Hoo-ee, it's time for our post-MoCCA Online Commentary & Diversions catch-up. It's going to take a while to sift through 4-5 days of the comics blogosphere, so to start with these are mostly links that have been sent to me:
• Review: "In what is obviously a labor of love, [C.] Tyler tells the story of her father's time during WWII and her parents' early relationship, skillfully interweaving it with Tyler's own story... provid[ing] a moving, personal portrait of one member of what's become known as 'the greatest generation.' Tyler's use of colored inks gives the line drawings an inviting depth of emotion... The drawings speak with an even greater richness thanks to the evocative words that appear within and around them, commenting upon and adding to the action portrayed in the panels. An important contributor to independent comics since the 1980s, Tyler has made a name for herself with the quirky warmth of her autobiographical stories, and this wonderful book [You'll Never Know Book 1: A Good and Decent Man] is a thoughtful work that greatly adds to the language of the graphic memoir." - Publishers Weekly (Starred Review; scroll to end of page)
• Review: "Jason’s books have always had a cinematic feel, and he seems to examine this more than ever with direct tie-ins to film concepts playing major roles in several of the stories... [A]ll of the stories in Low Moon are entertaining, and fans of Jason should be more than happy to digest five new comics from one of the best in the business." - William Jones, Graphic Novel Reporter
• Review: "Now, Fantagraphics has brought out The Wolverton Bible... I love that Wolverton's Adam and Eve look like Cary Grant and Rita Hayworth, and that the images of Noah’s Ark have the beautifully clean look of a wood carving. Dramatic scenes such as Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac, the devastation brought by locusts, and Samson’s blinding, showcase the artist’s talent for visceral, visual storytelling." - Leigh Stein, The New Yorker
• Review: "...[T]he newest issue of Michael Kupperman's mind-bending humor mag, Tales Designed to Thrizzle #5. Six Reasons Why Michael Kupperman Is A Genius (A bullet-pointed review...)" by Rob Clough, High-Low
• Review: "Peter Bagge's Neat Stuff saw the cartoonist at the height of his expressionistic style, and marked the beginning of the mature work he would exhibit in Hate and elsewhere... required reading for Hate fans... Anyone interested in fearless pop-culture satire, not just Peter Bagge, should have a look." - Luke Arnott, suite101.com
• Review: "Blazing Combat reprints all 4 issues of the ground-breaking war series... These are fascinating stories... drawn by some of the top talent in comics... [who] did some of their finest works for this short-lived publication. This new package from Fantagraphics Books is a handsome hardcover... the design work is A+, this time by Adam Grano." - Gary Sassaman, Innocent Bystander
• Interview: Comic Book Resources' Shaun Manning talks to editor Andrei Molotiu about the forthcoming anthology Abstract Comics. Sample quote: "I think that, oftentimes, abstract comics do end up maintaining more of that graphic energy [of superhero comics], and I think that they can draw attention to this very powerful tool in the vocabulary of comics that may have been lost in a number of art and alternative comics."
• Interview: Cartoonist Scott Nickel asks 20 questions of "one of the best cartoonists of his generation," Peter Bagge. Sample quote: "The idea of being a cartoonist was an appealing one to me as a kid, though not as appealing as being a rock star or baseball player."
• Interview: I can't remember if we've linked to this 2008 North Shore News Q&A with Peter Bagge before: "Anyone who claims they're speaking for an entire generation should be stoned to death!"
• Events: Thanks to Comic Book Resources' Timothy Callahan for picking some stuff up at our table at MoCCA and posting a photo of Miss Lasko-Gross signing A Mess of Everything; CBR's Kiel Phegley picks up some of the festival buzz; Publishers Weekly has some Fantagraphics scoop in their MoCCA report as well
• Things to see: Spain's Entrecomics presents a gallery of all of Daniel Clowes's front and back covers for Eightball. Clowes's back cover strips are some of his funniest work, and the later issues feature some stunning wraparounds, so it's well worth checking out. Here's Part I and Part II
Today's hot batch of Online Commentary & Diversions:
• Review: "...[T]he furtive griminess that Jason wrings from his stock character designs is impressive to behold... [Y]ou'll enjoy any number of his typical moments of storytelling grace..." - otherwise Tom Spurgeon is unfortunately somewhat sparing in praise for Jason's Low Moon at The Comics Reporter
• Review: "Miss [Lasko-Gross]' previous book, Escape from 'Special,' launched her fearless plan to produce an autobiographical trilogy. [A] Mess [of Everything]tackles the high-school years, which involve mean girls, mean boys and plenty of awkward social situations. Each anecdote is super-short with cringeworthy dialogue that you'll identify with and will remind you of how fortunate you are to have lived through that rough period." - Whitney Matheson, "Three Graphic Novels You Should Read Immediately," USA Today Pop Candy
• Review: "I’ve read some crazy comix, and while he won’t scare you under the sheets like S. Clay Wilson, [John] Kerschbaum can be as raw as R. Crumb, Peter Bagge, and [Johnny] Ryan, who may be his closest comix cousins... No fan of adult funny animal comics (like Fritz the Cat) will want to miss Petey & Pussy... Petey & Pussy is some funny shit." - Leroy Douresseaux, Comic Book Bin
• Plug: "Fantagraphics is shortly to publish a new edition of Prince Valiant, Hal Foster's legendary, Golden Age comic strip of knights, swashbuckling, romance and chivalry... Foster's artwork is amazing. Foster was an exceptional talent in an era of exceptional talents." - OK Erok
• Plug: "The fifth issue of Tales Designed to Thrizzle is in and it's even weirder than the last one. See aliens give a bloke sexy lady legs! Twain plus Einstein plus enraged badger! Hobo fashion! If you've not read any of Michael Kupperman's stuff before now's yer chance..." - Gosh! Comics
Prince Valiant Vol. 1: 1937-1938 by Hal Foster is now available for pre-order. This new series begins the definitive collection of Foster's masterpiece, reproduced from newly available original proof sheets for a truly revelatory reading experience and presented in a beautiful oversize hardcover format. This book is scheduled to be in stock and ready to ship in mid-June and in stores approximately 4 weeks after that (subject to change).
Click through and you can download a free PDF of the first 10 Valiant strips! We don't have the photo previews yet (stay tuned), but we do have a nifty bonus feature for you: Kim Thompson's Afterword, "A History of Valiants," details the restoration and production of this edition and compares it with previous editions from various publishers around the world, and we've put it online for your reading enjoyment. Fascinating stuff!
In February 2008 a Portuguese Prince Valiant fan published a special, English-language black and white edition of the first two years of Prince Valiant, shot from the very best proof sheets and carefully restored. Due to contractual limitations on territory this edition was NEVER made available in the U.S. — until now! By special arrangement with King Features Syndicate and the publisher, Fantagraphics has a little under 300 copies available for mail and website orders. They just arrived in our warehouse.
Fantagraphics is the EXCLUSIVE distributors in North America. This book is not available in comics shops (well, except for the Seattle Fantagraphics store). It is not available in bookstores. It is not available through Amazon.com. (We expect copies will turn up on eBay and Amazon's second-hand store at hugely inflated prices before the year is out, though.) This is it! And there are, as we said, fewer than 300 copies. We expect to be sold out within no more than a month or two.
It's a gorgeous, big 11" x 14" hardcover, and it's a thrill to see Foster's sumptuous linework for these first two years reproduced so crisply. Every Foster fan will need one! (It also includes a good, heavily illustrated five-page introduction chock full of rare Foster art.) See more images in our photo slideshow embedded below. Click here if it is not visible, and/or to view it larger in a new window (recommended).
Price is $35.00 per copy.
If you want to pre-order the full-color Fantagraphics edition of Prince Valiant 1937-1938 (due out in June 2009) as well, we're offering the two together at $55.00 (so you'd be getting $10 off the Fanta edition) -- just select that option when placing your order. (Our edition will be available for pre-order on its own in a few days from now.) Remember, the two books contain the EXACT SAME STORY MATERIAL — just one is black and white, and one is color — totally different reading and visual experiences. Order online or call 1-800-657-1100 (206-524-1967 in Canada).
Please note this is ONLY for North American customers (customers outside North America can order copies direct from the publisher: mcaldas59 [at] sapo [dot] pt), there are NO wholesale discounts available (although 20/20 Club discounts do apply), and only ONE copy per customer.
100-page black & white 11" x 14" hardcover • $35.00 Order Now!
All this week and next week we're bringing you a sneak peek at our Fall 2009 - Winter 2010 schedule of releases! Today's excerpt from our latest book distributor's catalog includes Portable Grindhouse: The Lost Art of the VHS Box Vol. 1; a re-release of Willie & Joe: The WWII Years; The Definitive Prince Valiant Companion by Brian M. Kane; and Basil Wolverton's Culture Corner. (Note that all the info in this catalog is subject to change along the way to the books' release, including release dates, prices, cover art, book specs, etc.) Click here to download the PDF!