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Category >> Basil Wolverton

Daily OCD: 6/9/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewsPrince ValiantPeter BaggeNell BrinkleyMichael KuppermanJasoneventsDaniel ClowesCarol TylerBlazing CombatBasil WolvertonaudioAbstract Comics 10 Jun 2009 1:47 AM

Hoo-ee, it's time for our post-MoCCA Online Commentary & Diversions catch-up. It's going to take a while to sift through 4-5 days of the comics blogosphere, so to start with these are mostly links that have been sent to me:

• Review: "In what is obviously a labor of love, [C.] Tyler tells the story of her father's time during WWII and her parents' early relationship, skillfully interweaving it with Tyler's own story... provid[ing] a moving, personal portrait of one member of what's become known as 'the greatest generation.' Tyler's use of colored inks gives the line drawings an inviting depth of emotion... The drawings speak with an even greater richness thanks to the evocative words that appear within and around them, commenting upon and adding to the action portrayed in the panels. An important contributor to independent comics since the 1980s, Tyler has made a name for herself with the quirky warmth of her autobiographical stories, and this wonderful book [You'll Never Know Book 1: A Good and Decent Man] is a thoughtful work that greatly adds to the language of the graphic memoir." - Publishers Weekly (Starred Review; scroll to end of page)

• Review: "Jason’s books have always had a cinematic feel, and he seems to examine this more than ever with direct tie-ins to film concepts playing major roles in several of the stories... [A]ll of the stories in Low Moon are entertaining, and fans of Jason should be more than happy to digest five new comics from one of the best in the business." - William Jones, Graphic Novel Reporter

• Review: "Now, Fantagraphics has brought out The Wolverton Bible... I love that Wolverton's Adam and Eve look like Cary Grant and Rita Hayworth, and that the images of Noah’s Ark have the beautifully clean look of a wood carving. Dramatic scenes such as Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac, the devastation brought by locusts, and Samson’s blinding, showcase the artist’s talent for visceral, visual storytelling." - Leigh Stein, The New Yorker

• Review: "...[T]he newest issue of Michael Kupperman's mind-bending humor mag, Tales Designed to Thrizzle #5. Six Reasons Why Michael Kupperman Is A Genius (A bullet-pointed review...)" by Rob Clough, High-Low

• Review: "I’m almost finished [with] The Brinkley Girls: The Best of Nell Brinkley’s Cartoons, 1913-1940, edited by Trina Robbins. ...Brinkley is a supremely talented artist with enough eccentricities to make her stand out from the crowd (the weaves of hair she piles on top of her heroines could rival the folds in Spawn’s cape)." - Chris Mautner, Robot 6

• Review: "Peter Bagge's Neat Stuff saw the cartoonist at the height of his expressionistic style, and marked the beginning of the mature work he would exhibit in Hate and elsewhere... required reading for Hate fans... Anyone interested in fearless pop-culture satire, not just Peter Bagge, should have a look." - Luke Arnott, suite101.com

• Review: "Blazing Combat reprints all 4 issues of the ground-breaking war series... These are fascinating stories... drawn by some of the top talent in comics... [who] did some of their finest works for this short-lived publication. This new package from Fantagraphics Books is a handsome hardcover... the design work is A+, this time by Adam Grano." - Gary Sassaman, Innocent Bystander

• Interview: Jornal de Notícias talks to Libri Impressi publisher Manuel Caldas about our carrying of his black & white edition of Prince Valiant

• Interview: Comic Book Resources' Shaun Manning talks to editor Andrei Molotiu about the forthcoming anthology Abstract Comics. Sample quote: "I think that, oftentimes, abstract comics do end up maintaining more of that graphic energy [of superhero comics], and I think that they can draw attention to this very powerful tool in the vocabulary of comics that may have been lost in a number of art and alternative comics."

• Interview: Cartoonist Scott Nickel asks 20 questions of "one of the best cartoonists of his generation," Peter Bagge. Sample quote: "The idea of being a cartoonist was an appealing one to me as a kid, though not as appealing as being a rock star or baseball player."

• Interview: I can't remember if we've linked to this 2008 North Shore News Q&A with Peter Bagge before: "Anyone who claims they're speaking for an entire generation should be stoned to death!"

• Events: Thanks to Comic Book Resources' Timothy Callahan for picking some stuff up at our table at MoCCA and posting a photo of Miss Lasko-Gross signing A Mess of Everything; CBR's Kiel Phegley picks up some of the festival buzz; Publishers Weekly has some Fantagraphics scoop in their MoCCA report as well

• Things to see: Spain's Entrecomics presents a gallery of all of Daniel Clowes's front and back covers for Eightball. Clowes's back cover strips are some of his funniest work, and the later issues feature some stunning wraparounds, so it's well worth checking out. Here's Part I and Part II

Be Still My Heart
Written by Eric Reynolds | Filed under eventsBasil Wolverton 9 Jun 2009 8:15 AM

This should rival that Crumb show from 2 years ago and the Masters of American Comics as one of the greatest comic art exhibitions of all-time.

Unlikely Playthings.
Written by Jacob Covey | Filed under Basil Wolverton 5 Jun 2009 1:02 PM

There isn't much to see in the "Tower of Basil" Flickr group just yet but this one surprised me. If anyone has more photos of playground toys influenced by (surely not created by?!) Basil Wolverton I sure hope they put them up there.

basiltoy.jpg

Daily OCD: 6/1/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under SupermenreviewsPeter BaggePeanutsPaul HornschemeierJohnny RyanGene DeitchEsther Pearl WatsonDash ShawBoody RogersBob FingermanBlazing CombatBasil WolvertonAlexander Theroux 1 Jun 2009 4:06 PM

Your Online Commentary & Diversions for the first day of June '09:

• Review: "Holy cats!... Wolverton's illustrations [in The Wolverton Bible], done in the same unmistakable, stippled style that characterized his grotesqueries, show off the grim, the violent, and the destructive in the Old Testament, putting the blood and guts in the spotlight. The result is like no illustrated Bible you've ever seen... This is a side of Wolverton I never suspected, but it is perfectly him, humorous, grisly, mad and wonderful." - Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing

• Review/Profile: "...Unlovable by Esther Pearl Watson... was for me like discovering a nugget of gold in a sieve! ...really original and fun." - Lezinfo (translated from French)

• Review: "With great candor and wit, [Peter] Bagge tackles [the] issues... in Everybody Is Stupid Except for Me, a collection of his strips from Reason Magazine. As in his previous works like Hate and The Bradleys, Bagge deftly manages to simultaneously anger and amuse the reader with his intensely personal stories about larger topical issues." - Rick Klaw, The SF Site: Nexus Graphica

• Review: "The Bradleys have more vices than virtues and Bagge explores them with a violent and insolent humor." - Intergalacticrobot (translated from Portuguese)

• Review: "...[T]he comics in this collection [of Blazing Combat] are astounding... The art is reproduced from 'the original printer’s films,' so the work is clear and detailed, with the washes and shading providing depth and a feeling of realism... The stories are still timely." - Johanna Draper Carlson, Comics Worth Reading

• Review: "ISB Best of the Week: Tales Designed to Thrizzle #5... Michael Kupperman is hands-down one of the funniest guys in comics." - Chris Sims, Chris's Invincible Super-Blog

• Reviewer: For The Wall Street Journal, Alexander Theroux reviews The Complete Letters of Henry James Vol. 1

• Plug: Jason Permenter spotlights "Twain and Einstein, from the new issue of [Tales Designed to] Thrizzle, which is 'out any day now.' Makes me laugh, audibly."

• Interview: The Comics Reporter's Tom Spurgeon talks to Bob Fingerman about his latest projects, including Connective Tissue. Sample quote: "I think if I did nothing but comics, I would end up hating comics. For a while there I was actually beginning to hate comics."

• Interview: Robot 6's Tim O'Shea talks to Supermen! editor Greg Sadowski about the collection of Golden Age hero stories. Sample quote: "I never liked those 'Archive' editions where they bleach out the old colors and replace them with modern coloring methods printed on glossy paper. That whitewashes all the distinction out of those vintage books and transforms them into a cloyingly slick and artificial product."

• Event: On the MTV Splash Page blog, Rick Marshall talks about meeting Dash Shaw at our booth at BEA

• Video: From Paul Hornschemeier's blog: "Via Tuono Pettinato on Facebook: A Peanuts documentary (broken into 5 parts on YouTube) where Charles Schulz discusses the making of the animated Peanuts and the role of music. It's great footage, and makes me miss Schulz's genius all the more."

• Things to see: On the Covered blog, Johnny Ryan takes on Real Deal #3

• Things to see: Pappy's Golden Age Comics Blogzine presents a vintage Gene Deitch-created rarity, "Clint Clobber"

• Contest: Dorian Wright is giving away "a copy of Boody, the collection of amazingly bizarre and eccentric Boody Rogers comics," to whomever guesses his most-hated comic character

Daily links: 4/20/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under SupermenSteven WeissmanreviewsPeter BaggeMonte SchulzMiss Lasko-GrossMichael Kuppermanmary fleenerKevin HuizengaJohnny RyanJasonEsther Pearl WatsonDave CooperDash ShawBlazing CombatBill MauldinBasil WolvertonAbstract Comics 20 Apr 2009 3:48 PM

• Review: "...[T]he primitive funnybooks rescued from obscurity by Greg Sadowski in Supermen! The First Wave of Comic Book Heroes 1936-1941 contain within their awesomely naïve and rudimentarily brilliant pages all the seeds of the postmodern graphic novel... Compounded equally from pulp fiction, movies, newspaper strips, and sheer desperate commercial-deadline-brainstorm lunacy, these early superhero tales created their own fresh synthetic mythology and compositional tools on the fly." - Paul DiFilippo, The Barnes & Noble Review

• Review: "[Bottomless Belly Button] reads almost like a John Updike novel... [Dash Shaw] really utilizes the medium to its fullest capacity..." - Benn Ray (Atomic Books) on WYPR (Baltimore public radio - streaming audio)

• Review: "[The Wolverton Bible] is fascinating read; it's a fascinating document by one of the most important illustrators of the 20th century." - Benn Ray (Atomic Books) on WYPR (Baltimore public radio - streaming audio - same link as above)

• Review: "Fantagraphics’ collection of the four issues of Blazing Combat blew me away from the start. The size and heft of the hardback reminded me of my textbooks from my school days. And once I cracked open the book, I found myself getting a hell of an education with this one."- Tim O'Shea, Robot 6, "What Are You Reading?"

• Review: "If nothing else, Supermen! puts Fletcher Hanks’ career in perspective... These are comics designed to make you tear your hair out waiting for the next issue, just to see if these guys could top themselves.  Great fun all around." - Tom Bondurant, Robot 6, "What Are You Reading?" (same link as above)

• Review: "Jason is an expert at expressing a complex idea with simple visuals and dialogue. Most of his works contain little to no dialogue, actually -- entire stories can be read in facial expressions, twitches, color changes and movements. The entirety of Tell Me Something contains 7 lines of dialogue. It tells the story of 2 lovers and the trials they go through to be together, using dual layered story arcs differentiated simply by the panel borders to convey depth and reshape the story into an intriguing form." - The Inside Flap [Ed. note: Tell Me Something is out of print, but will be collected along with other Jason stories in a forthcoming hardcover]

• Preview: Doug Pratt and Monte Schulz have an exchange in the comments of Pratt's blog about Schulz's forthcoming novel This Side of Jordan (previewed here)

• Preview: The Kenyon Review makes note of our forthcoming Abstract Comics anthology

• Previews: Matthew Brady offers succinct commentary on two of our upcoming titles: Tales Designed to Thrizzle #5 by Michael Kupperman ("This comic is funny") and A Mess of Everything by Miss Lasko-Gross ("The art looks great")

• List: For Robot 6, Chris Mautner names "Six ‘retired' artists we'd like to see return to comics," including Brian Biggs ("...Frederick and Eloise [brings] a whimsical, storybook approach that never seem[s] overly twee or sweet. Indeed, [it is] often grounded by some dark undercurrents, not to mention backed by some serious artistic chops"), Dave Cooper ("Surreal, mind-warping books like Suckle, Ripple and his ongoing series Weasel, which chronicled a number of sweaty, paunchy, disturbingly neurotic and oversexed characters, had Cooper earning acclaim equal to the likes of Clowes and Ware"), and Mary Fleener ("...[S]he remains one of the most original voices in comics, with an art style that’s completely her own (no one draws a sex scene like her)." [Note to Mautner: Mary Fleener had a new comics story titled "Niacin" in Hotwire Comics Vol. 2, which we put out last year])

• Interview: At Robot 6, Tim O'Shea talks to Esther Pearl Watson about Unlovable Vol. 1. Choice quote: "I was a lot like Tammy and still am. It’s everything I fear."

• Profile: Seattle neighborhood newspaper The Ballard News-Tribune spotlights "alternative comics legend" and Ballard resident Peter Bagge

• Profile/Things to see: Goofbutton presents scans of the Bill Mauldin section in the 1977 World Book Year Book (via Spurge)

• Things to see: Buster Keaton as drawn by Kevin Huizenga for Cinefamily

• Things to see: New Vice comics from Johnny Ryan; believe it or not, one of 'em's just plain cute

• Things to see: Chubby vs. Pullapart battle royale from Ribs

Fall 09 - Winter 10 Preview Part 5
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Willie and JoePrince ValiantpreviewsPortable GrindhouseBill MauldinBasil Wolverton 17 Apr 2009 7:48 AM

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All this week and next week we're bringing you a sneak peek at our Fall 2009 - Winter 2010 schedule of releases! Today's excerpt from our latest book distributor's catalog includes Portable Grindhouse: The Lost Art of the VHS Box Vol. 1; a re-release of Willie & Joe: The WWII Years; The Definitive Prince Valiant Companion by Brian M. Kane; and Basil Wolverton's Culture Corner. (Note that all the info in this catalog is subject to change along the way to the books' release, including release dates, prices, cover art, book specs, etc.) Click here to download the PDF!

Daily links: 4/13/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under SupermenreviewsPeanutsJim BlanchardIvan BrunettiDash ShawBoody RogersBasil Wolverton 13 Apr 2009 2:16 PM

• Review: The Star Clipper Blog on Boody. The Bizarre Comics of Boody Rogers: "To say Boody Rogers was ahead of his time is an understatement. Boody was underground before there was an underground. His comics were surreal and sexy before the Comics Code was even around to censor such outrageousness. Think of every bizarre and trippy moment from 40's Disney features, the overt sexuality of Fleischer Studios Betty Boop, and a Freak Show and Superman in a blender, and that's not even half as odd as Boody Rogers' comics. Will you have seen anything like it before? No, and you'll probably never see anything else like it again."

• Review: Blog @ Newsarama looks at Boody too: "[W]eirdness... permeates these stories and radiates outward from the pages. To say they're 'ahead of their time' would be an understatement; they seem like they were drawn just last week... [I]t's a beautiful book."

• Review: Obsessive-Repulsive finds a kindred spirit in the pages of the "rad" Ho! The Morally Questionable Cartoons of Ivan Brunetti: "I would go further than saying 'nothing is sacred' in his work and say that nothing is tolerated in Brunetti’s world. He skewers the hypocrisy, cruelty and weakness in people but it doesn’t appear that Brunetti loathes humanity nearly as much as he loathes himself. Check it out! Funny stuff!"

• Review: Comics Should Be Good! enthuses over Supermen! The First Wave of Comic Book Heroes 1936-1941: "I can’t recommend this book enough, people! Run, don’t walk, to your nearest purveyor of comics awesomeness and pick it up. You will not be disappointed... you could not buy another comic this year and be happy if you pick it up. Would I lie to you?"

• Preview: Robot 6's "What Are You Reading?" column's guest contributor this week is Dash Shaw, and regular contributor Matthew Maxwell says of The Wolverton Bible, "Wow. Just wow... man, that’s a piece of work."

• Interview: The Groovy Age of Horror talks to Josh Simmons about House and other more recent work

• Commentary: ReadingArt.ca imagines Snoopy's "It was a dark and stormy night" novel in a context of digital/mobile delivery (calling The Complete Peanuts "fantastically beautiful" while they're at it)

• Things to see/read: Conservative entertainment blog Big Hollywood has posted Steve Ditko's 2007 essay "Toyland" in its entirety (via Slog)

• Things to see (and buy)/bookmark: Jim Blanchard's "Fine Art Chophouse" blog is the place to buy original art and prints from Jim. The latest offering: a limited edition print of Butch & Petey, everyone's favorite Trucker Fags in Denial (only 16 bucks)

Mr. Media interview with Monte Wolverton
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Basil Wolvertonaudio 10 Apr 2009 11:53 AM

If you missed the Mr. Media interview with Monte Wolverton about The Wolverton Bible when it was originally broadcast, now you can listen right here thanks to the magic of this embedded player below (or click here if it's not visible):

Daily links: 4/8/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewsJules FeifferJasonHumbugDash ShawBasil Wolverton 8 Apr 2009 1:45 PM

• Plug: In an interview with Newsarama, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Diaz says "I adore that Richard Sala miniseries Delphine that he's putting out through Fantagraphics" (new issue out this summer!)

• List/reviews: The Metabunker names and reviews their selections for the best comics of 2008, including Explainers by Jules Feiffer ("After half a century, Jules Feiffer’s classic Village Voice strips read at once as a succinct period portrait and an eloquent portrayal of everyday human affairs at any time... His nervous line captures well both the specific anxieties of the time, and the more general ones of simply being alive, with empathy and humour, while his unadorned, precise language captures with precision the way we continue to verbalise these problems to each other and ourselves, most of the time without making much sense. Revelatory and funny human white noise.") and Bottomless Belly Button by Dash Shaw ("...such a rare example of a young artist pulling out all the stops — as a young artist should — creating a vibrant cacophony of formal experiments and engrossing storytelling.")

• Review: Polish site Motyw Drogi looks at The Left Bank Gang by Jason — here's the rough Google translation, for what it's worth

• Preview: At Boing Boing, Cory Doctorow links to the ICv2 preview of The Wolverton Bible and says the artwork looks "appropriately groovy and sinister"

• Things to see: Along with our PR for the Humbug event at the Strand in NYC next week, Stephen Kroninger posts scans from his own personal Humbug collection which are well worth a look

Daily links: 4/7/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Steven WeissmanRichard SalareviewsRay FenwickPopeyePaul KarasikPaul HornschemeierEsther Pearl WatsonDaniel ClowesCharles BurnsBasil WolvertonAnders Nilsen 7 Apr 2009 1:29 PM

• Review: The Chicago Tribune on Monologues for Calculating the Density of Black Holes by Anders Nilsen: "The loneliness comes off the page in waves, trailed by dark humor... Nilsen's work may have a minimalist look, but he's exploring the biggest issues around. And you can't stop turning the pages."

• Review: Brix Picks' Book of the Week is The Chuckling Whatsit by Richard Sala, which they say "is one of those books that I revisit regularly because it's just so fun to read."

• Review: Bookopolis gives Unlovable Vol. 1 by Esther Pearl Watson 4.5 stars: "This book is so much fun - it kept me laughing for hours. Not only is the dialogue hilarious but the drawings themselves are really hysterical."

• Review: The Walrus, running down all of this year's Doug Wright Awards nominees, looks at Hall of Best Knowledge by Ray Fenwick: "...Fenwick’s skill with design renders the handwritten words adaptable and full of stubborn character, turning them into a cocky little world of their own."

• List: Cartoon Flophouse names "My Holy Trinity of Humor Comics," including E.C. Segar's Popeye ("brilliant... I love the rhythms of Segar's strips, the repetition from strip to strip, and the way Popeye evolved into a lead character") and Basil Wolverton's Powerhouse Pepper ("in his 'Powerhouse Pepper' strips, Wolverton demonstrated some of the best character designs in comics. And the whole rhyme-scheme dialogue is insane. There's a really good Fantagraphics book that collects all the Powerhouse strips" -- and it's half off, we might add)

• List: The Examiner's "essential comic book geek's guide to women and dating and sharing the love" shares the following advice: "If you've got a girlfriend or potential love interest, show her why comics are wonderful. Show her... Ghost World by Daniel Clowes, Black Hole by Charles Burns..."

• Preview: Dave's Comics looks at the recent flurry of Paul Hornschemeier material

• Preview: Holy Heroes on our solicitation for The Wolverton Bible: "Now this is exciting... as someone who's a fan of the weird, the religious, and the weird religious, [this book] is more than welcome news."

• Reportage: Paul Karasik goes to Italy, hangs out with Paul Auster, writes a hilarious blog post about it

• Things to see: I think this might be an outtake (in rough form) from Steven Weissman's "Blue Jay"