Updates of Online Commentary & Diversions may be oddly timed for the rest of the week as we're eyeball deep in MoCCA preparations.
• Review: "[Harvey] Kurtzman and company aimed high for a more sophisticated humor mag than the competition... Fantagraphics’ package for it is bar none — handsome, sturdy and restored with great care... I was most interested in the behind-the-scenes story of Humbug and the creative process that went into it — not to mention doomed it — and the book’s introduction and exclusive interviews more than satisfy on that count." - Rod Lott, Bookgasm
• Review: "In a way, Humbugalmost feels like a goof-humor version of The New Yorker or something. There’s a lot of fairly serious political/social commentary, cloaked in wry rainment. It’s a blend as interesting as any cocktail, and it’s goddamn great to have this stuff easily available. Hats away!" - Byron Coley & Thurston Moore, Arthur Magazine
• Review: "...[U]nparallel parodists Kurtzman and Elder ran rampant for themselves when they published these 11 exceptional issues of comic art anarchy. This two-volume hardcover box set has been reproduced from the original art and digitally restored to make everything look even better than when it first came out in 1957. This long-overdue definitive edition of Humbug is an essential slice of satire from the masters of the genre." - Jeffrey Morgan, Detroit Metro Times
• Review: "Everybody Is Stupid Except For Me [is] a compilation of the notorious Seattle libertarian [Peter Bagge]’s politically (and sexually) charged comics for Reason magazine... It’s great. So colourful (always my favourite part of Pete’s comics) and acerbic and smart-ass, but with a heart and purpose behind the bickering and keenly observes caricatures... It’s too early to say now, but right now I’m thinking it’s perhaps my favourite stuff of his, full stop..." - Everett True
• Review: "Connective Tissue... make[s] for an engaging read... While Darla sounds like she could be a handful, she is a good and sympathetic protagonist, making her a modern-day Alice in a 21st century Wonderland." - Jason Borelli, Beyond Race Magazine
• Preview: Spotlighting comics shipping this week, The Comics Reporter says of Uptight #3: "The previous issue of this series from the great Jordan Crane was super, super strong." Likewise, Chris Mautner at Robot 6: "The latest issue in Jordan Crane’s very good series about ghosts and melancholy comes to town. I feel we should be doing all we can to ensure Crane keeps making comics, don’t you?" And Matthew Brady says: "I missed the second issue of this series, but the first one was great... Check it out if you see it on the shelves."
• Profile: My Adventure Is Your Advantage spotlights the design work of our very own Art Director Jacob Covey, calling him "the bees knees of design" and presenting previously unseen previews of the forthcoming Abstract Comics anthology
• Profile: "[Dash] Shaw's online and bound comics inhabit surreal spaces both cerebral and emotional, leaping from zombie love stories to futuristic set pieces without resorting to predictability... It's probably safe to say he has arrived." - Wired
• Interview: Publishers Weekly's Heidi MacDonald asks our own Eric Reynolds for his thoughts about Book Expo America and its value for comics publishers like us; The Comics Reporter's Tom Spurgeon comments on the interview; meanwhile, The Daily Cross Hatch's Brian Heater gets a few words from Eric on the show floor
Scheduled to arrive in comics shops this week: Uptight #3 by Jordan Crane.
Comic shops will be getting this item before we have it in stock ourselves, due to the intricacies of shipping and distribution, so once again the Wednesday Warriors win out! As always, check with your local shop to confirm availability.
(Note that our description of the issue has been updated to reflect the issue's contents; the story "Keeping Two" does not appear in this issue.)
• Review: "Jaime [Hernandez]'s entry [in Love and Rockets: New Stories #1]... is like a huge riff on what might have happened if superhero comics started their evolutionary path by focusing on more female-centered concerns instead of testosterone-fueled fisticuffs... Gilbert's contributions are hard to describe, mainly because they are so surreal. They really have to be experienced and interpreted on your own." - John Jakala, Sporadic Sequential
Uh oh, I'm starting to post Twitter reviews. We're through the looking glass here, people.
• Review: "Jaime Hernandez again shows mastery in portraying both recognizable situations and complex emotions [in The Education of Hopey Glass]. The illustrations are beautiful. The man has achieved perfection with his drawing style." - Koen (translated from Dutch)
• Review: "Linda Medley's Castle Waiting... [is a] beautifully designed volume... 457 pages of glorious black and white illustration... The artwork is absolutely charming, hearkening back to older pen-and-ink styles, but with a cartoony touch to it. The characters are individually realized, both by the art and the writing... This would be a good comic book to give to younger people, perhaps especially if you know a girl who likes comics but is turned off by more mainstream fare... The twining of the fairy tales with the story is deftly and delightfully done. I love this series." - Little Bits of Everything
• Review: "Tales Designed to Thrizzle #5... [is] a comedy rag and reads like Monty Python writing a comic: lots of absurdity and naughty silliness coupled with incorrect history and ever-so-subtle statements here and there. Plus the art is spectacular! Michael Kupperman really makes it feel like you're reading some weird alternate-universe cartoon book from the 30s or something and it just makes the whole thing feel so weird, it's great!" - Timmy Williams, The Daily Cross Hatch
• Review: "Blazing Combat from Fantagraphics. Outstanding 1960's Warren goodness. Archie Goodwin et al. artists at their best." - John Siuntres (Word Balloon), on Twitter
• Plug: "I also came upon Michael Kupperman's Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 1. Even though I've read most of this material in periodical form, it's still a joy to revisit Kupperman's absurd, hilarious universe." - Chris Mautner, Robot 6 "What Are You Reading?" [ed. note: I'm going to have this book up for pre-order here on the website this week if it kills me]
L to R: Gilbert Hernandez, Natalia Hernandez & Jaime Hernandez.
Fuck hyperbole. Just fuck it. It doesn't exist when it comes to Gilbert & Jaime Hernandez. Is there any doubt, ANY DOUBT WHATSOEVER, that they are two of the greatest cartoonists? I dare you.
The exquisite and lovely Jean Schulz signs copies of The Complete Peanuts. I've been left astounded, the handful of times I've had the good fortune to chat with Jean Schulz at Comic-Con. She radiates calm just by saying "Hello," and that's saying something considering the din and cacophony of Comic-Con.
At his booth, Jordan Crane "takes a call." Look at all that beauitful stuff!
Sammy The Mouse author zak Sally studies his phone. I'm not sure which day it was, but after the show we went to this burrito place for eats. I was in line to order and about every 30 seconds or so I'd hear some form of befuddlement or rage coming from our table and I'd look over to see zak laughing and cursing at his phone like a crazy person. So I took a picture.
There is no reason for a cup to be this large... I have certain dietary restrictions when I'm at Comic-Con... I must eat burritos every night and I insist on drinking pop from a bucket! Free refills!
I had a great time at San Diego Comic Con 2008! I've been going for about 6 years in a row and each new year it swells and festers, expands and quivers like a giant quivering zit. I love it! Here are some photos...
I really like this photo of Jim Woodring. Raconteur of Blue Collar Surrealism and Cartoon Mysticism, Jim Woodring is a hero of mine, and has been since I was twelve! He is a constant source of sage wisdom, a profitable dawning of understanding and articulating human as well as immortal folly; Jim's work continues to alter my experience.
This is the last book I would've imagined finding at Comic-Con. I highly recommend you find a copy of Kenneth Patchen's The Walking-Away World and Jim's introduction nails it.
(L to R: Dan Nadel, Paul Karasik & Jordan Crane)
Like his work, Paul is replete with useful information... it's the kind of information that escapes most folks... and if you don't know what I'm talking about you need to track down a copy of Bad News #2. I like this photo because it looks like he's giving a lesson.
(L to R: Jordan Crane, Paul Karasik, Dan Nadel & Jim Woodring)
Isn't this great!? Maybe it's just me, but I love how impassioned Dan looks, how considerate Paul looks, how mischievous Jordan looks and then there's Jim to the far right, hard at work drawing another PERFECT Frank head.