Home arrow Browse Shop

Search / Login

Quick Links:
Latest Releases
Browse by Artist
Love and Rockets Guide
Peanuts books
Disney books
More browsing options under "Browse Shop" above


Search: All Titles

Advanced Search
Login / Free Registration
Detail Search
Download Area
Show Cart
Your Cart is currently empty.

Subscribe

Sign up for our email newsletters for updates on new releases, events, special deals and more.

New Releases

Spawn of Mars and Other Stories (The EC Comics Library)
Spawn of Mars and Other Stories (The EC Comics Library)
$29.99
Add to Cart

Creeping Death from Neptune: The Life and Comics of Basil Wolverton Vol. 1
Creeping Death from Neptune: The Life and Comics of Basil Wolverton Vol. 1
$39.99
Add to Cart

Massive: Gay Erotic Manga and the Men Who Make It
Massive: Gay Erotic Manga and the Men Who Make It
$35.00
Add to Cart

Foolbert Funnies: Histories and Other Fictions
Foolbert Funnies: Histories and Other Fictions
$24.99
Add to Cart

all new releases

Category >> Al Columbia

Daily OCD: 12/22/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewsDestroy All MoviesDerek Van GiesonDaily OCDCatalog No 439Al Columbia 22 Dec 2010 3:45 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions from The A.V. Club, Fonts in Use and elsewhere:

Pim & Francie: The Golden Bear Days

Review: "A terrifying assemblage of ten years’ worth of unfinished Pim & Francie comics. The stories of two trusting little waifs play out like a perverse Merrie Melodies cartoon, or Little Nemo in Slumberland with the constant threat of dismemberment. [... Al Columbia's] superficially-cute artwork comes from the same unsettled place as Jim Woodring , like a ’30s animation studio with a lead-contaminated watercooler." – Grant Buist, The Name of This Cartoon Is Brunswick

Destroy All Movies!!!: The Complete Guide to Punks on Film [Pre-Order]

Interview: The A.V. Club's Erik Adams surveys Zack Carlson & Bryan Connolly for some hilarious "Last-minute gift suggestions from the editors of Destroy All Movies!!!" Guess what one of them is!

Enough Astronaut Blood to Last the Winter - cover - Derek Van Gieson

Interview: Imitation Objects' Jen Hazen conducts a Q&A with Mome contributor Derek Van Gieson: "The animals. I don’t know why they’re in the pictures. I think animals are weird, we live among these freaky beasts. They’re a hell of a lot more fun than drawing somebody wearing sweatpants or drawing a contemporary car."

Catalog No. 439: Burlesque  Paraphernalia and Side Degree Specialties and Costumes

Plug: Fonts in Use examines and praises the typefaces used by designer Jacob Covey for Catalog No. 439: Burlesque Paraphernalia and Side Degree Specialties and Costumes

Daily OCD: 10/7-8/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Zippy the PinheadSteven BrowerStephen DeStefanoreviewsPeanutsMoto HagioMort MeskinMomemangaLove and RocketsJoyce FarmerJohnny RyanJean SchulzJasonJaime HernandezJacques TardiFantagraphics BookstoreDaily OCDBill GriffithAl Columbia 8 Oct 2010 4:04 PM

Today's (and yesterday's — sorry for the interruption) Online Commentary & Diversions:

Special Exits [Pre-Order]

Review: "Yes, [Special Exits] is a heartbreaking — even harrowing — tale, one made all the more moving and immediate by the creator’s nuanced gift for capturing the essence of her parents on the page. But it’s also a tale told with consummate skill, filled with mordant humor and real compassion, an almost embarrassing amount of candor, and a deep abiding love and respect for its subjects. [...] Ultimately, it’s these simple and true moments of mundane magic which marks Special Exits as more than just one of the best books released this year. It is, without a doubt, also one of the most significant contributions to the comics medium this side of the millennium, a modern masterpiece which celebrates the human condition." – Bill Baker, ForeWord Reviews

Prison Pit: Book 2  [Pre-Order]

Review: "Ultimately, ...the book churns itself into a seething sludge of psychic toxicity that’s less a shockfest and more a satire of existence itself. Mercilessly graphic and superbly unspooled, Prison Pit funnels the fantastic, violent notebook sketches of the middle-school miscreant into a funny, pulsing, disgustingly purgative eruption. [Grade] A-" – The A.V. Club

Review: "Prison Pit Two is one of the most gruesome and beautiful new comics I've seen. It's the comics equivalent of Voivod's Rrröööaaarrr. Buy buy buy. Die die die." – Nick Gazin, Vice

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

Review: "There have been plenty of comic-book memoirs, but few with the complex structure of You’ll Never Know, which seems at times to be rambling from topic to topic with no clear direction, until it unexpectedly circles back to an earlier point and makes the purpose of one tiny anecdote clear. Because this is still a work-in-progress — and an idiosyncratic one at that — it’s too early to tag it as a masterpiece. But damned if it isn’t well on its way. [Grade] A-" – The A.V. Club

Zippy: Ding Dong Daddy from Dingburg [Pre-Order]

Review: "With each passing year, Bill Griffith’s venerable comic strip Zippy the Pinhead gets weirder, moving away from direct social commentary and toward a more abstract expression of Griffith’s worldview. The latest Zippy collection, Ding Dong Daddy from Dingburg, is dominated by a long tour through a town run by pinheads — an absurdist spin on consumer utopia that rivals Superman comics’ Bizarro World for its down-is-up jargon and attitudes. The joke? That this is more or less the America of the early 21st century... [Grade] B" – The A.V. Club

Love and Rockets: New Stories #3 [with FREE Signed Bookplate]

Review: "The Hernandez Brothers have... been on a constant incline. They never treaded water or plateau'd. In fact this issue, the third issue of the third volume [of Love and Rockets], is one of the very best things they've ever done. [...] This is a perfect volume by guys who've been getting perfecter all the time. [...] At their worst the Hernandez Brothers make work that's merely good and entertaining. At their best they make this." – Nick Gazin, Vice

The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec Vol. 1: Pterror Over Paris and The Eiffel Tower Demon [Pre-Order]

Review: "Adele Blanc-Sec is a sort of actiony, science fictiony comic for people who aren't retarded. It's like a Europeaner Hellboy or Indiana Jones. [...] This isn't my absolute favorite Tardi book — there's slightly too much dialogue and slightly too many characters with mustaches to keep up with — but it's still a fucking masterpiece. Everything he draws and the moods he conveys are worth the price of admission alone." – Nick Gazin, Vice

Mome Vol. 19 - Summer 2010

Review: "In [Mome] Vol. 19, [editor Eric] Reynolds shifted gears and used fewer but longer entries to put together perhaps the single best issue of the entire series (only Vol. 12 surpasses it in my estimation). Beyond its quality, Mome Vol. 19 also seems to be the issue that best reflects Reynolds’ taste as an editor. Reynolds has always been more on the underground side of the fence than in the literary fiction camp when it comes to comics. This issue’s mix of the transgressively funny, pulpish noir, surrealism, scatology and innovation was sequenced in such a way that every transition from story to story was nearly seamless. More importantly, the stories frequently complemented each other in a way that acted as a form of editorial storytelling on its own. [...] Secrets and mysteries are at the core of every story in this volume, and Reynolds expertly put together this jigsaw puzzle of styles and visual approaches to create a coherent, deeply affecting book. It’s certainly on my short list of best comics of the year." – Rob Clough, The Comics Journal

Review: "Mome... is where the smart kids with the sharpest pencils, shiniest pens, biggest brushes and best software go to play before they blow your minds in great big award-winning graphic novels. It is intense, sometimes hard to read and crafted to the highest production standards. Considered by most to be the successor to Art Spiegelman’s Raw, it doesn’t come out nearly often enough. [...] This volume is perfect for newcomers to jump aboard... Whether you’re new to comics, currently searching beyond the mainstream or just want something fresh; these strips and this publication will always offer a decidedly different read. You may not like all of it but Mome will always have something you can’t help but respond to. Why haven’t you tried it yet?" – Win Wiacek, Now Read This!

It Was the War of the Trenches

Review: "Jacques Tardi's masterful It Was the War of the Trenches was originally published in Europe in 1993, and thanks to Fantagraphics it has finally made it to the U.S. It was worth the wait. [...] I was nauseated. I was horrified. I was transfixed. Everyone should read this book and relearn the lesson that war is not diplomacy by other means, but the most hellish, useless and destructive tool at our disposal, and should be found somewhere past the last resort." – Andrew A. Smith, Scripps Howard News Service

Fire & Water: Bill Everett,  the Sub-Mariner and the Birth of   Marvel Comics [September 2010]

Review: "An effective biography and a great showcase of classic comics artwork, [Fire and Water: Bill Everett, the Sub-Mariner and the Birth of Marvel Comics] provides an intriguing look into the life of a man who played an important role in the shaping of the creative side of the comics industry. [...] Abetted by plentiful examples of Everett’s illustrative prowess (both at his peak and when in the depths of addiction), it’s a valuable tool for anybody interested in the history of the medium or the men behind their favorite stories and characters. And it’s fortunate that men like Blake Bell and publishers like Fantagraphics are committed to telling these stories so that we don’t lose sight of our roots." – Michael C. Lorah, Newsarama

A Drunken  Dream and Other Stories [Pre-Order]

Review: The Hooded Utilitarian's Noah Berlatsky continues his story-by-story examination of A Drunken Dream and Other Stories by Moto Hagio with "Hanshin: Half-God"

Love and Rockets Library (Locas Book 2): The Girl from H.O.P.P.E.R.S.

Review: "Do you ever stop to think that David Lynch's work doesn't make sense? No, not in that way — I don't mean in terms of story logic, I mean in terms of his aesthetic/generic approach. [...] Something about what Lynch does, the confidence with which he does it, makes it feel seamless, like 'of course' rather than 'what the?'. Looking at the cover for The Girl from H.O.P.P.E.R.S., I realized the same is true of Jaime Hernandez's comics. [...] He created his own kind of story." – Sean T. Collins, Attentiondeficitdisorderly

Pim & Francie: The Golden Bear Days

Review: "To call it 'comic book as nightmare' would certainly sound too glib by half and too cliche by whole orders of magnitude, and yet nothing else provides so apt a model for the kind of experience Columbia has crafted here. [...] In short, Pim & Francie is a monumental achievement. Columbia's brilliance is on full display... to some of the most truly dreadful effect I've ever experienced." – Curt Purcell, The Groovy Age of Horror (via Sean T. Collins)

Lucky in Love Book 1: A Poor Man's History [with FREE Signed Bookplate]

Plug: "Stephen DeStefano and George Chieffet's new book Lucky in Love was recently released by Fantagraphics Books and I just received a copy courtesy of the artist so I want to plug one of my favorite artists working in comics and animation. As always Stephen's art is amazing. Pick up a copy today!" – Kevin Langley, Cartoons, Model Sheets, & Stuff

Plug: "I escaped LA for a week and spent time relaxing in Seattle with some of my favorite people. On the way to the airport, we made a spontaneous stop at Fantagraphics Books, a place I never heard of before. They describe themselves as a publisher of 'comics for thinking readers – readers who like to put their minds to work, who have a sophisticated understanding of art and culture, and appreciate personal expression unfettered by uncritical use of cliché.' So, if you’re looking to read bland, mainstream superhero comics, you won’t find them there. [...] If you ever find yourself in Seattle, you won’t regret stopping at the store. A bonus is the record store that shares the same space with the bookstore." – What's Good With It

Profile: "Jason is a Norwegian graphic novelist/comic book artist who makes the finest short stories. [...] It’s beautiful to see how Jason has refined everything; stripping away anything that could be considered filigree, cutting out any words that don’t need saying. He has mastered the barely story, telling imperceptible narratives vaguely inferred, and a crispness of drawing that ignores unnecessary fill. All that remains is a wry sociopathy you can’t help but fall in love with. Jason is the best thing I’ve come across in the last couple of years." – Gregory Povey, Mount Analogue

From Shadow to Light: The Life & Art of Mort Meskin [Pre-Order]

Interview: Comics Comics' Dan Nadel, who says "As a [Mort] Meskin admirer (I put a Golden Lad story in Art in Time) I am thrilled to have a beautifully made book that showcases his thoughtful, vividly executed and highly influential work," talks to the author of that book, From Shadow to Light, Steven Brower: "There were two things that drew me to his story. The first was the mystery of why someone who began so strong, influencing his peers, faded so quickly from view. The second attraction: his personal story. Mort was someone who suffered greatly at times emotionally and overcame his struggles. I felt there was a larger story to tell than just someone who was a very good artist."

Peanuts 60th Anniversary logo

Interview: Comic Book Resources' Kiel Phegley talks to Jean Schulz about the Peanuts 60th Anniversary: "I say I'm 'condemned' to keep learning more about the comic strip because I didn't take it seriously enough when Sparky was alive. That's sort of a joke, but it's true. You can go back over them again and again and look at them in different thematic settings."

Commentary: At Trouble with Comics, Alan David Doane imagines a Peanuts spin-off strip called Shells, sort of a Rosenkranz & Guilderstern Are Dead to the Hamlet of Peanuts

Things to see: 9/10/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tim LaneThings to seeSteven WeissmanSteve BrodnerSergio PonchioneRobert GoodinRenee FrenchPaul HornschemeierMiss Lasko-GrossMatthias LehmannMark KalesnikoLaura ParkKevin HuizengaJosh SimmonsJohn HankiewiczJim FloraJasonHans RickheitGabrielle BellDrew WeingDrew FriedmanDerek Van GiesonDebbie DrechslerDash ShawDame DarcyAl Columbia 10 Sep 2010 6:26 PM

Periodic clips & strips — click for improved/additional viewing and possible artist commentary at the sources:

reality TV/music stars - Drew Friedman

Drew Friedman illustrates the latest crop of pop stars-cum-reality TV stars for Billboard (with commentary)

Henni - Miss Lasko-Gross

• The cover of a new minicomic Miss Lasko-Gross is debuting at SPX (via Facebook)

Amazing Facts and Beyond! - Kevin Huizenga

• From Kevin Huizenga, a new Amazing Facts and Beyond with Leon Beyond strip

work in progress - Matthias Lehmann

Two more stages in Matthias Lehmann's scratchboard work in progress

hobos - Jason

• From Jason: a 1996 anthology story page; a lizard lady; an illustration of U2; and three early cartoons

Hole - Steven Weissman

Steven Weissman drew Courtney Love for The Stranger's Bumbershoot guide; also, "I, Anonymous" (original, as printed), and ice cream roundup

panels - John Hankiewicz

Two more panels from an upcoming comic by John Hankiewicz 

Prim & Fancy - Jeffrey Meyer

New Mutants #33 - Derek Van Gieson

• Two good ones at the Covered blog: Jeffrey Meyer does Al Columbia's Pim & Francie and Derek Van Gieson does New Mutants #33

Gomorrah - Robert Goodin

• Relatedly, at his Wood Paneled Basement blog Robert Goodin says "The Criterion Collection curated a film festival for this year's All Tomorrow's Parties in New York. Comic artists were asked to create posters for the different movies and I did the one above for Gomorrah."

Lupine Nihilist - Dame Darcy

• Original art, crafts and other good stuff in Dame Darcy's latest blog update

future - Drew Weing

Drew Weing posts this snippet of a comic story he has in the current issue of the Oxford American; Josh Simmons posts an even less revealing bit of his strip from the same issue

Belligerent Piano - Tim Lane

• The latest installment of Tim Lane's Belligerent Piano

Pink & Black Cats - Jim Flora

• At the Jim Flora art blog: a 1960 tempera sketch, 1991 sketchbook & journal pages

squirrel - Debbie Drechsler

Debbie Drechsler sketches squirrels and other fauna, plus a heron

San Diego - Gabrielle Bell

Gabrielle Bell's San Diego adventures continue in part 6 of her Comic-Con Comicumentary

Pacer - Mark Kalesniko

Mark Kalesniko's AMC Pacer reference sketches for Freeway move to the interior

Riunione di Condominio - Sergio Ponchione

Sergio Ponchione presents "Riunione di Condominio" ("Condo Meeting") from the new issue of Linus

Monsieur le Moon - Paul Hornschemeier

Paul Hornschemeier's latest t-shirt design for his Forlorn Funnies Shirt Shop

Lucky

Another heartrending Lewis strip from Laura Park 

Repetition - Josh Simmons

Josh Simmons presents his strip from Bound & Gagged; also, "Quacker Alley" isn't credited to Josh but it sure looks like one of his

bunnytwine - Renee French

• From Renee French: scrote face girl, Barry the bird swimming, bunny with twine, a popsicle, and a series of shadowy things

daily drawing 7 - Dash Shaw

Dash Shaw's Daily Drawing nos. 3, 4, 5, 6, & 7, plus his animated sitcom pitch — I'd watch it

Paul Conrad - Steve Brodner

Steve Brodner takes on a hero and a villain: Paul Conrad and Pastor Terry Jones respectively

Ectopiary page 40 - Hans Rickheit

Hans Rickheit's Ectopiary page 40 — our Dutch-speaking readers may be interested to know that Ectopiary is being translated and serialized at Serieland

2010 Ignatz Award Nominees
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under MomeLaura ParkKevin HuizengaJohn PhamJoe DalyawardsAl Columbia 19 Aug 2010 11:30 AM

No lie: just a couple days ago I was wondering when they were going to announce this year's Ignatz Award nominees, and lo and behold, here they are today! Our artists & books received 8 nominations in 5 categories, and as per our typical M.O., we've put all the nominated titles on sale for a limited time! Congratulations to all; see the complete list of nominees here.

Pim & Francie: The Golden Bear Days by Al Columbia

Outstanding Artist: Al Columbia, Pim & Francie: The Golden Bear Days
Outstanding Graphic Novel: Pim & Francie: The Golden Bear Days by Al Columbia

Sublife Vol. 2 by John Pham

Outstanding Artist: John Pham, Sublife
Outstanding Series: Sublife by John Pham
Outstanding Comic: Sublife Vol. 2 by John Pham

Ganges #3 by Kevin Huizenga

Outstanding Series: Ganges by Kevin Huizenga

The Red Monkey Double Happiness Book by Joe Daly

Outstanding Story: "John Wesley Harding," The Red Monkey Double Happiness Book, by Joe Daly

Untitled - Laura Park - Mome Vol. 16

Outstanding Story: "Untitled", Mome Vol. 16, by Laura Park

(Additional congratulations to Noah Van Sciver, nominated for Outstanding Comic for Blammo #6, and to Lilli Carré and Martin Cendreda, both nominated for Outstanding Mini-Comic.)


Daily OCD: 8/9/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tim HensleystaffRosebud ArchivesreviewsPopeyeMoto HagiomangaLove and RocketsKim DeitchJoe DalyJaime HernandezHans RickheitGilbert HernandezDrew WeingDrew FriedmanDennis the MenaceDaily OCDBen SchwartzBasil WolvertonAl Columbia 9 Aug 2010 6:46 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions:

Love and  Rockets: New Stories #3 [Pre-Order]

Review: "Of the artists that meant the world to me when I was young enough that lots of artists meant the world to me, Jaime Hernandez is the only one I know of that can still kill me dead with his newest and latest. Your mileage may vary, but Jaime's three-part story in the latest Love and Rockets brought to mind the same sweep of romance and regret and pursuit of all that's sweet in life as much as battered and broken insides allow that I remember all too well from the summer between my junior and senior years in college, when I would have put everything about my wonderful life on hold to climb into a black and white comic book for a little while. There are three or four panels in this newest effort worth some cartoonists' entire careers." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter

Set to Sea

Review: "Set to Sea is [an] auspicious debut... Weing's nameless, landlubbing protagonist aches to rhapsodize about the sea but discovers that something's missing. After dozing drunkenly on a dock, he awakes to discover he's been shanghaied. His adventures provide ample material for a volume of poetry in this hilariously violent picaresque tale." – Richard Pachter, The Miami Herald

The Best American Comics Criticism

Review: "A book like The Best American Comics Criticism invites argument. If you put 'best' in your title, argument will follow. I’ve got arguments, but I wanted to start by praising both the editor, Ben Schwartz, and the publisher, Fantagraphics, for making the effort." - Derik Badman

The Search for Smilin' Ed!

Review: "...[T]his story is one where Deitch tries to tie the various unruly strands of his many stories together. In a way, I almost prefer that these overlapping, nesting, and sometimes contradictory stories never really congeal, but The Search for Smilin' Ed is, like all of Deitch's work, a compelling and highly personal piece of work." – Robert Boyd, The Great God Pan Is Dead

Pim & Francie: The Golden Bear Days

Review: "Although the images are very haunting, they are extremely beautiful. Pim & Francie is a pretty unique book. ... This book as a whole is actually quite creepy, haunting, scary, beautiful, and intoxicating. I seem to enjoy it more every time I look/read through it. With images on almost every single page, this book is worth a lot more than its cover price." – Steven Thomas

Wally Gropius

Review: "Wally Gropius ...[is] John Stanley for the 21st century. Not that Stanley doesn’t work just fine in 2010, but Hensley is worthy of that sort of praise. I wish this guy was writing Archie." – Chris Reilly, Guttergeek

The Squirrel Machine

Review: "I loved this book and am glad I... could read something this wonderfully twisted... I really wish I could tell you what genre this is, but The Squirrel Machine defies that sort of commercial branding." – Chris Reilly, Guttergeek

Dungeon Quest, Book 1  [Pre-Order]

Review: "Man, Joe Daly is awesome. ...[H]e is back with thunder in his pen and ants in his pants. [Dungeon Quest] is as good as Scrublands on page one and it just gets better and funnier, more bizarre and familiar (if you have ever met or hung out with Larpers) with each page turn. Welcome back, Joe Daly. You rule." – Chris Reilly, Guttergeek

The Troublemakers [with FREE Signed Bookplate]

Review: "The Troublemakers... is Gilbert [Hernandez] doing a Quentin Tarantino, in that he dips into a sleazy old unpleasant genre of crime exploitation films of the 60s and 70s and cherry-picks a bunch of the good bits and smashes them together and cooks them into a really sweet pie." – Chris Reilly, Guttergeek

The Culture Corner

Review: "The Culture Corner... is the biggest score for fans of Wolverton since the publication of the Wolverton Bible. I guess you could also say that this is the first reprint collection of Wolverton material since the Wolverton Bible if you wanted to nit-pick. Great stuff." – Chris Reilly, Guttergeek

A Drunken  Dream and Other Stories [Pre-Order]

Plug: "I’m barely able to form coherent thoughts about Moto Hagio’s A Drunken Dream and Other Stories. It’s an amazing collection of her work, and I hope it just causes an explosion of interest in her work." – David Welsh, The Manga Curmudgeon

Hank Ketcham's Complete Dennis the Menace 1961-1962 (Vol. 6)

Plug: Sarah McIntyre took some lovely photos of Hank Ketcham's Complete Dennis the Menace 1961-1962

Too Soon? - Drew Friedman

Interview: At WFMU's Beware of the Blog, Kliph Nesteroff talks to Drew Friedman: "When I was talking to Albert [Brooks] at this party he said, 'Drew, did you know that Harpo's ex-wife married Frank Sinatra?' I said, 'No, it was Zeppo's ex-wife.' He said, 'No, no, it was Harpo's ex-wife.'  I said, 'No, it was Zeppo's ex-wife. Look, we have Andy Marx, Groucho's grandson standing right here. Let's ask him.' I said, 'Andy, which one of your uncles married Frank Sinatra's wife?' He said, 'Well, that was Zeppo's wife.' That's why I love L.A. It's handy to have Groucho's grandson [around] when you need him." (Note: audio of this conversation will be available from the Inkstuds podcast soon; we'll keep you updated)

New York Hippodrome — PRINT

Profile: Seattle Times book editor Mary Ann Gwinn reports on the partnership between Rick Marschall's Rosebud Archives and Fantagraphics Books: "Now Marschall's company, Rosebud Archives, and Fantagraphics have formed a joint publishing enterprise that will draw from Marschall's immense collection, reclaiming the work of the great 20th-century magazine and newspaper artists for the 21st-century public."

Popeye Vol. 1: "I Yam What I Yam"

Commentary: At The Hooded Utilitarian, Shaenon Garrity kicks off a critical roundtable on Popeye with a 7-part appreciation: "Popeye hangs on, indestructible..., the last of a tougher, smellier, funnier breed."

The Shadow - Kyle Baker

Reviewer: At Comics Comics, our own Jason T. Miles looks at something I'm also fond of: Andy Helfer & Kyle Baker's late-1980s run on The Shadow

Daily OCD: 7/13/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewsMichael KuppermanJasonJacques TardiDrew WeingDaily OCDAl Columbia 13 Jul 2010 2:09 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions:

Set to Sea [Pre-Order]

Review: "...Weing produces a classic tale of the sea and self-discovery in his graphic novel debut [Set to Sea]. ... Presented almost like a Big Little Book for grownups, with one lovely panel per page in a small volume, the hero's journey in this tale isn't particularly unpredictable, but Weing's mastery of both small details (the hero's waxing and waning love affair with language) and sweeping vistas (from the glaciers to a steaming port city) gives it richness and emotion. ... Weing's E.C. Segar-influenced drawings elevates what could have been an oft-told story into a powerful fable." – Publishers Weekly

Tales Designed to Thrizzle #6

Review: "I feel like Steve Martin’s character in the movie The Jerk where he dances for joy at the gas station loudly proclaiming to all within earshot, 'The new phone book is here! The new phone book is here!' The new Tales Designed to Thrizzle is here. The new Tales Designed to Thrizzle is here! ... In every way relevant to a distinctly warped sense of humor, this issue represents a tightening of comedic springs and sweetening of the hurled cream pies. Its funny business appears more consummately distilled, concentrated and unremitting. Every page pays off, ratcheting up the risibility with droll efficiency." – Rich Kreiner, The Comics Journal

Review: "Werewolves of Montpellier is another perfect example of Jason's mundane absurdity. ... The artwork is, once again, so simplistic and so spot on that the only word to describe it is brilliant. ... Year after year, Jason delivers genre-defining works of art, and Werewolves of Montpellier is nothing more than the latest masterpiece from one of the medium's most profound and unique voices." – Steve Ponzo, Multiversity Comics

Interview: Publishers Weekly's Kate Fitzsimons talks to our own Kim Thompson about bringing Jacques Tardi's The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec to English-language readers: "I wouldn't call them a cult classic, they're more like a mainstream classic. Tardi is very popular and Adele is the work that's so popular that his publisher keeps trying to get him to go back to it again and again. I'd say that in France, Adele is a well known pop culture figure in the same way the Fantastic Four is here. So cult wouldn't exactly be the word."

 

Al Columbia in Hi-Fructose vol.15

Interview: Pick up the April 2010 issue (#15) of Hi-Fructose magazine for an interview with Al Columbia

Also: Budding young artist Fiddle Tim (better known as Frances Bean Cobain) is reportedly influenced by Al Columbia according to Rock NYC

Daily OCD: 6/7/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under The Comics JournalRoy CranereviewsPeanutsMegan KelsoKim DeitchJim WoodringJeremy EatonGene DeitchDrew FriedmanDaily OCDCarol TylerBen SchwartzAl Columbia 7 Jun 2010 5:41 PM

Catching up with Online Commentary & Diversions:

Weathercraft

Review: "Over the last few decades, Jim Wood­ring has been drawing a series of wordless, blissfully cruel slapstick fables, set in a world of grotesque entities and psychedelic minarets: half unshakable nightmare, half Chuck Jones cartoon filtered through the Bhagavad Gita. Weathercraft... flows so smoothly and delightfully from each image to the next that it’s easy to ignore that it has its own idea of sense, which may not jibe with anybody else’s." – Douglas Wolk, The New York Times

Review: "For those who find the work involving enough, Weathercraft will resonate with them on some emotional level — there's moments that unnerve, moments that touch — and while it is an immersive experience, the comic, especially in its hardcover form, operates most like a testimony of events. It's a comic, through and through, but it hews closer to a religious tome than it does a Love & Rockets installment." – Tucker Stone, comiXology

Review: "It’s better to experience Woodring’s work than to try and understand it. Weathercraft focuses on Frank’s frequent nemesis Manhog — a representative of humanity at its morally weakest — as he goes through multiple stages of degradation on his way to almost achieving a higher consciousness. The humanoid mongrel Frank hangs around the edges of the story with his loyal pets, but Weathercraft is mainly about how Manhog — and by extension the reader — sees how sick, freaky, and beautiful the world can be… [Grade] A-" – The A.V. Club

Artichoke Tales [Pre-Order]

Review: "Megan Kelso is best known for elegant, small-scale comics... with a historical or memoiristic bent. So it’s surprising and wonderful that Artichoke Tales, her first novel-length work, is the sort of world-­building fantasy story that comes with a family tree and a map on its endpapers. ... Kelso’s ligne claire artwork is consistently sweet and airy, depicting blobby, dot-eyed characters whose body language says as much as their words. The approach provides a likable surface for a story with much darker and stickier depths, about a land whose cultural heritage is rotting away in the aftermath of a civil war." – Douglas Wolk, The New York Times

Dungeon Quest, Book 1  [Pre-Order]

Review: "South African comic book writer/artist Joe Daly’s Dungeon Quest: Book One takes a hilariously askew look at the madness of fantasy quest games. ...[R]eaders with a high tolerance for absurdity and a healthy sense of humor about the subject matter will probably love what's on offer here." – Matt Staggs, Suvudu

Wally Gropius

Review: "Watching [Wally] and his equally gangly, geometric cohorts stretch and sprint and smash their way across Hensley's brighly colored backgrounds and block-lettered sound effects is like reading your favorite poem — or even... Wally Gropius itself — as translated into a language with a totally different alphabet. ... And wonder of wonders, the book finds its own way to be really funny amid all these highfalutin hijinks..." – Sean T. Collins, Attentiondeficitdisorderly

Review: "[Wally Gropius] has quickly become one of my favorite graphic novels. ... The comic is too odd to be described as 'commentary.' It seems far more synthetic than parodic: it blends recognizable influences into something truly new... The plot of Wally Gropius has been described as surreal or random, but it’s coherent and far more complex than I first thought... The book is an encyclopedia of cartoony facial expressions and bodily gestures, and should be studied at the CCS as such. WG radiates a real sense of joy, of 'cartooning unfettered.' ... Hensley is one of the best, and most idiosyncratic, writers of text in comics." – Ken Parille, Blog Flume

Review: "[Daniel] Clowes isn’t as zany as he used to be, so there’s a void to be filled here, and Wally Gropius does that ably: The hardcover collects Hensley’s Gropius stories from the anthology series Mome (with a little extra material thrown in), and his immaculate, vaguely ’50s style owes as much to Mort Walker, Archie Comics, and other vintage teen-humor strips as it does to Clowes. ... [Grade] B" – The A.V. Club

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

Review: "...Captain Easy follows a mysterious agent-for-hire as he travels exotic lands, battling bad guys. ...Crane’s art is stunning, combining simple cartoony figures with richly detailed backgrounds in clever, colorful layouts. It isn’t even necessary to read the dialogue or captions to follow the action; just scan Crane’s dynamic lines, which make every panel look like a unique work of pop art… [Grade] A-" – The A.V. Club

The Best American Comics Criticism

Review: "I was pretty excited when I found out that Fantagraphics was publishing an anthology of The Best American Comics Criticism. ... Editor Ben Schwartz did a great job selecting pieces that comprise a vibrant narrative of the industry. From graphic novels with literary aspirations to comics about capes, the breadth of content in here is really fantastic. ... But of all the essays in the book, only one is written by a woman. That’s a big let down." – Erin Polgreen, Attackerman

Too Soon? - Drew Friedman

Plug: "Drew Friedman is the master American caricaturist of our time. Not only are his portraits of the famous so realistic, they induce double takes, but he also captures truths about personality and draws out (pun intended) the funny in everyone." – Michael Simmons, LA Weekly

The Complete Peanuts 1969-1970 (Vol. 10) [NORTH AMERICA ONLY]

Plug: G4 drops a nice mention of "the ongoing and lovingly assembled Complete Peanuts series" in their review of the Snoopy Flying Ace game for Xbox 360

Pim & Francie: The Golden Bear Days

Interview: Comics Comics' Nicole Rudick sat Al Columbia down for his most candid and revealing interview ever: "So, yeah, I can still draw Pim and Francie. They’re a lot of fun to draw. Almost too much fun. You start to get intoxicated working on them. It’s like, 'This is too much fun. This shouldn’t be allowed. This shouldn’t be legal.' I always put it aside because it just gets me too . . . they’re very intense and fun and maybe fun upsets me."

Jeremy Eaton

Interview: David-Wasting-Paper subjects Jeremy Eaton to his Cartoonist Survey

Gene Deitch

Interview: The Daily Cross Hatch's Brian Heater concludes his conversation with Gene Deitch: "I hate the term '2D.' That’s bullshit. They put us in that category. They say they’re making 3D. They’re not 3D. What Pixar does is not 3D because it’s shaded. The screen is flat. It’s a flat picture. It’s just an illusion."

C. Tyler - photo by Justin Tepe, The News Record

Profile: Taylor Dungjen of University of Cincinnati student newspaper The News Record profiles U of C faculty member C. Tyler: "You might say Tyler is a proud American. You might even call her a patriot. She says she is a liberal hippie chick who supports American troops."

Kim Deitch & Bill Kartalopoulos at Desert Island

Scene: Flickr user Essrog posts a photo and brief report from Kim Deitch 's recent appearance at Desert Island in Brooklyn

It Was the War of the Trenches

Roundtable: The Comics Journal presents parts two and three of their roundtable discussion on comics translation featuring our own multilingualist Kim Thompson

Daily OCD: 5/17/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Walt KellyRoberta GregoryreviewsPeanutsMiss Lasko-GrossLove and RocketsLos Bros HernandezJoe SaccoJim WoodringJasonHans RickheitDaniel ClowesCharles M SchulzCarol TylerBen SchwartzAlexander TherouxAl ColumbiaAbstract Comics 17 May 2010 4:07 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions:

Ghost World [Softcover Edition]

List: Graphic Novel Reporter's "2010 Core Graphic Novels List" includes Ghost World, Safe Area Gorazde, and You'll Never Know; the "Expanded List" includes Abstract Comics, The Complete Peanuts , I Killed Adolf Hitler, It Was the War of the Trenches, Love and Rockets, Pim and Francie, Pogo, The Squirrel Machine, West Coast Blues, and You Are There

It Was the War of the Trenches

Review: "Many books have been written about World War I, but few can truly worm their way into your head like Jacques Tardi’s It Was the War of the Trenches. … The tales here are devastating and heartbreaking, and often disturbing, but readers will nonetheless have a hard time putting it down." – Holly Scudero, Sacramento Book Review  

The Complete Peanuts 1950-1952 (Vol. 1) [NORTH AMERICA ONLY]

Review: "Perhaps there is something in Charlie Brown, that the longer I read his adventures, the more I become a fatalist. I look at the history of Europe and I know that there are frequent periods of relative peace, such as the past 60 years in Poland. And since they are rare, sooner or later they can suddenly end." – Konrad Hildebrand, Motyw Drogi (translated from Polish)

Love and Rockets Book 06: Duck Feet [Softcover]

Review: "This, then, was my introduction to the idiosyncratic and fantastically imagined worlds of Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez. ... While the stories and art of each Hernandez brother is unique, they shine extra bright by being juxtaposed, one to the other. Altogether: these rambling, lingering tales are bewitching." – Anna Clark, Isak

A Mess of Everything

Review: "...[In A Mess of Everything, Miss] Lasko-Gross covers the usual Holden Caulfield territory with brevity and an eye for detail. Her cartooning is very expressive and the book is coloured in subdued wash-like tones of brown, grey and blue that enhance the emotional impact of her cringe-worthy struggles for independence and individuality." – Bryan Munn, Sequential

Life's a Bitch

Plug: "[Roberta] Gregory is the cartoonist responsible for the comic series Naughty Bits, which is one of the best comic series I've ever read. Seriously, Life's a Bitch is one of my favorite comics ever. It's basically a biography of one normal — albeit kinda hateful — woman, and it's insightful, funny, and true." – Paul Constant, The Stranger (previewing an event on Saturday that, alas, we didn't know about in advance)

Weathercraft

Plug: Ragged Claws Network gives you a heads-up about Weathercraft by Jim Woodring

The Best American Comics Criticism

Contributor notes: Bob Andelman, whose interview with Howard Chaykin about Will Eisner is included in The Best American Comics Criticism, talks about the book

Reviewer: Laura Warholic author Alexander Theroux looks at a new biography of Jack London for The Wall Street Journal: "Readers can be pardoned for thinking it seems not improbable that London, given the chance, would punch Mr. Haley in the nose."

Daily OCD: 4/5/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewsPrince ValiantPopeyePeter BaggePeanutsNell BrinkleyMichael KuppermanLove and RocketsKevin HuizengaJohnny RyanJoe DalyJim WoodringJaime HernandezJacques TardiHumbugHans RickheitHal FosterGilbert HernandezEC SegarDaily OCDCharles M SchulzCarol TylerBest of 2009Al Columbia 5 Apr 2010 5:56 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions:

List: Look out, it's Tom Spurgeon's Best of 2009 list at The Comics Reporter. Fantagraphics category rankings are listed below, with complete lists and Tom's commentary to be found at the link above:

Best Archival/Reprints:
14: Everybody Is Stupid Except for Me by Peter Bagge
13: The Red Monkey Double Happiness Book by Joe Daly
12: The Complete Peanuts 1971-1974 by Charles M. Schulz
10: The Brinkley Girls: The Best of Nell Brinkley's Cartoons 1913-1940
8: You Are There by Jacques Tardi & Jean-Claude Forest
7: Luba by Gilbert Hernandez
4: Locas II: Maggie, Hopey & Ray by Jaime Hernandez
3: Popeye Vol. 4: Plunder Island by E.C. Segar
2: Humbug by Elder, Kurtzman, Jaffee, Roth et al.

Best Comics (First Run Or Definitively Collected):
23: Prison Pit Book 1 by Johnny Ryan
18: "Ti-Girl Adventures" by Jaime Hernandez in Love and Rockets New Stories #2
14: The Squirrel Machine by Hans Rickheit
12: Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 1 by Michael Kupperman
11: You'll Never Know, Book 1: A Good and Decent Man by C. Tyler
10: Ganges #3 by Kevin Huizenga
3: Pim & Francie by Al Columbia

Locas II: Maggie, Hopey & Ray

Review: "Somehow, some way, Jamie Hernandez is getting better and better. ...Locas, the first gigantic hardcover compilation of Jamie’s 'Maggie and Hopey' stories, stands as one of the highlights of my life as a reader. Now, unbelievably, Locas II exceeds the original’s standard. ... In Locas II: Maggie, Hopey and Ray, he’s crafted perhaps his most universal work to date, a saga of three people who’ve left behind the postures of their youth to stumble, unsure and hesitant, across the landscape of their adult lives. It’s strange and scary, funny and sweet, confused and enlightening. Locas II is a master as the top of his game, and a true comic book classic." – Michael C. Lorah, Newsarama

Prince Valiant Vol. 1: 1937-1938

Review: "It is interesting to see the rapid evolution of the graphics and drawings [in Prince Valiant Vol. 1: 1937-1938], a little reticent and schematic at first, but soon becoming highly detailed and expressive. Adventure prevailed in the stories, but there was room for humor, romance and tragedy." – Top Comics (translated from Portuguese)

The Portable Frank

Review: "OK sure but trust me it's not for those who just want to look at dumbed down pictures and drool on themselves as anorexic telepathic women parade in wonder bras nor is this Babar's color by number. [The Portable] Frank is engaging on all levels and asks the reader to not just lose themselves but to participate fully and that's why this is my pick of the week!!" – Coast City Comics

The Frank Book

Plug: "This book is amazing and bat%$#* crazy.  There are no words, just check it out of the library asap." – Cold Bullets















Daily OCD: 3/31/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under SethreviewsLove and RocketsJaime HernandezJacques TardiGilbert HernandezDaily OCDChris WareChip KiddCharles BurnsAl Columbia 31 Mar 2010 2:45 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions:

Love and Rockets Book 25: High Soft Lisp

Review: "The quality of [Gilbert] Hernandez's cartooning is unassailable. Part of the reason [High Soft Lisp] is so hard to quantify is his uncanny ability to shift focus on a moment's notice, effortlessly jumping from one character to another, suggesting whole thought processes and histories with just a handful of images." – Jason Michelitch, Comics Alliance

Pim & Francie: The Golden Bear Days

Review: "The sort of horror Columbia presents in Pim & Francie works even better without the trappings of recitation and the cause and effect on which they depend. This sort of dread-inducing fright functions without regard to the recognizable comforts of logic and the niceties of narration. This is visceral, elemental terror that generally festers below — or alongside invisibly — human reckoning. ... Frontwards, backways, sneak-a-peek sideways, it all packs a monumentally disturbing wallop." – Rich Kreiner, "Yearlong Best of the Year," The Comics Journal

Love and Rockets Library (Locas Book 4): Penny Century It Was the War of the Trenches

Plugs: The Gosh! Comics Blog highlights recent arrivals Penny Century by Jaime Hernandez ("This volume picks up right after Perla La Loca left off, beginning with the now out-of-print graphic novel Whoa Nellie! which is probably the best female wrestling comic in town") and It Was the War of the Trenches by Jacques Tardi ("Since only a fraction of Trenches was ever available to us English-speaking folk it’s a nice to see the whole lot of it in one place.")

Skin Deep [Softcover Ed.]

Panel: The Comics Journal presents the first part (of three) of a never-before-published panel discussion between Charles Burns , Chip Kidd, Seth and Chris Ware, moderated by Jeet Heer, that occurred October 29, 2005 at the International Festival of Authors in Toronto, Canada

Newave! The Underground Mini Comix of the 1980s

Interview: The Daily Cross Hatch 's Brian Heater, who says "Released late last month, Fantagraphics’ massive collection, Newave, has already made a strong case for its place on 2010’s list of most essential reissues," talks to the book's editor Michael Dowers: "I’ve always been into art and stuff, so I thought that [minicomics] would be fun to do. I used to do paintings, I did a bunch of wood carving, I built a few stringed instruments. I was always doing things with my hands. It wasn’t until I discovered minicomics that it just all came together. I never dreamed that, 30 years later, I would be writing a book about this stuff."