Happiness is a new Peanuts book on my desk! Here's a just-delivered advance copy of The Complete Peanuts 1991-1992 by Charles M. Schulz — Vol. 21 in the series. Marcie on the cover, two full years of daily and Sunday strips in crisp black and white inside, an introduction by Tom Tomorrow, and those thoughtful design touches by Seth that make these books so inviting... ahhh. Don't you just want to hug it?
If you missed it, we shared the first month of strips for free, and we're taking pre-orders for delivery in May — get all the info and take action right here.
The most delicious 50% candy so let's eat our feelings of Online Commentaries and Diversions:
• Plug: The Advocate lists Julio's Day as great gift. "[Julio's Day] is a remarkable literary work that compresses 100 years into 100 pages and demonstrates how dramatically life changed for gay men between 1900 and 2000." –Jacob M, The Advocate
• Plug:The AV Club lists Julio's Day at #8 of the top 10 Graphic Novels and Art Comics of 2013. "Comic books have a unique way of evoking the passage of time within static images, and Gilbert Hernandez is a cartoonist that is keenly aware of how he can use the medium to manipulate that chronal flow." –Oliver Sava, The AV Club
• Review: Julio's Day on Comic Pusher "This is a fantastic book, yet another example of a master cartoonist at work, an excellent representative Gilbert Hernandez for those unfamiliar with him, and a fine addition to the library of those who have grown with his work over 30 years." -Jeffrey O. Gustafson, Comics Pusher
• Review:Maria M. by Gilbert Hernandez on Page 45: "Crime and punishment executed with rapidfire, bullet-point precision...The cartooning is, as ever, an immaculately clean and balanced black and white joy, the expressions are exquisite and the breasts, they are humungous." -SLH, Page 45
• Plug:Maria M. "More than 30 years into his career, there's no stopping Gilbert Hernandez..." -Tom Murphy, Broken Frontier
• Plug: GNR takes a look at Gilbert Hernandez's The Troublemakers: "I found the book to be engrossing, compelling, and a lot of fun for both noir and comics fans." -Sterg Botzakis, Graphic Novel Resources
• Review: Best of 2013 on Comics Pusher "Obviously this was the year of Gilbert Hernandez…Gilbert filled the void of singular marquis comics with no less than five stunning works, collectively casting its own literary shadow for subsequent generations to wonder at. Someday you can tell your grandchildren that you were alive when the Hernandez Brothers were creating comics, and when Gilbert owned 2013." –Jeffrey O. Gustafson, Comics Pusher
• Review: Comic Book Bin looks at Love and Rockets: New Stories #6"Here, both [Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez] are like great athletes that use human growth hormone (HGH) to extend their peak performance into middle age. Los Bros. have found creative and artistic steroids, as they are producing Love and Rockets comics that are as good as they've ever been. Or maybe genius never gets old and keeps producing all-star work." –Leroy Douresseaux, Comic Book Bin
• Review: "Love and Rockets continues to be a vital and important ongoing document of two creators at the absolute height of their powers, and the only venue to read new material from Jaime. The brothers' respective works, their respective worlds, stand alone - but in Love and Rockets we get the privilege of experiencing jolts of both, alternating between brother and brother, between greatness and greatness." –Jeffrey O. Gustafson, Comic Pusher
• Plug:Love and Rockets Companion is examined on VICE "Love and Rockets is a great comic that has been around for 30 years now and the characters in the book have aged in time with us... This book's dust jacket, which unfolds into a family tree, will help sort you out if you're like me and can't keep the characters straight" -Nick Gazin, VICE
• Review: Grovel checks out Maria M. "Love and Rockets fans shouldn't be without this, but anyone else with an interest in sharp, sexy, violent but sophisticated stories can still enjoy it for what it is: a B-movie homage that takes the genre above and beyond our expectations." -Andy Shaw, Grovel
• Plug:The Omnivoracious lists Love and Rockets the series as part of the Lambda awards "These are life stories, told as life unfolds-with humor, heartbreak, and perseverance" –Alex Carr
• Plug: Paste lists The Love Bunglers on the Most Anticipated comics of 2014! "Any time a collection of Jaime Hernandez's Maggie (and/or Hopey) stories is published, it's cause for celebration." -Hillary Brown, Paste
• Review: Wandering Son 6 by Shimura Takako "in Wandering Son, Volume 6 so many parallels are made between Shuichi and Takatsuki's real life and the very deliberately crafted Romeo and Juliet production.... It may not be a particularly subtle narrative technique on Shimura's part, but it is a very effective one. The play echos their experiences, emphasizing specific aspects of their lives and relationships not only for the characters, but for the readers as well. Wandering Son continues to be an absolutely wonderful series." –Ash Brown, Experiments in Manga
• Plug:The Advocate lists the Wandering Son series "An amazing series, Wandering Son offers an unusual glimpse into the lives of gender-nonconforming kids. Suitable for readers 13 and older and engaging enough to keep readers of all ages impatiently awaiting next year's Volume 5."
• Review: The Chicago Tribune looks at Carl Barks' Donald Duck: Christmas on Bear Mountain. "Ridiculously, infuriatingly, this is the first time the work of America's finest cartoonist (his only real competition being George Herriman, Walt Kelly and Charles Schulz) has been reproduced with the care and splendor it deserves. Imagine if Duke Ellington's recordings were only now being properly remastered and collected." – Michael Robbins, The Chicago Tribune
• Review:Donald Duck: Christmas on Bear Mountain "Carl Barks is one of those truly perfect cartoonists. It feels so good to have these books with beautiful Fantagraphics quality production sitting on my shelf...You'll get sucked in." –Nick Gazin, VICE
• Review: SLJ onDonald Duck: Christmas on Bear Mountain"Barks's Disney comics were and are enormously well crafted and equally enormously entertaining, timeless comedy adventures that Fanta presents in such handsomely designed volumes that they make the perfect gift for just about any reader of comics." –J. Caleb Mozzocco, School Library Journal
• Review:Donald Duck: Christmas on Bear Mountain "Scrooge is a lot grouchier, bitter and ill tempered than his later incarnations and closer to the Dickens persona rather than Bark's character...whenever I bring up the subject of ducks with my comic book pals, they look at me a-scant but I highly recommend this fabulous collection from Fantagraphics that celebrates the life and prodigious body of work of the Dean of Duckdom, the irreplaceable Carl Barks." –Chris Marshall, Collected Comics Library
• Plug:Atomichearted Boy looks at The Treasury of Mini Comics, edited by Michael Dowers. "Mini comics are like the wild west of the comics world - in this lo-fi, DIY formate - it's anything - and everything - goes."–Benn Ray, Atomic Books
• Review:The Secret History of Marvel Comicsby Blake Bell and Doc Michael J Vassallo"…this book expands our understanding of the publishing industry context in which those comics were produced, and it gives us an unprecedented portfolio of non-comic book art from some notable comic book artists." -John Hilgart, The Comics Journal
• Review: "what's been unearthed here (much of it never reprinted) is both visually and historically stunning…The Secret History of Marvel Comics is a stunning book (in more ways than one) of beauties, beasts, and bombast, as well as a wonderfully askew look at the Precambrian Era of Marvel Comics." –KC Carlson, Comics Worth Reading
• Interview:Bomb Blog asks Stephen Dixon about His Wife Leaves Him: "Yes. I wanted most of the novel to be in his head. For this, he has to be lying back in bed with his room dark and his eyes closed, remembering things in their marriage. Of course, there is action in the dream. There's movement, I should say. It's a very interior novel." -Dixon
Review: David Evanier looks at His Wife Leaves Him and Stephen Dixon in general. "Stephen Dixon is, in my opinion, the best and most overlooked American Jewish fiction writer in the country. If I left out "Jewish," he would still be the best."–David Evanier, The Jewish Book Council
• Review:Publishers Weekly gives His Wife Leaves Him a starred review: "A peek into the private world of their marriage proves the novel to be more than the sum of its parts as the reader is granted a panoramic view of the evolution of two characters and their relationship."
• Interview: James Fleming writes a very nice intro to Dixon's His Wife Leaves Him and includes some email correspondence with him on Burrow Press. "How do I even begin to explain how Dixon--though we've never met in person and I've never taken a writing class with him--effectively taught me nearly everything I know about short-story and novel writing."
• Review:Goddamn This War! on FPI Best of 2013 list: "Tardi's burning rage at the injustice and immorality of what was done to so many is undimmed by the passing of time, and as we enter the centenary year of the start of that awful war this work becomes even more vital for readers." –Joe Gordon, Forbidden Planet International
• Review:Goddamn This War! "Jacques Tardi is a one of the most versatile cartoonists to ever lift a pencil...We descend into Hell with these soldiers, live their unbelievably intense live, and are inexorably and subtly changed by the experience. That is the power of great Art. That is the power of the great Jacques Tardi." –Jason Sacks, Comics Bulletin
• Plug:Goddamn This War! made Mark Burrier's Best of 2013 list. "Besides the meticulously-referenced artwork, Tardi painted these panels using inks and they are gorgeous...Kim Thompson did a bang up job translating this. The narrator is recounting what it was like during WWI and the tone holds up well to translation." -Mark Burrier
• Review:Ghost and Ruins by Ben Catmull on NY Journal of Books: "For those who like their horror with more then a hint of detached humor, Ghosts and Ruins is the perfect book to leave out at both Halloween and Christmas. These are wonderfully scary stories drawn and told with such beauty and wit you regret when they end. " –Mark Squirek, NY Journal of Books
• Review:Ghost and Ruins by Ben Catmull on Famous Monsters: "If Escher and Gorey met in Maurice Sendak's house and decided to riff on Junji Ito manga, you might have something similar to these pages…All fans of black and white horror movies owe it to themselves to hunt this down and subsequently cower under the covers like a kid in the cold." –Holly Interlandi, Famous Monsters
• Plug: "Ghost and Ruins will satisfy your craving for dark and creepy, yet beautiful drawings of - you got it - ghosts and ruins!" –Jade, Librarie D&Q
• Review: On Richard Sala's Violenzia "Sala takes the conventions of Golden Age comics like Dick Tracy and The Shadow and [modernizes] them for the digital era" –HTML Giant
• Review:Richard Sala's The Hidden. "There's no mistaking a panel of a Sala comic for a panel of anyone else's comic...it is probably his grandest and most epic in terms of scale, and it's full of suspense, mystery, horror, violence and a perhaps surprising amount of action..." –J. Caleb Mozzoccoo, Every Day is Like Wednesday
• Review: Katherine Whaley receives a Starred Reviewi n Publishers Weekly: "a parade of 20th century American philosophical fads, particularly those rooted in the entertainment business, pseudoscience, commercialized spiritualism, and general quackery. The story is earnestly told from Kate's wide-eyed perspective and achieves a tone that emphasizes the multifaceted nature of human experience."
• Review: Barracuda in the Attic by Kipp Friedman on Boswell Book Company "Growing up as one of three sons of the writer Bruce J. Friedman, they had adventures many of us can't imagine... Kipp's upbringing does resonate with me more than just another New York story..." -Daniel Goldin
• Review: Willard Mullins' Golden Age of Baseball gets reviewed "Through the eyes of someone like Mullin, with his graceful portraits of folks like Babe Ruth and Stan Musial, the sport seems thousands of years old. An artifact. A time capsule… This is a beautiful-looking book, thorough and affectionate in its treatment of the cartoonist Willard Mullin and his coverage of the sport for which he is best known: baseball." -Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Journal
• Plug: "...we get to watch Charles M. Schulz's cast evolve, along with his simple yet lyrical line. [Peanuts Every Sunday] is a complement to Fantagraphics' continuing and indispensable 'Complete Peanuts' publishing project." -Dana Jennings, NY Times
• Plug: Westfield Comics on Peanuts Every Sunday. "If Peanuts Every Sunday isn't under your Christmas Tree this year, put aside some of your Holiday 'loot' (as early Schulz might say) to make sure you pick it up as soon as you can. You won't regret it. It's the kind of gift book I'd be getting for Grandma Lil, if she were still around" -KC Carlson, Westfield Comics
On Monday, the fine folk at Peanuts let me grace their campus for a rather incredible visit. Nomi Kane, former Fantagraphics intern, Center for Cartoon Studies' 2011 alum and Donna Almendrala, CCS 2012 alum, were kind enough to show OSU librarian Caitlin McGurk and me around!
The waiting room was chock full of Peanuts paraphenalia including some VERY familiar reprints of Peanuts. One could even call them the COMPLETE PEANUTS.
Vicki works on some of the ad and the pencilling the graphic novel Peanuts produces (Paige Braddock inks). She also could make ANYTHING out of anything --- her chair was refurbished with a Japanese Peanuts banner as the cushion fabric --- very cool.
Vicki's pencils go off to Paige Braddock (also the cartoonist behind Jane's World) who was busy showing off some of Sparky's old nibs she was using and breaking in a new one. Her office is one of the coolest I've ever seen but you'll just have to visit to see what I mean!
Nomi and Donna both approve merchandise from licensees and of course, kept some cool stuff. Like these motorcycle/scooter helmets. They were so nice you would buy a Vespa to match. (Donna and Caitlin demonstrate the proper way to wear a helmet)
Speaking of baseball! And yes, basically everything was Peanuts-themed SAVE the toilet paper but I have hopes for my next visit:
Some other coworkers worked with specific items like plush dolls and cell phone charms/key fobs:
Apparently, Japanese readers of Peanuts are wild about Olaf, Snoopy's brother 'with more to love.' He was everywhere there, which was pretty cool. (Olaf hangs tough with sister, Belle, and brother, Spike)
We met another working cartoonist at home at Peanuts (along with Paige, Donna and Nomi). Alexis E. Farjado of Kid Beowulf works there and his bookshelf was IMPRESSIVE to me (read: a lot of comics and many Fantagraphics' books). Here he models the Snoopy puppy socks that I obviously stole when his back was turned for one-eyed Wanda back at my office.
In fact, everywhere I went from the 'family office' to the Peanuts and Associates to the museum, had a near full set of The Complete Peanuts and the new Peanuts Every Sundayon the employee's desk. It was like being at home (except I didn't hear any cursing).
Off to the museum next! The quote that burns into your soul the minute you walk in is "A cartoonist is someone who draws the same thing day after day without repeating himself." PERFECT. (yeah, I know it says 'himself' but if you worked as hard as Schulz, you'd probably use your own gender since you're talking about yourself!).
One of the best and permanent objects in the museum was a ceramic tile mural composed of 3,588 ceramic tiles equaling TEN years of daily strips (published between 1956-1988). Designed by Yoshiteru Otani, this was one of the most fun to see from a distance and up close.
In the courtyard, many sculptures wait for visitors and "Under Construction Brown" is a delight. Made by TivoliToo in 2001.
And a lil' something by CHRISTO was hanging out in the permanent collection.
One of the rotating exhibits was about the night sky in Schulz comics and even had an interactive constellation board. The presentation of one of the main walls was both striking and still warm enough to invite kids in.
The other special exhibit was, of course, about heartbreak in Peanuts comics. More on THAT later. A shot of all of us, who have dedicated our lives to comics! Donna, Denis St. John (CCS '08 alum), Nomi and me.
We hit the gift shop by the skating rink and GUESS what was there? A Red Baron flying ace and alllll the Complete Peanuts. I'm very easily pleased.
There was one last special visit and this was behind the scenes in Charles M. Schulz's actual studio (there is a recreation in the museum). His tools were preserved and the symbolic 'next strip' lay on his desk.
A big thank you to Jeannie Schulz for taking the time to jabber on with us, Nomi for arranging/giving the tour and Donna for graciously answering our questions as well. It meant a tremendous amount to me, Caitlin and Denis because we all worked at the Schulz Library at some point during our time at the Center for Cartoons Studies in White River Junction.
Feel inspired? Grab a copy of Peanuts today! Grab a pencil, the nearest ONE, and start drawing.
We are pleased to debut the final cover art for The Complete Peanuts 1950-1952 Softcover Edition! The acclaimed, award-winning series, in paperback, with a new design by art director Jacob Covey, and following the same release pattern as the original hardcovers: 2 volumes per year, with an annual slipcased 2-volume set. This first volume arrives in early Summer and you can pre-order now.
(By the way, we premiered this image yesterday on The Complete Peanuts Facebook fan page, so you hardcore Schulz-philes ought to go give that a "like" if you want first dibs on stuff like this!)
Charlie Brown may not be the best pitcher, batter, or team manager, but his love for the game is boundless, no matter how many home runs he gives up, how many games he loses, how many errors his team makes, or how many times the game is rained out. This delightful gift book features three complete baseball stories starring good ol’ Charlie Brown and his frustrating (and frustrated) teammates Lucy, Linus, Pigpen, Snoopy, and the rest of the gang. Whether it’s at home or on the road, on the mound or off the field, Charlie Brown gives it his all in these funny, touching testaments to his indefatigable spirit.
Our downloadable excerpt includes all of the strips from January, 1991 (plus a couple more for good measure). Snoopy fixates on cookies and works as a construction flagger; Lucy looks for serenity and questions Linus's fundamental beliefs; Peppermint Patty and Marcie confuse athletics and academics; snowflakes are vied for; Snoopy and Woodstock debate the merits of their species; and lots more gags & laughs from the gang. And that's just one month out of 23 in this volume! For the rest, pre-order now.
Currently warming up on deck, Batter Up, Charlie Brown! is almost ready to step into the batter's box. This spiffy little gift book is corked with over 50 classic Charles M. Schulz Peanuts strips on the subject of baseball, documenting Charlie Brown's anxieties, defeats, and eternal hopes in spite of the failings of himself and his teammates.
Don't be a goat and miss this catch; get out your Neet's Foot Oil and pre-order now!
Charlie Brown's tribulations on the pitcher's mound, in the batter's box, and in the dugout are the stuff of myth (Sisyphus, to be precise). For all fans of America's Pastime, we've collected three of Charles M. Schulz's classic Peanuts baseball storylines into one spiffy little gift book, Batter Up, Charlie Brown!
In our downloadable excerpt, Chuck's role as team manager leads to frustration as his players vex him with their idiosyncratic habits. The book should be out about midway through Spring Training — pre-order now for delivery by opening day!
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