• Review: "...[F]eisty art-comics publisher Fantagraphics, for its new multivolume hardcover series devoted to Gottfredson’s rarely seen comic-strip work [Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse ], has gone back to the beginning, lavishing upon the cartoonist’s marvelously fluid, thrillingly kinetic serial adventures the same loving attention the company has brought to its benchmark Complete Peanuts library. Given that Fantagraphics is an adult-oriented press, production and restoration values are superlative, as are the more than 60 pages of historical essays and archival features that accompany these peerless black-and-white strips.... Anyone who ventures into this gorgeous 288-page tome will come away with a fresh appreciation for just what made Mickey an all-American comic-strip hero." – Steve Smith, Time Out New York
• Review: "Fantagraphics fucking whip ass at knowing what a beautiful book is.... The Mickey Mouse in this collection is a dynamic teenager with a whole lot of strong feelings, and it's both awesome and foreign to see him get mad or feel suicidal.... Fantagraphics are masters at collecting and presenting old comics.... This volume not only presents comics that you probably haven't seen before, but it places them in the proper context with about eight[y] pages of supplementary writing, images, and in-depth explanations that could merit their own little volume." – Nick Gazin, Vice
• Interview: Gazin follows up his Vice review of Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 1 with a brief chat with series co-editor David Gerstein: "Floyd's greatest achievement... was his portrayal of Mickey himself. Instead of seeing the Mouse as a kind of dull, smiley-faced everyman — the way a lot of people seem to envision him — Floyd portrayed Mickey as what he called 'a mouse against the world.' He was a stubbornly optimistic, imperfect but determined youth trying to prove himself in a competitive, scary, adventurous place. Floyd gave Mickey length and depth."
• Review: "It’s often argued that the key element to any successful manga is a relatable protagonist. Shimura has crafted hers so meticulously and is revealing their natures so carefully that it’s virtually impossible not to be deeply invested in them. In part, it’s the actual portrayal in this volume [of Wandering Son], but it’s also the tremendous potential they have. I want to see them age and mature, struggle and succeed, and find their ways to lives that give them happiness and peace. I don’t think there’s any more a reasonable person could ask of a story like this." – David Welsh, The Manga Curmudgeon
• Review: "...[Wandering Son] is an elegantly-crafted, character-driven story that lets us into its characters’ private worlds with both candor and delicacy. We are brought into their lives completely, and though we’re privy to their some of their most private thoughts and fears, there is never a sense that we’re observing them as 'subjects' or invading their privacy—something I often feel when experiencing 'issue'-focused fiction." – Melinda Beasi, Manga Bookshelf
• Review: "[Mattotti's] enigmatic, brooding scenes [in The Raven] harness the terror and beauty of the texts which span three centuries. They're uncompromising — and that's a quality that has always been applicable to the force that is Lou Reed." – Dean Mayo Davies, AnOther
• Review: "Drawing Power: A Compendium of Cartoon Advertising... is 124 pages of some of the best advertisements from the 1870s to the 1940s. Starring both cartoonists and cartoon characters, the book surveys an immense collection of cartoon advertising, focusing on the commercial roots of the comic strip and the fantastic artwork that came from cartoonists' freelance work in advertising. There are surprising and also familiar examples of products, ad campaigns, widely known catch-phrases, and cartoon figures.... Lovers of vintage advertisements and classic cartoons, you're in for a walk down memory lane..." – Nicole Torres, Print
• Review: "Love from the Shadows is somewhat inappropriately titled, as it sounds like a romance, but is really a sci-fi sex mash-up, with a big dash of David Lynch-ian 'what the fuck just happened here?' It’s definitely no chick flick, despite its strong female lead." – Rod Lott, Bookgasm
• Review: "Congress of the Animals... [is] Woodring’s second book-length Frank story. Not so overtly horrific as last year’s Weathercraft, but somehow more unsettling to me. Perhaps I’m just traumatized by the destruction of Frank’s house. Fantastic wordless storytelling, as always." – M. Ace, Irregular Orbit
• Plug: "You may think of Flannery O’Connor as a writer of the sorts of books that are all words, but in her younger days she yearned to be a cartoonist—and she wasn’t half bad. Fantagraphics will publish Flannery O’Connor: The Cartoons in December..." – Brigid Alverson, Robot 6
Throughout his career, Lyonel Feiningerhad one foot in fine art, as a leading figure of German expressionism and the Bauhaus. But, as we all know, he had his other foot planted in the world of comics, with his ground-breaking strips in the Chicago Sunday Tribune, The Kin-Der-Kids and Wee Willie Winkie's World.
This summer, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City celebrates Feininger with his very first major show in the states in forty-five years! Lyonel Feininger: At the Edge of the World will showcase not only his historic strips, but his paintings, photography, and even a series of miniature hand-carved wooden figures and buildings he created, known as City at the Edge of the World.
On Wednesday, July 20th, The Whitney spotlights some recent artists who also intersect fine art and comics: Gary Panter, Chris Ware , and Art Spiegelman! Join them at 7 PM for the panel The Fine Art of Comics,moderated by John Carlin.
You might even win tickets to the event if you follow The Whitney Museum on Twitter at @whitneymuseum! At 2 PM ET, they'll tweet a trivia question, and the winner gets tickets to the panel, and a copy of Feininger's complete comics collection The Comic Strip Art of Lyonel Feininger!
"Talk about a rare opportunity! It seems that Mr. Ware has graciously donated a piece of original artwork from the acclaimed Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth, to benefit the Intercultural Montessori Language School in Oak Park, Illinois. And not only that, Chris will sign and personalize it to the lucky winning bidder. The ebay auction is going on for nine days and right now it is already at $809."
Speaking of Chicago, one of the city's — nay, the world's — greatest shops for comics and zines, Quimby's Bookstore, is celebrating their 20th anniversary with this limited-edition 5-color silkscreen print of Chris Ware's blueprint for the store's sign, printed by the estimable Jay Ryan's Bird Machine press. Unsigned copies are available now and Quimby's promises that signed copies will be available at some point in the future.
As Earwax Cafe, a hub of comics activity in Chicago for many years, slips into memory and legend, Lilli Carré shares the above scan and reports on her blog: "I went there one more time this past weekend as they were closing, and they let me have the last extra copy of their xeroxed menu, the cover of which is adorned with doodles by Chris Ware, Dan Clowes, Archer Prewitt, and others." What an artifact!
Our pals at Presspop just announced that they will be reprinting Tank Tankuro, a classic pre-war manga by Gajo Sakamoto which prefigures Astro Boy, translated into English, and they got Chris Ware to design the cover. Nice!