"I see Blacklung almost, as an expressionist play. I didn’t want these guys to seem like real people. At the same time there IS a human face behind every mask… Unless you put a mask on a dog, then it’s a dog face behind the mask." – Right Ear Left
"Now here’s something to be thankful for—the fourth in Fantagraphics’ growing line of seasonal-themed gift books collecting classic Peanuts material. Snoopy’s Thanksgiving, as the title indicates, is concerned with next month’s big holiday." – J. Caleb Mozzocco, School Library Journal
"…not only do I find Megg, Mogg, Owl et al bloody funny at times in that first half, as the book wore on I found myself becoming more and more absorbed and fascinated by the darkness, the progression of the comedy into misery and despair, handled really well by Hanselmann." – Richard Bruton, Forbidden Planet
"Featuring old-school underground comix, but with the style and serial nature of even older-school Sunday newspaper comics strips, Megahex is the sort of comic that could only gestate on the Internet, and only find final, full expression in book form from a publisher like Fantagraphics." – J. Caleb Mozzocco, Las Vegas Weekly
"Fantagraphics has been lovingly reprinting Banks' classic Uncle Scrooge comics into beautifully designed and recolored hardcover collections. This 14th volume of reprints, Uncle Scrooge: The Seven Cities of Gold, begins with the classic story "The Seven Cities of Cibola," which is notable for inspiring the giant, rolling boulder scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark." – Rich Barrett, Mental Floss
"At times harsh, but always humane, The Lonesome Go hits you like a smack in the face. It’s a graphic novel in the truest sense, meant to be read as much as viewed. It’s a rich, substantial work by an artist and writer who is using the medium of comics to its fullest potential." – Harris Smith,comiXology
Review: "Disfigured hobos lurch from panel to panel into fresh horrors. The vintage hairstyles of the ‘40s, nude bodies, a prescription-pill driven freak-out climaxing in much vomit: whatever he draws, Lane’s heavily shadowed style is always a marvel. The nighttime scenes – which are most of them – rise from seas of black ink." – Bryon Kerman,St. Louis Magazine
Review: "This new book is a continuation of the types of themes and characters Lane first explored there: drifters, hobos, Americana, automobilia, early rock and roll and more. The narratives pay homage to the Beats, Charles Bukowski and Tom Waits, among others." – Seth Peagler, Heroes Online
"This book is terse and powerful in a way that would make Emily Dickinson green with envy. Never saying more than he needs to, Shaw does a commendable job showing us the story in "Doctors."" – Sam LeBas, Multiversity Comics
Review: "…what fascinates the Two Guys the most is the very premise of Doctors. It's a narrative that raises some profound questions, and it's one that might even work well in other media, such as adapted for television." – Comics Alternative Podcast Episode #102
"Every page is beautiful. Every joke is funny. Every character is a complete asshole. The book itself is a nice chunky hardcover with some good heft and a cover design that is made to resemble a DVD box set of a TV show." – Nick Gazin, VICE
"Fantagraphics has done such an excellent job with The Carl Barks Library that this is hardly the ideal format for adults to experience these very same stories, but it is a pretty ideal companion format: Cheaper, more portable and more convenient, it offers an excellent introduction to some of the great stories of one of the greatest cartoonists." – J. Caleb Mozzocco, School Library Journal
Interview:Ed Piskor speaks with amNY about his best-selling series, Hip Hop Family Tree: "I want to make a comic that hip-hop people will read and then maybe give comic books a shot if it's not a normal portion of your pop culture diet."
Lisa Hix over at Collectors Weekly sat down with Trina Robbins to talk about women in comics:
"Robbins knows something about the glass ceiling for women cartoonists because she first hit it herself in the early 1970s, when she tried to join the male-dominated 'underground comix' movement based in San Francisco. After the men cartoonists shut her out, Robbins joined forces with other women cartoonists to create their own women's-lib comic books."
"I like doing short stories because I am in turn impulsive and compulsive, and neither of those things are conducive to long projects. Comics, also, are very suited to short stories because of the incredible amount of information that can be delicately conveyed through them." – Zack Smith, Newsarama
"Like many kids who like to draw, Piskor was weaned on superhero comics. Before reaching his teens, he became enamored with the work of independent comics artists and authors, including the Cleveland Heights-based Pekar and his longtime artistic collaborator, R. Crumb." – Sean D. Hamill, Pittsburgh Magazine
"Shirt-sleeves rolled up, bent over drawing boards, puffing on cigarettes, the heroes of the remarkable artist Drew Friedman’s new book aren’t super ones, they’re the (mostly) guys who created Batman, Spider-Man, Plastic Man, and many others." – Ken Tucker, Playboy
"Every name comes with a face attached, and Piskor’s nimble, deceptively goofy artwork imbues those faces with emotional life — hope, enthusiasm, fuming rage, determination." – Alex Pappademas, Grantland
"Using his compelling artistry — which builds on Mr. Piskor’s love of superhero comic artists as well as famed independent artists like Robert Crumb — he shows us how characters like Fab Five Freddy, a graffiti artist who early on sees the links between hip-hop, break-dancing and graffiti, and helps foster hip-hop’s growth." – Sean D. Hamill, Pittsburgh News
"Combining two decidedly-American art forms: the comic book and hip-hop into one cohesive work seems like a no-brainer. Maybe it just took a cartoonist as passionate and talented as Piskor to pull it off." – Louie Pearlman, REBEAT
"Simon Hanselmann is the prolific artist behind the sensational Megg and Mogg. The series has taken off, with much of his work now translated into French and Spanish, and more languages under way." – Sophie Yanow, The Comics Journal
"Fertig pays appropriate and articulate tribute to these films in his introduction and summarizes the appeal of each one in tightly-written tributes at the back of the book. This would make a great gift for any movie lover." – Leonard Maltin, IndieWire
"These bite-sized biographies of hip hop’s biggest names and slice-of-life reflections on its defining moments are routinely featured at Boing Boing, but to really experience these beautifully stylized vignettes in all their throwback glory you really need to check out the collected editions." – Geek Dad
Review: "In this volume, you see the evolution from club following to recording industry. Names you recognize are put in a different light—Melle Mel, Kool Herc, Dr. Dre, DJ Yella, Ice T, Run-DMC, Rick Rubin, Russell Simmons." – Ebony
"This book is more thought-provoking than her other works, demonstrating growth and a challenge to readers to think about these things in their own lives." – Johanna Draper Carlson, Comics Worth Reading
"…her stories often feature tremendous longing and sadness, but they also lushly suggest what a blessing it is to be alive and in the world. She presents, in short, a more realistic picture of what it means to be a human, with our ever-present mind/body tug-of-war, than almost anyone else out there making art." – Hillary Brown, BoingBoing
"John Severin was a master at drawing in a very meticulous, detailed and old-school style, with beautiful depth and texture added in Elder’s ink-work. Severin was also known as being a stickler for historical accuracy, something that will be greatly appreciated by modern readers interested in history and historical wargaming." – Mark Frauenfelder, BoingBoing
"Forsman captures the simplicity of youth in Mike and Wolf’s interactions, as they freely flee and are more drawn to boardwalk video games than of the region’s infamous sinful escapes." – Stephanie Trott, Cleaver Magazine
"What's most noticeable when the stories are laid up against one another is her varied visual approach, adapting her style to best fit the material...The success of this collection suggests that short pieces are likely Davis' métier, but what's here is so accomplished that it's natural to hope for a book-length work next time out." –Gordon Flagg
"Woodring launched his comics career in the mid-1980s with Jim, a magazine featuring surreal stories based on his disturbingly bizarre dreams...What these stories also share with the Frank-related comics is Woodring's lush but expressively cartoonish drawing style...Woodring's Frank comics subtly burrow their way into your subconscious, but the Jim stories work a similar magic in an-only slightly-more straightforward and accessible fashion." –Gordon Flagg
byLucy Knisley "In her classic travelogue style and interspersed with lovely, contemplative watercolor sketches, she offers glimpses of her journey-feeling...as she observes her life from the distance of travel, and her simple lines, lively illustrations, and patchwork of moments she chooses to include artfully capture her introspective mood. Fans of Knisley's earlier works, particularly older teens or young adults, will appreciate this honest, charming, and gently paced travel journal." –Candice Mack
"What’s most impressive about Swain’s story is its quiet nature, and its delicate portrayal of darkness. Instead of going for the obvious and imposing gruesome imagery to match the backdrop of macabre, Swain portrays the setting as a far more subtle place to contain unease, at time bucolic even with the fog of despair that sometimes hangs there." – John Seven, Vermicious
"That's Davis' sensibility. In her roundabout way, she dramatizes not the prospect of happiness, but the promise of it. Her natural territory is found in all the funny and tragic effects of that promise." – Etelka Lehoczky, NPR
"Though Watson illustrates Tammy’s life in excruciating, embarrassing detail to often-hilarious effect, her clear affection and empathy for her subject shines through. She universalizes Tammy’s experiences, taking us back to relive our own tortured, giddy, deadly serious, horny, boring, and horribly self-conscious teenage years." – Robert Kirby, The Comics Journal
"This is exactly what summer blockbusters should be, only Milburn’s is a singular vision. He exploits clichés by embracing them, and he busily captures hyperspace hilarity, while the black and white pages never feel overwhelmed by the dark backdrops or Milburn’s detailed designs." – Alex Carr, Broken Frontier
"Tardi is unremitting in his focus on the small, human details of the catastrophe—not just the look of uniforms and weaponry, but the way one soldier advances in an awkward, stiff-armed posture, 'protecting my belly with the butt of the rifle,' and the way another makes sculptures and rings from discarded shells, to sell to his comrades." – Gabriel Winslow-Yost, The New York Review of Books
"Many of Davis’ stories here explore the way people live with each other and try to find themselves in the modern world. They are funny, surprising, touching, and insightful. Some have a sci-fi slant to them, some are fantasy, and some are just about real people." – Rich Barrett, Mental Floss
"The title story might be the best known in the entire EC comics oeuvre… EC tales often sported morals reinforcing decency and forward-thinking that were decades ahead of their time. 'Judgment Day' is one such story, an O. Henry type of tale about an Earthling astronaut who visits a robot-inhabited planet that is strictly divided along color lines…When the twist ending comes, it carries a surprise even today; sadly, this reflects as much on our own time as the era in which the story was produced." – David Maine, Spectrum Culture
"I was amazed to find that many of these people were born in the late 1800s and that most of them have military service as part of their illustrious resumes. These weren’t hoity-toity art students born with silver spoons in their mouths; these were hard-working American mutts that, against nearly impossible odds – using only their imaginations, a lot of blood, sweat and tears (and apparently a huge amount of cigarette smoke) – managed to craft a uniquely American artistic medium that would influence countless generations to come." – Bob Leeper, Nerdvana
"The story unfolds asynchronously, creating a sense of mystery. Why does the kids’ teacher, Miss Sakaki, have bandages on her face? Why is the class bully so affected by what happened to Arié? Why is the new kid at school, Amahiko, willing to jump out of his classroom’s window? And why are there glowing butterflies everywhere?" – Unshelved
Plug:Paul Gravett has a feature on French artist Jacques Tardi: "The exhibition and much of Tardi’s work reveals his strong anti-war feeling. It’s an obsession that goes back to his childhood, part of it spent in post-War Germany."
Commentary:MTV.com on social issues being discussed and dissected at Comic-Con. Trina Robbins "described the underground comics world being like a boys' club she wasn't invited into. So she and other women made their own comics. 'I produced the very first all-woman comic book in the world, in 1970,' she said. Her new book, 'Pretty in Ink,' is about women cartoonists, and only the latest book by this herstorian of women in comics."
"Woven through the pages, impressing lightly on Helen’s still child-like mind, are issues such as transgenderism and isolation, appearance and identity, the harsh truths surrounding the commercialisation of nature and the issue of suicide among struggling farmers." – Tom Murphy, Broken Frontier
"Davis notes in the book's opening pages that 'this is not a book about how to be happy,' and I agree. How to Be Happy is a book that shows people living with despair, grief, and unhappiness. It is a book about how people fail and sometimes succeed in calming the harsh storm inside ourselves." – Sequential State
Interview:Scout Books profiles Eleanor Davis: "Initially I think I tried to water down my stuff too much, which was a mistake. Now I try to be as much of my own voice as I can get away with. The art directors tell me when it’s too much. What I’ve found is that if I enjoy myself making a piece, people will respond to it. If I’m bored making a piece folks won’t like looking at it either."
"Friedman is known for adroitly capturing gesture, mood, and psychological nuance in vivid portraits somehow combining elements of caricature and realism…Each of his portraits feels so alive, it is like being welcomed into each artist’s private world." – Steven Heller, The Atlantic
"I knew that [Glenn Bray] was the first person to seek out and collect the work of the great Donald Duck comic book artist writer Carl Barks back in the 1960s, that he published some small books about grotesque-artist Basil Wolverton, and that he was the champion of forgotten genius Stanislav Szukalski…He was probably the first real comic book art collector, buying original work in an era when everyone else considered it to be worthless." – Mark Frauenfelder, Wink
Commentary:Comic Book Resourcesrecaps Fantagraphics' SDCC Panel, "Fantagraphics Forward": "Groth said that what sets Fantagraphics apart from other comics publishers is the fact that 'almost everything we publish is written and drawn by the same person,' an approach which has contributed to defining the Fantagraphics aesthetic."
"…the in-process method of writing and drawing her adventures as they happen gives a vibrant immediacy to situations and sensations. Belying her relatively simple but charming cartooning style, Knisley pages are a cornucopia of information and detail: oversized seagulls, bilingual schoolchildren, and lying sat-navs populate her travels." – Publishers Weekly
"In Twelve Gems, Milburn has created a playful homage to the genre that also incorporates some of the “Marvel-isms” that were injected into the form in the '60s and '70s by Jack Kirby (primarily in The Fantastic Four and Thor) and Jim Starlin (during his stints on Captain Marvel and Warlock). The result is a work that can be enjoyed by a diverse body of comics readers, ranging from old school fans of the form all the way through to newbies who just saw the Guardians of the Galaxy movie." – Bill Boichel, Comics Workbook
"Graham Ingels is the poet laureate of the EC horror comics. His stories are some of the most iconic of the entire line, full of newly revived corpses, horrific villains and some of the scariest moments that have ever been put down on the comics page." – Jason Sacks, Comics Bulletin
"Buddy’s life paralleled my own in some sense (crap jobs, weirdo roommates), but essentially I am not, nor will I ever be like Buddy Bradley. I certainly know the type, however, and therein lies the appeal of Buddy as a main character. The revolving cast of nut jobs that Buddy attracts to himself, and is attracted by, doesn’t hurt the appeal or comic potential either, nor does the sharp wit, great dialogue and Bagge’s unique style of rubbery, quavering limbs, popping eyes and massive pie holes shouting and swearing off the pages." – Chris Auman, Sound on Sight
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