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The Complete Peanuts 1950-1954 (Vols. 1 - 2) Gift Box Set Softcover Ed.]
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Category >> Abstract Comics

Daily OCD 5/2/13
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Zippy the PinheadTom KaczynskiSteve DitkoSpain RodriguezspainRichard SalaPeanutsNoah Van SciverNico VassilakisMoto HagioMort MeskinMichael KuppermanLinda MedleyLilli CarréLeslie SteinLast VispoJulia GfrörerJosh SimmonsJim WoodringJames RombergerJacques BoyreauJack DavisHarvey KurtzmanGuy PeellaertGilbert HernandezEd PiskorEC ComicsDavid WojnarowiczDash ShawDaily OCDCrockett JohnsonCrag Hillcomics journalChuck ForsmanCarol TylerBill GriffithBarnabyAl WilliamsonAbstract Comics 2 May 2013 10:33 AM

The tantric release of Online Commentaries & Release:

Julio's Day

• Review: The LA Times and Noel Murray interviews Gilbert Hernandez about Julio's Day, Marble Season (from D&Q), plus the future books Love and Rockets: New Stories #6 and Maria M. LA Times: Gilbert says " ‘Julio’s Day’ is very simple. I mean, there’s a lot of heavy stuff going on, but I wanted it to read like a very simple, direct story."

• Interview: comiXology interviews Gilbert Hernandez about his most recent comic Julio's Day on their podcast.

• Review: Tom Spurgeon looks at Gilbert Hernandez's latest work, Julio's Day, on the Comics Reporter. "I found Julio's Day moving at times, again for reasons I'm not really certain I can fully articulate. The idea that we may be known as much for the choices of those around us and things that happen in proximity to ourselves as much as if not more than by the choices we make is either the ultimate comfort or the first back-of-throat rumblings of an existential howl."

• Plug: Julio's Day by Gilbert Hernandez is listed as one Amazon's Best Books of the Month

• Plug: Publishers Weekly lists Julio's Day as a pick of the week: "A marvelous and tightly scripted epic whose last page is a heart-stopper."

Review: Charles Hatfield of The Comics Journal flips through Julio's Day by Gilbert Hernandez. "When it comes to Beto, the lightning keeps striking, and if it doesn’t strike exactly the same place twice, it does testify to the same divided genius…It is the great lost Beto comic, belatedly given new form and new life.

• Review: Grovel's Andy Shaw reads Julio's Day by Gilbert Hernandez. "Just buy it now. This is Gilbert Hernandez at his finest, distilling a lifetime into a single volume of pleasure and pain. Julio’s Day is a literary classic, and another incredible piece of work from a true master of comics."

• Plug: Largehearted Boy plugs Julio's Day. "Gilbert compresses the history of the 20th century as well as the life of a man into a riveting, masterful story," writes Benn Ray.

• Plug (audio): Julio's Day is discussed on Daily Rios

The Adventures of Jodelle

• Review: The A.V. Club looks at The Adventures of Jodelle by Guy Peellaert. "The essays-which at 80 pages take up more of the book than Jodelle-are this volume's real selling point... Peellaert foregrounded the eroticism of advertising, and exposed how pulp imagery affects the public's understanding of everything from politics to gender. And he did it without resorting to polemics. The Adventures Of Jodelle book-both the comic strip and the supplemental material-is a delight both visually and intellectually," writes Noel Murray.

• Plug: Largehearted Boy plugs The Adventures of Jodelle by Guy Peellaert. "Think of Barbarella animated in that Yellow Submarine style and you get the idea of what Jodelle's adventures look like. This is comics as art."

• Plug: Comics Worth Reading plugs The Adventures of Jodelle by Guy Peellaert vis a vis a photo of ME holding it. Eat your heart out, actually eat Jodelle - with your eyes.

The Last Vispo

• Plug: Angel House Press is celebrated National Poetry Month with a focus on visual poetry, inspired by latest collection of it The Last Vispo, edited by Nico Vassilakis and Crag Hill. Check here for a month of visual poetry.

50 Girls 50

• Review: Heroes Complex at the LA Times looks at 50 Girls 50 by Al Williamson. Noel Murray writes, "These pieces are classic EC: punchy, knowing and ironic in the best sense of the word, in that they force readers to examine their own expectations. The best stories in '50 Girls 50 have readers rooting for heels, or celebrating war, all while framing the situation in such a way that readers question their responses." In reference to the whole EC Comics Library line, Murray writes, "All of these books are essential purchases for comics fans, but for those on a budget who are looking to prioritize…These are the books that best show off how EC took genre stories seriously, striving to create comics that didn’t treat readers as naive or ignorant."

• Plug: Boing Boing mentions our EC books, 50 Girls 50 and 'Tain't the Meat so you should probably buy them. "Fantagraphics released two beautiful hardbound books that collect the work of two of their superstars: Al Williamson and Jack Davis. The reproduction quality is superb," writes Mark Frauenfelder.

• Review: Fangoria reviews the next two EC books. Rick Trembles enjoys 'Tain't the Meat by Jack Davis. "Jack Davis’ dark comedic touch is all over this collection, diffusing the ghastly nature of the stories somewhat, an aspect to his work that was obviously lost on his opponents." Meanwhile with Al Willliamson's 50 Girls 50, Trembles writes "here we’re dazzled by romanticized sci-fi heroics and delicate line-work of the ilk of FLASH GORDON’S original artist Alex Raymond, Williamson’s main inspiration. Dinosaurs, spaceships, and outlandish otherworldly creatures populate the flora of faraway worlds, accompanied by buxom, exotically garbed beauties."

• Review: Nick Gazin sets his VICE sights on 'Tain't the Meat by Jack Davis. "Even though he wasn't a perfectionist, Jack Davis's laziness is better than most people's best work. When Davis does invest himself in a drawing it's just a mind bender. This is a must have for anyone who loves horror, EC, Jack Davis, any of that stuff."

The Dingburg Diaries

• Interview (audio): Beginnings with Wrestling Team interviews Bill Griffith about underground comix up to his most recent release,  Zippy: The Dingberg Diaries.

• Plug: Weird Universe highlights Zippy: The Dingberg Diaries on their site after Paul interviewed Bill Griffith at MoCCA 2013.

• Plug: Comics to find at MoCCA listed on AM New York. Zippy: The Dingburg Diaries and 50 Girls 50 are on the list of books to check out.

3 New Stories New School

• Review: Comics Bulletin looks at 3 New Stories from Dash Shaw. "This is a short, floppy-sized comic, but it's incredibly rich in complexity and depth. Shaw delivers an amazing collection of stories here."

• Interview: DigBoston and Clay Fernald talk to Dash Shaw about 3 New Stories, New School, Bottomless Belly Button and more. Shaw says, "Words and pictures are very different. They don't sit comfortably next to each other. Some cartoonists try to bring them closer together. Ware is like that. I like that space between things. I want the differences between things to be activated."

• Plug: Largehearted Boy hosts Atomic Books look at new comics included 3 New Stories. "Dash Shaw is a modern comics master. He experiments with everything from structure to narrative to color. If you're unfamiliar with his work, he's sort of like Gary Panter illustrating a Chris Ware story, or, in this case, 3 stories of dystopian societies," writes Benn Ray from Atomic Books.

Beta Testing the Apocalypse 7 Miles a Second

• Review: Nerds of a Feather enjoys Tom Kaczynski's Beta Testing the Apocalypse. Beta Philippe Duhart states "The thin lines, sharp angles, and rigid geometry…brings a clarity and simplicity that expertly balances the abstractness of the themes at the heart of Beta Testing the Apocalypse…One doesn’t need to have read Žižek to grasp Beta Testing’s themes and criticisms. One only needs to have only gone apartment hunting."

• Interview: Comics Bulletin and Keith Silve interview James Romberger and Marguerite Van Cook on 7 Miles A Second. Van Cook remembers, "David was a poet of the soul, there was always a tension between beauty and the vileness of what society did to anyone who was not of the mainstream. I once asked him what he did with the money he got from hustling when he was so young and he told me he would take a bus to the country and walk around. We thought it was so ironic that selling one's body and selling art had many of the same qualities. We laughed rather darkly, about how the body and art are commodified and priced so arbitrarily."

• Review: Publishers Weekly podcast looks at 7 Miles a Second in the time after MoCCA.

You'll Never Know: Book 3 The Heart of Thomas

• Interview (video): Back in January, Carol Tyler spoke to University of Southern California Provost's Professor Henry Jenkins and students as part of the USC Visions and Voices series. Mike Lynch was good enough to blog about it as soon as USC put up on the internet. She speaks about personal life and drawing comics, including the You'll Never Know series.

• Plug: Manga Bookshelf lists its first quarter favorites of 2013 and include Moto Hagio's newest book. "The Heart of Thomas was my most eagerly anticipated manga of the year, and while its January release date set the bar perhaps unfairly high for the year to come, I can’t bring myself to be sad about that."

Castle Waiting Vol 2 Definitive  Castle Waiting Vol. 1

• Review: Comics Worth Reading pulls out the Castle Waiting Vol. 2: Definitive Edition by Linda Medley. Johanna Draper Carlson writes "…it’s engrossing and beautifully drawn. I was surprised, reading the whole thing at once, how much of what figures in the final chapters was mentioned very early on. It gave me new appreciation for Medley’s long-term storytelling."

• Review: Calgary Public Library's Teen Blog speaks out on Castle Waiting Vol. 1 and 2 by Linda Medley. Adrienne writes, "Castle Waiting is a great comic book that takes elements from fairytales such as 'Sleeping Beauty' and combines them with a good dose of humour and plots about bearded ladies, two-headed girls, pregnancy and hidden libraries..I highly recommend her"

• Review: Strange Journal reviews Castle Waiting. "I’ve really fallen for it, it’s what they’d call a triple threat in show business: It can sing, dance AND act…In the tradition of Jeff Smith’s Bone and the better parts of Dave Sim’s Cerebus, Medley has conjured an amazing and beautiful world and filled it with flawed, interesting folks eking out their existence in a castle on the edge of the world," states Adam Blodgett.

Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol.2 Delphine

• Interview: Slice Radio interviews Michael Kupperman on life and Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 2

• Review: Delphine by Richard Sala is reviewed on Comics Bulletin. Jason Sacks "We're used to fairy tales telling the story of a journey by a girl from innocence to the real world. Delphine inverts the gender of those classic tales, but uses those familiar tropes to tell a familiar story. Richard Sala treads a world of metaphor and allusion, a world that feels as familiar as Grimm's Fairy Tales and as mysterious as our own heart." 

Out of the Shadows Barnaby

• Review: Nick Gazin sets his VICE sights on Out of the Shadows by Mort Meskin (edited by Steven Brower). "Shadows everywhere. The stories are just a lot of old timey chatter where people call each other chum and stuff but the compositions and choices that Mort Meskin made are pretty sophisticated."

• Interview: The Comics Journal posts an article titled Crockett Johnson and the Invention of Barnaby. Philip Nel writes about it all including the creation of fairy godfather, Mr. O'Malley's favorite catchphrase. Barnaby is coming so soon, we'll all cry "Cushlamochree!"

Impossible Tales: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 4   Messages in a Bottle

• Review: iFanboy hypes up Impossible Tales: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 4 (by Steve Ditko and edited by Blake Bell) coming out this May. Josh Christie states: "Steve Ditko is one of those guys you could picture on the Mount Rushmore of comics creators…Like so many of the great comics from the 1950s, the drug-fueled, macabre scenes look more like something out of an alternate dimension rather than from the states’ apple pie and bubblegum past."

• Review: Arkham Comics reviews Messages in a Bottle by B. Krigstein (edited by Greg Sadowski). A rough translation states, "Messages in a Bottle is a magical book, a timeless and stunning clarity: a lesson in comics as we do not meet every day."

The Hypo Heads or Tails The End of the Fucking World

• Review: Noah Van Sciver's The Hypo is reviewed on We Read Comics "Sciver absolutely nails it…We see Lincoln's plain spoken style, his humbleness, his self-doubt, and his honesty here with so much fucking economy and elegance."

• Interview: Noah Van Sciver appears on Comic Impact to talk about The Hypo and his newest comics project. 

• Review: Lilli Carré's Heads or Tails is reviewed on French podcast Dans ta bulle.

• Plug: The End of the Fucking World (Spoiler alert!) on The Chemical Box. "Similar to Derf’s analysis of Jeffery Dahmer in 'My Friend Dahmer', you can see James (along with Dahmer) struggling with their basic instincts."

Black is the Color Hip Hop Family Tree Eye of the Majestic Creature

• Plug: The Beat waxes on about Julia Gfrörer and Black is the Color. Zainab Akhtar writes, "Gfrorer’s work is consistently excellent, featuring themes of myth, folk lore, mysticism and spirituality, coupled with her fine-lined, evocative art." 

• Plug: Demencha calls Ed Piskor a Hip Hop Archeologist and more in reference to Hip Hop Famiy Tree. "His classic indie comic composition and narrative ease make the strip readable, informative (who knew Rammelzee went tagging with Basquiat?), and respectful to the art forms and artists it covers," writes J.P. McNamara.

• Review: In an oddly religious review, Mirrors of Christ looks at Eye of the Majestic Creature by Leslie Stein. "Sadly in this story the lyre (guitar) did not participate in the worship of God but in the desire of the flesh."

Sexytime The Furry Trap

• Review: Orgasm reviews Sexytime edited by Jacques Boyreau. "…if you want an oversized coffee-book that your guests might enjoying flipping through the pages as you bring refreshments, Sexytime is for you. And hey, it might even get you laid."

• Review: Josh Simmons' story from The Furry Trap, 'Mark of the Bat' is reviewed on Vorptalizer. Seat T. Collins comments, " 'Mark of the Bat' picks and picks and picks at our dovetailed drive for cruelty and need to feel superior to others until the fingernail tears off. It leaves a mark." 

Frank ipad  The Comics Joural Abstract Comics

• Plug: Comics Workbook enjoys reading The Portable Frank digitally thanks to comiXology.Leah writes, "Woodring’s way of transitioning images between panels (in, ya know, a pretty trippy way) lends itself really well to the panel by panel viewing of the digital reader."

• Plug: Tucker Stone mentions the new issue of The Comics Journal on the Comics Journal, not trying to get to incestuous. "The new issue of the Journal is pretty good; the Tardi interview is great."

• Plug: Textures of Ether looks at Abstract Comics. "Do Abstract Comics artists need to be aware of comics history?…Molotiu’s articles explore the theory behind Abstract Comics and are always interesting to read. They would make a welcome addition to any future AC anthology."

Cruisin' with the Hound

• Review: Nick Gazin checks out Cruisin' with the Hound by Spain Rodriguez on VICE. "Spain's comics always feel lively and real and there's this sense that he was probably too cool to be making comics but somehow he was. You can tell he was for real because he put the most energy into drawing motorcycles and cars and his people always look kinda like they're secondary to their machines. Great book from a great artist and story teller."

• Plug: Musical notation in Peanuts is analyzed on the Hooded Utilitarian. "In this sense, Schulz again collapses into Charlie Brown — locked out of high art virtuosity and romantic opportunities, disappointed in art as in love.…Schulz has, perhaps, found a way to invert Lichtenstein," writes Noah Berlatsky. 
 
• Plug (video): Al Jaffee and Robert Grossman are interviewed on the Imperium about the Harvey Kurtzman retrospective at the Society of Illustrators. Jaffee states, "His concepts were, to us at the time, revolutionary because he was breaking the third or the fourth wall, whatever you want to call it."

• Plug: And finally, Peanuts and Persian literature.

Daily OCD: 5/4-5/8/12
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Robert Crumbpreviewsnicolas mahlerMatthias WivelinterviewsHans RickheitDrew FriedmanDiane NoominDaniel ClowesDaily OCDAndrei MolotiuAbstract Comics 9 May 2012 1:43 AM

Starting to catch up on Online Commentary & Diversions:

Folly: The Consequences of Indescretion

Review: "The frighteningly hilarious world of Rickheit’s graphic novel is a deranged cabinet of curiosities, full of biomechanical tanks, writhing organic matter, amorphous monsters birthing adorable kittens, men and women in animal masks, and countless tubes, gas masks, sex toys, and pseudo-Victorian apocalyptic landscapes. It would all be too oppressive if Rickheit’s sense of humor weren’t so addictive.... This juxtaposition of dry humor undercuts the richly drawn horror of Folly, simultaneously adding to its strangeness and making it bearable for a casual read... The result is a narrative mosaic that pairs sumptuous, horrific imagery against a strange but lighthearted sense of humor." – Publishers Weekly

Kolor Klimax: Nordic Comics Now

Review: Walter Wehus looks at Kolor Klimax; key quote as translated by Kolor Klimax editor Matthias Wivel: "the common aspect is quality"

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/covers/2009/thumbs/bookcover_abstra.jpg

Review: "While exploring this collection, I found myself enjoying the various challenges it presented. It did dare me to eschew my 'western' values of linear, results oriented thinking and simply give way to my intuitive understanding of the art before me. I can’t honestly say I 'get' every comic contained withing this anthology [Abstract Comics]... nor can I truly say I learned something about the medium that I didn’t already know. But to see comics stripped of their representational elements does amplify certain things that are so unique about the medium and probably reveals its potential even more fully. These are comics to be experienced." – Jason Newcomb, StashMyComics

Angelman

Preview: The Beat's Jessica Lee presents a 6-page preview of Nicolas Mahler's Angelman, saying "If you’ve noticed yourself to be a comic enthusiast who has become more and more disillusioned with the corporate transformation of super-hero comics, Angelman could well be the fresh breath of illustrated air you’ve been yearning for. What could easily be one of the most comedic releases thus far this year, Fantagraphics is releasing (in hardcover no less!) a new graphic commentary of the often-times outrageous and unbelievable trends in the comic industry."

Drew Friedman My Way at the Scott Eder Gallery

Profile: The Wall Street Journal's Ralph Gardner Jr. on the work and career of Drew Friedman: "Mr. Friedman's genius is that, on some level, his work is never utterly absent affection, or his subjects black and white, even when they're literally drawn in black and white. It might be a stretch to say that the artist captures their underlying humanity. What he does provide is a picture window onto their troubled psyches so that they and their moral afflictions, whatever they are, must be taken seriously."

The Complete Crumb Comics Vol. 1

Interview: I don't think we've previously linked to Ted Widmer's career-spanning interview with Robert Crumb from the Summer 2010 issue of The Paris Review: "I was so eccentric when I was seventeen, eighteen, I used to walk around town wearing an Abe Lincoln frock coat and a stovepipe hat that I’d found in some junk store, defying people to ridicule me or think me eccentric. I was a teenage social outcast. At the time it made me feel very depressed, and rejected by girls. Later I realized I was actually quite lucky because it freed me. I was free to develop and explore on my own all these byways of the culture that, if you’re accepted, you just don’t do. I was free to explore the things that interested me."

Mr. Clowes, we present you with the Katzenjammer Medallion for comic excellence!

Interview (Audio): The Daniel Clowes victory lap continues with an appearance Monday on NPR's Morning Edition: "Clowes never aimed to be the kind of artist museums collect. But now, the walls of the Oakland Museum of California are covered with his drawings. It's 'quite embarrassing,' he laughs. After a stint as an art student at Brooklyn's Pratt Institute in the 1970s, Clowes tried unsuccessfully to get work as an illustrator. Sitting around drawing comics on his own, he decided to send a strip to underground publisher Fantagraphics. He was expecting rejection. Instead, 'they called me up and offered me a monthly comic book, and I felt like I hadn't earned anything,' he says. 'You know, it's like all of a sudden, you're being made president after you've been like, you know, on the city council in Cleveland.'" KQED also posts a couple of outtakes from the interview

Glitz-2-Go

Interview: At The Comics Journal, Nicole Rudick talks with Diane Noomin about her new collection of DiDi Glitz stories, Glitz-2-Go: "In 1974, I did a full-fledged DiDi story for Wimmen’s Comix. It was four pages and was called “She Chose Crime”, and when I was putting this book together I realized that DiDi came out almost fully developed. She hasn’t changed, she hasn’t grown or anything like that. If I look at that first story, the drawing has changed and I’d like to think that certain things have gotten better, but in that story, DiDi’s persona is it. I don’t think I’d realized that."

Daily OCD: 4/18/11 (Part 2)
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Roy CranereviewsMomeLove and RocketsLorenzo MattottiJoe DalyJim WoodringIvan BrunettiGilbert HernandezDave McKeanDaily OCDCaptain EasyAbstract Comics 18 Apr 2011 11:59 PM

 Today's Online Commentary & Diversions, continued:

Mome Vol. 1 - Summer 2005

List: In light of the impending end of the anthology, Robot 6's Chris Mautner names "The six best stories in Mome" (to date... there's one issue yet to go)

Love from the Shadows

Review: "Hernandez of Love and Rockets continues his obsessive study of faux Z-movies featuring L&R character Fritz, a lisping, freakishly large-chested post-ingenue. This latest offering [Love from the Shadows] is imaginatively staged, beautifully drawn and deftly dialogued, with odd discordant undertones and psychosexual notes that include incest and insanity." – Richard Pachter, The Miami Herald

Dungeon Quest, Book 2

Review: "More stoner/fantasy silliness from Daly. There seems to be more of a focus on plot and creating lengthy action sequences than in previous. The jokes don’t seem as frequent, or at least are more subtle this time around. [...] Dungeon Quest Book Two is still a fun romp, especially if you’re at all familiar with the fantasy genre or role-playing games in particular." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6

Captain Easy, Soldier of Fortune: The Complete Sunday Newspaper Strips Vol. 1 (1933-1935)

Review: "Crane's drawings are clear, simple, rounded. They combine perfectly with the primary colors used in printing newspapers. His characters were drawn more cartoonish than realistic, with free and lightweight lines, without much concern for details. In layout, Crane was able to explore the space of the entire page of the Captain Easy strip, alternating horizontal and vertical panels to get a more dynamic effect. The author also used horizontal panels to show beautiful panoramic images of fights and persecution." – Gustavo Guimaraes, Ambrosia (translated from Portuguese)

Congress of the Animals

Interview: At The Rumpus, Ted Wilson has a fun chat with Jim Woodring: "People sometimes avoid me but not because I am or am not a garbageman. I really have no idea what you are asking. Do people avoid garbagemen? Not in my experience. In fact I learned that some women simply cannot resist a man in any kind of a uniform. I’m not kidding."

Stigmata [Pre-Order - with Special Offer]

Interview: Paul Gravett presents a transcription of the Comica-sponsored conversation between Dave McKean and Lorenzo Mattotti which took place in London last month: "I had read Piersanti’s novels, When he was buying a portfolio of mine, we were introduced. A French publisher wanted a short comic for an anthology about religion, so I asked Claudio because I knew he was interested in philosophy and spiritual problems. He had the idea of a man who finds he has stigmata wounds on his hands and doesn’t know what to do." (via The Comics Reporter)

Cartooning - Philosophy & Practice - Ivan Brunetti

Interview: At The Comics Journal, Ken Parille talks to Ivan Brunetti about teaching comics: "To me, art is not about talent, it’s about hard work. It’s about developing one’s intelligence, thoughtfulness, and sensitivity. To some degree, the potential for these things seems to vary, implying they are perhaps innate, but I think anything can be nurtured (or neglected). Something might not come easy, but it can be learned. It’s matter of will, desire, determination, and hard work."

Abstract Comics: The Anthology

Feature: At the Drawing Words & Writing Pictures blog, Best American Comics series co-editor Matt Madden spotlights Alexey Sokolin's "Life, Interwoven" from the Abstract Comics anthology as a 2010 Notable Comic: "The comic is made entirely of hatching lines, scribbles, swooping lines, and, way down beneath it all, hints of representative imagery. It almost looks like what began as a conventional comic mutated as the marks and lines broke free of the images. It’s also interesting the way the comic can read either as a six page comic, a series of six drawings (a sextich?), or six iterations of the same page being increasingly overwhelmed with line." 

Daily OCD: 3/9/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Moto HagiomangaDaily OCDAbstract Comics 9 Mar 2011 5:03 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

A Drunken  Dream and Other Stories [Pre-Order]

Analysis: At The Comics Journal, Ken Parille does a close reading of "Bianca" from Moto Hagio's A Drunken Dream and Other Stories (for which we provided a free PDF download of the story): "I first saw 'Bianca' as a conventional sentimental tale, exploring such familiar themes as 'the sanctity of childhood' and 'the power of art.' And many online writers, regardless of their aesthetic evaluation of its merits, seemed to concur. Some found its sentimentality beautiful, others found it excessive, but all agreed it needed little explication. Had I read it only once or twice, I would have agreed, too. Yet re-readings revealed to me a far different, and far more compelling, surface and depth."

Abstract Comics: The Anthology

Commentary: Andrei Molotiu on the death of The Comics Journal message board and the birth of the Abstract Comics anthology

Daily OCD: 1/6/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewsJohnny RyanJim WoodringDaniel ClowesDaily OCDBest of 2010Basil WolvertonAbstract Comics 6 Jan 2011 4:30 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

The Culture Corner

List: At The Forbidden Planet International Blog Log, Wim Lockefeer's top 10 Best of the Year includes The Culture Corner by Basil Wolverton: "This book got me laughing out loud across the decades."

FUC_ __U, _SS __LE: Blecky Yuckerella Vol. 4

Review: "I’m not sure how exactly one goes about recommending a book like [FUC_ __U _SS __LE], as it’s not only not for everyone, it’s kind of sort of not for anyone, which ironically makes it perfect for some someones. (Panel four of page 9 is perfect for 21st century comics historians; as it is surely the most intentionally provocative comics image of the decade)." – J. Caleb Mozzocco, Newsarama

Abstract Comics: The Anthology

Plug: Author Anne Germanacos (surveyed by fellow writer Ravi Mangla) calls Abstract Comics "gorgeous and fascinating" (Via the Abstract Comics blog)

Ghost World [Softcover Edition]

Analysis: At The Comics Journal's new group blog The Panelists, Isaac Cates locates, in a single panel of Ghost World, a turning point in the narrative strategy of Dan Clowes

Nibbus Maximus

Interview: At Wired, Scott Thill talks to Jim Woodring about Sunday's impending public debut of Jim's giant pen

Daily OCD: 12/14/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Stephen DixonreviewsLorenzo MattottiJoyce FarmerJordan CraneJim WoodringGahan WilsonFour Color FearDave CooperDaily OCDCarol TylerBest of 2010Abstract Comics 14 Dec 2010 5:28 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Weathercraft

List: On WFMU's Beware of the Blog, WFMU DJ Nat Roe's multi-media Top 15 includes Jim Woodring's Weathercraft at #5: "Stick a straw in my brain and suck until there's nothing left but that gurgling sound of air, the remnants of carbonation gathered like patrons in a bar on a Tuesday night 'last call' at the other end of the straw; that's how Jim Woodring makes me feel."

List: Drawn contrubutor John Martz picks 3 of our titles among his Favourite Books of 2010:

Bent [Pre-Order]

"Bent is the latest coffee-table art book from Canadian cartoonist-turned-painter Dave Cooper. We get to drill further into Cooper’s psyche in this book, which continues the celebration of his singular, artistic vision — an alien landscape of writhing, female figures and strange vegetation."

Gahan Wilson: Fifty Years of Playboy Cartoons [Bonus Exclusive Signed Print]

"What Charles Addams is to the New Yorker, Gahan Wilson is to Playboy. And here we have three gorgeous hardcover volumes of his work - page after page of full-colour cartoons celebrating the macabre and the twisted. Perfect for the creep or the creepy in your life."

Weathercraft

"Jim Woodring’s masterful cartooning is showcased in this latest graphic novel featuring his familiar cast of characters including Frank, Manhog, Pupshaw, and Pushpaw. It’s never easy to discern what Woodring’s comics are about, but there is never any question as to what is happening in each panel. Such is the control and understanding he has of both the medium and his tools. Weathercraft is a silent movie governed by dream logic and the id."

Four Color Fear: Forgotten Horror Comics of the 1950s [Pre-Order]

List: "Fantagraphics Books may have delivered the single most essential horror comics volume of the year with its Four Color Fear: Forgotten Horror Comics of the 1950s." – FEARnet Best of 2010: Comics

Stigmata

Review: "I know that it’s still December 2010 – and not even the end of December, the point where we all make our lists of the best of the year – but it’s possible that I’ve already read my favorite book of 2011. Its name? Stigmata. [...] It’s a smart, beautifully written book that refuses to offer easy answers... But, as good as Piersanti’s story is, what made the book a classic for me is definitely Mattotti’s artwork. [...] Mattotti’s line is amazing, so filled with personality and intensity, at once angry and fiercely controlled, and used in the service of some amazing draughtsmanship and visionary visuals. [...] It’s breathtakingly good, no exaggeration." – Grame McMillan, Robot 6

Uptight #4 [January 2011]

Review: "Not only does this issue of cartoonist and designer Jordan Crane's series feature a pair of quality comics from his two established areas of strength..., it carries with it all the joys of the format. ...Uptight #4 stings then pleases like a jump for effect off of a swimming pool's high-dive. [...] All in all, this a fine little read, a delectable peek of lasting hand-held value into what one of the really good cartoonists is up to." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter

Special Exits [Pre-Order]

Review: "Admittedly, these are not special stories in the sense that they represent anything unusual from the norm, but that is certainly at the center of their power. This is something that if we have not faced yet, we know we will, and Farmer’s ability to capture it all is clear-eyed. It’s a remarkable achievement considering the situation, and Farmer has a way of uniting the readership in one collective deep breathing session that lets us know we are not alone in the wider scope of coping with loss. ...Special Exits exists as a graphic novel of considerable depth and meaning." – John Seven, Archive 7

What Is All This? Uncollected Stories

Review: "Dixon... is a master of the short story, and this handsome volume [What Is All This?] gathers 26 pieces that hadn’t previously been published in book form. An indispensable addition to a formidable body of work, which also includes 14 novels and a pair of National Book Award nominations, it’s classic Dixon. His prose is so taut it would make Hemingway blush, and Dixon’s brutal honesty figures to redden the faces of some readers. He never shies from exploring common neuroses through characters who can be unsympathetic, or worse, contemptible, but his prodigious skill as a storyteller overrides any unease he generates. Wringing meaning from the mundane, Dixon gets beyond mere personality to the interior lives of the people he fleshes out, warts and all." – John Lewis, Baltimore Magazine

You'll Never Know Book 2: Collateral Damage [Pre-Order]

Review: "Delivered in monochrome and a selection of muted paint wash and crayon effects, the compellingly inviting blend of cartoon styles (reminiscent of our own Posy Simmonds but with a gleeful openness all her own) captures heartbreak, horror, humour, angst and tragedy in a beguiling, seductive manner which is simultaneously charming and devastatingly effective, whilst the book and narrative itself is constructed like a photo album depicting the eternal question 'How and Why Do Families Work?' Enticing, disturbing and genuinely moving, [You'll Never Know, Book 2:] Collateral Damage is a powerful and affecting second stage in Tyler’s triptych of discovery and one no student of the human condition will care to miss." – Win Wiacek, Now Read This!

Abstract Comics: The Anthology

Review: "Andrei Molotiu has compiled an incredible anthology of non-narrativity and abstraction in his Abstract Comics: The Anthology 1967-2009. [...] Covering 43 different artists, Abstract Comics opens with a exemplary discussion of abstraction in comics books and its overlap with contemporary art... The book is an incredible resource of potentiality...; I can't recommend it higher." – Derek Beaulieu, Lemon Hound

Party Crashers exhibit photos
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Abstract Comics 13 Dec 2010 8:36 PM

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201012/img_4714.jpg

At the Abstract Comics blog, Andrei Molotiu posts photos of his and other Abstract Comics: The Anthology contributors' artwork in the Party Crashers exhibit at the Arlington Arts Center.

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201012/img_4732.jpg

Party Crashers exhibit at Arlington Arts Center opens Friday
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under jeffrey brownGabrielle BelleventsDash Shawart showsAbstract Comics 17 Nov 2010 12:54 PM

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201011/partycrashers.jpg

Gabrielle Bell, Jeffrey Brown, Dash Shaw, and several Abstract Comics contributors including editor Andrei Molotiu are among the artists featured in a group exhibit opening in Arlington, VA this Friday, November 19, 2010. The announcement describes the exhibit thusly:

"PARTY CRASHERS mashes up comic art and contemporary gallery culture, and features artists who pass back and forth between the two worlds. This massive two venue show results from a crosstown collaboration between AAC Director of Exhibitions Jeffry Cudlin and Artisphere Gallery Director Cynthia Connolly. The show’s two independent halves feature different types of work: Connolly’s show presents fine artists who mimic the appearance of comic art; Cudlin’s show at AAC contains: alternative comic artists who also show their original pages and drawings in art galleries; fine and comic artists working side-by-side on a national curated project (Creative Time Comics); and fine and comic artists creating avante-garde, purely abstract sequential art without words or recognizeable imagery."

Dash Shaw previewed his piece for the show on his blog:

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201011/unclothed_man_work.jpg

More information and the complete roster of artists here.

Andrei Molotiu at Franklin College tomorrow night
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under eventsart showsAbstract Comics 7 Sep 2010 2:23 PM

Andrei Molotiu: Ruins and Other Narratives

At the Abstract Comics blog Andrei Molotiu announces his appearance and art show at Franklin College in Franklin, Indiana tomorrow evening. His lecture "My Abstract Comics" begins at 7 PM, followed by an opening reception for his "Ruins and Other Narratives" exhibit.

ABCOLAB (ABstract COmics ColLABoration)
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Abstract Comics 9 Aug 2010 12:01 PM

ABCOLAB

Mike Getsiv from Abstract Comics: The Anthology started a collaborative project called ABCOLAB on Abstract Comics: The Blog and received contributions from ten countries: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Cyprus, England, Finland, Portugal, Russia, the United States and Uruguay.

A list of contributors and information on ordering prints is available here.

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