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Category >> Shimura Takako

Daily OCD: 4/19/12
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Shimura TakakoPat ThomasmangaJoe SaccointerviewsDaniel ClowesDaily OCD 19 Apr 2012 7:27 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Palestine

List: For The Guardian, comics creators Bryan & Mary Talbot select their top 10 graphic memoirs, with Joe Sacco's Palestine at #4: "Sacco was trained as a journalist and singlehandedly created the genre of reportage in graphic novel form. Immersing himself in a situation, his in-depth reports use the medium of comics to its full potential. Like his Safe Area Gorazde or recent Footnotes in Gaza, Palestine follows his experiences as he investigates events and interviews residents, explaining the history, politics and dynamics of the place as he goes along. The palpable sense of place and the feeling that we're in the presence of the people who relate their experiences to him (and therefore to us) is a testament to his storytelling skills, his work being far more intimate than that of a filmed documentary. Sacco is a master of this medium."

Listen, Whitey! The Sights and Sounds of Black Power 1965-1975

Feature: "Compiling the book was a learning experience for Thomas... 'They (the Panthers) switched from a gun-toting paramilitary organization to a more community-based entity offering free food, clothing, and medical care,' he says. And, perhaps, this may be Listen, Whitey!’s biggest strength — and greatest contribution — to future discourse about this topic that has been so distorted and misrepresented in its presentation to the consciousness of mainstream America. Maybe now, 40 years after the histrionics and exaggeration, enough time has passed so the emergence of Black consciousness can be scrutinized with a measure of clarity." – Gregg Reese, Our Weekly

Mr. Clowes, we present you with the Katzenjammer Medallion for comic excellence!

Interview: At The Atlantic, Steven Heller has a Q&A with Daniel Clowes: "I was trying to get work as an illustrator in the '80s, but no art directors actually ever called, which is what led me to throw up my hands in despair and slink back to comics. Originally, I was hoping to find a writer to collaborate with, since I was much more interested in the drawing part of the equation, but that didn't work out. And so I began writing my own stories."

Wandering Son Vol. 1

Plug: Lee Wind of the wonderfully-named blog I'm Here. I'm Queer. What the Hell Do I Read? spotlights Shimura Takako's Wandering Son Vol. 1

Daily OCD: 4/16/12
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Walt KellySpain RodriguezShimura TakakoMichel GagnemangaLove and RocketsKevin HuizengaJoe SimonJack KirbyinterviewsDrew FriedmanDaniel ClowesDaily OCD 16 Apr 2012 8:36 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Pogo Vol. 1

Review: "Here’s the thing about Pogo. There’s never been anything like it. It’s utterly unique and individual in the same fashion that Peanuts, or Calvin and Hobbes or Little Nemo or any other of the great 20th century comic strips are.... It’s a much weirder strip than I think most people give it credit for and that is certainly something worth both recognizing and admiring." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6

Wandering Son

Review: "I highly recommend anyone who has an interest in LGBT issues to pick up Wandering Son, regardless of whether or not you read a lot of manga. It is, in many ways, distinctly Japanese, but its straightforward and honest deception of gender issues is rare in any medium, and it shines equally as a coming-of-age tale, especially for anyone who's ever felt they never quite fit in." – Anne Lee, Chic Pixel

Young Romance: The Best of Simon & Kirby's Romance Comics

Review: "Prior to 1947, romance existed in comics but primarily as the humorous teenage variety for young readers, typified by the gang from Riverdale in Archie Comics. Simon and Kirby re-imagined the concept with mature stories aimed at adults, primarily women.... Fantagraphics recently collected many of these stories in the handsome hardcover Young Romance: The Best of Simon & Kirby's Romance Comics. Within the true artistic mastery of Kirby becomes evident. The same man, well known at the time for his bombastic stories, delivers these subtle, very human tales of angst, betrayal, and of course love. The volume's essays place these tales within the proper historical context. The beautiful reproductions were completely restored and unlike some of the Marvel Kirby reprints, nothing was recolored." – Rick Klaw, The SF Site: Nexus Graphica

Drew Friedman

Interview: Drew Friedman writes us: "I wanted to share. This is the new online issue of INK, SVA's Student run comics mag, featuring an interview with me, also an article about WFMU radio's connection to cartoonists. This is pretty impressive I think. Enjoy!"

Kevin Huizenga

Interview: Robot 6's Tim O'Shea has a Q&A with Kevin Huizenga: "Seems to me like you’re doing something wrong as a writer if you’re not affected or surprised by your own work. But it’s not something to talk about. You’re not supposed to laugh at your own jokes. The author at his desk, deeply moved by his own work is a pretty funny image."

Mr. Clowes, we present you with the Katzenjammer Medallion for comic excellence!

Scene: "In the exhibition, titled, 'Modern Cartoonist: The Art of Daniel Clowes,' we find the artist revealing the weird underbelly of America through quick and methodical strokes of a pen. Furrowed brows, sneers, and nervous beads of sweat accompany many of Clowes' odes to anxiety, causing us to acknowledge the strange and desperately sad state of his characters, who are striving to fit in." – Kathleen Massara, The Huffington Post

Cruisin' with the Hound

Commentary: We can fully get behind this editorial decision by The Comics Reporter's Tom Spurgeon (and not just because our new Spain book is coming out)

Love and Rockets Library: The Complete Vol. 1

Links: Love & Maggie is back with another roundup of Love and Rockets-related links from around the web

2012 Eisner Award nominees!
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Warren BernardThe Comics JournalShimura TakakoRick MarschallPrince ValiantMickey MouseMark KalesnikoKevin HuizengaJim WoodringJasonJacques TardiHal FosterFloyd GottfredsonDisneyCCIawards 5 Apr 2012 4:51 AM

Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards logo

The list of nominees for the 2012 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards was announced yesterday and we are pleased to report that our artists and publications received a total of 10 nominations in 8 categories:

Ganges #4 by Kevin Huizenga

Ganges #4 by Kevin Huizenga:

• Best Single Issue

Freeway by Mark Kalesniko

Freeway by Mark Kalesniko:

• Best Graphic Album – New

Prince Valiant Vol. 3: 1941-1942 by Hal Foster Prince Valiant Vol. 4: 1943-1944 by Hal Foster

Prince Valiant Vol. 3: 1941-1942 and Vol. 4: 1943-1944 by Hal Foster, edited by Kim Thompson:

• Best Archival Collection/Project – Strips

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/covers/2011/bookcover_mmx1_2-3d.jpg

Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 1: Race to Death Valley & Vol. 2: Trapped on Treasure Island (also available in the Vols. 1-2 Box Set) by Floyd Gottfredson, edited by David Gerstein & Gary Groth:

• Best Archival Collection/Project – Strips

Isle of 100,000 Graves by Jason & Fabien Vehlmann

Isle of 100,000 Graves by Jason & Fabien Vehlmann:

• Best U.S. Edition of International Material

Like a Sniper Lining Up His Shot by Jacques Tardi & Jean-Patrick Manchette

Like a Sniper Lining Up His Shot by Jacques Tardi & Jean-Patrick Manchette:

• Best U.S. Edition of International Material

Wandering Son Vol. 1 by Shimura Takako

Wandering Son Vol. 1 by Shimura Takako:

• Best U.S. Edition of International Material – Asia

Congress of the Animals by Jim Woodring

Congress of the Animals by Jim Woodring:

• Best Writer/Artist — Jim Woodring (Jim is also nominated for Best Short Story for "Harvest of Fear" in The Simpsons’ Treehouse of Horror #17 from Bongo)

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/covers/2011/bookcover_cj301.jpg

The Comics Journal, edited by Gary Groth, and The Comics Journal website, www.tcj.com, edited by Timothy Hodler and Dan Nadel:

• Best Comics-Related Journalism

Drawing Power: A Compendium of Cartoon Advertising 1870s-1940s

Drawing Power: A Compendium of Cartoon Advertising 1870s-1940s, edited by Rick Marschall and Warren Bernard:

• Best Comics-Related Book

As announced in January, Bill Blackbeard (responsible for the Krazy & Ignatz series and so much more), Mort Meskin, Trina Robbins (underground legend and, for us, editor of The Brinkley Girls), and Gilbert Shelton (underground legend and contributor to Mome) are among the nominees for induction into the Eisner Hall of Fame.

An additional shout-out to Fantagraphics contributors, alumni and friends who received nominations for work with other publishers, including Stan Sakai, Ed Brubaker, Émile Bravo, Geoffrey Hayes, Roger Langridge, Anders Nilsen, Daniel Clowes, Al Jaffee, Rick Geary, Tom Orzechowski (who lettered Oil and Water), Ivan Brunetti, Eric Skillman (designer of The Comics Journal #301), and anyone I may have overlooked. Congratulations to all the nominees!

Winners will be announced at a ceremony on Friday, July 13, 2012 at Comic-Con International in San Diego. Browse and order all of our 2012 nominated titles here, and see here for links to past years' award honorees.

Daily OCD: 3/19-3/22/12
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Walt KellySteve DuinSteve DitkoSignificant ObjectsShimura TakakoShannon WheelerRobert CrumbreviewsOlivier SchrauwenMatthias WivelmangaLove and RocketsJohn BensonJasonJaime HernandezinterviewsGreg SadowskiGary PanterGahan WilsonDaily OCDCarl BarksBlake BellBill GriffithBill Everett 23 Mar 2012 1:28 AM

What happens when you have to miss a couple of days of the comics internet is that it takes you almost the whole rest of the week to get fully caught up on Online Commentary & Diversions:

Oil and Water

List: Library Journal's Martha Cornog gives a nice shout-out to Carl Barks and recommends Oil and Water by Steve Duin & Shannon Wheeler as one of "30 Graphic Novels for Earth Day 2012": "Wheeler’s atmospheric, ink-washed greys capture eccentric residents from crabbers to a pelican-rescue team, and Duin’s script catches the ironic resiliency of people exploited by the very industry that feeds them.... Valuable for high schoolers and adults as a glimpse into the crisis, and for general sensitization to environmental issues."

Pogo Vol. 1: Through the Wild Blue Wonder

Review: "When I brought Pogo home from the bookstore on a Sunday afternoon, I called my daughters over, and we lay on the floor in the living room and read it together. I read it aloud, because half of the fun of Pogo is hearing the fantastic dialogue penned by Kelly, and my daughters loved it. I’m sure there were things that went over their heads — jokes that rely on experiences they haven’t had, references to past events, wordplay that’s a little too sophisticated. But the beauty of the strip is that does work on so many levels. There’s slapstick humor, cute little talking animals, and keen observations on the human condition — the last made easier to swallow perhaps because the characters aren’t people, as human as they may be." – Jonathan Liu, Wired – GeekDad

Athos in America

Review: "[Jason] populates his tales with brightly clad cats and dogs and ducks, but their misbehavior is unmistakably human.... [Athos in America] is... consummately worth reading for its three gems: the lovely title story, the self-portrait 'A Cat From Heaven' and the wonderful 'Tom Waits on the Moon,' in which Jason carefully maps the crossed paths of four lonely people." – Sam Thielman, Newsday

Review: "Despair threatens to overwhelm the creator’s usual tales of longing [in Athos in America]. In 'A Cat From Heaven,' his characteristic unrequited love story gives way to a somewhat depressing look at a self-absorbed cartoonist named Jason’s bitter relationship. Mercifully, the rest of the collection is a little more playful, from a couple noir parodies to the highlight, 'Tom Waits on the Moon,' in which four solipsistic stories converge in a tragic act." – Mike Sebastian, Campus Circle

The Sincerest Form of Parody: The Best 1950s MAD-Inspired Satirical Comics

Review: "The Sincerest Form of Parody: The Best 1950s MAD-Inspired Satirical Comics is a wonderful book collecting the best stories of the beginnings of a favorite comic book genre — and I can’t emphasize this enough — it’s put together by people who know what they’re doing. Plus, it’s designed to fit on your bookshelf right next to your MAD Archives volumes. I can’t believe that you haven’t already picked this up! Are you unsane?!?" – K.C. Carlson, Comics Worth Reading

Wandering Son Vol. 2

Review: "If [Wandering Son] Vol. 1 was a masterclass in people not wanting to accept the status quo within their own minds, Vol. 2 shows the uncertainty of the waiting world. The way that Nitori and Takatsuki fumble forward with no plan is painful and endearing. They know the two of them are better together but there’s the problem of dealing with classmates, family and teachers. It’s not easy and well done to Takako for not short-circuiting the process. It’s not easy writing characters in distress but it’s wonderful to read it. If you can recognise the character’s pain and sympathise despite your differences, it proves you’re human and so is the author.... So much of what we read is a kind of literary false economy. We put in so much and get so little out of it. Wandering Son asks so little of you and you get so much out of it.... It is a wonderful, sweet, heartbreaking window into being different, young, unsure, afraid and human." – Eeeper's Choice

The Man Who Grew His Beard

Review: "[The Man Who Grew His Beard]’s a big batch of critic-friendly comic strips, comics which resemble curios excavated from some none-too-defined European past and more often than not have all the daring shallow-space visual syntax of a Garfield strip. They’re less stories than contraptions that wear their artifice and structure on their sleeve, like those medieval homunculi which transparently show their cogs and mechanisms while making their programmed movements." – Rich Baez, It's Like When a Cowboy Becomes a Butterfly

Action! Mystery! Thrills! Comic Book Covers of the Golden Age 1933-1945

Review: "Action! Mystery! Thrills!... beautifully resurrects all the Golden Age favorites, from superheroes to killer robots to cowboys and occult Nazis. This time capsule collection of cover art spans from 1933-45... An index in the back gives the fascinating stories behind the covers, while the full-page, color reproductions reveal them for what they are: works of art." – Mike Sebastian, Campus Circle

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/covers/2011/thumbs/bookcover_nutsgw.jpg

Review: "Primarily known for his ghoulish comic strips in Playboy and The New Yorker, Gahan Wilson showed his tender side (kind of) with Nuts. Originally a series of one-page vignettes running in National Lampoon, Nuts is presented here in its entirety as a classic warts-and-all reminiscence of childhood, from sick days to family gatherings, the joys of candy to the terrors of the dark basement." – Mike Sebastian, Campus Circle

The Life and Death of Fritz the Cat

Review: "R. Crumb hit it big in the ‘60s alternative Comix scene with his creation of Fritz the Cat (originally conceived as an adolescent). The feline protagonist remained Crumb’s avatar for lambasting American culture until a lackluster film adaptation prompted some divine retribution from his creator. The Life and Death of Fritz the Cat collects all of Fritz’s essential stories." – Mike Sebastian, Campus Circle

Jaime Hernandez - self portrait

Analysis: The Hooded Utilitarian's critical roundtable on Jaime Hernandez rolls on with entries from Derik Badman; the author of our forthcoming Love and Rockets Companion, Marc Sobel; and (Mome 22 contributor) James Romberger

Significant Objects

Awards: GalleyCat reports that Author Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer, contributor to Significant Objects, has won the $1,000 Sidney Prize, which rewards "the author of the best new American story," and has a link to an excerpt from the winning story

R Crumb at Comic Con India

Opinions: Robert Crumb's got 'em! In the third installment of the "Crumb On Others" series, he lets you know exactly what he thinks of a bunch of prominent personalities, from Hitler to Ghandi (in whose homeland Crumb can be seen above) and from Kurtzman to Van Gogh

Bill Griffith: Lost and Found - Comics 1969-2003

Interview: When The Comics Journal posted the Q&A with Bill Griffith conducted by Gary Panter, I called it the must-read of the day, and it still stands as your must-read of the week: "I’ve only taken LSD twice in my life. Once on the beach in Martha’s Vineyard in 1967, which was pleasant, but not ego-shattering or anything. And once in New York after I’d started doing comics. All I remember about the second time was, I got hemorrhoids."

Kolor Klimax: Nordic Comics Now

Interview: Who better to talk to Matthias Wivel, editor of our Scandinavian comics anthology Kolor Klimax, than Steffen Maarup, editor of our Danish comics anthology From Wonderland with Love? A taste: "Putting together a good anthology is similar to making a good mixtape. Whatever the individual merits of a piece, it won’t do to include it if it doesn’t somehow work for the anthology as a whole. There has to be a consistent idea or tone to the book, which doesn’t mean that there can’t be dissonance — there’s some of that in Kolor Klimax, and I think for the better — but the individual parts still have to generate something greater than their sum. It’s incredibly difficult to achieve, but also a lot of fun." Read more at The Metabunker

Amazing Mysteries: The Bill Everett Archives Vol. 1

Interview (Audio): Blake Bell joins host Chris Marshall on the Collected Comics Library Podcast for a discussion about Bill Everett and Steve Ditko

Daily OCD: 3/13/12
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Shimura TakakoreviewsmangaDiane NoominDaily OCDCatalog No 439 13 Mar 2012 8:51 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Glitz-2-Go

Review: "For almost 40 years, from Women’s Comix to the Nation, underground comics pioneer Noomin has shared painfully hilarious episodes from the life of DiDi Glitz, who’s partly her alter ego, but mostly a dreadful example of what a woman who’s not hip or self-aware can do to herself. Occasionally exploiting but usually exploited, DiDi is enthusiastically tasteless and (barely) sensitive enough to realize that there’s something missing in her life. Pursuing cheap sex as the only intimacy she can imagine, she’s usually wearing stiletto heels and fishnet stockings, with a blonde beehive wig jammed on her head. DiDi’s 'successes' turn out to be only briefly satisfying, though, and Noomin’s faux-primitive, b&w art stresses how ugly and vulgar her lovers are. Still, despite wrinkles and rejections, she never gives up, and her grandiose antics are as amusing as they are pathetic. Containing all of DiDi’s stories and a selection of Noomin’s other art, this collection [Glitz-2-Go] is valuable in itself and as an important comment on women’s issues." – Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

Wandering Son Vol. 1

Review: "It can be a difficult task to tackle the subject of gender identity and transgenderism, but Takako Shimura handles the subject matter with sensitivity and wit [in Wandering Son Vol. 1]. We love how Shimura handles dialogue here – conversations are simple and hardly wordy, yet affecting. It’s strangely reflective of the art style itself... [which] is... characterized by a simple minimalism that still manages to capture the complex emotions of each character.... The series has been named one of the best comics of 2011 by NPR, and if the acclaim can’t convince you to give it a read, then the lovely hard-cover presentation by Fantagraphics Books surely will." – Deborah Lee, The Daily Californian

Catalog No. 439: Burlesque Paraphernalia and Side Degree Specialties and Costumes

Review: "Fantagraphics Books, saviors and protectors of so much that is illustrated and grand, have given me my holy grail. They reproduced, in its glorious entirety, the final catalog, #439, that was published by The DeMoulin Bros. in 1930. This mother lode of catalogs contains all of their fraternity props, gags and devices along with a history of the company and appendices that include the how to's, the scripts as well. The brilliant introductions including one by a Freemason examining the era, and one by the person who may well be the world's largest collectors of DeMoulin Bros. ephemera, magician David Copperfield, are a joy. Catalog No. 439: Burlesque Paraphernalia and Side Degree Specialties and Costumes is available from Fantagraphics Books, Comics and Graphic Novels and from all fine purveyors of unusual or delicate literature everywhere. " – Robert Jaz, Forces of Geek

What's in the March 2012 Diamond Previews
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Shimura TakakomangaLove and RocketsJosh SimmonsJaime HernandezJacques BoyreauJack DavisGary PanterFredrik StrombergDisneyDiamondCarl Barks 1 Mar 2012 2:02 AM

Shipping May 2012 from Fantagraphics Books

This month's Diamond Previews catalog came out yesterday and in it you'll find our usual 2-page spread (download the PDF) with our releases scheduled to arrive in your local comic shop in May 2012 (give or take — some release dates may have changed since the issue went to press). We're pleased to offer additional and updated information about these upcoming releases here on our website, to help shops and customers alike make more informed ordering decisions.

This month's Featured item is our next Carl Barks Library volume, Walt Disney's Uncle Scrooge: Only a Poor Old Man! We've also got the long (long, long) awaited collection of Gary Panter's punk/sci-fi strip Dal Tokyo; Sexytime, the surprising and tantalizing art book of vintage porn movie posters compiled by Portable Grindhouse madman Jacques Boyreau ("Certified Cool"!); the new softcover edition of the out-of-print-for-a-while Black Images in the Comics, a fascinating survey by Fredrik Strömberg; Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture, back for another go-round (yes, we know got some 'splaining to do!); God and Science: Return of the Ti-Girls, collecting Jaime Hernandez's superhero fantasia from Love and Rockets: New Stories #1-2 with 30 new pages (!), a Spotlight item; the eagerly-anticipated 3rd volume of Shimura Takako's wonderful manga series Wandering Son; and The Furry Trap, a collection of Josh Simmons's notoriously disturbing horror comics. It's a big month, man!

See them all here!

Daily OCD: 2/28/12
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Shimura TakakoreviewsPeter BaggePat ThomasNick ThorburnMartimangaLove and RocketsLinda MedleyKrazy KatJoost SwarteJaime HernandezinterviewsGeorge HerrimanDaily OCDawards 28 Feb 2012 7:27 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Speedy Ortiz dør

Awards: Jaime Hernandez's Speedy Ortiz dør (the Danish edition of The Death of Speedy from Aben Maler) was named winner of the Ping Prisen for "Best International Comic in Danish"

Wandering Son Vol. 1

List: YALSA's blog The Hub spotlights their previously-announced Great Graphic Novels for Teens Top Ten 2012: "Shimura Takako’s Wandering Son Volume 1 rounds out the Top Ten list for 2012 with a sensitive look at two fifth grade students struggling with gender identity: Shuichi Natori is a boy who wants to be a girl, and Yoshino Takatsuki is a girl who wants to be a boy. This is a complex and sensitive subject, but Takako handles it very gently, allowing the story to unfold in a way that is not only natural but sympathetic. Takako’s artwork is spare and evocative, supporting the story but never getting in the way of its telling. This one is for teens who like contemporary stories about real world problems."

Castle Waiting Vol. 1

List: At LitReactor, Kelly Thompson runs down 10 Graphic Novels for the Literary Minded, with Castle Waiting Vol. 1 by Linda Medley recommended "for fans of fantasy": "Castle Waiting, a brutally funny book with a giant heart, has a new spin on fairy tales with a feminist bent that will draw you in and keep you reading from page one.... Medley’s world is expertly crafted and completely believable, while her black and white artwork is clean and highly detailed with an emphasis on character design and acting."

Listen, Whitey!

Interview: At SF Weekly, J Poet talks to Pat Thomas about Listen, Whitey! The Sights and Sounds of Black Power 1965-1975: "As you can see from the scope of the book, there were hundreds of recordings connected to the Black Power movement. At Fred Hampton's funeral, they blasted The Supremes' 'Someday We'll Be Together' from loudspeakers. Huey Newton loved Bob Dylan's line, 'Something's happening and you don't know what it is, do you Mr. Jones?' The movement was inspired by music and the movement inspired many people, especially jazz musicians, to refocus their sound and energy."

Plug: Check out Ernest Hardy's review of the Listen, Whitey! companion album on Pop & Hiss: The L.A. Times Music Blog, which includes a mention of the book

Plug: Denise Sullivan also digs into the Listen, Whitey! album at Blurt

The Cabbie Vol. 1Is That All There Is?

Roundtable (Audio): On the Inkstuds radio programme guests Joe McCulloch, Matt Seneca and Tucker Stone and host Robin McConnell discuss recent comics including Is That All There Is? by Joost Swarte and The Cabbie Vol. 1 by Martí as well as George Herriman's Krazy Kat

Buddy Does Seattle

Review: "Buddy Does Seattle collects the first 15 issues of Hate, in which the protagonist has relocated to the Pacific Northwest and become the consummate slacker.... First published when Seattle was exploding in popularity due to the rise of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and various grunge bands, Hate offered a decidedly un-romanticized take on a particular time and place. ...Bagge's artwork took the public's perception of '90s youth as angry and volatile and pushed it to hysterical levels. Heavily influenced by late-'60s counterculture cartoonists like Crumb, Bagge's drawings are fluid and grimy-looking, with frequent use of exaggerated facial expressions helping to cultivate an atmosphere of chaos. As a work of cultural commentary it's brash and invigorating, and remains so years later." – Phil Guie, Critical Mob

Mome Vol. 21: Winter 2011 - detail (Nick Thorburn)

Interview: Nick Thorburn's tour with his band Islands brings him to Seattle next week and the Seattle Weekly's Dave Lake asks him about his connections to the city: "...I had a comic strip in the last couple issues of Mome, which is a Fantagraphics anthology, which is a Seattle-based comics publisher. I love Fantagraphics. I got a check from them recently for being in those comics and it would have made the 13-year-old me die with joy, seeing a check with my name on it from Fantagraphics. That's beyond my wildest teenage fantasy."

Daily OCD: 2/17/12
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Shimura TakakoreviewsmangaJoost SwarteDaily OCDBill Griffith 17 Feb 2012 6:03 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Is That All There Is?

Review: "[Swarte's] comic pages are playful symphonies, composed to the smallest detail. Though his style is static in nature, he is a master of panel layouts, organising the contents of each panel in such a way that movement erupts by the way he’s leading the eye across the page.... For those wanting to familiarize themselves with the comics of Joost Swarte, Is That All There Is? is a nice baptism into his specific world vision full of retro architecture and absurd happenings." – Bart Croonenborghs, Broken Frontier

Wandering Son Vol. 2

Review: "It is not very often that a comic (from any country) deals with gender identity in such a sensitive and accessible way, which is why I am so incredibly happy that Wandering Son is being translated into English.... I really do love Wandering Son. The story has a quietness to it that hides the intensity of its emotion. While gender identity is an important part of Wandering Son, it is not the only aspect of the story or or the characters. Shuichi, Takatsuki, their friends, families, classmates, and teachers all come across as real people. The connections between characters transcend gender, too. Friendships are developed and strengthened by common interests and standing up for each other.... I can't recommend Wandering Son enough and am really looking forward to the next volume." – Ash Brown, Experiments in Manga

Bill Griffith: Lost and Found - Comics 1969-2003

Metaplug: The New Yorker plugs Paul Di Filippo's review of Bill Griffith: Lost and Found - Comics 1969-2003

Daily OCD: 2/15/12
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under staffShimura TakakoRobert CrumbreviewsMoto HagiomangainterviewsDaily OCDBill Griffith 15 Feb 2012 11:39 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Bill Griffith: Lost and Found - Comics 1969-2003

Review: "...[C]urrent fans of the [Zippy] strip are in for a surprise, a shock, and, ultimately, a major treat, when they pick up Griffith's new career retrospective, Lost and Found: Comics 1969-2003... The journey from these energy-packed, overstuffed, unpolished early comics to the elegant masterwork of the present is a journey greater than that of Gary Trudeau with Doonesbury or Charles Schultz with Peanuts.... His early reign as an oversexed adolescent-minded wiseacre gives way to a long golden afternoon of wry and wistful philosophizing, with frequent salient eruptions of deserved ire and malice toward all!" – Paul Di Filippo, The Barnes & Noble Review

Interview: At Literary Kicks, Alan Bisbort talks to Bill Griffith about his career-spanning collection Lost and Found: "When I put this new collection together, Fantagraphics had been trying to get me to do this book for about ten years. When they first suggested it, they wanted some of the early, pre-Zippy work, along with the other non-Zippy work of more recent years. But I told them at first that 'that stuff has got to be hidden. Maybe when I’m dead someone can bring it out' but then over a period of time I grew to accept my arc, so to speak, whatever my arc is."

Wandering Son Vol. 2

Review: "Wandering Son... is a measured, sensible and sensitive series... Part of Wandering Son's hook is a distanced view at discomfort with one's own body. The manga is written to evoke the feeling of being ill at ease in one's own skin, such that everyone who has went through puberty can sympathize with these characters, regardless of their own relationship with sexual identity issues. I'm not so sure how particularly, generally appealing the prospect of reliving those feeling may be, but that sort of identification is a crucial part of what makes Wandering Son a superlatively fascinating manga.... Though it may or may not be an effective mirror to our own lives, it has its reader thinking about everything, both small and significant, [that] shape[s] us. As a result, Wandering Son proves to be deeply involving in an unconventional way." – Scott Green, Ain't It Cool News

The Life and Death of Fritz the Cat

Review: "[The Life and Death of Fritz the Cat]'s beautifully drawn, even the earliest material. Fritz’s face is as expressive as all get-out, though you may be surprised at how dainty Crumb’s line is mid-period. One thing, however, remains consistent throughout and once more it’s Winston who hits the juvenile nail on its dream-addled, sex-obsessed head. 'Oh you’re such a child! Such a self-centred, egotistical child!'" – Stephen L. Holland, Page 45

A Drunken  Dream and Other Stories [Pre-Order]

Review: "I believe that the Drunken Dream collection of stories lays the groundwork for measuring all of the wonderful components of girls’ comics. It’s a heck of a yardstick, I’ll tell you that.... It’s impossible to read through these panels and not feel your own life in them — and that’s why Hagio is such a brilliant writer. Shoujo manga is all about feelings, and Hagio is the master of feelings. The Queen of Feelings. THE EMPRESS OF FEELINGS.... I had never heard of the 24 Year Group before reading this anthology, but I feel like my life has been dramatically enriched by this collection. I want to buy three copies of it so that I can loan 2 to new people and have a back up loan copy for the eventual time when one of them gets stolen." – NOVI Magazine

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Commentary: At The Creators Project, Emerson Rosenthal talks to our own Larry Reid for an article on "the rise of DIY publishing and the revival of the printed word": "'The "Great Recession" forced us to get better with design if anything […] what you’re getting is a better looking book, more sustainable, and cheaper on the shelf. If anything, it’s a better product,' says Reid. 'At the same time, the self-bound ‘zine is definitely on the rebound.'"

Daily OCD: 2/13/12
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Shimura TakakoreviewsPeter BaggeMichel GagneMichael KuppermanMark KalesnikomangaLove and RocketsLos Bros HernandezKim DeitchKevin HuizengaJordan CraneJohn BensonJoe SimonJasonJaime HernandezJack KirbyGilbert HernandezDaily OCDBlake BellBill EverettBest of 2011 14 Feb 2012 1:32 AM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Love and Rockets: New Stories #4Ganges #4

List: Critic Rob Clough names his Top Fifteen Comic Books of 2011 on his High-Low blog, including Love & Rockets: New Stories #4 at #1...

"Gilbert's stories are typically excellent in this issue, as he manages a certain luridness in one story that brings sexuality to the fore, and goes the other direction in a more oblique, subtle story. Of course, the story that got everyone buzzing was the second half of Jaime's "The Love Bunglers", which is an ending for this thirty-year cycle of stories--and one where Jaime sticks the landing with authority."

...Ganges #4 by Kevin Huizenga at #4...

"Huizenga's work is restrained and even playful in its approach but wildly ambitious in terms of its content, and he continues to successfully mine work left untouched by other cartoonists."

Hate Annual #9Tales Designed to Thrizzle #7

...Hate Annual #9 by Peter Bagge at #8...

"This was Bagge's first feature-length Buddy Bradley story in years, and it's a doozy. Buddy, Lisa and young Harold visit Lisa's parents in a story called 'Hell,' and Bagge truly pulls out all the stops in depicting extreme familial weirdness. His dialogue is as sharp as ever, his line is quite lively and his uncanny ability to depict the creeping weirdness of suburbia is even more disturbing than in the initial run of New Jersey stories in Hate."

...and Tales Designed to Thrizzle #7 by Michael Kupperman at #11:

"Kupperman's 'Quincy, M.E.' story in this issue is a tour-de-force of twisting narrative structures and just plain crazy silliness. Kupperman's art has become increasingly bland as his aesthetic references have changed from 1920s comic strips to 1950s comic books, forcing the reader to perform double-takes at the crazy juxtapositions he creates. If his comics aren't as visually exhausting and exciting as they once were, he still provides an avalanche of ideas and jokes for the reader to sort through."

Athos in America

Review: "Norwegian cartoonist Jason has returned with more full-color stories populated by lonely, and at times sociopathic, anthropomorphic characters. Cats, dogs, and ducks steal, fight, murder, and drink themselves into oblivion. Although brimming with black humor, the tales are far from ridiculous; the disjunction between the cute creatures and their actions often serves to highlight the despair inherent in their lives. Text is light, as the images drive the narratives. In these spare, mute panels, infused with flat oranges, greens, and browns, small movements covey great meaning and emotion.... Visually exciting, at times hilarious and at times devastating, Athos in America will only add to Jason’s well-deserved reputation as a star of the graphic novel world." – Publishers Weekly

Amazing Mysteries: The Bill Everett Archives Vol. 1

Review: "This volume [Amazing Mysteries: The Bill Everett Archives Vol. 1] provides an illuminating look at the artist’s numerous attempts at catching Sub-Marineresque lightning in a bottle for a second time, a task that mostly eluded him. The comics studios of the golden age were product mills that threw any idea against the wall in hope it would stick, and Everett did much the same. Forgotten sci-fi and superhero creations, as well as forays into westerns, historical retellings, and crime comics, populate this loaded volume, which reads like it fell straight out of some four-color twilight zone." – Publishers Weekly

The Sincerest Form of Parody: The Best 1950s MAD-Inspired Satirical Comics

Review: "Over 150 pages of reprints, a brilliant back-of-the-book by Benson running 26 pages, and an introduction by my old buddy, cartoonist/historian Jay Lynch..., this book is a welcome addition to any comics library.... [I]f nothing else, The Sincerest Form of Parody saves you a lot of time separating the wheat from the chaff. But in and of itself, it is a very worthy book – entertaining on his own, and critical from a historical point of view. You should check this one out..." – Mike Gold, ComicMix

The Last Lonely Saturday [Hardcover Ed.]

Review: "[Jordan] Crane’s comic, The Last Lonely Saturday, explores the trials and release of life after loss. Crane’s story beautifully follows a husband’s weekly ritual to pay respect to his wife. In no more than a few pages, Crane retells the husband and wife’s entire history. From the comic’s meticulous book design, with its quaint size and the rounded, hand-lettered type in the first pages, readers can expect the story to be heart-warming. But Crane pulls at readers’ heartstrings with surprising grace. While the story is rooted in the traditional American cliché of lovers reunited in the afterlife, the story is told deftly." – Juan Fernandez, The Tartan (via Robot 6)

Freeway

Review: "[Freeway] captures the frustration of being stuck in traffic, particularly the array of images (violent and otherwise) that traffic brings to my mind (even better than Falling Down). Like me, Alex also relieves his frustrations with a lot of swearing." – Gene Ambaum, The Unshelved Book Club

Young Romance: The Best of Simon & Kirby's Romance Comics

Plug: "I ran into animator Michel Gagné at the Annie Awards last week (where he picked up an Annie for Best Video Game, Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet) and asked him about his next project. Turns out Gagne had been toiling on a labor of love (literally) that has just gone on sale this week.... That book, Young Romance: the Best of Simon & Kirby’s Romance Comics, is not the usual thing we endorse here at Cartoon Brew – but as a life-long Jack Kirby fan and oddball comic book buff, this project is right up my alley.... I’ve ordered my copy and highly recommend it, sight unseen. Thanks, Michel!" – Jerry Beck, Cartoon Brew

Plug: "Joe Simon and Jack Kirby created Captain America but they literally created the romance comic genre. The pages [of Young Romance] were packed with dialogue and dramatic art as women fought for love." – Will Harris, KOMO News

Wandering Son Vol. 1

Plug: Anime News Network picks up the news of Wandering Son Vol. 1's inclusion on the ALA GLBT Round Table's Rainbow List, pointing out that it's the first manga ever to make the list

Deitch Black and Blue EVO Mar 3 1969 

History: At The New York Times Local East Village Blog, Kim Deitch writes about The East Village Other's Joel Fabrikant