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Category >> Abstract Comics

Daily OCD: 11/2/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Zak SallyThe Comics JournalPortable GrindhousePaul HornschemeierMonte SchulzJohnny RyanJacques BoyreauDash ShawAbstract Comics 2 Nov 2009 2:31 PM

The blogosphere never rests — it's Online Commentary & Diversions:

• Review: "Boyreau laments how digital phased out analog when it comes to our movie viewing; has the Internet done the same with his book [Portable Grindhouse: The Lost Art of the VHS Box] commemorating the losing side of that battle? I say no. It's not just because of the tremendous job Boyreau and Covey did with the cover reproductions, or the lovely, solid paper stock, or the cutesy slipcase. It's because Boyreau is right: the aura of the object is irreplaceable. A book collection of VHS box art contains preserves what was special about them in a way a Flickr gallery just can't. Next time you have a trashy movie marathon, pass this around between movies--unlike your laptop, you won't even need to worry that much about spilling beer on it." – Sean T. Collins

• Analysis: More thoughts on The Comics Journal's new direction, from Jeet Heer (who coins the word "Grothian" — I like it) at Comics Comics and Noel Murray at The A.V. Club

• Interview: If you missed the lively Q&A during Monte Schulz's live Twitter chat with LitChat, you can download the transcript from the LitChat website

• Education: Robyn Chapman of the Center for Cartoon Studies reports from Dash Shaw's recent lecture at the school

• Plug: Librarie Drawn & Quarterly gives a nice recommendation to Abstract Comics

• Plug: At Comics Alliance, Douglas Wolk highlights Like a Dog by Zak Sally among the week's new releases, as does Matthew J. Brady

• Things to see: In a match made in heaven, Johnny Ryan drew the cover of the DVD of The Found Footage Festival Vol. 4

• Things to see: Enjoy some as-yet unused monstery t-shirt designs by Paul Hornschemeier

• Things to see: Mike Sterling crosses the streams

Daily OCD: 10/30/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tim HensleyThomas OttstaffPaul HornschemeierLove and RocketsJohnny RyanJim FloraDave CooperDaniel ClowesAbstract Comics 30 Oct 2009 2:57 PM

Happy day-before-Halloween — lots of treats in today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

• Bookmark: And I thought I was thorough! Hats off to Love and Rockets fan blog Love & Maggie, your one stop for comprehensive L&R/Hernandez Bros. link gathering, commentary and more (hat tip to Mike Sterling)

• Profile: Newcity's Beatrice Smigasiewicz talks to Paul Hornschemeier about the conclusion of his Mome serial "Life with Mr. Dangerous" and other topics: “People are routinely surprised to find that in person I joke around all the time and am obsessed with comedy: they think that I must walk around in a constant fog of philosophical conundrums and Weltschmerz.”

• Things to see: It's getting to be time for Giant Robot's annual Post-It Show, with artists such as Johnny Ryan and Tim Hensley revealing their entries

• Things to see: Speaking of Tim, I want this to be a real thing so badly I can feel the flocking on my fingertips

• Things to see: Speaking of Johnny, he reveals that the final (sniff) issue of Nickelodeon magazine includes a strip written by him and drawn by Hector Mumbly (Dave Cooper) — !

• Things to see: At the Jim Flora blog, outtakes from The Curiously Sinister Art of Jim Flora

• ???: Can anyone translate this page for us? It's photos of Thomas Ott seemingly leading some kind of comics workshop, but beyond that I haven't a clue

• Contest: Create a text-only comic, submit it to Doctor Popular, and you could win a copy of Abstract Comics

• Staff: Oh snap! Our own Jason T. Miles is now blogging at Comics Comics. Holy crap that guy can write

• Crass Google pandering: Sasha Gray tells AOL's Asylum that she likes Ghost World (via AOL's Comics Alliance)

Daily OCD: 10/26/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under MomeMichael KuppermanLilli CarréKevin HuizengaJim BlanchardJacques TardiGilbert HernandezCarol TylerBob FingermanaudioAl ColumbiaAbstract Comics 26 Oct 2009 2:21 PM

Today brings some big-deal Online Commentary & Diversions:

• Review: At Comics Comics, Frank Santoro declares The Troublemakers by Gilbert Hernandez "Best in Show" at APE and gives it a wordless review that says it all

• Review: "Translated into English for the first time since it was written, more than 25 years ago, Jacques Tardi & Jean-Claude Forest’s You Are There proves well worth the wait. Forest’s satirical, minimalist writing lampoons French society and human greed with equal skill, and Tardi has never done better art: It’s all deep, dark pools of blackness that perfectly match the pitch-dark humor of the writing. Equal parts Beckett and Kafka, the story explores the conflict between greedy speculators and the last heir of an aristocratic family whose land has been reduced to a series of precarious walls and towers. Tardi’s intricate, gorgeous art gets better and better until the book’s spectacular ending. It’s an absolute must-read for anyone interested in how European comics got to where they are today. Had this been translated earlier, it likely would be counted as one of the masterpieces of the rich period of the mid-’80s… [Grade:] A" – The A.V. Club

• Review: "One of the best things about Mome is that, as a reader, I feel like I'm getting work from each artist that's their 'A' material. [Lilli] Carré and [Dash] Shaw have many other outlets for publication, but it's clear that they take a special delight in having an outlet for their short story ideas. [Nate] Neal and Kurt Wolfgang have Mome as their primary outlet for publication, and clearly go all-out in every story. ... I'd like to see young artists like [Conor] O'Keefe and [Sara] Edward-Corbett grow more ambitious and perhaps even serialize a story in the anthology. Of course, seeing outstanding work from old favorites along with translated short stories of European artists has been another welcome trend for what continues to be a must-read book, issue after issue." – Rob Clough

• Profile: Robot 6's Chris Mautner, undoubtedly echoing the sentiments of many, makes his plea for a collection of the early work of Al Columbia

• Interview: C. Tyler appeared on Cincinnati NPR station WVXU yesterday to discuss You'll Never Know Book 1: A Good and Decent Man on the Around Cincinnati program (direct MP3 link)

• Interview: Art historian and critic Catherine Spaeth talks to Abstract Comics editor Andrei Molotiu: "One thing that is interesting to me about abstract comics is exactly that they contain no preexisting narrative and therefore no excuse for a sense of diegetic time. You’re not following a story, so what you are left with are the actual visual elements on the page (panels, shapes) that move your eye from panel to panel but outside of a fictional time frame."

• Events: Vince Keenan has a brief recap of the Fantagraphics-sponsored comics panel at Seattle Bookfest

• Things to read: Michael Kupperman blogs two short prose stories starring Twain & Einstein

• Things to see: A Halloweeny animated drawing by Lilli Carré

• Things to see: A new Glenn Ganges two-pager, sans dialogue, from Kevin Huizenga

• Things to see: Jim Blanchard sure gets some cool commissions

• Things to see: Bob Fingerman draws a "big butt girl" (I know, shocker, right? I kid, I kid)

Daily OCD: 10/22/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under staffreviewsKevin HuizengaJaime HernandezJacques TardiCarol SwainaudioAl ColumbiaAbstract Comics 22 Oct 2009 3:38 PM

Poppin' fresh Online Commentary & Diversions:

• Review: "Giraffes in My Hair: A Rock ‘N' Roll Life... is deeply personal but doesn't get bogged down with self service or making a Titan out of a man. I love that here we have a view of some of the seedier sides of counterculture that doesn't have an agenda beyond the act of sharing...of storytelling. It feels like a recounting, almost a journalistic telling of the facts of his personal history. But it also feels like you're having a great dinner with an old friend. ... As a graphic novel it is very strong. Carol Swain’s rough-layered pencils are distinct and complex with texture. ... Giraffes achieves a fusion of art and story where each serves the other in a mutually empowering way. An ideal comic. It is sharp and witty visual commentary on sharp and witty writing. There is a great eye for details at play with Swain's artwork. ... It is as though the story and memory of the story are more important than the teller himself. Brilliant." – Jared Gniewek, Graphic NYC

• Review: "The fact is that comics have always had an abstract artistic potential — and as far as my memory goes, one that is accepted by all worthwhile theoretical definitions of comics. But, until now, its role was secondary, relegated to isolated experiments. It is here that the anthology does its job: presenting an overview and organizing it, Abstract Comics creates a movement. From it, abstraction in comics can move beyond an experiment and become a legitimate possibility — a process that began in the visual arts years ago." – Eduardo Nasi, Universo HQ (translated from Portuguese on the Abstract Comics Blog)

• Review: "West Coast Blues is Fantagraphics' first offering in what one hopes will be am ambitious Tardi reprint project... It's an elegant, somewhat unorthodox set-up, at least with Tardi's narration, and indeed Tardi makes a number of creative, idiosyncratic choices in adapting the novel. ... The '70s milieu shouldn't put anyone off, and in fact that's one of the book's charms, with Tardi's clean line depicting classic old Mercedes and Citroens, and plenty of legwork and driving rather than digital assistance. Tardi has a really appealing style, clear and photorealistic in the details and yet messy with life. ... Tardi doesn't shy away from the violence of the story, but he doesn't revel in it, either, his pages all varying grids, many with tall, narrow panels that keep the pace brisk." – Christopher Allen, Comic Book Galaxy

• Plug: "As Orson Welles and Terry Gilliam have film adaptations of Don Quixote as their great incomplete masterworks; Al Columbia has Pim and Francie. A work over 15 years in the making, and never now likely to be ‘finished', the pieces of it have been assembled as Pim & Francie: The Golden Bear Days." – Marc Arsenault, Wow Cool

• Interview: The folks at The Comix Claptrap kick off another season of comics podcasting by talking to Jaime Hernandez, in streaming and downloadable audio

• Things to see: The Covered blog is a Fantagraphics intraoffice special today, as Jason T. Miles pays homage to Eric Reynolds

• Things to see: I think Kevin Huizenga is on to something with "The System"

Daily OCD: 10/20/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Zak SallyWillie and JoeTim LaneSteven WeissmanSteve DitkoStan SakaiRobert CrumbRichard SalareviewsPopeyePaul HornschemeierMonte SchulzMomeMichael KuppermanLove and RocketsLos Bros HernandezLilli CarréKim DeitchKevin HuizengaJohnny Ryanjohn kerschbaumJaime HernandezIgnatz SeriesGary GrothGabrielle BellGabriella GiandelliFemke HiemstraFantagraphics historyDash ShawBill MauldinAnders NilsenAbstract Comics 20 Oct 2009 5:52 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions is back! This is a catch-up post so it's a honker:

• Best-of List: Sandy Bilus of I Love Rob Liefeld belatedly compiles the critics' 2008 end of year best-of lists and semi-scientifically determines that Dash Shaw's Bottomless Belly Button was the #1 comic of 2008, with Ganges #2 by Kevin Huizenga at #6. Also on the Top 100 list, in descending order: Love and Rockets: New Stories #1, The Education of Hopey Glass by Jaime Hernandez, The Lagoon by Lilli Carré, Willie & Joe: The WWII Years by Bill Mauldin, the year's issues of Mome, Sammy the Mouse #2 by Zak Sally, Abandoned Cars by Tim Lane, Popeye Vol. 3 by E.C. Segar, Interiorae #3 by Gabriella Giandelli, Petey & Pussy by John Kerschbaum, Angry Youth Comix #14 by Johnny Ryan, and Deitch's Pictorama by the Deitch brothers. (We also compiled the lists into our own handy shopping guide of 2008 Critics' Picks.)

• Review: "It's a surprisingly rare thing to find the great comic artist who can not only draw with poetry and beauty, but write like a demon as well. In this lavish scrapbook of uncollected ads, posters, covers, ephemera and one-offs [All and Sundry], [Paul] Hornschemeier's skills are nearly as verbal as they are visual, his art encompassing many different styles, from richly layered classical surrealism to densely structured and primary color-heavy McSweeney's-style illustrations. But taken together, the work exhibits an instantly recognizable and distinctive panache. The depth of his art truly comes to life in the melancholic squibs of text and short fictions studding this collection. For all his talents, Hornschemeier is a working artist who clearly takes on all kinds of assignments, from bookstore ads and bookmarks to a quirky little piece on Anderson Cooper commissioned by CNN. Perhaps the intrusion of the journeyman keeps an exquisite volume like this so rewarding and yet grounded." – Publishers Weekly (starred review)

• Review: "What I liked [in Abstract Comics], I liked for more than just the strips themselves--I liked them for the proof they offer that comics really is still a Wild West medium in which one's bliss can be followed even beyond the boundaries of what many or even most readers would care to define as 'comics.' That an entire deluxe hardcover collection of such comics now exists is, I think, one of the great triumphs for the medium in a decade full to bursting with them." – Sean T. Collins

• Review: "Hallelujah... for Michael Kupperman! He returns with his second collection, Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 1, which brings under one cover the first four issues of the same-named comic. And comic it sure as hell is. I'm not entirely certain when I've read anything that made me laugh out loud as often as this volume, with the possible exception of Kupperman's debut Snake 'n' Bacon's Cartoon Caberet. Women who've given birth to multiple children and older readers are advised to secure some kind of adult diaper." – Late Reviews and Latest Obsessions

• Review: "The only problem with Love and Rockets: New Stories is that it's an annual. Volume 2 was, well, fabulous. ... Both Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez are in full form in this volume. Lucky us." – Ace Bauer

• Review: "Willie & Joe is an extraordinarily compiled and presented tribute to Bill Mauldin, the two-time Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist who chronicled life in the U.S. Army from 1940 to 1945. The set is bound in army green canvas and typeset in the font of an old manual typewriter, the kind an army clerk might have used during the Second World War. The collection is a sensory delight, pleasing to touch and beautiful to see. ... There are many scholarly works written on the topic of World War II, and those books can teach us a lot about the war, but anyone who wants to feel what American soldiers felt during the Second World War should seek out Willie & Joe. ... For the winner of two Pulitzer Prizes, for the man who was once America’s most celebrated enlisted man, Willie & Joe is a fitting, and wonderful, tribute." – David Mitchell, BiblioBuffet

• Review: "[Prison Pit Book 1 by Johnny Ryan is an] over-the-top, ultra-violent, gross-out,  juvenile, yet fun and hilarious book... The dialogue that does exist retains his comic sense of disjunction and fights are as demented as you’d expect. This is not a jokey book, but his humor is retained in subtle ways—if you can envision subtle Johnny Ryan humor. ... This is just a balls-out, funny, sicko, good time. My only complaint with Prison Pit is how quickly the story ends, but hopefully the subtitle (Book One) is a promise and not a joke." – Lincoln Michel, The Faster Times [Ed. note: Book Two is in progress and due next year.]

• Review: "Longtime [Richard] Sala readers will recognize some familiar tropes right away [in Delphine]: strange surroundings, shady characters who seem to hold malevolent secrets. And Sala's art is familiar as well, but taken to a new level — lovely watercolors on the covers and moody washes on the gray interiors. The creamy paper that's typical of the Ignatz releases lends additional otherworldly, othertimely atmosphere to the story. And the logo itself is so good it deserved to be used for a long-running series. But it's the story that departs from Sala's work in some major ways... so resonant and unsettling that... it has to rank as one of Sala's major works." – Christopher Allen, Comic Book Galaxy

• Plug: "Reading [The Complete Peanuts 1971-72 and 1973-74] in one fell swoop, I've kind of come to the conclusion that this period is really the apex of Schulz's career. ...he was never as consistently hilarious or as poignant as he was in the early to mid-70s. If you're only buying two volumes of this series, it should be these two." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6

• Plug: "This just in! Steve Ditko book to be awesome: Seriously, just look at this thing. Wow." – J. Caleb Mozzocco, Newsarama

• Plug: Wunderkammer, the blog of Portuguese shop Ghoulgear, recommends Rock Candy: The Artwork of Femke Hiemstra as a "beautiful book" of "stunning works"

• Profile: Dan Taylor of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat catches up with Monte Schulz on his book tour for This Side of Jordan: "'It’s weird doing this,' Schulz said by phone from Nevada City during a break between book shop dates. 'It makes me nervous, at every single stop. I just realized I’m not a very public person.'"

• Interview: At Marvel.com, Sean T. Collins' series of chats with Strange Tales contributors continues with Stan Sakai talking about the creation of Samurai Hulk: "Actually, I tried to make it as much of a parallel to the modern Hulk as possible. Such as his name-he is referred to as Sashimonowhich means 'banner.' It's a samurai banner. And obviously there's no gamma rays, so he's cursed into turning into the Hulk by a witch called Gama, which is Japanese for 'toad' — she kinda looks like a toad." Oh man I can't wait for that.

• History: Steve Duin at The Oregonian digs up a nugget: Gary Groth on the 50th anniversary of Superman in Amazing Heroes, 1988: "My only interest in Superman, marginal at that, stems from his continuing presence as a symbol of banality and infantilism in the history of the American comic book." And it goes on!

• Events: Gabrielle Bell, Kim Deitch, Hope Larson and Anders Nilsen will be on a comics panel discussion at the University of Richmond next Sunday, Oct. 25 — here's the Facebook invitation

• Things to see: Leon Beyond on mnemonics, by Kevin Huizenga

• Things to see: Michael Kupperman's The Mannister, come to life!

• Things to see: Paul Hornschemeier's illustrations for James Kennedy's in-progress novel The Magnificent Moots (via Paul's blog)

• Things to buy: Commission yourself a cute portrait by Steven Weissman

• Oddity/thing to buy: The R. Crumb snowboarding jacket, as revealed by Robot 6

• Random quote of the day: "Guido Crepax: popular enough to have an entire half-shelf in the Fantagraphics library, circa mid-1990s; not popular enough to have his books stolen by the interns." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter

Daily OCD: 10/7/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Robert PollardreviewsOriginal ArtLove and RocketsLos Bros HernandezFemke HiemstraErnie BushmilleraudioAl ColumbiaAbstract Comics 7 Oct 2009 2:57 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions? Yes:

• Review: "An abstract comic? What the hell is that? And more importantly, what’s the point of a comic if it doesn’t tell a story? These are the questions a book like Abstract Comics raises right off the bat. Thankfully, it also answers them. The anthology, edited by Andrei Molotiu, covers the time period of 1967-2009 and is in all respects a Serious (capital S) volume. ... Worth a look, for sure, and maybe more." – Molly Young, We Love You So

• Plug: Ulrich Scheele of artblog peeks at the "charming" and "wonderful" Rock Candy: The Artwork of Femke Hiemstra

• Plug: "When it comes to creepy comics, Al Columbia isn't only a member — he's the president. And in Fantagraphics' Zero Zero #4, Columbia produced a short story called 'I Was Killing When Killing Wasn't Cool' that is so startling and nightmarish in its quiet elegance that it'll stick with you forever." – Rickey Purdin, Rowdy Schoolyard

• Plug: Some Love and Rockets nostalgia from California retailer/comics blogger Mike Sterling

• Commentary: At Comics Comics, Jeet Heer declares "It’s a good time to be a Nancy-boy."

• Interview: The Inkstuds radio program talks to Abstract Comics editor Andrei Molotiu, with musical selections by Andrei

• Things to see and buy: From the Robert Pollard camp, "New collages and price reductions on Bob art work for Rocktober. All collages from EAT 7 are avaliable." Available framed and unframed.

Daily OCD: 9/24/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewsPeanutsJohn HankiewiczJaime HernandezJacques TardiHarvey KurtzmanAbstract Comics 24 Sep 2009 2:43 PM

Heads up, it's today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

• Review: "West Coast Blues is an adaptation of a 70s crime novel by Jean-Patrick Manchette (Le Petit Bleu de la Côte Ouest), and it is a reminder of how good they did paranoid crime thrillers in the 70s. It is also a reminder of how good Tardi has done comics for forty years. ...Tardi's remarkable energy and range as a visual storyteller... will have you gobbling this book up in one gigantic gulp and then going back to appreciate the details and the nuance." – Jared Gardner, Guttergeek

• Reviews/Preview: The Abstract Comics blog has links to several reviews of the anthology from around the world (and their translations), plus a video preview of the book which accompanies one of the reviews

• Profile: For the AIGA website, Michael Dooley casts a spotlight on Harvey Kurtzman: "Either directly or indirectly, he’s had an effect on everything and everybody: from Saturday Night Live to The Daily Show, from the Zucker brothers to the Wayans brothers, from National Lampoon to The Onion, and from John Kricfalusi to Matt Groening."

• Events: John Hankiewicz is having an exhibit of his prints right now at College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, IL

• Things to see: Hypebeast has images of all the Jaime Hernandez Stussy t-shirts which I couldn't find yesterday (via The Beat)

• Contest: Also via The Beat: enter the Peanuts look-alike contest!

Daily OCD: 9/17/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewsR Kikuo JohnsonPeter BaggeAnders NilsenAbstract Comics 17 Sep 2009 2:48 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

• Review: "I've been enjoying cartoonist Peter Bagge's contributions to Reason Magazine for years now... But now Fantagraphics has collected them into a great-looking trade paperback [Everybody Is Stupid Except for Me]!... I think Bagge has been doing really interesting work, mixing field journalism with humor and opinion in an entirely novel way. As an essayist Bagge is never preachy, and he often points out the shortcomings of his fellow libertarians (his account of meeting Ron Paul is particularly funny). He explores more than he rants, and when he does let loose, he's got a healthy sense of self-satire. These comics will piss you off, and that's good." – Jesse Brown, Boing Boing

• Review: "Drawn with sweeping black brush strokes, [Night Fisher] is done completely in absence of color. This, however, helps to magnify the tone of the story and brings a subtle heaviness to the work. The artwork itself is excellent.... [R. Kikuo] Johnson does a great job conveying character’s moods and emotions through angles, posture, and facial expressions. ...[I]f you enjoy these realistic and unapologetic looks at adolescence I recommend giving Night Fisher a read." – A. Alba, Hawaii Book Blog

• Review: "Abstract Comics, perhaps more so than any other recent comic release, highlights the way in which the comics world is markedly changing. Comics are indeed reaching across more disparate audiences and being found in a much wider selection of venues. But what might be the implications of this?... If nothing else, it seems that Abstract Comics makes explicit that the line between comics and high art is beginning to disappear.... Abstract Comics is a necessary addition to the comics canon in that it forces us to continue to think what exactly constitutes the comics form." – Sara Cole, PopMatters

• Things to see: New sketchbook drawings & comics from Anders Nilsen

Daily OCD: 9/16/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewsLove and RocketsLos Bros HernandezJasonJacques TardiAbstract Comics 16 Sep 2009 2:23 PM

With all of our event announcements today this Online Commentary & Diversions update is blissfully short:

• Review: "Jason’s books are entirely plot-driven, yet delivered with a dry, morose humor that gives the narrative an offbeat tone. Coupled with his ear for snappy dialogue, Jason’s plots become surprising romps that mash up divergent adventure clichés.... All told, Jason’s books, including The Last Musketeer, are pure escapist fun romps.... I’ll be looking for more of Jason’s comics, and hopefully more readers will also check his stuff out." - Michael C. Lorah, Newsarama

• Review: "...I was expecting something offbeat and madcap (and certainly wasn't disappointed in that regard), but I was also surprised by just how emotional Jason was able to make a story about an Anthro-dog murder society and time travelling hitmen. Yeah, the entire thing is patently absurd on every level - self-consciously and humorously so - but it's also a story about the impermanence of rage and the importance of forgiveness, alongside what a goddamn twat Adolf Hitler can be when all you want to do is shoot the bastard.... [I Killed Adolf Hitler] is a quick read and very rewarding, and something I imagine I'll come back to from time to time for a while. Smart, funny and surprisingly poignant, this was VERY GOOD." - David Uzumeri, The Savage Critics

• Plugs: The Gosh! Comics Blog talks up West Coast Blues and Love and Rockets: New Stories #2

• Events: On the Abstract Comics blog, anthology contributor Richard Hahn reports from the Abstract Comics signing at Jim Hanley's Universe and the Silent Pictures exhibit at CUNY

Daily OCD: 9/14/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tim LaneTim HensleyRichard SalareviewsPrince ValiantJohnny RyanJoe DalyHans RickheitHal FosterAbstract Comics 14 Sep 2009 2:49 PM

Your Online Commentary & Diversions for today:

• Review: "With The Red Monkey Double Happiness Book, [Joe] Daly maintains some of the psychedelic trappings of his earlier stories but puts them within a framework of stoner noir (ala the film Pineapple Express) buddy story, only with Big Lebowski-style absurdity. However, the book can't really be reduced to familiar genre markers all that easily, and [a] firm, eccentric sense of place is the biggest reason why it works." - Rob Clough

• Review: "Needless to say, one could study the art found within Abstract Comics: The Anthology (published by Fantagraphics Books) for months, or one could flip through the entire thing in five minutes, and the conclusions one could draw from either experience of the volume could easily be justified as informed and insightful." - Alan David Doane, Comic Book Galaxy

• Review: "[Prince Valiant] creator Hal Foster is justly hailed for his stupendous full-pagers, full of panorama and carefully-researched settings.... We moderns are fortunate that  superb reprint editions of these classics are readily available..." - Brenda Clough, Book View Cafe Blog

• Review: "I love [Richard Sala's] older work and newer work alike - the evolution of Sala's inky, angular charmers is a treat to see - and [Delphine] (a retelling of Snow White) has been such a wonderful foreboding wander through the twisty, turn-y, dark forest." - Emily Martin, Inside a Black Apple

• Plug: "This week I started reading Prison Pit Vol. 1 and ... I ... it ... um ... the thing is ... it's .... wow." - Chris Mautner, Robot 6

• Analysis: Blog Flume's Ken Parille on Tim Hensley: "I can’t think of another cartoonist who approaches space -- and what we might call 'spatial color' -- in such a rigorously strange way."

• Interview: At The Daily Cross Hatch, part 3 of 4 of their interview with Hans Rickheit: "I can’t work from a script. If the book were really tightly scripted, I promise you I’d lose interest in it, and I might force myself to draw it, but the artwork would just become a lifeless thing. The book would suffer dramatically."

• Things to see: Baby vs. kangaroo and other absurdity from Tim Lane


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