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Category >> Drew Friedman

Daily OCD: 6/25/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewsMichael KuppermanJasonDrew FriedmanCharles Burns 25 Jun 2009 2:08 PM

A quiet day for Online Commentary & Diversions:

• Review: "There's always a touch of melancholy in everything that Jason writes, but there's a bleakness in some of these stories [in Low Moon] that I haven't seen since Hey, Wait.... All told, this is still a book every Jason fan should read..." - Rob Clough

• Plug: "Buy [Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 1]! It's amazingly good." - Jackson Publick (co-creator, The Venture Bros.)

• News: Robot 6 reports that Michael Kupperman will provide the cover for the 2009 Best American Comics volume edited by Charles Burns

• Sincerest form of flattery: Old Jews Telling Jokes has a familiar ring to it, no? (Found via Slog)

Daily OCD: 6/17/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Zak SallyreviewsPrince ValiantNell BrinkleyLove and RocketsLeah HayesJules FeifferJoost SwarteJoe SaccoJasonGilbert HernandezDrew FriedmanCarol TylerBlazing Combat 17 Jun 2009 2:42 PM

Still catching up with Online Commentary & Diversions. There's more, but I'm out of time, so more catch-up tomorrow!

• Review: "The backbone of the family, and also its Achilles heel, Luba is a larger-than-life personality who jumps off every page, whether she's the focus of the segment or just a background player. [Gilbert] Hernandez collects over 100 stories here, ranging from graphic novellas to single-page episodes, with his usual dizzying cocktail of sexual intrigue, humor and soap opera-style angst." - Publishers Weekly (Starred Review - near end of page)

• Review: "[You'll Never Know Book 1] becomes a meditation on how the 'art' of our lives, its story, is found all around us, if we but pay attention... [R]ecommended... [and] illuminating." - Mark London Williams, The SF Site: Nexus Graphica

• Review: "There are two excellent interviews in the back of [Blazing Combat]... The interviews are part of what makes the comic so fascinating. Of course, it wouldn’t matter if the stories weren’t good, and they are... [Archie] Goodwin does a fine job keeping each story fresh and even getting into the heads of the characters... It’s a testament to Goodwin’s ability that he manages to write 28 (generally) anti-war stories, but never feels like he’s simply repeating himself... The art helps the book shine, as well... There’s not a poorly-illustrated story in the entire book, and some are eerily beautiful... These are both excellent comics and fascinating historical documents, and Blazing Combat is totally worth a read." - Greg Burgas, Comic Book Resources

• Review: "...[T]here’s an undercurrent in this anthology [Boody: The Bizarre Comics of Boody Rogers] that points to something curious and bizarre that’s worth the same sort of glance as a fake freak in a smarmy sideshow." - the johnandjanaverse

• Profile: Publishers Weekly talks to Trina Robbins about editing our "luscious" collection The Brinkley Girls: The Best of Nell Brinkley's Cartoons from 1913-1940. Sample quote: "It's just fascinating to me that you can open your dictionary and go to G and find Gibson Girls but you can't find Brinkley Girls under B."

• Profile: I don't think I would have guessed that Joost Swarte was influenced by Ed "Big Daddy" Roth, but so says he: The Walrus spotlights Swarte, who provides a cover illustration for the current issue, and whose long-gestating Fantagraphics collection Modern Swarte is still in the works

• Interview: Zak Sally professes a longstanding crush on Maggie & Hopey in a Q&A with Minnesota Reads

• Interview: At Newsarama, Zack Smith enjoys a lengthy chat with Jules Feiffer (and breaks the news to him that Explainers is nominated for an Eisner Award... oops, sorry Jules)

• List: Moolies posts his/her (?) "Top 10 graphic novels," including Safe Area Gorazde by Joe Sacco ("It's truly appalling reading, and the reason is because he's such a great artist, and a great listener too"), Peter Bagge's Buddy Bradley saga ("There's so much painful and embarrassing truth in Bagge's work, and it's carried along by a sharp, wisecracking sense of humour"), and Love and Rockets ("A stunning, extraordinary, even feminist (or humanist) body of work... It's always a joy, and I'm so glad they're still writing these stories")

• Plug: "We should all learn about Nell Brinkley in college. So if you’re currently in college, go check out The Brinkley Girls already. And if you’re out of college already, well go check it out anyway, because everyone seriously needs to see this book—Brinkley was that good." - J. Caleb Mozzocco, Newsarama

• Plug: "As fans of art and cool things in general we are thankful to a friend who sent us the following link to: The Brinkley Girls: The Best of Nell Brinkley's Cartoons from 1913-1940, edited by Trina Robbins... Nell was an amazing illustrator." - The GIV Family Blog

• Plug: Joakim Gunnarsson raves about the "fantastic" black & white edition of Prince Valiant Vol. 1, with photos

• Plug: Comic Book Junkie takes note of our video previews on YouTube (which are also visible, alongside extensive photo previews, in our Flickr stream)

• Plug: Annika in London recommends Leah Hayes's "beautiful book" Funeral of the Heart for the second time

• Plug: 999 spotlights Jason's Low Moon and, according to the Google translation from Spanish, calls us "blithe kids"

• Things to see: Airforce Amazons illustrates a blog post of topical world events with a two-page spread from Joe Sacco's Safe Area Gorazde

• Things to see: Friedman (Drew) does Ferrell (Will) for the NY Observer

Daily OCD: 6/16/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under staffreviewsNell BrinkleyMiss Lasko-GrossLove and RocketsJordan CraneJasonHumbugGilbert HernandezGahan WilsonFrom Wonderland with LoveDrew FriedmanChris WareCarol Tyler 16 Jun 2009 12:43 PM

Your Online Commentary & Diversions return from a short vacation. More catch-up tomorrow.

• Review: "[C.] Tyler’s fluid, expressive linework, complemented by subtly overlaid watercolors, gives ideal visual expression to a narrative that’s at once sensitive and hard-nosed. [You'll Never Know, Book 1] is Tyler’s first book-length effort, but decades of drawing mostly autobiographical stories have honed her skills, enabling her to produce a work that ranks in quality with the graphic memoirs of Alison Bechdel (Fun Home) and Marjane Satrapi (Persepolis)." - Gordon Flagg, Booklist (Starred Review; no link)

• Review: "Norwegian-French cartoonist Jason’s new book [Low Moon] is the first premiered in hardcover in the U.S. and contains his most minimally formatted stories... If you’re into genre fiction, have a sense of humor but no time for condescension, and haven’t encountered Jason yet, wait no longer." - Ray Olson, Booklist (Starred Review; no link)

• Review: "This is the best thing I have ever been sent to review. I didn't think that this book would ever exist but now it does and it'd better than I could have imagined... The eleven issues of Humbug are faithfully reprinted in this two-volume hardcover set and it comes in a fancy and sturdy box. The magazines were funny and beautiful with art by Will Elder and Jack Davis and some other folks. If you don't buy this book then I don't want to know you... There is no excuse for not buying this right now. Sell your hair, blood, or skin to get it." - Nick Gazin, Vice

• Review: "Luba encompasses everything a turn-of-the-21st-century graphic novel should be: paraliterary or lowbrow tropes of comics, pornography, soap opera, blended seamlessly with a highbrow literary accomplishment of pathos and familial history. It is as profane as it is dense. Almost postmodern in its self-reference... and frequently silly in its blatant cartoonishness, Luba is surreal and bizarre and arousing and gut-wrenching and hilarious." - Dusty Horn, CarnalNation

• Review: "If you grew up 'different'... you’ll find a lot that’s familiar in A Mess of Everything. [Miss] Lasko-Gross is close enough to this material to keep it particular – she avoids the sweeping gesture and the grand statement at all times – and distanced enough from it to see it as part of her past, fodder for stories rather than a raw wound. It’s a fine book from a very talented creator, and I expect we’ll see much more from Miss Lasko-Gross as the years go on." - Andrew Wheeler, ComicMix

• Review: "...[Miss Lasko-Gross] displays... subtlety and balance in her portrayal of her teen-age years... [I]n its portrayal of the importance and tenuous nature of teenage friendships, [A Mess of Everything] glows with sharp recognition." - Chris Mautner, Robot 6

• Review: "One title I haven't been able to put down is The Brinkley Girls: The Best of Nell Brinkley's Cartoons from 1913-1940, edited by Trina Robbins... I was blown away by what I discovered within these pages... The images are sexy, glamorous, colorful -- Brinkley clearly appreciated and understood her subjects, and some of her work made me feel as if I were stepping right into the flapper era." - Whitney Matheson, USA Today Pop Candy

• Review: "[Uptight #3] is very very good... The plot [of 'Vicissitude'] is a bitter little thing, steeped in infidelity, alcohol, career dissatisfaction, hints of class self-consciousness, and frustration with the path your life has taken -- like a Pulp song, almost.... Crane's Sam and Jack stories unfold like the pipes and vents upon which this tale centers: they bend and twist and wind in comically baroque ways, yet Crane's control of his visuals and the story's tone are so self-assured that it all seems completely logical, like a mind consciously built it this way and if you have a little faith, it'll work like it's supposed to." - Sean T. Collins

• Review: "Just a quick mention of what may turn out to be my favorite damn cover of 2009... check out Uptight issue #3..." - Blair Butler, G4 Fresh Ink Online (video; review starts around 1:34)

• Plug: "Jason is really one of the best cartoonists at work today, and you should check out this reading." - Paul Constant, The Stranger, recommending last Saturday's appearance by Jason at our Seattle bookstore

• Interview: Brian Heater of The Daily Cross Hatch got some face time for a Q&A with Jason at the 2009 MoCCA Festival. Sample quote: "I think it’s fun to bring different genres together and try to bring in something new, to see it from a new angle, that it’s a bit more than just a pastiche."

• Interview: "Frankly, I think it's a losing game to try to generalize about the relationship between biography and literature." - Chris Ware, interviewed by Joan Luna at 13 Milliones de Naves (translation from Google)

• Preview: ICv2 takes a peek at our upcoming collection Gahan Wilson: 50 Years of Playboy Cartoons

• Preview: The Geek Curmudgeon looks forward to From Wonderland with Love: Danish Comics in the Third Millennium 

• Events: Zane Austin Grant of PopMatters reports from the "Ah, Humbug!" panel with Al Jaffee and Arnold Roth at the 2009 MoCCA Festival

• Things to see: At Truthout.org, a Drew Friedman illustration from Time illustrates a Bill Maher editorial from the Los Angeles Times

• Staff news: Fantagraphics warehouse manager and noted practitioner of visual poetry Nico Vassilakis has a new book, Protracted Type, which can be purchased or downloaded here

Daily OCD: 5/27/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tony MillionairePaul HornschemeierDrew FriedmanDash ShawChris WareBoody Rogers 27 May 2009 1:58 PM

Your daily dose of Online Commentary & Diversions:

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/200905/currentcovernew.jpg

• Profile: The Oklahoma Gazette dedicates a cover feature (pictured above) to native son Boody Rogers, talking to Yoe, Nadel and Spiegelman about his work. Of our collection of his comics they say "Boody: The Bizarre Comics of Boody Rogers reprints 13 of Boody Rogers' comic-book stories between 1948 and 1950. Although they have fallen into the public domain, publisher Fantagraphics has restored the color and images to its typical standards of quality ... not to mention standards of unapologetic weirdness."

• Review: "...Terr'ble Thompson is... playful fun... [Gene] Deitch’s upbeat mangling of the English language and silly twists will keep readers of many ages entertained." - Michael C. Lorah, Newsarama

• Things to see: Bookforum commissions illustrations from such notables as Paul Hornschemeier, Tony Millionaire, Dash Shaw, Chris Ware and others for their "Fiction Forward" feature (there's a bunch of fiction excerpts to read, too)

• Things to see: Dick Cheney's gonna get that wascally new Pwesident. By Drew Friedman, for The New Republic

"I just asked to be paid in beer."
Written by Eric Reynolds | Filed under Drew Friedman 21 May 2009 8:35 AM

A man after my own heart.

Daily OCD: 5/20/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Vaughn BodereviewsPrince ValiantMiss Lasko-GrossMichael KuppermanLove and RocketsLos Bros Hernandezjohn kerschbaumJasonHumbugHal FosterDrew FriedmanDaniel ClowesBob Fingermanaudioart showsAndrice Arp 20 May 2009 3:27 PM

Today's hot batch of Online Commentary & Diversions:

• Review: "...[T]he furtive griminess that Jason wrings from his stock character designs is impressive to behold... [Y]ou'll enjoy any number of his typical moments of storytelling grace..." - otherwise Tom Spurgeon is unfortunately somewhat sparing in praise for Jason's Low Moon at The Comics Reporter

• Review: "Miss [Lasko-Gross]' previous book, Escape from 'Special,' launched her fearless plan to produce an autobiographical trilogy. [A] Mess [of Everything] tackles the high-school years, which involve mean girls, mean boys and plenty of awkward social situations. Each anecdote is super-short with cringeworthy dialogue that you'll identify with and will remind you of how fortunate you are to have lived through that rough period." - Whitney Matheson, "Three Graphic Novels You Should Read Immediately," USA Today Pop Candy

• Review: "I’ve read some crazy comix, and while he won’t scare you under the sheets like S. Clay Wilson, [John] Kerschbaum can be as raw as R. Crumb, Peter Bagge, and [Johnny] Ryan, who may be his closest comix cousins... No fan of adult funny animal comics (like Fritz the Cat) will want to miss Petey & Pussy... Petey & Pussy is some funny shit." - Leroy Douresseaux, Comic Book Bin

• Interview: The Pull List podcast talks to Bob Fingerman about his latest releases, including Connective Tissue

• Plug: Jeet Heer gives a nice shout-out to Humbug ("amazing") in this interview on the topic of "Cartoon Conservativism" (worth reading in its own right) with Inside Higher Ed

• Plug: "I’m really looking forward to [You'll Never Know Book 1: A Good and Decent Man by C. Tyler]: a graphic memoir and family drama exploring the person we try to present to the world, and reality." - Corey Blake

• Plug: "Fantagraphics is shortly to publish a new edition of Prince Valiant, Hal Foster's legendary, Golden Age comic strip of knights, swashbuckling, romance and chivalry... Foster's artwork is amazing. Foster was an exceptional talent in an era of exceptional talents."  - OK Erok

• Plug: "The fifth issue of Tales Designed to Thrizzle is in and it's even weirder than the last one. See aliens give a bloke sexy lady legs! Twain plus Einstein plus enraged badger! Hobo fashion! If you've not read any of Michael Kupperman's stuff before now's yer chance..." - Gosh! Comics

• Analysis: The following academic journal article contains discussion of Daniel Clowes and especially the Hernandez Brothers: "Artif[r]acture: Virulent Pictures, Graphic Narrative, and the Ideology of the Visual." Mosaic: Journal for the Interdisciplinary Study of Literature 28.4 (December 1995): 79-109 by William A. Nericcio (link courtesy the author, via Facebook)

• Events: This Portland art show at Guapo Comics & Coffee features Andrice Arp and lots more local talent

• Things to see: Conan O'Brien by Drew Friedman, for the NY Observer. Freckles, liver spots; tomato, tomahto

• Things to see: Hairy Green Eyeball presents a Vaughn Bodé "Cheech Wizard" story

Drew Friedman Launches Print Site
Written by Eric Reynolds | Filed under Drew Friedman 18 May 2009 6:03 AM

GO HERE FOR MORE.

Daily OCD: 5/15/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Will ElderreviewsPeanutsNell BrinkleyMichael KuppermanLinda MedleyFantagraphics historyEllen ForneyDrew FriedmanCraig YoeCharles M SchulzCarol TylerBoody Rogersaudio 15 May 2009 4:09 PM

Pay attention: there's some must-read stuff in today's Online Commentary & Diversions!

• Review: "Castle Waiting #15 - I love that Linda Medley is completely ignoring what makes her setting so interesting for the D&D set and focusing on the characters." - Kevin Church

• Review: "Although aiming at twenty-somethings also interested in getting laid, getting wasted and getting rich, [in Rocky Vol. 2] Kellerman nonetheless manages to move beyond the ever-fertile grounds of the battle of the sexes, bodily functions and morning-after guilt-trips to produce a lot of work that is truly fresh, funny and uniquely personal." - Win Wiacek, Now Read This!

• Review: "Just like Heartbreak Soup and Locas, Luba is hard to put down, and Beto’s art gets better as it gets more experimental... there’s tons of good material here, and the humongous format can’t be beat in terms of bang for your buck." - The A.V. Club

• Review: "The 'family history' graphic novel subgenre can feel overdone at times... but volume one of Carol Tyler’s autobiographical You’ll Never Know is the kind of smartly conceived, affectingly personal work that makes comics and memoirs look fresh... Carol Tyler works wonders with colored pencils and offbeat page designs... the breadth of her visual imagination is so impressive that... overreach is excusable. Also impressive: the thematic complexity of You’ll Never Know... [Grade] A-" - The A.V. Club

• Review: "The handsome hardcover collection The Brinkley Girls brings together a generous sampling of [Nell] Brinkley’s work, leaning heavy on her stories of industrious women and the he-men they love... Brinkley’s art is so drop-dead gorgeous that readers may long to razor out every page to hang on the wall. [Grade] A-" - The A.V. Club (same link as above)

• Review: "...the fantastic Brinkley Girls hardcover put out by Fantagraphics... you would be doing yourself a favor by checking it out. Curse you Fantagraphics, I'm trying to save money you bastards." - This Is Why I Hate You

• Review: "Sally gets the cover in this 11th volume of The Complete Peanuts... Schulz is still in top form here in my opinion. There are few books I laugh at more, or enjoy more thoroughly than these fine collections. Highly recommended!" - Todd Klein

• Preview: Our advance hype for Michael Kupperman's Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 1 has been translated to Español by Cuidadano Pop

• Preview: Robot 6 runs through our Fall/Winter catalog, offering commentary on each upcoming title. A must-read!

• Profile: In The Jewish Standard, Gary VandenBergh looks at the life and career of his father-in-law, Will Elder. Another must-read!

• Interview: The Inkstuds radio program talks with Craig Yoe about his most recent editorial projects, including Boody. The Bizarre Comics of Boody Rogers

• Interview: The CHS Capitol Hill Seattle Blog talks to Ellen Forney and her collaborators in the Capitol Hill art walk about last night's event

• History: Fantagraphics rules 1989-1990 in the "Modern Timeline of Events within the Comics/Movies Industry" from New Destiny Comics

• Things to see: Arlen Specter by Drew Friedman for The New Republic

Daily OCD: 5/4/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Steven WeissmanstaffreviewsMichael KuppermanLove and RocketsLinda MedleyKevin HuizengaJordan Cranejohn kerschbaumJaime HernandezDrew FriedmanCarol TylerBlazing CombatAl Columbia 4 May 2009 2:55 PM

Uh oh, I'm starting to post Twitter reviews. We're through the looking glass here, people.

• Review: "Jaime Hernandez again shows mastery in portraying both recognizable situations and complex emotions [in The Education of Hopey Glass]. The illustrations are beautiful. The man has achieved perfection with his drawing style." - Koen (translated from Dutch)

• Review: "Linda Medley's Castle Waiting... [is a] beautifully designed volume... 457 pages of glorious black and white illustration... The artwork is absolutely charming, hearkening back to older pen-and-ink styles, but with a cartoony touch to it. The characters are individually realized, both by the art and the writing... This would be a good comic book to give to younger people, perhaps especially if you know a girl who likes comics but is turned off by more mainstream fare... The twining of the fairy tales with the story is deftly and delightfully done. I love this series." - Little Bits of Everything

• Review: "In looking at [John Kerschbaum's] latest release from Fantagraphics, Petey & Pussy, I find myself bewildered and horrified at his style of comedy." - Tim O'Shea, Robot 6 "What Are You Reading?"

• Review: "Tales Designed to Thrizzle #5... [is] a comedy rag and reads like Monty Python writing a comic: lots of absurdity and naughty silliness coupled with incorrect history and ever-so-subtle statements here and there. Plus the art is spectacular! Michael Kupperman really makes it feel like you're reading some weird alternate-universe cartoon book from the 30s or something and it just makes the whole thing feel so weird, it's great!" - Timmy Williams, The Daily Cross Hatch

• Review: "Blazing Combat from Fantagraphics. Outstanding 1960's Warren goodness. Archie Goodwin et al. artists at their best." - John Siuntres (Word Balloon), on Twitter

• Plug: "I also came upon Michael Kupperman's Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 1. Even though I've read most of this material in periodical form, it's still a joy to revisit Kupperman's absurd, hilarious universe." - Chris Mautner, Robot 6 "What Are You Reading?" [ed. note: I'm going to have this book up for pre-order here on the website this week if it kills me]

• Plug: Free Comic Book Day may be over for this year, but we'd be remiss if we didn't point out that our Love and Rockets: New Stories FCBD edition was a top-5 recommendation from Whitney Matheson at USA Today

• Plug: "...Tales Designed to Thrizzle... is the funniest comic book ever." - Paul Constant (Books editor for The Stranger), on Twitter

• Preview: The Star Clipper Blog talks up Jordan Crane's Uptight #3

• Preview: Parka Blogs picks up our preview images of You'll Never Know, Book 1 by C. Tyler

• Things to see: On Covered, Jon Adams takes on Al Columbia's Biologic Show

• Things to see: Snoopy by Weissman

• Things to see: Schlitzie the Pin Head by Friedman

• Things to see: Dandelions by Huizenga

Daily OCD: 5/1/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under PopeyeMiss Lasko-GrossLove and RocketsJaime HernandezDrew FriedmanBlazing Combataudio 1 May 2009 1:51 PM

New month, new name! It's your Online Commentary and Diversions for today:

• Review: "If the censors had delved beneath the perceived bias, they would have discovered some of the finest war stories and illustration in the medium's history... The dynamic art leaps off the pages throughout... Without leaning on glory and sensationalism, Blazing Combat focused on heroism, sacrifice, and dignity." - Rick Klaw, The SF Site: "Nexus Graphica"

• Review: "...[T]he third Popeye volume 'Let's You and Him Fight!' presents a winning complete reprint of Segar's Popeye strips... an excellent oversized presentation of strips perfect for in-depth graphic novel or comics collection in general, and for Popeye fans in particular." - ComicList/Midwest Book Review

• Interview/Audio: "Miss Lasko-Gross’s autobio series from Fantagraphics are some of my fav autobio comics I have read in a while. Escape from 'Special' and A Mess of Everything are both excellent books and well worth checking out. It's not often that you come across such honest work." - Inkstuds, leading into their audio chat with Miss Lasko-Gross

• Event/Audio: An older link I don't think I've seen before - Warped Reality reports from a lecture and seminar given by Jaime Hernandez at Brown University in 2007, with an MP3 of the lecture for download (via Journalista)

• Things to see: Drew Friedman makes a rare foray into the animal kingdom - guess which animal?