• Buy Dame Darcy's mermaid print to help send her to the annual Mermaid Parade on her 40th birthday! She's also now an ordained Wiccan minister! Good luck and congrats! All this and more in her latest blog update
• Review: "Stein's cartooning is broad and trippy, and if she occasionally becomes intoxicated with her own gimlet-eyed sensibility, she's never afraid to turn that dark wit on herself. Eye of the Majestic Creature... is ultimately the tale of a young woman rejecting the things that shaped her and attempting to figure out what comes next for her. Thanks to Stein's loose, amiable approach, you'll want to know that, too." – Glen Weldon, NPR Monkey See
• Review: "Readers needing their Peter Bagge and/or Hate fix will always get it, to some degree, in the Hate Annual. Hate Annual #9, however, is one of the better editions, and that’s probably because of what Bagge presents here. 'Heaven' and 'Hell' appeases by giving us a peek at what’s going on in Buddy’s life right now, but we also get a hefty narrative that gives us something akin to the classic madness that was Buddy and Lisa’s life in Seattle." – Leroy Douresseaux, I Reads You
• Profile: Brian Hoag of the McCook Daily Gazette has a Memorial Day tribute to Bill Mauldin: "During WWII, Bill Mauldin's cartoons appeared in the military Stars and Stripes newpaper, and showed a sarcastic humor side of war that the combat troops could relate to. Not one to shy away from pointing a finger at the top brass, General Patton tried to get Mauldin censored as George thought the 'humor' wasn't so funny." (Via Mike Lynch)
• Laura Park has been busy drawing spot illos for an 826 Chicago project (like Joey & Johnny Ramone buying $20 worth of Brussels sprouts, above) and rescuing cats with fellow cartoonist Julia Wertz — it's all documented on her Flickr page
I'm hoping to get a chance to do a post on my whole Stumptown Comics Fest haul, but one of the things we picked up was the Living Things series of lovely little pamphlet mini-art books from Little Otsu, including this one by Lilli Carré and other volumes by Hannah Waldron, Jo Dery, and Lizzy Stewart. You can order Lilli's here and find the others easily from there.
Here comes another all-star issue of the always-awesome Smoke Signal from Desert Island! This one's a split issue with the Finnish comics newspaper Kuti so there's sure to be some great stuff to discover by the Finns. Above, the cover by Lilli Carré (the flip cover is by Aapo Rapi); inside you'll find stories and strips by Sami Aho, Gabrielle Bell, Marc Bell, Lilli, Michael DeForge, Roope Eronen, Glynnis Fawkes, Nathan Gelgud, Sam Henderson, Keith Jones, Paul Karasik, Ina Kallis, Tim Lane, Jarno Latva-Nikkola, Blaise Larmee, Mikko Luostarinen, David Mazzucchelli, Jesse McManus, Tommi Musturi, Jyrki Nissinen, Jaakko Pallasvuo, Ville Pirinen, Aapo Rapi, Ron Regé Jr., Anna Sailamaa, Kari Sihvohnen, Avi Spivak, Leslie Stein, Janne Tervamäki, Petteri Tikkanen, Jari Vaara, Amanda Vähämäki, and Mikko Väyrynen.
• Review: "...I can safely say that this graphic novel [Stigmata] offers a different experience (in a good way) from any I have read before. Lorenzo Mattotti's line-based art is a perfect expression of the mystical, sometimes demonic aspects of this tale. Instead of areas of solid black, he uses dense cross-hatching to create dark areas within frames full of swirling lines which suggest both Bruno's unsettled state of mind and also the very fluidity of experience. Scenes and characters appear and disappear out of these dense networks as if from a dense fog, and it all creates a sense that perhaps you don't entirely know what is going on at any time or even what constitutes reality." – Sarah Boslaugh, PLAYBACK:stl
• Profile: At The A.V. Club Chicago, Nicki Yowell profiles Lilli Carré: "Carré’s books and accompanying illustration are almost always from another world. They are a cross between a favorite storybook growing up as a child and the warped comedic sensibility of a favorite uncle. [...] She will table at the Chicago Zine Fest, and she views self-publishing as something that brings 'immediate gratification,' especially on 'a very inspired or caffeinated day.'"
• Plug: "I missed this series [Yeah!] the first time round, so I’m really looking forward to grabbing a copy of this collection. Peter Bagge and Gilbert Hernandez are two of my favourite comic creators, so the idea of the two of them creating something together just blows my mind!" – Edward Kaye, Hypergeek