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Category >> Fantagraphics history

Gary Groth: The Early Years, Part 2
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Gary GrothFantagraphics history 13 Oct 2009 10:19 AM

Fantastic Fanzine 10 cover

Unofficial Gary Groth History Week continues, this time at ComicAttack.net, where Ken Meyer Jr. looks back at Gary's pre-Fantagraphics Fantastic Fanzine, specifically issue #10, with lots of background and commentary from Gary and a PDF download of the full issue. Looks like Ken will be looking at more issues of FF in the future, too, so we'll be sure to alert you when that happens.

Gary Groth: The Early Years
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Gary GrothFantagraphics history 12 Oct 2009 11:48 AM

Passions, Pows, and Paste

Your must-read link of the day: at Comics Comics, Jeet Heer presents a scan of a 1972 Washington Post profile of 17-year-old Gary Groth. Plus ça change: Gary still types with two fingers, and still forgets to close the door. (Also: evidence that the cliché of using sound effects in comics-story headlines dates back at least 37 years.)

What you're missing
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Robert CrumbLove and RocketsJR WilliamsGilbert HernandezFantagraphics history 2 Oct 2009 8:35 AM

Williams, Crumb, Hernandez, Dougan

Carol Hernandez is at it again, posting some amazing historical photos on the Love and Rockets/Hernandez Bros. Facebook page, including the above snapshot of J.R. Williams, Robert Crumb, Gilbert Hernandez, and Michael Dougan leaving their marks on the then-new (1989) Fantagraphics delivery van. Also making guest appearances: Hank Ketcham, Dave Stevens, Paul Westerberg, Glenn Danzig, Vampira and many more. If you're not a Facebook fan of L&R, you are MISSING OUT.

Video: Ivan Brunetti at Comic-Con 1999
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under videoIvan BrunettiFantagraphics history 17 Aug 2009 2:50 PM

Eric sent this to me to post, and I don't know where or how he found it, but it's a pretty great little slice of history: Sam Klemke documents his encounter with Ivan Brunetti at our booth at the 1999 San Diego Comic-Con and gets a good look at Ivan's convention sketchbook of unflattering caricatures (NSFW, needless to say). Dan Clowes, Jaime Hernandez and Richard Sala all make cameo appearances. And Batman. (YouTube link)

Daily OCD: 8/7/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewsMichael KuppermanIvan BrunettiFantagraphics historyDash ShawAbstract Comics 7 Aug 2009 2:22 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions:

• Review: "[Abstract Comics: The Anthology] is designed beautifully... The content serves as a great introduction to a genre of comics that few people knew existed. [Editor Andrei] Molotiu takes somewhat of a scholarly approach to the content, placing the concept of abstract comics within art history in his introduction. He makes a good case... Overall, this is a cool concept and I was surprised by it. I think it’s definitely going to cause some debates about what comics are and are not, and that’s a good thing." - Eden Miller, Comicsgirl

• Review: "The status of [Ivan] Brunetti's... gag-cartoon collections... as trailblazers in the realm of going-way-too-far comic-book comedy is unquestioned... Brunetti's impeccable line looks like it'd be more at home in the pages of The New Yorker than Sleazy Slice, which I imagine is the point, but for me at least, this just neuters all but the most vicious jokes -- otherwise it's just a litany of beautifully drawn dick/poop/pedo jokes." - Sean T. Collins

• Interview: For Marvel.com, Sean T. Collins talks to Dash Shaw about his Dr. Strange story in the upcoming Marvel Strange Tales MAX. "The title is 'Dr. Strange Vs. Nightmare.' 'Nuff said!"

• Interview: "Michael Kupperman stopped by the Inkstuds to discuss all things Kuppermany. His new collection, Tales Designed to Thrizzle Volume One, is a great good times companion." - Robin McConnell, Inkstuds

• History: Kevin Nowlan and Jan Strnad talk to Shaun Manning of Comic Book Resources about the creation of "Grimwood's Daughter," their backup feature in our long-ago series Dalgoda (being newly collected by IDW -- someone want to send me a copy?)

Michael Jackson Google bait
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under slimy marketingPaul HornschemeierFantagraphics history 25 Jun 2009 10:13 PM

Michael Jackson - Amazing Heroes No. 117

Above: cover of Amazing Heroes #117, published by Fantagraphics Books, May 1987 (artwork by Tom Yeates, I think; scan from Comic Collectors Live). Below: MJ strip by Paul Hornschemeier from the Wall Street Journal, 2008, as collected in the forthcoming book All and Sundry. Yes, Jackson's cultural influence extends all the way to Fantagraphics.

Michael Jackson strip by Paul Hornschemeier

Daily OCD: 5/26/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under The Comics JournalRoger LangridgereviewsMomeMichael KuppermanJim BlanchardJasonHumbugFantagraphics historyEleanor DavisDash ShawBlazing CombatBeastsAnders Nilsen 26 May 2009 2:03 PM

Let's catch up on our Online Commentary & Diversions:

• Review: "...Monologues [for Calculating the Density of Black Holes is] spare and scratchy where [Anders Nilsen's] other work was detailed; loose and spontaneous where his other work was considered; and funny where his other work was melancholy. It's interesting to see the many influences that inform Monologues; there's a bit of absurdists like Ionesco, elements of Tom Stoppard's wit and philosophical musings, stream of consciousness dada in the style of Tristan Tzara, and oblique New Yorker type gags with the scratchy looseness of James Thurber and Saul Steinberg." - Rob Clough

• Review: "...[O]nce again, I’m engaged in Blazing Combat. What a thrill! And the art!... Highly recommended. Don’t argue! Just buy it!" - David McDonnell, Starlog

• Review: "This collection of the 1965-66 Blazing Combat war comic magazine is a stellar publication... It's a master class on how to tell a short story, and I highly recommend checking it out." - Sandy Bilus, I Love Rob Liefeld

• Review: "Blazing Combat, a new hardcover collection from Fantagraphics, showcases some truly fantastic work from a multitude of comics greats... The collection itself is sharp as a tack... Fantagraphics really packages it nicely..." - Litany of Schist

• Review: "This omnibus of all 11 issues of Humbug is equal parts giddy genius and period piece. The satire is razor-sharp... [T]here are such subtleties here and such rapier wit that the line is clearly visible from the Algonquin Round Table to Kurtzman to Crumb to Ralph Bakshi to Mr. Show to The Colbert Report." - Byron Kerman, PLAYBACK:stl

• Review: "Tales Designed to Thrizzle #5... is really funny." - Tucker Stone, "Advanced Common Sense," comiXology (fast-forward to the "Speed Round")

• Review: "In his way, [Michael] Kupperman's just as concerned with making comics' formal aspects work for him as Chris Ware. In his way he's every bit as effective. Goddammit this book [Tales Designed to Thrizzle #5] is funny." - Sean T. Collins

• Review: "[Beasts! Book 1] is captivating, wistful, funny and truly extraordinary - a Bestiary of the traditionally fantastic for the dreary 21st century where imagination and wonder have been formularised as crypto-zoology... a vivid package of sheer fantasy and artistic excellence..." - Win Wiacek, Now Read This!

• Review: "Now, with Low Moon, [Jason] has clenched his fist around me and won’t let me go - this is easily my favorite of his works to date... Top to bottom, I enjoyed Low Moon very much... A worthy addition to one’s bookshelf." - Marc Mason, Comics Waiting Room

• Review: "[In Abandoned Cars] Tim Lane presents a personal study of what he calls 'The Great American Mythological Drama,' a fog of events / thoughts / dreams / disappointments in music / literature / North American life... Lane leads to something more introspective and extremely sad." - Churrasco la Naje (from Google translation)

• Review: "...[A]lmost nothing is casual in Bottomless Belly Button and almost nothing is superficial in its narrative structure, nor its authorial intentions... [Dash] Shaw's work delves into the interior of the personal relationships of its protagonists, but also in the basic foundations of linear narrative... Shaw transcends the sphere of intellectual narrative to enter the much more epidermal level of physical sensations... Dash Shaw has composed a monumental work, sometimes puzzling, sometimes bordering on melodrama, but always strong and brave, a work full of qualities and findings that will, we believe, be a reference for future comics. His experimentation, his daring and his solutions can't help but remind us of an equally ambitious and dense work, Jimmy Corrigan... Do not miss this." - Little Nemo's Kat (from Google translation)

• Plug: Jonathan Ross gives us ("the company that flies the flag for independent, ground-breaking comics"), and The Comics Journal ("the only widely read and serious publication of comic-book criticism"), a nice shout-out in The Times

• Interview: The Daily Cross Hatch continues their conversation with Michael Kupperman. Sample quote: "I think the artist I feel closest with is Tony Millionaire, because he really lives in those comics. He could never be anything else."

• Profile: The Beat spotlights Eleanor Davis as part of their survey of Russ Manning Award nominees

• Profile: Vice looks at another side of Jim Blanchard: curator of wacky/creepy/sleazy music compilations

• History: The Beat engages in a bit of "Comics Archaeology," discussing several releases from our past (and present: "...it must be said, of all the art comix anthologies, Mome is probably the most perfect distillation. Sometimes evolution works.")

• Things to see: These two sample pages really make me wish that Roger Langridge had landed the Wallace & Gromit gig

Daily OCD: 5/15/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Will ElderreviewsPeanutsNell BrinkleyMichael KuppermanLinda MedleyFantagraphics historyEllen ForneyDrew FriedmanCraig YoeCharles M SchulzCarol TylerBoody Rogersaudio 15 May 2009 3:09 PM

Pay attention: there's some must-read stuff in today's Online Commentary & Diversions!

• Review: "Castle Waiting #15 - I love that Linda Medley is completely ignoring what makes her setting so interesting for the D&D set and focusing on the characters." - Kevin Church

• Review: "Although aiming at twenty-somethings also interested in getting laid, getting wasted and getting rich, [in Rocky Vol. 2] Kellerman nonetheless manages to move beyond the ever-fertile grounds of the battle of the sexes, bodily functions and morning-after guilt-trips to produce a lot of work that is truly fresh, funny and uniquely personal." - Win Wiacek, Now Read This!

• Review: "Just like Heartbreak Soup and Locas, Luba is hard to put down, and Beto’s art gets better as it gets more experimental... there’s tons of good material here, and the humongous format can’t be beat in terms of bang for your buck." - The A.V. Club

• Review: "The 'family history' graphic novel subgenre can feel overdone at times... but volume one of Carol Tyler’s autobiographical You’ll Never Know is the kind of smartly conceived, affectingly personal work that makes comics and memoirs look fresh... Carol Tyler works wonders with colored pencils and offbeat page designs... the breadth of her visual imagination is so impressive that... overreach is excusable. Also impressive: the thematic complexity of You’ll Never Know... [Grade] A-" - The A.V. Club

• Review: "The handsome hardcover collection The Brinkley Girls brings together a generous sampling of [Nell] Brinkley’s work, leaning heavy on her stories of industrious women and the he-men they love... Brinkley’s art is so drop-dead gorgeous that readers may long to razor out every page to hang on the wall. [Grade] A-" - The A.V. Club (same link as above)

• Review: "...the fantastic Brinkley Girls hardcover put out by Fantagraphics... you would be doing yourself a favor by checking it out. Curse you Fantagraphics, I'm trying to save money you bastards." - This Is Why I Hate You

• Review: "Sally gets the cover in this 11th volume of The Complete Peanuts... Schulz is still in top form here in my opinion. There are few books I laugh at more, or enjoy more thoroughly than these fine collections. Highly recommended!" - Todd Klein

• Preview: Our advance hype for Michael Kupperman's Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 1 has been translated to Español by Cuidadano Pop

• Preview: Robot 6 runs through our Fall/Winter catalog, offering commentary on each upcoming title. A must-read!

• Profile: In The Jewish Standard, Gary VandenBergh looks at the life and career of his father-in-law, Will Elder. Another must-read!

• Interview: The Inkstuds radio program talks with Craig Yoe about his most recent editorial projects, including Boody. The Bizarre Comics of Boody Rogers

• Interview: The CHS Capitol Hill Seattle Blog talks to Ellen Forney and her collaborators in the Capitol Hill art walk about last night's event

• History: Fantagraphics rules 1989-1990 in the "Modern Timeline of Events within the Comics/Movies Industry" from New Destiny Comics

• Things to see: Arlen Specter by Drew Friedman for The New Republic

Quote of the Day
Written by Eric Reynolds | Filed under Joe SaccoFantagraphics history 27 Apr 2009 9:46 AM
"Fantagraphics Books: the foremost comics publisher in Christendom." — Joe Sacco
Daily links: 3/6/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under SupermenreviewsMort WalkerJerry DumasFantagraphics historyEros ComixDennis the Menace 6 Mar 2009 1:34 PM

• Review: Bookgasm says of Supermen!: "...any self-respecting comics fan is going to eat [these stories] up like a Saturday-morning bowl of sugared cereal … and slurp up any leftover milk. If there’s a better gift of comics history this year… well, I’d no doubt fall in love with that one, too... Fantagraphics has done an amazing job in assembling this unique and colorful curio."

• Review: Comics Worth Reading gives "a big tip of the hat to the fine folks at Fantagraphics for getting Sam's Strip back into print after all these decades. As usual, they have spared no expense in putting together a visually excellent package... If you ever had more than a passing interest in newspaper strips, you owe it to yourself to check out this collection."

• Review: The Christian Science Monitor recommends our "beautiful" volumes of Hank Ketcham's Complete Dennis the Menace

• Preview: Monsters and Critics says Supermen! "should get all comics fans excited."

• Preview: La Cárcel de Papel says "do not miss" our previews of Sam's Strip by Mort Walker & Jerry Dumas (according to the Google translation)

• Preview: LaNuez looks at The Tijuana Bibles Vol. 9 (Google translation)

• History: In his Savage Critics post about "vaporware" comics projects culled from the pages of mid-1980s Amazing Heroes Preview Specials, Douglas Wolk digs up our never-produced Alan Moore anthology series and a choice quote from Kim Thompson