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Category >> Robert Crumb

Happy New Year! In Pictures!
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Walt KellyThe Comics JournalSteven WeissmanRobert CrumbPeanutsOlivier SchrauwenNoah Van SciverNo Straight LinesMoto HagiomiscellanyLove and RocketsLorenzo MattottiLilli CarréJustin HallJosh SimmonsJoost SwarteJoe SaccoJoe DalyJasonJaime HernandezErnie BushmillerDestroy All MoviesDaniel ClowesChris Wright 1 Jan 2013 2:46 PM

Zack reading Pogo 2

Happy New Year's! Here's to a great year of books and the next year and the year after that. We salute you and thank you for your friendship and purchases. Some of you sent in photos reading books from this year (and a few past ones).

Cartoonist Zack Giallongo reads The Complete Syndicated Pogo Vol. 1: "Through the Wild Blue Yonder" by Walt Kelly. He's also surrounded himself with favorite things: banjos, dogs and crazy couches.

Chris Haley reads Pogo 

Cartoonist Chris Haley enjoys The Complete Syndicated Pogo Vol. 1: "Through the Wild Blue Yonder" by Walt Kelly.

Spacehawk

Writer Chris Roberson (MonkeyBrain Comics publisher as well) reads Spacehawk by Basil Wolverton.

Walt Disney's Donald Duck: A Christmas for Shacktown

Producer Allison Baker and kiddo Georgia Roberson read Walt Disney's Donald Duck: "A Christmas for Shacktown" by Carl Barks.

Heads or Tails

Erica reading Heads or Tails by Lilli Carré.

Caitlin and No Straight Lines

OSU Librarian Caitlin McGurk reads No Straight Lines edited by Justin Hall.

Blacklung and Jeff Newelt

HEEB editor Jeff Newelt reads Blacklung by Chris Wright.

Nancy Likes Christmas and Chris Sims

Chris Sims from Comics Alliance reads Nancy Likes Christmas by Ernie Bushmiller.

Ghost World and Ian McDonald

Playwrite Ian McDonald reads Ghost World by Daniel Clowes.

Is That All There Is? with Jamie S. Rich

Writer Jamie S. Rich reads Is That All There Is? by Joost Swarte.

LT and the Man Who Grew His Beard

Cartoonist Laura Terry checks out Olivier Schrauwen's The Man Who Grew His Beard.

Destroy All Movies

Kyle reads the now sold out Destroy All Movies edited by Zack Carlson.

Joseph Remnant reads The Hypo

Cartoonist Joseph Remnant reads The Hypo by Noah Van Sciver.

Evan reads the Hypo

Campaign organizer Evan Loeb ALSO reads The Hypo by Noah Van Sciver.

Linda Flannery

Linda Walker reads Flannery O'Connor edited by Kelly Gerald. Looking gorgeous.

Tom Hart and The Cartoon Utopia

Cartoonist Tom Hart (SAW founder as well) reads The Cartoon Utopia by Ron Regé Jr.

Janice and The Cartoon Utopia

Radio extrodinaire and Fanta staffer Janice Headley reads The Cartoon Utopia by Ron Regé Jr.

Corpse on the Imjin! and Alex Cox

Alex Cox of CBLDF reads Harvey Kurtzman's Corpse on the Imjin!

Jason and Ky read Kurtzman

Cartoonist Jason Week and educator Ky Flynn read Harvey Kurtzman's Corpse on the Imjin!

Mike Baehr and Barack Hussein Obama

Fantagraphics Marketing Director Mike Baehr reads Steven Weissman's Barack Hussein Obama.

Anna Pederson

Anna Pederson of CBLDF (former Fantagraphics intern) reads The Crackle of the Frost by Mattotti and Zentner.

Charlie Brown's Christmas Stocking

Real estate agent Janora Apple reads Charlie Brown's Christmas Stocking by Charles M Schulz.

Andrew Friedenthal

Comics scholar and professor, Andrew Friedenthal, enjoys Peanuts by Charles M Schulz

Colleen Frakes and Castle Waiting

Cartoonist Colleen Frakes reads that lovely Castle Waiting #18 by Linda Medley.

Cartoon Utopia

The Cartoon Utopia by Ron Regé Jr absorbs Kyla.

The Cartoon Utopia

Neighbor of the SAW workshop, Julie, reads The Cartoon Utopia by Ron Regé Jr.

The Heart of Thomas

June, grand dog of cartoonist and Otaku USA writer Jason Thompson, enjoys the hell out of The Heart of Thomas by Moto Hagio.

Sean Ford and The Furry Trap

Cartoonist Sean Ford reads The Furry Trap by Josh Simmons and then hands it of to…

Charlie and The Furry Trap

Charlie, master cat of Inkstuds radio/podcast host Robin McConnell, flips through The Furry Trap by Josh Simmons. She's a bit surprised!

But I Like It

Cartoonist Allen Duffy reads Joe Sacco's But I Like It.

Jim Rugg and Jim Flora

Jim on Jim. Cat on Cat. Cartoonist Jim Rugg reads Jim Flora.

Barks and Schulz

Linus and Lucy, cat masters of Alex Cox, read Carl Barks and Charles M. Schulz.

Kjerstin Johnson reads The Lost Women and Mary Fleener

Kjerstin Johnson of BITCH Magazine reads The Lost Women by Jaime Hernandez and some Mary Fleener!

Ryan reads Mr. Natural

Ryan Anderson reads The Book of Mr. Natural by Robert Crumb.

Low Moon

Jessica Underhill reads Low Moon by Jason.

Jordan reads TCJ

Jordan Shiveley of Grimalkin Press reads some The Comics Journal Library .

Annie Murphy and Ghost World

Cartoonist Annie Murphy reads Love and Rockets (The Death of Speedy) by Jaime Hernandez.You can find this story in the collection The Girl from H.O.P.P.E.R.S.

Nancy is Happy

Billie, my three-legged dog reads Nancy Is Happy by Ernie Bushmiller.

Jen and Dungeon Quest Book 3

And Dr. Butler wants to read my copy of Dungeon Quest Book 3 by Joe Daly. Keep reading! Happy 2013!

Carl Barks and Cat

The Comics Journal #302 - Previews, Pre-Order
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under videoTim KreiderThe Comics JournalRoy CraneRobert CrumbRC Harveypreviewsnew releasesmaurice fucking sendakMatthias WivelLewis TrondheimKim ThompsonJoe SaccoJacques TardiGary GrothCarl Barks 19 Dec 2012 6:57 PM

The Comics Journal #302 - Maurice Sendak cover

The Comics Journal #302
edited by Mike Dean & Kristy Valenti; Gary Groth, Executive Editor

672-page black & white/color 7" x 8.5" softcover
ISBN: 978-1-60699-603-4

Ships in: February 2013 (subject to change) — Pre-Order Now

The newly formatted, 600+ page Comics Journal proved a resounding success with 2011’s edition. 2012’s Volume 302 is sure to prove just as essential and exciting to comics readers worldwide.

This edition’s cover feature is a long, intimate interview-portrait with and of Maurice Sendak, the greatest and most successful children’s book author of the 20th — and 21st — century, the author of Where the Wild Things Are, In the Night Kitchen, Outside Over There, Higglety Piggelty Pop, and the illustrator of works by Herman Melville, Leo Tolstoy, and Randall Jarrell. In his longest published interview (and one of the last before his death in 2012), Sendak looks back over a career spanning over 60 years and talks to Gary Groth about art, life, and death (especially death), how his childhood, his parents, and his siblings affected his art and outlook, his search for meaning — and also, on the lighter side, about his love (and hate) of movies. And his unbridled comments on the political leadership of the previous decade have already garnered national media attention and controversy.

Sharing equal billing in this issue's flip-book format: Kim Thompson conducts a career-spanning interview with French graphic novel pioneer Jacques Tardi. The two explore the Eisner Award-winner’s genre-spanning oeuvre comprising historical fiction, action-adventure, crime-thriller, “icepunk” and more, focusing on Tardi's working methods (with step by step illustration), collaborations and other media (such as film and animation), and his fascination with World War I. Plus, Matthias Wivel examines Tardi's adaptation of Léo Malet's 120, Rue de la Gare.

Also in this issue, Art Spiegelman conducts a wide-ranging aesthetic colloquy on classic kids’ comics (Carl Barks’s Donald Duck, John Stanley’s Little Lulu, Sheldon Mayer’s Sugar and Spike, and many more) with a group of comics critics and historians. Bob Levin provides a revelatory investigation of the twisted history of the "Keep on Truckin’" litigation and a fascinating biographical portrait of R. Crumb’s lawyer, Albert Morse. Warren Bernard writes a ground-breaking historical investigation of the 1954 Senate Subcommittee Hearing on Juvenile Delinquency. R.C. Harvey looks at Bill Hume's Babysan and Donald Phelps examines Percy Crosby's Skippy. And a tribute to the late Dylan Williams from his peers and the artists he published.

Plus: “How to Draw Buz Sawyer” by renowned newspaper cartoonist Roy Crane (and a previously unpublished interview), a new comic by Joe Sacco and one by Lewis Trondheim in English for the first time, Tim Kreider on Chester Brown, Tom Crippen on Mort Weisinger and Superman, Rich Kreiner on "difficult comics," and a visual gallery of and commentary on proto-comics.

The Comics Journal has been for 37 years the world’s foremost critical magazine about comics. It is now more vital than ever, a gigantic print compendium of critiques, interviews, and comics.

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

The Comics Journal #302 - Tardi cover

R. Crumb signed bookplates now available!
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under signed bookplatesRobert Crumb 14 Dec 2012 1:51 PM

Crumb bookplates

We sometimes lose track of things in our mail-order warehouse, and then someone notices them and says "hey, what's the deal with these?" When the item in question is a bunch of bookplates signed by Robert Crumb, it's kind of a big deal.

These bookplates were originally made for our exclusive signed hardcover editions of The Complete Crumb Comics and the R. Crumb Sketchbook series. The hardcovers are mostly long sold out and out of print, but we don't want these leftovers to go to waste, so we are now offering them with the softcovers as well, for an additional $30 a pop. We have them for nearly every in-print volume of both series, and for all of the volumes that are out of print. You can buy them separately, but in that case it's limit one of each per customer, so we're limiting it to phone orders for separate sales. If ordering from our website, just choose the desired option when adding each book to your shopping cart.

As you can see, the plate for each book is a unique design (not all plates are shown here). Some are numbered, but some are not; we can't guarantee a number on yours. They are limited in edition and quantity, so don't miss out.

Crumb Sketchbook bookplates

The Complete Crumb Comics Vols. 2 & 3 (New Softcover Eds.) by Robert Crumb - Previews, Pre-Order
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under videoRobert Crumbpreviewsnew releases 5 Dec 2012 12:12 AM

After several years out of print, new pressings of these essential volumes are coming soon!

The Complete Crumb Comics Vol. 2: Some More Early Years of Bitter Struggle (New Softcover Ed.)  by Robert Crumb

The Complete Crumb Comics Vol. 2: Some More Early Years of Bitter Struggle (New Softcover Ed.)
by Robert Crumb

144-page black & white/color 8.5" x 11" softcover • $19.99
ISBN: 978-0-93019-362-1

Ships in: January 2013 (subject to change) – Pre-Order Now

Another fascinating collection of early work from one of America's most original, trenchant, and uncompromising artists. "Some More Early Years of Bitter Struggle" features several key stories from Crumb’s pre-underground, homemade comics of the early 1960s (such as Farb and Arcade), with stories featuring early Crumb characters Fritz the Cat, Jim, Mabel, and Little Billy Bean. It also includes "Roberta Smith, Office Girl," Crumb's charming 4-panel strip for the American Greetings employee newsletter; a full-color section of cover illustrations; copious reproductions from Crumb's sketchbooks; and more of the biographical introduction by Crumb confidant Marty Pahls.

1989 Harvey Award Winner, Best Domestic Reprint Project

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

The Complete Crumb Comics Vol. 2: Some More Early Years of Bitter Struggle (New Softcover Ed.)  by Robert Crumb

The Complete Crumb Comics Vol. 3: Starring Fritz the Cat (New Softcover Ed.)
by Robert Crumb

128-page black & white/color 8.5" x 11" softcover • $19.99
ISBN: 978-0-93019-375-1

Ships in: March 2013 (subject to change) – Pre-Order Now

Starring Fritz the Cat includes Crumb's classic original Fritz stories from 1965, including "Fritz Bugs Out" and "Fritz the Cat, Special Agent for the CIA," the first two "real" stories in the Fritz canon, as well as "Fritz the Cat, Ace Statesman," four pages of a previously unpublished Fritz story, and several Fritz illos never before printed in color. Plus: Crumb's first published work from Help! and Yell, including the "Harlem Sketchbook" and the "Bulgarian Sketchbook," most never before reprinted; two dozen of his Topps trading cards, plus extremely rare promotional items, as well as many creeting cards done for American Greetings, several in full color; and many pages of strips from Crumb's 20-year-old sketchbooks. Plus more of Marty Pahls's ongoing Crumb biography, including the story of Crumb's first acid trip, with more rare photos of the young Crumb!

1989 Harvey Award Winner, Best Domestic Reprint Project

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

Buy Two, Get One Half Off! When ordering either of these volumes, add any two other available volumes from The Complete Crumb Comics series and the third volume will be half price! (Note that you will receive all 3 books in one shipment when they are all available in our warehouse.) See product pages for more details.



Terry Zwigoff's Packed Santa Sack (of a theater)
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Terry ZwigoffRobert CrumbeventsDaniel Clowes 30 Nov 2012 11:56 AM

Nathan Rabin and Terry Zwigoff

Last night, director Terry Zwigoff appeared at Central Cinema's sold-out showing of Bad Santa, produced/toured/small printed by The A.V. Club's Cult Canon Tour. The 2003 hit resonated with the parents, malcontents and former elves in the audience (thank you, Dallas Northpark Mall, for that hellish winter month). A charmingly nasal and articulate Nathan Rabin of The A.V. Club moderated the Q&A while Zwigoff opened with a slide show of amazing parodies, criminal copy cats and a slew of Santa photos through the ages, too amazing to not share at least one. 

A real life Bad Santa

Zwigoff went into detail about looking for the perfect people for this movie (especially since he choose the script over Elf with Will Ferrell already attached). De Niro, Penn graced the top of a list but Billy Bob Thorton was the name he knew could pull it off. In the search for the perfect kid to win the Bad Santa's heart, Zwigoff rejected the "Disney-face-proportioned" in an effort to capture a new Joe Cobb: a fat, scary kid. Which he eventually did find in new actor, Brett Kelly (right).

Joe Cobb and Brett Kelly

In addition to Bad Santa, Zwigoff directed such hits as the documentary Crumb, Ghost World and Art School Confidential (guess who sells books the movies were based on by Crumb and Dan Clowes?). We earnestly look forward to his next film adventure.

Terry Swigoff signs

Terry Zwigoff will also be attending the showing in Portland, OR on December 13th and The A.V. Club's Cult Canon has showings of Bad Santa and Black Christmas all over the country. A good time to be sure, especially with free drink tickets! Associate Publisher Eric Reynolds, Zwigoff, me and intern Nomi Kane hang loose at Central Cinema.

Eric Reynolds, Terry Zwigoff, Jen Vaughn and Nomi Kane

Terry Zwigoff at Central Cinema in Seattle Tonight!
Written by janice headley | Filed under Terry ZwigoffRobert Crumbhooray for HollywoodeventsDaniel Clowes 29 Nov 2012 11:13 AM


Do I even need to say who's who in this pic?

As we mentioned earlier this week with the release of Larry's 1995 interview with him, Terry Zwigoff is making a rare Seattle appearance tonight, Thursday, November 29th at Central Cinema!

He'll be screening his 2003 film Bad Santa, but he'll also be doing a Q&A afterwards where you can ask him about his work on Ghost World or Crumb.  Fantagraphics will be on site with copies of his screenplay for you to get signed!

Central Cinema is located at 1411 21 Avenue, in Seattle's Central District neighborhood at 21st Avenue and E. Union street. Look for the Neon Marquee!

First Look: The Grammar of Rock: Art and Artlessness in 20th Century Pop Lyrics by Alexander Theroux
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Robert CrumbComing AttractionsAlexander Theroux 28 Nov 2012 1:46 PM

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201211/2012-11-27-10.19.45.jpg

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201211/2012-11-27-10.22.07.jpg

January will bring another of our occasional non-comics books, a unique work of cultural and music criticism from the prolific mind of Alexander Theroux: The Grammar of Rock: Art and Artlessness in 20th Century Pop Lyrics is a scathing and hilarious examination of stupid rhymes, dud lines, silly titles, and multifarious other aspects of popular recordings of the past century (with examples of quality included for contrast), from ABBA to Zappa. On the jacket, more fine work by designer Emory Liu (featuring a vintage Robert Crumb drawing) — and wait until you see the endpapers. Get a taste with a free 20-page excerpt, and pre-order a copy, right here.

Terry Zwigoff's Candid Camera: an unpublished 1995 interview
Written by Larry Reid | Filed under Terry ZwigoffRobert Crumbinterviewshooray for HollywoodAline Kominsky-Crumb 27 Nov 2012 2:29 PM

The following interview was conducted by Fantagraphics Bookstore curator Larry Reid in 1995 prior to the release of Terry Zwigoff's phenomenal documentary Crumb. Small fragments of this discussion were included in a review of the film published in The Rocket magazine. [A complete, unedited transcript of this conversation can be read here. Thanks to The Comics Journal editorial intern Janice Lee for scanning and proofreading the original typewritten manuscript. – Ed.] At the time of the interview Zwigoff was still six years from directing his breakthrough feature Ghost World, but his passion for independent film, alternative comix, and anachronistic pop culture is fully evident. 

Terry Zwigoff appears in person at Central Cinema in Seattle on Thursday, November 29 for an 8PM screening of his film Bad Santa followed by a Q&A session (more info & tickets). 

Crumb_poster

LARRY REID: What were the circumstances surrounding your association with Crumb? How did you meet?

TERRY ZWIGOFF: The short answer is I met him through our mutual interest in music, much like the stuff you see in the film — late ’20s jazz, blues, ragtime music. We both collect old 78s of that type of music and we both play in this band he founded in 1972 called the Cheap Suit Serenaders.

LR: Were you familiar with his work prior to meeting him?

TZ: Yes. I actually approached him because I wanted him to draw something for this project I had in mind.

LR: How did you get involved in the Cheap Suit Serenaders?

TZ: I was friends with Crumb and also Bob Armstrong and Al Dodge. We used to hang out together a lot back in those days and they had started this band a year before. This was in 1973 and they kept after me to learn an instrument and join. Bob and Al lived together back then in this farm house in Dixon, California and somebody had come through town and left a cello there. In these old time string bands they used to play the bass parts on a cello with a bow. I was interested in this music and it wasn’t hard to do, so I quickly learned how to play it and joined up.

Cheap_Suits

LR: I noticed you didn’t use any of this Cheap Suit Serenaders in the film.

TZ: We filmed the Cheap Suit Serenaders just before Crumb moved to France, one last concert that was sort of a spur of the moment thing. I didn’t think it was too exciting, but I figured I wasn’t being too objective about it so I let my producer and the editor and a lot of other people decide. A lot of people looked at it in the rough cut version and they all thought it was pretty dull. It was basically the four of us looking down at our instruments playing. It wasn’t real exciting. 

LR: Crumb is notoriously bashful. He doesn’t like to be in the limelight. I wonder how you convinced him to cooperate with the movie.

TZ: I’m sure he thinks it was a mistake now. I don’t know. I just kept after him to do it. I was mainly interested in doing a film that involved his brothers and him. I told him repeatedly that this wasn’t just a career biography of R. Crumb, which I think had some appeal to him, but I think he also thought that even if the film got done it wouldn’t be seen by very many people, that it would be shown at a few film festivals and be put to bed. I think he’s rather dismayed that this thing has been successful.

LR: Did he actively encourage his family to cooperate in the making of the film?

TZ: No. He was pretty neutral about it. Before we even got started I told him, “Look, I really don’t even want to go out and buy any film stock until you call your mother and your brother and see if they’ll be in the film.” I’d met them. I spent a night at their house in the early ’70s. I really liked his brother Charles. I found him an endlessly fascinating guy. I liked his mother, too. I thought they were both very eccentric but very brilliant in their own way. I really enjoyed being around them and I had a memorable night at their house and I thought I hit it off with them really well. I asked him to call them and maybe this would put an end to this project right now. They’ll probably say no. They’re pretty reclusive. He called his mother from my house and he was on the phone for like 10 minutes and nobody’s answering. I said, “Hang up already. Nobody’s home.” And he said, “No. My mother usually takes about 40 or 50 rings to pick up the phone.” Sure enough, she finally picks up the phone. He says, “Remember my friend Terry? He spent the night at your house 14 or 15 years ago.” She says, “Oh yeah, yeah.” “Well, he wants to do this documentary on me and he wants you and Charles to be in the film.” She says, “Oh sure.” Just like that. Of course it wasn’t quite so easy when we went to film. But at that point he sort of had to go along with it because she’d already agreed to do it. Like I said, at that time I don’t think he thought the film would get done or that I’d get the money raised to do it. I was having a hard time. It took me 9 years to do the damn thing. Nobody was too interested in it as a commercial project, but I always had this strange idea that it was going to be a commercial film.

LR: What about Crumb’s sisters? They don’t appear in the film. I understand one of his sisters lives in Seattle.

TZ: I hear she’s a radical lesbian separatist. I don’t know. I only met her once and I didn’t get a chance to talk to her much. She and Robert were in a big fight. I called her to try to let her tell her side of things in this film, but as soon as I told her what I was up to she just said, “Forget it. I’m not going to be in any film, and if you so much as mention my name I’ll sue you,” and hung up on me. She just seemed immediately angry that there was a film happening about Robert.

LR: Do you suppose that’s a reaction to the misogynist content of some of Robert’s work?

TZ: According to him she had asked him years back for $400 a month reparations for the damage his comics had done to women. That’s one of the things I wanted to ask her on camera. You never know. Robert makes a big show of being very frank and honest and open in his work, but it’s not always quite so straightforward. He has his own motives like anybody else, and he’s comfortable with presenting his own story in a certain way that isn’t necessarily 100%, shall we say, accurate. And that’s not to say my film is either. It’s my interpretation of many facts as well. He finally saw this film and didn’t seem very happy with it. I sent him a video tape of it. I was trying to get him to hold out to see it on film in the theaters, but he kept bugging me to see it. My distributor, Sony, wanted him to see it because he was absolutely refusing to do any press on the film, saying “If he really loves the film maybe he’ll do some press.” And I said, “I wouldn’t hold your breath.” Anyway he seemed very disgruntled about the whole film. He didn’t seem to like it.

LR: Was there anything specific that …?

TZ: What he told me was that after watching the film he had to go for a walk in the woods to clear his head. And he took his hat off that he’d owned for like 20 years, his favorite hat and threw it off a cliff, and said, “I don’t want to be R. Crumb anymore.” And I said, “Well what does that mean? Did I misrepresent who R. Crumb is, or did I represent him so accurately that you don’t want to be him?” He said, “I don’t know. Here, Aline wants to talk to you.” And Aline got on the phone and she was pissed off about the way I presented her. So, you know, you can’t win. I did a film on this old blues musician, Louie Bluie, and he never spoke to me again once I made this film, and I thought it was a very flattering portrait of him. I knew enough about making this film that people would know I was Crumb’s friend, that I didn’t want to just churn out some celebratory puff piece on the guy. I wanted to be a little bit critical of him, and show some of his pros and cons, warts and all. Apparently he’s not too comfortable with anybody else doing that but himself, I guess.

LR: Crumb has another sister back East. She doesn’t appear in the film. Is there a story behind that?

TZ: I called her as well. He gave me her phone number. I’d never met her. I asked him what she was like and his take on her was that she wouldn’t be that interesting on camera, that she was rather shy and wouldn’t have much to say. But I wanted to film her anyway. Give her a chance to speak for herself instead of taking his word for it, because he misled me in a number of areas in this film actually.

LR: In reference to his family?

TZ: No, maybe misled is the wrong term but there was definitely a number of instances where, to put it simply, he could have been much more helpful than he was. He sort of dragged his feet. He was very strange about many things. Very uncooperative at times and very cooperative at other times. 

LR: You mentioned your earlier project Louie Bluie. Could you talk a little about that?

TZ: He was a blues musician. He made 2 records in his whole life. Two 78s, one tune on each side back in those days. This was 1934. He recorded for Blue Bird, which was a subsidiary of RCA Victor. He made this record called “State Street Rag” which I found a copy of. It was a virtuoso mandolin performance with a guitar backing this guy up, and the only name on the record was Louie Bluie, which was obviously a pseudonym. I found a copy of this record, and I knew a lot of other serious record collectors around the world, and I was very impressed with this record. So I asked them about this and the word was out that there was only one other copy known of the record. So this record had a mystique to me and I was very intrigued by the guy’s mandolin playing. At the time I was writing articles and liner notes about music, old time music in particular and always in the back of my mind I wanted to find out what happened to this guy. Who was this guy who had made this record years ago?  I spent a couple of years doing some detective work and wound up finding this guy still alive. He was living in Detroit, and the guy who played guitar on the record was living in Chicago, and they were still friends, were still playing music together. I flew out to meet the guy and he was such an incredible character, not only a musician, but he also kept these secret, hidden pornographic diaries, that were very similar to Crumb’s artwork. Very cartoony and very old fashioned in style. I was determined to have somebody make a film on this guy. I didn’t really consider myself a filmmaker at the time. I tried to convince a few other filmmakers I knew to make a film on him, but nobody seemed too interested and eventually I got started on it and I got in too deep and had to finish it. It led to this.

LR: That’s what got you into documentary filmmaking?

TZ: Yeah. I sort of stumbled into it backwards.

LR: What was Robert’s response to the film? I saw the poster he did for it.

Louie_Bluie

TZ: He liked it a lot. It’s probably one of the reasons he agreed to do this film.  

LR: I was curious to get your reaction to some of Crumb’s more politically incorrect comics.  Do you think his work is meant to be satirical?

Angelfood

TZ: I don’t know. You’d have to ask him. I could tell you my reaction when I first saw his work when I was a kid in college. I remember seeing that comic that was in the film, “Angelfood McSpade,” where they take her out of Africa and wind up stuffing her head in a toilet. My reaction was not only was it funny, but it was very politically correct in a broad sense, not in a knee jerk liberal sort of way, but I thought it was very much an indictment of America — an indictment of racism more than anything else. That seemed to be what it was about to me and I tried very hard in the film to present it in such a way that you could read the entire comic and have appropriate music. I was still shocked to find people who see the film find that strip racist.

LR: What’s been the reaction from your peers in the film community?

TZ: I’m really pleased that David Lynch liked it so much, because I’m a really huge fan of his stuff.

LR: David Lynch is actually credited with presenting the film on the promotional material.

TZ: Well, I originally approached him for money presuming he was a big fan of Crumb’s, which somebody had told me. Somebody told me that he had a poster in his office of Louie Bluie, and the only thing on the wall of his office was supposedly this poster. But the guy who told me was sort of a drunk in a bar I had met. He said, “Yeah, I work for him and we’re good friends.” And I thought, “Yeah, right, buddy.” But I always remembered that and years later, when we were desperate for people to hit up for money I said, “I’m gonna be in L.A., maybe I can meet with David Lynch. Maybe this story was right and if he had this poster on his wall he’s either a fan of the film, which I made, or he’s a fan of Crumb’s, who did the poster art.” So I met with David and I asked him, “So, you’re a big fan of Crumb’s?” And he said, “No. I know who he is but I’m not a big fan. I like his stuff all right.” I said, “So you like this film Louie Bluie then?” He said, “No, I can’t say I’ve heard of that.” Very strange guy. Anyway, I showed him this film, and he really liked it. That eventually led to him putting his name on the film as sort of an endorsement, which was a thrill to me. 

LR: Do you expect the film will be a commercial success at this point?

TZ: Well, it doesn’t have to make much money to be a commercial success since it cost so little to make. But, yeah, I think it’s going to do really well.

Daily OCD 11/14/12
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Wally WoodSteven WeissmanRon Regé JrRobert CrumbPeanutsLilli CarréJoost SwarteJohnny RyanJim WoodringJaime HernandezJacques BoyreauHarvey KurtzmanHal FosterGreg SadowskiGary PanterFloyd GottfredsonEllen ForneyEC ComicsDisneyDaily OCDChris WrightCharles M SchulzCharles BurnsCarl BarksBasil Wolverton 14 Nov 2012 6:20 PM

 The first rain-free (HA!) day of Online Commentaries & Diversions:

The Cartoon Utopia

• Review: The Comics Journal looks at Ron Rege Jr.'s The Cartoon Utopia. Katie Haegel writes, "Almost impossible to categorize, the work in Cartoon Utopia is both fully realized in a formal sense and wonderfully idiosyncratic. Like, it’s really out there. . . to me the work is much stronger when it depicts magic in action, which Regé accomplishes by telling us stories about historical figures and their relationship to the natural world."

• Review: Robot 6 reviews The Cartoon Utopia by Ron Rege Jr. Chris Mautner writes "with Rege drawing science, new age spiritualism, the occult, astrology and Jungian archetypes to come up with a personal grand unification theory. There are no plots or characters in the book to speak of, instead Rege merely muses and illustrates his theories, which mainly have to on the interconnectedness of all living matter."

• Plugs: Best covers of the week by Andy Khouri on Comics Alliance. Ron Regé Jr's The Cartoon Utopia: "This cover really makes me smile, and maybe gives me a sense of four-color spiritual well-being. But cartoon utopia looks more outdoorsy than I expected."

• Review: Page 45 enjoys the gentle pages of The Cartoon Utopia. Stephen L. Holland states, "Regé is back with a spiritual manifesto and ode to creativity: a singular, secular vision delivered with all the fervour of a religious sermon. It’s a call not to arms but to peace and perception unshackled from the conditioning of ages, exhorting all to see new possibilities, infinite possibilities, so enabling one’s full potential to be realised in both senses of the word."

Barack Hussein Obama

• Review: Barack Hussein Obama by Steven Weissman is reviewed on Bookslut. Martyn Pedler says, "His Obama begins as a kind of smug, stoner everyman: telling 'your momma' jokes, discussing old movies with visiting dignitaries . . .  Weissman’s pages -- drawn in ballpoint into a moleskin notebook -- use a four-panel gag structure that makes the book immediately addictive."  

• Review: Publishers Weekly takes on Barack Hussein Obama by Steven Weissman.". . . readers will likely have to be content with being one part giddy and three parts puzzled. . . Perhaps that’s Weissman’s point: that the farce of contemporary politics has the capacity to make one simultaneously giddy, confused, and disenchanted."

• Interview (audio): Speaking of Steven Weissman, Obama and the elections, he is interviewed on KPFK 90.7 FM's show Beneath the Surface

Charle Brown's Christmas Stocking  Heads or Tails

• Review: Comics Worth Reading looks at Charlie Brown's Christmas Stocking by Charles Schulz. KC Carlson says, "Charlie Brown’s Christmas Stocking is the perfect stocking stuffer for any Peanuts fan — which is probably most of the planet!"

• Review: Comics Worth Reading looks at Charlie Brown's Christmas Stocking by Charles Schulz. KC Carlson says, "Charlie Brown’s Christmas Stocking is the perfect stocking stuffer for any Peanuts fan — which is probably most of the planet!"

• Review: Cartoonist Lilli Carré finds herself Boing-Boing-ed. Brian Heater describes Heads or Tails collection, "These strips, which originally in the pages of places like The Believer and Mome, find the artist dipping her toes into new pools, the sort of freedom afforded by the low commitments of the short story form, often to truly wonderful effect."

Prison Pit Book 4  
 • Interview: Eddie Wright of MTV Geek interviews Johnny Ryan about Prison Pit 4 and why us humans love it so much. "Well, I think it connects to comic fans because it's the stripped down essence of what popular superhero comics are, which is men beating the living shit out of each other. People love it."
 
• Review: Reglar Wiglar spit takes while reading Johnny Ryan's Prison Pit 4. Chris Auman says, "This is Ryan’s depraved ID unleashed in its purest form: blood, guts, genitalia and fecal matter abound—actually they don’t abound so much as they’re sprayed all over absolutely everything in a fantastical sci-fi orgy of digustedness.
 
Came the Dawn Corpse on the Imjin! Spacehawk
 
Blacklung Dal Tokyo Spacehawk Mini
• Plugs: Best covers of the week by Andy Khouri on Comics Alliance. continues with Wallace Wood's Came the Dawn: "And while we're talking smart use of interior art, here's another superb example. This collection is all about the mastery of Wally Wood, so the cover presents a taste of his work in an uncluttered and respectful way, while also establishing a trade dress for Fantagraphics' new EC artists line." Chris Wright's Blacklung: "I see a lot of Joann Sfar in this densely demonic and stylishly constructed cover, and that's enough to convince me to investigate the work of newcomer Chris Wright." Spacehawk mini-comic by Basil Wolverton: "Basil Wolverton may be best known for his grotesque caricatures in MAD Magazine, but he worked in a lot of genres. Spacehawk was evidently one of his early works, and if this gorgeously lurid cover is anything to go by it was a delightfully daffy sci-fi pulp."

• Review: Booklist Online carves out a place in their hearts for Wallace Wood's Came the Dawn. Ray Olson writes, "This volume presenting all his horror and crime stories chronologically shows him refining what is at first a crude though powerful sense of mise-en-scène into one that is assured, highly detailed, and lightly caricatural."

• Review: AV Club reviewed all our new books Came the Dawn by Wallace Wood and Corpse on the Imjin by Harvey Kurtzman. Noel Murray writes, "in writer/artist-driven volumes, printed in black and white, with additional essays and archival material . . . [and] both immediately reveal the value in the artist-driven approach. . . Feldstein’s stories were like the comic-book equivalent to some of the seediest B-movies, and Wood’s art fit Feldstein’s text, with lots of deep shadows and wrinkles reflecting a complicated world." On Basil Wolverton Spacehawk, "As with Kurtzman’s war comics, it’s remarkable to see art so twisted applied to such vivid pulp tales—almost as though Wolverton was trying his hardest to be Alex Raymond, but couldn’t help turning out images to rival Salvador Dalí." Gary Panter's "Dal Tokyo would evolve, strip-by-strip, into a distinctly Panter-esque swirl of science fiction and pure abstraction, in keeping with the artist’s one-of-a-kind sense of design, and his pursuit of comics that resemble music and poetry."
 
•Plug: Web Cast Beacon reviews all free Halloween Comics Fest freebies. They enjoy Tales from the Crypt and Spacehawk. YES, mail in those ad coupons, people. 
 
Problematic
• Interview: Jim Woodring is interviewed by Peter Bebergal on hippies, hallucinations and all the good stuff that goes into his latest work, Problematic, a skechbook. "I frequently saw things at night — silently jabbering heads at the foot of my bed, distorted animals and objects hanging in the air over me. Often I saw a huge staring eye that made me vomit with fear."
 
Mickey Mouse: House of the Seven Haunts Mickey Mouse: High Noon at Inferno Gulch
• Plug: On Boing-Boing, Mark Frauenfelder tips his digi-hat to Floyd Gottfredson: "Gottfredson's Mickey is a plucky, goodhearted imp, bursting with energy and impulsively eager for adventure. . . [Carl] Barks will always have a special place in my heart, but I've added Gottfredson to my short list of great American cartoonists."

The Lost Art of Ah Pook

• Review: Page 45 looks at The Lost Art of Ah Pook and Stephen L. Holland ponders "Malcom Mc Neill has taken the time to put this eye-frazzling book of art – some of it sequential – into context, for the work itself is very much lost. . . There are vast scenes of ancient ritual, carnal lust and very modern warfare transcending time just as they were always intended."

Walt Disney's Uncle Scrooge: Only a Poor Old Man Action! Myster! Thrills!

• Review: Booklist Online likes Walt Disney's Uncle Scrooge: Only a Poor Old Man by Carl Barks. Ian Chipman states, "from the bitter cold of the Klondike to the bottom of the Caribbean. . . Barks’ comics are an absolute treasure that have aged remarkably well, and are finally getting wide-scale publication to introduce them to a new generation of readers."

• Review: Gene Ambaum of Unshelved happily views covers from Action! Mystery! Thrills!, edited by Greg Sadowski. "Beautiful full-color reproductions of unblemished comic book covers show the amazing art and the breadth of genres on the newsstands before Fredric Wertham screwed everything up in the 1950s. . . The colors are bright, and the art is just plain fun."

Is That All There Is? Prince Valiant 2: 1939-1940
• Review: Is That All There Is? by Joost Swarte gets reviewed on Bookgasm. JT Lindroos states, ". . . it’s impossible not to enjoy this ultimately all-too-brief volume for every single panel it presents. Swarte is consistently projecting an incisive and curious mind at work, perfectly tuned to his showstopping skills as an artist nonpareil."

• Review: Comic Book Daily reviews Prince Valiant Volume 2: 1939-1940. Scott VanderPloeg write, "All of it beautifully drawn as only Hal Foster could. Each page is a visual feast that begs to be savoured."

Sexytime The Complete Crumb Comics

• Review: Rod Lott of Bookgasm spends a long, loooong time checking out Sexytime. "[Editor Jacque Boyreau] has a knack for picking images; much like Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart and hardcore porn, Boyreau knows it when he sees it. And luckily, he shares it, this time from the visual-presentation experts of Fantagraphics Books — a match made in poster-art heaven."

• Plug: Matt Bielby writes about The Complete Crumb Volume 1 by R. Crumb in Comic Heroes Magazine: "It's incredible stuff, much of it obviously for completists only, but even the most obscure volumes track a fascinating, and developing, world view."
 
Charles Burns   Ellen ForneyJaime Hernandez
• Interview: Charles Burns is interviewed on Cult Montreal by Emily Raine about The Hive, his creepy artwork and the Black Hole movie. "It’s not my intention to be creepy per se, or that’s not the reason I’m writing stories. I think they end up being whatever they are. Maybe I’m just a creepy guy, I don’t know."

• Interview (audio): One of our favorite creators, Ellen Forney, speaks to KUOW/NPR on bi-polar disorder, comics and her new work, Marbles. 

• Plug: Jaime Hernandez will be at the Copenhagen Comics Fest in Copenhagen, Denmark in June of 2013. Mark them calendars!

Rarely Seen: Contemporary Works on Paper
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under S Clay WilsonRobert Crumbdavid sandlinCharles Burnsart showsAl Jaffee 26 Oct 2012 4:25 PM

Charles Burns

We're reminding you to check out The Art Institute of Chicago's exhibition entitled Rarely Seen: Contemporary Works on Paper, that is up from now until January 13, 2012. Organized by the Prints and Drawings Department of the museum, the show also includes comics from the Ryerson Library collection including Blexbolex, Mat Brinkman, Charles Burns, R. Crumb (Zap and Weirdo), Hairy Who, Humbug magazine, Al Jaffee, Rory Hayes, Jay Lynch, David Sandlin, Art Spiegelman, S Clay Wilson (Zap), and issues from Raw magazine.
Zap and Maus

The non-comics but still amazing part of the show includes artists such as Ed Ruscha, Martin Kippenberger, Carrol Dunham, Jim Nutt, and Romare Bearden and the whole show is located in Galleries 124–127.

"Whether centuries old or the latest contemporary creations, works on paper are extremely light sensitive and can only be displayed in the galleries for short and infrequent periods of time before they must be returned to the safety of the dark, climate-controlled vault."

So jump on the chance, Chicago, to see some brilliant works on paper in THIS lifetime.  The museum is open daily from 10:30am-5pm, open late until 8 on Wednesdays. Admission to the Art Institute of Chicago is free to Illinois residents the first and second Wednesdays of every month.

SAIC display