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Category >> Basil Wolverton

Daily OCD 12/19/12
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under William S BurroughsWalt KellyTrina RobbinsRichard SalaPeanutsPat ThomasNoah Van SciverMichael KuppermanMalcolm McNeillLove and RocketsLilli CarréJustin HallJosh SimmonsJohnny RyanJoe DalyJames RombergerJaime HernandezJacques BoyreauJack JacksonHarvey KurtzmanGilbert HernandezGary PanterEC ComicsDisneyDaily OCDCrockett JohnsonChris WrightCharles M SchulzCarl BarksBasil Wolverton 19 Dec 2012 11:17 PM

The last peanut of a day of Online Commentaries & Diversions aka the news you missed while present shopping, latke eating and flying:

The Lost Art of Ah Pook is Here Observed While Falling

• Review: The Comics Journal and Rucker crack the two books focusing on Malcom McNeill and William S. Burrough's artistic collaboration, Observed While Falling (the memoir) and The Lost Art of Ah Pook is Here. (the art book) "The art is awesome, the memoir is engaging. . .Ah Pook is in a characteristic style of Burroughs’s middle period.  He mixes a true-adventure story with bitter anti-establishment scenarios, gay sexual fantasies, science-fictional visualizations of chimerical mutants, and apocalyptic visions of a biological plague. . .The results are staggering—the best pictures of dicks that I’ve ever seen. . . ."

On the memoir "One of the pleasures of McNeill’s memoir, Observed While Falling, is reading about hear about his conversations with Burroughs.  Old Bill laid down some tasty aphorisms. . . Ah Pook is a word/image virus.  Study these new books and enjoy the disease."

 Love and Rockets Library box set

• Interview: Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez of Love and Rockets are interviewed by Tim Hodler, Dan Nadel and Frank Santoro on The Comics Journal. Jaime talks about becoming more popular cartoonists, "So Gilbert and I kind of set up our own ground where we go. We go, you love Raw? Raw’s East Coast? Love and Rockets is West Coast. And they go, 'So West Coast is primitive and old-fashioned?' Fine. It’s not art school."

Review: Comics Alliance features several of our box sets on their Holiday Gift Guide: Deluxe Editions. On the Love and Rockets Library Collection, by Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez Andy Khouri states,  This indie comics mainstay has been going for nearly 30 years, making Love and Rockets as intimidating to some new readers as even the densest superhero mythologies. Luckily, Fantagraphics has made the Los Bros Hernandez saga about a massive cast of startlingly lifelike characters digestible in the form of affordable reprint volumes published in chronological order."

Plug: Ode to Love and Rockets and Sonic Youth by a fan on Buzzfeed.

Corpse on the Imjin!

Review: Douglas Wolk reviews Harvey Kurtzman’s EC stories in Corpse on the Imjin! for the New York Times. "Kurtzman’s writing could be bombastic — nearly all of these stories’ titles end in exclamation points — but, as the United States became mired in the Korean War, his reeling disgust at the horrors of war (and his thick, slashing brush strokes) made for shockingly bold rhetoric."

 Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010  Tales Designed the Thrizzle Vol. 1  Tales Designed the Thrizzle Vol. 2

•Review: The Atlantic lists Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010 by Michael Kupperman as one of The Best Books I Read This Year. Chris Heller says "Kupperman’s brilliance isn’t just in his humor, though. Mark Twain’s Autobiography is meant to be read in small doses, no more than half a dozen pages at a time. Trust me: You don’t want to gorge on a book that’s this weirdly amusing. But after a peek into Kupperman’s hysterically twisted mind, you’ll keep wanting to go back for more."

• Plug: Liquid Television spotlights Michael Kupperman, Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010 and Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vols. 1 and 2 ."You may recognize him (or not) from some of his comedy writing for legit platforms (SNL, Huff Post, etc). He does a comic called Tales Designed to Thrizzle that’s pretty good."

The Hypo

• Review: The Denver Westword is proud of their hometown hero, Noah Van Sciver, and his critical acclaim for The Hypo. Read on!

• Review: Comics Bulletin releases its 2012 Best Graphic Novel List and The Hypo by Noah Van Sciver makes it. "Van Sciver's toolkit includes the pens and pins of pathos and pain, self-doubt and angst, as much as it contains determination and fortitude. The Lincoln of The Hypo transcends his time, place, and even (or maybe especially) his name. . . It stands as a true example of the capabilities of this medium to deliver stories in a truly visceral manner," writes Daniel Elkin.

• Review: Unshelved comics review The Hypo by Noah Van Sciver. Gene Ambaum writes,"The mood of Lincoln’s life in Springfield, Illinois, is well-expressed via the rough-hewn, cross-hatched skies, floorboards, and backgrounds."

Spacehawk

• Review: Tim Callahan has nothing but love for Spacehawk by Basil Wolverton on Comic Book Resources. He states, "Wolverton's world is a weird and ugly and beautifully innocently horrible charmingly delightful one, and it has more in common with the absurd genre riffs from something like Pendleton Ward's Adventure Time or Jesse Moynihan's Forming or Tom Gauld's Goliath than it does the bland superhero melodrama of 'Marvel Mystery Comics'."

Walt Disney's Uncle Scrooge: Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Dal Tokyo

• Review: Comics Bulletin's Favorite Reprints Books of 2012 include Gary Panter's Dal Tokyo and our Carl Barks reprints. In reference to Carl Barks' Uncle Scrooge and Donald Duck, "I would not hesitate to say that Fantagraphics’ reprints of Barks’ Duck comics may very well be the best collection series that any comic company is doing today! . . Each story is funny, smart and just plain fun and Fantagraphics treat each and every panel on the page with care and detail," states Nick Boisson. Jason Sacks writes "[Dal Tokyo is] a freaking godsend from the reprint editors at Fantagraphics because it unearthed an amazing, surreal, brilliant lost classic that's like an artifact from some amazing parallel dimension.. . Readers are asked to bring our perceptions to these pages, to bring our intelligence and passion and appreciation for abstraction and love for everything that feels different and yet the same as everyday life."

• Review: School Library Journal files Walt Disney's Donald Duck: A Christmas for Shacktown by Carl Barks in the Dewey (Huey and Louey) decimal of their hearts. J. Caleb Mozzocco says "[It] features another 200 pages of master cartooning from 'The Good Duck Artist' in a nicely produced bookshelf- or backpack-ready hardcover edition. . .  the Barks books are great comics for kids and adult fans of the medium."

• Review: Uncle Scrooge: Only a Poor Old Man makes the Best of or Our Favorite Books of 2012 list on the Village Voice. Alan Scherstuhl states, “Sprightly, inventive, wise, and more exciting than 60-year-old-duck tales should be, Barks's work already stands at the top of any list of history's greatest comics. It should also rank high among stories, period.”

• Plug: J. Caleb Mozzocco reveals the many coats of Uncle Scrooge (SO FAR). Find a cut that works and get it in every color, right?

Sexytime

• Review: Brooklyn Based thinks Sexytime edited by Jacques Boyreau is for you and suggests books for reading and giving. "This book is a journey into the aesthetic of porn," states Jon Reiss.

Heads Or Tails

• Interview: Alex Dueben interviews Lilli Carré on Comic Book Resources about comics and animation. "I loved designing and arranging the [Heads or Tails]. Figuring out which pieces to include and the best order for them took quite a while, since I wanted each story to speak to the one before and after it, and to have a good flow despite the shift in styles. It was like making a high-stakes mix tape."

• Review: North Adams Transcript and John Seven look at Heads or Tails by Lilli Carré. "The multi-faceted Lilli Carre -- author, illustrator, animator -- presents stories that are as gentle as they are cryptic, in which the darkness of her themes meld perfectly with the sweetness of her style. . .Carre’s short work is collected and celebrated, revealing a creator of power, easily on the level with lauded types like Chris Ware."

The Furry Trap

• Review: Hooded Utilitarian makes it through Josh Simmons' The Furry Trap (probably with all the lights on in the house). James Romberger writes it is “packed cover to cover with shudders that cannot be anticipated, that grow worse as they progressively become less clearly defined. The last narrative is the most frightening because it is a straightforwardly articulated bit of cinematography on paper that, as with the most effective of suspenseful creations, gains in impact from what is never shown, the reader’s mind having already been prepared by the foregoing tales to expect the worst.”

The Complete Peanuts 1985-1986 Peanuts box sets Charlie Brown's Christmas Stocking

Review: Lettering master Todd Klein on the Complete Peanuts Vol. 18 1985-1986 . "Thirty-five years into his fifty year run on this strip, Charles Schulz continues to keep me smiling and laughing. . .Highly recommended."

Review: Comics Alliance features several of our box sets on their Holiday Gift Guide: Deluxe Editions. On The Complete Peanuts Collection box sets by Charles M Schulz. Andy Khouri writes,Reprinted in chronological order with the highest production values, any one of these books would make an auspicious addition to any bookshelf.

Review: School Library Journal looks at Charlie Brown’s Christmas Stocking by Charles M. Schulz. J. Caleb Mozzocco says, "Schulz’s Peanuts has always been unique in its ability to speak to audiences of adults and children simultaneously. . . Nice then to have a comic that can speak to kids, adults and the little kids the adults used to be all at the same time—even if only for a quick 40 pages or so."

Pogo Vol. 2

Review: HeroesOnline looks at The Complete Syndicated Pogo Vol. 2 "Bona Fide Balderdash" by Walt Kelly. “Pogo certainly belongs on any informed list of the top 5 newspaper comic strips of all time.  The artwork is stunning, the pacing is fast, the characters simply come alive on the page; the plot-lines are crazy and labyrinthine and above all hilarious . . . Fantagraphics does the Kelly oeuvre proud with beautiful production values and insightful introductory material,” states Andy Mansell.

Dungeon Quest 3

• Review: Dungeon Quest 3 by Joe Daly is the Best of Year 2012 on the Forbidden Planet International site.  Clark Burscough writes, “Deceptively simple looking artwork contains hidden depths, and the mythology that Joe Daly is building up around these characters and their world is starting to get properly out there.. . And on top of that – it’s laugh out loud funny. I can’t go into precisely why, because it’s also laugh out loud filthy. Something for everyone in these books.

7 Miles a Second

• Interview: Comic Book Resources and Alex Dueben interview James Romberger on his collaboration of 7 Miles a Second (and Post York). On his love of New York-centric books, “It is strange that I'll get used to an aspect of the landscape, but so often, I will come out to find it gone and replaced with something completely different. Still, I also love that shifting quality and the multiculturalism of the city; it is my primary subject,” says Romberger.

Listen, Whitey!

• Review: Listen, Whitey! on NPR Music for its MUSIC compilation. Matt Sullivan, assistant to author Pat Thomas, talks to Michaelangeo Matos about the project to accompany the book. "There's no way that Sony or EMI were going to [automatically] say yes to the Bob Dylan or John & Yoko tracks, because they get those requests all day. Years ago, Pat went to Bob Dylan's office and got those guys to approve it. The same thing with Yoko. . ."

Pretty in Ink

• Plug: Speaking of 2013, Johanna Draper Carlson of Comics Worth Reading can't wait for Pretty in Ink: American Women Cartoonists by Trina Robbins to come out! 

Blacklung Los Tejanos and Lost Cause

• Review (reprint): Publishers Weekly reissues their prime reviews on Blacklung, Heads or Tails, and Los Tejanos and Lost Cause

• Plug: Nick Gazin of VICE posts pictures a friend sent of the Spain Rodriguez tribute murals made this month in Brooklyn.

Plug: Why doesn’t Richard Sala take on the Caped Crusader? A question posed by Michael May on CBR.

• Plug: Johnny Ryan's Prison Pit shirts and vinyl figurines are on sale at Monster Worship for the truly tainted souls.

• Plug: Justin Hall (editor of No Straight Lines) has a new comic in the comics edition of SF Weekly. Enjoy!

New Comics Day 12/19/12: Nancy, Pogo, Spacehawk
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Walt KellyNew Comics DayErnie BushmillerBasil Wolverton 18 Dec 2012 5:26 PM

This week's comic shop shipment is slated to include the following new titles. Read on to see what comics-blog commentators and web-savvy comic shops are saying about them (more to be added as they appear), check out our previews at the links, and contact your local shop to confirm availability.

"Oh man, so much great stuff to splurge on this week. Let's start withSpacehawk, Basil Wolverton's fabulous, fantabulous astronaut superhero from the alleged Golden Age. Lots of bizarre aliens and shifty-eyed villains in this one. Then there's the second volume of Ernie Bushmiller'sNancy (which I praised... the other week), and the second volume of Walt Kelly's Pogo Possum, Bona Fide Balderdash." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6

Nancy Likes Christmas: Complete Dailies 1946-1948 by Ernie Bushmiller

Nancy Likes Christmas: Complete Dailies 1946-1948
by Ernie Bushmiller

336-page black & white 8.5" x 8.5" flexibound softcover • $26.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-599-0

"...Nancy Likes Christmas: Complete Dailies 1946-1948, for the all of us in all of us." – Joe McCulloch, The Comics Journal

"Thor's pick of the week" – Midtown Comics

"It's a great book...a perfect book. In an ideal world, this is what you'd find in hotel rooms instead of Gideon Bibles. This is far better than what the world deserves...well, I deserve it, at any rate — I'm not sure about the rest of you. But you should get a copy anyway." – Mike Sterling

Pogo - The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips Vol. 2:

Pogo - The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips Vol. 2: "Bona Fide Balderdash"
by Walt Kelly

356-page black & white/color 11.25" x 9.25" hardcover • $39.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-584-6

Pogo - The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips Vol. 1-2 Box Set by Walt Kelly

Pogo - The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips Vol. 1-2 Box Set
by Walt Kelly

664-page black & white/color 11.5" x 9.5" x 3" two-volume slipcased hardcover set • $69.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-629-4

"As is so often the case, my splurge would be from Fantagraphics: The second volume of Pogo: The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips, a steal at $39.99. I’m old enough to remember when Pogo ran in the Sunday paper, although I never understood it then. Later on, I picked up some of the paperbacks and really came to appreciate Walt Kelly’s sense of humor. I’d love to read them all." – Brigid Alverson, Robot 6

"Pogo certainly belongs on any informed list of the top 5 newspaper comic strips of all time. The artwork is stunning, the pacing is fast, the characters simply come alive on the page; the plot-lines are crazy and labyrinthine and above all hilarious. The dialog is pitch perfect – even the lettering ads to the strips characterizations and somehow, along the way, you will learn quite a bit about potent political satire especially as the specter of McCarthyism weighed down on life in 1950s America. The comics really are that good and Fantagraphics does the Kelly oeuvre proud with beautiful production values and insightful introductory material. Buy this book – or put it on your Christmas wish list." – Heroes Aren't Hard to Find "Staff Picks"

"Fans of lush cartooning and wordplay... — not really exclusive tribes there — can satiate themselves with Pogo - The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips Vol. 2: "Bona Fide Balderdash", which I'm told ain't malarkey." – Joe McCulloch, The Comics Journal 

Spacehawk by Basil Wolverton

Spacehawk
by Basil Wolverton

272-page full-color 9.25" x 13" flexibound softcover • $39.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-550-1

"I picked up Fantagraphics’ Spacehawk Halloween mini-comic this year and selfishly did not give it to a Trick or Treater, because I loved how strange and awesome Basil Wolverton’s pulpy space comic is. That’s why I’m splurging on the full Spacehawk collection ($39.99) this week." – Michael May, Robot 6

"All who hungered for an enormous 9.25" x 13" color softcover compiling the entirety of Basil Wolverton's Spacehawk will have their fill in this latecoming Best of 2012 Reprint Project, I'm not kidding." – Joe McCulloch, The Comics Journal

"Excitement couldn't be higher!" – Bergen Street Comics







Spacehawk by Basil Wolverton - Now in Stock
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under new releasesBasil Wolverton 4 Dec 2012 4:13 PM

Just arrived and shipping now from our mail-order department:

Spacehawk by Basil Wolverton

Spacehawk
by Basil Wolverton

272-page full-color 9.25" x 13" flexibound softcover • $39.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-550-1

See Previews / Order Now

Basil Wolverton is one of the greatest, most idiosyncratic talents in comic book history. Though he is best known for his humorous grotesqueries in MAD magazine, it is his science-fiction character Spacehawk that Wolverton fans have most often demanded be collected. The wait is over, as Spacehawk features every story from Spacehawk’s intergalactic debut in 1940 to his final, Nazi-crushing adventure in 1942.

Spacehawk is the closest thing to a colorfully-costumed, conventional action hero Wolverton ever created, yet the strip is infused with Wolverton’s quintessential weirdness: controlled, organic artwork of strangely repulsive aliens and monsters and bizarre planets, and stories of gruesome retribution that bring to mind Wolverton’s peer, Fletcher Hanks. Spacehawk had no secret identity, no fixed base of operations beyond his spaceship, and no sidekicks or love interests. He had but one mission in life: to protect the innocent throughout the Solar System, and to punish the guilty. He was a dark — yet much more visually playful — counterpart to Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon.

Spacehawk also includes the character’s final and rarely-seen Earthbound adventures. As the U.S. became involved in World War II, Spacehawk returned to 20th Century America to join the United States’ efforts in defeating fascism, which he does by patrolling the Earth’s stratosphere, looking for wrongdoing.

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

Holiday Books

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

Spacehawk

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

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

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

Pogo Box Set

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

The Hypo

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

No Straight Lines

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

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

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

Dal Tokyo

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

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

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

Charlie Brown's Christmas Stocking

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

Donald Duck: A Christmas for Shacktown

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

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

Nancy Likes Christmas

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

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

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

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

The Cartoon Utopia

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

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

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

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

Barack Hussein Obama

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

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

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

Charle Brown's Christmas Stocking  Heads or Tails

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Lost Art of Ah Pook

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sexytime The Complete Crumb Comics

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

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

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

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

Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival Photo Report
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Tom KaczynskiOlivier SchrauwenMoto HagioLorenzo MattottiLilli CarréJosh SimmonsGary PanterChuck ForsmanChris WareBasil Wolverton 12 Nov 2012 3:05 PM

 Brooklyn Comics & Graphics Festival

Last Saturday, Fantagraphics had the privilege to table at Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival . Our crackin’ new titles included Beta Testing the Apocalypse by Tom Kaczyinski and Spacehawk by Basil Wolverton. Both of which sold out along with Heads or Tails by Lilli Carré and a few older titles. Here is the sexy part of our table. Table

This is what our table looked like for most of the day. It was very busy, just like SPX so we barely left the table for pictures, let alone peeing or eating (one of those could solve the other, you decide the order).

Fantagraphics table

Here Tom Kaczynski sits, happy that his book Beta Testing the Apocalypse sold out (his personal copy out for perusal) as Gary Panter signs and sells out of Dal Tokyo as well.Tom K and Gary Panter

WHOA, did you just catch a glimpse of an advance copy of Moto Hagio's The Heart of Thomas in that bottom right corner (pictured above)?! Cartoonist Jose-Luis Olivares and a calvacade of others flipped through the 500+ page masterpiece, ready to read it as soon as it was available for purchase.

Jose-Luis Olivares and The Heart of Thomas

The enigmatic and rarely-seen Josh Simmons appeared out of a subway mist much to his fans appreciation. Many fans stopped by to crack wise with the dark master while he signed The Furry Trap, including fellow cartoonists Dean Haspiel, Joe Infurnari and Nick Abadzis.

Josh Simmons, Dean Haspiel and Joe Infurnari

The intensity in this guy's face as he hands Gary Panter his copy of Dal Tokyo cannot be beat.

Dal Tokyo

Intern Anna and I were watching said Panter fan to make sure he never put on THAT murder face, you know, that one Josh Simmons draws a lot: Josh Simmons' trouble face

Olivier Schrauwen stopped by as well to sign The Man Who Grew His Beard but left his pencil case full of pens so thank you for the gift (ha ha, don’t worry we’ll take care of them).  Olivier Schrauwen

Karen Green, librarian at Columbia University, could not stop looking at Mattotti’s The Crackle of the Frost, I was afraid she’d get a ticket for harassment.

Karen Green

Writer and CBR reporter, Alex Dueben, grabs one of the last copies of Heads or Tails

Alex Dueben

Art Spiegelman blew smoke quaintly into my face and Josh Simmons’ on the search for Lilli Carré, whom he couldn’t get enough of. That empty space on the wooden table between them is where her giant stack of Heads or Tails was before it sold out.

Lilli Carré and Art Spiegelman

Chris Ware came to see how the show was going for Fantagraphics and to escape the hotbox upstairs. We gabbed about the printmaking department at the University of Texas, our shared alma mater, and Civil War reenactment. I think I spot a Nate Doyle to the left of him too.

Chris Ware and Jen Vaughn

We caught up with future Fantagraphics creator and Oily Comics entrepreneur Charles Forsman pictured here with brother Tobey and cartoonist Melissa Mendes hanging out at Bergen Street Comics.

Charles Forsman, Tobey and Melissa Mendes

As the hands of the humid clock ticked past 7, we thanked our lucky stars for being a part of Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival. Here is Josh Simmons, intern Anna Pederson and me ready for some yum-yums wrapped in bacon.

Josh Simmons, Anna Pederson and Jen Vaughn

Brooklyn, Gabe, Dan and Bill: thank you all so much for your gorgeous hospitality and smiles. Thank you, Robin McConnell for providing some photos. See you all next year!

New Comics Day 10/31/12: EC Comics Library, Carré, Regé, Vispo, Halloween!
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Ron Regé JrNico VassilakisNew Comics DayLilli CarréJack DavisHarvey KurtzmanEC ComicsCrag HillBasil Wolverton 30 Oct 2012 7:01 PM

This week's comic shop shipment is slated to include the following new titles. Read on to see what comics-blog commentators and web-savvy comic shops are saying about them (more to be added as they appear), check out our previews at the links, and contact your local shop to confirm availability.

"This is a super-strong week for the Seattle-based alt-comics mainstay publishing house. In fact, that would be a strong season for a lot of publishers." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter

Came the Dawn and Other Stories Illustrated by Wallace Wood (The EC Comics Library)

Came the Dawn and Other Stories (The EC Comics Library)
Illustrated by Wallace Wood; written by Al Feldstein et al.; edited by Gary Groth

208-page black & white 7.25" x 10.25" hardcover • $28.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-546-4

Corpse on the Imjin! and Other Stories by Harvey Kurtzman

Corpse on the Imjin! and Other Stories (The EC Comics Library)
by Harvey Kurtzman, et al.

240-page black & white/color 7.25" x 10.25" hardcover • $28.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-545-7

"If I could splurge, I’d snatch up EC: Wally Wood – Came the Dawn and Other Stories. I’ve been aware of Wally Wood for a almost two decades now, but I tend to go through periods of simply floating around before I consume and learn more about him in short but voracious periods." – Chris Arrant, Robot 6

"...I feel like I haven’t read enough Kurtzman, so I’d like to read [Corpse on the Imjin]..." – Brigid Alverson, Robot 6

"I’m pretty excited for the new Fantagraphics EC books..." – Brian Hibbs (Comix Experience), The Savage Critics

"Fans of the old, influential genre stuff will enjoy Corpse on the Imjin! and Other Stories and Came the Dawn and Other Stories, two b&w collections of EC material focused on, respectively, Harvey Kurtzman and Wally Wood..." – Joe McCulloch, The Comics Journal

"The EC books I'm looking forward to devouring on some rainy afternoon in the next three or four weeks. I find that work pleasurable, and I look forward to seeing if reading these comics arranged by author (mostly) changes my opinion about any of the artists in question." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter

"These @fantagraphics EC Libraries are slick!!" – Pulp Fiction

The Cartoon Utopia by Ron Regé Jr.

The Cartoon Utopia
by Ron Regé, Jr.

144-page black & white 10.25" x 12.25" hardcover • $24.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-596-9

"...I’ll first mention The Cartoon Utopia, a 144-page 'part sci-fi, part philosophy, part visual poetry, and part social manifesto' hardcover by the always-interesting Ron Regé, Jr." – Joe McCulloch, The Comics Journal

"Ron Regé Jr. is one of those special cartoonists where I buy everything he does without asking questions first." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter

Heads or Tails by Lilli Carré

Heads or Tails
by Lilli Carré

200-page full-color 7" x 9" softcover • $22.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-597-6

"Poetic short fiction pieces from an artist Chicago is proud to call its own." – Quimby's Bookstore

"...Heads or Tails [is] a nice-looking collection of short stories by up-and-comer Lilli Carré (The Lagoon), most of which ran in the Mome anthology..." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6

"Lilli Carré returns after 2008′s The Lagoon with Heads or Tails, a 200-page collection of short stories..." – Joe McCulloch, The Comics Journal

"On the strength of this latest collection, with which I'm only about halfway done, Lilli Carré may join that group of [special] cartoonists [where I buy everything she does without asking questions first] much sooner than I thought possible, and I really liked her previous work. There's nothing about Heads or Tails that has to be processed through the 'promising cartoonist' filter, if that makes any sense." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter

The Last Vispo Anthology: Visual Poetry 1998-2008

The Last Vispo Anthology: Visual Poetry 1998-2008
by various artists; edited by Nico Vassilakis & Crag Hill

336-page full-color 8" x 10" softcover • $39.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-626-3

"Finally, The Last Vispo Anthology: Visual Poetry 1998-2008 presents 336 pages of visual poetry to tickle your image/text fancy." – Joe McCulloch, The Comics Journal

"I'm not even sure what Last Vispo Anthology is, but I'd look at it -- I assume it's the visual poetry thing that's been a big part of the lives of several people that have worked the last 20 years." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter

Jack Davis's Tales from the Crypt

Spacehawk - Halloween Comics Fest 2012

AND don't forget our two Halloween mini-comics, Jack Davis's Tales from the Crypt (more EC fun) and Spacehawk (a sampler of the upcoming Basil Wolverton collection, bundled for trick-or-treat handouts) available exclusively at participating comic shops!









Spacehawk by Basil Wolverton - Previews, Pre-Order
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under videopreviewsnew releasesBasil Wolverton 26 Oct 2012 3:13 PM

Spacehawk by Basil Wolverton

Spacehawk
by Basil Wolverton

272-page full-color 9.25" x 13" flexibound softcover • $39.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-550-1

Ships in: November 2012 (subject to change) — Pre-Order Now

Basil Wolverton is one of the greatest, most idiosyncratic talents in comic book history. Though he is best known for his humorous grotesqueries in MAD magazine, it is his science-fiction character Spacehawk that Wolverton fans have most often demanded be collected. The wait is over, as Spacehawk features every story from Spacehawk’s intergalactic debut in 1940 to his final, Nazi-crushing adventure in 1942.

Spacehawk is the closest thing to a colorfully-costumed, conventional action hero Wolverton ever created, yet the strip is infused with Wolverton’s quintessential weirdness: controlled, organic artwork of strangely repulsive aliens and monsters and bizarre planets, and stories of gruesome retribution that bring to mind Wolverton’s peer, Fletcher Hanks. Spacehawk had no secret identity, no fixed base of operations beyond his spaceship, and no sidekicks or love interests. He had but one mission in life: to protect the innocent throughout the Solar System, and to punish the guilty. He was a dark — yet much more visually playful — counterpart to Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon.

Spacehawk also includes the character’s final and rarely-seen Earthbound adventures. As the U.S. became involved in World War II, Spacehawk returned to 20th Century America to join the United States’ efforts in defeating fascism, which he does by patrolling the Earth’s stratosphere, looking for wrongdoing.

26-page excerpt (download 12.8 MB PDF):

Video & Photo Slideshow Preview (view in new window):



Daily OCD 10/2/12
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Noah Van SciverLorenzo MattottiJaime HernandezJacques BoyreauJack DavisGilbert HernandezGary PanterDaily OCDChris WrightCarol TylerBasil Wolverton 2 Oct 2012 12:59 PM

 The cleanest guest towel of Online Commentaries & Diversions:

 the Crackle of the Frost

• Review: The Savage Critic podcast, episode 100, reviewed Lorenzo Mattotti and Jorge Zentner's The Crackle of the Frost.

Spacehawk Free Comic

• Plug: This is Halloween, HALLOWEEN, Halloween Month. Check out your local comic bookstore and see if they have the stuff you want and need for Halloween Comicsfest: namely the Jack Davis' Tales From the Crypt and Basil Wolverton's Spacehawk

Dal Tokyo

• Plug: Unbored recently highlighed Gary Panter's drawing tips. Excellent suggestions from a master cartoonist, Dal Tokyo being his latest publication. "Make [a sketchbook] into your little painful pal. The pain goes away slowly page by page."

 Love and Rockets New Stories 5    The Hypo

• Commentary (audio): Publishers Weekly More to Come Podcast, episode 34 talks about SPX! Heidi MacDonald touches on the three Ignatz Awards for The Hernandez Brothers as a bit of "justification or vendication after not even being nominated for the Eisner Award after doing some of the greatest work of their, you know, world-class career. So there were a lot of people very happily clapping for them."MacDonald also touches on the how long it had been since Clowes, Ware, Hernandez and Hernandez had all been together --- since 1999! And The Hypo by Noah Van Sciver was a great as expected.

New York Mon Amour

• Review: On The Weekly Crisis , Taylor Pithers decides New York Mon Amour by Jacques Tardi is a MUST BUY! "The Cockroach Killer is the sort of yarn that David Lynch would go on to tell throughout the tail end of the eighties and culminating in the 'as frustrating as it is exciting' Mulholland Drive. . . For those who have yet to experience Tardi this is as good a place as any to start, but to be honest any of the books that Fantagraphics have published by the modern master are a good place to start, as there is a strong chance that you will be back for the rest once you have read one."

Blacklung

• Plug: Joe Gross of the Austin-American Statesmen mentions picking up Carol Tyler's You'll Never Know Book 3: Soldier's Heart and Chris Wright's Blacklung at SPX. 

...and Spacehawk for Halloween!
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under DiamondComing AttractionsBasil Wolverton 20 Sep 2012 1:52 PM

Spacehawk Halloween ComicFest 2012

We just gave you your first glimpse of our big, deluxe collection of Basil Wolverton's Spacehawk; now here's a look at a much smaller Spacehawk package which you can pick up for FREE on Halloween exclusively at participating comic shops: our Spacehawk Halloween ComicFest 2012 mini-comic! Featuring a complete space-faring, monster-jammed Spacehawk story and some fun Spacehawk surprises cooked up by our own Jen Vaughn, this all-ages treat was produced especially for Halloween ComicFest 2012. It's our second 2012 Halloween freebie along with Jack Davis's Tales from the Crypt!