Visitors to "The Horror: Selections from the EC Comics Library" on Saturday, October 13 at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery will have the added pleasure of viewing "Apopalyptic America," an exhibition of new works by Jem Eaton. His postmodern paintings combine pop culture motifs with fine art techniques to create colorful comments on classic cartoon characters. The show is at the One Night Stand Gallery space directly above the bookstore and Georgetown Records, the site of a free concert that evening by Berlin-based recording artist Molly Nilsson. These events coincide with the lively Georgetown Art Attack featuring visual and performing arts presentations throughout the historic arts community. See you all then.
The short-toothiest Online Commentaries & Diversions:
•Plug: Island of Dr. Moral and Mome contributor Jem Eaton (aka Jeremy Eaton) is have a big ol' summer art blow out. From now until July 29th you can purchase original pages of art at half their normal price. Parodies galore in four color fury with that Eaton touch can hang on your wall; it is hard to pass up art with titles like ROCK NERD FEVER!
•Review:Walt Disney's Uncle Scrooge: Only a Poor Old Man gets a ringing endorsement from Captain Comics. Andrew Smith bluntly states, "If you're not buying the Carl Barks library, you should be. . . At no point does anything ring false; at all times the reader feels comfortably wrapped in the comforting folds of an old blanket. You're in the hands of a master, and the ride couldn't be smoother -- or funnier."
•Review:Full-Page Bleed focuses on Michael Kupperman's Tales Designed to Thrizzle #7 & 8. Tom Murphey says, ". . . Tales Designed to Thrizzle,are wild but beautifully executed super-accelerators that smash bizarre ideas together at high speed. His stories flow with an unstoppable dream logic, so the wildest leap of imagination is treated like the next reasonable step."
•Commentary:CNN Geek Out discusses the rise of digital comics at SDCC and notes the Hernandez Brothers will have work available via comiXology."ComiXology’s other big announcement at the show was a long-awaited deal with Fantagraphics to bring Los Bros Hernandez beloved alt-comics classic Love and Rockets to digital format," said Rob Saulkowitz.
•Plug: As a fundraiser, the University of Texas at El Paso is running a limited edition sale of Maggie prints (50 in total). The tax-deductible purchase will help support the Hernandez Brothers Collection of Hispanic Comics and Cartoon Art, housed at the University of Texas at El Paso Library. Ordering information is available at the site.
•Review (audio):Factual Opinion covers Jacques Tardi's New York Mon Amour in extensive detail thanks to Matt Seneca, Tucker Stone, Chris Mautner and Joe McCulloch. "It's a tourist's New York, no, not that - it's a Kafka New York."
The comics community continues to come together to aid the family of late Sparkplug Comics publisher Dylan Williams, with a new round of benefit auctions featuring artwork donated by its creators organized by Floating World's Jason Leivian and Profanity Hill's (and Fantagraphics') Jason T. Miles. The marquee item of the moment is Daniel Clowes's cover sketches for the hardcover edition of Ice Haven, and more wonderful contributions from Fantagraphics artists follow below. Click each image to be taken directly to the eBay auction, and see additional contributions at The Divine Invasion blog.
Make plans for Labor Day weekend in Seattle now! The Bumbershoot art and music festival promises to be the best in recent memory. In addition to performances by the likes of Bob Dylan, Neko Case, Hole, the Decemberists, Weezer and countless other bands, the festival includes a large exhibition of contemporary Seattle cartoonists.
Organized by Fantagraphics resident curator Larry Reid, "Counterculture Comix: A 30-Year Survey of Seattle Alternative Cartoonists" begins with Lynda Barry's work circa 1980 and continues through the present. The show reveals Seattle as the ancestral home of the alternative comix genre and examines the role comix played in Seattle's youth movement of the 90s, which penetrated popular culture globally.
• Review: "Over the last few decades, Jim Woodring has been drawing a series of wordless, blissfully cruel slapstick fables, set in a world of grotesque entities and psychedelic minarets: half unshakable nightmare, half Chuck Jones cartoon filtered through the Bhagavad Gita. Weathercraft... flows so smoothly and delightfully from each image to the next that it’s easy to ignore that it has its own idea of sense, which may not jibe with anybody else’s." – Douglas Wolk, The New York Times
• Review: "For those who find the work involving enough, Weathercraft will resonate with them on some emotional level — there's moments that unnerve, moments that touch — and while it is an immersive experience, the comic, especially in its hardcover form, operates most like a testimony of events. It's a comic, through and through, but it hews closer to a religious tome than it does a Love & Rockets installment." – Tucker Stone, comiXology
• Review: "It’s better to experience Woodring’s work than to try and understand it. Weathercraft focuses on Frank’s frequent nemesis Manhog — a representative of humanity at its morally weakest — as he goes through multiple stages of degradation on his way to almost achieving a higher consciousness. The humanoid mongrel Frank hangs around the edges of the story with his loyal pets, but Weathercraft is mainly about how Manhog — and by extension the reader — sees how sick, freaky, and beautiful the world can be… [Grade] A-" – The A.V. Club
• Review: "Megan Kelso is best known for elegant, small-scale comics... with a historical or memoiristic bent. So it’s surprising and wonderful that Artichoke Tales, her first novel-length work, is the sort of world-building fantasy story that comes with a family tree and a map on its endpapers. ... Kelso’s ligne claire artwork is consistently sweet and airy, depicting blobby, dot-eyed characters whose body language says as much as their words. The approach provides a likable surface for a story with much darker and stickier depths, about a land whose cultural heritage is rotting away in the aftermath of a civil war." – Douglas Wolk, The New York Times
• Review: "South African comic book writer/artist Joe Daly’s Dungeon Quest: Book One takes a hilariously askew look at the madness of fantasy quest games. ...[R]eaders with a high tolerance for absurdity and a healthy sense of humor about the subject matter will probably love what's on offer here." – Matt Staggs, Suvudu
• Review: "Watching [Wally] and his equally gangly, geometric cohorts stretch and sprint and smash their way across Hensley's brighly colored backgrounds and block-lettered sound effects is like reading your favorite poem — or even... Wally Gropius itself — as translated into a language with a totally different alphabet. ... And wonder of wonders, the book finds its own way to be really funny amid all these highfalutin hijinks..." – Sean T. Collins, Attentiondeficitdisorderly
• Review: "[Wally Gropius] has quickly become one of my favorite graphic novels. ... The comic is too odd to be described as 'commentary.' It seems far more synthetic than parodic: it blends recognizable influences into something truly new... The plot of Wally Gropius has been described as surreal or random, but it’s coherent and far more complex than I first thought... The book is an encyclopedia of cartoony facial expressions and bodily gestures, and should be studied at the CCS as such. WG radiates a real sense of joy, of 'cartooning unfettered.' ... Hensley is one of the best, and most idiosyncratic, writers of text in comics." – Ken Parille, Blog Flume
• Review: "[Daniel] Clowes isn’t as zany as he used to be, so there’s a void to be filled here, and Wally Gropius does that ably: The hardcover collects Hensley’s Gropius stories from the anthology seriesMome (with a little extra material thrown in), and his immaculate, vaguely ’50s style owes as much to Mort Walker, Archie Comics, and other vintage teen-humor strips as it does to Clowes. ... [Grade] B" – The A.V. Club
• Review: "...Captain Easy follows a mysterious agent-for-hire as he travels exotic lands, battling bad guys. ...Crane’s art is stunning, combining simple cartoony figures with richly detailed backgrounds in clever, colorful layouts. It isn’t even necessary to read the dialogue or captions to follow the action; just scan Crane’s dynamic lines, which make every panel look like a unique work of pop art… [Grade] A-" – The A.V. Club
• Review: "I was pretty excited when I found out that Fantagraphics was publishing an anthology of The Best American Comics Criticism. ... Editor Ben Schwartz did a great job selecting pieces that comprise a vibrant narrative of the industry. From graphic novels with literary aspirations to comics about capes, the breadth of content in here is really fantastic. ... But of all the essays in the book, only one is written by a woman. That’s a big let down." – Erin Polgreen, Attackerman
• Plug: "Drew Friedman is the master American caricaturist of our time. Not only are his portraits of the famous so realistic, they induce double takes, but he also captures truths about personality and draws out (pun intended) the funny in everyone." – Michael Simmons, LA Weekly
• Plug:G4 drops a nice mention of "the ongoing and lovingly assembled Complete Peanuts series" in their review of the Snoopy Flying Ace game for Xbox 360
• Interview:Comics Comics' Nicole Rudick sat Al Columbia down for his most candid and revealing interview ever: "So, yeah, I can still draw Pim and Francie. They’re a lot of fun to draw. Almost too much fun. You start to get intoxicated working on them. It’s like, 'This is too much fun. This shouldn’t be allowed. This shouldn’t be legal.' I always put it aside because it just gets me too . . . they’re very intense and fun and maybe fun upsets me."
• Interview:The Daily Cross Hatch's Brian Heater concludes his conversation with Gene Deitch: "I hate the term '2D.' That’s bullshit. They put us in that category. They say they’re making 3D. They’re not 3D. What Pixar does is not 3D because it’s shaded. The screen is flat. It’s a flat picture. It’s just an illusion."
• Profile: Taylor Dungjen of University of Cincinnati student newspaper The News Record profiles U of C faculty member C. Tyler: "You might say Tyler is a proud American. You might even call her a patriot. She says she is a liberal hippie chick who supports American troops."
32-page black & white magazine-size comic book • $3.95 Order now!
A unique, oversized coloring book just like Mom used to buy you — only dirtier. Beloved alternative cartoonist Jeremy Eaton puts a modern, interactive, and empowering spin on the old-fashioned girlie pin-up. Join Kinky Spectrum and her colorful girlfriends as they take on the chores of the world: repairing telephone lines, taking spacewalks, fighting fires, pole vaulting, hunting, painting portraits, delivering milk, walking dogs, and so on... all forgetting just one thing — their clothes! A fun and dare we say feminist frolic — crayons not included.
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