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Category >> Jack Davis

Daily OCD: 12/13/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Walt KellyShimura TakakoRick AltergottreviewsMoto HagioMartimangaLove and RocketsLeslie SteinKevin HuizengaJoe KubertJaime HernandezJack DavisinterviewsDisneyDaily OCDCarl BarksBill SchellyBest of 2011Anders Nilsen 13 Dec 2011 8:54 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

The Heart of Thomas

List: Moto Hagio's The Heart of Thomas tops Deb Aoki's list of the Most-Anticipated New Manga of 2012 at About.com Manga: "This 3-volume story from 1974 has been on many manga connoisseur's wish lists for years, so it's a real joy to see that Fantagraphics will be publishing the entire saga in English in one volume."

Wandering Son Vol. 2

List/Review: Manga Worth Reading's Johanna Draper Carlson ranks Wandering Son the #2 Best New Manga of 2011 and recommends Volume 2 in her review: "Shimura Takako’s young figures are adorable. They look unspoiled, with their future ahead of them, which puts their struggles into greater relief.... Translator Matt Thorn’s essay at the back of this volume addresses the issue of being 'Transgendered in Japan' directly, providing valuable information on cultural context, as well as warning us that the children’s lives may be very difficult in years (and stories) to come. There is no more handsome manga than Fantagraphics’ presentation of Wandering Son."

Love and Rockets: New Stories #4

List: Forbidden Planet International asks comics creator Martin Eden his 3 favorite comics of 2011: "My attention had been waning a bit with the Love and Rockets comics, and then 2010′s Love and Rockets [New Stories] 3 came out and it blew my mind – it was one of the most incredible things I’ve ever read. So much so, that I found myself re-reading the entire series and tracking down all the issues I’d missed. This year’s Love and Rockets [New Stories] 4... was still utterly mind-blowing, and Jaime Hernandez is producing the best work he’s ever done, in my opinion."

Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes

Review: "One of comics revered masters gets a fresh new reprinting [Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes ] worthy of his work and accessible to kids.... This volume finds [Barks] at a creative peak, combining the bold adventuring of Tintin with the wisely cynical view of human weakness of John Stanley.... Donald is an everyman of frustration whose life is one big Chinese finger trap—the harder he fights, the harder the world fights back.... Despite the dark undertones, the comic expressions and dialogue is still laugh-out-loud funny. A wonderful project that should put Barks’s name in front of new generations of admirers." – Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

Pogo Vol. 1

Review: "This exceptional first volume of the collected adventures of Pogo Possum should remind readers of the substantial legacy left behind by Kelly.... The volume is beautifully put together, including excellent insights into Kelly and his work... One only needs to get a short way into the adventures of Pogo and his pals in Okefenokee Swamp to recognize the impact Pogo has had on so many cartoonists... With Pogo Possum and [his] supporting characters..., Kelly was able to blend hilarious humor, exceptional storytelling, keen political satire, and brilliant wordplay into a strip that could be appreciated both by children and adults. The more one reads this volume, the clearer picture one has of Kelly as comics’ answer to Lewis Carroll, with Alice having changed into a possum and left Wonderland behind for a swamp." – Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

The Art of Joe Kubert

Review: "The Art of Joe Kubert contains extensive commentary by Bill Schelly that contextualizes Kubert's work with the development of comics as a medium. ...[I]t's an informative and briskly engaging essay. ​In reviewing the vast panorama of Kubert's eight-decade career, The Art of Joe Kubert allows readers previously unfamiliar with the artist to share an appreciation of his abiding interest in human nature (as opposed to just superhero theatrics) through a surprising variety of storytelling styles and subject matter. Kubert's great influence on other cartoonists came from the way he embraced the comics medium as a whole, instead of just a particular niche or character type." – Casey Burchby, SF Weekly

Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture - A Career Retrospective

Interview: The A.V. Club's Sam Adams chats with Jack Davis: "I’ve said this many a time; I’ll tell it again. When I was going to kindergarten, and that’s a very young age, my mother used to walk me to school. I would go up past a chain gang — that was the old days when the prisoners wore stripes and everything — and I saw that. I would go to kindergarten, and they’d put a piece of construction paper in front of me, and crayons, and I did, probably, a stick figure, but I put stripes on him. And from that, they thought I had talent. My mother thought I was great. And from then, I’ve always drawn. Drawn pictures. I love to draw cartoons."

Rick Altergott self-portrait

Interview: Nerve gets sex advice from a trio of cartoonists including Rick Altergott — "If you want to talk about inking brushes or pens or what kind of paper or even something as broad as 'who's your favorite cartoonist?' 'Do you know Robert Crumb?' 'Do you know the Hernandez brothers?' Once you get the answer, you can fine-tune it from there. Before you know it, you're probably going to end up in bed." — and Anders Nilsen

Eye of the Majestic Creature

Plugs: The fine folks at L.A.'s Secret Headquarters are posting their staff gift suggestions: Julie recommends Leslie Stein's Eye of the Majestic Creature ("Good for: Anyone with an overactive imagination; fans of whimsy and good times") and Malachi suggests The Cabbie Vol. 1 by Martí ("A European (and comically sordid) take on the American crime genre") and Walt Kelly's Pogo Vol. 1 ("The essential collection of Pogo – A comic that expertly integrates social satire into the daily newspaper format")

Ganges #4

Craft: Kevin Huizenga spills his secrets for using templates to lay out his comics

Daily OCD: 12/12/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Walt KellyreviewsPaul NelsonMickey MouseMichael KuppermanLove and RocketsKevin AveryJaime HernandezJack DavisFloyd GottfredsonDisneyDaily OCDBest of 2011 12 Dec 2011 7:52 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Love and Rockets: New Stories #4

List: At the Forbidden Planet International blog, comics creator Nick Abadzis names Jaime Hernandez's "The Love Bunglers" from Love and Rockets: New Stories #4 as one of his three favorite comics of the year: "Hernandez just keeps delivering stories of the highest calibre. There are no pyrotechnics or fancy-ass page layouts, just a slow burn of emotion and expression, presented in calmly immaculate style. The moments of his characters’ lives that Hernandez chooses to show in the telling of his tales are picked and deployed with such precision it betrays a wisdom and clarity very few storytellers possess, in comics or any other media. Just beautiful."

 Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson

Review: "Everything Is an Afterthought is as much a eulogy for the life and work of this influential critic and writer as it is a reflection of how otherworldly the entertainment industry of the 1960s and '70s appears from a contemporary perspective of online bloggers and digital music.... Avery's narrative is bookended by a morbid fascination with Nelson's lonely end, living poorly and finally dying in his apartment in 2006 at age 70. But the dual nature of his book is fantastic, because after reading about Nelson's life we desire and deserve to read his work." – Thomas Conner, Chicago Sun-Times

Review: "What is central to this magnificent book [Everything Is an Afterthought] is that Avery, a fabulous writer in his own regard, is also clearly a big Paul Nelson fan. As such, he presents a critical, yet caring, picture of Nelson's professional and personal life, the latter a bit sad and wistful, pulling out all the stops in a moving tribute, warts and all. And since he is such a good writer in his own regard, Avery's introduction to the book is almost like a second book in itself, and worth the price of admission alone. [Rating] 5 stars" – Sound Waves

Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 2: Trapped on Treasure Island

Review: "With this new book, I feel like Gottfredson’s take on the characters is blossoming into something strong enough that I wish I’d encountered it much earlier in life.... The Mickey Mouse books from Fantagraphics are full of tons of bonus material; advertising art, essays, sketches, even examples of how the stories got re-purposed down the line. These feel like the Criterion Collection DVDs translated into comic strip compilations, a prime example of how to give the readers more than their money’s worth.... With Mickey Mouse: Trapped on Treasure Island, I’m already eager to see what Gottfredson did next. I’m in for the long haul." – Greg McElhatton, Read About Comics

Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 1

Review: "If men dressed as bears are stealing your homework or you can't find that mysterious fortune teller because you have a lousy sense of direction, Tales Designed to Thrizzle can help you.  Just be aware that this book is as rapid-fire a comic as I've ever read and is an almost overwhelming experience.  If you can hang on to enjoy the ride, and are a fan of the humor of webcomics like Wondermark or the prose stylings of John Hodgman, then you really need to find someone who already owns a copy of this book and kill them for it. Or, you know, buy one for yourself.  Either way, I'm good.  And so is Tales Designed to Thrizzle." – Rob McMonigal, Panel Patter

Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture - A Career Retrospective

Plug: "Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture – A Career Retrospective is a wonderful tribute to the prolific artist... An amazing lifetime of work." – The Christian Science Monitor

Pogo Vol. 1

Plug: "Pogo Vol. 1: Through The Wild Blue Wonder – ... Kelly’s illustrations are masterful, with expressive characters who are warm and friendly. Pogo‘s deft social satire makes this collection about Pogo Possum and friends a must own for humor comics fans and people who just like good things in general." – Robot 6 guest contributors Geoffrey Golden & Amanda Meadows

Reviews: Author and comics scholar Michael Barrier examines several of our recent classic comics reprints in detail

New York Weekend Photo Round-Up!
Written by janice headley | Filed under Nate NealMark NewgardenJack DavisGary GrotheventsDrew FriedmanDerek Van GiesonBob Fingerman 8 Dec 2011 11:34 AM

Perhaps you couldn't make it to our events in New York this past weekend, or maybe you had such an awesome time, you wanna relive it again through photos.  Well, my friend... this FLOG post is for you.


photo credit: Jeff Wong

Here's the man of the weekend, Mr. Jack Davis! (I love this photo; how could I not open with it?)


photo credit: Jeff Wong

Jack had an especially busy weekend, because not only was he a guest-of-honor at the 2011 Brooklyn Comics & Graphics Festival, but he also had an art show at the Scott Eder Gallery, and a talk at The Strand Bookstore! Here he is, in a rare moment of relaxing, with fellow Fantagraphics artist Derek Van Gieson. (Not pictured, but also at the table, Nate Neal, and someone flipping through Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture!)

Jack Davis signing at The Strand
photo credit: Derek Van Gieson

Speaking of The Strand, the event at this famed NYC bookstore was a huge success! Derek has some more gorgeous black-and-white photos at his blog, and we've got some more pics from Jeff Wong below:


photo credit: Jeff Wong

Look, it's good ol' Tom Spurgeon and Bob Fingerman!


photo credit: Jeff Wong

Jack Davis, tellin' it like it IS, with Gary Groth


photo credit: Jeff Wong

And then it's on to the Brooklyn Comics & Graphics Festival! Here's Mark Newgarden and Drew Friedman, whose tables were right next to ours.


photo credit: Jeff Wong

It's always great to see Heidi MacDonald, stopping by to chat with Mark!


photo credit: Jeff Wong

Sam Henderson!

 Drew Friedman and Jack Davis
photo courtesy of Drew Friedman

And finally, here's an adorable shot of Drew and Jack, after their panel on Saturday night!

Thank you so much to The Strand Bookstore, the Scott Eder Gallery, and to the mighty organizers of the Brooklyn Comics & Graphics Festival for an amazing weekend!  Thanks to our ass-kicking artists, Josh Simmons, Kim Deitch, Dash Shaw, Jack Davis, Michael Kupperman and Al Columbia for spending time signing at our table. And, as always, thanks to our awesome customers for stopping by our table, and making our first visit to the BCGF a successful one!










Daily OCD: 12/6/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Shimura TakakoreviewsPaul NelsonPaul KarasikOlivier SchrauwenMichael KuppermanmangaLove and RocketsKevin AveryJack DavisGahan WilsonFletcher HanksDisneyDaily OCDCarl BarksBest of 2011 6 Dec 2011 8:53 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Wandering Son Vol. 1

List: About.com Manga's 2011 Best New Manga, as selected by Deb Aoki, includes Shimura Takako's Wandering Son Vol. 1 as Best New Seinen/Josei: Slice of Life: "Gender-bending is not unusual in manga, but it's rare to see transgender identity issues depicted realistically, not just as a plot gimmick. With her spare, elegant art and slice-of-life storytelling, Shimura tells a sweet and sensitive coming-of-age tale that opens your eyes and your heart to these kids and their unusual, but very real desires to be the boy/girl they know they really meant to be."

Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture - A Career Retrospective

Review: "This giant gift-book portfolio of [Jack] Davis' work reflects the high standard of design and archival presentation that is Fantagraphics' specialty.... There is a brief, punchy, informative introduction by fellow illustrator and conceptual designer William Stout, as well as a longer biographical essay at the end of the book by The Comics Journal's Gary Groth. Between these two helpful pieces are nearly 200 pages of uninterrupted artwork. The reproductions are assisted by the book's large 10-by-13-inch trim size. The size is indicative of Davis' influence, and it affords readers a panoramic view of the evolution and contributions of one of this country's most recognizable and influential cartoonists." – Casey Burchby, SF Weekly

The Man Who Grew His Beard

Review: "One thing that stories in Belgian cartoonist Olivier Schrauwen’s The Man Who Grew His Beard share is that they question their own form — and they usually feature bearded men who draw — but otherwise resist association.... So many storytellers are lauded for creating worlds so believable that they cause readers to forget. Presumably, readers forget their own realities, and become absorbed in the author’s imagined product. Schrauwen creates new worlds in every story, and these worlds envelope us, but he never allows us to forget. He doesn’t let us forget that he’s an artist, and that we are readers, and that those are his pencil lines and paint strokes on the page we’re reading. And this reminder of the form and experience is exactly what makes his stories seem so real. They refuse to deny the process with which we all struggle if rarely acknowledge, and that is the process of continually framing and creating the world in which we live." – John Dermot Woods, The Faster Times

Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010

Review: "Accompanied by cheeky illustrations, Twain's narrative traipses from Gatsbyesque Jazz Age parties to hanging out with space robots to shrinking and befriending sentient ants. The tone is authoritative yet absurd, like your father telling you that he was definitely in an acid-induced threesome with Jessica Lange in the '70s. It's a silly and ironic romp..." – Grace Bello, Bookslut

Nuts

Review: "The material has been referred to by some as 'dark,' but I disagree. It’s not cute. It’s not really intended for kids. There are big laughs in Nuts, but they come from the reality of being a kid in America, and how disillusionment came with the territory when you embarked on the road to adulthood." – Rob Bradfield, Examiner.com

Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes

Feature: Comics Alliance's Chris Sims has a fun spotlight on a seasonal Carl Barks story in Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes: "...'The Golden Christmas Tree' might just take the fruitcake. After all, most of the other Christmas stories I've read don't involve a harvest of tears or someone turning into a woodchipper."

 Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson

Interview: At Technorati, Tim O'Shea has a Q&A with Kevin Avery about Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson: "What I wanted to do was structure the book so that, after reading the first half of the book, Paul’s writing, in the second half, revealed just how much he had almost surreptitiously been telling his own story all along—in record reviews as well as articles."

I Shall Destroy All the Civilized Planets

Plug: "Fantagraphics have released two books in the last few years of Fletcher Hanks's fantastically strange comics. His work was around in the early twentieth century and it’s brimming with personality and energy. The books bring together some amazing stories and I can’t recommend them enough. Prepare to have your mind blown." – Jack Teagle, Lost at E Minor

Pogo Vol. 1

Plug: David Allen of the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin spotlights a whole mess of our (and others') classic strip reprint projects, with a lovely photo

Love and Rockets: New Stories #4

Links: Love & Maggie lines up another comprehensive batch of Love and Rockets-related links

Daily OCD: 12/5/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Walt KellyTony MillionaireShimura TakakoRichard SalareviewsPaul NelsonMickey MousemangaLove and RocketsLinda MedleyKevin HuizengaKevin AveryJoe KubertJacques TardiJack DavisinterviewsFloyd GottfredsonDisneyDave McKeanDaily OCDCarl BarksBill SchellyBest of 2011Al Jaffee 5 Dec 2011 8:04 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Love and Rockets: New Stories #4

List: The Austin American-Statesman's Joe Gross names Love and Rockets: New Stories #4 the best comic of 2011: "One of the wonderful things about seeing a masterpiece in the making is the mysterious feeling, the racing of the soul that takes place when it hits you that you are, in fact, seeing a masterpiece in the making.... Symphonic, tragic, revelatory, exciting and devastating as only great art can be, 'The Love Bunglers' is one of the best comics ever made."

Celluloid

List: Paste ranks Dave McKean's Celluloid at #5 on The 10 Best New Comics of 2011: "The visionary art director behind The Sandman’s covers creates a coital masterwork that elicits beauty and excitement in equal measure.... Celluloid is a treasure of technical finesse and sensual mystique that transcends its potential controversy."

Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 1: Race to Death Valley

List: Paste's list of The Ten Best Reissues/Collections of 2011 includes Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 1: Race to Death Valley by Floyd Gottfredson at #9 ("Gottfredson had an animator’s knack for storytelling, and his layouts remain clear no matter how busy they get. Much of the humor is stilted by modern standards, but you’ll be too enthralled by the exciting plots and likable characters to care"), Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture – A Career Retrospective at #7 ("Fantagraphics has finally given him the grand and serious treatment he deserves, without minimizing his goofy sense of humor"), and Walt Disney’s Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes in the #1 spot ("Barks’ strips combine high adventure with humor and subtle cultural commentaries, but they remain grounded in character... Lost in the Andes is a gorgeously packaged collection of some of the finest comics ever made.")

Reviews (Video): On the new episode of the Comics-and-More Podcast, hosts Dave Ferraro and Patrick Markfort discuss Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 1: Race to Death Valley by Floyd Gottfredson and Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes by Carl Barks (two-part video at the link)

Ganges #4

List: At Poopsheet Foundation, Justin Giampaoli names Kevin Huizenga's Ganges #4 one of the "Best Mini-Comics & Small Press Titles of 2011": "It’s the continuing adventures of Glenn Ganges and his latest nocturnal outing, as he navigates his sleepless existence on a seemingly endless night. With the degree of interactivity occurring between the page and the readers, there’s as much technique on display here as there is original storytelling."

List: Leeds, UK comic shop OK Comics posts their Top Ten Graphic Novels of 2011: "9. Like a Sniper Lining Up His Shot by Jaques Tardi published by @fantagraphics. A hitman's reluctance to perform one last job leads to an emotional breakdown. Legendary French comics artist Jacques Tardi on fine form."

Pogo Vol. 1

List: The Globe and Mail includes Pogo - The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips Volume 1: Through the Wild Blue Wonder by Walt Kelly in their "2011 gift book guide": "Fans of what for many is the greatest of all comic strips have waited a long time for this, the first of a projected 12 volumes (1949-1950) from the brilliant Walt Kelly. The congenial Pogo Possum and his swampland friends... spring to life in this collection of daily and Sunday comics, filled with Kelly’s characteristic wordplay. One hopes this will introduce a new generation to this comic, satiric masterwork."

Review: "Pogo: The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips: Volume 1—Through the Wild Blue Wonder proves to be worth the wait.... Overall, the package serves Pogo well.... The biggest revelation of reading the first two years of Pogo is how polished and funny the strip was right from the start, and also how nearly every Pogo panel is a delight unto itself. Kelly didn’t necessarily build to big punchlines; he’d slip funny sight gags and memorable lines everywhere there was room. ...[T]here’s a classic Pogo moment on just about every page of this book." – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club

Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes

Review: "Even now, Barks’ stories are clever and funny, as he leads the ducks into impossible situations and then gives them unexpected ways out. And they’re poignant in their own way, too.... What’s impressive about Fantagraphics’ Lost in the Andes is that it encourages both a fannish and an intellectual approach to the material. For those who want to skew highbrow, the book includes an appendix with scholarly analysis of each story.... And for those who just want to curl up with more than 200 pages of some of the best-written comics ever published, Lost in the Andes has all the square eggs, rubber bricks, golden Christmas trees, and races around the world that any kid or grown-up could ever want." – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club

Review: "Fantagraphics’ initial release of its new series of Carl Barks books is titled, Walt Disney’s Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes and reprints one of the most famous, and most BELOVED, comic book stories which Carl ever wrote and drew! ...I’m impressed with the quality of the publication. In my estimation, the coloring is excellent and the format engaging…. The critical essays composed by a number of Barks scholars are also insightful and well written.... In my opinion, as a Carl Barks fan, this initial volume is well worth acquiring!" – Carl Barks Fan Club Newsletter

The Art of Joe Kubert

Reviews: "Two... giants of American illustration get the handsome coffee-table-book treatment with Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture and The Art of Joe Kubert... The Kubert book — edited by Bill Schelly — is more text-heavy, covering Kubert’s early years as a journeyman penciler and inker on a slew of indistinct superhero and adventure comics, then exploring how Kubert developed the fine shading and gritty realism he’d become famed for starting in the late ’50s. The Davis book saves most of its biographical detail and critical analysis for the intro and appendix, filling the intervening 200 pages with full-sized examples of the half-cartoony/half-photographic approach that Davis brought to Mad magazine and countless movie posters. Both offer ample visual evidence of how two men found the 'art' in commercial art, turning work-for-hire assignments into opportunities to express their particular visions of the world." – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club

 Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson

List: Springfield, Massachusetts The Republican columnist Tom Shea has Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson by Kevin Avery in a tie for "music book of the year"

Review: "To (re-)discover a first-rate critic, and read about a life that went wrong in a harrowing way, you must read Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson, by Kevin Avery.... This volume is exhilarating. Avery tells with great energy Nelson’s tale, with copious details about the active period of his subject’s life, and in so doing limns a portrait of a certain kind of pop-culture/bohemian existence in the late-70s. And Avery’s generous selection of Nelson’s writings are certainly among Paul’s best..." – Ken Tucker (Entertainment Weekly), The Best American Poetry

Wandering Son Vol. 1

Review: "What makes Wandering Son work is its slow-burn pace and calm atmosphere. It takes a delicate subject – transgender children- and explores it slowly and carefully. Much like its characters, it moves at its own pace, easing the reader into the characters’ lives.... I am really eager to read volume two of Wandering Son, though a little hesitant as well. I know that the road in front of Shu and Yoshino isn’t going to be an easy one and I don’t want to see them get hurt. But the fact that I’m talking about the characters as though they’re real people just shows how deep this manga has gotten under my skin." – Shannon Fay, Kuriousity

The Hidden

Review: "Richard Sala is one of those creators that holds a fairly unique voice in comics. Many people have tried to replicate his off-beat brand of horror, but ultimately nothing out there quite like his. So with a new graphic novel called The Hidden out, the question for most people won’t be, 'Should I read it?' but 'When should I read it?'... The Hidden isn’t perfect... but what Sala does well, he does very well indeed. There’s quite a lot to love in The Hidden, with some scenes in particular that will stick with the reader for a long time." – Greg McElhatton, Read About Comics

500 Portraits

Plug: "This new book of portraits from @tonymillionaire is exquisite: a wonderful Xmas gift!" – Peter Serafinowicz

Plug: Laughing Squid's Rusty Blazenhoff spotlights Tony Millionaire's 500 Portraits

Castle Waiting Vol. 1

Plug: "Have you ever wondered what happened after 'Happily Ever After'? This graphic novel [Castle Waiting] is a modern tale that incorporates fairytale characters and settings. Funny, thoughtful and not at all what you'd expect." – The Victoria Times Colonist

Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture - A Career Retrospective

Interview: Wall Street Journal subscribers can read a Q&A with Jack Davis conducted last week in NYC by Bruce Bennett here: "Every time you went in to see Bill Gaines, he would write you a check when you brought in a story. You didn't have to put in a bill or anything. I was very, very hungry and I was thinking about getting married. So I kept the road pretty hot between home and Canal Street. I would go in for that almighty check, go home and do the work, bring it in and get another check and pick up another story." [Update: A clever reader has pointed out that non-subscribers can read the article in Google's cache]

Humbug

Profile: CNN's Todd Leopold profiles the great Al Jaffee: "After a bumpy several years in which he bounced like a pinball between his parents -- moving from Savannah, Georgia, to Lithuania, to one borough and then another of New York City, back to Lithuania and back again to New York -- art was something to hold on to, a way to establish an identity. He had no idea it would lead anywhere."

Jack Davis at the Scott Eder Gallery Brooklyn Tonight!
Written by janice headley | Filed under Jack Daviseventsart shows 2 Dec 2011 8:28 AM

Drawing Pop Culture: The Art of Jack Davis poster

Thank you so much to everyone who made it out to The Strand last night as our own Gary Groth chatted with the legendary cartoonist Jack Davis!  If you missed out, or you're just MAD for more, you're in luck!

Tonight, Friday, December 2nd, the Scott Eder Gallery in Brooklyn is proud to present an exhibit showcasing Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture, with the artist himself in attendance! (And it's his birthday so you can wish him a happy birthday in person!)

In his first solo exhibition at the gallery, the iconic artist will present a collection of his ingenious drawings from across his half-century long career. Included are watercolors used on the cover of Time and TV Guide; comic book pages from MAD; Davis' famously gnarled football illustrations; and a rogue's gallery of cowboys, hunters and frustrated politicians. Plus, there will be a surprise or two from his classic Bill Gaines' 1950's EC Comics The Crypt of Terror and Two-Fisted Tales. This exhibition offers a rare glimpse into the process and career trajectory one of America's greatest visual commentators.

Join Jack Davis at the opening reception, from 6:00 - 8:00 PM at the Scott Eder Gallery [ 18 Bridge St. #2i, Brooklyn ]. This exhibit is presented in conjunction with The Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival (where you can also meet Jack on Saturday, December 3rd)!

Jack Davis at the Scott Eder Gallery

Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture - Previews, Pre-Order
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under videopreviewsnew releasesJack Davis 1 Dec 2011 1:00 AM

Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture – A Career Retrospective

Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture - A Career Retrospective
by Jack Davis

208-page full-color 10.25" x 13.25" hardcover • $49.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-447-4

Ships in: December 2011 (subject to change) — Pre-Order Now

Jack Davis arrived on the illustration scene in the euphoric post-war America of the late 1940s when consumer society was booming and the work force identified with commercial images that reflected this underlying sense of confidence and American bravado. Advertising agencies were looking for new ways to tap a rich and expanding market, and there was a vast array of media that needed illustrations. Davis’ animated and exuberant images possessed a sense of spontaneous energy that proved to have universal appeal in every medium he worked in.

Beginning with his masterful pen and ink cartooning at EC Comics, he quickly forged a reputation as one of the most versatile artists in comics, drawing humor, horror, and war stories. In Harvey Kurtzman’s MAD, especially, Davis made a mark as a master of caricature, composition, and wild, anarchic crowd scenes, practically vibrating with energy.

After stints at MAD, Trump, and Humbug — three humor magazines that defined the satirical zeitgeist of the ’50s — Davis went on to become the most successful commercial illustrator of his generation, illustrating movie posters, magazine articles, magazine fiction, LP jackets, and more.

Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture is a gigantic, unparalleled career-spanning retrospective, between whose hard covers resides the greatest collection — in terms of both quantity and quality — of Jack Davis’ work ever assembled! It includes work from every stage of his long and varied career, such as: excerpts of satirical drawings from his college humor ’zine, The Bull Sheet; examples of his comics work from EC, MAD, Humbug, Trump, and obscure work he did for other companies in the 1950s such as Dell; movie posters including It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, The Bad News Bears, Woody Allen’s Bananas, The Party, and others; LP jacket art for such musicians and bands as Hans Conreid and the Creature Orchestra’s Monster Rally, Spike Jones and Ben Cooler; cartoons and illustrations from Playboy, Sports Illustrated, Time, TV Guide, Esquire, and many others; unpublished illustrations and drawings Davis did as self-promotional pieces, proposed comic strips that never sold (such as his Civil War epic “Beaureagard”), finished drawings for unrealized magazine projects — and even illustrations unearthed in the Davis archives that the artist himself can’t identify!

Much of the material will be scanned directly from original art, showing the painterly brush strokes and black and white pen work with far greater fidelity than any previous reproduction ever has. Many paintings and illustrations are accompanied by preliminary drawings that demonstrate the evolution of Davis’ drawing process.

In the back of the book you'll find a biography of Davis by Gary Groth, as well as tributes and testimonals written by a spectrum of Davis's cartoonist contemporaries and fans including Sergio Aragonés, Peter Bagge, Coop, Bob Fingerman, Drew Friedman, Bill Griffith, Al Jaffee, Joe Kubert, Peter Kuper, Tony Millionaire, Nate Neal, Spain Rodriguez and Jim Woodring.

Download a PDF excerpt (33.2 MB) with a smattering of 22 pages from the book.

Video & Photo Slideshow Preview (view in new window):



Daily OCD: 11/30/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Wilfred SantiagoWalt KellyT Edward BakShimura TakakoreviewsmangaJoe SaccoJacques TardiJack DavisDisneyDaily OCDCarl BarksBlazing Combat21 30 Nov 2011 7:14 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Wandering Son Vol. 2

Review: "Shimura Takako’s story of two adolescents—a boy who wants to be a girl and a girl who wants to be a boy—isn’t exactly fast-paced in terms of plot, but [Wandering Son] book 2 continues the excellent work of book 1 and raises the emotional stakes a bit.... There’s... a slowly unfolding pleasure to Shimura’s story. Sensitive to the plight of young teenagers and potentially transgender youth alike, she’s managed to create a compelling story without including much that, considered in isolation, is particularly dramatic, which speaks to the realism of her efforts." – Hillary Brown, Paste

Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes

Review: "This is really fantastic storytelling. Another review of this volume [Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes] compared it to Tintin, and I think that’s very apt. There’s the adventures in foreign lands, the constant peril, the occasional wacky gags thrown in to alleviate said peril, and of course good old American ingenuity that, thankfully, never verges on jingoism quite as much as Tintin sometimes did.... I picked this up thinking it’d be a good chance to see if I liked Carl Barks and what the fuss was all about. Well, now I get it – and I’m hooked. ...[T]his is well worth the purchase for any fan of classic comics." – Sean Gaffney, Manga Bookshelf

Pogo Vol. 1

Review: "Kelly’s genius was the ability to beautifully, vivaciously draw comedic, tragic, pompous, sympathetic characters of any shape or breed and make them inescapably human and he used that gift to blend hard-hitting observation of our crimes, foibles and peccadilloes with rampaging whimsy, poesy and sheer exuberant joie de vivre. The hairy, scaly, feathered slimy folk here are inescapably us, elevated by burlesque, slapstick, absurdism and all the glorious joys of wordplay from puns to malapropisms to raucous accent humour into a multi-layered hodge-podge of all-ages accessible delight.... Timeless and magical, Pogo is a giant of world literature, not simply comics, and this magnificent edition should be the pride of every home’s bookshelf." – Win Wiacek, Now Read This!

21: The Story of Roberto Clemente

Review: "...I was extremely impressed by Santiago's artistic abilities. He manages to shift the comic page in ways you'd never think of for a biography, using all sorts of layouts, from jagged panels to Family Circus ovals to standard grid formats. His characters wiggle their way through when in motion, show their feelings on faces that are slightly oversized and full of expression, and sometimes contort themselves into shapes that aren't quite natural. It's an artistic tour de force and shows that bio comics do not have to be the stolid, one step at a time narrative that we often see. ...21 is an excellent book... Clemente is every bit the important figure in baseball history that Robinson was, and more people need to know his story. 21 is an excellent place to start, either for you or the baseball fan in your life." – Rob McMonigal, Panel Patter

Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture - A Career Retrospective

Plugs: For Robot 6's ongoing "Holiday Gift-Giving Guide" survey of comics creators, Kagan McLeod says "I just read last year’s It Was the War of the Trenches by Jacques Tardi and would recommend it. Not really cheery holiday stuff, though. Along the same theme is the Blazing Combat collection which also came out last year," and "I’m hyped for Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture: A Career Retrospective, which comes out in a few weeks." 

Safe Area Gorazde: The Special Edition

Feature: L'actualité features Joe Sacco (bien sur) and pages from Palestine and Safe Area Gorazde in a slideshow of comics reportage, calling him "the current pope" of the genre

Fantagraphics booth - TCAF 2011

Travelogue: T. Edward Bak wrote more about his trip to St. Petersburg and sent it along with some photos to Tom Devlin who posted it all on the D&Q blog

Jack Davis Signing at The Strand NYC
Written by janice headley | Filed under Jack DavisGary Grothevents 30 Nov 2011 8:33 AM

Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture

Oh, New York City... I know you've already bought your tickets for this, right? RIGHT?!

'Cause holy hell, you do not want to miss this incredible event.  The legendary MAD Magazine cartoonist Jack Davis will be at the Strand Bookstore on Thursday, December 1st for a discussion and signing for Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture.

How often do you get the chance to hear Jack Davis speak about his extensive and influential career?  And how often are we able to pair him on stage with our one and only Gary Groth leading the interview?

You can either buy the book or a $10 Strand Gift Card in order to attend this event, but I'm sure you've already done that, RIGHT? Both options admit two people.

So, join Jack and Gary for this exciting event Thursday night at 7:00 PM, in the Rare Book Room on the 3rd Floor of The Strand [ 828 Broadway (at 12th St.) ].

And don't forget, Jack will be signing at the Brooklyn Comics & Graphics Fest this Saturday, too, and has an exhibit opening at the Scott Eder Gallery on Friday... Oh, you lucky, lucky city.

Fantagraphics at the 2011 Brooklyn Comics & Graphics Festival
Written by janice headley | Filed under Zak SallyVictor KerlowTony MillionaireTom KaczynskiSammy HarkhamMichael KuppermanMark NewgardenLeslie SteinKim DeitchJosh SimmonsJoseph Lambertjon vermilyeajohn kerschbaumJesse MoynihanJasonJack DavisGreg SadowskiGary PanterGary GrothGabrielle BellFrank SantoroeventsDrew FriedmanDash ShawChuck ForsmanBen CatmullAl Columbia 29 Nov 2011 8:10 AM

For the first time ever, Fantagraphics will be exhibiting at the Brooklyn Comics & Graphics Festival! Come visit us this Saturday, December 3rd from 12:00 - 9:00 PM for a wealth of debuts, artist appearances, and the great Gary Groth manning the table!


Gary will be joined by a truly all-star cast of artists for our first BCGF:

1PM: Josh Simmons
2PM: Kim Deitch
3PM: Dash Shaw
5PM: Jack Davis
6PM: Michael Kupperman
7PM: Al Columbia

And even more of our artists will be exhibiting at the show, including Gabrielle Bell, Ben Catmull, Charles Forsman, Drew Friedman, Sammy Harkham, Tom Kaczynski, John Kerschbaum, Victor Kerlow, Joseph Lambert, Mark Newgarden, Jesse Moynihan, Gary Panter, Zak Sally, Leslie Stein, and Jon Vermilyea... PHEW! Pick up their books from our table, and then seek these artists out at their own!


Bring a big bag, because you'll also wanna pick up our excellent debuts at the festival!

Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture - A Career Retrospective 500 Portraits by Tony Millionaire

Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture by Jack Davis
500 Portraits by Tony Millionaire

Action! Mystery! Thrills! Comic Book Covers of the Golden Age 1933-45  Jason Conquers America

Action! Mystery! Thrills! Great Comic Book Covers 1936-1945 edited by Greg Sadowski
Jason Conquers America by Jason


Where can you find all this awesome? Fantagraphics will be in the downstairs section at the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church [ 275 North 8th Street ], at tables 31 & 32:


And finally, make sure you don't miss our artists in these panels!  These will all take place at Union Pool  [ 484 Union Avenue # A ], and the panels are free and open to the public:

1:30 PM // JACK DAVIS Q+A

Legendary cartoonist Jack Davis made his mark producing horror and war stories for EC Comics, before finding his métier in satire as one of the original (and longest running) artists for MAD Magazine. As a prolific illustrator, Davis defined the caricatural style of the 1960s and 1970s—and beyond. In this rare public appearance, Davis will discuss his career with Fantagraphics co-publisher Gary Groth and illustrator Drew Friedman.

[ Jack Davis fans, please note: he will also be appearing on Friday, December 2nd at the opening of his exhibit at the Scott Eder Gallery! Don't miss it! ]

2:30 PM // GESTURAL AESTHETICS

As comics have evolved beyond their commercial roots toward more individualistic modes of expression, they have been infused with new influences from other fields of art including printmaking, collage and painting. Additionally, new printing technologies have permitted the reproduction of artwork that more closely shows the work of an artist’s hand. Austin English, Dunja Jankovic and Frank Santoro will discuss new aesthetics in comics with moderator Bill Kartalopoulos.

6:00 PM // THE LANGUAGE IN COMICS

The recent embrace of graphic novels by the publishing industry has led to misguided attempts to evaluate comics according to the standards and conventions of literary fiction. The writing in comics occupies a more peculiar place, with its own constraints and opportunities. John Porcellino, Gabrielle Bell, and David Sandlin will discuss the particular demands of writing within a visually-driven form in this conversation moderated by novelist Myla Goldberg.


So, get ready! And we'll see you in Brooklyn this Saturday!







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