The Comics Reporter broke the news that the next volume of Mome, number 22, will be the last. CR's Tom Spurgeon commented and spoke to Mome editor Eric Reynolds about ending the long-running anthology; Rob Clough talked to Eric at TCJ.com; and Sean T. Collins comments at Robot 6. We thank the three of them and everyone else who has been a proponent of the series. I for one will miss the publication and abhor the vacuum its departure will leave, but look forward to Eric's future editorial efforts and future work from Mome's long list of contributors.
• Review: "Wilfred Santiago’s reverent comic biography 21: The Story of Roberto Clemente respectfully portrays both the player and the humanitarian without ever devolving into hagiography. [...] Santiago’s pleasantly cartoonish art defuses the sort of stifling sincerity that often turns well-intentioned works like this into ponderous bores. His dynamic layouts during the excellently rendered game scenes are tremendous, amazingly capturing the tension and euphoric release of a successful at-bat. [...] Santiago makes the sport exciting for even the most die-hard anti-baseball lout, but more importantly reminds us of the man behind one of the most inspirational figures in sports." – Garrett Martin, Paste
• Review: "...Jacques Tardi is one of the world’s greatest living cartoonists... [The Arctic] Marauder's standout attraction is Tardi’s art, particularly the complex ways Tardi combines black ink, gray tones and white space to delineate the frozen Atlantic Ocean expanses that open and close the book. ...Marauder‘s story is a pleasure to read. [...] Tardi’s handling of this milieu is perfect." – Craig Fischer, The Panelists
• Review: "Here [in Krazy & Ignatz 1919-1921] you’ll find Krazy moved to tears by the plight of a caged canary denied all the joys of free-flying fowl which he demonstrates one by one… outside of his cage. You’ll see him creep around on behalf of a pig begging for pennies after Ignatz dobs him in, the sneak. You’ll witness the sublime stupidity of Pupp and Ignatz investigating a dark cave with eyes, right under (or above) Krazy’s nose. But most of all, there’s them thar bricks aflyin’. [...] Regardless of gender, it’s probably the strangest love triangle in the world." – Page 45 (via The Comics Reporter)
• Review: "Krazy and Ignatz, as it is dubbed in these lovely collected tomes from Fantagraphics, is not and never has been a strip for dull, slow or unimaginative people who simply won’t or can’t appreciate the complex multilayered verbal and pictorial whimsy, absurdist philosophy or seamless blending of sardonic slapstick with arcane joshing. It is the closest thing to pure poesy that narrative art has ever produced." – Win Wiacek, Now Read This!
• Interview (Audio): Your must-listen of the day: our own Kim Thompson joins Inkstuds host Robin McConnell and Dr. Bart Beaty for a discussion of all things Euro-comics
• Feature: At the Drawing Words & Writing Pictures blog, Best American Comics series co-editor Jessica Abel spotlights Nate Neal's "Delia's Love" from Mome Vol. 15 as a 2010 Notable Comic: "Clearly structured, despite somewhat-complex flashbacks, 'Delia’s Love' is a story of down-and-outness and complicated romantic and sexual history. It’s told sensitively, and with subtlety, despite the sometimes harsh subject matter. No character comes off as either entirely hero or victim, and that’s how I like it."
• Plug: "This collection [Take a Joke] will feature some of the longer humor pieces from Johnny Ryan's Angry Youth Comix and, while it is NOT family friendly, it is funny as shit. [...] REMEMBER THAT THIS IS NOT FAMILY FRIENDLY ENTERTAINMENT." – Forces of Geek
After previous mentions in this space — see previous posts for additional blogger-blurbs — and possible early appearances at some comic shops, the following titles are on the official Diamond Comics Distributors shipping list for this week. Please check with your local shop to confirm availability. (Ordering in advance is always a good idea, too.) Previews and more info about each book, as always, at the links below:
200-page two-color 6.25" x 8" hardcover • $22.99 ISBN: 978-1-56097-892-3
"Wilfred Santiago's beautiful, intricately-told biography of the Pittsburgh Pirates icon manages to come out just in time for major league baseball's opening day. I think this is a work that people can return to a few times, meaning that if it's a novelty gift for someone -- something you buy for a baseball fan in your life that may not read a lot of comics, say -- it represents an enormous amount of value for that kind of book." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
"All I know about baseball is that there are some bases and a ball, but from this PDF preview it looks like one of those books that fools you into thinking you like a sport when you clearly don’t, just because it’s presented so beautifully... Wilfred Santiago’s... art is amazingly expressive. Looks like a good’un." – Gosh! Comics
"Then there’s 21, the new biography of baseball player Roberto Clemente by Wilfred Santiago, which looks pretty fantastic..." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6
"Just in time for opening day, it's Wilfred Santiago's beautiful biography of baseball legend, Roberto Clemente." – Benn Ray (Atomic Books), Largehearted Boy
344-page black & white 8.5" x 7" hardcover • $28.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-438-2
"One thing that may be lost as we pore over this volume and the next few looking for a shift in tone or approach is that these books are deeply pleasurable and Schulz became in the golden afternoon of his career a highly confident and supremely reliable cartoonist." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
"...that Complete Peanuts Vol. 15 looks pretty spiffy as well..." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6
"It's been a while since the book was previewed, but I remember the Sara Edward-Corbett cover-featured work being particularly strong, and I'm a fiend for what Josh Simmons is doing right now." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
"… I’d have to make some tough decisions this week. Do I spend my initial $15 on the latest volume of Mome or on [other titles]...?" – Chris Mautner, Robot 6
"CONFLICT OF INTEREST RESERVOIR: Okay, a lot of this might have shown up in earlier weeks, but Diamond says it’s now. R.I.P.: Best of 1985-2004 collects works by Thomas Ott, reviewed by Sean T. Collins at this site here; $28.99. 21: The Story of Roberto Clemente is a new sporting biography by Wilfred Santiago; $22.99. The Complete Peanuts Vol. 15: 1979-1980 is a collection of superhero comics by Todd McFarlane, introduction by Al Roker; $28.99. And MOME Vol. 21 complies artists summarized by the link, although I’d be particular interested in new stand-alone Josh Simmons and a piece by Sergio Ponchione; $14.99."
• Analysis: At The Comics Grid, an essay titled "Ghost World[s] and Non-Places" by Tony Venezia: "By mapping Augé’s notion of non-places onto the grids of Ghost Worldwe can get an idea of how such supermodern environments are represented via a medium particularly well suited to figuring spatial representations." (Via Spurge.)
• Analysis:Lisa Pollifroni offers a (spoiler-filled) feminist reading of Gilbert Hernandez's Human Diastrophism: "I believe what Hernandez is trying to get at with Luba is the ways in which a woman can feel when they are seen as mainly a sexual object. Luba wasn’t born a Female Chauvinist Pig, she was taught to be one by the way she is treated due to the fact that yes, she does have large breasts, and yes, she is pretty. Instead of trying to get people to see beyond those attributes, she plays up to them, and that is what makes her, in this story at least, a Female Chauvinist Pig."
On The Ruined Cast blog Dash Shaw posted this page from his story "Blind Date 3" appearing in the next issue of Mome. Looks like a bit of a stylistic departure from the first two "Blind Date" strips. If you're not already familiar, yes, these are comics adaptations of actual episodes of the TV show Blind Date and yes, they're as funny and weird as you think.
Diamond Comics Distributors has confirmed with us that the following 4 books are shipping this week, though only one is included on their official weekly shipping list. Therefore, most of these will likely be reappearing with additional comics-blogger blurbs in next week's New Comics Day post. Be extra-sure to contact your local shop to confirm availability. Previews and more info about each book, as always, at the links below:
136-page black & white 6" x 8.25" softcover • $12.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-436-8
"Joe Daly's D&D/stoner/sword-and-sorcery semi-parody epic continues. Opening caption: 'In their ongoing mystical quest to find the missing parts of the Atlantean resonator guitar our heroes find themselves wandering through the primeval gloom of Fireburg Forest in an attempt to find the prophet and poet, Bromedes, and return his borrowed penis sheath...' That about sums up the aesthetic here." – Douglas Wolk, Comics Alliance
176-page black & white 9" x 12" softcover • $24.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-364-4
"The next-to-last volume of Fantagraphics' reprint of all of George Herriman's miraculous 'Krazy Kat' Sunday strips. I could go on about this stuff all day, so I won't start, except to say: not for fast quaffing, for slow sipping." – Douglas Wolk, Comics Alliance
"Hey, it's a book featuring page after page of the best comic ever. Krazy Kat is so good that if you don't get it, it's better for you in the long run that you do whatever is necessary to change yourself until you do get it." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
"Fantagraphics are still enthusiastically plowing on with their plan to collect every Krazy Kat Sunday page ever, which is about as ambitious a plan as they come. A Kind, Benevolent and Amiable Brick is the penultimate volume of the series, collecting over 150 pieces published between 1919 and 1921. As usual, they’re housed in a handsome package designed by the esteemed Mr. Chris Ware so they’ll match the others on your shelf, or near enough, providing he isn’t pulling a wacky Acme Novelty Library design on us." – Gosh! Comics
"CONFLICT OF INTEREST RESERVOIR: And speaking of commonalities with Spawn and Youngblood, Krazy & Ignatz 1919-1921: A Kind, Benevolent and Amiable Brick offers 176 pages of blood-drenched chrome and muscle carnage as you like it..." – Joe McCulloch, The Comics Journal
112-page full-color 7" x 9" softcover • $14.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-394-1
"From Fantagraphics you can get the latest instalment in their acclaimed comics anthology Mome, now in its sixth (!) year. There’s stuff from Sara Edward-Corbett, Steven Weissman (Chewing Gum in Church), Sergio Ponchione (Grotesque), Nate Neal, Dash Shaw (Bottomless Belly Button), Jon Adams, Tom Kaczynski, T. Edward Bak, Derek Van Gieson, Kurt Wolfgang, Lilli Carré (The Lagoon), Nicolas Mahler (Van Helsing’s Night Off) and Josh Simmons, whose biography goes 'Simmons draws comics about happy bunnies, cirkus folks, and violent sex. He is a nice young man.'" – Gosh! Comics
On all of them:
"If I had $15: It’s a toss-up between the latest volume of Mome [and] the second volume of Joe Daly’s great stoners-meet-D&D fantasy Dungeon Quest... Splurge: Two big books out this week from Fantagraphics, both must-buys, at least for me. The first is Krazy & Ignatz 1919-1921 which collects more wonderful Herriman goodness. The second is The Arctic Maurader, the latest release in Fanta’s ongoing Jacques Tardi library. This one is particularly interesting as it’s a) a parody/homage of sorts to the classic Jules Verne/H.G. Wells/19th-century pulp stories; and b) done in a scratchboard-style motif designed to emulate woodcuts that apparently all but drove the artist around the bend. Since I’m splurging, I’ll get them both." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6
• Review: "Battling an administration that smugly created their own reality, even if (and sometimes, especially if) it flew in the face of reason, morality and/or common sense, [in Twilight of the Assholes] Kreider employed a vicious, scorched-earth set of tactics that matched the passionate intensity of the right, only imbued with a wicked and outrageous sense of humor to go with a keen sense of observation. Whether or not one agreed with all of Kreider’s observations about American culture..., the sheer relentlessness of Kreider’s attacks combined with the elegance and intensity of his line carried a certain punishing quality." – Rob Clough, The Comics Journal
• Review: "...[L]et us celebrate a title of subtle and peculiar power from a creator of signal grace and range. Uptight #4 continues Crane’s dual and quite distinct serials: the urban romance between Leo and Dee — which, despite its superficial placidity, includes in the present chapter two scenes of disquieting violence — and the far more whimsical (if decidedly Roald Dahlicious) misadventures of the waifs Simon and Rosalyn and Simon’s lariat-tailed cat, Jack. ...[T]he sublimity of Crane’s Uptight makes one gloomily deplore that so many of the main indies appear to be abandoning comic books as such." – Bryan A. Hollerbach, PLAYBACK:stl
• Review: "What is incredible about this journal is the diversity of the works represented. It appears that Mome does not favor any particular aesthetic. Rather they celebrate the multiplicity of aesthetic possibilities. As someone just barely scratching the surface of the graphic story form, I found this a terrific way to learn about the variety of comics and stylistic choices. [...] There is so much to see and so much to learn in Mome. The artists are of an exceptionally high caliber and for those who are interested in teaching comics as literature, or simply learning more about comics in general, this journal would be a wonderful beginning." – Becky Tuch, The Review Review
• Review: "...[A]t the center of What I Did is 'Sshhhh!' – a rather lengthy tale of the entire life of a (bird-)man, told in pictures, without the use of any words other than the section numberings. It’s an ambitious piece by Jason... 'Hey, Wait' is a touching tale about childhood tragedy that sticks with someone for his entire life. 'The Iron Wagon' is the only tale of the three where the original isn’t currently available, because it’s out of print. The book replicates the beautiful red tone of the original, and it’s a fantastic mystery, expertly told by Jason..." – Bill Jones, Pads & Panels
• Review: "[Interiorae] is less concerned about the petty secrets and lies of people and more interested in the idea of inbetween spaces. There’s the space between sleep and consciousness, the line between life and death, the space between commitment and detachment, the line between love and hate." – Rob Clough, The Comics Journal
• Profile: "Mascots is a collection of one to three panel comics that are really small paintings. Fenwick calls it a 'short story collection.' Though conceptually loose, the book developed from some paintings Fenwick had done, using found book covers as backgrounds and painting over top. He didn't approach the work as a narrative, but more as a series of vignettes with recurring themes and moods. [...] 'It's got a foot in the world of comics — in that it's text and image - but it's mostly language and not a ton of drawings. It's kind of a loose definition of comics,' Fenwick says." – Laura Kenins, New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal
• Review: "In the serialized adventures of Buz Sawyer, ace World War II Navy pilot and clean-cut ladies man, Crane expertly mixes high action in the Pacific with just the right amount of romance, creating a storytelling engine as sturdy and reliable as Sawyer’s SBD Dauntless. Crane’s gorgeous art, with cleanly drawn figures, extensive shading, and a slightly cartoonish style, took full advantage of the space provided comic strips back in the day. [...] Rating: 9.0 [out of 10]" – Garrett Martin, Paste
• Review: "Depending on who you are and your social outlook this final collection [FUC_ __U _SS __LE] is as brilliant or as appalling as the previous three so if you’re prudish, sensitive or concerned about moral standards – don’t buy this book. There’s plenty of us who will." – Win Wiacek, Now Read This!
• Review: "Sergio Ponchione’s conclusion to Grotesque returned to the mind-bending storytelling of the first issue, tying together loose story threads in a manner that treated those threads as tangible objects. [...] There are echoes of R.Crumb, Elzie Segar, Charles Burns and Kim Deitch in his work, creating a lush, bizarre world that he doesn’t quite allow the reader to get lost in. Indeed, if the past two issues (the 'Cryptic City' story) felt a bit more conventional than the more expansive first issue, the finale not only fully fleshed out the first issue’s themes, it gave the last two issues a new context." – Rob Clough, The Comics Journal
• Interview: Joe MacLeod of the Baltimore City Paper talks to their erstwhile cartoonist Tim Kreider about his new book Twilight of the Assholes: "In principle I subscribe to the Kubrick policy about discussing your own work, to wit: Do not. It can only ever limit and diminish it. I tried not to explicate my own cartoons, just use them as starting points for tangential rants, occasions to say things that the cartoon form didn’t allow for. Still, it makes me squirmy whenever artists hold forth about their own work, and I still second-guess myself about having included the essays."
• Interview: The third part of Ian Burns's chat with the creators of "The White Rhinoceros" serial from Mome at The Comics Journal shifts to artist Josh Simmons: "I was trying to capture a certain look; I was thinking very loosely (I didn’t look at a lot of these comics, but the Disney comics from the ’60s or so — very nice, smooth, rubbery, cartoony line and bright colors) but trying to draw it somewhat realistic too. Not too cartoony. For me the main influences would be those kind of comics, and fantasy epic stories like Narnia, Lord of the Rings. And Shaun [Partridge] is a huge Narnia fan. That was a large jumping-off point for him."
• Interview:The Daily Cross Hatch's Brian Heater continues his chat with Stan Sakai: "...I read through the old Fantagraphics stories, and I’m really happy with how it all holds together, and how it flows into the current continuity. The characters mature, but they pretty much stay in character. So, I’m really happy with that. And the types of stories that come about, I think I’ve matured as a storyteller. And Usagi has matured as a character, so I’m quite pleased."
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