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Category >> Jacques Tardi

Daily OCD: 10/26/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under MomeMichael KuppermanLilli CarréKevin HuizengaJim BlanchardJacques TardiGilbert HernandezCarol TylerBob FingermanaudioAl ColumbiaAbstract Comics 26 Oct 2009 2:21 PM

Today brings some big-deal Online Commentary & Diversions:

• Review: At Comics Comics, Frank Santoro declares The Troublemakers by Gilbert Hernandez "Best in Show" at APE and gives it a wordless review that says it all

• Review: "Translated into English for the first time since it was written, more than 25 years ago, Jacques Tardi & Jean-Claude Forest’s You Are There proves well worth the wait. Forest’s satirical, minimalist writing lampoons French society and human greed with equal skill, and Tardi has never done better art: It’s all deep, dark pools of blackness that perfectly match the pitch-dark humor of the writing. Equal parts Beckett and Kafka, the story explores the conflict between greedy speculators and the last heir of an aristocratic family whose land has been reduced to a series of precarious walls and towers. Tardi’s intricate, gorgeous art gets better and better until the book’s spectacular ending. It’s an absolute must-read for anyone interested in how European comics got to where they are today. Had this been translated earlier, it likely would be counted as one of the masterpieces of the rich period of the mid-’80s… [Grade:] A" – The A.V. Club

• Review: "One of the best things about Mome is that, as a reader, I feel like I'm getting work from each artist that's their 'A' material. [Lilli] Carré and [Dash] Shaw have many other outlets for publication, but it's clear that they take a special delight in having an outlet for their short story ideas. [Nate] Neal and Kurt Wolfgang have Mome as their primary outlet for publication, and clearly go all-out in every story. ... I'd like to see young artists like [Conor] O'Keefe and [Sara] Edward-Corbett grow more ambitious and perhaps even serialize a story in the anthology. Of course, seeing outstanding work from old favorites along with translated short stories of European artists has been another welcome trend for what continues to be a must-read book, issue after issue." – Rob Clough

• Profile: Robot 6's Chris Mautner, undoubtedly echoing the sentiments of many, makes his plea for a collection of the early work of Al Columbia

• Interview: C. Tyler appeared on Cincinnati NPR station WVXU yesterday to discuss You'll Never Know Book 1: A Good and Decent Man on the Around Cincinnati program (direct MP3 link)

• Interview: Art historian and critic Catherine Spaeth talks to Abstract Comics editor Andrei Molotiu: "One thing that is interesting to me about abstract comics is exactly that they contain no preexisting narrative and therefore no excuse for a sense of diegetic time. You’re not following a story, so what you are left with are the actual visual elements on the page (panels, shapes) that move your eye from panel to panel but outside of a fictional time frame."

• Events: Vince Keenan has a brief recap of the Fantagraphics-sponsored comics panel at Seattle Bookfest

• Things to read: Michael Kupperman blogs two short prose stories starring Twain & Einstein

• Things to see: A Halloweeny animated drawing by Lilli Carré

• Things to see: A new Glenn Ganges two-pager, sans dialogue, from Kevin Huizenga

• Things to see: Jim Blanchard sure gets some cool commissions

• Things to see: Bob Fingerman draws a "big butt girl" (I know, shocker, right? I kid, I kid)

Daily OCD: 10/23/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewsLove and RocketsJacques Tardifan artEleanor DavisCarol Swain 23 Oct 2009 4:50 PM

Some Online Commentary & Diversions to wrap up your week:

• Review: "Artist Carol Swain brings a sober British reserve to her husband Bruce Paley's tales of hippie and punk excess for a nostalgic feel with the winning Giraffes In My Hair: A Rock ‘n' Roll Life. ...[F]rom the late ‘60s through the early ‘80s, his peripatetic adventures with drugs, women, and punker Johnny Thunders make for a series of fun, roguish vignettes. ... Swain uses pencil to understated effect, and works up a lyrical, nostalgic vibe. Her simple scenes arrange a loose chronological narrative into a warm experience conveyed as in a film or a song—at its best, Giraffes plays like Dylan's 'Tangled Up in Blue,' if you will. ... Highly recommended." – Byron Kerman, PLAYBACK:stl

• Review: "West Coast Blues is just the right mixture of action, suspense, and surprise to keep just about any reader’s attention. ... It’s hard to ignore the strength of Tardi’s art in making West Coast Blues such a strong graphic novel. ... West Coast Blues is a sharp, beautiful book. ... For people looking for a noir thriller, you’ve come to the right place." – Greg McElhatton, Read About Comics

• Things to see: At the Covered blog, a version of Love and Rockets #23 by the artist KG

• Things to see: Oh, these fairy tale illustrations for The Guardian by Eleanor Davis are just lovely

Daily OCD: 10/22/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under staffreviewsKevin HuizengaJaime HernandezJacques TardiCarol SwainaudioAl ColumbiaAbstract Comics 22 Oct 2009 3:38 PM

Poppin' fresh Online Commentary & Diversions:

• Review: "Giraffes in My Hair: A Rock ‘N' Roll Life... is deeply personal but doesn't get bogged down with self service or making a Titan out of a man. I love that here we have a view of some of the seedier sides of counterculture that doesn't have an agenda beyond the act of sharing...of storytelling. It feels like a recounting, almost a journalistic telling of the facts of his personal history. But it also feels like you're having a great dinner with an old friend. ... As a graphic novel it is very strong. Carol Swain’s rough-layered pencils are distinct and complex with texture. ... Giraffes achieves a fusion of art and story where each serves the other in a mutually empowering way. An ideal comic. It is sharp and witty visual commentary on sharp and witty writing. There is a great eye for details at play with Swain's artwork. ... It is as though the story and memory of the story are more important than the teller himself. Brilliant." – Jared Gniewek, Graphic NYC

• Review: "The fact is that comics have always had an abstract artistic potential — and as far as my memory goes, one that is accepted by all worthwhile theoretical definitions of comics. But, until now, its role was secondary, relegated to isolated experiments. It is here that the anthology does its job: presenting an overview and organizing it, Abstract Comics creates a movement. From it, abstraction in comics can move beyond an experiment and become a legitimate possibility — a process that began in the visual arts years ago." – Eduardo Nasi, Universo HQ (translated from Portuguese on the Abstract Comics Blog)

• Review: "West Coast Blues is Fantagraphics' first offering in what one hopes will be am ambitious Tardi reprint project... It's an elegant, somewhat unorthodox set-up, at least with Tardi's narration, and indeed Tardi makes a number of creative, idiosyncratic choices in adapting the novel. ... The '70s milieu shouldn't put anyone off, and in fact that's one of the book's charms, with Tardi's clean line depicting classic old Mercedes and Citroens, and plenty of legwork and driving rather than digital assistance. Tardi has a really appealing style, clear and photorealistic in the details and yet messy with life. ... Tardi doesn't shy away from the violence of the story, but he doesn't revel in it, either, his pages all varying grids, many with tall, narrow panels that keep the pace brisk." – Christopher Allen, Comic Book Galaxy

• Plug: "As Orson Welles and Terry Gilliam have film adaptations of Don Quixote as their great incomplete masterworks; Al Columbia has Pim and Francie. A work over 15 years in the making, and never now likely to be ‘finished', the pieces of it have been assembled as Pim & Francie: The Golden Bear Days." – Marc Arsenault, Wow Cool

• Interview: The folks at The Comix Claptrap kick off another season of comics podcasting by talking to Jaime Hernandez, in streaming and downloadable audio

• Things to see: The Covered blog is a Fantagraphics intraoffice special today, as Jason T. Miles pays homage to Eric Reynolds

• Things to see: I think Kevin Huizenga is on to something with "The System"

New Comics Day 10/14/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Ted StearnRenee Frenchnicolas mahlerNew Comics DayMomeJacques TardiArcher Prewitt 13 Oct 2009 4:54 PM

Scheduled to make their way to comics shops this week:

Mome Vol. 16 - Fall 2009

Mome Vol. 16 - Fall 2009 (note: mistakenly listed as Summer 2009 on Diamond's shipping list) - with the Mome debuts of cover artist Renee French, Nicolas Mahler, Archer Prewitt, & Ted Stearn, plus the usual mess of other great stuff.

You Are There by Jacques Tardi & Jean-Claude Forest

You Are There by Jacques Tardi & Jean-Claude Forest - the landmark Eurocomics graphic novel, newly translated and presented for North American audiences for the first time.

More info and previews can, of course, be seen at the links above, so have a look-see, confirm availability with your local shop, and buy buy buy.

Daily OCD: 10/13/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under The Comics JournalreviewsPeanutsMegan KelsoJohnny RyanJasonJacques TardiHans RickheitGil KaneDaniel Clowescomics industryCharles M Schulz 13 Oct 2009 3:40 PM

Holy smokes, there's no shortage of Online Commentary & Diversions today:

• Review: "...Prison Pit... is nothing less than a continuous, no-holds barred, violent assault on the eyes. It is literally one god damned, bloody fight scene after another... The book's genius lies in Ryan's sheer nerve and imagination in setting up these battles; he constantly ups the ante in the most bizarre and inventive ways possible. ... Ryan's love of body functions goes into full gonzo mode here. ...you've got a book where body horror extends far beyond the repulsive into the truly sublime and inspired. ... Despite the gore, or perhaps, because of it, Prison Pit is a fantastic, accomplished work." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6

• Review: "Page after page [of The Squirrel Machine] features one of the brothers traversing through some odd, off-kilter landscape, either out in the woods, or, more often, in their home. Between the floorboards and walls seem to exist an endless array of paths and rooms, each cluttered with an endless array of junk, machines and the occasional disturbing, inexplicable oddity. The end result resembles more of an old-style adventure video game than a comic. It's Myst, directed by David Cronenberg." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6 (same link as above)

• Review: "Perhaps what makes West Coast Blues so captivating is how well it highlights the similarities between film and comics, while simultaneously showcasing its own unique ability as a graphic novel to capture the noir aesthetic through word and image. ... Not unlike many noir films, West Coast Blues is replete with car chases, hit-men, drinking, guns, and the occasional salacious scene. All of this is set in Tardi’s straightforward drawing style which is a good fit for the almost matter-of-fact, unsentimental manner in which violence, sex, and life in general are met with during the course of the book." – Sara Cole, PopMatters

• Review: "Most comic strips today, especially those that are humor strips, often avoid topical subjects. Schulz embraced the topics of the era.  They may date the strip, but it never leaves them outdated. ... Schulz was also not afraid to carry on-going storylines for several days or in some cases, even a couple of weeks. ... [The Complete Peanuts 1973-1974 ] also features all the favorite subjects like Linus’ annual wait for the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown’s trip to Summer camp, and Sally’s letters to Santa Claus.  This is why Peanuts is the greatest strip ever!" – Tim Janson, Newsarama

• Review: "Jason seems to delight in building firm plots, only to swiftly tug them out of sync. The resulting offbeat dynamic is punctuated with deadpan verbal, narrative and graphic punch lines, which pin the stories down at the same time that they suggest grander meanings. 'Where am I?' asks a prisoner. 'I think I'll do some gardening,' says a murdered man. 'Which way?' a son asks his father in 'You Are Here' — the heartrending emotional core of the collection [Low Moon] — as they search for his mother on a barren planet. Each line and frame could mean nothing or could mean everything in this quiet, gripping book." – Becky Ferreira, The L Magazine

• Interview: Jason speaks frankly about Low Moon with Becky Ferreira of The L Magazine (different link than above): "Low Moon, the story, wasn't long enough for a book of its own, so I had to include some other stories to fill it out. They were just ideas for shorter stories I had lying around. There wasn't meant to be any thematic unity. Death, I guess, is a repeating theme. People die a lot."

• Interview: Tommy Hill of the Columbia Daily Spectator talks to The Comics Journal assistant editor Kristy Valenti about comics criticism and The Importance of Comics: "I teach my interns that nobody cares about them and their feelings and their dog when they were 8; while their experience and perspective is valuable, it’s just a jumping off point to get at bigger things."

• Plugs: In his Washington Post review of David Small's Stitches, Michael Sims places Daniel Clowes's Ghost World and Megan Kelso's The Squirrel Mother on "the list of powerful works of art in this versatile medium"

• Plug: "You Are There...: More beautiful Jacques Tardi, a seminal work in comics for adults in the French-language market and a first-paragraph mention work for both Tardi and writer Jean-Claude Forest." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter

• Plug: "[You Are There] is a strange, wordy, spicy satire, seeing a man struggle to live on the walls surrounding land stolen from him; maybe it's best to see for yourself." - Joe McCulloch, Jog - The Blog (read the rest of his blurb for some interesting background info on the book)

• Events: At his blog, Hans Rickheit reports back from his Squirrel Machine book tour

• History: At Bleeding Cool, Warren Ellis examines the place of Gil Kane's Blackmark in comics history

Thompson on Tardi
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Jacques Tardiaudio 9 Oct 2009 8:24 PM

West Coast Blues, You Are There

In a must-listen interview, Robin McConnell of the Inkstuds radio programme talks to our very own Kim Thompson about editing, translating, and publishing the works of Jacques Tardi in North America.

Daily OCD: 10/6/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Roger LangridgereviewsPeanutsJosh SimmonsJacques TardiIgnatz SeriesFemke HiemstraCarol Tyler 6 Oct 2009 4:40 PM

Your daily dose of Online Commentary & Diversions:

• Review: "Maybe it’s because blood and brain matter look somewhat more disturbing in the chunky, primitive black and white favored by famed French cartoonist Tardi, but there’s something particularly creepy about his adaptation of the late Manchette’s crime novel [West Coast Blues] that wouldn’t have been well served by color. ... Manchette’s plot is pure pulp, with a driving engine for a plot and a Lee Marvin-like inclination toward swift and unreflective action. Tardi’s art delivers the action with admirable punch and attitude to spare." – Publishers Weekly

• Review: "Rock Candy is a wonderful book. [Femke] Hiemstra's work is a tribute to folk tales and surreal nightmares. It could not be better portrayed than how designer Jacob Covey of Fantagraphics has done it. This compact book, in style with Hiemstra's art, depicts her imaginative work in a playful way. Sketches, examples and inspirations then give a look behind the scenes how Hiemstra's childhood dreams and nightmares are established. An absolute must!" – Cadoc.nl (translated from Dutch)

• Plugs: At Robot 6, Sean T. Collins runs down his SPX haul, including a bunch of our Ignatz Series titles

• (Wild) Things to see: Vice magazine has a series of strips they commissioned to tie in with the Where the Wild Things Are movie by some of our favorite cartoonists selected by Johnny Ryan; Josh Simmons contributed this strip and reveals a different one that was rejected (for PG-13 gore)

• Things to see: Peanuts parody from Roger Langridge

• Things to see and buy: Via email from C. Tyler: a rare original Justin Green comics page on eBay

Daily OCD: 10/5/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tim HensleyrockRobert PollardRobert GoodinreviewsPrince ValiantPeanutsLove and RocketsKevin HuizengaJim FloraJaime HernandezJacques TardiHal FosterFrom Wonderland with LoveEllen ForneyDash ShawCharles M Schulzart 5 Oct 2009 3:52 PM

Lots of Online Commentary & Diversions today:

• Review: "The graphic novel, it turns out, is a form especially well-suited to the noir genre. Maybe this isn’t surprising — comics have always run the gamut of moods from goofy to autobiographical to just plain smutty. But it still gives a shiver of pleasure to stumble upon a graphic novel that captures the hardboiled tone of classic noir as perfectly as West Coast Blues, Jacques Tardi’s adaptation of a 1976 crime novel by Jean-Patrick Manchette. ... The plot includes bursts of bruality, dark realizations, alluring women and grizzled observations from its antihero — all the best conventions of noir, in other words, preserved and reborn in a fresh new medium. File it next to Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler." – Molly Young, We Love You So

• Review: "...[West Coast Blues is] a well-crafted piece of genre entertainment. I dug it." – Sandy Bilus, I Love Rob Liefeld

• Review: "I had a significant crush on The Death Of Speedy Ortiz the summer I was 20 years old, reading and re-reading the serialized story with a passion I had never brought to a single comic story before then. ... I thought it was wonderful that summer I read it 10,000 times, and I remain convinced it's a special story every time I've picked it up since." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter

• Review: "One of the many, many things I like about Kevin Huizenga's work is that a lot of his comics are about things that are not likely candidates for visual representation, and he manages to make them fascinating to look at anyway. Most of [Ganges #3] is about the process of perceiving one's own consciousness--the sort of hyperconsciousness of your own mind that happens when you're trying to get to sleep and can't--which is potentially the least interesting thing anybody could draw. And it looks fantastic..." – Douglas Wolk, The Savage Critics

• Review: "[Prince Valiant Vol. 1: 1937-1938] is gorgeous. ... [Hal] Foster is frequently cited as an influence on other great cartoonists, and part of it is his precise line and the way he builds a convincing world from authentic architecture, clothing and armaments. That's part of the appeal, but Foster also excels at staging. ... Unlike daily strip collections, the full, weekly Prince Valiant page ends up a brisk, headlong read... Prince Valiant is something I picked up expecting to admire. I had no idea I would love it. – Christopher Allen, Comic Book Galaxy

• Review: "Although far from all the artists represented in the new anthology From Wonderland with Love are so experimental with form and content that you must ask yourself if this can really still be termed comics, it is truly the cream of the crop who are assembled here. This collection offers a great perspective on how broad and versatile the talent pool is in Denmark." – Torben Rølmer Bille, Kulturkapellet (translated from Danish)

• Review: "Charles M. Schulz is my favorite cartoonist, so I was excited to see that the 12th volume in the [Complete Peanuts] series has an introduction by the legendary Billie Jean King... This is a important series of books which I give an ‘A Plus’ and I think it would be the ultimate part of a Peanuts fan’s collection!" – The Catgirl Critics' Media Mewsings

• Interview: At Largehearted Boy, author Jami Attenberg talks to Ellen Forney, saying "This mixture of openness and strength makes her work... extremely powerful and relatable, and probably very necessary for your bookshelf." From Ellen: "Sometimes I have to reflect and remind myself that I do have many more skills and more experience in my repertoire at this point, and to appreciate that the challenges don't freak me out so much. Still, some challenges are exhilarating and some are a pain in the ass."

• Commentary: At Comics Comics, Dash Shaw comments on and posts a transcript of a panel he was on at TCAF earlier this year

• Things to see: Coffee shop sketchbookery by Robert Goodin

• Things to see and buy: Puzzle paintings by Tim Hensley for sale via Buenaventura. I got one of an earlier edition from Tim at Comic-Con for a steal and it is a glorious thing

• Things to see and buy: The 2010 Jim Flora calendars are in

• Tunes: At Stereogum, "How Wrong You Are," the new song and video from Robert Pollard's Boston Spaceships

Daily OCD: 10/1/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tom KaczynskireviewsOlivier SchrauwenNoah Van SciverMomeLove and RocketsKevin HuizengaJaime HernandezJacques TardiHans RickheitFletcher HanksEmile BravoDaniel Clowes 1 Oct 2009 4:02 PM

October, when kingdoms rise, and kingdoms fall, but Online Commentary & Diversions goes on and on:

• Review: "If the world of alt-comics feels appealing but intimidatingly vast (what doesn’t these days), MOME is the perfect place to start. ... The volume is thick, slick and printed in what looks like Technicolor. An anthology is only as good as the sensibilities of those who compile it, of course, so it’s worth noting that a subscription of MOME equals four issues per year of work culled from the depths by an outfit that not only has keen vision in such matters, but also a stake in finding the very best. What’s not to trust?" – Molly Young, We Love You So

• Review: "...[Locas II,] the latest collected chunk of the (mis)adventures of locas Maggie and Hopey (and the occasional 'loco,' like Ray, the consort of sexy Frogmouth -- does it seem like a good soap opera yet? -- and their sprawling, recurring cast of compelling, sometimes hard-to-figure supporting characters) all brought me squarely back to Los Angeles. In the 80s. ... But returning to L&R, even sporadically, isn't simply an exercise in nostalgia. ...[W]hat's ultimately compelling about the L&R saga is the way the characters change over the years. ... So it's not just a [madeleine] cookie from our past, but something still fairly warm from the oven." – Mark London Williams, The SF Site: Nexus Graphica

• Review: "There is such a relentlessly fervid, even crazed, sheen to all [Fletcher Hanks's] work, that you can't look away. ... Hanks seemed nearly demon-driven in these stories of constant fighting, killing, betrayal and revenge. The panels are often cramped, and the color schemes are nearly incandescent, and you're not sure whether to liken the rawness of it all -- elastic, rubber-boned physiognomies included -- to listening to a record by Fear, circa 1980, or watching a half-dressed man shouting on the corner." – Mark London Williams, The SF Site: Nexus Graphica (same link as above)

• Review: "Tardi's intricate, cartoony, and beautiful art perfectly expresses Forest's ideas and words. The humorous You Are There masterfully satirizes French society and politics unlike any comic before or since." – Rick Klaw, The SF Site: Nexus Graphica

• Plug: "It always amazes me how [Kevin] Huizenga can take everyday moments, like, in [Ganges #3], trying to get to sleep, and turn them into extravagant, elaborate displays of cartooning genius." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6

• Interview: At Comic Book Galaxy, Alan David Doane poses 5 questions to our favorite Associate Publisher, Eric Reynolds

• Profile: "Comics creator Hans Rickheit's new graphic novel, The Squirrel Machine, is a stylish and surreal tale of brothers dabbling in the forbidden unknown. ... He lives in Philadelphia, but his work pulls from the style and antiquity of 19th Century New England. 'The objects, places, and people from that time period in New England grabbed my imagination," Rickheit says. 'I find them visually more interesting than modern trappings, modern buildings. And they're more fun to draw, because they're just so ornate.'" – John Seven, Worcester Magazine

• Profile: Rodger Coleman, inspired by his Little Enid Coleslaw doll from Presspop, waxes appreciative of Dan Clowes, Eightball & Ghost World

On his blog, Tom Kaczynski takes note of the inclusion of his story "Million Year Boom" from Mome Vol. 11 in The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2009 (along with Mome stories by Olivier Schrauwen and Émile Bravo — don't tell anyone, but they ain't American)

• Things to see: Noah Van Sciver pens a strip about his trip to SPX with John Porcellino for The Beat

YouTube Trailer for upcoming Tardi book!
Written by Kim Thompson | Filed under videoJacques Tardi 29 Sep 2009 10:40 AM
The publisher of Jacques Tardi's most recent World War I book, the two-part PUTAIN DE GUERRE (my best translation: FUCKING WAR!), has released this nifty trailer on YouTube. It's all in French but there's lots of cool Tardi images between the vintage photos.
 
 
PUTAIN DE GUERRE Volume II will be released in November in France. There are no plans just yet to release a U.S. edition (there are several other Tardi books we want to work our way through, including IT WAS THE WAR OF THE TRENCHES this coming Spring), which is good because it will give me a chance to think of a title we can actually use so that booksellers can display the fucking book.

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