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Category >> Jason

Daily OCD: 5/14/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewspreviewsMiss Lasko-GrossJasonGilbert Hernandez 14 May 2009 1:16 PM

Today's Online Commentary and Diversions:

• Review: "Low Moon collect[s] five good examples of Jason's bitter, funny sense of humor... Despite the funny animal surface, Jason's actually one of the best crime writers of this generation, and three of these pieces are very dark crime stories, with a sort of science fiction story about estrangement from love and the title story, a very funny parody of western movie clichés that doesn't require any knowledge of the originals. If you're feeling bleak about the bleak underbelly of human existence, this probably isn't your best relief, but if you can see the humor in it, there's pretty much no better guide working today." - Steven Grant, Comic Book Resources

• Preview: New York Magazine posts an exclusive excerpt from A Mess of Everything by Miss Lasko-Gross, saying "she writes about her own high-school years with affectionately brutal honesty."

• Plug: "Want a collection of one of the most brilliant comics of the modern era? Fantagraphics has released a collection of Gilbert Hernandez's Luba." - Matt Price, The Oklahoman/Nerdage

Low Moon - further previewage
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under previewsJason 7 May 2009 10:12 AM

from Low Moon by Jason

Observe as a tense domestic scene takes an unexpected and decidedly Jason-esque turn in this exclusive 6-page excerpt from Low Moon posted at ICv2.com.

Daily OCD: 5/6/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under walt holcombeTony MillionairereviewsJoe SaccoJim FloraJason 6 May 2009 3:09 PM

Your Online Commentary & Diversions for today:

• Review: "[Jason] has proven over the years that no character, no genre, no classic plot is safe when he is in the room... Once again, [in Low Moon,] Jason squeezes an abundance of tension from scenes stripped of background noise and faces drained of emotion... [C]ount me among those who feels lucky to return time and again to Jason's cartoons, wondering when and if his winning streak will ever end." - Steve Duin, The Oregonian

• Review: "The King of Persia [by Walt Holcombe, collected in Things Just Get Away from You] is a gem of a book. The black and white artwork is whimsical and lush, with lovely crosshatching. The dialogue ranges from lyrical to comical within the same page, or even the same panel. There are wordless sequences in which the strength of the artwork shines. The story is bittersweet... it's packed full of humor and melancholy, each strengthened by its juxtaposition with the other." - Little Bits of Everything

• Preview: Irwin Chusid provides a behind-the-scenes tidbit about the upcoming volume The Sweetly Diabolic Art of Jim Flora

• Profile: La Ficha Roja gives a brief rundown of Joe Sacco's career, en Español

• Profile: Gurldoggie spotlights "drunkard, draftsman and cult cartoonist Tony Millionaire" in advance of his appearance at our storefront on Saturday night

Low Moon by Jason - Previews, Pre-Order, Plus
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under wallpapersvideopreviewsnew releasesJason 5 May 2009 2:58 PM

Low Moon by Jason

Now available for preview and pre-order: Low Moon by Jason. This hardcover volume collects the titular serial strip from the New York Times Magazine, plus 4 more all-new short stories featuring murder, cavemen, sex, and alien abduction, all with Jason's trademark wry, deadpan sensibility. This book is scheduled to debut at the MoCCA Art Festival in NYC in June; it should be in stock and ready to ship in late June and in stores approximately 4 weeks after that.

View a photo & video slideshow preview embedded here. Click here if it is not visible, and/or to view it larger in a new window (recommended). And at our product info page, download a 12-page PDF excerpt!

Plus, as an extra bonus, decorate your computer screen or mobile phone with this exclusive free desktop wallpaper based on the back cover art! Select the size that matches your screen resolution:


800 x 600 | 1024 x 768 | 1152 x 864 | 1280 x 960 | 1280 x 720 | iPhone

Fall 09 - Winter 10 Preview Part 8
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under previewsKremosJasonHotwireEsther Pearl Watson 22 Apr 2009 7:48 AM

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All last week and this week we're bringing you a sneak peek at our Fall 2009 - Winter 2010 schedule of releases! Today's excerpt from our latest book distributor's catalog includes the 3rd volume of Glenn Head's Hotwire Comics anthology; Almost Silent, a hardcover compilation of some of Jason's out-of-print work; Unlovable Vol. 2 by Esther Pearl Watson; and the midcentury Italian cheesecake of Bella Donna: The Pin-Up Girls of Kremos. (Note that all the info in this catalog is subject to change along the way to the books' release, including release dates, prices, cover art, book specs, etc.) Click here to download the PDF!

Daily links: 4/20/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under SupermenSteven WeissmanreviewsPeter BaggeMonte SchulzMiss Lasko-GrossMichael Kuppermanmary fleenerKevin HuizengaJohnny RyanJasonEsther Pearl WatsonDave CooperDash ShawBlazing CombatBill MauldinBasil WolvertonAbstract Comics 20 Apr 2009 3:48 PM

• Review: "...[T]he primitive funnybooks rescued from obscurity by Greg Sadowski in Supermen! The First Wave of Comic Book Heroes 1936-1941 contain within their awesomely naïve and rudimentarily brilliant pages all the seeds of the postmodern graphic novel... Compounded equally from pulp fiction, movies, newspaper strips, and sheer desperate commercial-deadline-brainstorm lunacy, these early superhero tales created their own fresh synthetic mythology and compositional tools on the fly." - Paul DiFilippo, The Barnes & Noble Review

• Review: "[Bottomless Belly Button] reads almost like a John Updike novel... [Dash Shaw] really utilizes the medium to its fullest capacity..." - Benn Ray (Atomic Books) on WYPR (Baltimore public radio - streaming audio)

• Review: "[The Wolverton Bible] is fascinating read; it's a fascinating document by one of the most important illustrators of the 20th century." - Benn Ray (Atomic Books) on WYPR (Baltimore public radio - streaming audio - same link as above)

• Review: "Fantagraphics’ collection of the four issues of Blazing Combat blew me away from the start. The size and heft of the hardback reminded me of my textbooks from my school days. And once I cracked open the book, I found myself getting a hell of an education with this one."- Tim O'Shea, Robot 6, "What Are You Reading?"

• Review: "If nothing else, Supermen! puts Fletcher Hanks’ career in perspective... These are comics designed to make you tear your hair out waiting for the next issue, just to see if these guys could top themselves.  Great fun all around." - Tom Bondurant, Robot 6, "What Are You Reading?" (same link as above)

• Review: "Jason is an expert at expressing a complex idea with simple visuals and dialogue. Most of his works contain little to no dialogue, actually -- entire stories can be read in facial expressions, twitches, color changes and movements. The entirety of Tell Me Something contains 7 lines of dialogue. It tells the story of 2 lovers and the trials they go through to be together, using dual layered story arcs differentiated simply by the panel borders to convey depth and reshape the story into an intriguing form." - The Inside Flap [Ed. note: Tell Me Something is out of print, but will be collected along with other Jason stories in a forthcoming hardcover]

• Preview: Doug Pratt and Monte Schulz have an exchange in the comments of Pratt's blog about Schulz's forthcoming novel This Side of Jordan (previewed here)

• Preview: The Kenyon Review makes note of our forthcoming Abstract Comics anthology

• Previews: Matthew Brady offers succinct commentary on two of our upcoming titles: Tales Designed to Thrizzle #5 by Michael Kupperman ("This comic is funny") and A Mess of Everything by Miss Lasko-Gross ("The art looks great")

• List: For Robot 6, Chris Mautner names "Six ‘retired' artists we'd like to see return to comics," including Brian Biggs ("...Frederick and Eloise [brings] a whimsical, storybook approach that never seem[s] overly twee or sweet. Indeed, [it is] often grounded by some dark undercurrents, not to mention backed by some serious artistic chops"), Dave Cooper ("Surreal, mind-warping books like Suckle, Ripple and his ongoing series Weasel, which chronicled a number of sweaty, paunchy, disturbingly neurotic and oversexed characters, had Cooper earning acclaim equal to the likes of Clowes and Ware"), and Mary Fleener ("...[S]he remains one of the most original voices in comics, with an art style that’s completely her own (no one draws a sex scene like her)." [Note to Mautner: Mary Fleener had a new comics story titled "Niacin" in Hotwire Comics Vol. 2, which we put out last year])

• Interview: At Robot 6, Tim O'Shea talks to Esther Pearl Watson about Unlovable Vol. 1. Choice quote: "I was a lot like Tammy and still am. It’s everything I fear."

• Profile: Seattle neighborhood newspaper The Ballard News-Tribune spotlights "alternative comics legend" and Ballard resident Peter Bagge

• Profile/Things to see: Goofbutton presents scans of the Bill Mauldin section in the 1977 World Book Year Book (via Spurge)

• Things to see: Buster Keaton as drawn by Kevin Huizenga for Cinefamily

• Things to see: New Vice comics from Johnny Ryan; believe it or not, one of 'em's just plain cute

• Things to see: Chubby vs. Pullapart battle royale from Ribs

Daily links: 4/14/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Willie and JoeTony MillionaireTim HensleyThe Comics JournalTed StearnreviewsMort Walkerjohn kerschbaumJerry DumasJasonBob LevinBill Mauldin 14 Apr 2009 3:08 PM

• Review: Poopsheet praises Petey & Pussy by John Kerschbaum, noting the "deeply weird cast" of characters, the "unpredictable plots in which everybody winds up humiliated and covered in one horrible substance or other, which is just what they all deserve. All this is, of course, very, very funny. John is a ninja of comedy timing," and a story moment that "makes you happy to read comics."

• Reviews: Andrew Wheeler rounds up a lot of books, including Willie & Joe: The WWII Years by Bill Mauldin ("Not just one of the best books of comics to come out last year, not even one of the best books to come out in 2008, but an excellent, essential, carefully-designed work of real historical importance and vital art... a great monument to one of the best cartoonists of the 20th century"; Petey & Pussy by John Kerschbaum ("Another one of those books that makes me laugh out loud and then feel guilty about it; this is probably offensive to many people, disgusting to more, but uncomfortably funny for nearly all of us... The stories are drawn in a tight, clean style, and are full of things I don't want to describe on the open Internet. I laughed a lot; I'll admit that"); Fuzz & Pluck: Splitsville by Ted Stearn ("...like Mark Beyer's Amy + Jordan, only much better drawn and with a coherent story"); The Maakies with the Wrinkled Knees by Tony Millionaire ("grotesquely gorgeous art"); and The Last Musketeer by Jason ("a wry and very entertaining story")

• Review: Stripper's Guide on Jerry Dumas & Mort Walker's Sam's Strip: "...one of the most delightful and intellectually daring strips that ever appeared in newspapers... And Fantagraphics has done it up in a perfect package. The reproduction quality is top-notch, and they've given us a superb bonus -- a section of annotations by Jerry Dumas and Brian Walker... if you are a comic strip fan and you don't have this book on your shelf then there is something really wrong with you. Seriously. Go buy the book."

• List: Ben Towle names some favorites from 2008 including Most Outrageous by Bob Levin ("...fascinating... a fantastic book..."); Petey & Pussy by John Kerschbaum ("What more can I say? This book’s #%&*in’ hilarious. Oh, I guess this: it’s also beautifully drawn."); and Fuzz & Pluck: Splitsville by Ted Stearn ("beautiful")

• Preview: Matthias Wivel plugs The Comics Journal #297, and not just because his own interview with Emmanuel Guibert is in it

• Commentary: Patrick Keck discovers that John Kerschbaum is a swell guy, "heartily recommend[s]" Petey & Pussy

• Things to see: Amen, Tim Hensley

Daily links: 4/8/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewsJules FeifferJasonHumbugDash ShawBasil Wolverton 8 Apr 2009 1:45 PM

• Plug: In an interview with Newsarama, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Diaz says "I adore that Richard Sala miniseries Delphine that he's putting out through Fantagraphics" (new issue out this summer!)

• List/reviews: The Metabunker names and reviews their selections for the best comics of 2008, including Explainers by Jules Feiffer ("After half a century, Jules Feiffer’s classic Village Voice strips read at once as a succinct period portrait and an eloquent portrayal of everyday human affairs at any time... His nervous line captures well both the specific anxieties of the time, and the more general ones of simply being alive, with empathy and humour, while his unadorned, precise language captures with precision the way we continue to verbalise these problems to each other and ourselves, most of the time without making much sense. Revelatory and funny human white noise.") and Bottomless Belly Button by Dash Shaw ("...such a rare example of a young artist pulling out all the stops — as a young artist should — creating a vibrant cacophony of formal experiments and engrossing storytelling.")

• Review: Polish site Motyw Drogi looks at The Left Bank Gang by Jason — here's the rough Google translation, for what it's worth

• Preview: At Boing Boing, Cory Doctorow links to the ICv2 preview of The Wolverton Bible and says the artwork looks "appropriately groovy and sinister"

• Things to see: Along with our PR for the Humbug event at the Strand in NYC next week, Stephen Kroninger posts scans from his own personal Humbug collection which are well worth a look

2009 Eisner Nominees - On Sale!
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Willie and JoeThe Comics Journalsales specialsKevin HuizengaJules Feifferjohn kerschbaumJasonBill Mauldinawards 7 Apr 2009 3:17 PM

2009 Eisner Award Nominees from Fantagraphics Books

The nominees for the 2009 Eisner Awards have been announced and we are pleased to report that our publications have received 7 nominations in various categories. To celebrate, for a limited time we're offering 15% off nominated titles -- click here to browse and buy! And the nominees are:

Best Short Story
• "Glenn Ganges in 'Pulverize,'" by Kevin Huizenga, in Ganges #2

Best Humor Publication
Petey & Pussy by John Kerschbaum

Best Archival Collection/Project—Strips
Explainers by Jules Feiffer
Willie & Joe: The WWII Years by Bill Mauldin

Best U.S. Edition of International Material
The Last Musketeer by Jason

Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism
The Comics Journal, edited by Gary Groth, Michael Dean, and Kristy Valenti

Best Publication Design
Willie & Joe: The WWII Years, designed by Jacob Covey






Daily links: 3/23/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under TMNTSupermenSteve DitkoStan SakaireviewsPopeyePeanutsLilli CarréJasonGary GrothBasil Wolverton 23 Mar 2009 4:44 PM

I think I might start posting weekend updates -- these Monday roundups are getting bananas...

• Review: We received a wonderful endorsement of Supermen! from Bud Plant, which we've proudly placed on the product page

• Review: John Mitchell on Supermen!: “Supermen points to a time when comic books were a new and exciting form — admittedly low brow in presentation, but filled with visual and narrative leaps that would affect how we told stories visually for decades to come... This book chronicles the exciting, silly, fun and experimental world in which these kinds of [superhero] characters were forged — fairy tales from the modern era."

• Review: Lady, That's My Skull takes lunch with The Wolverton Bible, saying "It is a fascinating look at the side of an artist that most fans are not familiar with due to the scarcity of the material."

• Review: My Year Online on Ted Stearn's first Fuzz & Pluck collection: "[I] laugh[ed] out loud at many points. This is all down to Ted Stearn’s genius in depicting expressions, his excellent slapstick timing and great storyboards, where you can never tell what will happen next..."

• Reviews: The blogger behind Fluid Motion has "been reading a lot of comics by Jason recently," offering micro-reviews of 3 of his books

• Review: Newsarama enthuses about Popeye Vol. 3 (scroll about halfway down): "As with previous volumes of Popeye, it's a cornucopia of mangled English, slapstick, violence and hamburger soliciting... Fantagraphics continues to knock it out of the park with their work on the production of these books... With his fun designs and slapstick exaggeration, Segar's art has always been a plus, and nothing about that changes here... It's packed with adventure and humor, strong art, inventive and complex stories, and features more slam-bang punching than any other ten comics. It is a true, to use a much abused word, classic."

• Review: Blogger Kevin Schulke particularly enjoys the hockey strips in The Complete Peanuts 1971-1972

• Review: I'm not sure if this review originally ran in Rain Taxi or is original to the Powell's Books blog where it appears now, but: John Pistelli delves into The Lagoon by Lilli Carré: "The Lagoon's artisanal craftsmanship and child's-eye ironies reflect the baffled wisdom of a heroine too young to be foolish... it is a gorgeously bleak work for so young an artist."

• Interview: Baldur Bjarnason presents a 21-minute audio interview with el jefe Gary Groth recorded at the 2000 San Diego Comic Con

• Commentary: In re Strange and Stranger, here's some further Ditko analysis from Ken Parille at Blog Flume

• Commentary: Movement Point looks at pop cultural references in Peanuts, citing an obscure example from The Complete Peanuts 1971-1972

• Things to see: Peter Laird presents a treat for Usagi Yojimbo and TMNT (*cough*Covey*cough*) fans: rough layouts for the Usagi/Leonardo crossover story