The wait is over. Jordan Crane's long sold-out Uptight issues #1 and 2 (plus 3 and 4) are now available via comiXology for your eyes' delight. Adult melancholia and delightful all-ages adventures go side-by-side in this versatile, masterful one-man anthology in stunning black and white detail. Each volume has its own jewels like the tragic ghost story "Take Me Home" in Issue #2. A fan of The Clouds Above? Be sure to check out Simon and Jack's continueing adventures in #4. For the low price of $2.99, you can enjoy solid storytelling and exquisitely drawn comics.
"Luscious... elegant... I fairly swooned." – The Comics Reporter
"There's something very friendly and reassuring about his drawing style. Jordan Crane is without a doubt one of the best guys in the alt comix game right now and my only criticism of him is that I wish he turned out more work. Jordan's making the comics that everyone else is trying to make but unlike them, he's succeeding at it." - Nick Gazin, Vice
"It speaks to Crane’s versatility that he can pull off a slice-of-life relationship story and a fable in the same comic book." – Rob Clough, The Comics Journal
"Gilbert's stories are typically excellent in this issue, as he manages a certain luridness in one story that brings sexuality to the fore, and goes the other direction in a more oblique, subtle story. Of course, the story that got everyone buzzing was the second half of Jaime's "The Love Bunglers", which is an ending for this thirty-year cycle of stories--and one where Jaime sticks the landing with authority."
"This was Bagge's first feature-length Buddy Bradley story in years, and it's a doozy. Buddy, Lisa and young Harold visit Lisa's parents in a story called 'Hell,' and Bagge truly pulls out all the stops in depicting extreme familial weirdness. His dialogue is as sharp as ever, his line is quite lively and his uncanny ability to depict the creeping weirdness of suburbia is even more disturbing than in the initial run of New Jersey stories in Hate."
"Kupperman's 'Quincy, M.E.' story in this issue is a tour-de-force of twisting narrative structures and just plain crazy silliness. Kupperman's art has become increasingly bland as his aesthetic references have changed from 1920s comic strips to 1950s comic books, forcing the reader to perform double-takes at the crazy juxtapositions he creates. If his comics aren't as visually exhausting and exciting as they once were, he still provides an avalanche of ideas and jokes for the reader to sort through."
• Review: "Norwegian cartoonist Jason has returned with more full-color stories populated by lonely, and at times sociopathic, anthropomorphic characters. Cats, dogs, and ducks steal, fight, murder, and drink themselves into oblivion. Although brimming with black humor, the tales are far from ridiculous; the disjunction between the cute creatures and their actions often serves to highlight the despair inherent in their lives. Text is light, as the images drive the narratives. In these spare, mute panels, infused with flat oranges, greens, and browns, small movements covey great meaning and emotion.... Visually exciting, at times hilarious and at times devastating, Athos in America will only add to Jason’s well-deserved reputation as a star of the graphic novel world." – Publishers Weekly
• Review: "This volume [Amazing Mysteries: The Bill Everett Archives Vol. 1] provides an illuminating look at the artist’s numerous attempts at catching Sub-Marineresque lightning in a bottle for a second time, a task that mostly eluded him. The comics studios of the golden age were product mills that threw any idea against the wall in hope it would stick, and Everett did much the same. Forgotten sci-fi and superhero creations, as well as forays into westerns, historical retellings, and crime comics, populate this loaded volume, which reads like it fell straight out of some four-color twilight zone." – Publishers Weekly
• Review: "Over 150 pages of reprints, a brilliant back-of-the-book by Benson running 26 pages, and an introduction by my old buddy, cartoonist/historian Jay Lynch..., this book is a welcome addition to any comics library.... [I]f nothing else, The Sincerest Form of Parody saves you a lot of time separating the wheat from the chaff. But in and of itself, it is a very worthy book – entertaining on his own, and critical from a historical point of view. You should check this one out..." – Mike Gold, ComicMix
• Review: "[Jordan] Crane’s comic, The Last Lonely Saturday, explores the trials and release of life after loss. Crane’s story beautifully follows a husband’s weekly ritual to pay respect to his wife. In no more than a few pages, Crane retells the husband and wife’s entire history. From the comic’s meticulous book design, with its quaint size and the rounded, hand-lettered type in the first pages, readers can expect the story to be heart-warming. But Crane pulls at readers’ heartstrings with surprising grace. While the story is rooted in the traditional American cliché of lovers reunited in the afterlife, the story is told deftly." – Juan Fernandez, The Tartan (via Robot 6)
• Review: "[Freeway] captures the frustration of being stuck in traffic, particularly the array of images (violent and otherwise) that traffic brings to my mind (even better than Falling Down). Like me, Alex also relieves his frustrations with a lot of swearing." – Gene Ambaum, The Unshelved Book Club
• Plug: "I ran into animator Michel Gagné at the Annie Awards last week (where he picked up an Annie for Best Video Game, Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet) and asked him about his next project. Turns out Gagne had been toiling on a labor of love (literally) that has just gone on sale this week.... That book, Young Romance: the Best of Simon & Kirby’s Romance Comics, is not the usual thing we endorse here at Cartoon Brew – but as a life-long Jack Kirby fan and oddball comic book buff, this project is right up my alley.... I’ve ordered my copy and highly recommend it, sight unseen. Thanks, Michel!" – Jerry Beck, Cartoon Brew
• Plug: "Joe Simon and Jack Kirby created Captain America but they literally created the romance comic genre. The pages [of Young Romance] were packed with dialogue and dramatic art as women fought for love." – Will Harris, KOMO News
These books have been out for a while and some low-res images have been floating around but I've been waiting, waiting, waiting for designer Paul Buckley to post them on his Flickr page in all their high-res glory and at last my patience is rewarded! Behold Ivan Brunetti's and Jordan Crane's amazing cover illustrations for the new Penguin Classics Deluxe Editions of the Roald Dahl classics Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach, now available at bookstores near you. But this isn't even the half of it! There's back covers, spines and flaps too — see the full layout of Charliehere and Jameshere.
UPDATE 11/9: Unfortunately, Jordan Crane has to cancel his Toronto appearance, but will hopefully reschedule soon... Stay tuned!
We're excited to announce that long-time comics icon Jordan Crane will be making his first-ever appearance in Toronto on Thursday, December 1st! This is not to be missed!
The awesome crew at The Beguiling bookstore will be hosting Jordan at Clinton's Tavern [ 693 Bloor Street ] for a presentation and discussion of his long history in comics and design. The event kicks off at 8 PM, with Jordan being interviewed on stage, and a Q&A and signing will follow. If you forget your copies of Uptight, there will be books to purchase at the Tavern!
And, earlier that day at 5 PM, you can bring your little ones to Little Island Comics for a signing of his new children's book Keep Our Secrets, written and illustrated by Jordan!
And did we mention? Both events are FREE! Who knows how long it will be before Jordan returns to Toronto? Don't miss out -- go meet him while you can!
They'll be signing copies of the new First Second title Nursery Rhyme Comics, an anthology featuring 50 classic nursery rhymes as depicited by 50 of your favorite comic artists. And their original artwork will be on display tonight for the signing!
So, don't sit on a wall and have a great fall, or fetch a pail of water and go tumbling after --- just head to Secret Headquarters [ 3817 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles ] tonight at 7 PM!
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