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Category >> Love and Rockets

Babosa Sluggers
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Love and RocketsGilbert Hernandez 7 Jul 2009 8:55 PM

from Uncanny X-Men #201

Is this a shout-out to Gilbert Hernandez's Palomar delicacy on Kitty Pryde's baseball cap in my battered thrift-store copy of Uncanny X-Men #201 (Jan. 1986), or just a bilingual pun? Either way, very cute, Chris Claremont, Rick Leonardi and/or Whilce Portacio. Or was letterer Tom Orzechowski responsible? So many mysteries!

Daily OCD: 7/6/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under The Comics JournalSteven WeissmanreviewsPrince ValiantPeter BaggeLove and RocketsLos Bros HernandezKevin HuizengaJohnny RyanJasonIvan BrunettiIgnatz SeriesHal FosterCarol TylerBasil Wolverton 6 Jul 2009 2:54 PM

Holy moly there's a lot of links today! There's a few major interviews in today's Online Commentary & Diversions, so let's lead off with those:

• Interview: At Amazon's Omnivoracious blog, Heidi Broadhead talks to our own Kim Thompson about translating the works of Jason ("His latest collection, Low Moon... has filmic moments and comic pathos that have set a new standard for me for short fiction") and other Eurocomics. Sample quote: "But I'm also more invested in these books because I work so hard on them, and in many cases, of course, such as Tardi, I'm literally fulfilling a childhood dream by translating them."

• Interview: "Carol Tyler is one of the best cartoonists currently working. She has been for years... Earlier this year Tyler released the first of an expected three volumes that seek to explore her father's time in World War II. You'll Never Know: A Good And Decent Man gently peels back the layers on these seminal experiences while at the same time providing an earnest portrait of the artist and her most important relationships during the time she started on the project. Tyler combines the unflinching eye of the late underground with the self-deprecating portrait of the alternative comics movement with the poetic qualities that some of the best post-alternatives are able to wring from their art. I really love Carol Tyler's work, and I was delighted she agreed to talk to me." - Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter

• Interview: "In a perfect and just world, John Kerschbaum would be one of its most famous cartoonists." - Rob Clough, presenting his Q&A with Kerschbaum from The Comics Journal #295. Sample quote: "And when you're doing work for kids you just leave out the cursing… and tits - no tits."

• Review: "Wolverton... had a knack, too, for nightmarish drama... [He] saved his most enthralling pieces for the Bible. An ordained minister for a wacky Oregon church, he produced, in the mid 1950s, a series of apocalyptic scenes for the Book of Revelations; men and women, foregrounded in close-up, writhe under dominant skies of fire, plague, and war." - Robert Shuster, The Village Voice, on the Wolverton exhibit at Gladstone Gallery; hat tip once again to Drew Friedman

• Review: "Jason's unique skill of meshing cut-out Hollywood genres with fleeting moments of missed opportunities is like a unique cocktail - one part Hitchcock, one part Kubrick with a dash of Woody Allen... Low Moon is a slow-moving delight. Jason has crafted a perfectly executed yarn that is at once both familiar and bizarre. This collection is an exceptional entryway for reader still unaware of one of sequential arts greatest contributors." - Ascot J. Smith, examiner.com

• Review: "Known for his ability to convey melancholic, deadpan humor, Jason is as on top of his game as ever with this release... Each story expresses a different degree of the author’s range, mixing dark or mature themes with absurdity to varying degrees... Since it demonstrates Jason’s range and is priced fairly modestly..., Low Moon makes for a great starting point for those unfamiliar with Jason’s work." - Anthony Farruggia, examiner.com

• Review: "Jason's work is something to be revered... His comics are stark and morbid and often hilarious. Low Moon presents five beautifully illustrated stories that show a mastery of the craft... The stories range from violent to funny to sad, and the tragedies, murders, and pratfalls therein never seem out of the ordinary. It all fits into four rectangular panels on each page that seem like they were drawn to make you understand something more." - Gabe Bullard, PLAYBACK:stl

• Review: "Ho!... promises the most degenerate and juvenile one-panel gag comics ever penned by a working college professor... You're either loving it or deeply concerned for the author." - Byron Kerman, PLAYBACK:stl

• Review: "Kevin Huizenga introduces a relatable and unusual story with his quirky sequel to the first Ganges in the 'Ignatz' series from Fantagraphics. A tale about morality, realism, and video games, Ganges [#2] spins a web of confusion for those universal questions that lurk at the edge of our minds... 'Pulverize' makes a bold attempt to portray how living in a technological age can confuse as well as enlighten you to great lengths. Touching and unique, Huizenga creates a quirky story for the win." - Melissa Kay, Girls Entertainment Network

• Review: "My choice for the greatest comic strip in history would be Hal Foster's epic adventure strip Prince Valiant. And now Fantagraphics is reprinting the series in a series of spiffy, oversized hardcover collections, with the first volume out this week. And even though I own the whole 40-volume set of the Foster-drawn pages that Fantagraphics published in the 1990s, I’m perfectly happy to buy this new series, with larger pages, better-quality paper, and much better-quality coloring... It’s excellent stuff, and I look forward to enjoying it all over again." - Michael Rawdon, Fascination Tangents

• Review: "The most influential adventure strip ever produced, Foster's gorgeous Prince Valiant inspired generations of artists. While the Sunday-only strip has been reprinted several times, this edition contains for the first time images shot from Foster's own color engraver's proofs. Published at the strip's original dimensions and complete with an introduction by Hal Foster biographer Brian M. Kane and the insightful 1969 Hal Foster interview with Fred Schreiber, the hardcover Prince Valiant Vol. 1: 1937-1938 finally presents these lush tales in a format worthy of the material." - Rick Klaw, The SF Site - Nexus Graphica

• Review: "Like H.L. Mencken, [Peter] Bagge favors a scorched-earth satirical attack, tearing down arguments by ridicule as much as reason. Unlike Mencken, Bagge's work is more playful and less likely to attempt to install himself as a know-it-all (even if he thinks he does) because of his nebbishy self-portrayal... It's rare to see a cartoonist branch out into this kind of second act of a career with this much flourish and skill... his work here [in Everybody Is Stupid Except for Me] demands a reader's attention every bit as much as the more famous editorial cartoonists in America... Best of all, Bagge is still funny... and this is a very good thing for both his hardcore fans and new readers alike." - Rob Clough

• Review: "[Peter] Bagge made his reputation with the wicked social satire of Hate, but since 2001 he’s also produced these short comics [in Everybody Is Stupid Except for Me] for the libertarian magazine Reason... His visual style—in which people are all huge-mouthed, squinty-eyed, rubber-limbed caricatures—is turned up all the way to 'jeer'; it’s also pretty funny on its own. Bagge aims his (constitutionally protected) satirical blunderbuss at both the left and the right, and occasionally points it at fellow libertarians and even himself." - Publishers Weekly

• Review: "...Norwegian cartoonist Jason’s latest wheeze of a graphic novella [I Killed Adolf Hitler] invents a time-travelling professional assassin who attempts to exterminate the Fuhrer with predictably bizarre results... The deadpan humour, pared-down plotting and simple illustrations featuring Jason’s trademark zoomorphic characters make for a brisk and extremely enjoyable read." - 2012

• Plug: "OMG reading Low Moon on lunch IT IS SO GOOD how long can comics stay this awesome?" - Dustin Harbin, via Twitter

• Plug: Portuguese shop Ghoulgear recommends the comics work of Jason, "who reinvented the narrative language of comics... He is an author that is worth knowing."

• Plug: "There's some great material in [Everybody Is Stupid Except for Me], whether you agree with the opinions or not, since Bagge does some great cartooning and good journalism, providing hilarious insights into topics like art, public transportation, homelessness, and gun ownership." - Matthew J. Brady

• Plug: "I'm really looking forward to the hardcover of Prince Valiant as the online stuff shows this to be the best reproduction I have ever seen of the book. The Hal Foster years (especially for the first decade or more) are a great story and stunning artwork." - Comics And... Other Imaginary Tales

• Plug: "[Love and Rockets] was like an underground Archie, with Hispanic characters, plus it was literally oozing with a sensuality that simply couldn't be found in mainstream funnybooks... If you have the opportunity to pick up any L&R comics, I highly recommend it, as it is still some of the consistently very best comics that is being produced." - Robert J. Sodaro (former Fantagraphics employee)

• Plug: "I’m currently reading through the latest issue of The Comics Journal, number 298... I’m really looking forward to the interview with Thriller artist Trevor Von Eeden. Also, the Percy Crosby Skippy strips included in the gallery section are a wonder." - Chris Mautner, Robot 6; also, their guest contributor this week is Paul Karasik

• Things to see: Comic Book Resources presents a bunch of work by Terry LaBan (whose Fantagraphics titles are all out of print)

• Things to see: Johnny Ryan fan art from Norway

• Things to see (and buy): Steven Weissman has some new and discounted stuff up at Comic Art Collective

Daily OCD: 7/1/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewsPeter BaggeMiss Lasko-GrossLove and RocketsJordan CraneJaime HernandezDaniel ClowesCarol Tyleraudio 1 Jul 2009 12:03 PM

It's today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

• Review: "Everybody Is Stupid Except for Me is as combative, iconoclastic, and embittered as its title suggests it would be. It is also smart, thought-provoking, and funny as hell. Disconcertingly, you'll agree with at least half of what [Peter] Bagge says. Then, gratifyingly, you'll realize that everybody is stupid except for you, too." - Tim Heffernan, Esquire

• Review: "There’s a bittersweet quality to You’ll Never Know, C. Tyler’s disarming memoir about attempting to learn what her father went through in World War II... Tyler’s impressive drawings and inks [are] vividly colored in an amazing array of fluidity... You’ll Never Know is so compellingly honest and unself-conscious that it makes its point all the more poignant." - John Hogan, Graphic Novel Reporter

• Review: "Both visually and narratively, [C.] Tyler keeps [the] threads [of You’ll Never Know] nicely wound into an account that carries readers along and shows how various pasts inform the present, how vulnerable parents can be, and how wartime can create minefields later in life. Her gently colored artwork is expressive and goes far to bring eras of the past to life through dress, hairstyles, and dance moves... [T]he story here will touch those who are just realizing that the older people they think they know have their own burdens and secrets." - Francisca Goldsmith, School Library Journal

• Review: "The cruelties, indignities, rebellion, and lack of self-confidence that form the high school experiences of many teens are well captured in [A Mess of Everything]... This is a spot-on portrait of one girl's struggle for intellectual and emotional honesty... [which] will touch teens who themselves have just succeeded in negotiating the mess of learning to be a mature social being." - Francisca Goldsmith, School Library Journal (same link as above)

• Review: Rui Gonçalves of Portuguese blog Crónicas da (e depois da) Califórnia calls Eightball #22 & #23 "the last two issues of the American comic written by one of the most imaginative and schizophrenic creators of comics from the other side of the Atlantic." (Translation help from Google)

• Plug: "As painful as it is to wait a year for new Love and Rockets now that the Hernandez brothers have switched to an annual format, it’ll be worth the wait if each issue is going to be as good as this one [L&R: New Stories #1]. Jaime Hernandez created the best superhero story of 2008 for this issue, and it should be required reading for anyone who reads or creates comics." - Corey Henson, Newsarama

• Interview: I can't wait to listen to the Inkstuds interview with one of the best and most outspoken artists in comics, Mr. Jordan Crane

Love and Conchords
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Love and RocketsGilbert Hernandez 30 Jun 2009 7:08 PM

Gilbert Hernandez with Flight of the Conchords

Gilbert Hernandez with Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie of Flight of the Conchords. Whatever you do, don't miss the original caption.

If you're not a fan of Love and Rockets on Facebook, this is the kind of thing you're missing. My L&R page co-admin, Carol Hernandez, has been posting lots of goodies, including rare photos and sketches from the early days. Hot patootie!

Daily OCD: 6/30/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under The Comics JournalreviewsPrince ValiantPopeyeMort WalkerMichael KuppermanLove and RocketsLos Bros HernandezJordan CraneJerry DumasJasonJaime HernandezHal FosterDaniel ClowesChris WareCharles BurnsCarol Tyler 30 Jun 2009 2:43 PM

The final Online Commentary & Diversions update for June '09:

• List: CBC Radio's Canada Reads: The Book Club posts the result of their month-long poll to determine "The Top 10 Graphic Novels": Black Hole and Love and Rockets come in at #5 and #6, respectively, with Ghost World and Jimmy Corrigan close runners-up

• Review: "Issue #3 of Jordan Crane's Uptight serves as a wonderful example of just how good pamphlet format comics can be... Uptight #3 delivers 24 pages of beautifully focused storytelling... If you like Crane's work or simply want to try something a little different, do go out and buy this. Uptight represents everything single issue comics should be but so very rarely are. Fact is, we need more comics like this, so vote with your wallets and support the fine folks at Fantagraphics..." - Matthew Dick, Exquisite Things

• Review/Profile: "...[Boody Rogers's] command of dream-state narrative logic and language-mangling dialogue remains unnerving and uproarious in about equal measure... Now comes the Fantagraphics edition of Boody: The Bizarre Comics of Boody Rogers — a 144-page whopper, rich in humor and dreamlike oddities..." - Michael H. Price of the Fort Worth Business Press recounts meeting Rogers in the 1980s and also reviews Rogers's memoir, Homeless Bound

• Review: "For his latest... book [Low Moon], Jason has decided to try something a bit different... In attempting to stretch himself, though, he offers some of his weakest work to date, but some of his strongest and emotionally wrenching as well... Longtime readers... will definitely want to pick it up..." - Chris Mautner, Robot 6

• Review: "The temptation is to shut up and let Hal Foster's panels speak for themselves... Designed by Adam Grano, Prince Valiant [Vol. 1:] 1937-1938 is a beautiful book." - Steve Duin, The Oregonian

• Plug: "Literally jam-packed with strips that constantly vary in sizes, [Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 1] shines with [Michael] Kupperman's earth-shattering wit, his excellent vintage-comics-inspired draftsmanship and his genius comedic timing. Thanks Fantagraphics!" - Librarie D+Q

• Plug: "You'll Never Know [Book 1: A Good and Decent Man] by C. Tyler arrived this week... it is funny, moving, sad -- highly recommended." - Librarie D+Q 

• Plug: "Dash Shaw = emotional psychedelic genius." - i want to spend the rest of my life everywhere, with everyone, one to one, always, forever, now.

• Plug: "The Comics Journal #298: Man, only two issues until the big Siege of Asgard prelude." - Jog - The Blog

• Plug: "The Comics Journal #298: Lotsa good interviews in this issue... For me though, the meat of the issue is the wealth of daily Skippy strips by Percy Crosby reproduced in the gallery section." - Chris Mautner, Robot 6

• Interview: Publishers Weekly has a Q&A with Peter Bagge about his new collection Everybody Is Stupid Except for Me. Money quote: "I could have taken the Doonesbury route and pandered to my fellow libertarians by pretending I (and they) had all the answers, but that would have been both too easy and dishonest."

• Interview: Newsarama's Zack Smith talks to Sam's Strip creators Mort Walker and Jerry Dumas about the creation of the strip and the new Fantagraphics collection. Sample quote from Walker: "You always put something personal in every strip, so it’s wonderful to see all these old strips again."

• Charity: ComicList reports that Jaime Hernandez will participate in Comic Book Legal Defense Fund fundraising at Comic Con with an autograph card and original art auction

• Oddity: What does Popeye have in common with Michael Jackson? Well, now they're both subjects of Jeff Koons artwork, according to this Reuters story

• Oddity: Did you hear about the former Drawn & Quarterly intern who attempted to navigate a handmade houseboat named the Velvet Glove Cast in Iron down the Mississippi River?

2009 Harvey Award nominees
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under sales specialsPeanutsMomeLove and RocketsLos Bros HernandezJasonDash ShawCharles M SchulzawardsAl Jaffee 30 Jun 2009 11:06 AM

We're honored to have picked up 5 nominations for this year's Harvey Awards:

Mome Vol. 10 - cover by Al Columbia

Best Anthology: Mome Vol. 10 - Winter/Spring 2008

Bottomless Belly Button by Dash Shaw

Best Graphic Album - Original: Bottomless Belly Button by Dash Shaw

Love and Rockets: New Stories #1 by the Hernandez Brothers

Best Single Issue or Story: Love and Rockets: New Stories #1 by the Hernandez Brothers

The Complete Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz

Best Domestic Reprint Project: The Complete Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz (Vols. 9 & 10)

Pocket Full of Rain by Jason

Best American Edition of Foreign Material: Pocket Full of Rain and Other Stories by Jason

To celebrate, our nominated titles, except Peanuts (for contractual reasons), are now 15% off for a limited time! First buy, then (if you're a comics professional) vote!

Congratulations to all of our nominated colleagues, with special shouts-out to Al Jaffee for his Abrams book Tall Tales (multiple nominations), Chris Ware for Acme Novelty Library #19 (Best Single Issue or Story), and Jay Lynch & the Mineshaft folks for Mineshaft #23 (Best Cover Artist).

Daily OCD: 6/29/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Zak SallyTrina RobbinsRoy CranereviewsPrince ValiantNell BrinkleyMort WalkerMichael KuppermanLove and RocketsJaime HernandezHal FosterDrew FriedmanCarol TylerBasil WolvertonArnold RothAbstract Comics 29 Jun 2009 1:39 PM

Let's see what Online Commentary & Diversions popped up over the weekend:

• Review: "Abstract Comics: The Anthology is an impressive collection of old and new work with unique pages covering exactly what the title says... bold... intriguing... This is a book for readers who like fine art or those who would like to expand their sequential art experiences. A hearty slap on the back for Fantagraphics for choosing to create this marvelous example of a widely unknown artistic expression." - Kris Bather, Comic Book Jesus

• Review: "I had always equated [Prince] Valiant with everything that is dull and lifeless and boring and supposedly good for you, but it turns out I was completely and utterly wrong. On the contrary, it's a rip-snorting good time, full of high adventure and thrilling escapades. And Valiant, far from being the schoolmarmish goody two-shoes I imagined him being, is full of piss and vinegar and quite a bloodthirsty young chap, which makes him a good deal more interesting than some of his contemporaries on the comics page." - Chris Mautner, Robot 6

• Review: "Tales Designed to Thrizzle #5, like all the previous issues by Michael Kupperman, did not fail at thrilling or dazzling me." - Brian Cronin, Robot 6 (same link as above)

• Review: "...C. Tyler's You'll Never Know Book One: A Good and Decent Man isn't... much like any other autobio comic I've encountered... It’s a really rather fascinating work, and the longer one thinks about it, the more important and universal it seems to be. On the surface level, of course, it’s an extremely interesting, rather unique story of a couple different life’s stories, and how they overlap, but there plenty of other levels waiting to be discovered and ruminated over. I won’t be at all surprised to see this book taking slots on a lot of best of the year lists in another six months or so." - J. Caleb Mozzocco, Newsarama

• Review: "Don’t think of [The Wolverton Bible] as an exception or a bizarre footnote in religious art but one and maybe the 20th century continuation... By the end of the book, pages after pages of doom and destruction, you realize that Wolverton is maybe the only person to illustrate the The Old Testament and the Book of Revelation -- the most 'savage' books of the bible." - Are You a Serious Comic Book Reader?

• Plug: "Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 1: It's the collection of the first four issues of Michael Kupperman's hilarious series, now in color! This stuff is comedy gold, so get it if you haven't read it already, and hell, spend the extra money to see the non-monochromatic version if you want." - Matthew J. Brady

• Plug (?): Robot 6's Chris Mautner proposes Ti-Girls and Snake 'n' Bacon action figures. I'd buy 'em!

• Preview: Comics And... Other Imaginary Tales gives thumbs up to two of our upcoming releases: Captain Easy Vol. 1: Solidier of Fortune by Roy Crane and Like a Dog by Zak Sally (both previewed here)

• Interview: The Comics Reporter's Tom Spurgeon talks to Trina Robbins about about the genesis and assembling of The Brinkley Girls: The Best of Nell Brinkley's Cartoons 1913-1940: "It's really great to have The Brinkley Girls, and I was pleased when Robbins agreed to answer some questions about it."

• Events: Jared Gardner reports from a panel he moderated with Arnold Roth, Mort Walker and Brian Walker as part of the celebration of the merger of the International Museum of Cartoon Art with Ohio State University's Cartoon Library and Museum, adding that Jean Schulz has set up a matching grant to raise needed funds for the combined museum to move into a new permanent home

• Oddity: At Guttergeek, Chris Reilly interviews himself: "I actually am a big fan of Michael Kupperman and Eric Reynolds from Fantagraphics just sent me a copy of the hardcover Tales Designated to Thrizzle Vol. 1 and I would like to conduct this interview by commenting on the quotes of this book – would that be cool?" Um, 'kay...

• Things to see: Two more classic Michael Jackson illustrations from Drew Friedman

Daily OCD: 6/24/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under SupermenstaffRichard SalareviewsPrince ValiantpreviewsPaul KarasikNell BrinkleyMichael KuppermanLove and RocketsJohn PhamJasonJacques TardiGilbert HernandezFletcher HankseventsDash ShawaudioArnold RothAnders NilsenAl JaffeeAbstract Comics 24 Jun 2009 2:53 PM

A double batch of Online Commentary & Diversions:

• List: Bdzoom reports that l'Association des Critiques et journalistes de Bande Dessinée (ACBD) has placed Bottomless Belly Button by Dash Shaw on their summer reading shortlist (there's Tardi on there too)

• Review: "Nell Brinkley was an icon for several generations of women... The art [in The Brinkley Girls] has been beautifully restored, a task that must have been pure torture given the density of Brinkley's drawings and that sophisticated color work. My hat's off to whoever did that fabulous job." - Allan Holtz, Stripper's Guide

• Review: "At one point in her comic-style memoir [You'll Never Know Book 1: A Good and Decent Man], Carol [Tyler] talks to us directly and says, 'The war was never really buried under tons of mental concrete. Rather, it was an active shaper of life, affecting moods and outcomes ... more than anyone ever knew.' Indeed. This is an important and deeply spiritual contribution to American culture." - David Crumm, Read the Spirit

• Review: "[You'll Never Know Book 1: A Good and Decent Man] is not your blood and guts portrayal of a ruthless soldier but rather an investigation into the emotional costs that war has on the combatant and the family that they sire, presenting a familiar story of the 'greatest generation' in an unfamiliar way." - Quentin Williams, two.one.five Magazine

• Review: "...Supermen! [is] a beautifully designed volume of early American comics... The edition is both aesthetically pleasing and sturdy, featuring clarified reprinting of the colour strips, covers, and scattered elements of advertisements and back matter." - Michael Leader, Den of Geek

• Review: "[West Coast Blues] is everything you would expect from a suspense thriller... Visually the comic book is also great. It's everything you would expect from Tardi... I don't believe that anybody else than him would have been able to visually translate Manchette's novel so well. It's like they worked together and that the comic book is the original material. Bottom line, this is another great comic book by Tardi. If you have never read anything by him you should. Luckily for North American readers, Fantagraphics announced that they that they were going to translate Tardi's work starting this fall." - Patrick Bérubé, Comic Book Bin

• Review: "You Shall Die By Your Own Evil Creation!... gathers all the remaining material that the alcoholic, abusive [Fletcher] Hanks did during his brief tenure as a comic book creator in the late 1930s and early 40s... [T]here’s still plenty of weird and wonderful tales to delight and disturb... [and] there are panels here that are rather stunning in their ability to create tension and drama... The work remains strange, powerful, funny, terrifying and yes, at times beautiful..." - Chris Mautner, Robot 6 (be sure to read the comments for an important clarification from editor Paul Karasik)

• Review: "Fans of Norwegian cult comics star Jason are in for something of a treat with Low Moon... what we have here are five stories, each of which would’ve previously warranted a collection in its own right, delivered together in one delicious hamper of Jason goodness... There’s never been a better time, then, to jump aboard the Jason train... This is as essential as comics gets." - Bookmunch

• Review: "It’s hard to think of a modern cartoonist with a more recognizable drawing style than Norway’s Jason... But Jason’s storytelling is just as distinctive as his drawing style... [and] the artist’s narrative approach has grown more adventurous over the years. Jason’s latest collection, Low Moon, is evidence of this trend... The reader, meanwhile, just lapses into a giddy comics coma." - Casey Jarman, Willamette Week

• Preview: Previews posts 7 pages from Low Moon. Have we mentioned it's in stores today?

• Preview: Action Yes throws a big spotlight on Abstract Comics with "A Quick Introduction to Abstract Comics" by Tim Gaze; several excerpts from the anthology, including part of editor Andrei Molotiu's introduction; and new comics (one, two) from Molotiu; not only that, the same issue includes new visual poetry from our very own Nico Vassilakis

• Interview: Brian Heater of The Daily Cross Hatch concludes his 2-part chat with "the visionary" Jason. Sample quote: "I worked in a furniture factory for nine months... I really hated it. So I went to art school instead. Turned out to be not that much of a difference, of course."

• Interview: The hosts of The Comix Claptrap podcast "talk comics shop and try to get LA gossip from talented cartoonist, John Pham, of Sublife, Kramers Ergot 7 and Mome fame"

• Plug: At The Geek Curmudgeon Rick Klaw says "I've been eagerly awaiting" the new Fletcher Hanks collection You Shall Die by Your Own Evil Creation!; previously, of Prince Valiant Vol. 1: 1937-1938 he simply says "WOW!"

• Plug: In addition to the previously linked online excerpt, New York Magazine also drops Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 1 by Michael Kupperman into the "Lowbrow/Brilliant" quadrant of their "Approval Matrix" in the print edition

• Plug: "Low Moon: It’s the latest from Jason. Or, in other words, it’s one of this week’s absolute must-reads." - J. Caleb Mozzocco, Newsarama

• Plug: "Pick of the week: Low Moon... [B]y this point Jason has proven himself to be one of the stellar talents in Fantagraphics' roster (which is really saying something, by the way) and this collection of short stories... should likely only cement that reputation as the artist plays with such traditional genres as the Western, film noir, and alien abductions. All offered with the usual dollops of sardonic humor and heartfelt sympathy." - Chris Mautner, Robot 6

• Plug: "Jason is sly and brilliant. [Low Moon] is highly recommended." - Corey Blake

• Plug: "Low Moon: New Jason, from Fantagraphics. All I need to know... This guy's a treasure." - Jog - The Blog

• Plug: John Jakala of Sporadic Sequential takes us to task for the smaller trim size of Luba vs. Palomar, but concedes "the smaller size is actually easier to handle when reading. OK, you win this round, Fantagraphics"

• Events: Publishers Weekly reports on the panels at the 2009 MoCCA Festival, including the Humbug panel with Al Jaffee & Arnold Roth and Paul Karasik's Fletcher Hanks presentation

• Speaking of whom: Paul Karasik posts an all-too-rare blog entry, this time on the sequential storytelling of Renaissance master Giotto

• Things to see: Richard Sala unearths an alternate, unused cover for Peculia and the Groon Grove Vampires

• Things to see: A new batch of sketchbookery from Anders Nilsen

Daily OCD: 6/17/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Zak SallyreviewsPrince ValiantNell BrinkleyLove and RocketsLeah HayesJules FeifferJoost SwarteJoe SaccoJasonGilbert HernandezDrew FriedmanCarol TylerBlazing Combat 17 Jun 2009 1:42 PM

Still catching up with Online Commentary & Diversions. There's more, but I'm out of time, so more catch-up tomorrow!

• Review: "The backbone of the family, and also its Achilles heel, Luba is a larger-than-life personality who jumps off every page, whether she's the focus of the segment or just a background player. [Gilbert] Hernandez collects over 100 stories here, ranging from graphic novellas to single-page episodes, with his usual dizzying cocktail of sexual intrigue, humor and soap opera-style angst." - Publishers Weekly (Starred Review - near end of page)

• Review: "[You'll Never Know Book 1] becomes a meditation on how the 'art' of our lives, its story, is found all around us, if we but pay attention... [R]ecommended... [and] illuminating." - Mark London Williams, The SF Site: Nexus Graphica

• Review: "There are two excellent interviews in the back of [Blazing Combat]... The interviews are part of what makes the comic so fascinating. Of course, it wouldn’t matter if the stories weren’t good, and they are... [Archie] Goodwin does a fine job keeping each story fresh and even getting into the heads of the characters... It’s a testament to Goodwin’s ability that he manages to write 28 (generally) anti-war stories, but never feels like he’s simply repeating himself... The art helps the book shine, as well... There’s not a poorly-illustrated story in the entire book, and some are eerily beautiful... These are both excellent comics and fascinating historical documents, and Blazing Combat is totally worth a read." - Greg Burgas, Comic Book Resources

• Review: "...[T]here’s an undercurrent in this anthology [Boody: The Bizarre Comics of Boody Rogers] that points to something curious and bizarre that’s worth the same sort of glance as a fake freak in a smarmy sideshow." - the johnandjanaverse

• Profile: Publishers Weekly talks to Trina Robbins about editing our "luscious" collection The Brinkley Girls: The Best of Nell Brinkley's Cartoons from 1913-1940. Sample quote: "It's just fascinating to me that you can open your dictionary and go to G and find Gibson Girls but you can't find Brinkley Girls under B."

• Profile: I don't think I would have guessed that Joost Swarte was influenced by Ed "Big Daddy" Roth, but so says he: The Walrus spotlights Swarte, who provides a cover illustration for the current issue, and whose long-gestating Fantagraphics collection Modern Swarte is still in the works

• Interview: Zak Sally professes a longstanding crush on Maggie & Hopey in a Q&A with Minnesota Reads

• Interview: At Newsarama, Zack Smith enjoys a lengthy chat with Jules Feiffer (and breaks the news to him that Explainers is nominated for an Eisner Award... oops, sorry Jules)

• List: Moolies posts his/her (?) "Top 10 graphic novels," including Safe Area Gorazde by Joe Sacco ("It's truly appalling reading, and the reason is because he's such a great artist, and a great listener too"), Peter Bagge's Buddy Bradley saga ("There's so much painful and embarrassing truth in Bagge's work, and it's carried along by a sharp, wisecracking sense of humour"), and Love and Rockets ("A stunning, extraordinary, even feminist (or humanist) body of work... It's always a joy, and I'm so glad they're still writing these stories")

• Plug: "We should all learn about Nell Brinkley in college. So if you’re currently in college, go check out The Brinkley Girls already. And if you’re out of college already, well go check it out anyway, because everyone seriously needs to see this book—Brinkley was that good." - J. Caleb Mozzocco, Newsarama

• Plug: "As fans of art and cool things in general we are thankful to a friend who sent us the following link to: The Brinkley Girls: The Best of Nell Brinkley's Cartoons from 1913-1940, edited by Trina Robbins... Nell was an amazing illustrator." - The GIV Family Blog

• Plug: Joakim Gunnarsson raves about the "fantastic" black & white edition of Prince Valiant Vol. 1, with photos

• Plug: Comic Book Junkie takes note of our video previews on YouTube (which are also visible, alongside extensive photo previews, in our Flickr stream)

• Plug: Annika in London recommends Leah Hayes's "beautiful book" Funeral of the Heart for the second time

• Plug: 999 spotlights Jason's Low Moon and, according to the Google translation from Spanish, calls us "blithe kids"

• Things to see: Airforce Amazons illustrates a blog post of topical world events with a two-page spread from Joe Sacco's Safe Area Gorazde

• Things to see: Friedman (Drew) does Ferrell (Will) for the NY Observer

Daily OCD: 6/16/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under staffreviewsNell BrinkleyMiss Lasko-GrossLove and RocketsJordan CraneJasonHumbugGilbert HernandezGahan WilsonFrom Wonderland with LoveDrew FriedmanChris WareCarol Tyler 16 Jun 2009 11:43 AM

Your Online Commentary & Diversions return from a short vacation. More catch-up tomorrow.

• Review: "[C.] Tyler’s fluid, expressive linework, complemented by subtly overlaid watercolors, gives ideal visual expression to a narrative that’s at once sensitive and hard-nosed. [You'll Never Know, Book 1] is Tyler’s first book-length effort, but decades of drawing mostly autobiographical stories have honed her skills, enabling her to produce a work that ranks in quality with the graphic memoirs of Alison Bechdel (Fun Home) and Marjane Satrapi (Persepolis)." - Gordon Flagg, Booklist (Starred Review; no link)

• Review: "Norwegian-French cartoonist Jason’s new book [Low Moon] is the first premiered in hardcover in the U.S. and contains his most minimally formatted stories... If you’re into genre fiction, have a sense of humor but no time for condescension, and haven’t encountered Jason yet, wait no longer." - Ray Olson, Booklist (Starred Review; no link)

• Review: "This is the best thing I have ever been sent to review. I didn't think that this book would ever exist but now it does and it'd better than I could have imagined... The eleven issues of Humbug are faithfully reprinted in this two-volume hardcover set and it comes in a fancy and sturdy box. The magazines were funny and beautiful with art by Will Elder and Jack Davis and some other folks. If you don't buy this book then I don't want to know you... There is no excuse for not buying this right now. Sell your hair, blood, or skin to get it." - Nick Gazin, Vice

• Review: "Luba encompasses everything a turn-of-the-21st-century graphic novel should be: paraliterary or lowbrow tropes of comics, pornography, soap opera, blended seamlessly with a highbrow literary accomplishment of pathos and familial history. It is as profane as it is dense. Almost postmodern in its self-reference... and frequently silly in its blatant cartoonishness, Luba is surreal and bizarre and arousing and gut-wrenching and hilarious." - Dusty Horn, CarnalNation

• Review: "If you grew up 'different'... you’ll find a lot that’s familiar in A Mess of Everything. [Miss] Lasko-Gross is close enough to this material to keep it particular – she avoids the sweeping gesture and the grand statement at all times – and distanced enough from it to see it as part of her past, fodder for stories rather than a raw wound. It’s a fine book from a very talented creator, and I expect we’ll see much more from Miss Lasko-Gross as the years go on." - Andrew Wheeler, ComicMix

• Review: "...[Miss Lasko-Gross] displays... subtlety and balance in her portrayal of her teen-age years... [I]n its portrayal of the importance and tenuous nature of teenage friendships, [A Mess of Everything] glows with sharp recognition." - Chris Mautner, Robot 6

• Review: "One title I haven't been able to put down is The Brinkley Girls: The Best of Nell Brinkley's Cartoons from 1913-1940, edited by Trina Robbins... I was blown away by what I discovered within these pages... The images are sexy, glamorous, colorful -- Brinkley clearly appreciated and understood her subjects, and some of her work made me feel as if I were stepping right into the flapper era." - Whitney Matheson, USA Today Pop Candy

• Review: "[Uptight #3] is very very good... The plot [of 'Vicissitude'] is a bitter little thing, steeped in infidelity, alcohol, career dissatisfaction, hints of class self-consciousness, and frustration with the path your life has taken -- like a Pulp song, almost.... Crane's Sam and Jack stories unfold like the pipes and vents upon which this tale centers: they bend and twist and wind in comically baroque ways, yet Crane's control of his visuals and the story's tone are so self-assured that it all seems completely logical, like a mind consciously built it this way and if you have a little faith, it'll work like it's supposed to." - Sean T. Collins

• Review: "Just a quick mention of what may turn out to be my favorite damn cover of 2009... check out Uptight issue #3..." - Blair Butler, G4 Fresh Ink Online (video; review starts around 1:34)

• Plug: "Jason is really one of the best cartoonists at work today, and you should check out this reading." - Paul Constant, The Stranger, recommending last Saturday's appearance by Jason at our Seattle bookstore

• Interview: Brian Heater of The Daily Cross Hatch got some face time for a Q&A with Jason at the 2009 MoCCA Festival. Sample quote: "I think it’s fun to bring different genres together and try to bring in something new, to see it from a new angle, that it’s a bit more than just a pastiche."

• Interview: "Frankly, I think it's a losing game to try to generalize about the relationship between biography and literature." - Chris Ware, interviewed by Joan Luna at 13 Milliones de Naves (translation from Google)

• Preview: ICv2 takes a peek at our upcoming collection Gahan Wilson: 50 Years of Playboy Cartoons

• Preview: The Geek Curmudgeon looks forward to From Wonderland with Love: Danish Comics in the Third Millennium 

• Events: Zane Austin Grant of PopMatters reports from the "Ah, Humbug!" panel with Al Jaffee and Arnold Roth at the 2009 MoCCA Festival

• Things to see: At Truthout.org, a Drew Friedman illustration from Time illustrates a Bill Maher editorial from the Los Angeles Times

• Staff news: Fantagraphics warehouse manager and noted practitioner of visual poetry Nico Vassilakis has a new book, Protracted Type, which can be purchased or downloaded here