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Category >> Daily OCD

Daily OCD: 6/7/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under The Comics JournalRoy CranereviewsPeanutsMegan KelsoKim DeitchJim WoodringJeremy EatonGene DeitchDrew FriedmanDaily OCDCarol TylerBen SchwartzAl Columbia 7 Jun 2010 5:41 PM

Catching up with Online Commentary & Diversions:

Weathercraft

Review: "Over the last few decades, Jim Wood­ring has been drawing a series of wordless, blissfully cruel slapstick fables, set in a world of grotesque entities and psychedelic minarets: half unshakable nightmare, half Chuck Jones cartoon filtered through the Bhagavad Gita. Weathercraft... flows so smoothly and delightfully from each image to the next that it’s easy to ignore that it has its own idea of sense, which may not jibe with anybody else’s." – Douglas Wolk, The New York Times

Review: "For those who find the work involving enough, Weathercraft will resonate with them on some emotional level — there's moments that unnerve, moments that touch — and while it is an immersive experience, the comic, especially in its hardcover form, operates most like a testimony of events. It's a comic, through and through, but it hews closer to a religious tome than it does a Love & Rockets installment." – Tucker Stone, comiXology

Review: "It’s better to experience Woodring’s work than to try and understand it. Weathercraft focuses on Frank’s frequent nemesis Manhog — a representative of humanity at its morally weakest — as he goes through multiple stages of degradation on his way to almost achieving a higher consciousness. The humanoid mongrel Frank hangs around the edges of the story with his loyal pets, but Weathercraft is mainly about how Manhog — and by extension the reader — sees how sick, freaky, and beautiful the world can be… [Grade] A-" – The A.V. Club

Artichoke Tales [Pre-Order]

Review: "Megan Kelso is best known for elegant, small-scale comics... with a historical or memoiristic bent. So it’s surprising and wonderful that Artichoke Tales, her first novel-length work, is the sort of world-­building fantasy story that comes with a family tree and a map on its endpapers. ... Kelso’s ligne claire artwork is consistently sweet and airy, depicting blobby, dot-eyed characters whose body language says as much as their words. The approach provides a likable surface for a story with much darker and stickier depths, about a land whose cultural heritage is rotting away in the aftermath of a civil war." – Douglas Wolk, The New York Times

Dungeon Quest, Book 1  [Pre-Order]

Review: "South African comic book writer/artist Joe Daly’s Dungeon Quest: Book One takes a hilariously askew look at the madness of fantasy quest games. ...[R]eaders with a high tolerance for absurdity and a healthy sense of humor about the subject matter will probably love what's on offer here." – Matt Staggs, Suvudu

Wally Gropius

Review: "Watching [Wally] and his equally gangly, geometric cohorts stretch and sprint and smash their way across Hensley's brighly colored backgrounds and block-lettered sound effects is like reading your favorite poem — or even... Wally Gropius itself — as translated into a language with a totally different alphabet. ... And wonder of wonders, the book finds its own way to be really funny amid all these highfalutin hijinks..." – Sean T. Collins, Attentiondeficitdisorderly

Review: "[Wally Gropius] has quickly become one of my favorite graphic novels. ... The comic is too odd to be described as 'commentary.' It seems far more synthetic than parodic: it blends recognizable influences into something truly new... The plot of Wally Gropius has been described as surreal or random, but it’s coherent and far more complex than I first thought... The book is an encyclopedia of cartoony facial expressions and bodily gestures, and should be studied at the CCS as such. WG radiates a real sense of joy, of 'cartooning unfettered.' ... Hensley is one of the best, and most idiosyncratic, writers of text in comics." – Ken Parille, Blog Flume

Review: "[Daniel] Clowes isn’t as zany as he used to be, so there’s a void to be filled here, and Wally Gropius does that ably: The hardcover collects Hensley’s Gropius stories from the anthology series Mome (with a little extra material thrown in), and his immaculate, vaguely ’50s style owes as much to Mort Walker, Archie Comics, and other vintage teen-humor strips as it does to Clowes. ... [Grade] B" – The A.V. Club

Captain Easy, Soldier of  Fortune: The Complete Sunday Newspaper  Strips Vol. 1 (1933-1935)

Review: "...Captain Easy follows a mysterious agent-for-hire as he travels exotic lands, battling bad guys. ...Crane’s art is stunning, combining simple cartoony figures with richly detailed backgrounds in clever, colorful layouts. It isn’t even necessary to read the dialogue or captions to follow the action; just scan Crane’s dynamic lines, which make every panel look like a unique work of pop art… [Grade] A-" – The A.V. Club

The Best American Comics Criticism

Review: "I was pretty excited when I found out that Fantagraphics was publishing an anthology of The Best American Comics Criticism. ... Editor Ben Schwartz did a great job selecting pieces that comprise a vibrant narrative of the industry. From graphic novels with literary aspirations to comics about capes, the breadth of content in here is really fantastic. ... But of all the essays in the book, only one is written by a woman. That’s a big let down." – Erin Polgreen, Attackerman

Too Soon? - Drew Friedman

Plug: "Drew Friedman is the master American caricaturist of our time. Not only are his portraits of the famous so realistic, they induce double takes, but he also captures truths about personality and draws out (pun intended) the funny in everyone." – Michael Simmons, LA Weekly

The Complete Peanuts 1969-1970 (Vol. 10) [NORTH AMERICA ONLY]

Plug: G4 drops a nice mention of "the ongoing and lovingly assembled Complete Peanuts series" in their review of the Snoopy Flying Ace game for Xbox 360

Pim & Francie: The Golden Bear Days

Interview: Comics Comics' Nicole Rudick sat Al Columbia down for his most candid and revealing interview ever: "So, yeah, I can still draw Pim and Francie. They’re a lot of fun to draw. Almost too much fun. You start to get intoxicated working on them. It’s like, 'This is too much fun. This shouldn’t be allowed. This shouldn’t be legal.' I always put it aside because it just gets me too . . . they’re very intense and fun and maybe fun upsets me."

Jeremy Eaton

Interview: David-Wasting-Paper subjects Jeremy Eaton to his Cartoonist Survey

Gene Deitch

Interview: The Daily Cross Hatch's Brian Heater concludes his conversation with Gene Deitch: "I hate the term '2D.' That’s bullshit. They put us in that category. They say they’re making 3D. They’re not 3D. What Pixar does is not 3D because it’s shaded. The screen is flat. It’s a flat picture. It’s just an illusion."

C. Tyler - photo by Justin Tepe, The News Record

Profile: Taylor Dungjen of University of Cincinnati student newspaper The News Record profiles U of C faculty member C. Tyler: "You might say Tyler is a proud American. You might even call her a patriot. She says she is a liberal hippie chick who supports American troops."

Kim Deitch & Bill Kartalopoulos at Desert Island

Scene: Flickr user Essrog posts a photo and brief report from Kim Deitch 's recent appearance at Desert Island in Brooklyn

It Was the War of the Trenches

Roundtable: The Comics Journal presents parts two and three of their roundtable discussion on comics translation featuring our own multilingualist Kim Thompson

Daily OCD: 6/2/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under videoTim HensleyreviewsMegan KelsoJim WoodringDaniel ClowesDaily OCD 2 Jun 2010 2:11 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions:

Artichoke Tales [Pre-Order]

Review: "Rather than a narrative arc, with ascensions and declines, Artichoke [Tales] feels like a series of expansions. The characters and their world grow to envelop the reader in a singular, charming way." – Paul Constant, The Stranger

Weathercraft

Review: "Without a single word, Woodring tells an enormous tale of redemption and heartbreak. Weathercraft crackles with the power of myth, and it extends far beyond its pages with a life of its own; one could imagine a postapocalyptic culture forming an entire religion based on this one thin book. You've never read anything quite like Weathercraft, but at the same time it feels eerily familiar, like a dream you had last night." – Paul Constant, The Stranger

Review: "Weathercraft is at once far wilder and more subtle than I could have imagined. The imagery and the surroundings are more hallucinatory, the mixture of cartoon-cute and skittering, undulating grotesquerie more effectively creepy, and the characterizations and themes more layered and nuanced than any version of this book that played out in my head. ... Weathercraft paints small moments of beauty and mystery on a huge canvas of twisted wonder." – Jason Michelitch, Comics Alliance

Wally Gropius

Review: "...[Wally] Gropius is more concerned with verbal jazz and abstract gags, all presented in an innocent-looking approximation of the bright, clean style of ’60s Harvey Comics. ... I liked enough of the gags, and Hensley’s overall confidence in putting them over in such a currently declassé comics art style, that I would recommend it." – Christopher Allen, Comic Book Galaxy

Review: The French edition of Daniel Clowes 's The Death Ray (Eightball #23) was examined on Le Grand Journal on French television network Canal+ last month (YouTube link) — for non-Francophones Kim Thompson summarizes it thusly: "The guy can't stop gushing about the beauty of the drawings, the coloring, the design, the thematic elements of ennui (yes, he actually says 'ennui') and violence 'even against squirrels.'"

It Was the War of the Trenches

Roundtable: Speaking of our own multilingualist Kim Thompson, he participates in The Comics Journal's roundtable discussion on comics translation

Daily OCD: 6/1/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Zippy the PinheadTim HensleyreviewsPrince ValiantPatrick RosenkranzJoe ColemanJacques TardiHal FosterGene DeitchFantagraphics BookstoreDaily OCDBill Griffith 1 Jun 2010 5:05 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions:

Prince  Valiant Vol. 2: 1939-1940 [Pre-Order]

Review: "Whether you love the swords and sorcery genre, high adventure, romance, or any or all of the above, Hal Foster’s early work on Prince Valiant is well worth reading. ... Fantagraphics has done a remarkable job remastering these strips, which, thanks to the use of original proof sheets and advances in printing technology, are even brighter and crisper than when they were first published 70 years ago. This second volume from Fantagaphics is due to ship in June 2010." – James Henry, Mid-Ohio-Con

Muzzlers, Guzzlers and  Good Yeggs

Review: "In form, content and effect, [Muzzlers, Guzzlers and Good Yeggs] is a hell of a book. Coleman's intricate line drawings capture phantasmagorical scenes of horror and pathos, mixing nightmares with satire and surreal portraiture. There a strange and powerful sense of vitality at play, and a feeling of obsession mixed with a furious sort of joy." – Oliver Ho, PopMatters

Wally Gropius

Plug: New York magazine places Wally Gropius by Tim Hensley well on the "brilliant" side of their Approval Matrix, says reading it "is like taking acid during a time-machine trip to the sixties."

It Was the War of the Trenches

Plug: Looking for information about It Was the War of the Trenches by Jacques Tardi on a Portuguese-language site? Top Comics has you covered

Fantagraphics Bookstore

Plug: Thanks to Daniel X. O'Neil for buying some stuff from our bricks-n-mortar store and blogging about it

Gene Deitch

Interview: The Daily Cross Hatch's Brian Heater continues his conversation with Gene Deitch: "When it rained, we had to shove the drawings under our coats and run from one room to another. But it was exciting. We really felt we were pioneers, no question about it. These people were very intelligent and were very cultured in art."

blackbird

Road trip: At Waymarking.com you can find a crowdsourced guide to real-life locations and landmarks featured in Zippy the Pinhead strips — it's pretty remarkable, and a great way to plan your next road trip! Thanks to Patrick Rosenkranz for the tip.

Daily OCD: 5/28/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tim HensleyreviewsHumbugHarvey KurtzmanDaniel ClowesDaily OCD 28 May 2010 2:31 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions:

Wally Gropius

Plug: "Wally Gropius, Tim Hensley’s debut 'graphic novel' (still not comfortable enough with that term to remove the quotes) is my favorite book of the year by a wide margin. What looks like a European reprint of a mid-1960s hybrid of Archie and Richie Rich is upon closer inspection a brilliant, hilarious, deeply complex and wholly original work that rewards a fifteenth reading as much as a first. The story—the adventures of a lovesick teenage millionaire (no relation [I think] to the Bauhaus founder)—is told in language both verbal and visual that feels entirely without precedent, yet the book has a potent, jarring familiarity, as though Hensley has found his way into a profound well of our collective unconscious." – Daniel Clowes at The Daily Beast

Humbug

Guide: Robot 6 's Chris Mautner gives an introductory "Comics College" overview to the work of Harvey Kurtzman

Daily OCD: 5/27/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under From Wonderland with LoveDaily OCDaudio 27 May 2010 3:52 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions:

From Wonderland with Love: Danish Comics in the Third  Millennium

Interview: In an audio interview originally broadcast on Resonance FM and now archived at Panel Borders for streaming or download, "Alex Fitch talks to Steffen P. Maarup about the collection of Danish comics he’s edited and translated into English: From Wonderland with Love – Danish Comics in the Third Millennium, an anthology that surveys the current comics scene in Denmark and collects creators from outside the world of comics also, including illustrators and fine artists alongside their sequential art peers. Alex and Steffen also talk about the wider world of Danish comics, including Danes who have found work on American titles and the controversy over the dozen cartoon illustrations printed in the Jyllands-Posten (Jutland Post) which led to death threats for the creators." (via The Forbidden Planet International Blog Log)

Daily OCD: 5/26/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tim HensleyStephen DixonreviewsR Kikuo JohnsonLove and RocketsJoe DalyJaime HernandezGilbert HernandezGene DeitchDesignDerek Van GiesonDash ShawDaily OCD 26 May 2010 5:01 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions:

Love and Rockets Library (Locas Book 4): Penny Century

Review: "In reviewing Jaime Hernandez's Penny Century, I could point to the frenetic pace of many of the stories; the cute, odd, and endearing sort of strangeness spawned in this lightly magical universe; or even the beautiful art, which is truly the mark of this master cartoonist. But, no, I am going to hype the very first story, 'Whoa Nellie,' beyond anything else in this fantastic volume. ... Such a wonderful, and grounded, story is a nice start-off point for the still compelling, yet far stranger and sexier, tales that follow. Soup to nuts, this is a great book." – Jeremy Nisen, Under the Radar

Love and Rockets Book 25: High Soft Lisp

Reviews: The new episode of Easy Rider, the radio show for "rock, punk rock, country, power pop, garage and comics" from Radio PFM out of Arras in northern France, features High Soft Lisp by Gilbert Hernandez and Penny Century by Jaime Hernandez among their Comics of the Week

reviews - Mozzocco

Reviews: In comics form, Every Day Is Like Wednesday's J. Caleb Mozzocco documents a friend's reactions to Dungeon Quest Book 1 by Joe Daly, High Soft Lisp by Gilbert Hernandez, and Wally Gropius by Tim Hensley

Night Fisher

Review: "R. Kikuo Johnson's debut graphic novel, Night Fisher, is a compelling yet unsentimental coming of age story. It’s a portrait of awkward adolescence on the cusp of adulthood illustrated with the darker, more realistic tones of teenage life. Night Fisher is filled with bold artwork, psychological intricacies, and mature depictions of immature actions. ... R. Kikuo Johnson has proven himself as a masterful storyteller in his first graphic novel." – Steve Ponzo, Multiversity Comics (via ¡Journalista!)

Wally Gropius

Interview: The Los Angeles Times' Noelene Clark questions Tim Hensley about Wally Gropius: "I did grow up in sort of a show business family, so I was continually in an environment of going places where a lot of people were famous, and I was sort of tagging along. I had the idea of somebody who is continually mistaken for someone really famous, but actually has nothing to do with that."

Gene Deitch

Interview: The Daily Cross Hatch's Brian Heater continues his conversation with Gene Deitch: "Terr’ble Thompson was a style I adapted for that comics strip. I wanted something that looked like a comic strip, was a little ahead—something that had the UPA influence. ... Of course, if you’ve seen my other book, The Cat on a Hot Tin Groove, my jazz cartoons, that’s a completely different style. I’m used to working in all different styles. I don’t want people to say, 'this is in Gene Deitch’s style.' I want to do everything."

Interview: At Unabashedly Bookish: The Barnes & Noble Community Blog, Jill Dearman chats with Derek Van Gieson: "I don't sit down with an idea and hack away, I need a trigger, something that sets my brain loose to just improvise and create on the spot."

What Is All This? - Stephen Dixon

Plug: The Casual Optimist spotlights Jacob Covey's design for What Is All This? by Stephen Dixon

Billy Hazelnuts and the Crazy Bird

Plugs: Graphic Novel Reporter names just about every one of our Summer releases as among "The Hottest Graphic Novels of Summer 2010"

Reviewer: At Comics Comics, Dash Shaw examines The Anime Machine by Thomas Lamarre

Daily OCD: 5/25/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Mark KalesnikoLove and RocketsLos Bros HernandezDaily OCD 25 May 2010 5:38 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions:

Love and Rockets Vol. 1 #50 - Los Bros Hernandez

List: The Comics Reporter's Tom Spurgeon counts down "The Best Goodbyes" in comics, with Love and Rockets Vol. 1 #50 in the #3 spot

Hate Annual #8

Review: "In this installment [of Hate Annual], Buddy’s wife Lisa takes center stage, discovering her 'Creative Outlet' along with a wife she meets through a parent-teacher conference. Hilarity will ensue, of the inimitable, irreplaceable Bagge vintage uncorked with caustic, mordant glee. ... Here Bagge’s vivid caricatures animate the most routine of actions, effectively suggesting how cozily, in this life, the mundane cohabits with the outrageous. Bagge extends his world-wariness, bemusement and cynicism though the short comics of the Annual..." – Rich Kreiner, The Comics Journal

Freeway - Mark Kalesniko

Plug: "Is it wrong to think that this will be on my best of year list even before it’s been published? ... Freeway is out in July from Fantagraphics. It will be marvellous." – Richard Bruton, The Forbidden Planet International Blog Log

Interview: Jordan Crane interviewed by Royal Jelly from John Orlow on Vimeo

Daily OCD: 5/24/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewsPrince ValiantHal FosterDaily OCDBob Fingerman 24 May 2010 5:33 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions:

Prince  Valiant Vol. 2: 1939-1940 [Pre-Order]

Review: "In following Prince Valiant through the third and fourth year of his four-color adventures, it is fascinating to watch Hal Foster shape his hero's personality and his reader's expectations. ... These lessons in how a prince and an adventure strip should conduct themselves are gloriously drawn and gloriously packaged. And to think: Fantagraphics will treat us to 30 more years of the same." – Steve Duin, The Oregonian

Interview: Marco on the Bass talks to Bob Fingerman about his illustration work for The Toasters and other ska bands

Daily OCD: 5/21/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tony MillionaireThomas OttreviewsMomeMichael KuppermanKrazy KatGeorge HerrimanDaily OCD 21 May 2010 3:23 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions:

The Search for  Smilin' Ed! [Pre-Order]

Review: "There's no cartoonist out there that makes better use of expanding canvasses than Kim Deitch. Literally and figuratively. The rhapsodic spreads — one, two, even four pages — he drops into his narratives are one of comics' finest stand-alone effects, and he creates short stories that are perfectly enjoyable as discrete units but somehow defy those idiosyncratic qualities to work just as effectively as building blocks in his grander books, like this new one [The Search for Smilin' Ed!] from Fantagraphics." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter

Mome Vol. 18 - Spring 2010

Review: "Like Weirdo, Raw, and Drawn And Quarterly before it, Fantagraphics’ Mome has been the go-to showcase of its time for emerging alt-comics visionaries. Mome #18 is another excellent installment of the anthology series — so excellent, in fact, that it’s hard to single out a highlight. ... [Grade] A-" – The A.V. Club

Krazy & Ignatz 1916-1918: Love in a Kestle or Love in a Hut

Review: "At this point, no one should need any convincing that Krazy Kat is one of the greatest works of comic art ever created, and that it should form the foundation of any good collection. All that’s needed is the knowledge of where to start and what format to choose. With that in mind, Fantagraphics has outdone itself with Krazy And Ignatz 1916-1918: Love In A Kestle Or Love In A Hut. ... Herriman’s work probably hasn’t looked this good since it first appeared in newspapers more than 90 years ago. ... [Grade] A" – The A.V. Club

Tales Designed to Thrizzle #6

Review: "Tales Designed to Thrizzle #6 looks great. The script hits all the right marks. If you’re the type of reader who enjoys self-referential nods to the comics of yesteryear, Kupperman’s title sets the standard all such titles should shoot for." – Michael C. Lorah, Newsarama

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201005/thomasottrip_thumb.jpg

Review: "R.I.P. Best of 1985-2004 is a nicely timed reminder that Thomas Ott has been one of the world's most interesting cartoonists for a quarter century now. ... As juvenilia goes, this stuff is ridiculously good. ... Ott's work seems both old-fashioned and completely fresh at the same time. ... As a reminder of where he's come from, the impeccably produced R.I.P. is a very valuable collection, and deserves to be on the bookshelf of any serious horror comics fan." – Bart Beaty, The Comics Reporter [Fantagraphics' edition of this book is due in early 2011 - Ed.]

Billy Hazelnuts + Billy Hazelnuts and the Crazy Bird  [Pre-Order]

Interview: Tony Millionaire talks to Comic Book Resources' Shaun Manning about continuing the adventures of Billy Hazelnuts: "I'm not sure exactly how it will roll out, because I love to make concrete plans for a story and then as it goes along, learn something and then change the storyline a little."

Daily OCD: 5/20/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Walt KellyreviewsMoto HagioMichael KuppermanMark KalesnikoLove and RocketsJaime HernandezJacques TardiGilbert HernandezDaily OCDComing Attractions 20 May 2010 2:52 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions:

Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 1

Review: At The Hooded Utilitarian, Noah Berlatsky presents an unedited version of his review of Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 1 by Michael Kupperman, which originally ran in the Chicago Reader

A Drunken Dream and Other Stories - Moto Hagio

Plugs: Library Journal's "Graphic Novels Prepub Alert" for September 2010 releases features A Drunken Dream and Other Stories by Moto Hagio ("When Fantagraphics jumps into magna, they splash big: with the 'founding mother' of modern shojo manga and a pioneer of the BL (boys love) genre. These four decades of short stories feature gorgeous art—some in color — and intellectually subtle plotting"); Pogo: The Complete Daily & Sunday Comic Strips. Vol. 1: Through the Wild Blue Wonder by Walt Kelly ("As THE pioneering humor-satire strip inspiring countless other cartoonists, Kelly and Pogo should need no introduction"); and The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec. Vol. 1 by Jacques Tardi ("A pterodactyl loose in Paris! A fetching young reporter off to tackle mummies! And that’s just the first of ten volumes. ... Wonderful for Indiana Jones fans hankering for even more over-the-top plots.")

Love and Rockets: New  Stories #2

Links: Love & Maggie rounds up links to recent interviews with Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez

Mail Order Bride

Profile: Mark Kalesniko re-posts Mark David Nevins's essay about his work which originally appeared in The Comics Journal Special Edition, Winter 2003


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