Next month's issue of Booklist will include review of a recent releases by a Fantagraphics creator, excerpted below: The Love Bunglers by Jaime Hernandez Starred Review: "Skillfully merging tragedy and serendipity, Hernandez brings the [Maggie and Ray's] intertwining stories to a satisfying, if hard-won, culmination. The simplicity of Hernandez's page designs and the elegant economy of his drawing style belie the thoughtful sophistication of his storytelling… Although The Love Bunglers certainly isn't a jumping-on point for new readers, fans who've followed Maggie's exploits over the years will find it a heartbreakingly satisfying achievement that leaves the door wide open for further chapters in this most rewarding and accomplished of serialized comics." –Gordon Flagg
88. Buddy Bradley fromHate, Buddy Buys a Dump, etc. "For some, though, Bagge's early ‘90s hipster caricature was the closest comics got to depicting the world Gen X'ers knew, or at least the world they thought would make them look cool if they acted like they knew it. Through Buddy, Bagge bitingly dredged up the paranoia at the core of every ‘90s alt doofus." – Garrett Martin
35. Enid Coleslaw from Ghost World "Teenage girls, in particular, get the short shrift in comics as Betties and Veronicas, but Enid is spunky, dangerous and recognizably human. In Ghost World, Enid brings her glorious three dimensions to the trials of adolescence." – Hillary Brown
"His cantankerous, money-crazed persona is tempered by a sympathetic backstory from Barks, showing how the millionaire waterfowl earned every dime of his immense wealth through hard work and cunning. This simple setup has fueled decades of stories, the animated series DuckTales and, more recently, a new series of acclaimed reprints of Barks' classic comics by Fantagraphics." –Zack Smith
"Hopey is all spikes and broken glass - a kid at heart - and, as children are, often thoughtless, selfish and wild. That she manages to be completely endearing and relatable to the reader speaks to Hernandez's achievement in Hopey's characterization." – Hillary Brown
10. Maggie from Love and Rockets/Locas by Jaime Hernandez "Maggie's evolving, deepening emotions since 1981 make her one of the most realized and substantial characters in the entire comics medium. She's stereotypically feminine in many aspects - emotional, irrational, eats her feelings - but she also bends gender norms, as evidenced by her talent as a mechanic." – Hillary Brown
"To experience Maggie's story is to watch a modern comic-book master explore the potential of his craft, and The Love Bunglers represents a high point for both the character and her creator." -Oliver Sava, A.V. Club
Rolling Stone recently listed it's Top 50 Non-Superhero Graphic Novels and we made up 22% of that list (including a few books that we published and have been rereleased by others). If you haven't picked up one of these books, get steppin' to your local comic book store, buy one from the website, visit the library---you've go so many options! Picks by Joe Gross also of the Austin-American Statesman.
47Safe Area Gorazde by Joe Sacco "Joe Sacco is one of the medium's premier journalists; that he has focused on war-torn regions makes his work feel that much more vital and impressive...Gorazde - is a great place to start."
44You'll Never Know series by C. Tyler "Tyler is a top flight memoirist, and You'll Never Know pulses with a maturity not often found in the medium."
43Usagi Yojimbo by Stan Sakai "Never less than thoughtful and entertaining, Usagi Yojimbo is one of the most consistent comics around."
15Uncle Scrooge by Carl Barks "His Donald Duck stories are a comedic blast, but his Uncle Scrooge stories are veritable silly symphonies of complicated plotting and intercontinental adventure. Need a master class in how to tell a great comics story? Read any Barks' Scrooge stories from 1950 until his retirement in 1966. It's all there."
5The Complete Crumb by R. Crumb "To ignore him completely is only to invite accidentally ripping him off; he's the Bob Dylan of the comics underground, and his work is embedded in the medium's DNA now."
1Love and Rockets by Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez "Imagine the Clash or R.E.M. or Run-DMC not only never broke up, but, for 30 years, never once released a less-than-excellent record. Imagine their command of their craft just became more pronounced year after year, earning the unshakable admiration of their fans and peers. Imagine they made the best record of their career, 30 years on, this decade. This is essentially what Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez have done with Love and Rockets, the greatest American comic book series of all time."
New digital comics are out and available to download via comiXology and Sequential! Chill out, download some comics and enjoy them on the go, be you on the way to the beach, the bus home or freaking out at the dentist's office (which you can afford now that you don't have to spend as MUCH money on bookshelves).
Buddy Bradley's back in Buddy Buys a Dumpnbsp;from Peter Bagge! Now in his 30s and married with child, onetime slacker hero Buddy Bradley gets a "real" job, shaves his head, dons an eyepatch, quits his "real" job and buys the local dump - because what better place to raise a toddler? Peter Bagge's iconic character is to alternative comics what Homer Simpson has been to television animation over the past quarter-century: a generation-defining slacker and the greatest comedic character of its form and era. Featuring stories originally published in the comic book series Hate Annual from 2000-2011, as well as an all-new 20-page conclusion to the story arc. Available at comiXology for $14.99!
Volume 2 of Unlovable continues with issue #2 "Dream Date". February of 1989 heats up as Tammy Pierce is building up her shrine of boyfriend-to-be Ken Olsen. Will Tammy give up her Debbie Gibson cassette for a mixtape of The Smiths just because Ken told her to?! Her best friend, Kim, just keeps chain-smoking and judging all the while. These 108 pages by Esther Pearl Watson are only $4.99?! Bestill my heart, comiXology!
Available at Sequential is Jaime Hernandez's The Love Bunglers. After a lifetime of losses, Maggie finds, in the second half, her longtime off and on lover, Ray Dominguez. In taking us through lives, deaths, and near-fatalities, The Love Bunglers encapsulates Maggie's emotional history as it moves from resignation to memories of loss, to sudden violence (a theme in this story), and eventually to love and contentment. Much like John Updike in his four Rabbit novels, Jaime Hernandez has been following his longtime character Maggie around for several decades, all of which has seemed to be building towards this book in particular. $14.99 on the Sequential Comics App.
144-page full-color 6" x 9" softcover • $19.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-745-1
"Pete Bagge created a generational icon who I grew up with, and continued to grow up with even after I was a grown up. This book collects the last thirteen years of Buddy's life - and keeping up with him is like keeping up with an old pal from college who, while you still don't see them as often, you still miss dearly, and are always surprised at how much your life and theirs still overlap." -Benn Ray,Atomic Books
"[Buddy Bradley] attacks modern, and more adult-oriented, social trends-MILFs, recessions, mortality-with the same critical skill and wit he brought to the grunge era. For those of us who've accepted these stories piecemeal over the past dozen years, it's nice to seem them joined together." –Christopher Arnott, Below the Fold
112-page black & white 9" x 11.25" hardcover • $19.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-729-1
"...it's maybe the best comic I've read all decade...A beautiful, humane, masterfully executed comic." –Tom Spurgeon,Comics Reporter
"Being a collected edition of Jaime Hernandez's hugely-appreciated climax-of-sorts to his ongoing chronicles of erstwhile romantics Maggie and Ray...IT'S THE SEASON FINALE OF LOVE AND ROCKETS." –Joe McCulloch, The Comics Journal
832-page four-volume hardcover 7.5" x 10.5" x 4" slipcased box set • $94.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-728-4
"I'm kind of hooked on the black and white author-oriented Fantagraphics volumes because they force me to reconsider artists that I power past when they're collected in a format resembling the original comics..." –Tom Spurgeon,Comics Reporter
It's a happy day for the Love and Rockets fans in the office (i.e. all of us): advance copies of Luba and Her Family are in the house! This is the latest Gilbert Hernandez volume in the Love and Rockets Library softcover omnibus series and the first to collect Gilbert's work from the post-Volume 1 era. Whether you're the kind of completist who needs all the books, or the kind who just wants to read all the stories in the proper narrative order, or a new reader who wants to jump on with a good, more recent starting point, you need this book. Jump on our pre-sale and take a gander at some of the contents (including the table thereof) right here.
The terrific meltdown in the grocery line of Online Commentaries & Diversions:
• Review:nbsp;Cosplayers by Dash Shaw "It's a clever idea, and Shaw brings surprising insight to the very short stories. He uses different panel configurations and color palettes to break each story up into scenes, as if they were movies themselves, and his deft linework makes it all look easy." –Bridgid Alverson, Robot 6
• Review: Locust Moon on New School by Dash Shaw "...golly-gee wide-eyed comic classicism mixed with an antiquated, old-testament use of language and heavy moral seriousness, all in service of a surprisingly traditional and very relatably human story of a young kid's worship, envy and disillusionment with his older brother. Like so many of Shaw's comics, it's a wild experiment that works." -Josh, Locust Moon Comics
• Review: "Shaw is messing with the conventions of the comic strip narrative in a radical way, and that disruption is his true subject...…New School is a broad-ranging fantasia with the emotional template of a blockbuster film, where personal issues of love and loss are overshadowed by grandiose abstractions of good and evil." –Carter Scholz, The Comics Journal
• Plug: Thirteen Minutes lists New School as one of the top 10 comics of 2013 "Aside from the rich family dynamics and subtle sci-fi exploration of the new, New School is largely a paradigmatic tale about willfully crafting a cultural sense of identity. It's the best work so far from a daring creator who just gets better and better with each successive project." -Justin Giampaoli, Thirteen Minutes
• Review:Comics Bulletin lists New School by Dash Shaw on the Top 10 of Comics of 2013. "Dash Shaw expands the vocabulary of comics with his poetic approach to his graphic novel…New School is the most beguilingly fascinating, smartly innovative, deliberately off-putting work of comics art that I've read in several years. It's a masterpiece of innovation." –Jason Sacks, Comics Bulletin
• Review: Booklist Online looks at New School. "More enigmatic than Shaw's previous work, New School is a spectacular display of his graphic artistry... Stunning enough to be suitable for framing." -Ray Olson
• Review:Darling Dork on New School by Dash Shaw. "New School's title could be seen a call for a new breed of comics, a breed that takes only the bare minimum required from the past as it strides boldly toward the future. The New School is here, and Dash Shaw may just be its headmaster." –Nate Derr
• Review: On Jaime Hernandez's latest graphic novel "To experience Maggie's story is to watch a modern comic-book master explore the potential of his craft, and The Love Bunglersrepresents a high point for both the character and her creator." –Oliver Sava, A.V. Club
• Review: Broken Frontier on The Love Bunglers. "Even if you haven't shared the accumulated history of Maggie and Ray over the past 30 years, this is a universal story of literally breathtaking power...It might seem counter-intuitive to suggest that you jump in at what might be the end of it all, but once you've been through this story with the characters, you'll want to immerse yourself in the hundreds of pages that led them there. And your life - in comics and beyond - will be immeasurably richer" –Tom Murphy, Broken Frontier
• Review: Starred Review for Nijigahara Holograph by Inio Asano "Equal parts beautiful and highly disturbing, this story of love and loss, obsession and vengeance, is sometimes too opaque to be easily understood, but it has the kind of depth and layers that encourage multiple readings"–Publishers Weekly
• Review: Sarah Horrocks on Nijigahara Holograph< by Inio Asano. "Life in Nijigahara Holograph is depicted through the management of trauma and memory. Adults become adults by what precious things they are stripped of as children, and how well they function as adults is down to just how well they can deny those memories…That the horrors we are exposed to or create as children are perhaps unfairly navigatory in the horrible lives we end up living. The fragility of children in a horrible world, and how it predisposes them to perpetuate an eternal hell from which there is no salvation. Wire Seaon 4, ya." –Sarah Horrocks, Mercurial Blonde (1 of 2), Mercurial Blonde (2 of 2)
• Review:< \Nijigahara Holograph by Inio Asano "If David Lynch were a Japanese manga artist rather than an American film director, this is the sort of story one imagines he would tell in his hypothetical medium." –J. Caleb Mozzocoo, Robot6
• Review: Suvudu, Random House's blog on Nijigahara Holograph"Nijigahara Holograph has the same strong focus on character [as Asano's previous works], but with much more emphasis on the creepy and violently destructive…The complex, multi-layered storytelling rewards attention...I was left thinking about isolation and the need to belong and how much childhood traumas could shape the adults they became." –Johanna Draper Carlson, Suvudu
• Review:The Blighted Eye, edited by Glenn Bray "...it is a strange and wondrous feast. Behold its glory!...Just try and stay away from this book of temptation, I dare you!" –Librarie D&Q
• Review:The EC Comics Slipcase Vol. 1"They are now considered some of the finest comic books ever published...Publisher Fantagraphics is finally making these comics affordable in a series of high-quality slipcase editions."-Mark Frauenfelder Wink Books "The greatest comic books ever published," He continued on Boing Boing
• Review:Sucker Bait & Zero Hour "These collections show comics in a pure, unadulterated form. Before the Superhero frenzy, before '60s cynicism, and just before the Comics Code Authority started trimming all the gory and sexy fun from the pages with their seal of approval." - Under the Radar
• Review:Zero Hour and Other Stories by Jack Kamen, Ray Bradbury and Al Fieldstein on Forbidden Planet. "…the moral reminder (hey, this is the 50s) that in the end crime doesn't pay and that everyone will get their just deserts...Throughout all of these short tales though Kamen's artwork is gorgeous - the lurid, leering expression of the villainous man, the seductive and yet somehow simultaneously vicious glance of the scheming femme fatale...It's very much of its time though - not just the style of storytelling, but of that early post-war society that it came from." –Joe Gordon, Forbidden Planet International
• Review:Zero Hour and Other Stories "Kamen excelled at drawing 'ordinary,' domestic scenes, and this ability was effectively juxtaposed in a number of creepy stories here, including a trio of Ray Bradbury adaptations...The focus, though, is on the stories themselves, and that is as it should be. Once again Fantagraphics has released a quality collection from an outstanding talent. It is to be hoped that these compilations just keep coming." -David Maine, Spectrum Culture
• Review:The Comics Journal Library Vol. 8: The EC Artists edited by Mike Dean and Gary Groth "This is a terrific book for anyone interested in the workings of the legendary EC Comics from behind the scenes...many of these interviews are obscure or long out of print, and are a trove of gossip and insight into the machinations of history's most notorious comics publisher." -David Maine, Spectrum Culture
• Review:Perfect Nonsenseby George Carlson "Prepare to be hurled deep into the past century to a vividly entrancing, pre-CG place of whimsy and wonder...Poring over the rich detail enlivening children's rhymes or his depiction of the Queen Mary ocean liner can be equally arresting and transporting." –Hays Davis, Under the Radar
• Review:Perfect Nonsenseby George Carlson "George Carlson shows himself to be the missing link between Lyonel Feininger and Dr. Seuss. He was not the sort of cartoonist who was broadly influential, but the sort whose work was known to a relative few and remembered by all of them…George Carlson takes us back to a visual environment where Disney doesn't exist, and thus his work has the fascination of the unfamiliar." –R. Fiore, The Comics Journal
• Review:Stranger Than Life by MK Brown is a staff pick at Last Gasp! "Holy shit, can she draw funny...MK Brown's art is terrific, her writing is unique, and this book makes me want to be struck by lightning while reading it, so I can die happy." –Kristine, Last Gasp
• Review:Stranger Than Life by MK Brown on TCJ: "Even if it wasn't one of those rare books where the writer of the afterword denounces the work of the writer of the foreword, Stranger Than Life would be guaranteed to be unlike anything else on your bookshelf, where it ought to be." –R. Fiore, The Comics Journal
• Review:Pretty in Ink by Trina Robbins "...her latest oversized, lushly illustrated offering is the most beautiful of the bunch. "Pretty in Ink" is encyclopedic in scope, if not scale, as Robbins summarizes lengthy careers with poetic succinctness..."-Jake Austen, Chicago Tribune
• Review:Castle Waiting by Linda Medley is listed on the LitReactor's 10 Most Unconventional Comics to Read. "Decidedly feminist and surprisingly light despite the inherent darkness of many fairy tales, Castle Waiting gives readers a rare and impressive glimpse into a collection of unusual characters and stories that will delight....It's frequently insightful, surprising, and is wonderfully dense and layered, not to mention literally long" -Kelly Thompson, LitReactor
• Review:Black Lung by Chris Wright on No Flying No Tights. "It's all very hazy and evoking something that's a step-sister of steampunk, or perhaps a drugged-out [new] Edward Gorey. Plunder, torture, lechery, drunkenness, mutilation, and madness throng this shocking story to the point that it becomes almost routine…the real point of Blacklung's existence is to let Chris Wright explore what he can do with his squirm-inducing, spooky cartooning style - each panel cross-hatched to infinity, with many blacked-out panels or even whole pages gone black for narrative effect, darkness setting in from all sides." –Emilia Packard, No Flying No Tights • Review:Cannon by Wallace Wood "I can't decide if it's the most amazing thing I've ever read or the most morally reprehensible thing I've ever read. In fact, it's amazing partly because it's so morally reprehensible. John Cannon is a more manly James Bond...Despite the rather warped sexual politics (which might have been more acceptable in the early 1970s, but still seem extreme for the time period), Cannon is a wildly entertaining strip, full of action and excitement." –Greg Burgas, Comic Book Resources
• Review: Sequential Crush takes a heartfelt look at Young Romance 2. "...What you'll discover after reading this volume is that the early Simon and Kirby romance stories are filled with young women who are steadfast in their dreams, and won't quit until they reach them... For me, the backgrounds are an education in our material past."–Jacque Nodell, Sequential Crush
• Review:Comics Worth Reading enjoys Young Romance 2 "...the impulses to risk everything for love or disobey parents who just don't understand are universal. The stories are dense - with intent, with events happening quickly, with full panels that establish setting background and costume, because all that is so important to getting caught up in these stories of women who only want to find love…It's a tribute to Jack Kirby's skill that the images, even when crammed into half the panel space, are so striking and evocative. The text, meanwhile, is full of flavor, setting a deeply emotional, almost melodramatic mood." -Johanna Draper Carlson, Comics Worth Reading
• Plug: Animation Magazine on Peanuts Every Sunday by Charles M. Schulz "You'll find very young versions of the gang and Snoopy in this edition, and it's quite fun to trace the origins of the more sophisticated characters we're more familiar with from later years and the animated specials...the whole reason to have this volume is to relive the joy of reading the Sunday morning funnies-and that's why the larger format is absolutely vital to the experience. Keep ‘em coming, folks!" –Ramin Zahed, Animation Magazine
• Plug: More kinds words about Charles M. Schulz's complete run of Peanuts "…the pleasure of spending time with Charlie Brown and friends isn't purely nostalgic. Schulz was like Emily Dickinson in comic strip form, boring to the core of human experience with just a handful of words and gestures." –John Warner, Chicago Tribune
• Review: Batter Up, Charlie Brown by Charles M. Schulz "Jacob Covey provides the beautiful book design, with a limited palette of spring-appropriate yellows and greens...no matter how humiliating the defeat, Charlie Brown always shows up to play, which is in large part what makes this particular loser such a loveable one."–J. Caleb Mozzocco, School Library Journal • Review: NPR on Charles M. Schulz and reading Peanuts. "Charlie Brown makes me feel better about myself. It's not your normal guilty pleasure read, I know. It's my escape from guilt, into pleasure. The thousands of strips are comforting in their vastness - the most solid books on my shelf that could shield me, momentarily, from the advancing troop of guilt." -Yiyun Li, NPR
• Review:Prison Pit Book Five by Johnny Ryan "Visceral and juvenile; hypersexualized violence and hyperimaginative pseudo-sci-fi-Prison Pit has it all...Over-the-top bananas. I quite enjoyed it. Your mileage may vary. You've been warned." -Jeremy Nilsen, Under the Radar
• Review:Prison Pit Book Five by Johnny Ryan "...despite all the gore, Ryan frequently is able to achieve a certain amount of sublime, horrible beauty, most notably in the way he transitions between scenes...here's a genuine sense of horror at the proceedings, as though the comic were some sort of test, not for the reader (it's much too entertaining and smartly paced) but for Ryan himself, gazing into the abyss perhaps to see what exactly will make him flinch... There's an artistry and legitimacy here that belies the notion that picking at scabs is an exercise in futility." –Chris Mautner, Robot 6
• Review:Ed Piskor's NY Times Best Selling "Hip Hop Family Tree is the story of a very different kind of mash-up counterculture emerging from the empty lots of the Bronx, where commercial pop and jerry-rigged sound systems turned an economic wasteland into a space for creativity, pride, and the birth of a new culture…With Hip Hop Family Tree, Piskor fully embraces the role of graphic historian that he began to fulfill in his earlier work on the Beats and the history of hacking…" –Jared Gardner, Public Books
• Review: "Julia Gfrörer is a talented young cartoonist whose delicate linework brings to her gothic storytelling a fragile sensuality and somber humor. In her young career she has produced some splendid short work and mini-comics, but it is her debut novella, Black is the Color, that has brought her the attention she deserves." -Jared Gardner, Public Books • Review: FPI is excited about the upcoming How To Be Happy "Eleanor Davis is, without question, a major young creator...the constant is an incredible storytelling sense even when really pushing page layout, couple this with bravery, honesty, passion in what she makes and you have a star in the making." -Richard Bruton, Forbidden Planet International
• Plug: Ruben Bolling plugs our new Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Trail of the Unicorn collection by Carl Barks. "These Fantagraphics reprints of the Carl Barks Donald Duck/Uncle Scrooge comics are the gold standard for reprint publications -- which is an embarrassment of riches because the underlying material is the gold standard for cartooning. Some of the best comic book items ever produced, I can't 'Recommonday' them enough." –Ruben Bolling, Tom the Dancing Bug
• Review: Meat Cake by Dame Darcy is available to read digitally and people are loving it! "I was thrilled when I heard the first issue is now available for free on ComiXology. Grab it and enjoy the Victorian witches and that one lady who speaks via Pez messages. It's perfect. (Head to Fantagraphics to get it in print.)" -Whitney Matheson,USA Today
• Plug:Henry Speaks for Himself is mentioned on Gweek by Ruben Bolling on Gweek • Review:Dan DeCarlo "It turns out that DeCarlo was also a prolific cheesecake gag cartoonist, churning out dozens of drawings of buxom women that look like Betty and Veronica's older sisters. This Fantagraphics anthology is masterfully designed in two colors by Jacob Covey..." -Mark Frauenfelder, Wink Books
• Review: "[Barnaby] seems to float, as the best newspapers strips do, in some eternally mythic American moment." –Josh O'Neill, Locust Moon Comics
• Review:Nutsby Gahan Wilson is reviewed on Kitty Sneezes "a memoir-like piece about, ultimately, how scary childhood can be."
• Review: Heroes Online blog looks at VIP, edited by Jonathan Barli. "His madcap-often bawdy and even a little naughty- style was immediately recognizable and oft times laugh out loud funny... a career long retrospective of a comic genius that is long overdue. "–Andy Mansell, Heroes Online
• Review: From our friends across the pond about Janet Hamlin's books "Sketching Guantanamo is an extraordinary witnessing of history in the making. Hamlin's patient skill as a graphic artist seems to communicate the personality of her subjects far more deeply and expressively than any photographer could."–New Internationalist
Don't forget! Tonight at Meltdown Comics in Los Angeles Love and Rockets'Jaime Hernandez will be on a 7pm panel at Meltdown Comics with fellow cartoonists and animators Pendleton Ward, Bryan Lee O'Malley and Thompas Herpich. They will be interviewed by Inkstuds radio show host, Robin McConnell and cartoonist, Brandon Graham in what will be a packed room. After the panel, Jaime will be signing books INCLUDING the newest collection The Love Bunglers.
There will be free tickets available at the door so you can still go loiter and hope to meet one of the cartoonists. It will also be broadcasted LIVE via MeltdownTVhere. Pick up a copy of The Love Bunglers too, it's absolutely drool-worthy. Let's have a party!