A massively overdue collection of Online Commentaries and Diversions, now on a weekly (or so) basis:
Review: the Absolute on The Amateurs by Conor Stechschulte. "Where The Amateursand Stechschulte truly shine are the moments of calm reflection that heighten the tension between episodes of violence and dismemberment. The butchers continually discuss their predicament, shifting between sorrow, fear, rage, and exhaustion." – Marie Anellothe Absolute
Review: Comics Worth Reading recommends An Age of License by Lucy Knisley. "Like the best travelogues, An Age of License shows you what it would be like to visit a place while reminding you that you can never have the same experience. If you liked her last book, Relish: My Life in the Kitchen, you should definitely check this out — there are some food mentions you’ll appreciate, but where Relish focused on past events, An Age of License gives more insight into the person Lucy Knisley is now." – Johanna Draper Carlson, Comics Worth Reading
Review: The Irish Times discusses how The Love Bunglers by Jaime Hernandez exemplifies the strengths of the graphic novel format. "As ever with Hernandez, it’s funny, complex, unsettling and beautifully drawn. It’s also a reminder that a graphic novel can do things that a novel told in straightforward prose simply can’t." – Anna Carey, The Irish Times
"That's the fascinating paradox of John Severin's war comics, and of Kurtzman's war comics in general. A story like "Night Patrol!" may have all the details of the soldier's uniforms correct, portray their formations precisely and even be photo-referenced from the landscape of the region in which these men hike. But what really stands out here (maybe my favorite piece in the book due to its noir feel) is the sense that the men are trapped by their surroundings and their job, oppressed by the desolate landscape, unfeeling sky and cold rain that conspire to make their lives miserable." – Jason Sacks, Comics Bulletin
Review: The Comics Alternative examines the political and historical contexts of Wallace Wood's Cannon. "For anyone familiar with spy fiction, the stories serialized in this collection are fairly standard, often serving as political mirrors that reflect the disillusionment felt by soldiers and veterans exiting the Vietnam War. In the course of the book, Cannon fights South American insurgents (led by Hitler in disguise, of course), domestic terrorists, right-wing militias, emasculated conmen, and neo-Nazis (but not the ones led by Hitler in disguise)." – Kenneth Kimbrough, The Comics Alternative
Check out this amazing video on S. Clay Wilson, with highlights from the upcoming Pirates in the Heartland: The Mythology of S. Clay Wilson Vol. 1:
Review: Comics Bulletin on Mickey Mouse Outwits the Phantom Blot by Floyd Gottfredson. "This is a gorgeous, surprising, wonderful package of stories full of thrills, surprises and a heady level of quality cartooning. The twists and turns that the masterful Floyd Gottfredson delivers are wonders to behold. If you think that Mickey is just a boring corporate icon, you need to read his battles with the Phantom Blot." – Jason Sacks, Comics Bulletin
Review: Comics Bulletin on M.K. Brown's collected works in Stranger than Life. "Brown is one of those rare cartoonists who's been able to follow her own muse for most of her career, and while some of the material presented in this book has the sort of off-center approach that many of the bestNew Yorker cartoonists take (as in the excerpts above), other pieces are more freeform, more of what seems like a reflection of Brown's unique inner life; all bulbous people drifting through life, doing faintly ridiculous things for pretty much no good reason." – Jason Sacks, Comics Bulletin
Review:Comics Alliance looks at Inio Asano's Nijigahara Holograph and it's legacy of violence. "Nijigahara Holograph manages to do many things very well. It's a sprawling story that never loses its focus on characters. It's symbolically laden without being heavy handed...It carries a palpable dread that will haunt you well after you put it down." – Kevin Church, Comics Alliance
Review: HTML Giant on Cosplayers by Dash Shaw. "This comic looks to both examine and excise our notions of otaku, nerds, geeks, and the like. Cosplayers will strike a chord with anyone who turns to reading as an escape, be they lit-nerd, comic geek, messageboard troll, or a little mixture of all of the above." – HTML Giant
This July, the talented and incredible Eleanor Davis and Esther Pearl Watson will descend upon the Fantagraphics Bookstore and Gallery with the fury of a thousand suns, scorching earth and people in their paths. During the Georgetown Garden Walk on Sunday, July 13th, Eleanor and Esther will have a reception and signing from 3:00 to 5:00 PM. We'll have brand, spanking new copies of How to Be Happyand Unlovable 3 for you (feel free to bring your other EPW and Davis books from your shelves)
The original art exhibition continues through September 10, 2014. This events coincides, as we mentioned, with the festive Georgetown Garden Walk so you'll have a tulip trip of a time visiting all the shops and gardens throughout the historic neighborhood. Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale Street, just minutes south of downtown Seattle. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone 206.658.0110.
NYC: The Javits Center is playing host to the 2014 industry trade show, Book Expo of America, the premier literary showcase. And Fantagraphics Associate Editor, Eric Reynolds will be manning the booth and on hand to discuss our exciting new releases like Hip Hop Family Tree Book Two, and upcoming titles, including the innumerable ZAP! collection. Begins at 9:30 am. (More details)
NYC: The second day of Book Expo America is underway, starting bright and early at 8 am! (More details)
Saturday, May 31th
Chicago, IL: Join Fantagraphics and a slew of our favorite creators for the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo (CAKE)! Special guest, Tony Millionaire will be in attending and giving a special conversation with friend of Fanta and comics, Caitlin McGurk. Panel will be on site, beginning at 12 noon. Don't miss these wonderful exhibiting artists either: Julia Gfrorer, Lucy Knisley, Charles Forsman's Oily Comics, and Noah Van Sciver! Doors open to this FREE event at 11 am. (More details)
NYC: In tandem with the Book Expo of America, the final day of the show will open to all consumers and books lovers with Book Con! Wander the show floor, check out our gorgeous display, and let Eric dazzle you with our diverse and beautiful collection. All day tickets are $30, available here. (More details)
Sunday, June 1st
Waxahachie, TX: Esther Pearl Wastson is fixin' for a real good time at her hometown art show and signing at the Webb Gallery! Debuting original paintings by the queen of '80s teen, Watson will also be on hand to sign your beloved copies of the fresh Unlovable 3! Come on down between 4-7 pm, ya'll. (More details)
Chicago, IL: We're back for the second day of CAKE to bring you all of your alternative comics needs. Doors open again at 11 am, and today brings you another Millionaire filled panel 12 noon called "Seduction of the Innocent with friends Liz Prince and Tucker Stone. Don't miss this! (More details)
Don't miss the dazzling array of attractions at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery in the coming weeks and months. The action begins with the Georgetown Carnival on Saturday, June 14 from noon to 10:00 PM. Cheer on our entry in Hazardfactory's famous Power Tool Races and enjoy free concerts by Fantagraphics friends like Jack Endino's Earthworm, Mark Pickerel, Ancient Warlocks, Tummy, and more! Acrobats, carnival games, sideshows, burlesque, beer gardens and so much more. All free, all day.
Join us on Friday, September 19 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM as we welcome home one of the most influential figures in contemporary pop culture, Charles Burns, presenting his new book Sugar Skull.
The Short Run comics art festival begins with a reception at the store on Friday, November 14 featuring Ed Piskor signing the second volume of Hip Hop Family Tree, Tom Neely signing the forthcoming Henry & Glenn Forever and Ever collection, MariNaomi presenting her new book Dragon's Breath, and other special guests. Indie art stars, music, comix, and more kick of the Short Run festivities. Stay tuned for more exciting announcements.
Feel the no-love wash over as comiXology continues the serialization of Hate by Peter Bagge and Esther Pearl Watson's Unlovable Book 2where slobby chicks rule! In issue #11 of Hate, Buddy and Lisa hit rock bottom: their disgusting and pathetic behavior ostracizes them from all their friends, including the usually tolerant George Hamilton III, who moves out in a huff. In fact, Buddy and Lisa can't even stand each other, but they're all they have left now! This bitter orgy of alcoholism, desperate sex, and bad attitudes is only $1.99 for 25 pages.
"I love Hate!" - Matt Groening
Esther Pearl Watson's Unlovable Book 2 continues in Issue #3 "Bum Love". Tammy Pierce's grotesque-yet-glamorous lifestyle just keeps ramping up! Dreamboat Ken Olsen has decided to become celibate and for no reason at all, like really, Tammy finds her eye wandering over to Wayne Cummings. PLUS, time to get in shape with Tammy Pierce's workout routine. 102 pages of fun for readers 12 years old and up is available for only $4.99.
"Tammy's enchanting smile and dazzling eyes are a gift of grace from Esther Watson." - Pendleton Ward, creator of Adventure Time
Get your glitter and your cowboy boots, Esther Pearl Watson is a-coming home to Texas. Specifically, the spacious Webb Gallery in Waxahachie (remember when we visited a few years ago?). Esther's got a whole new line of paintings created just for this show and the opening reception is Sunday, June 1st from 4-7pm. She'll also be signing copies of her brand-spanking-new book Unlovable 3 starring the most endearing Tammy Pierce. Live in Dallas or Austin? Waxahachie is one sweet easy road trip away.
Can't make the signing? Contact
ahead of time to order your copy of a sketched-in and signed Unlovable 3! Below is a glimpse of the amazing Webb Gallery with their permanent installation of old carnival and freak show canvas signs juxtaposed perfectly next to Watson's paintings. Dog included!
Webb Gallery 209-211 W. Franklin Street Waxahachie, TX 75165 Opening Saturdays and Sunday, 1-5pm http://www.webbartgallery.com/
New digital comics are out and available to download via comiXology and Sequential! Chill out, download some comics and enjoy them on the go, be you on the way to the beach, the bus home or freaking out at the dentist's office (which you can afford now that you don't have to spend as MUCH money on bookshelves).
Buddy Bradley's back in Buddy Buys a Dumpnbsp;from Peter Bagge! Now in his 30s and married with child, onetime slacker hero Buddy Bradley gets a "real" job, shaves his head, dons an eyepatch, quits his "real" job and buys the local dump - because what better place to raise a toddler? Peter Bagge's iconic character is to alternative comics what Homer Simpson has been to television animation over the past quarter-century: a generation-defining slacker and the greatest comedic character of its form and era. Featuring stories originally published in the comic book series Hate Annual from 2000-2011, as well as an all-new 20-page conclusion to the story arc. Available at comiXology for $14.99!
Volume 2 of Unlovable continues with issue #2 "Dream Date". February of 1989 heats up as Tammy Pierce is building up her shrine of boyfriend-to-be Ken Olsen. Will Tammy give up her Debbie Gibson cassette for a mixtape of The Smiths just because Ken told her to?! Her best friend, Kim, just keeps chain-smoking and judging all the while. These 108 pages by Esther Pearl Watson are only $4.99?! Bestill my heart, comiXology!
Available at Sequential is Jaime Hernandez's The Love Bunglers. After a lifetime of losses, Maggie finds, in the second half, her longtime off and on lover, Ray Dominguez. In taking us through lives, deaths, and near-fatalities, The Love Bunglers encapsulates Maggie's emotional history as it moves from resignation to memories of loss, to sudden violence (a theme in this story), and eventually to love and contentment. Much like John Updike in his four Rabbit novels, Jaime Hernandez has been following his longtime character Maggie around for several decades, all of which has seemed to be building towards this book in particular. $14.99 on the Sequential Comics App.
Sunday, May 4th • Los Angeles, CA: The Unlovable 3 Launch Party is at 5pm at Skylight Books. Cartoonist Esther Pearl Watson will be there to sign books so you can impress all the hotties at school. (more details)
144-page full-color 6" x 9" softcover • $19.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-745-1
"Pete Bagge created a generational icon who I grew up with, and continued to grow up with even after I was a grown up. This book collects the last thirteen years of Buddy's life - and keeping up with him is like keeping up with an old pal from college who, while you still don't see them as often, you still miss dearly, and are always surprised at how much your life and theirs still overlap." -Benn Ray,Atomic Books
"[Buddy Bradley] attacks modern, and more adult-oriented, social trends-MILFs, recessions, mortality-with the same critical skill and wit he brought to the grunge era. For those of us who've accepted these stories piecemeal over the past dozen years, it's nice to seem them joined together." –Christopher Arnott, Below the Fold
112-page black & white 9" x 11.25" hardcover • $19.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-729-1
"...it's maybe the best comic I've read all decade...A beautiful, humane, masterfully executed comic." –Tom Spurgeon,Comics Reporter
"Being a collected edition of Jaime Hernandez's hugely-appreciated climax-of-sorts to his ongoing chronicles of erstwhile romantics Maggie and Ray...IT'S THE SEASON FINALE OF LOVE AND ROCKETS." –Joe McCulloch, The Comics Journal
832-page four-volume hardcover 7.5" x 10.5" x 4" slipcased box set • $94.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-728-4
"I'm kind of hooked on the black and white author-oriented Fantagraphics volumes because they force me to reconsider artists that I power past when they're collected in a format resembling the original comics..." –Tom Spurgeon,Comics Reporter
Now being serialized at comiXology, Unlovable is the remarkable story of Tammy Pierce, as filtered through the pen of Los Angeles artist Esther Pearl Watson (loosely based on a teenager's diary from the 1980s found in a gas-station bathroom). This second and concluding volume picks up where the first volume left off (winter break) and finishes Tammy's tragicomic sophomore year of high school in 1985. In the epic saga that is Unlovable, Tammy finds herself dealing with: tampons, teasing, crushes, The Smiths, tube socks, facial hair, lice, celibacy, fantasy dream proms, gym showers, skid marks, a secret admirer, prank calls, backstabbers, winter ball, barfing, narcs, breakdancing, hot wheels, glamour shots, roller coasters, Halloween costumes, boogers, boys, boy crazy feelings, biker babes, and even some butt cracks. Tammy's life isn't pretty, but it is endlessly charming and hilarious. Get 104 pages of frivolity for only $4.99 today!
"GOOD!!!" - Lynda Barry
"I laugh and laugh and laugh, then I feel bad about reading someone's diary. This would be a horribly mean book if Esther didn't love everyone in it so much.... So I keep reading. And I laugh and laugh and laugh." - Jordan Crane
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