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Category >> Daily OCD

Daily OCD: 5/11/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Walt KellyreviewsLove and RocketsJasonJaime HernandezHotwireGlenn HeadEsther Pearl WatsonDash ShawDaily OCDBlazing Combataudio 11 May 2010 4:32 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions:

Almost Silent

Reviews: In three separate posts, Andrew Wheeler of The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent. looks at three of the Jason books which are compiled in Almost Silent: Meow, Baby! ("Jason knows the wellsprings of comedy: sex and death, embarrassment and familiarity. And he mixes and matches those elements, using his iconic cast, for a hundred and fifty wry and deeply amusing pages. ...a great introduction and a decently comprehensive catalog of his style, subjects, and strengths"), You Can't Get There from Here ("It's the touching story of Frankenstein's Monster and His Bride... one of the better Jason books; it has an inevitability to it, but it's not entirely bleak..."), and Tell Me Something ("a sad nearly-wordless noir story about some people and how none of them get what they want").

Blazing Combat [Softcover Ed. - Pre-Order]

Review: "...I’m happy to have this excellent collection [of Blazing Combat], handsomely packaged..., and all in one place for a good evening’s read. ... For lovers of great art, lovingly rendered in black and white and grey ink wash..., this is as good as it gets... This is one collection of war comics that even those not inclined to care about the genre can appreciate, and now it’s more affordable than ever." – Johnny Bacardi, Popdose

Bottomless Belly Button

Review: "Bottomless Belly Button is a 720-page family drama filled with neurosis, romance, mystery, comedy, fond memories, bad parenting, teen angst and sexual awakening. The book is big but not overwhelming, and sad with out being tragic. This is a graphic novel of the tallest order, from one of the most unique voices in the medium today." – Steve Ponzo, Multiversity Comics

Castle Waiting

Review: "[Castle Waiting Vol. 1] is a massive and stunning work of art, from the production values by Fantagraphics to the beautiful comprehensive work inside. ... Not unlike Fables, Medley’s Castle Waiting tackles traditional fairy tales with inspired re-invention and especially to my liking, is that it does so with a bit of a feminist slant. The tales inside Castle Waiting are extremely female friendly and are something I’d love to see offered up to every little boy and girl as the required alternative to our more standard ‘happily ever after’ tales. ... The illustration... is flat out phenomenal.  ...[T]he attention to detail, the consistency (every panel is picture perfect), the clarity of story telling, and the character design – down to the smallest facial expression, is just top notch. ... One of the best things about Medley’s Castle Waiting is the wonderful cohesiveness... It feels absolutely like a singular and uncorrupted vision in a way that few books manage. And I strongly believe that it is that uncorrupted and singular vision that makes this book so strong." – Kelly Thompson, Comic Book Resources

Review: "It’s difficult not to be charmed by [Castle Waiting Vol. 1] as the stories are light, funny and entertaining. ... It’s a fun read. It’s well and clearly written. The art is top-notch for being b&w. ... This one comes recommended for those looking to get into comics and not knowing where to start, or those who enjoy comics from time to time but don’t want to invest in some huge story." – Emily Dresner, /project/multiplexer

Jaime Hernandez - photo by Seth Kushner

Profile: "It’s easy to fall in love with Jaime [Hernandez]’s characters, not only because of their obvious features, but also from their lifelike gestures and expressions, naturalistic in everyday scenes and exaggerated in comedic and suspenseful ones. His teachers, like Archie Comics artists Bob Bollings, Dan DeCarlo, and Harry Lucey, were experts in gestural drawings with their simplified cartooning. It’s a trait Jaime Hernandez has successfully adopted and made his own. 'I’m just happy that I’m still allowed to do comics. They’re still letting me because they’re paying my rent.'" – Christopher Irving, Graphic NYC (photos by Seth Kushner)

Hotwire Comics Vol. 3

Interview: The PsiOp Radio podcast talked to Hotwire editor/cartoonist Glenn Head on Sunday evening — download an MP3 here (they warn that there are some audio issues in the first hour)

Unlovable Vol. 2

Plug: "[Unlovable] Volume II has just been released from Fantagraphics Books for your perusing pleasure and it doesn't disappoint. ... I can't ever get enough of Tammy Pierce, the awkward teenager that Esther Pearl Watson has brought to life over the years..." – Meighan O'Toole, My Love for You Is a Stampede of Horses (unfortunately the event mentioned in the post is canceled)

Our Gang Vol. 4 (1946-1947)

Plug: "I'm all about vintage. Especially vintage comics. Fantagraphics Books wants you to like vintage comics as well and are releasing Our Gang Vol. 4 (1946-1947), a vintage 1946-1947 comic in a new TPB." – Omnicomic

Top  Hats and Flappers: The Art of Russell Patterson

Shout-out: Jaleen Grove, who gave the talk about Russell Patterson at TCAF last weekend, gives her report from the festival with an important correction

Daily OCD: 5/10/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewsPeanutsMomeMichael KuppermanMark KalesnikoLove and RocketsJoe DalyJim WoodringJacques TardiDaily OCDComing AttractionsBen SchwartzBasil Wolverton 10 May 2010 4:23 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions (through yesterday; we're a bit behind):

The Culture Corner

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

It Was the War of the Trenches

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

Dungeon Quest, Book 1  [Pre-Order]

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!

The Best  American Comics Criticism [Pre-Order]

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!"

Weathercraft

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.

Mome Vol. 12 - Fall 2008

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.")

Tales Designed to Thrizzle #6

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

Freeway - Mark Kalesniko

Plug: Comics Worth Reading's Johanna Draper Carlson spotlights Mark Kalesniko's Freeway in a roundup of upcoming graphic novels

Love and Rockets

Links: Love & Maggie present a "monster-sized" edition of their exhaustive Love and Rockets link roundups

Police blotter: "Man dressed as Snoopy in 'worst attempted jail-break ever'" (via our own Eric Reynolds)

Daily OCD: 5/6/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tim LanereviewsPaul KarasikMomeJohnny RyanFletcher HanksDaily OCDBlazing CombatBasil Wolverton 6 May 2010 3:23 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions:

The Culture Corner

Review: "Is your brain drained? Is your soul cold? Does your ticker need a snicker?  Then arrange your face with a grin in place. Read The Culture Corner by Basil Wolverton. Fantagraphics has just published this comprehensive collection of a rare and genuinely silly strip by a great cartoonist. ... The collection will crack you up, especially if you enjoy goofy phrases. Wolverton was a master of the craft.... It’s a must-have for any fan of cartooning." – Beth Davies-Stofka, Super I.T.C.H.

I Shall Destroy All the Civilized Planets

Review: "If someone tries to tell you Fletcher Hanks was a genius, don’t believe them. If someone tries to tell you Fletcher Hanks was an important figure in the development of superhero comics, don’t believe them. But if someone tries to tell you Fletcher Hanks was one strange, f-ed up bastard who created some of the weirdest, creepiest, and (entirely by accident) most revealing comics of the Golden Era, that you can take to the bank." – Steve Hockensmith (author of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies), Comic Book Galaxy

Mome Vol. 18 - Spring 2010

Plugs: The Gosh! Comics Blog spotlights Mome Vol. 18 and the softcover editions of Abandoned Cars and Blazing Combat among the week's new arrivals at their shop

Johnny Ryan

Interview: Blog de Cómics surveys Johnny Ryan for his favorite comics, movies, food, etc.

Daily OCD: 5/5/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tony MillionairereviewsLove and RocketsLos Bros HernandezLilli CarréJaime HernandezGilbert HernandezDaily OCD 5 May 2010 3:20 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions:

Luba Locas II: Maggie, Hopey & Ray

Guide: At Time's Techland blog, Douglas Wolk tells you "Where to Start with Love and Rockets": "Fantagraphics actually has a guide to navigating the various overlapping reprints of the three Love and Rockets series (and assorted associated projects) to date, since everything's been repackaged and reformatted so many times. That's useful if you want to read everything in chronological order – but I'd actually suggest that you don't."

The Lagoon

Review: "The solid blacks and blocky grotesquerie of The Lagoon strongly recall Charles Burns’ Black Hole, a story in which adulthood is equated with monstrosity. In The Lagoon, too, sexual maturity and horror are linked. But that link is mediated by a third term — a metaphor, a song." – Noah Berlatsky, The Hooded Utilitarian (reprinted from the Chicago Reader)

Billy Hazelnuts and the Crazy Bird

Review: "The mind of Tony Millionaire is a funny, wacky and kinda disturbing place, but man do I love it! ... Billy Hazelnuts and the Crazy Bird is an incredible book for all ages. There is nothing else like it being published today and I think that is why it’s so special! In a time when comic fans are counting every penny and scrutinizing every purchase, rest assured this book is worth every penny." – Secret Identity

Daily OCD: 5/4/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Jim WoodringFantagraphics BookstoreDaily OCD 4 May 2010 3:39 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions:

Weathercraft and Other Unusual Tales (FCBD)

Plug: In his coverage of Free Comic Book Day Paul Constant of The Stranger calls Weathercraft and Other Unusual Tales by Jim Woodring "the best comic for adults" and adds "The Fantagraphics Store is an amazing, beautiful bookstore..."

Plug: Thought Balloonists' Charles Hatfield says of Weathercraft and Other Unusual Tales "Crikey, the best FCBD publication I've gotten since [2006]."

Daily OCD: 5/3/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under videoThe Comics JournalreviewsMegan KelsoLove and RocketsJacques TardiGilbert HernandezGahan WilsonDaily OCDaudio 3 May 2010 3:48 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions:

It Was the War of the Trenches

Review: "This extraordinary collection of World War I tales offers perhaps the finest work from the lauded Tardi. Each story, based on actual accounts from French soldiers, relates the often-horrific realities of trench-warfare. Disturbing yet compelling images abound: a dead, mangled horse hanging from a tree serves as a warning; rats feasting on corpses; amputations; executions; countless dead. Far more memorable are the impassioned stories themselves. Betrayal, deceit, mistrust, murder, hope, and even humor run throughout these tales. Painstakingly researched, the amazing Tardi perfectly captures the everyday despair of the World War I trench soldier. Visceral, powerful, and effective, the flawless It Was The War of the Trenches blazes a new standard for the war comic." – Rick Klaw, The SF Site: Nexus Graphica

Abandoned Cars [Softcover Ed.]

Review: "One of the nice things about the rise of highbrow comics is the how many genuinely lurid entertainments a gentleman can get away with adding to his library. For starters, we’d suggest Tim Lane’s Abandoned Cars. It’s the modern equivalent of the Raymond Chandler yarns that fill up the more exciting portion of your bookshelf — a string of police chases and back-alley fist fights with a surprisingly introspective thread running in the background." – Kempt

Interview: In the second half of this video from Midtown Comics, Gilbert Hernandez talks about what he does and his new book High Soft Lisp

Interview: Mr. Media's Bob Andelman talks to Gahan Wilson about Fifty Years of Playboy Cartoons: ""I said, 'I'll see Mr. Kurtzman?' 'Oh, no,' the receptionist said. 'Trump is out of New York.' The art director came up behind me and said, 'Hef would like to see you.' I didn't know who or what a Hef was." Listen via the embedded player above or at this link, or download the MP3

The Comics Journal #216

Commentary: On the Schulz Library blog, Robyn Chapman culls some tidbits from the 1999 interview with Megan Kelso in The Comics Journal #216: "The Journal in known for its in-depth interviews, and this one didn’t disappoint."

Things to see: 4/30/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Steven Weissmanhooray for HollywoodFrank SantoroDash ShawDaily OCD 30 Apr 2010 4:18 PM

Daily clips & strips — click for improved/additional viewing at the sources:

Everybody Lies to Me - Steven Weissman

• Oooh... "Everybody Lies to Me" is just one piece of Steven Weissman art in the show Butter and Blood opening at GR2 in LA next week

train - Frank Santoro

Frank Santoro pulls the frame back as a train passes in the background

The Ruined Cast sample art - Dash Shaw

Dash Shaw provides a glimpse at some sample animation art for his in-development animated feature film The Ruined Cast

Spiritual Dad - Dash Shaw & Jesse Moynihan

Dash (again) writes: "In the upcoming May issue of The Believer: a long comic strip called Spiritual Dad by Jesse Moynihan and I. It's glued into the last page. Just a bonus awesome thing stuck in there." I saw a test printing of this waaaay back at APE last year and it looks fantastic.

Daily OCD: 4/30/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewsPeanutsNewaveLewis TrondheimJacques TardiDaniel ClowesDaily OCDCharles M SchulzCarol Tyler 30 Apr 2010 4:11 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions:

The Complete Peanuts 1975-1976 (Vol. 13) [NORTH AMERICA ONLY]

Review: "The latest (13th) volume of Fantagraphics Books The Complete Peanuts: 1975 - 1976 is a delightful visit with that 'round headed kid' and his friends. ... The cartoons Schulz produced in 1975 and 1976 feature more lighthearted and sillier touches than usual; we are even privy to the thoughts of inanimate objects such as the school building and the pitcher’s mound. Some highlights include Charlie Brown meeting his idol, Joe Shlabotnik; sister Sally’s trials in the classroom; Peppermint Patty enrolling in a private school (not knowing it’s a dog obedience school); and the gang’s continuing efforts to play a baseball game. ... Fantagraphics has won numerous awards for this series and they deserve them all for creating such a wonderful archive of this American treasure. This series is a must have for any Peanuts fan and can be enjoyed by the whole family. I wouldn’t miss a volume." – Rich Clabaugh, The Christian Science Monitor

Newave! The Underground Mini Comix of the 1980s

Review: Avoid the Future compiles parts 41-50 of their Twitter mini-reviews of the contents of Newave! The Underground Mini Comix of the 1980s: "Continue on for Krazy Kat tributes, adolescent scarification, penis missiles, comics in the dark and a double helping of Mary Fleener."

You Are There

Review: "Despite a slow start through [You Are There] grows in absurd outcomes of the last chapters, and the script of Forest serves as a humorous critique the excessive attachment to material things of people. Jacques Tardi draws so realistic objects and scenes while portraying the characters so cartoonish and fun. This combination of caricature and realism, though not anything groundbreaking, is executed with great talent by Tardi." – Gustavo Guimarães, Top Comics (forgive the slightly awkward autotranslation)

Harum Scarum: McConey Vol. 1

Plugs: At Robot 6 Chris Mautner takes you to "Comics College" and schools you on the comics oeuvre of the prolific Lewis Trondheim, saying "both Harum Scarum and The Hoodoodad remain supremely entertaining tales featuring McConey, Trondheim's shy, nonplussed, anthropomorphic rabbit and his friends," and saying of The Nimrod "It's a great hodge-podge of some classic Trondheim material... including autobio stories, McConey tales and the great wordless piece, Diablotus (found in issue #2). The back issues are available at dirt cheap prices too."

Justin Green & C. Tyler

Reviewer: Your must-read of the day: Guest writer C. Tyler reviews her husband Justin Green's seminal comic Binky Brown Meets the Holy Virgin Mary for Comic Book Galaxy

Interview: Talking to Allen Brooks at DCist, Daniel Clowes explains the influence of The Complete Peanuts on his new graphic novel Wilson: "So I thought, what if you took that conceit of these kind of daily moments, daily jokes or just kind of emotional moments and put them together in a sequence that actually had a narrative implied. As you say, in-between the strips, that's where the story's told."

Daily OCD: 4/29/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Walt KellystaffreviewsDaily OCDBlazing CombatBlake Bell 29 Apr 2010 2:47 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions:

Blazing Combat [Softcover Ed. - Pre-Order] Our Gang Vol. 4 (1946-1947)

Reviews: At Comics Alliance, Jason Michelitch examines Our Gang Vol. 4 by Walt Kelly and Blazing Combat in the context of the "golden age of reprints," saying "Both are excellent books that reward both casual readers out for cheap thrills and stodgier folks who want some textual and contextual analysis to roll around in like a pig in a pen." He describes Blazing Combat as "an anti-war comic made up not of didactic preaching but of rough, unsentimentalized views of war with graphic violence and moral ambiguity front and center, produced at a time when America was ratcheting up its involvement in Vietnam and the public had yet to widely turn against it." He also says "Our Gang... [is] a lot of fun. There are lady rasslers and fake matter transporters and escaped lions and a character named Boo Boo the Illustrious Clown," and praises Kelly's "elegant... cartooning + dialogue driven style". 

Reviewer: At Comic Book Galaxy, guest reviewer Blake Bell looks at the Golden Age Marvel Omnibus Vol. 1

Smurf: The Comics Reporter's Tom Spurgeon comments on Adam Grano's Smurf plea

Daily OCD: 4/28/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewsPeanutsDaily OCDCharles M Schulz 28 Apr 2010 8:51 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions:

The Complete Peanuts 1975-1976 (Vol. 13) [NORTH AMERICA ONLY]

Review: "There’s a certain exuberance in this book, a zaniness that Schulz follows with fewer excursions into pure melancholia. ... Each new volume [of The Complete Peanuts] adds a new layer of complexity to the work as a whole, and certainly puts the lie to the notion that Schulz had run out of ideas by this point. Indeed, Schulz had nothing left to prove and allowed himself to follow every flight of fancy that struck him, while never completely abandoning the core emotions of his characters." – Rob Clough, The Comics Journal


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The Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale St., Seattle WA 98108. Tel: 206-658-0110.

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