The nominees for the 2009 Eisner Awards have been announced and we are pleased to report that our publications have received 7 nominations in various categories. To celebrate, for a limited time we're offering 15% off nominated titles -- click here to browse and buy! And the nominees are:
Best Short Story • "Glenn Ganges in 'Pulverize,'" by Kevin Huizenga, in Ganges #2
• Review: For The Savage Critics, Sean T. Collins says The Last Lonely Saturday by Jordan Crane is "pretty much the best love story in comics form I've ever come across... It's an intelligent, moving, beautiful, terrific little comic."
• Review: Rob Clough says that Beasts! Book 2 "mingles myths, warnings, fairy tales, correctives, and genuinely unexplained phenomena and allows its artists to run with them. The end result is a consistently beautiful, lovingly assembled book that forms a kind of metacommentary on the entire notion of the fantastic."
• Review: The SF Site's "Nexus Graphica" says R. Crumb & David Zane Mairowitz's Kafka is "a terrific guide to Kafka's life and work — Mairowitz deftly sums up Franz' family/Jewish/pre-Holocaust European experiences and influences, and Crumb's heavy inkings lend the exact tones of darkness to recreations of both Kafka's life — and work." (See sidebar)
• Preview: The First Post presents a slideshow of images from Humbug, saying "the short-lived Humbug [was] an exquisite satirical work that, over its 11 issues, routinely equalled MAD in its displays of creative genius... providing a level of trenchant satire that was almost unheard of at the time."
• Preview: Bryan Munn, in "hyping" The Complete Peanuts 1971-1972, states "Now that two whole decades of Peanuts have been reprinted in the deluxe hardcover format published by Fantagraphics and designed by Seth, we can really get a sense of what a huge achievement this project is and will continue to be for a generation."
Kevin Huizenga, Ted May and Dan Zettwoch, co-creators of the recently-canceled (and consistently great) strip Amazing Facts... and Beyond! with Leon Beyond, are seeking to keep Leon alive in online form by accepting commissions (strips on a topic of your choice, prices ranging from a paltry $30 up to $200), donations in any amount, and subscriptions in what they call a "Beyondathon" of fundraising. Read Leon's plea and open your wallet!
Here are some thoughts on last year's comics that I would like to share with you. I don't dare call this a "Best Of" list -- these are merely some comics that I read and that stand out to me, excluding Fantagraphics releases because it's my job to love them all equally, though you'll find some stuff from Fanta folks in here. Listed more or less alphabetically:
• Against Pain by Ron Rege Jr. (D&Q) - A nice hefty slab of Ron's unique vision. I'm always compelled by Ron's stuff and it's great to have this much of it in one place.
• Capacity by Theo Ellsworth (Secret Acres) - A warm, cleverly constructed, visually stunning tour through the artist's amazingly fertile creative imagination. Ellsworth synthesizes his mind-bogglingly detailed fantastical world-building with autobiography in a really natural and satisfying way without seeming like a crazy person, which is quite a feat.
• Dead Ringer by Jason T. Miles (La Mano) - A big, haunting slab of swampy beauty, mortality, cartoon gore, poetry and lovely chipboard. Morbid, funny, sublime, and lowbrow all at once. I get to sit next to this guy at work.
• Fight or Run: Shadow of the Chopper by Kevin Huizenga (Buenaventura) - Huizenga makes an experimental comic and the result is pure, distilled, uncut, unadulterated Comics Fun. Nifty!
• The Man Who Loved Breasts by Robert Goodin (Top Shelf) - Like a master class in expressive cartooning. Just look at George Olavatia's face from panel to panel, for Pete's sake.
• Trubble Club (online and self-published mini) - Cute, weird, gross, sad, funny jam comics from over a dozen participants (including Laura Park and Lilli Carré). Almost every panel goes in a delightfully unexpected direction.
• Welcome to the Dahl House by Ken Dahl (Microcosm) - His story in Papercutter hooked me on his acerbic worldview and crackerjack cartooning. This is mostly earlier stuff and as such a little rougher but it brings you up to where the greatness is.
• Renee French's blog - I look forward to Renee's daily drawings more than anything else in my RSS feeds. I especially love her lo-fi cameraphone (?) doodle snapshots and she occasionally flat out blows my mind.
• Interview: The Comics Reporter's Tom Spurgeon found a video file of Jonathan Lethem interviewing Daniel Clowes at the 2005 MoCCA Festival; he can't remember where it came from but he's posted it anyway