It's a Daily OCD Celebrity Endorsement Special Edition! Thanks to Leonard Maltin for this great writeup on his Movie Crazy blog:
"I'll be honest and say that I wasn't eagerly awaiting an encyclopedic directory of punks on screen, but Destroy All Movies!!! The Complete Guide to Punks on Film has come along just the same...and it's pretty impressive. [...] In addition to snarky and well-informed write-ups of such titles as Legend of the Roller Blade Seven and Crash ‘n' Burn there are interviews with such filmmakers and performers as Mary Woronov, Alex Cox, Susan Seidelman, Clint Howard, and the folks behind Rock ‘n' Roll High School, featuring The Ramones. If you're into anarchic cinema and its offshoots, this is a great reference-and a fun browse."
• List:PopMatters names Four Color Fear to their Best Fiction of 2010 list. David Maine writes: "Four Color Fear is a lovingly accumulated and organized collection of... stories starring ghosts, ghouls, zombies, demons, and monsters of all stripes. [...] Some of the writers and artists are well known names from the era... Others are not as famous, but overall, the consistency of art and story is impressive. Four Color Fear offers some nice bonus features too, which elevate it from being a simple compilation of reprinted stories."
• List: On the Best Non-Fiction of 2010 side, PopMatters lists Destroy All Movies!!! The Complete Guide to Punks on Film. Chris Barsanti writes: "...Zack Carlson and Bryan Connolly’s insanely genius and improbably comprehensive guidebook... include[s] every film even remotely punk ever produced. While authentically underground creations... are given some pride of place..., the authors have a special love for straight-to-VHS exploitation trash of yore, where mohawked gutterpunks (sometimes postapocalyptic) terrorized the citizenry."
• Review: "When a man living a hardscrabble life suddenly exhibits signs of stigmata, his tumultuous journey to find — and accept — redemption is beautifully evoked by Italian screenwriter and novelist Piersanti... and graphic novelist Mattotti... With Mattotti's furious black and white illustrations perfectly reflecting the man's growing inner turmoil, Piersanti's morality tale is haunting yet hopeful." – Publishers Weekly
• List/Coming Attractions: On Publishers Weekly's "Spring 2011 Adult Announcements" preview, the following upcoming titles rank on The Top 10: Comics & Graphic Novels:
"Many recent comics biographies have been presented as educational material, but Wilfred Santiago's 21: The Story of Roberto Clemente uses a more expressionist style to tell the story of the baseball superstar who rose from poverty to the top of the game and died a hero's death. Long in the making, it arrives just in time for opening day."
"The comic strip gets a much needed new edition of the first volume of Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse, Vol. 1: Race to Death Valley. While perhaps an unexpected gem, Floyd Gottfredson's tough, bold mouse is a seasoned adventurer and these are driving, hard-boiled tales. After reading this volume, you'll never look at Mickey, the tuxedo-clad corporate spokesmouse, the same again."
• List:Carve Your Name Comics' Greg Townley (a.k.a. "Johnny") names his top 20 favorite comics and graphic novels of 2010:
"14) Werewolves of Montpellier by Jason — Jason’s work is haunting and surreal. I love all his books, but this one earns high points for including a character based on Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany’s. [...] Jason’s allusion to the complex film icon really elevates this book."
"17) Wally Gropius by Tim Hensley — This book is like Richie Rich on acid – one of the most original, visually exciting books I’ve read this year."
"20) King of the Flies- 1. Hallorave by Mezzo and Pirus — King of the Flies, the first part of a proposed trilogy, is surreal and unsettling. It requires repeat readings to unearth the interwoven secrets at play."
• List: At his X-Ray Spex blog Will Pfeifer names Love and Rockets: New Stories #3 one of his Graphic Novels of the Year: "Gilbert's stuff is a lot of fun (and a lot of weird, too), but it's Jaime's shattering look back at Maggie's troubled past that elevates this book above even Love and Rockets' normally stellar standards. 'Browntown' is one of the best stories ever to appear in Love and Rockets, and if you know how brilliant the book is — easily one of the best comic series ever — you know that's high praise indeed."
• List: Also at X-Ray Spex, Pfeifer lists his best Books About Comics of the Year, including:
From Shadow to Light: The Life and Art of Mort Meskin by Steven Brower: "...[W]hen I started collecting in the late 1970s[,] Meskin's art stood out, mostly because his figures and compositions always seemed to explode off the page. And now there's an elaborate book that (a) examines his whole life (b) reprints lots of vintage art and (c) includes plenty of originals? Tell me this isn't the best time — ever — to be a comic book fan."
Four Color Fear: Forgotten Horror Comics of the 1950s: "...[T]his is a great collection, with vintage work from Basil Wolverton, Joe Kubert, Howard Nostrand, Bob Powell and especially Jack Cole, who delivers a couple of twisted masterpieces here. Also, there are fascinating, detailed end notes and a lurid collection of covers in the middle."
• Review: "Jacques Tardi’s It Was the War of the Trenches is pretty brutal. [...] It’s one thing to read about the brutality of trench warfare, another entirely to experience it in the way Tardi details it here. This wasn’t an easy read — I alternated between anger and horror the whole time — but it was a good one." – Brigid Alverson, Robot 6
• Review: "It's all very well told, with realistic details coming through even when the art takes such a cartoony style, but being the first half of a two-volume series, [Lucky in Love Book 1] is somewhat incomplete, setting up themes that will presumably be dealt with later. Still, it's quite good. However, there was one scene that I thought was excellent on its own and stood out in the memory the most. [...] War is hell, with effects reaching far outside and long beyond the actual conflict, and this scene manages to illustrate that rather effectively." – Matthew J. Brady, Warren Peace Sings the Blues
• Plug: "Ray Fenwick's Mascots is... narrated by Cthulu... I think. [...] What Fenwick paints is funny and punny, but also unexpectedly observant with just a little bit of metaphysical musing thrown in. I know that doesn't make too much sense as a combination, so just read these pages and maybe you'll understand." – Julia Pohl-Miranda, 211 Bernard (Librairie Drawn & Quarterly)
• List: For The Economist, Picturebox publisher and our sometime editorial collaborator Dan Nadel names his picks for the best comics of 2010: "Tim Hensley’s Wally Gropius was maybe my favourite graphic novel of the year, and I’m still trying to figure out just what exactly it is. Drawn and written in the graphic idioms of throwaway 1960s comic books such as Richie Rich and Archie, Wally Gropius is about an angst-ridden, dumbfounded millionaire, looking for love in a lopsided modernist space fraught with emasculation, poverty, rock jingles and other things that make grown men cry."
• Review: "And after spending the last two days plowing through this majestic slab of crucial, comically informative reviews [Destroy All Movies!!!], part of me envies [editors Zack Carlson & Bryan Connolly] in having done it first, while some other part wants to thank them for taking a bullet the rest of us don’t have to. [...] If you have any interest whatsoever in the topic you really cannot do without a copy of this book. If you’re like me, it will make you want to revisit some movies again, and search out some you’ve overlooked... In no uncertain terms, this book comes with my highest recommendations." – Jay Bodnar, Wednesday's Child
• Review: "The Littlest Pirate King is a strange and morbid comic. [...] The beautiful drawings of David B., made with thick and shaky strokes, are beautifully expressive. ...David B. did very well with this literary adaptation... [which] shows a mature and talented artist, exploring the versatility of his narrative." – Gustavo Guimaraes, Ambrosia (translated from Portuguese)
• Analysis: At Death to the Universe, Matt Seneca examines a panel of Rory Hayes's comics as exemplary of Hayes's work: "Rory Hayes is one of those artists, one whose sequences of pictures build stories out of their own bizarre alien logic, the consistency of their utter weirdness giving the reader just enough of a solid platform for understanding to take root in." (Via Spurge)
• Coming Attractions (Audio): Hosts Phil and Charlito preview some of our upcoming 2011 releases on the latest episode of the Indie Spinner Rack podcast
• List:iFanboy's Jason ranks Usagi Yojimbo: The Special Edition at #1 on the Top Collected Editions of 2010: "Fantagraphics has treated us with a 1,160-page, two volume slipcase collection that reprints the first seven trade paperbacks worth of content, as well as 50 covers and lots of never-before-seen backmatter."
• List: "I don’t understand how Medley can write and draw so well. The story is entertaining and well-paced. The art is spacious, smooth with expressive lines. I have no idea why Medley hasn’t won every award everywhere. Volume two picks up where the first left off, telling the stories of a group of people who have retired to Castle Waiting, a refuge in a difficult, quasi-medieval world." – Carol Borden, The Cultural Gutter, "10 Comics I Liked in 2010"
• List:Paul Gravett's Best of 2010 is very, very extensive, including mentions of no fewer than 10 of our titles
• Review: "The unease which Mezzo brings to King of the Flies is ever present in the twisted shapes of his men and women, the oversized drops of an acrid drizzle, the fur like scrub which seem like the myriad hairs of a fly’s appendage, a modern day dance of death choked with the dregs of modern life; the strange underbelly of free will and capitalism — sex, drugs and alcohol; death, lust and tainted beauty; the unsettling horror of kitsch; the nauseating mingling of youth, disease and dementia." – Ng Suat Tong, The Hooded Utilitarian (The Comics Journal)
• Interview: At his Talking with Tim blog, Tim O'Shea talks to Destroy All Movies!!! editors Zack Carlson (quoted here) & Bryan Connolly: "I’m constantly shocked by people’s willingness to forgo the most valuable resources we have — like bookstores and video stores — because of the lazy convenience of the internet. Why don’t people want to leave their homes? Are they afraid they’ll get struck by lightning or bitten by a dog? It makes me nuts."
• Plug: "...Set to Sea is an astounding visual piece with a simplistic narrative that avoids the saturated complexities of other graphic works. I’ve been a long time fan of Weing’s, and highly recommend this title." – Michael Dean, Slither and Friends
• List:Hypergeek's Edward Kaye names The Best Original Graphic Novels of 2010, including (deep breath):
Werewolves of Montpellier: "Part lycanthropic thriller, part romantic comedy, and part existential drama, all told with Jason’s trademark anthropomorphic characters. The visuals are minimalistic and haunting, and the sparse dialogue is wry and delivered with deadpan execution. It’s one of the best things that Jason has ever written, and he continues to outdo himself with every new story."
Love and Rockets: New Stories #3: "Los Bros Hernandez return for a third volume of New Stories. The stories in this volume are fun, bizarre, wacky, and at times profoundly moving. The brothers have been at this for 28 years now, and are still telling stories brimming with originality, and illustrated in inimitable and unparalleled fashion. A true watermark of the series thus far!"
Prison Pit Book 2: "Johnny Ryan has outdone himself on this one. It's intensely violent, horrific, grotesque, sickening, and just plain fucked up! That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it! You should buy this book and give it to all of your friends that think that comics are for kids. It will make them cry!"
Weathercraft: "I only discovered Jim Woodring this year, on a recommendation. I was so impressed by this enchanting, silent masterpiece that I went out and purchased everything else I could find with his name on it, which as it turns out is surprisingly little. It's a beautiful and spellbinding book, with otherworldy illustrations that take you to another place. It's hard to adequately describe this story, it's really beyond definition, it's better that you just experience it for yourself."
Billy Hazelnuts and the Crazy Bird: "Tony Millionaire gives readers a sequel to 2006's Billy Hazelnuts. It's an all-ages tale about a golem on a quest to reunite a baby bird with its mother. It's a charming and wacky parable of adventure, discovery, and find one's way in the world. A contemporary fairy tale that is perfect adults and children of all ages. Simply enchanting!"
The Troublemakers: "Gilbert Hernandez releases a second volume of this Love & Rockets spin-off series, featuring B-Movies starring Luba's half-sister, Fritz. This fantastic tribute to film noir is sure to please fans of the genre, while serving as a fantastic introduction to L&R. It's a hard-boiled classic, brought to life with Beto's bold and distinctive artwork. Oh, and did I mention the massive boobs?"
• Review: "It's unlikely I'm telling anyone reading this anything new by suggesting that Lorenzo Mattotti draws like Caruso sang, and that reading this latest work with screenwriter Claudio Piersanti [Stigmata] is at times an assault of exquisite visual pleasure of the kind that makes your whole face sting." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
• Review: "'The Carnival' [in Mome Vol. 14] is an exquisitely wrought piece of melancholy fantasy, and a high point in the blossoming career of Lilli Carré, the most poetic of contemporary North American cartoonists. [...] Lilli Carré’s cartooning has reached the point where she makes everything feel integral; one can’t treasure any of a piece without treasuring all of it. And 'The Carnival' is a rare treasure indeed." – Robert Stanley Martin, Pol Culture
• Review: "...[I]f you’re looking for something awesome to read and start the new year off with, pick up Locas and Locas II. You can even check them out from the library but they’re nice to have around, so when you and your friends are having some funny or interesting conversation and you’re like wait, this seems familiar, and then be like, oh yeah Maggie said the same thing." – Chimatli
• Coming Attractions: At The Comics Reporter, Tom Spurgeon has thoughtful commentary regarding our upcoming Carl Barks books
• Review: "I'm pretty close to having read all of Jason's comics, and each one is so solid and reliable, I'd be perfectly fine with building a house on them — except then it might be hard to read the comics themselves. [...] I continue to be impressed with Jason's unique and distinctive style, and if anything, he's only gotten better over time. ...[I]t's nice to know that one of my favorite creators is still at the top of his game. Werewolves [of Montpellier] is less a horror story and more a character study, but that's okay by me. Fans of Jason definitely should pick this book up right away, and anyone new to his work will find themselves cursed with a need to read more of his catalog after finishing this one." – Rob McMonigal, Panel Patter
• Interview (Audio): It's a typically informative and entertaining chat between Inkstuds host Robin McConnell and Renee French
• Plug/Contest: "When I saw Destroy All Movies!!!: The Complete Guide to Punks on Filmon the bookshelf in the film section of the bookstore where I work, I was smacked all-over nostalgic. One might argue that books like this — big-format subculture guidebooks — are unnecessary now that we mostly all have internet access. Maybe. I still think everyone who coveted Factsheet 5 zine guides when they were young should feel obligated to get a copy of Destroy All Movies!!! for their lonely, floppy-haired nephew in Chilton, Wisconsin." – Matthew Simmons, HTMLGIANT (click through to find out how to win a copy of the book!)
• Plug: "Last week Fantagraphics released an incredibly comprehensive Usagi Yojimbo collection to celebrate the long eared ronin’s 25th Anniversary, and The Blot can’t wait to get his hands on a copy!" – The Blot Says...
Today's Online Commentary & Diversions from The A.V. Club, Fonts in Use and elsewhere:
• Review: "A terrifying assemblage of ten years’ worth of unfinished Pim & Francie comics. The stories of two trusting little waifs play out like a perverse Merrie Melodies cartoon, or Little Nemo in Slumberland with the constant threat of dismemberment. [... Al Columbia's] superficially-cute artwork comes from the same unsettled place as Jim Woodring , like a ’30s animation studio with a lead-contaminated watercooler." – Grant Buist, The Name of This Cartoon Is Brunswick
• Interview:The A.V. Club's Erik Adams surveys Zack Carlson & Bryan Connolly for some hilarious "Last-minute gift suggestions from the editors of Destroy All Movies!!!" Guess what one of them is!
• Interview:Imitation Objects' Jen Hazen conducts a Q&A with Mome contributor Derek Van Gieson: "The animals. I don’t know why they’re in the pictures. I think animals are weird, we live among these freaky beasts. They’re a hell of a lot more fun than drawing somebody wearing sweatpants or drawing a contemporary car."