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Category >> Chuck Forsman

First Look: The End of the Fucking World (TEOTFW) by Charles Forsman
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Coming AttractionsChuck Forsman 21 May 2013 12:24 PM

TEOTFW cover

TEOTFW pages

We seem to have a habit of posting sneak peeks of this book right after deadly disasters. We promise it's not on purpose.

Given the subject matter, calling our upcoming paperback collection of Charles Forsman's The End of the Fucking World "cute" seems a little weird, but it's partly the tension between wanting to put it in your pocket and being gripped by the harrowing story that gives the work its power.

This highly-anticipated book drops in July (after debuting at CAKE in Chicago in mid-June). We have an excerpt of the first two chapters for you to read right here, and stay tuned for details of an exclusive signed Risograph print you'll be able to get as a pre-order bonus!

TCAF in photos
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Ulli LustMichael Kuppermanmaurice fucking sendakLove and RocketsJaime HernandezGilbert HernandezDavid BDash Shawcomics journalChuck Forsman 21 May 2013 11:04 AM

The Toronto Comics Arts Festival was amazing, it was a whole corral of Fantagraphics cartoonists visiting Toronto with publicist Jacq Cohen and me to sell sell sell books to the sweetest Canadians. On Friday we stopped at the coolest comic book store, The Beguiling.

The Beguiling

Inkstuds' Robin McConnell in the Beguiling

Robino

Dash Shaw's new floppy comic, 3 New Stories! Plus, Maidenheadlock a crazy screen printed comic.

3 New Stories

There was an awesome shop called Honest Ed's full of $1 jeggings and $3 babies. BABIES, guys. It was a hell of deal. Luckily they had cool signage everywhere. If Jacq ever uses the internet for dates, here you go.

Jacq at Honest Ed's

We were all lucky enough to enjoy a converstation between Gilbert Hernandez, Tom Spurgeon and Jaime Hernandez about Love and Rockets, alternative comics and more in the Reference Library Friday night.

the talk

Andrew and James (yes?) from The Beguiling working the Bros book booth on Friday night. Thank you for being sweethearts and working hard.

Working it

The Death of Speedy, a touchstone story of Jaime's Locas series of Love and Rockets.

Bros talk

Drawn and Quarterly were excellent Canadian printing cousins and invited Jacq and me out to dinner. I sat across from Gilbert, Seth and Jaime (swoon).

Dinner

Chester Brown showed off some new original pages to Jeet Heer, Julia, Tracey and Chris Oliveros of D&Q. Seth constantly made fun of Chester's hair but its nicely conditioned.

Chester Brown

The big day was upon us and the table was S.T.A.C.K.E.D. with books like Ulli Lust's Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life.

Ulli Lust

Mike Winters, funny comic book man and Kupperman fan, was ready for his first comics show and showed off his cash envelope-bowl. His loonies and toonies smelled faintly of egg salad.

Mike Winters

Jaime and Dash Shaw were ready EARLY at 9am to sign books!

Jaime Hernandez and Dash Shaw

Our first cup of coffee was barely over before a Jaime fan bared all to show off his sexy Maggie tattoo. Jaime said "Make sure to get those boxers in the photo" just so you know I'm not objectifying this gentleman.

Maggie tattoo

Then the magical Ulli Lust made her appearance. Leon Avelino of Secret Acres and The Beguiling's Peter Birkmoe showed up but were sadly outdone by the BEST CON FACE EVER. Thank you, Toronto.

Ulli Lust

Ulli doesn't really spend ANY time on these book signings, right? Man, alive!

Ulli Lust book

Michael Kupperman had fans aplenty ready to buy Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 2 and original artwork.

Kupperman

Lilli Carré and Tom Kaczynski talk shop by stacks of Heads or Tails and Beta Testing the Apocalypse.

LILLI AND TOM

Spotted: awarding-winning comics librarian Lucia Cedeira Serantes. She showed off her Where the Wild Things Are shirt for The Comics Journal #302 featuring the last Maurice Sendak interview.

Librarian power

Robin McConnell and Portland's Sam Alden.

Sam Alden and Robin McConnell

Ed Piskor and Jacq talk about Hip Hop Family Tree and something evil given Ed's hands...

Ed Piskor and Jacq Cohen

Hanging out with Toronto's Zach Worton, The Beguiling's Alex Hoffman, our Chuck Forsman (we can't wait for The End of the Fucking World and Celebrated Summer) and Josh Frankel.

Zach, Alex, Chuck and Josh

Gilbert pretends to act crotchedy with an enthsiastic Peggy Burns from D&Q. Jade and Tracy in the background!

Peggy and Gilbert

Jaime and I discuss Little League baseball. Gilbert keeps up the act.

The Hernandez Brothers

Jacq and our former intern, future super cartoonist Sophie Yanow.

Sophie and Jacq

Oh geez, they had someone doing 10 minute henna at the front of TCAF show and while so beautiful, all I could think is what happens when someone accidentally rubs the still drying design on some $40 book. Actually, now I think about it that's a great way to get rid of some backstock. 

henna

Ulli and Dash signing books: Dash promises he was listening and not drifting back into his new book, New School.

Dash and Ulli

BUT Dash Shaw and I only have to hear the first half of the word 'VOGUE' before hittin' it, so to speak.

Jen and Dash

One Toronotian gal loved Dash Shaw's comics so much, Bottomless Belly Button, she got a tattoo based on it.

Dash tat

One of the Beguiling employees was chuffed to meet Michael Kupperman so they had to pose for a photo. You can tell its nice and early here because of all the butt space people have while walking down the aisles.

Kupperman and friend

Michael draws a commissioned illustration for a fan.

Kupperman draws

 Jacq snapped this photo of Michael at his artist spotlight panel. We wish our cartoonists had more confidence.

Michael Kupperman

Alex from The Beguiling picks up The Armed Garden by his favorite cartoonist, David B. NO, DA-vead Beh, say it right.

David B and Alex

Ulli stops to say hi to smart person and comics fan, Gil Roth.

ulli and gil roth

Thanks to Oliver East for tabling next to Fantagraphics all weekend, he is a true pleasure!

Oliver East

ALSO, thank you thank you to anyone who stopped by my comics booth. I put my name in for work and myself and never dreamed I'd get into TCAF with my own comics. Thanks to you, new friends, (and my harried and usually alone tablemate, Lucy Bellwood).

Jen Vaughn and Lucy Bellwood

How cool is The Beguiling for buying all your comics (or a goodly amount) after the show? Standing in the line was worth it not to carry your comics back over the border! Hopefully you said thank you to Peter Birkemoe and Chris Butcher at some point. 

The line

The after party was at Lee's Palace, an old punk venue that was so gorgeous. The town is full of beautiful facades and interesting buildings.

Lee's Palace

The Monday after the show we ran around Toronto with whomever was left in town. Like Rutu Modan! Jacq, me and Rutu accidentally ate opposite Robin, Mark P. Hensel (aka William Cardini) and Murilo.

Jacq Cohen, jen vaughn, rutu modan, robin McConnell, William Cardini and Murilo

Theo Ellsworth joined us for a visit to the beautiful Taiyo Matsumoto exhibit at the Japan Foundation and we ran into the Matsumoto himself! I've been a fan since Steve Bissette showed me some of his comics and the Ping Pong movie. PLEASE check it out if you haven't already and prepare to be blown away.

Taiyo Matsumoto!

This restaurant could be dangerous for someone like me. We were all confused as to what this kid's mouth is doing, why he's pushing his cheeks in, especially when saying the word 'cheese' pulls your mouth wide. You win this one, Toronto.

Say Cheese

Thank you, TCAF and The Beguiling, for all the help and love. We had a great time. Ulli mentioned one time how much she loved 'North American enthusiasm' so you made her week!

Ulli Lust loves you!

Photos by Jen, Jacq and Robin.

Chuck Forsman Original Art for sale
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Chuck Forsmanart 2 May 2013 10:15 AM

Snail Oil art

Come one, come all! It's time to spend those tax refunds on something good like some original art from Charles Forsman. You may have first seen his art in the Mome anthology from Fantagraphics but Forsman is a prolific cartoonist with many, many mini-comics under his belt. Above is a page from Snake Oil #6, below from a story in Mome, clocking in just at $100. Get a page or two now before Forsman's two books, The End of the Fucking World and Celebrated Summer come out later this year (and the prices on this type of artwork skyrocket!).

Forsman comics

Daily OCD 5/2/13
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Zippy the PinheadTom KaczynskiSteve DitkoSpain RodriguezspainRichard SalaPeanutsNoah Van SciverNico VassilakisMoto HagioMort MeskinMichael KuppermanLinda MedleyLilli CarréLeslie SteinLast VispoJulia GfrörerJosh SimmonsJim WoodringJames RombergerJacques BoyreauJack DavisHarvey KurtzmanGuy PeellaertGilbert HernandezEd PiskorEC ComicsDavid WojnarowiczDash ShawDaily OCDCrockett JohnsonCrag Hillcomics journalChuck ForsmanCarol TylerBill GriffithBarnabyAl WilliamsonAbstract Comics 2 May 2013 9:33 AM

The tantric release of Online Commentaries & Release:

Julio's Day

• Review: The LA Times and Noel Murray interviews Gilbert Hernandez about Julio's Day, Marble Season (from D&Q), plus the future books Love and Rockets: New Stories #6 and Maria M. LA Times: Gilbert says " ‘Julio’s Day’ is very simple. I mean, there’s a lot of heavy stuff going on, but I wanted it to read like a very simple, direct story."

• Interview: comiXology interviews Gilbert Hernandez about his most recent comic Julio's Day on their podcast.

• Review: Tom Spurgeon looks at Gilbert Hernandez's latest work, Julio's Day, on the Comics Reporter. "I found Julio's Day moving at times, again for reasons I'm not really certain I can fully articulate. The idea that we may be known as much for the choices of those around us and things that happen in proximity to ourselves as much as if not more than by the choices we make is either the ultimate comfort or the first back-of-throat rumblings of an existential howl."

• Plug: Julio's Day by Gilbert Hernandez is listed as one Amazon's Best Books of the Month

• Plug: Publishers Weekly lists Julio's Day as a pick of the week: "A marvelous and tightly scripted epic whose last page is a heart-stopper."

Review: Charles Hatfield of The Comics Journal flips through Julio's Day by Gilbert Hernandez. "When it comes to Beto, the lightning keeps striking, and if it doesn’t strike exactly the same place twice, it does testify to the same divided genius…It is the great lost Beto comic, belatedly given new form and new life.

• Review: Grovel's Andy Shaw reads Julio's Day by Gilbert Hernandez. "Just buy it now. This is Gilbert Hernandez at his finest, distilling a lifetime into a single volume of pleasure and pain. Julio’s Day is a literary classic, and another incredible piece of work from a true master of comics."

• Plug: Largehearted Boy plugs Julio's Day. "Gilbert compresses the history of the 20th century as well as the life of a man into a riveting, masterful story," writes Benn Ray.

• Plug (audio): Julio's Day is discussed on Daily Rios

The Adventures of Jodelle

• Review: The A.V. Club looks at The Adventures of Jodelle by Guy Peellaert. "The essays-which at 80 pages take up more of the book than Jodelle-are this volume's real selling point... Peellaert foregrounded the eroticism of advertising, and exposed how pulp imagery affects the public's understanding of everything from politics to gender. And he did it without resorting to polemics. The Adventures Of Jodelle book-both the comic strip and the supplemental material-is a delight both visually and intellectually," writes Noel Murray.

• Plug: Largehearted Boy plugs The Adventures of Jodelle by Guy Peellaert. "Think of Barbarella animated in that Yellow Submarine style and you get the idea of what Jodelle's adventures look like. This is comics as art."

• Plug: Comics Worth Reading plugs The Adventures of Jodelle by Guy Peellaert vis a vis a photo of ME holding it. Eat your heart out, actually eat Jodelle - with your eyes.

The Last Vispo

• Plug: Angel House Press is celebrated National Poetry Month with a focus on visual poetry, inspired by latest collection of it The Last Vispo, edited by Nico Vassilakis and Crag Hill. Check here for a month of visual poetry.

50 Girls 50

• Review: Heroes Complex at the LA Times looks at 50 Girls 50 by Al Williamson. Noel Murray writes, "These pieces are classic EC: punchy, knowing and ironic in the best sense of the word, in that they force readers to examine their own expectations. The best stories in '50 Girls 50 have readers rooting for heels, or celebrating war, all while framing the situation in such a way that readers question their responses." In reference to the whole EC Comics Library line, Murray writes, "All of these books are essential purchases for comics fans, but for those on a budget who are looking to prioritize…These are the books that best show off how EC took genre stories seriously, striving to create comics that didn’t treat readers as naive or ignorant."

• Plug: Boing Boing mentions our EC books, 50 Girls 50 and 'Tain't the Meat so you should probably buy them. "Fantagraphics released two beautiful hardbound books that collect the work of two of their superstars: Al Williamson and Jack Davis. The reproduction quality is superb," writes Mark Frauenfelder.

• Review: Fangoria reviews the next two EC books. Rick Trembles enjoys 'Tain't the Meat by Jack Davis. "Jack Davis’ dark comedic touch is all over this collection, diffusing the ghastly nature of the stories somewhat, an aspect to his work that was obviously lost on his opponents." Meanwhile with Al Willliamson's 50 Girls 50, Trembles writes "here we’re dazzled by romanticized sci-fi heroics and delicate line-work of the ilk of FLASH GORDON’S original artist Alex Raymond, Williamson’s main inspiration. Dinosaurs, spaceships, and outlandish otherworldly creatures populate the flora of faraway worlds, accompanied by buxom, exotically garbed beauties."

• Review: Nick Gazin sets his VICE sights on 'Tain't the Meat by Jack Davis. "Even though he wasn't a perfectionist, Jack Davis's laziness is better than most people's best work. When Davis does invest himself in a drawing it's just a mind bender. This is a must have for anyone who loves horror, EC, Jack Davis, any of that stuff."

The Dingburg Diaries

• Interview (audio): Beginnings with Wrestling Team interviews Bill Griffith about underground comix up to his most recent release,  Zippy: The Dingberg Diaries.

• Plug: Weird Universe highlights Zippy: The Dingberg Diaries on their site after Paul interviewed Bill Griffith at MoCCA 2013.

• Plug: Comics to find at MoCCA listed on AM New York. Zippy: The Dingburg Diaries and 50 Girls 50 are on the list of books to check out.

3 New Stories New School

• Review: Comics Bulletin looks at 3 New Stories from Dash Shaw. "This is a short, floppy-sized comic, but it's incredibly rich in complexity and depth. Shaw delivers an amazing collection of stories here."

• Interview: DigBoston and Clay Fernald talk to Dash Shaw about 3 New Stories, New School, Bottomless Belly Button and more. Shaw says, "Words and pictures are very different. They don't sit comfortably next to each other. Some cartoonists try to bring them closer together. Ware is like that. I like that space between things. I want the differences between things to be activated."

• Plug: Largehearted Boy hosts Atomic Books look at new comics included 3 New Stories. "Dash Shaw is a modern comics master. He experiments with everything from structure to narrative to color. If you're unfamiliar with his work, he's sort of like Gary Panter illustrating a Chris Ware story, or, in this case, 3 stories of dystopian societies," writes Benn Ray from Atomic Books.

Beta Testing the Apocalypse 7 Miles a Second

• Review: Nerds of a Feather enjoys Tom Kaczynski's Beta Testing the Apocalypse. Beta Philippe Duhart states "The thin lines, sharp angles, and rigid geometry…brings a clarity and simplicity that expertly balances the abstractness of the themes at the heart of Beta Testing the Apocalypse…One doesn’t need to have read Žižek to grasp Beta Testing’s themes and criticisms. One only needs to have only gone apartment hunting."

• Interview: Comics Bulletin and Keith Silve interview James Romberger and Marguerite Van Cook on 7 Miles A Second. Van Cook remembers, "David was a poet of the soul, there was always a tension between beauty and the vileness of what society did to anyone who was not of the mainstream. I once asked him what he did with the money he got from hustling when he was so young and he told me he would take a bus to the country and walk around. We thought it was so ironic that selling one's body and selling art had many of the same qualities. We laughed rather darkly, about how the body and art are commodified and priced so arbitrarily."

• Review: Publishers Weekly podcast looks at 7 Miles a Second in the time after MoCCA.

You'll Never Know: Book 3 The Heart of Thomas

• Interview (video): Back in January, Carol Tyler spoke to University of Southern California Provost's Professor Henry Jenkins and students as part of the USC Visions and Voices series. Mike Lynch was good enough to blog about it as soon as USC put up on the internet. She speaks about personal life and drawing comics, including the You'll Never Know series.

• Plug: Manga Bookshelf lists its first quarter favorites of 2013 and include Moto Hagio's newest book. "The Heart of Thomas was my most eagerly anticipated manga of the year, and while its January release date set the bar perhaps unfairly high for the year to come, I can’t bring myself to be sad about that."

Castle Waiting Vol 2 Definitive  Castle Waiting Vol. 1

• Review: Comics Worth Reading pulls out the Castle Waiting Vol. 2: Definitive Edition by Linda Medley. Johanna Draper Carlson writes "…it’s engrossing and beautifully drawn. I was surprised, reading the whole thing at once, how much of what figures in the final chapters was mentioned very early on. It gave me new appreciation for Medley’s long-term storytelling."

• Review: Calgary Public Library's Teen Blog speaks out on Castle Waiting Vol. 1 and 2 by Linda Medley. Adrienne writes, "Castle Waiting is a great comic book that takes elements from fairytales such as 'Sleeping Beauty' and combines them with a good dose of humour and plots about bearded ladies, two-headed girls, pregnancy and hidden libraries..I highly recommend her"

• Review: Strange Journal reviews Castle Waiting. "I’ve really fallen for it, it’s what they’d call a triple threat in show business: It can sing, dance AND act…In the tradition of Jeff Smith’s Bone and the better parts of Dave Sim’s Cerebus, Medley has conjured an amazing and beautiful world and filled it with flawed, interesting folks eking out their existence in a castle on the edge of the world," states Adam Blodgett.

Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol.2 Delphine

• Interview: Slice Radio interviews Michael Kupperman on life and Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 2

• Review: Delphine by Richard Sala is reviewed on Comics Bulletin. Jason Sacks "We're used to fairy tales telling the story of a journey by a girl from innocence to the real world. Delphine inverts the gender of those classic tales, but uses those familiar tropes to tell a familiar story. Richard Sala treads a world of metaphor and allusion, a world that feels as familiar as Grimm's Fairy Tales and as mysterious as our own heart." 

Out of the Shadows Barnaby

• Review: Nick Gazin sets his VICE sights on Out of the Shadows by Mort Meskin (edited by Steven Brower). "Shadows everywhere. The stories are just a lot of old timey chatter where people call each other chum and stuff but the compositions and choices that Mort Meskin made are pretty sophisticated."

• Interview: The Comics Journal posts an article titled Crockett Johnson and the Invention of Barnaby. Philip Nel writes about it all including the creation of fairy godfather, Mr. O'Malley's favorite catchphrase. Barnaby is coming so soon, we'll all cry "Cushlamochree!"

Impossible Tales: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 4   Messages in a Bottle

• Review: iFanboy hypes up Impossible Tales: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 4 (by Steve Ditko and edited by Blake Bell) coming out this May. Josh Christie states: "Steve Ditko is one of those guys you could picture on the Mount Rushmore of comics creators…Like so many of the great comics from the 1950s, the drug-fueled, macabre scenes look more like something out of an alternate dimension rather than from the states’ apple pie and bubblegum past."

• Review: Arkham Comics reviews Messages in a Bottle by B. Krigstein (edited by Greg Sadowski). A rough translation states, "Messages in a Bottle is a magical book, a timeless and stunning clarity: a lesson in comics as we do not meet every day."

The Hypo Heads or Tails The End of the Fucking World

• Review: Noah Van Sciver's The Hypo is reviewed on We Read Comics "Sciver absolutely nails it…We see Lincoln's plain spoken style, his humbleness, his self-doubt, and his honesty here with so much fucking economy and elegance."

• Interview: Noah Van Sciver appears on Comic Impact to talk about The Hypo and his newest comics project. 

• Review: Lilli Carré's Heads or Tails is reviewed on French podcast Dans ta bulle.

• Plug: The End of the Fucking World (Spoiler alert!) on The Chemical Box. "Similar to Derf’s analysis of Jeffery Dahmer in 'My Friend Dahmer', you can see James (along with Dahmer) struggling with their basic instincts."

Black is the Color Hip Hop Family Tree Eye of the Majestic Creature

• Plug: The Beat waxes on about Julia Gfrörer and Black is the Color. Zainab Akhtar writes, "Gfrorer’s work is consistently excellent, featuring themes of myth, folk lore, mysticism and spirituality, coupled with her fine-lined, evocative art." 

• Plug: Demencha calls Ed Piskor a Hip Hop Archeologist and more in reference to Hip Hop Famiy Tree. "His classic indie comic composition and narrative ease make the strip readable, informative (who knew Rammelzee went tagging with Basquiat?), and respectful to the art forms and artists it covers," writes J.P. McNamara.

• Review: In an oddly religious review, Mirrors of Christ looks at Eye of the Majestic Creature by Leslie Stein. "Sadly in this story the lyre (guitar) did not participate in the worship of God but in the desire of the flesh."

Sexytime The Furry Trap

• Review: Orgasm reviews Sexytime edited by Jacques Boyreau. "…if you want an oversized coffee-book that your guests might enjoying flipping through the pages as you bring refreshments, Sexytime is for you. And hey, it might even get you laid."

• Review: Josh Simmons' story from The Furry Trap, 'Mark of the Bat' is reviewed on Vorptalizer. Seat T. Collins comments, " 'Mark of the Bat' picks and picks and picks at our dovetailed drive for cruelty and need to feel superior to others until the fingernail tears off. It leaves a mark." 

Frank ipad  The Comics Joural Abstract Comics

• Plug: Comics Workbook enjoys reading The Portable Frank digitally thanks to comiXology.Leah writes, "Woodring’s way of transitioning images between panels (in, ya know, a pretty trippy way) lends itself really well to the panel by panel viewing of the digital reader."

• Plug: Tucker Stone mentions the new issue of The Comics Journal on the Comics Journal, not trying to get to incestuous. "The new issue of the Journal is pretty good; the Tardi interview is great."

• Plug: Textures of Ether looks at Abstract Comics. "Do Abstract Comics artists need to be aware of comics history?…Molotiu’s articles explore the theory behind Abstract Comics and are always interesting to read. They would make a welcome addition to any future AC anthology."

Cruisin' with the Hound

• Review: Nick Gazin checks out Cruisin' with the Hound by Spain Rodriguez on VICE. "Spain's comics always feel lively and real and there's this sense that he was probably too cool to be making comics but somehow he was. You can tell he was for real because he put the most energy into drawing motorcycles and cars and his people always look kinda like they're secondary to their machines. Great book from a great artist and story teller."

• Plug: Musical notation in Peanuts is analyzed on the Hooded Utilitarian. "In this sense, Schulz again collapses into Charlie Brown — locked out of high art virtuosity and romantic opportunities, disappointed in art as in love.…Schulz has, perhaps, found a way to invert Lichtenstein," writes Noah Berlatsky. 
 
• Plug (video): Al Jaffee and Robert Grossman are interviewed on the Imperium about the Harvey Kurtzman retrospective at the Society of Illustrators. Jaffee states, "His concepts were, to us at the time, revolutionary because he was breaking the third or the fourth wall, whatever you want to call it."

• Plug: And finally, Peanuts and Persian literature.

Cover & Excerpt: TEOTFW by Charles Forsman
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under previewsComing AttractionsChuck Forsman 19 Apr 2013 12:35 PM

TEOTFW by Charles Forsman

It's the end of the fucking week — and what a fucking week it's been, especially in Chuck Forsman's home state of Massachusetts. We swear it's only coincidence that on our schedule for today is this sneak peek at the final cover art and an excerpt of an upcoming graphic novel about a pair of lawless young people walking a violent path together.

Our collection of Chuck's acclaimed minicomic The End of the Fucking World (a.k.a. the more bookstore-friendly TEOTFW) is due out in July. In its serialized form, TEOTFW was named to multiple Best of 2012 lists and earned praise like this:

"The most beautiful piece of Americana made in years. Every page Forsman draws is a minimalist masterpiece. Huge and heartbreaking. A modern triumph disguised as an episode of Peanuts." – Matt Seneca

"The awkwardness, the urgency, the sense of discovery, the sense of revulsion - it's all true, even if you've never stuck your own hand in a garbage disposal." – Sean T. Collins

"Great stuff." – Frank Santoro

"[TEOTFW] exemplifies what exactly it is I love about comics. It's lo-fi yet stylistic, subtle yet visceral — a version of Bonnie and Clyde bled through the lens of Gus Van Sant's Paranoid Park." – Spandexless

"This is a crime comic disguised as a slacker-road-trip comic, and Forsman delivers its methodical hum eight pages at a time with an astounding precision." – Comic Book Resources

"[TEOTFW] pulls you in like no other comic this year. Stunning in its simplicity and brave in its subject matter." – MTV.com

Our 19-page excerpt comprises the first two issues of the series; read it here.

MoCCA in photos - All the photos
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Ulli LustNoah Van SciverLinda MedleyLeslie SteinKim DeitchJohnny RyanJoe DalyJames RombergerJacques TardiGilbert HernandezGary GrothEC ComicsDrew FriedmanDiane NoominDavid WojnarowiczDash ShawChuck ForsmanCharles BurnsBill Griffith 15 Apr 2013 11:59 AM

EC Books
MoCCA was a BLAST, as usual. PR Director, Jacq Cohen, and I showed up early on Friday to set up the table. People couldn't wait for Saturday, clumping around the new books. Our two newest EC Comics Library releases featuring Al Williamson and Jack Davis' work are creating a heartbreakingly beautiful rainbow. 

MoCCA
One side of the set-up table!

Fantagraphics table
Friday night was Dash Shaw's opening for his New School art exhibition and 30th birthday at Desert Island. His fianceé (sorry, ladies and germs) made a cake that was uber-delicious. Below, Dash talks about his new comics.

Dash at Desert Island
Party hardy, Gabrielle Bell is talking to Ariel Shrag (!) in the left-hand corner. 

Desert Island
A gentleman was purchasing Julio's Day by Gilbert Hernandez at Desert Island so we had to compliment him on his exquisite taste. Lo and behold, Tony (or so he says) showed up at MoCCA the next day ready to buy more quality comics, this time Castle Waiting Vol. 1 by Linda Medley. My mom would be so proud that I'm still somewhat polite!

Tony Tony with Castle Waiting
I ran into a familiar face, cartoonist and animation intern Andrew Greenstone, who was more than willing to hang out and shot the shit---I mean, talk business.

Andrew Greenstone and Jen Vaughn
If I ever become a comic book store owner, I hope I'm as cool as Gabe Fowler. The red print was a Desert Island exclusive!

Gabe Fowler
The next day MoCCA started out with the great Bill Griffith signing new copies of Zippy: The Dingburg Diaries

Bill and fan
Cartoonist Charles Burns showed up to hang out with friends and look at comics. I never ever tire of that man's company, but he did mention some people are reticent to eat with him because of what he draws in his comics. FOOLS, I say! Also, Evan Dorkin makes Chris Duffy guffaw in the background. Doesn't "Griffith, Dorkin, Duffy and Burns" sound like an amazing lawfirm? Like possibly corrupt but they probably have a pastry chef on staff to appease their clients?

Griffith, Dorkin, Duffy and Burns
Also signing at MoCCA was Kim Deitch, whose new book The Amazing, Enlightening and Absolutely True Adventures of Katherine Whaley is coming out soon and is haunting, to put it mildly. Kim Deitch and Bill Griffith
Deitch brought his original pages which fans poured over. Kim Deitch and fans
James Romberger
and Marguerite Van Cook made their Fantagraphics signing debut for 7 Miles a Second, the moving comic written by David Wojnarowicz. The book has one of those covers that is both oblique and arresting (Jacq adds up some quick math on the right). While I did not stop a child from picking up the book, I did tell a parent or two it had adult material in it. One of my favorite sells of the weekend was selling Prison Pit Book Two to a 14 year old kid whose mom seemed dubious until I brought up the philosophy behind the book. The teen gave me a giant wink as he left, he might not get it still.

James, Marguerite and Jacq
Van Cook discussed innovative printing techniques from their travels and non-profit advice while James would sketch in signed copies of the book. 

7 Miles a Second
Recently, Alex Dueben talked to Romberger for Comic Book Resources and stopped to meet them in person.  

Romberger, Van Cook and Dueben
Next up was Leslie and Dash! Local cartoonist Leslie Stein is also in a pretty crazy fun band, Prince Rupert's Drops. If you live in the New York area, check them out. The rest of us will just live via our headphones or listening to their tracks on the recent AudioFemme interview. Leslie signed my old copy of Eye of the Majestic Creature and we talked about second book that's coming out this fall! I heard some comments from other cartoonists that they feel weird about asking fellow toonies to sign their books but I don't give a humdinkle about that. Make it FANCY for me.

Leslie Stein
Dash signed the spine of many a Bottomless Belly Button and cover of 3 New Stories for eager fans. Those gorgeous red prints (you can only see a quarter of it) are available from Desert Island if you are looking for something for the Shaw fan who 'has it all.' 

Dash Shaw signs
One of the favorite books of the con was Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life by Ulli Lust. Mk Reed confessed to reading the original edition with an English translation, she was so eager. Here, Carl Antonowicz expresses something...yes, it's joy at the book!

Ulli Lust's book and Carl Antonowicz
Publishers Weekly's Cal Reid looks great in his Love and Rockets shirt (Virtual Memories podcast host, Gil Roth suited up behind him).

Cal Reid
Really loved that Bill Griffith whipped out some future Zippy strips (for May!) during a lull during his signings. No big deal.

Zippy Panels
Self Made Hero
cartoonist JAKe (according to the internet) is a huge Drew Friedman fan, he just can't take great photos.

Drew Friedman
Given our close proximity to the stairs to the bathroom, there wasn't much chance for wondering down aisles or buying comics. I really wanted to read L. Nichols' Flocks and she was helpful enough to COME TO ME with her Square for my plastic purchase.

L. Nichols
Tucker Stone, of TCJ and Bergen Street Comics, came by to get Gary's signature on a copy of The Comics Journal. Pretty cute, right?

Tucker Stone and Gary Groth
Jacq and me with two of our debut books by Ulli Lust and Gilbert Hernandez! Photo by Dre Grigoropol.

Jen and Jacq
Hung with bossman Gary Groth, Dash, Leslie and Jacq one night. 

Gary Groth, Dash Shaw, Jen Vaughn, Leslie Stein, Jacq Cohen
Charles Forsman
was out and about with his Oily Comics micropublishing outfit. Chuck's comic, The End of the Fucking World, will be out this July from Fantagraphics in one single beautiful book. I'm so excited about that. We in no way support NCIS.

Jen Vaughn and Chuck Forsman
Chuck and I go way back, we used to work at the same graphic novel library together in Vermont. A photo from 2009:

 Jen and Chuck
Speaking of libraries, the next day Tom Spurgeon and I visited Columbia University's Butler Library and Rare Book room, led around by enthusiastic librarian Karen Green. It was so very cool to see our books with library binding but they've also perfected a myler binding so we don't lose those cool spine designs. Shaw's Bottomless Belly Button and Noah Van Sciver's The Hypo.

Library binding  Library binding
Kim, I didn't forget about you, the library has a lot of Jacques Tardi books. Some were checked out, which is even better than finding them at the library.

Tardi  Jen and Jacques Tardi 
A grand place I hope to visit again.  Thanks to Anelle Miller and her trusty band of volunteers for the enjoyable convention, Gary and Jacq for booth help plus a few of these photos. Lastly, another one of my favorite moments of the week was selling Dungeon Quest Book One to a gentleman on Saturday who came back Sunday to buy the other two after reading the first in one sitting. It was a cherry on top of an awesome convention.

Gary Groth

Daily OCD 3/22/13
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under The Comics JournalSpain RodriguezspainRoy CraneRobert CrumbPeter BaggePaul NelsonNoah Van SciverMoto HagioMort MeskinMichael KuppermanLinda MedleyKim ThompsonKevin AveryJulia GfrörerJanet HamlinJaime HernandezJack JacksonGuy PeellaertGeorge HerrimanGary GrothEd PiskorDaily OCDcomics journalChuck ForsmanChris WrightB KrigsteinAlexander Theroux 22 Mar 2013 2:45 PM

The longest, unabridged edition of Online Commentaries & Diversions:

Tales Designed to Thrizzle Volume Two

• Review: The Village Voice is almost hospitalized while reading Michael Kupperman's Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 2. "Kupperman heaps absurdity upon absurdity…The result is a jubilant rococo, the strips all thrilling ornamentation…No exaggeration: I coughed hot soup out of my nose while reading the new hardbound volume of deadpan dadaist Michael Kupperman" states Alan Scherstuhl.

• Review: Comic Book Resources looks at Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 2 by Michael Kupperman. Brian Cronin loves the Moon 69 story. "The devolution of the ads as the story continues might be my favorite part…The second collection of Kupperman’s individual Thrizzle issues JUST came out and it includes [Moon 69]! So go buy it, dammit!"

• Review: Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 2 by Michael Kupperman shines at The AV Club. "Kupperman's work only gets funnier when read in bulk... Kupperman's comics take pre-existing popular culture-TV shows, advertising, other comics-and tweak them just a little until they become hilariously absurd," states Noel Murray.

• Plug: Time Out New York analyzes Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 2 with one interactive panel. Cool!

The Comics Journal #302

• Review: Glen Weldon reviews The Comics Journal #302 on New Republic, exclusively the Maurice Sendak interview conducted by Gary Groth. "Why on earth would I want to read 100 pages of caustic carping? Because Sendak is funny.  Deeply, passionately so. Read in full, Sendak’s zingers lose their venom and evince a sincere and surprising warmth. He comes off as bitter, but not embittered—a fine distinction, perhaps, but a real one."

• Plug (video): Mark Judge made a music video for TCJ #302. Trust me, you'll want to see this.

• Plug: USA Today's Pop Candy mentions TCJ #302. "This week I've been reading the wonderful (and massive) issue No. 302, which contains a huge Maurice Sendak tribute as well as his final interview"

• Revew: Chris Estey of KEXP writes on some of our new titles like The Comics Journal #302, edited by Gary Groth, Kristy Valenti and Michael Dean. "Probably my favorite single issue magazine of 2013, it is actually a freakily-elevated edition of the long-running only-trustable trade magazine devoted to comics…it gives us a chance to sample the gamut of an ever-evolving and surprisingly inspiring art-form."

The Grammar of Rock

• Revew: Chris Estey of KEXP reviews our newest book of music criticism The Grammar of Rock by Alexander Theroux. "Ripping through this hilarious rage on banality and unexpected pleasures I thought, they don’t make writers like this anymore…Drop that boring band biography and fetch this, if only for the mountains of lists of rarely-heard missing gems he has sampled and tasted beforehand for you."

• Review: Pop Matters has to tune into The Grammar of Rock by Alexander Theroux. John L. Murphy writes, "Naturally, the fun of The Grammar of Rock lies in its acerbic prose as well as its aesthetic insight…You’ll either laugh or you won’t. I laughed."

• Review: Washington Independent Review of Books also looks at Alexander Theroux's The Grammar of Rock. "Reading Alexander Theroux’s The Grammar of Rock is like hitching a ride with a suspiciously awake truck driver who talks endlessly for hours…All in all, this book is a very cold love letter," says DJ Randy Cepuch.

Sketching Guantanamo

• Plug: Wired runs 10 sketches by Janet Hamlin featured in her upcoming book, Sketching Guantanamo. Hamlin remembers sketching Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, "He would turn and pose — a deliberate turn, facing me, holding very steady." 

Julio's Day

• Review: Julio's Day by Gilbert Hernandez gets reviewed on on The AV Club. "Julio's Day(Fantagraphics) is as much about what's not on the page as what is...Fashions, mores, and technologies change; but desires and disappointments do not," writes Noel Murray.

Los Tejanos and Lost Cause

• Review: Nerds of a Feather give an outstanding rating and review a recent reprint of Jack Jackson's work. Philippe Duhart writes, "Los Tejanos and Lost Cause are the products of serious historical research, and as such they are clear exhibitions of comics' potential as a viable media for academic and journalistic work…I appreciate that Johnson sticks with the perspective of the “losers” -- Juan Seguin's struggles against racism following Texas’ rebellion and Texan Confederates' struggle to regain a sense of honor following the defeat of their cause."

Castle Waiting Vol. 1

• Review: Fingers on Blast reads Linda Medley's Castle Waiting Vol. 1. "The tales weave their way together seamlessly thanks to Medley's art.  There is no simple way to describe it, but to say it draws you ever deeper into the story."

Peter Bagge's Other Stuff

• Revew: Chris Estey of KEXP writes on some of our new titles Peter Bagge's Other Stuff which" features Bagge doing some sharp-witted journalism (on comedy festivals, especially) and historical stories…it is an electric, howlingly funny, bona-fide classic mangle of manic music history, prickly satire, and perfectly rendered cartooning."

The Heart of Thomas The Adventures of Jodelle   

• Review: Novi Magazine picks apart feminist storytelling in Moto Hagio's The Heart of Thomas. "While Thomas depicts male characters, Hagio codes femininity into every element of the story, with every effort towards drawing in her assumedly female audience…" writes Dan Morrill.
 
•Review: BookDragon plugs The Heart of Thomas by Moto Hagio. "…it’s certainly proved its lasting effects. Never mind the rockets, sometimes turbulent feelings can take you much, much further…" writes Terry Hong.
 
• Plug: Comics Forge is looking foward to The Adventures of Jodelle by Guy Peellaert as much as we are! "This was one of the trend setting 1960’s comics that you will see echoed worldwide during that time and when this style of pop art was raging as the most important thing since sex was invented…It looks like it is going to be a beautiful book, like most of the books that Fantagraphics puts out, you can feel the love."

Buz Sawyer: Vol. 2 Out of the Shadows

• Review: Scoop covers Buz Sawyer Vol. 2: Sultry's Tiger by Roy Crane in one hell of a history lesson on newspaper and adventure comics. "Buz Sawyer may be the peak of the adventure strip as a genre…Crane’s ability to walk a fine line between hyper-realism while still incorporating an easy to read and understand style places him among the greats in comic history," says Mark Squirek. 

• Review: Scoop covers Mort Meskin's Out of the Shadows. "He is so skilled at body language that without reading a single word you can see the kid’s enthusiasm for his grandfather’s story grow across the first three panels," writes Mark Squirek.

Beta Testing the Apocalypse The Hypo Black Lung

• Interview: Comic Book Resources and Alex Dueben interview Tom Kacyznski about his books. Kacyznski says, "There's an easy willingness to imagine the collapse of everything instead of small changes in the political system that could fix a lot of the problems that we're having. Those kinds of themes interest me."

• Review: Beta Testing the Apocalypse by Tom Kaczynski gets a look-see on B-Sides & Rarities. Elizabeth Simins writes, "Kaczynski’s style involves a pretty dedicated commitment to setting scenes with lyrical descriptions as much as imagery, which is something I associate with the space between “regular” fiction and comics…You should read it."

• Review: Grovel reviews The Hypo by Noah Van Sciver. "It’s a surprising but fascinating insight into the psyche of a man that outsiders would normally assume to be a sort of political superhuman, but Sciver adds depth and soul to the two-dimensional image of the man with half a beard and a top hat," penned Andy Shaw.

• Review: Comic Pusher enjoys their read of Chris Wright's new book: "In Black Lung Wright presents a world of ceaseless violence and pain, his reflectively brutal cartooning interwoven with elegiac prose, with the very syntax of comic storytelling breaking down under the memory and transformative agony of loss and obsession," says Jeffrey O. Gustafson. 

Everything is an Afterthought Your Vigor for Life Appalls Me  

• Review: Warren Leming over at Logos Journal reviews Everything is an Afterthought: The life and times of Paul Nelson. "Author Kevin Avery has done us a great service in bringing Paul Nelson’s woefully neglected story and life on the music culture scene into focus. This is a book for all those interested in what made 20th Century American music an anthem for the world."

• Plug: Jade at D&Q Bookstore digs into Your Vigor for Life Appalls Me by R. Crumb. "The extraordinary title is only matched by the incredible insight into the iconoclast’s mind and the ultra-snazzy portrait of an early Crumb on the cover, sporting a corduroy jacket and tie… A definite must-read for any Crumb fan."

Black is the Color The End of the Fucking World Hip Hop Family Tree
• Review: The Comics Journal digs Black is the Color by Julia Gfrörer. Sean T. Collins writes, "Gfrörer’s most moving comic to date, Black Is the Color eroticizes suffering not to glamorize it, but to endure it."

• Interview: Robin McConnell interviews Julia Gfrörer about her webcomic and soon-to-be-in-print book, Black is the Color on Inkstuds.

• Review: Comics Bulletin loves Charles Forsman's The End of the
Fucking World
. Geoffrey Lapid writes "Instead of allowing you to step back and look at James and Alyssa through wistful adult hindsight, Forsman's fluid and subdued linework take us right into those moments that you only understand when you're 17 years-old, proudly oblivious and doomed…James and Alyssa feel like real, substantial characters rather than simple broad strokes alluding to a deeper history."

• Interview: Ed Piskor is interviewed by Jackie Mantey for Columbus Alive during his Ohio art residency and on Hip Hop Family Tree. "The purity of intent is something that’s important to me with anything I come across," Piskor believes. 

Love and Rockets New Stories 5 Cruisin' with the Hound

• Interview: Kelli Korducki interviews Jaime Hernandez on behalf of Hazlitt about Love and Rockets. Jaime answers, "I like the way women react to situations. Guys in a certain situation mostly try to keep it cool, keep their cover, keep things in control. With a lot of women I know, you get eight different reactions to a situation."

• Review: Jon Longhi looks at Spain Rodriguez in Having a Book Moment. Cruisin' with the Hound, a recent collection, is "it's all gang fights, hot rods, teenage mayhem and its wonderfully entertaining and beautifully illustrated."

Messages in a Bottle Krazy and Ignatz

• Plug: Craig Fischer on the Heroes Online Blog now looks at Messages in a Bottle: Comic Book Stories by B. Krisgstein. "Thanks to Sadowski, I’m now crazy for Krigstein."

• Plug: Earth Science Picture of the day is Elephant Feet, Arizona, (shot by Stu Witmer) as seen in the comic pages Krazy Kat by George Herriman

• Plug: Heidi MacDonald over at The Beat enjoyed Tom Spurgeon's interview with Gary Groth. Tom also put up a visit of Fantagraphics in pictures, but you know, didn't include the new office.

• Plug: The LA Times and David Ulin say some touching things after the announcement of Kim's cancer diagnosis. Thank you.

Daily OCD 3/7/13
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Richard SalaNo Straight LinesNancyJustin HallJulia GfrörerJohnny GruelleJames RombergerJacques TardiGary GrothErnie BushmillerDavid WojnarowiczDaily OCDChuck ForsmanChris WrightAlexander Theroux 7 Mar 2013 4:24 PM

The first peak of sun of Online Commentaries & Diversions:

7 Miles a Second

• Review: Noah Berlatsky on Slate reviews 7 Miles a Second by David Wojnarowicz, James Romberger, and Marguerite Van Cook. "That feared and desired encounter is in part the collision of comics and art—but it's also, and emphatically, the intermingling of queer and straight…7 Miles a Second still represents a road largely avoided…even if 7 Miles a Second never went mainstream, this new edition remains a stirring reminder that everything pushed to the side isn't gone."

• Review: Full Page Bleed and Tom Murphy read 7 Miles a Second by David Wojnarowicz, James Romberger, and Marguerite Van Cook. "Like David Wojnarowicz's vision of himself, this is a volume that has an impossible amount of energy and emotion packed into its slim dimensions. It's a blistering book that, having been revived by Fantagraphics in the format it deserves, should now take its rightful place in the comics/graphic memoir canon."

Delphine

• Review: The North Adams Transcript blog reviewed Delphine by Richard Sala. "Prince Charming’s journey is creepy and jarring, and the trappings of the likes of the Grimm Brothers take on a heightened presentation that becomes more personal than you would ever expect them to be," John Seven.

The Grammar of Rock

• Plug: The D&Q bookstore is ready to read prose book The Grammar of Rock by Alexander Theroux. Jade writes, "Cliché lyrics, diva meltdowns, and inarticulate diction are all up for close examination in Theroux’s comprehensive exploration of language in pop, rock, jazz, folk, soul, and yes, even rap (Ghostface Killah!)."

No Straight Lines

• Plug: LAMBDA announces nominees for awards and includes Justin Hall's No Straight Lines. Lambda Literary Awards celebrate achievement in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) writing for books published in 2012. More information here!

Love from the Shadows

• Review: The Savage Critic looks at Gilbert Hernandez's Love from the Shadows. "It’s the work of a comics master tearing into the stained brown paper parcel of his unconscious, and finding a piping hot slurry composed of decades of pop culture detritus."

Nancy Likes Christmas

• Plug: The Daily Optimist shows off a few panels of Nancy Likes Christmas by Ernie Bushmiller. Dan Wagstaff writes, "I do have a strange and peculiar love of Ernie Bushmiller’s ‘Nancy’ comic strips… Fantagraphics are doing a great job of collecting them properly into books (designed by Jacob Covey)."

• Plug: Tom Heintjes on Cartoonician gives a short and concise history of Fritzi Ritz aka Aunt Fritzi from Ernie Bushmiller's Nancy. She was the star of her own strip before that created by Larry Whittington. "A young cartoonist named Ernie Bushmiller took the reins and went with his strength: the simple gags that would forever earn both the scorn and admiration of millions of comics fans."

Gary Groth

• Interview: The Comics Reporter and Tom Spurgeon interviews Publisher Gary Groth: "I can look at most books and come up with a pretty accurate estimate as to how it will sell. Occasionally I'm wrong."

Chris Wright's Black Lung Black is the Color

• Plug: Fantagraphics fan and friend, JT Dockery has a fundraising campaign/pre-order for his Despair book which features art from Chris Wright and Julia Gfrörer. I hope they are on a ship.

The End of the Fucking World

• Plug: Sam Costello at Full Stop lists The End of the Fucking World by Charles Forsman as one of the most anticipated books of 2013. "While there’s certainly violence and horror here, Forsman handles the subject as a character study, not a lurid glorification, making James sympathetic and his deeds all the more monstrous."

Mr. Twee Deedle

• Review: Michael May reviews Mr. Twee Deedle by Johnny Gruelle on School Library Journal. In reference to Good Comics for Kids, "There’s plenty for children to enjoy in the collection, but parents and educators will be even more rewarded. Not only by the history and context that Marschall provides, but by the sheer sweetness and transportive beauty of the illustrations as well. Each of the full-page, full-color strips is something not only to linger over, but to revisit often."

West Coast Blues

• Review: The Weekly Crisis looks at West Coast Blues by Jacques Tardi. "The narrative is almost a ‘dark twin’ of Hitchcock’s North by Northwest as George is forced to adapt and go on the run as the forces arrayed against him close in."

• Plug: Jessica Abel posted some cool ideas on visual scripting and laying out your ideas she learned from Alison Bechdel. 

Daily OCD 2/6/2013
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Wally WoodTom KaczynskiThe Comics JournalSteven BrowerSpain RodriguezspainShimura TakakoRon Regé JrRichard SalaMoto HagioMort MeskinLove and RocketsLilli CarréJustin HallJoost SwarteJames RombergerJaime HernandezHarvey KurtzmanGilbert HernandezEd PiskorEC ComicsDavid WojnarowiczDash ShawDaily OCDChuck ForsmanCharles M SchulzCharles Burns 6 Feb 2013 11:45 PM

The most intricate house sigil of Online Commentaries & Diversions:

7 Miles a Second  Beta Testing the Apocalypse

• Review: The LA Times enjoys their reading of 7 Miles a Second by David Wojnarowicz, James Romberger and Marguerite Van Cook. "Part of the power of Wojnarowicz’s work is that he dealt with such concepts accessibly; he didn’t have time to waste. It was the source of his restless imagination, his willingness to experiment with unexpected forms," writes David L. Ulin.

• Plug: NY1 (New York 1) and Don Kois talk about 7 Miles a Second David Wojnarowicz, James Romberger and Marguerite Van Cook. "…this graphic novel is an amazing document of the gaudy, dangerous world of clients and johns and artists and thugs downtown in the 1980s."

• Interview: Nick Hanover of Comics Bulletin interviews Tom Kaczynski on Beta Testing the Apocalypse. Kacyznski writes, "All these stories started to feel like they were linked and eventually things like the noise stories and the themes of sound started to kind of inject themselves into the rest of the materialI'm interested in utopias, and utopian societies. And a lot of what Communism is is essentially an attempted utopia that failed. "

Wandering Son   Wandering Son Vol.3

• Review:  Terry Hong of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center writes about Wandering Son Vols. 2 and 3 by Shimura Takako. "The discordant contrast of Shimura’s winsome visuals against the sharp growing pains of her tweenagers imbues her series with urgent solemnity."

Delphine Heads or Tails

• Review: Art Rocker and Wee Claire look at Delphine by Richard Sala. "Delphine is arguably Richard Sala's darkest tale to date and a brilliant gateway for those new to his whimsical storytelling style…There are comparisons to Snow White dotted throughout the story but Sala's indie-goth execution tinged with a 70s horror atmosphere make for a much more interesting tale."

• Review: The Toronto Star reads and reviews our books like Heads or Tails by Lilli Carré. "Carré’s work, fittingly titled Heads or Tails, probes choice, ambivalence and fate; in her stories, there’s a flip side to everything, rendered in full and brilliant colour,"says Laura Kane.

• Review: Noah Bertlatsky on the Hooded Utilitarian looks at the art of Lilli Carré comics from Heads or Tails through the gendered lens of Bart Beaty. "If art is both hyperbolic masculine swagger and small-scale feminized detail, though, for Carré the form that mediates between the two is something that looks a lot like comics."

TJ 302 cover

• Interview (partial): Dan Nadel of The Comics Journal posts part of the interview of Jacqes Tardi by Kim Thompson from TCJ 302.

• Plug: "It's astonishing to me that The Comics Journal will have outlasted Wizard, Hero Illustrated and CBG, but I'm happy for that fact," says former TCJ editor, Tom Spurgeon. TCJ 302 was co-edited by Kristy Valenti and Mike Dean.

From Shadow to Light Out of the Shadows  

• Review: Mort Meskin gets the full hello-how-are-ya when his collections are reviewed, edited by Steven Brower. "Out of the Shadows was such an enjoyable find that when it ended we were hungry for more of Meskin’s work." So Scoop turns to From Shadow to Light, "Meskin is so skilled in portraying body language that he doesn’t need a face to tell us know exactly what someone is thinking…a thorough and very detailed look at a man’s life, his family and the work he valued.

• Plug: Spain Rodriguez and Mort Meskin have been automatically inducted into the Eisner Hall of Fame as posted on The Beat. And of course, Fantagraphics will be at San Diego Comic Con with copies of their books, Cruisin' with the Hound and Out of the Shadows. Other Fantagraphics' greats have been nominated as well like Trina Robbins , Bill Griffith, Jacques Tardi and Gary Panter.

Peanuts Every Sunday The End of the Fucking World

• Plug: Kotaku and Evan Narcisse get teary-eyed over Peanuts Every Sunday by Charles M. Schulz. "The daily black-and-white comics were great but the full-color Sunday strips gave Schulz a big, beautiful canvas to let his expert pacing and amazing linework breathe in a rainbow of color…it's really the entire mix of characters …and their mix of adult prickliness and childlike naiveté that made Charles Schulz's iconic comics strips so timeless."

• Interview: MTV Geek interviews Charles Forsman about The End of the Fucking World and life. Forsman answers Eddie Wright's question, "I do love sparse cartooning. Like Schulz which I think comes through in mine a bit. I've heard people descibe this stuff as "Peanuts" all grown-up and violent."

Hip Hop Family Tree

• Review: Nerds of a Feather look at Ed Piskor's Hip Hop Family Tree, to be printed later this year. Philippe Duhart gives it a rare 10 out of 10, "…those familiar with the genre can attest, it's difficult to separate the music from other elements of the "culture" -- b-boying, graffiti, lingo, style. Piskor demonstrates an affectionate respect for the interrelations between these phenomenon, telling a story of a culture, rather than a musical genre."

The Heart of Thomas New School

• Review: Anime News Network reviews and givest The Heart of Thomas by Moto Hagio an 'A-'. Rebecca Silverman writes, "The Heart of Thomas may be the grandmother of the boys' love genre, but it would be shortsighted to simply classify it as such…Heartfelt and dreamlike, it is a window into the lives of those affected by the sudden death of one of their own."

• Plug: Publishers Weekly lists their top 10 most anticipated books of the spring. Dash Shaw's New School makes the list. They also mention Good Dog; Wake Up, Percy Gloom; Lost Cat; and Fran.

The Cartoon Utopia

• Review: The Toronto Star reads and reviews our books like The Cartoon Utopia by Ron Regé, Jr. The Cartoon Utopia "is visionary, but also unmistakably influenced by ’70s psychedelia… the thrilling, one-of-a-kind art will stretch your imagination and, at the very least, make you believe in the power of comics to explore the impossible," writes Laura Kane.

Corpse on the Imjin! Came the Dawn

• Review: The Toronto Star reads and reviews our books like Came the Dawn by Wallace Wood and Corpse on the Imjin! by Harvey Kurtzman. Laura Kane writes, "In dark shadows, bold lines and intense close-ups, [Wallace Wood] perfectly illustrates the stories — which ran the gamut from B-horror to confronting social issues such as racism, anti-Semitism and sexism." As for Corpse on the Imjin!, "In these violent, blood-spattered pages, [Kurtzman] lays bare the devastation of war."

• Review/Commentary: Eddie Campbell on The Comics Journal compares and contrasts recent reviews of the EC Comics being reprinted at Fantagraphics and how critics struggle and feel the need to analyze comics at literature. Distilling the article to a mere quote is abhorrent so we tried but please read it. "If comics are any kind of art at all, it’s the art of ordinary people. With regard to Kurtzman’s war comics, don’t forget that the artists on those books were nearer to the real thing than you and I will ever be."

No Straight Lines Love and Rockets New Stories 4 Joost Swarte

• Review: Elliot Bay Books reviews No Straight Lines, edited by Justin Hall. Dave Wheeler writes, "Impossible to be even close to a complete collection of the genre, No Straight Lines instead seeks to trace the parallel trajectories toward visibility for both comics and LGBTQ identities…these are the stories of real people, or they are people transfigured by folklore."

• Plug: Greg Akers of the Memphis Flyer enjoyed reading Love and Rockets: New Stories #4 by Jaime Hernandez and Gilbert Hernandez. "Jaime breaks me every time. The conclusion to "The Love Bunglers" is an all-time great. Tears in my eyes, destroyed emotionally."

• Plug: Joost Swarte sings the blues at Angouleme, thanks to Paul Karasik.

Black Hole

• Review: SequArt looks at Black Hole by Charles Burns. Faith Brody Patane point out "…it’s a story that’s meant to be devoured with intent to possibly make you have freaky nightmares. Black Hole is one of those stories that lingers long after you read it…This group of teens is far from Riverdale and far more desperate."

Daily OCD 1/29/13
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Walt KellyTom KaczynskiThe Comics JournalShimura TakakoRichard SalaMoto Hagiomaurice fucking sendakLove and RocketsLos Bros HernandezLinda MedleyLilli CarréJohnny RyanJasonJames RombergerJaime HernandezHal FosterGilbert HernandezGary PanterErnie BushmillerDavid WojnarowiczDash ShawDame DarcyDaily OCDChuck ForsmanChris WrightCharles M SchulzCarol TylerBlazing CombatBlabBasil WolvertonAlexander Theroux 29 Jan 2013 5:30 PM

The most checked-out book of Online Commentaries & Diversions: 

Prison Pit Book 4

• Review: Prison Pit Book 4 by Johnny Ryan is getting the hits this week. Gene Ambaum of Unshelved writes, "This reminds me of nothing as much as the violent, disturbed drawings I’ve seen in some middle-school boys’ notebooks. Next year, I’m going to tell [my daughter] it’s like a mind-map for her male classmates. If she believes me, I hope we can put off conversations about her dating for a few extra years."

• Review: Mark L. Miller of Ain't It Cool News enjoys Johnny Ryan's latest Prison Pit Book 4. "This is the kind of sick shit that would warrant a trip to the school counselor if you found this crudely etched into the back of your child’s Trapper Keeper. Johnny Ryan once again taps into something primal and pure with his crude drawings of gore, sex, and violence."

• Review: The Quietus and Mat Colgate leaf through some of the best books of 2012 including Prison Pit Book 4 by Johnny Ryan. "Every second spent reading 'Prison Pit' is a joy. A violent, scatological, faecal matter, blood and pus smeared hoot.…There's something brilliantly subversive about 'Prison Pit'," chuckles Colgate.

TCJ 302

• Review: The AV Club checks out some new releases like The Comics Journal 302, co-edited by Kristy Valenti and Mike Dean. Noel Murray states, "Business as usual for a publication that was treating the cultural significance of comics as a known fact decades before graphic novels were making the bestseller list."

7 Miles a Second

• Review: The Quietus and Mat Colgate leaf through some of the January releases including 7 Miles a Second by David Wojnarowicz, James Romberger and Marguerite Van Cook. Colgate states, "Wojnarowicz was fearless about his artistry and aware that the mere facts of a life are barely a percent of the whole, preferring to reveal the truth through dreams, violent fantasy and allusion. 7 Miles a Second is a shocking book, but for all the right reasons."

• Review: Forbidden Planet's Daily Planet looks at some new releases from Fantagraphics like 7 Miles a Second by David Wojnarowicz, James Romberger and Marguerite Van Cook. Matthew Rosenbery states, "The stories serve as beautiful and brutal snapshots of a brilliant life lived too hard and extinguished too soon. It is not too much to say that we all owe a great cultural debt to Mr. Wojnarowicz and picking up this book and trying to understanding his life is a good first step toward understanding that debt."

Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 2 Tales Designed to Thrizzle Volume 1

• Review: Forbidden Planet's Daily Planet looks at some new releases from Fantagraphics. Tales Designed to Thrizzle Volumes 1 and 2 by Michael Kupperman makes Matthew Rosenberg laugh, "I easily put it alongside works like The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy or Calvin & Hobbes in terms of books I can revisit and still completely lose myself in over and over again."

• Review: Comics Bulletin looks at Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 2 by Michael Kupperman. Daniel Elkin finds it smirk-worthy: "Tales Designed to Thrizzle Volume Two has its place in the construct. It is 'silver and exact' like Sylvia Plath's Mirror and reflects the 'terrible fish' that has become our understandings of the world."

The Heart of Thomas

• Review: The Heart of Thomas by Moto Hagio gets the a full styling by Manga Bookshelf. Melinda Beasi writes "…teens and pre-teens who go to regular, modern public schools essentially live in their own society that is very much separate from the rest of the world, and it’s a society that is, frankly, terrifying…it views that kind of sacrifice as… well, ultimately pointless…Hagio makes it clear that running away is not the answer." Melinda continues on the book as a whole, "I also expected it to be very dated and I thought the story might not appeal to my tastes as a modern fan. Instead, I found it to be both beautiful and emotionally resonant to an extent I’ve rarely experienced—especially in [Boy's Love] manga. This is a book I’d wholeheartedly recommend to any comics fan, without reservation. It’s an absolute treasure."

• Review: The AV Club checks out some new releases like The Heart of Thomas by Moto Hagio. "with small cliffhangers at the end of each chapter to pull readers deeper into Hagio’s fantasyland. The intrigue deepens page by page (and this is a 500-page novel, mind), while Hagio develops her bracingly radical vision of a mini-society where homosexual attraction is so commonplace as to be the norm…" writes Noel Murray.

You'll Never Know: Book 3

• Review: You'll Never Know Book Three: A Soldier's Heart by Carol Tyler gets a thorough and thoughtful review from Rob Clough on High-Low. "…this sounds a bit all over the map, that's because it is, but Tyler slowly pulls the strings of her narrative taut in some astonishing ways, especially in the third volume…It's a remarkable example of an artist being totally honest about their own feelings of grief and joy in a manner that provokes growth and fully embraces the relationship between the two."

Beta Testing The Apocalypse Delphine Ralph Azham Book 1

• Review: Dylan Thomas of Minneapolis' Southwest Journal looks at Tom Kaczynski's Best Testing the Apocalypse. "Kaczynski uses science fiction as a microscope, poking at contemporary anxieties like blooming bacteria in a Petri dish. The genre provides the room he needs to examine the systems that shape our lives, whether they be architecture, urban design or capitalism."

• Review: Hillary Brown of Paste enjoys the dark ride of Delphine by Richard Sala. "Sala’s rules; like testing gravity by dropping a penny from a building, the coin’s never going to fall up. Delphine is worth reading at least twice. Sala’s spell is strong."

• Review: SF Signal looks at Ralph Azham Volume 1: "Why Would You Lie to Someone You Love?" by Lewis Trondheim. "His humanoid animals, a staple of his work, place the story squarely into fantasy – along with the medieval-esque village and the magic – but the wry humor gives the story a modern feel" says Carrie Cuinn.
 
Lost Cat New School

• Plug: Paste Magazine looks forward to the most anticipated books of 2013. These include Lost Cat by Jason. "The cranky Norwegian has seemed to soften a bit as he’s aged, and the description (detective searches for potential soulmate) goes along with that impression," write Hillary Brown. On Dash Shaw's New School and 3 New Stories. "In a few short years, Dash Shaw has proven himself a restless artist, committed to pushing what comics can do and what his own talents can accomplish… it’s nice to see him return with two works, no less." 

• Plug: Publishers Weekly also released a list of the most anticipated books of 2013 which included Dash Shaw's New School. "The art disorients the reader and brings you right inside the troubled protagonists’ mind."

• Interview (video): Speaking of Dash, he recently spent a few days at Sundance for his Sigur Ros animated music video. A very short interview awaits you.

 Estonia The Strange Case of Edward Gorey

• Interview: Alexander Theroux is interviewed on Rain Taxi by Paul Maliszewski. Theroux, author of Estonia , The Strange Case of Edward Gorey , Laura Warholic and more states, "Revenge—I have written about this somewhere before—is the main subject of the modern novel, if it isn’t that of literature in general."

Dal Tokyo Blazing Combat

• Review: The Los Angeles Review of Books looks at Gary Panter's Dal Tokyo. Nicole Rudick writes "Panter’s medium is comics rather than architecture, but the effect of his work is the same: Dal Tokyo questions accepted notions of structure and meaning — taking them not as truth but as convention — and, taking Brecht’s advice, builds not 'on the good old days, but on the bad new ones.' "

Review: The Weekly Crisis dissects the first panel of "Landscape!" a comic within Blazing Combat and how it contributed to the end of the series coinciding with the Vietnam War. Dan Hill states "At a time when an anti-war stance was tantamount to being a traitor to your country, it was also the beginning of comics beginning to tackle the uglier aspects of war, telling us exactly ‘how it is’. It showed us that comics could discuss and show issues more related to the real world than capes, tights and outlandish fantasy."
 
Castle Waiting Blacklung
• Review: Paste Magazine looks at Linda Medley's Castle Waiting Vol. 1 (softcover). Sean Edgar writes, "Ultimately, Castle Waiting is an elegantly-written, uplifting take on European folklore supported by sterling art. As long as voices as talented and creative as Medley’s are around, stories like this will always be timeless."

• Interview: Robin McConnell of Inkstuds interviews Chris Wright for a second time, this time on his most recent graphic novel, Blacklung.

Love and Rockets: New Stories #5
 
• Review (audio): Andy and Derek of the Comics Alternative podcast review Love and Rockets: New Stories #5 by Gilbert and Jaime Heranandez.
 Wandering Son 2 Wandering Son 3 No Straight Lines

• Plug: The GLBT Roundtable's Rainbow Project lists best books for teens that encapsulate the GLBT-community issues. The Rainbow Project lists Shimura Takako's Wandering Son series as part of the Top Ten Books of 2012 as the characters "tackle problems such as gender identity, love, social acceptance, and puberty."

• Plug: The GLBT Roundtable also released a list of the best books for adults, Over the Rainbow, and the comics anthology No Straight Lines, edited by Justin Hall, was listed in the top ten. 

Heads or Tails Pogo Vol. 2 Spacehawk

• Interview: Tim O'Shea interviews Lilli Carré for Comic Book Resources on her process with Heads or Tails. "I went through all my stuff and arranged them not chronologically, but by how they each fed into each other… I don’t know if the dialogue I write or the way I draw is particularly well-crafted or not, but with both the art and dialogue I go with my gut and do what feels natural to me."

• Review: New York Journal of Books takes a turn around the room with The Complete Syndicated Pogo Vol 2 "Bona Fide Balderdash" by Walt Kelly. Mark Squirek writes, "Like the greatest of myths and fables, Pogo travels across time and ages. It is a world much like that of Aesop and trickster tales. It is a world capable of making a six year old smile with glee, a hipster smirk whether they want to or not, and a college professor laugh out loud… So graceful is his work with pencil and pen that you could loose yourself for hours in shear artistry of the panels he constructs."

• Plug: Westfield Blog suggests some books for you like The Complete Syndicated Pogo Vol 2 "Bona Fide Balderdash" by Walt Kelly."Walt Kelly’s art is a joy to look at and his dialogue and word play is just stunning. Pogo is a strip that you get more and more out of the more you read it," states Wayne Markley. And for Basil Wolverton's Spacehawk, "In the history of comics, there are very few, if any, that had such a unique style as Wolverton which, while as far away as you can get from classic illustrators like Raymond or Foster, it is every bit as good in its own unique way."

Prince Valiant 6 Nancy Likes Christmas The End of the Fucking World

• Review: HeroesOnline looks at the latest Prince Valiant Vol. 6: 1947-1948. Andy writes "…the pace is fast, the action and intrigue are plenty and the violence is un-apologetically bloody. In addition, Foster was a stickler for historical accuracy in depicting everyday life in the 6th century."

• Review: Ryan Sands of Same Hat writes his 'belated' best of list which inludes Nancy Likes Christmas by Ernie Bushmiller and The End of the Fucking World by Charles Foresman.

 Peanuts Every Sunday  Charlie Brown's Christmas Stocking

• Plug: Tom Spurgeon announced the Peanuts Every Sunday book on Comics Reporter. More information tomorrow.

• Review: Allyn Gibson reviews Charles Schulz Charlie Brown's Christmas Stocking. "The artwork for these stories is vintage 1960s Schulz…It’s a charming little piece of Peanuts ephemera, and Fantagraphics gives it a nice presentation."

 Blab Blood Orange

• Plug: Robot6 talks about Great but Forgotten anthologies. Fantagraphics' "Zero Zero ran for 27 issues, a longer run than most of the anthologies on this list received, but I don’t think it’s ever gotten its due as the truly great anthology of the ’90s." Chris Mautner continues with Blab, "I do think people have forgotten how cutting edge and exemplary an anthology Blab was, at least initially. For a while there it was running some seriously incredible work, like Al Columbia’s apocalyptic The Trumpets They Played, and the Jimmy Corrigan story that eventually became Acme Novelty #10, easily the most harrowing and darkest material Ware has produced to date." And finally Blood Orange, "Lasting a mere four issues, Blood Orange offered a mind-bending array of cutting-edge comics." WORRY NOT, we still have issues from some of these.

• Plug (video): Dame Darcy makes a wicked mural.


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