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Category >> Best of 2010

Daily OCD: 1/24/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Wilfred SantiagoSteven BrowerStephen DeStefanoRay FenwickMort MeskinMickey MouseJasonJacques TardiHo Che AndersonFour Color FearFloyd GottfredsonDestroy All MoviesDaily OCDBest of 2010best american comics criticismBen Schwartzaudio 24 Jan 2011 5:46 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

List/Coming Attractions: On Publishers Weekly's "Spring 2011 Adult Announcements" preview, the following upcoming titles rank on The Top 10: Comics & Graphic Novels:

21: The Story of Roberto Clemente

"Many recent comics biographies have been presented as educational material, but Wilfred Santiago's 21: The Story of Roberto Clemente uses a more expressionist style to tell the story of the baseball superstar who rose from poverty to the top of the game and died a hero's death. Long in the making, it arrives just in time for opening day."

Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 1: Race to Death Valley [May 2011]

"The comic strip gets a much needed new edition of the first volume of Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse, Vol. 1: Race to Death Valley. While perhaps an unexpected gem, Floyd Gottfredson's tough, bold mouse is a seasoned adventurer and these are driving, hard-boiled tales. After reading this volume, you'll never look at Mickey, the tuxedo-clad corporate spokesmouse, the same again."

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

List: On WFMU's Beware of the Blog, radio host Noah Zark includes Destroy All Movies!!! The Complete Guide to Punks on Film on his Top 13 of 2010: "Those who know me know I have a real love for punk rock music and film. Destroy All Movies adoringly brings both worlds together in this well designed unholy writ!"

List: Carve Your Name Comics' Greg Townley (a.k.a. "Johnny") names his top 20 favorite comics and graphic novels of 2010:

"14) Werewolves of Montpellier by Jason — Jason’s work is haunting and surreal. I love all his books, but this one earns high points for including a character based on Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany’s. [...] Jason’s allusion to the complex film icon really elevates this book."

Wally Gropius

"17) Wally Gropius by Tim Hensley — This book is like Richie Rich on acid – one of the most original, visually exciting books I’ve read this year."

King of the Flies Vol. 1: Hallorave

"20) King of the Flies- 1. Hallorave by Mezzo and Pirus — King of the Flies, the first part of a proposed trilogy, is surreal and unsettling. It requires repeat readings to unearth the interwoven secrets at play."

Fire & Water: Bill Everett, the Sub-Mariner and the Birth of Marvel Comics [with FREE Signed Bookplate]

List: Meltcast co-host Chris Rosa's top 10 Best Comics of 2010 includes Werewolves of Montpellier by Jason at #7 and Fire & Water: Bill Everett, The Sub-Mariner and the Birth of Marvel Comics by Blake Bell at #10

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

List: At his X-Ray Spex blog Will Pfeifer names Love and Rockets: New Stories #3 one of his Graphic Novels of the Year: "Gilbert's stuff is a lot of fun (and a lot of weird, too), but it's Jaime's shattering look back at Maggie's troubled past that elevates this book above even Love and Rockets' normally stellar standards. 'Browntown' is one of the best stories ever to appear in Love and Rockets, and if you know how brilliant the book is — easily one of the best comic series ever — you know that's high praise indeed."

List: Also at X-Ray Spex, Pfeifer lists his best Books About Comics of the Year, including:

From Shadow to Light: The Life & Art of Mort Meskin

From Shadow to Light: The Life and Art of Mort Meskin by Steven Brower: "...[W]hen I started collecting in the late 1970s[,] Meskin's art stood out, mostly because his figures and compositions always seemed to explode off the page. And now there's an elaborate book that (a) examines his whole life (b) reprints lots of vintage art and (c) includes plenty of originals? Tell me this isn't the best time — ever — to be a comic book fan."

The Best American Comics Criticism

The Best American Comics Criticism, ed. by Ben Schwartz: "Some great reading between these covers even if, strictly speaking, it's not all 'comics criticism.'"

Four Color Fear: Forgotten Horror Comics of the 1950s [Pre-Order]

Four Color Fear: Forgotten Horror Comics of the 1950s: "...[T]his is a great collection, with vintage work from Basil Wolverton, Joe Kubert, Howard Nostrand, Bob Powell and especially Jack Cole, who delivers a couple of twisted masterpieces here. Also, there are fascinating, detailed end notes and a lurid collection of covers in the middle."

(The above 3 items via Sandy Bilus at I Love Rob Liefeld)

It Was the War of the Trenches

Review: "Jacques Tardi’s It Was the War of the Trenches is pretty brutal. [...] It’s one thing to read about the brutality of trench warfare, another entirely to experience it in the way Tardi details it here. This wasn’t an easy read — I alternated between anger and horror the whole time — but it was a good one." – Brigid Alverson, Robot 6

Lucky in Love Book 1: A Poor Man's History

Review: "It's all very well told, with realistic details coming through even when the art takes such a cartoony style, but being the first half of a two-volume series, [Lucky in Love Book 1] is somewhat incomplete, setting up themes that will presumably be dealt with later. Still, it's quite good. However, there was one scene that I thought was excellent on its own and stood out in the memory the most. [...] War is hell, with effects reaching far outside and long beyond the actual conflict, and this scene manages to illustrate that rather effectively." – Matthew J. Brady, Warren Peace Sings the Blues

Mascots

Plug: "Ray Fenwick's Mascots is... narrated by Cthulu... I think. [...] What Fenwick paints is funny and punny, but also unexpectedly observant with just a little bit of metaphysical musing thrown in. I know that doesn't make too much sense as a combination, so just read these pages and maybe you'll understand." – Julia Pohl-Miranda, 211 Bernard (Librairie Drawn & Quarterly)

King - A Comics Biography: The Special Edition

Interview (Audio): Inkstuds host Robin McConnell chats with Ho Che Anderson

Daily OCD: 1/18/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tim HensleyRory HayesreviewsDestroy All MoviesDavid BDaily OCDComing AttractionsBest of 2010audio 18 Jan 2011 4:17 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Wally Gropius

List: For The Economist, Picturebox publisher and our sometime editorial collaborator Dan Nadel names his picks for the best comics of 2010: "Tim Hensley’s Wally Gropius was maybe my favourite graphic novel of the year, and I’m still trying to figure out just what exactly it is. Drawn and written in the graphic idioms of throwaway 1960s comic books such as Richie Rich and Archie, Wally Gropius is about an angst-ridden, dumbfounded millionaire, looking for love in a lopsided modernist space fraught with emasculation, poverty, rock jingles and other things that make grown men cry."

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

Review: "And after spending the last two days plowing through this majestic slab of crucial, comically informative reviews [Destroy All Movies!!!], part of me envies [editors Zack Carlson & Bryan Connolly] in having done it first, while some other part wants to thank them for taking a bullet the rest of us don’t have to. [...] If you have any interest whatsoever in the topic you really cannot do without a copy of this book. If you’re like me, it will make you want to revisit some movies again, and search out some you’ve overlooked... In no uncertain terms, this book comes with my highest recommendations." – Jay Bodnar, Wednesday's Child

The Littlest Pirate King

Review: "The Littlest Pirate King is a strange and morbid comic. [...] The beautiful drawings of David B., made with thick and shaky strokes, are beautifully expressive. ...David B. did very well with this literary adaptation... [which] shows a mature and talented artist, exploring the versatility of his narrative." – Gustavo Guimaraes, Ambrosia (translated from Portuguese)

Where Demented Wented: The Art and Comics of Rory Hayes

Analysis: At Death to the Universe, Matt Seneca examines a panel of Rory Hayes's comics as exemplary of Hayes's work: "Rory Hayes is one of those artists, one whose sequences of pictures build stories out of their own bizarre alien logic, the consistency of their utter weirdness giving the reader just enough of a solid platform for understanding to take root in." (Via Spurge)

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201012/celluloid.jpg

Coming Attractions (Audio): Hosts Phil and Charlito preview some of our upcoming 2011 releases on the latest episode of the Indie Spinner Rack podcast

Daily OCD: 1/17/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Steve DitkoRIP MDreviewsMoto HagiomangaLove and RocketsLos Bros HernandezLinda MedleyJacques TardiDavid BDaily OCDCarl BarksBlake BellBest of 2010 17 Jan 2011 5:22 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

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

List: At Seen, Sam Humphries names Love and Rockets: New Stories #3 The Best Comic of 2010: "While it’s astonishing to see Los Bros Hernandez deliver some of their greatest work at this stage in their careers, at the same time, it should be no surprise at all. They’ve been killing it for nearly 30 years. [...] Both brothers are digging deep into the psyche and hearts of the human condition. The results are powerfully moving."

It Was the War of the Trenches

List: "[It Was the War of the Trenches] burns with a sense of outrage at the meaningless slaughter and sheer injustice of the events of almost a century ago. A century ago, perhaps, but we should never, ever forget and works like Trenches serve both as a fascinating piece of comics work and also an accessible reminder of history that has now all but passed from living memory and relies on books, film and other media to remind us." – Joe Gordon, "Best of the Year," The Forbidden Planet International Blog Log

Plug: "It Was the War of the Trenches  by Jacques Tardi (Fantagraphics) – Tardi is, simply put, one of the most important and influential French comic artists of the last 30 years. This welcome translation of his harrowing and haunting first World War narrative is as good a place as any to start." – John Byrne, The Irish Times (via Robot 6)

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

Review: "Several artists have the ability to capture some physical element of a city or a time; Tardi summons all of that with a fealty to detail and a consistency that eventually yields a more rounded, complete experience. Go all in, and by [The Extraordinary Adventures of Adéle Blanc-Sec Vol. 1]'s final 20 pages one can feel the air hit people in the face when they stumble out of doors, sense the temperature, smell the panoply of city-borne scents. ...[B]oth stories reprinted here with Kim Thompson's droll translation positively whip at the notion of competence in higher places, the rationality of power, that anyone rich ever pays for anything, and the law-driven society generally, all until the skin shows, raw and bleeding. It's a gas... I could personally read 10,000 pages of this material, stopping to stare at the prettier parts, returning to such a book over an entire summer. [...] It's a rare work that makes you like it and wish others would, too, that's for sure." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter

Castle Waiting Vol. 2

Review: "...Castle Waiting has been one of the most joyous comics discoveries for me of the last couple years. ...[D]espite this volume clocking in at 375 pages I read the whole thing in one sitting…and enjoyed every freaking second of it. I laughed repeatedly and more often than not was caught just smiling like an idiot as I read about these beautifully crafted characters and their completely boring but somehow also completely fascinating lives.  It doesn’t hurt that Medley is truly an incredible illustrator." – Kelly Thompson, Comic Book Resources

A Drunken  Dream and Other Stories [Pre-Order]

Review: "I frequently gasped, out loud, at the beauty of this goddamn thing. [...] Most of [the stories in A Drunken Dream] remind me of Jaime Hernandez, of all people, in that the force of the narrative is toward the protagonists coming to terms — with the damage done by a cruel mother, with the inspiration that arose unexpectedly from a childhood tragedy, with the sudden loss of a friendship through a shared mistake in judgment, with the death of a hated rival, with a necessary but traumatic decision, with the death of a parent. Or not! [...] Each story’s big narrative and emotional moments seem to swell within and explode out of these textures and lines, like they’ve actualized the potential energy there all along. [...] Reads like a dream, looks like a dream." – Sean T. Collins, Attentiondeficitdisorderly

Unexplored Worlds: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 2 [Pre-Order]

Review: "The back cover of Unexplored Worlds loudly proclaims, 'This is where Steve Ditko became Steve Ditko.' Indeed, in this second chronological volume of the Steve Ditko Archives, collecting 39 stories from 1956-57, we see the influential American cartoonist come into his voice. ...[I]t's fascinating to witness Ditko grow as a storyteller, to see the first hints of the layouts and compositions that would make his 1960s work on Spider-Man and Doctor Strange set the standard for decades to come." – Claude LaLumiere, The Montreal Gazette

The Littlest Pirate King

Review: "I think what ultimately struck me the most about The Littlest Pirate King (which B. adapted from a story by Pierre Mac Orlan) was how it weaves back and forth between innocent and grim. ...[I]t’s a gorgeous book. Even at its most nightmarish, there’s always something to admire within The Littlest Pirate King." – Greg McElhatton, Read About Comics

RIP, M.D. [Pre-Order]

Review: "[Rip M.D.] ...will delight monster-fans of all ages and signals a welcome return to upbeat and clever kids’ fiction. ...[T]his spectacular, spooktacular romp is a fabulously punchy, action-packed, wickedly funny treat for kids of all ages that will leave every reader voraciously hungry for more." – Win Wiacek, Now Read This!

Carl Barks

Coming Attractions: More Carl Barks reaction from Richard Cowdry at The Forbidden Planet International Blog Log (who also comments briefly on our latest Pogo update)

Daily OCD: 1/14/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Steve DitkoreviewsOlivier SchrauwenLove and RocketsLos Bros HernandezKim DeitchJim WoodringJasonDaily OCDComing AttractionsCathy MalkasianBest of 2010audioAlexander Theroux 14 Jan 2011 3:14 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

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

List (Audio): On the Inkstuds radio programme, listen to Chris Butcher, Bill Kartalopoulos, Tucker Stone and host Robin McConnell discuss the Best of 2010, including Love and Rockets: New Stories #3 by the Hernandez Brothers — we haven't had a chance yet to listen ourselves but Robot 6 reports that Stone in particular has good comments on L&R

Temperance

List: At TIME.com – Techland, Douglas Wolk lists "15 Excellent Things Happening in Comics Right Now." First on the list: Jim Woodring's Nibbus Maximus and the coming of his Congress of the Animals ("If you are wise, you will not miss it"). Third on the list: "Cathy Malkasian's Temperance came out in the middle of last year, and I still don't know quite what to make of it, which is probably a good sign. [...] It's lovely to behold, rather difficult, terribly sad, very frustrating in some ways, and absolutely worth looking at."

What I Did [Pre-Order]

Review: "Since the appearance of Hey Wait…, Jason's first book to be translated into English, the Norwegian-born cartoonist has remained one of the most distinctive voices in comics. What I Did is the latest omnibus collection of Jason's work… into a beautiful hardcover volume… Grade: A" – Mike Sebastian, Campus Circle 

The Search for Smilin' Ed!

Review: "Stacked with surprising twists and intricate plotting, [The Search for] Smilin’ Ed revels in Deitch’s increasingly complex personal universe, threading new characters into the established histories of his previous protagonists. Densely detailed and creatively laid out, the art can absorb a reader’s eye for days, with tons of nods, winks and subtle touches embedded in nearly every scene." – Michael C. Lorah, Newsarama

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201101/the-ditko-collection-vol.-2-150x192.jpg

Review: "Steve Ditko has produced a disproportionate amount of my favourite, formative fiction over the decades. His is a unique voice wedded to an honest heart blessed with the captivating genius of a graphic master. The tales [in The Ditko Collection Vol. 2] have seldom been seen elsewhere; never often enough and always with little fanfare. If you can find this volume and its predecessor you’ll see a lot of his best work, undiluted by colour, and on lovely large white pages. Even if you can’t find these, find something – because Steve Ditko is pure comics." – Win Wiacek, Now Read This!

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201011/so-25-4-2048-72-p0.jpg

Coming Attractions: At Robot 6, Chris Mautner looks at "Six potentially great 2011 comics you haven't heard of," leading off with The Man Who Grew His Beard by Olivier Schrauwen (coming in late Summer): "If you’ve had the lucky opportunity to read Schrauwen’s My Boy, or perused his work in the anthology Mome, then you’ll know this Belgian artist is the real deal — a true, utterly unique and frequently inspired cartoonist who draws upon century-old cartooning styles (McCay, Outcault) to create something contemporary and frequently bizarre."

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201101/oilwater-solic_coversm5.jpg

Coming Attractions:  At Examiner.com, Richard Lipski looks ahead to our Fall 2011 publication of Oil & Water, a chronicle of the Gulf Coast post-Deepwater Horizon oil spill, written by Steve Duin and drawn by Shannon Wheeler

The Strange Case of Edward Gorey [Expanded Hardcover Edition]

Reviewer: Alexander Theroux (whose The Strange Case of Edward Gorey is coming soon) reviews the novel Destiny and Desire by Carlos Fuentes for The Wall Street Journal

Daily OCD: 1/13/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Usagi YojimboStan SakaireviewsPirus and MezzoLinda MedleyDrew WeingDestroy All MoviesDaily OCDBest of 2010 13 Jan 2011 4:02 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Usagi Yojimbo: The Special Edition [Pre-Order]

List: iFanboy's Jason ranks Usagi Yojimbo: The Special Edition at #1 on the Top Collected Editions of 2010: "Fantagraphics has treated us with a 1,160-page, two volume slipcase collection that reprints the first seven trade paperbacks worth of content, as well as 50 covers and lots of never-before-seen backmatter."

Castle Waiting Vol. 2

List: "I don’t understand how Medley can write and draw so well. The story is entertaining and well-paced. The art is spacious, smooth with expressive lines. I have no idea why Medley hasn’t won every award everywhere. Volume two picks up where the first left off, telling the stories of a group of people who have retired to Castle Waiting, a refuge in a difficult, quasi-medieval world." – Carol Borden, The Cultural Gutter, "10 Comics I Liked in 2010"

List: Paul Gravett's Best of 2010 is very, very extensive, including mentions of no fewer than 10 of our titles

(The above 3 links via Sandy Bilus at I Love Rob Liefeld)

King of the Flies Vol. 1: Hallorave

Review: "The unease which Mezzo brings to King of the Flies is ever present in the twisted shapes of his men and women, the oversized drops of an acrid drizzle, the fur like scrub which seem like the myriad hairs of a fly’s appendage, a modern day dance of death choked with the dregs of modern life; the strange underbelly of free will and capitalism — sex, drugs and alcohol; death, lust and tainted beauty; the unsettling horror of kitsch; the nauseating mingling of youth, disease and dementia." – Ng Suat Tong, The Hooded Utilitarian (The Comics Journal)

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

Interview: At his Talking with Tim blog, Tim O'Shea talks to Destroy All Movies!!! editors Zack Carlson (quoted here) & Bryan Connolly: "I’m constantly shocked by people’s willingness to forgo the most valuable resources we have — like bookstores and video stores — because of the lazy convenience of the internet. Why don’t people want to leave their homes? Are they afraid they’ll get struck by lightning or bitten by a dog? It makes me nuts."

Set to Sea

Plug: "...Set to Sea is an astounding visual piece with a simplistic narrative that avoids the saturated complexities of other graphic works. I’ve been a long time fan of Weing’s, and highly recommend this title." – Michael Dean, Slither and Friends

Daily OCD: 1/12/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewsLyonel FeiningerLove and RocketsLos Bros HernandezJim WoodringJacques TardiHotwireGlenn HeadDaily OCDBest of 2010 12 Jan 2011 4:54 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

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

List: At Seen, Sam Humphries ranks It Was the War of the Trenches and The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec Vol. 1 by Jaques Tardi together at #4 on his Best of 2010: "Jaques Tardi is a badass. A titan of French comics, he writes and draws his comics with a relentless focus. Thick lines and dark shadows spill from a tide of incessant ink. Under his pen, sticky subjects must bend and yield to his cynical, humanist worldview. [...] Both books are thrilling to experience. [...] Regardless of country, these are amongst comics’ greatest treasures, and it’s intoxicating to have them in our hands."

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

List: At The Forbidden Planet International Blog Log, Blank Slate Books publisher Kenny Penman places Love and Rockets: New Stories #3 at the top of his Best of 2010: "I’d started to take L&R for granted... This came up and gently whispered in my ear and I was deeply in love all over again. Comic of the year."

Weathercraft

List: Among London shop Orbital Comics' staff favorites for 2010, Jim Woodring's Weathercraft: "The book is every bit as beautiful, weird and mesmerizing as I expected, and serves both as great introduction to Jim Woodring’s wondrous world and a wonderful treat to those already familiar with it."

Hotwire Comics Vol. 3

Review: "What’s amazing is that [editor Glenn Head] found the comics anthologies of the days to be wanting in terms of having things he wanted to read and look at, and so he gathered up a huge cast of creators and proved that there was another way to go in assembling such books that had its own creative gestalt. That’s all any reader can ask of an anthology, whether or not its contents interest them in particular. Hotwire should have some stories that any alt-comics reader would find to be top-notch..., and for a certain segment might prove to be the anthology made just for them." – Rob Clough, The Comics Journal

The Comic Strip Art of Lyonel Feininger

Plug: Robot 6's Brigid Alverson discovers the comic strip art of Lyonel Feininger (which we collected in the imaginatively-titled The Comic Strip Art of Lyonel Feininger)

Set to Sea an ALA Top Ten Great Graphic Novel for Teens
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Drew WeingBest of 2010awards 12 Jan 2011 4:13 PM

Set to Sea by Drew Weing

The American Library Association has announced their Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) 2011 Top Ten Great Graphic Novels for Teens, and bringing up the rear alphabetically by author last name, it's Weing, Drew with Set to Sea! Great news for a great book. Congrats Drew!

Daily OCD: 1/11/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tony MillionaireTim HensleyreviewsMomeLove and RocketsLos Bros HernandezLorenzo MattottiLilli CarréJohnny RyanJoe DalyJim WoodringJasonJaime HernandezGilbert HernandezDestroy All MoviesDaily OCDCarl BarksBest of 2010 11 Jan 2011 4:50 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

List: Hypergeek's Edward Kaye names The Best Original Graphic Novels of 2010, including (deep breath):

Werewolves of Montpellier: "Part lycanthropic thriller, part romantic comedy, and part existential drama, all told with Jason’s trademark anthropomorphic characters. The visuals are minimalistic and haunting, and the sparse dialogue is wry and delivered with deadpan execution. It’s one of the best things that Jason has ever written, and he continues to outdo himself with every new story."

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

Love and Rockets: New Stories #3: "Los Bros Hernandez return for a third volume of New Stories. The stories in this volume are fun, bizarre, wacky, and at times profoundly moving. The brothers have been at this for 28 years now, and are still telling stories brimming with originality, and illustrated in inimitable and unparalleled fashion. A true watermark of the series thus far!"

Prison Pit: Book 2  [Pre-Order]

Prison Pit Book 2: "Johnny Ryan has outdone himself on this one. It's intensely violent, horrific, grotesque, sickening, and just plain fucked up! That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it! You should buy this book and give it to all of your friends that think that comics are for kids. It will make them cry!"

Weathercraft

Weathercraft: "I only discovered Jim Woodring this year, on a recommendation. I was so impressed by this enchanting, silent masterpiece that I went out and purchased everything else I could find with his name on it, which as it turns out is surprisingly little. It's a beautiful and spellbinding book, with otherworldy illustrations that take you to another place. It's hard to adequately describe this story, it's really beyond definition, it's better that you just experience it for yourself."

Billy Hazelnuts and the Crazy Bird

Billy Hazelnuts and the Crazy Bird: "Tony Millionaire gives readers a sequel to 2006's Billy Hazelnuts. It's an all-ages tale about a golem on a quest to reunite a baby bird with its mother. It's a charming and wacky parable of adventure, discovery, and find one's way in the world. A contemporary fairy tale that is perfect adults and children of all ages. Simply enchanting!"

The Troublemakers

The Troublemakers: "Gilbert Hernandez releases a second volume of this Love & Rockets spin-off series, featuring B-Movies starring Luba's half-sister, Fritz. This fantastic tribute to film noir is sure to please fans of the genre, while serving as a fantastic introduction to L&R. It's a hard-boiled classic, brought to life with Beto's bold and distinctive artwork. Oh, and did I mention the massive boobs?"

Dungeon Quest, Book 1  Wally Gropius

List: Cartoonist Michael DeForge posts his top 15 of 2010, with Joe Daly's Dungeon Quest Book 1 at #3 and Tim Hensley's Wally Gropius at #1 (via Sean T. Collins)

Stigmata [Pre-Order - with Special Offer]

Review: "It's unlikely I'm telling anyone reading this anything new by suggesting that Lorenzo Mattotti draws like Caruso sang, and that reading this latest work with screenwriter Claudio Piersanti [Stigmata] is at times an assault of exquisite visual pleasure of the kind that makes your whole face sting." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter

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

Review: "The recently published Destroy All Movies!!!: The Complete Guide to Punks on Film is... over 500 beautiful pages that catalogs films featuring everybody from Richard Hell to Lemmy to Fear; and it certainly earns it’s self-proclaimed title of 'the most dazzlingly insane film reference book of all time.'" – Jason Diamond, The Faster Times

Mome Vol. 14 - Spring 2009

Review: "'The Carnival' [in Mome Vol. 14] is an exquisitely wrought piece of melancholy fantasy, and a high point in the blossoming career of Lilli Carré, the most poetic of contemporary North American cartoonists. [...] Lilli Carré’s cartooning has reached the point where she makes everything feel integral; one can’t treasure any of a piece without treasuring all of it. And 'The Carnival' is a rare treasure indeed." – Robert Stanley Martin, Pol Culture

Locas: The Maggie and Hopey Stories

Review: "...[I]f you’re looking for something awesome to read and start the new year off with, pick up Locas and Locas II. You can even check them out from the library but they’re nice to have around, so when you and your friends are having some funny or interesting conversation and you’re like wait, this seems familiar, and then be like, oh yeah Maggie said the same thing." – Chimatli

Carl Barks

Coming Attractions: At The Comics Reporter, Tom Spurgeon has thoughtful commentary regarding our upcoming Carl Barks books

Daily OCD: 1/10/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Steve DitkoreviewsRC HarveyPrince ValiantPopeyeLove and RocketsJoyce FarmerJohnny RyanJim WoodringJaime HernandezJacques TardiHal FosterFour Color FearEC SegarDrew WeingDrew FriedmanDaniel ClowesDaily OCDCarl BarksBlake BellBill EverettBest of 2010 10 Jan 2011 3:04 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Special Exits [Pre-Order]

List/Review: At Seen, Sam Humphries ranks Special Exits by Joyce Farmer #6 on the Best of 2010: "Sure, Special Exits is sad. But it’s also funny, touching, thought-provoking, and life-affirming. It’s never trite, cheap, or hokey, like, say, Patch Adams. This is the raw, unvarnished truth about the end of life, elegantly put to page by Farmer’s lyrical drawings, a welcome, thoughtful evolution of the raucous underground style of the 60s and 70s. Most of all, Special Exits is powerful. It’s vital; almost essential. [...] It’s not for the faint of heart, but it’s one that everyone can benefit from reading. Your future self will thank you."

List: Fangoria's Michael Koopmans puts two of our classic reprints on their list of the 10 Best Horror Comic Releases of 2010:

Four Color Fear: Forgotten Horror Comics of the 1950s [Pre-Order]

"If you asked me to make a list of my all-time favorite comic artists, I’d just hand you [Four Color Fear], because all the greats are present in this terror tome... This is a truly amazing, thick collection of rare treats, as well as a nice reminder that EC wasn’t the only ones churning out the goods back in the 1950’s."

Unexplored Worlds: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 2 [Pre-Order]

"A companion piece to last year's Strange Suspense (Vol. 1), this volume [Unexplored Worlds] continues to showcase the goods from one of my all-time favorite artists. And by 'goods' I mean the most unique and disturbing horror and sci-fi comics you will ever come across! As is the case with all Fantagraphics releases, the original works are untainted and scanned perfectly."

List: Andrew Salmond of London's Gosh! Comics names his top 3 Best of the Year at The Forbidden Planet International Blog Log:

Set to Sea

"Set to Sea, by Drew Weing, is actually the unqualified top of my list. My absolute favourite of the year, just for the sheer pleasure of it. It’s the deceptively simple life story of a struggling young poet who finds a life for himself at sea, and it’s a proper misty-eyed treat."

Weathercraft

"Weathercraft, by Jim Woodring, is my tip to the old hands that brought out work this year. As much as I love the others..., Woodring is for me in a class of his own. Reading an extended work by the man, you find yourself falling into a different state of mind, a world of sickly, queasy imaginings. [...] Few are as adept at drawing you so deeply into worlds which are so utterly alien, yet so incredibly personal."

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

Review: "If this is your first encounter with The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec, I feel I should warn you about the faint regret you'll feel for not having a chance to read these earlier in your life. These comics feel lost in time; they are reminiscent of Victorian adventure novels but maintain a strong contemporary cultural relevance. [...] Whatever your age, this is escapist reading of the finest sort — readers will get lost in Tardi's breathtaking ornamental artwork and marvel at how captivating an old-fashioned yarn can really be." – Jeff Alford, About.com: Contemporary Literature

Prison Pit: Book 2  [Pre-Order]

Review: "Action action action. Balls to the wall and guts to the ground action. And sick sick drawings. That's what you will find in this book. [...] Is this an evolution of Johnny Ryan we are witnessing with this series? Is he taking his unique manner of storytelling to another level with Prison Pit? Whatever, but there's obviously more to come with this series and I will be eagerly awaiting the next installment." – P.D. Houston, Renderwrx Productions

Prince Valiant Vol. 2: 1939-1940

Review: "Seattle-based publisher Fantagraphics' second volume of the collected Prince Valiant by series creator Hal Foster is a sumptuous package bringing together the Sunday strips that were published during 1939-40. ...[T]his restoration of one of the most influential comic strips of all time... [is] an essential purchase for anyone interested in the history of the American comic strip." – James Peaty, Den of Geek

Popeye Vol. 2:

Review: "Throughout it all, Segar's art is energetic and expressive, the printed-page equivalent of the black-and-white cartoons of the '20s, and his characters are broad and exciting but always identifiable. Popeye in particular has depths that later stories rarely dealt with... Segar's Thimble Theatre stories are great American originals, and they suffered the fate of every other great American original: to be watered down and redone a thousand times by a thousand hacks in search of a quick buck and a sure thing. But the original endures to be rediscovered, as often as necessary, and that's no small thing." – Andrew Wheeler, The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent.

Meanwhile... A Biography of Milton Caniff

Review: "Coming in at nearly 1,000 pages, [Meanwhile...] was done with the late Caniff’s full cooperation and benefits from the fact that he and Harvey were friends. [...] Any storyteller as influential as Caniff was and is deserves a biography of this caliber." – Tim O'Shea, Robot 6

Fire & Water: Bill Everett, the Sub-Mariner and the Birth of Marvel Comics [with FREE Signed Bookplate]

Review: "As biographer and historian, Bell excels. He is able to really understand the cartoonist he is documenting and boil it down to the essentials. [...] The production on [Fire & Water] is amazing. Bell is able to reproduce a good amount of original artwork that allows you to see just how skilled a draftsman Everett was." – Robin McConnell (Inkstuds), Robot 6

The Book of Jim [Sold Out]

Review: At The Panelists, a "One-Panel Review" from Jim Woodring's The Book of Jim by Charles Hatfield: "Something I miss in Jim Woodring‘s current work is a sense of fear being enacted directly through his drawing, through his handiwork—in other words, a sense that the drawings themselves are shivering and smearing and decomposing out of sheer, gut terror."

Daniel Clowes - self portrait (color)

Interview: The Comics Reporter's Tom Spurgeon talks to Daniel Clowes: "I can't say that I would never do another comic and call it Eightball. I say there's actually a very high probability that I would do that some day. Kind of for old time's sake, or something. Or just to kind of rethink what a comic book means at some point. But right now it sure doesn't feel like the thing to do."

Jaime Hernandez - self portrait

Interview: And another great interview from Tom at The Comics Reporter, this time with Jaime Hernandez: "Gilbert and me always ask each other, 'So, what do you got in the new issue? What's coming up?' And I go, 'Well, I got this one story about Maggie, blah blah blah...' and I called it 'Maggie in Palomar.' I kind of aimed it that way, where I'm like, 'Oh, boy. A place where nothing happened.' It gives them room to do everything, because there's nothing there."

Old Jewish Comedians: A Visual Encyclopedia

Interview: The Los Angeles Times asks Drew Friedman for his thoughts on the Academy Awards: "The Social Network gets my vote for best film. Aside from it being the only film I've seen this year, I always support films with Jewish leading men playing Jews, even if the Jew is Mark Zuckerberg via Jesse Eisenberg. Good for the Jews!"

Carl Barks

Coming Attractions: More reporting and commenting on our Carl Barks news from Matthias Wivel at The Metabunker

Daily OCD: 1/7/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Usagi YojimboTim HensleyStan SakaiRoy CranereviewsLove and RocketsJohnny RyanGilbert HernandezDrew WeingDaily OCDCarl BarksCaptain EasyBest of 2010 7 Jan 2011 4:12 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

List: Robot 6's Chris Mautner names "The six most criminally ignored books of 2010," including:

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

"1) Captain Easy Vol. 1 by Roy Crane. ...I consider this to be one of the big publishing events of 2010. [...] The Sunday pages in this book are full of high energy, action and slapstick."

Love and Rockets Book 25: High Soft Lisp [with FREE Signed Bookplate]

"4) High Soft Lisp by Gilbert Hernandez. [...] Those who feel that Hernandez’s work relies too much on female objectification and fetishization need to read this book to understand how self-aware he is of that fact and its real-world consequences."

Wally Gropius

List (Audio): On the Inkstuds radio programme, host Robin McConnell discusses the Best of 2010, including Tim Hensley's Wally Gropius, with cartoonists Michael DeForge, Zack Soto and Noah Van Sciver

Set to Sea

List: At Robot 6, Kevin Melrose includes Drew Weing's Set to Sea on his list of The 50 Best Covers of 2010: "The limited palette and gold highlights on the waves help to lend the cover to Drew Weing’s debut graphic novel a gorgeous dream-like quality."

Usagi Yojimbo: The Special Edition [Pre-Order]

Review: "In a robust, finely crafted package, Fantagraphics celebrated the 25th anniversary of the wandering rabbit ronin... by collecting the first seven volumes in two hardcover books sheathed in a sturdy, eye-catching slipcase. ...Usagi Yojimbo: The Special Edition is in a class all its own in terms of presentation." – Alex Carr, Omnivoracious

FUC_ __U, _SS __LE: Blecky Yuckerella Vol. 4

Addendum: At his Every Day Is Like Wednesday blog, J. Caleb Mozzocco shares some additional thoughts related to his Newsarama review of Johnny Ryan's FUC_ __U _SS __LE

Carl Barks

Commentary: A commenter at Mike Sterling's Progressive Ruin predicts: "The recently announced Carl Barks collections by Fantagraphics will receive public attention on the Today Show via Al Roker and become selections in Oprah’s Book Club. The widespread exposure of clever humor and commentary by 50-year old Donald Duck comics create a nationwide movement of crazy alternative-energy initiatives and treasure hunting." (The Roker part is not completely far-fetched — Al did the Introduction for the next volume of The Complete Peanuts) (Mike also plugs Flog, which is nice of him)

Coming Attractions: More reporting on our Barks announcement from The Daily Cartoonist


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