The sweetest smelling Online Commentaries & Diversions:
•Review: Partially and fully-reviewed on Em & Lo and SUNfiltered respectively is new book Significant Objects by Joshua Glenn and Rob Walker. Em and Lo said, "The book also organizes the stories and objects into groups that will be more familiar to thrift-store shoppers, based on the items’ original intended use: novelty items, figurines, kitsch, toys, etc."
•Review:Detroit News takes a look at No Straight Lines, edited by Justin Hall. Eric Henrickson wrote, "If 'No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics' isn’t the definitive look at the world of GLBT comics, it surely must come darn close. . . I knew there was a lot out there, but I was surprised at the depth of the genre — in sheer quantity and in quality. It’s also a great volume for comics historians."
•Review:Wandering Son, Volume 3 by Shimura Takako is reviewed on Experiments in Manga. Librarian Ash Brown says, "Shimura deals with her characters and with identity, particularly gender identity, with a tremendous amount of sensitivity. Wandering Son is one of the few comics that I have had the opportunity to read that has accomplished this as a fictional work rather than as a memoir." But that isn't all Wandering Son is about: "The fact that the characters aren't characters per se but actual individuals is one of Wandering Son's greatest strengths. Ultimately, the story isn't about the 'issues' surrounding personal identity so much as it is about the people themselves."
•Review: Hillary Brown of Paste Magazine examines Flannery O'Conner: The Cartoons, edited by Kelly Gerald. "Fantagraphics has done us a service of scholarship in publishing these early linocuts, executed for O’Connor’s high school and college newspapers, and the essay by editor Kelly Gerald that follows their reproduction makes some interesting connections to her later literary works, but most of them don’t stand on their own."
•Commentary:Drew Friedman visited MAD Magazine almost 40 years ago and wrote a little about his trip, picked up by Boing Boing.
•Plug: The MOST OCD-happy site of Hernandez Brothers mentions, Love & Maggie, lists the newest mentions of the month.
•Review:Pornokitsch goes WAY back to a sold-out Jules Feiffer illustrated novel, Harry, the Rat with Women. Jared says,"Everything is there and familiar, but somehow drawn and thin and somewhat ethereal; delicate but distorted." Now you know to get it when at Half-Price books!
The hottest, sweatiest Online Commentaries & Diversions:
•Review: Ray Olson continues the reading journey of Joe Daly's Dungeon Quest Vol. 3 and reviews it on Booklist Online: "For at times, the yarn becomes seriously exciting, especially during the travel and fight scenes when everybody clams up. . . Because of Daly’s cartooning chops, nonpareil entertainment."
•Plug:Comics Reporter only needs 140 characters sometimes, especially when talking about Joe Daly's work. Tom Spurgeon says on Twitter, "Dungeon Quest Vol. 3 is so good at one point 1000 copies danced around my bed like in an old Warner Brothers cartoon."
•Review: Writer on the go Maria Popova reviews Significant Objects at Brain Pickings. "Part Sentimental Value, part MacGuffinism, Significant Objects reminds us of the storiness of our lived materiality — of the artifacts we imbue with meaning, with loves and losses, with hopes and desperations."
•Interview:Comic Book Resources interviews Gary Groth on The Comics Journal digital archives move to Alexander Street Press. Chris Mautner quotes Groth,"The magazine is a journalistic repository that comprises the history of comics from the year I co-founded it, 1976, to present, though the first 25 pre-Internet years are probably the most valuable; so, depending upon how valuable you think those 274 issues of The Comics Journal are, this will allow academics and students access to every one of those issues. There are literally tens of thousands of pages comprising interviews with hundreds of creators (many of whom have sadly died), reviews and criticism, investigative journalism, and debate about issues"
•Review:Booklist Online looks at Angelman. Ray Olson compares the creator Nicolas Mahler to another creator: "Mahler is, however, minimalist musical lampooner and prankster Erik Satie."
•Review:Fredrik Strömberg's Jewish Images in The Comics is reviewed on The Jewish Daily Forward. "The current comics renaissance has produced a plethora of engaging and positive Jewish images to fill the collection. . . Like most surveys, “Jewish Images” sacrifices depth for breadth, and Strömberg plays a lot of catch-up for readers who may not be familiar with Jewish laws, traditions or history. Still, this is a work of tremendous ambition, spanning countries, languages, and artistic styles," says Mordechai Shinefield.
•Plug: The first of many Love and Rockets appropriations via Covered. François Vigneault remakes Jaime Hernandez's L&R cover #31 after the jump.
•Review: Tucker Stone glibbly describes what makes Love and Rockets: New Stories #5 so damn good on The Comics Journal. "[Jaime] opts to take a step back from the heavy drums of emotional extremes, focusing on some lesser used characters as they wander through some summer business. Gilbert takes a more direct approach to the spectacle, pouring a heavy mix of the snarling violence that’s laced so much of his recent work all over the streets of Palomar, the fictional village that so many of his critics clamor for him to return to. It’s a meaty read. . . It’s the new Love and Rockets. What the fuck else did you have planned?"
•Review: Shimura Takako's Wandering Son Volumes 1 - 3 are reviewed on Pol Culture . Robert Stanley Martin says, "Shimura handles a sensitive early-adolescent subject with considerable grace. She captures the doubts--and the joys--of the two characters as they explore and come to terms with their cross-gender tendencies."
•Review:Booklist Online enjoys the latest and last Popeye Volume 6 "Me Li'l Swee'Pea" by E.C. Segar. Gordon Flagg states,"It’s a testament to the brilliance of Segar’s creation and the solid foundation he laid down in his decade drawing Popeye that the one-eyed sailor endures as a pop-culture icon to this day."
•Review: New Noise Magazine and Marco Lalubin take a peek at Mysterious Traveler: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 3 A rough French translation says,"Steve Ditko reaches one of the most memorable creative peaks of his career here, first by turning in more carefully worked-over stories and second by frequently displaying a twisted and cruel sense of humor modeled on what EC Comics had been doing in the first half of the 1950s. Especially dazzling are his attempts at graphic boldness, his compositions reaching the same level (at least for the period collected here) as Jack Kirby (albeit less chaotic) -- particularly amazing in that they paradoxically give the impression of respecting the physical constraints of the classic comic book page"
•Review:A Prince Named Valiant reviews the latest Prison Pit - wait no, not at all. They reviewed Prince Valiant Vol 5 1945-1946 as their name might suggest. Michael J. Bayly says, "With stunning art reproduced directly from pristine printer's proofs, Fantagraphics has introduced a new generation to Foster's masterpiece, while providing long-time fans with the ultimate, definitive version of the strip."
The newest (and one old one*) Online Commentaries & Diversions:
•Review:The Hypo by Noah Van Sciver gets theBoing-Boingtreatment. Brian Heater states,"The Hypo's relatively limited scope afford the cartoonist the ability to approach the historical giant as a human, offering an empathetic examination of a troubled individual destined for greatness."
•Review: Heidi MacDonald is excited about The Hypo as well. On The Beat she thinks,"This could be one of the sleeper books of the fall."
•Review:NPR gives Jaime Hernandez's God and Science the run-around and Glen Weldon states, ". . .a book that gleefully grafts a gee-whiz superhuman sensibility onto a set of nuanced, all-too-human relationships. Within its breezily charming pages, the pointless battle between capes-lovers and capes-haters subsides: detente at last."
•Review: The Tearoom of Despair reviews Love and Rockets #28 from a loooong time ago because as Bob Temuka says it is "the perfect comic."
•Plug:The Huffington Post uses some panels from Love and Rockets story "100 Rooms" to illustrate making art in New York and Daniel Maidman says "it changed my life."
•Plug: Graeme McMillan of Robot 6 at Comic Book Resources is adding Gilbert Herandez's graphic novel Julio's Day to his buy list for October. ". . . this never-collected Gilbert Hernandez strip from the second series of L&R is one of those things that goes on my 'Want' list almost as soon as I discovered it existed."
•Plug: Old Spock drawing by Jaime Hernandez on Comics Alliance in Best Art Ever (This Week) by Andy Khouri.
•Interview:Brokelyn interviews three indie cartoonists on 'making it' and sacrifices. Eye of the Majestic Creature's Leslie Stein tells Brad Pearson, "I love drawing New York; it provides so many details for street scenes, from all the shops and people to seemingly insignificant things like takeout menus shoved in doorways and gum spots on the cement. The energy of New York is very inspiring. Everyone is here for a reason; everyone is creative."
•Review:CBR recently found the original Mark of the Bat, Josh Simmons' made before it was compiled in The Furry Trap. Matt Seneca states". . . the violence here is far from entertaining. It hits like real violence does, as something that shouldn’t be happening, and by forcing the audience to recognize it as such, it casts our gaze back from Simmons’ bootleg onto all the “real” Batman comics we’ve read. . .The proof is here: comics isn’t about “creating IP” or “managing franchises,” and it never will be. It’s about making as bold a statement as you possibly can with nothing more than ink and paper."
•Plug:The Comics Reporter talks about the state of our interns, L&R and Tom Spurgeon is rather obsessed about Dal Tokyo by Gary Panter: "It seems like that we should be freaking out about this a little bit. I used to dream about reading that work. Granted, I don't have much of a dream life, but Dal Tokyo is basically out."
•Review:Out.Com can't stop talking about No Straight Lines. Jerry Portwood says "You won't find erotic comics or manga, so don't even start. But you will find everything from 'lesbian underground comix, to gay newspaper strips, to bi punk zines, to trans webcomics, and dealing with everything from coming out, to marriage equality, to the AIDS epidemic, to hilarious dance styles, and bad choices for a one-night stand'."
•Commentary:Projects of Design posted photos and recipes for their Significant Objects drinks from the release party. "It was only fitting that we fête the culmination of the Significant Objects project by honoring the supposed junk items that were raw material for this experiment. Faculty member Emilie Baltz invited three mixologists to have their own hand in creating drinkable odes to some of the items found in the book."
* Did you figure out the older review? Winners receive smug sense of self-worth!
Join editor Justin Hall for a signing and reading at Floating World Comics in Portland, OR on Thursday, August 9th! He'll be joined by cartoonists Erika Moen, Robert Triptow, and Vaughn Fricke from 6:00 to 8:00 PM.
Floating World Comics is located at 400 NW Couch St. in the the heart of the Pearl District. Tell 'em we say hi!
This week's comic shop shipment is slated to include the following new title. Read on to see what comics-blog commentators and web-savvy comic shops are saying about it (more to be added as they appear), check out our previews at the link, and contact your local shop to confirm availability.
328-page black & white/color 7.75" x 10.25" hardcover • $35.00 ISBN: 978-1-60699-506-8
"No Straight Lines: 4 Decades of Queer Comics features work by Alison Bechdel, Maurice Vellkoop, Dan Savage, Howard Cruse, Trina Robbins, Joyce Farmer and many more notable cartoonists. That’s enough to make it my splurge choice of the week." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6
"Editor Justin Hall curates 328 pages of hugely diverse stories, strips and excerpts in No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics, an omnibus spanning nearly half a century’s comics development; $35.00." – birthday boy Joe McCulloch, The Comics Journal
"There are a ton of interesting cartoonists in Justin Hall's anthology, and Fantagraphics is letting you have a sustained look at the thing in various forms here. I'd say this is the most formidable book of the week, the one you need to make a decision on now that it's out." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
The sun is shining on the newest Online Commentaries & Diversions:
•Interview: Creator of the epic series Dungeon Quest, Joe Daly, is interviewed about the third graphic novel on The Comics Journal by our own Eric Buckler. "I liked the idea of creating a character without shame, and a almost healthy polymorphous sexuality, and within that a kind of an innocence, or at least a pureness. I also try to challenge myself to see what cartooning can achieve, what it can get away with. There seem to be things that cartoon characters can get away with, that would be far less acceptable if they were real people."
•Interview:David Gerstein, editor of the Mickey Mouse books (with Gary Groth) is interviewed on Comics Alliance. Chris Sims asks, "[Sorcerer's Apprentice] Mickey seems like a completey different chaacter than the one we see in Gottfredson's work." To which Gerstein replies, ". . . Mickey didn't need to share as much screen time with his supporting cast in his early days; he got adventure shorts largely to himself, and got to be this urgent, driven little squirt in a wild, swashbuckling world."
•Commentary:Filmmaker Magazine makes a nice comparision to Gabriella Giandelli's Interiorae and David Lynch's Blue Velvet film. ". . . a sudden surge the perspective into one of the panels suddenly seems impossible, breaking with the traditional formula of one panel = one captured frame of time. [In the example panel] the character exists in unfolding time not in separate spaces, but the same space all at once." It is also a classic Burne Hogarth tool!
•Plug:Steven Heller, top designer and professor, posted his summer reading list at the SVA school site which included *drumroll please* Significant Objects. "Contributions from writers explaining why things like a rabbit candle, mermaid figurine and Santa nutcracker are worth writing about."
•Review:HeroesCon Online reviews Jaime Hernandez's God and Science: Return of the Ti-Girls. Andy Mansell says, "The story is fun, exciting, fast paced and way over the top, but it is not a satire of superheroes. The difference between Jaime’s work and a genre parody is one of tone. God and Science is a genuine love letter to super-hero comic books."
•Plug: Our friends at Love & Maggie have compiled a lovely list of Love and Rockets related-links for your perusal.
•Review: D&Q's storefront, Librairie Bookstore, enjoyed Flannery O'Connor: The Cartoons. Jade says, "In terms of artistic ability, she’s far from the genius of woodcut and linocut artists Frans Masereel, Lynd Ward, and Giocomo Patri. Yet considering how O’Connor produced these works during her teenage years, there is some undeniable talent here."
•Interview:Comics Book Resources covers the Gilbert Shelton interview conducted by Gary Groth at Comic-Con International. Bridget Alverson quotes Shelton, "I could only have animal comics and Little Lulu, but Donald Duck and Little Lulu are great stuff."
He'll be hosting an awesome event at Books Inc. in the Castro this Thursday, July 26th at 7:30 PM, and he'll be joined by a cast of contributors, including Trina Robbins, Ed Luce, Rick Worley, and Robert Triptow for a series of comic book readings to celebrate the release of this important anthology!
Books Inc. is located at 2275 Market Street in San Francisco. Don't miss it!
Queer cartooning encompasses some of the best and most interesting comics of the last four decades, with creators tackling complex issues of identity and a changing society with intelligence, humor, and imagination. This book celebrates this vibrant artistic underground by gathering together a collection of excellent stories that can be enjoyed by all.
No Straight Lines showcases major names such as Alison Bechdel (whose book Fun Home was named Time Magazine’s 2006 Book of the Year), Howard Cruse (whose groundbreaking Stuck Rubber Baby is now back in print), and Ralf Koenig (one of Europe’s most popular cartoonists), as well as high-profile, crossover creators who have flirted with the world of LGBTQ comics, like legendary NYC artist David Wojnarowicz and media darling and advice columnist Dan Savage. No Straight Lines also spotlights many talented creators who never made it out of the queer comics ghetto, but produced amazing work that deserves wider attention.
Until recently, queer cartooning existed in a parallel universe to the rest of comics, appearing only in gay newspapers and gay bookstores and not in comic book stores, mainstream bookstores or newspapers. The insular nature of the world of queer cartooning, however, created a fascinating artistic scene. LGBT comics have been an uncensored, internal conversation within the queer community, and thus provide a unique window into the hopes, fears, and fantasies of queer people for the last four decades.
These comics have forged their aesthetics from the influences of underground comix, gay erotic art, punk zines, and the biting commentaries of drag queens, bull dykes, and other marginalized queers. They have analyzed their own communities, and their relationship with the broader society. They are smart, funny, and profound. No Straight Lines will be heralded by people interested in comics history, and people invested in LGBT culture will embrace it as a unique and invaluable collection.
"I discovered... what I was looking for, a queer world with stories and characters that I could recognize, that I could laugh with and care about. What I needed was a book like this: hairy legs and all." – Lana Wachowski (The Matrix, Bound), from her introduction
"We've all been waiting too long for a collection like this! You must buy this book!" – Alison Bechdel (Fun Home, Dykes to Watch Out For)