• Review: "What Is All This? is a potent, refreshing collection of previously uncollected short stories by Stephen Dixon. Though the music world might label this an 'odds-and-sods' collection, this volume cannot be dismissed so lightly. This? is a book that reminds us fans why we enjoy Dixon’s writing and gives inquiring neophytes an excellent opportunity to sample the kinds of things he has gotten up to over the last five decades." – Darby Dixon, The Quarterly Conversation
• Review: "A la hora de comentar Frank , resulta imprescindible hacer referencia a uno de sus elementos más característicos, que no es otro que el tono surrealista y psicodélico, – incluso psicotrópico o alucinógeno, por momentos – que sale a relucir en cuanto el protagonista interactúa con su entorno. En ese momento, sucede lo imposible y lo inesperado, fruto de la confluencia de 'las incesantes corrientes opuestas de naturaleza y abstracción' que derivan en la mutabilidad absoluta de objetos, animales… y el propio tejido de la realidad – por llamarlo de algún modo –, que se retuerce, cambia y evoluciona de forma sorprendente original y orgánica. Un disfrute para los sentidos, demostración inequívoca de la fecunda imaginación de Woodring..." – David Fernández, Zona Negativa (autotranslation)
• Scene/Profile: At Comics Comics, Frank Santoro talks about his pals John Pham & Jon Vermilyea, their respective bodies of work, hanging out with them in L.A. recently, and prospects in general for the young cartoonist (Photo: Frank & Jon at APE 2009, by yours truly)
No lie: just a couple days ago I was wondering when they were going to announce this year's Ignatz Award nominees, and lo and behold, here they are today! Our artists & books received 8 nominations in 5 categories, and as per our typical M.O., we've put all the nominated titles on sale for a limited time! Congratulations to all; see the complete list of nominees here.
• Review: "Regarding the artwork, finally, it is once again amazing.Creatures and landscapes seem to spring from the most disordered imagination and land on white paper before diving in a bucket of surrealism. So [Weathercraft] is yet another excellent work by Woodring..." – Thomas Papadimitropolous, Comicdom (translated from Greek – thanks to Ted and Takis for the help)
• Review: "John Pham’s latest Sublife features a group of longer pieces that conjure a philosophical, nomadic vibe that’s rare and welcome. ... He excels at telling a story with a cinematic sense of where to put the camera, so to speak, and how to build drama. ...Pham’s fondness for sci-fi odysseys of lonely adventurers in endless, barren landscapes — whether the desert of outer space or the desert outback of Australia — is a real good thing." – Byron Kerman, PLAYBACK:stl
• Review: "After a couple of years, Jaime’s Maggie storyline, which ran in L&Rv2 #s 1-10 and was reprinted in the Ghost of Hoppers book, still stands as a truly extraordinary piece of work – a story about ghosts and loss, and new friends and old towns. There are demons in the darkness, both literally and figuratively, and odd little talismans that bind us all to that weirdness. It’s a story about growing up and sticking by your friends and all the confusion that brings. It’s about adapting to the fact you’re normal and still having to avoid demonic dogs. But most of all, like almost all of Jaime’s stories, it’s about Love." – Bob Temuka, The Tearoom of Despair (via ¡Journalista!)
• Also on Facebook, Bill Griffith posts this one-page story (excerpted above) which was recently published in a new book about Levittown, Second Suburb, edited by Dianne Harris (link goes straight to the image file, since I don't know Bill's Facebook privacy settings, but he posts cool stuff all the time)
• T. Edward Bak is posting several pages from his current serialized Mome story "Wild Man" — for 50 bucks you can purchase an original page and help fund his impending trip to Alaska for field research for the story, so hit that Paypal link on his blog
Online Commentary & Diversions — catching up from MoCCA weekend, with more catch-up tomorrow:
• Award: Congratulations to David Sandlin for receiving a 2010-2011 fellowship from the New York Public Library’s Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers. "The fellowship lasts from September to May. Each fellow gets an office in the library’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, full access to the library’s research collections, and a stipend, which last year was $60,000," reports Kate Taylor of The New York Times. Not too shabby!
• Review: "Few people alive today are old enough to remember World War I, and as it recedes into the past, the 'war to end all wars' becomes more abstract. But French cartoonist Jacques Tardi's graphic novel, It Was The War of the Trenches..., brings the Great War to life in all its mud- and blood-soaked misery. Without a trace of sentimentality, Tardi's richly detailed and grimly rendered vignettes depict the horror, illness, cruel manipulations, and stupidity of this giant black spot in human history." – Mark Frauenfelder, Boing Boing
• Review: "Long-lost astronauts, homicidal bloggers, baseball legends and wayward skaters all find a home in John Pham’s captivating comic series Sublife. With only two issues on the street, Sublife has already established an achingly familiar universe in all of its disparate ongoing narratives. Deftly juggling the melancholy of Adrian Tomine’s Optic Nerve with some Cormac McCarthy-inspired apocalyptic action and plenty of skillfully subdued deadpan humor, Pham proves himself a master of multifarious emotions and artist stylings." – We Love You So
• Review: "While I enjoyed Sakai's artwork in the first volume, this second trade collection is even stronger. ... I'm so glad I'm finally sitting down and reading this series, and my only regret is that I didn't do it sooner. Usagi Yojimbo is a great addition to the canon of samurai stories, and is definitely highly recommended for anyone who is a fan of wandering ronin or just good storytelling." – Rob McMonigal, Panel Patter
• Review: "Culture Corner remains a curiosity in comic book history, rarely remembered, rarely seen, but Basil Wolverton’s status as an important figure in humor cartooning is unimpeachable. Thus, anybody wanting to understand the development of the medium and the evolution of comedy cartooning should pick up Culture Corner to see how Wolverton began the road to comic book legend. Most of the strips have never been seen by today’s readers, and the sheer number of unpublished penciled sketches makes this book a true rarity and a must-have." – Michael C. Lorah, Newsarama
• Review: "I can honestly say that the further we dive into the murky depths of Newave!, the better it gets. Hot on the heels of all the anarchic fun of the first thirty mini comics, come ten more that show, in various ways, a little extra sophistication in content or execution." – Avoid the Future continues their mini-reviews of the contents of Newave! The Underground Mini Comix of the 1980s; this is from part 4, and I think we may have missed linking to part 2 and part 3
• Plug: At IdeaFixa, Claudio Yuge says that reading Love and Rockets "was one of the best things I ever did in life and I recommend it for anyone who likes comics and graphic arts in general." (translated from Portuguese)
• Commentary:Comic Book Galaxy's Christopher Allen & Alan David Doane comment on this year's Eisner nominees, of which we have several; there's too much for me to quote from here
• Interview:Comic Book Resources' Shaun Manning talks to Jim Woodring about Weathercraft: "In a lot of ways, Manhog is the most interesting character in the Unifactor. He has the most potential for change and the widest range of dramatic possibilities. Besides, it's fun to put him in awful circumstances and watch him suffer. There's something about a big fat guy screaming in terror that's just naturally funny. Oliver Hardy got a lot of mileage out of that formula."
• Interview: The Inkstuds radio programme talks with Mome contributor (and, now, kids-comics superstar) Eleanor Davis
This looks like it's going to be a dazzling art show of John Pham's paintings (and a few sculptures) at GR2 in LA April 10 - May 5. The opening reception is on Saturday April 10, 6:30-10 PM. More info here.