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Category >> Kevin Avery

Daily OCD: 5/3/12
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Zak SallyTed JouflasreviewsPaul Nelsonnicolas mahlerKrazy KatKevin AveryJasonGeorge HerrimanGabriella GiandelliDaily OCDBlake BellBill Everett 4 May 2012 12:16 AM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Krazy & Ignatz 1922-1924: At Last My Drim of Love Has Come True

List: George Herriman on The New York Times Best Sellers list! Krazy & Ignatz 1922-1924 debuts at #2 on the list for Paperback Graphic Books

Interiorae

Review: "The white rabbit who serves as our guide suggests Alice in Wonderland, but despite fantastical touches, Interiorae is much more concerned with the world as it presents itself. Intertwining the lives of the people who live in an apartment complex, it’s in some sense a book-length meditation on a rather beautiful idea, that the day-to-day lives of all the little people aren’t just worth paying attention to, but are essential to the very fabric of the spaces we inhabit. Giandelli doesn’t entirely avoid mushy sentimentality nor the excesses of an open heart — absolutely no one is deserving of even so much as mild criticism here, which feels more naive than accepting — but her feel for our inner lives, as well as a visual style that evokes the richness of life as she sees it, win out in the end." – David Berry, National Post

Angelman

Review: "Nicolas Mahler’s childishly cute drawings put an adorable face on a satire with a pretty deep cynicism with the superhero comics industry. A creation of Korporate Komics, Angelman is pink dumpling with wings, blessed with the superpowers of sensitivity, open-mindedness and being a good listener, at least until focus groups and lagging sales put him through a gritty reboot and a some deep-seated neuroses about being a second-rate hero. Mahler’s points about corporate art certainly don’t aim for subtlety, but that doesn’t make them any less true, and a droll sense of humour keeps things from getting too preachy." – David Berry, National Post

Athos in America

Review: "Athos in America... is another collection of graphic novellas and graphic short stories from master of deadpan presentation Jason in the style of Low Moon, and, as with the release of all new work from Jason, a cause for celebration.... This book is chock-full of examples of Jason’s inspired appropriation of classic trash pop culture, and his repurposing of it in formally experimental (or is playful a better word?) explorations of the human experiment.... Jason’s comics are among the hardest in the world to review, as it’s difficult to say anything beyond 'Well, that was perfect' in terms of assessment, and the specific magic he works is so difficult to describe in words, and so easy to communicate by simply pointing to a random volume of his work and saying, 'Hey, check this out.'" – J. Caleb Mozzocco, Robot 6

Amazing Mysteries: The Bill Everett Archives Vol. 1

Review: "For a list price of $39.99... this book [Amazing Mysteries] does a wonderful job of showing off Bill [Everett]’s early work and lets us learn a lot about the man. .... Bill was an enormous talent for telling stories. Bill’s work, often as writer and artist holds up much better then many other artists from his time. This volume is a lot of fun as you can flip through it and see how much Bill played with layouts and panel design.... Bill was an amazing talent.... Bill’s style is so distinct it is often easy to tell when he did all the work. Bottom line for a good collection of a master in his early days, this book is hard to beat." – Jim Martin, Comics and... Other Imaginary Tales

Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson

Review: "There are only a handful of rock journalists who could have a collection of their work seem like a necessity, and Paul Nelson would be at the very top of that list.... Kevin Avery's book [Everything Is an Afterthought] gathers many of Nelson's finest pieces, most for Rolling Stone magazine... As amazing as all those stories are, it's also Avery's riveting biographical chapter on Paul Nelson that really takes a sledgehammer to the soul. Weaving together the recollections of many of Nelson's peers, the portrait we're left is of a man that struggled to maintain a hold on reality, finding higher enjoyment in the world of the mind.... Paul Nelson took what was already life-changing, and the way he saw it and could speak about it, made it even more thrilling. Now we can celebrate him all over again." – Bill Bentley, The Morton Report

Zak Sally author photo, 2009

Profile: The lead-in to TCAF at Canada's National Post continues with David Berry talking to Zak Sally: "His latest book, Sammy the Mouse, had an original home as part of Fantagraphics’ Ignatz series, but is now being collected and bound by Sally himself, by hand in his Minnesota studio. The world of Sammy reflects this hands-on approach: it feels immediate and lived-in, almost less like a story than a tour of Sally’s internal brain architecture, with a slight misanthropy and freewheeling visual style that recall work like Chester Brown’s Yummy Fur. 'For me, finding those first underground comics was incredible,' says Sally, who got his start reading superhero tales, but was quickly turned. 'It turned comics into something you realized you could just do yourself: just get your s–t together and do it.'"

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/covers/thumbs/bookcover_filthy.jpg

Plug: There aren't enough shout-outs to Ted Jouflas. Here's one from The Comics Reporter

Daily OCD: 4/20/12
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewsPaul NelsonPat ThomasKevin AveryDaniel ClowesDaily OCD 20 Apr 2012 10:46 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Listen, Whitey! The Sights and Sounds of Black Power 1965-1975

Review: "Record collecting was an engagement with mystery. [Pat] Thomas understands this and his book, Listen, Whitey, which documents the pieces -- both lauded and obscure -- of the recording element within the Black Power movement of the 1960s and ‘70s.... These small discs were part of the overall effort that allowed African Americans to get real information about the Black Power Movement, to let them know they weren't alone, to show them ways to be involved, to stoke ideas and energy, and to provide catharsis. Thomas mines this territory to construct a richly illustrated history of a time when revolution was damn hard, and it left reminders that it once existed." – John Seven, North Adams Transcript

Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson

Scene: At SLUG Magazine, Chris Proctor reports from Kevin Avery's book reading of Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson at Salt Lake City's The King's English bookshop: "Hearing him read these quotes aloud brought to life the already clear picture I had of Nelson from reading Avery’s book myself."

Mr. Clowes, we present you with the Katzenjammer Medallion for comic excellence!

Scene: Culture blogger Philip Utley of Kellygreen reviews the Daniel Clowes retrospective exhibit — "There’s a quiet, clever intelligence to his work. He can also be harsh and sexually frank. Which, of course, totally offends me. So, when a show of his work came to the newly renovated Oakland Museum of California, I pulled out my dildo and jumped in the car." — with a bunch of close-up photos of the artwork

Daily OCD: 4/12-4/13/12
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Steve DitkoSignificant ObjectsShannon WheelerRob WalkerRichard SalareviewsPaul NelsonPaul HornschemeierPat ThomasLove and RocketsKevin AveryJosh SimmonsJoost SwarteJaime HernandezinterviewsGilbert HernandezGary PanterDaily OCDBlake Bell 14 Apr 2012 1:06 AM

Today's (and yesterday's when it was slow) Online Commentary & Diversions:

Is That All There Is?

Review: "The Dutch artist and designer Joost Swarte has a tremendous reputation among cartoon-art aficionados, given his tiny body of comics work. The answer to the title of his 40-year retrospective, Is That All There Is?, is: 'Pretty much, yeah.'... Plot is beside the point. Swarte is more concerned with formal purity, and with making the deep structures of cartooning visible. He pares his art to mechanical, hard-edged vectors and curves: caricature triple-distilled into symbolic visual shorthand, with every line canted just so. His geometrically precise, nearly architectural drawings are the bridge between the Tintin creator Hergé and contemporary artists like Chris Ware, who wrote this volume’s foreword." – Douglas Wolk, The New York Times

Mysterious Traveler

Review: "Now we're talkin'! The first two volumes in Fantagraphics' Steve Ditko Archives (edited by Blake Bell) were rewarding collections of the offbeat auteur's early work, and among the best archival books of horror comics published in the last several years. But in volume 3, a.k.a. Mysterious Traveler, we see Ditko's lunacy reach its full maturation... The bold dynamism and moody linework that would characterize Ditko's Spider-Man and Dr. Strange work just a few years later, as well as his horror tales for Creepy and Eerie, is in evident throughout.... Volume 3 is essential for classic horror comics fans, and further cements Ditko's reputation as an artist without peer." – Joseph McCabe, FearNet

Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson

Review: "Kevin Avery has compiled an incredibly thorough account of one of folk and rock music’s most important critics of the 20th Century: Paul Nelson. Avery reveals Paul Nelson as not just a music critic, but also a true writer who loved his subject matter possibly more than anything else. After reading, I felt that I knew more about Nelson than simply his life’s accomplishments—I knew him as the man he was: an observer who secluded himself with his books, film and music." – SLUG Magazine

Mad Night

Review: "Madcap university mystery. Girl detective Judy Drood, with the hapless Kasper Keene, investigates the disappearances of girls on campus. Beautiful young women (some dressed like pirates), monstrous old men (some of them professors), photography, a puppet, and a misguided quest for eternal youth all figure in.... The dark edge in Sala’s other work is fully expressed here [in Mad Night]. The book is incredibly violent (though the dark, woodcut-like art makes it feel absurd). Here’s a body count by how victims meet their end..." – Gene Ambaum, The Unshelved Book Club

The Furry Trap

Plug: "Published three years ago in an indie porn comic, Josh Simmons’ 'Cockbone' remains a high water mark for today’s horror comic.... The Furry Trap will collect that story, along with ten others being described by the publisher as 'hard-edged horror.' You already know if you can handle this stuff, so if you can, it’s time to start counting days. Eli is, most definitely, coming." – Tucker Stone, "Flavorpill's 10 Most Anticipated Comics Releases, April-July 2012"

Dal Tokyo

Plug: "While it’s a bit of an exaggeration to call Dal Tokyo Panter’s lost masterpiece, it certainly hasn’t been the easiest thing to come by. That’s to be the case for anything that’s serialized over the course of multiple years, multiple publications, and two different continents. Thankfully, the entire book has finally found a home at Fantagraphics, and those of us without access to early-’80s copies of the LA Reader can finally experience 'a future Mars that is terraformed by Texan and Japanese workers' as only Gary Panter — one of the most influential cartoonists alive — can provide. For some of us, this book has been a long time coming." – Tucker Stone, "Flavorpill's 10 Most Anticipated Comics Releases, April-July 2012"

Listen, Whitey! The Sights and Sounds of Black Power 1965-1975

Interview (Audio): "Listen and see how well I survived this one! The interviewer grilled my ass off," says Pat Thomas of his interview today on KUOW Presents to discuss Listen, Whitey! The Sights and Sounds of Black Power 1965-1975 and in particular former Black Panther leader Elaine Brown

Interview (Audio): Yesterday's Pat Thomas radio guest spot to discuss and spin Listen, Whitey! on The Hear and Now on Berkeley's listener-powered KPFA can be streamed from their website for another couple of weeks

Interview (Audio): Stream last week's chat and DJ set with Listen, Whitey! author Pat Thomas on KCRW with host Mathieu Schreyer, who says "This book is a great read and the topic is ever relevant."

Significant Objects

Contest: Read the winning stories (and all the other entrants) in Studio 360's Significant Objects Story Contest

Oil and Water

List: Who are the Top Ten Oregon Cartoonists? Anne Richardson of the Oregon Movies, A to Z blog lists Oil and Water artist Shannon Wheeler among them

The Three Paradoxes

Analysis (Video): At his  blog, Paul Hornschemeier shares video of two "talks given during my recent graphic novelist's residency at Thurber House in Columbus, Ohio. Tammy Birk (Professor of English, Otterbein University) discusses themes in Mother, Come Home while Ryan Jordan (Department of Philosophy, The Ohio State University) examines the nature of paradoxes in general, using Zeno's paradoxes in The Three Paradoxes as a launching point."

Beyond Palomar

Analysis: At where else but The Hooded Utilitarian: "'Lightning Only Strikes Twice Once, Y'Know': Phallic Mothers, Fetishism, and Replacement in the Comics of Los Bros Hernandez," Part I (focusing on Gilbert's work) and Part II (focusing on Jaime), by Eric Berlatsky

Daily OCD: 4/11/12
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Steven WeissmanreviewsPaul NelsonKevin AveryJohnny RyaninterviewsDaily OCD 11 Apr 2012 8:31 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson

Review/Plug: City Weekly's Scott Renshaw previews Kevin Avery's appearance at The King's English Bookshop in Salt Lake City on Friday to sign Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson, saying "Avery crafts a biography of a largely self-taught thinker who immersed himself in his passions, whether that meant classic film, the detective fiction of Ross Macdonald or folk music. The author allows his subject to develop primarily through oral history, as his friends and contemporaries recall a quirky iconoclast who disappeared into obscurity and a lonely death in 2006. But the book is most compelling simply by bringing Nelson’s own distinctive writing voice to a new generation, a voice that burned with intelligence, unabashed pimping of the work he loved and a commitment to understanding what artists were trying to accomplish."

Profile: Scott Iwasaki of The Park Record talks to Kevin Avery in advance of his signing at Dolly's Bookstore in Park City, UT on Saturday: "'Even though it started out as an anthology of Paul's work, as I started learning more about him and his life, I found there was a lot of Paul between the lines of the reviews and I knew the book I needed to do had to also be a biography,' Avery said. 'I thought it would be a great way to present his work and tell his story.'"

Prison Pit Book 1

Review: "...I like comics to be really crazy. Luckily there are people out there who share my deranged concept of what comics should be. One is Johnny Ryan, who understands comics at odds with artistic correctness and had already demonstrated his lack of respect towards his fellow artists in particular, and everything in general... The level of violence reaches insane levels of pure abstraction; the figures in Prison Pit cannibalize, maim, tear, break, eat and shit with such enthusiasm and rawness, it's like watching some amoebas evolving through the microscope.... A Stan Lee for the new millennium." – Alfonso Garcia, C (translated from Spanish)

Steven Weissman

Interview: There's a seemingly-slightly-out-of-date but still fun Q&A (with acrostic Qs!) with Steven Weissman at Wall Drawing: "Nice colors help a lot. Black and white is tough, you know, I have to think more. Even when I’m drawing for fun I like to use markers, screentones and so forth."

Daily OCD: 4/6-4/9/12
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Zak SallyRobert CrumbreviewsPaul NelsonOlivier SchrauwenMonte SchulzLove and RocketsKim DeitchKevin AveryinterviewsGuy PeellaertFantagraphics historyDaily OCDBill Griffith 9 Apr 2012 7:10 PM

A few days of Online Commentary & Diversions:

Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson

Review: "Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson by Salt Lake City native Kevin Avery is a fitting testimonial to a man who pioneered rock 'n' roll criticism. Those familiar and unfamiliar with the culture of the '60s will appreciate this finely written tribute.... Overall, Everything Is an Afterthought will break your heart and inspire you to be a better person. It is a wonderful story of a man who deserves his chance in the spotlight." – Shelby Scoffield, Deseret News

Excerpts: On his blog, writer Rob Trucks has a couple of bite-sized excerpts from Kevin Avery's Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson, here and here

Love and Rockets #1 [Sold Out] (Unpublished)

Review: If you've ever wondered what Tucker Stone might say about Love and Rockets #1, TCJ ahoy

The Man Who Grew His Beard

Review: "A little impenetrable in that wordless story kind of way, even when there are words. I like the stories – actually read them – but I’m more interested in studying the way each page sports a new texture or approach. The art is simply fantastic. Some stories retain a color scheme for their entirety and some switch up the limited palette within the story itself. Totally my kind of thing. I like the coloring, the line drawing, the combination of both. The graphic, printmaking quality of it and the 'classical' drawing are also attractive to me. I found myself just flipping through this collection for a long time.... High class stuff. Also, this book gets an award for best endpapers. Check it out." – Frank Santoro, The Comics Journal

Bill Griffith: Lost and Found - Comics 1969-2003

Review: "Lost and Found is the sort of retrospective project that begs summary statements. The introduction reads like a compressed memoir. The book, while extremely dense and a bit overwhelming to read, testifies to Griffith’s heroic output of underground comics, and his commitment to a lifetime of making work that is challenging, inventive, and beautifully drawn. His signature narrative discombobulation and linguistic elasticity unite all these disparate pieces into a cohesive statement of surprise and protest. It is ridiculously quotable. Also, it is very funny. Lost and Found delivers wholesale entertainment value with a socially redeeming dose of satire." – Matthew Thurber & Rebecca Bird, The Comics Journal

Interview (Audio): Inkstuds host Robin McConnell says of his latest episode, "One of the most prolific cartoonists of the underground generation, Bill Griffith, joined me to chat about his new collection, Lost and Found. It is an interesting conversation that touches on a number of different topics, ranging from his Zippy the Pinhead work, to discussing his contemporaries like Rory Hayes."

The Complete Crumb Comics Vol. 10: Crumb Advocates Violent Overthrow! [Hardcover Ed.]

Interview: Paul Gravett chatted with Robert Crumb for Art Review  magazine; he presents an unexpurgated version at his blog: "In the last few years, I’ve got so deeply involved investigating scandalous shit that goes on in modern business and culture. It’s very difficult to interpret in comics, I’m trying to figure it out. There’s not a lot of action or humour, it’s serious, grim shit. You could get your ass in trouble doing that, too. I remember when I did this thing in the Seventies, ‘Frosty the Snowman’, where I had him being this revolutionary who throws bombs at the Rockefeller mansion and shortly after that was published, the Internal Revenue Service came after me."

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/covers/2009/thumbs/bookcover_likdog.jpg

Interview: Chris Mautner's Q&A with Zak Sally at Robot 6 is a must read: "I’m no Pollyanna, nor am I a hippie; the world is NOT cut and dried with stuff like this, nor do I view it that way — if, for instance, Fantagraphics (who I love dearly) decided to print all their stuff over here, they’d probably have to kill important books by artists who don’t sell as well to ameliorate that extra cost. Or, hell, i don’t know — maybe they’d go under. Do i want either of those things? Heck no. I want Noah van Sciver and Chris Wright’s new books to get out in the world, and to reach their audience. I want Fantagraphics to be around for … forever. BUT: let’s also not fool ourselves that this 'lowest cost' imperative isn’t fucking up our world significantly, all day every day, as an economic paradigm. It’s a real thing, and that can’t be ignored either."

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/covers/2012/thumbs/9781606995303_jodelle.jpg

Profile: At HiLobrow, Norman Hathaway puts the spotlight on Guy Peellaert: "Years later I realized that Peellaert had also been responsible for one of my favorite pieces of power-pop comic art; Jodelle (and later Pravda), which plastered hip, mid-’60s fashion drawing into a dystopian landscape of the future, done in a completely different linear graphic design-based style."

The Big Town

Profile: Dan Taylor of The Press Democrat chats with Monte Schulz: "'My dad is actually mentioned in a very subtle way in The Big Town,' Schulz said. 'The main character, Harry, is in a barber shop. It says, "Back in St. Paul, he'd gotten his hair cut in the Family Barbershop on North Snelling Avenue by a cigar-smoking German fellow, whose young son drew funny little pictures."'"

Kim Deitch - self portrait

Profile (Video): Enjoy a brief video spotlight on the great Kim Deitch presented by Seth Kushner at Trip City

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201203/bestcomicsofthedecadevolifr.jpg

Tribute/History: From last week, at The Stranger, rememberances of our former art director, the late Dale Yarger

This Week in Fantagraphics Events: 4/9-4/16
Written by janice headley | Filed under Trina RobbinsPat ThomasMonte SchulzMiss Lasko-GrossMichel GagneKevin AveryJoe SimonJack KirbyIvan BrunettiFantagraphics BookstoreeventsDiane NoominDaniel ClowesAline Kominsky-Crumb 9 Apr 2012 5:20 AM

The Big Town by Monte Schulz

Tuesday, April 10th

San Francisco, CA: Author Monte Schulz is bringing The Big Town to the big town of San Francisco, signing at the Modern Times Bookstore Collective! (more info)

San Francisco, CA: And uncannily, editor Pat Thomas is also in the Bay Area that day, doing a signing and discussion of Listen, Whitey! The Sights and Sounds of Black Power 1965-1975 at Booksmith! (more info)

Seattle, WA: This is your last day to check out the wonderful Real Comet Press retrospective at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery, featuring original artwork by Lynda Barry, Michael Dougan, Art Chantry, and Ruth Hayes, among others. (more info)

Wednesday, April 11th

Santa Rosa, CAMonte Schulz will be reading and signing The Big Town at Copperfields! (more info)

Fantagraphics artist Ivan Brunetti

Thursday, April 12th

• Chicago, IL:  Our own Ivan Brunetti will be part of a panel at the Art Insitute of Chicago titled "Comic Art and Fine Art"! More info is coming to the FLOG later today!

Corte Madera, CA:  And author Monte Schulz wraps up his California book tour dates for The Big Town with a stop at BookPassage. (more info)

Friday, April 13th

Salt Lake City, UT: Join author/editor Kevin Avery at The King's English Bookshop for a discussion and signing for Everything is an Afterthought: The Life & Writings of Paul Nelson! (more info)

 Saturday, April 14th

Seattle, WA:  Join us at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery for the opening reception of “Young Romance: The Best of Simon & Kirby’s Romance Comics.” The interpretive exhibition opens with a discussion by Michel Gagné, author of a recent collection of the same title from Fantagraphics Books! (more info)

• Oakland, CA: It's opening night for the exhibition Modern Cartoonist: The Art of Daniel Clowes at the Oakland Museum of Art! Lots more details are coming to the FLOG later this week!

Park City, UT:  And author/editor Kevin Avery concludes his mini-tour of Utah with a signing and discussion at Dolly’s Bookstore for Everything is an Afterthought: The Life & Writings of Paul Nelson. (more info)

Sunday, April 15th

 • New York City, NY:  It's your final day to check out the exhibit Graphic Details: Confessional Comics by Jewish Women at the Yeshiva University Museum in the Center for Jewish History. The exhibit features the work of Miss Lasko-Gross, Aline Kominsky-Crumb, Trina Robbins, and Diane Noomin, alongside a ton of other amazing female artists. I'm heading to New York this week and am hoping to see it myself before the exhibit closes! (more info)

Daily OCD: 3/28-4/2/12
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Significant ObjectsRob WalkerreviewsPaul NelsonPat ThomasMonte SchulzLove and RocketsKevin AveryJohn BensonJim WoodringJasonJaime HernandezinterviewsHans RickheitErnie BushmillerDrew FriedmanDave McKeanDaniel ClowesDaily OCDawards 2 Apr 2012 10:07 PM

Just beginning to catch up on Online Commentary & Diversions:

Mr. Clowes, we present you with the Katzenjammer Medallion for comic excellence!

Profile: With his big new art book out and his museum retrospective on the way, Daniel Clowes gets the New York Times profile treatment from Carol Kino: "Mr. Clowes can create a striking face with a few deftly placed lines or brush strokes, often seizing on some specific characteristic that summons up an indelible personality. Think of Enid Coleslaw, the snarky teenage anti-heroine of Ghost World, and her big, black nerdy-hip glasses; they cover most of her face, but they can’t conceal the tiny shifts in expression that loudly telegraph her mood."

Athos in America

List: Daniel Clowes may be headed for a museum retrospective, but he is neither dead nor retired — but that doesn't stop Flavorwire's Elona Jones from naming 10 candidates to carry the torch of "his storytelling skills, interest in surrealism, and eye for biting observations," including Jason, who "receives international acclaim for his brilliant storytelling." 

The Sincerest Form of Parody: The Best 1950s MAD-Inspired Satirical Comics

Preview/Review: Boing Boing previews 2 stories from The Sincerest Form of Parody: The Best 1950s MAD-Inspired Satirical Comics, with Cory Doctorow saying "Today marks the publication of Fantagraphics' magnificent archaeological comicsology… Many of these are racier, grosser, and meaner than even MAD dared. There’s also an engrossing appendix of annotations from editor John Benson…"

Review: "The John Benson-edited anthology The Sincerest Form of Parody: The Best 1950s MAD-Inspired Satirical Comics assembles largely forgotten work by the likes of Jack Davis, Will Elder, Ross Andru, and Jack Kirby, parodying everything from Mickey Spillane novels to Rex Morgan, M.D. Some of these pieces can stand up to the best of Mad (or at least match the magazine’s average), but even the stories that are clunky and unfunny are fascinating for the way they rip off Mad shamelessly, including all the asides and mini-gags that Will Elder once labeled Mad’s 'chicken fat.' It’s a testament to how quickly the innovative and subversive can become mainstream." – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club

Nancy Is Happy: Complete Dailies 1943-1945

Review: "Next to Pogo, the newspaper comics collection that fans have been most anticipating would be Ernie Bushmiller’s Nancy, which over the past few decades has garnered a reputation as the purest distillation of the gag cartoon, a triumph of minimalism... Nancy Is Happy: Dailies 1943-1945 joins Bushmiller’s magnum opus in full swing ... Bushmiller’s genius [was] to make everything in his strip so basic that anyone, anywhere, at any time, could get the joke." – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club

Review (Video): Video blogger Robert Crayola looks at Nancy Is Happy: "If you like comics or comic strips especially and you haven't read Nancy or if you have and you just want more, I think you'll enjoy this.... Hopefully we can get many more volumes of this. I hope you support it. It's a great book."

Any Similarity to Persons Living or Dead Is Purely Coincidental: An Anthology of Comic Art, 1979-1985

Review: "One of the signature achievements of ’80s alt-comics, Drew and Josh Alan Freidman’s Any Similarity to Persons Living or Dead Is Purely Coincidental: An Anthology of Comic Art, 1979-1985 is now back in print in a spiffy new edition that doesn’t really add anything to the original, but is still a necessary addition to any library that doesn’t already have a copy.... Drew Friedman’s stipple-heavy photo-realism and his brother Josh’s gleefully cruel humor combine to craft an alternate history of American entertainment that’s preposterous and yet feels true. Even now, decades after other cartoonists and comedians have tapped this well, the Friedmans’ pioneering work in the field of 'brattily dicking around with icons' remains unparalleled." – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club

Plug: Boing Boing's Mark Frauenfelder gives Drew Friedman a platform to hype his upcoming NYC art show at Scott Eder Gallery in Brooklyn and re-release of Any Similarity to Persons Living or Dead Is Purely Coincidental

Folly: The Consequences of Indescretion

Review: "Folly... serve[s] as a good introduction to Rickheit’s beautifully ugly visions, of a world where cute girls and humanoid stuffed animals commit atrocities against oozing flesh. With a drawing style that resembles Jason Lutes and Charles Burns, and a storytelling style similar to Jim Woodring and Al Columbia, Rickheit excels in making nightmares lucid. Some characters recur from story to story in Folly, but really this book is just page after page of beautiful images juxtaposed with wounds and excreta. The single-mindedness of Rickheit’s approach — and the level of detail he applies to it — is impressively horrifying." – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club

Isle of 100,000 Graves

Review: "...[A] heck of a ride... Jason might not be to everyone’s taste, but those who have acquired it will find Isle of 100,000 Graves to be a small but satisfying banquet." – No Flying No Tights

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/covers/2011/thumbs/bookcover_nutsgw.jpg

Reviews: Chris Spector's Midwest Record rounds up reviews of new & recent Fantagraphics releases by Carl Barks, Jack Davis, Gahan Wilson, Pat Thomas, Johnny Gruelle, Ernie Bushmiller and E.C. Segar

Celluloid & Congress of the Animals - Los Angeles Times Book Prizes Finalists

Plugs: The Los Angeles Times Hero Complex's Emily Rome and Geoff Boucher spotlight the L.A. Times Book Prizes graphic novel nominees, including Celluloid by Dave McKean and Congress of the Animals by Jim Woodring

Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson

Profile: The Salt Lake Tribune's Ben Fulton introduces Kevin Avery and his books on Paul Nelson, including Everything Is an Afterthought, which Avery will be signing at two events in Utah next week

Listen, Whitey! The Sights and Sounds of Black Power 1965-1975

Interview (Audio): Pat Thomas appears on the Wax Poetics "Bad Data" podcast to discuss Listen Whitey! The Sights and Sounds of Black Power 1965-1975

The Big Town

Interview (Video): Monte Schulz sits down to discuss his new novel The Big Town with host Fred Klein on the Literary Gumbo video podcast

Commentary: Monte Schulz is writing a new blog at The Huffington Post, and for his first entry he tells you "What the 1920s Was Really Like" based on his research of the decade for his novel The Big Town

Jaime Hernandez - self portrait

Analysis: More from The Hooded Utilitarian critical roundtable on Jaime Hernandez's "Locas" stories — Corey Creekmur on the role of memory and Jason Michelitch on the gaps in the stories

Significant Objects

Contest: At Design Observer Rob Walker writes more about the Studio 360 Significant Objects writing contest

Emerald City Comicon

Scene: Ashley Cook of Giant Fire Breathing Robot reports from our "Northwest Noir: Seattle's Legacy of Counterculture Comix" panel at Emerald City Comicon

Daily OCD: 3/16/12
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewsPaul NelsonKevin AveryDaily OCDBlake BellBill Everett 17 Mar 2012 12:28 AM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson

Review: "The existence of serious rock criticism became central to the transformation of rock into art in the '60s; [Paul ]Nelson's artful criticism permitted this music to assume a high-culture position with swift ease.... His personal story defies alignment with the brilliance of the writings presented in this gorgeously designed book [Everything Is an Afterthought]. Nick Tosches writes in the foreword that Nelson 'never wrote about anything he didn't know to the full of its depths…' This book clearly supports what Tosches says. Avery has captured the mysterious life Nelson wound up living without compromising the productive and innovative one he led while creating what we think of today as rock criticism." – Martin Jack Rosenblum, The Shepherd Express

Amazing Mysteries: The Bill Everett Archives Vol. 1

Review: "Everett worked on numerous comics throughout his lengthy career and this book explores his key contributions during the early Golden Age (1938-42)... Bell not only reprints several of the stories featuring the largely forgotten creations Skyrocket Steele, Amazing-Man, Hydro-Man, Sub-Zero Man, and others, but places Everett within the proper context of history through a brief bio of the artist during this period and notes about the individual pieces. Deserving a place in most graphic libraries, the handsome Amazing Mysteries: The Bill Everett Archives Vol. 1 successfully re-introduces the talented Everett to a new generation of readers." – Rick Klaw, The SF Site: Nexus Graphica

Daily OCD: 2/27/12
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Wilfred SantiagoreviewsPaul NelsonNo Straight LinesMatthias WivelKevin AveryJustin HallinterviewsGilbert HernandezEros ComixDaily OCDBlake BellBill Everett 28 Feb 2012 1:46 AM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

21: The Story of Roberto Clemente

Interview: Our own Eric Buckler talks to Wilfred Santiago at our own The Comics Journal: "Unlike working with someone else’s script, there’s no linear method when I work on my own. That is to say I write while I ‘toon, and I ‘toon while I write. So the most important step is editing–what’s left on the page before going to the printer and into the sweaty hands of readers. I do believe writing has improved my cartooning. I don’t think it’s an accident that some of the best cartoonists are writers. I’m not putting myself in that group but I strive for it."

Amazing Mysteries: The Bill Everett Archives Vol. 1

Review: "This is a wonderful collection of golden age material from Bill Everett, all never before reprinted.... For fans of golden age material or Bill Everett Amazing Mysteries: The Bill Everett Archives, Vol. 1 is a must have look at early comics from lesser known publishers... At $40 it’s an investment into rarely seen material." – Scott VanderPloeg, Comic Book Daily

Kolor Klimax

Review: At Danish comics website Nummer9, Nikolaj Mangurten Rubin looks at Kolor Klimax: Nordic Comics Now, calling it "A many-headed troll monster of a book" and giving it a 4 out of 5 rating

 Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson

Review: "Not many music writers warrant a biography. Lester Bangs was one. Maybe Tosches or Kent. But Everything Is an Afterthought, by Kevin Avery, is a singular piece of work, a hybrid bio and anthology. Nelson was the Orson Welles of rock letterdom, a man whose profiles of Springsteen and Zevon were masterpieces of the form. A slow stone-cutter of a writer, a cinephile and a noir buff (and an inveterate deadline-misser), he shot himself in the foot many times, but Avery’s book makes the reader misty-eyed for a time when music journalism was populated by hard-nosed evangelists, not suck-ups or career snarks." – Peter Murphy, "Blog of Revelations," Hot Press

Birdland [Expanded Edition - Sold Out]

Review: As part of ComicsAlliance's series focusing on sex in comics, Douglas Wolk looks at Gilbert Hernandez's Birdland: "Birdland has been out of print for a while, which is a pity. It's witty, eccentric, bursting with joy, and utterly, cheerfully smutty.... And the whole thing is drawn in a style that's the erotic equivalent of Jack Kirby's fight scenes: grounded in the way actual bodies interact, but pumped up to an imaginative intensity way beyond anything the naked eye has ever seen. On top of that, Birdland is funny -- not corny-funny or nudge/wink-funny, but absurd and sly, with a terrific sense for what can make the overfamiliar language of pornography fresh again."

No Straight Lines

Plug: "I’ve been waiting for No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics since I first heard about it last summer.... I can’t wait!" – Daniela Capistrano, Daniela's Lair

Daily OCD: 2/21/12
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Paul NelsonMatthias WivelKevin AveryJasoninterviewshooray for HollywoodDavid BDaily OCD 21 Feb 2012 8:05 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Athos in America

Review: "Athos in America is a tour de force that showcases Jason’s immense talents as both an artist and a storyteller. These haunting stories will stick with you long after you’ve turned the last page. Rating: 10 out of 10" – Edward Kaye, Newsarama

I Killed Adolf Hitler

Interview: Comic Book Resources' Shaun Manning gets the inside scoop about the I Killed Adolf Hitler film project from Jason ("I hope it will be good. Or really bad. One of those. The disappointment would be if it's a mediocre film") and screenwriter D.C. Walker ("I viewed 'IKAH' as a jewel like the french short film 'La Jetee.' All the key themes were in place, it was just a matter of expanding on them like they did in 12 Monkeys (the film 'IKAH' will most resemble).")

Kolor Klimax: Nordic Comics Now

Interview (Video): Johan Krarup, who is nominated for the 2012 Ping Prisen for Best Danish Comic for his story "Nostalgia" in Kolor Klimax, is interviewed for the awards organization by Felix Møder and his splendid shirt & tie

Plug: "I gotta say I'm not a big fan of the illustration on this [Kolor Klimax] cover, but the design, color, and font choice made me stand up and take notice. I 'klimaxed' a little when I first saw it. Uggh, sorry, that was too much information." – Dave Johnson, Johnson's Cover Hi-lo

 Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson

Interview (Audio): Kevin Avery talks about Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson on the Radio Free Song Club podcast's "19th Nervous Hoedown" episode; Avery tells us "The segment with me is at about the 37:00 mark — but don't pass up the great music before and aft."

The Littlest Pirate King

Analysis: "At the fairly new website Weird Fiction Review, Edward Gauvin compares David B.’s Littlest Pirate King with the prose story that inspired it, Pierre Mac Orlan’s 'Roi Rose,'" reports Tim Hodler at The Comics Journal


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