The weekend's newest Online Commentaries & Diversions:
• Plug: The best footnote IN THE WORLD? appeared on Grantland's excerpt of Marvel Comics: The Untold Story written by Sean Howe. It refers to Marvel's idea of hiring Gary Groth. . . Look for footnote 7.
•Review: Johnny Ryan'sPrison Pit: Book 4 is reviewed on Nick Gazin's Comic Book Love in #73 and Mr. Ryan himself is interviewed. . . via text. "There's no point in trying to explain Prison Pit. You can only experience it to understand it. Start buy buying all of them at once if you haven't yet. . . It wears its intentional stupidness and violence on its sleeve while also showing off Johnny Ryan's sophisticated sense of composition and black and white ink prettiness."
• Review: Comics Bulletin likes Rich Tommaso's The Cavalier Mr. Thompson. Nick Hanover says, "Tommaso's distinctly minimalist, animation-influenced style adds another seemingly disparate element that actually serves to enliven the material all the more, finding some sweet spot between the Coen Brothers and Popeye."
• Plug:Comics Alliance lists their favorite covers of the month and include Rich Tommaso's The Cavalier Mr. Thompson. Andrew Wheeler says,"I'm drawn to the graphic simplicity of this cover. It plays with scale, line and color in creative ways, and the composition pulls it all together."
• Review: Rick Klaw at RevolutionSF flips through Dungeon Quest 3 by Joe Daly ". . .rousing adventure and ass-kicking action — all staged in front of fantastic backdrops replete with strange vegetation, ancient ruins and steampunk imagery."
• Commentary:The Beat reports on an SPX panel with Daniel Clowes and his editors, Alvin Beaunaventura and Ken Parille, for The Daniel Clowes Reader. Hannah Means-Shannon states,"Clowes, who appeared energetic and amused by such a large crowd commented that working on the retrospective book with Buenaventura was a welcome thing because he’s 'lonely and working all the time'so it was 'fun to have someone to hang out with'. . . Little details provided by Buenaventura and Clowes about the research process set the scene for comedy, including Buenaventura rifling through Clowes’ closets constantly and 'measuring his art' while Clowes wondered what dirty laundry the writer might dig up that he had forgotten about."
• Review: Rob Clough of High-Low picks up The Squirrel Machine, which is being reprinted in soft cover next spring, by the creeptacular Hans Rickheit. "Rickheit's stories tend to take place in a more upscale, reserved and even Victorian setting, which befits his delicate, sensitive line. . . Rickheit strikes at the heart of what it means to be human: connecting with other emotionally and physically, seeking to express oneself through art, investigating the world around us--in other words, to be emotionally and intellectually curious."
• Review: Chad Parenteau reviews Hans Rickheit's newer Folly on We Got Issues. "Rickheit clearly wrestles with the meaning and purpose of his work with every page he creates, as other artists do. Hans might be consider rude for speaking so out loud about it if more people hung around long enough to listen. Me, I’m so ensconced in his Underbrain, I’m taking notes."
• Review:Comic Impact soaks up The Crackle of the Frost by Jorge Zentner and Lorenzo Mattotti. John Mueller states, "Frost is a sharply written book that takes the reader deeper into a character’s psyche more than any other comic in recent memory. Still, as well-written as the book is, what will undoubtedly get people to pick it up is the sensational art by the acclaimed Mattotti. . . the styles of the art can jump from impressionism to expressionism, symbolism to Hopper-esque realism often within the space of just two panels."
• Review:Bookgasm reviews The Crackle of the Frost by Jorge Zentner and Lorenzo Mattotti. JT Lindroos thinks,"THE CRACKLE OF THE FROST is realistic in a manner very few graphic novels are, pinpointing a phantasmagorical and poetic vision of human relationship in its naturally nonlinear movement. It’s also a perfect example of a work that might appeal to someone not customarily interested in comics"
• Interview:The Chicago Tribune talks to Chris Ware about life, comics and Peanuts. "When he was a child, Ware connected deeply with Charlie Brown, he said. He remembers connecting so deeply that he sent Charlie Brown a valentine." Fitting that Fantagraphics has published work by both.
• Commentary: Hannah Means on The Beat comments on the SPX Ignatz Awards. "The presence of the Hernandez brothers at SPX this year brought a great deal of energy, and often hilarity, and the Ignatz awards were no exception."
• Commentary: Hannah Means covered the Brooklyn Book Festival on The Beat including the 'Sex and Comics' panel that included Gilbert Hernandez. She describes, "Hernandez was asked whether he has used sex in his works as a plot device, but countered this possibility rather precisely by explaining the undesirable tendency of depictions of sex to slow down plot movements rather than usher them along."
• Interview (audio): Sean T. Collins interviewed Gilbert Hernandezrecently at SPX. Check out the full interview today.
• Interview: Vince Brusio caught up with Jaime Hernandez on the Northeast Coast Tour and interviewed him for PREVIEWSworld.
• Plug: On Forbidden Planet's Desert Island series, Gary Northfield said he could not live without Buddy Does Seattle by Peter Bagge and I Shall Destroy All Civilized Planets by Fletcher Hanks, edited by Paul Karasik. "This guy knew exactly what he was doing; his panels are graphically stunning, boldly drawn in full manipulation of the crude 4 colour printing processes being used to churn out the pulpy monthly comics. Monthly adventure comic books were in their infancy and finding their feet and Hanks was ploughing his own crazy, psychopathic path" meanwhile "Peter Bagge’s deranged, yet no doubt closely auto-biographical soap opera is an expert lesson in slice of life story-telling and comic book narrative."
During his fifty-year career, ninety-nine percent of Charles Schulz's creative energies went into the daily Peanuts comic strip. But once in a while he would create a special something else on the side, and this adorable little package collects two of his best "extras" from the 1960s: two Christmas-themed stories written and drawn for national magazines.
Created in 1963 (two years before the Charlie Brown Christmas TV special) as a supplement for Good Housekeeping magazine, "Charlie Brown's Christmas Stocking" comprises 15 original captioned vignettes featuring the entire Peanuts cast of the time — Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus, Schroeder, Frieda, Violet, Shermy, and Sally — each with a joke or reflection about the season.
"The Christmas Story" is an original tale created for Woman's Day in 1968, this one focusing just on Snoopy and the Van Pelt siblings, with Lucy and Linus each explaining the meaning of the holiday to Snoopy. "I’m going to have to be careful," Snoopy reflects at the end of the story, resting on his doghouse next to his bone-decorated tree; "all this theology could ruin my Christmas."
The book also includes notes on the provenance of the stories and a pocket-sized biography of Schulz. A perfect gift item for the season!
Happiness is an art exhibit honoring the work of Charles M. Schulz, and the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon in Eugene, OR has just that!
Exhibition curator Ben Saunders has chosen 25 originals spanning all five decades of PEANUTS that he hopes will allow the viewer to take in the origins, maturation, and final years of this great American masterwork.
Our own Gary Groth will make a visit on Thursday, November 8th to discuss the importance of Charles Schulz's work within the larger tradition of newspaper strip comics. This event begins at 5:30 PM, and is co-sponsored by the UO School of Journalism.
And on Tuesday, October 23rd at 5:30 PM, Saunders interviews Jan Eliot about her experiences with Charles Schulz and her own career as the artist of the nationally successful newspaper strip "Stone Soup."
Don't be a blockhead and miss this exhibit! GOOD GRIEF! Original Art from 50 Years of Charles M. Schulz's PEANUTS runs through December 1, 2012. The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is located in Eugene, Oregon on the western side of the University of Oregon campus next to the Knight Library.
Sorry to make you think about Christmas in September, but we just have to share this peek at this adorable little gift book we're putting out in November, just in time for stuffing stockings: Charlie Brown's Christmas Stocking by Charles M. Schulz! This book (in a size and format similar to Peanuts classics like Happiness Is a Warm Puppy) collects two never-before-reprinted holiday-themed 1960s magazine features written and drawn by Schulz starring the Peanuts gang. It's our first Peanuts book that's not part of The Complete Peanuts series and we couldn't be more excited! Get some early gift shopping out of the way by pre-ordering a copy now, and be on the lookout for more sneak peeks.
Time to catch up with our busy, busy release schedule! As always, we have a slew of new books out with something for everyone, whether your tastes run to the literary, historical or just plain fun — or any combination thereof — and whatever your brow elevation. As a quick reminder, here's a rundown of all of last month's arrivals, including a few of our scheduled September releases which showed up a few days early! (Remember, our New Releases page always lists the 20 most recent arrivals, and our Upcoming Arrivals page has dozens of future releases available for pre-order.)
These books are all in stock in our mail-order department for immediate shipping, and we have nifty exclusive bonuses and special offers with some of them. Read on for all the details!
Easy and Wash Tubbs discover a legendary creature in “Temple of the Swinks,” widely considered the absolute peak of the series! Plus treasure hunts and encounters with pirates, wild animals, and wilder women!
Order this volume and get Vol. 1 and/or Vol. 2 for $29.99 each; that's 25% off! Make your choice when ordering.
Welcome To Big Spring, Texas and The Cavalier Hotel. The new hotel dick thought he had an easy patrol until a slick operator from Chicago named Ross Thompson came to town and turned everything upside down...
Peanuts reaches the middle of the go-go 1980s, a time of hanging out at the mall, “punkers” (wait until you see Snoopy with a Mohawk), killer bees, airbags, and Halley’s Comet. Introduction by Patton Oswalt.
Collecting the seventeenth and eighteenth volumes of The Complete Peanuts (1983-1984 and 1985-1986) in one handsome collector's slipcase designed by the cartoonist Seth, this is the perfect gift book item.
Samuel fled his relationship with Alice when she stated her desire to have a baby. A year later, with her expecting, he embarks on a long journey to see her again. A sumptuous graphic novel masterpiece.
The long-running punk/sci-fi strip finally collected in all its confounding visual and verbal richness in one giant volume. One doesn’t read Dal Tokyo; one is absorbed into it and spit out the other side.
The first English-language collection of this European master compiles all of his innovative comics work from 1972 to date, including his RAW stories, painstakingly restored and reproduced. Introduction by Chris Ware.
The 30th Anniversary issue! Gilbert brings his current character "Killer" into the Palomar milieu in a much-anticipated homecoming; Jaime delves deeper into the sordid world surrounding Vivian "the Frogmouth."
An oversized coffee table book celebrating the art of the 1970s porn movie poster, collecting over 100 of the most outrageously over-the-top examples of the era, pristinely remastered and accompanied by a brain-ripping narration.
The cleanest picnic blanket of Online Commentaries & Diversions:
• Review:Heroes Online covers the twenty years of Peanuts covered so far in our Fantagraphics reprints. Andy Mansell states, "I strongly recommend the following volumes:1963-1964, 1965-1966. [and 1981-1982]. The highest point of the highest level of any cartoonist output in the last 60 odd years. Every strip is brimming with creativity, laughter, pathos and painful emotional truth."
• Review: On the High-Low, Rob Clough writes a tribute to Jaime Hernandez's collected editions; Maggie the Mechanic, The Girl from H.O.P.P.E.R.S., Perla La Loca. "Ultimately, there's an idealistic streak in Jaime's comics that burns through the hipster cynicism that permeates characters like Hopey and many of her friends. . . The best news about this volume is that it's only the beginning of Jaime's mature style, and he's only continued to get better."
• Review:Grovel gives the what's what on God and Science by Jaime Hernandez."While keeping the women attractive, Hernandez manages to keep them grounded too – these aren’t male fantasies but real, appropriately-proportioned women. . .and Hernandez’s superhero world is dripping with background and authenticity."
• Review:The Comic Attack sank its teeth into Prince Valiant Vol. 5 1945-1946 by Hal Foster. Drew said, "For the strip itself, Foster develops Prince Valiant into more of a mature man who we grow along with as he learns about love, women, and more than just going on adventures. . .Foster’s artwork is every definition of fantastic, still unmatched in its splendor."
• Plug:Spacehawk by Basil Wolverton mentioned on Comics Should Be Good by Comic Book Resources. Greg Burgas says, "Fantagraphics continues to do a nice job reprinting olde-tyme comix. . .very cool!" You can pre-order a copy today!
• Review: The Comic Forge covers a sold-out book Alphabetical Ballad of Carnality by David Sandlin that receives 10 shivers and shakes out of 10. Sharayah Read says, "I have never encountered a book this original, thought provoking and eye-opening. It presents a beautifully tormented tale in an entertaining and gritty fashion that will have any fan of obscure culture and works hanging onto every last syllable."
• Interview (audio):Mome veteran Gabrielle Bell talks to Wrestling Team podcast about life, comics and making it all work together.
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.
two 344-page black & white hardcover volumes in a custom 8.75" x 7.125" x 3" slipcase • $49.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-573-0
"...if I were splurging, it would be a choice between the third volume of Captain Easy, Roy Crane’s delightful adventure-filled Sunday strip, and the new Complete Peanuts Box Set, covering the years 1983-1986." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6
"CONFLICT OF INTEREST RESERVOIR: It’s all stripping this week, as Roy Crane brings Captain Easy, Soldier of Fortune: The Complete Sunday Newspaper Strips Vol. 3 (1938-1940) ($39.99) and Charles Schulz provides The Complete Peanuts Vol. 18: 1985-1986 ($28.99). From the past! Where you can live!" – Joe McCulloch, The Comics Journal
"The Captain Easy material I love, sort of unreservedly, and think it really works at that size. The Peanuts books are really fascinating currently, and we're starting into that era after the perceived glory years and before the final, strong run where there's a great deal of curiosity as to how the work holds up." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
The fresh-popped Online Commentaries & Diversions:
• Review:Publishers Weekly discusses The Hypo by Noah Van Sciver, "Van Sciver’s psychologically astute examination of what might be termed Abraham Lincoln’s “lost years” (1837–1842) is as gripping and persuasive as the best historical fiction. . .This characterization of Lincoln is thoroughly human and identifiable, tracking a shadowy but formative period in the very uneven life of a man who shows little signs of becoming known as one of the greatest Americans. A thoroughly engaging graphic novel that seamlessly balances investigation and imagination." Wow!
• Plug: Noah Van Sciver's diary comics are showing up at The Comics Journal. Enjoy Day #1, Day #2 and Day #3.
• Plug:Comics Alliance JUMPED at the chance to be the first to comment on Naked Cartoonists. Senior writer Chris Sims comments, "Have you ever wanted to see Dilbert creatorScottAdams naked? Yeah, we haven't either, but apparently [Gary Groth] thought that was a good idea . . . joining artists like Will Eisner, For Better Or For Worsecreator Lynn Johnston, Jeff Smith (feel free to make your own Bone joke here) and . . . legendary MAD artist Sergio Aragones."
• Review:The Mary Sue names Moto Hagio's A Drunken Dream and Other Stories one of the 10 Feminist Manga to Read, that is licensed in the USA. Kellie Foxx-Gonzalez says,"Hagio is not only a storyteller, she is undoubtedly a feminist author, using her manga to explore gender, power, and women’s issues. If extended metaphors in manga as an avenue to explore philosophical questions is as appealing to you as it is to me, please, don’t hesitate to pick up this anthology."
• Commentary: Shannon O'Leary of Publishers Weekly says,". . . with No Straight Lines , the most definitive collection of queer comics to date, [Justin] Hall and Fantagraphics have made the voluminous but largely hidden history of LBGT (lesbian, bi-sexual, gay, transgender) comics finally visible as well."
• Review:The Awl and Kim O'Connor talk about autobio comics and include such underground greats like Aline Kominsky Crumb, Carol Tyler in addition to Chris Ware and Joe Sacco. While on the subject of Aline: "An important part of her project was to promote self-loathing as normal and even funny in an era when to do so was extremely unfashionable." O'Connor touched on the rawness of Chris Ware's work,"there's this sense of playful geometry that's deeply satisfying, even if it sometimes gives you the impression the artist's memory palace looks a lot like the Container Store. But the central delight in reading Jimmy Corrigan, as in all of Ware's work, is how it's painfully awkward and incredibly cool at the same time."
• Review: Rob Clough on the High-Low reviews Jim Woodring's Congress of the Animals: ". . . is interesting because it's much more linear a narrative than most of his comics.. . .Unlike the typical Frank story, there's a greater sense of urgency to Frank's wanderings, as he encounters many temptations and pitfalls along his journey to a destination unknown to even him."
• Review:The Critcal Mob released their short list of summer reads and a few Fantagraphics titles made the cut. Paul Guie looks at Flannery O'Connor: The Cartoons: "O'Connor's artwork is frequently abstract and raw-looking. . .Nevertheless, her cartoons are always pleasing to look at thanks to the author's strong sense of composition. Panels are rarely cluttered by unnecessary lines, and O'Connor frequently frames her characters with an eye toward visual balance." Peanuts latest volume is also on Guie's radar: ". . . these later comics remain consistently witty and entertaining, and reflect Schulz's continued mastery of comedic timing within a four-panel layout.. . .Consistently subtle yet always timely, after 30 years, Schulz still had a winning formula on his hands." Last but not least, Guie takes Buddy Does Seattle to the beach,"Bagge's artwork [takes] the public's perception of '90s youth as angry and volatile and pushed it to hysterical levels. Heavily influenced by late-'60s counterculture cartoonists like Crumb, Bagge's drawings are fluid and grimy-looking, with frequent use of exaggerated facial expressions helping to cultivate an atmosphere of chaos."
• Commentary: Best Cover EVER on Forbidden Planet according to Richard: "The absolute iconic image. The raw power. Jaime’s incredible use of black in his art. The faces of the crowd. The stagediver (in heels) who’s just left the stage. But most of all, it’s the best comic cover ever because I swear that I’ve never looked at this cover and NOT heard the music they’re playing." The next best thing for Richard? Buying the new shirt featuring the cover of Issue 24.
• Plug:Comics Alliance and Caleb Goellner collect the most recent Adventure Time covers. James Hindle PLAYS an homage to Jaime Hernandez's distinctive cover. Check it out!
• Review:io9 recently created a list of the 10 Comic Characters Cooler than Batman. Jaime Hernandez's Maggie (the Mechanic) and Jacques Tardi's Adele Blanc-Sec topped the list. "Maggie is a survivor, who never stops kicking ass even she's dealing with depression and heartbreak." says Charlie Jane Anders and in reference to Adele Blanc-Sec:"She's a writer in pre-World War I Paris, which automatically makes her cool. . . She's not afraid to shoot guns, drink the hard stuff, or smoke like a man. She spent World War I in cryogenic suspension and then rocked the 1920s."
• Plug:The Last Vispo's editor Nico Vassilakis recently curated an online group of visual artists called Ten Turkish Visual Poets at Trickhouse.
• Interview: The powerful and deft Friedman brothers were interviewed about Any Similarity to Persons Living or Dead is Purely Coincidental by William Michael Smith of the Houston Press. Josh Alan Friedman talks about his brother's artwork,"Originally [Drew Friedman] worked with stippling technique, using a rapidograph pen. Bent over a desk like a watchmaker, doing thousands of dots. A technique made famous by 'Sunday in the Park with Georges' Seurat, but strictly shunned by art schools in the 20th century."
• Plug: Ron Regé, Jr. is up to something sneaky! At We Can Do It.
Exhibition of Original Art from 50 Years of Charles M. Schulz’s PEANUTS
This just in from Ben Saunders, Professor of English, at the University of Oregon about an upcoming show of original Charles Schulz artwork at U. of O.'s Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art (JSMA) on exhibition from September 1st, 2012 through December.
Charlie Brown is nowadays immediately recognizable as an archetype of pop-existentialism. He is a loser-everyman, a cartoon representation of perennial human disappointment; but even at his most desperate, he has somehow never lost the capacity to make us laugh. His canine companion, Snoopy, by contrast, can be read as an emblem of imaginative vitality --- compelling our attention with his exuberant flights of fantasy.
These great characters did not spring from Schulz’s pen fully realized. They took shape gradually, over years of disciplined, daily creative exercise. And even once they found their iconic forms, the themes of the strip continued to evolve, reflecting the changing circumstances of the second-half of the 20th century. We can detect the traces of this tumultuous history --- and sometimes glean Schulz’s personal values --- in these certain works, with their subtle invocations of the Civil Rights struggle, Women’s Liberation, the litigious society, and the fragility of the natural world.
Debuting on October 2nd, 1950, Peanuts ran for fifty years, until February 13th, 2000. Schulz took only one extended holiday during that entire period (for a month, in the winter of 1997). Otherwise, he worked consistently on the comic until his death --- passing away just a day before the last episode saw print. In total, he produced an astonishing 17,897 Peanuts strips.
In choosing just twenty-five examples from this lifetime’s work, the sin of omission is unavoidable. Instead of pretending to an impossible comprehensiveness, we offer a series of revealing snapshots spanning the five decades of Peanuts, to produce a kind of “time-lapse” effect --- allowing the viewer to take in the origins, maturation, and final years of the strip, in a slow tour of the room. Although necessarily incomplete, we believe this exhibition proves one thing. Charles Schulz’s Peanuts is not merely the most successful newspaper comic strip in the history of the medium. It is also a modern American masterpiece.
Peanuts reaches the middle of the go-go 1980s in this book, which covers 1985 and 1986: a time of hanging out at the mall, “punkers” (you haven’t lived until you’ve seen Snoopy with a Mohawk), killer bees, airbags, and Halley’s Comet. And in a surprisingly sharp satirical sequence, Schulz pokes fun at runaway licensing with the introduction of the insufferably merchandisable “Tapioca Pudding.”
Also in this volume: Peppermint Patty wins the “All-City School Essay Contest” with her “What I Did During Christmas Vacation” essay but snatches defeat from the jaws of victory with a disastrous acceptance speech… Charlie Brown, Linus, Sally and Snoopy go to “rain camp” one year, and “survival camp” the next… The World War One Flying Ace gets the flu and is nursed back to health by a French Mademoiselle (Marcie)… Sally gives Santa Claus a heart attack (literally!)… Lucy talks Charlie Brown into posing in swimtrunks for their school’s “Swimsuit issue”… Peppermint Patty gains a crabby tutor… Linus suffers a crisis when addressed for the first time as “Mister”… plus another return appearance by Molly Volley, Snoopy’s accidental destruction of his dog house (with a cannon!), and lots of near-Beckettian strips set in the desert starring this volume’s cover boy, the one and only Spike!
This volume's introduction is by comedian and actor Patton Oswalt (Big Fan, Young Adult, Ratatouille).
It’s another two years of hilarious, heart-warming strips from the great Charles M. Schulz.
A boxed set of the seventeenth and eighteenth volumes of The Complete Peanuts, designed by the award-winning graphic novelist, Seth. Shipping shrinkwrapped, with volumes 1983-1984 and 1985-1986 packed in a sturdy custom box designed especially for this set, it's the perfect gift book item. (For more information on the contents of each volume, see the individual product listings linked above.)
"The Complete Peanuts has framed Charles Schulz’s enduring masterpiece about as well any lifelong fan could’ve hoped." – "The Best Comics of the '00s: The Archives", The A.V. Club