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Category >> Richard Sala

Daily OCD: 12/5/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Walt KellyTony MillionaireShimura TakakoRichard SalareviewsPaul NelsonMickey MousemangaLove and RocketsLinda MedleyKevin HuizengaKevin AveryJoe KubertJacques TardiJack DavisinterviewsFloyd GottfredsonDisneyDave McKeanDaily OCDCarl BarksBill SchellyBest of 2011Al Jaffee 5 Dec 2011 8:04 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Love and Rockets: New Stories #4

List: The Austin American-Statesman's Joe Gross names Love and Rockets: New Stories #4 the best comic of 2011: "One of the wonderful things about seeing a masterpiece in the making is the mysterious feeling, the racing of the soul that takes place when it hits you that you are, in fact, seeing a masterpiece in the making.... Symphonic, tragic, revelatory, exciting and devastating as only great art can be, 'The Love Bunglers' is one of the best comics ever made."

Celluloid

List: Paste ranks Dave McKean's Celluloid at #5 on The 10 Best New Comics of 2011: "The visionary art director behind The Sandman’s covers creates a coital masterwork that elicits beauty and excitement in equal measure.... Celluloid is a treasure of technical finesse and sensual mystique that transcends its potential controversy."

Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 1: Race to Death Valley

List: Paste's list of The Ten Best Reissues/Collections of 2011 includes Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 1: Race to Death Valley by Floyd Gottfredson at #9 ("Gottfredson had an animator’s knack for storytelling, and his layouts remain clear no matter how busy they get. Much of the humor is stilted by modern standards, but you’ll be too enthralled by the exciting plots and likable characters to care"), Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture – A Career Retrospective at #7 ("Fantagraphics has finally given him the grand and serious treatment he deserves, without minimizing his goofy sense of humor"), and Walt Disney’s Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes in the #1 spot ("Barks’ strips combine high adventure with humor and subtle cultural commentaries, but they remain grounded in character... Lost in the Andes is a gorgeously packaged collection of some of the finest comics ever made.")

Reviews (Video): On the new episode of the Comics-and-More Podcast, hosts Dave Ferraro and Patrick Markfort discuss Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 1: Race to Death Valley by Floyd Gottfredson and Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes by Carl Barks (two-part video at the link)

Ganges #4

List: At Poopsheet Foundation, Justin Giampaoli names Kevin Huizenga's Ganges #4 one of the "Best Mini-Comics & Small Press Titles of 2011": "It’s the continuing adventures of Glenn Ganges and his latest nocturnal outing, as he navigates his sleepless existence on a seemingly endless night. With the degree of interactivity occurring between the page and the readers, there’s as much technique on display here as there is original storytelling."

List: Leeds, UK comic shop OK Comics posts their Top Ten Graphic Novels of 2011: "9. Like a Sniper Lining Up His Shot by Jaques Tardi published by @fantagraphics. A hitman's reluctance to perform one last job leads to an emotional breakdown. Legendary French comics artist Jacques Tardi on fine form."

Pogo Vol. 1

List: The Globe and Mail includes Pogo - The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips Volume 1: Through the Wild Blue Wonder by Walt Kelly in their "2011 gift book guide": "Fans of what for many is the greatest of all comic strips have waited a long time for this, the first of a projected 12 volumes (1949-1950) from the brilliant Walt Kelly. The congenial Pogo Possum and his swampland friends... spring to life in this collection of daily and Sunday comics, filled with Kelly’s characteristic wordplay. One hopes this will introduce a new generation to this comic, satiric masterwork."

Review: "Pogo: The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips: Volume 1—Through the Wild Blue Wonder proves to be worth the wait.... Overall, the package serves Pogo well.... The biggest revelation of reading the first two years of Pogo is how polished and funny the strip was right from the start, and also how nearly every Pogo panel is a delight unto itself. Kelly didn’t necessarily build to big punchlines; he’d slip funny sight gags and memorable lines everywhere there was room. ...[T]here’s a classic Pogo moment on just about every page of this book." – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club

Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes

Review: "Even now, Barks’ stories are clever and funny, as he leads the ducks into impossible situations and then gives them unexpected ways out. And they’re poignant in their own way, too.... What’s impressive about Fantagraphics’ Lost in the Andes is that it encourages both a fannish and an intellectual approach to the material. For those who want to skew highbrow, the book includes an appendix with scholarly analysis of each story.... And for those who just want to curl up with more than 200 pages of some of the best-written comics ever published, Lost in the Andes has all the square eggs, rubber bricks, golden Christmas trees, and races around the world that any kid or grown-up could ever want." – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club

Review: "Fantagraphics’ initial release of its new series of Carl Barks books is titled, Walt Disney’s Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes and reprints one of the most famous, and most BELOVED, comic book stories which Carl ever wrote and drew! ...I’m impressed with the quality of the publication. In my estimation, the coloring is excellent and the format engaging…. The critical essays composed by a number of Barks scholars are also insightful and well written.... In my opinion, as a Carl Barks fan, this initial volume is well worth acquiring!" – Carl Barks Fan Club Newsletter

The Art of Joe Kubert

Reviews: "Two... giants of American illustration get the handsome coffee-table-book treatment with Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture and The Art of Joe Kubert... The Kubert book — edited by Bill Schelly — is more text-heavy, covering Kubert’s early years as a journeyman penciler and inker on a slew of indistinct superhero and adventure comics, then exploring how Kubert developed the fine shading and gritty realism he’d become famed for starting in the late ’50s. The Davis book saves most of its biographical detail and critical analysis for the intro and appendix, filling the intervening 200 pages with full-sized examples of the half-cartoony/half-photographic approach that Davis brought to Mad magazine and countless movie posters. Both offer ample visual evidence of how two men found the 'art' in commercial art, turning work-for-hire assignments into opportunities to express their particular visions of the world." – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club

 Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson

List: Springfield, Massachusetts The Republican columnist Tom Shea has Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson by Kevin Avery in a tie for "music book of the year"

Review: "To (re-)discover a first-rate critic, and read about a life that went wrong in a harrowing way, you must read Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson, by Kevin Avery.... This volume is exhilarating. Avery tells with great energy Nelson’s tale, with copious details about the active period of his subject’s life, and in so doing limns a portrait of a certain kind of pop-culture/bohemian existence in the late-70s. And Avery’s generous selection of Nelson’s writings are certainly among Paul’s best..." – Ken Tucker (Entertainment Weekly), The Best American Poetry

Wandering Son Vol. 1

Review: "What makes Wandering Son work is its slow-burn pace and calm atmosphere. It takes a delicate subject – transgender children- and explores it slowly and carefully. Much like its characters, it moves at its own pace, easing the reader into the characters’ lives.... I am really eager to read volume two of Wandering Son, though a little hesitant as well. I know that the road in front of Shu and Yoshino isn’t going to be an easy one and I don’t want to see them get hurt. But the fact that I’m talking about the characters as though they’re real people just shows how deep this manga has gotten under my skin." – Shannon Fay, Kuriousity

The Hidden

Review: "Richard Sala is one of those creators that holds a fairly unique voice in comics. Many people have tried to replicate his off-beat brand of horror, but ultimately nothing out there quite like his. So with a new graphic novel called The Hidden out, the question for most people won’t be, 'Should I read it?' but 'When should I read it?'... The Hidden isn’t perfect... but what Sala does well, he does very well indeed. There’s quite a lot to love in The Hidden, with some scenes in particular that will stick with the reader for a long time." – Greg McElhatton, Read About Comics

500 Portraits

Plug: "This new book of portraits from @tonymillionaire is exquisite: a wonderful Xmas gift!" – Peter Serafinowicz

Plug: Laughing Squid's Rusty Blazenhoff spotlights Tony Millionaire's 500 Portraits

Castle Waiting Vol. 1

Plug: "Have you ever wondered what happened after 'Happily Ever After'? This graphic novel [Castle Waiting] is a modern tale that incorporates fairytale characters and settings. Funny, thoughtful and not at all what you'd expect." – The Victoria Times Colonist

Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture - A Career Retrospective

Interview: Wall Street Journal subscribers can read a Q&A with Jack Davis conducted last week in NYC by Bruce Bennett here: "Every time you went in to see Bill Gaines, he would write you a check when you brought in a story. You didn't have to put in a bill or anything. I was very, very hungry and I was thinking about getting married. So I kept the road pretty hot between home and Canal Street. I would go in for that almighty check, go home and do the work, bring it in and get another check and pick up another story." [Update: A clever reader has pointed out that non-subscribers can read the article in Google's cache]

Humbug

Profile: CNN's Todd Leopold profiles the great Al Jaffee: "After a bumpy several years in which he bounced like a pinball between his parents -- moving from Savannah, Georgia, to Lithuania, to one borough and then another of New York City, back to Lithuania and back again to New York -- art was something to hold on to, a way to establish an identity. He had no idea it would lead anywhere."

Daily OCD: 11/29/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Wilfred SantiagoShimura TakakoRichard SalareviewsPaul NelsonmangaLove and RocketsLos Bros HernandezKevin AveryJohnny RyanJasonJaime HernandezinterviewsGilbert HernandezDisneyDaily OCDcontestsCarl BarksBest of 2011 29 Nov 2011 8:36 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Wandering Son Vol. 2

List: At MTV Geek, Brigid Alverson names Wandering Son by Shimura Takako one of The Best Manga Series of 2011: "Wandering Son is a delightful, quiet manga about a girly boy and a boyish girl.... This is not your typical gender-bender manga playing a gender switch for laughs (and fanservice); it's a quiet, subtle story of a boy coming to terms with himself."

 Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson

Review: "Believe it or not, music criticism was responsible for some of 2011's finest books, with Kevin Avery's impeccably researched Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson leading the pack.... Avery has done an outstanding job assembling a collection of the writer's work, fully illustrating why he was such an influential presence in his time. But, sadly, especially in our time, it also reads as something of a cautionary tale — ...you might wonder why on earth anyone would ever choose rock criticism as a career in the first place." – Bill Holdship, Detroit Metro Times

Prison Pit Book 3

Review: "I have no idea if it was part of cartoonist Johnny Ryan's overall plan for Prison Pit, but this latest book in the growing-to-classic-status series strikes me as a 'step-back' installment. This is where a series that was once less certain in the market place eschews some of the instant gratification of its first couple of books for the sake of layering in additional plot elements that look like they'll pay off further down the line. It's the kind of work that makes you think that its creator is thinking of the long-term as opposed to focusing solely on the short. Prison Pit had some of that particular swagger from the very beginning; this book seems even more settled and confident.... As was the case with the first two books, Johnny Ryan makes his case for mastery at a second, very specific genre, connected to the first through the extremes of expression involved." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter

Love and Rockets: New Stories #4

Reviews (Audio): The November 20 episode of Easy Rider, the radio show for "rock, punk rock, country, power pop, garage and comics" from Radio PFM out of Arras in northern France, features Johnny Ryan's Prison Pit Book 3, Love and Rockets: New Stories #4 by the Hernandez Bros., and Jaime Hernandez's Esperanza among their Comics of the Week

21: The Story of Roberto Clemente

Interview: At Memory Is Fiction, Craig Staufenberg talks with Wilfred Santiago: "Any subject or theme can work in comics, the narrative has unique, endless breakdowns. It’s a unique prism, anything that’s seen through it is distorted in a comic book way. The author, the cartoonist, just brings to light a particular side of that prism. I try to quit comics but it keeps pulling me back."

Invisible Hands - Richard Sala

Interview: Network Awesome Magazine has a fun Q&A with Richard Sala about the Invisible Hands animated shorts: "They used stop-motion.  The staff would blow up my drawings onto colored paper and then cut out all the figures and  movable parts.   The pieces were then positioned on three layers of glass – to give depth – with the camera looking down.  Next, the director, Denis Morella, carefully moved the pieces around – including the mouths, to match the dialogue – for each click of the camera.  I grew up loving stop-motion – everything from Ray Harryhausen to Gumby – so, I thought doing the animation that way was pretty cool."

Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes

Plug: Comics writer Jeff Parker reveals that Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes by Carl Barks is at the top of his holiday wish list at Robot 6

I Killed Adolf Hitler

Contest: Over at The Beat, Heidi MacDonald is giving away her spare copy of Jason's I Killed Adolf Hitler to one lucky winner

Fantagraphics launches massive mail-order 'FBI•MINI' promo
Written by Kim Thompson | Filed under Tony MillionaireStephen DeStefanoStan Sakaisales specialsRichard SalaRaymond MacherotPopeyePeter BaggeMaurice TillieuxLos Bros HernandezKim DeitchJoost SwarteJohnny RyanJoe SaccoJim WoodringJaime HernandezJacques TardiIvan BrunettiGreg SadowskiGilbert HernandezFBI MINIsErnie BushmillerEC SegarDavid BBill GriffithAlex Toth 22 Nov 2011 2:11 PM

FBI•MINIs
(a partial assortment)

I always was very fond of the mini-comics format -- take two to four 8 1/2 x 11 sheets, fold them once, staple, and voilà! You have an adorable little 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 comic book for mere pennies. But I could never really figure out what to do with this old-school, low-tech format.

Until now!

For this catalog season, we have created 21 "FBI•MINI" booklets (most in this format, although there are a few oddities), as premiums for customers who order books directly from us. They are available free with the purchase of their "matching" book or books -- or for those customers who've already bought those books but are desperate to get the FBI•MINI, free with the purchase of $50 worth of any other Fantagraphics mail-order merchandise.

We've put together some pretty amazing stuff. For instances, there are four foreign FBI•MINIs featuring material that is being released in English for the very first time: an eight-page David B. story from the 1990s, an eight-page full-color Sibyl-Anne story by Raymond Macherot, a twelve-page collection of Joost Swarte's very earliest, most underground-y work -- the stuff that didn't make it into Is That All There Is? -- and most amazing of all, 21 pages of an abandoned Manchette/Tardi story that has only been printed once in an obscure French collection, and never in English. That's 49 page of prime European comics available here for the first time.

There are four sketchbook collections (an amazing gathering of Jim Woodring work preparing for Congress of the Animals, an intricate set of sketches and more by Stephen DeStefano for Lucky in Love, a collection of Kim Deitch's legendary pencilled conceptualization drawings... and a hilarious blurt of Prison Pit character doodles from Johnny Ryan).

There's a non-Segar Popeye strip from the Segar era that didn't make it into our Popeye series (since it wasn't by Segar)... a collection of terrific "coming attractions" pages from Golden Age comics to go with Greg Sadowski's upcoming Golden Age covers collection... a dozen great "Humorama" drawings that didn't quite get into the Humorama book... a striking facsimile of a Maurice Tillieux original Gil Jordan page, complete with watercolored color indications on the back... and a never-before published Joe Sacco strip.

Plus 16 pages of Alex Toth art from the Setting the Standard era, but here reproduced in crisp black and white from the original photostats... Tony Millionaire's hilarious illustrated essay on failing to secure a TV gig for Billy Hazelnuts, complete with a preview of his upcoming Billy Hazelnuts Volume 3... a collection of the legendary Ivan Brunetti Nancy strip try-out... and 12 gorgeous full-color pages of scary Richard Sala faces.

And we've also got some obscurities, such as 12 pages of Bill Griffith comics that got axed from his epochal Lost and Found, a never-before-reprinted Critters-era "Nilson Groundthumper" story by Stan Sakai, and some truly Jurassic-era comics from Peter Bagge and Los Bros. Hernandez.

If any of these catch your interest (and if you're reading this blog surely at least one of them will) you can click right on any of them to a more detailed listing on our website -- or just click right here and all 21 will pop up for you to peruse.

Daily OCD: 11/14/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Steve DuinShannon WheelerRichard SalareviewsPaul NelsonOil and WaterMickey MouseMegan KelsoLove and RocketsKevin AveryJohn BensonJack KirbyJack DavisinterviewsGilbert HernandezFloyd GottfredsonDisneyDavid BDaily OCDBill GriffithAl Jaffee 14 Nov 2011 7:15 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

 Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson

Review: "...Kevin Avery’s Everything Is an Afterthought... chronicles the dramatic life of one of music’s keenest observers, Paul Nelson, and curates his finest critiques.... I read and adored [Nelson] growing up, but reading [him] in the context of today’s critical standards gave me the literary equivalent to the bends. It goes without saying that, in the age of the Internet, the whole idea of a critic has changed." – Jim Farber, New York Daily News

Queen of the Black Black

Review: "It could well be ten years since I last read these stories [in Queen of the Black Black], and I’d either forgotten or never appreciated (my money’s on the latter) how astute and insightful they could be. Like a proto-Kevin Huizenga, [Megan Kelso] repeatedly turns up little rocks of human experience and chronicles what’s going on underneath, reintroducing us to feelings, sensations, and experiences we’d forgotten we’d had but recognize as if they happened this morning." – Sean T. Collins, The Comics Journal

Review: "This collection of early stories from Megan Kelso shows a natural flair for the form, mixed with a self-critical determination to hone her craft, that’s helped her blossom into a master storyteller.... Anyone looking for a masterful example of the short story in comics would do well to give [Queen of the Black Black] a try. Beautifully written and well illustrated, this a wonderful portfolio of work from a creator showing a deep well of promise from the start." – Grovel

The Hidden

Review: "...[E]asily... one of my favorite horror comics and one of my contenders for my Best of 2011 list.... Not only is the book carefully structured, it looks stunning.... The Hidden is a story that must be experienced to fully appreciate... There is an excellent story of slow-building despair to be found in its pages, with gorgeous depictions and coloring and a horror story that shocks, surprises, and entertains. Don't let this one get hidden on your shelves!  It may not be Halloween, but I still give this book my highest recommendation!" – Rob McMonigal, Panel Patter

Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 2: Trapped on Treasure Island

Review: "Volume 2 of Fantagraphics' Gottfredson Library, which takes us up through the beginning of 1934, maintains the high production standards and copious ancillaries of the first volume.... Tom Andrae's opening essay emphasizes, with good reason, how Gottfredson "spun off" many of his early narratives from the plots of animated cartoons. IMHO, however, the Mickey strip truly became "great" once Gottfredson gained the confidence to craft his own plots." – Chris Barat

Humbug

Profiles: The Associated Press's Russ Bynum chats with Jack Davis, Al Jaffee and Sergio Aragonés about the MAD cartoonists reunion this past weekend at Savannah College of Art & Design

The Armed Garden and Other Stories

Profile: Paul Gravett surveys the work of David B. and presents a transcript of his bookstore discussion with the artist this past summer (hat tip to TCJ.com's Tim Hodler)

Love and Rockets Library (Palomar Book 3): Beyond Palomar [with FREE Signed Bookplate]

Plug: Pulitzer-winning author and known Love and Rockets fan Junot Díaz names Poison River by Gilbert Hernandez (collected in Beyond Palomar) one of his top 10 favorite books in an excerpt from Unpacking My Library: Writers and their Books posted at The Financial Times

The Sincerest Form of Parody

Plug: From Michael May's monthly cruise through the current Previews catalog at Robot 6: "The Sincerest Form of Parody: The Best 1950s MAD-Inspired Satirical Comics I can’t decide if I’m more interested in the historical context of what folks were parodying in the ’50s or just looking at some cool Jack Davis and Kirby art that I’ve never seen before."

Oil and Water

Plug: Oil and Water receives an excellent feature in the new issue of the Audubon Society of Portland Warbler newsletter, which can be downloaded here

The Family Circus by Bil Keane and Bill Griffith

Tribute: At The Comics Journal, Bill Griffith remembers meeting, and later collaborating with, the late Bil Keane: "I was surprised when Bil told me he read Zippy in his local Arizona paper and liked it. He didn’t even qualify his opinion with the usual, “Of course, I don’t always get it.” Until then, I hadn’t paid much attention to The Family Circus, but I slowly began to see that you could read more into it than what appeared on the surface. This was before internet wise guys began mashing up random Friedrich Nietzsche lines for Billy and Jeffy’s and riffing on the strip as unconscious surrealism. But The Family Circus didn’t need hipsters to substitute incongruous dialogue to make the case that it was unconscious surrealism. It was unconscious surrealism on its own."

Things to See: A cut scene from Richard Sala's The Hidden
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Things to seeRichard Sala 8 Nov 2011 11:17 PM

The Hidden outtake - Richard Sala

At his Here Lies Richard Sala blog, Richard Sala (natch) explains this page created for his new graphic novel The Hidden which wound up on the cutting room floor and the scene it was to have been part of. He also hints at a possible sequel to the book!

[Follow our Tumblr blog for lots more Things to See every day.]

Daily OCD: 10/31/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Ulli LustRobert CrumbRichard SalareviewsPaul NelsonOlivier SchrauwenMichael KuppermanLove and RocketsLos Bros HernandezKevin AveryJohn BensonJaime HernandezinterviewsGreg SadowskiGilbert HernandezGary GrothFour Color FearDavid BDaily OCD 31 Oct 2011 7:16 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

The Hidden

Review: "Sala’s new book, The Hidden, does not wholly depart from the campy fascination with the morbid that marks his previous work, but is even darker in tone, despite the vibrant watercolor work. The visual markers of Sala’s humor are present — the affected font, the twisted faces — but there is arguably something more serious and disturbing at play here." – Jenna Brager, Los Angeles Review of Books

Reviews (Video): "This week on the Comics-and-More Podcast, Patrick Markfort and I discuss Richard Sala's work, including his Peculia books and his new graphic novel The Hidden, perfect books to read for Halloween." So says co-host Dave Ferraro — watch the multi-part video at the link

Four Color Fear: Forgotten Horror Comics of the 1950s [2nd Printing]

Review: "EC is often at the center of the story [of Pre-Code horror comics]... Four Color Fear strives to provide an accessible sampler of everything else. Editor Greg Sadowski is adept at such missions.... Sadowski keeps endnotes, often heavy with hard publication facts and extensive quotes from artists and observers, in the back of the book in order to structurally foreground the sensual, aesthetic experience of reading old comics." – Joe McCulloch, Los Angeles Review of Books

Love and Rockets: New Stories #4

Review: "Thirty years after the debut of their Love and Rockets series, the Hernandez Brothers continue to impress readers with their incredible Love and Rockets: New Stories #4.... More than ever, Jaime demonstrates a mastery of line and pacing, making for emotional realism that is rarely matched in the world of comics.... As for Gilbert, he presents readers with the captivating 'King Vampire,' a story which revolves around killer vampires.... The result is a gripping tale filled with plot twists, violence, and absolutely gorgeous art.... With Love and Rockets: New Stories #4, the Hernandez Brothers establish once more their immeasurable contribution to the world of comics. Instead of producing works that are stale and predictable, the duo is creating comics that are as imaginative and fresh as ever." – Jason Grimmer, 211 Bernard (Librairie Drawn & Quarterly)

The Armed Garden and Other Stories

Review: "David B. is one of the most important cartoonists in France. A member of L'Association, his most important work is Epileptic... But I will confess that I like the stories in The Armed Garden more. These are stories about heretics. Heresy is a subject of particular interest for certain storytellers -- for example, Jorge Luis Borges.... These bizarre fable-like tales may seem far from us, but they show want can happen when societies are stressed." – Robert Boyd, The Great God Pan Is Dead

The Man Who Grew His Beard

Review: "The stories [in The Man Who Grew His Beard] are funny, ironic and absurd. In that, he reminds me of his fellow Belgian cartoonists, Kamagurka and Herr Seele. But he also reminds one of the avant garde Belgian cartoonists of Freon (later Fremok). These are more 'art comics,' where the visual aspect is paramount. This is not to say the narratives are unimportant, mere hangers onto which to hang the art. They are amusing, weird and compelling -- the visual aspect makes them all the more so." – Robert Boyd, The Great God Pan Is Dead

Today Is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life

Review: "Told with great confidence and uncomfortable frankness across a sprawling 450 pages, [Today Is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life] is a coming-of-age narrative that inevitably places itself in the tradition of German travel literature, perhaps unwittingly joining the company of such august figures as Goethe and Hesse.... Despite its trauma, the journey ends up being one of liberation. Though its description of the risks inherent to the only semi-aware need for independence characteristic of youth is sobering, the book is never judgmental. There is a distinct undertone of empowerment to this story of one woman’s instinctive search for enlightenment. It is a grand tour." – Matthias Wivel, The Metabunker (Look for our edition of this book in Summer/Fall 2012.)

The Comics Journal #301

Interview: On the day Gary Groth was to have interviewed Robert Crumb on stage at his canceled appearance at the GRAPHIC Festival in Sydney, Gary called Crumb up for a nice long phone chat instead, now transcribed and posted at The Comics Journal, posing questions asked by the Hernandez Bros., Tony Millionaire, Trina Robbins and more in addition to his own

Confessions, Romances, Secrets, and Temptations

Commentary: "Long gone publisher St. John's line of romance comics has a chronicler in the person of John Benson. He edited [Romance Without Tears] from Fantagraphics in 2003. He argues that this line was superior to just about everybody else's line of romance comics and he is good at peopling his argument, particularly in a second book [Confessions, Romances, Secrets and Temptations] he put together in 2007." – Eddie Campbell

 Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson

Plug: "Two — count ’em — two books fold into one in Everything Is an Afterthought. First, we get a heartbreaking biography of the late, great rock critic Paul Nelson. Then, to prove the greatness part, the author of the first section (Kevin Avery) compiles Nelson’s most incisive hits." – Jim Farber, New York Daily News

Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010

Plug: On Librairie Drawn & Quarterly's 211 Bernard blog, Jason Grimmer runs down some highlights from Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010 by Michael Kupperman, saying "Come on, that's a helluva CV know matter how you slice it. The least you could do is read about it."

Win The Hidden and Beasts! from Tor.com
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Richard SalacontestsBeasts 31 Oct 2011 3:08 PM

The Hidden by Richard Sala

Tor.com is having a Halloween giveaway, including chances to win copies of The Hidden by Richard Sala and Beasts! Book 1! Enter to win The Hidden here and Beasts! here.

UPDATE: They've now added a contest for Beasts! Book 2enter here.

Beasts! Book 1

Daily OCD: 10/26/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under staffRichard SalareviewsMegan KelsoJim WoodringinterviewsGahan WilsonDaily OCD 26 Oct 2011 11:18 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

The Hidden

Review: "Graphic novelist Richard Sala cures the zombie apocalypse malaise with a new book that takes the basic set-up of those tales and turns it into an artsy, comical, downright weird exercise in terror that brings together several slices of the horror genre... into something modern and surprising. Equally, Sala’s art style helps the story ride high -- his dark cartoons manage to suck you into the narrative while still highlighting the meta quality of the story. This is a story about horror as much as it is a horror story, examining the themes that draw us into these stories as much as they are utilized by authors to comment on the real world. Somewhere between those two intentions lies The Hidden, a modernist horror tale that acts like the zombies it evokes, cannibalizing the genres from which it sprang and spewing out something new from those entrails." – John Seven, North Adams Transcript

The Frank Book [Softcover Ed.]

Review: "The stories [in The Frank Book] are fantastical, phantasmagorical fables full of transmogrification, mostly silent so that you can bring to them what you will and interpret them as you like, and if you were to sit down with someone else and discuss any given piece you’d find it very revealing – both of yourself and of your friend. I often describe them as 'mind-altering, yet legal.' Enlightening too, as I say.... [Jim Woodring] is a visionary, a veritable shaman with a love of Persian architecture and that rare ability to communicate wisdom — and folly (umm, yes,  mostly folly!) — with skill. As a visual craftsman he totally floors me, his wrinkled-line textures placed just-so, leaving each panel on the page a perfect composition. A beautiful, beautiful book." – Stephen L. Holland, Page 45

Nuts

Interview: Comics Bulletin's Jason Sacks talks to Gahan Wilson about his new collection of Nuts: "The thing that inspired me and put me on the kids' side, kept moving me along on it, was that the grownups -- and more grownups do it wrong than right -- that they don't understand how complicated that little rascal is. How much they're taking in. How alive they are. How much they apprehend. And how seriously they take it. They are astoundingly alive with bad things and good things."

Artichoke Tales [Pre-Order]

Interview: Hanna Brooks Olsen of Seattlest talks with Megan Kelso about her upcoming presentation at Richard Hugo House this Friday: "I'm using a series of rotating images on a loop. Unlike when you're reading a comic by yourself, where you can go back and re-read a panel or flip back a page (if someone's reading aloud), suddenly it's going by, almost like a film, and you don't control the page. And I think that that control is what people love about comics. You get to entirely control that space. A lot of the things that are magical about reading comics on a page are lost when they're performed live."

Fantagraphics booth - Stumptown Comics Fest, April 16-17, 2011

Behind the Scenes: Ever wonder why our "Diaflogue" interviews turn out so good? Sshhh — our own Kristy Valenti is the secret ingredient

Daily OCD: 10/24/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under The Comics JournalT Edward BakRoy CraneRichard SalareviewsPaul NelsonMoto HagiomangaLove and RocketsLos Bros HernandezLeslie SteinKevin AveryJasonJaime HernandezinterviewsHo Che AndersonGreg SadowskiGilbert HernandezGary PanterDaily OCDCaptain EasyAlex Toth 25 Oct 2011 2:24 AM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Eye of the Majestic Creature

Review/Interview: "Leslie Stein is a pretty lady who made a comic [Eye of the Majestic Creature] in which she is a cute/gross little humanoid with eyes that are like coins and a best friend who is a guitar. Her comical alter ego is named Larry Bear and her guitar's name is Marshy. They live in a house in a field, but it's pretty clear that almost everything they experience is some joked-up fantasized autobiographical story. It's hard to know what's based on reality and what isn't, and which characters are based on real folks and which are just supposed to be Leslie's internal feelings personified.... Leslie's work communicates an urban loneliness that I relate to a lot, seeing as we live in the same place. It's cute and sad and familiar, especially if you're 30 or under." – Nick Gazin, who also talks to Leslie at Vice: "I think for the most part she represents the lighter side of my personality. I'm happy when I'm drawing and I hope that comes across through her on the page, in whatever situation she is in. She dresses a bit weirder than I do, so that's fun. I'm not really a shy person, but I feel like I'm constantly embarrassing myself. She doesn't have that self-consciousness."

The Hidden

Review: "Post-apocalyptic stories tend to be grim, but The Hidden is very dark indeed.... The book feels like a modern-day gothic horror. The survivors are metaphors for humanity, with a heroic few battling an onslaught of monsters, human or otherwise. Humanity is on the brink of extinction, and still people bring out the worst in one another.... Sala’s illustration is compelling... ★★★★ [out of 5]" – Grovel

 Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson

Review: "[Kevin] Avery’s book, Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson, is an admirably unorthodox construction that starts with a bracing 180-page biography of Paul followed by a 265 page collection of Nelson’s music writing, primarily that from the seventies focusing on the artists he was particularly drawn to.... What’s impressive about Avery’s biographic half of the book is that he’s produced both an intimate personal bio and a comprehensive professional bio as well. He’s talked to virtually everyone who Nelson inspired or mentored in rock criticism starting in the latter half of the sixties and into the Rolling Stone years. These knuckleheads are a who’s who of American rock criticism, God help us." – Joe Carducci (SST Records, Rock and the Pop Narcotic), The New Vulgate

Setting the Standard: Comics by Alex Toth 1952-1954

Review: "I was looking forward to this new book [Setting the Standard] a/ because it's Alex Toth and b/ because it reprints 60 stories, Toth's entire contribution to the catalogue of a long defunct publisher whose material we rarely see reprinted.... Toth's work has long been admired for its distilled simplicity of black and white design, but these early pages fizz and bubble with life.... The book under discussion is from Fantagraphics, with the original printed pages restored in all their colours by Greg Sadowski, who put the whole package together with extensive notes..." – Eddie Campbell (via The Comics Reporter)

Plugs: Brian Ralph's choices for his guest contribution to Robot 6's weekly "What Are You Reading?" column include Captain Easy Vol. 2 by Roy Crane ("It’s a fun combination of action and laughs. Sometimes very serious and other times very cartoony, in both story and art style. I just love the way Roy Crane draws these goons. And the colors! The palettes are unusual and beautiful.") and Setting the Standard: Comics by Alex Toth 1952-1954 ("I’ll read one of these [stories] before I go to bed. I like that in a short page count he quickly develops a rich story and twilight zoney twist. Sometimes it’s a bizarre romance or horror story with a stunning conclusion. They’re a fun read.")

Isle of 100,000 Graves

Review: "Brief but witty dialogue and black humor come together in a brutal satire of deception, torture and the death penalty. This comic is a good comedy that combines the sense of adventure and intrigue of Jason's comics, his 'tempo' and narrative tone, with a trio of protagonists who I came to appreciate in very few pages. Emotion, gags, surprises, and an ending that you do not expect. Isle of 100,000 Graves is an original and very enjoyable read that keeps Jason as a safe bet in the shopping cart. Between tenderness and cruelty, of course the contribution of writer Fabien Vehlmann to the Norwegian cartoonist's particular universe could not have been more successful." – Alita News (translated from Spanish)

Love and Rockets: New Stories #4

Review: "Warm-hearted, deceptively heart-wrenching, challenging, charming and irresistibly addictive, Love and Rockets: New Stories is a grown up comics fan’s dream come true and remains as valid and groundbreaking as its earlier incarnations — the diamond point of the cutting edge of American graphic narrative." – Win Wiacek, Now Read This!

Reviews (Video): Hosts Patrick Markfort and Dave Ferraro discuss Love and Rockets: New Stories #4 by the Hernandez Brothers and Gilbert's Love from the Shadows on the latest Comics-and-More podcast (4-part video at the link)

Discussion (Audio): Hosts Tim Young and Kumar Sivasubramanian, along with special guest Tom Spurgeon, discuss the Love and Rockets work of Jaime Hernandez on the latest episode of the Deconstructing Comics Podcast

Fantagraphics booth - TCAF 2011

Interview: The Comics Reporter 's Tom Spurgeon talks to backbone Mome contributor T. Edward Bak about his experience at Boomfest in St. Petersburg, Russia: "There were so many things going on. There were people interested in all of the presentations. They took place over four or five hours, in three or four different centers. A lot of artists were there. For these kinds of presentations, it was other artists attending. It was like APE: you have people that are making comics or are interested in making comics."

Jimbo's Inferno

Interview: At The Comics Journal, Matt Seneca enjoys a studio visit and thoughtful discussion with Gary Panter: "That’s one of the games that modern art plays: where does it go, and what does it affect by trying to go? And so, usually in fine art, you’re making a kind of pregnant or puzzling object, or some object that has presence and which calls to people, hopefully. It arrests them for a second and various things happen, whereas in a comic, I want people lying in bed reading it. I want people lying in bed and reading it, and you forget you’re reading it, and you go in the story, and you’re like, 'Whoa! What happened?' And you either remember it or you don’t."

The Comics Journal #300

Interview (Translated): The Frog 2000 blog translates the Howard Chaykin/Ho Che Anderson conversation from The Comics Journal #300 into Spanish (1st of 3 parts)

A Drunken  Dream and Other Stories [Pre-Order]

Publishing/Crime: Anime News Network has news of new work from Moto Hagio and reports on warnings of forged Hagio artwork in the marketplace

Daily OCD: 10/20/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Steve DuinShannon WheelerRichard SalareviewsPaul NelsonOil and WaterMickey MouseKrazy KatKevin AveryJoyce FarmerJacques TardiinterviewsGeorge HerrimanFloyd GottfredsonDisneyDaily OCD 21 Oct 2011 1:45 AM

Today's Online Commentary and Diversions:

 Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson

Review/Interview: Marc Campbell of Dangerous Minds calls Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson "music book of the year," saying "the thing I really appreciate in reading Paul’s writings is you get to a place where even if you disagree with him you want to really explore why. He challenges you, not outrightly, but through the sheer force of his own enthusiasm and the particulars of why he digs what he digs. That’s what great rock writers do - they send you to the music. Of all the books I’ve read this year, Everything Is an Afterthought is the one that has meant the most to me." Campbell also talks to the book's author/editor, Kevin Avery: "You could tell it was important for him to accurately convey how he heard the work he was writing about; how it made him feel. At the same time, there was often the suggestion that whatever he wrote about was in some way part of his own story. Though it was never overt. There was an ongoing mystery to it."

Krazy & Ignatz 1919-1921: A Kind, Belevolent and Amiable Brick

Review (Audio): John Byrne (not that one) discusses our Krazy & Ignatz series of Krazy Kat reprints with host Seán Rocks on RTÉ Radio 1's Arena 

Oil and Water

Review: "It's fascinating to see the great intentions of good people of liberal Oregon run aground on the slick and complicated story on the ground... Duin and Wheeler spend much of [Oil and Water] showing the kind of cultural imperialism or Liberal Guilt that the Oregonians feel when trying to help their brethren from the South, and the resentment that the Southerners feel back at them. ...Shannon Wheeler's calm, quiet and almost abstract images capture the story in a way that allows the story to stray from straight reportage to a quieter meditation on the events that happen.... The story lives in the present and the past, both itself and something more." – Jason Sacks, Comics Bulletin

Interview (Audio): Shannon Wheeler talks about his work on Oil and Water and other aspects of his busy career with Inkstuds host Robin McConnell

 The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec Vol. 2: The Mad Scientist and Mummies on Parade

Review: "The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec are extraordinary indeed.... The amazing Jacques Tardi creates a fully realized world in the two stories contained in this book, stories in which strange, almost mythological, creatures live right next to the Eiffel Tower, famous French cemeteries and the Louvre.... Tardi delivers an ending to the second half of this book that is thoroughly shocking. Adele and her friends aren't Doctor Who and his companions, gallivanting across space and time and always emerging unscathed. The adventures that occur in this book are real and terrible in their consequences. They may seem a bit outlandish... but they are real in a way that feels oddly intense for American readers." – Jason Sacks, Comics Bulletin

Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 1: Race to Death Valley

Review: "This isn't your father's Mickey Mouse (it's more likely your great-grandfather's), and it's a shame we don't see him this way as much anymore. Floyd Gottfredson is one of the most talented artist/gag writers in comics history and it is wonderful to see his talent recognized in a medium and a manner so deserving of preservation. This giant-sized book is only mildly unwieldy, but it is the perfect size to replicate and do justice to every single panel of such a singularly perfect work.... Mickey Mouse is one of the most important and revered characters in pop culture, and no other creator has written him so human, so interestingly, so uniquely fun and vibrant as Floyd Gottfredson has. The cover price is too little to ask, as the stories in this book are a treasury of the highs sequential art can hit." – Rafael Gaitan, Comics Bulletin

The Hidden

Review: "The Hidden is ridiculously good, silly fun... A great big orgy of schlocky gore and cartoon deaths, the plot is every old horror film rolled into one glorious genre cliché... and Richard Sala’s absurd humour bleeds through the lot like red ink on a crisp white collar.... As ever, the true joy here is seeing Sala in brilliant colour. Layer upon layer of masterfully applied paint creates every shadow, shade and unlikely bright pajama in the cartoon horror. Undead eyes stare from blue and green sunken sockets, blood splashes across the page in spurts of dark crimson. It is, to hammer it home with a bloody mallet, an absolute demented joy." – Hayley Campbell, The Comics Journal

Special Exits

Interview (Translated): Gerardo Vilches of The Watcher and the Tower says of Joyce Farmer's Special Exits, which was just published in Spain by Astiberri, "I read this comic a few months ago and I think it is not only one of the comics of the year but the last decade" translates Alex Dueben's December 2010 Comic Book Resources interview with Farmer into Spanish, adding "I also wanted to do my bit to raise awareness of an awesome comic I hope has the impact it deserves."


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