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Category >> Pirus and Mezzo

Daily OCD: 4/13/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Usagi YojimboStan SakaireviewsPirus and MezzoLove and RocketsJohn PhamJim WoodringJacques TardiEleanor Davisdavid sandlinDaily OCDBasil Wolvertonawardsaudio 13 Apr 2010 5:39 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions — catching up from MoCCA weekend, with more catch-up tomorrow:

An Alphabetical Ballad of Carnality

Award: Congratulations to David Sandlin for receiving a 2010-2011 fellowship from the New York Public Library’s Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers. "The fellowship lasts from September to May. Each fellow gets an office in the library’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, full access to the library’s research collections, and a stipend, which last year was $60,000," reports Kate Taylor of The New York Times. Not too shabby!

It Was the War of the Trenches

Review: "Few people alive today are old enough to remember World War I, and as it recedes into the past, the 'war to end all wars' becomes more abstract. But French cartoonist Jacques Tardi's graphic novel, It Was The War of the Trenches..., brings the Great War to life in all its mud- and blood-soaked misery. Without a trace of sentimentality, Tardi's richly detailed and grimly rendered vignettes depict the horror, illness, cruel manipulations, and stupidity of this giant black spot in human history." – Mark Frauenfelder, Boing Boing

Sublife Vol. 2

Review: "Long-lost astronauts, homicidal bloggers, baseball legends and wayward skaters all find a home in John Pham’s captivating comic series Sublife. With only two issues on the street, Sublife has already established an achingly familiar universe in all of its disparate ongoing narratives. Deftly juggling the melancholy of Adrian Tomine’s Optic Nerve with some Cormac McCarthy-inspired apocalyptic action and plenty of skillfully subdued deadpan humor, Pham proves himself a master of multifarious emotions and artist stylings." – We Love You So

Usagi Yojimbo Book 2: Samurai

Review: "While I enjoyed Sakai's artwork in the first volume, this second trade collection is even stronger. ... I'm so glad I'm finally sitting down and reading this series, and my only regret is that I didn't do it sooner. Usagi Yojimbo is a great addition to the canon of samurai stories, and is definitely highly recommended for anyone who is a fan of wandering ronin or just good storytelling." – Rob McMonigal, Panel Patter

The Culture Corner

Review: "Culture Corner remains a curiosity in comic book history, rarely remembered, rarely seen, but Basil Wolverton’s status as an important figure in humor cartooning is unimpeachable. Thus, anybody wanting to understand the development of the medium and the evolution of comedy cartooning should pick up Culture Corner to see how Wolverton began the road to comic book legend. Most of the strips have never been seen by today’s readers, and the sheer number of unpublished penciled sketches makes this book a true rarity and a must-have." – Michael C. Lorah, Newsarama

Newave! The Underground Mini Comix of the 1980s

Review: "I can honestly say that the further we dive into the murky depths of Newave!, the better it gets. Hot on the heels of all the anarchic fun of the first thirty mini comics, come ten more that show, in various ways, a little extra sophistication in content or execution." – Avoid the Future continues their mini-reviews of the contents of Newave! The Underground Mini Comix of the 1980s; this is from part 4, and I think we may have missed linking to part 2 and part 3

King of the Flies Vol. 1: Hallorave

Plugs: Rick Klaw, a.k.a. The Geek Curmudgeon, on It Was the War of the Trenches: "Considering this book's reputation and the fact that the previous two Tardi reprints from Fantagraphics both made their way into my top five books of 2009 listing, I'm eager to read this one"; Newave! The Underground Mini Comix of the 1980s: "An impressive collection with an abundance of Texas contributors!"; and King of the Flies Vol. 1: Hallorave: "I'll admit to ignorance regarding this graphic novel and its creators. But with an intriguing story description, beautiful art, and Fantagraphics' extraordinary track record of offering quality works, I'm looking forward to diving into this one."

Locas II: Maggie, Hopey & Ray

Plug: At IdeaFixa, Claudio Yuge says that reading Love and Rockets "was one of the best things I ever did in life and I recommend it for anyone who likes comics and graphic arts in general." (translated from Portuguese)

Eisner Award Nominee Seal

Commentary: Comic Book Galaxy's Christopher Allen & Alan David Doane comment on this year's Eisner nominees, of which we have several; there's too much for me to quote from here

Weathercraft

Interview: Comic Book Resources' Shaun Manning talks to Jim Woodring about Weathercraft: "In a lot of ways, Manhog is the most interesting character in the Unifactor. He has the most potential for change and the widest range of dramatic possibilities. Besides, it's fun to put him in awful circumstances and watch him suffer. There's something about a big fat guy screaming in terror that's just naturally funny. Oliver Hardy got a lot of mileage out of that formula."

Mome Vol. 8 - Summer 2007

Interview: The Inkstuds radio programme talks with Mome contributor (and, now, kids-comics superstar) Eleanor Davis

Now in stock: King of the Flies Vol. 1: Hallorave by Mezzo & Pirus
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Pirus and Mezzonew releases 31 Mar 2010 7:36 AM

Arrived at our warehouse and ready to ship:

King of the Flies Vol. 1: Hallorave by Mezzo & Pirus

King of the Flies Vol. 1: Hallorave
By Mezzo & Pirus

64-page full-color 9" x 12.5" hardcover • $18.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-320-0
Add to CartMore Info & Previews

Set in a suburb that is both nowhere and everywhere, King of the Flies is a glorious bastard, combining the intricacy and subtlety of the best European graphic novels with a hyperdetailed, controlled noir style derived from the finest American cartoonists.

Mezzo and Pirus, previously best known in Europe for a series of cynical, brutal gangster stories, have abandoned their guns and gals for this cycle of suburban stories, but in King of the Flies the violence has just (for the most part) been interiorized.

King of the Flies first appears to be a series of unrelated short stories, each starring (and narrated by) a different protagonist, but it soon becomes obvious that these seemingly disparate episodes weave together to form a single complex narrative, with events that are only glimpsed (or even referred to) revisited from different perspectives — revolving around Eric, a ne’er-do-well, drug-taking teenager at war with his stepfather and, apparently, the whole world. (He is the titular King.)

King of the Flies is designed as a trilogy of albums, which will combine to form a single graphic novel of stunning intricacy and intensity. (Vol. 2, “The Origin of the World,” will be released by Fantagraphics in Fall/Winter 2010.)

Download an EXCLUSIVE 7-page PDF excerpt containing the entire first chapter (3.1 MB).



Daily OCD: 3/29/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under SupermenreviewsPirus and MezzoHo Che AndersonDaily OCD 29 Mar 2010 2:30 PM

Online Commentary & Diversons:

Supermen! The First Wave of Comic Book Heroes 1936-1941

Review: "A marvel... [Supermen!] is a non-stop visual delight as much for the art as for the colors as for the audacious (sometimes by default) layouts: A way of doing comics that would soon disappear and would return only in the 1960s and 1970s with the ascent of American underground comics, for the early days of comic books were like the underground: Everything was possible, especially the impossible. You absolutely must buy this book..." – Jean-Pierre Dionnet (co-founder, Les Humanoïdes Associés; translated from French)

King of the Flies Vol. 1: Hallorave

Review: "King of the Flies is a very surreal and unsettling tale. Prius does a wonderful job creating a horror-driven universe that could really happen in real life, making readers second-guess the characters they invest 64 pages in. Who are these people? What are their goals? How are they all even related to each other in the larger picture? We don’t get those answers until toward the end, but the ride there is always interesting. An ominous tone is maintained throughout, even during the funnier moments. ... [I]t’s definitely worth picking up if you enjoy dark tales of the human psyche." – Freddie Young, Fangoria

Sand & Fury: A Scream Queen Adventure

Review: "You may want to reread certain passages — not just to fully comprehend the plotline, but to gaze upon the stark, raw artwork. Each panel is made up of striking black-and-white images that notably recall Richard Sala’s vibrant illustrations and Frank Miller’s artwork in the Sin City series. Only during acts of unflinching violence does the page becomes flushed with red. Ho Che Anderson has written and drawn a puzzling, dark tale about a mysterious woman with alluring secrets. Sand & Fury: A Scream Queen Adventure is a complex tale that uniquely blends eroticism and horror." – Jorge Solis, Fangoria

New Comics Day 3/17/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Pirus and MezzoNew Comics DayMomeHo Che Anderson 16 Mar 2010 10:56 PM

A trio of new releases heading to comic shops this week; read on to see what the weekly blogospheric new-release roundups are saying:

King of the Flies Vol. 1: Hallorave by Mezzo & Pirus

King of the Flies Vol. 1: Hallorave
By Mezzo & Pirus

64-page full-color 9" x 12.5" hardcover • $18.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-320-0

Last week at Comics Alliance Douglas Wolk wrote "I don't know whether this handsome translated-from-the-French hardcover, the first of a three-volume series, owes parts of its aesthetic directly to Charles Burns' 'Black Hole' or whether creators Mezzo & Pirus are just coming from a similar dark place, but what I've seen so far looks pretty great — a totally creepy, coolly rendered set of linked stories about adolescents, drugs, sex and half-unreal violence." Also last week, J. Caleb Mozzocco described the artwork as "incredible."

Sand & Fury: A Scream Queen Adventure by Ho Che Anderson

Sand & Fury: A Scream Queen Adventure
By Ho Che Anderson

144-page two-color 7.5" x 9" softcover • $16.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-321-7

Comics Comics' Joe McCulloch describes it as "a young woman rides with death herself." At Robot 6 Chris Mautner calls it a "horror-tinged, modern update on the Celtic Banshee myth. Lots of kinky sex and blood in this one. If you need the incentive."

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/covers/2010/bookcover_mome17.jpg

Mome Vol. 17: Winter 2010
By various artists; edited by Eric Reynolds

120-page color/b&w 7" x 9" softcover • $14.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-302-6

At Comics Comics Joe McCulloch says "Fantagraphics’ house anthology continues to circle the atmosphere tonally." Robot 6's Chris Mautner says it contains "the usual amount of snazzy high-brow tales..."

As you know we have plentiful previews, more reviews and other information at the links above, so there's no excuse not to know what you're getting when you head to your local shop (after confirming availability first, of course).






Daily OCD: 3/12/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under The Comics JournalstaffreviewsPirus and MezzoMoto HagioMatt ThornLove and RocketsGilbert HernandezFantagraphics BookstoreeventsDaily OCD 12 Mar 2010 2:56 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions:

Love and Rockets Book 25: High Soft Lisp

Review: "[High Soft] Lisp has its share of tender moments and tragic ones, although it’s relatively buoyant with humor throughout. ... This is the stuff of soap operas, minus the melodrama. Lisp comes loaded with palpable emotions and heaps of honesty, even amid a cartoony backdrop." – Rod Lott, Bookgasm

King of the Flies Vol. 1: Hallorave

Review: "Part one of a proposed trilogy, King Of The Flies Vol. 1: Hallorave is an extremely promising title from French crime comics artists Pascal “Mezzo” Mesenburg and Michel Pirus. ... Its approach to violence and turmoil is surprisingly fresh, although the story bears obvious debts to David Lynch, and the art just as obvious ones to Charles Burns; it all combines in surprising, powerful ways. ...King Of The Flies is a fascinating new take on the nearly exhausted subject of youthful alienation… B+" – The A.V. Club

The Comics Journal #269

Interview: At The Comics Journal, the conclusion of Matt Thorn's Moto Hagio interview from TCJ #269

Sparkplug logo

Interviewer: Over at his Profanity Hill concern, our own Jason T. Miles picks the brain of Sparkplug Comic Books publisher Dylan Williams about the business and ethics of independent comics

High Soft Lisp - Gilbert Hernandez Exhibit & Book Signing at  Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery, March 13, 2010

Event plug: "If there's a greater comics-related joy to be had on an early Spring Saturday sipping beers, hanging out in Seattle's cartooning headquarters, finding out you're standing next to Jim Woodring while occasionally taking a focused gander at Beto's originals, I haven't been informed as to what that might be." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter

Daily OCD: 2/10/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewsPirus and MezzoJohn PhamDaily OCDBest of 2009 10 Feb 2010 2:52 PM

Just a few Online Commentary & Diversions links:

List: I'm a little short on time so I'm afraid I'll just have to link to Rob Clough's Top 100 Comics of the '00s Part One at The Comics Journal without quoting or outlining the Fantagraphics entries but rest assured there's plenty of them

Review: "[King of the Flies Vol. 1: Hallorave] features a series of short stories which at first seem completely unrelated but eventually begin to tie together to reveal a larger picture of depravity, lust, drug abuse and other sinister events taking place in a town that is utterly surreal and terrifyingly familiar. ... What makes this story really work is when it peels back that first layer of the onion and we get to see what’s underneath. Normal, everyday stuff takes place on the surface, but as we get deeper into the rabbit hole, a larger tapestry of creepiness and unsettling behavior is woven." – Chad Derdowski, Mania

Commentary: Adrian Reynolds at youdothatvoodoo cites John Pham's Sublife as an example of successful storytelling, saying "...the creativity John Pham brings to the pages of Sublife makes me warm to his comics work all the more. Asterios Polyp’s creator David Mazzuchelli deconstructs the story he’s telling before your very eyes, drawing attention to the methods he’s using to get it across. Pham, conversely, uses experimental art techniques in the service of story..."

King of the Flies desktop wallpaper
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under wallpapersPirus and Mezzo 27 Jan 2010 2:50 PM

When I was taking photos for our preview of King of the Flies Vol. 1: Hallorave by Mezzo & Pirus, I observed that the endpapers might make a nifty desktop background. One request to the art department later, and presto! (Note that this image is Not Safe For Most Workplaces due to partial nudity.)

Just click on the size that matches your monitor resolution and the image will open in a new window; if you're on a PC, right-click the image and select "Set As Background"; if you're on a Mac, control+click and select "Set As Desktop Background." (We don't know what the procedure is for iPhones, but if you have one, you probably do, right?) For lots more wallpaper selections, find recent ones here and older ones here.


800 x 600 | 1024 x 768 | 1152 x 864 | 1280 x 960 | 1280 x 800 | 1280 x 720 | iPhone
King of the Flies Vol. 1: Hallorave by Mezzo & Pirus - Previews, Pre-Order
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under previewsPirus and Mezzonew releases 25 Jan 2010 7:13 AM

King of the Flies Vol. 1: Hallorave by Mezzo & Pirus

King of the Flies Vol. 1: Hallorave
By Mezzo & Pirus

64-page full-color 9" x 12.5" hardcover • $18.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-320-0

Ships in February 2010 (subject to change) — Pre-Order Now

Set in a suburb that is both nowhere and everywhere, King of the Flies is a glorious bastard, combining the intricacy and subtlety of the best European graphic novels with a hyperdetailed, controlled noir style derived from the finest American cartoonists.

Mezzo and Pirus, previously best known in Europe for a series of cynical, brutal gangster stories, have abandoned their guns and gals for this cycle of suburban stories, but in King of the Flies the violence has just (for the most part) been interiorized.

King of the Flies first appears to be a series of unrelated short stories, each starring (and narrated by) a different protagonist, but it soon becomes obvious that these seemingly disparate episodes weave together to form a single complex narrative, with events that are only glimpsed (or even referred to) revisited from different perspectives — revolving around Eric, a ne’er-do-well, drug-taking teenager at war with his stepfather and, apparently, the whole world. (He is the titular King.)

King of the Flies is designed as a trilogy of albums, which will combine to form a single graphic novel of stunning intricacy and intensity. (Vol. 2, “The Origin of the World,” will be released by Fantagraphics in Fall/Winter 2010.)

Download an EXCLUSIVE 7-page PDF excerpt containing the entire first chapter (3.1 MB).

Video & Photo Slideshow Preview (view in new window):




KING OF THE FLIES Halloween preview - page 6
Written by Kim Thompson | Filed under previewsPirus and MezzoComing Attractions 30 Oct 2009 7:53 AM

King of the Flies Vol. 1 by Pirus & Mezzo - page 6
(click image to enlarge)

See part 1 for more info about the book.


KING OF THE FLIES Halloween preview - page 5
Written by Kim Thompson | Filed under previewsPirus and MezzoComing Attractions 29 Oct 2009 7:52 AM

King of the Flies Vol. 1 by Pirus & Mezzo - page 5
(click image to enlarge)

See part 1 for more info about the book.