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Category >> Jacques Tardi

Daily OCD: 8/23/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewsJasonJacques TardiDame DarcyDaily OCDBlake BellBen Schwartz 23 Aug 2010 3:13 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions:

Meat Cake

Review: "Meat Cake is a tour de force showcasing the most primal of passions! It is an issue of Creepy edited by Edward Gorey! It is a Gothic soap opera as written by Victorian lolitas! It is a celebration of love and hubris, beauty and decay! There is no other comic in the world that offers a titillating parade of mermaids, ghosts, sailors, sirens, faeries, witches and wolfmen in intriguing and compromising situations! You will be dazzled, you will be entertained, but above all, you will be enchanted!" – STORM (guest columnist), Robot 6

Review: "Werewolves of Montpellier is a sad and even somewhat funny novel about the fact that loneliness is not hiding under the mask. Is this novel better or worse than other works of Jason? Probably not. Despite repeated methods in his books, [his] novels are utterly worth reading. If you have a werewolf friend, buy him this book. If you don’t, buy two." – Ray Garraty, Endless Falls Up

You Are There

List: The Comics Reporter's Tom Spurgeon names Ici Même (You Are There) as one of "25 Emblematic Comics of the '70s": "This grand effort by Jacques Tardi and Jean-Claude Forest may seem like an extravagant oddity now, but it gets credit from some for igniting a wave of alternative voices in a French-language comics industry whose mainstream had the added appeal of actually making its creators popular and wealthy successes. Even if you don't like the tune — and while it's a song I could personally listen to every day, I know many people couldn't — at the time I have to imagine that many comics readers weren't even aware that the medium could play some of these notes."

The Best American Comics Criticism

Roundtable: The Comics Journal presents a critical roundtable on The Best American Comics Criticism, with Ng Suat Tong, the book's editor Ben Schwartz, and Noah Berlatsky weighing in

Fire & Water: Bill Everett,  the Sub-Mariner and the Birth of   Marvel Comics [September 2010]

Profile: "Just like Peter Parker, the most celebrated co-creation of the subject of his first book, Toronto writer Blake Bell was bitten by a strange bug as a youngster. And just like Peter Parker, he was transformed beyond all recognition — into the Amazing Comic Book Historian Guy." – Canadish

Daily OCD: 8/16/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under The Comics JournalRIP MDreviewsPopeyeMegan KelsoJohnny RyanJasonJacques TardiGilbert HernandezEros ComixEC SegarDaily OCDCathy Malkasian 16 Aug 2010 5:30 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions:

Temperance

Review: "From the start, Cathy Malkasian's turbulent fantasy Temperance reels you in... It is not hard to spot allegories in this to today’s war on terror, and to the Cold War, in Temperance‘s portrait of siege mentality and the exaggeration of external threats. ... No Shrek or Toy Story, Temperance confounds fairy-tale expectations with a disturbing, resonant parable about propaganda, memories and other lies." – Paul Gravett, The Times Literary Supplement

Almost Silent

Review: "First of all, I have to say how much I enjoy the format.  Fantagraphics has done a fine job with this book, with a striking cover, sturdy spine, and essentially giving me everything I want in my comic books in terms of collected treatment. ... Jason’s simple, elegant artwork... allows any reader to dive right in. ... He’s a master of pacing out a gag, and he appreciates the fun of genre entertainment while still acknowledging the absurdity of it all. If I had to sum up Jason’s comics in one word, that word would be silly. They’re funny, and absurd, tinged with sadness and loneliness, outrageously goofy, slapstick, human and just plain pretty to look at. But mostly, they’re delightfully, delightfully silly. It’s a treat to enjoy a comic like Almost Silent." – Michael C. Lorah, Newsarama

Prison Pit: Book 2  [Pre-Order]

Review: "Prison Pit is fucking awesome and you really need to read it. It’s a kids book, in the sense that it very likely was something Johnny Ryan created when he was 12 years old, assuming the man was sniffing a lot of glue and simultaneously watching Cannibal Holocaust and WWF wrestling as a pre-teen. ... Grade: A" – Chad Derdowski, Mania

Review: "Prison Pit 2 is mental, obscene, and grotesque... But the book is also pretty astonishing and at least several parts awesome... I'm dazzled by the bloody chutzpah and dirty bravado of Ryan's fight comic, the sheer devotion he shows to violence for violence's sake, thoroughly removed from any hollow 'redeeming values' or 'character development.' ...[T]o anyone wondering if Prison Pit 2 really delivers all the weird, filthy violence it promises, the answer is a resounding yes." – Jason Michelitch, Comics Alliance

Artichoke Tales [Pre-Order]

Review: "I read Megan Kelso's Artichoke Tales almost in a single sitting, which is probably a good way to do it. ... This book deals with some standard themes — strong women and intellectual, impractical men, the impulse that leads to war, technology vs. rural simplicity — but none is treated in a standard way. Kelso definitely has a point of view, but she doesn't insult the reader's intelligence, and there's plenty of nuance; she's telling a story, not making a point. Also, it's beautiful just to look at." – Bridgid Alverson, Robot 6

Review: "Honestly, I’m still not sure how I ultimately feel about Artichoke Tales. I was put off by the book’s downbeat, resigned demeanor, yet at the same time impressed by Kelso’s ability to handle such a multi-layered story so effectively. Perhaps my feelings toward the book can be best summed up by the same word that one would use to describe both the political and personal relationships found in the book, and the real-life relationships she no doubt hoped to evoke: complicated." – Chris Mautner, The Comics Journal

Interview: Robot 6's Tim O'Shea talks to Megan Kelso about Artichoke Tales: "The artichoke people started as a casual doodle. I think I was riffing on The Jolly Green Giant's sidekick, Sprout. So I just started drawing these people whenever I was on the telephone, or just playing around in my sketchbook. The more I drew them, the more ideas I had about their world, and I just slowly started to build a story about them. This was the first time since starting to make comics, that I generated a story from a drawing rather than from an idea, or from something I'd written. It was excitng to me because it seemed more like 'pure comics' to me, coming from a drawing."

Birdland (Expanded Edition)

Review: "Birdland is a rare venture into the world of folly and fetish by award winning Gilbert Hernandez. ... [L]ocate a copy of Birdland yourself and enjoy and marvel at the bewildering release of limbs, torsos and groins in a madcap sexual adventure. The term 'graphic novel' will never mean the same again!" – partikal7

RIP, M.D. [Pre-Order]

Plug: "Rip M.D. is a creepy, fun-filled all-ages adventure saga... [Mitch] Schauer told ICv2 that the inspiration for Rip M.D. was all those horror and monster movies he saw as a child — movies that made him care more about the fate of the colorful monsters and fiends than the B movies' human characters who always seemed to triumph in the end. Rip M.D. is the logical emotional outgrowth of those accumulated cinematic disappointments, the story of a boy who is able to help the horror and monster movie characters that he loves the most." – ICv2

Plug: Richard Bruton spotlights The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec Vol. 1 by Jacques Tardi at The Forbidden Planet International Blog Log (although we should note that the release date is actually in October)

The Troublemakers [with FREE Signed Bookplate]

Analysis: At Techland, Douglas Wolk looks at The Troublemakers by Gilbert Hernandez as an example of the successful use of a "widescreen" panel layout: "Aside from its title page, the entire thing is laid out as four identically shaped wide horizontal panels on each page, and the movie-screen shape is formally appropriate — the book is supposedly a kind of comics translation of a (nonexistent) B-movie. The Troublemakers is brutally effective as cartooning, though: Hernandez has designed it so that something's happening horizontally in almost every panel, and there's usually a different kind of motion from each panel to the next."

The Comics Journal #71

Analysis: Love & Maggie continue their series of detailed, annotated rundowns of their Top 10 Issues of The Comics Journal with the first part of their examination of issue #71

Popeye Vol. 1:

Commentary: The Hooded Utilitarian's critical roundtable on Popeye continues with Andrew Farago's look at the character's various multimedia incarnations

Daily OCD: 8/2/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tim LaneRoy CranereviewsRand HolmesPirus and MezzoPatrick RosenkranzMoto HagioLove and RocketsJim WoodringJacques TardiDaily OCDCCICaptain EasyBlake BellBill EverettBen Schwartzaudio 2 Aug 2010 2:54 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions:

Newave! The Underground Mini Comix of the 1980s

Review: "By the 1980s, however, the anti-establishment sensibility of the underground comix had been replaced by a faith in just 'do-it-yourself' — making your own 'zines,' and that sense of independence is what [editor Michael] Dowers praises [in Newave! The Underground Mini Comix of the 1980s]." – George Elliott Clarke, The Chronicle Herald

Weathercraft

Review: "...Jim Woodring's Weathercraft creates a fantastic alternative universe. ...Woodring constructs a nightmarish tale in which Manhog falls victim to the villainous depredations of the all-too-aptly named Whim and the spells of the witchy pair Betty and Veronica. Those unfamiliar with the Woodring dreamscape may want to pick up The Frank Book collection as a primer, but the stand-alone Weathercraft requires no real prep work — just an openness to disturbing, id-derived imagery." – Cliff Froehlich, St. Louis Post-Dipatch

King of the Flies Vol. 1: Hallorave

Review: "Although King of the Flies... is anchored in a sharply delineated but deliberately generic suburbia, the book plunges us into an often violent, always profane environment that recalls David Lynch's Blue Velvet. Using multiple narrators, the book is an intricately constructed series of interlocking short stories that acidly etch a disquieting portrait of modern alienation and unease." – Cliff Froehlich, St. Louis Post-Dipatch

It Was the War of the Trenches

Review: "French master Tardi gives an infantry-level view of World War I's meat-grinder carnage in grim vignettes that primarily keep tight, telling focus on the stories of individual soldiers. ...[It Was the War of the Trenches] deserves a place on the top shelf of graphic lit." – Cliff Froehlich, St. Louis Post-Dipatch

Review: "Reading Jacques Tardi's It Was the War of the Trenches, I realized just how short most American war comics fall in portraying the reality and horror of war. ... Tardi brings every ounce of his talent to the task of trying to articulate the sheer horror of this war. And while he doesn't flinch once, neither does he resort to trite 'war is bad' or 'good versus evil' oversimplifications. He merely puts you directly in the soldiers' viewpoint and then tries to relate their experiences to you. ... It's a raw, uncompromising, devastating book, and, I'm kind of sad to say, unlike anything that's been published on these shores." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6

Captain Easy, Soldier of  Fortune: The Complete Sunday Newspaper  Strips Vol. 1 (1933-1935)

Review: "...[O]ne of comics' purest entertainments... Combining cartoony figure drawing and considerable humor with rousing adventure, Captain Easy, Soldier of Fortune: The Complete Sunday Newspaper Strips, Vol. 1 exceeds even Steven Spielberg's Indiana Jones films in exuberant action and breathless pace." – Cliff Froehlich, St. Louis Post-Dipatch

Abandoned Cars [Softcover Ed. - Pre-Order]

Review: "...St. Louisan Tim Lane's Abandoned Cars, one of 2008's essential comics, has recently been reissued in paperback with two variant covers that vividly recall the lurid pulps of the 1930s." – Cliff Froehlich, St. Louis Post-Dipatch

Review: "It can sometimes be hard to get a grip on what Jason is going for in his stories, since even when he approaches a familiar subject, he takes a strange angle and dwells on the types of moments that wouldn’t normally receive focus in these sorts of tales. Werewolves of Montpellier goes even further afield... Leave it to Jason to dwell on the awkwardness of the 29 non-full-moon days of the month in which the werewolf has to pass as a normal human." – Matthew J. Brady, Indie Pulp

The Best American Comics Criticism

Review: "What I think is most interesting about [The Best American Comics Criticism] is that in his choices of pieces, [editor] Schwartz is laying out a theory of lit comics. It's a theory that rings very true to me. Part of this theory goes that as literary comics grew, they made necessary a reevaluation and relearning of certain classic comics." – Robert Boyd, The Great God Pan Is Dead (via The Comics Reporter)

The Artist Himself: A Rand Holmes Retrospective [Pre-Order]

Profile: Steve Duin of The Oregonian talks to Patrick Rosenkranz about assembling The Artist Himself: A Rand Holmes Retrospective: "With rare access to Holmes' journals and sketchbooks, Rosenkranz succeeds in giving readers access to the cartoonist that Holmes denied his closest friends. And he succeeds because of a compulsion, born 45 years ago, to understand the world in which these artists moved 'and how what happened in their lives affected their work.'"

Fire & Water: Bill Everett,  the Sub-Mariner and the Birth of  Marvel Comics [September 2010]

Interview: Listen as Chris Rosa of Meltdown Comics talks to Blake Bell about his book Fire & Water: Bill Everett, the Sub-Mariner and the Birth of Marvel Comics on the convention center floor at Comic-Con in this episode of the Meltcast podcast

The Nice Paper - Jim Woodring

Interview: A 1992 Q&A with Jim Woodring, dug out of the archives by Chris Reilly and presented at TCJ.com's Guttergeek blog

Love and  Rockets: New Stories #3 [Pre-Order]

Links: Another Love and Rockets link-stravaganza from the fine folks at Love & Maggie

Moto Hagio - photo: Deb Aoki

Comic-Con: At About.com: Manga, Deb Aoki gives a quick report from the Moto Hagio Spotlight Panel at Comic-Con 2010, with a promise of more to come: "...Hagio-sensei charmed the audience with her self-effacing wit and matter-of-fact responses to questions..."

Daily OCD: 7/16/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewsPortable GrindhouseMomeJasonJacques TardiDame DarcyDaily OCD 16 Jul 2010 5:27 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions:

Mome Vol. 17 - Winter 2010 Mome Vol. 18 - Spring 2010 Mome Vol. 19 -  Summer 2010 [Pre-Order]

Review: "...[T]he newer crop of contributors [in Mome Vols. 17, 18 & 19 is] a rough and tumble bunch who are bringing some fierce and hard-edged work to the table. ...[T]he balance is definitely in favor of the strong stuff, because it is strong stuff — well drawn in a variety of styles, and potentially troubling without cloaking itself in shopworn tropes. ... Once again, you're getting your bang for your buck." – Sean T. Collins, Attentiondeficitdisorderly

It Was the War of the Trenches

Review: "And when you’re drawn into the world [of It Was the War of the Trenches] it’s hard not to rhapsodize about the drawing itself – Tardi’s gaze may be level, but his lines are sure and lush. His gentle contour line drawings are almost delicate, but then he fills them with a gray tone, or attaches them to nearly psychedelic intestines. It’s art that comes over you and stays with you – nicely offsetting an otherwise icy stare. ...Tardi seems a master, and this work a rare and intensely humane book." – Dan Nadel, Comics Comics

Review: "Sequence by sequence and page by page, the re-readability of [Jason's] stories and scenes consistently offer more densely fulfilling reads than any three or four new $4 books... This particular story [Werewolves of Montpellier] ends in a graceful, yet awkwardly suspenseful and open-ended manner, but as with Jason books I’ve encountered before, this landing contributes to the matter-of-fact delivery he often employs in making you feel like you’re witnessing a story sliced out of a larger saga." – Brian Warmoth

Review: "Those inclined to look for meaning could make a good case for this... as a story about people assuming false identities through a mix of circumstance and personal choice, but what Jason’s comics literally mean matters less than the pleasure of their deadpan humor and unexpected twists: His work has been building a whole habitat of crooks, monsters, and adventurers, just so he can explore their minor personal problems. Werewolves of Montpelier establishes yet another inviting corner of Jasonworld. [Grade] B+" – The A.V. Club

Meat Cake

Review: "...[T]he first 11 issues of [Dame Darcy's] sporadically released pamphlet Meat Cake — collected by Fantagraphics in a new trade-paperback edition — comprise some of the best alt-comics of the past 20 years. ...Darcy’s scratchy, fine-lined, loosely intricate artwork owes a slight debt to Edward Gorey, Victorian illustration, and the more demented wing of the E.C. roster (particularly Graham Ingels), but the dreamy vision and gleefully morbid sensibility are all her. Overall, Meat Cake’s dalliance with folklore, horror, camp, and transcendent bits of autobiography pack more of a poetic punch than the title is generally given credit for… [Grade] A-" – The A.V. Club

Newave! The Underground Mini Comix of the 1980s

Review: "Newave! is an astonishing collection of minicomics from the ’70s, ’80s and early ’90s... This book puts the lie to the notion that underground cartooning was fallow during this period; indeed, all it did was really go underground. ... Newave! gains momentum as it proceeds, an impressive feat for a 900-page anthology. ... The back half of Newave! features nary a dud. ... In an era when some cartoonists are learning how to create minicomics as part of a formal art education, Newave! should be a crucial text." – Rob Clough, The Comics Journal

Portable  Grindhouse: The Lost Art of the VHS Box

Review: "Out since last Halloween, this handsome collection of early 1980s exploitation VHS box art [Portable Grindhouse] is shaped like one of those old oversized clamshell cases. The all-color book collects the front and backs of many memorable cassette releases of that bygone era and will send you back to the days prowling dusty mom-and-pop video stores for you schlock fix. ... You won’t learn anything about the movies, but who needs that when the rest of the book is such a nostalgic gas?" – Tony Timpone, Fangoria

Daily OCD: 7/14/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Peter BaggeMoto HagioJasonJacques TardiDaily OCDCCI 14 Jul 2010 3:55 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions:

Plug: "Based on reviews, [Werewolves of Montpellier] sounds really good. The art reminds me of Chris Ware or Chris Onstad, and I’m a fan of deadpan, sardonic humour. Do want!" – Werewolf News

It Was the War of the Trenches

Plug: Joe Gordon of the Forbidden Planet International Blog recommends the works of Jacques Tardi for your Bastille Day reading: "...[W]ith the always fine folks at Fantagraphics translating and publishing Tardi’s work in English several of his works are now easily accessible even to anyone who doesn’t read a word of French. A long-standing interest in the history of World War One and his own family history lead to his It Was the War of the Trenches, recently published in English and one of the most interesting comics on the period since Charley’s War in my book."

Comic-Con International logo

Plugs: The Washington Post's Michael Cavna places the Moto Hagio spotlight panel and the Humor in Comics panel featuring Peter Bagge in his top 10 picks for Comic-Con on Friday and Sunday, respectively

Daily OCD: 7/13/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewsMichael KuppermanJasonJacques TardiDrew WeingDaily OCDAl Columbia 13 Jul 2010 2:09 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions:

Set to Sea [Pre-Order]

Review: "...Weing produces a classic tale of the sea and self-discovery in his graphic novel debut [Set to Sea]. ... Presented almost like a Big Little Book for grownups, with one lovely panel per page in a small volume, the hero's journey in this tale isn't particularly unpredictable, but Weing's mastery of both small details (the hero's waxing and waning love affair with language) and sweeping vistas (from the glaciers to a steaming port city) gives it richness and emotion. ... Weing's E.C. Segar-influenced drawings elevates what could have been an oft-told story into a powerful fable." – Publishers Weekly

Tales Designed to Thrizzle #6

Review: "I feel like Steve Martin’s character in the movie The Jerk where he dances for joy at the gas station loudly proclaiming to all within earshot, 'The new phone book is here! The new phone book is here!' The new Tales Designed to Thrizzle is here. The new Tales Designed to Thrizzle is here! ... In every way relevant to a distinctly warped sense of humor, this issue represents a tightening of comedic springs and sweetening of the hurled cream pies. Its funny business appears more consummately distilled, concentrated and unremitting. Every page pays off, ratcheting up the risibility with droll efficiency." – Rich Kreiner, The Comics Journal

Review: "Werewolves of Montpellier is another perfect example of Jason's mundane absurdity. ... The artwork is, once again, so simplistic and so spot on that the only word to describe it is brilliant. ... Year after year, Jason delivers genre-defining works of art, and Werewolves of Montpellier is nothing more than the latest masterpiece from one of the medium's most profound and unique voices." – Steve Ponzo, Multiversity Comics

Interview: Publishers Weekly's Kate Fitzsimons talks to our own Kim Thompson about bringing Jacques Tardi's The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec to English-language readers: "I wouldn't call them a cult classic, they're more like a mainstream classic. Tardi is very popular and Adele is the work that's so popular that his publisher keeps trying to get him to go back to it again and again. I'd say that in France, Adele is a well known pop culture figure in the same way the Fantastic Four is here. So cult wouldn't exactly be the word."

 

Al Columbia in Hi-Fructose vol.15

Interview: Pick up the April 2010 issue (#15) of Hi-Fructose magazine for an interview with Al Columbia

Also: Budding young artist Fiddle Tim (better known as Frances Bean Cobain) is reportedly influenced by Al Columbia according to Rock NYC

Daily OCD: 7/1/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under videoreviewsPeanutsJasonJacques TardiDaily OCDCharles M SchulzaudioAnders Nilsen 1 Jul 2010 2:52 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions:

Review: "In plot terms, Werewolves of Montpellier is about an art student/thief who dresses up as a werewolf before he goes out to break into people’s homes at night, which a society of actual werewolves is not amused about. What that boils down to on the page, though, are scenes of people sitting next to each other at the laundromat, looking at each other in silence or talking about French actresses while playing chess — and each time, it’s utterly fascinating, and the scene draws you in almost immediately and you don’t want to stop. Jason tells stories with comics in ways that never occur to a lot of people who make comics." – Marc-Oliver Frisch, The Beat

Roundtable: The critics at TIME.com's Techland (Douglas Wolk, Evan Narcisse, Mike Williams and Graeme McMillan) discuss Werewolves of Montpellier: "I pretty much have a love/love relationship with Jason's books. ... It's true that you have to pay attention to catch the details: the fact that Jason draws everyone with animal heads makes it a little bit harder to read some of the characters' interactions. But maybe Jason's central joke is that you have to take extreme measures to create certain kinds of drama when a lot of the time people aren't feeling anything in particular." – Wolk

The Complete Peanuts 1975-1976 (Vol. 13) [NORTH AMERICA ONLY]

Review: "The 13th volume in Fantagraphics' republishing of the complete Peanuts, The Complete Peanuts 1975-1976, could also be subtitled 'The Peanuts of the Absurd.' In the past Schulz had toyed with some absurdist plotlines, e.g. the talking school building. However, between 1975-1976, Schulz took those ideas to a whole new level. ... It's a must for any Peanuts fan or anyone who is a serious fan of comic strips." – Tom Varner, The Real TV Land

It Was the War of the Trenches

Interview: The Comic Geek Speak podcast discusses It Was the War of the Trenches and other Tardi topics with editor/translator Kim Thompson for their Book of the Month Club

Explainers: The Complete Village Voice Strips (1956-66) [2nd   Ed.]

Interview: At Comic Book Resources, Alex Dueben talks to Jules Feiffer: "The point wasn't to make a living, the point was to express myself. I figured, as I say in the book, that given a shot at expressing myself, everything else would fall into place. It turns out I was right about that."

Interview: The latest Royal Jelly Magazine video interview is with Anders Nilsen

Daily OCD: 6/22/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tim HensleySignificant ObjectsreviewsPeanutsMegan KelsoJacques TardiGilbert HernandezDaily OCDCharles M Schulz 22 Jun 2010 3:06 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions:

It Was the War of the Trenches

Review: "Yes, [It Was the War of the Trenches] is an unpleasant book (even extending to the art, which does its job as well as everything else in making the war look ugly, muddy, dirty, and bloody; defining each character well but making sure to show the awfulness of their circumstances), but one that everyone should read, not only for a sense of history, but to see the horror of death and the suffering of those forced to partake in it." – Matthew J. Brady, Warren Peace Sings the Blues

Review: "In terms of its writing and its art, [It Was the War of the] Trenches is a masterful work. The stories are elegantly and convincingly told. The images show, at once, deep horror and real beauty — though the one is often so visceral that the other becomes abstract. But the book’s true victory is a moral one. For it shows us, clearly and terribly, the thorough destruction of values inherent in modern war." – Kristian Williams, The Comics Journal

New Tales of Old Palomar #3

Review: "Episodes such as [New Tales of Old Palomar] are the pieces that complete a puzzle, apparently, full of questions and constantly growing. Each answer calls for a new mystery." – Little Nemo's Kat (translated from Spanish)

The Complete Peanuts 1969-1970 (Vol. 10) [NORTH AMERICA ONLY]

Review: "At the end of its second decade, Peanuts was still one of the best things on the comics page, and as likely to be concerned with loss, pain, and depression as it ever was. As others have said many times before, it really is astonishing how one of the best and most popular works in a very popular medium was almost entirely about loss and failure." – Andrew Wheeler, The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent.

Artichoke Tales [Pre-Order]

Interview: At Comic Book Resources, Alex Dueben talks to Megan Kelso about her new graphic novel Artichoke Tales: "That was just on my mind. That it's a whole subset of comics and storytelling, making up your own world and playing inside of it. I just thought this would be a really fun world to do a whole involved family saga. I planned out the skeleton of the story pretty much right from the beginning. At first, I thought it was going to be a three chapter thing, and then it got more complicated, but always I had this idea of this family and these generations."

Wally Gropius

Interview: Newsarama's J. Caleb Mozzocco talks to Tim Hensley about his new graphic novel Wally Gropius: "Well, it's not like those trapped in derivative mortgages are turning to Carl Barks and Harvey artist Ernie Colon for succor. When I started the story in 2005, I was reacting more to Bush's war money siphon, not predicting the bank collapse/executive bonus siphon we have now. And actually none of the few rich people I know are anything like Wally; they have much different problems as far as I can tell." (At his own blog, Mozzocco adds "if you're wondering, 'Hey Caleb, is this book any good? Should I read it?' Then I would answer, 'Yes, yes that book is very good, and you should totally read it.'")

Significant Objects

Preview: "It's cool to see that those behind the Significant Objects projects are still trying to do more with the concept. The auctions apparently are still going on, but now they're trying something different as well. They're taking those stories and compiling them into a book (scarce). In fact, the story behind the book (infinite) makes the physical book more valuable as well. To make it even more 'valuable,' they've brought on some top artists to illustrate the stories — so even if you read them for free online, there's now more value in buying the physical book to have the physical artwork as well." – Mike Masnick, Techdirt

Daily OCD: 6/21/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tim HensleyreviewsMomeMichael KuppermanKevin HuizengaJim WoodringJacques TardiDash ShawDaily OCDaudioAlexander Theroux 21 Jun 2010 5:13 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions, back after a short respite:

Mome Vol. 18 - Spring 2010

Review: "Almost to a story, the bits and pieces of Mome [Vol. 18] just suck the careful reader in. Indeed, almost every contribution practically begs for critical examination, not to mention a different frame of mind. ... Some of the individual stories are just stunning. ... This is great art, good comics, and, in my opinion, odd when taken as a collection." – Jeremy Nisen, Under the Radar

Wally Gropius

Review: "Right up front let’s admit this: Wally Gropius is a terrifying comic book and everyone reading this should buy it immediately. Tim Henlsey has crammed more horror into these 64 pages than any comic in recent memory. ... It is also a terrifying book to talk about, because its level of craft is so high, its surface so impenetrable, that it’s like trying to write about Kubrick or something: You know it’s all in there, but it’s hard to find a foothold. ... Hensley’s drawings... and are so fluid and articulate that it’s hard to believe he could or does draw or even hand write any other way. ... In his hands [the book's aesthetic] is a complete language. It’s a bracing, enervating way of making comics because there’s so much dissonance between what I want to read the lines as and what the drawings those lines form actually mean." – Dan Nadel, Comics Comics

Weathercraft

Review: "[Jim Woodring] has been called one of the great cartoonists of his generation and at this point, there’s little doubt of his visual storytelling prowess. But it’s the intense, visionary images and worlds that spring from his mind and on to his pages that truly separates him from his peers. ... Weathercraft, like all his Unifactor stories, is absolutely wordless. It’s a quiet, cosmic adventure that relies on Woodring’s extraordinary control of visual language and blends his understanding of Vedantic beliefs with stylized, Max Fleischer nightmares to explore ideas about the evolution of consciousness." – Paul Rios

Review: "Read [Weathercraft] a third time, thinking about Woodring’s video commentary, and recognize how cohesive it is. There’s a real clarity to the plot and to Woodring’s character designs and panel compositions. You will think that, in some way, the key to much of this is the artist's omnipresent wavy line, but will be unsure." – Ken Parille, Blog Flume

Tales Designed to Thrizzle #6

Review: "Kupperman’s all over the map, and manages to amuse with all the non sequiturs more often as not... If you have a soft spot for this sort of shenanigans, kinda like much of Adult Swim but smarter than the run of that mill, you could do worse than to pick [Tales Designed to Thrizzle #6] up..." – Johnny Bacardi, Popdose

Sand & Fury: A Scream Queen Adventure

Review: "...Sand & Fury: A Scream Queen Adventure... is a romp concocted of homage to the weird horrors of filmmakers David Lynch and Dario Argento, with a shout out even to Roman Polanski’s Repulsion. But it also features the signature Anderson political subtlety. ... A graphic text is, by nature, more explicit — graphic — than it can be subtle. So, Anderson’s love scenes verge on kink, while the death scenes owe much to the gore of recent vampire flicks and George Romero’s Zombie franchise. ... Sand & Fury is not classic literature, but it is fine pop art. Check it out." – George Elliott Clarke, The Chronicle Herald

The Search for  Smilin' Ed! [Pre-Order]

Review: "The story booms with Deitch's explosive composition techniques and the narrative recoil — somehow even the genetically modified beavers here make perfect sense — is no less compelling. The Search For Smilin’ Ed! offers perhaps not as discrete a narrative as those found in Alias the Cat (2002) and The Boulevard of Broken Dreams (2007), but the joy of Deitch is that his work is almost impossible to tug apart. And who doesn't want their demons, time travelers, midgets and voyeuristic aliens in one oily melee?" – John Reed, Los Angeles Times

Review: "Did you know the Earth is honeycombed with tunnels containing archives of the entire history of popular culture, as recorded on alien-designed microchips by a council of pygmies? Leave it to underground-comics legend Kim Deitch to make that concept simultaneously deeply attractive and deeply creepy in The Search For Smilin’ Ed... The story gets more twisted with every page, though it always makes sense in a Deitch-ian way. Deitch has trod this ground many times before... but he retains an astonishing ability to tap into the deepest desires of pop-culture junkies, and to show how the satisfaction we seek from nostalgia can lead us to some dark corners of our collective showbiz past. [Grade] B+" – The A.V. Club

Billy Hazelnuts and the Crazy Bird

Review: "The second in the proposed Billy Hazelnuts trilogy by Tony Millionaire finds the Popeye-strong, sentient cake fed up with the 'filthy world of beasts,' made up as they are from 'disgusting blobs of meat.' The first Billy was about his origins; Billy Hazelnuts and the Crazy Bird is about the responsibilities of parenthood, and how they don’t necessarily sync up with maturity." – The A.V. Club

It Was the War of the Trenches

Review: "Everybody dies in [It Was the War of the Trenches]. It's sad, gory, brutal, depressing, visceral, and overwhelming. It brings those poor soldiers back to life and, instead of celebrating any victories or glorifying any heroic acts, just shoots them in the gut all over again and leaves them to die in the mud and filth of no man's land. It's an impressive work of art that floods the reader with a feeling of hopelessness. How Tardi managed this feat without having participated in the first world war is really quite amazing. It is worth reading." – Sandy Bilus, I Love Rob Liefeld

The Unclothed Man in the 35th Century A.D.

Interview: Robin McConnell, host of the Inkstuds radio program, calls up Dash Shaw to catch up on his latest projects

Reviewer: For the Wall Street Journal, Alexander Theroux reviews Bret Easton Ellis's sequel to Less Than Zero

Reviewer: At Husband vs. Wife, Kevin Huizenga eviscerates Logicomix and notes that he's read Weathercraft 3 times

Daily OCD: 6/1/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Zippy the PinheadTim HensleyreviewsPrince ValiantPatrick RosenkranzJoe ColemanJacques TardiHal FosterGene DeitchFantagraphics BookstoreDaily OCDBill Griffith 1 Jun 2010 5:05 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions:

Prince  Valiant Vol. 2: 1939-1940 [Pre-Order]

Review: "Whether you love the swords and sorcery genre, high adventure, romance, or any or all of the above, Hal Foster’s early work on Prince Valiant is well worth reading. ... Fantagraphics has done a remarkable job remastering these strips, which, thanks to the use of original proof sheets and advances in printing technology, are even brighter and crisper than when they were first published 70 years ago. This second volume from Fantagaphics is due to ship in June 2010." – James Henry, Mid-Ohio-Con

Muzzlers, Guzzlers and  Good Yeggs

Review: "In form, content and effect, [Muzzlers, Guzzlers and Good Yeggs] is a hell of a book. Coleman's intricate line drawings capture phantasmagorical scenes of horror and pathos, mixing nightmares with satire and surreal portraiture. There a strange and powerful sense of vitality at play, and a feeling of obsession mixed with a furious sort of joy." – Oliver Ho, PopMatters

Wally Gropius

Plug: New York magazine places Wally Gropius by Tim Hensley well on the "brilliant" side of their Approval Matrix, says reading it "is like taking acid during a time-machine trip to the sixties."

It Was the War of the Trenches

Plug: Looking for information about It Was the War of the Trenches by Jacques Tardi on a Portuguese-language site? Top Comics has you covered

Fantagraphics Bookstore

Plug: Thanks to Daniel X. O'Neil for buying some stuff from our bricks-n-mortar store and blogging about it

Gene Deitch

Interview: The Daily Cross Hatch's Brian Heater continues his conversation with Gene Deitch: "When it rained, we had to shove the drawings under our coats and run from one room to another. But it was exciting. We really felt we were pioneers, no question about it. These people were very intelligent and were very cultured in art."

blackbird

Road trip: At Waymarking.com you can find a crowdsourced guide to real-life locations and landmarks featured in Zippy the Pinhead strips — it's pretty remarkable, and a great way to plan your next road trip! Thanks to Patrick Rosenkranz for the tip.