Fantagraphics Warehouse strongman, Ajax salutes the Comic-Con and my camera. This was the second year Ajax worked Comic-Con and our second year without the riffraff crowd lingering around our booth and shoplifting our shit. Coincidence?
The Sultan of Shit, Johnny Ryan at the Buenaventura booth. I just read New Character Parade #2 and laffed alot. You should buy it so you can laff alot too.
The AMAZING Kim Deitch personalizes a copy of Shadowland for a fan. There's not much more I can write about Deitch. He's the greatest! I really enjoyed and strongly recommend the simultaneous reading of Deitch's Pictorama and The Comics Journal #296. Very rewarding.
• Review: Dutch blog Koen says of Dash Shaw's Bottomless Belly Button (according to the Google translation) that "Shaw proves himself a master of the portrayal of inner pain and dysfunctional relationships without being depressing, with the addition of humor and mystery... This book is one of the best comics of 2008."
• Preview: Introducing an exlusive 7-page excerpt from Unlovable Vol. 1 by Esther Pearl Watson, New York Magazine says "Tammy [Pierce]'s hopes, dreams, and humiliations are brought vividly to life in Watson's grotesque-but-touching book Unlovable. Even if you never wore leg warmers with high heels, you'll still recognize your teenage self in Tammy Pierce's unguarded, most secret thoughts. And if you did wear leg warmers with heels, well, maybe this was your diary."
• Blurb: Italian blog Nuvole Parlanti, looking at Birdland, calls Gilbert Hernandez "the king of American erotic comics"
• Review: Bookforum says of the two volumes of Beasts!: "Covey’s brave band of 180 artists... put these mythological and folkloric beings on vivid display. The distinct and varied styles of the cartoonists, illustrators, and graphic artists give further evidence of each creature’s unique characteristics... The enthusiastically detailed evocations in these books give us all reason to believe."
• Review: Dear Stranger reads The End #1 by Anders Nilsen and declaims "It’s sad. In that way that things are only ever sad when they’re really honest, so it’s beautiful, but you feel a bit guilty for thinking so -- because under the beauty, it’s still sad, honestly so."
• Review: The Star Clipper Blog says "[Esther Pearl Watson's] Unlovable spares no degrading detail, but still remains an ironically loving tribute to the awkward protagonist... these monstrous depictions of early puberty could be found in just about anyone's high school yearbook... perhaps the perfect teenage girl experience."
We've been busy bees making downloadable PDF excerpts available for several new and upcoming books. Unlike previously, when PDF previews were only available to registered users, these downloads are available to everyone (and of course they're free)! Download links are available on the product listing pages for the books listed and linked below. Try before you buy with these nice juicy chunks:
A lot of folks keep asking me if we'll have a presence at the New York Comic-Con this weekend. We won't. It's a ridiculously expensive show to exhibit at and travel to, even in the best economy. It's a lousy time of year to travel cross-country, weather-wise. So we're staying home and throwing a great party for Esther Pearl Watson this weekend instead.
But if you are at NYCC, we've designated Paul Karasik our official representative and you should go say hi to him:
Sunday, 1:30pm, Panel Room 6 (1A18): Comics and the Language of Visual Symbolism Comics are able to communicate dense layers of narrative, emotion, and action in a manner that no other media is able. This panel will explore the way the cartoonists use pictures to tell their stories in a way that is unique to comics. Through the interrelation of art and text, comics makes a unique kind of storytelling possible. Four creators examine their own visual storytelling styles and discuss how their art influences the text of their work. Panelists: MoCCA Director Karl Erickson, Paul Karasik, Danica Novgorodoff, and Alex Robinson.