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Category >> Prince Valiant

Daily OCD: 6/1/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Zippy the PinheadTim HensleyreviewsPrince ValiantPatrick RosenkranzJoe ColemanJacques TardiHal FosterGene DeitchFantagraphics BookstoreDaily OCDBill Griffith 1 Jun 2010 5:05 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions:

Prince  Valiant Vol. 2: 1939-1940 [Pre-Order]

Review: "Whether you love the swords and sorcery genre, high adventure, romance, or any or all of the above, Hal Foster’s early work on Prince Valiant is well worth reading. ... Fantagraphics has done a remarkable job remastering these strips, which, thanks to the use of original proof sheets and advances in printing technology, are even brighter and crisper than when they were first published 70 years ago. This second volume from Fantagaphics is due to ship in June 2010." – James Henry, Mid-Ohio-Con

Muzzlers, Guzzlers and  Good Yeggs

Review: "In form, content and effect, [Muzzlers, Guzzlers and Good Yeggs] is a hell of a book. Coleman's intricate line drawings capture phantasmagorical scenes of horror and pathos, mixing nightmares with satire and surreal portraiture. There a strange and powerful sense of vitality at play, and a feeling of obsession mixed with a furious sort of joy." – Oliver Ho, PopMatters

Wally Gropius

Plug: New York magazine places Wally Gropius by Tim Hensley well on the "brilliant" side of their Approval Matrix, says reading it "is like taking acid during a time-machine trip to the sixties."

It Was the War of the Trenches

Plug: Looking for information about It Was the War of the Trenches by Jacques Tardi on a Portuguese-language site? Top Comics has you covered

Fantagraphics Bookstore

Plug: Thanks to Daniel X. O'Neil for buying some stuff from our bricks-n-mortar store and blogging about it

Gene Deitch

Interview: The Daily Cross Hatch's Brian Heater continues his conversation with Gene Deitch: "When it rained, we had to shove the drawings under our coats and run from one room to another. But it was exciting. We really felt we were pioneers, no question about it. These people were very intelligent and were very cultured in art."

blackbird

Road trip: At Waymarking.com you can find a crowdsourced guide to real-life locations and landmarks featured in Zippy the Pinhead strips — it's pretty remarkable, and a great way to plan your next road trip! Thanks to Patrick Rosenkranz for the tip.

Daily OCD: 5/24/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewsPrince ValiantHal FosterDaily OCDBob Fingerman 24 May 2010 5:33 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions:

Prince  Valiant Vol. 2: 1939-1940 [Pre-Order]

Review: "In following Prince Valiant through the third and fourth year of his four-color adventures, it is fascinating to watch Hal Foster shape his hero's personality and his reader's expectations. ... These lessons in how a prince and an adventure strip should conduct themselves are gloriously drawn and gloriously packaged. And to think: Fantagraphics will treat us to 30 more years of the same." – Steve Duin, The Oregonian

Interview: Marco on the Bass talks to Bob Fingerman about his illustration work for The Toasters and other ska bands

Daily OCD: 4/19/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Roy CranePrince ValiantPopeyePirus and MezzoPeanutsLove and RocketsLos Bros HernandezJean SchulzHans RickheitHal FosterGilbert HernandezEC SegarDaily OCDcontestsCharles M SchulzCaptain Easyaudio 19 Apr 2010 3:56 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions:

Captain Easy, Soldier of  Fortune: The Complete Sunday Newspaper Strips Vol. 1 (1933-1935)

Review: "At every turn, and every turn of the page, in Captain Easy, Soldier of Fortune:  The Complete Sunday Newspaper Strips Vol. 1 from Fantagraphics, the reaction is the same: Good Lord, but Roy Crane could draw. ...There are countless pleasures in this first volume of the Captain Easy Sunday pages." – Steve Duin, The Oregonian

Hate Annual #8

Review: "Of course, the Bradleys story remains the best reason to pick up any of these Hate Annuals, and this time Bagge doesn’t disappoint; even though I still can’t stand Buddy in his Popeye the Sailor look, this story of wife Lisa wanting to get out of the house (since the kid is in school) and do something for herself, eventually ending up in a two-woman rock band playing in a strip club, is consistently funny and sharply observed." – Johnny Bacardi, Popdose

King of the Flies Vol. 1: Hallorave

Plug: In the Portland Mercury, Floating World's Jason Leivian recommends Mezzo & Pirus's King of the Flies for fans of Paul Verhoeven's 1980 film Spetters: "Similar stories of fucked up youngsters spiraling into a black hole of self destruction with incredibly rendered artwork that will appeal to fans of Charles Burns."

Luba

Plug: "If you've not checked out Luba by Gilbert Hernandez, you should. Especially if you live in LA. ... Luba is as funny and delightful as ever in these stories (some super short one-pagers, others much longer, over a hundred stories in this collection) of her and her family and the play between their work lives and personal lives is comical and poignant and over the top in classic Hernandez style." – Callie Miller, LAist (via Robot 6)

Popeye Vol. 4:

Plug: "I've spent most of this week reading "Plunder Island," the fourth and latest collection of classic Popeye comics from Fantagraphics. This is the third time I've read this material... and it still never fails to enthrall me. In fact, I think Popeye has knocked Peanuts and Krazy Kat out of my personal canon to become my MOST FAVORITE COMIC EVER at the moment. There's just something about E.C. Segar's blend of melodrama, adventure and unrestrained, big-footed comedy that really knocks my socks off." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6

The Definitive Prince Valiant Companion [Softcover Ed.]

Interview: Via ¡Journalista!: "New to the TCJ Audio Archive: Over an hour of excerpts from Arn Saba’s 1979 interview with Prince Valiant creator Hal Foster, recorded toward the end of Foster’s life and originally published in The Comics Journal #102," and also reprinted in The Definitive Prince Valiant Companion

Profile: "Other comics publishers have fallen all over themselves trying to leverage a hoped-for crossover appeal into the mainstream of culture in the last twenty or so years. Meanwhile, Fantagraphics has hung surprisingly tight to their mission statement. But the bigger surprise for me came from learning that Fantagraphics still runs its publishing operation out of the same full-to-bursting house in Maple Leaf where they first planted their Seattle roots in 1989." – E. Magnuson, In North Seattle (Seattle P-I)

The Squirrel Machine

Contest: One lucky person will win a free copy of The Squirrel Machine by Hans Rickheit from Kevin Church, who describes the book as "beautifully drawn, disturbing and sad"

Love and Rockets: New  Stories #2

Links: Love & Maggie highlights some recent Hernandez Bros. -related web action

The Complete Peanuts 1975-1976 (Vol. 13) [NORTH AMERICA ONLY]

PSA: In a letter to the editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Jean Schulz warns collectors to be on the lookout for counterfeit original Peanuts art (via Mike Lynch via ¡Journalista!) — I guess this lady needn't worry

Nerd-out: Spurge's no. 5 superpower FTW

2010 Eisner Nominees announced, on sale
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Trina RobbinsTony MillionaireThe Comics JournalRichard SalaPrince ValiantPeter BaggeNell BrinkleyMaakiesJacques TardiHumbugHal FosterGahan WilsonFrom Wonderland with LoveCarol TylerBlazing CombatawardsAbstract Comics 8 Apr 2010 12:42 PM

Eisner Award Nominee Seal

We are exceedingly pleased to report that Fantagraphics publications and artists received a record 18 nominations for the 2010 Eisner Awards. To celebrate, we're offering these titles at 18% off for a limited time! Click here for the full sale selection. (Sale is valid for online and phone orders only.) Winners will be announced at a ceremony on Friday, July 23, 2010 at Comic-Con International in San Diego. Congratulations to all the nominees! Fantagraphics' nominations are as follows:

From Wonderland with Love: Danish Comics in the Third  Millennium

• Best Short Story: "Because I Love You So Much," by Nikoline Werdelin, in From Wonderland with Love: Danish Comics in the Third Millennium  

Ganges #3

• Best Single Issue: Ganges #3, by Kevin Huizenga

Drinky Crow's Maakies Treasury

• Best Humor Publication: Drinky Crow's Maakies Treasury, by Tony Millionaire

Everybody Is Stupid Except for Me and Other Astute Observations

• Best Humor Publication: Everybody Is Stupid Except for Me and Other Astute Observations, by Peter Bagge

Abstract Comics: The Anthology

• Best Anthology: Abstract Comics, edited by Andrei Molotiu

West Coast Blues

• Best Adaptation from Another Work: West Coast Blues, by Jean-Patrick Manchette, adapted by Jacques Tardi
• Best U.S. Edition of International Material: West Coast Blues, by Jean-Patrick Manchette, adapted by Jacques Tardi

The Brinkley Girls: The Best of Nell Brinkley's Cartoons   1913-1940

• Best Archival Collection — Strips: The Brinkley Girls: The Best of Nell Brinkley's Cartoons 1913-1940, edited by Trina Robbins
• Best Publication Design: The Brinkley Girls, designed by Adam Grano

Gahan Wilson: Fifty Years of Playboy Cartoons

• Best Archival Collection — Strips: Gahan Wilson: Fifty Years of Playboy Cartoons, by Gahan Wilson, edited by Gary Groth
• Best Publication Design: Gahan Wilson: Fifty Years of Playboy Cartoons, designed by Jacob Covey

Prince Valiant Vol. 1: 1937-1938

• Best Archival Collection — Strips: Prince Valiant, Vol. 1: 1937-1938, by Hal Foster, edited by Kim Thompson

Blazing Combat

• Best Archival Collection — Comic Books: Blazing Combat, by Archie Goodwin et al., edited by Gary Groth

Humbug

• Best Archival Collection — Comic Books: Humbug, by Harvey Kurtzman et al., edited by Gary Groth

You'll Never Know Book 1: A Good and Decent Man

• Best Writer/Artist — Nonfiction: Carol Tyler, You'll Never Know: A Good and Decent Man
• Best Painter/Multimedia Artist: Carol Tyler, You'll Never Know: A Good and Decent Man

The Comics Journal #300

• Best Comics-Related Periodical: The Comics Journal, edited by Gary Groth, Michael Dean, and Kristy Valenti

Delphine #4

• Best Lettering: Richard Sala, Delphine (Fantagraphics), Cat Burglar Black (First Second)



Daily OCD: 4/7/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Rick AltergottreviewsPrince ValiantPeter BaggeLove and RocketsLos Bros HernandezLinda MedleyHotwireHal FosterDaily OCD 7 Apr 2010 4:32 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions:

Castle Waiting

Review: "Knowing full well that I had to be at work at 9:00 the next morning, I nonetheless stayed up past 2:00 with Castle Waiting. And when I got to that last page, bleary-eyed and struggling to stay awake, all I wanted was more. I wanted the story to keep going. ... The stories are captivating and exciting and surprisingly deep. She is never heavy-handed about it, but Medley explores some weighty topics, including domestic violence, religious conversion, and sacrifice. ... I laughed frequently as I read the book, and cried once — not because I was sad, but because I was moved by the story." – Jessica Zellers, Blogging for a Good Book (Williamsburg Public Library)

Hotwire Comics Vol. 3

Review: "...Hotwire Comics #3... is big in page size, big in color, big in imagination... [M]y favorite work in the entire anthology, 'Keen on a Clown,' [is] Rick Altergott’s straight-faced satire of romance comics of long ago... The final page — and especially the final panel — is a killer." – Rod Lott, Bookgasm

Hate Annual #8

Plug: "I love Hate, particularly the increasingly oddball Buddy Bradley stories that come once a year with these annuals. ... Every comics fan should have the vast majority of whatever Peter Bagge has in print, and these volumes would be a great value for a cartoonist only 2/3 as talented." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter

Love and Rockets Book 25: High Soft Lisp Love and Rockets Library (Locas Book 4): Penny Century

Plugs: Love & Maggie has the rundown on all the latest releases from the Hernandez Brothers

Prince Valiant Vol. 1: 1937-1938

Profile: "I get tired of hearing about Mozart. Yeah, he’s a genius and he started composing music when he was 5-years-old. I get it, fine, blah, blah, blah. You know who else is brilliant? Harold 'Hal' Foster, the critically-acclaimed creator-writer-artist on Prince Valiant. He created his most famous and enduring work when he was 45-years-old." – Tom Mason, Comix 411

Daily OCD: 4/5/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewsPrince ValiantPopeyePeter BaggePeanutsNell BrinkleyMichael KuppermanLove and RocketsKevin HuizengaJohnny RyanJoe DalyJim WoodringJaime HernandezJacques TardiHumbugHans RickheitHal FosterGilbert HernandezEC SegarDaily OCDCharles M SchulzCarol TylerBest of 2009Al Columbia 5 Apr 2010 5:56 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions:

List: Look out, it's Tom Spurgeon's Best of 2009 list at The Comics Reporter. Fantagraphics category rankings are listed below, with complete lists and Tom's commentary to be found at the link above:

Best Archival/Reprints:
14: Everybody Is Stupid Except for Me by Peter Bagge
13: The Red Monkey Double Happiness Book by Joe Daly
12: The Complete Peanuts 1971-1974 by Charles M. Schulz
10: The Brinkley Girls: The Best of Nell Brinkley's Cartoons 1913-1940
8: You Are There by Jacques Tardi & Jean-Claude Forest
7: Luba by Gilbert Hernandez
4: Locas II: Maggie, Hopey & Ray by Jaime Hernandez
3: Popeye Vol. 4: Plunder Island by E.C. Segar
2: Humbug by Elder, Kurtzman, Jaffee, Roth et al.

Best Comics (First Run Or Definitively Collected):
23: Prison Pit Book 1 by Johnny Ryan
18: "Ti-Girl Adventures" by Jaime Hernandez in Love and Rockets New Stories #2
14: The Squirrel Machine by Hans Rickheit
12: Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 1 by Michael Kupperman
11: You'll Never Know, Book 1: A Good and Decent Man by C. Tyler
10: Ganges #3 by Kevin Huizenga
3: Pim & Francie by Al Columbia

Locas II: Maggie, Hopey & Ray

Review: "Somehow, some way, Jamie Hernandez is getting better and better. ...Locas, the first gigantic hardcover compilation of Jamie’s 'Maggie and Hopey' stories, stands as one of the highlights of my life as a reader. Now, unbelievably, Locas II exceeds the original’s standard. ... In Locas II: Maggie, Hopey and Ray, he’s crafted perhaps his most universal work to date, a saga of three people who’ve left behind the postures of their youth to stumble, unsure and hesitant, across the landscape of their adult lives. It’s strange and scary, funny and sweet, confused and enlightening. Locas II is a master as the top of his game, and a true comic book classic." – Michael C. Lorah, Newsarama

Prince Valiant Vol. 1: 1937-1938

Review: "It is interesting to see the rapid evolution of the graphics and drawings [in Prince Valiant Vol. 1: 1937-1938], a little reticent and schematic at first, but soon becoming highly detailed and expressive. Adventure prevailed in the stories, but there was room for humor, romance and tragedy." – Top Comics (translated from Portuguese)

The Portable Frank

Review: "OK sure but trust me it's not for those who just want to look at dumbed down pictures and drool on themselves as anorexic telepathic women parade in wonder bras nor is this Babar's color by number. [The Portable] Frank is engaging on all levels and asks the reader to not just lose themselves but to participate fully and that's why this is my pick of the week!!" – Coast City Comics

The Frank Book

Plug: "This book is amazing and bat%$#* crazy.  There are no words, just check it out of the library asap." – Cold Bullets















Daily OCD: 3/22/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under videoSteve DitkoreviewsPrince ValiantPeanutsJohnny RyanJacques TardiHo Che AndersonHal FosterEsther Pearl WatsonDaily OCDCharles M SchulzBrian KaneBlake Bell 22 Mar 2010 7:00 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions:

Strange and Stranger: The World of Steve Ditko

Review: "Strange and Stranger: The World of Steve Ditko by Blake Bell... [is] fantastic! ... It’s part biography, part art book - an amazing recap of Steve Ditko’s entire career in comics, from the early days with Charlton to the present. ... It’s also one of the best designed books I’ve read recently, including lots of rare pencil pages, out-of-print rarities, and full color scans on virtually every page. There’s a lot more to Steve Ditko than just Doctor Strange and Spider-Man." – Marc Sobel, Comic Book Galaxy

King - A Comics Biography: The Special Edition

Review: "Vitally, Anderson draws an earthy King, one who likes soul food and soulful women, but who is also capable of inspiring and challenging oratory, theological radicalism and courageous leadership, even when faced with fists, firebombs, and F.B.I. persecution. Anderson reminds one of U.S. poet Walt Whitman: He keeps publishing the same book, in different editions. But what a book!" – George Elliott Clarke, The Halifax Herald

You Are There

Review: "This is a very strange comic... You Are There works best as an absurdist critique of society and politics. ... The absurdity of Forest's script is brought to amazing life... It's a tremendous work of art, heightening the weirdness of the narrative very well. ... I would recommend You Are There because it's a thoughtful look at the pressure of conformity and what drives a man mad. ... Tardi is fantastic and makes the book even wackier, which isn't a bad thing." – Greg Burgas, Comic Book Resources

Unlovable Vol. 1

Review: "It is hard to convey how much of the joy of Unlovable comes not only from the wandering plotline (if there is any in this book) but also from the accompanying visuals. Tammy's attentions, interests and emotions are all scattered. The author's style of drawing lends to the feeling of chaos and scatteredness; the reader senses it in the erratic lines and messy fonts of various sizes. An erratic view of an erratic time of life." – Julia Eussen, AnnArbor.com

Prison Pit: Book 1

Review: "Johnny Ryan’s Prison Pit is something I keep coming back to — and not just because it’s the only comic book I’ve ever seen that can actively liven up a party. It’s a hilarious, visceral and quick read... for really dumb fun, this is pretty much unbeatable. I’ve considered that maybe the fun isn’t as dumb — that maybe Cannibal Fuckface’s journey through the wastes of the prison pit are a Bunyan-style metaphor for, I don’t know, man coming to terms with the restrictions of modern life, but then I remember it’s a comic that features the term 'burnt jizz,' and I stop thinking and laugh." – David Uzumeri, Robot 6

The Definitive Prince Valiant Companion [Softcover Ed.]

Review: "I'd ignored Hal Foster's knights-and-adventure strip until Fantagraphics remastered, recolored and repackaged the first two years of [Prince] Valiant (1937-38) into one of the loveliest reprint volumes of 2009. I became a Foster fan immediately, and bought Brian Kane's Definitive Prince Valiant Companion to learn more about Foster and the other talents (John Cullen Murphy, Gary Gianni and Mark Schultz) who'd worked on the comic during its 70+ years." – Craig Fischer, Thought Balloonists; the remainder of Fischer's take on the Companion is mixed-to-unfavorable, but we still recommend checking it out for his insights and some additional commentary he brings to the table

Review: In this nicely-done video, Ab. Velasco of the Toronto Public Library recommends The Complete Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz

Daily OCD: 3/15/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tom KaczynskiThe Comics JournalSteve DitkoreviewsPrince ValiantNewaveLove and RocketsJoe DalyJasonHans RickheitHal FosterGilbert HernandezGabrielle BellDaily OCDBlazing CombatB Krigstein 15 Mar 2010 4:53 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions:

The Left Bank Gang [New Printing]

List: For Library Journal, Tom Batten recommends a handful of recent "Classic Graphic Novels," including The Left Bank Gang by Jason: "Supporting his highly imaginative and quirky storytelling, Jason's deceptively simple cartooning carries a great deal of intensity in each line."

Dungeon Quest, Book 1  [Pre-Order]

Review: "Winning a coveted Jury prize at the 2010 Angouleme festival, Dungeon Quest succeeds on so many levels: the art and character design are superb, the dialogue is acerbic yet measured, the page construction has a flow to it that verges on perfection, the meter of the storytelling is spot-on, and, most importantly, it’s actually really funny. ... As the first volume in a series projected to last for a good few books yet, readers are advised to party-up with the cast of Dungeon Quest immediately." – Martin Steenton, Avoid the Future

Blazing Combat [Softcover Ed. - Pre-Order]

Review: "The series only lasted four issues, but it is among the high points of 1960s comics, and this handsome collection is one of the most welcome reprint volumes of the last few years. ... Blazing Combat showed comics readers the gritty downside of war..." – Robert Martin, The Comics Journal

The Squirrel Machine

Review: "...[S]ome books just leave a reviewer pointing and jabbering, unable to coherently explain what he's just been through or to find any words that will adequately explain what he has seen. The Squirrel Machine is a book of [this] kind... Reading The Squirrel Machine is very much like watching some German Expressionist movie: it's a series of alternately wondrous and appalling scenes, clearly connected by some kind of logic, the true meaning of which resolutely remains beyond the knowledge of the viewer." – Andrew Wheeler, The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent.

Newave! The Underground Mini Comix of the 1980s

Plug: The fine folks at Librairie D&Q say "Now in store is this little jewel just published by Fantagraphics Books. On top of being a well-researched collection of underground mini-comix of the 1980's, this book compiles pages and pages of interviews and commentary on the creative, edgy, weird and free-spirited post-Crumb scene. While it may not necessarily represent the global landscape of underground comix in the 80's (one could argue it needs more wemin-ahtists, for example), Newave! is definitely a praise-worthy sampler of work most often hidden in the shadows of the underground comix movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s."

Luba

Plug: Roberto C. Madruga of Evolve Happy on Luba by Gilbert Hernandez: "The story is Hernandez at his best and the artwork is simplistically gorgeous."

Prince Valiant Vol. 1:  1937-1938 [BLACK & WHITE Libri Impressi Edition - NORTH AMERICA  ONLY]

Plugs: The latest Robot 6 "What Are You Reading?" roundup includes several Fantagraphics mentions, and guest contributor Ng Suat Tong on the black & white Prince Valiant Vol. 1: 1937-1938 from Libri Impressi, available in the U.S. exclusively from us: "The new Fantagraphics and Portugese books are the only way one should read Foster's masterwork."

Strange Suspense: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 1

Analysis: At PopMatters, Oliver Ho compares and contrasts two stories from B. Krigstein Comics and Strange Suspense: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 1: "The strangeness comes not so much from the individual stories, but from the way each comic and artist appears to be a sort of mirror image of the other."

The Comics Journal #59

Links: Love & Maggie begins their detailed, annotated breakdown of the second entry on their list of the top 10 issues of The Comics Journal, #59

Mome Vol. 1 - Summer 2005

Profile: Comic Book Resources' Kelly Thompson looks at the work of Gabrielle Bell

Corporate Critter - Tom Kaczynski

Interview: The Comics Journal's Kent Worcester presents an edited transcript of his on-stage interview with Tom Kaczynski from the 2009 MoCCA festival

Daily OCD: 2/8/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Zak SallyUsagi YojimboTrina RobbinsSupermenSteven WeissmanStan SakaireviewsPrince ValiantNell BrinkleyMichael KuppermanLove and RocketsJohn PhamJasonJaime HernandezIvan BrunettiHotwireGilbert HernandezFemke HiemstraEsther Pearl WatsonDaily OCDcontestsCarol TylerBrian KaneBest of 2009Abstract Comics 8 Feb 2010 5:02 PM

Hoy, it's a marathon Monday Online Commentary & Diversions post:

List: The Comics Journal's Rob Clough begins counting his Top 50 Comics of 2009:

#1, You'll Never Know, Book 1: A Good and Decent Man by C. Tyler: "A mash-up of family portrait, generational analysis, autobiography and scrapbook, this book was not only the most emotionally powerful work of the year, it was the most attractively designed. The first part of what will likely be Tyler’s masterwork."

#6, Like a Dog by Zak Sally: "This was a stunningly honest account and collection of early work by one of the most underrated cartoonists working today. While the collected early issues of Recidivist ranged from interesting to astounding, it was Sally’s frank and emotional essay following the collection that really struck me as a statement of purpose — not just as an artist, but as a person."

#10, Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 1 by Michael Kupperman: "The first collection from Kupperman’s surprising hit really helped spread the word about his unique and delightfully warped genius as a gagsmith and artist."

#15, Sublife Vol. 2 by John Pham: "This one-man anthology featured Pham fully harnessing every aspect of his skills as a writer and artist. His use of color dominated and provided a sort of visual through-line for his different narratives. Pham alternately pushed the reader away and then pulled them in, depending on the story, a tension that made this his most successful work to date."

And #17, Ho! by Ivan Brunetti: "It’s fascinating to see the two directions Brunetti was headed in with regard to these gags. First, his gags became ever-more boundary pushing, but always in service to the punchline. Second, his line became more and more simplified to the point of nearly geometric simplicity: squares, circles and triangles wound up creating most of his characters by the end of the book."

List: Paul Gravett names The Best of 2009: Classic Comic Reprints. At #6, it's The Brinkley Girls: The Best of Nell Brinkley's Cartoons 1913-1940: "Trina [Robbins] follows up her thorough biography of Brinkley with this oversized collection of Sunday 'comics,' often more like ravishing illustrated romantic yarns of big hair, clothes and emotions, but stunning to linger over and revealing in their period mood and concerns. In their time, Brinkley’s spirited, vivacious females were as iconic and inspirational in early 20th century America as the famous Gibson Girls before her. They truly deserve this gorgeous commemoration."

List: On the annual Fun Fifty countdown at Bully Says: Comics Oughta Be Fun!, at #15, Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 1 by Michael Kupperman: "Without hyperbole, Thrizzle is simply the funniest, most guffaw-out-loud comic book they're going to have to pry out of your cold, dead hands when you die laughing. ... Thrizzle's stuffed from front cover to impressive back page blurbs with Kupperman's splendiferous pulps-meet-woodblock-print artwork and lunatic stories, it's one of those rare humor books that actually is downright hilarious."

Reviews: Nick Gazin of Vice (link NSFW) weighs in on a number of titles:

"I love Unlovable. Take that, book title. ... Unlovable 2 is a fun and funny read all the way through. ... Girls are gonna like this book and dudes are gonna like this book. It’ll remind you of how stupid you were and also of suburban sadness and realizing that your high school crush will probably never love you back."

"[High Soft Lisp] is incredible... The world in this book is one I wouldn’t want to live in but I can’t stop thinking about the story of Fritz."

"...[Almost Silent] is a really good book and Jason is a strong cartoonist. He does a lot with his simple-but-well-drawn characters and little to no dialogue. ... For $25 you get a nice sampler of what Jason can do. This is entirely worth owning."

Review: "The Definitive Prince Valiant Companion is the indispensable guide to the strip and a must have for its legions of fans new and old. Fantagraphics has been re-printing these original strips in chronological order in beautiful hardcover volumes and this guide makes the perfect complement. ... No matter how long you’ve been a Prince Valiant fan…one year or seventy years, you’re certain to find this book informative and entertaining. Fantagraphics has produced another spectacular book!  Grade A" – Tim Janson, The Gouverneur Times

Review: "Similar to Charles Addams and Gahan Wilson, Jason relies on the humorous side of horror in these mostly wordless tales. ... Throughout the sublime Almost Silent, Jason examines traditional relationships and social norms via a deliciously warped lens, quite probably one constructed by Dr. Frankenstein himself." – Rick Klaw, The SF Site: Nexus Graphica (spoiler alert!)

Review: "I can’t think of a better single volume of what the period style of fast looked like in practice than last year’s Supermen! anthology. Yes, there’s an added winnowing by genre but that just sharpens the sense of the reductive visual and narrative requirements that were standard for the hot new gravy train that hit the business." – Rich Kreiner, "Yearlong Best of the Year," The Comics Journal

Review: "As a whole, I like Abstract Comics a lot. I’d say that it works like a good art exhibition, or at least an exhibition unburdened by obligations to teach history, one in which multiple formal and aesthetic connections are there but not shouted out, rather left to be discovered (or not) by the strolling viewer according to his or her inclinations." – Charles Hatfield, Thought Balloonists

Plug: "[Steven] Weissman's work is very often like a brain-damaged Charles Schulz... His newest book, Chocolate Cheeks, raises the stakes in a really dramatic way. I think this might be his last book in this series, but it goes out with a doozy of a book." – Paul Constant, The Stranger

Plug: "Matt’s response to my squeeing over the announced May, 2010 publication date of Tales Designed to Thrizzle #6: 'Yes, as there were so many plots unresolved in the last issue. Who won, blimps or holes??'" – TofuPunk.com (I don't know who Matt is – ed.)

Plug: "With new work by the likes of Johnny Ryan, Max Andersson, Sam Henderson, Stephane Blanquet, Doug Allen, Michael Kupperman, Mack White, and Jeremy Onsmith, Hotwire 3 is certain to deliver the psychic jolt it promises." – Richard Cowdry, Love the Line

Plug: "Since Beatriz 'Penny Century' Garcia is my favorite Love & Rockets' Locas, I'm very excited to see the advance solicitation for the new soft cover Penny Century... In my opinion, the soft cover collected volumes are the best way to read Love & Rockets. They are the easiest way to follow the reading order, and with the cheap price of $18.99, you can't find a better launching point for one of the most regarded independent comics of all time. " – The Star Clipper Blog

Analysis: Abstract Comics contributor Derik Badman posts an in-depth email discussion between himself and critic Craig Fischer about the book 

Interview: The Daily Yomiuri's Tom Baker talks Usagi Yojimbo with Stan Sakai: "I think the first few years I really tried to make him cute and cuddly like a stuffed animal, whereas the stories tended to [take] a more dramatic turn. So I think the character has changed. Most of it's unconscious on my part." (via The Comics Reporter )

Contest: Arrested Motion is having a drawing to give away a copy of Rock Candy: The Artwork of Femke Hiemstra along with a signed exhibit card and limited-edition giclee print!

Daily OCD: 1/5/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewsPrince ValiantKevin HuizengaJoost SwarteHal FosterGilbert HernandezGahan WilsonBest of 2009Al Columbia 5 Jan 2010 10:59 PM

Apologies for the late late Online Commentary & Diversions update:

List: Comic Book Resources continues listing their Top 100 Comics of 2009, with Pim & Francie by Al Columbia at #33 ("A totally creepy homage to the ink blot stylings of the early animation era, the book works as part horror comic, part abstract tour de force, part satire and all face melter, cementing Columbia's place as one of the most unique and mysterious voices in comics." – Kiel Phegley) and Ganges #3 by Kevin Huizenga at #20 ("a brilliant, insightful comic with inventive layouts and dead-on emotion" – John Parkin)

List: Don MacPherson of Eye on Comics names the short list for the 2009 Glass Eye Awards for Best Original Graphic Novel: "Gilbert Hernandez’s The Troublemakers was no doubt a delight for fans of the Love and Rockets writer/artist, but as an only casual reader of his work, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. The quirky combination of slice-of-life elements and a crime drama worked incredibly well, and while The Troublemakers boasts a connection to the world of L&R, one needn’t be aware of it or versed in those other comics to appreciate this graphic novel."

Review: "[Hal] Foster’s classic tales of knightly derring-do are a beloved part of the newspaper comics section. It’s difficult to laud Foster too excessively; he was one of the undisputed masters of the craft. A new effort to reprint the Valiant epic in sequential order is off to a roaring start with Prince Valiant, Vol. 1: 1937-1938, a handsome oversize volume reprinting the first two years’ worth of the Arthurian saga’s Sunday strips. Despite its creation in the late 1930s..., the comic strip’s otherworldly setting and taut characterization keep this an evergreen favorite for readers of all ages, an American epic born of a tale of European romance." – Aaron Ragan-Fore, Eugene Weekly

Review: "This incredible boxed set of three gorgeous hardcovers celebrates one of art's funniest and most disturbing cartoonists. ... Gahan Wilson: Fifty Years of Playboy Cartoons is the most comprehensive and attractive Wilson book ever produced." – Rick Klaw, The SF Site: Nexus Graphica

Plug: Jason Pettigrew, editor-in-chief of Alternative Press magazine, lists our forthcoming Joost Swarte collection as one of the 5 things he's most looking forward to in 2010 — except that the book is now on tap for 2011 and the title has changed from Modern Swarte to Is That All There Is?

Things to see: A new strip and sketchy stuff from Kevin Huizenga