As we've been working on M. Tillieux's Murder by High Tide I've become gripped by Tillieux's cartooning, especially his panel composition and pitch-perfect, push-pull blend of "naturalist" and "cartoony" figure work. What follows are a series of panels from Catch as Catch Can (the second story featured in Murder by High Tide) that I've been particularly struck by. Note: these panels, in their finished form, will be colored and lettered.
This panel reminds me of Toth or Xaime, what with how the acting, lighting and composition leads the eye to read Gil Jordan's darkened face and arm as he slowly creeps the door open to… what???
That's Gil Jordan dashing into the shadows as he's hot on the heels of Joe The Syringe. This panel stopped me cold.
I love this panel. I half expect to see my reflection in the rearview mirror. I used to think panels like this didn't work… or that you had to be Xaime to make them work, but time and time again Tilleux subtly or overtly places the reader's sightline in such a way to immerse your eye into Gil Jordan's four color world.
What could've easily been a throwaway panel graciously offers Tillieux's masterful drawing as acting equals cartooning!
Bonus! Six panel action sequence from Catch as Catch Can. (Click to see bigger.)
Tillieux's best work stands tensely between Hergé's ligne claire and Franquin's reverent bounce. It's the hearing-the-ice-crack tension of Tillieux's ink that brings it for me as it flawlessly meets the gestalt of the mystery thriller genre. And if that weren't enough, Tillieux, like American film director Howard Hawks, is a master of characterization and letting the scene play out. As a fan of the comfortable character interaction of Hawks' Rio Bravo and Hatari, I could spend all day hanging out with Gil Jordan and his assistant, Crackerjack!
In the '60s, Paul Nelson pioneered rock & roll criticism with a first-person style of writing later coined "New Journalism." During a five-year detour at Mercury Records, he signed the New York Dolls to their first recording contract, and then settled back down to music criticism at Rolling Stone. Through his writing, Nelson championed the early careers of artists like Bruce Springsteen, Jackson Browne, Rod Stewart, Neil Young, Warren Zevon, The Sex Pistols, and The Ramones.
But in 1982, he walked away from it all. By the time Nelson died in his New York City apartment in 2006, everything he'd written had been relegated to back issues of old music magazines.
"My original idea for this book was simply to anthologize Paul Nelson's best work so that today's readers could discover, as I had in my youth, his elegant and brilliant writings," explains author Kevin Avery. "But I soon realized that, in doing these pieces, Paul was ultimately telling his own story. And his story was so damn compelling it was impossible for me not to write about it."
American journalist, biographer, and poet Nick Tosches wrote the foreword to this landmark work of cultural revival, which stands as a tribute to and collection of one of the unsung critical champions of popular music.
Pat Thomas, author of our Fall 2011 book Listen, Whitey! The Sounds of Black Power 1965-1975, will be on Hollow Earth Radio's Central Sounds program tonight at 10 PM Pacific to play and discuss various songs featured in the book. If that sounds interesting to you at all, you will not want to miss it. See how to tune in to the online stream here.
Yet another page, pre-color, from Jason’s forthcoming book Athos in America. Via Jason’s Cats Without Dogs blog, where there are further details and an English translation of the dialogue. (Also don’t miss Jason’s hilarious list of "Things to do in Paris.")
• Review: "The saga of Roberto Clemente is well known to baseball fans yet it has been given new life in this stunning graphic novel [21: The Story of Roberto Clemente]... Santiago's panels have a sharp, cinematic feel and the compositions and framing give the readers a better sense of how dynamic and explosive the game is than any baseball movie. The wonder of this book is that it will appeal to kids and adults alike. Even non baseball fans will fall under its spell. The national pastime has been virtually untouched by the graphic novel genre but if Santiago's effort is any indication, the marriage of subject and form is nothing short of a grand slam. Santiago has set the bar high, though, and we'll be all the richer if anyone can approach the artistry and emotional resonance of this memorable book." – Alex Belth, Sports Illustrated
• Interview:Wilfred Santiago talks with Sketch Maven about his career and creating 21: "After the previous graphic novel, In My Darkest Hour, I wanted to do a biography. There were many reasons why Clemente was chosen. The richness, purpose-driven life, the inspirational life story are a few among many factors. The relevance of Clemente’s story to a youngster of today also came to mind. Roberto was a great and famous baseball player, and the baseball was a challenging aspect to the story. But, it was great to explore the sport in a comic book format."
• Review: "One of my favorite presents from last year’s holiday season was Fantagraphics’ Usagi Yojimbo: The Special Edition... The Dragon Bellow Conspiracy... rivals just about any epic fantasy (novel or film) in the last 25 years for its narrative complexity and powerful action sequences. [...] Reading these stories will help you understand why, when we talk about the success stories of independent comics publishing, Usagi Yojimbo should be one of the first titles that gets mentioned." – Ron Hogan, Beatrice
• Review: "Crane’s work is highly, emotionally charged, but in a quiet way. Illustrated in a lush, enveloping, greytone, 'Vicissitude' has a Film-Noir quality that adds an air of mystery to this story of melancholy and rotting love. It is so engaging and enthralling that its ending is jarring. 'Freeze Out,' the Simon & Jack tale, is fantastic. It’s all-ages comic book magic. Reading it made me feel like a kid again, reading stories of adventure, fantasy, and magic for the first time on my own. If there were any doubts about Crane’s prodigious talent, Uptight #3 is the spell to dispel those doubts. [Grade] A+" – Leroy Douresseaux, Comic Book Bin
• Profile: The Toronto Star's Vit Wagner on the work and career of Joe Sacco: "'The drive is there,' says Sacco. 'I have a desire to go there and see things and talk to people. It’s invigorating and exciting. But my work involves a slower process. It takes me time to report. I like to sink into the situation. But beyond that, it takes a long time to write and draw my stuff, especially the drawing. You can report that there are 200,000 people in Tahrir Square, but if you want to draw the scene it takes a lot of effort.'"
• Interview:Sequential's David Hains talks to Joe Sacco: "I find more than half of my readers are from schools, in classes where they read my work. People have been to the regions and they’ll see, oh this medium has taken this on, I’ll pick that up. It’s sort of more book people than comics people. Although some of those are the same people, and thank God."
"Described as a Spanish Dick Tracy on steroids, the titular cabbie here is involved in a hunt for his father's stolen coffin, which contains his full inheritance. Art Spiegelman wrote the introduction, so we're not talking warmed-over liver."
"Wilson drew these linked one-pagers in the National Lampoon throughout the 1970s. His hero in a hunting cap is Everykid, who braves the daily awfulness of a child's world: school irrelevancies, getting sick, strange old relatives, department store Santas, going to camp, and death, for starters. No monsters and ghoulies — just real-life quimsies. Don't you wish you could have seen Gahan Wilson comics when you were a kid?"
"What a lavish show-and-tell: a DVD of nonprint media appearances of Krazy Kat, including videos of a 1921 'jazz pantomime' ballet and rare animated cartoons, plus two booklets collecting drawings, designs, strips, and background relating to Krazy in music and dance. [...] Clearly a shining star for popular culture and film collections."
The Cartoon Bank Blog's new interview with cartoonist Shannon Wheeler gives you your first glimpse at his artwork for Oil & Water, which we are publishing this Fall. Wheeler explains the book: "Mike Rosen, a manager at the Bureau of Environmental Services, Watershed Division, organized a group of writers, scientists, activists, environmentalists, teachers, and students to go to the Gulf Coast to get a better understanding of the oil spill and its implications. It is possibly the greatest manmade disaster in our history. Steve Duin, metro columnist for The Oregonian, is fictionalizing our side of the story to build a strong narrative, keeping the local characters and situations real. Our main goal is to help keep the situation on the national radar."
On The Ruined Cast blog Dash Shaw posted this page from his story "Blind Date 3" appearing in the next issue of Mome. Looks like a bit of a stylistic departure from the first two "Blind Date" strips. If you're not already familiar, yes, these are comics adaptations of actual episodes of the TV show Blind Date and yes, they're as funny and weird as you think.