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Category >> Jacques Tardi

West Coast Blues by Tardi & Manchette: Preview, Pre-Order
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under previewsnew releasesJacques Tardi 10 Aug 2009 10:19 AM

West Coast Blues by Jacques Tardi & Jean-Patrick Manchette

It begins! Our much-ballyhooed new series of Jacques Tardi translations launches with West Coast Blues, adapted by Tardi from the book by master crime novelist Jean-Patrick Manchette, now available for pre-order in our online shop following its hit debut at Comic-Con last month. An aimless family man is sucked into a spiral of violence involving an exiled war criminal and two hired assassins. Get a taste of this hard-boiled crime thriller with our 10-page PDF preview. This book will be in stock and shipping in about 2-3 weeks, and in stores approximately 4 weeks later (subject to change).

Back in stock: Pictopia #3 (update: Sold Out!)
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under new releasesJacques TardiChris Ware 30 Jun 2009 4:58 PM

We just discovered 11 copies of this 1992 issue of Pictopia squirreled away in our warehouse. Edited by Gary Groth and Robert Boyd and thought to be out of print for years, this anthology brings you some gorgeous Chris Ware color work (including a spectacular wraparound cover), a taste of Jacques Tardi, and work by such notables as James Sturm, David Collier and Doug Allen! 72 pages of the best of the early 1990s, at an early 1990s price! Hurry and get yours before they're all gone again.

Pictopia #3 by various artists

Pictopia #3
By various artists

This issue sports a magnificent wraparound cover by Chris Ware, to go along with his full-color "Quimby the Mouse" story inside. The color section is rounded out by Dave Collier's "Apples" and Doug Allen's "Cranky the Drunk." Continuing this issue is the three-part private-eye serial by Jacques (West Coast Blues, You Are There) Tardi and Patrick Manchette, "Griffu," the hard-as-nails story of a none-too-bright detective who stumbles onto a case a little larger than he can handle. This is one P.I. who really takes his lumps! And as always, Pictopia is proud to present the work of talented newcomers and regulars alike, including: "Amarillo" by Scott Gilbert; "Chums" by George Parsons; "Cocaine" by Howard Rigberg; "Neither Science Nor Fiction" by Garrett Izumi; "Gunned Down in Motown" by Rick Metcalf & Kent Myers; "I Was a New York Bitch" by Eben Dodd; and "21st Century Schizoid Man" by Nemoto. An unbeatable package!

72-page black & white/color 8.5" x 10.75" softcover • $7.95
Update: SOLD OUT

Daily OCD: 6/24/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under SupermenstaffRichard SalareviewsPrince ValiantpreviewsPaul KarasikNell BrinkleyMichael KuppermanLove and RocketsJohn PhamJasonJacques TardiGilbert HernandezFletcher HankseventsDash ShawaudioArnold RothAnders NilsenAl JaffeeAbstract Comics 24 Jun 2009 3:53 PM

A double batch of Online Commentary & Diversions:

• List: Bdzoom reports that l'Association des Critiques et journalistes de Bande Dessinée (ACBD) has placed Bottomless Belly Button by Dash Shaw on their summer reading shortlist (there's Tardi on there too)

• Review: "Nell Brinkley was an icon for several generations of women... The art [in The Brinkley Girls] has been beautifully restored, a task that must have been pure torture given the density of Brinkley's drawings and that sophisticated color work. My hat's off to whoever did that fabulous job." - Allan Holtz, Stripper's Guide

• Review: "At one point in her comic-style memoir [You'll Never Know Book 1: A Good and Decent Man], Carol [Tyler] talks to us directly and says, 'The war was never really buried under tons of mental concrete. Rather, it was an active shaper of life, affecting moods and outcomes ... more than anyone ever knew.' Indeed. This is an important and deeply spiritual contribution to American culture." - David Crumm, Read the Spirit

• Review: "[You'll Never Know Book 1: A Good and Decent Man] is not your blood and guts portrayal of a ruthless soldier but rather an investigation into the emotional costs that war has on the combatant and the family that they sire, presenting a familiar story of the 'greatest generation' in an unfamiliar way." - Quentin Williams, two.one.five Magazine

• Review: "...Supermen! [is] a beautifully designed volume of early American comics... The edition is both aesthetically pleasing and sturdy, featuring clarified reprinting of the colour strips, covers, and scattered elements of advertisements and back matter." - Michael Leader, Den of Geek

• Review: "[West Coast Blues] is everything you would expect from a suspense thriller... Visually the comic book is also great. It's everything you would expect from Tardi... I don't believe that anybody else than him would have been able to visually translate Manchette's novel so well. It's like they worked together and that the comic book is the original material. Bottom line, this is another great comic book by Tardi. If you have never read anything by him you should. Luckily for North American readers, Fantagraphics announced that they that they were going to translate Tardi's work starting this fall." - Patrick Bérubé, Comic Book Bin

• Review: "You Shall Die By Your Own Evil Creation!... gathers all the remaining material that the alcoholic, abusive [Fletcher] Hanks did during his brief tenure as a comic book creator in the late 1930s and early 40s... [T]here’s still plenty of weird and wonderful tales to delight and disturb... [and] there are panels here that are rather stunning in their ability to create tension and drama... The work remains strange, powerful, funny, terrifying and yes, at times beautiful..." - Chris Mautner, Robot 6 (be sure to read the comments for an important clarification from editor Paul Karasik)

• Review: "Fans of Norwegian cult comics star Jason are in for something of a treat with Low Moon... what we have here are five stories, each of which would’ve previously warranted a collection in its own right, delivered together in one delicious hamper of Jason goodness... There’s never been a better time, then, to jump aboard the Jason train... This is as essential as comics gets." - Bookmunch

• Review: "It’s hard to think of a modern cartoonist with a more recognizable drawing style than Norway’s Jason... But Jason’s storytelling is just as distinctive as his drawing style... [and] the artist’s narrative approach has grown more adventurous over the years. Jason’s latest collection, Low Moon, is evidence of this trend... The reader, meanwhile, just lapses into a giddy comics coma." - Casey Jarman, Willamette Week

• Preview: Previews posts 7 pages from Low Moon. Have we mentioned it's in stores today?

• Preview: Action Yes throws a big spotlight on Abstract Comics with "A Quick Introduction to Abstract Comics" by Tim Gaze; several excerpts from the anthology, including part of editor Andrei Molotiu's introduction; and new comics (one, two) from Molotiu; not only that, the same issue includes new visual poetry from our very own Nico Vassilakis

• Interview: Brian Heater of The Daily Cross Hatch concludes his 2-part chat with "the visionary" Jason. Sample quote: "I worked in a furniture factory for nine months... I really hated it. So I went to art school instead. Turned out to be not that much of a difference, of course."

• Interview: The hosts of The Comix Claptrap podcast "talk comics shop and try to get LA gossip from talented cartoonist, John Pham, of Sublife, Kramers Ergot 7 and Mome fame"

• Plug: At The Geek Curmudgeon Rick Klaw says "I've been eagerly awaiting" the new Fletcher Hanks collection You Shall Die by Your Own Evil Creation!; previously, of Prince Valiant Vol. 1: 1937-1938 he simply says "WOW!"

• Plug: In addition to the previously linked online excerpt, New York Magazine also drops Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 1 by Michael Kupperman into the "Lowbrow/Brilliant" quadrant of their "Approval Matrix" in the print edition

• Plug: "Low Moon: It’s the latest from Jason. Or, in other words, it’s one of this week’s absolute must-reads." - J. Caleb Mozzocco, Newsarama

• Plug: "Pick of the week: Low Moon... [B]y this point Jason has proven himself to be one of the stellar talents in Fantagraphics' roster (which is really saying something, by the way) and this collection of short stories... should likely only cement that reputation as the artist plays with such traditional genres as the Western, film noir, and alien abductions. All offered with the usual dollops of sardonic humor and heartfelt sympathy." - Chris Mautner, Robot 6

• Plug: "Jason is sly and brilliant. [Low Moon] is highly recommended." - Corey Blake

• Plug: "Low Moon: New Jason, from Fantagraphics. All I need to know... This guy's a treasure." - Jog - The Blog

• Plug: John Jakala of Sporadic Sequential takes us to task for the smaller trim size of Luba vs. Palomar, but concedes "the smaller size is actually easier to handle when reading. OK, you win this round, Fantagraphics"

• Events: Publishers Weekly reports on the panels at the 2009 MoCCA Festival, including the Humbug panel with Al Jaffee & Arnold Roth and Paul Karasik's Fletcher Hanks presentation

• Speaking of whom: Paul Karasik posts an all-too-rare blog entry, this time on the sequential storytelling of Renaissance master Giotto

• Things to see: Richard Sala unearths an alternate, unused cover for Peculia and the Groon Grove Vampires

• Things to see: A new batch of sketchbookery from Anders Nilsen

Daily OCD: 6/10/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under The Comics JournalSteve DitkoRichard SalareviewsPeanutsMort WalkerLos Bros HernandezLilli CarréJordan CraneJohn PhamJim FloraJim BlanchardJasonJacques TardiFletcher Hankseventscomics industry 11 Jun 2009 12:34 AM

I think we're all caught up on our Online Commentary & Diversions now:

• Review: "It's impossible not to love Jason's hapless cartoon characters; they're dog-faced descendants of Charlie Chaplin in that way, usually placed into situations far beyond their control or understanding... The five stories that make up Low Moon, Jason's newest collection of comics, hark back to the classic golden age of film... Each story reverberates with the little eccentricities that Jason has built a career on (instead of gunfights, the cowboys in the title story battle over long games of chess). Remarkably, none of them seem over-the-top or manipulative." - Paul Constant, The Stranger

• Review: "From Jordan Crane and Fantagraphics, Uptight #3. One of the best covers of the year and the last time, I suspect, that the guys in the crowd will read 'Back soon' and not feel that chill at the back of the neck." - Steve Duin, The Oregonian

• Review: Jog's extensive MoCCA wrapup includes a good look at our second Fletcher Hanks book You Shall Die by Your Own Evil Creation!

• Review: "Sublife weaves a tighter, more focused narrative with intelligently ornate Chris Ware inspired design..." - Raina Lee, Lunch

• Review: "The current issue of the Comics Journal (#297) has a wonderful in-depth interview with cartoonist Mort Walker, creator of Beetle Bailey, as well as a stable of other strips including Hi and Lois, Sam and Silo, and Boner's Ark that's a fun read." - Randy Reynaldo, WCG Comics

• Plug: Inkwell Bookstore's "Cover Art Cavalcade: Charming Cheesecake" recommends the Hernandez Brothers and our collections of vintage pin-up cartoons

• Commentary: Looking at our recent spate of Special Edition releases at examiner.com, Spencer Ellsworth says "the notes, interviews and annotations give a look into some of the most innovative of the new generation of movers and shakers in the current comics renaissance."

• List: Industry news & analysis site ICv2 ranks sales of The Complete Peanuts at #3 on the list of "Top 10 Humor Properties Q1 2009"

• List: The Comics Reporter reports that at BEA a panel of librarians chose a list of "Hot Fall Graphic Novels," including our forthcoming titles Strange Suspense: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 1 and West Coast Blues by Manchette & Tardi

• Preview: Parka Blogs presents images from The Curiously Sinister Art of Jim Flora

• Preview: The Casual Optimist notices the forthcoming The Sweetly Diabolic Art of Jim Flora

• Events: More MoCCA buzz from Sean T. Collins; Brian Heater at The Daily Cross Hatch (with photos); and Book By Its Cover with a pic of our table 

• Things to see: Richard Sala illustrates his process with the cover of Peculia

• Things to see: A portrait of Bully by Lilli Carre

• Things to see: Lemmy Kilmister gives Jim Blanchard's portrait of him a "10"

Fall 09 - Winter 10 Preview Part 2
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under previewsMonte SchulzJacques TardiJack ColeFrom Wonderland with Love 14 Apr 2009 7:48 AM

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All this week and next week we're bringing you a sneak peek at our Fall 2009 - Winter 2010 schedule of releases! Today's excerpt from our latest book distributor's catalog includes a new softcover edition of The Classic Pin-Up Art of Jack Cole; the anthology From Wonderland with Love: Danish Comics in the Third Millennium; our first two Jacques Tardi reprints, You Are There and West Coast Blues; and This Side of Jordan, a new prose novel by Monte Schulz. (Note that all the info in this catalog is subject to change along the way to the books' release, including release dates, prices, cover art, book specs, etc.) Click here to download the PDF!

Daily links: 3/16/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Ted StearnRory HayesRobert CrumbreviewsRay FenwickpreviewsPeanutsMomeKevin HuizengaJules FeifferJohnny RyanJacques TardiIvan BrunettiHumbugGary PanterDash ShawBob LevinBill SchellyBill MauldinBeastsAnders NilsenAl Jaffee 16 Mar 2009 3:33 PM

This is a meaty one:

• Review: For The Savage Critics, Sean T. Collins says The Last Lonely Saturday by Jordan Crane is "pretty much the best love story in comics form I've ever come across... It's an intelligent, moving, beautiful, terrific little comic."

• Review: Rob Clough says that Beasts! Book 2 "mingles myths, warnings, fairy tales, correctives, and genuinely unexplained phenomena and allows its artists to run with them. The end result is a consistently beautiful, lovingly assembled book that forms a kind of metacommentary on the entire notion of the fantastic."

• Review: For the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, the wonderfully-named Burl Burlingame reviews Man of Rock: A Biography of Joe Kubert by Bill Schelly

• Review: For Robot 6's "What Are You Reading?" column, Tucker Stone encounters Duplex Planet Illustrated #2

• Review: The SF Site's "Nexus Graphica" says R. Crumb & David Zane Mairowitz's Kafka is "a terrific guide to Kafka's life and work — Mairowitz deftly sums up Franz' family/Jewish/pre-Holocaust European experiences and influences, and Crumb's heavy inkings lend the exact tones of darkness to recreations of both Kafka's life — and work." (See sidebar)

• Blurb: Gear Live's "Comix 411" "vote[s] yes" on Ho! The Morally Questionable Cartoons of Ivan Brunetti

• List: Tom Spurgeon of The Comics Reporter weighs in with his Best of 2008 lists. In the top 10 "Archival Editions" there's Where Demented Wented by Rory Hayes at #7, Popeye Vol. 3 at #6, The Complete Peanuts Vols. 9-10 at #3, Explainers by Jules Feiffer at #2, and Willie & Joe: The WWII Years by Bill Mauldin at #1; Most Outrageous: The Trials and Trespasses of Dwaine Tinsley and Chester the Molester by Bob Levin is named "Best Book on the Subject of Comics"; the top 25 "Best Comics (First Run, First Translated, Definitively Collected) of 2008" includes Fuzz & Pluck: Splitsville by Ted Stearn at #19, Bottomless Belly Button by Dash Shaw at #15, Sammy the Mouse #2 by Zak Sally at #12, and Ganges #2 by Kevin Huizenga at #4 

• Interview: Robot 6 talks to Anders Nilsen about his most recent book, Monologues for Calculating the Density of Black Holes

• Interview: The final installment of The Daily Cross Hatch's interview with the great Al Jaffee finally gets around to Humbug

• Transcript: The Daily Cross Hatch presents our own Eric Reynolds's talk at MCAD at the opening of the MOMEntum exhibit

• Preview: The First Post presents a slideshow of images from Humbug, saying "the short-lived Humbug [was] an exquisite satirical work that, over its 11 issues, routinely equalled MAD in its displays of creative genius... providing a level of trenchant satire that was almost unheard of at the time."

• Preview: Notions & Potions excerpts a page from Ray Fenwick's Hall of Best Knowledge

• Preview: Bryan Munn, in "hyping" The Complete Peanuts 1971-1972, states "Now that two whole decades of Peanuts have been reprinted in the deluxe hardcover format published by Fantagraphics and designed by Seth, we can really get a sense of what a huge achievement this project is and will continue to be for a generation."

• Preview: SFScope covers our Tardi announcement

• Bookmark: Quotes on Comics gives you what's in the name, presented randomly for your diversion

• Things to see: Animated Gary Panter unaired commercial (via Comics Comics)

• Things to see: This month's Vice cartoons by Johnny Ryan

Tardi Part V: Then What?
Written by Kim Thompson | Filed under previewsJacques Tardi 13 Mar 2009 7:42 AM
Okay, so there you have it. This summer we are releasing two Tardi graphic novels, You Are There and West Coast Blues. Next summer, It Was the War of the Trenches.

Should these find favor with the fickle American public, I plan to keep on translating and publishing Tardi books, working my way through the Nestor Burma books, the Adèle Blanc-Sec books, and all the one-shots, until, as with Jason, American readers will be able to enjoy the entire oeuvre of one of comics' grandmasters.

If not, if we crash and burn, we'll still have made available three masterpieces of modern Eurocomics, and it'll be up to the next Tardi fan turned publisher to take another running leap at this hard-to-crack marketplace — following in the now well-worn path created by Art Spiegelman and Françoise Mouly, Terry Nantier of NBM, Mike Richardson of Dark Horse Comics, Chris Oliveros, the late Byron Preiss of iBooks, and now Gary Groth and me. We love Tardi and we want you to love him too. When you see his books on the bookshelf in a few months, take a chance. You won't regret it, I promise.

And here, to whet your appetite, the first five pages of You Are There. The typesetting isn't quite right yet, we haven't gotten the effects lettering done, but basically, there you have it.

(Click each page below for a larger version, or click here to download the whole preview as a 480 KB PDF file.)

Jacques Tardi - You Are There - preview image

Jacques Tardi - You Are There - preview image

Jacques Tardi - You Are There - preview image

Jacques Tardi - You Are There - preview image

Jacques Tardi - You Are There - preview image

Tardi Part IV: Meet Manchette
Written by Kim Thompson | Filed under Jacques Tardi 12 Mar 2009 7:28 AM

West Coast Blues by Jacques Tardi and Jean-Patrick Manchette

As you are surely aware by now if you've been following this blog, Fantagraphics will be releasing two graphic novels by the great French cartoonist Jacques Tardi this summer. Yesterday I discussed the first of the two, Ici même. Today I hit the other one: West Coast Blues, née Le petit bleu de la côte Ouest.

Tardi has always had a special affinity for detective-slash-crime fiction, so it was natural that he would pair up with Jean-Patrick Manchette. Aside from being the pre-eminent crime writer of his generation, with ten short, powerfully dark crime novels to his credit, Manchette happened to be an enthusiastic comics fan. (Those scenes in Tardi's adaptation of West Coast Blues in which one of the hitmen enjoys a French-language Spider-Man comic are not Tardi's comics-centric invention, in fact; they're in the original text.)

American Eurocomics fans with long memories may remember that back in the early 1990s, our own Pictopia magazine serialized Griffu, a hardboiled Tardi thriller from 1978 written by none other than Manchette. And hardboiled fiction fans may in fact already be aware of Three to Kill, released by City Lights in 2002, which in fact is the English translation of the original Petit Bleu novel. It's out of print (although you can find inexpensive copies at Amazon.com), but The Prone Gunman, which City Lights released the same year, isn't.

(New Manchette fans may be intrigued at the thought of the 1980 Alain Delon-starring film of Petit bleu, retitled 3 hommes à abattre, but as I understand it the film is neither particularly good nor particularly faithful to Manchette, nor were two subsequent Delon-starring Manchette adaptations, and they were a prime element in Manchette's ongoing disillusionment with the film industry.)

Anyway, Manchette passed away in 1995, leaving Griffu as his only graphic novel (although Manchette did place his imprint on French comics in one other important way, as the French translator of one of the seminal graphic novels of the 1980s: Watchmen). So for those of us who really liked Griffu, it came as great news when Tardi decided to give that book a new sibling, an adaptation of Le petit bleu de la côte Ouest, which was released in 2005.

Tomorrow: My concluding speech and exhortation, and a longish preview of You Are There.

Daily links: 3/11/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewsJacques TardiHumbugHarvey KurtzmanEsther Pearl WatsonBeastsAnders Nilsen 11 Mar 2009 2:17 PM

• Review: Bookforum says of the two volumes of Beasts!: "Covey’s brave band of 180 artists... put these mythological and folkloric beings on vivid display. The distinct and varied styles of the cartoonists, illustrators, and graphic artists give further evidence of each creature’s unique characteristics... The enthusiastically detailed evocations in these books give us all reason to believe."

• Review: Dear Stranger reads The End #1 by Anders Nilsen and declaims "It’s sad. In that way that things are only ever sad when they’re really honest, so it’s beautiful, but you feel a bit guilty for thinking so -- because under the beauty, it’s still sad, honestly so."

• Review: The Star Clipper Blog says "[Esther Pearl Watson's] Unlovable spares no degrading detail, but still remains an ironically loving tribute to the awkward protagonist... these monstrous depictions of early puberty could be found in just about anyone's high school yearbook... perhaps the perfect teenage girl experience."

• Preview: Publishers Weekly Comics Week covers our announcement of our new Jacques Tardi publishing project

• Profile: For Bookforum, Ben Schwartz examines the career of Harvey Kurtzman, with a look at Humbug, natch

Tardi Part III: A First Graphic Novel
Written by Kim Thompson | Filed under Jacques Tardi 11 Mar 2009 1:19 PM

You Are There (Ici même) by Jacques Tardi and Jean-Claude Forest

When I decided to launch this "Tardi library" project, I quickly knew that I wanted to include as one of the first books Ici même. This is, if I do say so myself, a bit of nervy move, because Ici même is long (at almost 200 fairly dense pages, it's among his most massive) and, in its satirical, surreal playfulness, difficult to pigeonhole (NOT a World War I drama! NOT a detective novel! NOT a Feuillade-esque fantasy romp!) and not exactly the most accessible of Tardi's works.

But Ici même is one of the milestones of French comics. Created in collaboration with Jean-Claude Forest (of Barbarella fame), its serialization was the centerpiece of the first year or so of (À Suivre), the great '80s comics anthology that dragged European comics out of its character-oriented, genre-oriented, endless-serial prehistory. Originally conceived by Forest (and trust me, if you know Forest only from Barbarella, or even worse only Barbarella the movie, you have NO idea) as a film, it was one of the first book-length comics to be designed specifically as a single, self-contained piece of fiction. When Ici même ends, it is most definitely over.

So I figured by God, if I was going to take a stab at Tardi, I'd start at the top.

But as I said, Ici même is a bit of an atypical Tardi... Which is one of the reasons the other Tardi I picked to kick off with was a ball-busting crime thriller (which comes in at a very tidy 80 pages). But there's a number of things I want to chat about on this one, including its connections to Alain Delon and Watchmen, so I'll see you here again tomorrow.


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