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Category >> Prince Valiant

Daily OCD: 8/24/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tim LanereviewsPrince ValiantPeter BaggePeanutsPaul HornschemeierNell BrinkleyMomeJordan CraneJasonHal FosterDave CooperDash ShawCharles M SchulzCharles BurnsCarol TylerBlazing CombatAl Columbia 24 Aug 2009 1:56 PM

A new week brings an avalanche of new Online Commentary & Diversions:

• Profile: For the Philadelphia Inquirer, Tirdad Derakhshani looks at the past, present, and future of Prince Valiant: "The release Tuesday of Prince Valiant, Vol. 1: 1937-1938, the first in a new series of gorgeously printed, hardcover Valiant collections from Fantagraphics Books, served as a bittersweet reminder of the century-long rise and eventual decline of a great American art form, the comic strip."

• Review: "...Al [Columbia] decided to dredge up old ghosts, unfinished pieces, trifles he had thrown away then reconsidered and offered them up to us as proof that he hasn’t forgotten us. This 240-page book [Pim and Francie: The Golden Bear Days, Fall 2009]... has certainly filled in some gaps for me as to what goes on in Columbia’s mind... There seems to be something both amazing and horrifying around every corner, in any dark space, in the thick of the forest, in the bulbous eyes of maniacal creatures and the straight realistic lines of buildings that all have a dark window somewhere... It is truly a viscous treat and I am sure this one will never wash off." - Rachael M Rollson, Panel to Panel

• Review: "Though Low Moon doesn’t have the slow-building impact of Jason’s longer works, he’s still one of comics’ best storytellers, and it’s always a treat to spend time in his world of off-brand pulp clichés and not-always-so-funny animals. [Grade] B+" - The A.V. Club

• Review: "Jason is an immensely skilled artist capable of manipulating his self-restricted vocabulary to stretch space and time. Low Moon moves in a slow burn as the two antagonists move closer to their eventual showdown. In what is probably the best story in the book You Are Here, time moves more quickly as a father and son attempt to deal with the alien abduction of the father's wife. The father builds a rocket while the son grows up and has a life of his own. Eventually they pile into the rocket, and things end badly, but perhaps a bit more emotionally than with the other stories." - Michael Buntag, NonSensical Words

• Review: "Rage of a different kind in Everybody Is Stupid Except for Me and Other Astute Observations by Peter Bagge. This collection of satirical rants from the American libertarian magazine Reason... is philosophically more about punk individualism than Ayn Rand, and artistically the heir to 1980s indie comics. Indeed, Bagge is an indie star, famous for his wonderfully elastic cartooning style and punk-inflected comedies." - Roger Sabin, The Observer

• Review: "These are good comics [in Everybody Is Stupid Except for Me and Other Astute Observations], fun to read and definitely funny, definitely searing and when he hits a target he gets it right. Also there’s something to be said for the journalist tone of the writing and the structure of the strips would translate well into a proper newspaper, were he so inclined." - Ibrow

• Review: "For fresh talent in comics, you have to go to the anthologies and there's none better at the moment than Mome... the highlight [of Vol. 15] is Dash Shaw's hallucinatory story about a tidal wave, which uses swaths of colour and elongated panels to create a sense of vertigo." - Roger Sabin, The Observer (same link as above)

• Review: "Schulz had gone from a fairly grounded sense of consensus reality to Snoopy's flights of fancy to outright weirdness... That seems to be the essence of Sparky Schulz to me: even with the pressure of the daily grind and his position as the lynchpin of what had become a vast empire, Schulz wrote to amuse himself... At his best in this volume [The Complete Peanuts 1973-1974], Schulz gave the readers some of the best stories of his career." - Rob Clough

• Review: "Ace cartoonist Jordan Crane makes a curious split comic choice. The first half [of Uptight #3 ], 'Vicissitude,' is the opening chapter of a brooding adult tale of marital dysfunction and deceit, while the second, 'Freeze Out,' is a kid’s story, the further adventures of Simon and his cat Jack, who were featured in Crane’s great graphic novel, The Clouds Above. Miraculously, the pairing works — each is superior in its own genre — but you might want to wait until 'Freeze Out' is collected on its own before showing it to your kids." - John Seven, Worcester Magazine

• Review: "Blazing Combat (Fantagraphics, 2009) collects the entire run in a beautiful, incredibly well-bound hardcover book... The stories' tone is very 1960s, ironic with a cynicism stemming from brokenhearted humanism." - Carol Borden, The Cultural Gutter

• Review: "Needless to say, I love the streak of darkness that permeates [Charles] Burns' work. I mean that both figuratively and literally, as his one-of-a-kind illustration style is at-a-glance recognizable because of his heavy use of black ink... That starkness emphasizes the cruel features on the faces of his characters - deep wrinkles, harsh teeth, beady eyes and unflattering noses, to say nothing of the occasional freak. Like the look of his characters, Burns is one of a kind, and Skin Deep is a good introduction to the man's singular vision - a good way to get your toe wet before diving in." - Rod Lott, Bookgasm

• Review: "[A.B.] Frost looked like he was painting with the line…on a half-dozen cups of coffee. Trust me, that’s hard to do... Also, it looks like Fanta-Graphic Books might have brought Stuff and Nonsense back in print in 2003. [Yes. -Ed.] Pick up and copy and be ready to weep - this work is untouchable." - Tony DiTerlizzi

• Plug: "Carol Tyler's You'll Never Know is my favorite book of the year thus far. This memoir/biography/scrapbook is both formally challenging and emotionally devastating. Any critic serious about compiling a year-end list needs to keep this book under consideration." - Rob Clough, Robot 6 (guest contributor)

• Tweet: "Still, the most beautifully designed bk so far this yr is still IMO Fantagraphics 'The Brinkley Girls': http://bit.ly/CSYpH Swoon-worthy." - bookjones

• Things to see: Mark Murphy shares some convention sketches, including Dave Cooper, Paul Hornschemeier and many others

• Things to see: Tim Lane ponders "What would it be like to punt the Venus of Willendorf into outer space from the surface of the moon?” and "...but WHAT about THE CHILDREN?"

Daily OCD: 8/17/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tom KaczynskiThe Comics JournalreviewsRay FenwickPrince ValiantJoe DalyJasonHal FosterFantagraphics BookstoreDave CooperAbstract Comics 17 Aug 2009 1:53 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions

• Analysis: "For me, Tom [Kaczynski]'s work is an oasis in the desert... Tom K builds comics that could be likened to a brick house. These are solid comics." - Frank Santoro, Comics Comics

• List: I haven't heard of pop group 3OH!3 before, but their frontman Sean Foreman has pretty good taste in comics going by this Top 10 list he gave to The AOL Radio Blog: Black Hole, Bottomless Belly Button, Monster Parade, Epileptic, Jimmy Corrigan...

• Review: "For my money, [Joe] Daly is hilarious, with an ear for great dialog, a nice feel for the way characters and convertibles glide across the landscape of the comic page, and a zest for uniquely convoluted plots [in The Red Monkey Double Happiness Book]."- Steve Duin, The Oregonian

• Review: "Previous assemblages of [Prince] Valiant being out of print, Fantagraphics, a leader in the field, has stepped forward with gloriously restored art reproduced in generous dimensions and abetted by the essays of experts. This initial volume... demonstrates just why Valiant continues to burn so brightly... Simultaneously nostalgic and eternal, Hal Foster's populist masterwork deserves this accessible enshrinement." - Paul DiFilippo, The Barnes & Noble Review

• Review: "I dont think I’ve ever read anything like Low Moon by Jason and I mean that in a good way... Low Moon has a brilliant almost tightrope deadpan mix of sad and funny... Jason is capable of stories with heart like no other; particularly stories with an aura of heartrending and heartbreak. Low Moon might be the second most melancholy book that I’ve read over the past year... Low Moon by Jason continues to push the medium forward and confound readers expectations with brilliant stories that defy categorization." - Brian Lindenmuth, BSCreview

• Profile: La Perse looks at the "disturbing... beautiful" comics of Dave Cooper (Google translation)

• Plug: Cartoon Brew recommends The Comics Journal #299 for the reprint of Myron Waldman's Eve, "a rare treat for Fleischer Studio fans - or anyone interested in clever, cartoon story-telling."

• Plug: "[Abstract Comics is] more proof that comics are truly an art form. They can be just as weird, surreal, absurd, artistic, expressive and transcendent as any other medium." - Corey Blake

• Plug: At Arts Journal, Regina Hackett blurbs the "Comics Savants" exhibit at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery: "Some of these people are the best of the best."

• Things to see: Ray Fenwick attends Dweebo's School of Art (a day-long collaborative drawing performance); plus further adventures of Dweebo & Pupil

Daily OCD: 8/14/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewsPrince ValiantMichael KuppermanLilli CarréJasonHal FosterFrom Wonderland with LoveEros ComixAbstract Comics 14 Aug 2009 12:01 PM

A nice batch of reviews in today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

• Review: "Starstudded. The comics medium merges with pictorial art into a groundbreaking narrative form in a new gorgeous anthology [From Wonderland with Love] with the Danish highlights of the last ten years.… jam-packed with cherry-picked quality material which is guaranteed to find happy readers far beyond the circle who consider themselves comics fans." - Nikolaj M. Lassen, Weekendavisen (translated from Danish)

• Review: "..[T]his brilliant, anarchic collection of errant dips into the cultural gestalt is laugh-out-loud hilarious. Like stuff that's fearless, brilliant and non-linear? Thrizzle is for shizzle." - Richard Pachter, The Miami Herald

• Review: "Fantagraphics continues on its quest to reprint and repackage history’s greatest and most influential comics in glorious, high-quality collections. This first collection of Hal Foster’s Prince Valiant strips has to be seen to be believed – it’s a lovingly crafted, tabloid-sized book with the highest production values. The artwork has been recreated from Foster’s own engraver’s proofs, providing better quality than even the original newspaper run would have got. Prince Valiant is widely regarded as one of the best adventure comics ever created, and there’s two years worth of material here – a real treat for fans of the original or new readers looking for some classic medieval adventure." - Grovel

• Review: "I certainly prefer Norwegian cartoonist Jason to Hemingway. For one thing, Jason doesn't hate women, as far as I can tell. And for another, his new book of short graphic stories, Low Moon, has a bunch of clever touches that made me chuckle out loud." - Noah Berlatsky, comiXology

• Review: "...[E]ven if the very mention of the word 'abstract' makes you poke your fingers in your ears and go 'La la la la,' I’d strongly recommend the book, as it contains a number of strikingly beautiful images and sequences... I found Abstract Comics to be a revealing, thought-provoking and genuinely lovely book that I’ll be sure to be rereading in the months to come." - Chris Mautner, Robot 6

• Review: "MILFs on Mars, by the artist known as Rebecca... is a collection of black and white pin-up drawings of naked (or mostly naked) women posing in spacey science fiction Martian environments... The drawings are well done and almost tame enough to not be called hard core. However, that cannot be said (or written) because some of the poses consist of inquisitive homosexual women physically probing other people. Need I say more?" - Bernard C. Cormier, Brunswick News

• Things to see: Not enough artists exploit the animated GIF as a medium; Lilli Carré has done it twice recently, to wondeful effect

Daily OCD: 8/5/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Zak SallyvideoreviewsPrince ValiantHal FosterFletcher HanksErnie BushmillerCCIAbstract Comics 5 Aug 2009 3:27 PM

Your midweek Online Commentary & Diversions:

• Review: "Crude but powerful drawings; an eye-shattering color palette; helter-skelter plotting, often with anticlimactic, fall-off-a-cliff endings; unintentionally manifested author obsessions; stupendous indulgence of schadenfreude, terror and glee at the misery of humanity, salted with some token morality. Yes, that's the Fletcher Hanks formula for a unique, unforgettable, Golden Age comics masterpiece, and all these bizarro traits are indeed on glorious display here [in You Shall Die by Your Own Evil Creation!]..." - Paul Di Filippo, Sci Fi Wire

• Plug: "I'm very impressed with Fantagraphics's restart of this wonderful series [Prince Valiant]. The reproduction quality is much improved over their old softcover series; it's the best I've seen... This is the perfect series to introduce kids to great comics adventure." - Bud Plant

• Plug: "Abstract Comics: The Anthology: I'm one of those who considers the first two words of this title to be an oxymoron. That, ironically, probably makes me a good candidate for reading this book... You can’t argue with the list of contributors..." - J. Caleb Mozzocco, Newsarama

• Commentary: At ArtsJournal, Regina Hackett on our Nancy announcement

• Comic-Con: In his column for Comic Book Resources, Steven Grant offers some rebuttal to our own Eric Reynolds's initial analysis of the show... slicker marketing and products, eh?

• Things to see: The rejected alternate cover for Abstract Comics: The Anthology (link fixed)

• Video: Scenes from Zak Sally's Fear of Song record release show

Photo preview: Prince Valiant Vol. 1: 1937-1938 by Hal Foster
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Prince ValiantpreviewsHal Foster 3 Aug 2009 3:17 PM

Prince Valiant Vol. 1: 1937-1938 by Hal Foster - front cover by you.

Here's your much-delayed photo preview of Prince Valiant Vol. 1: 1937-1938 by Hal Foster. Bask in the beauteousness of this lovely volume. The slideshow player is embedded below; if it's not visible to you, or to see it full-screen (recommended), click here; if you don't like slideshows, browse here. (Note: we usually have video previews as well, but I need to replace my broken camera before I can shoot any more of those. Sorry!)

Daily OCD: 8/3/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tim KreiderRichard SalareviewsPrince ValiantPopeyeMichael KuppermanLove and RocketsLilli CarréJim FloraJaime HernandezHans RickheitHal FosterFrancesca GhermandiFletcher HanksEC SegarCCICarol TylerBasil WolvertonAbstract Comics 3 Aug 2009 1:53 AM

Let's see what kind of Online Commentary & Diversions the weekend held for us... a lot, apparently:

• Review: "Carol Tyler is a unique figure in the world of comics... She's now put together the first volume of what promises to be her masterwork, a 'graphic memoir' about her father's experiences in World War II that effortlessly mixes media in a charming, affecting, and devastating package. You'll Never Know goes beyond biography, autobiography and even as a means a therapy to ask a number of deeper questions that may well not have ready answers. It's a stunning achievement, a perfect marriage of form and content, and is my early contender for not only comic of the year, but comic of the decade." - Rob Clough

• Review: "Jordan Crane's Uptight series is a lo-fi throwback of a series... Crane's line is elegant but unfussy, with slightly scratchy character designs that have a grace and fluidity to them reminiscent of Jaime Hernandez." - Rob Clough

• Review: "Grotesque has been one of the most playful entries in the underappreciated Ignatz line. Sergio Ponchione has a very 'American' quality to his line in terms of his line (thick and rubbery) and character design (a series of homages to masters like EC Segar and more contemporary figures like Charles Burns)... Ponchione's sight gags in this issue were something to behold, like a dead baron's tombstone growing arms and legs and coming after his brothers." - Rob Clough (same link as above)

• Review: "Issue #4 of Delphine was the conclusion of the series, and it certainly did not disappoint... Delphine benefitted from the Ignatz format: big pages that let the backgrounds breathe, nice paper, and creepy one-tone color. It was a perfect format for a fairy tale gone horribly wrong." - Rob Clough (same link as above) 

• Review: "When life is on the skids, there are those who just lean into it and those who try to drive their way out. Some get run over, some step on the gas. In Pop. 666 [by Francesca Ghermandi, serialized in Zero Zero], fortunes change at moment’s notice, and events are never anything short of bizarre... This weird and creepy sci-fi horror crime comic is a loopy piece of work, and it deserves to be experienced by more readers..." - Jamie S. Rich, Robot 6

• Review: "I realize as I was reading the book that I’d previously thought of Val as a bit of a wimp due to his hairstyle, but nothing could be farther from the truth. In the first volume he kills a giant crocodile, wears a false mustache, scares an ogre to death, enters a jousting tournament in disguise, gets drunk, falls in love with a girl who already has a fiance, pursues girl with said fiance when she is kidnapped by vikings, and fights off a horde of vikings single-handed. That Prince Valiant is a busy guy!... It is really great seeing an essential part of comics history like Prince Valiant being treated so respectfully in this new edition." - TangognaT

• Review: "Imagine a book publisher had released a retrospective on 'The Graphic Novel' in 1976, or that a cinema hosted a look back at France’s nouvelle vague in 1957, or that a gallery exhibit somewhere spotlighted American Abstract Expressionism in, say, 1946. The experience would have been not unlike reading Abstract Comics: The Anthology today." - Sean Rogers, The Walrus

• Review: "[The Wolverton Bible] is a fascinating testimony to the peculiar vision of the life of an original artist and a somewhat unorthodox view of the 'holy book' by a faithful believer." - Iconoctlán (translation from Google)

• Review: "Popeye Vol. 1 would be enthralling if only for the change in the Thimble Theatre order of things, letting the reader watch as a new character takes over and reshapes the strip into his own image. Fortunately, what it's turned into is a thoroughly fun adventure strip that made me eager for more... There are so many fun newspaper reprint projects going on right now that it's easy to miss a lot of them. Now that I know how good Popeye is, I'm making it a priority to read the rest." - Greg McElhatton, Read About Comics

• Review: "[Bottomless Belly Button is a] wonderful book that I strongly recommend for every comic fan... Dash Shaw is a name to remember." - Laurent De Maertelaer, freaky.be (translation from Google)

• Plugs: "Abstract Comics: ...[I]t's fascinating to see what you can do with comics when you're dealing with non-representational, non-narrative imagery, stretching the limits of the medium... Locas II: Oh man, it's another huge collection of Jaime Hernandez's amazing stories from Love and Rockets... Greatness." - Matthew J. Brady

• Plug: "This third volume of Flora visual treats includes newly-discovered artwork that Irwin [Chusid] himself dug out of a time capsule that was buried in a top-secret location. Or maybe I made up that last part." - Liz Berg, WFMU's Beware of the Blog

• Plug: "...I have just started the new Fletcher Hanks collection, You Shall Die By Your Own Evil Creation!, and am happy to see it is just as insane as the first one." - Tom Bondurant, Robot 6

• Plug: "Nobody else’s comics read like these [in You Shall Die By Your Own Evil Creation!]. They’re savage and brutal but have moments of eerie and unexpected beauty... And don’t read this stuff right before bed: strange dreams are a documented side-effect." - Matt Maxwell, Robot 6 (same link as above)

• Plug: "Paul Karasik's Fletcher Hanks collections are the gift that keeps on giving." - Chris Sims, Chris's Invincible Super-Blog [the accompanying panel is one of my favorites too]

• Preview: Hans Rickheit has a peek at the hardcover of The Squirrel Machine

• Profile: "Michael Kupperman does funny very well... 'Right now, I'm working on two more short pieces for Marvel, one featuring the Avengers, and I'm going to try to get some of that Marvel spirit of the '70s, with the explosive, sound-effect laden fight scenes.'" - Gary C.W. Chun catches up with Kupperman in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin

• Interview: "I've greatly enjoyed Chicago-based cartoonist, artist and animator Lilli Carré's first few forays into the world of comics. Longer works such as Tales of Woodsman Pete and especially The Lagoon were stuffed with undeniably interesting formal techniques... There's a soulful element to Carré's writing that helps greatly to involve the reader in the surface narratives..." - Tom Spurgeon, introducing his Q&A with Lilli at The Comics Reporter

• Opinion: Another great (non-comics) NYT column from Tim Kreider

• Second thoughts: Gil Roth offers some regrets about a negative review he gave to Richard Sala's Evil Eye in The Comics Journal back in 1998

• Comic-Con Rhetorical Question of the Day: "...[H]ow many members of the 501st Stormtrooper Legion do you see at the Fantagraphics booth?" - Sean T. Collins (The Unneeded Answer: we had maybe 2 cosplayers, period, in the booth all week, and no Stormtroopers, although they are more than welcome.)

Valiant Violence Restored!
Written by Kim Thompson | Filed under Prince ValiantHal Foster 28 Jul 2009 8:52 AM

Ace Hal Foster biographer Brian M. Kane (author of the forthcoming Definitive Prince Valiant Companion from Fantagraphics) just pointed out a fascinating fact to us: The Syndicate color proofs that we are using for the first time for our brand new edition of Prince Valiant have yielded at least one instance of a page that was originally toned down (presumably by the Syndicate) and has, in the 71 years since then, never been printed in Foster's original, unexpurgated, slightly more bloodthirsty version! Compare and contrast these two versions of page 50: While panel 3 is essentially the same in terms of narrative content (albeit described in a grislier fashion), panels 6 and 7 were changed from a more-or-less accidental oops-there-he-goes death to a Mister A-style execution by a wise-cracking Valiant. We like this version better ourselves! (Click the thumbnail images below to view larger versions of each page.)

Prince Valiant Vol. 1 page 50 - original edition Prince Valiant Vol. 1 Page 50 - New Edition

We'll keep Valiant fans apprised if any more such changes come to light!

Daily OCD: 7/27/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under The Comics JournalreviewsPrince ValiantPeter BaggePaul KarasikMichael KuppermanJordan Cranejohn kerschbaumJasonHal FosterGary PanterFletcher HanksDan DeCarloCCIBoody RogersaudioAnders NilsenAl JaffeeAbstract Comics 27 Jul 2009 4:16 PM

Oh boy, let's start our post-Comic-Con Online Commentary & Diversions catch-up:

• Comic-Con: Coverage of our con announcements and happenings from Douglas Wolk for Rolling Stone, Paul Constant at The Stranger, and Chris Mautner of Robot 6

• Review: "...Jason elevates his skewering of filmic genres to a whole new level in his latest collection, Low Moon, which sees his unique takes on film noir, westerns and screwball comedy.  All of the tales are informed by his signature clean lines, bright colors, sparse dialogue and taste for a particularly brutal brand of slapstick humor and occasional moments of dark, incisive brilliance that are often reached without uttering a word... Featuring tawdry sex, alien abductions, existential crises, betrayal, and a hundred and one different varieties of murder, this is a book that pretty much has it all." - Ian Chant, PopMatters

• Review: "...Jason's Low Moon... [is] a collection full of mostly wordless comedic pleasures." - Richard Gehr, The Village Voice

• Review: "A question regarding the title of Michael Kupperman's Tales Designed to Thrizzle Volume One: Does 'thrizzle' mean 'pee your pants a little from laughing so hard'? Because if so, it just about achieved its promise..." - Rod Lott, Bookgasm

• Review: "[Boody: The Bizarre Comics of Boody Rogers ] is one of the funniest comics I've ever read, and all I do is read comics... Just looking at his drawings makes me laugh... If you like Johnny Ryan, you should check this out. And they weren't fooling around with that title. These comics are as weird as hell... This book is essential. Get it or get out." - Nick Gazin, Vice

• Review: "[Uptight] doesn't come out often enough... Jordan Crane is an immense talent; I just wished he worked faster. He's one of the best new guys of the past five years." - Nick Gazin, Vice (same link as above) 

• Review: "This is one of the greatest works of American art of the past century and fuck you if you were ignorant of this. Prince Valiant was and is one of the greatest comics of all time and most would agree that it's the greatest adventure comic... Reading Prince Valiant has the same thrill as reading Sherlock Holmes. He's smarter, handsomer, and a better fighter than everyone around him. Reading his adventures and watching him sneak around castles, swordfight small armies, and romance medieval bitches is more exciting to me than almost any other comic. I'm getting pumped just thinking about it... It's so beautiful. I want to be Prince Valiant and I want to be Hal Foster." - Nick Gazin, Vice (same link as above)

• Review: "Fantagraphics, the gold standard when if comes to collecting and reprinting newspaper strips, has released the first volume of Prince Valiant, covering the years 1937 to 1938 in all-new remastered color, the result is breathtaking! Foster is truly one of the great comic illustrators who ever lived but has never got his just due it seems because he didn't work in the traditional comic book medium. One needs only to read the first few pages of the book to grasp his incredible ability... This is graphic storytelling at its finest and a true treasure! Grade A" - Tim Janson, Mania

• Review: "The cover [of The Pin-Up Art of Dan DeCarlo] sums it up -- a man who looks disturbingly like Riverdale’s Mr. Lodge gazes lasciviously at a lingerie-clad young woman who looks disturbingly like a (very) bosomy Veronica. That is just so wrong... Breasts swell and sag with the weight of flesh, not silicone; thighs press firmly and meatily together, hips and butts strain against fabric, threatening plentiful wardrobe malfunctions. And the wardrobes!... The overall effect is -- well, I can’t describe the overall effect. Let’s just say that in trying to take it all in I may have stretched my eyes permanently out of shape." - Noah Berlatsky, The Hooded Utilitarian

• Review: "...Peter Bagge's new compilation of comics, Everybody Is Stupid Except for Me and Other Astute Observations... turns out also to be a rude form of local history... [H]is craftsmanship - in the tradition of Mad's Don Martin and Nancy creator Ernie Bushmiller - lies in his ability to reduce his drawings to the simplest possible details needed to tell the story. His rants are funny, but the frictionless gag-delivery systems of his panels are an even more effective rebuke to the willful obscurity of contemporary art." - David Stoesz, Seattle Weekly

• Review: "Collecting 10 years’ worth of cartoons originally done for Reason magazine, as well as a few odds and sods, [Everybody Is Stupid Except for Me] finds Bagge as sharp and irate as ever, and his art has improved while still being recognizably his own. Bagge is also, thankfully, still possessed of a great sense of humor, especially about himself—even the title reveals an element of self-mockery among all the self-righteousness." - The A.V. Club

• Review: "There are few comics in the history of the medium as universally beloved as Love and Rockets... The Palomar stories, while extraordinarily literate and often brilliant in how they straddle the line between magical realism and gritty serial drama, are complex narratives which benefit greatly from being read from the very beginning; Jaime’s lighter, simpler approach is probably a better place to start." - Leonard Pierce, The A.V. Club, offering advice on how to start reading Love and Rockets; here's our advice

• List/Interviews: 3 links from The Vice Guide to Comics: "Gary Panter's Top Ten Comics," "More Al Jaffee Than You Need," and "Big Answers" with Anders Nilsen

• Interview: At Comics Comics, Dan Nadel presents audio of his interview of Paul Karasik at the NYC book release for the second Fletcher Hanks book You Shall Die by Your Own Evil Creation! at Desert Island in Brooklyn last week

• Interview: More Hanks audio! Listen to Paul Karasik talk about Fletcher Hanks on Gary Shapiro's "From the Bookshelf" program on KUSP Santa Cruz radio a couple of weeks ago

• Interview: Robot 6's Tim O'Shea talks to John Kerschbaum about Petey & Pussy, self-publishing and other topics. Sample quote: "It’s what it would look like if Elmer Fudd REALLY blew Daffy’s beak off. But I’ve always felt that humor and horror are very closely related. That they naturally play off of each other. The funny bits make the scary bits scarier and vice versa."

• Interview: At The A.V. Club, Sam Adams gets Michael Kupperman to reveal some of the secrets of his comedy genius and the future of Thrizzle. For example: "Certainly I enjoy the outré and I enjoy artistic comics and surrealism in comics very much. But the decision I made and have stuck with and refined was the decision to try to be funny and communicate humor. Once you put that ahead of everything else, it resolves those other questions for you."

• Plug: Jog - The Blog spotlights 3 of our new releases from last week

• Plug: Boing Boing's Mark Frauenfelder passes along word about the "Someday Funnies" feature in The Comics Journal #299

• Plug: wrd.wthiin.woord spotlights Abstract Comics

• Plug: Between Peace and Happiness is "Kind of in love in Jordan Crane."

• Contest: Quick Stop Entertainment is giving away 3 copies of Michael Kupperman's Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 1. Entry and official rules at the link

Daily OCD: 7/20/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tim LaneSergio PonchioneRichard SalareviewsPrince ValiantpreviewsJasonIgortIgnatz SeriesHal FosterFrom Wonderland with LoveaudioAnders Nilsen 20 Jul 2009 3:51 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions updates resume next week. Off to Comic-Con tomorrow! I'll be Twittering from the show as much as I can.

• Preview: "Now Jason publishes a collection of his short, sharp works ...called Low Moon, in which his trademark anthropomorphic animals get into all sorts of trouble — including, in the story 'Emily Says Hello,' murder, revenge and sexual domination." - New York Magazine presents an exclusive five-page excerpt from Low Moon

• Review: "All of Jason’s tales in Low Moon play like a black comedy, tragic yet humorous. Maybe it’s his protagonists blank eyed stares or the fact the characters are all cute animals being put through some troubling things that give these outwardly simple and light cartoons a heavy feel. If you’re a comic fan looking for a change of pace from the tired summer/blockbuster/epic/crossover comic events then this one’s for you." - Mishka Bloglin

• Review: "What surprised me the most [about Prince Valiant Vol. 1: 1937-1938]... was... how much [Hal] Foster had brought me to care about these characters... [P]erhaps for the first time ever, we’re able to see just how detailed and elaborate Foster’s art really was... More importantly, though, was how well Foster set up his pages. His layouts draw the reader across the page from one panel to the next, often culminating in a truly impressive final panel... Prince Valiant was good all along. Who knew?" - Greg McElhatton, Read About Comics

• Review: "I mean, holy. Effing. Shit... Was [Fletcher] Hanks insane or otherwise mentally handicapped? Dunno, but as editor Paul Karasik points out in his meaty introduction [to You Shall Die by Your Own Evil Creation!], this was a man mean enough to kick his 4-year-old son down a flight of stairs... You’ll love how much you hate [these works]; you’ll hate how much you love them." - Rod Lott, Bookgasm

• Review: I don't have time to patch together a coherent quote from the somewhat mangled Google translation of the review of Igort's Baobab series from Weltklasse Serier, but it's a good review

• Plug: "Boy, that Prince Valiant [Vol. 1: 1937-1938] hardcover looked great, didn’t it? The color is just stunning. The stories (what I’ve read so far, at least) are fun as well, with a nice mix of realism and fantasy. I’m looking forward to future volumes, both to see how Hal Foster’s style and Val’s character develop over the years." - Tom Bondurant, Robot 6

• Plug: "From Wonderland With Love: Danish Comics In The Third Millennium... looks pretty excellent. Read it, says I, and I hope I can follow my own orders." - Matthew J. Brady, who also has a few good words for Delphine #4, Grotesque #3 and You Shall Die by Your Own Evil Creation! 

• Interview: The Invisible Web podcast kicks off a new season by chatting with Fletcher Hanks-ologist Paul Karasik

• Things to see: Cover illustration & design for the Riverfront Times' 2009 Best of St. Louis issue and a New York Times Op-Ed illustration by Tim Lane

• Things to see: The latest batch of sketchbook comics from Anders Nilsen

Daily OCD: 7/17/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewsPrince ValiantLilli CarréJules FeifferHal FosterDash Shaw 17 Jul 2009 2:08 PM

We didn't forget the Online Commentary & Diversions:

• Review: "The Lagoon is a horror story, if a low-key one; like much of the best horror it makes the connection between horror and the absurd... [Lilli] Carré's sinuous, snaking treatment of sound provides a through-line... but it still feels disconnected in ways that few writers today are gutsy enough to attempt. The overall effect is like Clive Barker fed through a twee filter. This'll stick to you." - Sean T. Collins

• Review: "Who knew that Prince Valiant, a comic strip I always assumed appeared next to the word 'boredom' in the dictionary, was so vibrant, colorful, action-packed and gosh-darned fun?... This new edition [Prince Valiant Vol. 1: 1937-1938] ups the ante not just through the fancy hardcover, but via state of the art technology that allows for a pristine detail and rich color that’s about as close to Foster’s initial intentions as we may ever be likely to get... The strip is full of brio and vigor and hits the ground running right from the start... Foster’s fight scenes are sumptuous in detail but economical in execution, with Foster rarely showing a glinting sword unless it’s either about to or already has carved someone in half... In a world where too often most art turns out to be exactly as shallow as first glance suggests, it’s nice to discover that something like Prince Valiant is capable of surprising, and even enthralling, the modern reader." - Chris Mautner, Robot 6

• Interview: The wheres and whens are a little confusing, but I guess Indy Mogul's The Reel Good Show did or is doing a live video interview with Dash Shaw today... if it gets archived we'll link it

• Events: As part of his current residency at Dartmouth College, Jules Feiffer gave a lecture Wednesday; The Dartmouth's Fan Zhang has the report (via The Daily Cartoonist). A highlight: "I was doing what so many comic book artists at the time were doing — I was stealing. You learn by stealing, you learn by swiping and, God willing, you emerge into your own style." Zhang also reports that Feiffer will participate in a panel discussion with fellow cartoonists Edward Koren, Edward Sorel and Jeff Danziger on politics in cartooning on August 12