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Category >> Mark Kalesniko

Daily OCD: 5/13-5/16/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Wilfred SantiagoTim KreiderThe Comics JournalTaking Punk to the MassesreviewsPeter BaggePeanutsPaul NelsonMichael KuppermanMark KalesnikoLove and RocketsLou ReedLos Bros HernandezLorenzo MattottiKevin AveryJoyce FarmerJohnny RyanFantagraphics BookstoreDaily OCDCharles M SchulzAl Jaffee21 16 May 2011 7:22 PM

The Online Commentary & Diversions hamster wheel started spinning a little too fast, but I think I've got it back under control now:

21: The Story of Roberto Clemente

Feature: For Largehearted Boy's "Book Notes" feature, Wilfred Santiago creates a musical playlist for 21: The Story of Roberto Clemente: "Golden age animation has been a big influence on my work and the graphic novel itself is very musical. It would be interesting to see the shape that it would take as a feature film. So here is what the 21 soundtrack would sound like."

(The following links are via the Largehearted Boy link above:)

Review: "The graphic novel [21] is a beautifully wrought Clemente collage, following the hitter from the impactful events of childhood through his career as a Pirate and up to his untimely death. While there were several poignant dramatic through lines, the book’s strength lies in its brilliant visuals, which far outweigh its strictly biographical content. In addition to his many other notable qualities, like his humanitarianism and his greatness as a player, Clemente was a beautiful man, with a striking physicality. Drawing on this aesthetic truth, Santiago stuns and heightens it, with an imaginative and dramatic illustrative style, with its palette of Pirates yellow, and orange and black. The oral tradition of myth-making is put into visual form here." – Ted Walker, Pitchers & Poets

Review: "The comic book biography is alive and well in 21: The Story of Roberto Clemente... In 21, Wilfred Santiago, who was also born in Puerto Rico, uses the language of comic books to tell the story of Clemente’s life as something like the arc of the hero’s journey or as a heroic epic.... 21 captures what made Clemente unique. However, Santiago uses the medium of the comic book in a unique way to tell the story of man who represents the best of us. [Grade] A-" – Leroy Douresseaux, I Reads You

Review: "...I love a good graphic novel biography. Well as those of you who are familiar with the great baseball player and humanitarian that Roberto Clemente was already know, it would be hard to tell his story in any media and for that story not to be powerful. ...21 ... is a handsome production... [and] an... EXCELLENT graphic novel." – Ralph Mathieu, Ich Liebe Comics!

Plug: "21: The Story of Roberto Clemente by Wilfred Santiago, a graphic novel by an illustrator and writer from Puerto Rico, received a nice write up in a recent issue of Sports Illustrated (linked here)... If we could only have found it at the book store. Sports shelves? Graphic novels? You give it a shot." – Tom Hoffarth, Los Angeles Daily News

Stigmata [Pre-Order - with Special Offer]

Review: "...Mattotti is an artist who is equally concerned with complex imagery and sharp storytelling — attention to that combination leads us to what makes Mattotti so great. Claudio Piersanti wrote a very crisp script for Stigmata, and Mattotti illuminates the story deftly, probably because he has a real appreciation for well told stories.... If one’s standard for great cartooning is drawing that tells a story without a shred of vagueness, Mattotti’s work on the events described above is thrilling in its virtuosity. But this is a work of art far more potent than a simple story well-told. Mattotti’s two extremes — that of high level storytelling and drawing that suggests unique emotions — exist side by side without any fuss." – Austin English, The Comics Journal

Freeway

Review: "While the core timeline of Freeway is only a few hours of frustration spent in traffic, Alex’s mind wanders through past fiction and reality, present fact, and fantasy. Kalesniko, who himself worked at Disney as an animator, designed his main character as an anthropomorphic dog. The result is a wistful, innocent, and somewhat naive protagonist who is coming to the realization that his childhood dreams aren’t quite turning out as he planned.... It is definitely worth the challenge of meandering through the crammed vehicles to reach those poignant moments of Alex’s life, moments many of us share in our own versions of our adult selves." – Ashley Cook, Giant Fire Breathing Robot

Review: "Less able graphic novelists might scare themselves silly with the scope of this book, but Mark Kalesniko’s attention to detail in all aspects of his craft — the backgrounds, the emotional ranges of the characters and the slow but steady-paced urbane drama — blends the components together masterfully.... [Freeway] is deeply sophisticated and literary. It deals with humanity’s big questions – love, death, life, and what we do with our time. It’s funny, touching, heart-warming, tragic and very engaging." – Andy Shaw, Grovel

Love and Rockets Sketchbook 2 [Softcover]

Review: "Gilbert’s sketches actually give an insight into how he feels about his characters, and as a reader, I found myself understanding the characters a bit more, just by looking at his drawings.... The work in the ‘Jaime’ section is quite beautiful and well drawn, however, it does not give further insights into the ways in which Jaime sees his characters, or what he has planned for them... To sum up, Love and Rockets Sketchbook Volume 2 is pretty awesome." – Lisa Polifroni, lisaloves2read

Take a Joke: Vol. 3 of the Collected Angry Youth Comix

Interview: At Inkstuds, a 2008 conversation with Johnny Ryan conducted and with illustations by Josh Bayer: "It’s interesting that you bring it up because people always demand that artists deliver some sort of meaning and truth, and when that truth’s hideous they throw up their arms and get upset and have hurt feelings and it’s 'you’re ruining people’s lives.' There’s conflict; you want the art to be true, but don’t want to be shown stuff that makes you feel bad, you can’t make people feel good all the time, it's not true, the object is to make people feel something. There’s no rule that it has to be something good."

Hate Annual #9

Interview: The Daily Cross Hatch wraps up their serialization of the transcript of Brian Heater's MoCCA panel conversation with Peter Bagge: "I used to worry about what my peers thought. That’s a big mistake. Never worry about what your peers think, because then you always find out that they would have done it in a heartbeat. [Laughter] If you take anything away from this conversation, it should be 'fuck Dan Clowes.'"

Taking Punk to the Masses: From Nowhere to Nevermind - A Visual History from the Permanent Collection of Experience Music Project

Feature: The Seattle Times' Marian Liu previews our Charles Peterson: Taking Punk to the Masses exhibit at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery: "'I was wondering why this kid was bothering to take photos,' said Larry Reid, curator of the Fantagraphics show, of Peterson. Now, flipping through the photos, Reid remembers each scene as if it happened yesterday. Drawn to the energy of the music, Reid was a good decade older than many in the scene then. He shepherded the artists by promoting their shows and allowing them to play in his gallery's basement. 'I can recognize the artists by their shoes,' said Reid, looking through the photos."

Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson [Nov. 2011]

Plug: "For a reality check, I turned to a former Rolling Stone colleague and friend who always seemed to have a better line on all things cultural than anyone else around and a way of stating his position in a manner that set him apart, way apart, from other music writers — make that writers, period — of his time, and boy does he put today’s snarky music press to shame. This would be the late Paul Nelson... (Nelson’s life and work are getting their just due in September with the publication of a long-awaited, diligently researched biography by Kevin Avery, Everything Is An Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson. Full disclosure: Yours truly was among those Avery interviewed. But buy the book anyway.)" – David McGee, The Bluegrass Special

Plug: "I’m in the process of reading an advance of Everything Is An Afterthought, Kevin Avery’s biography and selected works of the music critic Paul Nelson. Reading Nelson’s writing reminds me how of the role that he and other music critics of the time — our own John Swenson included — played in creating the myth of New York City for me." – Alex Rawls, OffBeat

The Comics Journal #301

Plug: "The 63-page conversation between mad geniuses Al Jaffee and Michael Kupperman in the new issue of The Comics Journal" lands on the "Lowbrow/Brilliant" quadrant of New York magazine's "Approval Matrix"

The Raven

Plug: "Back in 2003, Lou Reed paid tribute to poet Edgar Allen Poe with his sprawling The Raven, which didn't exactly strike a positive chord with the many critics and fans at the time. Nevertheless, Reed will now be revisiting that album with a new illustrated book. The book, also titled The Raven, was made in collaboration with Italian illustrator Lorenzo Mattotti.... We originally called The Raven 'bizarre and thoroughly uneven.' We'll have to see if this new illustrated spin helps to make the entire album a bit more rewarding." – Alex Hudson, exclaim.ca

Twilight of the Assholes: Cartoons & Essays 2005-2009

Essay: Twilight of the Assholes cartoonist/writer Tim Kreider recounts his experiences with internet dating for Nerve

Joyce Farmer

Feature: Friday was the last day of Joyce Farmer's "Cartoonist's Diary" at The Comics Journal

The Complete Peanuts 1953-1954 (Vol. 2) [NORTH AMERICA ONLY]

History: At Torontoist, Jamie Bradburn looks back to the 1954 debut of a little comic strip called Peanuts in the Toronto Telegram

Our Gang at the L.A. Times Festival of Books
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Mark KalesnikoJim WoodringeventsDash ShawDaniel ClowesCarol Tyler 5 May 2011 12:18 PM

Daniel Clowes, Dash Shaw, Jim Woodring at Los Angeles Times Festival of Books (L.A. Times photo)

A strong comics contingent was present at last weekend's Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. The L.A. Times Jacket Copy blog reports from the "World in a Frame: The Graphic Novel" panel with Daniel Clowes, Dash Shaw and Jim Woodring (above); Mark Kalesniko signed and met fans at the Hi De Ho Comics booth (below; more pics here); and no photos of Carol Tyler have turned up yet but she posted the sketch at bottom prior to her departure and relates a few non-festival experiences here (updated:) and more here. For more, Corey Blake also reports from the scene.

Mark Kalesniko

C. Tyler

Things to See: 5/2/11 Roundup
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Things to seeSteven WeissmanSergio PonchioneRenee FrenchMark KalesnikoLilli CarréKevin HuizengaJohn HankiewiczJim FloraJasonHans RickheitDerek Van GiesonDash Shaw 3 May 2011 12:16 AM

D.V. - Jason

• Old strips, illustrations, sketches and movie reviews by Jason at his Cats Without Dogs blog

Nothing - John Hankiewicz

• A nice set of sketches from John Hankiewicz

Lilli Carré illustration

Lilli Carré shares a recent illustration for the New York Times and some alternate sketches

I Married a Monster from Outer Space - Sergio Ponchione

Sergio Ponchione illustrates John Cooper Clarke's "I Married a Monster from Outer Space" for Retrophobic

drifting off - Kevin Huizenga

Herc - Kevin Huizenga

• From Kevin Huizenga , something Ganges-esque and a labor of Hercules

Tales of Abstraction House - Derek Van Gieson

• Pages, sketches and updates from Derek Van Gieson at his These Days I Remain blog

And more Things to See from the past week:

Steven Weissman's latest "I, Anonymous" spot and church sketching on his Chewing Gum in Church blog

• Vintage Jim Flora artwork and illustrations (and cake) at the Jim Flora blog

• Sketches by Mark Kalesniko for his new graphic novel Freeway at his blog

• "Flapface" by Renee French

• Daily storyboards & production art from Dash Shaw at The Ruined Cast blog go on a short hiatus

Old sketchbook drawings of medical oddites by Hans Rickheit

• New Trubble Club!

Things to See: 4/25/11 Roundup
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tony MillionaireThings to seeSteven WeissmanRenee FrenchMark KalesnikoLilli CarréLaura ParkJim FloraJasonHans RickheitEleanor DavisDash ShawDame Darcy 25 Apr 2011 11:00 PM

Allen Jenkins - Tony Millionaire

• I didn't know Tony Millionaire has been doing portraits for The Chiseler, like this one of 1930s character actor Allen Jenkins

Dead Mickey - Jason

"Dead Mickey" and "Walking the Dog," plus reviews of Michael Caine movies by Jason at his Cats Without Dogs blog

Lilli Carré - Chicago Reader Spring Books Issue

Lilli Carré covers the Chicago Reader, plus a new animated drawing

Laura Park illo

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

Renee French - fliesheads.jpg

Renee French does it again

And more Things to See from the past week:

Steven Weissman's latest "I, Anonymous" spots on his Chewing Gum in Church blog

• Artwork, dolls 'n' more in the latest blog update from Dame Darcy

• Vintage Jim Flora artwork and illustrations at the Jim Flora blog

• Sketches by Mark Kalesniko for his new graphic novel Freeway and more artwork at his blog

• Daily storyboards & production art from Dash Shaw at The Ruined Cast blog

• An old sketchbook drawing by Hans Rickheit

Tony Millionaire presents photos of the clay model for the Uncle Gabby figurine (dude, 60% off!)

Eleanor Davis posts process images for that amazing New York Times illo

Daily OCD: 4/14/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Taking Punk to the MassesSteven WeissmanShimura TakakoreviewsMomeMark KalesnikomangaLove and RocketsJosh SimmonsJessica AbelJasonGilbert Hernandezfan artDestroy All MoviesDash ShawDaily OCDaudio 14 Apr 2011 10:11 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Barack Hussein Obama by Steven Weissman

Review: At Comix Cube Kevin Czap praises Steven Weissman's "Barack Hussein Obama" (seen here on our website and in Mome Vol. 21): "It actually reminds me of Wally Gropius in terms of the structure, which is not surprising given its appearance in MOME. One can only hope that the whole thing will get collected, at which point I predict it to be one of my favorite comics ever." (Via The Comics Reporter)

Unshelved Book Club - The Last Musketeer

Review: We almost missed this cartoon review by Casey Scieszka and Steven Weinberg at Unshelved Book Club: "…The Last Musketeer… is the epitome of everything we love about Jason: stunning color palette, insane and absurd plot, humor that sneaks up on you, his signature anthropomorphized animals, and surprisingly serious themes of authority, humanity, death, love, jealousy…"

Taking Punk to the Masses: From Nowhere to Nevermind - A Visual History from the Permanent Collection of Experience Music Project

Interview (Audio): On yesterday's episode of Albany, NY public radio station WAMC's program The Roundtable, Ian Pickus talked to editor/EMP curator Jacob McMurray about Taking Punk to the Masses: From Nowhere to Nevermind — listen to the archived show at the link

Profile: At Examiner.com, Gillian Gaar talks to editor/EMP curator Jacob McMurray about Taking Punk to the Masses: From Nowhere to Nevermind: "The book, as its title suggests, views Nirvana’s success as the culmination of the alternative rock scene that blossomed in America during the 1980s. 'That’s the bigger context in the exhibition as well,' McMurray explains. 'It is the story of Nirvana, but it's couched within what was happening throughout the Northwest, and throughout the US, from the rise of punk rock on. It’s the idea that there needs to be a sort of infrastructure in place for a band like Nirvana to even exist; that without all of these advances that had been happening in the underground by a dozen different bands, Nirvana would have never happened.'"

Love from the Shadows

Interview: Comic Book Resources' Chris Mautner talks to Gilbert Hernandez about Love from the Shadows and the other "Fritz B-Movie" books: "The Fritz series frees me of any obligation to be a do-gooder cartoonist, something most regular L&R readers probably don't want to hear. I felt straight jacketed with 'Palomar' and the like after a while, really. I have a lot more going on in my imagination than I'm expected to utilize." Further reading: at CBR's Robot 6 blog, Sean T. Collins comments on the interview

Freeway

Interview (Audio): Mark Kalesniko talks with Tom Waters. host of Big Words I Know By Heart, and Donald A. Wynecoop Jr. of Don's Atomic Comics. Direct download: MP3

Destroy All Movies!!!: The Complete Guide to Punks on Film [Pre-Order]

Interview (Audio): The Gentlemen's Guide to Midnite Cinema podcast correspondent Rupert Pupkin talks to Destroy All Movies!!! The Complete Guide to Punks on Film co-editor Bryan Connolly

Mome Vol. 13 - Winter 2009

Feature: At the Drawing Words & Writing Pictures blog, Best American Comics series co-editors Jessica Abel & Matt Madden spotlight two stories from Mome Vol. 13 as 2010 Notable Comics: Abel picks Dash Shaw's "Satellite CMYK" — "Dash Shaw just keeps popping up in our 'can’t miss' pile. [...] Beyond being a good story, the formal element of using color (and black and white) as a storytelling tool is very unusual and makes this work a standout." — and Madden picks Josh Simmons's "Jesus Christ": "The storytelling is fluid and dynamic, and Simmons’s ability to convey the enormity of the monster is bracing. Simmons deliberately mixes elements from different mythologies to defy any obvious reading. In the end, all we have before us is this escstatic Kali-Godzilla-Centaur with a halo of fire and a title to provoke us."

Awashima Hyakkei - Shimura Takako

Coming Attractions: Anime News Network reports that Wandering Son creator Shimura Takako begins a new serial titled Awashima Hyakkei in the online manga magazine Pocopoco soon. We'll keep an eye out and try to add it to our webcomics roundups if possible

Daily OCD: 4/7/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewsRay FenwickPeanutsMark KalesnikoJacques TardiHank KetchamDennis the MenaceDaily OCDCharles M Schulz 7 Apr 2011 9:38 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Mascots

Review: "Former Haligonian and Coast contributor Ray Fenwick’s latest book [Mascots] extends the work that he began in this city: typography-heavy painting on found book covers. The books’ loose cloth weave is clearly visible through the paintings, and even though Fenwick’s lettering skills should be studied by scientists, there’s a refreshing sense of the typographer’s hand and thought. Using the traditional idea of mascots as symbolic figures, Fenwick’s collected creatures, characters, mantras and messages, some of which are connected through broken narratives, and others just appear like a slap to the head. Not for those with an aversion to weirdos or absurdity, Fenwick is hands-down one of the most clever contemporary artists and illustrators working in Canada." – Sue Carter Flinn, The Coast

Freeway

Review: "Kalesniko is a deft, widescreen storyteller... The final chapters [of Freeway] are paced like an action film, drawing Alex ever closer to his destination/destiny, and Kalesniko does skillfully edit his storytelling at a breathless clip. But the conclusion raises more questions than it answers..." – Brian Winkeler, Bookgasm

The Complete Peanuts 1979-1980 (Vol. 15) [March 2011 - NORTH AMERICA ONLY]

Review: "There’s no doubt that Schulz lost his way in the 80s. But his strip was always about losing its way. As he grew doddering and inconsistent, he moved closer to the doddering inconsistency at the core of his art. The pleasures in this volume [The Complete Peanuts 1979-1980] are fewer, but, for fans at least, when they come they have a special bonk." – Noah Berlatsky, Splice Today

West Coast Blues

Review: "Another hardboiled French thriller which violently riffs on the energy of New Wave cinema, Hitchcock and classic James Bond. ...[West Coast Blues] is a bit like The Bourne Identity, except on a lower budget and without anyone half as organised as the CIA involved. The captions are a bit wordy, as you’d expect with something adapted from a novel, but thankfully it’s in black and white — the constant spray of blood and bone fragments might be a bit off-putting otherwise." – Grant Buist, The Name of This Cartoon Is Brunswick

 

Hank Ketcham's Complete Dennis the Menace

Plug: The Huffington Post's Michael Glitz gives us a nice shout-out in his review of the Dennis the Menace tv-show DVD set: "Fans of the comic should definitely check out Hank Ketcham's collected works, lovingly presented by Fantagraphics. The jokes are just as familiar but his draftsmanship lifts it to high art."

Newave! The Underground Mini Comix of the 1980s

Profile: The Hartford Advocate's Christopher Arnott talks to Allan Greenier and Tom Hosier, creator of "The Purple Warp" minicomic included in Newave! The Underground Mini Comix of the 1980s, saying of the book "Newave!, which has the same small size, but hundreds more pages than the miniature comics it celebrates, is a handy overview of this largely overlooked subgenre," and getting a frank account of the book's success from our own Eric Reynolds

Things to See: 4/4/11 Roundup
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under videoTom KaczynskiThings to seeTed JouflasT Edward BakSteven WeissmanSergio PonchioneSammy HarkhamRenee FrenchPaul HornschemeierMomeMark KalesnikoMarco CoronaMack WhiteLilli CarréLewis TrondheimLeslie SteinLaura ParkKurt WolfgangKillofferJosh SimmonsJim FloraJasonFrank SantoroDrew WeingDerek Van GiesonDash ShawCarol Tyleranimation 4 Apr 2011 9:51 PM

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201103/coupdeville-4.jpg

• Check out Mack White's illustrations for Michael del Ray's book Long Term Parking

Momster - Ted Jouflas

Monster Brains presents "Momster" by Ted Jouflas from Weirdo #26 (1989)

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201104/ghostdream.jpg

• "Ghost Dream," a sketchbook comic by Drew Weing

• From Lilli Carré, a short animated film, a poster for an event she'll be at, and a teaser of her work in the new Smoke Signal

Leslie Stein - Eye of the Majestic Creature 6

Leslie Stein gives this peek at artwork from the 6th issue of Eye of the Majestic Creature

Nothing Eve - Kurt Wolfgang

• Panels for the next installment of "Nothing Eve" for Mome by Kurt Wolfgang at New Bodega

halfway there

• Also working away on a new Mome story: Laura Park

Wild Man - T. Edward Bak

• And yet more Mome previewing: new pages from "Wild Man" by T. Edward Bak

Message de Killoffer

• Messages from Killoffer at Lewis Trondheim's Les petits riens blog

Shirley - Josh Simmons

Shirley from the TV show Community by Josh Simmons

Dylan Sprouse figure painted by Renee French

Renee French custom-painted this Dylan Sprouse vinyl figure; plus the usual drawings etc. at her blog; plus we like this photo on Sprouse's website for obvious reasons

Pan

Sammy Harkham on Flickr

The Realm of Lint and Bottlecaps - C. Tyler

A panel by Carol Tyler; also check out a photo of her drawing desk

And more Things to See from the past week:

• Illustrations, sketches and film reviews by Jason at his Cats Without Dogs blog

Steven Weissman's latest "I, Anonymous" spot and sketching on his Chewing Gum in Church blog

Drawings & diagrams from Frank Santoro

Puppets in progress by Marco Corona

• Another possible puppet or other figurine in progress in some mysterious photos from Paul Hornschemeier

• Vintage Jim Flora artwork and illustrations at the Jim Flora blog

• Sketches by Mark Kalesniko for his new graphic novel Freeway at his blog

• "The Strangest Story You Ever Heard in Your Life" continues at Splog!, the Sergio Ponchione Lost Objects Gallery blog, plus an illustration at Mondobliquo

• Daily storyboards & production art from Dash Shaw at The Ruined Cast blog

Watercolor panel process by Derek Van Gieson

• Daily sketches by Tom Kaczynski at his Transatlantis blog

Things to See: 3/28/11 Roundup
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tom KaczynskiThings to seeT Edward BakSteven WeissmanSergio PonchioneRichard SalaRenee FrenchMark KalesnikoMarco CoronaLaura ParkJohnny RyanJohn HankiewiczJim FloraJasonFrank SantoroDash ShawAndrice ArpAnders Nilsen 28 Mar 2011 5:27 PM

Werewolves of Montpellier outtake - Jason

An outtake from Werewolves of Montpellier, plus other illustrations and strips and more film reviews at Jason's Cats Without Dogs blog

My Father's Brain - Richard Sala

• From Richard Sala, a classic strip (part 1, part 2) and a vintage illustration

Drawing at Earwax w/Julia - Laura Park

• When Laura Park met Julia Wertz and drew some comics with her: portrait, part 1, part 2; also, a new sketch & new prints by Laura

Anders Nilsen

Sketches for book cover illustrations by Anders Nilsen

Trubble Club - Tedward Bak

One of our favorite Portlanders makes a guest appearance (of sorts) in the latest batch of Trubble Club strips (contributed to by some of our favorite Chicagoans)

The Oregonian

Johnny Ryan posted this on Flickr last week with no explanation — presumably a poster for a screening somewhere?

And more Things to See from the past week:

Steven Weissman's latest "I, Anonymous" spot and some re-kajiggered Post-Its on his Chewing Gum in Church blog

A new print by John Hankiewicz

Andrice Arp posts a preview of her story in the new Pood and a bunch of stuffed stuff

Artwork and sketches from Frank Santoro

Recent sketches by Marco Corona

• Vintage Jim Flora artwork and illustrations at the Jim Flora blog

• Sketches by Mark Kalesniko for his new graphic novel Freeway at his blog

Comic pages from Noah Van Sciver

Drawings & sketches by Renee French

• "The Strangest Story You Ever Heard in Your Life" continues at Splog!, the Sergio Ponchione Lost Objects Gallery blog

• Daily storyboards & concept drawings from Dash Shaw at The Ruined Cast blog

• More new sketches by Tom Kaczynski at his Transatlantis blog (and news that some of his concert sketches are on exhibit)

Daily OCD: 3/28/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewsPrince ValiantPopeyeMark KalesnikoLorenzo MattottiJoe DalyJacques TardiHans RickheitHal FosterFrank SantoroEdward GoreyEC SegarDebbie DrechslerDaily OCDAlexander Theroux 28 Mar 2011 4:08 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Freeway

Review: "...Freeway is often stunning. Kalesniko spent 10 years on the book, and the time and care is evident in the structural complexity. [...] One of the unique properties of comics — utilized well by artists like Chris Ware and Richard McGuire — is the ability to connect disparate pieces of information using the page like a chart. Kalesniko doesn’t draw any arrows or experiment with layouts, but he does convey the impression of a man dealing with his daily frustrations by letting every sight, sound, and sensation send him on a trip through his own head. And in Freeway, Alex Kalienka’s head is as vivid as the book’s depiction of key Los Angeles landmarks. Kalesniko renders both the exterior and interior spaces with a mix of loving care and impassioned disgust." – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club

Review: "This mesmeric saga [Freeway] is deliciously multi-layered: blending compelling narrative with tantalising tidbits and secret snippets from the golden age of animation with rosy reveries of the meta-fictional post-war LA and the sheer tension of a paranoid thriller. Kalesniko opens Alex mind and soul to us but there’s no easy ride. Like Christopher Nolan’s Memento, there’s a brilliant tale here but you’re expected to pay attention and work for it. Illustrated with stunning virtuosity in captivating black line, Alex’s frustration, anger, despair, reminiscences and imaginings from idle ponderings to over-the-top near hallucinations are chillingly captured and shared in this wonderful book..." – Win Wiacek, Now Read This!

Plug: "Freeway by Mark Kalesniko (published by @fantagraphics) is one of the best graphic novels I've read this year." – Ted Adams (founder/CEO, IDW Publishing)

Plug: Grovel previews Freeway: "This 400-page epic looks set to be a stunning piece of work, as Kalesniko squeezes a lifetime of events into the mental wanderings of a single car journey."

Dungeon Quest, Books 1 + 2

Review: "Dungeon Quest is unlike anything I have ever seen in the comic world. The closest comparison is some old comic strips in Dungeon Magazine from the mid-eighties but Dungeon Quest takes the level of insanity in those strips and adds +100 in delirium bonuses. If you know a manic dice roller, go out and purchase them both editions without thought. They will love you forever. [...] The story sounds a little like Bilbo Baggins' quest, right? Well, take Bilbo and drag him through a funhouse filled with drag queens and stand-up comedians from the eighties and you might end up with Dungeon Quest. The filth that spews from this book will make you blanch and make you laugh your lungs up." – Martin John, The Outhouse

The Arctic Marauder

Review: "In short, The Arctic Marauder is pure fun, silly and dark camp. It’s a beautiful book, with an appealing cover and a sturdy hardcover binding. Tardi’s narrative voice keeps the proceedings puckishly light and pleasant, while the plot itself explores oceanic depths and throws out characters rife with madness and egocentrism. There aren’t many books quite like it; comics readers are better off for having Tardi available here in the States." – Michael C. Lorah, Newsarama

Review: "The fun of getting caught up in a story that’s convoluted for its own sake, or the dazzle of pictures that preen the skill and effort that went into crafting them — they’re the hallmarks of a book that one reads to relax. Books that require an effort are ultimately more satisfying, but the smaller satisfactions are occasionally what one needs. The Arctic Marauder is fun, and it was nice to sit down with it after a long day." – Robert Stanley Martin, Pol Culture

Stigmata [Pre-Order - with Special Offer]

Review: "Screenwriter and novelist Claudio Piersanti's dark tale of a man driven to the depths of despair is beautifully captured in Mattotti's astonishing art [in Stigmata]. No artist is better suited to capturing all the intense violence, anger and despair this character suffers through." – John Anderson, The Beguiling blog

Daddy's Girl

Review: "Daddy's Girl is a comic book with a difference. Debbie Drechser uses mostly black and white illustrations to openly deal with the dark subject of abuse. [...] This is simply put, a masterpiece. The deeply disturbing subject matter of sexual abuse is brought to life with a startling brutality. It's impossible not to be impacted by the experiences within the pages. [...] It's a memorable, moving, bold, and — at times — emotionally challenging read that definitely rates a 5/5 from me." – Charlene Martel, The Literary Word

The Strange Case of Edward Gorey [Expanded Hardcover Edition]

Review: "Because Theroux knew Gorey personally — and remains a fervent fan — The Strange Case [of Edward Gorey] jumps from memories of the man to a more generalized biography, in between astute analyses of what makes Gorey books like The Hapless Child and The Gashlycrumb Tinies so haunting. The Strange Case isn’t organized like a conventional bio or critique; it’s more rambling and personal, working carefully past the psychic blockades of a man who once explained away the darkness of his work with the non-committal comment, 'I don’t know any children.'" – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club

Prince Valiant Vol. 3: 1941-1942

Review: "Rendered in an incomprehensibly lovely panorama of glowing art Prince Valiant is a non-stop rollercoaster of stirring action, exotic adventure and grand romance; blending realistic fantasy with sardonic wit and broad humour with unbelievably dark violence... Beautiful, captivating and utterly awe-inspiring the strip is a World Classic of storytelling and something no fan can afford to miss." – Win Wiacek, Now Read This!

Popeye Vol. 5:

Review: "These superb oversized... hardback collections are the ideal way of discovering or rediscovering Segar’s magical tales. [...] There is more than one Popeye. If your first thought on hearing the name is an unintelligible, indomitable white-clad sailor always fighting a great big beardy-bloke and mainlining tinned spinach, that’s okay: the animated features have a brilliance and energy of their own... But they are really only the tip of an incredible iceberg of satire, slapstick, virtue, vice and mind-boggling adventure… [D]on’t you think it’s about time you sampled the original and very best?" – Win Wiacek, Now Read This!

Ectopiary - Hans Rickheit

Interview: At Newsarama, Zack Smith talks to Hans Rickheit about Ectopiary ("one of those webcomics that has everyone talking"), future plans and coelocanths: "The story divides into three parts which do not resemble each other. I wanted to draw an exotic science fiction, although the first hundred pages will contain very little in that vein. These stories aren't written; they simply occur to me. I prefer it that way. Good science fiction writers write about strange and inexplicable things. My job is make the strange things they write about."

TCJ.com

Craft: At The Comics Journal, more on proportion in comics layout in theory and practice from Frank Santoro, who likes purple

Things to See: 3/21/11 Roundup
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tony MillionaireTom KaczynskiThings to seeSteven WeissmanSergio PonchioneRichard SalaRenee FrenchNoah Van SciverMatthias LehmannMark KalesnikoMarco CoronaMaakiesLeslie SteinLaura ParkKevin HuizengaJoe KimballJasonFrank SantoroEleanor DavisDrew WeingDash ShawDame DarcyChris Ware 21 Mar 2011 9:35 PM

Tiny Tim - Chris Ware

Chris Ware draws Tiny Tim for 6-year-old Clara Ware's review of a Tiny Tim compilation album at Roctober (yes, you read that correctly)

Ghosts at Forsyth Fountain - Dame Darcy

Dame Darcy offers artwork for sale with partial proceeds donated to the Red Cross for Japan relief; she also encourages you to donate directly

Fight or Run - Kevin Huizenga

Fight or Run artwork from Kevin Huizenga; also some super-moon-related cover art

Wonder Woman - Richard Sala

A commissioned sketch of Wonder Woman from 1998 by Richard Sala

My Boyfriend... or My Kitty? - Drew Weing

Drew Weing posts a page from the story he drew in the new issue of Papercutter

That Sticky Machine - Leslie Stein

Title design (in various stages) by Leslie Stein

Bagface - Renee French

• It was tough deciding between this and the kitty portrait by Renee French

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201103/hellojim.jpg

• A tantalizing glimpse of something in progress by Joe Kimball

And more Things to See from the past week:

• New original Matthias Lehmann illustrations for sale at La Galerie de Matthias Lehmann

• Illustrations, promotional artwork, sketches and film reviews by Jason at his Cats Without Dogs blog

Steven Weissman's latest "I, Anonymous" spot on his Chewing Gum in Church blog

Artwork and sketches from Frank Santoro

Recent sketches by Marco Corona

Leslie Stein posts the real-life Marshmallow & friends and links to some Eye of the Majestic Creature fan art

• Sketches by Mark Kalesniko for his new graphic novel Freeway at his blog

Sketches, strips, a horrible experience and other updates from Noah Van Sciver

• New sketchbook strips by Laura Park on her Flickr page

• "The Strangest Story You Ever Heard in Your Life" continues at Splog!, the Sergio Ponchione Lost Objects Gallery blog

• Daily storyboards & concept drawings from Dash Shaw at The Ruined Cast blog

Tony Millionaire dug an old interactive Maakies strip thing out of the bowels of the internet

• More new sketches by Tom Kaczynski at his Transatlantis blog

Eleanor Davis just keeps murdering it on her We Be Ouija blog (NSFW, some of it)