a shit about anything!
Bravo: Anyway... Aside from these little disputes, it of course goes without saying that I'm proud as all get-out to be part of this brilliant cartoonist's most profound opus...