|Things to See: Ivan Brunetti covers The New Yorker|
|Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Things to see, Ivan Brunetti||12 Mar 2012 1:24 PM|
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Category >> Ivan Brunetti
Oh hey! We (I) forgot to tell you when we (I) posted the previews to Nancy Is Happy: Complete Dailies 1943-1945 by Ernie Bushmiller: when you order that book from us, you'll get The Nancy Auditions V.1, one of our FREE bonus FBI•MINI comics, containing Ivan Brunetti's legendary tryout strips when he auditioned (unsuccessfully) to take over the strip! Ivan made his best, sincere go of it in perfect Bushmiller style and this is the first "official" release of these strips!
These books have been out for a while and some low-res images have been floating around but I've been waiting, waiting, waiting for designer Paul Buckley to post them on his Flickr page in all their high-res glory and at last my patience is rewarded! Behold Ivan Brunetti's and Jordan Crane's amazing cover illustrations for the new Penguin Classics Deluxe Editions of the Roald Dahl classics Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach, now available at bookstores near you. But this isn't even the half of it! There's back covers, spines and flaps too — see the full layout of Charlie here and James here.
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I always was very fond of the mini-comics format -- take two to four 8 1/2 x 11 sheets, fold them once, staple, and voilà! You have an adorable little 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 comic book for mere pennies. But I could never really figure out what to do with this old-school, low-tech format.
For this catalog season, we have created 21 "FBI•MINI" booklets (most in this format, although there are a few oddities), as premiums for customers who order books directly from us. They are available free with the purchase of their "matching" book or books -- or for those customers who've already bought those books but are desperate to get the FBI•MINI, free with the purchase of $50 worth of any other Fantagraphics mail-order merchandise.
We've put together some pretty amazing stuff. For instances, there are four foreign FBI•MINIs featuring material that is being released in English for the very first time: an eight-page David B. story from the 1990s, an eight-page full-color Sibyl-Anne story by Raymond Macherot, a twelve-page collection of Joost Swarte's very earliest, most underground-y work -- the stuff that didn't make it into Is That All There Is? -- and most amazing of all, 21 pages of an abandoned Manchette/Tardi story that has only been printed once in an obscure French collection, and never in English. That's 49 page of prime European comics available here for the first time.
There are four sketchbook collections (an amazing gathering of Jim Woodring work preparing for Congress of the Animals, an intricate set of sketches and more by Stephen DeStefano for Lucky in Love, a collection of Kim Deitch's legendary pencilled conceptualization drawings... and a hilarious blurt of Prison Pit character doodles from Johnny Ryan).
There's a non-Segar Popeye strip from the Segar era that didn't make it into our Popeye series (since it wasn't by Segar)... a collection of terrific "coming attractions" pages from Golden Age comics to go with Greg Sadowski's upcoming Golden Age covers collection... a dozen great "Humorama" drawings that didn't quite get into the Humorama book... a striking facsimile of a Maurice Tillieux original Gil Jordan page, complete with watercolored color indications on the back... and a never-before published Joe Sacco strip.
Plus 16 pages of Alex Toth art from the Setting the Standard era, but here reproduced in crisp black and white from the original photostats... Tony Millionaire's hilarious illustrated essay on failing to secure a TV gig for Billy Hazelnuts, complete with a preview of his upcoming Billy Hazelnuts Volume 3... a collection of the legendary Ivan Brunetti Nancy strip try-out... and 12 gorgeous full-color pages of scary Richard Sala faces.
And we've also got some obscurities, such as 12 pages of Bill Griffith comics that got axed from his epochal Lost and Found, a never-before-reprinted Critters-era "Nilson Groundthumper" story by Stan Sakai, and some truly Jurassic-era comics from Peter Bagge and Los Bros. Hernandez.
If any of these catch your interest (and if you're reading this blog surely at least one of them will) you can click right on any of them to a more detailed listing on our website -- or just click right here and all 21 will pop up for you to peruse.
Remember that documentary that Eric was talking about last week, featuring interviews with Dan Clowes and Ivan Brunetti?
Well, I just got word from our friends at the Northwest Film Forum here in Seattle that it's screening there through September 29th! Holy crap, go see it.
I can't remember when I first heard the "Shut Up, Little Man" tapes, but it was almost certainly a cartoonist who introduced me to them, specifically either J.R. Williams, Jim Blanchard or Peter Bagge, all of whom were connoisseurs of the "prank call" genre and sated my growing appetite for same in the early 1990s by making me mix tapes (including the also-essential "Tube Bar" recordings that catapulted "Red the Bartender" into infamy as the inspiration for The Simpsons' Moe Szyslak). The "Shut Up Little Man" tapes weren't phone pranks, per se; they were better! Two hateful drunks chewing each other new assholes, over and over again, in such eloquently vicious fashion! Little could these two awful men know how their vitriol was bringing others together. It seemed like every alternative cartoonist in America had heard these tapes by the early 1990s, so it seems only fitting that Dan Clowes and Ivan Brunetti would be amongst those featured in a forthcoming documentary on the great Peter and Raymond. I can't wait to see this. [CBR video link]
Ivan Brunetti appears at Wizard World Chicago Artists Alley table #3704 next week (August 11-14)! The improbably named Michael Bonesteel of the Chicago Sun-Times profiles Ivan: "Given the minority presence of alternative comics artists like himself at Wizard World, does Brunetti ever feel a bit overwhelmed? 'Sure, but that’s the way it has always felt,' he replied. 'Superheroes have always dominated the comics world, and alternative comics are but a mere subset of that world. I’ll take what I can get, personally. I think there’s room for everything. I’m just asking for an out-of-the-way corner. I promise I won’t bother anybody.'"
As we approach the release of the 22nd and final volume of MOME, this weekend I happened to read four recent tomes that assured me that the anthology format is alive and well, present company excepted. BLACK EYE is a remarkably well-curated and lovingly packaged book by editor Ryan Standfest, featuring a host of top notch cartoonists including some MOME regulars including Al Columbia, Olivier Schrawuen, Robert Goodin, Lilli Carré, and many others. SMOKE SIGNALS is the awesome tabloid newspaper produced by Gabe Fowler of Brooklyn's Desert Island Comics; it continues to get better and better and would be worth it for new Gerald Jablonski comics alone, but there's a slew of other great stuff as well (I particularly enjoyed seeing a great, new one-pager by Marcellus Hall). LINEWORK is a relatively new endeavor, the official anthology of the cartooning students of Columbia College in Chicago, as overseen by faculty advisor Ivan Brunetti. One of the students, Nick Drnaso, also contributes to the final volume of MOME. I recommend all three of these titles to anyone eager to explore the nooks and crannies of the contemporary comix scene.
Well, a black eye you'll want, anyway!
It's Black Eye 1: Graphic Transmissions to Cause Ocular Hypertension, a new anthology featuring many Fantagraphics artists packed in those pages, including Al Columbia, Robert Goodin, Glenn Head, Michael Kupperman, Mark Newgarden, and Jon Vermilyea.
(You may remember Black Eye as the anthology that got confiscated on the way to TCAF...)
Ivan Brunetti, Lilli Carré, and Paul Hornschemeier are also featured in this collection, and they'll be signing (along with Paul Nudd and Onsmith) this coming Friday, June 24th at Quimby’s Bookstore [1854 W. North Ave, Chicago]. The metaphorical punches start flying at 7:00 pm!
Back from the U.S. holiday with Online Commentary & Diversions:
• List: Publishers Weekly's Laurel Maury reports that The Armed Garden and Other Stories by David B. was named one of the "Hot Fall Graphic Novels For Libraries 2011" by a panel of experts at BEA last weekend, with Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 1 by Floyd Gottfredson, Wandering Son Vol. 1 by Shimura Takako, Nuts by Gahan Wilson and Congress of the Animals by Jim Woodring all receiving Honorable Mentions
• Review: "Jacques Tardi is pretty awesome, y’all. But then, you already knew that.... This sucker [The Arctic Marauder] is from 1974. Sadly, it looks more avant-garde and progressive than a lot of comics that are released today.... The entire book is an absolutely gorgeous piece of artwork." – Greg Burgas, Comic Book Resources
• Review: Connor Ratliff gives some preliminary impressions of Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse Vol. 1: Race To Death Valley: "But if a book full of weird and sometimes offensive but energetic and gradually getting-much-better Mickey Mouse adventure strips from the 1930s sounds like your cup of tea, it probably is."
• Review: "Joe Daly tells stories about slackers with an obvious love and a clear eye; he's attuned to the oddball notions and unlikely turns that their lives take, and crafts stories about quirky people that don't turn into catalogs of quirks themselves.... Dungeon Quest is a goofy, silly series, and it's not for readers who need their comics-format violence to be deadly serious and full of clenched teeth. But for those of us who have grown out of that limited conception of comics yet still want energetic adventure stories that know how silly they are, it's just the thing." – Andrew Wheeler, The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent.
• Review: Oliver Nöding of German site Filmgazette calls Destroy All Movies!!! The Complete Guide to Punks on Film "intelligent, pointed and funny... characterized also by a fresh perspective" and "an absolute gem, inspired in its three-color design" among other nice but harder-to-translate things
• Plug: "...I’ve recently read Fantagraphics’ gorgeous new printing of The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec, which absolutely blew me away. I’m always impressed by people like Jacques Tardi, who can build these deep, rich worlds out of really loose, simple linework. It’s definitely not a skill I have. The book also has pterodactyls menacing early-1900′s Paris, so it’s pretty much required that I love it." – Aaron Alexovich, guest Robot 6 "What Are You Reading?" contributor
• Profile: The Chicago Tribune's Christopher Borrelli catches up with Ivan Brunetti: "At 25, he started Schizo, a comic so caustic — and offensive and frantic, but with the thick black palate of classic newspaper strips — friends routinely asked if he would be arrested. It partly detailed his life as a copy editor at a local university press, and the homicidal daydreams that came to him while on the job. He declined to say at which press. 'It wasn't to shock,' he says. 'It was an unguarded look at how I felt, and I was probably losing my mind.'" (Via Spurge.)The Daily Cross Hatch concludes presenting Brian Heater's MoCCA panel conversation with Gahan Wilson: "You have to be straight with kids. Kids see right through you if you’re not. So you do your best—you get this little sweet kid and you’re telling them a story, and you want them to enjoy it, and it helps them. You’re this big grownup and there’s this little kid, and you’ve got to be gentle with them, because you’re this hulking thing. So that’s part of it. You do what any decent person would do with a kid, which is you be nice to the bugger. Because they need it. They can use it."
• Product Placement: Tom Devlin points out an odd cameo by a couple of our books on MTV's reality show Sixteen and Pregnant