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Category >> Significant Objects

D'Valuable Articles
Written by Eric Reynolds | Filed under Significant ObjectsRob WalkerJoshua Glenn 10 May 2012 2:26 PM
It's a good day!

Some 16 to 17 years ago, I formed a vague friendship with a young writer named Joshua Glenn under the most tenuous of possible ways for sincere friendship to incubate: between the professional relationship of writer (him) and publicist (me). I have enjoyed Josh's vision and intellect and from the first issue of his zine, HERMENAUT (one of the unequivocally great periodicals of the 1990s), and thru his more recent endeavors, like the website HILOBROW . Through some minor miracle, we've managed throughout the years to have some reason, however ambiguous at times, to stay in touch.

And now! Full circle! It's 2012, and our friendship risks being crushed by the burden of professionalism yet again: this time as publisher / author. (And you thought the writer/publicist relationship was dicey!)

See, Josh and his brilliant co-conspirator, Rob Walker, have created this book called SIGNIFICANT OBJECTS. And we are publishing it. And it is wonderful! And I am proud! And the first advance copies have just arrived!

Seriously, putting this book together with Josh and Rob and Jacob Covey was one of my favorite book experiences ever, and now it exists! And it is BEAUTIFUL! This is the part of publishing that never gets old. I insist that when you see it in a bookstore, you pick it up. Feel it. Fondle it. Flip thru it. It begs to be fetishized. It doesn't feel like a normal book. You'll see, you'll see... It feels more... significant

  

Daily OCD: 4/26/12
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Steve DitkoSpain RodriguezSignificant ObjectsRob WalkerreviewsPatrick RosenkranzGreg SadowskiFletcher HanksDiane NoominDaily OCDBlake BellAlex Toth 26 Apr 2012 7:52 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Cruisin' with the Hound

Profile: Esteemed underground comix historian Patrick Rosenkranz at The Comics Journal: "Spain Rodriguez acknowledges that age hasn’t necessarily brought wisdom, but it does help him appreciate his youthful adventures more, especially the unique experience of growing up in Buffalo, New York in the 1950s, which he portrays in his latest book, Cruisin' with the Hound.... This new volume from Fantagraphics Books tells more about his childhood, the guys and girls in his neighborhood, early encounters with sex, religion, and science fiction, and the birth of rock and roll." Sample quote from Spain: "Each moment is unique. That’s the thing about comics. If affords you the potential to be able to capture that moment, probably more than anything else. It has certain objective and subjective potentiality. It’s something that nobody else can do. Each person is unique, each person sees things in their individual way and comics give you that opportunity."

Setting the Standard: Comics by Alex Toth

Review: "A book with 400 pages of Alex Toth comics is a dream come true. Toth is one of the early greats of comics. Many of the golden age and early silver age comic artists made drawings that were charmingly crude, but there were a few supergeniuses among them. Alex Toth's art is obviously a cut above a lot of his peers. His understanding of how to use areas of black is unequaled. Cartoonists like Frank Miller and Charles Burns, who really like to use as much black as possible, owe a lot to Toth as a guy who really broke new ground in blacking it up. If you want to learn something about shading and composition you go get this book [Setting the Standard] and just black out." – Nick Gazin, VICE

Mysterious Traveler

Review: "I still like looking at Ditko's stuff and think his work is valid. He's not a great drawer but he is clearly full of intense feelings and a lot of rage. Although his actual rendering skills aren't as strong as someone like Toth his ideas, feelings, and visual concepts are strong. This book [Mysterious Traveler] collects various sci-fi and horror comics he drew that are all pretty fun to look at and have neat visual ideas littered throughout." – Nick Gazin, VICE

Glitz-2-Go

Review: "[Glitz-2-Go] deals with feeling unattractive and dressing kinda like a drag queen and being dissatisfied with relationships. The Didi Glitz comics were produced at a time when doing art about the hidden perversions of the 50s was big. Pee Wee Herman, Blue Velvet, John Waters, a lot of stuff Devo did — it all fits in with this book." – Nick Gazin, VICE

Significant Objects

Interview: At PSFK, an excerpt of Rob Walker talking about Significant Objects in Need to Know Magazine: "People value and are attracted to stories, and this often plays out in the world of objects. What we tried to do is take that observation in a different direction. Instead of a traditional story ‘about an object’ (where it was made, why it’s so great, how it will make your life better), we wanted creative writers to invent stories inspired by objects, which can lead to all kinds of unpredictable results. And in this case, the results turned out to be strong enough that the stories stood on their own."

You Shall Die by Your Own Evil Creation!

Commentary: A Fletcher Hanks creation tops Pip Ury's list of "6 Great Old-Timey Comics for (Traumatizing) Kids" at Cracked: "Fantomah, Mystery Woman of the Jungle is often credited as the first comic book superheroine, debuting in early 1940 and predating Wonder Woman by almost two years. Whoever decided she counted as one, however, has an extremely loose definition of what superheroing entails -- for starters, as far as we know superheroes aren't meant to be mind-numbingly terrifying."

Daily OCD: 4/12-4/13/12
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Steve DitkoSignificant ObjectsShannon WheelerRob WalkerRichard SalareviewsPaul NelsonPaul HornschemeierPat ThomasLove and RocketsKevin AveryJosh SimmonsJoost SwarteJaime HernandezinterviewsGilbert HernandezGary PanterDaily OCDBlake Bell 14 Apr 2012 1:06 AM

Today's (and yesterday's when it was slow) Online Commentary & Diversions:

Is That All There Is?

Review: "The Dutch artist and designer Joost Swarte has a tremendous reputation among cartoon-art aficionados, given his tiny body of comics work. The answer to the title of his 40-year retrospective, Is That All There Is?, is: 'Pretty much, yeah.'... Plot is beside the point. Swarte is more concerned with formal purity, and with making the deep structures of cartooning visible. He pares his art to mechanical, hard-edged vectors and curves: caricature triple-distilled into symbolic visual shorthand, with every line canted just so. His geometrically precise, nearly architectural drawings are the bridge between the Tintin creator Hergé and contemporary artists like Chris Ware, who wrote this volume’s foreword." – Douglas Wolk, The New York Times

Mysterious Traveler

Review: "Now we're talkin'! The first two volumes in Fantagraphics' Steve Ditko Archives (edited by Blake Bell) were rewarding collections of the offbeat auteur's early work, and among the best archival books of horror comics published in the last several years. But in volume 3, a.k.a. Mysterious Traveler, we see Ditko's lunacy reach its full maturation... The bold dynamism and moody linework that would characterize Ditko's Spider-Man and Dr. Strange work just a few years later, as well as his horror tales for Creepy and Eerie, is in evident throughout.... Volume 3 is essential for classic horror comics fans, and further cements Ditko's reputation as an artist without peer." – Joseph McCabe, FearNet

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

Review: "Kevin Avery has compiled an incredibly thorough account of one of folk and rock music’s most important critics of the 20th Century: Paul Nelson. Avery reveals Paul Nelson as not just a music critic, but also a true writer who loved his subject matter possibly more than anything else. After reading, I felt that I knew more about Nelson than simply his life’s accomplishments—I knew him as the man he was: an observer who secluded himself with his books, film and music." – SLUG Magazine

Mad Night

Review: "Madcap university mystery. Girl detective Judy Drood, with the hapless Kasper Keene, investigates the disappearances of girls on campus. Beautiful young women (some dressed like pirates), monstrous old men (some of them professors), photography, a puppet, and a misguided quest for eternal youth all figure in.... The dark edge in Sala’s other work is fully expressed here [in Mad Night]. The book is incredibly violent (though the dark, woodcut-like art makes it feel absurd). Here’s a body count by how victims meet their end..." – Gene Ambaum, The Unshelved Book Club

The Furry Trap

Plug: "Published three years ago in an indie porn comic, Josh Simmons’ 'Cockbone' remains a high water mark for today’s horror comic.... The Furry Trap will collect that story, along with ten others being described by the publisher as 'hard-edged horror.' You already know if you can handle this stuff, so if you can, it’s time to start counting days. Eli is, most definitely, coming." – Tucker Stone, "Flavorpill's 10 Most Anticipated Comics Releases, April-July 2012"

Dal Tokyo

Plug: "While it’s a bit of an exaggeration to call Dal Tokyo Panter’s lost masterpiece, it certainly hasn’t been the easiest thing to come by. That’s to be the case for anything that’s serialized over the course of multiple years, multiple publications, and two different continents. Thankfully, the entire book has finally found a home at Fantagraphics, and those of us without access to early-’80s copies of the LA Reader can finally experience 'a future Mars that is terraformed by Texan and Japanese workers' as only Gary Panter — one of the most influential cartoonists alive — can provide. For some of us, this book has been a long time coming." – Tucker Stone, "Flavorpill's 10 Most Anticipated Comics Releases, April-July 2012"

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

Interview (Audio): "Listen and see how well I survived this one! The interviewer grilled my ass off," says Pat Thomas of his interview today on KUOW Presents to discuss Listen, Whitey! The Sights and Sounds of Black Power 1965-1975 and in particular former Black Panther leader Elaine Brown

Interview (Audio): Yesterday's Pat Thomas radio guest spot to discuss and spin Listen, Whitey! on The Hear and Now on Berkeley's listener-powered KPFA can be streamed from their website for another couple of weeks

Interview (Audio): Stream last week's chat and DJ set with Listen, Whitey! author Pat Thomas on KCRW with host Mathieu Schreyer, who says "This book is a great read and the topic is ever relevant."

Significant Objects

Contest: Read the winning stories (and all the other entrants) in Studio 360's Significant Objects Story Contest

Oil and Water

List: Who are the Top Ten Oregon Cartoonists? Anne Richardson of the Oregon Movies, A to Z blog lists Oil and Water artist Shannon Wheeler among them

The Three Paradoxes

Analysis (Video): At his  blog, Paul Hornschemeier shares video of two "talks given during my recent graphic novelist's residency at Thurber House in Columbus, Ohio. Tammy Birk (Professor of English, Otterbein University) discusses themes in Mother, Come Home while Ryan Jordan (Department of Philosophy, The Ohio State University) examines the nature of paradoxes in general, using Zeno's paradoxes in The Three Paradoxes as a launching point."

Beyond Palomar

Analysis: At where else but The Hooded Utilitarian: "'Lightning Only Strikes Twice Once, Y'Know': Phallic Mothers, Fetishism, and Replacement in the Comics of Los Bros Hernandez," Part I (focusing on Gilbert's work) and Part II (focusing on Jaime), by Eric Berlatsky

Daily OCD: 4/5/12
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Willie and JoeSignificant ObjectsRobert CrumbRob WalkerreviewsPeanutsJasonJaime HernandezinterviewsDave McKeanDaniel ClowesDaily OCDCharles M SchulzBill Mauldin 5 Apr 2012 7:59 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

The Complete Crumb Comics Vol. 1

Review: "The Complete Crumb Comics Volume One: The Early Years of Bitter Struggle, a 1987 book now republished in an expanded edition, gathers together the earliest surviving examples of the great cartoonist’s juvenilia taking him from age 14 or 15 to 18 years old. The high school scribbler that we meet in these pages is a very callow Crumb indeed: Crumb before he had sex, Crumb before he dropped acid, Crumb before he was adopted as a hero of the counterculture, Crumb before he honed his satirical stance on modern life, Crumb before he became the most radical, polarizing and influential cartoonist of the late 20th century. Yet in the lanky and awkward body of the teenage Crumb we can see the outlines of the substantial artist he would become.... There are very few cartoonists whose entire body of work demands to be read and Crumb belongs near the very top of that short list." – Jeet Heer, The Comics Journal

Athos in America

Review: "Has Jason become more embittered and misanthropic as he’s aged, or do those tendencies just become more evident as one reads more of his work? Athos in America is up to his usual standards, full of stories that build slowly, with plenty of subtle detail in its stone-faced panels.... Mostly, we wait for things to end badly, which they almost always do, although never with much overt expression of drama.... The execution, as it always is with both Jason and Fantagraphics, is stellar." – Hillary Brown, Paste

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/covers/2011/thumbs/bookcover_maul1s.jpg

Review: "Fantagraphics Books is doing a good job of preserving and publishing important cartoons. A good example is Willie and Joe: The WWII Years.... These cartoons about World War II provide the reader with a glimpse of what army life was like. Willie and Joe: The WWII Years is more than a book of cartoons by a two-time Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist, it is a significant history book." – Glenn Perrett, Simcoe.com

The Complete Peanuts 1983-1984

Review: "Fantagraphics Books continues to make available Charles M. Schulz's wonderful Peanuts cartoons in attractive books that make nice keepsakes. The latest volume covers the years 1983 and 1984. Lots of fun things are happening with the Peanuts gang including Snoopy's brother Spike requiring help from attacks by coyotes in the desert (they're attacking him with rubber bands), Lucy is still pursuing Schroeder, Charlie Brown is still in a "love triangle" with Peppermint Patty and Charlie Brown joins Peppermint Patty's baseball team...as a mascot. This volume includes a Foreword by Leonard Maltin. As with other Peanuts books, The Complete Peanuts 1983-1984 would make a nice gift for those who enjoy Peanuts and the work of Charles M. Schulz." – Glenn Perrett, Simcoe.com

Significant Objects

Profile: "For seven years, Rob Walker, a contributing writer to the magazine, wrote a column called Consumed, in which he explored the cultural, social, economic and or merely bizarre significance of consumable objects. You might think that Rob would be tired of thinking about things, having written about hundreds of objects as diverse as Victoria’s Secret’s 'Pink' brand, Rick Warren’s 'The Purpose-Driven Life' and carrots packaged like junk food. But he is not. He is just exploring them in new ways. His latest project, a book called Significant Objects, comes out in June." – Vera Titunik, The New York Times Magazine

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

Interview: Geoff Boucher of The Los Angeles Times has a Q&A with Daniel Clowes about looking back on his career: "One thing that really shocked me was to go through some of the fan mail I used to get in the pre-Internet days. Lots of people — like a truly surprising number of complete strangers — would write me 10- or 15-page letters, telling me all about the most mundane details of their twitterless existence. Pretty much inconceivable nowadays."

Jaime Hernandez - The Love Bunglers

Opinion: Newsarama's Graeme McMillan counts down "The 10 Most Glaring Eisner Nomination Omissions," placing Dave McKean at #9 ("With 2011 seeing the release of Celluloid, the erotic graphic novel that not only marked the return of the much-loved multimedia creator... to comics but also his first full-length graphic novel ever, you would've been forgiven for thinking he would've been given some kind of nomination nod...") and Jaime Herandez at #1 ("A heartbreaking story that not only showed Jaime on top form after a 20+ year career in comics -- and definitely in a class of his own as modern-day storyteller -- 'Love Bunglers' topped many year-end lists for 2011 and was the rare comic that, it seemed, was loved and appreciated by everyone that read it.")

First Significant Objects sneak peek
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Significant ObjectspreviewsJoshua GlennComing Attractions 4 Apr 2012 6:20 PM

Significant Objects spread

At HiLobrow, Significant Objects co-editor Joshua Glenn gives you your first glimpses of the interiors of the book, presenting three two-page spreads as designed by good ol' Jacob Covey and giving a few more details about the book along the way. The excitement is building!

Daily OCD: 3/28-4/2/12
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Significant ObjectsRob WalkerreviewsPaul NelsonPat ThomasMonte SchulzLove and RocketsKevin AveryJohn BensonJim WoodringJasonJaime HernandezinterviewsHans RickheitErnie BushmillerDrew FriedmanDave McKeanDaniel ClowesDaily OCDawards 2 Apr 2012 10:07 PM

Just beginning to catch up on Online Commentary & Diversions:

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

Profile: With his big new art book out and his museum retrospective on the way, Daniel Clowes gets the New York Times profile treatment from Carol Kino: "Mr. Clowes can create a striking face with a few deftly placed lines or brush strokes, often seizing on some specific characteristic that summons up an indelible personality. Think of Enid Coleslaw, the snarky teenage anti-heroine of Ghost World, and her big, black nerdy-hip glasses; they cover most of her face, but they can’t conceal the tiny shifts in expression that loudly telegraph her mood."

Athos in America

List: Daniel Clowes may be headed for a museum retrospective, but he is neither dead nor retired — but that doesn't stop Flavorwire's Elona Jones from naming 10 candidates to carry the torch of "his storytelling skills, interest in surrealism, and eye for biting observations," including Jason, who "receives international acclaim for his brilliant storytelling." 

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

Preview/Review: Boing Boing previews 2 stories from The Sincerest Form of Parody: The Best 1950s MAD-Inspired Satirical Comics, with Cory Doctorow saying "Today marks the publication of Fantagraphics' magnificent archaeological comicsology… Many of these are racier, grosser, and meaner than even MAD dared. There’s also an engrossing appendix of annotations from editor John Benson…"

Review: "The John Benson-edited anthology The Sincerest Form of Parody: The Best 1950s MAD-Inspired Satirical Comics assembles largely forgotten work by the likes of Jack Davis, Will Elder, Ross Andru, and Jack Kirby, parodying everything from Mickey Spillane novels to Rex Morgan, M.D. Some of these pieces can stand up to the best of Mad (or at least match the magazine’s average), but even the stories that are clunky and unfunny are fascinating for the way they rip off Mad shamelessly, including all the asides and mini-gags that Will Elder once labeled Mad’s 'chicken fat.' It’s a testament to how quickly the innovative and subversive can become mainstream." – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club

Nancy Is Happy: Complete Dailies 1943-1945

Review: "Next to Pogo, the newspaper comics collection that fans have been most anticipating would be Ernie Bushmiller’s Nancy, which over the past few decades has garnered a reputation as the purest distillation of the gag cartoon, a triumph of minimalism... Nancy Is Happy: Dailies 1943-1945 joins Bushmiller’s magnum opus in full swing ... Bushmiller’s genius [was] to make everything in his strip so basic that anyone, anywhere, at any time, could get the joke." – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club

Review (Video): Video blogger Robert Crayola looks at Nancy Is Happy: "If you like comics or comic strips especially and you haven't read Nancy or if you have and you just want more, I think you'll enjoy this.... Hopefully we can get many more volumes of this. I hope you support it. It's a great book."

Any Similarity to Persons Living or Dead Is Purely Coincidental: An Anthology of Comic Art, 1979-1985

Review: "One of the signature achievements of ’80s alt-comics, Drew and Josh Alan Freidman’s Any Similarity to Persons Living or Dead Is Purely Coincidental: An Anthology of Comic Art, 1979-1985 is now back in print in a spiffy new edition that doesn’t really add anything to the original, but is still a necessary addition to any library that doesn’t already have a copy.... Drew Friedman’s stipple-heavy photo-realism and his brother Josh’s gleefully cruel humor combine to craft an alternate history of American entertainment that’s preposterous and yet feels true. Even now, decades after other cartoonists and comedians have tapped this well, the Friedmans’ pioneering work in the field of 'brattily dicking around with icons' remains unparalleled." – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club

Plug: Boing Boing's Mark Frauenfelder gives Drew Friedman a platform to hype his upcoming NYC art show at Scott Eder Gallery in Brooklyn and re-release of Any Similarity to Persons Living or Dead Is Purely Coincidental

Folly: The Consequences of Indescretion

Review: "Folly... serve[s] as a good introduction to Rickheit’s beautifully ugly visions, of a world where cute girls and humanoid stuffed animals commit atrocities against oozing flesh. With a drawing style that resembles Jason Lutes and Charles Burns, and a storytelling style similar to Jim Woodring and Al Columbia, Rickheit excels in making nightmares lucid. Some characters recur from story to story in Folly, but really this book is just page after page of beautiful images juxtaposed with wounds and excreta. The single-mindedness of Rickheit’s approach — and the level of detail he applies to it — is impressively horrifying." – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club

Isle of 100,000 Graves

Review: "...[A] heck of a ride... Jason might not be to everyone’s taste, but those who have acquired it will find Isle of 100,000 Graves to be a small but satisfying banquet." – No Flying No Tights

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

Reviews: Chris Spector's Midwest Record rounds up reviews of new & recent Fantagraphics releases by Carl Barks, Jack Davis, Gahan Wilson, Pat Thomas, Johnny Gruelle, Ernie Bushmiller and E.C. Segar

Celluloid & Congress of the Animals - Los Angeles Times Book Prizes Finalists

Plugs: The Los Angeles Times Hero Complex's Emily Rome and Geoff Boucher spotlight the L.A. Times Book Prizes graphic novel nominees, including Celluloid by Dave McKean and Congress of the Animals by Jim Woodring

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

Profile: The Salt Lake Tribune's Ben Fulton introduces Kevin Avery and his books on Paul Nelson, including Everything Is an Afterthought, which Avery will be signing at two events in Utah next week

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

Interview (Audio): Pat Thomas appears on the Wax Poetics "Bad Data" podcast to discuss Listen Whitey! The Sights and Sounds of Black Power 1965-1975

The Big Town

Interview (Video): Monte Schulz sits down to discuss his new novel The Big Town with host Fred Klein on the Literary Gumbo video podcast

Commentary: Monte Schulz is writing a new blog at The Huffington Post, and for his first entry he tells you "What the 1920s Was Really Like" based on his research of the decade for his novel The Big Town

Jaime Hernandez - self portrait

Analysis: More from The Hooded Utilitarian critical roundtable on Jaime Hernandez's "Locas" stories — Corey Creekmur on the role of memory and Jason Michelitch on the gaps in the stories

Significant Objects

Contest: At Design Observer Rob Walker writes more about the Studio 360 Significant Objects writing contest

Emerald City Comicon

Scene: Ashley Cook of Giant Fire Breathing Robot reports from our "Northwest Noir: Seattle's Legacy of Counterculture Comix" panel at Emerald City Comicon

Significant Objects interview & story contest on Studio 360 (plus the final covers!)
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Significant ObjectsRob WalkerinterviewscontestsComing Attractionsaudio 23 Mar 2012 4:18 PM

Significant Objects

Rob Walker, co-founder of the Significant Objects project, was a guest on today's episode of Public Radio International's Studio 360 with host Kurt Andersen (who also happens to have contributed a story). Andersen interviewed Walker on location at Vintage Thrift in Manhattan and the two chose three new Objects for listeners to assign Significance to in Studio 360's Significant Objects story contest. Listen to the segment here or embedded below:

And hey, designer extraordinaire Jacob Covey just finalized the two — yes, two! — covers for the book. That's right, because we're crazy, we're publishing the book collection with two different covers, evenly split 50/50, so you have a choice of the cow creamer above or the bunny candle below. Amazon isn't going to let you choose, so if you have a preference you'll need to either pre-order from us or pick it up from your local book shop when it comes out in June.

Significant Objects

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: 1/25/12
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Significant ObjectsPopeyenicolas mahlerGabriella GiandelliDaily OCD 25 Jan 2012 7:05 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Popeye Vol. 5:

Plug: USA Today Pop Candy's Whitney Matheson, posting that Wilco music video with Popeye & co. that's everywhere today, adds "If you're looking for more Popeye, I highly recommend the beautiful collections from Fantagraphics."

Angelman: Fallen AngelSignificant ObjectsInteriorae

Plugs: Lee and Gwen of Comics and... Other Imaginary Tales comment on a few of our upcoming releases, including Angelman by Nicolas Mahler, Significant Objects, and Interiorae by Gabriella Giandelli

What's in the January 2012 Diamond Previews
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Stephen DixonSignificant ObjectsRoy Cranenicolas mahlerJohn BensonGabriella GiandelliDrew FriedmanDiamond 29 Dec 2011 1:11 AM

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201112/previews-201201.jpg

The new 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 March 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 Spotlight item is Nicolas Mahler's superhero spoof Angelman: Fallen Angel, an excerpt of which we are currently serializing here on our website; the new edition of Drew & Josh Alan Friedman's long-out-of-print classic Any Similarity to Persons Living or Dead Is Purely Coincidental is "Certified Cool"; and the issue also includes the new volume of Roy Crane's Buz Sawyer; the collected edition of Gabriella Giandelli's acclaimed "Ignatz" comic Interiorae; the long-awaited new issue of the EC Comics scholarship magazine Squa Tront; and not one but two collections of literary prose stories, the eagerly-anticipated Significant Objects book and Stephen Dixon's What Is All This?, now in a softcover edition.

See them all here!


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Brooklyn Book Fest 2014

Join us at the Brooklyn Book Fest, September 21, 2014, in Brooklyn, NY. Click here for details!

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