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Category >> Charles M Schulz

First Look: Fantagraphics Releases for March 2010
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Walt KellyTim LaneRobert CrumbPeter BaggePeanutsKrazy KatJacques TardiJack ColeComing AttractionsCharles M SchulzBasil Wolverton 9 Dec 2009 7:00 AM

IT WAS THE WAR OF THE TRENCHES

Just as we received our office copies of the new issue of Previews, we've already submitted our March 2010 releases for the next issue, and as always we just can't wait to give our website readers an exclusive first look at our offerings! It's another big month — heck, I guess they all are — with 9 books & comics headed your way. We've got us another Jacques Tardi masterpiece (pictured above), the next volume of The Complete Peanuts, a brand new Hate Annual from Peter Bagge, another great collection of Walt Kelly's Our Gang, our new collection of the earliest Krazy Kat Sundays, and a great, never-before-reprinted Basil Wolverton rarity, plus an R. Crumb classic in hardcover for the first time, and softcover reprints from Tim Lane and Jack Cole! Here's the scoop.

Complete Peanuts on HuffPo
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewsPeanutsCharles M Schulz 29 Nov 2009 9:26 PM

The Complete Peanuts 1973-1974

Huffington Post contributor Michael Giltz writes: "The best way to celebrate Schulz and his work is the ongoing series being published by Fantagraphics. The latest volume -- The Complete Peanuts, 1973-1974 ($28.99; Fantagraphics) -- is a lovingly produced volume that includes every strip from those two years in a handsome hardcover book designed by Seth. Like earlier editions, it's a thrill to read the strip chronologically and in one fell swoop. You get a far better sense of Schulz's creative zig-zagging as he suddenly and unexpectedly finds himself at the tip of a pop culture juggernaut." Read the rest here.

Daily OCD: 11/27/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Zak SallyWillie and JoerockLinda MedleyJim BlanchardGilbert HernandezGary PanterDash ShawCharles M SchulzBill MauldinAl Columbia 27 Nov 2009 2:40 PM

Black Friday Online Commentary & Diversions:

• List: At NPR.org, Glen Weldon recommends "Tomes With Which to Tough Out Your Turkey Coma," including Linda Medley's Castle Waiting ("a wryly funny fairy tale narrative that's both women-centered and women-powered") and Gilbert Hernandez 's Palomar ("Dense, vividly realized and both literally and figuratively magical")

• Interview: Robot 6's Chris Mautner talks to Dash Shaw about The Unclothed Man in the 34th Century A.D., BodyWorld and other topics: "There’s a meshing going on between film/animation and comics. The meshing is happening in my own interests, the subject matter of my stories, the way my stories are created, and it’s been fueled a little by what’s going on outside of me..."

• Profile: Pop Culture Institute memorializes Charles M. Schulz on what would have been his 87th birthday yesterday

• Awards: Congratulations to Willie & Joe editor Todd DePastino, who won Fordham University's Sperber Prize for his excellent biography Bill Mauldin: A Life Up Front, it was announced today

• Reviewer: At Comics Comics, Dash Shaw recommends a starting point for new shoujo readers

• Things to see: Jim Blanchard draws a real-life bronc-bustin' babe

• Tunes: The Inkstuds podcast presents another episode of cartoonists making music, this time featuring Zak Sally, Gary Panter, Al Columbia and a mess of Fort Thunderers

The A.V. Club's Best of the '00s
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under PeanutsMichael KuppermanKrazy KatJasonGeorge HerrimanDaniel ClowesCharles M SchulzBest of 2009 24 Nov 2009 4:55 PM

Why Are You Doing This? by Jason

On The A.V. Club's (controversial) Top 25 Comics of the '00s list: Eightball #23 by Daniel Clowes ("a straight-up masterpiece"), Tales Designed to Thrizzle by Michael Kupperman ("No one does giddy surrealism quite like Kupperman"), and Why Are You Doing This? by Jason ("builds to a gut-punch ending"); their separate list of the best archival books includes The Complete Peanuts ("has framed Charles Schulz’s enduring masterpiece about as well any lifelong fan could’ve hoped") and Krazy & Ignatz ("a godsend to comics fans... Each book is bizarre, sweetly amusing, and blissfully continuity-free").

Daily OCD: 11/23/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under The Comics JournalSupermenreviewsPortable GrindhousePeanutsPaul KarasikNoah Van SciverLove and RocketsJosh SimmonsJim WoodringJaime HernandezGipiFletcher HanksDerek Van GiesonCharles M SchulzBest of 2009Al Columbia 23 Nov 2009 3:55 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions:

• List: Who says we don't publish superheroes? Tom Spurgeon of The Comics Reporter counts several of our publications among his 83 Best Superhero Projects of the past decade: Supermen!, the two Fletcher Hanks books, Eightball #23, and"Ti-Girls Adventures" by Jaime Hernandez from Love and Rockets: New Stories (also mentioned: Josh Simmons's unauthorized self-published mini-comic... you know the one)

• Review: "[Pim & Francie]'s spine calls its contents 'artifacts and bone fragments,' as if they're what's left for a forensic scientist to identify after a brutal murderer has had his way with them; Columbia obsessively returns to images of 'bloody bloody killers.' ... Many of the pieces are just one or two drawings, as if they've been reduced to the moment when an idyllic piece of entertainment goes hideously awry. But they're also showcases for Columbia's self-frustrating mastery: his absolute command of the idiom of lush, old-fashioned cartooning, and the unshakable eeriness of his visions of horror." – Publishers Weekly

• Review: "With [Pim & Francie], Al Columbia has created not only one of the more unsettling works of horror in the medium of comics, but it also happens to be one of the greatest myth-making objects... Whether Columbia planned more complete stories for any of the efforts collected here is an interesting question, but for my money he has instead come up with dozens of nightmarish scenarios that have a greater cumulative effect by skipping set-ups or endings. The ending, one suspects, is always going to be a variation of horrific death and dismemberment." – Christopher Allen, Comic Book Galaxy

• Review: Hillary Brown & Garrett Martin of SHAZHMMM... try to figure out what to talk about when they talk about You Shall Die by Your Own Evil Creation! by Fletcher Hanks

• Analysis: The Funnybook Babylon podcast discusses the upcoming changes to The Comics Journal. I haven't screened it; I hope they're nice about it

• Analysis: Oliver Ho of PopMatters compares the new book Celebrating Peanuts to other landmark Peanuts publications, including our Complete Peanuts series

• Plug: "I am not nostalgic for VHS... However, where VHS leaves a trace, it is surely through the covers... In December Portable Grindhouse: The Lost Art of the VHS Box appears... the book looks quality." – Forgotten Silver (translated from French)

• Links: I'm proud to be credited as the primary source in essential Love and Rockets fansite Love & Maggie's latest link-dump mega-roundup, but there's plenty of stuff in there that I've missed so hop to it! They do good work over there

• Things to see: The cavalcade of new Jim Woodring panels continues: more jungle, odd machinery

• Things to see: At Covered, Noah Van Sciver takes on a 1975 OMAC cover by the King

• Things to see: Matthew Forsythe pays homage to Gipi's Wish You Were Here #1: The Innocents

• Things to see: Outtakes from Derek Van Gieson's Mome story "Devil Doll" (also, sketchbook stuff)

Daily OCD: 11/12/09 - bonus all-Vice edition
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Steve DitkoRobert CrumbreviewsPortable GrindhousePeanutsLove and RocketsLos Bros HernandezJohnny RyanJacques TardiJacques BoyreauGilbert HernandezFletcher HanksCharles M Schulz 12 Nov 2009 3:50 PM

I knew I was getting off too easy! Nick Gazin is trying to kill me. There are also some negative reviews of our books at the links below, but I won't say any more about those:

• Review: "Fantagraphics has come to my foreign comic book rescue and published hardcovered English translations of West Coast Blues, which was good, and [You Are There], which is great. ... Tardi has nice skinny lines and large fields of black. His architecture and cars and landscapes are amazing. Just the idea of Arthur There running up and down the walls and living in this skinny little house are neat ideas. This book talks a lot about what it’s like when you spend your life alone and how nuts a slutty crazy girl can make you. ... Summing up: If you hate everything that isn’t old timey and French and love sluts who are nuts then get this book fast." – Nick Gazin, Vice

• Review: "[Portable Grindhouse] presents the most beautiful and lurid VHS boxes ever produced. ... Someone was inevitably going to make this book and Jacques Boyreau made something special that a lot of people are going to love owning. The design is beautiful, the art is reproduced perfectly, and the paper stock feels especially good. It even comes packed in a slipcase that looks like a VHS sleeve spattered in blood. A well-designed book showing off these funny and beautiful examples of a dead medium would be enough, but the introductary essay is a revelatory piece on the importance of VHS and the role it played in cinematic history." – Nick Gazin, Vice (same link as above)

• Review: "[Strange Suspense: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 1] is chock-full of intense faces and monsters and colors. Strong blacks, horror comics, mean revenge, strange surgery, and stuff. It’s all horror comics from before Frederic Wertham illegalized good-time comic books. The cover is really thick and the hardcover is hard as hell." – Nick Gazin, Vice (same link as above)

• Review: "This series is awesome, perfect, and essential. I’ll die with my collection of [The Complete Crumb Comics] on my shelf unless there’s a fire or America slips into a Mad Max-style society. ... These should sit on your shelf next to the complete Shakespeare, your Bible, and the complete Sherlock Holmes." – Nick Gazin, Vice (same link as above)

• Review: "...[The Troublemakers] is a sweet little book in which a bunch of grifters try to trick each other out of money. It seems to be about love and trust and whether anybody is dependable or if they’re all trying to survive. It’s pretty great." – Nick Gazin, Vice (same link as above)

• Review: "[Prison Pit Book 1] is great and an essential read since so few new good comics get made. ... If you love or hate Johnny R. you gotta get this shit. It is important. Buy buy buy." – Nick Gazin, Vice (new link!)

• Review: "Every issue of Love and Rockets is a winner and I am never bored by anything the Hernandez Brothers do. The comics have been so consistently good since the first one came out in 1981 that there's almost no point in reviewing [New Stories #2] other than to say, 'Hey, it came out so go to the store and you can buy it now.'" – Nick Gazin, Vice (same link as above)

• Review: "Tardi is a legend of European comics and it's wonderful to have hardbound English translations of his work. [West Coast Blues] is full of beautiful drawings of Paris, people, cars, fights, and rural life. The story deals with the human condition and what it means to be a man and civilization versus nature while the main character hides from hit men in the mountains. This book feels... like an updated Tintin..." – Nick Gazin, Vice (same link as above)

• Review: "Back in the Golden Age of comics there were few comic auteurs but Fletcher Hanks was one of the few. ... The stories [in You Shall Die by Your Own Evil Creation!] are weird and grim. The art is unprofessional and beautiful." – Nick Gazin, Vice (same link as above)

• Review: "Peanuts was an amazing comic. Charles Schulz was an amazing artist. Fantagraphics' Complete Peanuts series are great and [1973-1974] is the best one yet. The humor is unparalleled and the stories are great. ... Charles Schulz was a sad and funny guy and this book features him at his saddest and funniest. If you bought some of the earlier volumes in this series and then forgot about it, then it's time to catch up." – Nick Gazin, Vice (same link as above)

Daily OCD: 11/5/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewsPeanutsJohnny RyanHans RickheitGary GrothDash ShawDame DarcyCharles M SchulzAl Columbia 5 Nov 2009 2:56 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions, now with more Tonya Harding than ever:

• Review: "Occasionally, there are works of art or literature that defy simple classification. The brain breaks upon them like waves and they give up different secrets with each tide but never all the secrets and never all at once. These creations challenge as much as they entertain and ask for obsession as toll on the road to understanding. The Squirrel Machine by Hans Rickheit is just such an enigma. ... Surreal, gorgeous, and both satisfying and confounding, The Squirrel Machine is a hypnotic, occasionally repulsive, always entertaining, and wildly creative graphic novel. It does not invite rereading so much as demands it, and each encounter reveals new and different details and interpretations. This book is a wonderful mystery, a basket of questions, a wealth of enigmas, and it looks utterly arresting every step of the way." – Christian Zabriskie, Graphic Novel Reporter

• Opinion: At Comics Comics, Dash Shaw has an interesting proposal for colleges that teach comics: "Instead of hiring teachers based on their achievements (and many of the current teachers are geniuses, no doubt about it), hire people who previously worked for many years in a now-defunct house style. Someone who drew Archie for years and is now selling their originals at Comic Con? Hire them."

• Interview: ParentDish's Brett Singer talks to Jill Schulz about her famous dad and the Peanuts legacy (via Robot 6)

• Panel: Robot 6 posts a transcript and MP3 of the Critics Roundtable panel from this year's SPX, featuring our own Gary Groth and several other names who will be very familiar to Daily OCD readers

• Plug: The folks at Meltdown Comics in LA are almost as excited for Johnny Ryan's Prison Pit Book 2 as we are

• Plug: The folks at Tiny Showcase take note of the release of Al Columbia's Pim & Francie: The Golden Bear Days

• Things to see: Dame Darcy illustrates Nancy Kerrigan & Tonya Harding and teaches spells & potions for Vice — this and more in the latest Dame Darcy blog update

Vintage Charles Schulz radio interview
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under PeanutsCharles M Schulzaudio 22 Oct 2009 2:48 PM

Via Mike Lynch, by way of The Comics Reporter, comes this rare vintage radio interview (presented on YouTube in edited form, with an image montage) with Charles M. Schulz by host Dennis Daily.

Daily OCD: 10/21/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewsPeanutsLove and RocketsJean SchulzGilbert Hernandezcomics industryCharles M SchulzBill MauldinBarry Windsor-Smith 21 Oct 2009 3:02 PM

Your midweek Online Commentary & Diversions:

• Review: "It’s probably not fair to expect Hernandez to issue another creative virtuoso like Palomar, but in the pages of Luba, he comes closer than might be expected. ... Although Luba doesn’t hit as hard as Palomar, it remains a compelling portrait of family in all its messy glory.  Alternately sexy and vulgar, beautiful and mean, optimistic and intolerant, Luba and her family encompass all the ugliness and amazement that comes with being part of the human entity." – Michael C. Lorah, Newsarama

• Profile: "Cartoonist Bill Mauldin was a genius at bringing the experiences of World War II home to the moms and dads, kids, wives or girlfriends of the GIs on the front lines in a very human way. ... To my knowledge, none of our wars since has produced a chronicler anywhere near the greatness of Mauldin." – Wesley G. Hughes, San Bernadino County Sun (via Newsarama)

• Video: A massive Peanuts ice sculpture depicting A Charlie Brown Christmas is being constructed in Nashville; The Daily Cartoonist has the PR and a promo video featuring members of the Schulz family

• Industry: Our own Eric Reynolds takes part in a roundtable on the topic of "Comics in the Age of Digital Piracy" at Graphic Novel Reporter

• Editorial: At his website, Barry Windsor-Smith writes eloquently in support of health care reform in the United States

Daily OCD: 10/13/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under The Comics JournalreviewsPeanutsMegan KelsoJohnny RyanJasonJacques TardiHans RickheitGil KaneDaniel Clowescomics industryCharles M Schulz 13 Oct 2009 3:40 PM

Holy smokes, there's no shortage of Online Commentary & Diversions today:

• Review: "...Prison Pit... is nothing less than a continuous, no-holds barred, violent assault on the eyes. It is literally one god damned, bloody fight scene after another... The book's genius lies in Ryan's sheer nerve and imagination in setting up these battles; he constantly ups the ante in the most bizarre and inventive ways possible. ... Ryan's love of body functions goes into full gonzo mode here. ...you've got a book where body horror extends far beyond the repulsive into the truly sublime and inspired. ... Despite the gore, or perhaps, because of it, Prison Pit is a fantastic, accomplished work." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6

• Review: "Page after page [of The Squirrel Machine] features one of the brothers traversing through some odd, off-kilter landscape, either out in the woods, or, more often, in their home. Between the floorboards and walls seem to exist an endless array of paths and rooms, each cluttered with an endless array of junk, machines and the occasional disturbing, inexplicable oddity. The end result resembles more of an old-style adventure video game than a comic. It's Myst, directed by David Cronenberg." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6 (same link as above)

• Review: "Perhaps what makes West Coast Blues so captivating is how well it highlights the similarities between film and comics, while simultaneously showcasing its own unique ability as a graphic novel to capture the noir aesthetic through word and image. ... Not unlike many noir films, West Coast Blues is replete with car chases, hit-men, drinking, guns, and the occasional salacious scene. All of this is set in Tardi’s straightforward drawing style which is a good fit for the almost matter-of-fact, unsentimental manner in which violence, sex, and life in general are met with during the course of the book." – Sara Cole, PopMatters

• Review: "Most comic strips today, especially those that are humor strips, often avoid topical subjects. Schulz embraced the topics of the era.  They may date the strip, but it never leaves them outdated. ... Schulz was also not afraid to carry on-going storylines for several days or in some cases, even a couple of weeks. ... [The Complete Peanuts 1973-1974 ] also features all the favorite subjects like Linus’ annual wait for the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown’s trip to Summer camp, and Sally’s letters to Santa Claus.  This is why Peanuts is the greatest strip ever!" – Tim Janson, Newsarama

• Review: "Jason seems to delight in building firm plots, only to swiftly tug them out of sync. The resulting offbeat dynamic is punctuated with deadpan verbal, narrative and graphic punch lines, which pin the stories down at the same time that they suggest grander meanings. 'Where am I?' asks a prisoner. 'I think I'll do some gardening,' says a murdered man. 'Which way?' a son asks his father in 'You Are Here' — the heartrending emotional core of the collection [Low Moon] — as they search for his mother on a barren planet. Each line and frame could mean nothing or could mean everything in this quiet, gripping book." – Becky Ferreira, The L Magazine

• Interview: Jason speaks frankly about Low Moon with Becky Ferreira of The L Magazine (different link than above): "Low Moon, the story, wasn't long enough for a book of its own, so I had to include some other stories to fill it out. They were just ideas for shorter stories I had lying around. There wasn't meant to be any thematic unity. Death, I guess, is a repeating theme. People die a lot."

• Interview: Tommy Hill of the Columbia Daily Spectator talks to The Comics Journal assistant editor Kristy Valenti about comics criticism and The Importance of Comics: "I teach my interns that nobody cares about them and their feelings and their dog when they were 8; while their experience and perspective is valuable, it’s just a jumping off point to get at bigger things."

• Plugs: In his Washington Post review of David Small's Stitches, Michael Sims places Daniel Clowes's Ghost World and Megan Kelso's The Squirrel Mother on "the list of powerful works of art in this versatile medium"

• Plug: "You Are There...: More beautiful Jacques Tardi, a seminal work in comics for adults in the French-language market and a first-paragraph mention work for both Tardi and writer Jean-Claude Forest." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter

• Plug: "[You Are There] is a strange, wordy, spicy satire, seeing a man struggle to live on the walls surrounding land stolen from him; maybe it's best to see for yourself." - Joe McCulloch, Jog - The Blog (read the rest of his blurb for some interesting background info on the book)

• Events: At his blog, Hans Rickheit reports back from his Squirrel Machine book tour

• History: At Bleeding Cool, Warren Ellis examines the place of Gil Kane's Blackmark in comics history