|Jim Woodring original art for Congress of the Animals|
|Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Original Art, Jim Woodring, Coming Attractions||13 May 2010 12:27 PM|
Search / Login
Sign up for our email newsletters for updates on new releases, events, special deals and more.
Category >> Coming Attractions
Online Commentary & Diversions (through yesterday; we're a bit behind):
• Review: "...[E]ven [Basil Wolverton]'s throwaway work — in this case, half-page gag strips (emphasis on the 'gag') that appeared in Fawcett's Captain Marvel titles during and after World War II — is fully worthy of rediscovery. Like a Bizarro Dr. Seuss, Wolverton packs each Culture Corner with goofy, rhyming advice... While silly and inconsequential, these strips revel in the subversive, surrealist glee that would develop more fully in Wolverton's later output for Mad and others, a style that would help unlock the inner cretin inside everyone from Robert Crumb to Peter Bagge. ...Fantagraphics has to be applauded for tenaciously keeping Wolverton and his eye-gouging, subliminally influential work from slipping through the cracks of comics history. [Grade] B+" — The A.V. Club
• Review: "...Tardi’s [It Was the] War of the Trenches is the most powerful comic I’ve read on World War One since Charley’s War... The black and white art is perfectly suited to the era being covered... while Tardi, not for the first time, proves himself a master of expression, the looks on the faces of the men caught up in the war speaking absolute volumes... It’s a hugely powerful work, both moving and horrific and filled with anger for the suffering and injustices one group of ‘civilised’ humans can visit upon another... [A]s the last voices of those who were actually there are fading into silence works like this are needed to remind us of the monstrous acts we can be capable of in service to the beasts of jingoism and nationalism and hubris, that we should read them and take cautionary lessons from them. Never forget." – Joe Gordon, The Forbidden Planet International Blog Log
• Interview: Avoid the Future has an illuminating talk with Joe Daly: "The environment is surreal, in that it combines the fantastical with the urbane. I try to meld these two sides together into a continuum that supports both the phantasmagoric and the banal, in a naturalistic kind of way. On a conceptual level, I’m also interested in combining extreme stupidity with a bit of cleverness (which the title ‘Dungeon Quest’ is supposed to invoke)." There's also a glimpse of Dungeon Quest Book 2!
• Interview: The Comics Reporter's Tom Spurgeon grills Ben Schwartz, editor of The Best American Comics Criticism, saying "It's the kind of volume that starts fights... but that's okay and it's part of the fun. There's a lot of good work in the book and one or two absolutely inspired choices. Anyone with an interest in comics should at least give it a flip-through, and anyone with an interest in writing about the medium should use it as a springboard to discover a host of excellent new favorites." Schwartz on pitching the book: "Gary was the most skeptical. Early on he asked me if I seriously thought I could fill a whole book with good writing on comics. He sent me his essay 'The Death of Criticism.' Nice to know that's on your publisher's mind!"
• Interview: Canada's National Post has a Q&A with TCAF special guest Jim Woodring: "My name is Jim Woodring and I’m a cartoonist. I’m going to TCAF by invitation, with an assist from Fantagraphics Books, my publisher. I have a new book out called Weathercraft and I’m going to answer questions about it.
• Plugs: At The Cool Kids Table, Rickey Purdin runs down some recent acquisitions, including a couple volumes of Mome ("constantly entertaining") and the Weathercraft and Other Unusual Tales free comic ("...this free sample is PROBABLY about to set me on a path of Woodring fanaticism. Well played, Fantagraphics.")
• Plug: "Michael Kupperman's Tales Designed to Thrizzle is that rarest of comic books: It's actually, genuinely a comic experience, with several guaranteed laugh-out-loud moments per issue." – Paul Constant, The Stranger
• Police blotter: "Man dressed as Snoopy in 'worst attempted jail-break ever'" (via our own Eric Reynolds)
Daily clips & strips -- click for improved/additional viewing at the sources:
Daily clips & strips -- click for improved/additional viewing at the sources:
Online Commentary & Diversions:
• Interview: At Graphic Novel Reporter, Peter Gutiérrez has a Q&A with Jaime Hernandez & Todd Hignite, author of The Art of Jaime Hernandez: "I was a little surprised to find out that my approach to sex in comics is different from the norm. I've always tried to treat it as naturally as somebody talking about having to buy groceries, and I guess it paid off. Who knew?"
• Review: "As for this book, yes, it's completely lovely, gorgeously designed by Jacob Covey. Its contents are so damn delightful that within one week of finishing reading the book, I was actively entertaining buying what seemed to be all of it again in another format. It's an absolute treasure, a work of art I'm glad to own. ... Locas II is recommended, strongly, if you haven't read the material, but do some research [link added - Ed.] and make sure you're not duplicating yourself too much if you have." – The Hipster Dad's Bookshelf
• Review: "No one smiles. It’s am emotional world presented in emotionless, static drawings and strange greens and beiges. Nothing is visually beautiful, and while all of this would seem to work against the impact of the story, it ultimately conveys a feeling of overwhelming nervousness, or waking up way too early in the morning and blearily staring into an unfamiliar world, and this is what infects you until it all makes sense. ... [Mother, Come Home] is not a light read, but it feels much lighter than the works that it seeks to shadow, and should be a welcome addition to any collection." – Collin David, Graphic Novel Reporter
• Plugs: In their "Graphic Novels Prepub Alert," Library Journal's Martha Cornog spotlights August releases Nancy Is Happy: Complete Dailies, 1942–1945 ("Nancy has inspired numerous pop culture variations and tributes as well as a forthcoming serious analysis: How To Read Nancy (Karasik & Newgarden, Fantagraphics, Aug. 2010). The who’s who among Nancy Revivalists includes Art Spiegelman and Dan Clowes — who wrote the introduction. This first reprint volume collects the second four-year span of the run. The first four years will appear later, since the archival material is more sparse and difficult to collate") and RIP M.D. ("A 'full-color, all-ages adventure' with an animated cartoon series in development, a promising bet for reluctant readers.")
• Plug: At Robot 6, Sean T. Collins on our MoCCA table: "You could safely shop only from Fantagraphics and still experience a hella great comics industry in microcosm."
Mark Newgarden, co-author with Paul Karasik of our forthcoming edition of How to Read Nancy, has put out a call for assistance (which I have swiped wholesale from Comics Comics but jeez, we're publishing the book after all):
There are a small handful of specific images that we are still seeking quality scans of.
We are searching for hard copies (or high rez scans 350 dpi or higher) of the following:
FRITZI RITZ 1/2/33
NANCY 6/ 29/ 55
DEBBIE (AKA LITTLE DEBBIE) by Cecil Jensen 6/ 27/ 55
THE 1942 NANCY TERRYTOONS MOVIE POSTER
We are also looking for additional photographs of Ernie Bushmiller; preferably in his studio (and/or related memorabilia). Please let us know what you have in your vaults!
Of course all contributions will be fully acknowledged in the book and all lenders will receive a gratis copy—and a hearty handclasp!
Anyone who can be of assistance, please contact Mark at mark (at) laffpix (dot) com.
...Caught in a bad romance!
Every six months I get to read a full two years' worth of Peanuts strips in preparation for writing blurbs for our next Complete Peanuts edition, beginning with the "In our next volume" telegraph-style paragraph for the one headed off to the printer. And even though I thought I'd read pretty much every Peanuts strip ever done I always come across something previously unseen, or surprising, or jaw-droppingly weird. Like, who knew there was a recurring Peanuts character called "Crybaby" Boobie? Not I, until last year!
Well, this time around, prepping our 15th volume (covering 1979 and 1980), I may have been startled at the sequence in which Peppermint Patty gets her hair cornrowed, Bo-Derek-in-"10" style (with a shout-out to Ms. Derek, no less)... and the daily strip (not Sunday strip, which itself is odd) where Charlie Brown tries to kick the football and Lucy doesn't pull it away (he doesn't get to kick it anyway, but you'll have to read the book to find out why)... and the strip where Marcie takes off her glasses and we see her eyes... but this is what really made my jaw drop this time.
Yes, Charles Schulz brought back the mostly-retired Pig-Pen for a Valentine's Day blind-date romance...with Peppermint Patty! Even weirder for a Peanuts romance (at least the human ones), it did not go unrequited. It doesn't last long (although there's a nice little "sequel" to it a couple of months later)... but still.
The Complete Peanuts 1979-1980 will be released in March 2011. Mark your calendar.
Daily clips & strips — hit the links for improved/additional viewing at the sources:
• This limited-edition print by Sergio Ponchione is available at festivals (I think — the autotranslation is a little sketchy) from Coconino Press. Sergio also reveals that Grotesque #4 is in the can (and coming this summer from Fantagraphics); the complete Italian run of Grotesque will be available in a slipcased set with additional materials, and the slipcase will be available separately (hopefully U.S. fans will be able to order it from overseas); and the full-color Grotesque stories from Linus magazine will appear in future volumes of Mome (hey, that was my suggestion)!
Our Free Comic Book Day offering this year, Weathercraft and Other Unusual Tales by Jim Woodring, is an absolute doozy! It features an excerpt of Jim's new graphic novel Weathercraft along with out-of-print and never-before-published "Frank" material, a centerfold of a previously unpublished Woodring charcoal drawing (like the ones in Seeing Things), and other surprises. It's an absolute must-have for any Woodring fan! Believe me — I've seen the proofs and I can't wait to get my hands on the final product.
Free Comic Book Day is Saturday, May 1 this year, and you'll be able to find Weathercraft and Other Unusual Tales at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery and other participating comic shops across the land while supplies last. Be sure to check with your local shop to make sure they're getting copies.
FANTAGRAPHICS BOOKS ANNOUNCES PUBLISHING AGREEMENT WITH COMICS HISTORIAN RICK MARSCHALL
The Launch of the “Marschall Books” Imprint
Fantagraphics Books and noted historian and critic Rick Marschall have announced the establishment of a new line of books, Marschall Books, an imprint devoted to comics, cartoons, and graphic humor.
“Marschall Books will offer a unique and wide range of comics and cartooning projects,” said Fantagraphics Books publisher Gary Groth. “The breadth and depth of Rick’s historical vision is such that he will be editing anthologies of complete strips, ‘Best Of’ collections, critical appreciations, biographies, and some new multi-media projects.”
Rick Marschall is the author or editor of more than 62 books and hundreds of magazine articles, mostly in the area of popular culture and many on comics history. A former editorial cartoonist, he has served as comics editor at three newspaper syndicates. Marschall was also an editor at Marvel Comics (founder of Epic Magazine) and a writer for Disney comics. Recipient of many awards for his projects including the Eisner, Harvey, and Friend of Fandom awards in the US; the RTL award in France; the Max und Moritz Prize in Germany; and the Torre Giunigi and Yellow Kid awards in Italy, Marschall has been the American representative of the Lucca, ExpoCartoon (Rome) and Angoulême comics festivals, and has worked for several European graphic novel publishers, including as Vice President of Dargaud USA. He was consultant to the US Postal Service for the 20-stamp set of commemoratives marking the comic strip’s centennial and has taught various popular culture and comics classes at the School of Visual Arts, Rutgers University, the Philadelphia College of Art (now University of the Arts), and the Summer Institute for the Gifted at Bryn Mawr University.
“I am happy to be associated again with Fantagraphics Books,” Marschall said. “Together we made history about comics history with the magazine nemo: the classic comics library, which ran for 30 issues. Many other projects we did together – among them the original Complete E C Segar Popeye; Caniff’s Dickie Dare; Will Gould’s Red Barry; Winsor McCay’s Daydreams and Nightmares – pioneered the reprints-and-anthology genre.” Marschall was also the editor of packager of The Complete Color Little Nemo in Slumberland (which ultimately was packaged for 11 publishers around the world, including Fantagraphics Books), The Komplete Kolor Krazy Kat, and color reprints of Polly and Her Pals and Terry and the Pirates.
Said Mr Groth: “Our association with Rick began in 1981 when he began editing the now legendary and ground-breaking magazine nemo, the most breathtaking magazine about newspaper strips and cartoon illustrations ever published, and our first Popeye series shortly thereafter. We’re thrilled that he’ll be editing books on a regular basis.”
The Marschall Books imprint will draw upon the extensive and famed collection of Rick Marschall, arguably the nation’s largest private collection of comics and cartoon archives. It is a collection comprised of thousands of original drawings; complete runs of newspaper comics beginning in 1893; complete runs of the major cartoon and humor magazines from American and Europe; comic books and reprint comics, graphic novels, political cartoons and protest graphics, specialty collections including posters, ads, toys and games, post cards and greeting cards, pinbacks; cartoonist letters and sketches; biographies and anthologies.
“The major commitment to a publishing program that will re-introduce much of this material to the public will commence in the Fall of 2010 and continue in every Fantagraphics Books publishing season, as many as 4-5 projects a year,” said Groth. “Marschall Books will vary in size and format, always appropriate to the subject matter, and with an uncompromising dedication to quality.”
In addition to the first two releases described below, and the subsequent releases in production for the next two years, Marschall Books also plans several series: Cartoon Masters, monographs on major artists; and Cartoon Masterworks, anthologies based on themes, eras, and topics. Also projected is a definitive three-volume history by Rick Marschall, Comics: The American Art.
DRAWING POWER: A COMPENDIUM OF CARTOON ADVERTISING
Release Date: November 2010
While critics debate whether comics are high art, or is low art… the truth has been, is, and will be, that the comic strip was born as a commercial medium and was nurtured by competition, commerce, and advertising. Drawing Power will be the first book-length examination (and celebration) of the nexus of commerce and cartoons. It will focus on the commercial roots of strips; the cross-promotions of artists, their characters, and retail products; and of the superb artwork that cartoonists invested in their lucrative freelance work in advertising. The book will examine cartoonists as celebrities, and their advertising efforts from the first heartbeat of the comic strip as an art form. Here are surprising and familiar examples of products and memorable ad campaigns… histories of the major ad agencies... catch-words… popular examples. Cartoon ads through the years will include Yellow Kid advertising; Buster Brown Shoe campaigns; Dr Seuss’ “Flit” cartoons; WWII ads; Pepsi and Pete by Rube Goldberg; Peanuts shilling Falcons and BC shilling Mountain Dew; Duke Handy selling cigarettes; Dagwood selling atomic energy; and virtually every superhero trafficking in the mortal realm to shill every product imaginable. A special section will showcase ads that featured cartoonists themselves as hucksters; can you believe Walt (Pogo) Kelly selling cement? Includes bibliography and publication-sources. By Rick Marschall with Warren Bernard.
MR. TWEE-DEEDLE: RAGGEDY ANN'S SPRIGHTLY COUSIN
The Forgotten Fantasy Masterpiece of Johnny Gruelle
Release Date: February 2011
Before he created Raggedy Ann, the great Johnny Gruelle drew Mr. Twee Deedle, an astonishing graphic and fantasy Sunday page. He secured the job with the New York Herald by winning an open competition for a strip to succeed Little Nemo in Slumberland! Twee Deedle was a worthy successor to McCay’s masterpiece. This Sunday color page (1911-1914) by Johnny Gruelle is unjustly forgotten by history: charming fantasy; a wonderful child’s world (the title character was a sprite who appeared to the strip’s two human children, Dickie and Dolly); moral lessons, light whimsy, bizarre surrealism; stunning artwork and composition; and impressive color work that made every full Twee Deedle page look like a painting. This oversize collection will reprint the best of Gruelle’s pages; information and artwork from the competition that won his place as Little Nemo’s successor; background information on Johnny Gruelle, including his earlier work (when he worked at George Herriman’s side) and later work (… a doll named Raggedy Ann); and much more. // John Barton Gruelle (1880-1938) drew for newspapers in Indianapolis and Cleveland before joining the pre-print syndicate World Color Printing Co of St Louis. He won a nationwide talent contest to draw a Sunday page for the New York Herald, intended to succeed Little Nemo in its pages. Mr. Twee Deedle ran between 1911 and 1914 and generated two color reprint books. Subsequent to this strip, Gruelle created Raggedy Ann, whose tales and fellow characters became staples of American children’s literature. Gruelle wrote and drew many other books; full-page cartoons for Life and Judge (subjects of a future Marschall Books anthology); and another Sunday page, Brutus, for newspapers. The book will feature an introduction by the cartoonist Tony Millionaire (Maakies).
Future Marschall books will include:
Krazy Kat's Birthday Party -- A Celebration In Song and Dance
Release Date: T.B.A.
The music and movement of Krazy Kat are as characteristic as the brick and changing landscapes, and this important book will complete the circle for Kat fanciers. This book-and-disk set will deal with the multi-media lives of the kat who walks, and dances, among us. An unprecedented treatment of the legendary Krazy Kat jazz ballet and rare animated cartoons.
Of Extraordinary Interest: Sherlock Holmes' Vital Evidence
Release Date: T.B.A.
Fans of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s immortal creations will rejoice at this overflowing art book featuring faithful reproductions of original book illustrations, unpublished artwork from Doyle’s era, theatrical and movie posters, and complete runs of Sherlock Holmes comic strip and comic book versions, and parodies.
Mail Order Geniuses: The Cartoon Correspondence Schools
Release Date: T.B.A.
This glorious history-and-compilation is long overdue — filling a hole in the tracking America’s cartoon and comics heritage. Mail-Order Geniuses is a survey of the legendary correspondence courses of the Landon School, the Federal School, W L Evans, ZIM, Clare Briggs, Billy DeBeck, Russell Patterson, Jefferson Machamer, Charles Kuhn, Bill Nolan, Joe Musial, Famous Artists, etc.
Rose O’Neill – The Fairy-Tale Bohemian:
The Life and Work of a Pioneering Cartoonist
Release Date: T.B.A.
Rose O’Neill shattered glass ceilings her entire career. She was the first major female cartoonist, more than a century ago. She achieved her greatest fame as creator of the inimitable Kewpie dolls. This mature treatment of Rose O’Neill’s life and place in cultural history will be accompanied in this oversized color book with hundreds of her compelling wet-brush cartoons and full-color art, along with photos of Rose and her sculptures.
The Big Big Book of the Teenie Weenie World:
An Anthology of William Donahey’s Fantasy Cartoon
Release Date: T.B.A.
The dozens of Teenie Weenies characters were stars of a little-mentioned but fondly recalled and long-running classic of newspaper cartoons and children’s books. William Donahey was a Chicago Tribune cartoonist who created the next generation of Brownies in 1914, and the diminutive cast sought adventures and withstood trials through glades and dells into 1970. This breathtaking collection features biography, photographs, the characters’ merchandising history — and, for the first time, a major portion of full-size reproductions of the Teenie Weenies’ adventures.
Other Marschall Books in planning stages include a book-and-disk series that traces the history of animated cartoons through the various studios; Santa Claus in Cartoons; Uncle Sam in Cartoons; an annotated anthology of Pulitzer Prize winning cartoons; an anthology of artwork and prose from Dutch Treat Club annuals; an anthology of radical cartoons; annotated cartoon histories of World Wars I and II; a treasury of comic pages from Boy’s Life; biographies and anthologies of Heinrich Kley, F. Opper, A.B. Frost, Gluyas Williams, Ralph Barton, Bill Holman, Dr. Seuss, and Virgil (VIP) Partch.
It should be noted that many of the projects in the Marschall Books line are being produced with the cooperation of cartoonists and artists’ estates, as well as museums and institutions. Says Marschall, “My own archives and image bank notwithstanding, I want to assure readers of my commitment to secure the best visual material, and to uncover the fullest historical accounts I can. A lifetime of research and associations will enable Marschall Books to produce definitive treatments of every artist and title we will publish.”
Many Marschall Books releases will be supported by, or inspire, productions of Rosebud Archives, which Marschall has established with Jon Barli, and whose products will be available through Fantagraphics Books. These formats include prints, portfolios, posters, limited-edition art, framed and frame-ready works, stationery, and card sets. The mission and product offerings of Rosebud Archives can be found at: http://www.rosebudarchives.com/wp/
Fantagraphics Books (www.fantagraphics.com) has been the world’s leading publisher of comics and graphic novels since 1976. To obtain more information on any of these titles or to obtain sample artwork, contact Jacq Cohen, Director of Publicity, Fantagraphics Books. For information on all subsidiary rights, contact Gary Groth, President & Co-Publisher, Fantagraphics Books.