This year is a full blow-out at the Small Press Expo at Bethesda, Maryland. On Saturday, September 13th (11am-7pm) and Sunday, September 14th (Noon-6pm) prepare to be blown away by the sheer talent at SPX. Held at the grand Bethesda North Marriot Hotel and Conference Center (5701 Marinelli Road, Bethesda, MD 20852), Fantagraphics has lined up an impressive group of cartoonists to shock and amaze you! Stop by tables W57-61, RIGHT by the front doors for the best graphic novels and comics of the show.
Saturday Signing Schedule
11-12pm Tom Kazcynski + Jonah Kinigstein + Drew Weing 12-1:30pm Jonah Kinigstein + Simon Hanselmann 1:30-3pm - Eleanor Davis + Simon Hanselmann 3-5pm - Ed Piskor + Drew Friedman + Jon Barli 5-7pm - Conor Stechschulte + Chuck Forsman + Jesse Reklaw
Sunday Signing Schedule Noon-1pm - Eleanor Davis + Drew Friedman + Jonah Kinigstein 1pm-2pm - Eleanor Davis + Jonah Kinigstein + Conor Stechschulte 2-4pm - Simon Hanselmann + Ed Piskor + Drew Weing 4-6pm - Simon Hanselmann + Jesse Reklaw + Jon Barli
And bring your spiffiest clothing, we have a lot of books up for the Ignatz awards this year. You can vote ALL day Saturday and directly after the Ignatz Awards in the White Flint Auditorium, you are an invited guest to the Simon Hanselmann wedding. Yes, no gift needed other than your presence. From about 10-10:30pm, there will be live music, a full wedding party, tears and tissues everywhere!
12:30 - 1:30 Sex, Humor and the Grotesque
Eleanor Davis (How to Be Happy), Julia Gfrörer (Black is the Color), and Meghan Turbitt (#foodporn) have all produced comics that touch upon events, experiences, sensations and feelings that contemporary social discourse often fails to engage in meaningful or productive terms. This group of artists will discuss the intersections of humor, anxiety, sexuality and parody in their work in a panel discussion moderated by Katie Skelly (Operation Margarine). White Flint Auditorium
2:30 - 3:30pm The Closed Caption Comics Legacy In 2004 a group of students at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) formed the loosely-defined art group Closed Caption Comics, their collective activity centered around an eponymous comics anthology which ran for nine increasingly ambitious issues. Ten years later, the members of the group are productively focused on individual projects. Several of them will discuss their common roots and current work, including Ryan Cecil Smith (S.F. #3), Molly Colleen O'Connell (Strip Mall, Poety Unlimited), Noel Freibert (Weird Magazine), and Conor Stechschulte (The Amateurs). Moderated by Brian Nicholson. White Flint Auditorium
3:00-4:00pm Micro-Press and Beyond For the past year, Robyn Chapman has been documenting the movement in comics towards very small publishing, otherwise know as micro-publishing. Robyn will briefly share findings from her upcoming publication (The Tiny Report: Micro-Press Yearbook 2013) before speaking with a range of publishers-from the micro-press to traditional small press-to discuss how they print, sell, and distribute their comics. Panelists will include Chuck Forsman (Oily Comics), Keenan Marshall Keller (Drippy Bone Books), Justin Skarhus and Raighne Hogan (2D Cloud), and Anne Koyama (Koyama Press). White Oak Room
5:00-6:00pm Drew Friedman's Heroes and Vaudevillains Drew Friedman is an iconic cartoonist and illustrator whose intensely rendered, caricatural work has appeared in RAW, Spy, The New Yorker, the New York Observer, and countless other venues. His Old Jewish Comedians trilogy of books celebrated entertainers who have attracted Friedman's fascination in a series of lush portraits. His new book, Heroes of the Comics, features eighty-four portraits of landmark figures from the history of comic books. Friedman will discuss his work in this special spotlight session moderated by Rob Clough (The Comics Journal). White Oak Room
6:00-7:00pm Inkstuds Live At this year's SPX, two cross-country tours explosively collide! Inkstuds host Robin McConnell has taken his popular comics-focused radio show on the road with special guest co-host Brandon Graham in tow, in a series of live Inkstuds programs. In Bethesda, Michael DeForge (Lose #6), Simon Hanselmann (Megahex), and Patrick Kyle (Distance Mover) will kick off their own book tour live on stage as McConnell and Graham's special guests. White Oak Room
Sunday Panels 2:00 - 3:00pm Charles Burns Q+A Charles Burns is among the world's most distinguished cartoonists. His work first gained notice in the pages of RAW Magazine in the 1980s. His meticulously drawn early stories reflected upon and transformed the tropes of historical genre comics. Burns then spent ten years drawing his graphic novel masterpiece Black Hole, which dissolved literal horror into the true horror of everyday life. At SPX he will debut Sugar Skull, which concludes the serialized narrative in his new trilogy of full color comics albums. Burns will discuss his work in a spotlight session moderated by Alvin Buenaventura. White Oak Room
2:30 - 3:30 Eleanor Davis: How to Be Happy Eleanor Davis (How to be Happy) will share an autobiographical presentation that will have something to do with finding truth in fiction and the strange passions inside an author/reader relationship. Moderator Tom Spurgeon (The Comics Reporter) will follow Davis's presentations with questions about her work, and will also take questions from the audience. White Flint Auditorium
Follow Megg the witch, Mogg the cat, their friend Owl, and Werewolf Jones as they struggle unsuccessfully with their depression, drug use, sexuality, poverty, lack of ambition, and their complex feelings about each other. It's a comedy! This is the first collection of Hanselmann's work, freed from its cumbersome Internet prison, and sure to be one of the most talked about graphic novels of 2014, featuring all of the "classic" Megg and Mogg episodes from the past five years as well as over 70 pages of all-new material.
In stores now, $29.99
Bumf Vol.1: I Buggered the Kaiser by Joe Sacco - Sacco has long been known and praised for his work in comics journalism, with such titles as Palestine, Safe Area Gorazde, and The Fixer garnering widespread acclaim in The New York Times, TIME magazine, NPR, and The Los Angeles Times Book Review. Now, Sacco is returning to his satirist and underground cartoonist rootsThe acclaimed cartoonist returns to his underground roots, indulging his love of satire and cartooning in this free-wheeling one-man anthology that Sacco promises "will go where it needs to go, and do what it needs to do."
In stores November, $24.99.
Hip Hop Family Tree Vol. 2 by Ed Piskor - Book 2 covers the early years of 1981-1983, when Hip Hop makes its big transition from the parks and rec rooms to downtown clubs and vinyl records. While many performers use flamboyant personas to stand out from the audience, a young group called RUN-DMC comes on the scene to take things back to the streets. This volume introduces superstars like NWA, The Beastie Boys, Doug E Fresh, KRS One, ICE T, and early Public Enemy, with cameos by Dolemite, LL Cool J, Notorious BIG, and New Kids on the Block(?!)!
In stores now, $27.99.
Hip Hop Family Tree Box Set Vol. 1: 1975-1983 by Ed Piskor - To celebrate the critical success of the first two volumes of Piskor's unprecedented history of Hip Hop, we are offering the two books in a mind-blowingly colorful slipcase, drawn and designed by the artist, featuring exclusive all-new cover art on each volume. Also included is the box set exclusive 24-page comic Hip Hop Family Tree #300, Piskor's elegant reflection on the ‘90s confluence of hip hop and comics, told in a perfect parody/pastiche/homage to that era's Image comics.
In stores November, $59.99.
The Lonesome Go by Tim Lane - The Great American Mythological Drama depicted by way of rich mixtures of myths and facts, dreams and reality, belief and disbelief, throughout a haunted landscape populated by the ghosts of a complex and rich fictional tapestry. You'll witness a young man's dubious quest to discover the myth of the protagonist from an obscure vintage comic strip; encounter sociopathic hobos in boxcars and misled young men whose facial pores sprout worms and who throw up babies into gas station toilets; visit modern "Hoovervilles"
In stores October, $39.99
Heroes of the Comics: Portraits of the Legends of Comic Books by Drew Friedman - Featuring approximately 75 full-color portraits and essays lovingly rendered and chosen by Drew Friedman. Heroes includes the full spectrum of American comics pioneers and legends of the ‘30s to the ‘50s: publishers, editors, and artists like Stan Lee, Harvey Kurtzman, Will Eisner, Al Jaffee, Jack Davis, Will Elder, Bill Gaines, and more. It's a Hall of Fame of comic book history from the man Boing Boing calls "America's greatest living portrait artist!"
In stores now, $34.99
Jim by Jim Woodring - Jim is a mind-bending collection of all of Woodring's best non-Frank creative work - comics stories, prose stories, drawings, and paintings all centered around Woodring's cartoon alter ego. This fictional doppelganger has for 30 years inhabited Woodring's alternate universe where shifting, phantasmagoric landscapes, abrupt, hallucinatory visual revelations, and unexpected eruptions of uninhibited verbal self-flagellation are commonplace. Collected here for the first time, Jim is a bounty of Woodring's inspired artistry.
In stores now, $29.99.
Gast by Carol Swain- In rural Wales, Helen, an amateur bird watcher, investigates the apparent suicide of a "rare bird" named Emrys. 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. Helen's inner life is slowly revealed through a mixture of naturalistic detail and phantasmagoric occurrences. A philosophically mature vision, uniquely executed by an artist wholly in control of her craft, Swain touches on issues of identity, transgenderism and isolation.
In Stores now, $22.99
Doctors by Dash Shaw - This new graphic novel from acclaimed cartoonist Dash Shaw (Bottomless Belly Button, BodyWorld, New School is his most taut book to dateDr. Cho's device, the Charon, allows entry to the afterlife to bring the dead back to life. But the dying unconsciously create the afterlife they want in their minds - what if they don't want to come back? Part science-fiction thriller, part family drama, part morality play for the 21st century, and quite possibly Shaw's best book to date.
In Stores October, $16.99.
Vapor by Max - In Vapor, the award-winning Spanish cartoonist Max (best known for his 2006 book Bardín the Superrealist) once again engages in delightful philosophical mind games, starring another wildly stylized and endearing protagonist - this time deploying a striking, crisp black and white graphic style perfectly suited for this desert-based fantasia.
by Richard Sala - A suite of related short mysteries and thrills, all depicted in Sala's trademark colorful watercolor washes and sharp, detailed line-work. Rising from the crumbling pages of some forgotten (and nonexistent) pulp magazine comes the diabolical villain Super-Enigmatix. Following in the bloody footsteps of master criminals such as Fantomas, Fu Manchu, or Professor Moriarty, Super-Enigmatix is ruthless, cunning, and thoroughly evil. In stores November, $19.99
An Age of License by Lucy Knisley - An Age of License is Lucy Knisley's (French Milk, Relish) comics travel memoir recounting her charming (and romantic!) tour of Europe and Scandinavia. Featuring her hallmark mouth-watering drawings and descriptions of food, Knisley's experiences are colored by anxieties, introspective self-inquiries - about traveling alone in unfamiliar countries, and about her life - that many young adults will relate to. It's is an Eat, Pray, Love for the alternative comics fan.
In Stores now, $19.99
Walt Disney's Uncle Scrooge and Donald Duck: The Son of the Sun (The Don Rosa Library Vol. 1) by Don Rosa - The Richest Duck in the World is back - and so are noisy nephew Donald, wunderkinder Huey, Dewey, and Louie, and rascally richnik Flintheart Glomgold! We're proud to present our first complete, chronological book of Duck adventures by contemporary fan favorite Don Rosa, who drew a whopping two decades' worth of ripping Scrooge and Donald yarns! It's at a price even Scrooge would consider a bargain!
In stores September, $29.99.
Set to Sea by Drew Weing - The cartoonist's nautical debut graphic novel gets a makeover for its paperback edition. A big lug and aspiring poet gets shanghaied aboard a clipper bound for Hong Kong and learns to live - and love - life on the sea. Every page is a single panel, every panel is a stunning illustration, every illustration a part of a larger whole that tells a story in the deft language of cartooning. In stores October, $14.99
Waiting for the Great Pumpkinby Charles M. Schulz - Linus and his wait for the Great Pumpkin have been a pop culture touchstone for nearly 50 years thanks to the animated television special ("I got a rock"), and it all started in the classic Peanuts strips from 1959-1962 collected in this affordable, fun-sized gift book.
In Stores now, $9.99
Emperor's New Clothes by Jonah Kinigstein - an 80 page oversized landscape format softcover collecting Kinigstein's political cartoons inveighing against the trends of abstract and modern art through the 20th. Meticulously rendered in pen and ink in the tradition of George Townshend and James Gilray, the elaborate compositions skewer artists, curators, and critics. $30.00.
Fukitor by Jason Karns - Reprinted from the artist's self published zine, the book is a 144 page compilation of full color comics that reside uneasily between a straight and satirical response to the violence, xenophobia, and sexual and racial stereotypes found in pop culture.
NYC: The Javits Center is playing host to the 2014 industry trade show, Book Expo of America, the premier literary showcase. And Fantagraphics Associate Editor, Eric Reynolds will be manning the booth and on hand to discuss our exciting new releases like Hip Hop Family Tree Book Two, and upcoming titles, including the innumerable ZAP! collection. Begins at 9:30 am. (More details)
NYC: The second day of Book Expo America is underway, starting bright and early at 8 am! (More details)
Saturday, May 31th
Chicago, IL: Join Fantagraphics and a slew of our favorite creators for the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo (CAKE)! Special guest, Tony Millionaire will be in attending and giving a special conversation with friend of Fanta and comics, Caitlin McGurk. Panel will be on site, beginning at 12 noon. Don't miss these wonderful exhibiting artists either: Julia Gfrorer, Lucy Knisley, Charles Forsman's Oily Comics, and Noah Van Sciver! Doors open to this FREE event at 11 am. (More details)
NYC: In tandem with the Book Expo of America, the final day of the show will open to all consumers and books lovers with Book Con! Wander the show floor, check out our gorgeous display, and let Eric dazzle you with our diverse and beautiful collection. All day tickets are $30, available here. (More details)
Sunday, June 1st
Waxahachie, TX: Esther Pearl Wastson is fixin' for a real good time at her hometown art show and signing at the Webb Gallery! Debuting original paintings by the queen of '80s teen, Watson will also be on hand to sign your beloved copies of the fresh Unlovable 3! Come on down between 4-7 pm, ya'll. (More details)
Chicago, IL: We're back for the second day of CAKE to bring you all of your alternative comics needs. Doors open again at 11 am, and today brings you another Millionaire filled panel 12 noon called "Seduction of the Innocent with friends Liz Prince and Tucker Stone. Don't miss this! (More details)
Next weekend, April 5th and 6th at the regal 69th Regiment Armory Fantagraphics will be participating and doing a little dance for the MoCCA Arts Fest. Gary Groth will be presiding on his court with Frank Santoro at the Fantagraphics tables for MoCCA fest on April 5-6th. We'll be on the slight right just as you enter the convention at tables A20-A23!
Two butchers arrive at work to find their shop empty of meat and their minds empty of how to do their job. As customers arrive, events become increasingly disastrous. A surreal, debut graphic novella of horror and humor with one huge, hanging question. This often hilarious, enigmatic, and uncomfortable book establishes Stechschulte as an exciting new talent.
He's back! Now in his 30s and married with child, onetime slacker hero Buddy Bradley gets a "real" job, shaves his head, dons an eyepatch, quits his "real" job and buys the local dump - because what better place to raise a toddler? Peter Bagge's iconic character is to alternative comics what Homer Simpson has been to television animation over the past quarter-century: a generation-defining slacker and the greatest comedic character of its form and era.
This 32 page floppy comic is a sweet & sour, sad & funny story that follows the adventures of Annie and Verti as they shoot homemade movies for YouTube, guerilla-style, and face some unexpected consequences. What could possibly go wrong? A one-shot dose of humor and melancholy from the creator of New School, BodyWorld, and Bottomless Belly Button.
Summer vacation is here and Tammy Pierce is back with more sometimes ordinary, often humiliating, occasionally poignant, and usually hilarious exploits from the pages of Bust magazine! Her hopes, dreams, agonies, and defeats are brought to vivid, comedic life by Watson's lovingly grotesque drawings, filled with all the eighties essentials - too much mascara, leg warmers with heels, and huge hair, etc.
Vol. 1 (paperback) by Charles M. Schulz This first volume, covering the first two and a quarter years of the strip, features hundreds of strips rarely reprinted before this series. Three major cast members - Schroeder, Lucy, and Linus - initially show up as infants and only "grow" into their final "mature" selves as the months go by. Even Snoopy debuts as a puppy!
Friday night be sure to check out Robert Williams' Mr. Bitchin', a documentary about his career, showing at SVA's Beatrice Theater in collaboration with the Society of Illustrators.
2:00 Drinking Ink: Art Spiegelman and Joost Swarte in Conversation (Room One) Art Spiegelman and Joost Swarte have a long association, dating back to the earliest days of Spiegelman and Françoise Mouly's RAW Magazine, to which Swarte was a frequent contributor. Both artists have distinguished themselves with artwork both witty and profound, both have produced expressive comics and striking single images, and both have worked in multiple media including architecture and performance. Together, the pair will discuss their careers, their shared histories, comics and more in a conversation moderated by Bill Kartalopoulos. (90 minutes)
3:30 Drew Friedman Presents Old Jewish Comedians (Room One) Drew Friedman is an iconic cartoonist and illustrator whose intensely rendered, caricatural work first gained notice in the pages of publications including RAW and Spy, and whose illustrations regularly appear on the front page of the New York Observer. His upcoming book, Heroes of the Comics, will feature portraits of cartooning legends. Currently the subject of an exhibit at the Society of Illustrators, Friedman will discuss his Old Jewish Comedians series of books in this special presentation, revealing the concept and process behind these books, as well as their reception among the "Old Jewish Comedians" themselves. Broadcasting legend Joe Franklin will be co-hosting this auspicious panel.
1:00 Robert Williams Q+A (Room Two) Robert Williams has enjoyed a diverse and profoundly influential career expressing a singular artistic vision. Emerging from the West Coast hot rod scene (where he produced graphics for Ed "Big Daddy" Roth), Williams produced some of the finest underground comix of his era in the pages of Zap. Williams proceeded to produce a body of intense, phantasmagorical paintings and jumpstarted the so-called "lowbrow" art movement, founding the influential Juxtapoz Magazine in 1994. He will discuss his career in comics and fine art with critic and curator Carlo McCormick (Paper Magazine).
2:00 How Comics Are Queer (Room Two) As long as there have been comics there have been queer cartoonists. Comics that authentically engaged queer experience in America emerged in the radical underground comix milieu of the 1960s and '70s, fueled by the social liberation movements of the era. Comics' status in American culture echoes queer experience: once marginalized, now accepted, but still contested-while some of the most acclaimed comics of the day speak to and from queer experience. Howard Cruse, Edie Fake, Justin Hall and L. Nichols will consider the historical and contemporary intersections of queer experience and comics with moderator Margaret Galvan (The Graduate Center, City University of New York).
SUNDAY PANELS: 1:00 Comics, Illustration and the Conceptual Image (Room One) What does it mean to express an abstract idea in a concrete drawing? What is the difference between an idea that can be expressed in a single image and one that requires sequential exposition? Internationally acclaimed artists Marion Fayolle (In Pieces), Joost Swarte (Is That All There Is?), and Brecht Vandenbroucke (White Cube), work in both comics and illustration, addressing subtle emotional and intellectual concepts in each form. They will consider these questions and more in conversation with New York Times Art Director Alexandra Zsigmond.
Boy oh boy, all the boys are signing at Hub Comics next weekend. Join Paul Hornschemeier, Charles Forsman and NBM's Jesse Lonergan on March 29th for a comics signing from 2-6pm. You can pick up Paul's new Artist Authors Thinkers Directors, a self-portrait through one hundred portraits, this sketchbook features the creators who shaped his (and many others') artistic views. And don't forget Forsman's new graphic novella about two buds on a road trip, Celebrated Summer, ranked #1 on The A.V. Clubs Best Graphic Novels and Art Comics of 2013!
Not only can you get your books signed by these folks, but you can also catch some panels throughout the weekend, particularly on Saturday, on the lower level of the Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel. Such as:
• 1:00 PM // The World of Harvey Kurtzman: Denis Kitchen on the life and art of the incredible Harvey Kurtzman, creator of Mad magazine, Little Annie Fannie, Frontline Combat, Help Magazine and much more.
• 4:00 PM // The Neat Stuff in Mind of Peter Bagge: Funny book creator Peter Bagge in conversation with Jon B. Cooke.
There's some other panels, but y'know, those are clearly the best.
And, just when you think it can't get better: performing at the Comicon After-Party on Saturday night, it's The Julie Ruin, a project from Kathleen Hanna, former lead singer of Bikini Kill and Le Tigre! Holy crap!
The Asbury Park Comicon runs from 10 AM to 6 PM each day at the Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel, located at 1401 Ocean Blvd. Visit their website for travel help, including the tip: "Have some self-respect -- don't take the bus."
London • Valentine's Day 2014 SEQUENTIAL, the graphic novel storefront and reader app focused on literary graphic novels, has announced that it is releasing titles by legendary art comics and graphic novel publisher Fantagraphics Books. The first tranche of titles, released on Valentine's Day, includes essential work from Fantagraphics flagship title Love and Rockets in the form of Jaime Hernandez's seminal Locas series, which tells the tales of Maggie and Hopey and a unique cast of characters.
Fantagraphics associate publisher Eric Reynolds said, "SEQUENTIAL's efforts to curate a quality selection of non-mainstream digital comics and graphic novels is something that we can get behind; we're delighted to have our titles available on their app."
SEQUENTIAL was released in August 2013 and is focused on book format art comics and literary graphic novels. It strongly rejects including superhero fare and has been offering titles from UK publishers Jonathan Cape, Knockabout, Myriad Editions, SelfMadeHero and Blank Slate Books. It has recently started adding major US-based graphic novel publishers to its list.
SEQUENTIAL founder Russell Willis said, "We are really thrilled to be able to add Fantagraphics titles to the app. When we started out we were driven by a vision of including the best work in the world, untainted by superheroes, and having comics and graphic novels from Fantagraphics available on SEQUENTIAL is a key part of making that vision a reality."
The first tranche of titles includes Locas #1, #2 and #3 (Maggie the Mechanic, The Girl from H.O.P.P.E.R.S. and Perla La Loca) by Jaime Hernandez, Hip Hop Family Tree by Ed Piskor, The Left Bank Gang and I Killed Adolf Hitler by Jason, and TEOTFW by Charles Forsman. Work by Gilbert Hernandez and other Fantagraphics favourites will follow shortly.
In addition the app features the work of Alan Moore, Brian Bolland, David Lloyd, Eddie Campbell, Ellen Lindner, Hunt Emerson, Isabel Greenberg, Nick Abadzis, Rutu Modan, Winshluss and many, many more.
The best-seasoned pan that your friends accidentally cleaned with soap of Online Commentaries and Diversions:
• Review: Comics Bulletin looks at Charles Forsman's latest: "Celebrated Summer works as an excellent examination of what remains unspoken between close friends and what it means to feel trapped in your own skin." –Geoffrey Lapid, Comics Bulletin
• Review: Santa Barbara News Press in PRINT, baby reviews "Unexpectedly, almost secretly lovely, Celebrated Summer has a sadness and listlessness at its core that resonates much louder...Forsman gets in and out quickly, not making more of this tale of suburban apathy than needs making, which only makes his story that much more poignant." –Katie Haegele, Santa Barbara News Press
• Review: Publishers Weekly looks at Celebrated Summer "Simpler and less dramatic than his previous, similarly themed TEOTFW, Forsman has built another excellent account of growing up via outsider behavior."
• Review: Celebrated SummerhitsBest of 2013 Comics on Comics Bulletin. "This is a bildungsroman of the narcissist, psychotic, detached. It is the psychic havoc of the perpetually doomed; the coming of age story of those striding forth into world where the connection between cause and effect is a spectator sport, where emotional content is gauged by 'hits' and the chance to go viral…And it will break you." –Daniel Elkin, Comics Bulletin
• Review:Locust Moon Comics looks at Celebrated Summer "...rendered in Forsman's punk-Hergé micron style, where the clear line of Kevin Huizenga meets the scratchy cross-hatching of Chester Brown... where TEOTFW was cold and harsh, preserving the mystery of its semi-sociopathic protagonists, CELEBRATED SUMMER is resignedly warm and humane." –Josh O'Neill, Locust Moon
• Review: "Forsman is one of the strongest and most vital young cartoonists currently putting pen to paper-not to mention one of the most fully, uniquely realized...Owing far more to Chester Brown's exquisite linework and Charles M. Schulz's deceptive lushness than to Porcellino's piercing iconography, Forsman's efforts on Celebrated Summer nonetheless radiate a singular soulfulness." –Jason Heller, The A.V. Club
• Plug: Broken Frontier "Completed before Forsman began work on TEOTFW, [Celebrated Summer] promises to be an intriguing tale of youth banging up against the world of adulthood." -Tom Murphy, Broken Frontier
• Review: A review of Celebrated Summeroriginally published in City Pages. "Like the structure of the song, where before the bridge all seems wondrous, loud and anticipatory, Forsman comes through with his own sullen, downtrodden acoustic lick to unsettle everything and beg his reader to question." -Alec Barry, City Pages
• Review: Page 45 "Beautifully drawn in a thin, fragile line with lots of intricate crosshatching and stylistic nods towards Trudeau…and Huizenga, this is a very quiet book..." –SLH, Page 45
• Review: Rob Clough looks at TEOTFW "He has a knack for giving voice to a certain sense of ennui and desperation for connection and meaning, yet manages to do so in a way that avoids navel-gazing and static storytelling...there are simply no extraneous lines to be found in this comic. That's a mark of a confident artist hitting his stride, and TEOTFW feels like Forsman's comics PhD project." –Rob Clough, The Comics Journal
• Review: On Forsman's The End of the Fucking World "...punches aren't pulled for the cartoonist's Fantagraphics debut, a study in sociopathology with shifting narrative perspectives and artwork that any amateur comics scholar will quickly point out owes a lot to Schulz' shaky line." –Brian Heater, BoingBoing
• Interview: Alex Dueben interviews Chuck Forsman about The End of the Fucking World on Comic Book Resources. "I like to set up a puzzle so that the reader has to do a little bit of work and put the dots together themselves. I don't like to over-explain everything or give everything away. I just think it's more interesting that way."
• Plug:The AV Club lists Celebrated Summer at #1 of the top 10 Graphic Novels and Art Comics of 2013. "Chuck Forsman is a cartoonist with a talent for expressing the emotional turbulence of adolescence and early adulthood...With an art style that combines the animated simplicity of Charles M. Schulz and the detailed linework of Chester Brown, Forsman establishes himself as one of the most promising alternative-comic creators." –Oliver Sava, The A. V. Club
• Review: "Forsman is a master of silences - few cartoonists are as articulate with words left unsaid - and this utterly recognizable and deceptively simple story speaks volumes without saying much at all." -Josh, Locust Moon Comics
• Plug: Celebrated Summer makes Froh's Best of 2013 list. "The way they regard each other rings so true of that age, that mix of boredom and wonder. Haven't we all stared at ourselves in the mirror the way Wolf does?" -Kelly Froh, Atomic Blog
• Review: "Forsman's The End of the Fucking World is both fatalistic and poignant...one of the greatest strengths of TEOTFW: Forsman has the ability to make protagonists who are capable of committing quite monstrous acts sympathetic, and even tragic, throughout."–Andy Oliver, Broken Frontier
• Review: TEOTFW on Mental Floss "This tale of young love is reminiscent of Terrence Malick's classic film Badlands in both its content and its sparse storytelling style. In fact, Forsman's whole low budget approach to making the comic gives it a mood similar to a low budget film despite the deliberate comic strip feel of his cartooning."–Rich Barrett, Mental Floss
• Review: "What is disguised as a rote teen disillusionment melodrama about two kids acting out their Bonnie & Clyde moment is in reality a powerful story about sociopaths, abandonment, cults, crime both petty and murderous, and unquenchable emotional hollowness...The End of the Fucking World is a superb graphic novel, poetic and gripping, a pure crime-noir page-turner that will stop you dead in your tracks and leave its mark on you like a hot needle burned into the skin in the mourning light." –Jeffrey O.Gustafson, Comics Pusher
• Review: "Forsman, a graduate of Vermont's Center for Cartoon Studies, has a solid grasp of comics storytelling and his lightly drawn page compositions display an intriguing degree of variety...Forsman's pair of nihilists are shown to be the results of terrible parenting and are so estranged from human society that they have difficulty feeling emotions and pursuing a viable relationship together, much less to recognise when other people are not psychopaths." -James Romberger, Hooded Utilitarian
• Review: The Comics Journal "Gfrörer's sense of pacing is superb-her panels advance patiently, so that the dread of her endings has the controlled pluck of a Twlight Zone episode…Black is the color of Gfrörer's humor." -Nicole Rudick, The Comics Journal
• Review: "Like Black, [Gfrörer's] body of work to date is offbeat and well wrought. Far more importantly than being enjoyable, it is also remarkably subversive.Black Is the Color is marked by an impressive poeticism in pacing, dark and intricate drawing, and a refreshing contemporary spin on gothic storytelling. It also marks a thrillingly mature period in Gfrörer's career." –Joshua Michael Demaree, LA Review of Books
• Review:Black is the Color on Robot 6 "Romantic, tragic, elegiac and beautiful, one could scarcely ask for more from a book, comic or otherwise." -J. Caleb Mozzocco, Robot 6
• Review: "the scratchy intensity of Gfrorer's line is the key to the book's success...Every line is an assault, from the tiny stilettos that comprise the dense waves to the darkness of night that is almost invasive…In a story where death is a certainty, that kind of dignity represents a kind of triumph, one more authentic than if Gfrorer had let the happy ending be real." –Rob Clough, High Low Comics
• Review: Page 45 on Black Is the Color by Julia Gfrörer. "The whole book is conducted in this simple, easily accessible format as well as style. There's not just a wobbly fragility to the lines, there is a bleakness to them as well - for it is cold at sea - even during sensual embraces." -SLH, Page 45
• Review: Some fans have a way with words "If Dante were alive today, he would say, 'Yes!' in thunder toJohnny Ryan's Prison Pit series. Endlessly inventive, repulsive, retributive, and beautiful, Prison Pit is funny and foul, an eternal nightmare that deserves a life on the big screen…" –Tom, Goodreads
• Plug: Librairie Drawn & Quarterly is ready for Prison Pit Book Five. "The fifth installment of Johnny Ryan's Prison Pit, like its predecessors, is full of over the top, violence and sci-fi gore rendered in crude black and white drawings... One thing's for sure, guts will flow and blood will spill!" -Librairie Drawn & Quarterly via Largehearted Boy
• Plug: Atomic Hearted Boy runs a plug for Prison Pit Book Five"Ryan continues to push well beyond the limits good taste (thankfully) with this new installment of his sci-fi, prison gore-a-palooza epic." -Benn Ray, Atomic Books
• Review:NPR lists great gifts for hip hop fans. "Ed Piskor's Hip-Hop Family Tree is a real fusion of both art forms. Piskor tells the gripping origin story of hip-hop in storyboard form with original artwork. Illuminating for kids and grown-ups alike." –Evan Auerbach, NPR
• Interview:Free Comic Book Day interviews Ed about his new FCBD comic and his favorite part of Hip Hop Family Tree. "I cracked the code because I created and tailored the perfect project for me to work on. I'm excited to wake up in the morning and get back in the saddle."
• Interview: Hip Hop Family Tree Proper Mag "Though the story may be a well known one, as a hip hop fan from back in the day I still found something new and revelatory on each of these carefully drawn and vintag-ed yellowy pages...So if you love Hip-Hop in any shape or form then this is an essential read. Vol. 2 should be a soulsonic sensation, so get your Kangols and shell-toes at the ready."–Neil, Proper Mag
• Review: "Piskor uses the form of his comic to recreate the thunderous beat of the speakers and the rattling effect a heavy bass line has on you physically....The comic books hits you in your gut the same way that the great music does. Piskor hits that perfect alchemy of comic and music...Everything about Hip Hop Family Tree Volume 1 is a love letter to the music and comics of bygone time." -Scott Cederlund, Newsarama
• Review: "The book is an absolute essential for any hip hop head to read and any comic book fan to gander over." Kevin Cortez of Mass Appealinterviews Piskor on Hip Hop Family Tree. "I think my major strength in telling this story is that I don't have hero-worship when it comes to anyone in particular. It's hip hop that I love and all these players just make up the bigger whole," says Piskor.
• Review: "Hip Hop Family Tree depicts a time before the quest for conspicuous riches overshadowed much of the music's highest-profile culture. Fittingly, Piskor's book feels just as real and authentic as the retro rap it celebrates" -Michael Cavna, The Washington Post
• Review: Page 45 on Hip Hop Family Tree: "The ability of comics to transport you to a time and place in a manner that prose works just cannot match is demonstrated here as Ed perfectly captures the nature of street life and the crazy characters at that time...Fans of hip hop need this work." -JR, Page 45
• Review: The Seattle Times lists Hip Hop Family Tree as a great gift for music lovers. "His extremely thorough and academic history lesson is also action-packed, fun and funny" –Andrew Matson
• Review: Propeller Magazine writes "one of the most awe-inspiring narrative achievements of the year, Piskor tells the early history of hip hop by seamlessly weaving together all of their creative highs and lows, their commercial hits and freeze-outs. Rarely has such an extremely informative historical document been so gossipy, entertaining, and original." -Patrick McGinty, Propeller Magazine
• Plug: On Hip Hop Family Tree "The intersection of art and music is not an unfamiliar one. But if Basquiat and Rothko isn't to your taste, and you grew up with the likes of Stan Lee and Alan Moore, perhaps Ed Piskor's ingenious Hip Hop Family Tree is more suited to your needs." -Joyce, Pigeons and Planes
• Review: TCJ on Couch Tag: "Fear gives way to anger and despair, and no feeling is left unexplored... I'll look forward to the next full-length book from Reklaw, who has a truly special intellect and keen sense of humor. I'd love to see what would happen if he brought all aspects of his storytelling technique together at once." –Katie Haegele, The Comics Journal
• Review:Couch Tag was on Boing Boing's Best Books of the month: "Couch Tag, on the author hand, is a sort of family autobiography, assembled from countless loose threads centered around objects and things, discarding any semblance of chronology. It's painful at times, like childhood itself, but Reklaw is mostly an objective tour guide through the strange and seminal moments of his youth." -Brian Heater, Boing Boing
• Interview: Tom Spurgeon on The Comics Reporter interviews Jesse Reklaw on Couch Tag, mental illness and the comics game. "That first chapter of Couch Tag was the first thing that I did as a long format work that my friends actually liked. That was very significant to me, because I'm one of those people that bounces around in my own head for a very long time. It's where I find a hole to ooze out." –Reklaw
• Plug: Reklaw's Couch Tag appears on John Porcellino's Best Books of 2013. "How Jesse has remained so deeply underground up to now is beyond me, but there are few books I've looked forward to and waited longer for than this collection of his stunning, very sad and powerful comics about his childhood, and his life growing up in a mentally and emotionally unbalanced family. Reklaw has the chops to draw anything, and the skill and taste to write with an understated grace that allows emotions and experiences to well up and breathe on their own." -John P.
• Plug:Couch Tag also landed on the list for Best Comics of 2013 on Forbidden Planet International "Couch Tag has been delighting me over the holidays...it dealt in the well-worn tradition of autobiographical comics about family life, [not] focusing on some huge event, rather inviting us into all the little ups and downs that make up everyone's life, and [was] the more charming and welcoming for it..." -Joe Gordon, FPI
• Portland, OR: And Portland, don't miss the opening reception for Julia Gfrörer's exhibit Play Dead at Floating World Comics, showcasing the original art to her exquisite book, Black is the Color! If you haven't picked this up yet, now is the time: she might even draw a gorgeous mermaid for you! (more info)
• Brussels, BE: Hot off an exciting weekend at Angoulême, Charles Forsman, Mome-veteran Joseph Lambert, and our pal Alec Longstreth will be signing at the Librairie Multi BD from 4:00 to 6:30 PM! (more info)
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.
68-page 7.75" x 10.25" black & white flexibound softcover • $16.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-685-0
"With an art style that combines the animated simplicity of Charles M. Schulz and the detailed linework of Chester Brown, Forsman establishes himself as one of the most promising alternative-comic creators." -Oliver Sava, The A. V. Club
"Completed before Forsman began work on TEOTFW, this promises to be an intriguing tale of youth banging up against the world of adulthood." -Tom Murphy, Broken Frontier
*Due to some East Coast storms, Celebrated Summer was shipped to most comic book stores a few weeks ago but NOW it is officially listed on the Diamond Previews list so buy, buy, buy.