Diana Schutz of Dark Horse visits with Mario & Gilbert while Jaime keeps his nose to the grindstone. Citizen Rex sequel, anyone?
Steven Weissman & Jon Vermilyea compare notes on strap-fondling techniques. Hey, there's Zack Carlson partially visible over Steven's shoulder — a special shout-out to Zack for his good spirit and volunteerism this week. (Zack also made one of the most amazing Comic-Con purchases I've ever heard about: a 1964 Chevrolet Corvair.)
Young Romance is a real page-turner, as editor Michel Gagné demonstrates.
Eric and Tom Spurgeon yak it up while D&Q's Tom Devlin ponders the unspeakable and Janice looks on.
Scott McCloud looks happy to have found some (mc)clouds in Johnny Gruelle's Mr. Twee Deedle (shut up, I'm tired).
Comic-Con Sundays are always too hectic for much picture-taking:
Old friend Roger Langridge popped by and sketched the Great Gonzo for Clem Reynolds, to papa Eric's delight.
Thanks to the thousands of folks who visited our booth this year (especially those who spent their money in it), Comic-Con staff & volunteers, our wonderful artists, our kick-ass staff, all of our pals & colleagues... another humdinger of a year! I'm off for a week of R&R so I'll catch you all next week.
Somebody brought an old Who's Who in the DC Universe for Trina to sign the page with her Cheetah illustration. That lady's done it all!
Another DC character also made an appearance at the No Straight Lines signing. (At least I think that's Poison Ivy.)
Matt Groening showed off his pal Gary Panter's Dal Tokyo while Akbar & Jeff walked past in the background. Matt recounted for us how he helped save the strip from being dumped at the L.A. Weekly back in the 1980s by arguing that it's one of the greatest works of art of the 20th century.
Eric shows off Johnny Gruelle's Mr. Twee Deedle to Matt, who was particularly taken with Gruelle's "birds-eye view" strips in the book and walked away with it under his arm.
Shannon Wheeler was signing Oil and Water before he even had a chance to sit down.
FANTAGRAPHICS and COMIXOLOGY ANNOUNCE DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION AGREEMENT
Love and Rockets: New Stories #1-4 Available Now To Help Celebrate 30 Years Of The Hernandez Brothers’ Groundbreaking World
July 14th, 2012 – San Diego, CA. / New York, NY. — Today in a wide-ranging panel celebrating the 30th anniversary of publishing the Hernandez Brothers’ groundbreaking Love and Rockets series co-publisher Gary Groth, president of the 36 year-old publishing house, announced Fantagraphics Books’ entrance into the digital age through a brand new digital distribution agreement with comiXology, the revolutionary digital comics platform with over 75 million comic downloads to date and a library of more than 25,000 comics and graphic novels.
To mark the occasion, Fantagraphics Books and comiXology have immediately made available the first four issues of the Hernandez Brothers’ phenomenal Love and Rockets: New Stories. Groth also announced that following Comic-Con, comiXology will debut Love and Rockets: New Stories #5 on the same day as the print release is available in comic book stores this September. Subsequently, Fantagraphics will begin to release certain titles from their extensive front list and back catalogue across the entire comiXology platform.
“Fantagraphics Books is one of the longest running, independent comic publishers around with an incredible array of titles. I’ve been chasing them for three years to be a part of our platform and am thrilled not only to bring their books to the digital world, but also to be a part of celebrating the 30th anniversary of Love and Rockets," said comiXology co-founder and CEO David Steinberger. "I’ve long been a fan of Hernandez Brothers’ work, and couldn’t think of a better way to kick off our new relationship with Fantagraphics. There are many happy people in the comiXology offices today.”
"We’ve been exploring our digital options for a few years now, and the more I learned, the more I kept coming back to ComiXology," said Eric Reynolds, Fantagraphics Books Associate Publisher. "Seeing these first four issues of Love and Rockets: New Stories in comiXology’s Guided View is exciting.”
Fantagraphics and comiXology worked closely together to acquire the highest resolution source material to make sure these volumes of Love and Rockets: New Stories look great in comiXology’s new high–definition comic format — CMX-HD — for Love and Rockets fans that are reading on the new iPad.
In early May, comiXology revealed they had crested 65 million comic and graphic novel downloads since the beginning of the platform, with 15 million of those downloads happening in 2012. ComiXology recently unveiled that only one month later in June they had hit 77 million downloads — an addition of 12 million downloads — continuing on a trajectory of record-shattering growth.
About Fantagraphics Books
Fantagraphics Books has been a leading proponent of comics as a legitimate form of art and literature since it began publishing the critical trade magazine The Comics Journal in 1976. By the early 1980s, Fantagraphics found itself at the forefront of the burgeoning movement to establish comics as a medium as eloquent and expressive as the more established popular arts of film, literature, poetry, music et al. Fantagraphics has since gained an international reputation for its audacious editorial standards and its exacting production values and continues to expand the comics medium by releasing the highest quality books.
Founded in 2007 with the mission of bringing comics to people everywhere, comiXology — in just five short years — has revolutionized the comic book and graphic novel world. From creating the industry leading platform for digital comics to tools and services for brick and mortar retailers, comiXology has lead the charge in exposing new audiences to the rich history and culture of comic books. With the development of the Comics by comiXology digital comics platform — — available across iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire and the Web — comiXology provides the easiest way worldwide for people to enjoy comics at just the click of a button! Regularly ranking as the top grossing iPad app in the entire iTunes App Store, Comics by comiXology was recently chosen as a preloaded app on Amazon’s Kindle Fire. Providing digital comics across multiple platforms, comiXology will not stop until everyone on the face of the earth has been turned into a comic book fan.
Hello from San Diego, where we've unpacked the following never-before-seen debut books today (which will all be available to non-Comic-Con-goers in a couple of months at most):
Love and Rockets: New Stories #5 by Gilbert & Jaime Hernandez! Our esteemed colleague Heidi MacDonald of The Beat happened by as we were unpacking, saw our stacks of this new volume, and declared it "book of the show" already — you heard it here first!
Buz Sawyer Vol. 2: Sultry's Tiger by Roy Crane — The adventures don't slow down for our flyboy hero in the post-war years as he tangles with the titular femme fatale, tries to foil an insane ex-Nazi, goes in search of ancient Mayan treasure and gets kidnapped to Africa!
The Cavalier Mr. Thompson: A Sam Hill Novel by Rich Tommaso — we're pleased to be distributing this Kickstarter-funded, self-published graphic novel, a nifty early-20th-century period piece starring a hotel dick and a grifter who turns Big Spring, Texas upside-down.
We're expecting delivery of more hot-off-the-press debuts in the morning; in the meantime, booth setup proceeds apace in preparation for Preview Night opening tomorrow. It's a good thing these tables are strong.
We're thrilled to announce the Fantagraphics signing schedule for San Diego Comic-Con 2012!
We're also extra-excited to announce our first-ever Preview Night signing!!! That's right! Last year, we met a lot of customers who lamented that they were only able to score a pass for Preview Night and they were missing out on all the signings. So, we've got the great Gilbert Hernandez, Mario Hernandez, and Gilbert's talented daughter Natalia signing at our booth that evening! You complained; we listened! Yeah, don't get too used to that.
30 Years. Three. Zero. In 1982, Gilbert, Jaime and Mario Hernandez published their first comic with Fantagraphics, which debuted at that year’s Comic-Con International in San Diego. In 2012, Fantagraphics Books announces the best anniversary present you can give the comics making trio: a year of celebrating Love and Rockets.
Jaime Hernandez remembers his first Comic-Con well. “The first time we spotted Love and Rockets some guy was already selling it for half-off.” Fellow professionals took an interest in the Hernandez brothers’ creation. “Chris Claremont walked up and joked that all the women on the cover should have ‘X’es on their belts,” Jaime joked. “I brought along some pages from the next issue and Frank Miller looked through them ‘studying’ my inking style.”
Thirty years later, fans will line up around that same block to get books signed at this year’s Comic-Con International, where Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez are invited special guests of the show and will even have a special section devoted to their work in the official convention souvenir program. Look for a major Love and Rockets-related announcement to be made at the show as well during the Love and Rockets panel on Saturday (see below for more details).
Fantagraphics and the Hernandez Brothers will debut three new books at the show. First up is the newest work by Gilbert and Jaime, Love and Rockets: New Stories #5 , featuring Gilbert’s return to Palomar and Jaime’s much-anticipated follow up to “The Love Bunglers” (from #4). Also debuting is God and Science: Return of the Ti-Girls, Jaime’s superhero epic combining material from Love and Rockets: New Stories #1and#2 plus 30 all-new pages by Jaime. Meanwhile, don’t forget the children: Comic-Con also hails the release of Gilbert's children-focused graphic novel, The Adventures of Venus.
Fantagraphics is also partnering with Graphitti Designs for the 30th Anniversary and debuting six new Love and Rockets t-shirts at the show. SDCC attendees might want to pack one shirt less for the show, instead picking up one of these colorful designs featuring their favorite Hernandez characters for a great price of $18.99 each, available at the Fantagraphics booth.
Panel by panel and page by page, Fantagraphics is proud to have a thirty year relationship with such prolific creators as the Hernandez Brothers and welcomes all SDCC attendees to come to the Fantagraphics Booth (1718-1722) and visit these special guests, who will be signing daily. Also, don’t miss the 30th Anniversary of Love and Rockets panel on Saturday at the con, from 1:30pm – 3:00pm in Room 24ABC. Fantagraphics publisher Gary Groth will moderate a lively trip down memory lane with all three Hernandez Brothers and make a major announcement regarding the future of the series.
For more information as it is released, check the Fantagraphics blog for announcements. Thirty years of the Love and Rockets is at your fingertips!
The new prepackaged Online Commentaries & Diversion:
•Commentary:The Huffington Post made it over to the Robert Crumb exhibit called "Crumb: From the Underground to the Genesis" at the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville in Paris: "Never one to shy away from his love-hate relationship with women, Crumb invited the world into his most perverted fantasies, one which includes riding on his mother's boot."
•Interview: Zachary Hunchar of Technorati questions Pete Bagge about a long life in comics. "People expect their entertainment to be for free now," said Bagge. "Musicians compensate for it by performing live more often, but the only equivalent to that for cartoonists is more comic conventions."
•Interview:WTF Podcast with host Marc Maron digs into the essentials of Tony Millionaire's work: "[Marc's place] is like my place, I have a very small garage, built for a model T, and it's cluttered. I have all the corners I need to work in."
•Commentary: Tom Spurgeon is afraid of all the press releases for San Diego Comic-Con will overwhelm your normall-observant Hernandez Brothers' radar. On the Comics Reporter, he made an impassioned called for Love and Rockets coverage during the 2012 Comic-Con International: "It's vital for the medium we love . . . that we treat San Diego as a place where Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez have been in attendance more than 25 times each more than we treat it as a place Steven Spielberg has been to once. Both Jaime and Gilbert remain vital, exciting cartoonists. . ."
•Plug: Gene Ambaum of Unshelved touches on Oil & Water by Steve Duin, Shannon Wheeler and Michael Rosen: "[an] anti plastic activist and bird enthusiast,” who wears a strange cyclops-like lens to aid his bird watching, says he has 'the poop story to end all poop stories.' He doesn’t tell it until the end of the book, so I had to keep reading."
Everybody wants to know: what new books will Fantagraphics be debuting at the San Diego Comic-Con? Well, attendees, get ready to be among the very first to feast your eyes on the following, most of these fresh from the printers! Find 'em all at Booth #1718!
• The Adventures of Venusby Gilbert Hernandez A rare foray into all-ages work, “The Adventures of Venus” was Gilbert Hernandez’s contribution to the kids’ anthology Measles which he edited in 1999 and 2000. This super-affordable little hardcover collects all the previously uncollected “Venus” stories from Measles, plus a new story done just for this book!
• The Lost Art of Ah Pook Is Here: Images from the Graphic Novel by Malcolm McNeill (not officially out 'til October!) In 1970, William S. Burroughs and artist Malcolm McNeill agreed to collaborate on a book-length meditation on time, power, control, and corruption that evoked the Mayan codices and specifically, the Mayan god of death, Ah Pook. McNeill created nearly a hundred paintings, illustrations, and sketches for the book, and these, finally, are seeing the light of day in The Lost Art of Ah Pook.
• Observed While Falling: Bill Burroughs, Ah Pook, and Me by Malcolm McNeill (not officially out 'til October!)Observed While Falling is an account of the personal and creative interaction that defined the collaboration between the writer William S. Burroughs and the artist Malcolm McNeill on the graphic novel Ah Pook Is Here. The memoir chronicles the events that surrounded it, the reasons it was abandoned and the unusual circumstances that brought it back to life.
• Barack Hussein Obama by Steven Weissman (not officially out until September!) It’s neither a biography nor an experiment, but a whole, fully-realized parallel America, a dada-esque, surrealistic satirical vision that is no more cockeyed than the real thing, its weirdness no more weird, its vision of the world no more terrifying, where the zombie-esque simulacra of Joe Biden and Hillary and Newt and Obama wander, if not exactly through the corridors of power, through an America they made and have to live in, like it or not.
• Buz Sawyer Vol. 2: Sultry's Tigerby Roy Crane (not officially out until September!) In the last adventure in our 2nd volume, Buz is kidnapped and flown to Africa by mysterious assailants. His friend Chili Harrison bets International Airways chief Mr. Wright $200 that even in this desperate situation, Buz will manage to get involved with a pretty girl. Long-time readers of the strip will have no trouble guessing who wins that bet.
• The Cavalier Mr. Thompson: A Sam Hill Novel by Rich Tommaso (not officially out until August!)Welcome To Big Spring, Texas and The Cavalier Hotel. A place brimming with all manner of colorful characters. And then, Ross Thompson – a slick operator from Chicago — came into their humble abode and turned everything upside down. Big Spring was a just string of yarn for Mr. Thompson to pull and pull at, until the entire community came unraveled! Now you’ll have to crack open this here book for yourself to find out just how he done it...
• The Crackle of the Frost by Lorenzo Mattotti & Jorge Zentner (not officially out until September!)In 2011, Fantagraphics presented the extraordinary Stigmata, a stunning display of Mattotti’s whirling, emotional, black and white linework, as well as his painted illustrations for Lou Reed’s The Raven. The Crackle of the Frost ups the visual ante even on those masterpieces, combining the narrative drive of the former with the lush color illustrations of the latter to create a graphic-novel masterpiece with panel after panel of sumptuous full-color paintings.
• Dal Tokyo by Gary Panter (not officially out until August!)Gary Panter began imagining Dal Tokyo, a future Mars that is terraformed by Texan and Japanese workers, as far back as 1972, appropriating a friend’s idea about “cultural and temporal collision” (the “Dal” is short for Dallas).
• Is that All There Is? (softcover) by Joost Swarte (not officially out until September!) Under Swarte’s own exacting supervision, Is That All There Is? collects virtually all of his alternative comics work from 1972 to date, including the RAW magazine stories that brought him fame among American comics aficionados in the 1980s.
• Jewish Images in the Comics by Fredrik StrömbergJewish Images in the Comics showcases more than 150 comic strips, comic books and graphic novels from all over the world, stretching over the last five centuries and featuring Jewish characters and Jewish themes.
• Love and Rockets: New Stories #5 by Gilbert & Jaime Hernandez(not officially out until September!) In Jaime's story “Crime Raiders International Mobsters and Executioners,” Tonta comes to visit for a weekend and sees what kind of life the Frog Princess is living with Reno and Borneo. On the other-brother side, Gilbert celebrates the 30th anniversary by bringing one of his current characters (“Killer,” granddaughter to the legendary Luba) into the Palomar milieu.
• Sexytime: The Post-Porn Rise of the Pornoisseur edited by Jacques Boyreau(not officially out until August!) An oversized coffee table book celebrating the art of the 1970s porn movie poster, Sexytime collects over a hundred of the most outrageously over-the-top porn movie posters of the era. It includes “classics” like The Sex-Ray Machine, Candy Goes to Hollywood, and The Senator’s Daughter starring such ’70s porn stalwarts as Annie Sprinkle, John Holmes, and Seka.
• Tales Designed to Thrizzle #8 by Michael KuppermanBreak out your crayons as Red Warren, "America's Grandpa," brings you his highly educational "Train & Bus Coloring Book." The guests at a sophisticated weekend party sure get nervous when a certain mystery writer shows up on her goat. Learn the story of French national hero Bertrand de Copillon, a.k.a. "The Scythe." And originally serialized in the Washington City Paper and online at Fantagraphics.com, the true story of the first lunar mission, "Moon 69." All this and more in the eighth and final issue of the series that changed the face of comic book humor, Tales Designed to Thrizzle!
• Significant Objects edited by Joshua Glenn & Rob WalkerSignificant Objects began in 2009 as a bold online inquiry into the relationship between narrative and the value of everyday objects. It has been the subject of speculation by everyone from NPR to litbloggers to The New York Times’ Freakonomics crew. A collection of one hundred Significant Objects stories is published in this hardcover volume.
• No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comicsedited by Justin Hall Queer cartooning encompasses some of the best and most interesting comics of the last four decades, with creators tackling complex issues of identity and a changing society with intelligence, humor, and imagination. This book celebrates this vibrant artistic underground by gathering together a collection of excellent stories that can be enjoyed by all.
• Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture - A Career Retrospective by Jack Davis Jack Davis arrived on the illustration scene in the euphoric post-war America of the late 1940s when consumer society was booming and the work force identified with commercial images that reflected this underlying sense of confidence and American bravado. Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture is a gigantic, unparalleled career-spanning retrospective, between whose hard covers resides the greatest collection — in terms of both quantity and quality — of Jack Davis’ work ever assembled!
• Wandering Son Vol. 3 by Shimura Takako; edited and translated by Matt Thorn As shown in the first two volumes of this acclaimed series, Shuichi and his friend Yoshino have a secret: Shuichi is a boy who wants to be a girl, and Yoshino is a girl who wants to be a boy. After an unhurried, almost leisurely buildup that gave us an opportunity to get to know and understand our protagonists, artist Shimura picks up the pace in this latest volume, with tears and laughs aplenty. A sophisticated work translated with rare sensitivity by veteran translator and comics scholar Matt Thorn.
• Castle Waiting Vol. II #17 by Linda MedleyLinda Medley continues to gather loose ends and drop new hints in this new issue of the beloved series. Chess has a surprising revelation about the identity of baby Pinter's father — could it be tied in with the war? The Hammerlings Dayne & Tolly bid farewell to the castle, but not before leaving behind a surprise gift which Rackham discovers later (along with the strange gift Dr. Fell left in an earlier issue). Sister Peace has a tete-a-tete with the demon Leeds regarding religious artifacts — did you know demons collect them? Simon struggles with his reading lessons until Jain helps him have a breakthrough. And Jain faces off with the castle ghost!
• Flannery O'Connor: The Cartoons by Flannery O'Connor; edited by Kelly Gerald Flannery O’Connor: The Cartoons, the first book devoted to the author’s work in the visual arts, emphasizes O’Connor’s most prolific period as a cartoonist, drawing for her high school and college publications in the early 1940s. Her cartoons are a creative threshing floor for experimenting and trying out techniques that are deployed later with such great success in her fiction.
• God and Science: Return of the Ti-Girls byJaime Hernandez Originally serialized in Love and Rockets: New Stories, “Ti-Girls Adventures” managed to be both a rollickingly creative super-hero joyride. Aside from being presented in a large format that really displays Jaime Hernandez’s stunning art, God and Science will be a “director’s cut” version that includes a full 30 new pages in addition to the original 100-page epic, including four new full-color faux Ti-Girls covers, several expansions of scenes, an epilogue set back in Maggie’s apartment, and a long fantasy/timewarp sequence that draws the focus back on Penny’s awful predicament.
•Review:The New York Review of Books takes a look at Flannery O'Connor: The Cartoons. Barry Moser: "[Flannery O'Connor] also said that a story—or a linoleum print, if you will—has to have muscle as well as meaning, and the meaning has to be in the muscle. Her prints certainly have muscle, and a lot of it."
•Plug:Kotaku was pleased with their copy of God and Science by Jaime Hernandez in an article called "Four Comics That Will Vibrate Your Molecules This Week." Evan Narcisse expands on an idea, "It's as if [the Hernandez Brothers] never shook their adolescent fascination with rayguns and capes, choosing instead to deepen the metaphoric and escapist elements of such genre tropes."
•Plug:Comics Crux snagged a copy of Jaime Hernandez' God and Science plus the FIB mini. Jess Pendley matter-of-factly states: "If you are a fan of either Jaime Hernandez or traditional capes-and-tights stories, you’ll only be doing yourself a service by purchasing this right now."
•Interview (video): Watch an 'Outrageous Tub' interview featuring No Straight Lines editor Justin Hall on Accidental Bear. In reference to a superhero question "Are you good or bad?" Hall replied, "I haven't made a decision yet." Be bad, be sooo bad.
•Plug: The guys over at Stumptown Trade Review got excited about No Straight Lines, edited by Justin Hall: "It was just the other day that I mentioned one could never tell what was coming from Fantagraphics. As if to prove my point, they are at it again. . ."
•Review:Paste Magazine had a lovely time reading Mr. Twee Deedle (edited by Rick Marschall): "[Johnny Gruelle's] strips seem crafted mostly to impart lessons (be kind, don’t wiggle, giving is better than receiving), and there’s no question that they can feel preachy and simplistic, but the art, deliberately old-fashioned even at the time and reminiscent of Kate Greenaway’s illustrations, rescues them."
•Plug:Robot 6 caught the scent of a very good book slated for September by Chris Wright. Michael May is excited for Blacklung: "Depressing, existential AND romantic? I couldn’t sign up quickly enough for Chris Wright’s original graphic novel debut."