|Athos in America by Jason - Robot 6 exclusive preview|
|Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under previews, Jason||3 Jan 2012 1:08 PM|
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Category >> Jason
Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:
"It takes a bit of daring to be willing to alter the status quo in a respected body of work and considerable talent to be able to do so in as assured manner as Woodring does here." – Chris Mautner
...Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010 by Michael Kupperman at #87...
"Through war, animal make-out sessions and film writing, Kupperman takes Twain through the ringer in a hilariously catastrophic epic that the real-life 'Adventures of Huckleberry Finn' author would surely have appreciated. Although reading it won't score you any points on a history-class term paper, the book will certainly open your eyes to one of the funniest writers working in comics right now." – Brian Warmoth
...and Johnny Ryan's Prison Pit Book 3 at #86...
"The excessive violence is still here, more refined, more imaginative, more disturbing. Ryan pushes himself artistically in the second half of the book, delivering a stunning sequence that still haunts me." – Chad Nevett
"I picture Gilbert Hernandez approaching his drawing board these days like Lawrence of Arabia approaching a Turkish convoy: 'NO PRISONERS! NO PRISONERS!' In a year suffused with comics funneling pitch-black darkness through a combination of sex and horror, none were blacker, sexier, or more horrific than this gender-bending exploitation flick from Beto's 'Fritz-verse.'" – Sean T. Collins
...and Leslie Stein's Eye of the Majestic Creature at #61:
"Leslie Stein burst onto the comics scene this year when Fantagraphics published the collection of four of her self-published comics... The comic is both surreal and mundane, the story of a young woman who moves to a New York complete with humanoid animals and talking musical instruments. ...Stein [is] one of the best independent creators to emerge in recent years." – Alex Dueben
"Way back at the end of last year, I called this the best graphic novel of 2011, and if I’m now a little more reticent to make that claim, it has more to do with the high quality of a lot of other releases this year than anything else because this is still a masterpiece that, were I some kind of unlikely comics czar, I’d make compulsory reading for everyone interested in the medium. Just a breathtaking book."
...Ganges #4 by Kevin Huizenga...
"Another book that I raved about earlier this year, and another one that I’m still raving about as strongly months later. A tour-de-force of cartooning from a creator who just continually improves, and pushes at the medium in almost everything he does."
...and Celluloid by Dave McKean:
"It’s a disturbing book in many ways – questions about exploitation and power are very present in the text – but also a beautiful, seductive one. It’s a book that sticks with you for a long time afterwards, and for that alone, it’s one I’ve returned to many times since first reading it."
• List: Panel Patter's Rob McMonigal names his Best of 2011: Manga Edition, with Wandering Son Vol. 1 by Shimura Takako in the #5 spot: "This is one of the most serious manga series I've ever read, and I finished it unable to come to grips with the best way to review it. Dealing with two children who come to realize they are trapped in the wrong gender, it's a story of secrets, revelations, understandings, and occasional cruelty. The book handles the topic with care and respect, however, which is part of why it is so good."
"Isle of 100,000 Graves has Jason's trademark deadpan humor, resolute protagonist, and ending that leaves the reader thinking."
...The Hidden by Richard Sala...
"At first, The Hidden feels like a typical apocalyptic story, albeit one painted amazingly well by Sala. But as things progress, the tale morphs and twists into one of the best horror comics I've read, with a twist towards the end that I never saw coming. That's what makes a comic stand out, and puts it near the top of my best of list."
...and Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010 by Michael Kupperman at #1:
"I laughed out loud so many times over this mixture of text and illustration. It's a pitch-perfect book with almost no mis-steps, and I hereby call it my Best Indie Comic of 2011."
• List: At the Forbidden Planet International blog, comics creator John Riordan names Love and Rockets: New Stories #4 as one of his 3 favorite comics of the year, commenting only "My… aching… heart…"
• Review: "I found myself turning back and re-examining the pages often, digging through the many details that the words and images delivered. The story unfolds in earth tone – sepia illustrations, not gaudy, in keeping with the artist’s respect for the story and the subject. Clemente’s early life is here and one gets a real feel for his family and friends, and not without humor.... [21: The Story of Roberto Clemente] should appeal to graphic novel fans, baseball fans, anyone who likes a great 'bigger then fiction' story, and many others." – Mark Hodgens, Skyscraper Magazine
• Review: "Fantagraphics is now giving Barks’ Duck comics a whirl, and based off this first volume alone if there’s any justice in the comics world, fame should finally (belatedly) be coming for the late, great Barks.... The reproduction on these strips are beautiful; Fantagraphics hired cartoonist Rich Tommaso to re-color the works, and Tommaso wisely uses gentle flat tones to keep with the overall feel of Barks’ crisp, classic art. I also appreciated the essays about the different stories in the back of the book.... Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes is a handsome looking book, and trust me when I say it’s just the first of many I plan on reading by Barks." – Greg McElhatton, Read About Comics
• Review: "So cue the squeals, and scan the racks at your friendly neighborhood comics retailer for writer/artist Michael Kupperman’s Tales Designed to Thrizzle #7. Beyond a cover whose hilarity strangely if successfully depends on its all-day-sucker coloring — tangerine, lemon, lime — this dadaistic offering opens with a six-page excerpt from Scary Bathtub Stories, a faux-Golden Age comic, and thereafter spirals further and further into neo-psychedelic weirdness." – Bryan Hollerbach, PLAYBACK:stl
• Review: "I like to imagine [Michael Kupperman] sitting in some tiny hellhole of a studio apartment packed deep into the bowels of New York -- these noble creatures lose their mystique when they own homes -- doing mutant Thrizzle pages until they stop paying him or until he gets a gig in the back pages of Vice. Some feminine if not female voice of reason hovers next to his desk, thumbing through the newest set as he leans back in his chair, wondering if Fantagraphics paid him enough to afford blowing the budget on a beer, wiping entirely imaginary sweat from his brow." – Patrick Tobin, Multiversity Comics
• Interview: The Comics Reporter's Tom Spurgeon talks to Oil and Water writer Steve Duin: "I'm too new to all of this to fully grasp how the perfect union of writer and artist is formed... and there were times when Shannon [Wheeler] and I struggled to find common ground. But a great deal of my understanding of what we were dealing with in the Gulf owes to Shannon's perceptions and his sketchbook. He was refreshingly aggressive in dealing with the BP clean-up teams disinclined to give us access. His original poster for the group -- a naked woman starring incredulously at the oil derrick in her bed, and saying 'What do you mean, it broke?' -- is brilliant."
• Interview: Bookforum's John Madeira, who says "...Alexander Theroux’s writing... is grandiloquently lyrical, dizzyingly erudite, and often acerbic," talks with Theroux about The Strange Case of Edward Gorey ("a smart, engaging, and insightful monograph asking as many questions about the quirky artist as attempts at answers") and other topics: "Edward Gorey was very ornate — Corinthian! — in his love of language, and when he was in a chatty mood his conversation, crackling with allusions, was rich and often rare, exaggerated, campy to a degree, invariably tinctured with lots of movie-love, sarcasm, irony. Mind you, it was not that the man was trying to be something, contriving, say, to appear a cavalcade of wit, merely that, rather like Dr. Samuel Johnson, he happened to have sharp, remarkable 'views' on all sorts of subjects, almost all worthy of note."
Now available for our mail-order customers:
32-page black & white/color 6.75" x 10.25" comic book • $4.99
See Previews / Order Now
This week's comic shop shipment is slated to include the following new titles. Read on to see what comics-blog commentators and web-savvy comic shops are saying about them (more to be added as they appear), check out our previews at the links, and contact your local shop to confirm availability.
(And keep those clicking fingers warmed up because this means they'll also be available from us via mail-order starting tomorrow!)
32-page black & white/color 6.75" x 10.25" comic book • $4.99
"A $5 pamphlet-format thing with some previously unpublished strips and other material about the great Norwegian cartoonist Jason." – Douglas Wolk, Comics Alliance
"If I had $30, I’d also grab Fantagraphics’ Jason Conquers America ($4.99), a collection of some of the cartoonist’s work that’s so far gone unseen in the US, along with pin-up tributes from fans like Mike Allred and Rich Tommaso." – Graeme McMillan, Robot 6
"Following Graeme’s lead I’d pick up that Jason Conquers America book, as I’m trying to be as much of a Jason completist as possible." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6
"...the Jason Conquers America one-shot... features previously unpublished Jason strips and artwork, interviews and a tribute gallery by various artists." – J.K. Parkin, Robot 6
"As a Jason fanatic I'm happy to announce that @fantagraphics' Jason Conquers America is out today! Interviews, cartoons, a must for fans." – Secret Headquarters
32-page full-color 6.75" x 9.5" comic book • $4.95
"I’d also nab the latest issue of Tales Designed to Thrizzle, Michael Kupperman’s ongoing, frequently hilarious comic. This one features a riff on Inception and Quincy. Lots and lots of Quincy." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6
"CONFLICT OF INTEREST RESERVOIR: What the hell, a pair of comic books? Yes, your holiday-battered pockets may rejoice at the prospect of Jason Conquers America, a 32-page fan-fest dedicated to the Norwegian cartoonist in the title on the occasion of his 10th year in American publishing, with unseen strips, a checklist, interviews, tribute art and more included; $4.99. And then there’s Tales Designed to Thrizzle #7, which is simply the newest thing from Michael Kupperman, about which you’ve likely made up your mind; $4.95." – Joe McCulloch, The Comics Journal
It's a quiet week for events, no surprise there! But there's always something going on for Fantagraphics, and lots of exhibits are still up and running if you're looking for something to see!
Wednesday, December 21st
Saturday, December 24th
• Brussels, Belgium: It's also your last chance to see the exhibit at the Librarie Multi BD, spotlighting Jason, and his work with Fabien Vehlmann on Isle of 100,000 Graves! The exhibit also features original artwork from Hey, Wait..., The Left Bank Gang, and Why Are You Doing This?. (more info)
Sunday, December 25th
• Your House: If you're into the holiday thing, hopefully there will be plenty of Fantagraphics books under your Christmas tree for you to open and enjoy! Happy holidays!
32-page black & white/color 6.75" x 10.25" comic book • $4.99
Available for sale and shipping to comic shops on December 21, 2011
Video & Photo Slideshow Preview (view in new window):
Congratulations to Jim Woodring and the artist/writer team of Jason & Fabien Vehlmann, whose respective works Congress of the Animals and Isle of 100,000 Graves (in their French editions from L'Association and Glénat respectively) have been named Official Selections of the 2012 Festival International de la Bande Desinée (a.k.a. the Angoulême Festival)!
In addition, the French-language edition of The Complete Peanuts 1973-1974 (Dargaud) has been named to the Sélection Patrimoine list of classic reprints, and Ô Dingos, Ô Chateaux! by Jacques Tardi & Jean-Patrick Manchette (Futuropolis), which we plan to publish in English some time in the unannounced but not-too-distant future, is on the Sélection Polar list of crime comics.
The big show goes on January 26-29 in Angoulême, France naturellement, with our fellow American Art Spiegelman as this year's Président du jury.
Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:
• List: At MTV Geek, Brigid Alverson names Wandering Son by Shimura Takako one of The Best Manga Series of 2011: "Wandering Son is a delightful, quiet manga about a girly boy and a boyish girl.... This is not your typical gender-bender manga playing a gender switch for laughs (and fanservice); it's a quiet, subtle story of a boy coming to terms with himself."
• Review: "Believe it or not, music criticism was responsible for some of 2011's finest books, with Kevin Avery's impeccably researched Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson leading the pack.... Avery has done an outstanding job assembling a collection of the writer's work, fully illustrating why he was such an influential presence in his time. But, sadly, especially in our time, it also reads as something of a cautionary tale — ...you might wonder why on earth anyone would ever choose rock criticism as a career in the first place." – Bill Holdship, Detroit Metro Times
• Review: "I have no idea if it was part of cartoonist Johnny Ryan's overall plan for Prison Pit, but this latest book in the growing-to-classic-status series strikes me as a 'step-back' installment. This is where a series that was once less certain in the market place eschews some of the instant gratification of its first couple of books for the sake of layering in additional plot elements that look like they'll pay off further down the line. It's the kind of work that makes you think that its creator is thinking of the long-term as opposed to focusing solely on the short. Prison Pit had some of that particular swagger from the very beginning; this book seems even more settled and confident.... As was the case with the first two books, Johnny Ryan makes his case for mastery at a second, very specific genre, connected to the first through the extremes of expression involved." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
• Reviews (Audio): The November 20 episode of Easy Rider, the radio show for "rock, punk rock, country, power pop, garage and comics" from Radio PFM out of Arras in northern France, features Johnny Ryan's Prison Pit Book 3, Love and Rockets: New Stories #4 by the Hernandez Bros., and Jaime Hernandez's Esperanza among their Comics of the Week
• Interview: At Memory Is Fiction, Craig Staufenberg talks with Wilfred Santiago: "Any subject or theme can work in comics, the narrative has unique, endless breakdowns. It’s a unique prism, anything that’s seen through it is distorted in a comic book way. The author, the cartoonist, just brings to light a particular side of that prism. I try to quit comics but it keeps pulling me back."
• Interview: Network Awesome Magazine has a fun Q&A with Richard Sala about the Invisible Hands animated shorts: "They used stop-motion. The staff would blow up my drawings onto colored paper and then cut out all the figures and movable parts. The pieces were then positioned on three layers of glass – to give depth – with the camera looking down. Next, the director, Denis Morella, carefully moved the pieces around – including the mouths, to match the dialogue – for each click of the camera. I grew up loving stop-motion – everything from Ray Harryhausen to Gumby – so, I thought doing the animation that way was pretty cool."
For the first time ever, Fantagraphics will be exhibiting at the Brooklyn Comics & Graphics Festival! Come visit us this Saturday, December 3rd from 12:00 - 9:00 PM for a wealth of debuts, artist appearances, and the great Gary Groth manning the table!
Gary will be joined by a truly all-star cast of artists for our first BCGF:
And even more of our artists will be exhibiting at the show, including Gabrielle Bell, Ben Catmull, Charles Forsman, Drew Friedman, Sammy Harkham, Tom Kaczynski, John Kerschbaum, Victor Kerlow, Joseph Lambert, Mark Newgarden, Jesse Moynihan, Gary Panter, Zak Sally, Leslie Stein, and Jon Vermilyea... PHEW! Pick up their books from our table, and then seek these artists out at their own!
Bring a big bag, because you'll also wanna pick up our excellent debuts at the festival!
Where can you find all this awesome? Fantagraphics will be in the downstairs section at the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church [ 275 North 8th Street ], at tables 31 & 32:
And finally, make sure you don't miss our artists in these panels! These will all take place at Union Pool [ 484 Union Avenue # A ], and the panels are free and open to the public:
1:30 PM // JACK DAVIS Q+A
Legendary cartoonist Jack Davis made his mark producing horror and war stories for EC Comics, before finding his métier in satire as one of the original (and longest running) artists for MAD Magazine. As a prolific illustrator, Davis defined the caricatural style of the 1960s and 1970s—and beyond. In this rare public appearance, Davis will discuss his career with Fantagraphics co-publisher Gary Groth and illustrator Drew Friedman.
[ Jack Davis fans, please note: he will also be appearing on Friday, December 2nd at the opening of his exhibit at the Scott Eder Gallery! Don't miss it! ]
2:30 PM // GESTURAL AESTHETICSAs comics have evolved beyond their commercial roots toward more individualistic modes of expression, they have been infused with new influences from other fields of art including printmaking, collage and painting. Additionally, new printing technologies have permitted the reproduction of artwork that more closely shows the work of an artist’s hand. Austin English, Dunja Jankovic and Frank Santoro will discuss new aesthetics in comics with moderator Bill Kartalopoulos.
6:00 PM // THE LANGUAGE IN COMICS
The recent embrace of graphic novels by the publishing industry has led to misguided attempts to evaluate comics according to the standards and conventions of literary fiction. The writing in comics occupies a more peculiar place, with its own constraints and opportunities. John Porcellino, Gabrielle Bell, and David Sandlin will discuss the particular demands of writing within a visually-driven form in this conversation moderated by novelist Myla Goldberg.
So, get ready! And we'll see you in Brooklyn this Saturday!