|Things to See: Johnny Ryan's got the 'Cure' for VICE|
|Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Things to see, Johnny Ryan||11 Dec 2011 6:15 PM|
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Category >> Johnny Ryan
Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:
• List: Multiversity Comics' David Harper counts down the Best Graphic Novels of 2011, with Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010 by Michael Kupperman — "Part prose, part two color comic, this beautiful hardcover is a fanciful romp through history the way I wish it really was. I can hardly wait for the next hundred years to pass so we ca get the next installment" — and Johnny Ryan's Prison Pit Book 3 — "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" — tied for 5th place
• List: ComicsAttack ranks Gil Jordan, Private Detective: Murder by High Tide by M. Tillieux at #6 on their Top 15 All-Ages Titles of 2011: "Fantagraphics has put out some amazing work this year... Gil Jordan sticks out to us in all of its splendor. Yes, it can be compared to a gritty version of Tintin, but at the same time is so much more and its world so much deeper in crime. The adult tones make adults pick it up, and the colors and action give it an appeal to kids, making it an all-ages gem for anyone who picks it up."
• Review: "Barks' duck stories have been reprinted several times over the years, in different formats of varying quality. Now, Fantagraphics has published the first volume of its new series of hardcover reprints (Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes), and there's much to be heartened by.... Even the silliest premise, when executed by an artist in perfect control of his gifts, can land with deftness and grace — that's something that strikes you again and again as you read Barks' work. And it's a lesson that won't get lost on any kid with whom you might choose to share it, which is convenient, as this collection makes a perfect introduction to one of the greatest all-ages comics artists of all time." – Glen Weldon, NPR - Monkey See
• Plug: "Though I have many contemporary cartoonists and comics writers whose work I admire, there is one artist whose work defies my critical ability to write about it intelligently. This artist is Kevin Huizenga. Mixing a disarmingly simple style with narrative complexity rarely achieved in comics, Huizenga has consistently turned out some of the most interesting and perplexing works of the early 21st century." – Rob Vollmar, LitStack
• Plug: "Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson is a unique collection that serves as both a biography of Nelson and an anthology of his work, written and compiled by Kevin Avery. It features special chapters on and interviews with many of Nelson's favorite artists, including Bruce Springsteen." – Shawn Poole at Springsteen fansite Backstreets.com
• Plug: "A definite contender for music book of the year, Kevin Avery's Everything Is an Afterthought is the biography of pioneering rock critic Paul Nelson... It's a fascinating story of an important writer and recommended to anyone who has an interest in sixties and seventies rock 'n roll and music writing in general." – 211 Bernard (Librairie Drawn & Quarterly)
Thanks to everyone who came by and bought books at the Fantagraphics tables at the Brooklyn Comics & Graphics Festival this past weekend! Here's a look at what events are coming up this week:
Wednesday, December 7th
• Los Angeles, CA: It's your last chance to see the The Art of Problem Solving at Giant Robot, a spotlight on the animated series from Ben Jones, featuring fellow Fantagraphics artists Jon Vermilyea and John Pham on staff. Make a pizza date out of it! (more info)
• Seattle, WA: It's also your last chance to see the Short Run Art Show at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery! Curated by Kelly Froh, the exhibit features original comix art, illustration and book works by Max Clotfelter, Patrick Keck, Martine Workman, Elaine Lin, Jason T. Miles, Chris Cilla, Andrice Arp, Tim Root, Billis Helg, Marc Palm, Eroyn Franklin, Tom Van Deusen, Tim Miller, Tory Franklin, Jesse Reklaw, Sean Christensen, and Erin Tanner. (more info)
Friday, December 9th
Saturday, December 10th
• Seattle, WA: The Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery celebrates the publication of Pogo: Through the Wild Blue Wonder, Volume 1 of the Complete Comic Strips with “Playing Possum: The Pogo Art of Walt Kelly.” This exhibition of original Walt Kelly strips coincides on the occasion of the bookstore’s 5th anniversary gala. Musical entertainment will be provided by Sawsome, a female saw and banjo duet. (more info)
• Los Angeles, CA: Join Tony Millionaire at the third annual Feral House/Process Media Winter Solstice Celebration at the La Luz de Jesus Gallery. He'll be signing copies of his gorgeous new collection 500 Portraits. (more info)
• Los Angeles, CA: The Giant Robot Post-It Show 7 opens, curated by husband-wife team of Esther Pearl Watson and Mark Todd, and featuring work from Andrice Arp, T. Edward Bak, Lilli Carre, Martin Cendreda, Eleanor Davis, Renee French, Tim Hensley, Jaime Hernandez, Jesse Moynihan, Anders Nilsen, John Pham, Johnny Ryan, Jeremy Tinder, Jon Vermilyea, Esther Pearl Watson, and Steven Weissman. (more info)
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."
I always was very fond of the mini-comics format -- take two to four 8 1/2 x 11 sheets, fold them once, staple, and voilà! You have an adorable little 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 comic book for mere pennies. But I could never really figure out what to do with this old-school, low-tech format.
For this catalog season, we have created 21 "FBI•MINI" booklets (most in this format, although there are a few oddities), as premiums for customers who order books directly from us. They are available free with the purchase of their "matching" book or books -- or for those customers who've already bought those books but are desperate to get the FBI•MINI, free with the purchase of $50 worth of any other Fantagraphics mail-order merchandise.
We've put together some pretty amazing stuff. For instances, there are four foreign FBI•MINIs featuring material that is being released in English for the very first time: an eight-page David B. story from the 1990s, an eight-page full-color Sibyl-Anne story by Raymond Macherot, a twelve-page collection of Joost Swarte's very earliest, most underground-y work -- the stuff that didn't make it into Is That All There Is? -- and most amazing of all, 21 pages of an abandoned Manchette/Tardi story that has only been printed once in an obscure French collection, and never in English. That's 49 page of prime European comics available here for the first time.
There are four sketchbook collections (an amazing gathering of Jim Woodring work preparing for Congress of the Animals, an intricate set of sketches and more by Stephen DeStefano for Lucky in Love, a collection of Kim Deitch's legendary pencilled conceptualization drawings... and a hilarious blurt of Prison Pit character doodles from Johnny Ryan).
There's a non-Segar Popeye strip from the Segar era that didn't make it into our Popeye series (since it wasn't by Segar)... a collection of terrific "coming attractions" pages from Golden Age comics to go with Greg Sadowski's upcoming Golden Age covers collection... a dozen great "Humorama" drawings that didn't quite get into the Humorama book... a striking facsimile of a Maurice Tillieux original Gil Jordan page, complete with watercolored color indications on the back... and a never-before published Joe Sacco strip.
Plus 16 pages of Alex Toth art from the Setting the Standard era, but here reproduced in crisp black and white from the original photostats... Tony Millionaire's hilarious illustrated essay on failing to secure a TV gig for Billy Hazelnuts, complete with a preview of his upcoming Billy Hazelnuts Volume 3... a collection of the legendary Ivan Brunetti Nancy strip try-out... and 12 gorgeous full-color pages of scary Richard Sala faces.
And we've also got some obscurities, such as 12 pages of Bill Griffith comics that got axed from his epochal Lost and Found, a never-before-reprinted Critters-era "Nilson Groundthumper" story by Stan Sakai, and some truly Jurassic-era comics from Peter Bagge and Los Bros. Hernandez.
If any of these catch your interest (and if you're reading this blog surely at least one of them will) you can click right on any of them to a more detailed listing on our website -- or just click right here and all 21 will pop up for you to peruse.
Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:
• Scene: At Examiner.com, Christian Lipski reports from the Oil and Water book release with Steve Duin, Shannon Wheeler, Mike Rosen and Tom Orzechowski at Bridge City Comics in Portland last Wednesday: "Wheeler described the give-and-take nature of his meetings with Duin, during which they would talk about the best way to illustrate the author's script. 'I'd push for certain things, and Steve would push back,' said the artist. 'Sometimes he'd want something more subtle and I'd think it would need to be more over-the-top, or the other way around. We had good discussions.'"
It's that time of year again! The time of year where a flock of Fantagraphics artists participate in the annual Giant Robot Post-It Show, and like last year, it will be curated by the inspirational husband-wife team of Esther Pearl Watson and Mark Todd.
Each sticky note masterpiece is priced to move at a mere $20! YES. You can own a one-of-a-kind piece of art for $20 lousy bucks from artists like our own: Andrice Arp, T. Edward Bak, Lilli Carre, Martin Cendreda, Eleanor Davis, Renee French, Tim Hensley, Jaime Hernandez, Jesse Moynihan, Anders Nilsen, John Pham, Johnny Ryan, Jeremy Tinder, Jon Vermilyea, Esther Pearl Watson, and Steven Weissman.
The Giant Robot Post-It Show 7 runs from December 10th through 29th at GR2 [ 2062 Sawtelle Blvd., Los Angeles, CA ] with an opening reception event on Saturday, December 10th from 6:30 - 10:00 PM. It's "cash-and-carry," so don't forget your bag-and-board!
You can all have Female Trouble this coming Friday, November 11th as our friends at Meltdown Comics kick off their latest exhibit, Pretty? Pretty? A Divine Art Show -- a tribute to the one-and-only John Waters ingenue!
That's a sneak peek of one of Johnny Ryan's pieces above, and as he mentions on his blog, the other "is a 'mixed media' piece [he] can’t reveal just yet." (Mike Baehr to me, "I hope it's Johnny in drag!")
The opening reception for Pretty? Pretty? A Divine Art Show is from 8:00 - 11:00 PM, featuring a live DJ, free booze, drag’s finest performers and more special Divine-themed surprises. The exhibit runs through November 17th at Meltdown Comics [ 7522 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles ].