The sing-song-i-est new Online Commentaries & Diversions:
• Review:Drawn Blog features a review of Steven Weissman's Barack Hussein Obama. Dustin Harbin says, "[the comics] seem less humorous and more like the slow aggregation of a large portrait, maybe not of the man, but of the time the man is living in."
• Review:The Comics Reporter confirms that Dal Tokyo by Gary Panter is THE book to buy this week. Tom Spurgeon states, "This is really the only book you need this week . . . I've been wanting to read a collected version of Gary Panter's strip for a time longer than all about a dozen personal relationships I currently have."
• Plug: Lots of book lust on the Collected Comics Library for the EC Library editions coming out soon featuring work from like Came the Dawn by Wally Wood,Corpse on the Imjin! by Harvey Kurtzman and future reprints from Al Williamson and Jack Davis. Chris Marshall says, "EC Archives are Dead! Long Live the EC Library!"
• Plug: The sweet people over at Robot 6 on Comic Book Resources started flipping through Previews and flipped out over some of our new releases. John Parkin on Walt Disney's Donald Duck: A Christmas for Shacktown by Carl Barks: "Fantagraphics continues its series of high-end collections of the best of Carl Barks’ duck stories, with the Christmas-themed third volume arriving just in time to be stuffed in somebody’s stocking." Graeme McMillan on The Love and Rockets Reader: From Hoppers to Palomar by Marc Sobel: "As a latecomer to this classic series, I’m looking forward to Marc Sobel’s look back at the first three decades of the work of Los Bros Hernandez to help me get caught up on what I missed the first time around and really need to get in collected edition. I suspect this may end up being an expensive project."
This week's comic shop shipment is slated to include the following new titles. Read on to see what comics-blog commentators and web-savvy comic shops are saying about them (more to be added as they appear), check out our previews at the links, and contact your local shop to confirm availability.
220-page black & white 16.25" x 6.25" hardcover • $35.00 ISBN: 978-1-56097-886-2
"...I’d definitely splurge on Dal Tokyo, Gary Panter’s wonderful sci-fi/punk comic strip, now lovingly collected by Fantagraphics." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6
"Is there a greater splurge purchase this week that Dal Tokyo, the collected version of Gary Panter’s off-kilter comic strip? I plugged this book last week, but it deserves another one. I’ve been waiting for this book for awhile." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6
"Gary Panter‘s Dal Tokyo has been dangled at the end of Fantagraphics’ stick for some time now, and there are people who don’t believe it’s ever going to materialise.... Believe!... The sci-fi/punk mash-up masterpiece is in the building, collected in one volume for the first time." – Gosh! Comics
"People often ask me, 'Joe, why don’t you write substantively about the Fantagraphics and PictureBox releases you rudely shove into the bottom of your column?' My reply is never quite the same, since it’s damn rare to see a release like Dal Tokyo, a 220-page compilation of Gary Panter strips accumulating since 1983 in U.S. and Japanese forums, making this tour of Texas-Tokyo Martian terraforming a bona fide adventure into manga fusion, if drawn as only Panter can. I’d say more, but the cops totally snatched my copy – this thing’s been in the works since circa The Flames of Gyro, or so it feels; $35.00." – Joe McCulloch, The Comics Journal
"This is really the only book you need this week, the only book you need this week of the about five or six you need that are set to come out this calendar year. I've been wanting to read a collected version of Gary Panter's strip for a time longer than all about a dozen personal relationships I currently have. I almost gasped when I saw it for sale at San Diego. If your shop carries this please count yourself a lucky individual even if you need to go get it somewhere else." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
96-page full-color 10.75" x 14.25" hardcover • $29.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-553-2
"Fantagraphics have put together an oversized coffeetable book just for 'the porn classicist who knows his stag film history and lives by the credo, Veni ergo sum.' Is uh… Is that you? If so, this book is just for you. Fantagraphics said so. It’s a collection of remastered 70s porn posters, so if you like retro design or just saw that documentary Wadd once and want to see John Holmes in something other than a tragic pre-death interview: flick through this book. It’s a bit rude though, obviously." – Gosh! Comics
Many of you were first exposed to Gary Panter through his early "Jimbo" comix in Slash and RAW magazines. Or maybe through his brilliant work as set designer for Pee Wee's Playhouse. Old school Seattle residents recall his ubiquitous posters for the Screamers, plastered all over town by the late punk performance artist Tomato du Plenty. An industrial-strength adhesive allowed this alluring image to remain visible for the better part of a decade, becoming one of the enduring motifs of the Northwest punk school. Panter's comix appeared prominently in the seminal Seattle music magazine The Rocket. (Coincidentally, he later married former Rocket art director Helene Silverman.) Come meet Gary at his Dal Tokyo art exhibition and book signing this Saturday, September 8 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery. We'll be taking attendance.
The we'll-need-to-iron-these-papers Online Commentaries & Diversions:
• Interview: Everything is coming up Barnaby this week. On the Westfield Comics, writer Philip Nel and Associate Publisher Eric Reynolds (both editors of the upcoming Barnaby collections) dish on this popular but hard-to-find strip comic by Crockett Johnson. Reynolds states, "If Peanuts was the Beatles, Barnaby was the Velvet Underground." Nel continues, "Yeah. Schulz read Barnaby. Bill Keane read it. Dan Clowes, Spiegelman, and Chris Ware are all fans of it. . . It was a strip the culturally influential loved. So it's important and influential, but it's not something that many people have read because it's not been available or hard to find."
• Review:Scripp News mentions the Barnaby book while conducting a concise account of creator Crockett Johnson's life: "Once a hugely popular comic strip, whose fans included columnist Dorothy Parker, jazz great Duke Ellington and actor W.C. Fields, 'Barnaby' now has been all but forgotten, except by comics aficionados.
• Interview: Creator Gabriella Giandelli of Interiorae was interviewed onSequential Highway by Will Scott. When asked if she sees the world a bit surreal, Giandelli said, "I try to focus on aspects of life related to the magical, the irrational. Life is hard; I place my hopes in finding all the things in the world that seem to be less harsh, less sad. I’m interested in the spirituality of many aspects of life."
• Plug: Chris Mautner mentioned in Food or Comics? on Robot 6 that he'd splurge and spend more than the $30 allotment for Dal Tokyo by Gary Panter. ". . . if my comic shop should happen to get an early copy, I’d definitely splurge on Dal Tokyo, Gary Panter’s wonderful sci-fi/punk comic strip, now lovingly collected by Fantagraphics."
• Plug: Dan Nadel of The Comics Journal boasts about Cartoon Utopia, "Ron [Regé] is one of our very best cartoonists and it’s been too long since we’ve had new material from him."
• Plug:Forbidden Planet gets excited about The Cavalier Mr. Thompson by Rich Tommaso, "It combines a great two colour fine-lined cartoon style, with the era and genre invoking a Darwyn Cooke Parker feel. . .it looks fantastic -lively and humorous. It’s been a while since I’ve been excited about an upcoming book after July’s deluge, so I’ll definitely be grabbing a copy."
• Plug:The Hypo's Noah Van Sciver and comics legend John Porcellino had a boy's night out and just went wild at the pottery painting place in Denver. Purchase your own special Van Sciver or Porcellino porcelain mugs, vases or clocks here.
• Plug: Another drink inspired by Love and Rockets Ghost of Hoppers was created and featured at the Rye on Market in Louisville, KY today. Recipe by bartender Scott Kirkpatrick:
2 oz. Pampero Aniversario Rum (or another aged dark rum) .5 oz Cynar .5 oz Agave Nectar .25 oz Ruby Port 3 dashes blood orange bitters
-combine ingredients in a mixing glass -add ice and stir vigorously -strain into a double glass filled with ice -express and orange peel onto the cocktail and use as garnish
Gary Panter’s Dal Tokyo exhibition and book signing at Fantagraphics Bookstore!
August 23, 2012 – Seattle, WA. Cartoonist Gary Panter has indelibly influenced four decades of American popular culture. Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery celebrates this remarkable artist with an exhibition of original drawings and colorful prints on Saturday, September 8, from 6:00 to 9:00 PM. Panter will appear to sign copies of his new collection Dal Tokyo, published by Seattle-based Fantagraphics Books.
Gary Panter’s manic “Jimbo” comix and dense illustrations were emblematic of California’s punk movement in the 1970s and later became fixtures in Art Spiegleman’s avant garde RAW Magazine anthology. In the 1980s, Panter cultivated a broader audience as set designer for the unlikely hit children’s television franchise Pee Wee’s Playhouse, where his singular aesthetic was recognized with multiple Emmy Awards. He is widely regarded as one on the most innovative artists in contemporary comix, and in 2006 was included in the sensational “Masters of American Comics” traveling exhibition. In recent years, his work has been published by Matt Groening’s Bongo Comics, Drawn & Quarterly, Picture Box, and two previous volumes from Fantagraphics Books: Jimbo in Purgatory and Jimbo’s Inferno. Panter was the recipient of the prestigious 2012 Klein Award, presented by the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art in New York.
The ambitious Dal Tokyo concept occurred to Panter in the early 1970s – (the title is an amalgam of Dallas in his native Texas, and Tokyo, which he once considered an exotic faraway land.) It imagines a frenetic future society on Mars combining cultural motifs from America and Japan. Visual puns, punk, and psychedelic imagery coalesce in this alluring allegory. The strip was serialized for a year in the weekly L. A. Reader and later published monthly in the Japanese magazine Riddum for more than a decade.
Please join us on Saturday, September 8 to welcome this extraordinary artist to Seattle. Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale Street in Seattle’s Georgetown arts community. This event coincides with the colorful Georgetown Art Attack featuring visual and performing arts throughout the historic neighborhood.
Questions? Contact store curator Larry Reid at 206.669.9059. The exhibition will continue through October 10th, 2012.
Gary Panter began imagining Dal Tokyo, a future Mars that is terraformed by Texan and Japanese workers, as far back as 1972, appropriating a friend’s idea about “cultural and temporal collision” (the “Dal” is short for Dallas).
Why Texan and Japanese? Panter says, “Because they are trapped in Texas, Texans are self-mythologizing. Because I was trapped in Texas at the time, I needed to believe that the broken tractor out back was a car of the future. Japanese, I’ll say, because of the exotic far-awayness of Japan from Texas, and because of the Japanese monster movies and woodblock prints that reached out to me in Texas. Japanese monster movies are part of the fabric of Texas.”
In 1983, Panter finally got a chance to fully explore this world, and share it with an audience, when the L.A. Reader published the first 63 strips. A few years later, the Japanese reggae magazine Riddim picked up the strip, and Panter continued the saga of Dal Tokyo in monthly installments for over a decade. But none of these conceptual descriptions will prepare the reader for the confounding visual and verbal richness of Dal Tokyo, as Panter’s famous “ratty line” collides and colludes with near-Joycean wordplay, veering from more or less intelligible jokes to dizzying non-sequiturs to surreal eruptions that can engulf the entire panel in scribbles. One doesn’t read Dal Tokyo; one is absorbed into it and spit out the other side.
The newest (and one old one*) Online Commentaries & Diversions:
•Review:The Hypo by Noah Van Sciver gets theBoing-Boingtreatment. Brian Heater states,"The Hypo's relatively limited scope afford the cartoonist the ability to approach the historical giant as a human, offering an empathetic examination of a troubled individual destined for greatness."
•Review: Heidi MacDonald is excited about The Hypo as well. On The Beat she thinks,"This could be one of the sleeper books of the fall."
•Review:NPR gives Jaime Hernandez's God and Science the run-around and Glen Weldon states, ". . .a book that gleefully grafts a gee-whiz superhuman sensibility onto a set of nuanced, all-too-human relationships. Within its breezily charming pages, the pointless battle between capes-lovers and capes-haters subsides: detente at last."
•Review: The Tearoom of Despair reviews Love and Rockets #28 from a loooong time ago because as Bob Temuka says it is "the perfect comic."
•Plug:The Huffington Post uses some panels from Love and Rockets story "100 Rooms" to illustrate making art in New York and Daniel Maidman says "it changed my life."
•Plug: Graeme McMillan of Robot 6 at Comic Book Resources is adding Gilbert Herandez's graphic novel Julio's Day to his buy list for October. ". . . this never-collected Gilbert Hernandez strip from the second series of L&R is one of those things that goes on my 'Want' list almost as soon as I discovered it existed."
•Plug: Old Spock drawing by Jaime Hernandez on Comics Alliance in Best Art Ever (This Week) by Andy Khouri.
•Interview:Brokelyn interviews three indie cartoonists on 'making it' and sacrifices. Eye of the Majestic Creature's Leslie Stein tells Brad Pearson, "I love drawing New York; it provides so many details for street scenes, from all the shops and people to seemingly insignificant things like takeout menus shoved in doorways and gum spots on the cement. The energy of New York is very inspiring. Everyone is here for a reason; everyone is creative."
•Review:CBR recently found the original Mark of the Bat, Josh Simmons' made before it was compiled in The Furry Trap. Matt Seneca states". . . the violence here is far from entertaining. It hits like real violence does, as something that shouldn’t be happening, and by forcing the audience to recognize it as such, it casts our gaze back from Simmons’ bootleg onto all the “real” Batman comics we’ve read. . .The proof is here: comics isn’t about “creating IP” or “managing franchises,” and it never will be. It’s about making as bold a statement as you possibly can with nothing more than ink and paper."
•Plug:The Comics Reporter talks about the state of our interns, L&R and Tom Spurgeon is rather obsessed about Dal Tokyo by Gary Panter: "It seems like that we should be freaking out about this a little bit. I used to dream about reading that work. Granted, I don't have much of a dream life, but Dal Tokyo is basically out."
•Review:Out.Com can't stop talking about No Straight Lines. Jerry Portwood says "You won't find erotic comics or manga, so don't even start. But you will find everything from 'lesbian underground comix, to gay newspaper strips, to bi punk zines, to trans webcomics, and dealing with everything from coming out, to marriage equality, to the AIDS epidemic, to hilarious dance styles, and bad choices for a one-night stand'."
•Commentary:Projects of Design posted photos and recipes for their Significant Objects drinks from the release party. "It was only fitting that we fête the culmination of the Significant Objects project by honoring the supposed junk items that were raw material for this experiment. Faculty member Emilie Baltz invited three mixologists to have their own hand in creating drinkable odes to some of the items found in the book."
* Did you figure out the older review? Winners receive smug sense of self-worth!