It's a honker today! Lots of good stuff out there:
• Review: Blogger Fionnchú considers the place of Alexander Theroux's Laura Warholic in the pantheon of "big, long, thick" maximalist novels (e.g. Wallace, Joyce, DeLillo, Pynchon)
• Review: The Tearoom of Despair pens a loving ode to The Comics Journal: "...[I]t remains the best magazine about comics I’ve ever had the pleasure to read, offering in-depth analysis that has changed my entire opinion of certain comics... And it has some of the best interviews with comic writers, artists and editors that have ever peen published in any medium... Overall, it is still an absolute pleasure to sit down with a new issue of The Comics Journal and read about the craft and love for the medium that is out there... It has recorded the history of comics with style and panache, has published the liveliest letter page in magazines and has been unfailing in its bid to raise comics as an art form."
• Review: Rob Clough has a typically thoughtful take on The Complete Peanuts 1971-1972: "The latest volume of The Complete Peanuts finds Charles Schulz still at his peak... a perfect blend of fantasy, whimsy, jokes, heartbreak, topical references and sturdy characterization."
• Blurb: The Seattle Times' roundup of notable new local books includes a mention of Humbug: "Includes satirical takes on highway congestion, time travel, consumer reports and perspiration."
• Preview: Fictional or not, The Rack's Lydia recommends Mother, Come Home by Paul Hornschemeier ("Paul Hornschemeier's comics always make me miserable, and in a good way. This is a new edition of my favorite work he's done so far.") and Ho! The Morally Questionable Cartoons of Ivan Brunetti ("I like him a lot, but I think that Johnny Ryan should be cutting Ivan Brunetti a check every month and this collection of gag cartoons will show you why") from this week's new comics
• Preview: The Comics Reporter, same tune, different lyrics: on Boody, "Some of the greatest, oddest comics of all time"; on Ho!, "relentlessly naughty... I like these quite a bit"; and on Supermen!, "I liked this book quite a bit... a bunch of frequently weird, hallucinatory adventure fantasies"
• Preview: Atomic Romance also anticipates Supermen!: "In your face golden age stories by some of the greats of comic book history... I love this because it’s a time of experimentation. The writers and artists are learning their craft and there aren’t any established rules yet. Sure to please fans of I Shall Destroy All the Civilized Planets."
• Preview: Yet more blurbage about this week's new comics, this time from Blog @ Newsarama: on Boody, "comics super-genius Boody Rogers’ work... is almost as beautiful as it is weird. Or almost as weird as it is beautiful. At any rate, it’s really weird and really beautiful"; on Supermen!: "[A] must-read... I can’t recommend this one highly enough"
• Interview: Publishers Weekly chats with C. Tyler about her new book You'll Never Know, Book 1; of the book they say "[Tyler] recreates the experience of thought, in which past and present, parents and children, relationships and variations of the self co-mingle, intersect, and layer over one another. Evocative words and images appear in the background or the margins of Tyler’s panels, drawing out subtleties of the story, or clueing us in to unspoken emotional tones."
• Review: Entertainment Weekly gives Supermen! an A-, saying "Supermen!, this anthology lovingly assembled by Greg Sadowski, makes the case that these earliest endeavors by the future creators of masterworks like The Spirit, Captain America, and Plastic Man were more than crude throat-clearings — they were unfiltered manifestations of psyche, lousy with erotic charge and questionable politics."
• Review: Graphic Novel Reporter on Abandoned Cars by Tim Lane: "Abandoned Cars doesn’t arrive at a clear-cut solution to the American Myth, but Lane’s effort to understand it for himself is beautifully presented... every last detail of the book seems perfectly devised by Lane to bring the stories together and make the reader join the inner dialogue on the subject of the Great American Mythological Drama. It is a brilliant debut."
• Things to see (and buy if you're filthy rich): The Daily Cartoonist reports that the original art for the April 1, 1973 Sunday Peanuts is up for auction. Go bid, or save yourself a few thou by collecting the strip in The Complete Peanuts 1972-1973, coming this Fall
Click here to read the University of Cincinnati's spotlight on faculty member C. Tyler and her development of an innovative program that helps combat veterans and their families to tell their stories using the medium of comics, with the help of Tyler and her students. The program was inspired by Tyler's latest work, the 3-part graphic memoir You'll Never Know, wherein Tyler recounts her father's WWII combat experiences and the impact the war had on him and his family. You'll Never Know Book 1: A Good and Decent Man is due from Fantagraphics Books later this Spring.
Carol Tyler is interviewed at newsarama about her forthcoming graphic memoir, YOU'LL NEVER KNOW, which is certain to be one of the most talked-about graphic novels of 2009. I know Mike already linked to this but it wasn't working earlier and Tyler's awesome enough that it should be called out.
Our annual Best of the Year issue includes interviews with critics' faves Lynda Barry, Frank Quitely, Dash Shaw, David Hajdu and Mike Luckovich, as well as Best Picks of 2008 from an all-star lineup including Kim Deitch, Anders Nilsen, Emmanuel Guibert, John Porcellino, Mark Newgarden, Johnny Ryan, Paul Karasik and others. Plus, a first look at C. Tyler's upcoming project You'll Never Know, a gallery of comics from Finland's best young talents, and more.
Every day in July we're spotlighting books from our month-long Hidden Gems Sale, wherein we're featuring some of our under-the-radar backlist titles and encouraging you to try them by offering them at a nice discount of 25% off!
Today's spotlight is on Carol Tyler, an acclaimed cartoonist whose work has garnered praise from Studs Terkel and Robert Crumb as well as a 2006 Eisner Award nomination.
Ever have a job you really hated, wanted to kill your boss, or prayed for that winning lottery ticket to deliver you from the drudgery of yet another day at the salt mines? If so, then you'll love this collection of ten stories all about slaving at the bottom of the employment food chain. Stories include "Fool of the Arts" (horrendous experiences working at a museum), "Book Beat" (you'd think working at a book store would be an ideal job, wouldn't you?), "Job Abuse" (in which Carol survives a framing shop job where she's stabbed through the foot by another employee) — as well as "Detour of Duty" (being introduced to jobs at a tender age) and much more. The Job Thing also includes memories of spectacularly awful jobs suffered by several famous cartoonists in leaner times. This book is a bracing introduction to Tyler's funny and often scathing voice.
72-page black & white 8" x 11" softcover regularly $7.95 • ON SALE $5.96 Order Now
This book presents the biggest, richest and most delightful collection of Tyler's work to date featuring many new and previously unpublished works. In "Migrant Mother," Tyler tells the grueling story of a cross-country trip with the flu and her terrible-twos toddler using her trademark combination of rueful humor and empathy. The full-color "Just A Bad Seed" is a meditation on a problem child who might not be such a problem after all, while "The Return of Mrs. Kite" chronicles a family crisis — how her widowed grandmother fell in with a beau of questionable character. "Gone" (also in full color) is a stirring meditation on all kinds of loss, and "Why I'm A-gin' Southern Men" is a classic rant that dissects that particular breed of male — or at least a certain subspecies of "ex"es — with pitiless wit. Other stories include "Sweet Miss Lee" (a reminiscence of an immigrant roommate and her fate), "There's Something Wrong with a Perfect Lawn" (a tale of suburban obsessiveness), "Little Crosshatch Mind" (where artistic impulses come from), and "Uncovered Property" (discovering the power of sexuality at an early age). Tyler works equally well in delicately crisp black-and-white penstrokes and lushly watercolored paintings (this book features over 30 pages of her stunning full-color work). All told, the three-dozen stories here cement Tyler's reputation as a cartoonist to be reckoned with.
136-page b&w/color 8" x 10" hardcover regularly $28.95 • ON SALE $21.71 Order Now
If you're not a bookseller or librarian, skip this post, but the new issue of Booklist is the annual spotlight on graphic fiction, and there's some very useful stuff for those building a core collection of GNs. The issue includes an interview with James Sturm, an "honor roll of female pioneers" in comics, and a look back at a lifetime reading "the Funnies" courtesy columnist Michael Cart. There are a number of top 10 lists, reviews, etc. as well.
Here's a cool story from USA TODAY about the increasing number of comics-related courses offered at the university level, focusing on Carol Tyler's program at the University of Cincinnati but also other places like the Center for Cartoon Studies.