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The EC Comics Slipcase Vol. 1
The EC Comics Slipcase Vol. 1
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Cosplayers
Cosplayers
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Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Trail of the Unicorn (The Complete Carl Barks Disney Library Vol. 8) [U.S./CANADA ONLY]
Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Trail of the Unicorn (The Complete Carl Barks Disney Library Vol. 8) [U.S./CANADA ONLY]
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Batter Up, Charlie Brown!
Batter Up, Charlie Brown!
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Upcoming Arrivals

Buz Sawyer Vol. 3: Typhoons and Honeymoons [Pre-Order]
Buz Sawyer Vol. 3: Typhoons and Honeymoons [Pre-Order]
Price: $39.99

Buddy Buys a Dump: The Complete Buddy Bradley Stories from "Hate" Comics Vol. 3 (2000-2013) [Pre-Order]
Buddy Buys a Dump: The Complete Buddy Bradley Stories from
Price: $19.99

The Love Bunglers [Pre-Order]
The Love Bunglers [Pre-Order]
Price: $19.99

more upcoming titles...
 

Category >> Hal Foster

First Look: Prince Valiant: Free Comic Book Day Special Edition
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Prince ValiantpreviewsHal FosterComing Attractions 15 Mar 2013 4:25 PM

Prince Valiant FCBD comic

We're galloping up on Free Comic Book Day and we just got advance copies of our special FCBD comic featuring Hal Foster's Prince Valiant! This swell 32-pager contains 2 sequences of Foster's strip from 1950, reformatted and edited for the comic book format. (You'll be able to find the original strips in all their glory in Prince Valiant Vol. 7, coming this Summer!) Check out a PDF preview of the first 7 pages, courtesy the fine FCBD folks.

You'll be able to pick up your FREE copy of this special comic exclusively at participating comic shops on Saturday, May 4, 2013. Lots of shops have sales on FCBD so it'll be a great time to pick up available volumes in our Prince Valiant series!

Daily OCD 2/7/12
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Tom KaczynskiNico VassilakisMichael KuppermanLast VispoJoost SwarteJohnny RyanHal FosterDaily OCDCrag Hill 7 Feb 2013 3:44 PM

 The thinly-veiled excuse to come over of Online Commentaries & Diversions:

Prince Valiant Vol. 6  

• Review: The Comics Reporter reviewed Prince Valiant Vol. 6: 1947-1948 by Hal Foster. Tom Spurgeon writes, "The comic in this attractively-packaged and produced edition gives off the handsome sheen of mass entertainment that knows its commercial value. Prince Valiant may be 75, but this material at least still has all its hair and a hell of a tan." Damn, did Tom Spurgeon pick an excellent image or what?

The Last Vispo

• Review: Rain Taxi looks at The Last Vispo edited by Crag Hill and Nico Vassilakis. Chris Funkhouser writes, "With each turn of a page in The Last Vispo Anthology, we experience yet another imaginative method uniting thought and expression through visual representation.…The Last Vispo Anthology contains an abundance of wordless, asemic writing that by definition demands a type of integral participation, far beyond interpretation, by the reader."

Tales Designed to Thrizzle

• Review: Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 2 by Michael Kupperman is reviewed by Richard Pachter in the Miami Herald. "Humor and profundity collide and embrace once again, as his straight-faced retro art illuminates the never-ending, laugh-out-loud absurdity."

Beta Testing the Apocalypse

• Review: The Miami Herald and Richard Pachter look at Beta Testing the Apocalypse by Tom Kaczynski. "He combines socioeconomic fact, fantasy and farce in this seriously paranoid criticism of modernity, and the result is a disturbing but hilarious tale of identity loss and consumerism run amok."

• Review: The Morton Report and Bill Baker interview Tom Kaczynski about Beta Testing the Apocalypse. Kaczynski says, "J.G. Ballard was big influence, especially on the first four stories in the book. I was reading all of his books at the time I worked on them and his world view contaminated everything I was doing."

Prison Pit Book Four

• Review: The Comics Journal and Sean T. Collins review Johnny Ryan's Prison Pit Book 4. It "made even a seasoned hand at the rough stuff like me emit weary moans of repulsion and disgust with seemingly each new pustule-encrusted beast that appearedTo spend a prolonged period of time in Prison Pit is to open your mental orifice to Ryan’s razor-studded art-cock"

Jaime Hernandez Joose Swarte

• Plug: University of Texas (El Paso) is fundraising for "The Hernandez Brothers Collection of Hispanic Comics and Cartoon Art at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), which is named after Jaime, Gilbert and Mario Hernandez and has as its mission the preservation and sharing of comics materials from or featuring Hispanics/Latino/as/Chicana/os" as posted on the Comics Reporter. There is a Jaime special edition art print available so act now!

• Review: Martin Wisse profiles Joost Swarte in video form. A must.


Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/02/03/3210819/zombies-teen-angst-and-more-in.html#storylink=cpy#storylink=cpy"
 

•Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/02/03/3210819/zombies-teen-angst-and-more-in.html#storylink=cpy#storylink=cp

Hal's Pals
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Prince ValiantHal Fosterartists 5 Feb 2013 1:55 PM

Valiant Friends

Hal Foster, creator of the legendary strip Prince Valiant (and the happy haircut of the same name) and the comics strip adaptation of Tarzan, has a solid group of friends. In 2002 “The Friends of Hal Foster Society” began in Halifax, Nova Scotia by a group of 'Haligonians' after Brian Kane's Foster bio was published. Their goal? Educate tourists and citizens about Foster and currently working on a permanent memorial to Hal’s birthplace. Hal’s Pals resident researcher, Kevin Sollows has continued delving into Foster’s childhood in Halifax, and has created a website with his findings.

Please take the time to scroll through the pages to see the house Foster grew up in, and other interesting things about Hal’s past! How much do you think influenced the lush landscapes of Prince Valiant? For that you may have to visit Halifax yourself.

Valiant knight

Wanna join the gang? Call at 902.425.2140 or send a letter to "Friends of Hal Foster", 5262 Sackville Street, Hallifax, Nova Scotia, B3J 1K8

"I spent so much time on the waterfront that I still exhale a pungent aroma of tarred rope & dried codfish." –Hal Foster.

Fantagraphics January 2013 New Arrivals Recap
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tom KaczynskiThe Comics JournalRobert CrumbPrince Valiantnew releasesMichael KuppermanJames RombergerJack JacksonHal FosterDavid WojnarowiczAlexander Theroux 5 Feb 2013 11:39 AM

Well folks, it's our first batch of 2013 releases and a swell batch it is.

In the past month we've received the gorgeous new definitive edition of the '90s cult classic 7 Miles a Second; Tom Kaczyinski's acclaimed short story collection Beta Testing the Apocalypse; the mammoth new issue of The Comics Journal; a reprint of a Complete Crumb Comics volume loaded with Fritz the Cat classics (and a sweet deal on multiple volumes); Alexander Theroux's encyclopedic, entertaining rant The Grammar of Rock (with Crumb on the cover); true Tejas tales in Jack Jackson's American History: Los Tejanos & Lost Cause; an essential new volume of Hal Foster's Prince Valiant; and the new 2nd hardcover collection of Michael Kupperman's hilarious Tales Designed to Thrizzle!

Remember, our New Releases page always lists the 20 most recent arrivals, and our Upcoming Arrivals page has dozens of future releases available for pre-order.

(Want these updates in your inbox every month? Subscribe!


7 Miles a Second by David Wojnarowicz, James Romberger & Marguerite Van Cook

7 Miles a Second
by David Wojnarowicz, James Romberger and Marguerite Van Cook

68-page full-color 9" x 12" hardcover • $19.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-614-0

See Previews / Order Now

7 Miles a Second is the story of legendary artist David Wojnarowicz, written during the last years before his AIDS-related death in 1992. Artists James Romberger and Marguerite Van Cook unsentimentally depict Wojnarowicz's childhood of hustling on the streets of Manhattan, through his adulthood living with AIDS, and his anger at the indifference of government and health agencies. A primal scream of a graphic novel, 7 Miles a Second blends the stark reality of Lower East Side street life with a psychedelic delirium that artfully conveys Wojnarowicz's sense of rage, urgency, mortality and a refusal to be silent.

Originally published as a comic book in 1996 by DC's Vertigo Comics, 7 Miles a Second was an instant critical success and has become a cult classic amongst fans of literary and art comics, just as Wojnarowicz's influence and reputation have widened in the larger art world. This new edition finally presents the artwork as it was intended: oversized, and with Van Cook's elegant watercolors restored. It also includes several new pages created for this edition.

"Revolutionary.... a runaway, over-the-top circus... An excursion into areas few, if any, comics creators have tread." – Jim Steranko

"Seven Miles a Second veers between an almost unbearably gritty naturalism and the incendiary heat of surrealist hallucination." – The New Yorker

"A revelatory work of art." – Art in America

"A cult classic... both a celebration of the unlimited potential of the comic book form, and a perfect melding of inspiring, iconoclastic imaginations." – Jim Jarmusch


Beta Testing the Apocalypse by Tom Kaczynski

Beta Testing the Apocalypse
by Tom Kaczynski

136-page two-color 6.5" x 9.25" softcover • $19.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-541-9

See Previews / Order Now

It would be easy to call Tom Kaczynski the J.G. Ballard of comics. Like Ballard, Kaczynski’s comics riff on dystopian modernity, bleak man-made landscapes and the psychological effects of technological, social or environmental developments. Yet while Kaczynski shares many of Ballard’s obsessions, he processes them in unique ways. His visual storytelling adds an architectural dimension that the written word alone lacks.

Kaczynski takes abstract ideas — capitalism, communism, or utopianism — and makes them tangible. He depicts and meditates on the immense political and technological structures and spaces we inhabit that subtly affect and define the limits of who we are and the freedom we as Americans presume to enjoy. Society and the individual, in perpetual tension. Once you’ve read Kaczynski’s comics, it should come as no surprise to learn that he studied architecture before embarking on a career as a cartoonist.

Beta Testing includes approximately 10 short stories, most notably "The New," a brand new story created expressly for this book. It’s Kaczynski’s longest story to date. "The New" is set in an unnamed third-world megalopolis. It could be Dhaka, Lagos or Mumbai. The city creaks under the pressure of explosive growth. Whole districts are built in a week. The story follows an internationally renowned starchitect as he struggles to impose his vision on the metropolis. A vision threatened by the massive dispossessed slum-proletariat inhabiting the slums and favelas on the edges of the city. From the fetid ferment of garbage dumps and shanties emerges a new feral architecture.


The Comics Journal #302 - Maurice Sendak cover

The Comics Journal #302
edited by Mike Dean & Kristy Valenti; Gary Groth, Executive Editor

672-page black & white/color 7" x 8.5" softcover
ISBN: 978-1-60699-603-4

See Previews / Order Now

The newly formatted, 600+ page Comics Journal proved a resounding success with 2011’s edition. 2012’s Volume 302 is sure to prove just as essential and exciting to comics readers worldwide.

This edition’s cover feature is a long, intimate interview-portrait with and of Maurice Sendak, the greatest and most successful children’s book author of the 20th — and 21st — century, the author of Where the Wild Things Are, In the Night Kitchen, Outside Over There, Higglety Piggelty Pop, and the illustrator of works by Herman Melville, Leo Tolstoy, and Randall Jarrell. In his longest published interview (and one of the last before his death in 2012), Sendak looks back over a career spanning over 60 years and talks to Gary Groth about art, life, and death (especially death), how his childhood, his parents, and his siblings affected his art and outlook, his search for meaning — and also, on the lighter side, about his love (and hate) of movies. And his unbridled comments on the political leadership of the previous decade have already garnered national media attention and controversy.

Sharing equal billing in this issue's flip-book format: Kim Thompson conducts a career-spanning interview with French graphic novel pioneer Jacques Tardi. The two explore the Eisner Award-winner’s genre-spanning oeuvre comprising historical fiction, action-adventure, crime-thriller, “icepunk” and more, focusing on Tardi's working methods (with step by step illustration), collaborations and other media (such as film and animation), and his fascination with World War I. Plus, Matthias Wivel examines Tardi's adaptation of Léo Malet's 120, Rue de la Gare.

Also in this issue, Art Spiegelman conducts a wide-ranging aesthetic colloquy on classic kids’ comics (Carl Barks’s Donald Duck, John Stanley’s Little Lulu, Sheldon Mayer’s Sugar and Spike, and many more) with a group of comics critics and historians. Bob Levin provides a revelatory investigation of the twisted history of the "Keep on Truckin’" litigation and a fascinating biographical portrait of R. Crumb’s lawyer, Albert Morse. Warren Bernard writes a ground-breaking historical investigation of the 1954 Senate Subcommittee Hearing on Juvenile Delinquency. R.C. Harvey looks at Bill Hume's Babysan and Donald Phelps examines Percy Crosby's Skippy. And a tribute to the late Dylan Williams from his peers and the artists he published.

Plus: “How to Draw Buz Sawyer” by renowned newspaper cartoonist Roy Crane (and a previously unpublished interview), a new comic by Joe Sacco and one by Lewis Trondheim in English for the first time, Tim Kreider on Chester Brown, Tom Crippen on Mort Weisinger and Superman, Rich Kreiner on "difficult comics," and a visual gallery of and commentary on proto-comics.

The Comics Journal has been for 37 years the world’s foremost critical magazine about comics. It is now more vital than ever, a gigantic print compendium of critiques, interviews, and comics.


The Complete Crumb Comics Vol. 2: Some More Early Years of Bitter Struggle (New Softcover Ed.)  by Robert Crumb

The Complete Crumb Comics Vol. 3: Starring Fritz the Cat (New Softcover Ed.)
by Robert Crumb

128-page black & white/color 8.5" x 11" softcover • $19.99
ISBN: 978-0-93019-375-1

See Previews / Order Now

Starring Fritz the Cat includes Crumb's classic original Fritz stories from 1965, including "Fritz Bugs Out" and "Fritz the Cat, Special Agent for the CIA," the first two "real" stories in the Fritz canon, as well as "Fritz the Cat, Ace Statesman," four pages of a previously unpublished Fritz story, and several Fritz illos never before printed in color. Plus: Crumb's first published work from Help! and Yell, including the "Harlem Sketchbook" and the "Bulgarian Sketchbook," most never before reprinted; two dozen of his Topps trading cards, plus extremely rare promotional items, as well as many creeting cards done for American Greetings, several in full color; and many pages of strips from Crumb's 20-year-old sketchbooks. Plus more of Marty Pahls's ongoing Crumb biography, including the story of Crumb's first acid trip, with more rare photos of the young Crumb!

1989 Harvey Award Winner, Best Domestic Reprint Project

Buy Two, Get One Half Off! When ordering this volume, add any two other available volumes from The Complete Crumb Comics series and the third volume will be half price! See product page for more details.


The Grammar of Rock: Art and Artlessness in 20th Century Pop Lyrics by Alexander Theroux

The Grammar of Rock: Art and Artlessness in 20th Century Pop Lyrics
by Alexander Theroux

352-page 6.25" x 9.25" hardcover • $28.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-616-4

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National Book Award nominee, critic and one of America’s least compromising satirists, Alexander Theroux takes a comprehensive look at the colorful language of pop lyrics and the realm of rock music in general in The Grammar of Rock: silly song titles; maddening instrumentals; shrieking divas; clunker lines; the worst (and best) songs ever written; geniuses of the art; movie stars who should never have raised their voice in song but who were too shameless to refuse a mic; and the excesses of awful Christmas recordings. Praising (and critiquing) the gems of lyricists both highbrow and low, Theroux does due reverence to classic word-masters like Ira Gershwin, Jimmy Van Heusen, Cole Porter, and Sammy Cahn, lyricists as diverse as Hank Williams, Buck Ram, the Moody Blues, and Randy Newman, Dylan and the Beatles, of course, and more outré ones like the Sex Pistols, the Clash, Patti Smith, the Fall (even Ghostface Killah), but he considers stupid rhymes, as well — nonsense lyrics, chop logic, the uses and abuses of irony, country music macho, verbal howlers, how voices sound alike and why, and much more.

In a way that no one else has ever done, with his usual encyclopedic insights into the state of the modern lyric, Theroux focuses on the state of language — the power of words and the nature of syntax — in The Grammar of Rock. He analyzes its assaults on listeners’ impulses by investigating singers’ styles, pondering illogical lunacies in lyrics, and deconstructing the nature of diction and presentation in the language. This is that rare book of discernment and probing wit (and not exclusively one that is a critical defense of quality) that positively evaluates the very nature of a pop song, and why one over another has an effect on the listener.


Jack Jackson's American History: Los Tejanos & Lost Cause

Jack Jackson's American History: Los Tejanos & Lost Cause
by Jack Jackson

320-page black & white 7.5" x 10.25" hardcover • $35.00
ISBN: 978-1-60699-504-4

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Jack Jackson loved American history and creating comics. He combined these into a single vocation and created a legacy of historical graphic novels that has never been equaled.

Jackson is credited with creating what many consider the first underground comic, God Nose, in 1964. He co-founded Rip-Off Press in 1969, and made some of the most scathing satirical comics about contemporary America ever seen. But, Jackson was a Texan, and in the 1970s he returned to his roots and began writing and drawing short historical comics about Texas history. He then went on to produce six graphic novels chronicling 19th century Western history focusing on his beloved Texas and the Plains Indians. Fantagraphics, which published Los Tejanos originally in 1981, is proud to bring his graphic histories back into print in a series of three volumes, each reprinting two of his long narratives.

The first volume features Los Tejanos, which Fantagraphics published as a solo book in 1981, and Lost Cause (1998) — chronicling Texas history before and after the Civil War.

Los Tejanos is the story of the Texas-Mexican conflict between 1835 and 1875 as seen through the eyes of tejano (literally Texan of Mexican, as distinct from anglo, heritage) Juan Seguín. It is through Seguín, a pivotal and tragic figure, that Jackson humanizes Texas’ fight for independence and provides a human scale for this vast and complex story.

Lost Cause documents the violent reaction to Reconstruction by Texans. As Jackson wrote, “Texas reaped a bitter harvest from the War Between the States. Part of this dark legacy was the great unrest that plagued the beaten but unbowed populace.” The tensions caused by Reconstruction are told through the Taylor-Sutton feud, which raged across South Texas, embracing two generations and causing untold grief, and the gunslinger John Wesley Hardin, who swept across Texas killing Carpetbaggers, Federal soldiers, and Indians.

Jackson’s work is as known for its rigorous research — he became as good an historian as he was a cartoonist — as well as its chiseled, raw-boned visual approach, reproducing the time and place with an uncanny verisimilitude.

This edition includes an essay by and interview with Jackson about the controversy Lost Cause generated, and an introduction by the novelist Ron Hansen.


Prince Valiant Vol. 6: 1947-1948 by Hal Foster

Prince Valiant Vol. 6: 1947-1948
by Hal Foster

112-page full color 10.25" x 14" hardcover • $35.00
ISBN: 978-1-60699-588-4

See Previews / Order Now

Hal Foster's masterpiece of adventure enters its second decade as Valiant and Aleta journey to "The New World," a 16-month epic that allows Foster to draw some of his spectacular native Canadian backgrounds, and during which Aleta gives birth to Arn and acquires her Indian nurse, Tillicum. Most of the rest of the book is taken up with the action-packed five-month sequence "The Mad King," during which Val, back at Camelot, confronts the evil, fat little King Tourien of Cornwall.

This volume is rounded off with an essay by Foster scholar Brian M. Kane (The Prince Valiant Companion) discussing Foster's depiction of "Indians" as it relates to other interpretations of the times, accompanied by various graphic goodies including our most spectacular bonus feature yet — a double-sized fold-out page reproducing a strip hand-colored by Foster — plus a previously unpublished camping cartoon by Foster from circa 1915, some of Foster's Mountie paintings, Foster's own map of Val's voyage to/from the New World, and more rare photos and art.

As always, this volume is shot directly from Foster's personal collection of syndicate proofs, their glorious colors restored to create an unprecedentedly sumptuous reading experience.


Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 2 by Michael Kupperman

Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 2
by Michael Kupperman

176-page full-color 7.25" x 10" hardcover • $24.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-615-7

See Previews / Order Now  

BARGAIN COMBO:
Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vols. 1 + 2 Gift Set
Price: $49.98 $39.98

Hot on the heels of his acclaimed Mark Twain’s Autobiography 1910-2010 comes Michael Kupperman’s second all-comics collection of surreal slapstick and crazy non-sequitur goofiness, all from the pages of his beloved comic book series Tales Designed to Thrizzle.

Tales Designed to Thrizzle Volume Two features two of Kupperman’s recurring duos: America’s favorite mustachioed physicist/writer double team of Twain and Einstein (solving new crimes and barreling through exciting new adventures), and the crime-fighting team of Snake and Bacon ("Sssssssssssss!") who make a special return just to star in Reservoir Dogs 2.

Elsewhere in this volume the crusty Quincy, M.E. makes his comic book debut, struggling through the fantastic landscapes of his own dreams in "Quinception" (in which St. Peter also gets his own comic book). And learn the true story of the first lunar landing, guest starring Woodward & Bernstein, Lt. Columbo and... Quincy again??... in "Moon 69."

Also: The Jungle Princess battles rhino traders... A story of Broadway theatrics in "All About Drainage"... Slightly cursed merchandise and other dubious products... Cockney grave robbers... Cowboy Oscar Wilde... McArf the Crime Dog takes a bite out of scum... The origin of The Hamanimal... A photocomic starring comedian Julie Klausner, "Voyage To Narnia"... Break out your crayons for the highly educational "Train & Bus Coloring Book"... The story of French national hero "The Scythe"... and "Murder, She Goat."

Plus! This volume contains a full issue's worth of never-before-published, brand new Thrizzle material featuring "Mandate the Magician," "Fart Boobs," "The Odd Couple of Draculas," "Skull Groin," "Gladiator & Snivolus," "Mr. Flopears," "Gordon Ramsay's Fairy Tale Toilet Kitchen Nightmares," "McGritte the Surrealist Crime Dog," a new Twain & Einstein adventure and ever so much more!

New Comics Day 1/30/13: Complete Crumb 3, Prince Valiant 6
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Robert CrumbPrince ValiantNew Comics DayHal Foster 29 Jan 2013 6:04 PM

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.

The Complete Crumb Comics Vol. 2: Some More Early Years of Bitter Struggle (New Softcover Ed.)  by Robert Crumb

The Complete Crumb Comics Vol. 3: Starring Fritz the Cat (New Softcover Ed.)
by Robert Crumb

128-page black & white/color 8.5" x 11" softcover • $19.99
ISBN: 978-0-93019-375-1

"...[S]ince I'm going off the deep end anyway, I'll add The Complete Crumb Comics, Vol. 3: Starring Fritz the Cat ($19.99), from Fantagraphics, so I can relive my wasted youth in full archival style." – Brigid Alverson, Robot 6

Prince Valiant Vol. 6: 1947-1948 by Hal Foster

Prince Valiant Vol. 6: 1947-1948
by Hal Foster

112-page full color 10.25" x 14" hardcover • $35.00
ISBN: 978-1-60699-588-4

"Any Hal Foster fan worth his or her salt should be snapping up Prince Valiant, Vol. 6, collecting Val's lengthy excursion to the New World (i.e. North America) in pursuit of the vikings that have kidnapped his wife. It's a great run, featuring Foster's usual exquisite eye for detail and backgrounds and storytelling skill." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6

"...[H]aving just read the Foster, I know that one is [beautiful]." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter

"Two blasts from the past down here, starting with Prince Valiant Vol. 6: 1947-1948, a Hal Foster collection that readily describes itself; $35.00. And then you can relive some early funny animal classics in The Complete Crumb Comics Vol. 3: Starring Fritz the Cat, the storybook of choice for your inner child; $19.99." – Joe McCulloch, The Comics Journal





Daily OCD 1/29/13
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Walt KellyTom KaczynskiThe Comics JournalShimura TakakoRichard SalaMoto Hagiomaurice fucking sendakLove and RocketsLos Bros HernandezLinda MedleyLilli CarréJohnny RyanJasonJames RombergerJaime HernandezHal FosterGilbert HernandezGary PanterErnie BushmillerDavid WojnarowiczDash ShawDame DarcyDaily OCDChuck ForsmanChris WrightCharles M SchulzCarol TylerBlazing CombatBlabBasil WolvertonAlexander Theroux 29 Jan 2013 5:30 PM

The most checked-out book of Online Commentaries & Diversions: 

Prison Pit Book 4

• Review: Prison Pit Book 4 by Johnny Ryan is getting the hits this week. Gene Ambaum of Unshelved writes, "This reminds me of nothing as much as the violent, disturbed drawings I’ve seen in some middle-school boys’ notebooks. Next year, I’m going to tell [my daughter] it’s like a mind-map for her male classmates. If she believes me, I hope we can put off conversations about her dating for a few extra years."

• Review: Mark L. Miller of Ain't It Cool News enjoys Johnny Ryan's latest Prison Pit Book 4. "This is the kind of sick shit that would warrant a trip to the school counselor if you found this crudely etched into the back of your child’s Trapper Keeper. Johnny Ryan once again taps into something primal and pure with his crude drawings of gore, sex, and violence."

• Review: The Quietus and Mat Colgate leaf through some of the best books of 2012 including Prison Pit Book 4 by Johnny Ryan. "Every second spent reading 'Prison Pit' is a joy. A violent, scatological, faecal matter, blood and pus smeared hoot.…There's something brilliantly subversive about 'Prison Pit'," chuckles Colgate.

TCJ 302

• Review: The AV Club checks out some new releases like The Comics Journal 302, co-edited by Kristy Valenti and Mike Dean. Noel Murray states, "Business as usual for a publication that was treating the cultural significance of comics as a known fact decades before graphic novels were making the bestseller list."

7 Miles a Second

• Review: The Quietus and Mat Colgate leaf through some of the January releases including 7 Miles a Second by David Wojnarowicz, James Romberger and Marguerite Van Cook. Colgate states, "Wojnarowicz was fearless about his artistry and aware that the mere facts of a life are barely a percent of the whole, preferring to reveal the truth through dreams, violent fantasy and allusion. 7 Miles a Second is a shocking book, but for all the right reasons."

• Review: Forbidden Planet's Daily Planet looks at some new releases from Fantagraphics like 7 Miles a Second by David Wojnarowicz, James Romberger and Marguerite Van Cook. Matthew Rosenbery states, "The stories serve as beautiful and brutal snapshots of a brilliant life lived too hard and extinguished too soon. It is not too much to say that we all owe a great cultural debt to Mr. Wojnarowicz and picking up this book and trying to understanding his life is a good first step toward understanding that debt."

Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 2 Tales Designed to Thrizzle Volume 1

• Review: Forbidden Planet's Daily Planet looks at some new releases from Fantagraphics. Tales Designed to Thrizzle Volumes 1 and 2 by Michael Kupperman makes Matthew Rosenberg laugh, "I easily put it alongside works like The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy or Calvin & Hobbes in terms of books I can revisit and still completely lose myself in over and over again."

• Review: Comics Bulletin looks at Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 2 by Michael Kupperman. Daniel Elkin finds it smirk-worthy: "Tales Designed to Thrizzle Volume Two has its place in the construct. It is 'silver and exact' like Sylvia Plath's Mirror and reflects the 'terrible fish' that has become our understandings of the world."

The Heart of Thomas

• Review: The Heart of Thomas by Moto Hagio gets the a full styling by Manga Bookshelf. Melinda Beasi writes "…teens and pre-teens who go to regular, modern public schools essentially live in their own society that is very much separate from the rest of the world, and it’s a society that is, frankly, terrifying…it views that kind of sacrifice as… well, ultimately pointless…Hagio makes it clear that running away is not the answer." Melinda continues on the book as a whole, "I also expected it to be very dated and I thought the story might not appeal to my tastes as a modern fan. Instead, I found it to be both beautiful and emotionally resonant to an extent I’ve rarely experienced—especially in [Boy's Love] manga. This is a book I’d wholeheartedly recommend to any comics fan, without reservation. It’s an absolute treasure."

• Review: The AV Club checks out some new releases like The Heart of Thomas by Moto Hagio. "with small cliffhangers at the end of each chapter to pull readers deeper into Hagio’s fantasyland. The intrigue deepens page by page (and this is a 500-page novel, mind), while Hagio develops her bracingly radical vision of a mini-society where homosexual attraction is so commonplace as to be the norm…" writes Noel Murray.

You'll Never Know: Book 3

• Review: You'll Never Know Book Three: A Soldier's Heart by Carol Tyler gets a thorough and thoughtful review from Rob Clough on High-Low. "…this sounds a bit all over the map, that's because it is, but Tyler slowly pulls the strings of her narrative taut in some astonishing ways, especially in the third volume…It's a remarkable example of an artist being totally honest about their own feelings of grief and joy in a manner that provokes growth and fully embraces the relationship between the two."

Beta Testing The Apocalypse Delphine Ralph Azham Book 1

• Review: Dylan Thomas of Minneapolis' Southwest Journal looks at Tom Kaczynski's Best Testing the Apocalypse. "Kaczynski uses science fiction as a microscope, poking at contemporary anxieties like blooming bacteria in a Petri dish. The genre provides the room he needs to examine the systems that shape our lives, whether they be architecture, urban design or capitalism."

• Review: Hillary Brown of Paste enjoys the dark ride of Delphine by Richard Sala. "Sala’s rules; like testing gravity by dropping a penny from a building, the coin’s never going to fall up. Delphine is worth reading at least twice. Sala’s spell is strong."

• Review: SF Signal looks at Ralph Azham Volume 1: "Why Would You Lie to Someone You Love?" by Lewis Trondheim. "His humanoid animals, a staple of his work, place the story squarely into fantasy – along with the medieval-esque village and the magic – but the wry humor gives the story a modern feel" says Carrie Cuinn.
 
Lost Cat New School

• Plug: Paste Magazine looks forward to the most anticipated books of 2013. These include Lost Cat by Jason. "The cranky Norwegian has seemed to soften a bit as he’s aged, and the description (detective searches for potential soulmate) goes along with that impression," write Hillary Brown. On Dash Shaw's New School and 3 New Stories. "In a few short years, Dash Shaw has proven himself a restless artist, committed to pushing what comics can do and what his own talents can accomplish… it’s nice to see him return with two works, no less." 

• Plug: Publishers Weekly also released a list of the most anticipated books of 2013 which included Dash Shaw's New School. "The art disorients the reader and brings you right inside the troubled protagonists’ mind."

• Interview (video): Speaking of Dash, he recently spent a few days at Sundance for his Sigur Ros animated music video. A very short interview awaits you.

 Estonia The Strange Case of Edward Gorey

• Interview: Alexander Theroux is interviewed on Rain Taxi by Paul Maliszewski. Theroux, author of Estonia , The Strange Case of Edward Gorey , Laura Warholic and more states, "Revenge—I have written about this somewhere before—is the main subject of the modern novel, if it isn’t that of literature in general."

Dal Tokyo Blazing Combat

• Review: The Los Angeles Review of Books looks at Gary Panter's Dal Tokyo. Nicole Rudick writes "Panter’s medium is comics rather than architecture, but the effect of his work is the same: Dal Tokyo questions accepted notions of structure and meaning — taking them not as truth but as convention — and, taking Brecht’s advice, builds not 'on the good old days, but on the bad new ones.' "

Review: The Weekly Crisis dissects the first panel of "Landscape!" a comic within Blazing Combat and how it contributed to the end of the series coinciding with the Vietnam War. Dan Hill states "At a time when an anti-war stance was tantamount to being a traitor to your country, it was also the beginning of comics beginning to tackle the uglier aspects of war, telling us exactly ‘how it is’. It showed us that comics could discuss and show issues more related to the real world than capes, tights and outlandish fantasy."
 
Castle Waiting Blacklung
• Review: Paste Magazine looks at Linda Medley's Castle Waiting Vol. 1 (softcover). Sean Edgar writes, "Ultimately, Castle Waiting is an elegantly-written, uplifting take on European folklore supported by sterling art. As long as voices as talented and creative as Medley’s are around, stories like this will always be timeless."

• Interview: Robin McConnell of Inkstuds interviews Chris Wright for a second time, this time on his most recent graphic novel, Blacklung.

Love and Rockets: New Stories #5
 
• Review (audio): Andy and Derek of the Comics Alternative podcast review Love and Rockets: New Stories #5 by Gilbert and Jaime Heranandez.
 Wandering Son 2 Wandering Son 3 No Straight Lines

• Plug: The GLBT Roundtable's Rainbow Project lists best books for teens that encapsulate the GLBT-community issues. The Rainbow Project lists Shimura Takako's Wandering Son series as part of the Top Ten Books of 2012 as the characters "tackle problems such as gender identity, love, social acceptance, and puberty."

• Plug: The GLBT Roundtable also released a list of the best books for adults, Over the Rainbow, and the comics anthology No Straight Lines, edited by Justin Hall, was listed in the top ten. 

Heads or Tails Pogo Vol. 2 Spacehawk

• Interview: Tim O'Shea interviews Lilli Carré for Comic Book Resources on her process with Heads or Tails. "I went through all my stuff and arranged them not chronologically, but by how they each fed into each other… I don’t know if the dialogue I write or the way I draw is particularly well-crafted or not, but with both the art and dialogue I go with my gut and do what feels natural to me."

• Review: New York Journal of Books takes a turn around the room with The Complete Syndicated Pogo Vol 2 "Bona Fide Balderdash" by Walt Kelly. Mark Squirek writes, "Like the greatest of myths and fables, Pogo travels across time and ages. It is a world much like that of Aesop and trickster tales. It is a world capable of making a six year old smile with glee, a hipster smirk whether they want to or not, and a college professor laugh out loud… So graceful is his work with pencil and pen that you could loose yourself for hours in shear artistry of the panels he constructs."

• Plug: Westfield Blog suggests some books for you like The Complete Syndicated Pogo Vol 2 "Bona Fide Balderdash" by Walt Kelly."Walt Kelly’s art is a joy to look at and his dialogue and word play is just stunning. Pogo is a strip that you get more and more out of the more you read it," states Wayne Markley. And for Basil Wolverton's Spacehawk, "In the history of comics, there are very few, if any, that had such a unique style as Wolverton which, while as far away as you can get from classic illustrators like Raymond or Foster, it is every bit as good in its own unique way."

Prince Valiant 6 Nancy Likes Christmas The End of the Fucking World

• Review: HeroesOnline looks at the latest Prince Valiant Vol. 6: 1947-1948. Andy writes "…the pace is fast, the action and intrigue are plenty and the violence is un-apologetically bloody. In addition, Foster was a stickler for historical accuracy in depicting everyday life in the 6th century."

• Review: Ryan Sands of Same Hat writes his 'belated' best of list which inludes Nancy Likes Christmas by Ernie Bushmiller and The End of the Fucking World by Charles Foresman.

 Peanuts Every Sunday  Charlie Brown's Christmas Stocking

• Plug: Tom Spurgeon announced the Peanuts Every Sunday book on Comics Reporter. More information tomorrow.

• Review: Allyn Gibson reviews Charles Schulz Charlie Brown's Christmas Stocking. "The artwork for these stories is vintage 1960s Schulz…It’s a charming little piece of Peanuts ephemera, and Fantagraphics gives it a nice presentation."

 Blab Blood Orange

• Plug: Robot6 talks about Great but Forgotten anthologies. Fantagraphics' "Zero Zero ran for 27 issues, a longer run than most of the anthologies on this list received, but I don’t think it’s ever gotten its due as the truly great anthology of the ’90s." Chris Mautner continues with Blab, "I do think people have forgotten how cutting edge and exemplary an anthology Blab was, at least initially. For a while there it was running some seriously incredible work, like Al Columbia’s apocalyptic The Trumpets They Played, and the Jimmy Corrigan story that eventually became Acme Novelty #10, easily the most harrowing and darkest material Ware has produced to date." And finally Blood Orange, "Lasting a mere four issues, Blood Orange offered a mind-bending array of cutting-edge comics." WORRY NOT, we still have issues from some of these.

• Plug (video): Dame Darcy makes a wicked mural.

Naughty Hal Foster?
Written by Kim Thompson | Filed under Prince ValiantHal FosterComing Attractions 16 Jan 2013 11:22 AM

We are pleased to announce that the sixth volume of our acclaimed Prince Valiant series -- once again shot from Hal Foster's original set of syndicate proofs -- is now shipping to stores and readers.

We're busily working away on Volume 7, covering the years 1949 and 1950, which we expect to have out in May or June, trying to catch up from the slightly delayed Volume 6, and thereby aiming for three volumes this year. (By the way, our Free Comic Book Day comic for this year will feature an advance excerpt from Volume 7. Be sure to grab one -- if only to see how we managed to break down Foster's lush, oversized tabloid pages to comic book format.)

With the exception of the occasional pin-up-style shot of Princess Aleta (which are pretty hot, actually), Prince Valiant has always been considered a rather staid, conservative strip, but Val/Foster expert Brian Kane (author of a fascinating article about Foster's treatment of North American natives in the current volume, and of course the wonderful Prince Valiant Companion) pointed out two panels from the upcoming volume that suggest that Mr. Foster may have had a wicked sense of humor. In this sequence from 1950, young Arf is smitten with a "maid with flaming hair and eyes of blue" as he almost falls out of a tree. For his clothing to drape so that the pommel of his sword creates a huge bulge in the fabric in one panel can be dismissed as a graphic happenstance. But to see Arf back on ground with the end of his sword still "pitching a tent" is maybe a little... eyebrow-raising.

Come, fly with me!

Well, maybe we're just seeing things. But as Fredric Wertham famously wrote, "In ordinary comic books, there are pictures within pictures for children who know how to look."

Prince Valiant Vol. 6: 1947-1948 by Hal Foster - Now in Stock
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Prince Valiantnew releasesHal Foster 15 Jan 2013 3:01 PM

Just arrived and shipping now from our mail-order department: 

Prince Valiant Vol. 6: 1947-1948 by Hal Foster

Prince Valiant Vol. 6: 1947-1948
by Hal Foster

112-page full color 10.25" x 14" hardcover • $35.00
ISBN: 978-1-60699-588-4

See Previews / Order Now

Hal Foster's masterpiece of adventure enters its second decade as Valiant and Aleta journey to "The New World," a 16-month epic that allows Foster to draw some of his spectacular native Canadian backgrounds, and during which Aleta gives birth to Arn and acquires her Indian nurse, Tillicum. Most of the rest of the book is taken up with the action-packed five-month sequence "The Mad King," during which Val, back at Camelot, confronts the evil, fat little King Tourien of Cornwall.

This volume is rounded off with an essay by Foster scholar Brian M. Kane (The Prince Valiant Companion) discussing Foster's depiction of "Indians" as it relates to other interpretations of the times, accompanied by various graphic goodies including our most spectacular bonus feature yet — a double-sized fold-out page reproducing a strip hand-colored by Foster — plus a previously unpublished camping cartoon by Foster from circa 1915, some of Foster's Mountie paintings, Foster's own map of Val's voyage to/from the New World, and more rare photos and art.

As always, this volume is shot directly from Foster's personal collection of syndicate proofs, their glorious colors restored to create an unprecedentedly sumptuous reading experience.

What's in the January 2013 Diamond Previews
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Zippy the PinheadSamuel R DelanyPrince ValiantMichael J VassalloMia WolffLinda MedleyKim DeitchHal FosterDiamondComing AttractionsCathy MalkasianBlake BellBill GriffithAlexander Theroux 8 Jan 2013 4:19 PM

Shipping March 2013 from Fantagraphics Books

This month's Diamond Previews catalog is out now and in it you'll find our usual 2-page spread (download the PDF) with our releases scheduled to arrive in your local comic shop in March 2013 (give or take — release dates are likely to have changed since the issue went to press). We're pleased to offer additional and updated information about these upcoming releases here on our website, to help shops and customers alike make more informed ordering decisions.

We have two Spotlight items this month: The Secret History of Marvel Comics by Blake Bell & Dr. Michael J. Vassallo, revealing the tawdry pulp origins of the comic company that they'd like you to forget about, and Bread & Wine, a new edition of the unusual and groundbreaking love story/memoir by Samuel R. Delany & Mia Wolff. The new expanded and relettered Castle Waiting Vol. 2: Definitive Edition by Linda Medley is "Certified Cool," and we've also got Bill Griffith's new Zippy collection The Dingburg Diaries, Cathy Malkasian's sequel graphic novel Wake Up, Percy Gloom, Kim Deitch's brand new original graphic novel The Amazing, Enlightening and Absolutely True Adventures of Katherine Whaley, and the paperback of Alexander Theroux's mammoth prose novel Laura Warholic. All this plus our 2013 Free Comic Book Day offering (for May), Hal Foster's Prince Valiant!

See them all here!

Daily OCD 1/7/13
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Shimura TakakoRon Regé JrRichard SalaPat ThomasMoto HagioLove and RocketsLilli CarréJosh SimmonsJoost SwarteJohnny RyanJoe KubertJoe DalyJim WoodringJasonJames RombergerJaime HernandezJacques TardiInio AsanoHal FosterGilbert HernandezGary PanterDavid WojnarowiczDaily OCDCrockett JohnsonChris WrightBasil Wolverton 7 Jan 2013 2:54 PM

The sweetest tea of Online Commentaries & Diversions: 

The Heart of Thomas

• Review: The Atlantic writes on The Heart of Thomas by Moto Hagio. Noah Berlatsky looks at it from every angle, "The boys' love genre, then, freed Hagio and her audience to cross and recross boundaries of identity, sexuality, and gender…Bodies and character flicker in and out, a sequence of surfaces, tied together less by narrative than by the heightened emotions of melodrama—jealousy, anger, trauma, desire, friendship, and love in the heart of Thomas."

• Plug: David Brothers and Comics Alliance posts a preview of The Heart of Thomas plus a few thoughts on Moto Hagio that works outside of his comfort zone. "What there is, though, is drama. No -- it has melodrama…the sheer level of theatrical drama in this book is enough to keep a skeptic hooked…Heart of Thomas is a trip, and a good one. I wasn't expecting to enjoy it as much as I did, and it was nice to enjoy something outside of my usual comfort zones."

• Plug: Johanna Carlson of Comics Worth Reading is ready for the world to read The Heart of Thomas by Moto Hagio. "This solid hardcover contains the entire classic shojo series, and it’s a must-read for anyone interested in the development of the genre. It’s also surprisingly gripping in its own right…"

• Plug: Brigid Alverson starts the year off right with The Heart of Thomas by Moto Hagio on MTV Geek.

Problematic 7 Miles a Second

• Review: Chris Mautner interviews Jim Woodring's Problematic on Robot 6. "Problematic is both a stroll through Woodring’s unique imagination and an opportunity to see his working process" and Woodring thinks "having a pocket sketchbook on me at all times means fleeting impressions and ideas that might otherwise be lost are capturedEverything I draw is reality-based."

• Plug: BoingBoing is ready for Jim Woodring's Problematic to come out. "There are many reasons to be grateful to be alive, and owning this brand new facsimile edition of artist Jim Woodring's Moleskine sketchbooks is as good as any," says Mark Frauenfelder.

• Interview/Review: Publishers Weekly looks at 7 Miles a Second, and Grace Bello interviews artists James Romberger and Marguerite Van Cook on writer David Wojnarowicz, the gay activist who wrote the comic before dying of AIDS-related complications. Romberger is quoted, "It really is so much about what David was about, channeling his anger into a statement…" "The gay experience is not only 'less invisible'—it’s on prime time TV. But the feral energy and raw hunger in 7 Miles a Second still resonate" states Bello.

Weird Horrors and Other Stories

• Review: Jason Sacks of Comics Bulletin presents 20 Facts and Opinions on Joe Kubert's Weird Horrors & Daring Adventures, edited by Bill Schelly. "Schelly and the always sterling Fantagraphics production team do a nice job of preserving the look and feel of these comics…the master cartoonist was equally at home doing broad humor as intense action/adventure as well as lighter, Archie-style teen humor."

Prison Pit 4

• Review: Comics Alliance and Caleb Goellner continues their Best of 2012 series with Prison Pit Book 4 by Johnny Ryan. "It was like looking at a baby book of bad ideas from boyhood as an adult who'd learned to function in polite society…it's bliss to kick back and watch humankind's most immature impulses play out in the safety of Ryan's Prison Pit."

• Review: The Weekly Crisis lists its Top 10 books of 2012 and Johnny Ryan's Prison Pit Book 4 lands at #2. Taylor Pithers states "he is interested in is fighting and hyper violence, which to be fair, would be more acceptable to the masses if it was drawn by Ivan Reis or another one of Geoff Johns' collaborators…Honestly, there isn't a comic that has given me more belly laughs in my entire life."

• Review: Comiks Debris posts its Best of 2012 books and Johnny Ryan's Prison Pit Book 4 comes in as #8. Marc-Oliver Frisch writes "structurally, Prison Pit reminds me a lot of Jarmusch's The Limits of Control… The artwork looks ugly, crude and perfunctory. The characters eat, shit, fuck and, most of all, fight their way through the book…It's one mean, sick motherfucker of a comic, and I can't wait what happens next."

• Plug: Tucker Stone on The Comics Journal rates his top comics of 2012. Prison Pit Book 4 by Johnny Ryan comes in at 18. "…it’s hard to explain how intense the surprise was for a follower of Angry Youth and Ryan’s humiliation comics to open that first Prison Pit…"

Delphine Spacehawk

• Review: Delphine by Richard Sala gets reviewed on Comic Book Resources. Kelly Thompson claims, "One part comic book and one part fever dream…Rare is the opportunity that I'm so engaged I consider yelling at an inanimate object such as a book…Delphine is also a nice contrast to the unrelentingly bright and happy fairy tales that are so often seen when it comes to modern reinterpretations of those early dark tales."

• Review: The New York Journal of Books thumbs through Spacehawk by Basil Wolverton. "Basil Wolverton rises to the occasion and gives the reader a detailed and hilarious look at megalomania while throwing in some fantastic aerial fight scenes…Fantagraphics Publishing brings Wolverton’s art to the reader in as detailed and perfect a form as possible. Each wave of space, every geometric shape and all the incredibly ugly aliens look better than they ever have in their entire lives," writes Mark Squirek.

• Review: Crave Online looks at Spacehawk by Basil Wolverton. "This is the medium when there were no rules, no event series and no giant corporations standing watch over what the creators were doing. If you love the Golden Age, science fiction and adventure, nothing compares to the world Basil Wolverton put together for Spacehawk," writes Iann Robinson.

The Furry Trap  Heads or Tails   

• Review: The Weekly Crisis lists its Top 10 books of 2012 and Josh Simmon's The Furry Trap ranks as #1. Taylor Pithers writes, "The Furry Trap is pure exploitation; violent, disgusting, and bound to make you feel uncomfortable but it also does what the best fiction is meant to, it stays with you long after you have put the book down…Simmons is a cartoonist of the highest caliber. This is not a book for the faint hearted, but if you can stomach it will be a true experience."

• Review: NPR and Glen Weldon write on Books of 2012 they haven't told you about. Heads or Tails by Lilli Carré "The whole collection has the feel of a dream in which remembering how to fly is as simple as forgetting that you can't."

 • Review: Noel Murray and The A.V. Club write about the Top 10 Fiction books of 2012. Heads or Tails comes in at #7. "Lilli Carré’s stories are like dreamy what-ifs that take the familiar and tweak it."

• Plug: Whitney Matheson of USA Today's Popcandy mentions her favorite things including Heads or Tails by Lilli Carré: "…a lovely volume from one of my favorite cartoonists that includes several beautifully strange short stories. I'm a longtime fan and even have a framed Carre print hanging in the baby's room."

• Plug: Chris Mautner of Comic Book Resources lists his Best reprint/reissue series of 2012 with many Fantagraphics titles: Spacehawk by Basil Wolverton as #1. "I had more fun reading this than just about anything else this year." #2 was Dal Tokyo by Gary Panter, # 3 was Is That All There Is? by Joost Swarte. #5 was Heads or Tails by Lilli Carré. The Furry Trap by Josh Simmons made the list at #10.

The Cartoon Utopia Blacklung Athos in America

• Interview: The Comics Journal interviews Ron Regé, Jr. on The Cartoon Utopia, evolving comics and more. Regé on his book, "People should use bibilomancy—randomly opening to a page—to access the information if they’d like. Nothing in the book tells you to treat it that way, but I think people will get the idea anyway."

• Interview (audio): Erik Davis and Expanding Mind interview Ron Regé, Jr. on the radio about The Cartoon Utopia! Adventure indeed. 

• Review: Comics Bulletin and Jason Sacks investigate Blacklung. "Chris Wright seems to channel Melville or Conrad in this book as he explores the uniquely idiosyncratic world that he creates…nobody has ever created characters that look like the characters in this book, with their strange faces and lumpy, malformed bodies…This slim graphic novel is a dense read unlike anything else you've read in comics."

• Review: Noel Murray and The A.V. Club write about the Top 10 Fiction books of 2012. Athos in America is #5. "Jason’s blank-faced animal-headed characters reveal unexpectedly deep passion via deadpan tales of dislocation."

Love and Rockets: New Stories #5

• Review: Sonia Harris of Comics Book Resources places Love and Rockets: New Stories #5 by Jaime Hernandez and Gilbert Hernandez as #5 of her Top 16 Books of 2012. Harris says, "Watching these people’s lives change on the page, along with the gradual evolution of the Hernandez brother’s art and writing is the closest thing to real life created in a comic book. Nothing on the screen could ever compare to the life and complexity these two men breathe into their characters year after year with such consistent quality and affection."
 
• Plug: Tucker Stone on The Comics Journal rates his top comics of 2012. Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez have cause to celebrate as Love and Rockets:New Stories #5 makes it at #13. "It was great, and of course it was, because it’s them, and it was great for all the same reasons you’d expect it to be…
 
Wandering Son Volume 1 Wandering Son Volume 2 Wandering Son Volume 3

• Review: NPR and Glen Weldon write on Books of 2012 they haven't told you about like Wandering Son by Takako Shimura. "Wandering Son is not the kind of manga in which a happy ending is guaranteed… You'll thus be grateful for the moments of realistic, untempered joy Shimura allows her two protagonists here, as you wait with nervous anticipations for the travails that lie ahead for them…"

• Review: Manga Bookshelf recounts its Favorite Manga Series of 2012 including Wandering Son by Takako Shimura. "This series about two transgender children in modern-day Japan has been a favorite since it debuted last year thanks to its delicate, truthful storytelling and understated artwork…Its most recent volume (three) goes a bit darker and deeper, only heightening my interest in the series" says Melinda Beasi.

Corpse on the Imjin! Nancy Likes Christmas

• Review: Noel Murray and The A.V. Club write about the Top 5 Archival books of 2012. Harvey Kurtzman's Corpse on the Imjin! landed at #1. "Kurtzman book is especially stunning, almost like a coffee-table art-book combined with a literary collection…an anthology with a strong individual perspective that tries to tell the truth about what war is like from the point of view of the people on both sides of the battlefield."

• Review: Noel Murray and The A.V. Club write about the Top 5 Archival books of 2012. Ernie Bushmiller's Nancy Is Happy: Complete Dailies 1946-48: "bristle-headed Nancy and poor slob Sluggo inadvertently irritate the grown-ups in their lives, in scenarios that Bushmiller illustrated with absurd visual gags—so basic that anyone, anywhere, at any time, could get the joke."

The Clouds Above Prince Valiant Vol. 1

• Review: Nick Gazin of VICE has a pretty fuckin' fancy (his words) edition of The Clouds Above by Jordan Crane. "Jordan Crane is a cartoonist with supreme abilities. He's great at making lines, hand text, and backgrounds and stuff…This is beautifully colored also. Did I mention Jordan Crane's great color sense? His colors are good."

• Review: Steve Donaghue enjoys Prince Valiant Vol. 1 by Hal Foster on Open Letters Monthly. "The ambition becomes most emphatic the more you scrutinize the work. Foster often said he put in between 50 and 60 hours a week on creating the strip, and it shows in these magnificent reproductions, done in a sturdy hardcover with oversized pages and entirely restored colors and shadings."

Listen, Whitey!

• Plug: Record Collector magazine (UK) picks Listen, Whitey! by Pat Thomas as one of the top 12 books of 2012. "A socio-polictal account of American racial struggles...an extraordinary study of the way the message of [the Black Panther] movement was recounted and defined on vinyl. "In-depth" doesn't begin to describe it."

Dungeon Quest Book Three Castle Waiting softcover

• Plug: Tucker Stone on The Comics Journal rates his top comics of 2012. Dungeon Quest 3 by Joe Daly makes the mark at 17. "in times like these, with sandwiches like mine, you have to root for the one who brung you, and that’s dick jokes. Dungeon Quest had so many of them, and they were all wonderful."

• Plug: Johanna Carlson of Comics Worth Reading notes the softcover edition of Castle Waiting Vol. 1 by Linda Medley. "The original hardcover was one of my best of 2006; it’s a gorgeous twist on fairy tales, concentrating on daily life instead of big events, which makes it charming."

• Commentary: Tom Spurgeon lists his top 50 positives about comics right now mentioning Fantagraphics several times. Lilli Carré's Heads or Tails was a hit, the flowering of Gary Groth, Kim Thompson's polyglotism, Mike Catron and Preston White Return to Fangraphics, Generation 3 (Jacq and me, Jen, pictured!), and of course, Love and Rockets 30th Anniversary.

• Plug: Everyone is excited about Nijigahara Holograph by Inio Asano. All Fiction, Anime News Network, and more. 

• Plug: Bleeding Cool reports on Jacques Tardi turning down an award from the French government, The Legion D'Honneur. Punk as shit.

Barnaby

• Plug: Barnaby love over at Forbidden Planet International.


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