• List: Gustavo Guimaraes of Brazilian culture & entertainment site Ambrosia names "The best comics published in the U.S. in 2011 - Alternative and classic," including Congress of the Animals by Jim Woodring (all quotes translated from Portuguese)...
"The world created by Woodring is unique, beautiful and scary. His stories can be incomprehensible at times, but always intriguing and charming."
"Sala's characters look like something out of old horror and mystery movies, and his plots possess a rare levity for narratives of the genre. The colorful art makes the his twisted drawings even more attractive."
"Walt Kelly was a complete artist, his drawings were graceful, his stories were simple and fun while at the same time provoking the reader with hints of metalanguage and political content. His writing was faceted with the sensibility of a great satirist."
"A masterpiece of old adventure comics continues today thanks largely to Foster's fantastic realistic art. Landscapes and epic battles are played to perfection by the author, turning the limited space of each panel into a window to a world where historical characters live with mythological beings. Careful printing in oversize hardcover as well as meticulous reproduction of the beautiful original colors make this collection from Fantagraphics a model for classic comics publishing."
"Even if you already have all of Carl Barks' comics of you will want to buy this book. It is the first time that these comics are being reissued with the original colors, digitally restored. This deluxe edition, with hard covers and high-quality paper, includes articles on all the comics collected in the volume."
• Review: "To say that it has been worth the wait is wild understatement. Pogo Through the Wild Blue Wonder is beautifully produced — no surprise to anyone familiar with the work of Fantagraphics Books in Seattle — and a joy to read. It comes as a genuine gift to anyone who loved Pogo and, it is to be hoped, as an introduction for younger readers to what many people believe was the best comic strip ever drawn in this country." – Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post
• Review: "Wilson's genuine bravery, as this strip makes clear, is not that he set himself up as a rival to Charles Schulz but rather the directness with which Nuts confronts genuinely painful and baffling topics like sickness, mental illness, and death. When dealing with master artists, any ranking becomes absurd because each creator is memorable by the individual mark he or she leaves. So let’s leave Peanuts comparisons aside and say that Nuts is one of the major American comic strips and we’re lucky to have the complete run in this handsome, compact volume." – Jeet Heer, The Comics Journal
• Review: "Jacques Tardi’s interpretation of Jean-Patrick Manchette’s book [Like a Sniper Lining Up His Shot] is an intense and shocking thriller.... Dark, brutal and uterly compelling, classic thriller fans should lap this up. Put a few hours aside before picking it up though, because you won’t want to put it down and it’s a feast worth savouring." – Grovel
• Review: "I gave Roy Crane’s Captain Easy, Solder Of Fortune: The Complete Sunday Newspaper Strips Volume 1 1933-1935 a good thumbing many, many times before picking it up. The artwork was too simple, the stories silly. One day in my local comic shop with nothing new to read I picked it up. What I failed to comprehend as I stood in the comic shop flipping pages in this book is that Crane chose the elements of his strip carefully, especially those I dismissed it for. Simple character design, bright colours, fictional locations and action with a sense of humour. After finishing the volume I applaud his choices." – Scott VanderPloeg, Comic Book Daily
• Interview (Audio):The Comics Journal presents a recording of the Jack Davis interview conducted by Gary Groth and Drew Friedman at last month's Brooklyn Comics & Graphics Festival (posted here after a slight delay due to technical audio issues)
• Interview:Culture Brats has "Seven Questions in Heaven" with Esther Pearl Watson: "Even though now I have a huge collection of mini-comics, I try not to look at other comic artists as influences. They draw too nice, or have their thing down. Comic storytelling styles can be as individual as fingerprints. We spend years creating our own narrative language. Instead I look at naive drawing and self-taught artists to de-skill."
• Conflict of Interest: Our own Larry Reid names Love and Rockets: New Stories #4 one of his favorite comics of 2011 in a guest column at Graphic Eye: "The conclusion of Jaime’s poignant 'Love Bunglers' story alone made this book essential reading in 2011. Almost unfathomably, Love & Rockets keeps getting better with age."
• Seattle, WA: It's also your last chance to see the Short Run Art Show at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery! Curated by Kelly Froh, the exhibit features original comix art, illustration and book works by Max Clotfelter, Patrick Keck, Martine Workman, Elaine Lin, Jason T. Miles, Chris Cilla, Andrice Arp, Tim Root, Billis Helg, Marc Palm, Eroyn Franklin, Tom Van Deusen, Tim Miller, Tory Franklin, Jesse Reklaw, Sean Christensen, and Erin Tanner. (more info)
It's that time of year again! The time of year where a flock of Fantagraphics artists participate in the annual Giant Robot Post-It Show, and like last year, it will be curated by the inspirational husband-wife team of Esther Pearl Watson and Mark Todd.
The Giant Robot Post-It Show 7 runs from December 10th through 29th at GR2 [ 2062 Sawtelle Blvd., Los Angeles, CA ] with an opening reception event on Saturday, December 10th from 6:30 - 10:00 PM. It's "cash-and-carry," so don't forget your bag-and-board!
• Review: "We cannot commend Love & Rockets to you highly enough... 'Return for Me' will not disappoint..., and I was left speechless for hours.... There’s far more of Maggie in parts three, four and five of 'The Love Bunglers,' and I could begin almost any review of a Jaime Hernandez story with my 'Poor Maggie' refrain. Still, poor Maggie… Then there’s the delightfully mannered dance and duel from Gilbert Hernandez of 'And Then Reality Kicks In.' No one does comics like Gilbert. Sometimes it’s as if he’s never read another comic in his life (other than maybe his brothers’) and so invents an unprecedented comicbook performance. Time and again Gilbert turns your expectations right on their heads, especially here in 'King Vampire,' the most unusual fang-fest you could ever imagine!" – Stephen L. Holland, Page 45
• Review: "About [Ganges #2] a lot can be said like 'our whole life is a game,' and this will be true, but more true to say will be that all good things must come to an end, you’ve played, and that's enough. And the moral is simple: not work joins people together, but fun." – Ray Garraty, Endless Falls Up
We've got a gorilla-sized weekend coming up at APE: the Alternative Press Expo in beautiful San Francisco, CA! Come see us on Saturday, October 1st and Sunday, October 2nd at the Concourse Exhibition Center, and be among the first to get your mitts on these hot numbers:
You can find us in our usual spot at tables 112-115. (Right by our good friends Jim Blanchard and J.R. Williams at table 116!)
[ Please note: this is a chopped-up map, just to give you an idea where you can find us! The Concourse Exhibition Center is too wide to fit on the FLOG, so check out a PDF map here. ]
And panels! Boy, do we have panels!
Saturday, October 1st
2:00 PM // The Comix Claptrap . . . LIVE! Co-hosts Rina Ayuyang and Thien Pham record an episode of their enlightening, riotous, and controversial podcast, The Comix Claptrap LIVE at APE! For four seasons, Rina and Thien have interviewed comics artists in the indie comics scene about their work, creative processes, and experiences in the industry. Each show has included New Comics Wednesday beat reportage from fellow cartoonist Josh Frankel, and new favorite segment, The Comix Cranktrap, where they crank-call a well-known cartoonist listed in their Rolodex. Also featured on the panel: Mike Dawson, Scott Campbell, Levon Jihanian, and Esther Pearl Watson. This panel promises to be total mayhem!
3:00 PM // A Discussion with Daniel Clowes and Adrian Tomine Critically acclaimed, award-winning, bestselling cartoonists -- and APE special guests -- Daniel Clowes (The Death-Ray, Ghost World, Wilson) and Adrian Tomine (Optic Nerve, Shortcomings) are both professional peers and friends, having met over a decade ago when both lived in the East Bay. TheComicsJournal.com editor and PictureBox publisher Dan Nadel talks to the two artists about their work, their friendship, and the comics medium.
4:00 PM // Spotlight on Shannon Wheeler From stapling 21,000 minicomics, to shooting comic books with a .22, to creating operas, to publishing cartoons with The New Yorker, APE special guest Shannon Wheeler must be drinking too much coffee, man. Recently, his collection of rejected cartoons I Thought You Would Be Funnier won the Eisner Award for Best Humor Publication. Wheeler and his trusty sidekick BOOM! Studios marketing director Chip Mosher talk about the best ammunition to use on a comic, Japanese bootleg shirts, and drawing dead granddads in fishnet stockings with swastika panties. Shannon Wheeler once also created Too Much Coffee Man, so they'll probably talk about that, too.
6:00 PM // Drawing Inspiration: The Secrets of Comics Creativity Ever wonder where your favorite author or artist gets his or her inspiration? Now you can find out as moderator Charles Brownstein (executive director, CBLDF) joins APE special guests Kate Beaton (Hark! A Vagrant!), Craig Thompson (Habibi), Matthew Thurber (1-800 MICE), and Shannon Wheeler (Oil and Water), plus Tom Neely (The Wolf) for an in-depth discussion of what gets their creative juices flowing and the secrets of what inspires them.
Sunday, October 2nd
12:00 PM // Indie Cartoonist Survival Guide: Part 3 Cartoonist Keith Knight moderates this panel (in its third appearance at APE), featuring a lineup of successful independent creators who share their stories, methods, techniques, trials, and tribulations concerning making a living as a so-called Indie Cartoonist. Shannon Wheeler (I Thought You Would Be Funnier), Dan Cooney (Dan Cooney Art), Andy Ristaino (Adventure Time), and Rebecca Sugar (Pug Davis) all chime in.
The great Eric Reynolds will be manning the table, so come by and come buy! We'll see you at APE!
Even robots need love, too, especially the giant ones.
And on Saturday, September 24th, Giant Robot 2 kicks off the exhibit "Robots," a benefit for their esteemed gallery space in Los Angeles.
Since opening their doors in 2003, GR2 has hosted exhibitions featuring many Fantagraphics artists on their walls, and this upcoming exhibit is no exception, featuring work by Andrice Arp, Eleanor Davis, John Pham, Mark Todd (whose artwork is shown above), and Esther Pearl Watson, among dozens of other incredibly talented folks.
GR2 shows don't push their artists into contracts, and attendance is always free. If you've ever enjoyed any of their exhibits, we encourage you to support GR2 so they can continue to support independent artists for years to come!
"Robots" runs from September 24th to October 12th at GR2 [ 2062 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles ], with an opening reception this Saturday from 6:30 - 10:00 PM.
Open reception! Open critique! It's Open Ending, a show opening and closing this weekend, Saturday, August 27th and Sunday, August 28th, featuring new works by CalArts MFA students and recent graduates, such as our very own Esther Pearl Watson!
Esther tells us she's been working on some larger paintings in this space, so if you're in the L.A. area, head to The Farley Building this weekend at 1669 Colorado Blvd. They'll be doing a 12 hour marathon critique on Sunday, with participating artists and the general public. Go tell Esther her stuff rocks!
And if, like us, you live far away and are sad about missing out, Esther has sent over a sneak peek of her new work, so check it out below!
Our friends at Poketo have just released a new series of wallets entitled "You're a Riot, Grrrl!" -- each wallet featuring artwork by bold female artists, like Lisa Hanawalt, Hellen Jo, and our very own, Esther Pearl Watson!
I got the "Unlovable" wallet at San Diego Comic-Con, and lemme tell ya, so far, it's been quite lovable! The inside design boasts the truth "1978 Honda Hatchbacks are sexy" (damn straight) and it comes with a 1" Tammy Pierce button.
Poketo even did an illustrated interview with Esther on their blog, which you can read here, and you can get a wallet for yourself here. Totally.
One of the many awesome things about San Diego Comic-Con was getting to chat with pioneer of female comic art, Joyce Farmer, and current champion of the ladies, Esther Pearl Watson. We talked about how it wasn't always so easy to be a woman in the comics world. So, a show like this, spotlighting the latest wave of amazing women artists, just makes me really, really happy.
The Webb Gallery is located at 209 West Frankin Street in Waxahachie, TX, and the show runs through September 18th. And here's a print I spotted (and snapped a pic of!) at Esther's booth at SDCC that seems particularly appropriate for the show: