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Category >> Carol Swain

Weekly OCD 10.08.14
Written by Sonia Lei | Filed under Tim LaneSimon HanselmannS Clay WilsonOCDEd PiskorDisneyDash ShawCarol SwainCarl Barks 8 Oct 2014 5:00 PM

This week's kale and acai berry energy smoothie of Online Commentaries and Diversions:

The Lonesome Go by Tim Lane - CoverReview: The Lonesome Go by Tim Lane

"At times harsh, but always humane, The Lonesome Go hits you like a smack in the face. It’s a graphic novel in the truest sense, meant to be read as much as viewed. It’s a rich, substantial work by an artist and writer who is using the medium of comics to its fullest potential." – Harris Smith,comiXology

Review: "Disfigured hobos lurch from panel to panel into fresh horrors. The vintage hairstyles of the ‘40s, nude bodies, a prescription-pill driven freak-out climaxing in much vomit: whatever he draws, Lane’s heavily shadowed style is always a marvel. The nighttime scenes – which are most of them – rise from seas of black ink." – Bryon Kerman,St. Louis Magazine

Review: "This new book is a continuation of the types of themes and characters Lane first explored there: drifters, hobos, Americana, automobilia, early rock and roll and more. The narratives pay homage to the Beats, Charles Bukowski and Tom Waits, among others." – Seth Peagler, Heroes Online

 

Doctors by Dash Shaw - CoverReview: Doctors by Dash Shaw

"This book is terse and powerful in a way that would make Emily Dickinson green with envy. Never saying more than he needs to, Shaw does a commendable job showing us the story in "Doctors."" – Sam LeBas, Multiversity Comics

Review: "…what fascinates the Two Guys the most is the very premise of Doctors. It's a narrative that raises some profound questions, and it's one that might even work well in other media, such as adapted for television." – Comics Alternative Podcast Episode #102

 

Megahex by Simon Hanselmann - CoverInterview: Megahex by Simon Hanselmann

"Every page is beautiful. Every joke is funny. Every character is a complete asshole. The book itself is a nice chunky hardcover with some good heft and a cover design that is made to resemble a DVD box set of a TV show." – Nick Gazin, VICE

 

Gast by Carol Swain - CoverReview: Gast by Carol Swain

"…the road less taken is what you expect from Swain, and with a bit of patience you got a great story." – Jason, cats without dogs

 

Ghost of the Grotto Starring Walt Disney's Donald Duck by Carl Barks - CoverReview: Ghost of the Grotto Starring Walt Disney's Donald Duck by Carl Barks

"Fantagraphics has done such an excellent job with The Carl Barks Library that this is hardly the ideal format for adults to experience these very same stories, but it is a pretty ideal companion format: Cheaper, more portable and more convenient, it offers an excellent introduction to some of the great stories of one of the greatest cartoonists." – J. Caleb Mozzocco, School Library Journal

 

Labor Day Sale: 40% Off Select Titles
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Wilfred SantiagoTrina RobbinsTony MillionaireStephen Weissmansales specialsR Kikuo JohnsonPatrick RosenkranzMonte SchulzMiss Lasko-GrossMegan KelsoJordan CraneFredrik StrömbergEsther Pearl WatsonDaniel ClowesCrockett JohnsonChuck ForsmanCharles M SchulzCarol SwainBen Schwartz 28 Aug 2014 9:29 AM

2014 Labor Day Sale

As the leaves begin to turn shades of red and orange (or fall straight off and green depending on where you live), backpacks are dusted off in preparation for a new load of textbooks, and we move into fall, we figure you could use some cause for celebration. How about our Labor Day/Back-To-School Sale? We've got great titles of all-ages, young-adult, and non-fiction titles at a whopping 40% Off from Saturday, August 30th through Monday, September 1st!

Batter Up, Charlie Brown! by Charles M. Schulz Chocolate Cheeks by Steven Weissman 21

For your wee ones, how about our gift-sized, baseball-themed Peanuts book, Batter Up, Charlie Brown? Or, for something a little cheekier, there's Steven Weissman's Chocolate Cheeks. For the baseball fans who want a bit more history mixed in, try 21: The Story of Roberto Clemente by Wilfred Santiago

Unlovable Unlovable 2 Caricature

School can be anything you make of it, especially you don't give a damn. For the guy or girl that knows everything, try Unlovable 1 and 2 by Esther Pearl Watson. She may only break wind and not hearts, but Tammy Pierce is unstoppable. For some short stories from all walks of life, ugly and less ugly, grab Daniel ClowesCaricature, often compared to to Nabokov for their complex naturalism and sense of humor.

Ghost World  Celebrated Summer Night Fisher
Is cutting class altogether a common memory for you? How about a classic Fantagraphics alternative comic, sure to win even the most jaded of hearts: Daniel ClowesGhost World (now in its 20th printing) is for you. Already have it? Try the male version of Ghost World, Celebrated Summer by Charles Forsman, that came out in 2014. Night Fisher by R. Kikuo Johnson also follows the teenage trail of growing up and growing apart.

Giraffes in my Hair Mess Everything The Squirrel Mother
Cutting class was too weak? You just dropped out all together? Damn, you might enjoy Giraffes in My Hair, a Jack Kerouac-style story lived by Bruce Paley and drawn by his partner, Carol Swain, all about the summer of '67. On the cusp of flunking out with a drug habit, A Mess of Everything by Miss Lasko-Gross, is an intense and raw look at her own high-school experience. If you're looking for more personal and semi-autobiographical comic stories look no further than The Squirrel Mother by Megan Kelso. It also contains stories about the idea of America and American history, such as a trilogy of short pieces about Alexander Hamilton.

Rebel Visions Pretty in Ink Daniel Clowes Reader
If history is your school-time jam, then grab a copy of Rebel Visions by Patrick Rosenkranz, a history of the alternative cartoonists. Want something even more focused?  A history of women cartoonist will suit you just fine in Pretty In Ink: North American Women Cartoonists 1896-2013 by Trina Robbins. Or the Daniel Clowes Reader, featuring most of Clowes' work and papers on the overriding motifs and themes.  

Black Images in the Comics  American
Consider some new books about comics as an assignment for a graded discussion. Black Images in the Comics by Fredrik Strömberg walks through comics, old and new, to enlighten the audience about the hideous caricatures racism produces so that we may never stray there again. Best American Comics Criticism compiled by Ben Schwartz features the best essays on comics from Chris Ware on Rodolphe Töpffer, Dan Clowes on Mad's Will Elder, The Daily Show's John Hodgman on Jack Kirby and more!

Clouds above Barnaby 1 Sock Monkey Treasury

For those who wish to rise above it all and forget that school ever existed, The Clouds Above is an all-ages full-color romp with a boy and his cat by Jordan Crane. Meanwhile, Barnaby by Crockett Johnson plays with some imaginary creatures including his fairy godfather. Or for something that feels a bit older, more Victorian The Sock Monkey Treasury by Tony Millionaire is for you.

The Last Rose of Summer 
Finally a little prose by Monte Schulz, the novel The Last Rose of Summer. With the Great Depression looming, three strong-minded women related by marriage form an uneasy household in a Southern town.

So clean up on some comics to read while the kids are out at school or to distract you from the textbooks you SHOULD be reading. 









Weekly OCD 8.19.14
Written by Sonia Lei | Filed under Roberta GregoryOCDMegan Kelsomary fleenerLucy KnisleyJessica AbelEllen ForneyEleanor DavisCarol TylerCarol Swain 19 Aug 2014 11:30 AM

This week's hen's egg clutch of Online Commentaries and Diversions:

Gast by Carol Swain - CoverReview: Gast by Carol Swain

"What’s most impressive about Swain’s story is its quiet nature, and its delicate portrayal of darkness. Instead of going for the obvious and imposing gruesome imagery to match the backdrop of macabre, Swain portrays the setting as a far more subtle place to contain unease, at time bucolic even with the fog of despair that sometimes hangs there." – John Seven, Vermicious

 

How to Be Happy by Eleanor Davis - CoverReview: How to Be Happy by Eleanor Davis

"That's Davis' sensibility. In her roundabout way, she dramatizes not the prospect of happiness, but the promise of it. Her natural territory is found in all the funny and tragic effects of that promise." – Etelka Lehoczky, NPR

Plug: Look who's sitting pretty at number 10 on the NY Times' Best Sellers List this week!

 

Weekly OCD 8.05.14
Written by Sonia Lei | Filed under OCDLucy KnisleyinterviewsGlenn BrayEleanor DavisDrew FriedmanCCICarol Swain 5 Aug 2014 11:00 AM

This week's summery, sun-warmed collection of Online Commentaries and Diversions:

Gast by Carol SwainReview: Gast by Carol Swain

"Woven through the pages, impressing lightly on Helen’s still child-like mind, are issues such as transgenderism and isolation, appearance and identity, the harsh truths surrounding the commercialisation of nature and the issue of suicide among struggling farmers." – Tom Murphy, Broken Frontier

 

How To Be Happy by Eleanor DavisReview: How To Be Happy by Eleanor Davis

"Davis notes in the book's opening pages that 'this is not a book about how to be happy,' and I agree. How to Be Happy is a book that shows people living with despair, grief, and unhappiness. It is a book about how people fail and sometimes succeed in calming the harsh storm inside ourselves." – Sequential State

Interview: Scout Books profiles Eleanor Davis: "Initially I think I tried to water down my stuff too much, which was a mistake. Now I try to be as much of my own voice as I can get away with. The art directors tell me when it’s too much. What I’ve found is that if I enjoy myself making a piece, people will respond to it. If I’m bored making a piece folks won’t like looking at it either."

 

Heroes of the Comics: Portraits of the Legends of Comic Books by Drew FriedmanReview: Heroes of the Comics: Portraits of the Legends of Comic Books by Drew Friedman

"Friedman is known for adroitly capturing gesture, mood, and psychological nuance in vivid portraits somehow combining elements of caricature and realism…Each of his portraits feels so alive, it is like being welcomed into each artist’s private world." – Steven Heller, The Atlantic

 

The Blighted Eye: Original Comic Art from the Glenn Bray CollectionReview: The Blighted Eye: Original Comic Art from the Glenn Bray Collection by various artists

"I knew that [Glenn Bray] was the first person to seek out and collect the work of the great Donald Duck comic book artist writer Carl Barks back in the 1960s, that he published some small books about grotesque-artist Basil Wolverton, and that he was the champion of forgotten genius Stanislav Szukalski…He was probably the first real comic book art collector, buying original work in an era when everyone else considered it to be worthless." – Mark Frauenfelder, Wink

 

  • Plug: Lucy Knisley's An Age of License made Publishers Weekly's list of Most Anticipated Books of Fall 2014!
  • Commentary: Comic Book Resources recaps Fantagraphics' SDCC Panel, "Fantagraphics Forward": "Groth said that what sets Fantagraphics apart from other comics publishers is the fact that 'almost everything we publish is written and drawn by the same person,' an approach which has contributed to defining the Fantagraphics aesthetic."
New Comics Day 7.30.14
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under New Comics DayEleanor DavisCarol Swain 30 Jul 2014 12:28 PM
This week's comic shop shipment is slated to include the following new titles. Read on to see what comics-blog commentators and web-savvy comic shops are saying about them (more to be added as they appear), check out our previews at the links, and contact your local shop to confirm availability. 

152-page color/b&w 7.75" x 10.125" hardcover • $24.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-740-6

"A mix of evocative, geometric watercolors and fluid pen-and-ink cartoons, How to Be Happy tells stories of sad people, lonely people, strong people, confident people, all trying to find a tiny bit of happiness in life...Davis' clever and sometimes jaw-droppingly beautiful artwork makes those stories feel real." - Dan Kois, Slate Book Review

"This collection of short stories about people desperately trying to suppress or embrace or just somehow deal with all the difficult emotions careening around in their brain just underscores what those who have seen Davis' work in scattered anthologies already suspected: that she is a tremendous talent, and one of the smartest voices working in comics today." - Chris Mautner, Robot 6  
 
Gast  
Gast
by Carol Swain

176-page black & white 7.5" x 10" softcover • $22.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-755-0 

"When she made her debut in the late 1980s, with a prolific burst of anthologised short stories and her own Way Out Strips comics, her unique style already seemed fully formed: spare, oblique, atmospheric and textured, characterised by an air of mystery and an a seam of dry, humour." –Tom Murphy, Broken Frontier
 
"I suspect this will be one of those wonderful slow-burners that, as you flip through each page slowly but inexorably draws you in and immerses you." –Richard Bruton, Forbidden Planet 











Gast by Carol Swain - Now in Stock!
Written by Sonia Lei | Filed under new releasesCarol Swain 28 Jul 2014 2:00 PM

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

Gast by Carol Swain - Cover

Gast
by Carol Swain

176-page black & white 7.5" x 10" softcover • $22.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-755-0

See Previews / Order Now

Helen is an amateur bird watcher and naturalist who lives in a rural community in Wales. When local farmer Bill tells Helen that a "rare bird" named Emrys killed himself at Cuddig farm, she decides to investigate. One of the dogs at the farm tells her, by way of explanation, that Emrys "had no feathers and couldn’t fly." She plucks an old cosmetic kit from a dumpster and discovers it belonged to Emrys. Inventorying the kit's contents, she finds a spent .12 gauge shotgun shell. Her attempt to learn more about Emrys turns into a journey of self-discovery and ultimately a hard-fought reconciliation with the world — as it is. Carol Swain's Gast is the rare kind of contemporary graphic novel that critics are conjuring when they exult over the promise of the art form — a philosophically mature vision, uniquely executed by an artist wholly in control of her craft. In Gast, Helen's inner life is slowly revealed through a mixture of naturalistic detail and phantasmagoric occurrences.

Gast by Carol Swain - Video/Photo Slideshow
Written by Sonia Lei | Filed under videopreviewsnew releasesCarol Swain 8 Jul 2014 5:00 PM

Gast
by Carol Swain

176-page black & white 7.5" x 10" softcover • $22.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-755-0

Ships in: July 2014 (subject to change) — Pre-Order Now

Helen is an amateur bird watcher and naturalist who lives in a rural community in Wales. When local farmer Bill tells Helen that a "rare bird" named Emrys killed himself at Cuddig farm, she decides to investigate. One of the dogs at the farm tells her, by way of explanation, that Emrys "had no feathers and couldn’t fly." She plucks an old cosmetic kit from a dumpster and discovers it belonged to Emrys. Inventorying the kit's contents, she finds a spent .12 gauge shotgun shell. Her attempt to learn more about Emrys turns into a journey of self-discovery and ultimately a hard-fought reconciliation with the world — as it is. Carol Swain's Gast is the rare kind of contemporary graphic novel that critics are conjuring when they exult over the promise of the art form — a philosophically mature vision, uniquely executed by an artist wholly in control of her craft. In Gast, Helen's inner life is slowly revealed through a mixture of naturalistic detail and phantasmagoric occurrences.

View Video & Photo Slideshow in New Window

Gast by Carol Swain - Cover

Gast by Carol Swain - First Look
Written by Sonia Lei | Filed under Coming AttractionsCarol Swain 3 Jun 2014 2:47 PM

Gast by Carol Swain - Cover

Gast by Carol Swain - Inside page

Advance copies of Carol Swain's Gast have arrived fresh off the printers, and we couldn't be more excited to give you a first glimpse inside this gorgeous book. Gast follows amateur naturalist and bird-watcher Helen as she investigates the suicide of a 'rare bird' named Emrys. In the process of unraveling this mysterious occurrence and the life of Emrys, Helen also goes on a journey of self-discovery.

We expect the book to hit the shelves by mid-August. Read an excerpt and pre-order your copy today!

Gast by Carol Swain - Excerpt
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under previewsComing AttractionsCarol Swain 19 May 2014 11:00 AM

The great Carol Swain is back with a new solo graphic novel due out in August. Gast is her longest story to date and continues the body of work that led Time Out to dub her "the Raymond Carver of British comics."

In our downloadable excerpt, which consists of 3 brief chapters, a young woman in the Welsh countryside observes swallows building a nest in the eaves of a barn and returns home for dinner, where she learns of the suicide of a "rare bird" at a neighboring farm. Being an avid birdwatcher, she makes plans to investigate the mystery.

For the rest of the story, pre-order your copy of the book today.

Gast by Carol Swain

Gast by Carol Swain - Cover Uncovered
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Coming AttractionsCarol Swain 23 Apr 2014 4:15 PM

Gast by Carol Swain

Moody, atmospheric, finely observed, shot through with post-punk tension... Carol Swain's comics voice is singular, and has been lauded by Alan Moore, Time, The Guardian, Time Out, and Publishers Weekly. We're excited to be bringing out her first solo graphic novel in several years, Gast, this Summer. Part mystery, part character study, part magical-realist fable, told through her quietly bold, tactile pencil artwork, Gast is a book that only Swain could create.

Look for our usual preview rollout over the weeks and months to come until the book's release in July or so; in the meantime, you can get in on the pre-sale now.

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