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Category >> Carl Barks

Get Down with Walt Disney's Donald Duck on Halloween!
Written by Larry Reid | Filed under DisneyComing AttractionsCarl Barks 18 Oct 2011 3:47 PM

DonDuck 

Fantagraphics Books is offering a tasty treat this Halloween season — a FREE Donald Duck mini-comic by cartoon genius Carl Barks! In the "Jet Witch," our plucky duck buzzes Duckburg on a jet-powered broom. Predictably, all manner of hilarious Halloween havoc ensues.

This story from 1961 provides a preview of the delicious treats to come in Fantagraphics forthcoming series The Carl Barks Library, with the first volume Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes arriving next month. For information on where to find this Halloween favor visit Comicshoplocator.com.

Daily OCD: 10/11/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Richard SalareviewsPeter BaggeMomeMichael KuppermanMartiLove and RocketsLaura ParkJoe KubertJaime HernandezinterviewsDisneyDerek Van GiesonDaniel ClowesDaily OCDCarl BarksBill Schelly 11 Oct 2011 8:05 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

The Cabbie Vol. 1

Review: "Wearing its stylistic debt to Chester Gould’s classic Dick Tracy strips on its sleeve, this Spanish-produced series [The Cabbie] (which was originally printed in the ’80s) revels in a stark and sleazy noir aesthetic that drags the reader on a vicious trip through the scabrous underbelly of 'the Big City.'... An intriguing throwback to the days of heroes with worldviews defined in terms as rigidly black and white as the panels they battled their way through, this visual and thematic love letter to (and simultaneous critique of) Gould’s tropes is highly recommended for grownups with a taste for refreshingly lurid pulp fiction." – Publishers Weekly

The Hidden

Review: "The Hidden feels like a Poe short story, but Richard Sala actually reaches further back into gothic literature for information, filtering Frankenstein through a zombie apocalypse. Just like Poe, the fun here is all in the telling, and Sala’s campfire-ghost-story illustration is blunt enough to be cynically hilarious and cruelly gory, often at the same time. The allegory is the same as from Shelley’s original, but like the best gothic writing, the fun comes from putting the pieces — all the pieces — together at the end." – David Berry, National Post

Interview: Robot 6's Chris Mautner has a brief chat with Richard Sala about a book that's not ours (the Nursery Rhyme Comics anthology from First Second) but any interview with Richard is worthwhile

Mome Vol. 22

Review: "The final edition of Mome leaves a vacuum that thus far has always managed to get filled — let’s hope the graphic world hasn’t lost its taste for short stories just yet — but it will always be a shame to file something this sharply curated in the shelf. The fifth installment of Devil Doll is likely the most beautiful piece here, and there’s a terrific streak of humour throughout — Laura Perk’s Hobbesian, malevolent George is the pitch-black highlight, but there’s plenty of other strains — all adding up to an end that’s perfectly fitting, but no less unfortunate." – David Berry, National Post

The Art of Joe Kubert

Review: "Last month, Fantagraphics released The Art of Joe Kubert, a wonderful oversized art book that traces the career of the comics legend who has worked successfully in all the major 'Ages' of comics. While seeing the art in a larger format is nice, it's the text that winds through the book that opened my eyes to a lot of new things in comics that I had never known before.... Schelly's words opened up a new world of art critique for me.... The Art of Joe Kubert is probably the best DC book I read in September, and DC didn't even publish it. Fantagraphics did, and a wonderful job they did, from the raw materials to the book design and packaging." – Augie DeBlieck Jr., Comic Book Resources

Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes

Review: "Maybe, perhaps, at last, the time is right for a mass re-evaluation of the Duck comics, as Fantagraphics steps into the breach to produce a definitive library of Carl Barks' oeuvre. Not only do they step in, but they do so fearlessly... The series starts in November with Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes, an impressively affordable $25 hardcover... Happily, the stories look great and the book is a wonder to hold in your hand.... As to the content, itself, it's just as remarkable an achievement in comics as I remembered.... The contents of the book are as good as they're going to get, produced with an eye towards recapturing as much of the look of the original printings as possible, without sacrificing clarity or design. The quality of the black and white line work is top notch, too.... Pre-order today. Just do it. You can thank me later." – Augie DeBlieck Jr., Comic Book Resources

Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010

Interview: Speaking of short interviews about books that aren't ours, there's a Q&A with Michael Kupperman on the Marvel website about his contribution to their upcoming humor anthology Shame Itself

Love and Rockets: New Stories #4

Commentary: Robot 6's Sean T. Collins points out and comments on Bob Temuka's (spoilery) writeup of the new issue of Love and Rockets: New Stories, saying "it’s as good at conveying the unique nature of the 'Locas' saga, the way its stories shift and grow and can be seen differently over time as we and Jaime and the characters all age and learn more about what happened, as well as any piece I’ve ever read."

Links: Another comprehensive round of Hernandez Bros.-related links from Love & Maggie

Ghost World

Commentary: Robot 6's Sean T. Collins again, spotlighting a choice quote re: Ghost World from CBR's report on Dan Clowes & Adrian Tomine's spotlight panel at APE

Studs Kirby: The Voice of America [Sold Out]

Feature: Kudos to Comics Bulletin for including some off-the-beaten-path choices in their "Top Ten Indie Comics That Should Be Movies" list... Studs Kirby: The Movie we would totally like to see

Daily OCD Extra: Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes preview & Gary Groth interview at the L.A. Times
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under previewsinterviewsGary GrothDisneyDaily OCDCarl Barks 11 Oct 2011 5:04 PM

Walt Disney presents Donald Duck - Carl Barks

Geoff Boucher of the Los Angeles Times talks to Gary Groth about The Carl Barks Library — "There is in fact an emotional truth at the center of Barks' work; he even said that this was his primary goal, though I can’t dig up the quote at the moment, perhaps I’m thinking of when he told an interviewer that in his stories he was 'telling it like it is' and 'laying it on the line.' The comics critic Don Phelps once told me that it was Barks who made Donald Duck a citizen of the nation of comics characters, which I always remember as being a particularly eloquent way of saying that he invested Donald with such humanity." — and presents a 10-page preview from Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes.

Iowa Celebrates the Literature of Comics
Written by janice headley | Filed under Wally WoodSteve DitkoRobert CrumbJoe SaccoJessica AbelJaime HernandezJack KirbyJack DavisHarvey KurtzmanHal FosterGilbert HernandezGary GrotheventsEC ComicsDaniel ClowesCraig YoeChris WareCarl Barks 6 Oct 2011 9:13 AM

Comics at the University of Iowa

Comics are taking center stage in America's Heartland this autumn, as the University of Iowa presents the exhibit Graphic Language: The Art and Literature of Comics, which runs through December 11th.

This exhibit is truly impressive, featuring original artwork from Carl Barks, Steve Ditko, Hal Foster, and Jack Kirby, as well as Winsor McCay, Frank Frazetta, and Milton Caniff.

There's gonna be a special section devoted to original work for EC Comics, from artists like Wally Wood, Harvey Kurtzman, Jack Davis, Johnny Craig, and Bernard Kriegstein.

And covering the spectrum, the exhibit also spotlights contemporary cartoonists like Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez, Joe Sacco, Daniel Clowes, R. Crumb, Chris Ware, and Jessica Abel, as well as Alison Bechdel, Phoebe Gloeckner, Craig Thompson, John Porcellino, Jeff Lemire, James Sturm, and Matt Madden.

Holy crap, right? Well, it gets even more envy-enducing...

To tie into the exhibit, the University of Iowa presents Symposium on Comics, Creativity, and Culture: International and Interdisciplinary Perspectives, running through this weekend with some impressive panels:

Joe Sacco
Joe Sacco // photo credit: Jacob Covey

Friday, October 6th

3:15-4:15 PM // Preservation and Presentation: The Art and Business of Comics Publishing: Join our fearless leader Gary Groth in panel with Peggy Burns (Drawn and Quarterly) and Craig Yoe (YOE! Books). [ University Capitol Centre 2520D ]

7:30 PM // Joe Sacco: Keynote Lecture and UI Lecture Committee Featured Speaker [ Shambaugh Auditorium ]

Gilbert & Jaime Hernandez
Gilbert & Jaime Hernandez // photo credit: Patrick Rosenkranz

Saturday, October 8th

1:30-3:30 PM // Editing Comics Criticism and Scholarship: This round table discussion features Gary Groth, along with John Lent (Editor, The International Journal of Comic Art) and Frenchy Lunning (Editor, Mechademia) [ University Capitol Centre 2520D ]

7:30 PM // Gilbert & Jaime Hernandez: Keynote Lecture and UI Lecture Committee Featured Speaker [ Shambaugh Auditorium ]

You can view the entire schedule of events at the University of Iowa website. If you read this FLOG and live in Iowa, you better be there!

Fantagraphics at APE 2011!
Written by janice headley | Filed under Walt KellyShannon WheelerMartiMark KalesnikoMalachi WardLeslie SteinKevin HuizengaJohn PhamJim WoodringJesse MoynihanHal FosterGahan WilsoneventsEsther Pearl WatsonDaniel ClowesCarl Barks 28 Sep 2011 5:23 PM

We've got a gorilla-sized weekend coming up at APE: the Alternative Press Expo in beautiful San Francisco, CA! Come see us on Saturday, October 1st and Sunday, October 2nd at the Concourse Exhibition Center, and be among the first to get your mitts on these hot numbers:

Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes Pogo - Vol. 1 of the Complete Syndicated Comic Strips:  Oil & Water

 • Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes by Carl Barks
Pogo, Vol. 1 of the Complete Syndicated Comic Strips: "Through the Wild Blue Wonder" by Walt Kelly
Oil & Water written by Steve Duin; art by Shannon Wheeler

[ WE TOLD YOU SO!!! ]

Nuts [Pre-Order] The Frank Book [New Hardcover Ed.] The Frank Book [New Hardcover Ed.]

Nuts by Gahan Wilson
The Frank Book [New Hardcover Ed.] by Jim Woodring
The Cabbie: Vol. 1 by Martí

Ganges #4 [Aug. 2011]  Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse, Vol. 2: Trapped on Treasure Island  Prince Valiant Vol. 4: 1943-1944

Ganges 4 by Kevin Huizenga
Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse, Vol. 2: Trapped on Treasure Island by Floyd Gottfredson
Prince Valiant, Vol. 4: 1943-1944 by Hal Foster


Oh, you want a comic signed by an awesome artist, do you?

Saturday, October 1st
12-1 PM            Jesse Moynihan
12-1 PM            Malachi Ward
1-3 PM              Mark Kalesniko
2-3 PM             Shannon Wheeler
3-5 PM             Leslie Stein
5-6 PM             Esther Pearl Watson
5-6 PM             John Pham

Sunday, October 2nd
12-1 PM            Mark Kalesniko
12-1 PM            Malachi Ward
1-3 PM              Leslie Stein
2-3 PM             Shannon Wheeler
3-4 PM             Esther Pearl Watson
3-4 PM             Jesse Moynihan


You can find us in our usual spot at tables 112-115. (Right by our good friends Jim Blanchard and J.R. Williams at table 116!)

[ Please note: this is a chopped-up map, just to give you an idea where you can find us!  The Concourse Exhibition Center is too wide to fit on the FLOG, so check out a PDF map here. ]


And panels! Boy, do we have panels!

Ghost World by Daniel Clowes

Saturday, October 1st

2:00 PM //  The Comix Claptrap . . . LIVE!
Co-hosts Rina Ayuyang and Thien Pham record an episode of their enlightening, riotous, and controversial podcast, The Comix Claptrap LIVE at APE! For four seasons, Rina and Thien have interviewed comics artists in the indie comics scene about their work, creative processes, and experiences in the industry. Each show has included New Comics Wednesday beat reportage from fellow cartoonist Josh Frankel, and new favorite segment, The Comix Cranktrap, where they crank-call a well-known cartoonist listed in their Rolodex. Also featured on the panel: Mike Dawson, Scott Campbell, Levon Jihanian, and Esther Pearl Watson. This panel promises to be total mayhem!

3:00 PM // A Discussion with Daniel Clowes and Adrian Tomine
Critically acclaimed, award-winning, bestselling cartoonists -- and APE special guests -- Daniel Clowes (The Death-Ray, Ghost World, Wilson) and Adrian Tomine (Optic Nerve, Shortcomings) are both professional peers and friends, having met over a decade ago when both lived in the East Bay. TheComicsJournal.com editor and PictureBox publisher Dan Nadel talks to the two artists about their work, their friendship, and the comics medium.

4:00 PM // Spotlight on Shannon Wheeler
From stapling 21,000 minicomics, to shooting comic books with a .22, to creating operas, to publishing cartoons with The New Yorker, APE special guest Shannon Wheeler must be drinking too much coffee, man. Recently, his collection of rejected cartoons I Thought You Would Be Funnier won the Eisner Award for Best Humor Publication. Wheeler and his trusty sidekick BOOM! Studios marketing director Chip Mosher talk about the best ammunition to use on a comic, Japanese bootleg shirts, and drawing dead granddads in fishnet stockings with swastika panties. Shannon Wheeler once also created Too Much Coffee Man, so they'll probably talk about that, too.

6:00 PM // Drawing Inspiration: The Secrets of Comics Creativity
Ever wonder where your favorite author or artist gets his or her inspiration? Now you can find out as moderator Charles Brownstein (executive director, CBLDF) joins APE special guests Kate Beaton (Hark! A Vagrant!), Craig Thompson (Habibi), Matthew Thurber (1-800 MICE), and Shannon Wheeler (Oil and Water), plus Tom Neely (The Wolf) for an in-depth discussion of what gets their creative juices flowing and the secrets of what inspires them.

Oil & Waters by Steve Duin and Shannon Wheeler

Sunday, October 2nd

12:00 PM // Indie Cartoonist Survival Guide: Part 3
Cartoonist Keith Knight moderates this panel (in its third appearance at APE), featuring a lineup of successful independent creators who share their stories, methods, techniques, trials, and tribulations concerning making a living as a so-called Indie Cartoonist. Shannon Wheeler (I Thought You Would Be Funnier), Dan Cooney (Dan Cooney Art), Andy Ristaino (Adventure Time), and Rebecca Sugar (Pug Davis) all chime in.


The great Eric Reynolds will be manning the table, so come by and come buy! We'll see you at APE!

Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes is here (in the office)!
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under DisneyComing AttractionsCarl Barks 26 Sep 2011 7:29 PM

Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes by Carl Barks

The delivery guy just dropped off our advance copies of Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes by Carl Barks and we couldn't wait to tease you with a couple of photos! This is a book that many of us here have wanted to see for a very long time, we worked very hard to make it happen, and we're pretty darn pleased with how it came out if we do say so ourselves. We'll have more comprehensive previews in our usual photo & video formats for you soon.

Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes by Carl Barks

Daily OCD: 9/26/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Richard SalareviewspreviewsMoto HagioMichael KuppermanLove and RocketsLos Bros HernandezJohnny RyanJaime HernandezJacques TardiinterviewsGilbert HernandezDaily OCDCarl Barks 26 Sep 2011 7:12 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

The Hidden

Review: "Sala’s work is like a fusion of Hergé and Charles Addams, yielding a simple, cartoon-like style that makes his moments of gothic horror all the more disturbing. ...[The Hidden] is a beautifully pulpy and incredibly imaginative book that gives a fresh spin on a well-used set-up." – Publishers Weekly

Review/Interview: SF Weekly's Casey Burchby, who says "Richard Sala's new full color graphic novel, The Hidden, fuses two classic horror tropes — the story of Frankenstein's monster, and the ever-popular zombie apocalypse — into a new form that is surprisingly free of cliché and enriched with a strange sensitivity, owing far more to the classic horror literature of the 19th and early 20th centuries than it does to more contemporary EC horror comics, slasher flicks, or Stephen King," talks to Sala, who says "...as I began to write the book, elements of it started to seem oddly autobiographical — on some kind of psychological level, that is — and I realized the story had become less about Frankenstein specifically and more about the act of creation and its consequences."

The Arctic Marauder

Review: "This French artist's unabashedly campy tribute to Jules Verne's proto-steampunk adventure yarns [The Arctic Marauder] is all about the art — spectacularly composed black-and-white evocations of arctic landscapes and Victorian contraptions.... Tardi has drawn a tribute to a venerable genre that partakes of its wonders while poking gentle fun at its preposterous twists and turns. The result is pure fun." – Laura Miller, "The Best New Graphic Novels," Salon

Prison Pit Book 3

Review: "Ryan’s line work is at its best in some parts of this volume, showing the ability to continually come up with inventive weird visuals. The first half of the book is nothing but new forms of violence and strange creatures that become different strange creatures. Every page brings a new visual that you will never, ever be able to forget. The second half shows off more minimalist compositions, giving the book an interesting asymmetry. The only bad thing about Prison Pit Book 3 coming out is that it will be another year until Book 4 is released, especially with the cliffhanger that this volume ends on." – Chad Nevett, Comic Book Resources

Review: "Johhny Ryan’s artwork on Prison Pit could be described as cartoonish, but to be honest it’s better described as looking like the insane doodling of a madman, as found etched upon the walls of his padded cell — I would not be surprised to find out that this book was ghost-written by Charles Manson!... Ryan draws gore like no one else, and his creature designs are the stuff of nightmares — one of the monsters in the latter part of the story makes Cthuhlu look like a character from a children’s story!... Prison Pit: Book 3 is a comic unlike anything you’ve ever read before — the plot is outlandish, and the artwork is violent, bloody, gory, and completely unapologetic in its brutality.... Rating: 10 out of 10" – Edward Kaye, Newsarama

Commentary: Robot 6's Sean T. Collins comments on the must-read Comics Journal interview with Johnny Ryan: "I’ve spent years enjoying Ryan’s scabrously offensive humor comics like Angry Youth Comix and Blecky Yuckerella, as well as his extravagantly vicious action comic Prison Pit, and I’ve often wondered where his search-and-destroy ethos originated.... Thanks to Pearson and Ryan’s jawdroppingly candid conversation, I finally feel like I understand..., at least a little."

Love and Rockets: New Stories #4

(Not a) Review (Per Se): "This isn't a formal review, per se, but instead a few gut-reaction thoughts on the remarkable new issue of Love & Rockets: New Stories (#4). I've never bothered to do this before in a review, but the nature of this issue demands that I note that there are spoilers below." – Rob Clough, High-Low

Links: Another comprehensive round of Hernandez Bros.-related links from Love & Maggie (thumbs up for the mug shots)

Analysis: "I really like the formats of both (Beto’s) Love and Rockets: New Stories and (CF‘s) Powr Mastrs. They are really different but somehow very similar. At least to me anyways." – Frank Santoro, The Comics Journal

Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes

Review (Audio): The Extra Sequential podcast discusses "the whacky and funny Fantagraphics collection of Carl Barks’ much loved 1940s Donald Duck stories," Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes: "We tell you why creator Carl Barks is loved for his storytelling prowess and surprisingly funny and absurd humour in his Donald, Scrooge, etc. tales..."

Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010

Interview: Comic Book Resources' Tim O'Shea has a funny and informative Q&A with Michael Kupperman: "Actually I’ve been hearing from [Twain] a lot. I thought that one meeting would be it, but since then he keeps reappearing, asking for help dealing with today’s publishing industry. He’s written a new novel called Prairie Rumpus, which I feel is dated in its use of slang and locale. Meanwhile I’ve got a lot of interest in my novel The Fart Vampires, a lotta heat building up."

Plug: "The most excellent Michael Kupperman has begun touring in support of his time-traveling Clemens-as-superhero comic, Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010. This Saturday night, Kupperman will take his “Twain in the Membrane” book tour to the Mark Twain House in Hartford for a reading and signing." – Michael Cavna, The Washington Post

Preview: Graphic Novel Reporter presents a 9-page sneak peek (excerpted from our own PDF excerpt) of Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010 by Michael Kupperman

from Heart of Thomas - Moto Hagio

Commentary: At About.com Manga, Deb Aoki reports on our publishing announcement regarding Moto Hagio's The Heart of Thomas (note that the "The" was initially left off our announcement by mistake), calling it a "very exciting development" and saying "Fans of  A Drunken Dream and Other Stories will also be glad to hear that Matt Thorn, the translator of this critically acclaimed book will also be handling the editing/translation duties on this title as well."

Daily OCD: 8/26/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Taking Punk to the MassesreviewsRaymond MacherotMickey MouseMaurice TillieuxKim DeitchGreg SadowskiFloyd GottfredsonDisneyDaily OCDCarl BarksAlex Toth 26 Aug 2011 7:47 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 1: Race to Death Valley

Review: "It would take Gottfredson a few years to hit his stride: Many of his best Mickey stories appeared in the later ’30s and ’40s. But the basic characteristics that would make the print version of Mickey popular after the studio curtailed his animated antics can clearly be seen in these first installments.... Race to Death Valley is the latest entry in Fantagraphics’ reprints of classic comic strips, and is sure to delight fans of Mickey Mouse as well as comic strip aficionados. The strips are clearly printed in a readable size, and editors Gerstein and Groth carefully document the origins of the strip." – Charles Solomon, Los Angeles Times Hero Complex

Setting the Standard: Comics by Alex Toth 1952-1954

Review: "A new book from Fantagraphics helps restore the balance to Toth's broader reputation. In Setting the Standard: Comics by Alex Toth, 1952-1954, editor Greg Sadowski has assembled all of the crime, war, science-fiction, horror, and romance titles that Toth produced during his two years working for Standard Comics.... Setting the Standard pays tribute to Toth... by collecting genre-bound stories that the artist made fascinating through the sheer force of his talent." – Casey Burchby, L.A. Weekly

Review: "Setting the Standard is chock full of stories... Lovers of good retro stories that support heroic warriors and the emotional problems of young women whose heart is between two men will be delighted." – Le Blog de Li-An (translated from French)

Taking Punk to the Masses: From Nowhere to Nevermind - A Visual History from the Permanent Collection of Experience Music Project

Review: "For anyone with an interest in the Seattle music scene of the 1980s and ‘90s, the subgenre that became known as grunge, Taking Punk to the Masses: From Nowhere to Nevermind is essential reading.... If you can’t make it out to Seattle to visit Experience Music Project’s Nirvana: Taking Punk to the Masses exhibit, this book is a suitable substitute. Tons of gig posters, set lists, and album artwork provide further context. These visuals, accompanied by McMurray’s straightforward commentary and the extensive DVD interviews, create a compelling document of a unique era of music history." – Blogcritics

Gil Jordan, Private Detective: Murder by High Tide + Sibyl-Anne Vs. Ratticus

Reviews (Video): On the latest Comics-and-More video podcast, hosts Dave Ferraro and Patrick Markfort look at our two most recent Franco-Belgian translations, Gil Jordan, Private Detective: Murder by High Tide by M. Tillieux and Sibyl-Anne Vs. Ratticus by R. Macherot — hope they liked 'em

Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes

History: At Comic Book Resources, Brian Cronin digs into a piece of Carl Barks duck-comic trivia that we'll have to address somehow when that volume of the Carl Barks Library comes around

The Search for Smilin' Ed!

Lore: The latest installment of Kim Deitch's epic memoir-in-music "Mad About Music: My Life in Records" at TCJ.com takes us into the Sixties

Daily OCD: 8/15/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Willie and JoeWarren BernardSupermenShimura TakakoRick MarschallreviewsPeanutsOlivier SchrauwenMichael KuppermanMarschall BooksmangaKim ThompsonKevin HuizengaJohnny GruelleJim WoodringJacques TardiinterviewsIgortIgnatz SeriesGreg SadowskiGary GrothFrancisco Solano LópezDisneyDaily OCDCharles M SchulzCarl BarksBill MauldinaudioAlex Toth 16 Aug 2011 12:07 AM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Willie & Joe: Back Home

Review: "...[T]he cartoons in Willie & Joe: Back Home capture Mauldin at a low ebb personally, and ferociously inspired professionally.... The material in Back Home is bitter but witty, and remarkable for its courage. Given the platform of a major syndicate, Mauldin used his moral authority — as a firsthand observer of atrocity, venality, and want — to try and make his complacent countrymen feel a little shame. Where his wartime cartoons had said, 'I am one of you' to grunts in the trenches, his post-war work said, 'What the hell happened to you?' to the people who stayed home. At the time, the public rejected Mauldin’s lectures. Today they’re a blistering reminder that life after WWII wasn’t all suburban bliss and baby boom." – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club

Willie & Joe: The WWII Years

Review: "Told with humor and a great depth of sensitivity, these comics offer a human lens to an epic more often expressed in grandiose terms. Over the past couple of years Fantagraphics has amazed me consistently with its archival releases of seminal cartoonists' work, and Willie and Joe: The WWII Years is yet another fine example." – David Gutowski, Largehearted Boy

Setting the Standard: Comics by Alex Toth 1952-1954

Review: "Toth brought clarity and drama to the page — the equivalent of a top Hollywood director elevating rote material through elegant framing and camera moves.... Nearly every drawing in this book is purposeful and exciting, and they flow together to tell stories so clearly that the words are often superfluous. Setting the Standard is a treasure trove..." – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club

Review: "...Jacques Tardi is certainly in Toth’s league when it comes to rendering seamy genre fare with real artistry. Like a Sniper Lining Up His Shot ... is a wonderfully wicked piece of work, tracking a hitman as he tries to sever all ties with his past and retire with his childhood sweetheart. The story’s a familiar one... but Manchette’s approach is especially violent and gory, with a tough twist ending. And Tardi picks up on the sadness underlying the brutality, sketching a black-and-white world where the choice to go to the dark side is irrevocable, no matter how hard characters work to wrest control of their fates." – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club

The Man Who Grew His Beard

Review: "...Belgian artist Olivier Schrauwen does a fine job of approximating the high weirdness of early-20th-century newspaper comics in The Man Who Grew His Beard, a collection of seven deeply strange short stories.... Schrauwen mixes ink and paint in ways that blur the distinctions between comics and fine art, and he brings back certain themes — instruction and erotica, primarily — that suggest how men try and fail to place parameters on the primal. But The Man Who Grew His Beard isn’t meant to be 'understood' so much as it is to be entered and experienced, in all its wildness." – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club

Ganges #4

Review: "Kevin Huizenga’s Ganges #4 continues the artist’s increasingly masterful hybrid of direct storytelling and experimental abstraction.... The story suits Huizenga’s style, since he can document both the familiar minutiae of daily life and the sense of unreality that takes hold whenever someone is up half the night. Huizenga works in visual motifs of endlessly branching possibilities and spiraling shapes, showing how becoming 'lost in thought' can be terrifying. In short: This is another terrific installment of a series that’s fast becoming a classic." – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club

Mr. Twee Deedle, Raggedy Ann’s Sprightly Cousin: The Forgotten Fantasy Masterpieces of Johnny Gruelle

Review: "Mr. Twee Deedle, Raggedy Ann’s Sprightly Cousin: The Forgotten Fantasy Masterpieces of Johnny Gruelle... collects the strip that illustrator Gruelle created to fill the void left by Little Nemo when Winsor McKay departed The New York Herald. Though not as imaginative as McKay, Gruelle’s Mr. Twee Deedle was every bit as colorful and lavishly rendered, telling gentle fairy stories that explore a rich fantasy world existing in tandem with our own, like children having elaborate playtimes mere feet away from their parents’ more prosaic lives." – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club (NOTE: This review was based on samples of the strip provided to the reviewer; the book itself is incomplete and still in production.)

Drawing Power: A Compendium of Cartoon Advertising 1870s-1940s

Review: "...Drawing Power... brings together an eclectic set of examples of comics being used to sell products. The pages are fun to look at — from Mickey Mouse pitching Post Toasties to Dr. Seuss illustrating ads for Esso Marine Products — but the topic is a little too large for a 120-page book, especially one so loosely organized. Then again, maybe that’s the point: to create a reading experience as chaotic and laced with odd beauty as cartooning itself." – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club

Review: "I have long admired Woodring’s brilliant, hallucinatory, and bizarre Frank comics. But his work has taken a leap forward with last year’s Weathercraft and this year’s Congress of the Animals. The Frank world is one the reader benefits by being immersed in. What might seem a bit incomprehensible in a short strip blossoms into a dark Dionysian dream in these two graphic novels.... If I keep mention them together, it is because I believe they beg to be read together. They show different but complimentary sides of Woodring’s vision. And also because these two books combine to form, I believe, one of the greatest achievements in recent comics. If you are a fan of the strange, the uncanny, the bizarre, the hallucinatory, and the fantastic, I can’t recommend them enough." – Lincoln Michel, The Faster Times

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

Review: For Magnet, Marc Bianchi of the band Her Space Holiday (they're good!) pens an appreciation of Charles M. Schulz's Peanuts, adding "A good place to rediscover the Peanuts is through the retrospective that Fantagraphics started releasing in 2004. They are complete and total masterpieces, from the elegant layouts provided by famed comic-book artist Seth to the wonderful guest introductions each volume has... If you are ever in a shop that carries these books, I highly suggest thumbing through one of them. Especially the earliest works (1950-1952 or 1953-1954). You are guaranteed to find something that in one panel can tear your heart apart and, in the next, put it back together again."

Wandering Son Vol. 1

Review: "To say that Wandering Son isn't a manga for everyone is perhaps stating the obvious, but despite the potential to make light of its cross-dressing, coming of age tale it proves itself to be an impressively subtle and considered take on growing up within this opening volume.  ...[G]ive it time and you'll find an impressive, character-driven series beneath its simplistic surface that will both charm and fascinate you, leaving you rooting for its characters and wanting to follow them through to (you hope) eventual happiness." – Andy Hanley, UK Anime Network

Supermen! The First Wave of Comic Book Heroes 1936-1941

Review: "Supermen!: The First Wave of Comic Book Heroes, 1936-1941 promises to fill gaps in 'the origins and early development of superheroes and the comic book form.' Editor Greg Sadwoski has assembled an eye-catching collection of stories, magazine covers, and house ads showing unfamiliar faces from the first years of American adventures comics. ...Supermen! is most interesting for what didn’t lead anywhere.... Seeing what didn’t work or become the norm can be as illuminating as seeing what did." – J.L. Bell, Oz and Ends (via Robot 6)

Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes

Plug: "...[D]espite his undeniable gift for crafting  elegant and vibrant storytelling that transcends all genres, sadly there has never before been a comprehensive, affordably priced reprinting of Carl Barks' Disney work…until now. Fantagraphics Books recently announced that it will begin reprinting the entire catalog of the master’s Disney material, beginning with the release of Walt Disney’s Donald Duck: 'Lost in the Andes' by Carl Barks in October, 2011." – Bill Baker, The Morton Report

Plug/Interview (Audio): On Boing Boing's Gweek podcast, guest Ruben Bolling (Tom the Dancing Bug) and hosts Mark Frauenfelder & Rob Beschizza discuss Carl Barks amongst themselves and The Carl Barks Library with our own Gary Groth

Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010

Interview (Audio): The hosts of Comics Alliance's "War Rocket Ajax" podcast talk to Michael Kupperman about his new book Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010, crafting his brand of humor and sundry other topics (such as bleu cheese): "It's about things taking the turn that you don't expect, the ball taking the bounce you don't expect. That for me is an example of trying to make the sentence end up in a place that's different from where it started."

Baobab #1

Interview (Audio): Enjoy a lengthy conversation between Baobab creator/Ignatz Series editor Igort and Inkstuds host Robin McConnell

Ana (Unpublished)

Tribute: At The Comics Journal, Kim Thompson's obituary of Francisco Solano López: "Argentina’s Francisco Solano López was a titan of South American comics, on a level with the great Alberto Breccia, the temporary honorary Argentinean (during the 1950s) Hugo Pratt, and the hugely influential writer Hector Oesterheld (who collaborated with all three)." (Excerpt courtesy TCJ's Tim Hodler)

Daily OCD: 8/12/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Willie and JoereviewsPeanutsinterviewsFrancisco Solano LópezDisneyDaily OCDCharles M SchulzCarl BarksBill Mauldin 12 Aug 2011 6:26 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Willie & Joe: Back Home

Review: "The initial cartoons in [Willie & Joe: Back Home] show Willie and Joe struggling to adjust to civilian life and usually failing, albeit not without letting out a sardonic quip.... Eventually Willie and Joe faded into the background, however, as Mauldin started focusing more on other problems facing returning grunts — a housing shortage, trouble finding work — and then rather savagely (and rather bluntly) went after racists and right-wing extremists.... The end result is a collection of cartoons that both read like the work of someone desperate to rage against perceived injustices as loudly as possible, but also seemingly desperate to demolish whatever status he has attained as quickly as possible... it’s a fascinating book..." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6

Willie & Joe: The WWII Years

Commentary: On his blog, Eddie Campbell says "I recently bought the Fantagraphics complete Mauldin's Willie and Joe in soft cover. Bill Mauldin is one of the indisputable geniuses in the history of cartooning and I consider it an obligation to have the best available collection of his work on my shelf," and goes on to make some fascinating observations about changes in Mauldin's cartooning during the war

Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes

Plug: Italy's afNews.info spotlights our efforts to reprint the works of Charles M. Schulz and Carl Barks and bemoans their unavailability outside of North America

Ana (Unpublished)

Tribute/Interview: Entrecomics presents a transcription of the final talk given in Spain by Francisco Solano López in 2008 (in Spanish), saying "We could do a review of his career, but it would not do justice either to the immense capacity for work by the author or the influence that some of the works to which he contributed... had on several generations of readers in different countries."


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