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Category >> OCD

Weekly OCD 10.23.2014
Written by Sonia Lei | Filed under Simon HanselmannOCDLucy KnisleyCarol Swain 23 Oct 2014 3:20 PM

This week's triumphant trio of Online Commentaries and Diversions:

Gast by Carol SwainReview: Gast by Carol Swain

"Like the similarly peripatetic cartoonist Ben Katchor, she draws from, and at, unusual angles, beckoning the eye to travel across the story-world’s space to unusual nooks and crannies, dirty floors and empty skies." – Sean T. Collins, The Comics Journal

 

Megahex by Simon HanselmannReview: Megahex by Simon Hanselmann

"It would be easy to dismiss Megahex as another stoner comic. But there’s so much lurking beneath the seemingly superficial surfaces – questions about friendship, loyalty, love, drug addiction, sexual identity, and hopelessness." – Gareth Branwyn, BoingBoing

 

An Age of License by Lucy KnisleyReview: An Age of License by Lucy Knisley

"Knisley has a great eye for what makes travel fun: what’s different, what's delicious, cool museums, cute kitties, history, even the strange inconveniences." – Unshelved

 

Weekly OCD 10.16.2014
Written by Sonia Lei | Filed under Simon HanselmannPeanutsOCDDisneyChris WrightCharles M SchulzCarl Barks 16 Oct 2014 2:05 PM

This week's cinnamon-spice-and-everything-nice latte of Online Commentaries and Diversions:

Interview: Blacklung by Chris Wright

"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

 

Snoopy's Thanksgiving by Charles M. SchulzReview: Snoopy's Thanksgiving by Charles M. Schulz

"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

 

Megahex by Simon HanselmannReview: Megahex by Simon Hanselmann

"…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

Review:

"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

 

Walt Disney's Uncle Scrooge: The Seven Cities of Gold by Carl BarksReview: Walt Disney's Uncle Scrooge: The Seven Cities of Gold by Carl Barks

"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

Weekly OCD 10.08.14
Written by Sonia Lei | Filed under Tim LaneSimon HanselmannS Clay WilsonOCDEd PiskorDisneyDash ShawCarol SwainCarl Barks 8 Oct 2014 5:00 PM

This week's kale and acai berry energy smoothie of Online Commentaries and Diversions:

The Lonesome Go by Tim Lane - CoverReview: The Lonesome Go by Tim Lane

"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

 

Doctors by Dash Shaw - CoverReview: Doctors by Dash Shaw

"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

 

Megahex by Simon Hanselmann - CoverInterview: Megahex by Simon Hanselmann

"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

 

Gast by Carol Swain - CoverReview: Gast by Carol Swain

"…the road less taken is what you expect from Swain, and with a bit of patience you got a great story." – Jason, cats without dogs

 

Ghost of the Grotto Starring Walt Disney's Donald Duck by Carl Barks - CoverReview: Ghost of the Grotto Starring Walt Disney's Donald Duck by Carl Barks

"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

 

Weekly OCD 9.24.14
Written by Sonia Lei | Filed under Trina RobbinsOCDEleanor DavisEd Piskor 24 Sep 2014 5:45 PM

This week's pumpkin-spiced, autumn-colored scrapbook of Online Commentaries and Diversions:

Pretty in Ink: North American Women Cartoonists 1896-2013 by Trina RobbinsCommentary: Pretty in Ink: North American Women Cartoonists 1896-2013 by Trina Robbins

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."

 

How to Be Happy by Eleanor DavisInterview: How to Be Happy by Eleanor Davis

"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

 

Hip Hop Family Tree Vol. 1: 1970s-1981 by Ed PiskorCommentary: Hip Hop Family Tree by Ed Piskor

"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

 

Weekly OCD 9.17.14
Written by Sonia Lei | Filed under Wandering SonSimon HanselmannShimura TakakoOCDMark FertigEleanor DavisEd PiskorDrew Friedman 17 Sep 2014 12:30 PM

This week's bone-crunchingly, lip-smackingly tasty platter of Online Commentaries and Diversions:

Heroes of the Comics: Portraits of the Legends of Comic Books by Drew Friedman - CoverReview: Heroes of the Comics: Portraits of the Legends of Comic Books by Drew Friedman

"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

Interview: Gil Roth interviews Drew Friedman and Sara Lippmann in his podcast.

 

Hip Hop Family Tree Vol. 2: 1981-1983 by Ed Piskor - Cover Review: Hip Hop Family Tree Vol. 2: 1981-1983 by Ed Piskor

"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

Interview: Hillary Brown over at Paste Magazine chats with Ed Piskor.

Interview: Comics Alternative's 100th podcast episode features Hip Hop Family Tree Vol. 2.

Interview: On their podcast, "Tell Me Something I Don't Know," BoingBoing sits down with Ed Piskor and Tom Scioli to talk about being professional comic book artists.

 

Megahex by Simon HanselmannInterview: Megahex by Simon Hanselmann

"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

 

Wandering Son Vol. 7 by Shimura TakakoReview: Wandering Son Vol. 7 by Shimura Takako

"The realism and authenticity of the characterization in Wandering Son is one of the manga’s greatest strengths." – Ash Brown, Experiments in Manga

 

Film Noir 101: The 101 Best Film Noir Posters from the 1940s-1950s by Mark FertigReview: Film Noir 101: The 101 Best Film Noir Posters from the 1940s-1950s by Mark Fertig

"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

 

How to Be Happy by Eleanor DavisInterview: How To Be Happy by Eleanor Davis

"In this [podcast] episode, Thien and Rina talk to amazing cartoonist and illustrator, Eleanor Davis about her new book How to Be Happy." – Rina Ayuyang and Thien Pham, Comix Claptrap

 

Weekly OCD 9.10.14
Written by Sonia Lei | Filed under Will ElderOCDLucy KnisleyJohn SeverinJim WoodringHarvey KurtzmanEleanor DavisEd PiskorDisneyDash ShawChuck ForsmanCarl Barks 9 Sep 2014 1:00 PM

This week's delicious figgy pudding of Online Commentaries and Diversions:

Hip Hop Family Tree Vol. 2: 1981-1983 by Ed Piskor - CoverInterview: Hip Hop Family Tree Vol. 2: by Ed Piskor

"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

 

Jim by Jim Woodring - CoverReview: Jim by Jim Woodring

"Woodring’s great talent, apart from his beautiful artwork, is his ability to make these absurd and almost nonsensical stories enthralling." – Mark Frauenfelder, BoingBoing

 

An Age of License by Lucy Knisley - CoverReview: An Age of License by Lucy Knisley

"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

 

How to Be Happy by Eleanor Davis - CoverReview: How to Be Happy by Eleanor Davis

"…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

 

Bomb Run and Other Stories by Harvey Kurtzman, John Severin, Will Elder et al. - CoverReview: Bomb Run and Other Stories by John Severin, Harvey Kurtzman, Will Elder, et al.

"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

 

Celebrated Summer by Charles Forsman - CoverReview: Celebrated Summer by Charles Forsman

"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

 

OCD Extra: Fall Booklist Reviews
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under OCDLucy KnisleyJim WoodringEleanor Davis 27 Aug 2014 3:45 PM
The current and next month's issue of Booklist will include reviews of recent releases by Fantagraphics creators, excerpted below:
How to Be Happy
"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
Jim Woodring  
"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
An Age of License
by Lucy 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



Weekly OCD 8.19.14
Written by Sonia Lei | Filed under Roberta GregoryOCDMegan Kelsomary fleenerLucy KnisleyJessica AbelEllen ForneyEleanor DavisCarol TylerCarol Swain 19 Aug 2014 11:30 AM

This week's hen's egg clutch of Online Commentaries and Diversions:

Gast by Carol Swain - CoverReview: Gast by Carol Swain

"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

 

How to Be Happy by Eleanor Davis - CoverReview: How to Be Happy by Eleanor Davis

"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

Plug: Look who's sitting pretty at number 10 on the NY Times' Best Sellers List this week!

 

Weekly OCD 8.12.14
Written by Sonia Lei | Filed under Roberta GregoryOCDMegan Kelsomary fleenerLucy KnisleyLane MilburnKim ThompsonJoe OrlandoJessica AbelJacques TardiInio AsanoGabrielle BellEsther Pearl WatsonEllen ForneyEleanor DavisDrew FriedmanCarol TylerAl Jaffee 12 Aug 2014 8:30 AM

This week's summery, sun-warmed collection of Online Commentaries and Diversions:

Unloveable Vol. 3 by Esther Pearl WatsonReview: Unlovable Vol. 3 by Esther Pearl Watson

"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

 

Twelve Gems by Lane MilburnReview: Twelve Gems by Lane Milburn

"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

 

It Was the War of the Trenches by Jacques TardiReview: It Was the War of the Trenches by Jacques Tardi

"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

 

How to Be Happy by Eleanor DavisReview: How to Be Happy by Eleanor Davis

"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

 

Judgment Day and Other Stories by Joe Orlando, Al Feldstein, et alReview: Judgment Day and Other Stories by Joe Orlando, Al Feldstein, et al.

"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

 

Heroes of the Comics: Portraits of the Legends of Comic Books by Drew FriedmanReview: Heroes of the Comics: Portraits of the Legends of Comic Books by Drew Friedman

"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

 

Nijigahara Holograph by Inio AsanoReview: Nijigahara Holograph by Inio Asano

"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."
  • Commentary: Several Fantagraphics artists are included in Buzzfeed's "23 Female Cartoonists On Drawing Their Bodies"
Weekly OCD 8.05.14
Written by Sonia Lei | Filed under OCDLucy KnisleyinterviewsGlenn BrayEleanor DavisDrew FriedmanCCICarol Swain 5 Aug 2014 11:00 AM

This week's summery, sun-warmed collection of Online Commentaries and Diversions:

Gast by Carol SwainReview: Gast by Carol Swain

"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

 

How To Be Happy by Eleanor DavisReview: How To Be Happy by Eleanor Davis

"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."

 

Heroes of the Comics: Portraits of the Legends of Comic Books by Drew FriedmanReview: Heroes of the Comics: Portraits of the Legends of Comic Books by Drew Friedman

"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

 

The Blighted Eye: Original Comic Art from the Glenn Bray CollectionReview: The Blighted Eye: Original Comic Art from the Glenn Bray Collection by various artists

"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

 

  • Plug: Lucy Knisley's An Age of License made Publishers Weekly's list of Most Anticipated Books of Fall 2014!
  • Commentary: Comic Book Resources recaps 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."
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