The various plot points and mysteries that Johnny Ryan has been sprinkling between disembowelings, pummelings, severed limbs, freakouts, transmogrifications, defecation, and messed-up genitals over the first four installments of his hit series Prison Pit begin to come together in Book 5.
In our downloadable excerpt, meet the asshole Prison Boss and his dumbshit minions, who witness what they think is the destruction of Cannibal Fuckface. But their premature celebration is interrupted with some bad news.
This book should arrive in time to grab the scythe away from the withered fingers of 2013 and hack baby 2014 into flying gobbets of meat. Pre-order (and get the exclusive "Cool Shit from the Pit" mini-comic) here.
Two Fantagraphics' cartoonists have been give the green light to make a full season of animated cartoons for Nickelodeon. Dave Cooper and Johnny Ryan are in the full she-bang, a full 26 episodes of PIGGOATBANANACRICKET and we are oh-so excited!
Cooper told the Ottawa Citizen, "This is pretty big. I'm pretty excited about it. My life is going to be very different from now on."
And Johnny Ryan stated, "The plan is to create a cartoon that is hilarious and incredibly weird. I want it to be something that kids not only talk about at school the next day but something that they're still talking about in the old age home when they become senior citizens." Enjoy this preview!
Today SPX, Small Press Expo, released the nominees for the Ignatz Awards given out the Saturday of the show, September 14th. We have quite a few cartoonists listed and are so excited for them. Their amazing work speaks for itself but a nice brick award (based the Krazay Kat and Ignatz) is always helpful makes you look tough as hell next to your drawing table. Attendees of SPX are given ballots so start walking NOW to Bethesda and you'll get there in time.
Congrats are in order to Simon Hanselmann for Outstanding Comic nomination for St. Owl's Bay. His book MEGAHEX is coming out from Fantagraphics in 2014 so get ready for more amazing comis.
Here's a quick link to all of our Ignatz-nominee books in case you need to load up for some good readin'. See all of you at the awards acting all dignified and then sorta sloppy at the chocolate fountain!
• San Francisco, CA: The California College of the Arts concludes their summer "Comics in the City" series with special guest Dash Shaw! Dash's discussions on his work and his latest book, New School, are not to be missed. (more info)
• Los Angeles, CA:Johnny Ryan's solo art show, Johnny Ryan's Chicks With Dicks, opens at Мишка! Johnny will also be debuting two exclusive new t-shirt designs, available only at this art show. (more info)
By Friday everyone was in the San Diego swing by now. Steven 'Ribs' Weissman, Johnny Ryan and Ron Regé, Jr. were ready to WOW everyone! The Kim Thompson Tribute panel was held that day and the room was packed. Thank you to everyone who came out, Eric Reynold's panoramic photo below.
Here a librarian freaks out over Ghosts and Ruins by Ben Catmull, which she had preordered for her library! The whimsy and humor surprised her but in a good way.
Leader of the new cult The Cartoon Utopia and Lavender Diamond rockstar Ron Rege, Jr. joins the Fantagraphics' signing table for the first time! And to the left is No Straight Lines editor and contributors Justin Hall and Dylan Edwards to the left.
Then a fucking WIZARD showed up, guys. And a practical one too, his golden cape hid his backpack but was slit so he had easy access.
And then a WORD wizard showed up! The Advocate's Jacob Anderson-Minshall leans in for a photo with Dylan and Justin.
More friends stop by like Scott McCloud (again!) here with Jacq, Steven and Johnny.
Cartoonist Alex Neal visits with Weissman while Johnny Ryan chats up Robert Williams!
Flippin' through some Weissman originals.
Former Comics Alliance, current Image content manager/editor David Brothers shows off his dollar bin find! That lady 'needs a real man'.
Next up, Tony Millionaire blew in from LA to sign his new book Green Eggs and Maakies with Cathy Malkasian and Paul Hornschemeier.
Tony had a artifact someone had MADE for him from his books. SUPERFAN, he might be right behind you, Tonyyyyy.
We shared some pipes and drapes space with NBM publishing who, for some reason, put their porn RIGHT next to our signing section. Pensive and apprehensive Paul ponders porn.
Speaking of Eisners, here are some shots of our cartoonists on the BIG SCREEN. Spain Rodriguez and Trina Robbins were both inducted in the Hall of Fame and Ellen Forney presented an award along with Becky Cloonan. The Complete Pogo Vol. 2 'Bona Fide Balderdash' won an Eisner!
Then Michael Kupperman's 'Moon 69' comic from Tales Designed to Thrizzle won an Eisner award for Best Short Story! Eric read his hilarious acceptance speech that framed Eric for Kupperman's 'death.'
The Eisner next to some totally legit beers...
Out in the post-Eisner party, the comiXology boys Tony, Matt and Anshu celebrate LIFE and Fantagraphics' digital comics.
A few more photos tomorrow (I KNOW you need MORE). Then our eyes are on Autoptic, SPX and BEYOND.
Johnny Ryan will be whippin' it out with a solo art show, Johnny Ryan's Chicks With Dicks, opening this Saturday, July 27th at Мишка in Los Angeles!
Johnny Ryan's Chicks With Dicks will feature over sixty illustrations based on Jack Chick religious pamphlets from the 1960s onward. Our friends at Мишка explain: "For those who aren't historians on religious propaganda from fifty years ago, Jack Chick was an artist who published wild fire and brimstone comics about everyone going to hell for pretty much any minor offense. The comics read as a something an Evangelical Sunday school teacher might create, if they were possessed by the same demons that inspire death metal cover art. Obviously, Chick was very successful in saving souls of the damned, and obviously Johnny Ryan needed to recreate these images with dicks inserted throughout."
Johnny will also be debuting two exclusive new t-shirt designs, available only at this art show (pic swiped from his Instagram, below, and yes, he's back on there!):
The opening reception for Johnny Ryan's Chicks With Dicks runs from 7:00 to 10:00 PM. There'll be booze and some blasphemous tunes to really cement your place at the left hand of Beezlebub. There'll also be some regular Johnny Ryan pieces for sale as well, for all of you more pious folks. Мишка is located at 128 S. La Brea Ave. in Los Angeles.
So you KNOW about our new books to debut at The Big Show aka (San Diego Comic Con) but we also have caged some wild cartoonists and even arranged some feeding times for them! Come by table #1718 to meet your favorite creators you've only read about in magazines online!
Keep your well-lubricated eyeballs peeled for more San Diego Comic-Con announcements on our Flog or via this HANDY TAG. Here's a preview of Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez quality con faces from last year!
The last thing you'll read before the San Diego PR Storm 2013:
• Review: The AV Club looks at Ulli Lust's Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life. Noel Murray writes, "Today Is The Last Day Of The Rest Of Your Life takes the form of a post-apocalyptic horror story, wherein the heroine ekes out a meager existence by day and then fights off monsters by night.…Lust takes readers inside her experiences, letting them feel how high hopes can devolve into raw survival."
• Review: Ulli Lust's Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life is reviewed in the New York Times by Douglas Wolk. "the book ripples with exuberance:…Lust’s pen-and-ink work (augmented by the pale green tint of European paperbacks) depicts the stretched and crimped features of the people from whom she bummed change, the architecture of St. Peter’s Basilica and the chaos of a Clash concert with equally manic panache, and her line is as seemingly unkempt but as deliberately molded as her younger self’s punk-rock shock of hair."
• Review:Booklist Online spends the day with Donald Duck: The Old Castle's Secret by Carl Barks. "The applause-worthy effort… Oodles of shorter pieces provide more evidence yet that this series is an essential addition to any serious (or just plain fun) comics collection" writes Ian Chipman.
• Review: The New York Journal of Books reads Donald Duck: The Old Castle's Secret by Carl Barks. "There is no tantrum like a Donald Duck tantrum…Every single page of this new collection of classic Donald Duck stories is filled with silliness and slapstick and adventure…Try not smiling at Carl Barks’ work. It’s impossible," says Mark Squirek.
• Interview: Zak Sally on The Comics Journal interviews on Peter Bagge and The Beat follows up. Bagge states, "I like the way [a pamphlet or floppy comic] feel. To me it's an ideal format, the traditional comic book format. It's the perfect amount of material to read in one sitting."
• Commentary:The Beatand Hannah Means-Shannon discuss the humor panel from HeroesCon 2013 featuringPeter Bagge(there promoting his new book, Other Stuff). When asked advice from a younger cartoonist Bagge replied, “If you’re goal is to be a starving artist, it’s an easy road ahead."
• Review:Dead Canary Comics look at Prison Pit series by Johnny Ryan. "It's so extremely excessive in its hilarity it draws stifled belly laughs from your gut on packed trains as parents and politicians glance witheringly at images of monsters shitting themselves, ghouls eviscerating ghouls... in an age when we've got more X Men titles than people on the planet it's refreshing to just have a comic book that's all about entertainment!"
• Plug: Speaking of Johnny Ryan, show off how you don't fucking mess around with a PRISON PIT patch! Only $5 (plus shipping).
• Review: Brian Heater of BoingBoing looks at Leslie Stein's Eye of the Majestic Creature Vol. 2."It’s a sort of childlike forgiveness of life’s darker corners, which carries on into grown up stories…Stein's is a welcomingly unique take on the well-trod world of autobiographical comics, and once you've excepted her rhythms as your own, it can be a hard world to step away from."
• Review (audio): NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour enjoy Dash Shaw's New School. Glen Weldon states, "Instead of a tidy narrative, [New School] is about art, about the art that's in the book itself…There's stuff going on at other levels, the intuitive, the leve of the unconscious, the subconscious I guess you could say.…This book is just fascinating."
• Review:Booklist Online reviews Goddamn This War by Jacques Tardi and Jean-Pierre Verney. "…six years of hopelessly indistinguishable trenches, explosions, corpses, mud, and maggots, all of it depicted via three panoramic panels per page rendered in smoky grays and foggy blues—with blood accents… The pages are strewn with images of dead bodies and midexplosion terrors, but the unforgettable centerpiece is two wordless pages of disfigured postwar faces"
• Review:About.com looks at Anders Nilsen's The End. Jeff Alford writes "these pages come from such a raw emotional place that they'll reverberate like an echo from a well....It's a message we've heard before, but its majestic delivery and the difficult path that led to this revelation make The End all the more exceptional."
• Review:Comic Pusher looks at Anders Nilsen's The End. "This isn't a non-fictional description of grief written after the fact, this is grief, unfiltered and complete…The best sequences are where Nilsen breaks away from the heartbreaking emotional literalism and opens out into almost abstract expressions of the nature of grief."
• Review: Johanna Draper Carlson of Comics Worth Readingunpacks Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Color Sundaysby Floyd Gottfredson. "The lighter approach makes this book a better choice to share with your young ones. They should love the timeless highjinks of the mouse and his friends. And anyone can appreciate the skilled cartooning and astounding art, so well-done it almost seems to move on paper."
• Commentary: Heidi MacDonald of The Beat talks about Lorenzo Mattotti at BEA. "In Italy Mattotti is pretty much an all around art and design god, and he's known here for his New Yorker covers, and Fantagraphics has been putting out his recent work in Englias."
• Review:Wandering Son Vol. 4 by Shimura Takako gets reviewed by Read Comic Books. "…what continues to make Wandering Son a fantastic read is the frankness it presents developmental sexual identity…Few comics will challenge you like Wandering Son. It covers a topic not widely written about or discussed, and does so in a tactful, warm, embracing manner," concludes Nick Rowe.
• Review: The Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center gives Wandering Son Vol. 4 a whirl. Terry Hong comments," ‘Fresh' is exactly the right word to describe this gentle gender-bender series…Creator Shimura Takako is a compassionate, empathetic storyteller without judgment or guile. Her young characters face their inescapable maturity as best as they can in a brave new world of ‘gender-fluid'."
• Review (audio):It Has Come to My Attention recorded a short 7-minute review of Barnaby Vol. 1 by Crockett Johnson. "Fantagraphics deserves a Nobel Prize in Literature for their efforts to reprint complete runs of classic American comic strips… There is rarely an attempt at more than 2-dimensions but that flatness provides a late art deco elegance to [Barnaby].…This strip is fun, funny, I'm so glad its back and Fantagraphics is giving it their usual top-notch presentation,"
• Review: Letterer Todd Klein looks at Pogo Vol. 2Through the Wild Blue Yonder by Walt Kelly. "…this strip is perhaps the opposite of 'Peanuts,' which went with a minimalist approach. 'Pogo' is maximalist! Both are great fun and often quite funny.…There’s really not a single thing to fault in this fine book"
• Review: Jack Davis' new collection 'Tain't the Meat reviewed on Sound on Sight. "It's entertaining in the juvenile delight it takes in grossing out readers. You also get to witness Davis' style as it improves with every story: his lines get sharper, there's more detail and contrast in the panels… It might also provide a good trip down memory lane for some, reminding them of late nights spent with smuggled comics contraband and a flashlight under the sheets. It's a good introduction as well to a genre that may today seem corny and hackneyed, but I'll be damned if it still ain't pretty creepy, bad puns an all," writes Chris Auman.
• Review: Broad Street Review gazes upon 50 Girls 50 by Al Williamson with love. Bob Levin pens, "Williamson's art could infuse aliens and monsters, no matter how hideous, with sympathetic personalities that reinforced Feldstein's feelings about brotherhood and tolerance.…His delicate line, intricately constructed panels and gossamer-like space-station cities and landscapes are fully on display in this book."
• Review:Comics Bulletin on Came the Dawn by Wallace Wood. "…the true delight and fascination of Came the Dawn will be seeing again Wood's sublime understanding, indeed his enrichment of, the comics language, from panel and page composition to the pacing, direction, of capturing and conveying of mood…Let's face it: No one draws an emaciated corpse - especially in zombie form - better than Wood," pens Eric Hoffman.
The coldest Dip'n'Dots of Online Commentaries & Marketing:
• Interview: Comic Book Resources and Alex Dueben interview Peter Bagge about Other Stuff and his favorite collaborations in the book, "The earliest one in the book, "Life in These United States," didn't come out looking at all like I had envisioned it…what Clowes did with it was truly remarkable. Also, Gilbert [Hernandez] radically changed the faces, ages and even genders of almost everyone in the "Me" strip. That threw me for a loop! Though it didn't negatively impact the story in the slightest."
• Review:The A.V. Club looks at Peter Bagge's Other Stuff. "Other Stuff also brings together strips Bagge has written about rock icons, along with a few cartoon essays, and strips featuring his characters Lovey and The Leeways, who respectively represent hipster adventurism and dogged domesticity. It’s a full picture of who Bagge has been as an artist and humorist over the past 20 years, and as such is as valuable for newcomers as fans…" writes Noel Murray.
• Interview:Peter Bagge is interviewed on Societe Perrierby Christian J Petersen on comics, Seattle and growing up clever. "Did your parents encourage your creativity? No, though they didn't discourage it. They were drunk."
• Review:The Quietus looks at The Adventures of Jodelle by Guy Peellaert and Pierre Bartier. Aug Stone writes, "Jodelle is fantastic in every sense of the word, filled with in-jokes and time-defying references, nudity and sex (not always coinciding), exaggerated violence, but most importantly a sense of pushing the edges of possibility…The original Pop Art comic and one of the first ‘adult comics’ (released a year after Barbarella by same publisher Eric Losfeld), Jodelle is an artistic tour de force."
• Review: Bookgasm looks at The Adventures of Jodelle by Guy Peellaert. "…let the fleshy neon visuals explode into your eyeballs.…It won’t have the same impact today, as many of its visual ideas have been appropriated and subverted into the mainstream culture, but as both a time capsule of its era and as a visually stunning romp, it remains a unique experience that should certainly be at least sampled by any adventurous modern reader of comics. Playfully provocative, funny and smart, THE ADVENTURES OF JODELLE pops with a soft-lined splash of lurid color," writes JT Lindroos.
• Review: It's Nice That and look at The Adventures of Jodelle. "Peellaert was every bit the master of his craft and with enviable vision and flair managed to transform a previously safe medium into something exciting and dangerous…It’s intoxicating stuff!" exclaims James Cartwright.
• Interview:HeroesOnline and Seth Peagler interview Ed Piskor about comics, music and Hip Hop Family Tree. Piskor states, "There were some interesting things to look at while writing the book. It’s necessary to know the political/economic climate at the time. The fine art scene plays an integral role in the development of early Hip Hop as well, which many people might not know. If it wasn’t for the downtown scene gravitating toward graffiti culture it could have all died out in the early 80s."
• Review:I Reads You reads Love and Rockets: New Stories #5 by Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez. Leroy Douresseaux writes, "This publishing format is designed to appeal to the people who decide what will make the shelves of bookstores.…this is another volume of New Stories which proves that Love and Rockets is as strong as ever and is ready for 30 more great years."
• Review:Kotaku's roundtable discuss what they did and didn't like about Julio's Day by Gilbert Hernandez. Evan Narcisse posits "I did like how the family lived on the fringes of the 20th Century. It reminded me A LOT of Gabriel Garcia Marquez' 100 Years of Solitude. The weird almost-incest, characters with the same names and weird proclivities, home-as-a-black-hole-you-can't-escape, the outside world as an exotic dangerous place, nature as this karmic equalizer …"
• Interview: Nicole Rudick of The Comics Journal interviews James Romberger and Marguerite Van Cook about 7 Miles A Second and their creative life together. James mentions, "…it is about empathy, the only thing we have that allows us to touch each other. So if there’s anything positive to be taken out of the book, it’s that we should be working toward a more empathetic experience while we’re on the planet."
• Review:Comic Book Resources looks at 50 Girls 50 by Al Williamson. "It’s interesting seeing how different some of the artwork is – Williamson liked science fiction, apparently, and was occasionally bored with the other stories William Gaines or Al Feldstein gave him, but there’s no story here that doesn’t at least offer something sublime…Fantagraphics has done a really nice job bringing a lot of the 1940s/1950s stuff back into print, and if they keep picking such cool stuff like this, I’ll just have to keep buying it!" exclaims Greg Burgas.
• Review:Spectrum Culture looks at'Tain't the Meat by Jack Davis. "Davis was a phenomenal draftsman whose dynamic line work could imbue even static scenes with restless energy, and whose clean but detailed layouts could bring to life queasiness-inducing tableaux of rotting corpses and piled intestines…Al Feldstein and Carl Wessler wrote the lion’s share of these tales and had a knack for mixing cruel irony and creeping dread.…EC has been gone for decades now, but volumes like this help ensure that its influence won’t be forgotten." writes David Maine.
• Review:The Portland Mercury on Dash Shaw's New School. "The experience of reading New School is like temporarily inhabiting the body and brain of an artist: This is what growing up might feel like for someone who lives and breathes colors and shapes," writes Allison Hallett. "It's heady, hallucinatory, and bizarre, but it's grounded in the simple experience of growing up in the shadow of a beloved older sibling."
• Interview: Societe Perrier by Christian J Petersen interview Johnny Ryan. "You seem to be exploring a darkside in your work but you soften the blow with humor. What would your real darkside look like?Prison Pit. "
• Plug: Duckburg Weekly looks at Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 1: Race to Death ValleyandMickey Mouse Volume 2: Trapped on Treasure Island by Floyd Gottfredson. "With Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Classic Collection Fantagraphics Books published a must-have for everyone who's interested in early works of the Walt Disney Company!…[Vol. 1]offers amazing articles about the 'birth' of Mickey Mouse, bonus panels which were never published and different artists in the spotlight (such as Al Taliaferro and Jack King)…Again [in Vol. 2] there is a chapter with incredible bonus material which informs about the villains, Floyd's colleagues and additional comic strips."
• Interview:It's Nice That and James Cartwright interviewed Anders Nilsen about The End, coming out in print this fall. "…some of it is pretty raw, and that’s how I felt at the time. Some of it is funny, too, I think, which is also part of the experience. It can feel very absurd at times. If it feels like a crazy emotional roller coaster to read, then it’s doing the job."
• Review:The Comics Journal reviewed the Kolor Klimaxanothology, edited by Matthias Wivel. Robert Kirby writes, "I found myself drawn back to each several times…That, for me, is the common vibe generated by this and other Euro-comics anthologies: the sense of possibility and novelty that comes from having available a whole new frontier of previously hard-to-come-by alt-comics by accomplished artists to explore. Comics speak a universal, intuitive language, but this 'Nordic Hypnotica' opens Americans up to previously unfamiliar dialects that are a pleasure to read, enjoy, and occasionally decode."
• Review:Kitty Sneezes looks at Drew and Josh Alan Friedman'sAny Similarity to Persons Living or Dead is Purely Coincidental. "Shemp acts both as a beacon of Drew Friedman's amazing artistic skill, but also as a signpost of what you'll find.…strips starring the semi-forgotten figures of old media. Figures like Abbott & Costello, Chet Huntley, Joe Franklin or Tor Johnson come up frequently. I especially love the Tor strips. And usually, though there's a surrealist bent like you'd find in the work of Michael Kupperman, there's usually a sense of love for the work of these people" writes Rev. Syung Myung Me.