• Review: "Blazing Combat... [is] packed with gloriously miserable... war stories covering everything from the battle of Thermopylae to Vietnam... all beautifully captured by comics legends like Archie Goodwin, Alex Toth, Joe Orlando, and Gene Colan in appropriately murky grays... Fantagraphics has slapped together a nice, hefty... hardbound collection that's worth a read, whether you're a comic nerd, war buff, one-legged veteran, or one of those snooty I-only-read-graphic-novels types. Bombs away." - Jonah Spangenthal-Lee, The Stranger
• Review: "Miss Lasko-Gross's autobiographical comics are the best in the field since [Lynda] Barry and Phoebe Gloeckner put pen to paper. A Mess of Everything is a collection of short (mostly two to three pages) cartoons about high school. All of Lasko-Gross's cartoons are told mostly in shades of gray and brown, and they're brief, unsentimental anecdotes about shoplifting, pointless rebellion, and boys who fall in love too easily." - Paul Constant, The Stranger
• Review: "[Mome] Volume 14 is the best issue yet. About half of the contributors are new to the anthology, and their work — especially 'The Carnival,' Lilli Carré's bizarre, wistful story of damaged love at a state fair, and Spanish cartoonists Hernán Miyoga and Juaco Vizuete's noir about corruption and fame, 'The New Servant' — is skillful, funny, and possessed of a confident literary quality that many cartoonists, try as they might, can never achieve." - Paul Constant, The Stranger
• Review: "...[T]he Luba stories interweave into a panoramic soap opera that are as much about her friends and extended family as about her, a vast, chaotic superstory of a kind most comics creators can only fantasize about creating... [R]ead individually the stories are good, but read as a unit they really take on a surrealistic yet concrete life, infused throughout with a random coherence that nonetheless unifies into a real experience. It's an impressive act." - Steven Grant, Comic Book Resources
• Review: "If [Fletcher] Hanks’s stories were fascinating for their anger, lunacy, and wild urgency, then these rediscovered gems [in Boody. The Bizarre Comics of Boody Rogers] are a revelation for being every bit as strange, but seemingly on purpose. It’s akin to David Bowie coming along and taking the unstoppable id of The Ramones and The Stooges and crafting something much more complex and layered... Get it together, America. Check out this strange book and dare to dream, one last time, because dark days are ahead, and when the bullets start flying you’ll wish you spent more time laughing." - Tom Batten, Brick Weekly
"Poison River, a graphic novel by Gilbert Hernandez, gave me a master lesson in real writing. It was beautiful beyond words and violent and tender and heartbreaking. From that moment on, I knew what kind of writer I wanted to be. It's the great unknown novel of the 20th Century." - Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Diaz (The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao), "Life-Changing Art," Baltimore Magazine
We're very grateful to Diaz for his public love of Love and Rockets, and Oscar Wao is definitely recommended for L&R fans.
• Review: Comics Waiting Room on Ho! The Morally Questionable Cartoons of Ivan Brunetti: "...[I]f the material printed Ho! had been created in, say, Soviet Russia, Ivan would be the biggest star in the gulag. As it is, he’s one of the most twisted and funny motherfuckers putting pen to paper right in the U.S. of A. And I’m damned proud he’s one of us... Brunetti’s latest work is as strong as ever, and maybe even sicker. He’s an amazing cartoonist, and I respect his work immensely, even when some of it makes me queasy… especially if it makes me laugh then feel queasy."
• Reviews: The "What Are You Reading?" column at Robot 6 includes Tom Bondurant on Gilbert Hernandez's Heartbreak Soup ("At first I was afraid that Beto was introducing so many characters I wouldn’t be able to keep up with them, but the deeper I go into the book the better he manages everyone. The writing reminds me of Will Eisner’s slice-of-life stuff from his later career..."), Tim O'Shea on The Complete Peanuts 1969-1970 ("The intro by Mo Willems is great insight into what appealed to many about the series..."), Chris Mautner on A Mess of Everything by Miss Lasko-Gross ("[It] shows a good deal of progression [from Escape from "Special"], both in terms of storytelling and artistry"), and Jeff Lester on The Comics Journal Library Vol. 6: The Writers ("for which a more accurate title might have been 'Gary Groth Browbeats Bewildered Comics Writers'")
• Preview: Urban Aesthete looks at the forthcoming Abstract Comics anthology
• Profile: The Seattle Weekly, previewing Jaime's visit to Seattle, nicely describes Love and Rockets: "It’s a mutable universe that skips between characters at older and younger stages of life, where buxom pro wrestling queens, spaceship mechanics, and touring hardcore bands buoyantly intersect. No one stays lost for long; no grievance goes unforgotten; and deep-fried jungle slugs forever remain a delicacy."
• Review: Sean T. Collins on Supermen! The First Wave of Comic Book Heroes 1936-1941: "...[T]his... anthology of early superhero comics is, like Paul Karasik's Fletcher Hanks collection and DC's Jack Kirby omnibuses before it, a real 'here's how it's done' moment. Entertaining, left-field subject matter; eye-pleasing design; tactile paper stock; color technique and reproduction values that neither hide the material behind the haze of nostalgia nor try to mask its primitive origins with out-of-place high-gloss modernity; manageable length and heft; art presented at a powerful but not brobdingnagian size... truly [we are] living in the Golden Age of Reprints."
If you thought you'd never see a new Love and Rockets comic book again: surprise! Our 2009 Free Comic Book Day offering is a preview of this summer's second annual issue of Love and Rockets: New Stories! Official description: "This preview edition includes a sizeable chapter of the second half of Jaime's amazing super-hero romp 'Ti-Girls Adventures,' as well as Gilbert Hernandez's typically unique 'Chest Fever,' both from the upcoming Love and Rockets: New Stories #2, plus selections from #1 and a new cover by Gilbert and Jaime!" Head to the FCBD website for an exclusive sneak preview download, and visit your participating local comics shop (call to confirm participation and availability) on Saturday, May 2 to pick up your copy! (Yes, we will have them at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery; no, they will not be available online.)
Now available for preview and pre-order: Luba, the long-awaited hardcover sequel to Palomar by Gilbert Hernandez. This 600-page tome collects over 100 stories chronicling the experiences of the imposing matriarch and her extended family in America. This book is scheduled to be in stock in early April and in stores approximately 4 weeks later.
View a photo & video slideshow preview embedded here. Click here if it is not visible, and/or to view it larger in a new window (recommended). And at our product info page you can download a PDF of an exclusive 26-page excerpt!
L to R: Gilbert Hernandez, Natalia Hernandez & Jaime Hernandez.
Fuck hyperbole. Just fuck it. It doesn't exist when it comes to Gilbert & Jaime Hernandez. Is there any doubt, ANY DOUBT WHATSOEVER, that they are two of the greatest cartoonists? I dare you.
The exquisite and lovely Jean Schulz signs copies of The Complete Peanuts. I've been left astounded, the handful of times I've had the good fortune to chat with Jean Schulz at Comic-Con. She radiates calm just by saying "Hello," and that's saying something considering the din and cacophony of Comic-Con.
At his booth, Jordan Crane "takes a call." Look at all that beauitful stuff!
Sammy The Mouse author zak Sally studies his phone. I'm not sure which day it was, but after the show we went to this burrito place for eats. I was in line to order and about every 30 seconds or so I'd hear some form of befuddlement or rage coming from our table and I'd look over to see zak laughing and cursing at his phone like a crazy person. So I took a picture.
There is no reason for a cup to be this large... I have certain dietary restrictions when I'm at Comic-Con... I must eat burritos every night and I insist on drinking pop from a bucket! Free refills!
• Review: Dutch blog Koen says of Dash Shaw's Bottomless Belly Button (according to the Google translation) that "Shaw proves himself a master of the portrayal of inner pain and dysfunctional relationships without being depressing, with the addition of humor and mystery... This book is one of the best comics of 2008."
• Preview: Introducing an exlusive 7-page excerpt from Unlovable Vol. 1 by Esther Pearl Watson, New York Magazine says "Tammy [Pierce]'s hopes, dreams, and humiliations are brought vividly to life in Watson's grotesque-but-touching book Unlovable. Even if you never wore leg warmers with high heels, you'll still recognize your teenage self in Tammy Pierce's unguarded, most secret thoughts. And if you did wear leg warmers with heels, well, maybe this was your diary."
• Blurb: Italian blog Nuvole Parlanti, looking at Birdland, calls Gilbert Hernandez "the king of American erotic comics"