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Category >> Jordan Crane

Daily OCD: 9/29/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under maurice fucking sendakJordan CraneJohnny RyanGary GrothGahan Wilson 29 Sep 2009 1:11 PM

Here comes your Online Commentary & Diversions for today:

• Interview: We Love You So, the blog of Spike Jonze's Where the Wild Things Are movie, talks to newly-minted Ignatz winner Jordan Crane, saying "Presenting melancholy tales of workaday worries and broken relationships right alongside whimsical, child-friendly fare, Uptight provides a fascinating peek inside Crane’s constantly shifting thoughts, and never fails to entertain." From Jordan: "When I’m writing something I usually have a particular person in mind that I’m writing it for. Not a general thing like 'I’m writing for someone between the ages of 25 and 50' but rather an actual person."

• Plug: "Oh yes, it's finally here — Johnny Ryan's bloody sexual fight comic [Prison Pit Book 1], ...a two-fisted smash-up of international comics influence and the universal joy of tight-wound one-on-one combat, so tight that everything that comes out of a body becomes a weapon, and doesn't that have a way of mixing pleasure and pain? ... I liked this a hell of a lot." – Joe McCulloch, Jog - The Blog

• Events: Michael Cavna of the Washington Post lists his SPX highlights, including talking to Gary Groth and seeing Gahan Wilson

Uptight by Jordan Crane: Double Ignatz Winner!
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under sales specialsJordan Craneawards 27 Sep 2009 1:14 PM

Uptight #3 by Jordan Crane

Congratulations to Jordan Crane, who took home two bricks last night at the 2009 Ignatz Awards at SPX: Outstanding Comic for Uptight #3 and Outstanding Series for Uptight. Outstanding! Several sites have the complete list of winners — we'll link to The Daily Cross Hatch since they have video of the ceremony. And don't forget, all of our 2009 Ignatz Award nominees are still on sale for 15% off!

Family Tree-house Party
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tim HensleyJordan Cranejeffrey brownevents 18 Sep 2009 9:16 AM

The Simpsons' Treehouse of Horror #15 cover by Dan Zettwoch

The Family bookstore in L.A. is having a humdinger of a signing and art show on Tuesday Sept. 22 at 7 PM for the release of the new issue of The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror that some wags have dubbed "Krusty's Ergot" for its lineup of art comics superstar contributors. Signing at the event: Sammy Harkham, Jeffrey Brown (his first L.A. signing, apparently), Jordan Crane, Tim Hensley, and Simpsons overmind Matt Groening. The Family blog has more info on the issue and event, plus sneak peeks at the issue and art show. It's gonna be bigger than BiMonSciFiCon!

First Look: Fantagraphics Releases for December 2009
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Steven WeissmanRobert CrumbpreviewsNewaveJordan CraneHo Che AndersonDennis the MenaceComing Attractions 11 Sep 2009 6:47 AM

KING: THE SPECIAL EDITION

We just turned in our listings for the October issue of Previews, for our releases scheduled for December. The issue won't be out for a few more weeks, but you can get a first look at what's on tap right here! Spoiler alert: it includes King: The Special Edition by Ho Che Anderson, the Newave! anthology of 1980s underground minicomix, the new volume of Hank Ketcham's Complete Dennis the Menace, a new edition of the out-of-print 12th volume of The Complete Crumb Comics, Uptight #4 by Jordan Crane, and Chocolate Cheeks by Steven Weissman! Another great month full of great comics -- the Fantagraphics juggernaut juggers on!

Daily OCD: 9/8/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tim LaneThe Comics JournalreviewsPrince ValiantMichael KuppermanLove and RocketsKevin HuizengaJordan CraneJacques TardiHumbugHal FosterGilbert HernandezDash ShawBasil Wolverton 8 Sep 2009 4:03 PM

Some major comics writing out there over the holiday weekend making for an extra-beefy (and late) Online Commentary & Diversions update:

•Review/Profile: "Sure I'd read [Hal] Foster before, but I'd never found a way in. Fortunately, Fantagraphics recently released Prince Valiant Vol. 1: 1937-38, and I was able to absorb the material in a wholly new way.... I found this first book completely engrossing. Prince Valiant opens up a world that I wanted to stay in -- a wide-eyed early 20th century approach to fantasy with a now-vanished sincerity and wholesomeness. It's an all too rare pleasure in comics." - Dan Nadel, Comics Comics

• Review: "Medieval swordplay and adventure have never been as glorious as in Foster's Sunday-only comic strip. Although much reprinted (including an earlier version from the same publisher), this edition has been reproduced from pristine printer's proofs to give the gorgeous artwork its crispest version ever.... Foster's script is literate and full of vivid characterizations, like the headstrong but cunning Val and carefree Sir Gawain. But nothing surpasses his artwork—rich with details of armor, weapons and dress, the story comes to life with a palpable sense of magic and danger. Each drawing is a flawless illustration, perfectly composed; even a battle of 20 men comes alive in a tiny panel, with every action clearly delineated. Prince Valiant is one of the best-drawn comics ever, and this new edition does ample justice to its achievement." - Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

• Review: "Underneath the screaming and plagues, the giddy joy that [Basil Wolverton] seems to take in his art radiates off the page, just like it does in his secular work.... His creatures from sci-fi and horror, his fascination with grotesque bodily exaggeration, his devout Christian faith -- here it all comes together into an operatic and apocalyptic peak.... The Wolverton Bible might seem like a paradox to its religious audience and its alt-comics fans -- even if Wolverton himself never saw the contradiction." - Martyn Pedler, Bookslut

• Review: "As an historical object, sure, great. I think it should be in print. Kurtzman was a very important figure in comics, and the art and design of the pieces here are of an exceedingly high quality. I'm glad I can see more examples of Jaffee's, Elder's and Davis' work." Otherwise, Chris Allen gives up on Humbug

• Review: Joe McCulloch of Jog - The Blog has a major review of Tardi & Manchette's West Coast Blues -- I've read through it three times and it's too complex for a simple pull quote

• History/preview/profile/analysis: "The 300th issue of The Comics Journal is soon to hit the stands, and the magazine everyone in comics loves to hate rattles on, chugging and sputtering and picking up disreputable beardy guys like a Toonerville Trolley of spite.... In some Inglourious Basterds­-like alternate history, the 1990s ended with the twisted faces of Kim Thompson and Gary Groth hovering, laughing maniacally, over the charred and bullet-riddled corpse of Wizard magazine." - Shaenon K. Garrity, comiXology

• Analysis: du9 presents a new translation by Derik Badman of a 2006 piece by David Turgeon on Poison River by Gilbert Hernandez: "What first strikes the reader about this work is its narrative density. It isn’t uncommon for a single page to show as many places, times, and situations as there are panels." (Via Journalista)

• Interview: Jason Thibault of Optimum Wound talks to Tim Lane as part of their "Masters of Ink" series: "You do what seems the impossible and most absurd: you learn to breathe underwater, and revel in it. Get drunk on the water in your lungs. Cultivate a functional level of positive insanity. And develop tough skin. Stick with it if only because your reasons are inexplicable."

• Interview: The Daily Cross Hatch wraps up presenting Brian Heater's chat with Jordan Crane: "I was in Portugal and I saw a really tiny kid with a really giant cat. He looked exactly like the kid in The Clouds Above. The kid was so small that the cat was the same size as him — it’s not a big cat, but next to him, he was huge. And then I just kind of went from there."

• Plug: "Fantagraphics collected the first four issues of this hysterically random comic [Tales Designed to Thrizzle] into one gigantic visual laugh riot." - Kate Izquierdo, Geek Monthly

• Plug: At Super I.T.C.H., Steven Johnston takes note of Humbug ("much of it is prime satire from the creators of MAD!") and The Wolverton Bible ("particularly including some genuinely horrific scenes from the Book of Revelations").

• Events: See Dash Shaw in Brazil

• Things to see: A trio of new Amazing Facts... and Beyond! with Leon Beyond strips by Kevin Huizenga

Daily OCD: 8/31/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Zippy the PinheadSupermenreviewsPeter BaggePeanutsMaakiesLove and RocketsLilli CarréJordan CraneIvan BrunettieventsEllen ForneyDash ShawBob FingermanB Krigstein 31 Aug 2009 3:07 PM

Our final Online Commentary & Diversions for August '09 brings a rich cornucopia of links:

• List: Alan David Doane of Comic Book Galaxy is, I believe, the first out of the gate with a definitive "Best Comics of the Decade" list, which includes Mome, our two B. Krigstein books, The Complete Peanuts, the Love and Rockets omnibuses, Maakies, Zippy the Pinhead, and a complete Fanta sweep of the "Works on the Subject of Comics" category

• List: An old link that just popped up in my search feed: ComicCritique.com's Adam McGovern gives out some best-of-2008 awards, with The Lagoon by Lilli Carré tied for Graphic Novel of the Year ("Carré’s artisanal eccentricity carves intricate patterns and masklike faces into pages that stand like the folk-art furnishings of vanished but vivid earlier societies") and Carré tied with Grant Morrison for the M.C. Escher Prize for Non-Sequential Art ("Morrison and Carré are two creators at the cutting edge of both storytelling craft and conversational physics who make us uncommonly aware of the presence of time.")

• Review: "Love and Rockets: New Stories #2. The Hernandez Brothers have been producing such consistently good comics for such a long time that I often feel they get taken for granted. But their recent comics [don't] just maintain their high level of previous achievement, they also have a freshness and liveliness that any young artist would envy." - Jeet Heer, Robot 6

• Review: "More than anything, [Peter] Bagge's work does what it always does with perfection, which is capture people doing exactly what people really do, and how they often think when they think that nobody else thinks that they are thinking it (sorry). His art is constantly moving, perpetually fluid, and instantly recognizable to a 21st century American culture raised on Tex Avery and Bob Clampett cartoons. Whether you agree with his politics or not, Everybody Is Stupid [Except for Me] is thought-provoking and, most importantly, hilarious." - Monster on a Rope

• Plug: "Supermen! The First Wave Of Comic Book Heroes 1936-1941 edited by Greg Sadowski (2009) – I’ve always gotten a kick out of early comics. They’re anti-art in action. Irrational, crude and daffily violent. Kinda like early punk rock." - M. Ace, Irregular Orbit

• Analysis: For The Hooded Utilitarian, Ng Suat Tong examines the current state of comics criticism by surveying reviews of Dash Shaw's Bottomless Belly Button

• Interview: The Daily Cross Hatch posts the second of three parts of Brian Heater's interview with Jordan Crane: "The art—those are the tools I use to transfer the story. Pictures, words—those are the conveyance of the story. The important thing is the story, so once I get my tools there, I convey the story in a way I want to."

• Profile: Amy Stewart visited Ellen Forney in her studio: "There are only certain kinds of comics that interest me: I prefer the true-to-life ones that are well-drawn, have stories I can relate to, and make me laugh, cry, or think. Ellen does all three, in spades."

• Events: Chicagoans, catch Ivan Brunetti as a panelist on the next "Show 'n Tell Show," a live talk show devoted to design, next Saturday Sept. 6 at 9 PM

• Things to see: Bob Fingerman shares some preliminary thumbnail sketches for Connective Tissue

Daily OCD: 8/25/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tim LanereviewsMichael KuppermanLove and RocketsJordan CraneJaime HernandezFrom Wonderland with LoveDash Shaw 25 Aug 2009 1:52 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions starts with a bang:

• Review: "...[A]n astonishingly rich and convincing picture of uncertain, developing human relationships. Besides the masterful storytelling, [Locas II: Maggie, Hopey & Ray] is notable for superb black and white artwork. Panel by panel and page by page, it's a delight to watch darkness crowding into open space, while supple linework dances freely in its allotted territory. This is a landmark in comics literature." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

• Review: "From Wonderland with Love is an excellent introduction to the part of the Danish comics scene that tries to push the boundaries of the medium – and in particular to the “wild bunch” that emerged at the beginning of this millennium. If you’re an open-minded reader, there’s no getting past this book, even if it – as a Dane – at times feels a bit odd to read Danish comics in English. […] If you love the place where art challenges the status quo and moves the fence posts, gaining new land in the process, you’ll feel right at home here." - Ulf Reese Næsborg, tegneseriesiden (updated with new translation from the author - thanks Ulf)

• Review: "[From Wonderland with Love] is a beautiful book, full of very different temperaments and different styles. All comics are from the 21st century and together they show both the great width and breadth of Danish comics. There are quiet, direct, hard hitting stories... And there are more poetic, allegorical, dreamy stories... And if you want new, interesting and strange, look no further." - Fredrik Strömberg, Sekventiellt (books by Strömberg)

• Interview: At Marvel.com, Sean T. Collins continues his series of Strange Tales MAX contributor interviews with Michael Kupperman: "People are going to be very interested in the changes I've made to the Marvel canon. They're probably going to have to scrap everything they've ever published and start over. The new version of SECRET WARS is going to be called OVERT WARS."

• Interview: The Daily Cross Hatch's Brian Heater kicks off a 3-part talk with Jordan Crane: "Well, I’m trying to make [Uptight] less sporadic. I want to do it two times a year, solid. It’s been kind of a chaotic last couple of years. So now I’m focusing everything I can on it."

• Interviewer: At Comics Comics, Dash Shaw questions Hope Larson about working with editors

• Things to say: Chip the Dancin' Fool as rendered by Tim Lane

2009 Ignatz Awards nominees - 15% off!
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tim LaneTim HensleyTed StearnT Edward Bakstaffsales specialsRichard SalaMomeLilli CarréJosh SimmonsJordan CraneGabriella GiandelliDash ShawCarol Tylerawards 24 Aug 2009 3:10 PM
We received the list of our nominees for this year's Ignatz Awards. It's a good lookin' list, and we're especially proud to have staffer Jason T. Miles nominated for Outstanding Comic! As is traditional, we've put all of our nominated titles on sale -- 15% off for a limited time! Click here to browse & buy. Recipients of the brick will be announced at SPX on September 26. For all the nominees, head to the SPX website for the official announcement.
 
Outstanding Artist
Tim Hensley, Mome (Fantagraphics), Kramer's Ergot #7 (Buenaventura)
Richard Sala, Delphine (Fantagraphics/Coconino)
Josh Simmons, Mome (Fantagraphics)
Carol Tyler, You'll Never Know, Book One: A Good and Decent Man (Fantagraphics)
 
Outstanding Anthology or Collection
Abandoned Cars, Tim Lane (Fantagraphics)
Fuzz and Pluck: Splitsville by Ted Stearn (Fantagraphics)
 
Outstanding Graphic Novel
 
Outstanding Story
"The Carnival," Mome #14, Lilli Carré (Fantagraphics)
 
Outstanding Series
Delphine, Richard Sala (Fantagraphics/Coconino)
Interiorae, Gabriella Giandelli (Fantagraphics/Coconino)
Uptight, Jordan Crane (Fantagraphics)
 
Outstanding Comic
Interiorae #3, Gabriella Giandelli (Fantagraphics/Coconino)
Uptight #3, Jordan Crane (Fantagraphics)
Dead Ringer, Jason T. Miles (La Mano)
 
Congratulations to everybody, including T. Edward Bak, nominated for Outstanding New Talent even before his amazing Mome story was eligible, and Dash Shaw, nominated for Outstanding Online Comic for Bodyworld.
Daily OCD: 8/24/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tim LanereviewsPrince ValiantPeter BaggePeanutsPaul HornschemeierNell BrinkleyMomeJordan CraneJasonHal FosterDave CooperDash ShawCharles M SchulzCharles BurnsCarol TylerBlazing CombatAl Columbia 24 Aug 2009 1:56 PM

A new week brings an avalanche of new Online Commentary & Diversions:

• Profile: For the Philadelphia Inquirer, Tirdad Derakhshani looks at the past, present, and future of Prince Valiant: "The release Tuesday of Prince Valiant, Vol. 1: 1937-1938, the first in a new series of gorgeously printed, hardcover Valiant collections from Fantagraphics Books, served as a bittersweet reminder of the century-long rise and eventual decline of a great American art form, the comic strip."

• Review: "...Al [Columbia] decided to dredge up old ghosts, unfinished pieces, trifles he had thrown away then reconsidered and offered them up to us as proof that he hasn’t forgotten us. This 240-page book [Pim and Francie: The Golden Bear Days, Fall 2009]... has certainly filled in some gaps for me as to what goes on in Columbia’s mind... There seems to be something both amazing and horrifying around every corner, in any dark space, in the thick of the forest, in the bulbous eyes of maniacal creatures and the straight realistic lines of buildings that all have a dark window somewhere... It is truly a viscous treat and I am sure this one will never wash off." - Rachael M Rollson, Panel to Panel

• Review: "Though Low Moon doesn’t have the slow-building impact of Jason’s longer works, he’s still one of comics’ best storytellers, and it’s always a treat to spend time in his world of off-brand pulp clichés and not-always-so-funny animals. [Grade] B+" - The A.V. Club

• Review: "Jason is an immensely skilled artist capable of manipulating his self-restricted vocabulary to stretch space and time. Low Moon moves in a slow burn as the two antagonists move closer to their eventual showdown. In what is probably the best story in the book You Are Here, time moves more quickly as a father and son attempt to deal with the alien abduction of the father's wife. The father builds a rocket while the son grows up and has a life of his own. Eventually they pile into the rocket, and things end badly, but perhaps a bit more emotionally than with the other stories." - Michael Buntag, NonSensical Words

• Review: "Rage of a different kind in Everybody Is Stupid Except for Me and Other Astute Observations by Peter Bagge. This collection of satirical rants from the American libertarian magazine Reason... is philosophically more about punk individualism than Ayn Rand, and artistically the heir to 1980s indie comics. Indeed, Bagge is an indie star, famous for his wonderfully elastic cartooning style and punk-inflected comedies." - Roger Sabin, The Observer

• Review: "These are good comics [in Everybody Is Stupid Except for Me and Other Astute Observations], fun to read and definitely funny, definitely searing and when he hits a target he gets it right. Also there’s something to be said for the journalist tone of the writing and the structure of the strips would translate well into a proper newspaper, were he so inclined." - Ibrow

• Review: "For fresh talent in comics, you have to go to the anthologies and there's none better at the moment than Mome... the highlight [of Vol. 15] is Dash Shaw's hallucinatory story about a tidal wave, which uses swaths of colour and elongated panels to create a sense of vertigo." - Roger Sabin, The Observer (same link as above)

• Review: "Schulz had gone from a fairly grounded sense of consensus reality to Snoopy's flights of fancy to outright weirdness... That seems to be the essence of Sparky Schulz to me: even with the pressure of the daily grind and his position as the lynchpin of what had become a vast empire, Schulz wrote to amuse himself... At his best in this volume [The Complete Peanuts 1973-1974], Schulz gave the readers some of the best stories of his career." - Rob Clough

• Review: "Ace cartoonist Jordan Crane makes a curious split comic choice. The first half [of Uptight #3 ], 'Vicissitude,' is the opening chapter of a brooding adult tale of marital dysfunction and deceit, while the second, 'Freeze Out,' is a kid’s story, the further adventures of Simon and his cat Jack, who were featured in Crane’s great graphic novel, The Clouds Above. Miraculously, the pairing works — each is superior in its own genre — but you might want to wait until 'Freeze Out' is collected on its own before showing it to your kids." - John Seven, Worcester Magazine

• Review: "Blazing Combat (Fantagraphics, 2009) collects the entire run in a beautiful, incredibly well-bound hardcover book... The stories' tone is very 1960s, ironic with a cynicism stemming from brokenhearted humanism." - Carol Borden, The Cultural Gutter

• Review: "Needless to say, I love the streak of darkness that permeates [Charles] Burns' work. I mean that both figuratively and literally, as his one-of-a-kind illustration style is at-a-glance recognizable because of his heavy use of black ink... That starkness emphasizes the cruel features on the faces of his characters - deep wrinkles, harsh teeth, beady eyes and unflattering noses, to say nothing of the occasional freak. Like the look of his characters, Burns is one of a kind, and Skin Deep is a good introduction to the man's singular vision - a good way to get your toe wet before diving in." - Rod Lott, Bookgasm

• Review: "[A.B.] Frost looked like he was painting with the line…on a half-dozen cups of coffee. Trust me, that’s hard to do... Also, it looks like Fanta-Graphic Books might have brought Stuff and Nonsense back in print in 2003. [Yes. -Ed.] Pick up and copy and be ready to weep - this work is untouchable." - Tony DiTerlizzi

• Plug: "Carol Tyler's You'll Never Know is my favorite book of the year thus far. This memoir/biography/scrapbook is both formally challenging and emotionally devastating. Any critic serious about compiling a year-end list needs to keep this book under consideration." - Rob Clough, Robot 6 (guest contributor)

• Tweet: "Still, the most beautifully designed bk so far this yr is still IMO Fantagraphics 'The Brinkley Girls': http://bit.ly/CSYpH Swoon-worthy." - bookjones

• Things to see: Mark Murphy shares some convention sketches, including Dave Cooper, Paul Hornschemeier and many others

• Things to see: Tim Lane ponders "What would it be like to punt the Venus of Willendorf into outer space from the surface of the moon?” and "...but WHAT about THE CHILDREN?"

Photo preview & wallpaper: Uptight #3 by Jordan Crane
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under wallpaperspreviewsJordan Crane 3 Aug 2009 4:02 PM

Uptight #3 by Jordan Crane - front cover by you.

A few more photos from the backlog for you, this time of Uptight #3 by Jordan Crane. The slideshow player is embedded below; if it's not visible to you, or to see it full-screen (recommended), click here; if you don't like slideshows, browse here.

BONUS! We've turned Jordan's stunning cover image into a desktop & mobile wallpaper in a variety of sizes; download below! 


800 x 600 | 1024 x 768 | 1152 x 864 | 1280 x 960 | 1280 x 720 | iPhone