• Seattle, WA: Our very own Jason T Miles will be part of group art show at Cairo, comprised of collaborative and independent ink drawings with artists Darin Shuler and Aidan Fitzgerald! Join them from 7:00 to 9:00 PM for art, words, and drinks! (more info)
• Berkeley, CA: Alternative comix queen Dame Darcy descends upon The Escapist Comic Bookstore for an evening of readings and signings,starting at 5:00 PM! (more info)
• Oslo, Norway: Jason will be signing at Tronsmo Bookstore at 2:00 PM. Along with his Fantagraphics titles, he'll also be signing Pop!, his new collection of illustrations published by Norway's Jippi Comics! (more info)
This September 26th enjoy an "Evening of Literary Mayhem & Music" in New York starringDanny Bland, celebrating his new novel In Case We Die and Mike Edison, author of "I Have Fun Everywhere I Go" and "Dirty! Dirty! Dirty!"
The night couldn't be complete without featuring the World's Greatest Piano Player, Mickey Finn. And special guest DJ Eric Davidson will be spinning punk rock favorites and more! "Where is this?" screams everyone at once---creating such a deafening noise we wonder if you can possibly still attend because your ear drums erupted and, ew, it's kinda bleeding all over--It's at MANITOBAS! We'll see you there.
Thursday, September 26, 7 PM Manitobas 99 Avenue B (212) 982-2511 FREE!
This week's comic shop shipment is slated to include the following new titles. Read on to see what comics-blog commentators and web-savvy comic shops are saying about them (more to be added as they appear), check out our previews at the links, and contact your local shop to confirm availability.
176-page black & white 5" x 6.5" softcover • $19.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-667-6
"[It] pulls you in like no other comic this year. Stunning in its simplicity and brave in its subject matter. Charles Forsman is a future force. . . [it] is like stumbling onto the ultimate secret in comic books, but based on how great TEOTFW is, it won't be much a secret longer." -Eddie Wright, MTV Geek
"I enjoyed the work, and I think Forsman is a cartoonist to watch." -Tom Spurgeon, Comics Reporter
In Case We Die by Danny Bland; illustrated with photos by Lance Mercer
248-page black & white 6" x 8.5" hardcover • $26.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-675-1
"Bland is a brutally funny and bravely honest writer. A perfect guide through the bloodshot streets and desperate bedrooms of the underground wilderness." - Dave Alvin (Blasters)
"A great piece of work - full of filth and heart." - Steve Earle
128-page full-color 12.25" x 9.25" hardcover • $29.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-651-5
"...this book Nudnik Revealed!, is a must-have for anyone interested in animation, cartooning or Gene Deitch. I especially recommend it to those currently doing storyboards." -Jerry Beck, Cartoon Research
"Deitch achieves what only the greatest cartoonist can - a deep spiritual resonance with minimal representation." - New York Press
If you're lucky enough to be in Seattle this weekend, don't miss the Bumbershoot Arts Festival. One of many highlights will be Fantagraphics Follies, an evening of eclectic entertainment featuring some of the country's most creative cartoonists, writers, artists, and musicians.
The show begins with Jim Woodring demonstrating his prowess with a giant pen. Over the course of the program, Jim will produce a drawing on paper that publisher Gary Groth procured from none other than Ralph Steadman! We'll check in on Jim's progress throughout the evening. Ellen Forney will show a clip of a new animation and talk about her sensational book Marbles. Eroyn Franklin and Kelly Froh present multimedia performances and reveal plans for their upcoming Short Run small press festival.
The evening concludes in awesome fashion as Danny Bland reprises Jack Kerouac's famous 1959 appearance on the Steve Allen Show. The notorious beat poet read from On the Road accompanied by Allen's piano improvisation. Bland will read from his new novel, In Case We Die, set in Seattle's grunge era. He'll be joined by Steve Fisk on piano, who is ideally suited to the task, having recorded the 1992 Sub Pop album Prison with legendary Seattle poet Jesse Bernstein.
The one-hour production starts at 6:00 PM this Saturday, August 31 at the Leo K. Theater, followed by a signing in the lobby. The next day in the same venue at 4:00 PM, catch Ellen Forney interviewing cartoonist-blogger Allie Brosh with opening act Bella Rowland-Reid, 14-year-old daughter of Fantagraphics curator and Follies host Larry Reid. Then there's Death Cab For Cutie, Gary Numan, MGMT, Crystal Castles, Icona Pop, The Breeders, Mark Pickeral, Redd Kross, Superchunk, The Joy Formidable, Marc Maron, The Zombies, Reggie Watts, and dozens more! Too much Fun! (Oh yeah, them too.)
EXCLUSIVE OFFER: If you order the book direct from Fantagraphics by Monday, August 26, 2013, on August 27 you'll receive a code for a FREE download of the audiobook via email from Local 638 Records, with chapters read by a mind-blowing all-star lineup of music and cultural luminaries. See the full lineup here.
It wasn’t the pounding headache or the all-too familiar taste of blood in my mouth that woke me that morning, but the stink of cat piss. They all have cats. Cats and bad tattoos and mops of dyed black hair that reek of cigarettes and watermelon Bubblicious. They all have ripped fishnets and dark red lips and daddy issues.
This debut novel by Danny Bland follows a pair of musician outsiders who find themselves enmeshed in the drug scene of early ’90s Seattle.
Vulnerable to the high relief of heroin addiction, Bland’s characters — Charlie Hyatt and Carrie Finch — are unapologetic protagonists whose epiphanies are as blinding as their weaknesses. Finch, 21, beautiful and dangerous, drowns out the voices in her head and the consequences of a misled life with electric guitars, booze and petulant misbehavior. Her single abiding faith takes the form of an unlikely savior — ’60s psychedelic musician Roky Erickson.
At the ripe old age of 28, Hyatt attempts to make sense of the cards he has been dealt: a miserable job in a porn shop, a drug habit he cannot afford and the wildly unstable woman he had chosen to love.
Two damaged people can balance a seesaw for a long time, even finding the illusion of safety; but when one gets off unannounced, the other will fall. As Finch finds sobriety, her sanity and her relationship with Hyatt falter until an inevitable event brings the two back together a decade later.
August 21, 2013 – Seattle, WA. Diverse works by accomplished Seattle cartoonists are featured in Fantagraphics Follies at the Bumbershoot arts festival on Saturday, August 31 at 6:00 PM in the Leo K. Theater. This entertaining production, in the format of a late night television talk show, includes Jim Woodring, Ellen Forney, Eroyn Franklin, Kelly Froh and Danny Bland. Music will be provided by Peter Bagge’s Can You Imagine? featuring Steve Fisk. Fantagraphics resident curator Larry Reid will serve as host for the festivities.
Iconoclastic cartoonist Jim Woodring demonstrates his drawing skills with a giant quill pen measuring over 7 feet tall. He’ll create an appropriately oversized drawing over the course of the show. Ellen Forney takes a turn on the couch to discuss her sensational new book Marbles. Eroyn Franklin presents an alluring shadow puppet show, followed by a multimedia comedy act by Kelly Froh. Inspired by Jack Kerouac’s legendary 1959 appearance on the Steve Allen Show, Danny Bland reads from his new Fantagraphics novel In Case We Die, accompanied on piano by Steve Fisk. Musical interludes from Peter Bagge’s captivating pop combo Can You Imagine? and revealing interviews by comix connoisseur Larry Reid promise to make Fantagraphics Follies a lively and colorful event. The show will be followed by a book signing, providing the public an opportunity to meet these extraordinary artists.
Join us on Labor Day weekend at Seattle’s adventurous Bumbershoot arts and music festival. For complete line-up and ticket information, visit: http://bumbershoot.org.
Our copies of Danny Bland's debut novel In Case We Die have arrived but we're not sending orders out quite yet. The reason? Danny's going to drop by soon and sign a whole mess of them! That's right, the first 80 or so people to order the book will have their copy signed by the author! (Sorry, no personalizations, despite the photo.) Orders will begin shipping on or about next Wednesday, August 21.
AND, we're extending our free audiobook download offer! Order the book by Monday, August 26 and on Tuesday, August 27 you'll receive an email from Local 638 Records with a code you can use to download the complete, unabridged audiobook (read by a brain-melting lineup of musicians, comedians and thespians) for FREE! Sample a few excerpts and see the full lineup here. This is an exclusive offer for Fantagraphics direct customers!
LOCAL 638 RECORDS AND FANTAGRAPHICS TEAM UP TO PRESENT DANNY BLAND'S NOVEL IN CASE WE DIE; AUDIOBOOK READ BY AIMEE MANN, DUFF McKAGAN, MARC MARON, MIKE McCREADY, MARK ARM, MARK LANEGAN, MORE!BLAND ANNOUNCES BOOK TOUR!<-p>
Fantagraphics Books and Local 638 Records are proud to announce the September 2013 release of In Case We Die, the first novel by Danny Bland, in hardcover and audiobook. Bland, a 25-year veteran of Seattle’s music scene (The Dwarves, Cat Butt, Best Kissers In the World) brings his own experience to the depiction of a harrowing tour through Seattle's darkest underground. Both love story and horror story, In Case We Die is a semi-autobiographical and visceral story of crime, addiction, redemption and revenge.
In Case We Die‘s audiobook is read by an incredible team of legendary artists,
musicians, actors and comedians, all of whom have lent their support and donated their talent and time. Readers include Duff McKagan (Guns & Roses), Mike McCready (Pearl Jam), Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees, Queens of the Stone Age), Steve Earle, Aimee Mann, Mark Arm (Mudhoney), Marc Maron (WTF With Marc Maron) and many others . A portion of the proceeds will benefit MusiCares, a stellar non-profit that assists musicians and music business workers to obtain medical care and human services.
The audiobook is over seven hours in length.
Available digitally and also CD format (1 disc - mp3 for car stereos).
BOOK TOUR – more dates TBA
* surprise guests from the audiobook will read with Danny in select cities
August 31 – Bumbershoot – “Fantagraphics Follies” – Seattle, WA
September 9 – Powell’s Books – Portland, OR
September 11 – Booksmith – San Francisco, CA
September 14 – Book Soup – Los Angeles, CA with Dave Alvin, Wayne Kramer, Lew Temple
September 18 – Changing Hands – Tempe, AZ
September 21 – The Regulator – Durham, NC
September 24 – Atomic Books – Baltimore, MD
September 25 – The Random Tea Room – Philadelphia, PA
September 26 – Manitobas – NYC – 7pm
September 30 – Barnes & Noble – Peabody, MA with Damien Echols
October 1 – Bookcourt – Brooklyn, NY 7pm
October 2 – Quimby’s – Chicago, IL
October 14 – Elliott Bay Books – Seattle, WA
“Our anti-hero is floating in a tiny lifeboat made of heroin, graveyard shifts & rock music. His companions are two fabulous women; a bombshell who robs banks & a beautifully pale rock violinist who can barely dodge suicide. ICWD is much funnier & more satisfying than any other junkie rock’n'roll tragedy.” – John Doe (X)
“Bland is a brutally funny and bravely honest writer. A perfect guide through the bloodshot streets and desperate bedrooms of the underground wilderness.” – Dave Alvin (Blasters)
“In Case We Die is a poetic and elegant journey … straight to the gutter.” – Wayne Kramer (MC5)
“A great piece of work — full of filth and heart.” – Steve Earle
“A suitably Peckinpah finale. Bravo. It has been like a traveling dream state and sometimes familiar look into the abyss.” – Greg Dulli (Afghan Whigs)
“I am a believer in what Bland has to say. He writes with eloquence, candor, darkness, and humor….the good stuff!” – Duff McKagan (Guns ‘N’ Roses)
Danny Bland is one of the most interesting people I’ve ever known. Beneath a crusty, punk rock exterior lies one of the biggest hearts I’ve ever seen. This book? It’s the literary version of Danny Bland.” – Damien Echols (West Memphis Three)
The latest, largest kaiju monsters of Online Commentaries and Criticism:
• Review:New Schoolin The A.V. Club. "Like Anders Nilsen, Dash Shaw has spent his career looking for a creatively profitable middle ground between high art and straightforward comics storytelling.…Shaw riffs on the popular culture of the ’90s and the politics of the ’00s, suggesting that the children of one decade grew up too cut off from reality to understand the part they played in fostering the global conflict of the next. The social commentary in New School provides a sharp accent to a formally daring, at times alarming coming-of-age tale," says Noel Murray.
• Review:New School in Paste Magazine. "Dash Shaw is a relentless experimenter, never content to rely on the processes and approaches that garnered him acclaim the last go-round…Shaw’s ability to confidently follow his muse without justifying any artistic approach is part of what makes him such an exciting voice, and one that continues to refine itself with this excellent book," wrote Hillary Brown.
• Review:Mental Floss on New School. "Dash Shaw is one of the new generation of exciting comic creators who exist in a nexus between comics and the New York contemporary art scene... A glance at the pages here shows a bold, unusual use of color that seems part Power Mastrs, part Asterios Polyp," writes Rich Barrett.
• Review:Comics Alliance reviews Dash Shaw's New School. John Parker writes, "New School is surreal, emotional, and delirious with color…Moving, innovative, and beautiful, it's hard to imagine you'd confuse the woozy, dreamsick, and explosively colored pages of New School for any other artist's, no matter what distance you're viewing them from."
• Interview (audio): Dash Shaw is interviewed on Robin McConnell's Inkstuds again!
• Plug:New School in The Austin American Statesmen. "on first read, it is melancholic, funny and smartly impressionistic, three things that comics do well…Dash Shaw likes to move through styles, and it’s exciting. As soon as you think you have a fix on his forms, he tweaks it just a bit," writes Joe Gross.
• Review:NPR lists Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life as one of the five touching comics of summer. "Lust's desire to experience real life and to learn things beyond books is by turns uplifting and painful, funny and frightening…The result is a modern coming-of-age story that addresses the thrills and consequences of being young, idealistic, and more than a little lucky," Myla Goldberg sums up.
• Review:The National Post on Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life by Ulli Lust. "Last Day is, essentially, a memoir of powerlessness, of how fruitless our attempts to shape our own lives can be - a fact often reflected in her lines, simple and crisp but frequently lost in the chaos of big scenes.…It's an honesty, intimate and universal, that comics capture better than any medium, and Lust's entry is an almost perfect instance," states David Berry.
• Review:Slant Magazine looks at Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life by Ulli Lust. Tim Peters says, "…it's spontaneous, sexual, and both cynically and internationally adventurous. It's also further proof that the graphic novel is going to dethrone the novel as the 21st century's preferred form for telling a story…A good way to think about Today Is the Last Day is as a kind of anti-Eat, Pray, Love."
• Plug:Cleaver Magazine on Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life by Ulli Lust. "…the beauty of this graphic memoir is in the way, image by image and line by line, it captures that yearning and its momentary fulfillments in the shapes of breathtaking, carefully drawn landscapes, or drawings that depict Ulli's surreal fantasies, like her body floating happily over the Spanish stairs," writes Tahneer Oksman
• Review:Cult Montreal enjoys Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life by Ulli Lust. "Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life is a gripping read that feels like a story a close friend might tell you after returning from a long voyage. Lust's lively illustration style and enthralling narrative voice make this graphic novel a feminist On the Road for the twenty-first century," writes Jeff Miller.
• Plug:Largehearted Boy lists Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life by Ulli Lust as one of the picks of the week "It's a frank, funny, occasionally brutal coming-of-age story…There's plenty of sex, drugs, and violence, though it's Lust's insight and sensitivity that really make it shine," writes The Librarie Drawn & Quarterly Bookstore.
Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life is a gripping read that feels like a story a close friend might tell you after returning from a long voyage. Lust’s lively illustration style and enthralling narrative voice make this graphic novel a feminist On the Road for the twenty-first century. - See more at: http://cultmontreal.com/2013/07/comics-review-ulli-lust-tom-gauld-joe-ollmann/#sthash.5LDUqr84.dpuf
Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life is a gripping read that feels like a story a close friend might tell you after returning from a long voyage. Lust’s lively illustration style and enthralling narrative voice make this graphic novel a feminist On the Road for the twenty-first century. - See more at: http://cultmontreal.com/2013/07/comics-review-ulli-lust-tom-gauld-joe-ollmann/#sthash.5LDUqr84.dpu
• Interview: Matt Seneca interviews Charles Forsman of The End of the Fucking World and being compared to Charles Schulz on Comics Alliance. "It is very much about being fucked-up when you are a teen and that should be a timeless idea. We all go through that. I guess the 80s thing is something that I use as an atmospheric reference for myself," says Forsman. "Forsman managed to do what even the most talented cartoonists often have difficulty with, fusing the honesty of presentation and uninflected realism native to classic alternative comics with the white-knuckle pace and jaw-clenching cliffhangers of the best action storytelling," writes Seneca.
• Interview: Chuck Forsman talks about mini-comics, schoolin' and The End of the Fucking World with Spurgeon on The Comics Reporter<. "I really enjoyed building something with smaller bricks. I guess that's how I've always thought of comics, breaking it down into scenes. Even when I'm just doing one book. I also like to mix the bricks up a bit." .
• Review: The New York Journal of Books enjoys Wake Up, Percy Gloom by Cathy Malkasian. "In a graphic novel filled with exceptional art, lush dreamscapes and characters of rich beauty, Ms. Malkasian brings simple moments to life that show us the depth of someone's heart," writes Mark Squirek. "Wake Up, Percy Gloom reminds us that every single moment is important because at any second apples may bloom and fall from the sky."
• Review:iFanboy on Wake Up, Percy Gloomby Cathy Malkasian. "Malkasian decorates the tale with surreal and absurd dressing (reminiscent of the land of Oz, more than anything else), and plots with twists and turns that are almost impossible to anticipate....If L Frank Baum, Jim Henson and, Jeff Smith wrote a comic together, it would feel (and look) a bit like Percy Gloom," writes Josh Christie.
• Review:The Comic Pusher looks at Wake Up, Percy Gloomby Cathy Malkasian. "Part cutting satire, part fairy tale, part nightmare…Wake Up, Percy Gloom! is another astonishing work from Malkasian, a beautiful and uplifting graphic novel filled with magic and loss and joy. Malkasian, a veteran animator and now highly accomplished cartoonist, once more delivers a work of startling power cementing herself as one of the most distinct and important voices in comics," pens Jeffrey O. Gustafson.
• Commentary: Jessica Lee report on The Beat about Cathy Malkasian's talk at the California College of Arts. "The amount of precision and undeniable heart Cathy puts into every ounce of her characters, panel construction, and worldbuilding is commendable, filling WAKE UP PERCY GLOOM with the kind of rare wonder that make it a gem in the pool of graphic novels…" writes Lee.
• Review:Eye of the Majestic Creature Vol. 2 by Leslie Stein is reviewed on VICE. "What Leslie does with her work is special. She seems largely influenced by newspaper comics, but her stories are subtle.…The core of this series seems to be about how uncomfortable it is to interact with other people and how lonely it can be in New York," says Nick Gazin.
• Review: Eye of the Majestic Creature Vol. 2 by Leslie Stein on Comics Bulletin. "Leslie Stein is a voice for a certain aspect of her generation, the ones you see feigning ironic detachment while inside they are either all honest excitement or vast empathy. While it's just so much easier and cooler not to get emotionally involved, for people like Stein, that's just really not possible," writes Daniel Elkin.
• Review:Good Dog by Graham Chaffee on Forbidden Planet International. "It's a brilliant little book, one I could quite cheerfully have read much more of, one that definitely left me wanting more…throughout the book, Chaffee paints the picture so vividly that you understand that dogs, just like us, are complicated beasts, and each has to find their own life," writes Richard Bruton.
• Review: The Hooded Utilitarian reviews Good Dog by Graham Chaffee. "Chaffee largely eschews panels which are filled with multifarious meaning and intricate correlations, adopting congenial, unsensational storytelling, evoking time, place and character; the gentle rhythms of a nostalgia associated with the early to mid twentieth century…The central questions being tackled here appear to be those of belief, ideology, and faith. A tangential discussion of deist philosophy may not be out of the question as well," writes Ng Suat Tong.
• Plug:Drawn Words on Good Dog by Graham Chaffee. "Good Dog is absolutely one of the most interesting comics of the year…Ivan's struggle as a stray is parallel to everyday human interaction and quest for personal fulfillment, exploring animal psychology in the simplest way Chaffee can possibly explain, while simultaneously maintaining a strong grip of emotion," muses Kevin Cortez.
• Review:The End by Anders Nilsen on The A.V. Club. "This is a book from comics' more avant-garde wing, and a premier example of how to make experimental work that still connects broadly, rather than coming across as self-indulgent vamping," writes Noel Murray.
• Plug:New York 1 on The End\ by Anders Nilsen. "…this beautiful creation explores grief and life, unanswered questions and unquestioned thought," states Andrew Losowsky.
• Interview: Alex Dueben of CBR interviews Kim Deitch on The Amazing, Enlightening and Absolutely True Adventures of Katherine Whaley, process and the inclusion of beavers. "Well, when you read around in old fiction there is a whole genre of stuff that you might categorize as "hollow earth" stories. You know, hidden teeming civilizations deep within the earth.…The almost human workaholic activities of beavers seemed like a potentially good fit to a story of that kind," answered Deitch.
• Review:The National Post reviews Lost Cat. "Jason is one of the few artists (or writers) who can make existential aches seem droll, but it makes the smiles being provoked feel as honest as the ones we get when standing across from someone who makes the world feel a little less lonely," muses David Barry.
• Review:Comics Alliance gives Jason's Lost Cat the whatfor! "If you're familiar with Jason's previous work, you know his mastery of minimalist storytelling is what drives his art. His anthropomorphic, near emotionless characters, along with his consistent four panel page layouts, are his signature," writes Joseph Hughes.
• Review:Comics Bulletin looks at Jason's Lost Cat. "In a way it asks us to consider what is more meaningful, actually connecting or the longing to connect in the first place…Jason is an artist of a high caliber and reading Lost Cat confirms this. He creates in isolation, ruminates about our inability to connect, and, by doing so, brings us together," writes Daniel Elkin.
• Plug:Lost Cat is on Publishers Weekly Picks of the Week. "A humorous PI story populated by animals takes a turn toward the absurd in the newest-and longest yet-graphic novel by Jason."
Review: iFanboy on Bread & Wine by Samuel Delany and Mia Wolff. "The book is short...but packs some serious punch. Lots of the credit can go to Mia Wolff, whose black-and-white pen work adds some serious grittiness to the story. The only thing I love more than a good love story is a good atypical love story, and Bread & Wine fits the bill nicely," writes Josh Christie.
• Review:Bread & Wine by Samuel Delany and Mia Wolff on Sequential Tart<. "The story itself is intimate and at times awkward to read, which makes it feel very real and personal. Delany doesn't shy away from some of the less-appealing moments in the relationship...Bread & Wine is an unusual offering, and certainly won't be to everyone's taste, but it's certainly worth a read now that it's widely available and reasonably priced," writes Katie Frank.
• Review:Bread &Wine by Samuel Delany and Mia Wolff was reviewed on Comics Grinder. "This graphic novel, originally published in 1999, springs from a memoir and stands alone as engaging and insightful...For a book that promises an erotic tale, there are even more scenes that speak to the great divide between the two men which they will either struggle with or overcome," wrote Henry Chamberlain, Comics Grinder
• Plug:Bread & Wine by Samuel Delany and Mia Wolff on Largehearted Boy. "With Alan Moore contributing an introduction and Neil Gaiman and Junot Diaz (and Frank Miller in case that still means something to anyone) singing its praises, you know Bread & Wine has something special going on," says Benn from Atomic Books.
• Plug:Publishers Weekly on Hip Hop Family Tree by Ed Piskor. Maurice Boyer details the creative process: "each strip [is] a full week affair in which he spends a day of research and writing immersed in books, videos or interviews in search of inspiration for the week's strip. From there, he spends the rest of the week drawing his pages by hand and coloring them on the computer."
• Interview:Julia Gfrӧrer is interviewed on The Beat by Zainab Ahktar. "I like writing for a contemporary setting, but a contemporary mermaid story would be kind of a hard sell, it feels unpleasantly whimsical to me, so for that reason Black is the Color had to be set in the past." nbsp;
• Review:HIV+ on 7 Miles a Second by David Wojnarowicz, James Romberger and Marguerite Van Cook. "It can be difficult to remember in 2013, just how despised gays were and just how oblivious the rest of society seemed to the AIDS epidemic in those dark days.… But 7 Miles a Second captures the rage and impotence felt by thousands of young gay men who were suddenly faced with the brutal finality of death," writes Jacob Anderson-Minshall.
• Review:Hyperallergic on 7 Miles a Second by David Wojnarowicz, James Romberger and Marguerite Van Cook.. "Wojnarowicz…didn’t win the great game of life; they lost bitterly. To hear about those losses firsthand, to watch them unfold in words that essentially position us as front-row spectators, is devastating.…If there’s another theme in 7 Miles a Second, one that counteracts the weight of the body, it must be motion. Evident in both the form and content of the text, motion offers the promise of escape," writes Jillian Steinhauer.
• Commentary:MSN ran a story about the Sub Pop Silver Jubilee and the In Case We Die reading & signing by Danny Bland. "Bland read a passage about the first time the book's main character and his teenaged girlfriend shoot up - a degenerate scene redolent of hindsight romanticizing. Packed inside the bookstore, the audience roared approval. Only in Seattle."
• Interview:The Weekings' Joe Daly (a different one!) interviews Danny Bland on In Case We Die and getting clean, "Well, the catalyst for me getting clean was the classic tale of running out of resources. I did drugs until I ran out of money, and friends to steal from, and eventually the criminal element that I became involved with became too hot." Read more about these adventures in In Case We Die!
• Review:Forbidden Planet International on Jacques Tardi's Goddamn This War! "This is going straight into my own collection, and in my opinion every decent graphic novel collection needs some Tardi in it, he is one of the great masters of the medium," sums up Joe Gordon.
• Review: The French Embassy outlines Goddamn This War!"Goddamn This War! shares with [It Was the War of the] Trenches its sustained sense of outrage, pitch-black gallows humor, and impeccably scrupulous historical exactitude."
• Review:Washington Post on Barnaby by Crockett Johnson. "A whole new generation now will have the opportunity to become acquainted with Johnson's influential creation...Liberals may love Barnaby, but there is no reason why conservatives and libertarians can't admire the beauty, simplicity, wittiness and intelligence of this groundbreaking strip, too," posits Michael Taube.
• Review: Barnaby by Crockett Johnson reviewed by The A.V. Club<. "With Barnaby, Johnson combined low-impact serialized adventure with some gentle comedy based around the ways that adults and kids diverge in their perspectives. The result is a compulsively readable strip with a winningly off-kilter point-of-view-and a cultural treasure that's been long-overdue for this kind of prestige archival project..." posits Noel Murray.
• Plug:Mental Floss on Barnaby by Crockett Johnson. "It mixed fantasy, satire and political commentary and its humor was often very subtle. So subtle that its popularity was limited compared to most strips of the day. Editors Eric Reynolds and Philip Nel have taken great pains to annotate many of the topical references that were made to help new readers appreciate what Barnaby's small but devoted readership enjoyed at the time," pens Rich Barrett.
• Review: Comics Worth Reading flips through Mickey Mouse Color Sundays by Floyd Gottfredson. "The lighter approach makes this book a better choice to share with your young ones. They should love the timeless highjinks of the mouse and his friends. And anyone can appreciate the skilled cartooning and astounding art, so well-done it almost seems to move on paper," writes Johanna Draper Carlson.
• Review:Robot 6 on Mickey Mouse Color Sundays by Floyd Gottfredson. "What I really took away from this book, however, was Gottfredson's considerable (and very nuanced) compositional and storytelling skills...an entertaining read and still a thrill to see what Gottfredson work out and then master this longer styled-format. Disney fans - or just fans of solid, entertaining comics in general - won't be disappointed."
• Review: The Complete Syndicated Pogo Vol.2 "Bona Fide Balderdash" by Walt Kelly receives a 5 outta 5 stars from Comics Bulletin. "The world of those delightful characters feels tremendously lavish and vivid. Kelly's strip came from an era of deep graphical inventiveness…This book is pure magic, suitable for both a fourth grade teacher and a fourth grader," muses Jason Sacks.
• Review:Page 45 on Love and Rockets: The Companion edited by Marc Sobel and Kristy Valenti. "Best of all, however, are the interviews, so utterly addictive that I almost missed my review deadline…Editor Marc Sobel's interview with Los Bros Hernandez delivers some astonishing insights into the cycle of each story's conception, execution, then complete burned-out numbness in Jaime... and workaholic Gilbert's crippling self-doubt halfway through each chapter early on," states Stephen L. Holland.
• Review:Spectrum Culture enjoys Hal Foster's Prince Valiant 6: 1947-1948. "Readers unfamiliar with the Prince Valiant strip owe it to themselves to take a look. The stories encapsulate the values of a simpler, less cynical time, and the illustrations are first-rate," writes David Maine.
• Plug: An odd but fun article on Love and Rockets and baseball on The Good Phight. "It's odd, Jaime's stories in L&R, collected in the massive Locas collections, are kind of geek treasure troves. Clearly Jaime is influenced by punk and 80's alt California, but he's also really into superheroes, luchadores, and monster movies, so you get this weird melange of nostalgia for all of this old nerd culture."
• Commentary: Deb Aoki reports on Best/Worst Manga Panel at SDCC 2013. Moto Hagio's The Heart of Thomas is listed as Best New Manga for Kids/Teens. Wandering Son by Shimura Takako is listed on Best Continuing Series for Kids/Teens. And finally Inio Asano's Nijigahara Holograph lands on the Most Anticipated New Manga list.
• Review: Wandering Son Vol. 4 is reviewed on Experiments in Manga. "As nostalgic as Wandering Son can be, the middle school years haven't been idealized in the series.…Wandering Son is more about characters than a linear plot, but the fourth volume is an important setup for what comes next in the series," says Ash Brown.
• Review:School Library Journal looks at Willard Mullin's Golden Age of Baseball and how it is applicable in the classroom! "student sports fans (in this case, baseball fans specifically) can leverage their outside-of-school literacies to comprehend and appreciate the sophisticated cartoons and high-level text in Willard Mullin’s Golden Age of Baseball," says Peter Gutierrez.
• Review:Full Stop is pleased with the Fantagraphics' EC Comics Library. "It's fitting that Fantagraphics - long-time champion of the rights and importance of comics creators, and re-issuer important historical comics - would arrange a publishing line this way. Even though it may not be surprising, it's still a commendable decision. It's also an important development in further establishing comics as art and literature worthy of serious consideration and study.… It presents work by EC’s most important artists, drawing the work from across all EC titles," states Sam Costello.
• Review:Comics Bulletin] >on 50 Girls 50 by Al Williamson. It "is an affordable means of acquiring a pleasingly complete collection of this seminal work by a seminal artist."
• Plug: Boing Boing delights in The Littlest Pirate King by David B. "So, it's a little grim. But it's also gorgeous…If you liked the premise of Neil Gaiman's award-winning Graveyard Book, you're sure to love this, but be aware that it's much a darker and sadder story than Gaiman's. I think this is probably suited to kids eight or nine and up…" suggests Cory Doctorow.
• Review: Jason Sacks on the Comics Bulletin gives Donald Duck: The Old Castle's Secret by Carl Barks the run down. "This book is an absolutely delightful assortment of stories, a thoroughly charming, delightful collection of vivid stories full of clever wordplay and slapstick action…Barks tells the story in ways that have to delight any reader.The more I read of Barks's comics, the more I come to love them."
"Danny Bland's prose is a fist through a medicine-cabinet mirror. In Case We Die is filled with degenerate tales, violent outbursts and underbelly laughs, but Bland's debut novel really surprises with its moments of tenderness and insight and redemption." – Mark Yarm, author of Everybody Loves Our Town: An Oral History of Grunge
"Our anti-hero is floating in a tiny lifeboat made of heroin, graveyard shifts & rock music. His companions are two fabulous women; a bombshell who robs banks & a beautifully pale rock violinist who can barely dodge suicide. ICWD is much funnier & more satisfying than any other junkie rock'n'roll tragedy." – John Doe (X)
"Bland is a brutally funny and bravely honest writer. A perfect guide through the bloodshot streets and desperate bedrooms of the underground wilderness." – Dave Alvin (Blasters)
"In Case We Die is a poetic and elegant journey ... straight to the gutter." – Wayne Kramer (MC5)
"A great piece of work — full of filth and heart." – Steve Earle
"A suitably Peckinpah finale. Bravo. It has been like a traveling dream state and sometimes familiar look into the abyss." – Greg Dulli (Afghan Whigs)
"I am a believer in what Bland has to say. He writes with eloquence, candor, darkness, and humor....the good stuff!" – Duff McKagan (Guns 'N' Roses)
"Danny Bland is one of the most interesting people I've ever known. Beneath a crusty, punk rock exterior lies one of the biggest hearts I've ever seen. This book? It's the literary version of Danny Bland." – Damien Echols (West Memphis Three)
"Beautiful and brutal. The prose are visceral, eloquent and moving. Addiction, love and music in the seedy underworld of rainy Seattle in the 1990's … so vivid I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn't back there again. Danny Bland is a modern Charles Bukowski." – Mike McCready (Pearl Jam)
In Case We Die by Danny Bland; illustrated with photos by Lance Mercer
248-page black & white 6" x 8.5" hardcover • $26.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-675-1
Due to arrive in about 1-3 weeks. Click the thumbnails for larger versions; get more info, see more previews and pre-order your copy here:
EXCLUSIVE OFFER: If you pre-order the book direct from Fantagraphics, when the book is released you'll receive a code for a FREE download of the audiobook via email from Local 638 Records, with chapters read by a mind-blowing all-star lineup of music and cultural luminaries. See the full lineup here.