• Gainesville, FL: The great Carol Tyler will present a talk on "Graphic Emotion: Weighted Words and Moving Marks" at the 11th annual University of Florida Conference on Comics and Graphic Novels. (more info)
Get your freak on with a new art show opening Friday, April 4th in Philadelphia!
Titled Freak Scene, this group show spotlights the current stars of underground comix, like Johnny Ryan, our own Jason T. Miles, Mome-contributor Jim Rugg, and a whole host of fellow freaks, including several Seattleites!
The opening reception kicks off at 6:00 PM.
Space 1026 is located at 1026 Arch Street in Philadelphia.
The best-seasoned pan that your friends accidentally cleaned with soap of Online Commentaries and Diversions:
• Review: Comics Bulletin looks at Charles Forsman's latest: "Celebrated Summer works as an excellent examination of what remains unspoken between close friends and what it means to feel trapped in your own skin." –Geoffrey Lapid, Comics Bulletin
• Review: Santa Barbara News Press in PRINT, baby reviews "Unexpectedly, almost secretly lovely, Celebrated Summer has a sadness and listlessness at its core that resonates much louder...Forsman gets in and out quickly, not making more of this tale of suburban apathy than needs making, which only makes his story that much more poignant." –Katie Haegele, Santa Barbara News Press
• Review: Publishers Weekly looks at Celebrated Summer "Simpler and less dramatic than his previous, similarly themed TEOTFW, Forsman has built another excellent account of growing up via outsider behavior."
• Review: Celebrated SummerhitsBest of 2013 Comics on Comics Bulletin. "This is a bildungsroman of the narcissist, psychotic, detached. It is the psychic havoc of the perpetually doomed; the coming of age story of those striding forth into world where the connection between cause and effect is a spectator sport, where emotional content is gauged by 'hits' and the chance to go viral…And it will break you." –Daniel Elkin, Comics Bulletin
• Review:Locust Moon Comics looks at Celebrated Summer "...rendered in Forsman's punk-Hergé micron style, where the clear line of Kevin Huizenga meets the scratchy cross-hatching of Chester Brown... where TEOTFW was cold and harsh, preserving the mystery of its semi-sociopathic protagonists, CELEBRATED SUMMER is resignedly warm and humane." –Josh O'Neill, Locust Moon
• Review: "Forsman is one of the strongest and most vital young cartoonists currently putting pen to paper-not to mention one of the most fully, uniquely realized...Owing far more to Chester Brown's exquisite linework and Charles M. Schulz's deceptive lushness than to Porcellino's piercing iconography, Forsman's efforts on Celebrated Summer nonetheless radiate a singular soulfulness." –Jason Heller, The A.V. Club
• Plug: Broken Frontier "Completed before Forsman began work on TEOTFW, [Celebrated Summer] promises to be an intriguing tale of youth banging up against the world of adulthood." -Tom Murphy, Broken Frontier
• Review: A review of Celebrated Summeroriginally published in City Pages. "Like the structure of the song, where before the bridge all seems wondrous, loud and anticipatory, Forsman comes through with his own sullen, downtrodden acoustic lick to unsettle everything and beg his reader to question." -Alec Barry, City Pages
• Review: Page 45 "Beautifully drawn in a thin, fragile line with lots of intricate crosshatching and stylistic nods towards Trudeau…and Huizenga, this is a very quiet book..." –SLH, Page 45
• Review: Rob Clough looks at TEOTFW "He has a knack for giving voice to a certain sense of ennui and desperation for connection and meaning, yet manages to do so in a way that avoids navel-gazing and static storytelling...there are simply no extraneous lines to be found in this comic. That's a mark of a confident artist hitting his stride, and TEOTFW feels like Forsman's comics PhD project." –Rob Clough, The Comics Journal
• Review: On Forsman's The End of the Fucking World "...punches aren't pulled for the cartoonist's Fantagraphics debut, a study in sociopathology with shifting narrative perspectives and artwork that any amateur comics scholar will quickly point out owes a lot to Schulz' shaky line." –Brian Heater, BoingBoing
• Interview: Alex Dueben interviews Chuck Forsman about The End of the Fucking World on Comic Book Resources. "I like to set up a puzzle so that the reader has to do a little bit of work and put the dots together themselves. I don't like to over-explain everything or give everything away. I just think it's more interesting that way."
• Plug:The AV Club lists Celebrated Summer at #1 of the top 10 Graphic Novels and Art Comics of 2013. "Chuck Forsman is a cartoonist with a talent for expressing the emotional turbulence of adolescence and early adulthood...With an art style that combines the animated simplicity of Charles M. Schulz and the detailed linework of Chester Brown, Forsman establishes himself as one of the most promising alternative-comic creators." –Oliver Sava, The A. V. Club
• Review: "Forsman is a master of silences - few cartoonists are as articulate with words left unsaid - and this utterly recognizable and deceptively simple story speaks volumes without saying much at all." -Josh, Locust Moon Comics
• Plug: Celebrated Summer makes Froh's Best of 2013 list. "The way they regard each other rings so true of that age, that mix of boredom and wonder. Haven't we all stared at ourselves in the mirror the way Wolf does?" -Kelly Froh, Atomic Blog
• Review: "Forsman's The End of the Fucking World is both fatalistic and poignant...one of the greatest strengths of TEOTFW: Forsman has the ability to make protagonists who are capable of committing quite monstrous acts sympathetic, and even tragic, throughout."–Andy Oliver, Broken Frontier
• Review: TEOTFW on Mental Floss "This tale of young love is reminiscent of Terrence Malick's classic film Badlands in both its content and its sparse storytelling style. In fact, Forsman's whole low budget approach to making the comic gives it a mood similar to a low budget film despite the deliberate comic strip feel of his cartooning."–Rich Barrett, Mental Floss
• Review: "What is disguised as a rote teen disillusionment melodrama about two kids acting out their Bonnie & Clyde moment is in reality a powerful story about sociopaths, abandonment, cults, crime both petty and murderous, and unquenchable emotional hollowness...The End of the Fucking World is a superb graphic novel, poetic and gripping, a pure crime-noir page-turner that will stop you dead in your tracks and leave its mark on you like a hot needle burned into the skin in the mourning light." –Jeffrey O.Gustafson, Comics Pusher
• Review: "Forsman, a graduate of Vermont's Center for Cartoon Studies, has a solid grasp of comics storytelling and his lightly drawn page compositions display an intriguing degree of variety...Forsman's pair of nihilists are shown to be the results of terrible parenting and are so estranged from human society that they have difficulty feeling emotions and pursuing a viable relationship together, much less to recognise when other people are not psychopaths." -James Romberger, Hooded Utilitarian
• Review: The Comics Journal "Gfrörer's sense of pacing is superb-her panels advance patiently, so that the dread of her endings has the controlled pluck of a Twlight Zone episode…Black is the color of Gfrörer's humor." -Nicole Rudick, The Comics Journal
• Review: "Like Black, [Gfrörer's] body of work to date is offbeat and well wrought. Far more importantly than being enjoyable, it is also remarkably subversive.Black Is the Color is marked by an impressive poeticism in pacing, dark and intricate drawing, and a refreshing contemporary spin on gothic storytelling. It also marks a thrillingly mature period in Gfrörer's career." –Joshua Michael Demaree, LA Review of Books
• Review:Black is the Color on Robot 6 "Romantic, tragic, elegiac and beautiful, one could scarcely ask for more from a book, comic or otherwise." -J. Caleb Mozzocco, Robot 6
• Review: "the scratchy intensity of Gfrorer's line is the key to the book's success...Every line is an assault, from the tiny stilettos that comprise the dense waves to the darkness of night that is almost invasive…In a story where death is a certainty, that kind of dignity represents a kind of triumph, one more authentic than if Gfrorer had let the happy ending be real." –Rob Clough, High Low Comics
• Review: Page 45 on Black Is the Color by Julia Gfrörer. "The whole book is conducted in this simple, easily accessible format as well as style. There's not just a wobbly fragility to the lines, there is a bleakness to them as well - for it is cold at sea - even during sensual embraces." -SLH, Page 45
• Review: Some fans have a way with words "If Dante were alive today, he would say, 'Yes!' in thunder toJohnny Ryan's Prison Pit series. Endlessly inventive, repulsive, retributive, and beautiful, Prison Pit is funny and foul, an eternal nightmare that deserves a life on the big screen…" –Tom, Goodreads
• Plug: Librairie Drawn & Quarterly is ready for Prison Pit Book Five. "The fifth installment of Johnny Ryan's Prison Pit, like its predecessors, is full of over the top, violence and sci-fi gore rendered in crude black and white drawings... One thing's for sure, guts will flow and blood will spill!" -Librairie Drawn & Quarterly via Largehearted Boy
• Plug: Atomic Hearted Boy runs a plug for Prison Pit Book Five"Ryan continues to push well beyond the limits good taste (thankfully) with this new installment of his sci-fi, prison gore-a-palooza epic." -Benn Ray, Atomic Books
• Review:NPR lists great gifts for hip hop fans. "Ed Piskor's Hip-Hop Family Tree is a real fusion of both art forms. Piskor tells the gripping origin story of hip-hop in storyboard form with original artwork. Illuminating for kids and grown-ups alike." –Evan Auerbach, NPR
• Interview:Free Comic Book Day interviews Ed about his new FCBD comic and his favorite part of Hip Hop Family Tree. "I cracked the code because I created and tailored the perfect project for me to work on. I'm excited to wake up in the morning and get back in the saddle."
• Interview: Hip Hop Family Tree Proper Mag "Though the story may be a well known one, as a hip hop fan from back in the day I still found something new and revelatory on each of these carefully drawn and vintag-ed yellowy pages...So if you love Hip-Hop in any shape or form then this is an essential read. Vol. 2 should be a soulsonic sensation, so get your Kangols and shell-toes at the ready."–Neil, Proper Mag
• Review: "Piskor uses the form of his comic to recreate the thunderous beat of the speakers and the rattling effect a heavy bass line has on you physically....The comic books hits you in your gut the same way that the great music does. Piskor hits that perfect alchemy of comic and music...Everything about Hip Hop Family Tree Volume 1 is a love letter to the music and comics of bygone time." -Scott Cederlund, Newsarama
• Review: "The book is an absolute essential for any hip hop head to read and any comic book fan to gander over." Kevin Cortez of Mass Appealinterviews Piskor on Hip Hop Family Tree. "I think my major strength in telling this story is that I don't have hero-worship when it comes to anyone in particular. It's hip hop that I love and all these players just make up the bigger whole," says Piskor.
• Review: "Hip Hop Family Tree depicts a time before the quest for conspicuous riches overshadowed much of the music's highest-profile culture. Fittingly, Piskor's book feels just as real and authentic as the retro rap it celebrates" -Michael Cavna, The Washington Post
• Review: Page 45 on Hip Hop Family Tree: "The ability of comics to transport you to a time and place in a manner that prose works just cannot match is demonstrated here as Ed perfectly captures the nature of street life and the crazy characters at that time...Fans of hip hop need this work." -JR, Page 45
• Review: The Seattle Times lists Hip Hop Family Tree as a great gift for music lovers. "His extremely thorough and academic history lesson is also action-packed, fun and funny" –Andrew Matson
• Review: Propeller Magazine writes "one of the most awe-inspiring narrative achievements of the year, Piskor tells the early history of hip hop by seamlessly weaving together all of their creative highs and lows, their commercial hits and freeze-outs. Rarely has such an extremely informative historical document been so gossipy, entertaining, and original." -Patrick McGinty, Propeller Magazine
• Plug: On Hip Hop Family Tree "The intersection of art and music is not an unfamiliar one. But if Basquiat and Rothko isn't to your taste, and you grew up with the likes of Stan Lee and Alan Moore, perhaps Ed Piskor's ingenious Hip Hop Family Tree is more suited to your needs." -Joyce, Pigeons and Planes
• Review: TCJ on Couch Tag: "Fear gives way to anger and despair, and no feeling is left unexplored... I'll look forward to the next full-length book from Reklaw, who has a truly special intellect and keen sense of humor. I'd love to see what would happen if he brought all aspects of his storytelling technique together at once." –Katie Haegele, The Comics Journal
• Review:Couch Tag was on Boing Boing's Best Books of the month: "Couch Tag, on the author hand, is a sort of family autobiography, assembled from countless loose threads centered around objects and things, discarding any semblance of chronology. It's painful at times, like childhood itself, but Reklaw is mostly an objective tour guide through the strange and seminal moments of his youth." -Brian Heater, Boing Boing
• Interview: Tom Spurgeon on The Comics Reporter interviews Jesse Reklaw on Couch Tag, mental illness and the comics game. "That first chapter of Couch Tag was the first thing that I did as a long format work that my friends actually liked. That was very significant to me, because I'm one of those people that bounces around in my own head for a very long time. It's where I find a hole to ooze out." –Reklaw
• Plug: Reklaw's Couch Tag appears on John Porcellino's Best Books of 2013. "How Jesse has remained so deeply underground up to now is beyond me, but there are few books I've looked forward to and waited longer for than this collection of his stunning, very sad and powerful comics about his childhood, and his life growing up in a mentally and emotionally unbalanced family. Reklaw has the chops to draw anything, and the skill and taste to write with an understated grace that allows emotions and experiences to well up and breathe on their own." -John P.
• Plug:Couch Tag also landed on the list for Best Comics of 2013 on Forbidden Planet International "Couch Tag has been delighting me over the holidays...it dealt in the well-worn tradition of autobiographical comics about family life, [not] focusing on some huge event, rather inviting us into all the little ups and downs that make up everyone's life, and [was] the more charming and welcoming for it..." -Joe Gordon, FPI
Forget these icy cold temperatures -- Fantagraphics is heading to sunny L.A., baby! Join us on Sunday, February 16th for the 3rd Annual L.A. Zine Fest!
It's gonna be HOT, in a figurative, if not literal, sense: our own Ron Regé, Jr. will be presenting a multi-media presentation for The Cartoon Utopia, and the great Esther Pearl Watsonwill be hosting the excellent Zine Hut with her husband, artist Mark Todd!
And for the real scorcher: Jaime Hernandez will be the Keynote Speaker! He'll be in conversation with Charles Hatfield, author and professor of English, CSUN, discussing his groundbreaking work on the legendary Love and Rockets series!
This wonderful event is FREE and open to all, so, come by and see us from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM!
L.A. Zine Fest is located at the Helms Bakery District Parking Garage (between La Dijonaise and Vitra) on 8703 Washington Blvd. Check out their website for lots of helpful tips on how to get there and where to park, and heads up, two lanes of traffic on the 405 from Getty Center Dr. north to Ventura Blvd will be closed! (They're calling it "jamzilla"!)
When you think of Valentine's Day, I know you think of Cannibal Fuckface. So, forget the candy and flowers, and get your sweetheart something truly romantic: Prison Pit Book 5!
On Friday, February 14th, join Johnny Ryanat Secret Headquarters in Los Angeles for a celebration of undying love: In the latest installment, our hero Cannibal Fuckface still isn't dead, so the Prison Boss plays what may be his last card: The Holocaust Brothers. But before CF battles the Ho-Bros he's got to destroy his arch-enemy, the seemingly indestructible Slitt, who happens to be the only one who knows how to get the hell out of the Prison Pit. Clearly, it is a love for the ages.
The signing begins at 7:00 PM! Secret Headquarters is located at 3817 W Sunset Blvd in Los Angeles.
Prison Pit is Johnny (Angry Youth Comix) Ryan's ongoing taboo-busting sci-fi-prison-planet-body-mutation-splatterfest epic extravaganza, beloved by everyone from the legendary Gary Panter ("GLOREGEFULL!") to Booklist ("Not to be missed").
In the latest installment, our hero Cannibal Fuckface still isn't dead, so the Prison Boss plays what may be his last card: The Holocaust Brothers. But before CF battles the Ho-Bros he's got to destroy his arch-enemy, the seemingly indestructible Slitt, who happens to be the only one who knows how to get the hell out of the Prison Pit.
The author promises: "Every single testicle in the world will explode with rage when Prison Pit 5 is unleashed."
Prisoner #6655321 is back! Also known affectionately as Cannibal Fuckface, our antihero is returns from the dead in the all-out war inPrison Pit Book Five by Johnny Ryan. comiXology is kindly selling the book if you want to read it on your computer, it's simply TOO SICK for the Apple Store. Fuckface still isn't dead, but can he survive the Holocaust Brothers? First he's got to destroy his arch-enemy, the seemingly indestructible Slitt, who happens to be the only one who knows how to get the hell out of the Prison Pit.
$9.99 for 125 pages that are sure to blow your collective genetalia off is a steal of a deal (especially if you grab said meat and sell it on the black market). New to the Pit? Grab all five volumes of Johnny Ryan's truly terrifying and bloodied hole of a series TODAY!
P.S. Johnny prepares future prisoners via his Twitter stream too. Follow him to get an early sentencing, you can also get out early for bad behavior.
his 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.
124-page black & white 6.5" x 8.5" softcover • $12.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-700-0
"Johnny Ryan's Prison Pit Five is disgustingly, violently brilliant." - James Cartwright, It's Nice That
"The continuing adventures of Johnny Ryan's most violent fantasies run amuck, [Prison Pit] is rapidly becoming the comic that I look forward to the way a fat kid looks forward to syrup-encrusted cake. There's no getting around the hoary old cliche - 'these aren't for everybody' - so God help you if you can't figure out a way to enjoy these books." - Tucker Stone, Flavorwire
220-page black & white (with some color) 7" x 9.5" hardcover • $24.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-707-9
"...[L]ike the best coming-of-age stories - comics or otherwise - Wandering Son is meticulously accurate in its details, but universal in its emotions. Gay or not, readers shouldn't find it too difficult to identify with kids who feel like their bodies and their friends are equally culpable in the worst kind of betrayal, preventing them from realizing the potential they see in themselves." - Noel Murray, The A.V. Club
"Cheers Johnny! Thanks for the knife to the cock!" – Guy Davis
"For those who find filthy, blotchy tactile ink clots, überviolence, or body horror even remotely appealing, you need to buy this and its predecessors immediately." – Slate
"There's no point in trying to explain Prison Pit. You can only experience it to understand it. Start buy buying all of them at once if you haven't yet... It wears its intentional stupidness and violence on its sleeve while also showing off Johnny Ryan's sophisticated sense of composition and black and white ink prettiness." - Nick Gazin, VICE
"Hey are you doing any more scary guys made out of tar ripping each other's dicks off? You know why I like those? Because you don't have to read all them stupid words and stuff. Right? Haa ha, hey Johnny wanna come over and play? Ha Ha!" – Tony Millionaire
"The Prison Pit series has produced some of the best gay erotic comics in recent memory... without consciously setting out to do so. It could easily be subtitled 'A Complex Cycle of Penetration and Regeneration.' Johnny pumps this hyper-masculine orgy of violence and sex so far beyond bursting, it can't help but tip over to the queer side. It is a prison, after all." – Ed Luce (Wuvable Oaf)
"The continuing adventures of Johnny Ryan’s most violent fantasies run amuck, [Prison Pit] is rapidly becoming the comic that I look forward to the way a fat kid looks forward to syrup-encrusted cake. There’s no getting around the hoary old cliche — 'these aren’t for everybody' — so God help you if you can’t figure out a way to enjoy these books." - Tucker Stone, Flavorwire
"Prison Pit is the black metal of comics.... If it doesn't make you sick, you shouldn't be allowed to walk among the public in the first place. If it doesn't make you giddy for the next one, you don't deserve comics." - David Harper, Multiversity Comics
"Like Yokoyama's manga, it's all surface cause & effect & somehow full of weird associations & meanings. It resonates deep." – Sammy Harkham