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Category >> Best of 2009

Daily OCD: 4/14/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under videoreviewsPirus and MezzoPeter BaggeMomeMiss Lasko-GrossLove and RocketsLilli CarréJaime HernandezJacques TardiGilbert SheltonGilbert HernandezDaily OCDBlazing CombatBest of 2009 14 Apr 2010 4:30 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions:

A Mess of Everything

List: Adam McGovern of ComicCritique.Com declares Miss Lasko-Gross to be Writer/Artist of the Year ("Vividly imaginative in tricky layouts, intricate patterns and hallucinatory neverlands yet starkly perceptive of everyday details and personality, immune to art-star mythology while stockpiling stuff of legend, Lasko-Gross is capable of anything — but can’t help doing right") and her A Mess of Everything the #3 Graphic Novel of the Year ("Lasko-Gross creates the least wholesome and most healthy youth memoirs you’re likely to read. Tales of adolescent insight, creativity, trauma and folly for those who like to learn their lessons with minds of their own"); Gilbert Shelton's "Last Gig in Shnagrlig" from Mome Vols. 13-15 to be Strip of the Year ("With a style that seems strung from spider-webs, popping veins, worried brow-wrinkles and tangled vines and an eye for absurd posturing, both undiminished by five decades and whatever art-supplies he’s been sniffing, Shelton’s dystopian vaudeville is a vision you can never predict of species-wide misbehavior which remains, alas, just like you remembered it"); and Lilli Carré's "The Carnival" from Mome Vol. 14 to be Short Story of the Year ("A bittersweet, tragicfunny story of the luminous, enchanting worlds just beyond the outskirts of nowhere")

Blazing Combat [Softcover Ed. - Pre-Order]

Review: "I spent most of this week reading the new, paperback edition of Blazing Combat ... [T]he artistry on display is so mind-boggling, particularly in the case of Crandall, Heath and Severin, that it seems churlish of me to not recommend this book simply because of a few overly and obviously ironic twists. The creators clearly had a real love for this kind of material, so much so that [I] wish things had tipped slightly in their favor a bit more, and that the market had made at least a little more room for war comics when as the silver age gave way to the bronze." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6

King of the Flies Vol. 1: Hallorave

Review: "...I love the art, with great layouts, nice thick lines, and coloring that's somehow both rich and muted. Even when I don't like the characters or find their actions believable I still love the way everything looks. And the elliptical structure was a smart choice because it adds at least a little bit of mystery; instead of just reading to see what happens next you keep going to better understand what's already happened. I don't know if the stories were published individually anywhere, but Hallorave is basically the first book of King of the Flies, with two more on the way. I'm interested to see how closely they intersect with each other." – Garrett Martin, Shazhmmm...

West Coast Blues

Review: "Based on a crime novel by Jean-Patrick Manchette, West Coast Blues is an existential comic by master cartoonist Jacques Tardi. It's colorless crime as only the French can do it, with despicable characters waxing philosophical on film and high-risk sex even while on the run from clumsy assassins. ... Plenty of crime stories revolve around the bizarre preoccupations of its characters and just as many are centered around the plight of the common man thrust into extraordinary circumstances. But Tardi really brings it home, offering a messed up story about messed up people who do some truly messed up things. While only 80 pages, it's a robust read. ... As compelling as this short yarn is in terms of the writing, the real draw here is Tardi. ... His style is comparable to Herge's, if not quite as clean. His characters are expressive and his architecture's pretty damn impressive. ... Big ups to Fantagraphics and editor/translator Kim Thompson for assembling a really lovely English language edition of this book." – Paul Montgomery, iFanboy

Love and Rockets Library (Palomar Part 2): Human Diastrophism

Commentary: "You would think I'd have more to say about teaching 'Human Diastrophism,' one of my favorite comics in the classroom, but this was my fourth pass at the story and most of the classroom surprises have been played out. The greatest remaining challenge is just the problem of extracting one storyline from Gilbert Hernandez's long-running Palomar setting and fitting it into a single week of class discussion." – Marc Singer, I Am NOT the Beastmaster

Interview: In this video, Vito Delsante talks to Jaime Hernandez at Jaime's appearance at Jim Hanley's Universe in NYC last Friday, April 9 (via ¡Journalista!)

Peter Bagge

Interview: "'Digital vs. paper? That’s a totally bogus debate,' [Peter] Bagge told Wired.com in an e-mail interview. 'There will always be both. Whichever one you want, you got it!'" Well that solves that!

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 4:56 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: 4/2/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under SethreviewsPeanutsJohnny RyanGahan WilsonFrom Wonderland with LoveDaily OCDChris WareChip KiddCharles M SchulzCharles BurnsCarol SwainBest of 2009 2 Apr 2010 4:21 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions:

Giraffes in My Hair: A Rock 'n' Roll Life From Wonderland with Love: Danish Comics in the Third  Millennium Gahan Wilson: Fifty Years of Playboy Cartoons

List: We published 3 of "The 6 Most Underrated Comics of 2009" according to Robot 6's Chris Mautner, including Giraffes in My Hair: A Rock 'n' Roll Life by Bruce Paley & Carol Swain ("Swain's low-key, nonchalant art fits perfectly with Paley's tales of hippie wanderings and punk-era decadence, stripping the stories of any rock glamor and tinging them with a genuine sadness. Really, this book just underscores how talented and sharp an artist Swain really is") From Wonderland with Love: Danish Comics in the Third Millennium ("...Nikoline Wedelin's haunting, chilling Because I Love You So Much... still resonates with me months after I wrote this review. The unflinching regard for its subject matter is not going to have people beating a path to its door, but the sheer daring artistry on display deserved much  more attention than it got") and Gahan Wilson: Fifty Years of Playboy Cartoons ("It's a testament, not only to Wilson's genius (the material never flags or gets rote, no matter what the decade) but also to Fantagraphics skill in presenting this material in such a stellar fashion. Really, it was the best retrospective collection of the year, and I wish more people had noticed it.")

Prison Pit: Book 1

Review: In the interest of balance, Byron Kerman of PLAYBACK:stl loves Johnny Ryan but didn't care for Prison Pit Book 1

The Complete Peanuts 1975-1976 (Vol. 13) [NORTH AMERICA ONLY]

Commentary: I don't check in with the TCJ message boards as often as I should -- there's some good discussion of the new volume of The Complete Peanuts going on over there (via ADD at Comic Book Galaxy)

Quimby the Mouse (softcover)

Panel: The concluding installment of The Comics Journal's presentation 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, turns things over to audience Q&A

Daily OCD: 3/23/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewsPopeyeMiss Lasko-GrossMatt ThornmangaLove and RocketsJules FeifferJaime HernandezJacques Tardihooray for HollywoodDaily OCDCarol TylerBest of 2009 23 Mar 2010 2:19 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions:

You'll Never Know Book 1: A Good and Decent Man

A Mess of Everything

List: Booklist's Ray Olson names the Top 10 Graphic Novels of the past 12 months, including You'll Never Know, Book 1: A Good and Decent Man by C. Tyler ("Alt-comics veteran Tyler fully demonstrates her artistry in a book about her father’s WWII experiences, her childhood and present struggles raising her daughter, and her growing realization of war’s long-term effects on soldiers and their families.") and A Mess of Everything by Miss Lasko-Gross ("With washed and faded and wildly varied artwork and writing that sounds utterly like a teen’s voice, Lasko-Gross makes high-schooler Melissa’s late-teen experience real enough to nip incipient nostalgia in the bud.")

Love and Rockets Library (Locas Book 4): Penny Century  [Pre-Order]

Review: "This charming collection of stories from the long-running and much acclaimed Love and Rockets explores friendship and romance through the interconnected experiences of several characters over many years. ... What's impressive about Hernandez's work isn't so much each story on its own as it is how all the pieces fit together into a whole world that's almost but not quite like our own. ... Hernandez's gorgeous art is both expressive and simple... It all comes together to construct a world and people easy to relate to." – Publishers Weekly

It Was the War of the Trenches [Pre-Order]

Review: "Tardi's work which is distinguished by an unstinting attention to locale and detail, captures the true horror of war in a way that no other artist has been quite able to achieve. ... [It Was the War of the Trenches] is the story of man against the system, with the system as the ultimate winner. This is a story for our times." – Peter Richardson (via ¡Journalista!)

Explainers: The Complete Village Voice Strips (1956-66) [2nd  Ed.]

Profile: Benjamin Ivry of Forward looks at the career of Jules Feiffer, who says "From my earliest cartoons, I’ve tried to work in front of audiences who may not be happy with what I’m saying. In the then left-wing Village Voice, I criticized the student left and they weren’t happy. I don’t find it fun to work before audiences who would agree with me; I prefer to challenge their preconceptions. My role is to push and prod and challenge, and I try to do it pleasantly rather than otherwise."

Interview: Big Think presents a multi-part video interview with Jules Feiffer

A Drunken Dream and Other Stories - Moto Hagio

Interview: Robot 6's Chris Mautner talks to Matt Thorn about editing our upcoming manga line: "My goal is to make a line that will appeal to the twenty-something Sailor Moon/Pokémon generation that feel they've outgrown the bulk of what is currently available, and that will also appeal to intelligent grown-ups who just enjoy a good read, but have never seen themselves as readers of manga, or even comics. I'd like to provide these people with smart, high-quality, accessible manga."

Popeye Vol. 1:

Hooray for Hollywood: That Popeye movie is going to be in 3D, will not co-star Supergirl

Daily OCD: 3/19/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Steve BrodnerreviewsMomeMichael KuppermanJosh SimmonsJacques TardiDaily OCDBest of 2009awards 19 Mar 2010 6:26 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions:

Awards: Congratulations to Steve Brodner, nominated for a National Cartoonist Society Division Award (a.k.a. the Reubens) for Advertising Illustration (as reported by The Comics Reporter)

Mome Vol. 13 - Winter 2009

List/Review: Shannon Smith of File Under Other names Michael Kupperman a favorite cartoonist of 2009 and comments briefly on Mome Vol. 13: "Open letter to comics publishers: If you put Josh Simmons in your book I will buy or steal a copy." (Good news Shannon: be on the lookout for Vol. 19. But please don't steal it.)

West Coast Blues

Review: "West Coast Blues is a cracking good crime comic, not really noir but definitely a tale of bad people doing bad things to each other. It's also, oddly enough, very wryly humorous, in a way we don't often see in crime comics here in the States. ... Tardi's art is quite stellar, as well. He's amazingly detailed, but he doesn't pull any tricks on the reader — his work is very straight forward. ...Tardi matches Manchette with panels that demand a great deal of attention - this is a visual feast as well as a literary one." – Greg Burgas, Comic Book Resources

Daily OCD: 3/17/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under staffreviewsIvan BrunettiHo Che AndersonDaily OCDBest of 2009 17 Mar 2010 3:08 PM

Erin go Online Commentary & Diversions:

Sand & Fury: A Scream Queen Adventure [Pre-Order]

Review: "[Sand & Fury] is a dark, violent horror story that provides a contemporary update on a folklore standard. ... It's a good comic..." – Tucker Stone, The Factual Opinion

Ho! The Morally Questionable Cartoons of Ivan Brunetti

Review: "There’s an immediate laugh to be had with the extended title of Ho! The Morally Questionable Cartoons of Ivan Brunetti. This is a slyly hilarious understatement, a clever counterpoint to contents as there’s nothing “questionable” about these jokes. That’s their strength, although I say that within the clinically quarantined confines of a cartoon laboratory. They are as unconscionable, uninhibited and unimpeded as can be imagined and the fact that you couldn’t have imagined them unaided only adds to their stature (and yours)." – Rich Kreiner, "Yearlong Best of the Year," The Comics Journal

Staff: Catch our own Jason T. Miles as part of a panel on starting and running a small press at Seattle's Pilot Books on Saturday, March 20; more info at Profanity Hill

Daily OCD: 3/4/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Trina RobbinsNell BrinkleyKevin HuizengaEsther Pearl WatsonDaily OCDCarol TylerBest of 2009Al Columbia 4 Mar 2010 1:01 PM

Spot the common thread in today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

You'll  Never Know Book 1: A Good and Decent Man

List: At The Truth About Comics Mario Z. Alipio (aka MZA) posts his top 11 comics of 2009, including You'll Never Know Book 1: A Good and Decent Man by C. Tyler at #6 ("A brilliant and disarmingly vulnerable historical memoir that converts a family's personal anguish into adult wisdom and grace. Part documentarian and part emotional wreck, Tyler examines her secretive father's WWII past and her own disintegrating marriage w/ an enviable balance between sensitivity and fearlessness"), Pim & Francie by Al Columbia at #9 ("Gorgeously reproduced — rough pencil marks, taped edges, discolourations, and all — this might be the sweetest thing to stare at, dumbly, in my whole library"), and Ganges #3 by Kevin Huizenga at #10 ("Huizenga conceives brilliant new methods of shorthand comix communication the way monkeys learn sign language to get the banana") (via The Comics Reporter)

The Brinkley Girls: The Best of Nell Brinkley's Cartoons  1913-1940

List: Library Journal's Martha Cornog names The Brinkley Girls: The Best of Nell Brinkley's Cartoons 1913-1940 as one of "27 Graphic Novels for Women's History Month," saying "Brinkley’s gloriously rococo line art introduced fun-loving, energetic gals who paved the way for modern American action heroines like Brenda Starr and Wonder Woman."

Unlovable Vol. 2 - Esther Pearl Watson

Plug: Esther Pearl Watson's Unlovable Vol. 2 is a Pick of the Week at Meltdown Comics in L.A.

Daily OCD: 2/24/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Steve DitkoreviewsPaul HornschemeierMomeLove and RocketsKim DeitchKevin HuizengaJoe SaccoJim WoodringJaime HernandezHotwireGary PanterDash ShawDaily OCDBlake BellBest of 2009 24 Feb 2010 1:54 PM

Neverending Online Commentary & Diversions:

Love and  Rockets Book 22: Ghost of Hoppers Love and Rockets Book 24: The Education of Hopey Glass

List: Only the Cinema's Ed Howard concludes counting down The Best Comics of the Decade: the top 20 includes "The Lute String" (available in Mome Vols. 9 & 10) by Jim Woodring at #16 ("It's moving, funny, and as with all of Woodring's work it demands a close reading"), Alias the Cat (originally The Stuff of Dreams) by Kim Deitch at #14 ("It's funny, goofy, exciting and far-ranging in its imaginative nonsense accumulations, and throughout it all Deitch's fond sense of nostalgia for a world that never quite was lends emotional heft to the story's elaborate twists and turns"), Dash Shaw's Bottomless Belly Button and Mome stories (collected in The Unclothed Man in the 35th Century A.D.) at #13 ("Dash Shaw is an utterly brilliant young cartoonist who has, in a few short years, advanced from the academic experiments of his earlier work... into a formalist genius whose skills encompass both a natural gift for color and a feel for subtle, indirect characterization"), Safe Area Gorazde by Joe Sacco at #7 ("Joe Sacco is a unique figure in modern comics: there is no one else who combines sheer cartooning chops with a newspaper reporter's sensibility and instincts in quite the same way. ... Safe Area Gorazde [is] an especially powerful document of the effects of war"), the comics of Kevin Huizenga at #4 ("Kevin Huizenga is the best young artist in comics. It's as simple as that. With his recent Fantagraphics series Ganges (part of the Ignatz line of high-quality pamphlets) Huizenga has matured into one of comics' finest formalists"), Jimbo in Purgatory by Gary Panter at #2 ("The denseness of Panter's references and cross-references makes the experience of reading this book a truly overwhelming experience; every line, every image, spirals into multiple other references and ideas, pulling in the whole wide expanse of world culture as a stomping ground for Jimbo's wanderings through the Purgatory of modern existence towards enlightenment"), and the Love and Rockets Vol. II work of Jaime Hernandez (as collected in Ghost of Hoppers and The Education of Hopey Glass) in the #1 slot ("There is no greater all-around artist in modern comics than Jaime Hernandez, and his recent work builds on his past successes so that his oeuvre as a whole is shaping up to be one of literature's best sustained stories about aging and the shifting of relationships over the course of a life").

Hotwire Comics Vol. 3

Review: "The best argument that the underground tradition is still alive is Hotwire Comics, edited by Glen Head (one of the most underrated cartoonists around, incidentally). Hotwire Comics is a visual assault, abrasive, confrontational, willing to poke and prod the audience: a real live wire that can shock. Everything a good underground comic book should be." – Jeet Heer, Comics Comics

Strange  Suspense: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 1

Review: "Strange Suspense is a handsome book generally, with a fun front cover and a nice, sturdy, feel. As far as my eye can tell the work is reproduced well; admittedly, I have one of the worst eyes in comics for that sort of thing. It's nice to have a bunch of comics from this time period, particularly the grittier pre-Code or Fear of Code-Like Crackdown work. There are some truly repulsive pieces of throwaway pulp in this book's pages, and Ditko was more than up to the task of illustrating them." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter

Mother, Come Home [New Hardcover Edition]

Review: "Mother, Come Home is a subtle, dark story about death and madness and fantasy, tied together by symbols and the voice of an older Thomas looking back on his childhood. It's not bleak, though; Thomas survives his traumatic childhood, and perhaps Hornschmeier's lesson is that we all can, if we try — if we step outside our rituals and fantasies and reach out to each other, we can make it through." – Andrew Wheeler, The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent. (via ¡Journalista!)

Daily OCD: 2/23/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewsPopeyeNewaveMegan KelsoLorenzo MattottiJim WoodringJasonHotwireEC SegarDavid BDame DarcyDaily OCDCharles BurnsBest of 2009art shows 23 Feb 2010 4:26 PM

Bring on the Online Commentary & Diversions:

List: Only the Cinema's Ed Howard begins counting down The Best Comics of the Decade: part 2 includes Black Hole by Charles Burns at #36 ("Few books do a better job of capturing the fear, and the excitement, of nascent desire and adolescent longing, as these diseased teens are driven mad by hormones and embarrassment"), Epileptic and Babel by David B. at #30 ("With his elegant style, dominated by striking blacks and contrasts, he invents numerous metaphors and visualizations for his brother's disease, treating the fight against the disease as a physical, mortal conflict"), Chimera #1 by Lorenzo Mattotti at #29 ("a rare pleasure from this elusive artist... a powerful work"), and The Squirrel Mother by Megan Kelso at #26 ("Kelso's work can be devastating in the way she pares down the excess to get at the essence of a particular moment or situation").

Newave!  The Underground Mini Comix of the 1980s

Review: "…[A] fascinating treasure trove of an anthology... In addition to work by greats like Artie Romero, Rick Geary, and Mary Fleener, and 50 or so others, [Newave!] serves as the history of a movement." – Publishers Weekly

Review: "Taken as a book that records a history, it’s pretty awesome. ... Newave! does include essays about minicomics and interviews with some of the creators. These are fun and provide a great look at how all of this came about." – Eden Miller, Comicsgirl (via Wow Cool)

Review: "[Newave!] is really cool. ... It's great to see the kind of passion that was going on... when there was this explosion where people just wanted to do comics because they had a passion for drawing, for telling stories...  It's just a book full of passionate comics... I definitely recommend checking it out..." – Steampunk Willy's Mad Comix Ride - The Comic Book Podcast (via Wow Cool)

I Killed Adolf Hitler

Review: "[I Killed Adolf] Hitler mixes elements of classic time travel science fiction fare with personal melodrama and a strange sense of humor that's unlike anything else in comics today. ... Jason pulls off some nice storytelling tricks when you aren't looking. ... The pacing of his story is refreshing, never getting bogged down, never moving too fast." – Augie De Blieck Jr., Comic Book Resources

Hotwire Comics Vol. 3

Review: "Culled from the latest Fantagraphics anthology of comics, edited by Glenn Head, this engaging survey runs the gamut of style and story. ...  Even if most of the show is black-and-white, the collection confirms that some of today's most vigorous art comes from the hands of cartoonists." – Robert Shuster, The Village Voice, on the Hotwire Comics #3 art show at Scott Eder Gallery

Dame Darcy

Interview: At Fatally Yours, Sarah Jahier has an enlightening Q&A with Dame Darcy: "My Dad is an artist, so is my uncle, brother, and a lot of my family. We are related to John Wilkes Booth and many of the guys in my family look like him (like a handsome villain). I [attribute] a lot of my family’s talent and good looks to Booth but also the craziness." I did not know that! (via The Beat)

Profile: At Comix 411, Tom Mason profiles E.C. Segar's Popeye protegé, Bud Sagendorf

Profile: This 2007 Brisbane Times profile of Jim Woodring popped up in my Google news alerts for some reason — why not give it another look?

Daily OCD: 2/22/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tony MillionairereviewsMomeMichael KuppermanMaakiesJasonJacques TardiEsther Pearl WatsonEleanor DavisDash ShawDaniel ClowesDaily OCDcontestsBest of 2009Abstract Comics 22 Feb 2010 1:08 PM

Win big in today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

List: Only the Cinema's Ed Howard begins counting down The Best Comics of the Decade: part 1 includes Michael Kupperman's Tales Designed to Thrizzle at #52 ("...absurd scenarios proliferate throughout each issue of Kupperman's series, as he follows each loony premise through to its (il)logical end result. He's a versatile stylist as well..."), Eleanor Davis's Mome stories at #51 ("The short stories of Eleanor Davis draw on myth and horror to craft succinct, mysteriously moving little parables, like Grimm fairy tales where the "monsters" are almost always infused with pathos and feeling"), Eightball #23 by Daniel Clowes at #47 ("a self-contained epic in miniature, poking at superhero archetypes, with their ideas about 'responsibility' and 'right,' in order to tell a quiet, maudlin story of loneliness and self-isolation"), and Abstract Comics: The Anthology at #42 ("What's best about the book is how open its territory ultimately is, how much room it leaves for artists to come up with their own ideas about abstraction and sequence. It is a truly groundbreaking book that points the way towards a whole new conception of comics and challenges readers and artists alike to explore this new area.")

West Coast Blues  [NORTH AMERICA ONLY] You Are There

Reviews: "Manchette’s brand of punk noir bears an existential, leftist tinge, with traces of Ballardian anomie. ... Opening Tardi’s adaptation [of West Coast Blues], one is quickly reassured by the faithfulness to the original novel. ... Tardi seems to have read Manchette’s mind when it came to visualizing the characters, scenery and action of the novel.... [and] his superior drafting skills are always in service to a tight rendering of the real world, from trains to forests to city streets. ... Turning to Tardi ‘s earlier work, You Are There, scripted by Forest..., we encounter a looser, sketchier style, admirably suited to the baggy-pants, fabulistic story and exhibiting similarities to the work of such artists as Moebius, Rick Geary, Aubrey Beardsley and Edward Gorey. Outbursts of calculated surrealism complement his unswerving attention to the quotidian. The beautiful and sensitive architectural renderings, as well as shots of nature — fields, a lake, birds, trees — contrast with the goofiness of our protagonist to good effect. ... Forest’s 1979 tale exudes a fin de Sixties, fey whimsicality. Think The Mouse That Roared crossed with Gormenghast and The Prisoner. Beckett-like soliloquies and Pinteresque dialogue round out the ambiance." – Paul Di Filippo, The Barnes & Noble Review

Drinky Crow's Maakies  Treasury

Review: "This generous volume reprints Maakies strips beginning early in this decade. ... As such, [Drinky Crow's Maakies] Treasury really does represent an overflowing bounty of absolutely primo Millionaire and stands as an invaluable, one–stop companion to Pre-Millennial Maakies for devotees. Newcomers, however, should understand that their sense of humor will be expanded, pulled… actually, think of a medieval rack where subjects were strapped in and stretched to shocking, heretofore inconceivable lengths." – Rich Kreiner, The Comics Journal

Low Moon

Review: "Jason is a painfully good comic creator – the man has a phenomenal knowledge of pacing, a sense of humour that’s darker than Darth Vader in a mine at midnight and deceptively simple figurework that says a shitload with very little. The stories collected in Low Moon are mostly full of that black, black humour. ... If you’re not reading Jason’s stuff, then you don’t really like comics, because this shit is as pure as it gets." – Bob Temuka, The Tearoom of Despair

The Unclothed  Man in the 35th Century A.D. Mome Vol. 17 - Winter 2010

Plug: O Canada! Librarie D&Q spotlights new arrivals The Unclothed Man in the 35th Century A.D. and Mome Vol. 17

Unlovable Vol. 1 Unlovable Vol. 2 [Pre-Order]

Contest: As hinted at on Friday, My Love for You Is a Stampede of Horses is giving away copies of Esther Pearl Watson's Unlovable Vols. 1 & 2 to one lucky randomly-selected person

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