"This collection of short stories about people desperately trying to suppress or embrace or just somehow deal with all the difficult emotions careening around in their brain just underscores what those who have seen Davis’ work in scattered anthologies already suspected: that she is a tremendous talent, and one of the smartest voices working in comics today." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6
"Ultimately, Wilson is a perfect representative of the dark side of the '60s. His work crackles with the viciousness that was the flip side of flower power. If he has any message to convey, it's that the world is falling apart: that (to quote Yeats by way of Joan Didion) 'the center cannot hold.'" – Etelka Lehoczky, NPR
"What's striking about these 34 stories, written by Harvey Kutzman and illustrated with bold, deft confidence by Severin, is their range of tone. Sure, there are the expected heroics of American soldiers fighting in the relatively contemporary war zones of WWII and Korea; there are strong-jawed sergeants, good-natured grunts and daredevil flying aces. But there is also plenty of cowardice, irony, shame and sheer wastefulness–elements that must surely be part of any large-scale conflict, yet are often excised from their comic-book portrayals." – David Maine, Spectrum Culture
"The Heart of Thomas works in several different themes, many revolving around the concept of love. It asks the questions, what does it mean to love or be loved? What will we do to be loved or to help the one we love? Is it okay to accept another’s love? While asking all these questions, Hagio doesn’t put any conditions on them… The feelings are portrayed so genuinely that gender becomes meaningless, and just seeing the characters happy are all that's important in the end." – Lori Henderson, School Library Journal
To call this a mega signing might actually be selling this Meltdown Comicevent short. Their week of preview events leading up to San Diego Comic-con is kicking off with a signing that literally has too many people to fit on a marquee, and they're not even done adding more comic super stars!
But here are just a few of the people you can expect to chit chat with this Saturday:
Jaime Hernandez, Gilbert Hernandez, Gerard Way, Becky Cloonan, Jim Mahfood, Eric Esquivel, Joshua Hale Fialkov, Felipe Smith, Hannah Partlow, Tom Pinchuk, and the best up-and-coming comic talent, Natalie Hernandez. Plus many others yet to be added.
Both Hernandez bros have some new books out that have been blowing up the critics lists and quickly becoming fan favorites. Pack up your copies of The Love Bunglers, and Luba and Her Family, and head on down to Meltdown Comics. If you're going to SDCC, this will give you a little preview of what's to come, and if you're not going, this will ensure you get to hang out with some of the best. Everyone's welcome!
Party starts at 2 pm. LA. Meltdown Comics. Be there.
"This excellent, retro space opera reads like a funny, alternative Infinity Gauntlet meets Guardians of the Galaxy - but way cooler than both." – Benn Ray, Largehearted Boy
"The story — involving a winged genius dog, a pig monster, a sultry space warrior in leather lingerie, a mad scientist, a quest for a dozen mystic rocks and the cyber-future of sex dolls — is dumb, convoluted and perfect! " – Jake Austen, Chicago Tribune
"I tried to lump stories together that felt thematically similar to me — it starts with stories about people searching for utopia, then searching for love, then searching for their best self — wanting to be strong, or to be good…And the last couple stories are about how hard it is to be fully alive – the pain of it, and the bravery of it." – Tim O'Shea, Robot 6
"This book represents Jamie's [sic] best work, and is one of the best comics I've ever read…if "The Love Bunglers" is the end, then it is a satisfying conclusion to the Maggie and Hopey stories." – Colleen Frakes, Los Angeles Review of Books
"A superhero-riffing, world-building, toe-tapping, beat-hitting story of a whole lot of people, some brilliant, some lucky, some crazy, and some all of the above. And if you like hip-hop, and nice things, go buy the cased edition because there’s a special secret ‘zine in it about Rob Liefeld and Easy E that is just super fabulous." – Alex de Campi, 12th Dimension
"Even if you are not a fan of Hip Hop or Rap per se, one cannot deny its pervasive influence on the world at large. If nothing else, this first volume covering the years 1975 through 1981, demonstrates the nonstop merging of style and culture that is part and particle of the American experience." – Gregg Reese, Our Weekly
"It's just so fucking funny and sad at the same time; Trondheim nails the measurements of humour, pathos, drama – all of it, perfectly here." – Zainab Akhtar, Comics & Cola
Commentary:Paprika Southern features Dame Darcy in an article on her life and work, including her upcoming series, Meat Cake Presents The Voyage of Temptress.
Commentary: Over a the SDCC blog, Toucan, Maggie Thompson discusses the history and evolution of books about comic books, with particular emphasis on EC Comics and the historians who've worked to document these artists' lives and work.
Commentary: Amongst discussions of consent and policy changes at San Diego Comic-Con, Publishers Weekly discusses the past year at Fantagraphics with associate publisher Eric Reynolds.
Now through Sunday, June 29th, we're offering a sale on those very same books, with both discounts and bundled deals (and, in the case of Wuvable Oaf [edit: and MASSIVE!], beginning pre-orders)! Extend your Pride celebration into next month by picking up a new summer read, completing your Wandering Son collection, or finding the perfect gift for the near, dear, and queer friends in your life.
Julio's Day by Gilbert Hernandez
The life of a man, the span of a century. There is hope and joy, there is bullying and grief, there is war, there is love, there is heartbreak. A standalone masterpiece of elliptical, emotional storytelling from the pages of Love and Rockets, finally completed and collected.
Maggie the Mechanic collects the earliest, punkiest, most heavily sci-fi stories of Maggie and her circle of friends, including best friend and sometimes lover Hopey, bombshell Penny Century, and Maggie's weird mentor Izzy.
Featuring comicdom's most treasured girl-lovin' girls, this 128-page softcover collects the first four issues of the surprise hit erotic comic of 2001, plus a bunch of bonus art and previously-unseen strips!
Love is in the air. In junior high, the simple friendships of childhood develop into the complex, tense relationships of adolescence — and it's even more complicated when coping with the knotty issue of gender identification.
Oaf is a large, scary-looking ex-wrestler living in San Francisco with a posse of adorable kitties. He is on a quest to find love in the big city and has set his sights on Eiffel, the lead singer of the grindcore band Ejaculoid. Expected to ship in early spring 2015!
Massive: Gay Erotic Manga and the Men Who Make It [Pre-Order]
Big, burly, lascivious, and soft around the edges: welcome to the hyper-masculine world of Japanese gay comics. The first English-language anthology of its kind: a collection of manga from the most talented and influential artists in the gei komi genre. Expected to ship later this fall!
[The Umpteen Millionaire Club is our series which puts forth book club discussion questions for Fantagraphics titles. The Comics Journal interns Caroline Sibila, Lucy Kiester, and Daniel Johnson put together this set of questions. As this is intended for those who have read the book and contains spoilers, questions can be found behind the jump. - Ed.]
Jaime Hernandez's The Love Bunglers focuses on Maggie (a.k.a. Perla) Chascarrillo: the graphic novel is full of her old friends, estranged family members, and visits to art exhibitions. Maggie's present is interspersed with flashbacks to the Chascarrillo family's brief move to Cadezza and fraught return to Hoppers. Hernandez's expressive art depicts relationships evolving, and adds new dimensions to older stories. The Love Bunglers serves as both an extension of and an introduction to the Love and Rockets universe.
A massively overdue collection of Online Commentaries and Diversions, now on a weekly (or so) basis:
Review: the Absolute on The Amateurs by Conor Stechschulte. "Where The Amateursand Stechschulte truly shine are the moments of calm reflection that heighten the tension between episodes of violence and dismemberment. The butchers continually discuss their predicament, shifting between sorrow, fear, rage, and exhaustion." – Marie Anellothe Absolute
Review: Comics Worth Reading recommends An Age of License by Lucy Knisley. "Like the best travelogues, An Age of License shows you what it would be like to visit a place while reminding you that you can never have the same experience. If you liked her last book, Relish: My Life in the Kitchen, you should definitely check this out — there are some food mentions you’ll appreciate, but where Relish focused on past events, An Age of License gives more insight into the person Lucy Knisley is now." – Johanna Draper Carlson, Comics Worth Reading
Review: The Irish Times discusses how The Love Bunglers by Jaime Hernandez exemplifies the strengths of the graphic novel format. "As ever with Hernandez, it’s funny, complex, unsettling and beautifully drawn. It’s also a reminder that a graphic novel can do things that a novel told in straightforward prose simply can’t." – Anna Carey, The Irish Times
"That's the fascinating paradox of John Severin's war comics, and of Kurtzman's war comics in general. A story like "Night Patrol!" may have all the details of the soldier's uniforms correct, portray their formations precisely and even be photo-referenced from the landscape of the region in which these men hike. But what really stands out here (maybe my favorite piece in the book due to its noir feel) is the sense that the men are trapped by their surroundings and their job, oppressed by the desolate landscape, unfeeling sky and cold rain that conspire to make their lives miserable." – Jason Sacks, Comics Bulletin
Review: The Comics Alternative examines the political and historical contexts of Wallace Wood's Cannon. "For anyone familiar with spy fiction, the stories serialized in this collection are fairly standard, often serving as political mirrors that reflect the disillusionment felt by soldiers and veterans exiting the Vietnam War. In the course of the book, Cannon fights South American insurgents (led by Hitler in disguise, of course), domestic terrorists, right-wing militias, emasculated conmen, and neo-Nazis (but not the ones led by Hitler in disguise)." – Kenneth Kimbrough, The Comics Alternative
Check out this amazing video on S. Clay Wilson, with highlights from the upcoming Pirates in the Heartland: The Mythology of S. Clay Wilson Vol. 1:
Review: Comics Bulletin on Mickey Mouse Outwits the Phantom Blot by Floyd Gottfredson. "This is a gorgeous, surprising, wonderful package of stories full of thrills, surprises and a heady level of quality cartooning. The twists and turns that the masterful Floyd Gottfredson delivers are wonders to behold. If you think that Mickey is just a boring corporate icon, you need to read his battles with the Phantom Blot." – Jason Sacks, Comics Bulletin
Review: Comics Bulletin on M.K. Brown's collected works in Stranger than Life. "Brown is one of those rare cartoonists who's been able to follow her own muse for most of her career, and while some of the material presented in this book has the sort of off-center approach that many of the bestNew Yorker cartoonists take (as in the excerpts above), other pieces are more freeform, more of what seems like a reflection of Brown's unique inner life; all bulbous people drifting through life, doing faintly ridiculous things for pretty much no good reason." – Jason Sacks, Comics Bulletin
Review:Comics Alliance looks at Inio Asano's Nijigahara Holograph and it's legacy of violence. "Nijigahara Holograph manages to do many things very well. It's a sprawling story that never loses its focus on characters. It's symbolically laden without being heavy handed...It carries a palpable dread that will haunt you well after you put it down." – Kevin Church, Comics Alliance
Review: HTML Giant on Cosplayers by Dash Shaw. "This comic looks to both examine and excise our notions of otaku, nerds, geeks, and the like. Cosplayers will strike a chord with anyone who turns to reading as an escape, be they lit-nerd, comic geek, messageboard troll, or a little mixture of all of the above." – HTML Giant
Charlotte, NC: Soak up some Southern charm at the 2014 Heroes Con! Known for being almost solely comics centered, there are too many amazing artists and writers attending for me to list them all. But here are some Fanta greats that'll be holding it down in the invitation only, Indie Island: Rich Tommaso! Noah Van Sciver! Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez! Plus so, so, so many others. The convention runs from June 20-22, with tickets still available! (More details)
Saturday, June 21st
Charlotte, NC: Continues through the weekend! Just as awesome as yesterday, maybe as awesome as tomorrow. Don't miss the Hernandez Bros panel at 1:30, moderated by Tom Spurgeon!
Savannah, GA: The solstice is going to get fun and freaky in Savannah as Dame Darcy hosts its first annual Mermaid Parade through Tybee Beach! Wear your boldest Mermaid costume, win prizes, clam jam to live music, and take a chance to be crowned mermaid QUEEN! Parade kicks off the festivities at 1 pm. (More details)
Seattle, WA: If you've been looking to spruce up your walls with some new original art pieces, pop by the Jeremy Eaton art show in Ballard, running from 12-6 pm. (More details)
Seattle, WA: For the first time, Seattle audiences will get to witness the live action comics anthology performance of Gridlords #23! Presented by Short Run, watch a combination of music, puppetry, video, readings, and more come together to form an original narrative. Many artists are participating, including Andrice Arp! Begins at 7 pm, at Gallery 1412. (More details)
Sunday, June 22nd
Venice, CA: A free opening reception for an exhibition celebrating the work of LA comics artists winds down the weekend, and features pieces by the likes of Ron Rege Jr., and Jordan Crane! The featured artists will be attending and reading from their work. Sponsored by Comics Juice, the reception begins at 3 pm.
The Scott Eder Gallery is one of the premier sellars of comic book art, and is the only gallery in New York City that is exclusively dedicated to showcasing and championing the art of comic books. So it's no surprise that when they open a new show, half of the talent on their roster include Fantagraphics artists.
Opening in tandem with the first ever New York Special Edition convention, the Scott Eder Gallery put together an anthological show to highlight their favorite selections over the past six years, and surprise premieres. Of the numerous masters being exhibited, there are a slew of Fantagraphics favorites and crowd pleasers, including:
So if you're already in New York, or flying out for the first annual comic creator centered show, NY Special Edition, add this show of continuously jaw-dropping original art to your list of places and events to hit up while you're in town!
Opening reception and party takes place on Friday, June 13th at 6 pm, gallery show runs until Septemeber 5th. Books, prints, and original art available for purchase!
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