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Category >> Michel Gagne

Daily OCD 12/5/12
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Walt KellySteven WeissmanShimura TakakoRon Regé JrRichard SalaPat ThomasNoah Van SciverNo Straight LinesNico VassilakisMoto HagioMichel GagneMatthias WivelLilli CarréLast VispoJustin HallJosh SimmonsJoe SimonJack KirbyGreg SadowskiGabriella GiandelliFloyd GottfredsonErnie BushmillerDisneyDaily OCDCrag HillChuck ForsmanChris WrightCharles M SchulzCarol TylerCarl Barks 6 Dec 2012 12:55 AM

The most symmetrical cake slice of Online Commentaries & Diversions:

You'll Never Know Series    

• Review: Publishers Weekly occasionally lets smart and famous people recommend books. Jeopardy Master Ken Jennings "skipped the obvious Marjane Satrapi and Alison Bechdel entries in favor of this lesser-known three-volume masterpiece, about Tyler’s complicated relationship with her distant dad, a World War II vet. With her playful, fluid brush line and busy patchwork of watercolor woodgrain, Tyler’s art looks like the past feels." Carol Tyler's complete series You'll Never Know is available.

Pogo Vol. 2

• Review: Booklist Online cooks up a review from some Pogo (The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips Vol. 2: "Bona Fide Balderdash"). Ian Chipman writes, "[Walt Kelly's] hallmarks of deft wordplay, daft swamp critters, and poisonously sharp sociopolitical satire are in full blossom here. The highlight is the 1952 election season that saw Pogo’s first and entirely reluctant presidential run and the birth of the “I Go Pogo” slogan. Mimicking “I Like Ike. . . A must for all collections of comic-strip history."

Uncle Scrooge: Only a Poor Old Man Young Romance Donald Duck: A Christmas for Shacktown  Mickey Mouse 4

• Plug: Forces of Geek throws out some good gift recommendations for kids like Walt Disney's Uncle Scrooge "Only a Poor Old Man" by Carl Barks. "Comic books have always been an excellent gateway into reading, and when it comes to smart, imaginative and engaging, you don't have to go much further than Carl Barks. . . What better way to introduce your own Huey, Dewey or Louie to comics?"

• Review: Paste Magazines's 10 Best Collections of 2012 include two Fantagraphics titles. Hillary Brown loved Young Romance, by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby edited by Michel Gagné who "painstakingly restored them (without making them look exactly new, thus giving the book the feel of a vintage compilation that just happens to be in amazing shape). . . Simon and Kirby tried to bring as much excitement to primarily psychological and interpersonal goings-on as to punching and flying." And this might be the last year anything by Carl Barks is on the list, "We’ll just grant it permanent honorary status as the best of the best, like when John Larroquette removed himself from Emmy consideration after winning four straight for Night Court. . . [Walt Disney's Donald Duck "A Christmas for Shacktown] once again proves Barks to be one of the finest draftsmen and storytellers we’ve ever had." Well put, Garrett Martin.

• Plug: The KUER Radiowest Show hosted many book sellers with their holiday gift ideas. Ken Sanders of Rare Books chose Walt Disney’s Donald Duck: “A Christmas for Shacktown” by for the "brilliant, brilliant artwork by Carl Barks" and Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse: Volume 4 “House of the Seven Haunts” by Floyd Gottfredson to top his 2012 list for kids.

The Cartoon Utopia

• Plug: The Scotsman lists some of the Best of 2012 as told by the best scotsman. Withered Hand's singer/songwriter Dan Willson has eyes only for Ron Rege, Jr. and states, "[The] Cartoon Utopia , his magnum opus, is quite a head-trip. Thousands of very dense little drawings and words resemble a psychedelic illuminated manuscript peppered with themes of spiritual redemption and good versus evil. It’s a very unusual and beautiful work."

• Plug: From Boing Boing's list of the Best Damn Comics of 2012, compiled by Brian Heater. On Ron Rege Jr.'s The Cartoon Utopia , "The first esoteric text of the new century. The harbinger of the New Aeon. This book will be a staple of Esoteric Lore for millennia to come."

Kolor Klimax

• Plug: Boing Boing makes my job easy by providing the Best Damn Comics of 2012. Compiled by Brian Heater, a lot of creative people offered up their favorite books of the year. Nick Abadzis thinks Kolor Klimax (edited by Matthias Wivel), "feels startling and vital to me and features a wide variety of styles, each as absorbing as all the others contained within these pages. I don't think I've enjoyed an anthology as much as this one in years."

Barack Hussein Obama

• Plug: From Boing Boing's list of the Best Damn Comics of 2012, compiled by Brian Heater. Box Brown on Barack Hussein Obama, "Steven Weissman does stuff with actual analog comic materials that most dudes can't even do with photoshop." Jeffrey Brown chimes in on BHO, "Strange, funny and beautiful. Weissman reinvents his comics with the kind of book I wish I would make." Will Dinksi agrees, "Barack Hussein Obama is pretty much my favorite book of the year. . . I get a better appreciation for Weissman's craft in the printed collection where it can feel like you're actually looking at the finished artwork." Mari Naomi says,"I just love what this book is. If I didn't know better, I wouldn't even recognize this as Weissman. And I like that."

The Last Vispo

• Review: Paris Review checks out The Last Vispo, edited by Nico Vassilakis and Crag Hill. Nicole Rudick states,"it makes sense that in visual form poetry would elicit a kind of motion, an unfolding over the space of a page, and that even its sound would be voiced as a series of discoveries. Movement disrupts the continuity of a sentence, a phrase, a word. And language, unsettled, is unbound."

The Furry Trap

• Plug: From Boing Boing's list of the Best Damn Comics of 2012, compiled by Brian Heater. Box Brown continues to wax poetic on Josh Simmons' The Furry Trap, "Funny, even as it makes your hair stand on end and your skin start to crawl... Horror comics that gash their way below the surface."

The Heart of Thomas

• Plug: From Boing Boing's list of the Best Damn Comics of 2012, compiled by Brian Heater. Shaenon K. Garrity says that The Heart of Thomas by Moto Hagio "is a book I've been awaiting for over ten years, and it exceeds my expectations."

Interiorae

• Plug: From Boing Boing's list of the Best Damn Comics of 2012, compiled by Brian Heater. Nate Powell on Interiorae by Gabriella Giandelli, is "just what I look for in a narrative: patient, dreamy, full of seemingly endless layers of shadow, slowly revealing the sweetness inside the rotten, all within the confines of a single high-rise apartment building, surrounded by snow and static."

Heads or Tails

• Review: Slate finds themselves choosing Heads or Tails, going for broke. Dan Kois says, "Lilli Carré’s short stories are dreamy, unlikely, and unsettling. What transforms the stories from nightmares to fables is Carré’s artwork, which varies with each story. . ."

• Review: Page 45 looks at Heads or Tails by Lilli Carré. "The art reminds me a little of Lynda Barry and the flow of the pages reminded me a little of Walt Holcombe. . .I recently recommended this book to a customer who named their favourite film as Amelie (good choice!) precisely because it has that feeling of whimsy about it."

• Plug: From Boing Boing's list of the Best Damn Comics of 2012, compiled by Brian Heater. Jeremy Tinder on Heads or Tails by Lilli Carré, "A nice encapsulation of many of the ways Lilli has been pushing herself both narratively and stylistically over the last few years. If only there was a way to squeeze her animation in there too." Will Dinksi comments on Heads or Tails by Lilli Carré, "Beautiful artwork. Thoughtfully paced. "Of The Essence" is one of the best comic book short stories I've ever read."

No Straight Lines

• Plug: From Boing Boing's list of the Best Damn Comics of 2012, compiled by Brian Heater. Robert Kirby on No Straight Lines edited by Justin Hall, "Long overdue, this beautifully-produced, sharply edited retrospective may usher in a new era of respect and recognition for a long-neglected realm of the alt-comics world."

The Hypo

• Review: Nate's Broadcast enjoyed The Hypo by Noah Van Sciver in addition to the recent film, Lincoln, and book America Aflame. "Van Sciver’s contribution to the Lincoln mythology is perfect for those who like their heroes a little troubled and messy, but good at their core- not a bad way to interpret the American ideal."
 
• Plug: From Boing Boing's list of the Best Damn Comics of 2012, compiled by Brian Heater. Will Dinski continues with The Hypo. "[Noah] Van Sciver is pretty prolific, but this is his best work to date. The line art just drips with anguish." Brian Heater thinks it "puts the cartoonist's brimming angst to a different use entirely, in a book that does precisely what a good piece of historical non-fiction should: finding a fascinating way to tell a story we were convinced we already knew."

Blacklung

• Review: Blacklung by Chris Wright is whittled on by Tucker Stone at TCJ. It's called "the big, trippy brother to Drew Weing’s Segar influenced Set To Sea. . . . [and] Gore saturates this comic. . .  Brutality for its own sake is the point of some entertaining movies, no reason it can’t be the point of some entertaining comics as well."

• Review: On Filth and Fabulations, Jeppe Mulich states that Chris Wright's "[Blacklung is] not a work of splatter punk or mindless gore, but rather an engaging, breathless, and humorous tale of the dregs of the sea, including a colorful assortment of pirates and madmen, quite clearly drawing inspiration from both Melville, Stevenson and Peckinpah."

Charlie Brown's Christmas Stocking

• Review: Paste Magazine reviews Charlie Brown's Christmas Stocking by Charles M. Schulz. "Seeing this work isolated and expanded only reinforces the sheer timelessness and brilliance inherent; Schulz was a master of mood and line in equal measure. . . it’s some of the finest nostalgia porn you can put under the tree," quips Sean Edgar. 

•Review: Pheonix New Times unwraps their present early and Jason P. Woodbury interviews Nat Gertler on Charlie Brown's Christmas Stocking by Charles M Schulz. "[Schulz] had done a Christmas book, Christmas is Together-Time, using red and green," Gertler says, explaining the minimal color palette. "We wanted to keep that simplicity and Christmas-sense in there." The stable of Schulz characters transcend fads and time because as Gertler points out "It's not the way kids talk, but they way they feel is the way that kids feel."

Nancy Vol. 1

• Plug: Drawn blog tops off another the Best of 2012 list with some Ernie Bushmiller. John Martz points out, "Nancy seems to be a love-it-or-leave-it strip, and I am firmly in the Love It camp. . . Often surreal, and always impeccably drawn, there is nothing quite like it. . . these books are a virtual masterclass in cartooning."

• Review: From Boing Boing's list of the Best Damn Comics of 2012, compiled by Brian Heater. Tom Kaczynski on Ernie Bushmiller's Nancy is Happy, "The minimalism of the art, the quirky humor, the amazing consistency, it all started with these strips.

Delphine

• Review: Getting ready for the hardback release of Delphine by Richard Sala, Carrie Cuinn of SF Portal reviews the tale complete with "dark duotone inking style, little dialogue, and gothic, shadowy, art. . . Overall I think that Sala’s retelling of that well-known love story is affectingly tragic. . . It is, in a word, creepy."

 The End of the Fucking World

• Review: If MTV Geek knows about The End of the Fucking World then the secret is out: Charles Forsman is amazing! "[It] pulls you in like no other comic this year. Stunning in its simplicity and brave in its subject matter. Charles Forsman is a future force. . . [it] is like stumbling onto the ultimate secret in comic books, but based on how great TEOTFW is, it won't be much a secret longer." 

Wandering Son Vol. 3

• Review: Ashley over at Bibliophibien looks at Wandering Son series by Shimura Takako, "While the story is focused on transgender topics, I think that this is a wonderfully moving coming-of-age story and captures the complexities of sexual identity, friendships, and family that teens face."

Action! Mystery! Thrills!

• Review: Rick Klaw at SF Site enjoys the glossy glory of Action! Mystery! Thrills!, edited by Greg Sadowski. "As in his previous volumes. . . Sadowski supplies copious end notes and annotations. Though this time, the information additionally reads as an entertaining history of early comics. . . Sadowski once again delivers an essential book for anyone with an interest in comics history."

Listen, Whitey!

• Plug: John McMurtrie of SF Gate (San Francisco Gate) lists Listen, Whitey! by Pat Thomas as one of the Music Books to Buy of 2012. 

Jen's 2012 Comic-Con Photo-Diary
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Steven WeissmanStephen WeissmanPrince ValiantNoah Van SciverNo Straight LinesMickey MouseMichel GagneMichael KuppermanMario HernandezLove and RocketsLos Bros HernandezJosh SimmonsJohnny RyanJaime HernandezJacques TardiGod and ScienceGilbert SheltonGilbert HernandezGary GrothEisnerDisneydigital comicscomiXologycomics industryCCICarl Barks 19 Jul 2012 12:34 PM

My very first Comic-Con International at San Diego was rather fan-freakin'-tastic. It is easier than people make it out to be but I imagine that if it started on TUESDAY night instead of Wednesday, we all would have died. This pictures are my con pictures so if that are mostly different than our previous CCI photo diaries. The caveat train is pulling away from the station!

Wednesday: I showed up the morning times with PR Director Jacq Cohen and our co-workers, Mike Baehr and Janice Headley had the table set UP! Aside from our many new releases we were thrilled to have new Love and Rockets shirts available. Here is the Fanta-crew dressed in all but that one with all those dirty words on it. Soak it in, that's the one time you'll ever see Gary Groth with his shirt untucked.

 Tshirts

Oni Press and SCAD teacher Chris Schweizer immediately came over to look at his favorite cartoonist, Jason. Everyone will be sportin' a Schweizer nose-tupee next year, just you watch.

 Chris Schweizer + Jason

Writer Nolan Jones and Comics Alliance's Dylan Todd showed me their favorite books!

Nolan and Dylan Todd

Since the hall was a bit quiet, Jacq and I ran around taking pictures with our favorite non-Fantagraphics thangs (sssh!).

 Jacq Trek

Thursday: The Hernandez Brothers (Gilbert and Jaime here) had TWO signings a day, some three. Comics are hard work. Gilbert's daughter knows, she's onto her third zine.

Hernandez Brothers

One of my favorite writers and comic critics, Chris Sims, of the Comics Alliance came to ooh and ahh over our Carl Barks books.

 Jen Vaughn and Chris Sims

The indelible Eddie Campbell found the most perfect copies (who could blame him?) of our Captain Easy Vols. 1 and 2 for his reading delight back home. 

 Eddie Campbell

Then we caught Eddie Campbell reading our Prince Valiant while at the Top Shelf booth but once again, who could blame him?!

Eddie Campbell

Speaking of Top Shelf, we spent most of the week occasionally locking gazes these lovely gents. Director of Digital, Chris Ross, and cartoonist of Cleveland, Joseph Remnant.

Chris Ross and Joseph Remnant

That night, Comics Reporter Tom Spurgeon, CBR's Kiel Phegley, International Freelancer Douglas Wolk and Fantagraphics' Jacq Cohen and I posed for a bunch of photos and examined gorgeous work at the CBLDF fundraiser.

 CBLDF party

. . . Until the BOSS showed up. Then we took Gary Groth and heir-to-the-throne Conrad to the Tri!ckster spot on J avenue to browse their books (our own event to happen on Friday night)

Gary and Conrad Groth

Friday: Two of the funniest men in comics, Steven Weissman and Johnny Ryan (creators of Chocolate Cheeks and Prison Pit respectively) chat up Jacq and Janice.

 Steven Weissman and Johnny Ryan

Gary Panter's Dal Tokyo finally came out for this show. Jon Chad's Leo Geo from Roaring Brook is a similar trim shape. They are perfect for the collector of art objects with really, really deep bookshelves. Trim de jour!

Dal Toyko and Leo Geo

Finally, finally, finally met Phil McAndrew despite many late night Tweets. We're all guilty of that. He is currently loving Michael Kupperman's Tales Designed to Thrizzle.

Phil McAndrew

This photo COMPLETELY encapsulates the family aspect of not only Fantagraphics but most comic companies. Gary Groth watches, eats and even signs some of Gilbert Shelton's Fabulous Furry Freak books.

Gilbert Shelton

The Hernandez Brothers continued to work hard interviewed by MTV (below), Entertainment Weekly, MultiShow Brazil and many other news outlets.

MTV Hernandez Brothers

For the Tr!ckster event parties, we co-sponsored a queer-themed drink and draw party to coincide with our new queer comics anthology called No Straight Lines. Check out this big sexy bear!

No Straight Lines Tr!ckster Drawing

Drag Queens Dolly Disco and Grace Towers posed in the best Michael Jackson-Circus of the Damned leotards and put all us ladies to shame.

 Tr!ckster Drag Queens

Jacq and I ran as fast as our heels could take us to the Eisners, saw Mickey Mouse Vol. 1 and 2 be awarded for Best Archival Collection/Print in comic strips! Eddie Campbell and Andrew Aydin tried to steal me away but no siren song is as sweet as Fantagraphics.

 Eisners

Saturday: No worse for the wear, Jacq Cohen and I adhered to my STRICT 5-2-1 rule. 5 hours of sleep, 2 meals a day and 1 shower to maintain humanity at cons. Jacq added 2 sets of clothes and I admit, it pays off. (And you like that OLD SCHOOL equipment? I'm trying to refit the credit card slider into a denim fanny pack . . . maybe for SPX)

Jen Vaughn and Jacq Cohen

Meanwhile, Drawn and Quarterly upped their dress game with full-on bow ties for Tom Devlin from Beguiling owner Peter Birkemoe. We were a bit jealous.

Tom Devlin and friend

The Hernandez Brothers continued their BREAKNECK pace of signing books and getting visits from artists like Joe Keatinge, Matt Fraction and Bongo Comics' editor Chris Duffy!

Hernandez Brothers and Chris Duffy

Matt Fraction's gravity-defying hair walked away with a Gilbert Hernandez sketch plus Love and Rockets and Jacques Tardi books.

 Matt Fraction

While it may seem like you have seen a hundred Hopeys at comic cons (or dated a hundred Hopeys -- Jacq Cohen), this is the first cosplay the Hernandez Brothers have seen in thirty years of comics. Thank you, Dawn, for your Boot Angel get-up!

Boot Angel and Jaime Hernandez

We continued to get cozy with our neighbors at Comic-Con. Associate Publisher Eric Reynolds showed Vertical's Ed Chavez Love and Rockets: New Stories #5

Eric Reynolds and Ed Chavez

Young Romance editor Michel Gagné (who has worked on many animated films from An American Tale to Brave) signed his books and L-O-V-E-D his fans.

 Michel Gagne

Sunday: Cosplaying Abraham Lincoln wanted to buy Noah Van Sciver's The Hypo but worry not, it'll be available at SPX, Mr. President!

 Abraham Lincoln

Chip Mosher from comiXology came by to show us the Guided View version of Love and Rockets: New Stories #1 on his iPhone. It is pretty killer, guys, none of that one panel at a time nonsense.

comiXology and Fantagraphics

 Jaime Hernandez and cartoonist Ed Piskor talked shop.

 Jaime Hernandez and Ed Piskor

Almost had a heart attack when we saw this. I'm not ruining anyone's day by saying over 50% of our books are not for kids so it is sometimes surprising to see them pouring over Peanuts or Uncle Scrooge Comics (especially when The Furry Trap is TEN feet away)

KIDS

BOOM! designer and fellow Center for Cartoon Studies alum, Carol Thomspon, laid her hands on our sweet trans-manga Wandering Son and couldn't let go.

Carol Thompson and Wandering Son

 So that's the whole she-bang! Thank you to the CCI organizers and all the people who helped out, bought comics, asked questions and brought me coffee. See you next year!

Fantagraphics at San Diego Comic-Con 2012: Saturday/Sunday spectacular
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Steven WeissmanstaffRoger LangridgeMichel GagneMario HernandezLove and Rocketsjon vermilyeaJohnny RyanJohnny GruelleJaime HernandezGilbert HernandezCCI 16 Jul 2012 2:37 AM

Sights from the Comic-Con home stretch!

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201207/2012-07-14-11.26.34.jpg

Starting the day with Gilbert & Jaime Hernandez (later joined by Natalia & Mario) — what could be better?

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201207/2012-07-14-11.32.00.jpg

A couple of real horrorshow droogs checking out the merchandise. Careful with those codpieces, boys.

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201207/2012-07-14-11.39.40.jpg

Eric & Jacq surround Ruben Bolling to cut off any possible escape.

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201207/2012-07-14-12.11.07.jpg

Bob Burden gets his paws on some original Gilbert Hernandez art.

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201207/2012-07-14-12.44.08.jpg

Johnny Ryan barely tolerates my picture-taking while Steven Weissman wheels & deals.

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201207/2012-07-14-16.45.12.jpg

Diana Schutz of Dark Horse visits with Mario & Gilbert while Jaime keeps his nose to the grindstone. Citizen Rex sequel, anyone?

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201207/2012-07-14-16.46.53.jpg

Steven Weissman & Jon Vermilyea compare notes on strap-fondling techniques. Hey, there's Zack Carlson partially visible over Steven's shoulder — a special shout-out to Zack for his good spirit and volunteerism this week. (Zack also made one of the most amazing Comic-Con purchases I've ever heard about: a 1964 Chevrolet Corvair.)

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201207/2012-07-14-17.23.38.jpg

Young Romance is a real page-turner, as editor Michel Gagné demonstrates.

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201207/2012-07-14-17.36.20.jpg

Eric and Tom Spurgeon yak it up while D&Q's Tom Devlin ponders the unspeakable and Janice looks on.

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201207/2012-07-14-18.32.40.jpg

Scott McCloud looks happy to have found some (mc)clouds in Johnny Gruelle's Mr. Twee Deedle (shut up, I'm tired).

Comic-Con Sundays are always too hectic for much picture-taking:

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201207/2012-07-15-11.40.04.jpg

Old friend Roger Langridge popped by and sketched the Great Gonzo for Clem Reynolds, to papa Eric's delight.

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201207/2012-07-15-11.49.21.jpg

Gilbert & Jaime discuss their escape.

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201207/2012-07-15-20.04.01.jpg

And it's over!!! Our leftovers (and some stuff making its way to Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery) donned their finest fetish wear for the trip back to Seattle.

Thanks to the thousands of folks who visited our booth this year (especially those who spent their money in it), Comic-Con staff & volunteers, our wonderful artists, our kick-ass staff, all of our pals & colleagues... another humdinger of a year! I'm off for a week of R&R so I'll catch you all next week.

Daily OCD: 4/17/12
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Steven BrowerRobert CrumbreviewsMichel GagneMichael KuppermanJoost SwarteJoe SimonJack KirbyDrew FriedmanDaily OCD 17 Apr 2012 7:39 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Kupperman qua Twain

List: Time Out New York names the "50 Funniest New Yorkers," and coming in at #16: "Cartoonist Michael Kupperman transports his readers to another world altogether. In the recurring comic Tales Designed to Thrizzle and book-length parody Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910–2010, Kupperman perverts antiquated cultural signifiers into a jungle of foreplay robots, nut bras and absurd character concoctions such as the Mannister (a man whose superpower is turning into a bannister). Even in his live appearances — during which he occasionally appears as Twain — Kupperman has the same sort of folksy okey-doke quality as his pulpy '50s source material; but make no mistake, there's an uncanny comedy brain teeming underneath his cool exterior." – Matthew Love

Any Similarity to Persons Living or Dead Is Purely Coincidental: An Anthology of Comic Art, 1979-1985

Plug: Thanks to Howard Stern for plugging Drew & Josh Alan Friedman's Any Similarity to Persons Living or Dead Is Purely Coincidental on his show this morning

Is That All There Is?

Review: "...Swarte’s work does have that free-wheeling and even irreverent feel that you’ll find in the best work of Gilbert Sheldon and Robert Crumb. Chris Ware writes the introduction to this book, and he does a good job of setting up the collection. As he points out, Is That All There Is? contains most of Swarte’s work, which has me wondering what comics were left out, and why. Regardless, this is an incredible collection that spans Swarte’s career from the early 1970s to today." – Derek Parker Royal, Ph.D.

Young Romance: The Best of Simon & Kirby's Romance Comics

Review: "Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, the marquee team of the early days of comics, pioneered the romance genre in 1947 with this title, and, as you'd expect from the creators of Captain America, Young Romance wasn't bad. It had its fair share of melodramatic tear-jerkers, and occasional forays into misogyny (stupid women who need a man to teach them how to live), but Simon & Kirby also flirted with social issues like class distinctions and religious conflicts. And they didn't restrict themselves to small towns or big cities, like most romance stories, finding romance out West or in the Korean War. Young Romance offers 21 of the best of Simon & Kirby's romance stories, and that's probably just the right amount." – Andrew A. Smith, Scripps Howard News Service

Analysis: For Print magazine's Imprint blog, Steven Brower (our resident Mort Meskin expert) examines Jack Kirby's collage artwork in historical context

The Complete Crumb Comics Vol. 1

Analysis: At The Hooded Utilitarian, Robert Stanley Martin presents "one comics critic’s analysis and judgments of [Robert] Crumb’s career. I hope it’s of more interest than a pronouncement that his work is a single big project and one should just read all of it. Breaking his work down into distinct periods does, I think, help one to get a better handle on Crumb, no matter what one’s opinion of this or that individual effort. I certainly don’t think this essay is the last word. With Crumb, no essay ever is."

Daily OCD: 4/16/12
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Walt KellySpain RodriguezShimura TakakoMichel GagnemangaLove and RocketsKevin HuizengaJoe SimonJack KirbyinterviewsDrew FriedmanDaniel ClowesDaily OCD 16 Apr 2012 8:36 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Pogo Vol. 1

Review: "Here’s the thing about Pogo. There’s never been anything like it. It’s utterly unique and individual in the same fashion that Peanuts, or Calvin and Hobbes or Little Nemo or any other of the great 20th century comic strips are.... It’s a much weirder strip than I think most people give it credit for and that is certainly something worth both recognizing and admiring." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6

Wandering Son

Review: "I highly recommend anyone who has an interest in LGBT issues to pick up Wandering Son, regardless of whether or not you read a lot of manga. It is, in many ways, distinctly Japanese, but its straightforward and honest deception of gender issues is rare in any medium, and it shines equally as a coming-of-age tale, especially for anyone who's ever felt they never quite fit in." – Anne Lee, Chic Pixel

Young Romance: The Best of Simon & Kirby's Romance Comics

Review: "Prior to 1947, romance existed in comics but primarily as the humorous teenage variety for young readers, typified by the gang from Riverdale in Archie Comics. Simon and Kirby re-imagined the concept with mature stories aimed at adults, primarily women.... Fantagraphics recently collected many of these stories in the handsome hardcover Young Romance: The Best of Simon & Kirby's Romance Comics. Within the true artistic mastery of Kirby becomes evident. The same man, well known at the time for his bombastic stories, delivers these subtle, very human tales of angst, betrayal, and of course love. The volume's essays place these tales within the proper historical context. The beautiful reproductions were completely restored and unlike some of the Marvel Kirby reprints, nothing was recolored." – Rick Klaw, The SF Site: Nexus Graphica

Drew Friedman

Interview: Drew Friedman writes us: "I wanted to share. This is the new online issue of INK, SVA's Student run comics mag, featuring an interview with me, also an article about WFMU radio's connection to cartoonists. This is pretty impressive I think. Enjoy!"

Kevin Huizenga

Interview: Robot 6's Tim O'Shea has a Q&A with Kevin Huizenga: "Seems to me like you’re doing something wrong as a writer if you’re not affected or surprised by your own work. But it’s not something to talk about. You’re not supposed to laugh at your own jokes. The author at his desk, deeply moved by his own work is a pretty funny image."

Mr. Clowes, we present you with the Katzenjammer Medallion for comic excellence!

Scene: "In the exhibition, titled, 'Modern Cartoonist: The Art of Daniel Clowes,' we find the artist revealing the weird underbelly of America through quick and methodical strokes of a pen. Furrowed brows, sneers, and nervous beads of sweat accompany many of Clowes' odes to anxiety, causing us to acknowledge the strange and desperately sad state of his characters, who are striving to fit in." – Kathleen Massara, The Huffington Post

Cruisin' with the Hound

Commentary: We can fully get behind this editorial decision by The Comics Reporter's Tom Spurgeon (and not just because our new Spain book is coming out)

Love and Rockets Library: The Complete Vol. 1

Links: Love & Maggie is back with another roundup of Love and Rockets-related links from around the web

Weekend Romance at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery!
Written by janice headley | Filed under Michel GagneJoe SimonJack KirbyFantagraphics Bookstoreevents 16 Apr 2012 1:35 PM

Editor Michel Gange at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery

Thank you to everyone who came out to the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery for the opening reception of our new exhibit, “Young Romance: The Best of Simon & Kirby’s Romance Comics” with our special guest, Michel Gagné (seen above), editor of our brand new collection of the same title!

Young Romance at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery

Young Romance at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery

Gagné's interpretive exhibit features enlarged examples of Simon and Kirby’s romance comics, which he spent five years restoring for this gorgeous new collection.

Young Romance at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery

Michel gave a great presentation on his delicate restoration process, which you can watch below (YouTube link)! WARNING: I have to apologize -- I'm not the best filmographer, and as the sun was setting in Seattle, the lighting in the video gets kinda weird. But please don't let the lousy lighting detract from Michel's great presentation -- it's really fascinating to hear how he cleaned up all those old images and restored them for this book!

Jack Kirby original art at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery

Also, our exhibit features an original Jack Kirby page from 1967's "Fantastic Four #65," thanks to Gary Groth, of course!

“Young Romance: The Best of Simon & Kirby’s Romance Comics” will be available for viewing through May 9, 2012, and you can get the book any ol' time! If you can't make it to Seattle, check out more photos of the exhibit at the Fantagraphics Flickr! The Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale St. (at Airport Way S.) just minutes from downtown Seattle. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00. Phone 206.658.0110.

Daily OCD: 4/10/12
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewsMichel GagneJoe SimonJack KirbyGahan WilsonFlannery OConnorErnie BushmillerDaily OCD 11 Apr 2012 2:47 AM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Young Romance: The Best of Simon & Kirby's Romance Comics

Review: "Gagne’s selections are first-rate. These stories are fiery fare. Lovers clash like storm-tossed waves on rocky shores. They battle misconceptions and social injustices.... Even stories created under the constraints of the Comics Code pack a wallop.  In the skilled hands of Simon and Kirby, love is most definitely a battlefield. The book’s special features are also top-notch.... Young Romance: The Best of Simon & Kirby’s Romance Comics belongs in the personal library of all Simon and Kirby fans and all serious students of comics art and history. It’s a prime example of what I mean when I say this is the true golden age of comics." – Tony Isabella

Nuts

Review: "[Nuts] is certainly a very good strip... and it was this completely left-field life event, showing a style of comics I'd never seen before.... The book looks just great, even if I would quibble with the designer's very odd choice to call this a 'graphic novel' on the front cover, and while something about it honestly lacks the genuine, timeless brilliance of Wilson's decades of Playboy comics, this is still an important and very readable collection.... Recommended." – Grant Goggans, The Hipster Dad's Bookshelf

Flannery O'Connor: The Cartoons

Interview: At Publishers Weekly, Casey Burchby talks to Kelly Gerald, editor of Flannery O'Connor: The Cartoons: "I’d been researching and working on the cartoons for a while, but I can’t take any credit for getting this project off the ground. Gary Groth and Fantagraphics approached O’Connor’s agent about doing a book and worked out an agreement for an exclusive contract in late 2009, which was when I was contacted. Some years ago, I gave a presentation on the cartoons at an O’Connor conference in Milledgeville where some representatives of the O’Connor estate were present. They liked what they saw and remembered me when the Fantagraphics contract was developed. I’m very grateful to them."

Nancy Is Happy: Complete Dailies 1943-1945

Profile: At The Comics Journal, R.C. Harvey on the life and work of Ernie Bushmiller: "Various among us have long been baffled and sometimes afflicted by the persistent presence, lurking at the fringes of cartoon afficionadom — or, sometimes, burrowed deep, prairie-dog-like, into its heart — of a sect or cultish non-organization of penumbra dimension, cult-ivated (so to speak) by a person or persons unknown.... In an effort to explain this mysterious and irrational dedication, we now paw through the alleged facts of Bushmiller’s life and work."

This Week in Fantagraphics Events: 4/9-4/16
Written by janice headley | Filed under Trina RobbinsPat ThomasMonte SchulzMiss Lasko-GrossMichel GagneKevin AveryJoe SimonJack KirbyIvan BrunettiFantagraphics BookstoreeventsDiane NoominDaniel ClowesAline Kominsky-Crumb 9 Apr 2012 5:20 AM

The Big Town by Monte Schulz

Tuesday, April 10th

San Francisco, CA: Author Monte Schulz is bringing The Big Town to the big town of San Francisco, signing at the Modern Times Bookstore Collective! (more info)

San Francisco, CA: And uncannily, editor Pat Thomas is also in the Bay Area that day, doing a signing and discussion of Listen, Whitey! The Sights and Sounds of Black Power 1965-1975 at Booksmith! (more info)

Seattle, WA: This is your last day to check out the wonderful Real Comet Press retrospective at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery, featuring original artwork by Lynda Barry, Michael Dougan, Art Chantry, and Ruth Hayes, among others. (more info)

Wednesday, April 11th

Santa Rosa, CAMonte Schulz will be reading and signing The Big Town at Copperfields! (more info)

Fantagraphics artist Ivan Brunetti

Thursday, April 12th

• Chicago, IL:  Our own Ivan Brunetti will be part of a panel at the Art Insitute of Chicago titled "Comic Art and Fine Art"! More info is coming to the FLOG later today!

Corte Madera, CA:  And author Monte Schulz wraps up his California book tour dates for The Big Town with a stop at BookPassage. (more info)

Friday, April 13th

Salt Lake City, UT: Join author/editor Kevin Avery at The King's English Bookshop for a discussion and signing for Everything is an Afterthought: The Life & Writings of Paul Nelson! (more info)

 Saturday, April 14th

Seattle, WA:  Join us at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery for the opening reception of “Young Romance: The Best of Simon & Kirby’s Romance Comics.” The interpretive exhibition opens with a discussion by Michel Gagné, author of a recent collection of the same title from Fantagraphics Books! (more info)

• Oakland, CA: It's opening night for the exhibition Modern Cartoonist: The Art of Daniel Clowes at the Oakland Museum of Art! Lots more details are coming to the FLOG later this week!

Park City, UT:  And author/editor Kevin Avery concludes his mini-tour of Utah with a signing and discussion at Dolly’s Bookstore for Everything is an Afterthought: The Life & Writings of Paul Nelson. (more info)

Sunday, April 15th

 • New York City, NY:  It's your final day to check out the exhibit Graphic Details: Confessional Comics by Jewish Women at the Yeshiva University Museum in the Center for Jewish History. The exhibit features the work of Miss Lasko-Gross, Aline Kominsky-Crumb, Trina Robbins, and Diane Noomin, alongside a ton of other amazing female artists. I'm heading to New York this week and am hoping to see it myself before the exhibit closes! (more info)

'I'm seeing a lot of song titles'
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under rockMichel GagneJoe SimonJack Kirby 9 Apr 2012 2:02 AM

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201204/gedge.jpg

So said the mighty and wonderful David Gedge (leader of one of my all-time favorite bands, The Wedding Present) leafing through the copy of Michel Gagné's Young Romance: The Best of Simon & Kirby's Romance Comics I gave him at their Seattle gig on Friday night. He opened right up to that page — I swear I didn't plan this moment! Being able to present our books to folks I admire is one of the best parts of my job. What an absolute thrill.

By the way, David is not only an avid comics reader, he's published a comic book of tour stories, Tales of the Wedding Present, and his songs have inspired an anthology of comics short stories titled Snapshots.

Fantagraphics Bookstore Features Joe Simon and Jack Kirby’s Romance Comics
Written by Larry Reid | Filed under Michel GagneJoe SimonJack KirbyFantagraphics Bookstoreevents 5 Apr 2012 1:34 AM

Jack Kirby is among the most influential American artists of the last century, but a substantial body of Kirby’s work has been largely overlooked until recently. In the post-war years, with the popularity of superhero comic books fading, Kirby teamed with writer Joe Simon to create the new genre of romance comics. Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery celebrates these forgotten works with “Young Romance: The Best of Simon & Kirby’s Romance Comics.” The interpretive exhibition opens on Saturday, April 14 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM with a discussion by Michel Gagné, author of a recent collection of the same title from Fantagraphics Books.

At the end of World War II, with soldiers returning from long deployments, romance was in the air. The superhero comics that served to instill a sense of patriotic heroism leading up to the global conflict had lost their appeal. Simon and Kirby seized on these emerging sensibilities to create one of the most popular comic book series of all time. Unlike previous comic book genres, the work appealed largely to women readers. The stories and imagery reflected mid-century American society while discretely challenging the conventional morality of the era. Kirby’s work from this period was mimicked by pop artist Roy Lichtenstein and others, and is emblematic of post-war American aesthetics.

Curator Michel Gagné will discuss his delicate restoration process at the opening reception on Saturday, April 14. An exhibition will display enlarged examples of Simon and Kirby’s romance comics and examine the creative process of these American masters. Gagné has worked as an animator and cartoonist for Pixar, Disney, DC Comics and the Cartoon Network. He won the 2011 Annie Award for Best Animated Video Game and the 2012 BAFTA GAME Award for Best Debut Game for his independent creation Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet.

Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale St. (at Airport Way S.) just minutes from downtown Seattle. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00. Phone 206.658.0110. This event coincides with the colorful Georgetown Art Attack featuring visual and performing arts presentations throughout the historic arts community.

YOUNG ROMANCE: The Best of Simon & Kirby’s Romance Comics
Curated by Michel Gagné

Opening reception and curator discussion Saturday, April 14, 6:00 to 9:00 PM. Exhibition continues through May 9, 2012.

Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery
1201 S. Vale Street (at Airport Way S)
Seattle, WA 98108   206.658.0110
Open daily 11:30 – 8:00 PM, Sunday until 5:00 PM

Young Romance: The Best of Simon & Kirby's Romance Comics




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