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Category >> Shimura Takako

Wandering Son (Hourou Musuko) Vol. 4 by Shimura Takako - Now in Stock
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Shimura Takakonew releasesMatt Thornmanga 2 May 2013 5:41 PM

Just arrived and shipping now from our mail-order department:

Wandering Son Vol. 4 by Shimura Takako

Wandering Son (放浪息子 / Hourou Musuko) Vol. 4
by Shimura Takako; edited and translated by Matt Thorn

224-page black & white 7" x 9.5" hardcover • $19.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-605-8

See Previews / Order Now

Wandering Son Vols. 4 - 6 Subscription
Price: $65.97 $52.78 POSTPAID

Wandering Son has garnered extensive praise (from the GLBT community, from manga fans, and from comics fans in general) for its uniquely funny, warm, and sensitive treatment of the travails of two Japanese tweens who find themselves coping with the knotty issue of gender identification as they slowly realize that maybe they aren't who they were meant to be.

In this latest volume, love is in the air. It's in the trees and on the streets. It's hanging on the walls and piled in great heaps on the floor. Or is it really love? These sixth and seventh graders don't really know. But something is definitely amiss. They can't sleep, and when they do sleep they have strange dreams. They get angry and cry for no reason. They blush and grin like idiots for no reason. And it isn't even spring. But the standard rules apply: If A is in love with B, B is certain to be in love with C, and C is likely to be in love with D, or possibly A.

And now it seems a good third of the alphabet is in love with our shy protagonist, Nitori-kun. But the flip-side of love is jealousy, and hate. The simple friendships of childhood develop into the complex, tense relationships of adolescence. Friends become strangers, or worse. But while everyone seems to have caught the bug — even characters whose names you can't remember — Volume 4 revolves solidly around the triangle of Nitori-kun, Takatsuki-san, and Chiba-san. Yet centrifugal force seems to push the three away from each other, and there is a certain grimness as they say goodbye to elementary school, and put on the (highly gendered) uniforms of junior high school…

Cover Uncovered: Wandering Son Vol. 5 by Shimura Takako
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Shimura TakakoMatt ThornComing Attractions 1 May 2013 1:34 PM

Wandering Son Vol. 5 by Shimura Takako

Wandering Son fans will be happy to know that we're catching up on our release schedule and Volume 5 is off to the printer now for release in August (barring any calamities), just 3 months after Volume 4, which is due later this month after a slight delay.

Which gender-specific uniform is a gender-questioning teen to wear to the junior-high entrance ceremony? Can new and old friendships survive romantic jealousy? These and other questions are addressed with uncommon insight in this volume of Shimura Takako's delightful, acclaimed dramedy.

"...[L]ike the best coming-of-age stories — comics or otherwise — Wandering Son is meticulously accurate in its details, but universal in its emotions. Gay or not, readers shouldn't find it too difficult to identify with kids who feel like their bodies and their friends are equally culpable in the worst kind of betrayal, preventing them from realizing the potential they see in themselves." – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club 

We'll have more sneak peeks for you in the weeks to come; you can pre-order the volume right now. And it's not too late to get in on our 3-volume subscription, which gets you Vols. 4-6 with a smart discount and free shipping, with each volume sent to you as soon as they are released! 

Photoset: Wandering Son Vol. 4 by Shimura Takako
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Shimura Takakopreviewsnew releasesmanga 10 Apr 2013 2:13 PM

Wandering Son (放浪息子 / Hourou Musuko) Vol. 4 
by Shimura Takako; edited and translated by Matt Thorn

224-page black & white 7” x 9.5” hardcover • $19.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-605-8

Selected views of the book (hint: they're organized right-to-left), which should be on shelves in 5-7 weeks; click thumbnails for larger versions and get more info, see more previews and pre-order your copy here:

http://www.fantagraphics.com/wanderingson4

Wandering Son (Hourou Musuko) Vol. 4 by Shimura Takako - Previews, Pre-Order
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under videoShimura Takakopreviewsnew releasesMatt Thornmanga 9 Apr 2013 5:27 PM

Wandering Son Vol. 4 by Shimura Takako

Wandering Son (放浪息子 / Hourou Musuko) Vol. 4
by Shimura Takako; edited and translated by Matt Thorn

224-page black & white 7" x 9.5" hardcover • $19.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-605-8

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

Wandering Son Vols. 4 - 6 Subscription
Price: $65.97 $52.78 POSTPAID

Wandering Son has garnered extensive praise (from the GLBT community, from manga fans, and from comics fans in general) for its uniquely funny, warm, and sensitive treatment of the travails of two Japanese tweens who find themselves coping with the knotty issue of gender identification as they slowly realize that maybe they aren't who they were meant to be.

In this latest volume, love is in the air. It's in the trees and on the streets. It's hanging on the walls and piled in great heaps on the floor. Or is it really love? These sixth and seventh graders don't really know. But something is definitely amiss. They can't sleep, and when they do sleep they have strange dreams. They get angry and cry for no reason. They blush and grin like idiots for no reason. And it isn't even spring. But the standard rules apply: If A is in love with B, B is certain to be in love with C, and C is likely to be in love with D, or possibly A.

And now it seems a good third of the alphabet is in love with our shy protagonist, Nitori-kun. But the flip-side of love is jealousy, and hate. The simple friendships of childhood develop into the complex, tense relationships of adolescence. Friends become strangers, or worse. But while everyone seems to have caught the bug — even characters whose names you can't remember — Volume 4 revolves solidly around the triangle of Nitori-kun, Takatsuki-san, and Chiba-san. Yet centrifugal force seems to push the three away from each other, and there is a certain grimness as they say goodbye to elementary school, and put on the (highly gendered) uniforms of junior high school…

25-page excerpt (download 3.9 MB PDF):

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

Praise for the Series:

One of ALA/YALSA's Top Ten Great Graphic Novels for Teens 2012

Named to the ALA GLBT Round Table's 2012 Rainbow List of recommended books for young readers

One of MTV Geek's Best Manga Series of 2011

Named "Best New Seinen/Josei: Slice of Life" on About.com Manga's 2011 Best New Manga

Named one of The Best Comics of 2011 by NPR - Monkey See

First Look & Excerpt: Wandering Son Vol. 4 by Shimura Takako
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Shimura TakakoMatt ThornmangaComing Attractions 19 Mar 2013 1:10 PM

Wandering Son Vol. 4

Wandering Son Vol. 4 pages

Wandering Son fans, we know you've been jumping up and down in anticipation of the new volume of Shimura Takako's bittersweet, beautifully told saga of two gender-questioning teens and their friends & family. Well, this is either wonderful news or agonizing torture for you: we got our advance copies of Volume 4, which means it should be on shelves in June (and available from us a bit sooner)!

As the kids get older and deeper into the throes of adolescence, the more complex their lives get and the deeper the drama gets! We've posted the entire first chapter for you to read for free, and you can pre-order your copy right here.

(You can also save some money and be guaranteed to receive the next 3 volumes as soon as they're available with our post-paid, 20%-discounted 3-volume subscription!)

Daily OCD: 2/20/13
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Tom KaczynskiShimura TakakoRon Regé JrRich TommasoNo Straight LinesMoto HagioJustin HallGeorge HerrimanDaily OCDBill Griffith 20 Feb 2013 7:17 PM

The newest office of Online Commentaries & Diversions: 

The Heart of Thomas

• Review: Glen Weldon from NPR Books pontificates on the wondrous LGBT-centric graphic novels and reviewed Moto Hagio's The Heart of Thomas "…whenever the emotions roiling just under her narrative's surface threaten to overtake her characters, Hagio's otherwise exacting and detailed art goes expressively feathery at the edges, like a ghost vanishing softly into the ether."

• Review: Fantasy Book Review reviews The Heart of Thomas by Moto Hagio. "This is not an uplifting tale until at the end, but it is a very well drawn period manga that gives glimpses of what boys that age would have felt being in such an enclosed place. There is a sense of Oscar Wilde about the whole school, but that depends on your impression of the piece," writes Sandra Scholes.

 Wandering Son Vol. 1 No Straight Lines

• Review: Glen Weldon from NPR Books pontificates on the wondrous LGBT-centric graphic novels and reviewed Wandering Son Vol. 1 by Shimura Takako. "Takako presents their stories with admirable sensitivity and restraint.…"

• Review: Glen Weldon from NPR Books pontificates on the wondrous LGBT-centric graphic novels and reviewed No Straight Lines edited by Justin Hall. "From Stonewall and the AIDS crisis to the terrifying specter of domesticity, this clear-eyed, unsentimental collection demonstrates the extent to which, for LGBT people, the personal and the political have always bled together."

The Cartoon Utopia

• Review: Comics Bulletin looks at The Cartoon Utopia by Ron Regé Jr. "With this book, Ron Regé has emerged as comics' answer to Walt Whitman.…Thankfully, Regé's overarching concept -- that a vivid and transcendent comic book experience is within our grasp, if we're willing -- is not a hard one to understand at all." says R.J. Ryan. 

The Cavalier Mr. Thompson

• Review: Grovel and Andy Shaw look at The Cavalier Mr. Thompson by Rich Tommaso. "The story is wonderfully told. It has the feel of a classic movie, something from a bygone era…complete with the usual cast of chancers, crooks and have-a-go heroes.…It’s a thoroughly enjoyable book, with a stunning backdrop and a deeply believable and interesting cast."

Bill Griffith

• Plug: Alan Wood asks R. Crumb about Bill Griffith. Crumb stated, "He's about the only guy in America who's doing a readable, interesting daily comic strip for daily newspapers. He' s the only one left, as far as I know. I don't know of any others."

Krazy Kat

• Review: Dutch magazine Knack Focus recently ran a review of George Herriman 's work. Kim Thompson read it, translated it in his synapse-heavy polyglottal mind and said this: "Here's a nice five-star review (in Dutch) of the gorgeous new French edition of KRAZY KAT, created from the Fantagraphics edition. The article is mostly a pocket summary of KRAZY, although it does point out that Herriman's unique approach to language have made the strip virtually untranslatable (forcing European readers to fall back on the English language versions)... until, at least for francophones, now."

 

Daily OCD 2/6/2013
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Wally WoodTom KaczynskiThe Comics JournalSteven BrowerSpain RodriguezspainShimura TakakoRon Regé JrRichard SalaMoto HagioMort MeskinLove and RocketsLilli CarréJustin HallJoost SwarteJames RombergerJaime HernandezHarvey KurtzmanGilbert HernandezEd PiskorEC ComicsDavid WojnarowiczDash ShawDaily OCDChuck ForsmanCharles M SchulzCharles Burns 7 Feb 2013 12:45 AM

The most intricate house sigil of Online Commentaries & Diversions:

7 Miles a Second  Beta Testing the Apocalypse

• Review: The LA Times enjoys their reading of 7 Miles a Second by David Wojnarowicz, James Romberger and Marguerite Van Cook. "Part of the power of Wojnarowicz’s work is that he dealt with such concepts accessibly; he didn’t have time to waste. It was the source of his restless imagination, his willingness to experiment with unexpected forms," writes David L. Ulin.

• Plug: NY1 (New York 1) and Don Kois talk about 7 Miles a Second David Wojnarowicz, James Romberger and Marguerite Van Cook. "…this graphic novel is an amazing document of the gaudy, dangerous world of clients and johns and artists and thugs downtown in the 1980s."

• Interview: Nick Hanover of Comics Bulletin interviews Tom Kaczynski on Beta Testing the Apocalypse. Kacyznski writes, "All these stories started to feel like they were linked and eventually things like the noise stories and the themes of sound started to kind of inject themselves into the rest of the materialI'm interested in utopias, and utopian societies. And a lot of what Communism is is essentially an attempted utopia that failed. "

Wandering Son   Wandering Son Vol.3

• Review:  Terry Hong of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center writes about Wandering Son Vols. 2 and 3 by Shimura Takako. "The discordant contrast of Shimura’s winsome visuals against the sharp growing pains of her tweenagers imbues her series with urgent solemnity."

Delphine Heads or Tails

• Review: Art Rocker and Wee Claire look at Delphine by Richard Sala. "Delphine is arguably Richard Sala's darkest tale to date and a brilliant gateway for those new to his whimsical storytelling style…There are comparisons to Snow White dotted throughout the story but Sala's indie-goth execution tinged with a 70s horror atmosphere make for a much more interesting tale."

• Review: The Toronto Star reads and reviews our books like Heads or Tails by Lilli Carré. "Carré’s work, fittingly titled Heads or Tails, probes choice, ambivalence and fate; in her stories, there’s a flip side to everything, rendered in full and brilliant colour,"says Laura Kane.

• Review: Noah Bertlatsky on the Hooded Utilitarian looks at the art of Lilli Carré comics from Heads or Tails through the gendered lens of Bart Beaty. "If art is both hyperbolic masculine swagger and small-scale feminized detail, though, for Carré the form that mediates between the two is something that looks a lot like comics."

TJ 302 cover

• Interview (partial): Dan Nadel of The Comics Journal posts part of the interview of Jacqes Tardi by Kim Thompson from TCJ 302.

• Plug: "It's astonishing to me that The Comics Journal will have outlasted Wizard, Hero Illustrated and CBG, but I'm happy for that fact," says former TCJ editor, Tom Spurgeon. TCJ 302 was co-edited by Kristy Valenti and Mike Dean.

From Shadow to Light Out of the Shadows  

• Review: Mort Meskin gets the full hello-how-are-ya when his collections are reviewed, edited by Steven Brower. "Out of the Shadows was such an enjoyable find that when it ended we were hungry for more of Meskin’s work." So Scoop turns to From Shadow to Light, "Meskin is so skilled in portraying body language that he doesn’t need a face to tell us know exactly what someone is thinking…a thorough and very detailed look at a man’s life, his family and the work he valued.

• Plug: Spain Rodriguez and Mort Meskin have been automatically inducted into the Eisner Hall of Fame as posted on The Beat. And of course, Fantagraphics will be at San Diego Comic Con with copies of their books, Cruisin' with the Hound and Out of the Shadows. Other Fantagraphics' greats have been nominated as well like Trina Robbins , Bill Griffith, Jacques Tardi and Gary Panter.

Peanuts Every Sunday The End of the Fucking World

• Plug: Kotaku and Evan Narcisse get teary-eyed over Peanuts Every Sunday by Charles M. Schulz. "The daily black-and-white comics were great but the full-color Sunday strips gave Schulz a big, beautiful canvas to let his expert pacing and amazing linework breathe in a rainbow of color…it's really the entire mix of characters …and their mix of adult prickliness and childlike naiveté that made Charles Schulz's iconic comics strips so timeless."

• Interview: MTV Geek interviews Charles Forsman about The End of the Fucking World and life. Forsman answers Eddie Wright's question, "I do love sparse cartooning. Like Schulz which I think comes through in mine a bit. I've heard people descibe this stuff as "Peanuts" all grown-up and violent."

Hip Hop Family Tree

• Review: Nerds of a Feather look at Ed Piskor's Hip Hop Family Tree, to be printed later this year. Philippe Duhart gives it a rare 10 out of 10, "…those familiar with the genre can attest, it's difficult to separate the music from other elements of the "culture" -- b-boying, graffiti, lingo, style. Piskor demonstrates an affectionate respect for the interrelations between these phenomenon, telling a story of a culture, rather than a musical genre."

The Heart of Thomas New School

• Review: Anime News Network reviews and givest The Heart of Thomas by Moto Hagio an 'A-'. Rebecca Silverman writes, "The Heart of Thomas may be the grandmother of the boys' love genre, but it would be shortsighted to simply classify it as such…Heartfelt and dreamlike, it is a window into the lives of those affected by the sudden death of one of their own."

• Plug: Publishers Weekly lists their top 10 most anticipated books of the spring. Dash Shaw's New School makes the list. They also mention Good Dog; Wake Up, Percy Gloom; Lost Cat; and Fran.

The Cartoon Utopia

• Review: The Toronto Star reads and reviews our books like The Cartoon Utopia by Ron Regé, Jr. The Cartoon Utopia "is visionary, but also unmistakably influenced by ’70s psychedelia… the thrilling, one-of-a-kind art will stretch your imagination and, at the very least, make you believe in the power of comics to explore the impossible," writes Laura Kane.

Corpse on the Imjin! Came the Dawn

• Review: The Toronto Star reads and reviews our books like Came the Dawn by Wallace Wood and Corpse on the Imjin! by Harvey Kurtzman. Laura Kane writes, "In dark shadows, bold lines and intense close-ups, [Wallace Wood] perfectly illustrates the stories — which ran the gamut from B-horror to confronting social issues such as racism, anti-Semitism and sexism." As for Corpse on the Imjin!, "In these violent, blood-spattered pages, [Kurtzman] lays bare the devastation of war."

• Review/Commentary: Eddie Campbell on The Comics Journal compares and contrasts recent reviews of the EC Comics being reprinted at Fantagraphics and how critics struggle and feel the need to analyze comics at literature. Distilling the article to a mere quote is abhorrent so we tried but please read it. "If comics are any kind of art at all, it’s the art of ordinary people. With regard to Kurtzman’s war comics, don’t forget that the artists on those books were nearer to the real thing than you and I will ever be."

No Straight Lines Love and Rockets New Stories 4 Joost Swarte

• Review: Elliot Bay Books reviews No Straight Lines, edited by Justin Hall. Dave Wheeler writes, "Impossible to be even close to a complete collection of the genre, No Straight Lines instead seeks to trace the parallel trajectories toward visibility for both comics and LGBTQ identities…these are the stories of real people, or they are people transfigured by folklore."

• Plug: Greg Akers of the Memphis Flyer enjoyed reading Love and Rockets: New Stories #4 by Jaime Hernandez and Gilbert Hernandez. "Jaime breaks me every time. The conclusion to "The Love Bunglers" is an all-time great. Tears in my eyes, destroyed emotionally."

• Plug: Joost Swarte sings the blues at Angouleme, thanks to Paul Karasik.

Black Hole

• Review: SequArt looks at Black Hole by Charles Burns. Faith Brody Patane point out "…it’s a story that’s meant to be devoured with intent to possibly make you have freaky nightmares. Black Hole is one of those stories that lingers long after you read it…This group of teens is far from Riverdale and far more desperate."

Daily OCD 1/29/13
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Walt KellyTom KaczynskiThe Comics JournalShimura TakakoRichard SalaMoto Hagiomaurice fucking sendakLove and RocketsLos Bros HernandezLinda MedleyLilli CarréJohnny RyanJasonJames RombergerJaime HernandezHal FosterGilbert HernandezGary PanterErnie BushmillerDavid WojnarowiczDash ShawDame DarcyDaily OCDChuck ForsmanChris WrightCharles M SchulzCarol TylerBlazing CombatBlabBasil WolvertonAlexander Theroux 29 Jan 2013 6:30 PM

The most checked-out book of Online Commentaries & Diversions: 

Prison Pit Book 4

• Review: Prison Pit Book 4 by Johnny Ryan is getting the hits this week. Gene Ambaum of Unshelved writes, "This reminds me of nothing as much as the violent, disturbed drawings I’ve seen in some middle-school boys’ notebooks. Next year, I’m going to tell [my daughter] it’s like a mind-map for her male classmates. If she believes me, I hope we can put off conversations about her dating for a few extra years."

• Review: Mark L. Miller of Ain't It Cool News enjoys Johnny Ryan's latest Prison Pit Book 4. "This is the kind of sick shit that would warrant a trip to the school counselor if you found this crudely etched into the back of your child’s Trapper Keeper. Johnny Ryan once again taps into something primal and pure with his crude drawings of gore, sex, and violence."

• Review: The Quietus and Mat Colgate leaf through some of the best books of 2012 including Prison Pit Book 4 by Johnny Ryan. "Every second spent reading 'Prison Pit' is a joy. A violent, scatological, faecal matter, blood and pus smeared hoot.…There's something brilliantly subversive about 'Prison Pit'," chuckles Colgate.

TCJ 302

• Review: The AV Club checks out some new releases like The Comics Journal 302, co-edited by Kristy Valenti and Mike Dean. Noel Murray states, "Business as usual for a publication that was treating the cultural significance of comics as a known fact decades before graphic novels were making the bestseller list."

7 Miles a Second

• Review: The Quietus and Mat Colgate leaf through some of the January releases including 7 Miles a Second by David Wojnarowicz, James Romberger and Marguerite Van Cook. Colgate states, "Wojnarowicz was fearless about his artistry and aware that the mere facts of a life are barely a percent of the whole, preferring to reveal the truth through dreams, violent fantasy and allusion. 7 Miles a Second is a shocking book, but for all the right reasons."

• Review: Forbidden Planet's Daily Planet looks at some new releases from Fantagraphics like 7 Miles a Second by David Wojnarowicz, James Romberger and Marguerite Van Cook. Matthew Rosenbery states, "The stories serve as beautiful and brutal snapshots of a brilliant life lived too hard and extinguished too soon. It is not too much to say that we all owe a great cultural debt to Mr. Wojnarowicz and picking up this book and trying to understanding his life is a good first step toward understanding that debt."

Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 2 Tales Designed to Thrizzle Volume 1

• Review: Forbidden Planet's Daily Planet looks at some new releases from Fantagraphics. Tales Designed to Thrizzle Volumes 1 and 2 by Michael Kupperman makes Matthew Rosenberg laugh, "I easily put it alongside works like The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy or Calvin & Hobbes in terms of books I can revisit and still completely lose myself in over and over again."

• Review: Comics Bulletin looks at Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 2 by Michael Kupperman. Daniel Elkin finds it smirk-worthy: "Tales Designed to Thrizzle Volume Two has its place in the construct. It is 'silver and exact' like Sylvia Plath's Mirror and reflects the 'terrible fish' that has become our understandings of the world."

The Heart of Thomas

• Review: The Heart of Thomas by Moto Hagio gets the a full styling by Manga Bookshelf. Melinda Beasi writes "…teens and pre-teens who go to regular, modern public schools essentially live in their own society that is very much separate from the rest of the world, and it’s a society that is, frankly, terrifying…it views that kind of sacrifice as… well, ultimately pointless…Hagio makes it clear that running away is not the answer." Melinda continues on the book as a whole, "I also expected it to be very dated and I thought the story might not appeal to my tastes as a modern fan. Instead, I found it to be both beautiful and emotionally resonant to an extent I’ve rarely experienced—especially in [Boy's Love] manga. This is a book I’d wholeheartedly recommend to any comics fan, without reservation. It’s an absolute treasure."

• Review: The AV Club checks out some new releases like The Heart of Thomas by Moto Hagio. "with small cliffhangers at the end of each chapter to pull readers deeper into Hagio’s fantasyland. The intrigue deepens page by page (and this is a 500-page novel, mind), while Hagio develops her bracingly radical vision of a mini-society where homosexual attraction is so commonplace as to be the norm…" writes Noel Murray.

You'll Never Know: Book 3

• Review: You'll Never Know Book Three: A Soldier's Heart by Carol Tyler gets a thorough and thoughtful review from Rob Clough on High-Low. "…this sounds a bit all over the map, that's because it is, but Tyler slowly pulls the strings of her narrative taut in some astonishing ways, especially in the third volume…It's a remarkable example of an artist being totally honest about their own feelings of grief and joy in a manner that provokes growth and fully embraces the relationship between the two."

Beta Testing The Apocalypse Delphine Ralph Azham Book 1

• Review: Dylan Thomas of Minneapolis' Southwest Journal looks at Tom Kaczynski's Best Testing the Apocalypse. "Kaczynski uses science fiction as a microscope, poking at contemporary anxieties like blooming bacteria in a Petri dish. The genre provides the room he needs to examine the systems that shape our lives, whether they be architecture, urban design or capitalism."

• Review: Hillary Brown of Paste enjoys the dark ride of Delphine by Richard Sala. "Sala’s rules; like testing gravity by dropping a penny from a building, the coin’s never going to fall up. Delphine is worth reading at least twice. Sala’s spell is strong."

• Review: SF Signal looks at Ralph Azham Volume 1: "Why Would You Lie to Someone You Love?" by Lewis Trondheim. "His humanoid animals, a staple of his work, place the story squarely into fantasy – along with the medieval-esque village and the magic – but the wry humor gives the story a modern feel" says Carrie Cuinn.
 
Lost Cat New School

• Plug: Paste Magazine looks forward to the most anticipated books of 2013. These include Lost Cat by Jason. "The cranky Norwegian has seemed to soften a bit as he’s aged, and the description (detective searches for potential soulmate) goes along with that impression," write Hillary Brown. On Dash Shaw's New School and 3 New Stories. "In a few short years, Dash Shaw has proven himself a restless artist, committed to pushing what comics can do and what his own talents can accomplish… it’s nice to see him return with two works, no less." 

• Plug: Publishers Weekly also released a list of the most anticipated books of 2013 which included Dash Shaw's New School. "The art disorients the reader and brings you right inside the troubled protagonists’ mind."

• Interview (video): Speaking of Dash, he recently spent a few days at Sundance for his Sigur Ros animated music video. A very short interview awaits you.

 Estonia The Strange Case of Edward Gorey

• Interview: Alexander Theroux is interviewed on Rain Taxi by Paul Maliszewski. Theroux, author of Estonia , The Strange Case of Edward Gorey , Laura Warholic and more states, "Revenge—I have written about this somewhere before—is the main subject of the modern novel, if it isn’t that of literature in general."

Dal Tokyo Blazing Combat

• Review: The Los Angeles Review of Books looks at Gary Panter's Dal Tokyo. Nicole Rudick writes "Panter’s medium is comics rather than architecture, but the effect of his work is the same: Dal Tokyo questions accepted notions of structure and meaning — taking them not as truth but as convention — and, taking Brecht’s advice, builds not 'on the good old days, but on the bad new ones.' "

Review: The Weekly Crisis dissects the first panel of "Landscape!" a comic within Blazing Combat and how it contributed to the end of the series coinciding with the Vietnam War. Dan Hill states "At a time when an anti-war stance was tantamount to being a traitor to your country, it was also the beginning of comics beginning to tackle the uglier aspects of war, telling us exactly ‘how it is’. It showed us that comics could discuss and show issues more related to the real world than capes, tights and outlandish fantasy."
 
Castle Waiting Blacklung
• Review: Paste Magazine looks at Linda Medley's Castle Waiting Vol. 1 (softcover). Sean Edgar writes, "Ultimately, Castle Waiting is an elegantly-written, uplifting take on European folklore supported by sterling art. As long as voices as talented and creative as Medley’s are around, stories like this will always be timeless."

• Interview: Robin McConnell of Inkstuds interviews Chris Wright for a second time, this time on his most recent graphic novel, Blacklung.

Love and Rockets: New Stories #5
 
• Review (audio): Andy and Derek of the Comics Alternative podcast review Love and Rockets: New Stories #5 by Gilbert and Jaime Heranandez.
 Wandering Son 2 Wandering Son 3 No Straight Lines

• Plug: The GLBT Roundtable's Rainbow Project lists best books for teens that encapsulate the GLBT-community issues. The Rainbow Project lists Shimura Takako's Wandering Son series as part of the Top Ten Books of 2012 as the characters "tackle problems such as gender identity, love, social acceptance, and puberty."

• Plug: The GLBT Roundtable also released a list of the best books for adults, Over the Rainbow, and the comics anthology No Straight Lines, edited by Justin Hall, was listed in the top ten. 

Heads or Tails Pogo Vol. 2 Spacehawk

• Interview: Tim O'Shea interviews Lilli Carré for Comic Book Resources on her process with Heads or Tails. "I went through all my stuff and arranged them not chronologically, but by how they each fed into each other… I don’t know if the dialogue I write or the way I draw is particularly well-crafted or not, but with both the art and dialogue I go with my gut and do what feels natural to me."

• Review: New York Journal of Books takes a turn around the room with The Complete Syndicated Pogo Vol 2 "Bona Fide Balderdash" by Walt Kelly. Mark Squirek writes, "Like the greatest of myths and fables, Pogo travels across time and ages. It is a world much like that of Aesop and trickster tales. It is a world capable of making a six year old smile with glee, a hipster smirk whether they want to or not, and a college professor laugh out loud… So graceful is his work with pencil and pen that you could loose yourself for hours in shear artistry of the panels he constructs."

• Plug: Westfield Blog suggests some books for you like The Complete Syndicated Pogo Vol 2 "Bona Fide Balderdash" by Walt Kelly."Walt Kelly’s art is a joy to look at and his dialogue and word play is just stunning. Pogo is a strip that you get more and more out of the more you read it," states Wayne Markley. And for Basil Wolverton's Spacehawk, "In the history of comics, there are very few, if any, that had such a unique style as Wolverton which, while as far away as you can get from classic illustrators like Raymond or Foster, it is every bit as good in its own unique way."

Prince Valiant 6 Nancy Likes Christmas The End of the Fucking World

• Review: HeroesOnline looks at the latest Prince Valiant Vol. 6: 1947-1948. Andy writes "…the pace is fast, the action and intrigue are plenty and the violence is un-apologetically bloody. In addition, Foster was a stickler for historical accuracy in depicting everyday life in the 6th century."

• Review: Ryan Sands of Same Hat writes his 'belated' best of list which inludes Nancy Likes Christmas by Ernie Bushmiller and The End of the Fucking World by Charles Foresman.

 Peanuts Every Sunday  Charlie Brown's Christmas Stocking

• Plug: Tom Spurgeon announced the Peanuts Every Sunday book on Comics Reporter. More information tomorrow.

• Review: Allyn Gibson reviews Charles Schulz Charlie Brown's Christmas Stocking. "The artwork for these stories is vintage 1960s Schulz…It’s a charming little piece of Peanuts ephemera, and Fantagraphics gives it a nice presentation."

 Blab Blood Orange

• Plug: Robot6 talks about Great but Forgotten anthologies. Fantagraphics' "Zero Zero ran for 27 issues, a longer run than most of the anthologies on this list received, but I don’t think it’s ever gotten its due as the truly great anthology of the ’90s." Chris Mautner continues with Blab, "I do think people have forgotten how cutting edge and exemplary an anthology Blab was, at least initially. For a while there it was running some seriously incredible work, like Al Columbia’s apocalyptic The Trumpets They Played, and the Jimmy Corrigan story that eventually became Acme Novelty #10, easily the most harrowing and darkest material Ware has produced to date." And finally Blood Orange, "Lasting a mere four issues, Blood Orange offered a mind-bending array of cutting-edge comics." WORRY NOT, we still have issues from some of these.

• Plug (video): Dame Darcy makes a wicked mural.

Cover Uncovered: Wandering Son Vol. 4 by Shimura Takako
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Shimura TakakoMatt ThornComing Attractions 15 Jan 2013 1:49 PM

Wandering Son Vol. 4 by Shimura Takako

Wandering Son fans rejoice — the latest volume of Shimura Takako's highly addictive manga series has been bundled off to the printer for release this Spring! This final version of the cover isn't too different from the version that's already been floating around out there — we just went with brown instead of grey for the spine and title logo — but we're excited to share it with you nonetheless. In this volume things are starting to get a little more fraught as our cast edges into adolescence and feelings start to get more complicated. Don't forget, we're still offering our Vols. 4-6 subscription  — save money and automatically receive the next 3 volumes as soon as they're released!

Daily OCD 1/7/13
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Shimura TakakoRon Regé JrRichard SalaPat ThomasMoto HagioLove and RocketsLilli CarréJosh SimmonsJoost SwarteJohnny RyanJoe KubertJoe DalyJim WoodringJasonJames RombergerJaime HernandezJacques TardiInio AsanoHal FosterGilbert HernandezGary PanterDavid WojnarowiczDaily OCDCrockett JohnsonChris WrightBasil Wolverton 7 Jan 2013 3:54 PM

The sweetest tea of Online Commentaries & Diversions: 

The Heart of Thomas

• Review: The Atlantic writes on The Heart of Thomas by Moto Hagio. Noah Berlatsky looks at it from every angle, "The boys' love genre, then, freed Hagio and her audience to cross and recross boundaries of identity, sexuality, and gender…Bodies and character flicker in and out, a sequence of surfaces, tied together less by narrative than by the heightened emotions of melodrama—jealousy, anger, trauma, desire, friendship, and love in the heart of Thomas."

• Plug: David Brothers and Comics Alliance posts a preview of The Heart of Thomas plus a few thoughts on Moto Hagio that works outside of his comfort zone. "What there is, though, is drama. No -- it has melodrama…the sheer level of theatrical drama in this book is enough to keep a skeptic hooked…Heart of Thomas is a trip, and a good one. I wasn't expecting to enjoy it as much as I did, and it was nice to enjoy something outside of my usual comfort zones."

• Plug: Johanna Carlson of Comics Worth Reading is ready for the world to read The Heart of Thomas by Moto Hagio. "This solid hardcover contains the entire classic shojo series, and it’s a must-read for anyone interested in the development of the genre. It’s also surprisingly gripping in its own right…"

• Plug: Brigid Alverson starts the year off right with The Heart of Thomas by Moto Hagio on MTV Geek.

Problematic 7 Miles a Second

• Review: Chris Mautner interviews Jim Woodring's Problematic on Robot 6. "Problematic is both a stroll through Woodring’s unique imagination and an opportunity to see his working process" and Woodring thinks "having a pocket sketchbook on me at all times means fleeting impressions and ideas that might otherwise be lost are capturedEverything I draw is reality-based."

• Plug: BoingBoing is ready for Jim Woodring's Problematic to come out. "There are many reasons to be grateful to be alive, and owning this brand new facsimile edition of artist Jim Woodring's Moleskine sketchbooks is as good as any," says Mark Frauenfelder.

• Interview/Review: Publishers Weekly looks at 7 Miles a Second, and Grace Bello interviews artists James Romberger and Marguerite Van Cook on writer David Wojnarowicz, the gay activist who wrote the comic before dying of AIDS-related complications. Romberger is quoted, "It really is so much about what David was about, channeling his anger into a statement…" "The gay experience is not only 'less invisible'—it’s on prime time TV. But the feral energy and raw hunger in 7 Miles a Second still resonate" states Bello.

Weird Horrors and Other Stories

• Review: Jason Sacks of Comics Bulletin presents 20 Facts and Opinions on Joe Kubert's Weird Horrors & Daring Adventures, edited by Bill Schelly. "Schelly and the always sterling Fantagraphics production team do a nice job of preserving the look and feel of these comics…the master cartoonist was equally at home doing broad humor as intense action/adventure as well as lighter, Archie-style teen humor."

Prison Pit 4

• Review: Comics Alliance and Caleb Goellner continues their Best of 2012 series with Prison Pit Book 4 by Johnny Ryan. "It was like looking at a baby book of bad ideas from boyhood as an adult who'd learned to function in polite society…it's bliss to kick back and watch humankind's most immature impulses play out in the safety of Ryan's Prison Pit."

• Review: The Weekly Crisis lists its Top 10 books of 2012 and Johnny Ryan's Prison Pit Book 4 lands at #2. Taylor Pithers states "he is interested in is fighting and hyper violence, which to be fair, would be more acceptable to the masses if it was drawn by Ivan Reis or another one of Geoff Johns' collaborators…Honestly, there isn't a comic that has given me more belly laughs in my entire life."

• Review: Comiks Debris posts its Best of 2012 books and Johnny Ryan's Prison Pit Book 4 comes in as #8. Marc-Oliver Frisch writes "structurally, Prison Pit reminds me a lot of Jarmusch's The Limits of Control… The artwork looks ugly, crude and perfunctory. The characters eat, shit, fuck and, most of all, fight their way through the book…It's one mean, sick motherfucker of a comic, and I can't wait what happens next."

• Plug: Tucker Stone on The Comics Journal rates his top comics of 2012. Prison Pit Book 4 by Johnny Ryan comes in at 18. "…it’s hard to explain how intense the surprise was for a follower of Angry Youth and Ryan’s humiliation comics to open that first Prison Pit…"

Delphine Spacehawk

• Review: Delphine by Richard Sala gets reviewed on Comic Book Resources. Kelly Thompson claims, "One part comic book and one part fever dream…Rare is the opportunity that I'm so engaged I consider yelling at an inanimate object such as a book…Delphine is also a nice contrast to the unrelentingly bright and happy fairy tales that are so often seen when it comes to modern reinterpretations of those early dark tales."

• Review: The New York Journal of Books thumbs through Spacehawk by Basil Wolverton. "Basil Wolverton rises to the occasion and gives the reader a detailed and hilarious look at megalomania while throwing in some fantastic aerial fight scenes…Fantagraphics Publishing brings Wolverton’s art to the reader in as detailed and perfect a form as possible. Each wave of space, every geometric shape and all the incredibly ugly aliens look better than they ever have in their entire lives," writes Mark Squirek.

• Review: Crave Online looks at Spacehawk by Basil Wolverton. "This is the medium when there were no rules, no event series and no giant corporations standing watch over what the creators were doing. If you love the Golden Age, science fiction and adventure, nothing compares to the world Basil Wolverton put together for Spacehawk," writes Iann Robinson.

The Furry Trap  Heads or Tails   

• Review: The Weekly Crisis lists its Top 10 books of 2012 and Josh Simmon's The Furry Trap ranks as #1. Taylor Pithers writes, "The Furry Trap is pure exploitation; violent, disgusting, and bound to make you feel uncomfortable but it also does what the best fiction is meant to, it stays with you long after you have put the book down…Simmons is a cartoonist of the highest caliber. This is not a book for the faint hearted, but if you can stomach it will be a true experience."

• Review: NPR and Glen Weldon write on Books of 2012 they haven't told you about. Heads or Tails by Lilli Carré "The whole collection has the feel of a dream in which remembering how to fly is as simple as forgetting that you can't."

 • Review: Noel Murray and The A.V. Club write about the Top 10 Fiction books of 2012. Heads or Tails comes in at #7. "Lilli Carré’s stories are like dreamy what-ifs that take the familiar and tweak it."

• Plug: Whitney Matheson of USA Today's Popcandy mentions her favorite things including Heads or Tails by Lilli Carré: "…a lovely volume from one of my favorite cartoonists that includes several beautifully strange short stories. I'm a longtime fan and even have a framed Carre print hanging in the baby's room."

• Plug: Chris Mautner of Comic Book Resources lists his Best reprint/reissue series of 2012 with many Fantagraphics titles: Spacehawk by Basil Wolverton as #1. "I had more fun reading this than just about anything else this year." #2 was Dal Tokyo by Gary Panter, # 3 was Is That All There Is? by Joost Swarte. #5 was Heads or Tails by Lilli Carré. The Furry Trap by Josh Simmons made the list at #10.

The Cartoon Utopia Blacklung Athos in America

• Interview: The Comics Journal interviews Ron Regé, Jr. on The Cartoon Utopia, evolving comics and more. Regé on his book, "People should use bibilomancy—randomly opening to a page—to access the information if they’d like. Nothing in the book tells you to treat it that way, but I think people will get the idea anyway."

• Interview (audio): Erik Davis and Expanding Mind interview Ron Regé, Jr. on the radio about The Cartoon Utopia! Adventure indeed. 

• Review: Comics Bulletin and Jason Sacks investigate Blacklung. "Chris Wright seems to channel Melville or Conrad in this book as he explores the uniquely idiosyncratic world that he creates…nobody has ever created characters that look like the characters in this book, with their strange faces and lumpy, malformed bodies…This slim graphic novel is a dense read unlike anything else you've read in comics."

• Review: Noel Murray and The A.V. Club write about the Top 10 Fiction books of 2012. Athos in America is #5. "Jason’s blank-faced animal-headed characters reveal unexpectedly deep passion via deadpan tales of dislocation."

Love and Rockets: New Stories #5

• Review: Sonia Harris of Comics Book Resources places Love and Rockets: New Stories #5 by Jaime Hernandez and Gilbert Hernandez as #5 of her Top 16 Books of 2012. Harris says, "Watching these people’s lives change on the page, along with the gradual evolution of the Hernandez brother’s art and writing is the closest thing to real life created in a comic book. Nothing on the screen could ever compare to the life and complexity these two men breathe into their characters year after year with such consistent quality and affection."
 
• Plug: Tucker Stone on The Comics Journal rates his top comics of 2012. Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez have cause to celebrate as Love and Rockets:New Stories #5 makes it at #13. "It was great, and of course it was, because it’s them, and it was great for all the same reasons you’d expect it to be…
 
Wandering Son Volume 1 Wandering Son Volume 2 Wandering Son Volume 3

• Review: NPR and Glen Weldon write on Books of 2012 they haven't told you about like Wandering Son by Takako Shimura. "Wandering Son is not the kind of manga in which a happy ending is guaranteed… You'll thus be grateful for the moments of realistic, untempered joy Shimura allows her two protagonists here, as you wait with nervous anticipations for the travails that lie ahead for them…"

• Review: Manga Bookshelf recounts its Favorite Manga Series of 2012 including Wandering Son by Takako Shimura. "This series about two transgender children in modern-day Japan has been a favorite since it debuted last year thanks to its delicate, truthful storytelling and understated artwork…Its most recent volume (three) goes a bit darker and deeper, only heightening my interest in the series" says Melinda Beasi.

Corpse on the Imjin! Nancy Likes Christmas

• Review: Noel Murray and The A.V. Club write about the Top 5 Archival books of 2012. Harvey Kurtzman's Corpse on the Imjin! landed at #1. "Kurtzman book is especially stunning, almost like a coffee-table art-book combined with a literary collection…an anthology with a strong individual perspective that tries to tell the truth about what war is like from the point of view of the people on both sides of the battlefield."

• Review: Noel Murray and The A.V. Club write about the Top 5 Archival books of 2012. Ernie Bushmiller's Nancy Is Happy: Complete Dailies 1946-48: "bristle-headed Nancy and poor slob Sluggo inadvertently irritate the grown-ups in their lives, in scenarios that Bushmiller illustrated with absurd visual gags—so basic that anyone, anywhere, at any time, could get the joke."

The Clouds Above Prince Valiant Vol. 1

• Review: Nick Gazin of VICE has a pretty fuckin' fancy (his words) edition of The Clouds Above by Jordan Crane. "Jordan Crane is a cartoonist with supreme abilities. He's great at making lines, hand text, and backgrounds and stuff…This is beautifully colored also. Did I mention Jordan Crane's great color sense? His colors are good."

• Review: Steve Donaghue enjoys Prince Valiant Vol. 1 by Hal Foster on Open Letters Monthly. "The ambition becomes most emphatic the more you scrutinize the work. Foster often said he put in between 50 and 60 hours a week on creating the strip, and it shows in these magnificent reproductions, done in a sturdy hardcover with oversized pages and entirely restored colors and shadings."

Listen, Whitey!

• Plug: Record Collector magazine (UK) picks Listen, Whitey! by Pat Thomas as one of the top 12 books of 2012. "A socio-polictal account of American racial struggles...an extraordinary study of the way the message of [the Black Panther] movement was recounted and defined on vinyl. "In-depth" doesn't begin to describe it."

Dungeon Quest Book Three Castle Waiting softcover

• Plug: Tucker Stone on The Comics Journal rates his top comics of 2012. Dungeon Quest 3 by Joe Daly makes the mark at 17. "in times like these, with sandwiches like mine, you have to root for the one who brung you, and that’s dick jokes. Dungeon Quest had so many of them, and they were all wonderful."

• Plug: Johanna Carlson of Comics Worth Reading notes the softcover edition of Castle Waiting Vol. 1 by Linda Medley. "The original hardcover was one of my best of 2006; it’s a gorgeous twist on fairy tales, concentrating on daily life instead of big events, which makes it charming."

• Commentary: Tom Spurgeon lists his top 50 positives about comics right now mentioning Fantagraphics several times. Lilli Carré's Heads or Tails was a hit, the flowering of Gary Groth, Kim Thompson's polyglotism, Mike Catron and Preston White Return to Fangraphics, Generation 3 (Jacq and me, Jen, pictured!), and of course, Love and Rockets 30th Anniversary.

• Plug: Everyone is excited about Nijigahara Holograph by Inio Asano. All Fiction, Anime News Network, and more. 

• Plug: Bleeding Cool reports on Jacques Tardi turning down an award from the French government, The Legion D'Honneur. Punk as shit.

Barnaby

• Plug: Barnaby love over at Forbidden Planet International.


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