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Category >> Ernie Bushmiller

Daily OCD: 10/7/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Robert PollardreviewsOriginal ArtLove and RocketsLos Bros HernandezFemke HiemstraErnie BushmilleraudioAl ColumbiaAbstract Comics 7 Oct 2009 2:57 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions? Yes:

• Review: "An abstract comic? What the hell is that? And more importantly, what’s the point of a comic if it doesn’t tell a story? These are the questions a book like Abstract Comics raises right off the bat. Thankfully, it also answers them. The anthology, edited by Andrei Molotiu, covers the time period of 1967-2009 and is in all respects a Serious (capital S) volume. ... Worth a look, for sure, and maybe more." – Molly Young, We Love You So

• Plug: Ulrich Scheele of artblog peeks at the "charming" and "wonderful" Rock Candy: The Artwork of Femke Hiemstra

• Plug: "When it comes to creepy comics, Al Columbia isn't only a member — he's the president. And in Fantagraphics' Zero Zero #4, Columbia produced a short story called 'I Was Killing When Killing Wasn't Cool' that is so startling and nightmarish in its quiet elegance that it'll stick with you forever." – Rickey Purdin, Rowdy Schoolyard

• Plug: Some Love and Rockets nostalgia from California retailer/comics blogger Mike Sterling

• Commentary: At Comics Comics, Jeet Heer declares "It’s a good time to be a Nancy-boy."

• Interview: The Inkstuds radio program talks to Abstract Comics editor Andrei Molotiu, with musical selections by Andrei

• Things to see and buy: From the Robert Pollard camp, "New collages and price reductions on Bob art work for Rocktober. All collages from EAT 7 are avaliable." Available framed and unframed.

Bushmiller + bathing beauty
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Ernie Bushmiller 7 Aug 2009 3:06 PM

Bushmiller + bathing beauty

Via The Beat.

Daily OCD: 8/5/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Zak SallyvideoreviewsPrince ValiantHal FosterFletcher HanksErnie BushmillerCCIAbstract Comics 5 Aug 2009 4:27 PM

Your midweek Online Commentary & Diversions:

• Review: "Crude but powerful drawings; an eye-shattering color palette; helter-skelter plotting, often with anticlimactic, fall-off-a-cliff endings; unintentionally manifested author obsessions; stupendous indulgence of schadenfreude, terror and glee at the misery of humanity, salted with some token morality. Yes, that's the Fletcher Hanks formula for a unique, unforgettable, Golden Age comics masterpiece, and all these bizarro traits are indeed on glorious display here [in You Shall Die by Your Own Evil Creation!]..." - Paul Di Filippo, Sci Fi Wire

• Plug: "I'm very impressed with Fantagraphics's restart of this wonderful series [Prince Valiant]. The reproduction quality is much improved over their old softcover series; it's the best I've seen... This is the perfect series to introduce kids to great comics adventure." - Bud Plant

• Plug: "Abstract Comics: The Anthology: I'm one of those who considers the first two words of this title to be an oxymoron. That, ironically, probably makes me a good candidate for reading this book... You can’t argue with the list of contributors..." - J. Caleb Mozzocco, Newsarama

• Commentary: At ArtsJournal, Regina Hackett on our Nancy announcement

• Comic-Con: In his column for Comic Book Resources, Steven Grant offers some rebuttal to our own Eric Reynolds's initial analysis of the show... slicker marketing and products, eh?

• Things to see: The rejected alternate cover for Abstract Comics: The Anthology (link fixed)

• Video: Scenes from Zak Sally's Fear of Song record release show

NANCY!!!
Written by Eric Reynolds | Filed under Paul KarasikMark NewgardenErnie Bushmiller 4 Aug 2009 10:11 AM

Flog readers, here's the official word on our big Comicon news...

  

FANTAGRAPHICS TO PUBLISH ERNIE BUSHMILLER'S NANCY

As announced at last week's Comic-Con International, Fantagraphics Books - the leading publisher of classic strip reprints including The Complete Peanuts, Popeye, Krazy & Ignatz, Prince Valiant, Captain Easy, Dennis the Menace, Zippy the Pinhead and others - has acquired the rights from United Media to publish Nancy by Ernie Bushmiller, beginning in Spring 2010.

According to Co-Publisher Gary Groth, who inked the deal, Fantagraphics has contracted to publish the first 24 years of Nancy dailies, beginning in 1938 (when Nancy took over the strip from its former star, Fritzi Ritz) through 1961. "If the demand is there," Groth noted, "we will of course want to continue into the 1960s and beyond, if for no other reason than to run all those great 'hippie' Nancy episodes. But we'll cross that bridge in 2016 when we finish publishing the books we've contracted for."

"I was a late Nancy convert," admits Co-Publisher Kim Thompson, who will be editing the series. "It wasn't until Denis Kitchen published his Nancy collections in 1989 and 1990, after people like Bill Griffith and Scott McCloud had been touting it for years, that I finally 'got' it. It's one of the all-time greats -- way ahead of its time in its own goofy way. Ever since then it's been at the back of my mind to do a more extensive reprinting, and our ongoing successes with classic reprint series these past five years told me the time is now ripe."

Each volume of dailies will contain four years per volume and be designed by Fantagraphics Art Director Jacob Covey. Cartoonist Daniel Clowes (Ghost World) will provide the introduction to the first volume. Each volume will be 8" x 8" in flexibound format and retail for $29.99. Information regarding collections of Nancy Sunday strips will be announced at a later date.

"I envision Nancy being influenced by pop art and constructivist design in a way that will complement the geometric style of the strip and also give a nod to Mark Newgarden's deconstruction of Nancy's forms," says Covey, whose designs on books like Popeye, Willie & Joe and Beasts! have garnered numerous awards. "In a word: ‘POP'. Like Popeye, I want it to seem fun so kids can connect with it but smart so adults can look at it more deeply. But where Popeye has a Victorian nod, this will be modernist."

Fantagraphics will begin with the "second" volume, 1942-1945. According to Thompson, "While we have access to great, nearly complete runs for most of the 1940s dailies, it looks like it will be far more trouble to collect the 1938 and 1939 material. So we'll be putting out a call to Nancy fans, both over the internet and in the first book itself, until we eventually secure the missing strips to double back and release the best possible 1938-1941 volume."

The character of Nancy, a precocious eight-year-old girl, first appeared in the strip Fritzi Ritz. After Larry Whittington began Fritzi Ritz in 1922, it was taken over by Bushmiller three years later. In 1933, Bushmiller introduced Fritzi's niece, Nancy. Soon she dominated the strip, retitled Nancy in 1938. At its peak in the 1970s, Nancy ran in more than 880 newspapers.

In addition to being one of the great comic strips of the 20th Century, Nancy is a bonafide pop culture icon, having captured the imagination of such artists as Andy Warhol, Joe Brainard, Scott McCloud, Bill Griffith, Mark Newgarden, and many others.

In Spring 2010, Fantagraphics will also publish an revised and expanded book edition of cartoonists Mark Newgarden and Paul Karasik's seminal 1988 essay, "How to Read Nancy." In addition to explicating the brilliance of Bushmiller's cartooning, it also has become a landmark educational essay about visual storytelling through the analysis of Bushmiller's work.

To quote from How to Read Nancy: "To say that Nancy is a simple gag strip about a simple-minded snot-nosed kid is to miss the point completely. Nancy only appears to be simple at a casual glance. Like architect Mies Van Der Rohe, the simplicity is a carefully designed function of a complex amalgam of formal rules laid out by the designer. To look at Bushmiller as an architect is entirely appropriate, for Nancy is, in a sense, a blue print for a comic strip. Walls, floors, rocks, trees, Ice-cream cones, motion lines, midgets and principals are carefully positioned with no need for further embellishment. And they are laid out with one purpose in mind - to get the gag across. Minimalist? Formalist? Structuralist? Cartoonist!"

  Ernie Bushmiller

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