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Category >> Humbug

Humbug outtake: subscription mailer
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Humbug 25 Jun 2009 4:34 PM

Humbug subscription mailer

I just stumbled across this on Flickr today. Devlin Thompson says "I scanned this for possible inclusion in the book, but it didn't make it. You should buy the book anyway." Click for larger.

Al Jaffee & Arnold Roth: Humbug pics from the Strand
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under HumbugGary GrotheventsArnold RothAl Jaffee 19 Jun 2009 11:32 AM

Bob Fingerman was in attendance when legendary cartoonists Al Jaffee and Arnold Roth, two of the co-creators of Humbug, discussed the magazine's short lifespan with el jefe Gary Groth at the Strand Bookstore in NYC on April 14, 2009, and was kind enough to pass along his photos!

Roth/Groth/Jaffee:

Al Jaffee & Arnold Roth talk Humbug at the Strand Bookstore, NYC, 4/14/09

Jaffee:

Al Jaffee & Arnold Roth talk Humbug at the Strand Bookstore, NYC, 4/14/09

Roth:

Al Jaffee & Arnold Roth talk Humbug at the Strand Bookstore, NYC, 4/14/09

See a whole bunch more in our Flickr set right here. Thanks Bob!

Ah, Humbug! MoCCA panel video
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under videoPaul KarasikHumbugArnold RothAl Jaffee 18 Jun 2009 11:12 AM

YouTube user furryisthenewedgy has posted video of Paul Karasik questioning Al Jaffee and Arnold Roth at the "Ah, Humbug!" panel at the 2009 MoCCA festival. Paul says, "The sound is not very good, so in case you can't hear it, when I ask Al Jaffee the 'Stupid Question': "Are you Al Jaffee?", his 'Snappy Answer' is, 'No...I'm Paul Karasik!' Biggest laugh all night. The guy is 88." 

Part 1:

Part 2:

Daily OCD: 6/16/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under staffreviewsNell BrinkleyMiss Lasko-GrossLove and RocketsJordan CraneJasonHumbugGilbert HernandezGahan WilsonFrom Wonderland with LoveDrew FriedmanChris WareCarol Tyler 16 Jun 2009 11:43 AM

Your Online Commentary & Diversions return from a short vacation. More catch-up tomorrow.

• Review: "[C.] Tyler’s fluid, expressive linework, complemented by subtly overlaid watercolors, gives ideal visual expression to a narrative that’s at once sensitive and hard-nosed. [You'll Never Know, Book 1] is Tyler’s first book-length effort, but decades of drawing mostly autobiographical stories have honed her skills, enabling her to produce a work that ranks in quality with the graphic memoirs of Alison Bechdel (Fun Home) and Marjane Satrapi (Persepolis)." - Gordon Flagg, Booklist (Starred Review; no link)

• Review: "Norwegian-French cartoonist Jason’s new book [Low Moon] is the first premiered in hardcover in the U.S. and contains his most minimally formatted stories... If you’re into genre fiction, have a sense of humor but no time for condescension, and haven’t encountered Jason yet, wait no longer." - Ray Olson, Booklist (Starred Review; no link)

• Review: "This is the best thing I have ever been sent to review. I didn't think that this book would ever exist but now it does and it'd better than I could have imagined... The eleven issues of Humbug are faithfully reprinted in this two-volume hardcover set and it comes in a fancy and sturdy box. The magazines were funny and beautiful with art by Will Elder and Jack Davis and some other folks. If you don't buy this book then I don't want to know you... There is no excuse for not buying this right now. Sell your hair, blood, or skin to get it." - Nick Gazin, Vice

• Review: "Luba encompasses everything a turn-of-the-21st-century graphic novel should be: paraliterary or lowbrow tropes of comics, pornography, soap opera, blended seamlessly with a highbrow literary accomplishment of pathos and familial history. It is as profane as it is dense. Almost postmodern in its self-reference... and frequently silly in its blatant cartoonishness, Luba is surreal and bizarre and arousing and gut-wrenching and hilarious." - Dusty Horn, CarnalNation

• Review: "If you grew up 'different'... you’ll find a lot that’s familiar in A Mess of Everything. [Miss] Lasko-Gross is close enough to this material to keep it particular – she avoids the sweeping gesture and the grand statement at all times – and distanced enough from it to see it as part of her past, fodder for stories rather than a raw wound. It’s a fine book from a very talented creator, and I expect we’ll see much more from Miss Lasko-Gross as the years go on." - Andrew Wheeler, ComicMix

• Review: "...[Miss Lasko-Gross] displays... subtlety and balance in her portrayal of her teen-age years... [I]n its portrayal of the importance and tenuous nature of teenage friendships, [A Mess of Everything] glows with sharp recognition." - Chris Mautner, Robot 6

• Review: "One title I haven't been able to put down is The Brinkley Girls: The Best of Nell Brinkley's Cartoons from 1913-1940, edited by Trina Robbins... I was blown away by what I discovered within these pages... The images are sexy, glamorous, colorful -- Brinkley clearly appreciated and understood her subjects, and some of her work made me feel as if I were stepping right into the flapper era." - Whitney Matheson, USA Today Pop Candy

• Review: "[Uptight #3] is very very good... The plot [of 'Vicissitude'] is a bitter little thing, steeped in infidelity, alcohol, career dissatisfaction, hints of class self-consciousness, and frustration with the path your life has taken -- like a Pulp song, almost.... Crane's Sam and Jack stories unfold like the pipes and vents upon which this tale centers: they bend and twist and wind in comically baroque ways, yet Crane's control of his visuals and the story's tone are so self-assured that it all seems completely logical, like a mind consciously built it this way and if you have a little faith, it'll work like it's supposed to." - Sean T. Collins

• Review: "Just a quick mention of what may turn out to be my favorite damn cover of 2009... check out Uptight issue #3..." - Blair Butler, G4 Fresh Ink Online (video; review starts around 1:34)

• Plug: "Jason is really one of the best cartoonists at work today, and you should check out this reading." - Paul Constant, The Stranger, recommending last Saturday's appearance by Jason at our Seattle bookstore

• Interview: Brian Heater of The Daily Cross Hatch got some face time for a Q&A with Jason at the 2009 MoCCA Festival. Sample quote: "I think it’s fun to bring different genres together and try to bring in something new, to see it from a new angle, that it’s a bit more than just a pastiche."

• Interview: "Frankly, I think it's a losing game to try to generalize about the relationship between biography and literature." - Chris Ware, interviewed by Joan Luna at 13 Milliones de Naves (translation from Google)

• Preview: ICv2 takes a peek at our upcoming collection Gahan Wilson: 50 Years of Playboy Cartoons

• Preview: The Geek Curmudgeon looks forward to From Wonderland with Love: Danish Comics in the Third Millennium 

• Events: Zane Austin Grant of PopMatters reports from the "Ah, Humbug!" panel with Al Jaffee and Arnold Roth at the 2009 MoCCA Festival

• Things to see: At Truthout.org, a Drew Friedman illustration from Time illustrates a Bill Maher editorial from the Los Angeles Times

• Staff news: Fantagraphics warehouse manager and noted practitioner of visual poetry Nico Vassilakis has a new book, Protracted Type, which can be purchased or downloaded here

Daily OCD: 6/2/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Usagi YojimboStan SakaistaffreviewspreviewsPeter BaggeLos Bros HernandezJordan CraneHumbugGilbert HernandezDash Shawcomics industryBob FingermanAbstract Comics 2 Jun 2009 10:52 PM

Updates of Online Commentary & Diversions may be oddly timed for the rest of the week as we're eyeball deep in MoCCA preparations.

• Review: "[Harvey] Kurtzman and company aimed high for a more sophisticated humor mag than the competition... Fantagraphics’ package for it is bar none — handsome, sturdy and restored with great care... I was most interested in the behind-the-scenes story of Humbug and the creative process that went into it — not to mention doomed it — and the book’s introduction and exclusive interviews more than satisfy on that count." - Rod Lott, Bookgasm

• Review: "Humbug " - Byron Coley & Thurston Moore, Arthur Magazine

• Review: "...[U]nparallel parodists Kurtzman and Elder ran rampant for themselves when they published these 11 exceptional issues of comic art anarchy. This two-volume hardcover box set has been reproduced from the original art and digitally restored to make everything look even better than when it first came out in 1957. This long-overdue definitive edition of Humbug is an essential slice of satire from the masters of the genre." - Jeffrey Morgan, Detroit Metro Times

• Review: "Everybody Is Stupid Except For Me [is] a compilation of the notorious Seattle libertarian [Peter Bagge]’s politically (and sexually) charged comics for Reason magazine... It’s great. So colourful (always my favourite part of Pete’s comics) and acerbic and smart-ass, but with a heart and purpose behind the bickering and keenly observes caricatures... It’s too early to say now, but right now I’m thinking it’s perhaps my favourite stuff of his, full stop..." - Everett True

• Review: "Connective Tissue... make[s] for an engaging read... While Darla sounds like she could be a handful, she is a good and sympathetic protagonist, making her a modern-day Alice in a 21st century Wonderland." - Jason Borelli, Beyond Race Magazine

• Preview: At Newsarama, Michael C. Lorah comments on our scheduled August 2009 releases as seen in the current issue of Previews (and right here on our site)

• Preview: Spotlighting comics shipping this week, The Comics Reporter says of Uptight #3: "The previous issue of this series from the great Jordan Crane was super, super strong." Likewise, Chris Mautner at Robot 6: "The latest issue in Jordan Crane’s very good series about ghosts and melancholy comes to town. I feel we should be doing all we can to ensure Crane keeps making comics, don’t you?" And Matthew Brady says: "I missed the second issue of this series, but the first one was great... Check it out if you see it on the shelves."

• Profile: My Adventure Is Your Advantage spotlights the design work of our very own Art Director Jacob Covey, calling him "the bees knees of design" and presenting previously unseen previews of the forthcoming Abstract Comics anthology

• Profile: "[Dash] Shaw's online and bound comics inhabit surreal spaces both cerebral and emotional, leaping from zombie love stories to futuristic set pieces without resorting to predictability... It's probably safe to say he has arrived." - Wired

• Interview: Publishers Weekly's Heidi MacDonald asks our own Eric Reynolds for his thoughts about Book Expo America and its value for comics publishers like us; The Comics Reporter's Tom Spurgeon comments on the interview; meanwhile, The Daily Cross Hatch's Brian Heater gets a few words from Eric on the show floor

• Interview: Comic Book Resources' Jeffrey Renaud talks to Gilbert and Mario Hernandez about their forthcoming sci-fi miniseries Citizen Rex (Dark Horse is publishing it, but how could we not link?)

• Interview: Newsarama's Michael C. Lorah talks to Stan Sakai about the 25th anniversary of Usagi Yojimbo and gets a little bit of scoop about our forthcoming Usagi Yojimbo: Special Edition deluxe set

• Oddity: Julie Demboski's Astrology peppers her advice with a little Romance Without Tears

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Daily OCD: 5/20/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Vaughn BodereviewsPrince ValiantMiss Lasko-GrossMichael KuppermanLove and RocketsLos Bros Hernandezjohn kerschbaumJasonHumbugHal FosterDrew FriedmanDaniel ClowesBob Fingermanaudioart showsAndrice Arp 20 May 2009 2:27 PM

Today's hot batch of Online Commentary & Diversions:

• Review: "...[T]he furtive griminess that Jason wrings from his stock character designs is impressive to behold... [Y]ou'll enjoy any number of his typical moments of storytelling grace..." - otherwise Tom Spurgeon is unfortunately somewhat sparing in praise for Jason's Low Moon at The Comics Reporter

• Review: "Miss [Lasko-Gross]' previous book, Escape from 'Special,' launched her fearless plan to produce an autobiographical trilogy. [A] Mess [of Everything] tackles the high-school years, which involve mean girls, mean boys and plenty of awkward social situations. Each anecdote is super-short with cringeworthy dialogue that you'll identify with and will remind you of how fortunate you are to have lived through that rough period." - Whitney Matheson, "Three Graphic Novels You Should Read Immediately," USA Today Pop Candy

• Review: "I’ve read some crazy comix, and while he won’t scare you under the sheets like S. Clay Wilson, [John] Kerschbaum can be as raw as R. Crumb, Peter Bagge, and [Johnny] Ryan, who may be his closest comix cousins... No fan of adult funny animal comics (like Fritz the Cat) will want to miss Petey & Pussy... Petey & Pussy is some funny shit." - Leroy Douresseaux, Comic Book Bin

• Interview: The Pull List podcast talks to Bob Fingerman about his latest releases, including Connective Tissue

• Plug: Jeet Heer gives a nice shout-out to Humbug ("amazing") in this interview on the topic of "Cartoon Conservativism" (worth reading in its own right) with Inside Higher Ed

• Plug: "I’m really looking forward to [You'll Never Know Book 1: A Good and Decent Man by C. Tyler]: a graphic memoir and family drama exploring the person we try to present to the world, and reality." - Corey Blake

• Plug: "Fantagraphics is shortly to publish a new edition of Prince Valiant, Hal Foster's legendary, Golden Age comic strip of knights, swashbuckling, romance and chivalry... Foster's artwork is amazing. Foster was an exceptional talent in an era of exceptional talents."  - OK Erok

• Plug: "The fifth issue of Tales Designed to Thrizzle is in and it's even weirder than the last one. See aliens give a bloke sexy lady legs! Twain plus Einstein plus enraged badger! Hobo fashion! If you've not read any of Michael Kupperman's stuff before now's yer chance..." - Gosh! Comics

• Analysis: The following academic journal article contains discussion of Daniel Clowes and especially the Hernandez Brothers: "Artif[r]acture: Virulent Pictures, Graphic Narrative, and the Ideology of the Visual." Mosaic: Journal for the Interdisciplinary Study of Literature 28.4 (December 1995): 79-109 by William A. Nericcio (link courtesy the author, via Facebook)

• Events: This Portland art show at Guapo Comics & Coffee features Andrice Arp and lots more local talent

• Things to see: Conan O'Brien by Drew Friedman, for the NY Observer. Freckles, liver spots; tomato, tomahto

• Things to see: Hairy Green Eyeball presents a Vaughn Bodé "Cheech Wizard" story

Humbug art on the block
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Original ArtHumbug 20 May 2009 10:44 AM

Humbug original art by Jack Davis

Boing Boing reports that a fairly substantial collection of original art from Humbug is now up for auction. It's well worth checking out just for the images, even if you're not Uncle or Aunt Moneybags.

Of course, you can see more original Humbug art in our Flickr sets here and here.

(Thanks to Paul Hornschemeier for the tip.)

Daily OCD: 5/19/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under RIP MDreviewsMiss Lasko-GrossMichael KuppermanJoe SaccoHumbug 19 May 2009 12:36 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions of the day:

• News: Publishers Weekly has the scoop on RIP, MD, a new series of youth-oriented graphic novels we plan to start publishing next year in collaboration with animation studio Lincoln Butterfield

• Review: "[Miss] Lasko-Gross... us[es] a dark and biting humor that both self-deprecates and pokes fun at alterna-teens along the way... The art pulls everything together wonderfully, ...and each section receives a beautiful splash page or panel with an embedded title to welcome you into the vignette... Though Fantagraphics has billed A Mess of Everything as the second part of a trilogy, it stands well alone for new readers of Lasko-Gross’ work, like myself, who want to skip straight to the unique uneasiness of the teen problems we carry through adulthood. [Grade] 8/10" - Zane Austin Grant, PopMatters

• Review: "This lovingly restored collection of Humbug's five [sic - it's eleven] issues is accompanied by essays, interviews and annotations, providing a glimpse into what Mad had wrought." - Richard Pachter, The Miami Herald

• Plug: "Over the past year or so, I've become a fan of Michael Kupperman's comic Tales Designed to Thrizzle." - League of Melbotis

• Plug: Socio-political blog Third Rate in the Tropics, prefacing a video examining the Israeli/Palestinian divide, says "One of the best works I've ever come across on the topic is Palestine, a graphic novel by Joe Sacco."

Daily OCD: 5/13/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under SupermenreviewsLinda MedleyJohnny RyanHumbugCarol Tyler 13 May 2009 12:09 PM

Your Online Commentary and Diversions for the day:

• Review: "It’s great to read comics that are fun, inventive, and delighting in the medium instead of dour, 'relevant,' and procedural. Supermen is a teasing look at a truly Golden Age." - Dave Lartigue, Dave Ex Machina

• Review: "Never before reprinted, Fantagraphics recently collected Humbug, complete with new essays, interviews, and annotations, in two handsome hardback volumes. [...] Jack Davis and Will Elder... elevated the comic-book parody beyond the standards of Mad and Trump. For Humbug, Davis produced some of the best work of his long career. Al Jaffee... tackled varied topics... all with equal skill and irreverence..." - Rick Klaw, San Antonio Current

• Review: "Blazing Combat... features a collection of some of the most beautiful black and white comic art you have ever seen... It also features interviews and some of the most beautiful printing I have seen. Honestly, put down those monthly comics for a week and buy something you will enjoy a lifetime. From cover to cover, this book is what keeps me in comics." - Jimmy Palmiotti, Newsarama

• Review: "Supermen! The First Wave of Comic Book Heroes 1936-1941 is the book I've been waiting for - a crazed whirlwind tour through the raw badlands of early superheroes, the best and the weirdest of the early days... Fantagraphics Books has assembled 20 of these quirky gems into a nicely designed, affordable full-color paperback. It's like a roadmap of alternative history, where you can imagine that a character like Stardust the Super Wizard became a star... It's one of the best comic collections of the year. Bring on a sequel!" - Nik Dirga, Blogcritics

• Plug: "Castle Waiting Vol. II #15: ...Linda Medley’s warm, winsome fantasy series continues at its relaxed pace." - Chris Mautner, Robot 6

• Profile: The University of Cincinnati describes how faculty member C. Tyler, inspired by her graphic memoir You'll Never Know, is teaming up her students with military veterans to tell the veterans' stories in comics format, in order to help veterans talk about their experiences and share them with the civilian public to increase awareness of veterans' issues

• Things to see: Insane comics from Turkey, presented by Johnny Ryan