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Category >> Fantagraphics history

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 4:09 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 10:46 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 2:34 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

Daily links: 2/24/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tori MikiRichard SalaPaul KarasikLilli CarréKrazy KatJeremy EatonFantagraphics historyBeasts 24 Feb 2009 1:34 PM

• Review: J. Caleb Mozzocco says The Lagoon by Lilli Carré is "a great comic"

• Review: Parka Blogs looks at Beasts! Book 1

• History: Furry 101 reprints a 1992 article cementing Fantagraphics' place in mid-to-late 1980s furry culture with our brief heyday of anthropomorphic comics

• List: Sporadic Sequential recommends Anywhere but Here by Tori Miki if you're looking for funny manga

• For comiXology, our own Kristy Valenti looks at George Herriman's illustrations for archy and mehitabel

• Things to see: On the Covered blog, Paul Karasik takes Jimmy Olsen into the 3rd dimension, sort of

• Things to see (and buy): "Comic Panel Cut-Ups" from Jeremy Eaton

• Things to see: Richard Cowdry gathers all of Richard Sala's "Invisible Hands" in one place thanks to the miracle of YouTube

Tom & Thompson
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Fantagraphics history 22 Dec 2008 1:44 PM
This is a must-read and deserves its own post: The Comics Reporter's Tom Spurgeon talks with Fantagraphics Vice-President and Co-Publisher Kim Thompson about a range of topics relating to Fantagraphics past and future.
Daily links: 12/18/08
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under walt holcombeTed StearnPopeyeMomeLove and RocketsLos Bros HernandezLinda MedleyLilli CarréKrazy KatKevin HuizengaJules FeifferJosh SimmonsJohnny RyanJohn PhamFletcher HanksFantagraphics historyDash Shawcomics industryCathy MalkasianBeasts 18 Dec 2008 3:43 PM

• Inside baseball: in a must-read slice of industry history from the mid-1980s, former Fantagraphics staffer Dave Olbrich comes clean about the debacle of the Jack Kirby Awards. Be sure to check the comments for official reaction from Kim Thompson

Cartoon Brew recommends Fuzz & Pluck: Splitsville by Ted Stearn

Comics - History & Price Guides takes note of Krazy & Ignatz 1931-1932 by George Herriman

Stella Matutina says Castle Waiting by Linda Medley would "make a great present for the fairy tale-loving feminist in your life"

Rob Clough reviews Sublife Vol. 1 by John Pham

Jim Hanley's Universe recommends Percy Gloom by Cathy Malkasian as a Staff Pick

The Seattle Times includes Beasts! Book 1 and Book 2 in their listing of new local book offerings

An explosion of end-of-year lists:

USA TODAY Pop Candy places Lilli Carré at #58 on the list of "Top 100 People of 2008" 

Book By Its Cover includes Beasts! Book 2 in their Top 10 of 2008

Jeff Smith says Popeye Vol. 3: "Let's You and Him Fight!" by E.C. Segar was a favorite of 2008

Robert Boyd names Jules Feiffer's Explainers and the Hernandez Brothers' Love and Rockets: New Stories #1 two of "The Best Comics of 2008"

Brian Nicholson places Bottomless Belly Button by Dash Shaw at the top of his list of Best Comics for the year, with Ganges #2 by Kevin Huizenga not far behind

Dustin Harbin's top 10 "Best Comics of 2008" has Bottomless Belly Button at #2, Popeye Vol. 3 at #4, and Ganges #2 at #7

Johnny Bacardi puts Love and Rockets: New Stories #1 on his "2008 Personal 10 Best in Comics" list (previously noted, but I forgot the link)

Mindless Ones names I Shall Destroy All the Civilized Planets! by Fletcher Hanks a "Top Comic of 2008" (yes, it came out in 2007 but I think they're UK)

• At comiXology, Tucker Stone unveils #30-11 of his "Best Comics of 2008," with Mome Vol. 12, Jessica Farm Vol. 1 by Josh Simmons, Angry Youth Comix Vol. II #14 by Johnny Ryan, and Love and Rockets: New Stories #1 making the list

GraphicNovelReporter names Bottomless Belly Button one of their "Best Graphic Novels of 2008"

• On the Forbidden Planet International blog, Mike Carey names Things Just Get Away from You by Walt Holcombe ("a strange little masterpiece") and Jessica Farm Vol. 1 ("willfully perverse") as two of his three favorite comics of the year

(Hat tip to Largehearted Boy's diligent compilation of "Best of 2008" Book Lists for a few of these links.)

How I pissed off Steve Ditko
Written by Eric Reynolds | Filed under Steve DitkoFantagraphics history 8 May 2008 12:41 PM

With our forthcoming opus STRANGE & STRANGE: THE WORLD OF STEVE DITKO hitting in just a few weeks, I thought I would share a brief Steve Ditko story. About ten years ago we had the great fortune of publishing a new series by Mr. Ditko, STEVE DITKO'S STRANGE AVENGING TALES. This was incredibly exciting to me, having been a lifelong Ditko fan. Unfortunately, I did not get to interact much with Mr. Ditko. See, I do all of our promotion, and to say that Mr. Ditko is not big on promotion is like saying the Pope is not big on gay marriage. And, he preferred snail mail to phone. As such, I did not have many opportunities to interact with one of the greatest comic book artists of all-time. Except one.

At the time, the venerable fan publication COMICS BUYERS GUIDE was very excited about Mr. Ditko's new series, and CBG Editor Maggie Thompson was kind enough to offer us the cover of an issue to promote the book, but asked if Mr. Ditko would provide an original cover for CBG. As I recall, Gary Groth ran the idea by Ditko and, somewhat surprisingly, he was game. So, I mailed Mr. Ditko all of the appropriate specifications for creating an original CBG cover. A week or so later, I received the following postcard in the mail:

I have to say, getting a postcard in the mail from Steve Ditko was just about the coolest thing ever. I was jazzed. I of course promptly wrote him back with enthusiasm, hoping to cement our acquaintanceship, telling him that I looked forward to the piece.

Soon thereafter, as promised, Ditko delivered the cover, and it was great -- a beautiful, greytoned wash illustration tying into the new series.

And here's where I made my mistake. As I recall, I wrote him back even more enthusiastically, thanking him for the piece. In an effort to be as thorough as possible, and since we still had some time before CBG's deadline, I reminded him (in case he hadn't seen an issue recently) that CBG had just switched from a B&W newspaper format to a tabloid format with color covers , and so color did remain an option if he was so inclined -- I just wanted to make sure he wasn't limiting himself to B&W because he thought he had to.

Anyway, a week or so later I got this postcard:

Reading the card now, I'm not even sure if he was actually that upset. I mean, he still sent his "regards," so maybe he was just trying to be as clear as possible, but at the time, I was convinced I'd royally pissed him off and felt terrible about it. I still do. Shortly after this, Ditko quit the series over other disagreements with Gary Groth, and only the first issue was published. So I never got the chance to prove to Mr. Ditko that I wasn't a moron.

I suppose, given Mr. Ditko's philosophical worldview, I never should have doubted that B&W cover. Maybe it was the shades of grey that threw me off. Either way, the pure white, economic postcards should have been a reminder that Mr. Ditko knew exactly what he was doing and I never should have questioned him.

STRANGE & STRANGER hits early next month. Apologies in advance, Mr. Ditko.

Weirdos: interactive slideshow with audio
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under metaflogcastFantagraphics historyevents 7 May 2008 4:25 PM

The Rocket - August 1986 - cover by Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez

If you weren't able to make it to Larry Reid's slide lecture "Weirdos: Seattle’s Alternative Comics Culture in the Context of R. Crumb’s Underground" at the Frye Art Museum last month, or if you were and want to re-live it, we are very pleased to present it here on the website in a nifty interactive format. Stream or download the MP3 audio and follow along with the slides at the "ding," just like back in grade school! (You can also read the text of the lecture and browse the slides at your own pace, if you prefer.) Larry's speech is informative, entertaining and opinionated as always, and the slideshow includes a wealth of seldom-seen imagery like the Rocket cover by the Brothers Hernandez pictured above. Click here to dive on in!

Logo Lore
Written by Eric Reynolds | Filed under Love and RocketsFantagraphics history 2 May 2008 7:42 AM

I've been around Fantagraphics for 15 years now, but I never knew that comic book letterer extraordinaire Todd Klein designed not only the original LOVE & ROCKETS logo, but also a slew of other early Fantagraphics logo designs (who can forget the great "Elfquest Gatherum"?!). You learn something new every day.

Flog! Photo Friday Finale!
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Fantagraphics history 28 Mar 2008 2:35 PM

And now the pièce de résistance, found in Gary Groth's office:

Watching

 Wait for it...

Schmoopie

We shit you not.