The furtherest-traveled Bethesda-sent postcard of Online Commentaries & Diversions:
• Review:NPR's Glen Weldon looks at The Hypo by Noah Van Sciver. "Although The Hypo is painstakingly researched, the book is no dry accretion of biographical detail. That's because Van Sciver approach's is so deeply, palpably personal, even idiosyncratic. . . Inspiring? No. But achingly familiar, relatably human and — most of all — profoundly real."
• Interview:Comic Book Resources and Ryan Ingram pulled Noah Van Sciver aside to talk about The Hypo. Van Sciver says, "My reason for spending so much time working on The Hypo was an honest to god interest in the subject of depression and the struggles Lincoln was going through at that time. Probably nobody else would have done this book."
• Review:We Got Reviews looks at Noah Van Sciver's The Hypo. Chad Parenteau closes it beautifully states," In The Hypo, Van Sciver proves in these pages that you can bring an almost mythic figure of the past to modern day terms while still making that figure heroic."
• Plug:Large-Hearted Boy got his mitts on The Hypo by Noah Van Sciver: "I've been looking forward to this book for what feels like two years now. . . It's a side of Lincoln rarely revealed, beautifully illustrated, and wonderfully told."
• Commentary: Rob Clough of the Comics Journal and High-Low made sure to organize some Noah Van Sciver within the Library of Congress mini-comic collection: "Everything's coming up Noah these days, with an Ignatz nomination for The Death of Elijah Lovejoy and the release of his Abraham Lincoln book The Hypo from Fantagraphics." Clough also comments on Jaime and Gilbert's Ignatz awards, "I dubbed Jaime Hernandez the King of SPX after he took home three extremely well-deserved Ignatz awards. After getting shafted by the other major comics awards shows, it was great to see him relishing this moment."
• Commentary: Tom Spurgeon says a bunch of nice stuff about the Hernandez Brothers, Noah Van Sciver on the Comics Reporter. "Los Bros had a steady line of admirers at the show, which was really encouraging to me. They had good solo panels, too -- Frank Santoro talked to Jaime and got him to choke up a bit, and Sean T. Collins talked to Gilbert and applied to that conversation the benefit of reading the holy shit out of all of Gilbert's work sometime in the last year. . . I enjoyed that Abraham Lincoln book of [Noah's]."
• Commentary:The Beat loves on all creators, great and small including the Hernandez Brothers
• Plug (video): Junot Diaz talks about the Hernandez Brothers in Vol. 1 Brooklyn.
• Commentary (audio): The podcasts Hideous Energy attends not only SPX but the Politics and Prose signing for the Hernandez Brothers . The hosts have a frighteningly good time at SPX despite the trials and tribulations of their hotel room at Red Roof Inn.
• Review: The School Library Journal dissects The Adventures of Venus by Gilbert Hernandez and includes some questions to ask when using it in an English or literature class: ". . . while certainly young readers should appreciate many aspects of the book, some of its content may land as so idiosyncratic (albeit playfully so) as to inaccessible. And that’s actually a good thing."
• Review:The Chicago Reader enjoys Lilli Carré's Heads or Tails. Noah Bertlasky compares,"Eschewing the autobiographical meaning-through-trauma tradition of Maus, the pop art goofiness of Fort Thunder, or the sex and drug spewing of underground artists like R. Crumb, Carré specializes in surreal narratives and exquisite design.. . . Reading this, it's easy to forget there was ever a time comics were viewed as separate from art."
• Plug: Alex Pardee of Juxtapoz picks Johnny Ryan as his dude du jour and demands you read Prison Pit #4 and all previous volumes."I'm pretty sure the words 'Johnny Ryan' mean 'Fuck You' in Elvish or Klingon. . . Lucky for us, Johnny Ryan doesn't give a Russell Brand about pissing anyone off. . . amassing a huge cult following based solely around brilliantly conveyed hemorrhoid jokes, hitler bashing, and 'shit-fucking-shit'. . ."
• Plug: Claire Donnor of comiXology focuses on No Straight Lines, edited by Justin Hall. "Besides offering an exciting array of new and rare talent, this volume presents a very refreshing change from the familiar straight male fantasizing that has traditionally dominated the indie and underground scenes."
• Review:The North Adams Transcript reviews Mattotti and Zentner's The Crackle of the Frost. John Seven writes, "What the words cannot portray, the images do, the real psychological landscape that Samuel's confused analysis grapples with, and a testament to the power that can be born of the collusion between the literary and the illustrative in the best examples of graphic storytelling."
• Review: Carter Scholz returns to The Comics Journal to pen a review of Dal Tokyoby Gary Panter, "So think of it as a comic strip, a periodic commitment. A blog before and after its time, a day book spanning three pitiless decades. Each strip of the first series is time-stamped, by hand, to the minute, testimony to Panter’s living and working and recording in the here-and-now of it."
• Interview: Max Robinson of City Paper interviews Dan Clowes and about the continuing success of Ghost World: "I’m heartened that it seems to live on. It’s about teenage girls from another world, really; [they] don’t text, don’t have cell phones, don’t have computers. It’s really about the olden days and yet it seems like the whole new readership of teenagers seems to take to it every year."
• Review:Pop Matters talks about Daniel Clowes. Features editor Josh Indar says, "This is why I love Dan Clowes. He’s the only comic artist I’ve read who can do this to me, to pull me so completely into his world that, just as the old lady said, I start seeing reality through the lens of his work."
• Review: Nick Gazin's Comic Book Love-In #72 on Vice includes Jacques Tardi's New York Mon Amour. "Many of the comics they're publishing have never been translated into English before so it is a big, big deal that they are providing this service to all American lovers of comics. . . The art's great and it captures what New York in the early 80s was."
• Interview:Print Mag interviews the indeliable Roger Langridge on comics, acting and life. It's worth reading yourself for the gorgeous panels full of exquisite details. Langridge says, "It's a fascinating world, theater."
• Interview: Chris Auman of Reglar Wiglar interviews Ed Piskor on his previous book and upcoming Hip Hop Family Tree. "I grew up surrounded by hip hop. I feel like the fact that I even learned to draw was shaped by a hip hop mentality."
Occasionally a finger on the camera slips and reporters or other publishers accidentally take a picture of the people working on publishing the books, rather than our wide array of talented artists and authors. Here are some nice things people said about us and some semi-nice photos of Gary, Kim, Eric, Jacq and Jen: Tom Spurgeon at Comics Reporter, Chris Mautner on Robot 6 and Comic Book Resources, artist Nick Abadzis, Charles Brownstein at CBLDF, Heidi MacDonald at The BEAT.
Join Gilbert & Jaime Hernandez at the Saint Francis Auditorium [ 180 Remsen Street ] for some compelling chats this Sunday, September 23rd:
2:00 P.M. // Worlds Built over Time This all-star panel brings together the narrative geniuses of Jaime Hernandez (Love and Rockets), Carla Speed McNeil (Finder), Adrian Tomine (New York Stories) and Gabrielle Bell (The Voyeurs) to discuss how they’ve developed characters, stories, and imagined worlds over serial publications. Moderated by Bill Kartalopoulos, co-organizer, Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival. Featuring screen projection.
3:00 P.M. // The Sex Panel: Taboo in Pictures Gilbert Hernandez (Love and Rockets), Leela Corman (Unterzakhn), Molly Crabapple (Devil in the Details) and Bob Fingerman (From the Ashes) talk about sex and taboo in comics. What inspires and informs their work and drives their characters (and readers)? From obscenity to art, and the delicious in-between. Featuring screen projection, with viewer discretion advised! Moderated by Heidi MacDonald.
5:00 P.M. // Enduring Unlikable Women Elissa Schappell (Blue Print), Gilbert Hernandez (Love and Rockets) and Dana Spiotta (Stone Arabia) write difficult, complex female characters. Join these authors in a reading and discussion that looks at the bad boy and the unlikable woman in literature and how they are reviled or celebrated by their audience and creators. Moderated by Meredith Walters, Brooklyn Public Library.
For two punk afficianados as the Bros, this is guaranteed to be a rockin' night! They'll be joined by special musical guest Jeffrey Lewis! In fact, Jarvis Cocker says Jeffrey Lewis is the finest lyricist of his generation! (That's for our Office Manager, Steph!)
So, shop 'til you drop at the Rock Shop this Friday night starting at 7:30 PM! The Rock Shop is located at 249 4th Avenue, Brooklyn.
Save the visit to the Library of Congress, which will come up later, these are THE pictures and thoughts on Small Press Expo 2012. We honestly were so busy that there was little time to make the rounds to other aisles and buy books or snag pics of our friends at this family reunion of a show. So please accept my apology for no SWEEPING landscapes of the table set-up as it was busy, busy, busy. SPX'sExecutive Director, Warren Bernard, ran a good show and David Michael Thomas could not have been better with convention previews and making sure we were comfortable throughout.
The Washington alt-weekly newspaper or insert covered the special guests of the con including the Hernandez brothers. Love and Rockets tattoos are the ink du jour as you can see along with Jughead hats and SUPER short skirts (even though we all know leggings that look like wormholes or intestinal tracts are really in this year). Drawing by Thomas Pitilli.
The signing at Politics and Prose in D.C. kicked off the 30th Anniversary Northeast Tour. With trusty escorts like Associate Publisher Eric Reynolds, PR Director Jacq Cohen and myself, what could go wrong? First things first though, toothpicks to make sure teeth are clean.
The first book of the weekend AND the first copy of The Hypo by Noah Van Sciver went to Leon Avelino, publisher at Secret Acres.
Long lines formed for the Hernandez Brothers both days and were chock full of other exhibitors and cartoonists like First Second's George O'Connor.
Fans got books signed, bought drawings and got their SPX convention badges signed.
That night at the Ignatz awards, Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez cleaned up. While humbly accepting their Herriman bricks, they thanked Daniel Clowes & Art Spiegelman for NOT having new stories this year. The Brothers won Outstanding Series for Love and Rockets while Jaime won Outstanding Artist and Outstanding Story for "Return for Me"of Love and Rockets: New Stories #4.
Author Phillip Nel sold his Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss biography to whet everyone's appetite for the Barnaby book. Rich Tommaso sold his The Cavalier Mr. Thompson, a Fantagraphics-distributed book about a 1920s hotel in Texas.
Fans and friends got their signatures and tiny drawings by Tommaso.
Cartoonist TJ Kirsch shows off his Daniel Clowes drawing in Twentieth-Century Eightball.
Despite his dour face, Daniel Clowes genuinely liked Gary Panter's Dal Tokyo while Charles Burns looks on.
John Porcellino (of Spit and a Half, King Cat and Drawn and Quarterly) soaked in the cross hatching glory of Van Sciver's The Hypo. Maybe he was enjoying it too much.
As always, my partner-in-crime Jacq Cohen and I accidentally dressed to match some of our favorite classic books, me with Nancy and Jacq with Peanuts.
Jacq and I ran off after the convention to eat some delicious food with our good friends. Clockwise from the bottom left: Gilbert Hernandez, me, Jaime Hernandez, Tom Neely of Sparkplug, Joseph Remnant of ZAP/Top Shelf, Noah Van Sciver and John Porcellino. Delicious!
And finally, a picture from 2010's MoCCA Fest where I'm handing Jaime minis as a fan. Now we get to argue about baseball uniforms and proper sock height while working the Fantagraphics table. Thank you everyone for coming to the Fantagraphics table to buy our books, talk to our artists and spread more of the convention cheer. See you next year!
Photos by Jacq Cohen and me. Attitude by Fantagraphics.
Yes, the Love & Rockets 30th Anniversary Tour rolls on into the library's Montgomery Auditorium on Wednesday, September 19th! Join the Bros for a presentation at 7:30 PM, followed by a Q&A session. After the talk, fans and friends can get their books signed in the Library Lobby from 8:30-10:30 PM.
Note: there is a limit of 5 signed books per person!
We have lots of post-SPX catching-up to do but first and foremost congratulations are in order to Gilbert & Jaime Hernandez who swept their Ignatz Award categories and came away from the ceremony lugging 3 brick trophies: Outstanding Series for Love and Rockets: New Stories, Outstanding Artist for Jaime, and Outstanding Story for Jaime's "Return for Me" from Love and Rockets: New Stories #4! Outstanding indeed, and a perfect way to usher in the new issue by capping off a year of universal and thunderous acclaim for the previous issue. We'll hopefully have a first-hand report and photos from the scene once our away team gets settled back in here.
• Brooklyn, NY: The Love & Rockets East Coast Tour will end with a stop at the Brooklyn Book Festival. Gilbert Hernandez will join many other creators on "The Sex Panel: Taboo in Pictures," featuring obscenity, art and the area between the two. Meanwhile, Jaime Hernandez stars on a panel called "Worlds Built Over Time: Panel to Page, Book to Series" on world building and character development in the long term. Book signings will follow each panel discussion. (more info)
The fastest 'ping' of Online Commentaries & Diversions:
• Review:iFanboy makes Carl Barks man of the month when Uncle Scrooge: Only a Poor Old Man is Book of the Month. Conor Kilpatrick writes a truly superb review and says "Carl Barks’ genius is not only about his wonderful art. He was an excellent storyteller who used his stories to not only tell jokes and send these characters on great adventures. He also told us about how they were as people and used them to examine real issues."
• Interview (audio): Love and Rockets' Gilbert Hernandez showed up on the short-n-sweet comiXology podcast today. The interview also coincides with the newest collection of work from Gilbert and brother, Jaime, coming out on comiXology the same day as the store release. The very beginning of Love and Rockets in the form of Heartbreak Soup and Maggie the Mechanic is now also available for your e-reading pleasure.
• Plug:The Comics Reporter talks about this weeks' releases and Love and Rockets: New Stories #5 is of course, at the top of the list. Tom Spurgeon says, "The follow-up to last summer's devastatingly good issue isn't as devastating, but it's still really good. Lots of Borneo in the Jaime story. I find that character alternately hilarious and terrifying."
• Review:Another Mag happily turns the pages of Sexytime edited by Jacques Boyreau. Laura Bradley states, "[this] oversized book. . . is a glorious portrait of taboo-busting 'porn chic'. Curated by author-filmmaker-curator Jacques Boyreau, the 100+ re-mastered posters vary in style – some with amusing imagery and tag lines, some darkly surreal, some sleek and stylish; all hosting kitsch appeal."
Following up an exciting summer of digital releases by a variety of Fantagraphics authors, today Love and Rockets: New Stories #5 is on bookshelves and digital bookshelves worldwide. But it is not alone. For newcomers, long-time fans and people who need to move across the country with ease, Fantagraphics announces the new digital release of the first two volumes from the Love and Rockets Library. Maggie the Mechanic by Jaime Hernandez and Heartbreak Soup by Gilbert Hernandez are now also available for download. These volumes assemble the Hernandez Brothers work seperately in perfect chronological order and the intuitive Guided View by comiXology smoothly sends the reader from one beautiful panel to the next.
In Heartbreak Soup, we visit the small Central American town of Palomar and Gilbert's main cast of characters as children. High drama and strong emotions permeate this 288-page volume from "Sopa de Gran Pena" to the great love story "For the Love of Carmen." Maggie the Mechanic follows Maggie and her best friend and sometimes lover, Hopey, and their circle of friends with strong sci-fi stories by Jaime. Gan favorites wrestler Rena Titañon and Maggie's handsome love interest, Rand Race, appear all over this 272-page digital premiere.
For those of you caught up on the story, Love and Rockets: New Stories #5 collects the newest comics by the Hernandez Brothers! Jaime focuses on less-seen characters Frogmouth and her half-sister, Tonta, while Gilbert views the town of Palomar through the seemingly superficial lens of Hollywood all in 102 pages.
For the low and lovely price of $14.99 you can purchase the beginning of a series that is still going strong after thirty years. Head over to comiXology today and find out why readers, creators and retailers all over are mohawked-head over booted heels for Love and Rockets.
"The Love and Rockets Vol. 1 reprints may be my favorite publishing project of the last five years, and there are a lot of fine projects going on... the smaller, bargain-priced volumes [are] the perfect vehicle for that material, the best comics series of all time." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
"I've never seen anything else in comics — I guess there might be something in literature — but in comics there's never been anybody that's touched what the Hernandez brothers have." – Robert Crumb
"An addictive soap opera, replete with humor and heart." – The Washington Post
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