• Review: Dutch blog Koen says of Dash Shaw's Bottomless Belly Button (according to the Google translation) that "Shaw proves himself a master of the portrayal of inner pain and dysfunctional relationships without being depressing, with the addition of humor and mystery... This book is one of the best comics of 2008."
• Preview: Introducing an exlusive 7-page excerpt from Unlovable Vol. 1 by Esther Pearl Watson, New York Magazine says "Tammy [Pierce]'s hopes, dreams, and humiliations are brought vividly to life in Watson's grotesque-but-touching book Unlovable. Even if you never wore leg warmers with high heels, you'll still recognize your teenage self in Tammy Pierce's unguarded, most secret thoughts. And if you did wear leg warmers with heels, well, maybe this was your diary."
• Blurb: Italian blog Nuvole Parlanti, looking at Birdland, calls Gilbert Hernandez "the king of American erotic comics"
We've brought our previous website poll to a close. In answer to the question "Following Palestine and Ghost World, what should get the Special Edition treatment next?" the top response is "The Bradleys / Buddy Bradley saga" after an early lead for "Complete (non-Frank) Jim Woodring" and a long period of domination by "Complete Eightball." See the final results here. (UPDATE: apparently we've been the victims of ballot-stuffing -- see the comments for details.) So does your top choice have a chance of being made? Well, they've all been discussed at one point or another, but so far the only one to make it onto our schedule is Usagi Yojimbo: The Special Edition, debuting at Comic-Con this summer as a two-volume slipcased hardcover set with loads of extras -- our biggest Special Edition re-issue yet!
Our new poll asks "What never-reprinted Fantagraphics series would you most like to see collected?" Vote in the right-hand column here on Flog or on our home page. As far as I know, none of the choices have actually been discussed as a possibility, but who knows, if we get an overwhelming response...
We hosted the release party for our pals Jim Woodring & Paul DiFilippo's Cosmocopia in October, but I've only just begun to dive into this amazing book and objet d'art from our esteemed neighbors at Payseur & Schmidt. It has to be seen to be enjoyed fully, but it includes Di Filippo's new short novel enclosed in a box (with belly band) also containing a 513-piece jigsaw puzzle, "The Artist's Eye," by Jim Woodring. This is a limited first edition of 500 numbered sets, signed by DiFilippo and Woodring. Typical Payseur & Schmidt awesomeness (I actually stole that from their web hype, but it's true). Above is a picture of the completed puzzle from one ambitious fan.