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Category >> Esther Pearl Watson

Daily OCD: 3/3/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Steven WeissmanreviewsEsther Pearl WatsonDaily OCD 3 Mar 2010 2:08 PM

Slow-news-day all-square edition of Online Commentary & Diversions:

Chocolate Cheeks

Review: "The book reminds me a bit of my childhood memories, where one gives nicknames to everyone and everything, and the smallest events become epic journeys. Chocolate Cheeks is a fun read, recommended to anyone who is interested in art prints or comic books." – Steven Swigart

Unlovable Vol. 1

Review: "Esther Pearl Watson’s Unlovable is a rude, crude and frequently hilarious portrait of suburban teenage life in the 1980s. The book’s narrator, Tammy Pierce, is probably the most hapless 15-year-old girl imaginable. ... Her life is miserable, but she is anything but depressed. Every moment has urgency for her. She’s crazy-giddy when she’s in a good mood, and drama-queen petulant when upset. Watson makes Tammy comedy gold." – Robert Martin, The Comics Journal

New Comics day 3/3/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under New Comics DayEsther Pearl Watson 2 Mar 2010 10:46 PM

Guaranteed to be the glitteriest book slated to arrive in comic shops throughout the land today:

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

Being the second and final installment of the hilarious and humiliating adventures of high school misfit Tammy Pierce. In their weekly recommendations new Comics Comics correspondent Joe McCulloch admits "I didn’t read the first one, but it seems to have been well-received for its gangling verisimilitude" and Robot 6's Chris Mautner calls it "Poignant, cringe-inducing comics, to be sure."

Catch up with more info and extensive previews here, and verify availability with your local shop.

Daily OCD: 2/22/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tony MillionairereviewsMomeMichael KuppermanMaakiesJasonJacques TardiEsther Pearl WatsonEleanor DavisDash ShawDaniel ClowesDaily OCDcontestsBest of 2009Abstract Comics 22 Feb 2010 1:08 PM

Win big in today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

List: Only the Cinema's Ed Howard begins counting down The Best Comics of the Decade: part 1 includes Michael Kupperman's Tales Designed to Thrizzle at #52 ("...absurd scenarios proliferate throughout each issue of Kupperman's series, as he follows each loony premise through to its (il)logical end result. He's a versatile stylist as well..."), Eleanor Davis's Mome stories at #51 ("The short stories of Eleanor Davis draw on myth and horror to craft succinct, mysteriously moving little parables, like Grimm fairy tales where the "monsters" are almost always infused with pathos and feeling"), Eightball #23 by Daniel Clowes at #47 ("a self-contained epic in miniature, poking at superhero archetypes, with their ideas about 'responsibility' and 'right,' in order to tell a quiet, maudlin story of loneliness and self-isolation"), and Abstract Comics: The Anthology at #42 ("What's best about the book is how open its territory ultimately is, how much room it leaves for artists to come up with their own ideas about abstraction and sequence. It is a truly groundbreaking book that points the way towards a whole new conception of comics and challenges readers and artists alike to explore this new area.")

West Coast Blues  [NORTH AMERICA ONLY] You Are There

Reviews: "Manchette’s brand of punk noir bears an existential, leftist tinge, with traces of Ballardian anomie. ... Opening Tardi’s adaptation [of West Coast Blues], one is quickly reassured by the faithfulness to the original novel. ... Tardi seems to have read Manchette’s mind when it came to visualizing the characters, scenery and action of the novel.... [and] his superior drafting skills are always in service to a tight rendering of the real world, from trains to forests to city streets. ... Turning to Tardi ‘s earlier work, You Are There, scripted by Forest..., we encounter a looser, sketchier style, admirably suited to the baggy-pants, fabulistic story and exhibiting similarities to the work of such artists as Moebius, Rick Geary, Aubrey Beardsley and Edward Gorey. Outbursts of calculated surrealism complement his unswerving attention to the quotidian. The beautiful and sensitive architectural renderings, as well as shots of nature — fields, a lake, birds, trees — contrast with the goofiness of our protagonist to good effect. ... Forest’s 1979 tale exudes a fin de Sixties, fey whimsicality. Think The Mouse That Roared crossed with Gormenghast and The Prisoner. Beckett-like soliloquies and Pinteresque dialogue round out the ambiance." – Paul Di Filippo, The Barnes & Noble Review

Drinky Crow's Maakies  Treasury

Review: "This generous volume reprints Maakies strips beginning early in this decade. ... As such, [Drinky Crow's Maakies] Treasury really does represent an overflowing bounty of absolutely primo Millionaire and stands as an invaluable, one–stop companion to Pre-Millennial Maakies for devotees. Newcomers, however, should understand that their sense of humor will be expanded, pulled… actually, think of a medieval rack where subjects were strapped in and stretched to shocking, heretofore inconceivable lengths." – Rich Kreiner, The Comics Journal

Low Moon

Review: "Jason is a painfully good comic creator – the man has a phenomenal knowledge of pacing, a sense of humour that’s darker than Darth Vader in a mine at midnight and deceptively simple figurework that says a shitload with very little. The stories collected in Low Moon are mostly full of that black, black humour. ... If you’re not reading Jason’s stuff, then you don’t really like comics, because this shit is as pure as it gets." – Bob Temuka, The Tearoom of Despair

The Unclothed  Man in the 35th Century A.D. Mome Vol. 17 - Winter 2010

Plug: O Canada! Librarie D&Q spotlights new arrivals The Unclothed Man in the 35th Century A.D. and Mome Vol. 17

Unlovable Vol. 1 Unlovable Vol. 2 [Pre-Order]

Contest: As hinted at on Friday, My Love for You Is a Stampede of Horses is giving away copies of Esther Pearl Watson's Unlovable Vols. 1 & 2 to one lucky randomly-selected person

Things to see: 2/19/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Things to seeSophie CrumbEsther Pearl WatsonAline Kominsky-Crumb 19 Feb 2010 1:26 PM

Observe & report:

We only have one car now. Gene used the engine out of the other for the UFO. Esther Pearl Watson. 2010.

My Love for You Is a Stampede of Horses has images and a review of Esther Pearl Watson's gallery exhibit Space is the Place — check back Monday when they'll be giving away a copy of Unlovable!

Aline Kominsky-Crumb by Sophie Crumb

Several sketchbook pages by Sophie Crumb, including the portrait of her mom Aline above

Daily OCD: 2/8/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Zak SallyUsagi YojimboTrina RobbinsSupermenSteven WeissmanStan SakaireviewsPrince ValiantNell BrinkleyMichael KuppermanLove and RocketsJohn PhamJasonJaime HernandezIvan BrunettiHotwireGilbert HernandezFemke HiemstraEsther Pearl WatsonDaily OCDcontestsCarol TylerBrian KaneBest of 2009Abstract Comics 8 Feb 2010 4:02 PM

Hoy, it's a marathon Monday Online Commentary & Diversions post:

List: The Comics Journal's Rob Clough begins counting his Top 50 Comics of 2009:

#1, You'll Never Know, Book 1: A Good and Decent Man by C. Tyler: "A mash-up of family portrait, generational analysis, autobiography and scrapbook, this book was not only the most emotionally powerful work of the year, it was the most attractively designed. The first part of what will likely be Tyler’s masterwork."

#6, Like a Dog by Zak Sally: "This was a stunningly honest account and collection of early work by one of the most underrated cartoonists working today. While the collected early issues of Recidivist ranged from interesting to astounding, it was Sally’s frank and emotional essay following the collection that really struck me as a statement of purpose — not just as an artist, but as a person."

#10, Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 1 by Michael Kupperman: "The first collection from Kupperman’s surprising hit really helped spread the word about his unique and delightfully warped genius as a gagsmith and artist."

#15, Sublife Vol. 2 by John Pham: "This one-man anthology featured Pham fully harnessing every aspect of his skills as a writer and artist. His use of color dominated and provided a sort of visual through-line for his different narratives. Pham alternately pushed the reader away and then pulled them in, depending on the story, a tension that made this his most successful work to date."

And #17, Ho! by Ivan Brunetti: "It’s fascinating to see the two directions Brunetti was headed in with regard to these gags. First, his gags became ever-more boundary pushing, but always in service to the punchline. Second, his line became more and more simplified to the point of nearly geometric simplicity: squares, circles and triangles wound up creating most of his characters by the end of the book."

List: Paul Gravett names The Best of 2009: Classic Comic Reprints. At #6, it's The Brinkley Girls: The Best of Nell Brinkley's Cartoons 1913-1940: "Trina [Robbins] follows up her thorough biography of Brinkley with this oversized collection of Sunday 'comics,' often more like ravishing illustrated romantic yarns of big hair, clothes and emotions, but stunning to linger over and revealing in their period mood and concerns. In their time, Brinkley’s spirited, vivacious females were as iconic and inspirational in early 20th century America as the famous Gibson Girls before her. They truly deserve this gorgeous commemoration."

List: On the annual Fun Fifty countdown at Bully Says: Comics Oughta Be Fun!, at #15, Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 1 by Michael Kupperman: "Without hyperbole, Thrizzle is simply the funniest, most guffaw-out-loud comic book they're going to have to pry out of your cold, dead hands when you die laughing. ... Thrizzle's stuffed from front cover to impressive back page blurbs with Kupperman's splendiferous pulps-meet-woodblock-print artwork and lunatic stories, it's one of those rare humor books that actually is downright hilarious."

Reviews: Nick Gazin of Vice (link NSFW) weighs in on a number of titles:

"I love Unlovable. Take that, book title. ... Unlovable 2 is a fun and funny read all the way through. ... Girls are gonna like this book and dudes are gonna like this book. It’ll remind you of how stupid you were and also of suburban sadness and realizing that your high school crush will probably never love you back."

"[High Soft Lisp] is incredible... The world in this book is one I wouldn’t want to live in but I can’t stop thinking about the story of Fritz."

"...[Almost Silent] is a really good book and Jason is a strong cartoonist. He does a lot with his simple-but-well-drawn characters and little to no dialogue. ... For $25 you get a nice sampler of what Jason can do. This is entirely worth owning."

Review: "The Definitive Prince Valiant Companion is the indispensable guide to the strip and a must have for its legions of fans new and old. Fantagraphics has been re-printing these original strips in chronological order in beautiful hardcover volumes and this guide makes the perfect complement. ... No matter how long you’ve been a Prince Valiant fan…one year or seventy years, you’re certain to find this book informative and entertaining. Fantagraphics has produced another spectacular book!  Grade A" – Tim Janson, The Gouverneur Times

Review: "Similar to Charles Addams and Gahan Wilson, Jason relies on the humorous side of horror in these mostly wordless tales. ... Throughout the sublime Almost Silent, Jason examines traditional relationships and social norms via a deliciously warped lens, quite probably one constructed by Dr. Frankenstein himself." – Rick Klaw, The SF Site: Nexus Graphica (spoiler alert!)

Review: "I can’t think of a better single volume of what the period style of fast looked like in practice than last year’s Supermen! anthology. Yes, there’s an added winnowing by genre but that just sharpens the sense of the reductive visual and narrative requirements that were standard for the hot new gravy train that hit the business." – Rich Kreiner, "Yearlong Best of the Year," The Comics Journal

Review: "As a whole, I like Abstract Comics a lot. I’d say that it works like a good art exhibition, or at least an exhibition unburdened by obligations to teach history, one in which multiple formal and aesthetic connections are there but not shouted out, rather left to be discovered (or not) by the strolling viewer according to his or her inclinations." – Charles Hatfield, Thought Balloonists

Plug: "[Steven] Weissman's work is very often like a brain-damaged Charles Schulz... His newest book, Chocolate Cheeks, raises the stakes in a really dramatic way. I think this might be his last book in this series, but it goes out with a doozy of a book." – Paul Constant, The Stranger

Plug: "Matt’s response to my squeeing over the announced May, 2010 publication date of Tales Designed to Thrizzle #6: 'Yes, as there were so many plots unresolved in the last issue. Who won, blimps or holes??'" – TofuPunk.com (I don't know who Matt is – ed.)

Plug: "With new work by the likes of Johnny Ryan, Max Andersson, Sam Henderson, Stephane Blanquet, Doug Allen, Michael Kupperman, Mack White, and Jeremy Onsmith, Hotwire 3 is certain to deliver the psychic jolt it promises." – Richard Cowdry, Love the Line

Plug: "Since Beatriz 'Penny Century' Garcia is my favorite Love & Rockets' Locas, I'm very excited to see the advance solicitation for the new soft cover Penny Century... In my opinion, the soft cover collected volumes are the best way to read Love & Rockets. They are the easiest way to follow the reading order, and with the cheap price of $18.99, you can't find a better launching point for one of the most regarded independent comics of all time. " – The Star Clipper Blog

Analysis: Abstract Comics contributor Derik Badman posts an in-depth email discussion between himself and critic Craig Fischer about the book 

Interview: The Daily Yomiuri's Tom Baker talks Usagi Yojimbo with Stan Sakai: "I think the first few years I really tried to make him cute and cuddly like a stuffed animal, whereas the stories tended to [take] a more dramatic turn. So I think the character has changed. Most of it's unconscious on my part." (via The Comics Reporter )

Contest: Arrested Motion is having a drawing to give away a copy of Rock Candy: The Artwork of Femke Hiemstra along with a signed exhibit card and limited-edition giclee print!

Daily OCD: 2/2/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Steve DitkoreviewsNewaveIvan BrunettiEsther Pearl WatsonDaily OCDBlazing CombatBlake BellBest of 2009Al Columbia 2 Feb 2010 1:44 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions have seen their shadow:

List: Our pal Bully the Little Stuffed Bull has started his annual Fun Fifty countdown. In the first installment, coming in at #46, Blazing Combat: "War, huh! What is it good for? Absolutely nothin'... aside from bringing us this gorgeous archive edition of a classic comic every war comics fan oughta have in their library."

Review: "Back in the days of Factsheet Five, I used to order tons of minicomix. Most were mediocre, but a few were terrifically good and that made it worth the risk to send in the fifty cents or so that they cost. ... Fantagraphics just released a massively thick (900 pages!) anthology of minicomix called Newave! The Underground Mini Comix of the 1980s , and it's a treat." – Mark Frauenfelder, Boing Boing

Review: "In Strange Suspense, Ditko already shines as a masterful designer of sinister mansions, ornate gateways and demonic doors and furnishings... And finally, there’s no mistaking those trademark Ditko faces, leering with evil or sweating and wide-eyed with terror, often lit or looking up from below. ... It is a pleasure to follow Ditko’s youthful artistic progression and there is a noticeable refining and streamlining of his drawing, going for greater clarity and impact. ... These morality fables are seldom subtle or surprising... but it’s Ditko’s artistry that elevates these mostly standard comic book nasties. ...[T]he $39.99 ticket is good value, and this is a weighty, hard-packed, deluxe package..." – Paul Gravett

Review: "Successful art engenders powerful emotion in its observers. How do I know that Al Columbia's Pim & Francie is an amazing work of art? Because it seriously made me feel ill. Uncomfortable. It made me question my sense of aesthetics; played havoc with my expectations. It's unquestionably an amazing book. ... Rating: 8/10" – Jeremy Nisen, Under the Radar

Plug: Boing Boing's David Pescovitz previews Esther Pearl Watson's upcoming painting exhibit and says "Unlovable is a terrific comic"

Commentary: At The Daily Cross Hatch, Box Brown reproduces the epochal letters page from Ivan Brunetti's Schizo #2 (reprinted in Misery Loves Comedy) as part of a new column on cartoonists' letters to cartoonists

Esther Pearl Watson UFO paintings in Waxahatchie
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Esther Pearl Watsonart shows 1 Feb 2010 6:09 PM

Garland Texas, Something New Near the Paintball Field by Esther Pearl Watson

That's the coolest subject heading I've ever typed. Esther Pearl Watson's paintings of UFOs (and other subjects) will be on exhibit at Webb Gallery in Waxahatchie, TX, opening Friday, Feb. 12 with a reception at 7 PM. Did you know Texas has a history of UFO lore?

you may as well hold your breath because you're going to have this SOON:
Written by Adam Grano | Filed under UNLOVABLEEsther Pearl Watson 18 Jan 2010 12:03 PM

unlovablespines.jpg

Above is a preview of what will be in your COMPLETE UNLOVABLE box-set (minus the ghost-hand). Coming SOON!

Unlovable Vol. 2 desktop wallpaper
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under wallpapersEsther Pearl Watson 15 Jan 2010 3:51 PM

Here's a late addendum to our preview/pre-order announcement for Unlovable Vol. 2 by Esther Pearl Watson: some Tammy Pierce for your computer or mobile phone screen! (Or if you prefer Tammy Vol. 1 style in hot pink, we've got that too.)

Just click on the size that matches your monitor resolution and the image will open in a new window; if you're on a PC, right-click the image and select "Set As Background"; if you're on a Mac, control+click and select "Set As Desktop Background." (We don't know what the procedure is for iPhones, but if you have one, you probably do, right?) For lots more wallpaper selections, find recent ones here and older ones here.


800 x 600 | 1024 x 768 | 1152 x 864 | 1280 x 960 | 1280 x 800 | 1280 x 720 | iPhone
Unlovable Vol. 2 by Esther Pearl Watson - Previews, Pre-Order
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under videopreviewsnew releasesEsther Pearl Watson 15 Jan 2010 6:39 AM

Unlovable Vol. 2 by Esther Pearl Watson

Now available for preview and pre-order: Unlovable Vol. 2 by Esther Pearl Watson, the second and concluding installment in the hilarious saga of hapless high school underdog Tammy Pierce and her seemingly never-ending series of humiliations and heartbreaks. Watson nails the story's 1980s middle-America milieu with affection and devastating accuracy. Download an exclusive 20-page PDF excerpt right here (3 MB). This book is scheduled to be in stock and ready to ship in roughly 4-5 weeks and in stores roughly the same time (subject to change).

View a photo & video slideshow preview of the book embedded here. Click here if it is not visible, and/or to view it larger in a new window (recommended).