The humming un-tested electric fence of Online Commentaries & Diversions:
• Review:The Comics Journal reviews Dal Tokyo by Gary Panter. Joshua Glenn writes, "Panter’s draughtsmanship is fluid and permeable, it changes from week to week. . . Some installments are so crammed with detail and extraneous scribbles that the eye can’t possibly take it all in; others are stripped down, emptied out, haiku-like. In short, Dal Tokyo is absurd, unimaginable, and perfect."
• Interview: Jason Sacks from the Comics Bulletin caught up with Gary Panter at his Fantagraphics Bookstore signing this weekend and asked him some questions about Dal Tokyo: "I think that Dal Tokyo, because it's experimental, it's continually reminding you that it's being made. Whereas most comics they're trying to draw you into the illusion and keep you there. That's what comics are supposed to do and that's what popular comics do," Sacks points out.
• Review:North Adams Transcript looks and looks and looks again at Sexytime edited by Jacques Boyreau. John Seven laments, "The posters are the ephemera of an artifact called the porn theater that lurks in my ‘70s childhood. A place where sleaze was visible, but contained. . .If you can deal with it, "Sexytime" is a fun and often ridiculous reminder of a world that seemed so dangerous when many of us were kids, but is now gone."
• Review: Nick Gazin on Vice reviews Tales Designed to Thrizzle #8 by Michael Kupperman: "It really feels like something you would dream about, except it is loaded with guffaws. . . This whole comic is basically the best ideas you've never thought of. After reading it you'll be all, 'That is so clever, why didn't I think of it? AND THESE JOKES!' "
• Plug: Rob at Panel Patter goes over some of the books he's looking forward to at SPX this month. "The Hypo is the book I'm most looking forward to. The deep thinker Noah Van Sciver taking on deep thinker Abraham Lincoln at the lowest point in his life? SOLD." And Tales Designed to Thrizzle #8 "finishes up the quirky comic from new Panel Patter favorite Michael Kupperman. It's sure to be packed full of hysterical mashups and general insanity, based on pop culture and puns, both new and old."
• Review:Publishers Weekly reviews No Straight Lines again and is quite happy: ". . . who the volume is aimed at—the LGBT audience or a much wider one? Editor [Justin] Hall guns for the latter, but without softening the edges that define the genre, and he’s quite successful."
• Review: The SFCrowsNest reviews oldie-but-a-goodie The Hidden by Richard Sala. Aidan Fortune says, "The use of watercolours in the art gives it a children’s storybook feel that will stir up memories of reading horror stories underneath the covers by torchlight. Despite this warm look, ‘The Hidden’ is gripping, chilling and certainly not for children."
• Review:Dave's Strange World looks at Kevin Avery's Everything is an Afterthought, "Everything is an Afterthought is a loving tribute to a writer who deserved bigger and better success than his demons would allow. It’s clear from the testimonials and interviews given for this book how loved [Paul] Nelson was by his colleagues and friends."
The Brooklyn Book Festival is coming up, and our own Michael Kupperman has organized a "bookend" event to kick things off with hilarity! Join The Comics Crowd on Saturday, September 22nd for an evening of comics readings and panel projections!
Mr. Kupperman will be joined by an all-star cast, including Gabrielle Bell, Julia Wertz (Drinking at the Movies), Bob Sikoryak (Masterpiece Comics), Lauren Weinstein (Girl Stories), Lisa Hanawalt (I Want You), and Aaron Diaz (The Tomorrow Girl).
The crowd will gather at 8:00 PM at Bergen Street Comics [ 470 Bergen Street, between Flatbush & 5th Avenues ]. Festivities are free and open to the public! Don't miss it!
The latest two issues of Michael Kupperman's critically-acclaimed series Tales Designed to Thrizzle hit the digital stand today thanks to a handshake and wink between Fantagraphics and comiXology. Enjoy issues #7 and #8 featuring comics with the Haminal and of course, beloved "Train & Bus Coloring Book." Has Mars mania grabbed ahold of you? Originally serialized in the Washington City Paper and online at Fantagraphics.com, the true story of the first lunar mission, "Moon 69," also graces the pages of issue number 8. More Kupperman is coming, keep watching the stars.
"No one does giddy surrealism quite like Kupperman..." – "The Best Comics of the '00s," The A.V. Club
No need to choose between the Old People issue, #5, or the issue with those charming Cockney grave robbers, #6, when they are such a steal of a deal! Now with too much color!
"Seriously, go to your local comics shop and buy this. In fact, buy everything Michael Kupperman's ever done. Not only is he hysterical, he's a major influence on my comedy." – Graham Linehan, creator of Father Ted and The IT Crowd
While we were at Comic-Con and then I was on vacation a gazillion of our books came out in comic shops because of course they did!
Read on to see what comics-blog commentators are saying these latest releases about (more to be added as they appear), check out our previews at the links, and contact your local shop to confirm availability.
96-page 7.75" x 7.75" black & white hardcover • $9.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-540-2
"I think children's comics benefit from stand-alone collection more than most because it enables you to get on the wavelength being offered a bit more fully than in a serial comic book. So while I'll miss this Gilbert Hernandez work appearing next to back-up shorts featuring slightly inappropriate Rick Altergott comics, I think this book works super-well. I forgot how charming those comics are. This is also a good one to buy in anticipation of his forthcoming autobiographically-oriented work. Price point kills, too. Yeah, buy that one." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
"...my first grab would be The Adventures of Venus, a collection of all-ages comics starring Luba’s young, American niece, Venus. Originally serialized in Gilbert’s short-lived kids anthology Marbles, these are really charming stories about everyday kid activities like reading comic books, playing soccer, getting sick and just generally having an active imagination." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6
"Gilbert Hernandez’s completely delightful kids’ comics from the pages of Measles are collected in The Adventures of Venus..., along with a new piece..." – Joe McCulloch, The Comics Journal
136-page black & white/color 8.75" x 11.25" hardcover • $19.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-539-6
"If I was looking to splurge, I’d add Jaime Hernandez’ God and Science: Return of The Ti-Girls collection (Fantagraphics, $19.99) to my take-home stash, because … well, it’s Jaime and it’s glorious. I’ve already read it in the Love and Rockets serialization, but $19.99 for a collected hardcover? I am splurging, after all!" – Graeme McMillan, Robot 6
"Even though I read the story when it was serialized in Love and Rockets New Stories, I’m tempted to pick up God and Science: Return of the Ti-Girls by Jaime Hernandez, as it’s got a new coda and because, hey, new Jaime Hernandez book." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6
"...the new Jaime Hernandez release God and Science: Return of the Ti-Girls, a 136-page hardcover collection/expansion of his superhero serial from the newest incarnation of Love and Rockets..." – Joe McCulloch, The Comics Journal
208-page full-color 10.25" x 13.25" hardcover • $49.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-447-4
Busted! "Mike Baehr said in casual conversation -- which I think means, 'Oh yeah, use this on the site as if I gave you an actual quote' -- that this book did extremely well for Fantagraphics at SDCC. Really handsomely mounted book featuring a great cartoonist." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
"I was a big Mad Magazine junkie in my youth, so I’d likely go for Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture, a coffee-table sized retrospective honoring the master cartoonist behind so many great EC stories and Mad parodies, not to mention album covers, movie posters, magazine illustrations, etc." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6
"...Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture provides 208 pages of stuff from the humorist, illustrator and Mad contributor..." – Joe McCulloch, The Comics Journal
"Significant Objects is not a comic — not an awful lot of comics this week caught my eye — but a potentially interesting prose compilation culling the ‘best of’ Joshua Glenn’s and Rob Walker’s online effort at selling knickknacks through eBay by commissioning writers to create short stories for the item descriptions, with comics folk Gary Panter, Ben Katchor and Ann(ie) Nocente (along with frequent writer-on-comics Douglas Wolk) joining the likes of William Gibson(!), Jonathan Lethem and Neil LaBute as contributors; $24.99." – Joe McCulloch, The Comics Journal
"Not comics: a book featuring the essay/object pairings organized by Joshua Glenn and Rob Walker, which you can read about here." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
32-page full-color 6.75" x 9.5" comic book • $4.95
"I can't imagine there's a better single-issue buy out there; Michael Kupperman is one of comics' funniest people, and probably its most consistent right now." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
"...my first pick would easily be the latest issue of Michael Kupperman’s Tales Designed to Thrizzle, featuring a thrilling moon caper, a Murder, She Wrote parody and a truly strange coloring book about trains. If you’ve a yen for idiosyncratic, absurdist humor — and who doesn’t? — this is your meal ticket right here." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6
"...the final issue of Michael Kupperman’s hugely-admired comedy showcase..." – Joe McCulloch, The Comics Journal
248-page full-color 7.5" x 10.25" hardcover • $28.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-535-8
"Fantagraphics continues to be the gold standard for reprinting old comics material. This collection of Carl Barks' splendid Scrooge stories continues the formula of the Donald Duck volume from a few months ago: four long stories (including 'Back to the Klondike'!), then a handful of shorter stories and one-page gags." – Douglas Wolk, ComicsAlliance
"My big splurge purchase this week is Only a Poor Old Man, the second volume in Fantagraphics ongoing Carl Barks collection. I’m so happy that an affordable version of Barks’ duck stories is finally available, I can’t resist snatching it up." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6
"...another 248 pages of re-colored vintage Carl Barks... Just collect the change from between your couch cushions and go to town, little angels. " – Joe McCulloch, The Comics Journal
Today is New Comics Day!In the second series of comics to be released digitally after Love and Rocketsgoing digital, Michael Kupperman's critically-acclaimed humor series Tales Designed to Thrizzle #3 and #4 are now available for download at $2.99 each. Thanks to comiXology you can buy issue #3 that has long been sold out featuring devil girls and their Owls, Snake'n'Bacon, The Mysterious Avenger, history of porno coloring books and much, much more.
"Is there anything more delightful than a new issue of Michael Kupperman’s hilarious comics? ...I submit to you that there is not." – Newsarama
"Be warned: This comic is dangerously funny... A masterpiece of absolutely gut-busting comedy. The entire Wizard office was rendered completely helpless by its hysterical tales... Trust us, this is a future cult classic." – Wizard (R.I.P)
The short-toothiest Online Commentaries & Diversions:
•Plug: Island of Dr. Moral and Mome contributor Jem Eaton (aka Jeremy Eaton) is have a big ol' summer art blow out. From now until July 29th you can purchase original pages of art at half their normal price. Parodies galore in four color fury with that Eaton touch can hang on your wall; it is hard to pass up art with titles like ROCK NERD FEVER!
•Review:Walt Disney's Uncle Scrooge: Only a Poor Old Man gets a ringing endorsement from Captain Comics. Andrew Smith bluntly states, "If you're not buying the Carl Barks library, you should be. . . At no point does anything ring false; at all times the reader feels comfortably wrapped in the comforting folds of an old blanket. You're in the hands of a master, and the ride couldn't be smoother -- or funnier."
•Review:Full-Page Bleed focuses on Michael Kupperman's Tales Designed to Thrizzle #7 & 8. Tom Murphey says, ". . . Tales Designed to Thrizzle,are wild but beautifully executed super-accelerators that smash bizarre ideas together at high speed. His stories flow with an unstoppable dream logic, so the wildest leap of imagination is treated like the next reasonable step."
•Commentary:CNN Geek Out discusses the rise of digital comics at SDCC and notes the Hernandez Brothers will have work available via comiXology."ComiXology’s other big announcement at the show was a long-awaited deal with Fantagraphics to bring Los Bros Hernandez beloved alt-comics classic Love and Rockets to digital format," said Rob Saulkowitz.
•Plug: As a fundraiser, the University of Texas at El Paso is running a limited edition sale of Maggie prints (50 in total). The tax-deductible purchase will help support the Hernandez Brothers Collection of Hispanic Comics and Cartoon Art, housed at the University of Texas at El Paso Library. Ordering information is available at the site.
•Review (audio):Factual Opinion covers Jacques Tardi's New York Mon Amour in extensive detail thanks to Matt Seneca, Tucker Stone, Chris Mautner and Joe McCulloch. "It's a tourist's New York, no, not that - it's a Kafka New York."
Break out your crayons as Red Warren, "America's Grandpa," brings you his highly educational "Train & Bus Coloring Book." The guests at a sophisticated weekend party sure get nervous when a certain mystery writer shows up on her goat. Learn the story of French national hero Bertrand de Copillon, a.k.a. "The Scythe." And originally serialized in the Washington City Paper and online at Fantagraphics.com, the true story of the first lunar mission, "Moon 69." All this and more in the eighth issue of the series that changed the face of comic book humor, Tales Designed to Thrizzle!
Exclusive Savings: We've also updated our bargain-priced "Thoroughly Thrizzled Pack" with the new issue: get the Vol. 1 hardcover and issues 5-8 — that's the complete Thrizzle to date — for a swell discounted price!
•Commentary: Ron Richards of iFanboy writes a con review and 1/2 of his swap was Fantagraphics fun, "I did a little dance when I saw [Love and Rockets: New Stories #5] was available . . . After the amazing #4 of this series, I can’t wait to see what Los Bros Hernandez come up with this time out"
•Commentary: Heidi MacDonald and Cal Reid finalize their digital SDCC thoughts on Publishers Weekly: "Comixology announced [many] new e-book distribution deals . . . . and perhaps most significantly, Fantagraphics, which had been a staunch hold out on the digital front. The Fantagraphics partnership will kick-off with the jewel in the crown: the much-loved work of the Hernandez Brothers starting with Love and Rockets New Stories #1-4 ."
•Commentary (photos): Cal Reid and Jody Culkin on Publishers Weekly photo-document a lot of the fun going on at Comic-Con including the Hernandez Brothers panel and signing.
•Commentary: Sonia Harris enjoyed her Comic-Con experience according to the report on Comic Book Resources. "[No Straight Lines editor] Justin Hall had a big year, speaking on panels about gay comic book characters and hosting a party on Friday night at the increasingly interesting Tr!ckster event for the launch of No Straight Lines."
•Interview:Chicago Pride finds the time to talk to editor Justin Hall on No Straight Lines, "My worry was that the literary queer comics were going to vanish, that there was no one looking out for that work. Especially with the gay publishers and the gay bookstores dying out."
•Review: Tom Spurgeon on the Comics Reporter covers the Tales Designed to Thrizzle digital comics release, "Kupperman's work looks super-attractive in print, which while that sounds counter-intuitive to its digital chances, is actually a vote for the print version having its own sales momentum that digital won't all the wayoverlap."
•Review:NPR hits home with Flannery O'Connor: The Cartoons. Glen Waldon: "What emerges is a portrait of a much-beloved artist as a young woman, when the sardonic and even brutal humor behind O'Connor's most memorable creations is still gestating."
•Plug (award): Cannibal Fuckface from Johnny Ryan's Prison Pit is a nominee in the Designer Toy Awards for "Best Toy from a Comic." Cast your vote today or we might bludgeon you.
•Plug (pictures): Can't make it Los Angeles? Check out artwork Keenan Marshall Keller posted from FREAK SCENE art show featuring Johnny Ryan (with Prison Pit pages), Jason T. Miles, Jim Rugg and many more.
•Commentary:A.V. Club enjoyed the Fantagraphics/D&Q panel at San Diego and Noel Murray believes, "real legacy of Comic-Con [is] the elevation of the medium’s literary merit and public profile combined with the preservation of its past . . . The outcome of all that? Handsome hardcover editions of Floyd Gottfredson Mickey Mouse strips . . ."
•Commentary: Cameron Hatheway of Bleeding Cool was a bit livid that Mickey Mouse Vol. 1 and 2 beat out our other title up for the Archival Reprint Collection/Project Eisner. "A part of me thought Prince Valiantwould be a sure thing because of its 75th anniversary this year, and people would be getting all nostalgic. Way to go, majority of voters; Prince Valiant will continue to roam the seven seas and seeking adventure without an Eisner to his name. I hope you’re all proud of yourselves! How do you even sleep at night? A pox upon your castles!"
•Commentary: Directly from the Comic-Con floor, Tom Spurgeon from The Comics Reporter is rich with the compliments, "speaking of Fantagraphics, I was surprised to see the Dal Tokyo book. It looks great. I also really liked the design on the second Buz Sawyer volume, a really atypical image being used."
•Commentary: Tom Spurgeon dishes up the best comics to buy at Comic-Con International and online on The Comics Reporter. On Gary Panter's Dal Toyko, ". . . I'm trying to get over the notion of only recommending comics that catch some sort of big-time marketing hook or novelty current as opposed to just being awesome comics. This is the kind of book that has peers, not betters." In reference to the Kickstarted, Fantagraphics-distributed The Cavelier Mr. Thompson by Rich Tommaso, Spurgeon mentions "It's one of the works that the generation-two alt-cartoonist serialized on-line. I heard three different people on the [Comic-Con] floor waxing rhapsodic about Tommaso's natural-born cartooning sensibilities."
•Commentary: Director of PR, Jacq Cohen, was interviewed on the Graphic Novel Reporter about her Comic-Con memories and First Second editor, Calista Brill, loves our books: "I got myself the latest in Fantagraphics' beautiful collected Uncle Scrooge series."
•Commentary: Overheard at Comic-Con. Matt Groening was talking to Eric Reynolds about Twee-Deedle in reference to "perfect" comics reproduction and he said, "Speaking of perfect..." and leaned over and grabbed a Donald book and said, "These are PERFECT."
•Plug: Mark Frauenfelder on BoingBoing mentions Significant Objects (because he's in it!): "Culture jammers extraordinaire Rob Walker and Joshua Glenn bought a bunch of less-than-worthless objects at thrift stores and garage sales and then assigned people to write a short story about one of the objects."
•Review:Reason.com reviews Daniel Clowes work making comics into art. Greg Beato says, "Clowes. . . brought a different sensibility to his comics: An obsessive compulsive commitment to craftsmanship. . . Clowes strove to make the comic book as artful as possible, a complex but organic object that was perfect in all its parts. "
•Interview:The Guardian prints a small Q&A with Daniel Clowes who IMMEDIATELY posts his full answers to some the questions since someone had fun in the editing room. "It doesn't take much to alter the tone or meaning of someone's words in an interview with some editing."
•Interview: Gary Groth interviews Gilbert Shelton at SDCC on the Beat and The Comic Books, Heidi MacDonald, "Among the topics were origins of Wonder Worthog and Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, talked about working with Harvey Kurtzman and how he knew Janis Joplin. . ."
•Plug:The Comics Bulletin covers the Comic-Con International and the Fantagraphics panel on new releases. Danny Djeljosevic says, "Fantagraphics is Fantagraphics. They put out killer material and in beautiful packages to boot."
•Review (audio): Dann Lennard of Kirby Your Enthusiasm podcast covers THREE of our books in his Australian-based comics podcast. Is That All There Is? by Joost Swarte "If you like Herge and Tintin, it might not be for you. It's pretty full-on. . . if you're into sex and violence, you might like this." On Sincerest Form of Parody, edited by John Benson: "This full color book . . .collects work from another EC publication called Panic, not quite as good as MAD and didn't last as long, but features quite good artists and humor. It's the pick of the other titles." In regards to The Hidden by Richard Sala, Lennard says its "actually quite a powerful, horrific book of violence, it's really quite sickening in places."