"What’s most impressive about Swain’s story is its quiet nature, and its delicate portrayal of darkness. Instead of going for the obvious and imposing gruesome imagery to match the backdrop of macabre, Swain portrays the setting as a far more subtle place to contain unease, at time bucolic even with the fog of despair that sometimes hangs there." – John Seven, Vermicious
"That's Davis' sensibility. In her roundabout way, she dramatizes not the prospect of happiness, but the promise of it. Her natural territory is found in all the funny and tragic effects of that promise." – Etelka Lehoczky, NPR
"Though Watson illustrates Tammy’s life in excruciating, embarrassing detail to often-hilarious effect, her clear affection and empathy for her subject shines through. She universalizes Tammy’s experiences, taking us back to relive our own tortured, giddy, deadly serious, horny, boring, and horribly self-conscious teenage years." – Robert Kirby, The Comics Journal
"This is exactly what summer blockbusters should be, only Milburn’s is a singular vision. He exploits clichés by embracing them, and he busily captures hyperspace hilarity, while the black and white pages never feel overwhelmed by the dark backdrops or Milburn’s detailed designs." – Alex Carr, Broken Frontier
"Tardi is unremitting in his focus on the small, human details of the catastrophe—not just the look of uniforms and weaponry, but the way one soldier advances in an awkward, stiff-armed posture, 'protecting my belly with the butt of the rifle,' and the way another makes sculptures and rings from discarded shells, to sell to his comrades." – Gabriel Winslow-Yost, The New York Review of Books
"Many of Davis’ stories here explore the way people live with each other and try to find themselves in the modern world. They are funny, surprising, touching, and insightful. Some have a sci-fi slant to them, some are fantasy, and some are just about real people." – Rich Barrett, Mental Floss
"The title story might be the best known in the entire EC comics oeuvre… EC tales often sported morals reinforcing decency and forward-thinking that were decades ahead of their time. 'Judgment Day' is one such story, an O. Henry type of tale about an Earthling astronaut who visits a robot-inhabited planet that is strictly divided along color lines…When the twist ending comes, it carries a surprise even today; sadly, this reflects as much on our own time as the era in which the story was produced." – David Maine, Spectrum Culture
"I was amazed to find that many of these people were born in the late 1800s and that most of them have military service as part of their illustrious resumes. These weren’t hoity-toity art students born with silver spoons in their mouths; these were hard-working American mutts that, against nearly impossible odds – using only their imaginations, a lot of blood, sweat and tears (and apparently a huge amount of cigarette smoke) – managed to craft a uniquely American artistic medium that would influence countless generations to come." – Bob Leeper, Nerdvana
"The story unfolds asynchronously, creating a sense of mystery. Why does the kids’ teacher, Miss Sakaki, have bandages on her face? Why is the class bully so affected by what happened to Arié? Why is the new kid at school, Amahiko, willing to jump out of his classroom’s window? And why are there glowing butterflies everywhere?" – Unshelved
Plug:Paul Gravett has a feature on French artist Jacques Tardi: "The exhibition and much of Tardi’s work reveals his strong anti-war feeling. It’s an obsession that goes back to his childhood, part of it spent in post-War Germany."
Commentary:MTV.com on social issues being discussed and dissected at Comic-Con. Trina Robbins "described the underground comics world being like a boys' club she wasn't invited into. So she and other women made their own comics. 'I produced the very first all-woman comic book in the world, in 1970,' she said. Her new book, 'Pretty in Ink,' is about women cartoonists, and only the latest book by this herstorian of women in comics."
Acclaimed cartoonist Lucy Knisley (French Milk, Relish) got an opportunity that most only dream of: a travel-expenses-paid trip to Europe and Scandinavia, thanks to a book tour. An Age of License is Knisley's comics travel memoir recounting her charming (and romantic!) adventures. It’s punctuated by whimsical visual devices (such as a "new experiences" funnel); peppered with the cute cats she meets along the way; and, of course, features her hallmark — drawings and descriptions of food that will make your mouth water. But it’s not all kittens and raclette crêpes: Knisley's experiences are colored by anxieties, introspective self-inquiries, and quotidian revelations — about traveling alone in unfamiliar countries, and about her life and career — that many young adults will relate to. An Age of License — which takes its name from a French saying — is an Eat, Pray, Love for the alternative comics fan.
"Woven through the pages, impressing lightly on Helen’s still child-like mind, are issues such as transgenderism and isolation, appearance and identity, the harsh truths surrounding the commercialisation of nature and the issue of suicide among struggling farmers." – Tom Murphy, Broken Frontier
"Davis notes in the book's opening pages that 'this is not a book about how to be happy,' and I agree. How to Be Happy is a book that shows people living with despair, grief, and unhappiness. It is a book about how people fail and sometimes succeed in calming the harsh storm inside ourselves." – Sequential State
Interview:Scout Books profiles Eleanor Davis: "Initially I think I tried to water down my stuff too much, which was a mistake. Now I try to be as much of my own voice as I can get away with. The art directors tell me when it’s too much. What I’ve found is that if I enjoy myself making a piece, people will respond to it. If I’m bored making a piece folks won’t like looking at it either."
"Friedman is known for adroitly capturing gesture, mood, and psychological nuance in vivid portraits somehow combining elements of caricature and realism…Each of his portraits feels so alive, it is like being welcomed into each artist’s private world." – Steven Heller, The Atlantic
"I knew that [Glenn Bray] was the first person to seek out and collect the work of the great Donald Duck comic book artist writer Carl Barks back in the 1960s, that he published some small books about grotesque-artist Basil Wolverton, and that he was the champion of forgotten genius Stanislav Szukalski…He was probably the first real comic book art collector, buying original work in an era when everyone else considered it to be worthless." – Mark Frauenfelder, Wink
Commentary:Comic Book Resourcesrecaps Fantagraphics' SDCC Panel, "Fantagraphics Forward": "Groth said that what sets Fantagraphics apart from other comics publishers is the fact that 'almost everything we publish is written and drawn by the same person,' an approach which has contributed to defining the Fantagraphics aesthetic."
At Comic-Con last week, we completely sold out of our booth copies of Lucy Knisley's upcoming travellogue, An Age of License! For those of you who weren't able to snag a copy then, here is a peek inside Knisley's latest memoir. More photos and video to come soon, and the book is due to land on bookstore shelves and at our warehouse in September.
"…the in-process method of writing and drawing her adventures as they happen gives a vibrant immediacy to situations and sensations. Belying her relatively simple but charming cartooning style, Knisley pages are a cornucopia of information and detail: oversized seagulls, bilingual schoolchildren, and lying sat-navs populate her travels." – Publishers Weekly
"In Twelve Gems, Milburn has created a playful homage to the genre that also incorporates some of the “Marvel-isms” that were injected into the form in the '60s and '70s by Jack Kirby (primarily in The Fantastic Four and Thor) and Jim Starlin (during his stints on Captain Marvel and Warlock). The result is a work that can be enjoyed by a diverse body of comics readers, ranging from old school fans of the form all the way through to newbies who just saw the Guardians of the Galaxy movie." – Bill Boichel, Comics Workbook
"Graham Ingels is the poet laureate of the EC horror comics. His stories are some of the most iconic of the entire line, full of newly revived corpses, horrific villains and some of the scariest moments that have ever been put down on the comics page." – Jason Sacks, Comics Bulletin
"Buddy’s life paralleled my own in some sense (crap jobs, weirdo roommates), but essentially I am not, nor will I ever be like Buddy Bradley. I certainly know the type, however, and therein lies the appeal of Buddy as a main character. The revolving cast of nut jobs that Buddy attracts to himself, and is attracted by, doesn’t hurt the appeal or comic potential either, nor does the sharp wit, great dialogue and Bagge’s unique style of rubbery, quavering limbs, popping eyes and massive pie holes shouting and swearing off the pages." – Chris Auman, Sound on Sight
Here's a complete list of fun panels our cartoonists, editors and team players will be on Thursday through Sunday at San Diego Comic Con. We love questions so don't feel shy at the panels. And check out all these people during their lovely signings at the table, booth #1718.
Thursday, July 24th
5:00-6:00 Spotlight on Eleanor Davis Eleanor Davis (How to be Happy) will do an autobiographical presentation that has something to do with finding truth in fiction & the strange passions inside an author/reader relationship. Room 9
6:30p.m. - 7:30p.m Indie Comics Marketing & PR 101 Have a comic but don't know how to get it in front of the most people possible? Learn essential marketing and PR tips and tricks from the industry's best in this roundtable discussion, revealing all the secrets of pulling off effective marketing & PR to get your comic noticed. Host Chip Mosher (comiXology's marketing & PR maven) is joined by BOOM! Studio's dynamic marketing & PR duo Mel Caylo and Christine Dinh, along with Fantagraphics Books's stellar PR and marketing team Jacq Cohen and Jen Vaughn, for an inspiring and wide-ranging discussion that will teach you how to market yourself and your comic to the widest audience possible. Room: 8
8-9:00pm Monkeybrain Comics: Digital and Beyond Since launching in 2012, Monkeybrain Comics has become recognized as a premier publisher for quality digital comics, and many of their titles have since been released in print editions by publishers such as IDW, Image/Shadowline, and Dark Horse. Co-publishers Allison Baker (Monkeybrain Comics) and Chris Roberson (Edison Rex) are joined by Anina Bennett (Heartbreakers), Christopher Sebela (High Crimes), Jen Vaughn (Avery Fatbottom), and Gabriel Hardman (Kinski) to discuss the advantages of publishing digitally and how digital and print can work together. Room 28DE
10am-11am Will Eisner: Teacher and Mentor For a magic moment, New York City's School of Visual Arts had Will Eisner, Harvey Kurtzman, and Art Spiegelman all teaching classes on comics. Hear stories about those classes from students Joe Quesada (Marvel Entertainment), Drew Friedman (Heroes of the Comics), Batton Lash (Supernatural Law), Mike Carlin (DC Entertainment), and a surprise guest. Plus a not-to-be missed discussion about Will Eisner's other educational efforts. Moderated by Paul Levitz, who is writing Will Eisner: Champion of the Graphic Novel for release next year by Abrams ComicArts.
11:00am - Noon Moving Forward by Looking Back: The Golden Age of Archival Books
President of IDW Publishing Greg Goldstein leads a spirited discussion about the recent boom in prestige collections of archival comic material. Joining Greg will be renowned comic book historian Craig Yoe, VP of book trade sales at Dark Horse Comics Michael Martens, founder of Sunday Press Peter Maresca, associate publisher of Fantagraphics Eric Reynolds, and IDW senior editor of special projects Scott Dunbier. If you have a bookshelf bowing under the weight of great big books full of comics and still crave more, this is the panel for you! Plus announcements and giveaways. Just added! Dean Mullaney from the Library of American Comics! Room: 32AB Eric
3:00pm-4:00pm Words and Pictures Presenting some of the most exciting voices in graphic novels today: Michael Cho (Shoplifter), Faith Erin Hicks (Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong), Lucy Knisley (Relish, An Age of License), Jen Wang (In Real Life), and Gene Luen Yang (The Shadow Hero). The age of the graphic novel is truly beginning in the comics industry, and these panelists will discuss their own work, their process, and the future they see for graphic novels today. Moderated by Lev Grossman (TIME).
Friday July 25, 2014 3:00pm - 4:00pm Room 9
3:30-4:30pm A Celebration of Walt Kelly's 101st Birthday Last year, we had such a good time celebrating the 100th birthday of the creator of one of comics' great newspaper strips that we've decided to keep the party going. Kelly's magnum opus, Pogo, is now receiving its first ever complete reprinting in an Eisner-winning series from Fantagraphics Books. Let's remember him with David Silverman (The Simpsons), Jeff Smith (Bone), comic historian Maggie Thompson (Comics Buyer's Guide), film critic Leonard Maltin, Carolyn Kelly (co-editor of the Complete Pogo series and Walt's daughter), and moderator Mark Evanier (Groo the Wanderer). Room 8
4:30pm-5:30pm Humor in Graphic Novels & Illustration Moderated by the Comics Reporter himself, Tom Spurgeon, this panel will explore the use of humor by today's best cartoonists slash illustrators. Drew Friedman (Old Jewish Comedians)'s newest book Heroes of the Comics debuts right here at Comic-Con, and his comics and illustrations have appeared in National Lampoon and High Times. Lisa Hanawalt is the James Beard Award winner for humor for her comics in Lucky Peach and is the cartoonist behind My Dirty Dumb Eyes. Mimi Pond wrote the pilot of The Simpsons, the cult classic The Valley Girl's Guide to Life, and her new fictionalized memoir Over Easy. Spurgeon will get out of these cartoonists' way when they lay it on thick, explain when to go easy, and share how to always get a laugh. Friday July 25, 2014 4:30pm - 5:30pm Room 26AB
Saturday 11:00am-12:00pm Spotlight on Don Rosa American cartoonist and Comic-Con special guest Don Rosa is best known for his Uncle Scrooge and Donald Duck stories, especially his prize-winning Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck. Join Fantagraphics publisher and life-long friend Gary Groth as he interviews the man in the ink-stained gloves who wrote and drew a whopping two decades' worth of ripping Scrooge and Donald yarns. Room 4
12:00pm - 1:00pm Spotlight on Drew Friedman Comic-Con special guest Drew Friedman (author/artist of Heroes of the Comics) and Gary Groth (publisher of Fantagraphics Books) discuss Friedman's new book Heroes of the Comics, debuting at Comic-Con. Friedman and Groth will discuss many of the comics legends portrayed in the book, including some they have known personally, among them Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Will Eisner, and Harvey Kurtzman. Room 23ABC
2:00-3:00pm Spotlight on Lucy Knisley Comic-Con special guest Lucy Knisley, author of Relish: My Life in the Kitchen and the forthcoming An Age of License, discusses her creative process, her upcoming book, and her unique approach to nonfiction graphic novels. Room 28DE
5:00-6:00pm Comics 101: Making Sense of the World of Comics Just getting into comics but not sure where to start? Loving all the new comic movies and TV shows but don't know which series ties in best? Noted comics industry professionals discuss how they started reading comics, their favorite series, and what's popular and awesome in the world of comics today. Moderated by comiXology's marketing maven Chip Mosher, he'll be joined by comiXology co-founder and CEO David Steinberger, DC Entertainment's SVP Vertigo & Integrated Publishing Hank Kanalz, BOOM! Studios' Lumberjanes editor Dafna Pleban, Fantagraphics Books marketing and outreach manager Jen Vaughn, and writer of Five Ghosts , Black Market, and Solar: Man of the Atom Frank J. Barbiere. Room 28DE
Sunday, July 27th 10-11:00am Comics for the Whole Family Everyone loves comics, and the only thing better than reading comics is sharing them with your friends and family. An all-star panel of cartoonists discuss what makes a great all-ages comic book that the whole family can enjoy. Panelists include Comic-Con special guests Brian Crane (Pickles), Eleanor Davis (How to Be Happy, The Secret Science Alliance), Brian Haberlin (Anomaly Productions), Willie Ito (The Flintstones, Bugs Bunny), and Don Rosa (Uncle Scrooge and Donald Duck); moderated by Andrew Farago (curator, Cartoon Art Museum; author of TMNT: The Ultimate Visual History). Room 23ABC
10:00-11:00am Nickelodeon: New Animated Comedies! Be the first to see an exclusive peek at Nickelodeon's new LOL-inducing animated comedies! You'll also get an insider's look at the creative processes behind these funny, warped, endearing, and booty-shaking shows. The panel features Breadwinners creators Steve Borst and Gary "Doodles" Di Raffaele, Pig Goat Banana Cricket creators Johnny Ryan and Dave Cooper, and executive producer David Sacks. Chowder creator C. H. Greenblatt will be showing off his brand new Nickelodeon series with the working title Bad Seeds. Moderated by Rich Magallanes (SVP of current series animation for Nickelodeon). Room 7AB
3:00-4:00pm Fictionalized Nonfiction: The art of combining Fact & Fiction The Beat's Heidi MacDonald will get today's best literary cartoonists to spill their guts on just how they use moments and memories from their lives with actual facts from the time period and how they combine everything into the art of nonfiction or the fictitious memoir. Gilbert Hernandez is the cartoonist behind Marble Season, Bumperhead, and Love and Rockets that touches on his childhood but never tells the full story of his life as one of the famous Hernandez Brothers. Mimi Pond's Over Easy tells the story of Madge, an art school drop out in the '70s when hippy met punk, a story close to her own life. David Lasky's The Carter Family is a biography of the first superstar group of country. MacDonald will ask: Do they draw likenesses from memories or from photographs? Do they take liberties with the facts to tell a more engrossing story? "Fictionalized Nonfiction" will peek into the creative process of today's leading graphic novelists. Room 32AB
This is your official warning to bring your heavy duty bags and library book carts because here are our San Diego Comic Con graphic novel and comic debuts. Need a workout? Well, you're gonna get it by grasping our beautiful tomes to your chest as you happily leave, arms full from a fun time at Fantagraphics, booth #1718!
How to Be Happy is Eleanor Davis's first collection of graphic/literary short stories collectingthe best stories she's drawn for Mome, Nobrow, and Lucky Peach, as well in her own self-published comics. Davis achieves a rare, subtle poignancy in her narratives that are at once compelling and elusive, pregnant with mystery and a deeply satisfying emotional resonance. Happy shows the full range of Davis's skills — sketchy drawing, polished pen-and-ink line work, and meticulously designed full-color painted panels — which are always in the service of a narrative that builds to a quietly devastating climax. In stores August, $24.99
An Age of License is Lucy Knisley's (French Milk, Relish) comics travel memoir recounting her charming (and romantic!) tour of Europe and Scandinavia. Featuring her hallmark mouth-watering drawings and descriptions of food, Knisley's experiences are colored by anxieties, introspective self-inquiries — about traveling alone in unfamiliar countries, and about her life — that many young adults will relate to. It's is an Eat, Pray, Love for the alternative comics fan. In Stores August, $19.99
Walt Disney's Uncle Scrooge and Donald Duck: The Son of the Sun (The Don Rosa Library Vol. 1)by Don Rosa -The Richest Duck in the World is back — and so are noisy nephew Donald, wunderkinder Huey, Dewey, and Louie, and rascally richnik Flintheart Glomgold! We’re proud to present our first complete, chronological book of Duck adventures by contemporary fan favorite Don Rosa, who drew a whopping two decades’ worth of ripping Scrooge and Donald yarns! It's at a price even Scrooge would consider a bargain! In stores September, $29.99.
Heroes of the Comics: Portraits of the Legends of Comic Books by Drew Friedman - Featuring approximately 75 full-color portraits and essays lovingly rendered and chosen by Drew Friedman. Heroes includes the full spectrum of American comics pioneers and legends of the ‘30s to the ‘50s: publishers, editors, and artists like Stan Lee, Harvey Kurtzman, Will Eisner, Al Jaffee, Jack Davis, Will Elder, Bill Gaines, and more. It’s a Hall of Fame of comic book history from the man Boing Boing calls "America’s greatest living portrait artist!" In stores August, $34.99
Hip Hop Family Tree Vol. 2 by Ed Piskor - Book 2 covers the early years of 1981-1983, when Hip Hop makes its big transition from the parks and rec rooms to downtown clubs and vinyl records. While many performers use flamboyant personas to stand out from the audience, a young group called RUN-DMC comes on the scene to take things back to the streets. This volume introduces superstars like NWA, The Beastie Boys, Doug E Fresh, KRS One, ICE T, and early Public Enemy, with cameos by Dolemite, LL Cool J, Notorious BIG, and New Kids on the Block(?!)!
In stores August, $27.99.
Hip Hop Family Tree Box Setby Ed Piskor - To celebrate the critical success of the first two volumes of Piskor's unprecedented history of Hip Hop, we are offering the two books in a mind-blowingly colorful slipcase, drawn and designed by the artist, featuring exclusive all-new cover art on each volume. Also included is the box set exclusive 24-page comic Hip Hop Family Tree #300, Piskor’s elegant reflection on the ‘90s confluence of hip hop and comics, told in a perfect parody/pastiche/homage to that era’s Image comics. In stores November, $59.99.
Jimby Jim Woodring - Jim is a mind-bending collection of all of Woodring's best non-Frank creative work — comics stories, prose stories, drawings, and paintings all centered around Woodring's cartoon alter ego. This fictional doppelganger has for 30 years inhabited Woodring's alternate universe where shifting, phantasmagoric landscapes, abrupt, hallucinatory visual revelations, and unexpected eruptions of uninhibited verbal self-flagellation are commonplace. Collected here for the first time, Jim is a bounty of Woodring's inspired artistry. In stores late July, $29.99.
Love and Rockets Library (Palomar & Luba Book 4): Luba and Her Family by Gilbert Hernandez - Beto's characters bid "Farewell, My Palomar" as they exit the Eden of the Central American town in Volume 10 of the Love and Rockets Library. When an earthquake levels Palomar, ever-resourceful Luba and her clan are on the move once again. In the U.S., the lives of Maria's daughters — mayor and matriarch Luba, body-builder Petra, and therapist/film star Fritz — and their families become more and more intertwined. In stores now, $18.99.
Cosplayers 2by Dash Shaw - The "Cosplayers" chronicle continues as Annie and Verti attend the 3-day anime convention "Tezukon." entering the competition as Princess Mononoke and the Devil May Cry Lady. During the convention they face off against a Street Fighter 2 Cammy, encounter two otaku boys who are obsessed with their youtube videos, and meet a manga scholar named Ben Baxter, who sleeps in a dumpster outside of the hotel and receives visions of the ending of Tezuka's unfinished "Phoenix" saga. "Cosplayers 2" is a sweet, funny, melancholic ode to the anime convention experience!
In stores now, $5.00.
Barnaby Vol. 2by Crockett Johnson; edited by Eric Reynolds and Philip Nel - The long-lost comic strip masterpiece by Crockett Johnson, legendary children’s book author (Harold and the Purple Crayon), designed by graphic novelist and Barnaby superfan Daniel Clowes. Vol. 2 collects the years 1944-1945 of the series, as five-year-old Barnaby Baxter and his cigar-chomping, bumbling con-artist Fairy Godfather J.J. O’Malley encounter leprechauns, gnomes, ghosts, ermine hunters, soap salesmen, and more! In stores now, $39.99.
Bomb Run and Other Stories (The EC Comics Library) by John Severin - Combining the taut emotional and psychological insights of Stephen Crane with the gritty verisimilitude of eyewitness reportage, Harvey Kurtzman and John Severin, with inker and friend Will Elder, produced 34 war stories in just under three years. Emotionally draining and dramatically eloquent, this book collects epic settings: the Roman empire; the Revolutionary War; the American-Indian Wars; the Alamo; the Civil War; World War I (in trenches and in air); World War II ; and the Korean War. In stores now, $29.99.
DKW: Ditko Kirby Woodby Sergio Ponchione - An exquisite tribute to three of the most acclaimed comic book artists of all time: Steve Ditko, Jack Kirby and Wallace Wood! Acclaimed Italian cartoonist Sergio Ponchione pays tribute to this "holy trinity" in this wildly imaginative one-shot comic, split into three chapters, with each chapter drawn in a pitch-perfect homage to one of his idols.
In stores now, $4.99.
Wandering Son 7by Shimura Takako - Takako's groundbreaking, critically acclaimed, and beloved Wandering Son continues to explore gender identity among its cast of middle school students in our 7th volume. Nitori-kun gets his first signs of acne. This may well be the end of the world - unless Anna-chan can help. Meanwhile, Nitori-kun and Chiba-san are scouted by the theater club, leading to friction with Takatsuki-san.
In stores August, $24.99.
Judgment Day and Other Stories (The EC Comics Library)illustrated by Joe Orlando - Judgment Day collects 23 of Joe Orlando’s best sci-fi comics, including Al Feldstein adaptations with classic O. Henry-style endings. With its blunt anti-racism message, the title story is one of EC’s most famous: after publisher Bill Gaines and Feldstein having fought the Comics Code to keep the story’s last panel (and thus its whole point) intact, “Judgment Day” became the last story in the last comic book EC published. Also included are outstanding Ray Bradbury adaptations and EC’s “Adam Link,” which was later adapted for The Outer Limits TV show featuring Leonard Nimoy. In stores now, $23.99.
Pirates in the Heartland: The Mythology of S. Clay Wilson Vol. 1 by S. Clay Wilson; edited by Patrick Rosenkranz - The first of a three-volume biography and retrospective, Pirates is the definitive account of the boldest and most audacious of the legendary underground cartoonists. Combining first person accounts from his peers with S. Clay Wilson’s own words, this book stands as a revealing portrait of a rebel who hid his shyness behind brash behavior and bluster.Pirates in the Heartland shows us an artist who truly lived his dreams and his nightmares. In stores now, $34.99.
Twelve Gemsby Lane Milburn - The mysterious Dr. Z has enlisted three space heroes to search the galaxy for the fabled Twelve Gems of Power: the hulking alien-brawn Furz; the beautiful and deadly sabre-wielding Venus; and the soft-spoken canine technician, Dogstar. They meet many strange and storied characters on their journey, but none so strange or sinister as their dear benefactor himself. With a heavy dose of humor and wall-to-wall action, this sci-fi epic is one of the most action-packed and funny books of the year.
In stores now, $19.99
Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 5: Outwits the Phantom Blot by Floyd Gottfredson - Our latest book finds Mickey battling "Mighty Whalehunter" Pegleg Pete on the high seas, meeting a powerful genie, and taking on Disney’s greatest villain — the vile Phantom Blot! Lovingly restored from Disney's original proof sheets, this volume also includes more than 30 pages of extras: including rare behind-the-scenes art, vintage publicity material, and fascinating commentary by a most-wanted list of Disney scholars. In stores July, $34.99
witzendby Wallace Wood and various artists - When the formulaic constraints, censorious nature, and onerous lack of creators' rights in mainstream comics got to be too much for the brilliant cartoonist Wallace Wood in 1966, he struck out on his own with the self-publishedwitzend. It became a haven for Wood and his fellow professional cartoonist friends where they could produce the kind of personal work that they wanted to do, without regard to commercial demands — and with friends like Frank Frazetta, Al Williamson, Reed Crandall, Ralph Reese, Archie Goodwin, Angelo Torres, Steve Ditko, Harvey Kurtzman, Will Elder, Art Spiegelman, Don Martin, Vaughn Bodé, Jim Steranko, Jeff Jones, Howard Chaykin, Trina Robbins, Bernie Wrightson, and literally dozens more, it was bound to be a great ride! Now, Fantagraphics presents the complete run of witzendin this beautiful slipcased two-volume set with a special introduction by Bill Pearson and a history by Patrick Rosenkranz. In stores now, $125.00
A massively overdue collection of Online Commentaries and Diversions, now on a weekly (or so) basis:
Review: the Absolute on The Amateurs by Conor Stechschulte. "Where The Amateursand Stechschulte truly shine are the moments of calm reflection that heighten the tension between episodes of violence and dismemberment. The butchers continually discuss their predicament, shifting between sorrow, fear, rage, and exhaustion." – Marie Anellothe Absolute
Review: Comics Worth Reading recommends An Age of License by Lucy Knisley. "Like the best travelogues, An Age of License shows you what it would be like to visit a place while reminding you that you can never have the same experience. If you liked her last book, Relish: My Life in the Kitchen, you should definitely check this out — there are some food mentions you’ll appreciate, but where Relish focused on past events, An Age of License gives more insight into the person Lucy Knisley is now." – Johanna Draper Carlson, Comics Worth Reading
Review: The Irish Times discusses how The Love Bunglers by Jaime Hernandez exemplifies the strengths of the graphic novel format. "As ever with Hernandez, it’s funny, complex, unsettling and beautifully drawn. It’s also a reminder that a graphic novel can do things that a novel told in straightforward prose simply can’t." – Anna Carey, The Irish Times
"That's the fascinating paradox of John Severin's war comics, and of Kurtzman's war comics in general. A story like "Night Patrol!" may have all the details of the soldier's uniforms correct, portray their formations precisely and even be photo-referenced from the landscape of the region in which these men hike. But what really stands out here (maybe my favorite piece in the book due to its noir feel) is the sense that the men are trapped by their surroundings and their job, oppressed by the desolate landscape, unfeeling sky and cold rain that conspire to make their lives miserable." – Jason Sacks, Comics Bulletin
Review: The Comics Alternative examines the political and historical contexts of Wallace Wood's Cannon. "For anyone familiar with spy fiction, the stories serialized in this collection are fairly standard, often serving as political mirrors that reflect the disillusionment felt by soldiers and veterans exiting the Vietnam War. In the course of the book, Cannon fights South American insurgents (led by Hitler in disguise, of course), domestic terrorists, right-wing militias, emasculated conmen, and neo-Nazis (but not the ones led by Hitler in disguise)." – Kenneth Kimbrough, The Comics Alternative
Check out this amazing video on S. Clay Wilson, with highlights from the upcoming Pirates in the Heartland: The Mythology of S. Clay Wilson Vol. 1:
Review: Comics Bulletin on Mickey Mouse Outwits the Phantom Blot by Floyd Gottfredson. "This is a gorgeous, surprising, wonderful package of stories full of thrills, surprises and a heady level of quality cartooning. The twists and turns that the masterful Floyd Gottfredson delivers are wonders to behold. If you think that Mickey is just a boring corporate icon, you need to read his battles with the Phantom Blot." – Jason Sacks, Comics Bulletin
Review: Comics Bulletin on M.K. Brown's collected works in Stranger than Life. "Brown is one of those rare cartoonists who's been able to follow her own muse for most of her career, and while some of the material presented in this book has the sort of off-center approach that many of the bestNew Yorker cartoonists take (as in the excerpts above), other pieces are more freeform, more of what seems like a reflection of Brown's unique inner life; all bulbous people drifting through life, doing faintly ridiculous things for pretty much no good reason." – Jason Sacks, Comics Bulletin
Review:Comics Alliance looks at Inio Asano's Nijigahara Holograph and it's legacy of violence. "Nijigahara Holograph manages to do many things very well. It's a sprawling story that never loses its focus on characters. It's symbolically laden without being heavy handed...It carries a palpable dread that will haunt you well after you put it down." – Kevin Church, Comics Alliance
Review: HTML Giant on Cosplayers by Dash Shaw. "This comic looks to both examine and excise our notions of otaku, nerds, geeks, and the like. Cosplayers will strike a chord with anyone who turns to reading as an escape, be they lit-nerd, comic geek, messageboard troll, or a little mixture of all of the above." – HTML Giant
August just keeps looking better and better! Among the dizzyingly beautiful books we're excited to bring to you in two months is best-selling cartoonist Lucy Knisley's newest book, a travelogue documenting her trip throughout Europe in the fall of 2011.
An Age of License follows Lucy as she navigates new countries, new experiences, and new romance, all rendered in an often-whimsical, sometimes stream-of-consciousness style that perfectly captures her moments of introspection between the memories she captures on the road. This part narration, part sketchbook format takes us right into Lucy's thoughts and revelations.