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Category >> Esther Pearl Watson

Unlovable won a silver medal from the Society of Illustrators
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Esther Pearl Watsonawards 11 May 2010 5:34 PM

Unlovable Vol. 1 by Esther Pearl Watson

Esther Pearl Watson's Unlovable Vol. 1 received a silver medal from the Society of Illustrators in their "Illustration 52: Sequential and Uncommissioned" annual exhibit in NYC... way back in January! I don't know why the heck we didn't report it at the time — that's a pretty big deal! I only just found out because Eric posted this picture of the medal on his Flickr page:

Society of Illustrators silver medal

Congratulations Esther!

Daily OCD: 5/11/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Walt KellyreviewsLove and RocketsJasonJaime HernandezHotwireGlenn HeadEsther Pearl WatsonDash ShawDaily OCDBlazing Combataudio 11 May 2010 4:32 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions:

Almost Silent

Reviews: In three separate posts, Andrew Wheeler of The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent. looks at three of the Jason books which are compiled in Almost Silent: Meow, Baby! ("Jason knows the wellsprings of comedy: sex and death, embarrassment and familiarity. And he mixes and matches those elements, using his iconic cast, for a hundred and fifty wry and deeply amusing pages. ...a great introduction and a decently comprehensive catalog of his style, subjects, and strengths"), You Can't Get There from Here ("It's the touching story of Frankenstein's Monster and His Bride... one of the better Jason books; it has an inevitability to it, but it's not entirely bleak..."), and Tell Me Something ("a sad nearly-wordless noir story about some people and how none of them get what they want").

Blazing Combat [Softcover Ed. - Pre-Order]

Review: "...I’m happy to have this excellent collection [of Blazing Combat], handsomely packaged..., and all in one place for a good evening’s read. ... For lovers of great art, lovingly rendered in black and white and grey ink wash..., this is as good as it gets... This is one collection of war comics that even those not inclined to care about the genre can appreciate, and now it’s more affordable than ever." – Johnny Bacardi, Popdose

Bottomless Belly Button

Review: "Bottomless Belly Button is a 720-page family drama filled with neurosis, romance, mystery, comedy, fond memories, bad parenting, teen angst and sexual awakening. The book is big but not overwhelming, and sad with out being tragic. This is a graphic novel of the tallest order, from one of the most unique voices in the medium today." – Steve Ponzo, Multiversity Comics

Castle Waiting

Review: "[Castle Waiting Vol. 1] is a massive and stunning work of art, from the production values by Fantagraphics to the beautiful comprehensive work inside. ... Not unlike Fables, Medley’s Castle Waiting tackles traditional fairy tales with inspired re-invention and especially to my liking, is that it does so with a bit of a feminist slant. The tales inside Castle Waiting are extremely female friendly and are something I’d love to see offered up to every little boy and girl as the required alternative to our more standard ‘happily ever after’ tales. ... The illustration... is flat out phenomenal.  ...[T]he attention to detail, the consistency (every panel is picture perfect), the clarity of story telling, and the character design – down to the smallest facial expression, is just top notch. ... One of the best things about Medley’s Castle Waiting is the wonderful cohesiveness... It feels absolutely like a singular and uncorrupted vision in a way that few books manage. And I strongly believe that it is that uncorrupted and singular vision that makes this book so strong." – Kelly Thompson, Comic Book Resources

Review: "It’s difficult not to be charmed by [Castle Waiting Vol. 1] as the stories are light, funny and entertaining. ... It’s a fun read. It’s well and clearly written. The art is top-notch for being b&w. ... This one comes recommended for those looking to get into comics and not knowing where to start, or those who enjoy comics from time to time but don’t want to invest in some huge story." – Emily Dresner, /project/multiplexer

Jaime Hernandez - photo by Seth Kushner

Profile: "It’s easy to fall in love with Jaime [Hernandez]’s characters, not only because of their obvious features, but also from their lifelike gestures and expressions, naturalistic in everyday scenes and exaggerated in comedic and suspenseful ones. His teachers, like Archie Comics artists Bob Bollings, Dan DeCarlo, and Harry Lucey, were experts in gestural drawings with their simplified cartooning. It’s a trait Jaime Hernandez has successfully adopted and made his own. 'I’m just happy that I’m still allowed to do comics. They’re still letting me because they’re paying my rent.'" – Christopher Irving, Graphic NYC (photos by Seth Kushner)

Hotwire Comics Vol. 3

Interview: The PsiOp Radio podcast talked to Hotwire editor/cartoonist Glenn Head on Sunday evening — download an MP3 here (they warn that there are some audio issues in the first hour)

Unlovable Vol. 2

Plug: "[Unlovable] Volume II has just been released from Fantagraphics Books for your perusing pleasure and it doesn't disappoint. ... I can't ever get enough of Tammy Pierce, the awkward teenager that Esther Pearl Watson has brought to life over the years..." – Meighan O'Toole, My Love for You Is a Stampede of Horses (unfortunately the event mentioned in the post is canceled)

Our Gang Vol. 4 (1946-1947)

Plug: "I'm all about vintage. Especially vintage comics. Fantagraphics Books wants you to like vintage comics as well and are releasing Our Gang Vol. 4 (1946-1947), a vintage 1946-1947 comic in a new TPB." – Omnicomic

Top  Hats and Flappers: The Art of Russell Patterson

Shout-out: Jaleen Grove, who gave the talk about Russell Patterson at TCAF last weekend, gives her report from the festival with an important correction

Esther Pearl Watson at Skylight Books in L.A., Weds. May 12 - Canceled
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under eventsEsther Pearl Watson 10 May 2010 9:51 AM

Esther Pearl Watson

UPDATE: Regrettably, this event is canceled for now.

Join Esther Pearl Watson at Skylight Books in Los Angeles this Wednesday at 7:30 PM for a signing and what is sure to be a hilarious and delightful discussion with "an awesome slideshow of inspiration, sketches and behind-the-scenes craziness" for Unlovable Vols. 1 & 2. More info here.

Things to see: 5/5/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tim LaneThings to seeSteven WeissmanStephen DeStefanoJon AdamsEsther Pearl WatsonComing Attractions 5 May 2010 3:22 PM

Daily clips & strips -- click for improved/additional viewing at the sources:

character designs for Lucky in Love Vol. 2 by Stephen DeStefano

Stephen DeStefano announces that his graphic novel Lucky in Love (coming this Summer from Fantagraphics) is in the can and reveals these character designs for the sequel, already in progress

Unlovable - Esther Pearl Watson

• The Esther Pearl Watson 's Unlovable Fan Page on Facebook presents a classic Tammy strip as it first appeared in Bust magazine

Wah! Wah! I Wanna - Steven Weissman

Steven Weissman continues to tease his pieces in the Butter and Blood art show at GR2 with "Wah! Wah! I Wanna"

Belligerent Piano - Tim Lane

• Nut shot! It's this week's Belligerent Piano by Tim Lane

Truth Serum - Jon Adams

• This week's Truth Serum by Jon Adams

Giant Robot hosts Fantagraphics artists at LA Times Festival of Books this weekend!
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Steven WeissmanJohn PhameventsEsther Pearl Watson 23 Apr 2010 4:03 PM

Giant Robot at LA Times Festival of Books

Giant Robot will be hosting signings by John Pham, Steven Weissman, Esther Pearl Watson, and other art/illustration luminaries at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books this Saturday and Sunday! See above for the schedule; here's the Facebook invitation with more info.

Things to see: 4/21/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Things to seeThe StrangerKevin HuizengaJosh SimmonsJon AdamsJohnny RyanEsther Pearl WatsonEllen ForneyDerek Van GiesonDebbie DrechslerCharles Burns 21 Apr 2010 3:07 PM

Daily clips & strips -- click for improved/additional viewing at the sources:

The Stranger - Ellen Forney

Ellen Forney's on the cover (as both artist and subject, with her BF) of this week's issue of The Stranger

Unlovable - Esther Pearl Watson

• On Facebook, Esther Pearl Watson's Unlovable Fan Page posts the most recent Unlovable strip from Bust

Fifteen - Johnny Ryan

Johnny Ryan says on his LJ "One of my comics will be in a group print show this weekend in France."

Cooper's hawk - Debbie Drechsler

Another really nice bird sketch (this time a Cooper's hawk) by Debbie Drechsler

Free Shit - Charles Burns

Meathaus posts scans of the latest issue of Charles Burns's Free Shit minicomic

Quackers 4 Life

Josh Simmons & Wendy Chin drop themselves into their Quackers universe

What Lies Beyond Death? - Kevin Huizenga

Kevin Huizenga illustrates a link to an article of interest

Abstraction House - Derek Van Gieson

• Things in Derek Van Gieson's Abstraction House are really getting weird

Truth Serum - Jon Adams

• Here's this week's Truth Serum from Jon Adams

2010 MoCCA Art Festival wrap-up & photos
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under tattoosstaffSara Edward-CorbettPaul KarasikNate NealMiss Lasko-GrossMichael KuppermanKim Deitchjon vermilyeaJaime HernandezHans RickheitGlenn HeadGahan WilsonFletcher HankseventsEsther Pearl WatsonDerek Van GiesonDash ShawCharles BurnsArnold RothAl Jaffee 15 Apr 2010 1:19 PM

Thanks to all the artists, attendees, and MoCCA staff & volunteers for helping make the 2010 MoCCA Art Festival our most successful ever! We sold out of numerous titles, some within hours (and to the chagrin of our artists who ran out of books to sign — sorry!), and had mobs of fans turn out for our signings.

I took a load of photos; some highlights are below, followed by an embedded slideshow with lots more shots (which you can also view full screen) and a mosaic of thumbnails to browse. You can also browse the full set of photos with captions on our Flickr page.


Our setup at opening time, dwarfed by the cavernous interior of the Armory.


Mome dudes Derek Van Gieson, Nate Neal, editor Eric Reynolds, and Jon Vermilyea.

Jaime Hernandez, MoCCA Art Festival, April 10, 2010
Jaime Hernandez with a long line of fans.

Jaime Hernandez, Eric Reynolds, Todd Hignite & Adrian Tomine, MoCCA Art Festival, April 10, 2010
Eric observes as Jaime & Adrian Tomine share a laugh; that's Todd Hignite, author of The Art of Jaime Hernandez, in the tan jacket.

Charles Burns & Jaime Hernandez, MoCCA Art Festival, April 10, 2010
Charles Burns & Jaime Hernandez.

Arnold Roth, Al Jaffee & Gahan Wilson, MoCCA Art Festival, April 10, 2010
Eric looks on in admiration as living legends Arnold Roth, Al Jaffee & Gahan Wilson sign and greet fans.

Glenn Head & Hans Rickheit, MoCCA Art Festival, April 10, 2010
Hotwire editor Glenn Head and Squirrel Machine auteur Hans Rickheit.

Fletcher Hanks tattoo, MoCCA Art Festival, April 10, 2010
We were all knocked out by this guy's Fantomah tattoo!

Kim Deitch & Paul Karasik, MoCCA Art Festival, April 10, 2010
Kim Deitch & Paul Karasik.

Esther Pearl Watson, Miss Lasko-Gross & Sara Edward-Corbett, MoCCA Art Festival, April 10, 2010
Esther Pearl Watson, Miss Lasko-Gross & Sara Edward-Corbett form a trio of triple-named women.

Dash Shaw, Michael Kupperman & Charles Burns, MoCCA Art Festival, April 11, 2010
Dash Shaw, Michael Kupperman & Charles Burns.

Last one, MoCCA Art Festival, April 11, 2010
The End!

Enid + pandas
Bonus: We spotted Enid preparing to clobber a pair of amorous pandas in our mural-filled hotel.

Fantagraphics table, MoCCA Art Festival, April 10, 2010Fantagraphics table, MoCCA Art Festival, April 10, 2010Fantagraphics table, MoCCA Art Festival, April 10, 2010Fantagraphics table, MoCCA Art Festival, April 10, 2010Fantagraphics book debuts, MoCCA Art Festival, April 10, 2010Fantagraphics book debuts, MoCCA Art Festival, April 10, 2010Fantagraphics book debuts, MoCCA Art Festival, April 10, 2010Fantagraphics book debuts, MoCCA Art Festival, April 10, 2010Fantagraphics book debuts, MoCCA Art Festival, April 10, 2010Fantagraphics table, MoCCA Art Festival, April 10, 2010Derek Van Gieson & Jon Vermilyea, MoCCA Art Festival, April 10,  2010Fantagraphics' Janice Headley, MoCCA Art Festival, April 10, 2010Derek Van Gieson, Nate Neal, Eric Reynolds & Jon Vermilyea,  MoCCA Art Festival, April 10, 2010Jaime Hernandez, MoCCA Art Festival, April 10, 2010Jaime Hernandez, MoCCA Art Festival, April 10, 2010Nate Neal, MoCCA Art Festival, April 10, 2010Todd Hignite & Adrian Tomine, MoCCA Art Festival, April 10,  2010Charles Burns & Jaime Hernandez, MoCCA Art Festival, April 10,  2010Jaime Hernandez, Eric Reynolds, Todd Hignite & Adrian Tomine,  MoCCA Art Festival, April 10, 2010Charles Burns, MoCCA Art Festival, April 10, 2010Charles Burns & Jaime Hernandez, MoCCA Art Festival, April 10,  2010Arnold Roth, Al Jaffee & Gahan Wilson, MoCCA Art Festival,  April 10, 2010Al Jaffee, MoCCA Art Festival, April 10, 2010Glenn Head & Hans Rickheit, MoCCA Art Festival, April 10, 2010Dash Shaw & Michael Kupperman, MoCCA Art Festival, April 10,  2010Paul Karasik with Fletcher Hanks fan, MoCCA Art Festival, April 10,  2010Fletcher Hanks tattoo, MoCCA Art Festival, April 10, 2010Kim Deitch & Paul Karasik, MoCCA Art Festival, April 10, 2010Esther Pearl Watson, Miss Lasko-Gross & Sara Edward-Corbett,  MoCCA Art Festival, April 10, 2010Jaime Hernandez, Esther Pearl Watson, Miss Lasko-Gross & Sara  Edward-Corbett, MoCCA Art Festival, April 10, 2010Hans Rickheit & Miss Lasko-Gross, MoCCA Art Festival, April 11,  2010Dash Shaw, Michael Kupperman & Charles Burns, MoCCA Art  Festival, April 11, 2010Dash Shaw, Michael Kupperman & Charles Burns, MoCCA Art  Festival, April 11, 2010Kim Deitch & Paul Karasik, MoCCA Art Festival, April 11, 2010Jaime Hernandez is late, MoCCA Art Festival, April 11, 2010Esther Pearl Watson sign, MoCCA Art Festival, April 11, 2010Sad nerd by Miss Lasko-Gross, MoCCA Art Festival, April 11, 2010Jaime Hernandez, MoCCA Art Festival, April 11, 2010Jaime Hernandez, MoCCA Art Festival, April 11, 2010Jaime Hernandez, MoCCA Art Festival, April 11, 2010Last one, MoCCA Art Festival, April 11, 2010Fantagraphics signing schedule, 2010 MoCCA Art Festival

Esther Pearl Watson print at Tiny Showcase
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Esther Pearl Watson 30 Mar 2010 2:49 PM

Before the Landlord Finds Us - Esther Pearl Watson

If I had 20 bucks to spare I would totally buy this new Esther Pearl Watson print from Tiny Showcase right now. Get yours before it sells out — proceeds go to the Autism Society.

Daily OCD: 3/22/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under videoSteve DitkoreviewsPrince ValiantPeanutsJohnny RyanJacques TardiHo Che AndersonHal FosterEsther Pearl WatsonDaily OCDCharles M SchulzBrian KaneBlake Bell 22 Mar 2010 6:00 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions:

Strange and Stranger: The World of Steve Ditko

Review: "Strange and Stranger: The World of Steve Ditko by Blake Bell... [is] fantastic! ... It’s part biography, part art book - an amazing recap of Steve Ditko’s entire career in comics, from the early days with Charlton to the present. ... It’s also one of the best designed books I’ve read recently, including lots of rare pencil pages, out-of-print rarities, and full color scans on virtually every page. There’s a lot more to Steve Ditko than just Doctor Strange and Spider-Man." – Marc Sobel, Comic Book Galaxy

King - A Comics Biography: The Special Edition

Review: "Vitally, Anderson draws an earthy King, one who likes soul food and soulful women, but who is also capable of inspiring and challenging oratory, theological radicalism and courageous leadership, even when faced with fists, firebombs, and F.B.I. persecution. Anderson reminds one of U.S. poet Walt Whitman: He keeps publishing the same book, in different editions. But what a book!" – George Elliott Clarke, The Halifax Herald

You Are There

Review: "This is a very strange comic... You Are There works best as an absurdist critique of society and politics. ... The absurdity of Forest's script is brought to amazing life... It's a tremendous work of art, heightening the weirdness of the narrative very well. ... I would recommend You Are There because it's a thoughtful look at the pressure of conformity and what drives a man mad. ... Tardi is fantastic and makes the book even wackier, which isn't a bad thing." – Greg Burgas, Comic Book Resources

Unlovable Vol. 1

Review: "It is hard to convey how much of the joy of Unlovable comes not only from the wandering plotline (if there is any in this book) but also from the accompanying visuals. Tammy's attentions, interests and emotions are all scattered. The author's style of drawing lends to the feeling of chaos and scatteredness; the reader senses it in the erratic lines and messy fonts of various sizes. An erratic view of an erratic time of life." – Julia Eussen, AnnArbor.com

Prison Pit: Book 1

Review: "Johnny Ryan’s Prison Pit is something I keep coming back to — and not just because it’s the only comic book I’ve ever seen that can actively liven up a party. It’s a hilarious, visceral and quick read... for really dumb fun, this is pretty much unbeatable. I’ve considered that maybe the fun isn’t as dumb — that maybe Cannibal Fuckface’s journey through the wastes of the prison pit are a Bunyan-style metaphor for, I don’t know, man coming to terms with the restrictions of modern life, but then I remember it’s a comic that features the term 'burnt jizz,' and I stop thinking and laugh." – David Uzumeri, Robot 6

The Definitive Prince Valiant Companion [Softcover Ed.]

Review: "I'd ignored Hal Foster's knights-and-adventure strip until Fantagraphics remastered, recolored and repackaged the first two years of [Prince] Valiant (1937-38) into one of the loveliest reprint volumes of 2009. I became a Foster fan immediately, and bought Brian Kane's Definitive Prince Valiant Companion to learn more about Foster and the other talents (John Cullen Murphy, Gary Gianni and Mark Schultz) who'd worked on the comic during its 70+ years." – Craig Fischer, Thought Balloonists; the remainder of Fischer's take on the Companion is mixed-to-unfavorable, but we still recommend checking it out for his insights and some additional commentary he brings to the table

Review: In this nicely-done video, Ab. Velasco of the Toronto Public Library recommends The Complete Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz

Now in stock: Unlovable Vol. 2 by Esther Pearl Watson
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under new releasesEsther Pearl Watson 11 Mar 2010 10:54 AM

Now arrived in our warehouse and ready to ship:

Unlovable Vol. 2 by Esther Pearl Watson

Unlovable Vol. 2
by Esther Pearl Watson

416-page two-color 5.75" x 5.75" hardcover • $22.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-314-9
Add to CartMore Info & Previews

Loosely based on a teenager’s diary from the 1980s found in a gas-station bathroom, Unlovable is the remarkable story of Tammy Pierce, as filtered through the pen of Los Angeles artist Esther Pearl Watson. 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.

Tammy has built a devoted following over the last several years in the pages of Bust magazine, where Unlovable continues to be serialized on the magazine’s back page, and this beautifully produced, dayglo-orange and sparkly pink hardcover presents over 400 pages of her sometimes ordinary, sometimes humiliating, often poignant and always hilarious exploits. Her hopes, dreams, agonies and defeats are brought to vivid, comedic life by Watson’s lovingly grotesque drawings, filled with all the ’80s essentials — too much mascara, leg warmers with heels and huge hair, etc. — as well as timeless teen concerns like acne, dandruff, and the opposite sex (or same sex, in some cases).

Unlovable is about the rawness of trying to figure out who you are in a very public and humiliating way. Unlovable addresses these mysteries of adolescence through Tammy’s naiveté; girls and women in particular will find much that resonates, but men will also relate to Unlovable’s universal humor and wide cast of characters.

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.

Download an EXCLUSIVE 20-page PDF excerpt (3 MB).