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Category >> Stan Sakai

Daily OCD: 2/3/12
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under The Comics JournalStan SakaireviewsPaul KarasikLaura ParkJoost SwarteJasonJack JacksoninterviewsDaily OCD 4 Feb 2012 12:06 AM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions (none yesterday):

Is That All There Is?

Review: "If Spielberg shed the skin of Hergé’s style in an effort to get to the heart of his stories, the compelling work of Dutch cartoonist Joost Swarte performs the procedure in reverse.... Swarte, equally inspired by the underground comix that emerged from the American counterculture of the 1960s and ’70s, adapted the clear line and reanimated it with subversive content unlike the perennially chipper Boy Scoutism of Hergé’s Tintin. ...Is That All There Is?, collecting the bulk of his comics oeuvre to date (excluding a body of children’s comics), provides an overdue opportunity to linger over and consider his narrative work.... Like a Rube Goldberg machine designed according to De Stijl aesthetics—with a rhythm and blues soundtrack—Swarte’s comics communicate a historically freighted, European sense of the absurd, poised toward a globalizing, postmodern present." – Bill Kartalopoulos, The Brooklyn Rail

Review: "The real joy of Swarte’s work... is the architectural elegance of his illustrations and his fine ability to colour them using everything from watercolour to retro duo-tones. Looking at Swarte’s mostly 20th century work [in Is That All There Is?] now, what’s also — and tangentially — interesting is the retro-futuristic look of it: the settings are near-future, but everything’s styled circa the 1940s, much in the same way Ridley Scott imagined the future in Bladerunner. For sheer design swagger you need to check Swarte out." – Miles Fielder, The List

Athos in America

Review: "These stories [in Athos in America] are a little less open-and-shut than Jason usually makes. His comics are always good, but I usually don't think about them too much after reading them. This one's more of a think stimulator than previous books.... It's a beautiful book. This is definitely Jason's best book yet. Good job, Jason." – Nick Gazin, VICE

keep on trudgin'

Interview: Chicago Publishes has an interview with Mome contributor Laura Park: "I’m really happy with the stories I did for MOME. I love short stories. Novels are the format now — it’s a selling format. You can have graphic novels in a bookstore, because non-comics people might buy them. Whenever you can get a comic from the comic shop into a bookstore, it’ll make more money. But short stories are kind of magical to me. My favorite writer is Flannery O’Connor. She has novels, but her short stories are the ones that linger and itch away through you."

 Jack Jackson's American History: Los Tejanos & Lost Cause [

Bibliography: Love & Maggie presents a comprehensive annotated guide to Jack Jackson-related materials in back issues of The Comics Journal

Stan Sakai Angoulême sketch

Scene: Paul Karasik has a delightful report from Angoulême; Stan Sakai has one too, with Usagi sketches

Daily OCD: 11/25/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Wilfred SantiagoWalt KellyUsagi YojimboStan SakaiShimura TakakoreviewsMickey MouseMaurice TillieuxmangaJack DavisinterviewsFloyd GottfredsonDisneyDaily OCDCarl BarksBest of 201121 25 Nov 2011 8:26 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Pogo Vol. 1

Review: "The good news: it’s here, it’s real. The better news: it’s incredible. Walt Kelly’s lively, robust, and poetic world is faithfully and lovingly produced in this, the first of a proposed twelve volume series. The hardcover is printed horizontally, maintaining the integrity of the 'strip' format, with ample margins to avoid any gutter-loss. Fantagraphics knew this first volume would be scrutinized by hardcore Pogo fans, and they’ve outdone expectations, dating each strip, providing historical context for the more esoteric 1940s references, and even reproducing the color Sunday strips.... Through the Wild Blue Wonder is one of our Best Comics and Graphic Novels of 2011, and there might not be a better gift this holiday for the historical and literary comics fan." – Alex Carr, Omnivoracious (Amazon.com)

Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 1-2 box set

Review: "The usually tight-gripped Disney empire agreed to turn over their most treasured property to Fantagraphics (yes, again!). The results are eye-opening, featuring a Mickey that might be unfamiliar to most present-day fans. The stories are dense, packing plenty of dialogue into the strips — and the themes are darker than the bright-eyed, factory-sealed tales of today. Mickey is multi-dimensional in the first volume, Race to Death Valley, making rash decisions without much concern for everyone’s safety. Thankfully, Minnie is by his side to both reign him in and sometimes encourage his recklessness. The reproduction is crisp — the black inks are meticulous in their separation, and the book is augmented with over 50 pages of essays and Mickey esoterica. Volume 2, Trapped on Treasure Island, published last month, and Fantagraphics has a gift edition slipcase that contains both volumes. This dynamic look is a revelation in the life of the character who started it all for Disney." – Alex Carr, Omnivoracious (Amazon.com)

Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes

Review (Audio): Washington DC comics shop Big Planet Comics looks at Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes in the latest episode of their podcast

Plug: At Comic Book Resources' "Black Friday Comics Shopping Guide": "Fantagraphics is all over the legacies of some of the best artists ever to work for the Walt Disney company with Floyd Gottfredson's Mickey Mouse, vol. 1 ($29.99) and Carl Barks' Donald Duck ($24.99). Disney's most famous characters need no introduction, but their modern incarnations are so far from their roots that these collections will surprise anyone seeing these strips for the first time. Any of these volumes is a guaranteed smile."

Wandering Son Vol. 2

Plug: Deb Aoki's Manga Gift Guide at About.com Manga includes Wandering Son Vols. 1 & 2 by Shimura Takako: "This critically acclaimed series is available as over-sized hardcovers, which makes them especially gift-worthy, but the story is also charming and sensitive in a way that doesn't bash the reader over the head with a preachy agenda. Volume 2 is due out soon, so get that too if you can."

Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture - A Career Retrospective

Plugs: The Comics Reporter's indispensable "Black Friday Holiday Shopping Guide 2011" (in progress) makes mention of some of our publications (Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture and Gil Jordan, Private Detective: Murder by High Tide among them) and affiliated artists

21: The Story of Roberto Clemente

List: Robert Birnbaum, a.k.a. Our Man in Boston, names 21: The Story of Roberto Clemente by Wilfred Santiago one of his favorite books of the year on "The Best List of 2011"

Stan Sakai, at the 2007 San Diego Comic-Con

Interview (Video): School Library Journal's Eva Volin caught Stan Sakai on camera at Comic-Con in San Diego for a quick Q&A

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

FBI•MINIs
(a partial assortment)

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

Until now!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New Comics Day 11/2/11: Ganges #4, officially this time
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under The Comics JournalStan SakaiNew Comics DayKevin HuizengaIgnatz Series 1 Nov 2011 7:10 PM

This week's comic shop shipment is slated to include the following new title. Read on to see what comics-blog commentators and web-savvy comic shops are saying about it (more to be added as they appear), check out our previews at the link, and contact your local shop to confirm availability.

Ganges #4 by Kevin Huizenga

Ganges #4
by Kevin Huizenga

32-page two-color 8.5" x 11" comic book, with jacket • $7.95
Part of the Ignatz Series

"Kevin Huizenga has blessed us all with another issue of Ganges, totally unexpected and entirely wonderful. Let's not disappoint him." – Chris Butcher, The Beguiling

"...Ganges #4 seems to me to be the obvious choice for the $15 and under crowd, continuing everyman Glenn Ganges’ attempts to get some shuteye. This time he attempts to find a really dull book and the results are hugely entertaining." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6

"I’ve been waiting for this one awhile, and glad to see it. $7.95 might seem like a lot for a 32 page book, but Huzienga’s craft really makes it worth it. It’d also be an ideal palette cleanser in case I read some unexpectedly bad books." – Chris Arrant, Robot 6

"I think the third issue of Kevin Huizenga’s series was either at the top of my list of favorite comics of last year, or at least very near the top, so this is one of my most anticipated releases not just for this week, but probably this year." – J.K. Parkin, Robot 6

"...Ganges #4 from Fantagraphics... has crept across this land’s shops like a heart attack down the spine of an insomniac; $7.95. Spooky." – Joe McCulloch, The Comics Journal

"Every single thing that Kevin Huizenga does is a must-have for me. This is a continuation of the insomnia storyline." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter

"Great fun as always from Kevin, he certainly knows how to spin a yarn out of almost nothing." – Jonathan Rigby, Page 45

Additionally!...

Usagi Yojimbo #1

Congratulations to the great Stan Sakai, whose wonderful Usagi Yojimbo series reaches its milestone 200th issue (#141 of its current Dark Horse incarnation) this week!

The Comics Journal #299

And if you're picking up the big Someday Funnies book from Abrams ComicsArts this week, be sure to snag yourself a copy of The Comics Journal #299, which chronicles the long, strange history of this decades-in-the-making anthology.

Nursery Rhyme Comics Show TONIGHT at Secret Headquarters!
Written by janice headley | Filed under Tony MillionaireStan SakaiJordan CraneJaime Hernandezevents 21 Oct 2011 2:03 PM

Nursery Rhyme Comics show at Secret Headquarters

Join Fantagraphics artists Jaime Hernandez, Jordan Crane, Tony Millionaire, and Stan Sakai tonight at Secret Headquarters in L.A.!

They'll be signing copies of the new First Second title Nursery Rhyme Comics, an anthology featuring 50 classic nursery rhymes as depicited by 50 of your favorite comic artists.  And their original artwork will be on display tonight for the signing!

So, don't sit on a wall and have a great fall, or fetch a pail of water and go tumbling after --- just head to Secret Headquarters [ 3817 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles ] tonight at 7 PM!

Hey, Remember Comic-Con 2011?
Written by Kim Thompson | Filed under Wilfred SantiagoStan SakaiMark KalesnikoLove and RocketsJoyce FarmerJaime HernandezJacques TardiGilbert HernandezFrank StackeventsCCI21 22 Sep 2011 10:54 AM

Somewhat belatedly, a portfolio of candid photographs by roving
photojournalist Lynn Emmert. Captions by her husband (me).

Fantagraphics Booth at San Diego Comic-Con 2011
Now that is one fine lookin' booth.

San Diego Comic-Con 2011
And then I woke up in a cold sweat, as the memories came flooding back.

Fantagraphics Booth at San Diego Comic-Con 2011
Kim Thompson and Frank Stack, separated at birth.

Fantagraphics Booth at San Diego Comic-Con 2011
Natalia Hernandez, more adorable than three Zooey Deschanels, next to one of her daddy's comics.

Fantagraphics Booth at San Diego Comic-Con 2011
Speaking of whom... Partying like it's 1982 (San Diego Comic-Con premiere of Love and Rockets #1, if you'll recall).

Fantagraphics Booth at San Diego Comic-Con 2011
It's always sad to see older cartoonists who have become so jaded they can't muster up any enthusiasm when meeting their fans.

Fantagraphics booth at San Diego Comic-Con 2011
Mark Kalesniko, happy to be finally off the FREEWAY (notice clever integration of book title into caption). Also visible, right to left, paying customer, Conrad Groth, Mike Baehr, Eric Buckler, Gilbert Hernandez.

Fantagraphics booth at San Diego Comic-Con 2011
"Well, hello there, do you come here often?" Frank Stack hits on Joyce Farmer by (almost literally) showing her his etchings.

Fantagraphics booth at San Diego Comic-Con 2011
21 author Wilfred Santiago (rockin' the indoor sunglasses) and Sanlida Cheng.

Fantagraphics booth at San Diego Comic-Con 2011
Eisners, man!

Fantagraphics booth at San Diego Comic-Con 2011
Sometimes in the middle of a convention I like to shave my beard down to a goatee and pretend I'm someone famous.

Fantagraphics booth at San Diego Comic-Con 2011
Eric Buckler, Conrad Groth, and Kristy Valenti, workin' the booth.

Fantagraphics booth at San Diego Comic-Con 2011
Did we mention?... Two Eisners for IT WAS THE WAR OF THE TRENCHES! Janice Headley displays.

Fantagraphics booth at San Diego Comic-Con 2011
And it's not a San Diego convention without Stan and Sharon Sakai!

Fantagraphics booth at San Diego Comic-Con 2011
And in case you missed it...















Usagi Yojimbo, Prince of Thule (and special Usagi/Valiant offer!)
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Usagi YojimboThings to seeStan Sakaisales specialsPrince Valiantfan artBrian Kane 22 Aug 2011 4:55 PM

Usagi Yojimbo/Prince Valiant fan art by Brian Kane

Prince Valiant chronicler (and fine cartoonist in his own right) Brian Kane presented Usagi Yojimbo creator Stan Sakai with this fantastic fan-art mashup of Val and Usagi at the Baltimore Comic Con this past weekend and forwarded it along to us, and now he's given us permission to share it with you! (Click the image for a slightly larger version.)

Inspired by this artwork, we had the idea to offer free standard domestic shipping on orders that include at least one Usagi book and at least one Prince Valiant book for the rest of the week! This offer is not available for online orders, so call 1-800-657-1100 to take advantage. (Offer applies only to in-stock Usagi and Valiant books and expires at 5PM Pacific time on Friday August 26, 2011.)

Things to See: 8/8/11 Roundup
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Wilfred SantiagoUsagi YojimboTim LaneTim HensleyThings to seeSteven WeissmanSteve BrodnerStephen DeStefanoStan SakaiSophie CrumbSergio PonchioneRichard SalaRenee FrenchPopeyePaul HornschemeierNoah Van SciverNick DrnasoNate NealMatthias LehmannMark KalesnikoLove and RocketsLorenzo MattottiLilli CarréLaura ParkKevin HuizengaJonathan BennettJohnny RyanJohn HankiewiczDrew FriedmanDerek Van GiesonDebbie DrechslerDave CooperDame DarcyAnders Nilsen 9 Aug 2011 2:32 AM

Apologies for the long delay since the last roundup. I enjoy bringing you these posts but lately it's been hard to squeeze them in. I may need to figure out a new approach or something. Anyway, on with the show:

Unemployment - Tim Hensley

• "Unemployment" strips by Tim Hensley

Jonathan Bennett on Nevermind

• Hey, a new comic from Jonathan Bennett! Spin commissioned a 2-page strip from Jonathan as part of their commemoration of the 20th anniversary of Nirvana's Nevermind and posted it on Facebook (Via Spurge)

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201108/book%20logo.jpg

Nate Neal has a new website you should bookmark/subscribe to, with lots & lots of updates, including comics in the video "Comix-O-Matic" format, sneak peeks of a new book he's working on and a whole mess more

Nerds pencils - Drew Friedman

Drew Friedman spotlights those awesome "Cool Art Pencils" that Pentech put out in the early '90s

Dental Exam sketch - Dave Cooper

Dave Cooper shares this rough preliminary sketch and a whole mess of reference photos (and behind-the-scenes shenanigans) for a new painting he's working on

Stranger Street - Richard Sala

Richard Salanow on Tumblr! Still some previously unshared updates on his Here Lies Richard Sala blog too

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201108/showcase-pamphlet-150.jpg

Tim Lane illustrates the poster & program for the St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase festival

Annency Cinéma Italien

Lorenzo Mattotti also illustrates for a film festival, Annency Cinéma Italien; plus a New Yorker cover and Johnny Rebb

Lilli Carré - Chicago Reader

Lilli Carré illustrates for the Chicago Reader and animates a Wallace Stevens poem at The Hooded Utilitarian

from The Hypo - Noah Van Sciver

• You may have heard we've signed Noah Van Sciver's in-progress graphic novel about Abraham Lincoln, The Hypohere Noah presents an excerpt

Popeye design - Stephen DeStefano

Stephen DeStefano continues to fill up his new Tumblr with Popeye designs, sketches and other stuff

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201108/portraitofsschiffel.jpg

The usual amazing stuff from Renee French

Steve Brodner

Steve Brodner on the debt-ceiling debacle for the Washington Post and additional recent sketches at his blog

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201108/1000000.jpg

• Yes, it's a panel from Kevin Huizenga's eagerly-awaited Ganges #4

Lefty the Salesman - Paul Hornschemeier

• Four weeks worth of Paul Hornschemeier's daily sketches at The Daily Forlorn

ARTIC FOX

• As we enter the dog days of summer Wilfred Santiago's arctic fox is looking mighty cool

Osamamel

Johnny Ryan gets in the Smurf spirit (Seal Team Smurf? Smurf Team Six? Smurf Team Smurf?) and draws his favorite bullies

Stan Sakai - sketchbook back cover

• Yowie, this back cover to Stan Sakai's latest annual sketchbook — yowie!

And more Things to See since the last update:

Glimpses of a new comic from Matthias Lehmann

Steven Weissman's latest "I, Anonymous" spots and more at his Chewing Gum in Church blog

A figure painting from a life drawing class by John Hankiewicz

Dame Darcy's developed a propinquity for dolphins

Debbie Drechsler returns to her nature-sketching blog Just Around the Corner

• Sketches by Mark Kalesniko for his new graphic novel Freeway at his blog

Sergio Ponchione gives some glimpses of his summer projects (if I'm interpreting the autotranslation correctly)

Here's the blog of new Mome contributor Nick Drnaso

Recent sketches (and aquarium videos) by Laura Park

New drawings from Sophie Crumb

Anders Nilsen 's book tour travel sketches

Lots of updates on recent projects and an autobio-ish strip or two from Derek Van Gieson

• Anthony Vukojevich takes on Love and Rockets #1 at the Covered blog

Daily OCD: 8/1/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under ZapWilfred SantiagoWalt KellyUsagi YojimboStan SakaiShimura TakakoreviewsPeanutsMoto HagioMickey MouseMichael KuppermanMaurice TillieuxmangaJim WoodringJack ColeFrank SantoroFloyd GottfredsonEC ComicsDrew WeingDrew FriedmanDisneyDave McKeanDash ShawDaily OCDCharles M SchulzAlex Chun21 1 Aug 2011 9:09 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Gil Jordan, Private Detective: Murder by High Tide

Review: "Originally appearing from 1958 to 1960, these insouciant, stylish, and thrilling dramas should appeal to readers of all ages. If they don't hook a whole new batch of bande dessinée fans, France needs to take back the Statue of Liberty in a huff.... Both stories zip by with nary a dull patch. Confections lacking in gravitas, they nevertheless own the supreme virtues of lightness and panache. Tillieux's art is always easy on the eye.... If Spielberg is looking for a second franchise after Tintin, he couldn't go wrong with Gil Jordan." – Paul Di Filippo, The Barnes & Noble Review

Wandering Son Vol. 1

List: At About.com - Manga, Deb Aoki shares comments that she and her fellow panelists on the "Best and Worst Manga" panel at Comic-Con made about Wandering Son Vol. 1 by Shimura Takako (named a Best New Teen Manga and a Best New Grown-Up Manga) and A Drunken Dream and Other Stories by Moto Hagio (named a Best New Grown-Up Manga)

Review: "Thanks to well known translator Matt Thorn, this volume is a very smooth read. I don’t often comment on such things, but Thorn took great care in interpreting and presenting this book, and it pays off in a very pleasing flow of text. The art is also quite lovely, very simplistic, and flows well from panel to panel. The color pages in the beginning have a beautiful, water color look to them. Fantagraphics has put out a gorgeous hardcover book with Wandering Son." – Kristin Bomba, ComicAttack.net

The Pin-Up Art of Humorama

Review: "Fantagraphics’ The Pin-Up Art of Humorama collects hundreds of racy cartoons from the once-ubiquitous tasteless humor mag.... The Fantagraphics edition, edited by Alex Chun and Jacob Covey, 'remasters' these toons with a two-color treatment that really captures the graphic feel of the mouldering pulps that still grace the ends of yard-sale tables in cities across America. It must be said that none of these are very funny, but they’re often quite beautiful and nostalgic." – Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing

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

Review: "Every once in a while, a book comes along that is simply spectacular. This collection of [Mickey Mouse] comic strips by Floyd Gottfredson is a perfect example of how to present, analyze and reconstruct subject matter that is viewed differently today. The series editors (David Gerstein and Gary Groth) pull no punches in discussing why Mickey was carrying a gun or the use of slang that is noticeably offensive by today's standards. This is a wonderful vehicle for presenting historically accurate art. Other companies should take notice.... This is a stunning work. The historical presentation is flawless, as is the artwork." – George Taylor, Imaginerding

Celluloid [Pre-Order]

Review: "[In Celluloid], McKean is attempting to subvert hardened notions of both comics and pornography. It's a book that gets the blood racing just as it raises questions that just won't go away about the nature of art, porn, and the male gaze.... By painting an erotic sequence with a surrealist's brush, McKean reveals the raw sexual current that underscores all pornography." – Peter Bebergal, Bookslut

Review: "An unapologetically hard-core hardcover, Celluloid follows a young woman’s sexual epiphany... and feels almost like a silent, erotic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, with the White Rabbit and the rabbit-hole replaced by an ancient movie camera and a doorway to…somewhere else. By itself, typically, McKean’s technical mastery (beginning with pen and ink and finishing with photography) steals the breath away; ditto his visual motifs — involving fruit, say, or eyes. A bravura performance, Celluloid (which ends, by the way, with signal wit) constitutes an astounding fusion of the Dionysiac and the Apolline, in Nietzschean terms, and less invites reading than demands rereading." – Bryan A. Hollerbach, PLAYBACK:stl

Congress of the Animals

Review: "In the oneiric power of his work as a writer/artist, Jim Woodring enjoys few rivals in contemporary comics... Within the first ten pages of Congress of the Animals, calamity literally descends on poor Frank in the form of a wood-boxed croquet set. In the next ten, our bucktoothed, bobtail boyo suffers both a labor dispute and a credit crisis, and thereafter, in the U.S. in 2011, it should come as no surprise that things fast go from bad to worse; just for starters, Frank has to enter the working world. Ameliorating all of his tribulations, at least from readers’ vantage, are his creator’s nonpareil pen and undulant line — a quivery visual seduction courtesy of Higgins. Moreover, by the finale, Frank’s [spoiler redacted – Ed.] — so the little guy ain’t doin’ too bad, y’know?" – Bryan A. Hollerbach, PLAYBACK:stl

Review: "Like Weathercraft, this new work [Congress of the Animals] is completely silent, showcasing Woodring's amazing talent to convey a story without a word, with seemingly little effort. It's just an eye-popping visual feast of amazing illustrations in this crazy world where Woodring can put whatever he wants on the page, to a stunning end result." – Dave Ferraro, Comics-and-More (via the SPX Tumblr)

21: The Story of Roberto Clemente

Review: "How wrong I was to underestimate the powerful storytelling medium of the emerging graphic novel platform, especially when masterfully rendered by an author and artist as remarkably talented as Santiago. I expected an exciting visual presentation, and was not disappointed, as Santiago’s heavy-lined, representational graphic style was, in turn whimsical, arresting, quirky, and most of all, emotional. But I wasn’t prepared for the wonderfully passionate portrayal of the human side of Clemente’s legendary journey from Puerto Rico into baseball immortality.... Captivating, revealing, and dramatic, 21 accomplished through art, creative use of informed imagination, and pure passion, far more than I thought possible from a graphic novel. I believe I now have a more complete picture of Roberto Clemente, but not of his statistics, or even his style of play, or of his place in baseball history. I have a truer sense of his heart." – Mark W. Schraf, Spitball

The Complete Peanuts 1950-1952 (Vol. 1) [NORTH AMERICA ONLY]

Review: Adorable alert! At Bookie Woogie, 11-year-old Gracie (and her dad Aaron Zenz) review The Complete Peanuts:

Gracie:  Charlie Brown!  He's the one who thinks, "Life is going bad... I'm an awful person... Nothing good ever happens to me..."
Dad:  Would you be friends with him?
Gracie:  I would. I love him. My love for him goes to the ceiling of a skyscraper.  But nothing good ever happens to him ever. Once he won a race -- that's probably the only thing he's ever won. And the prize was 5 free haircuts...
Dad:  Ha!
Gracie:  He's only got a twist of hair in front. And he's like, "Five free hair cuts?  I don't have much hair to cut! And even if I did... my dad is a barber!"
Dad:  Poor Charlie Brown.
Gracie:  Yeah, nothing good ever happens to him. He's always getting teased for his perfectly round head.

Usagi Yojimbo Book 4: The Dragon Bellow Conspiracy

Interview: The Comics Reporter's Tom Spurgeon talks with Stan Sakai: "Usagi was first published 27 years ago, and that time I just concentrated on the next story. It was around maybe... I would say with book four, The Dragon Bellow Conspiracy. That was the first major storyline. It took maybe 10 issues or something, I'm not exactly sure. Maybe eight issues.... Before then, I was thinking, 'Usagi's going to be canceled any month.' [laughter] 'I can't spend too much time devoting myself to a long storyline.' But once I did that and got over that hurdle, that's when I realized that hey, this could go on for a long time."

Pogo - Vol. 1 of the Complete Syndicated Comic Strips: Through the Wild Blue Wonder

List: The Hooded Utilitarian begins revealing the top 10 results in their International Best Comics Poll, with Walt Kelly's Pogo coming in at #8

Even More Old Jewish Comedians

Plug: Canada's National Post spotlights Drew Friedman's forthcoming book Even More Old Jewish Comedians

Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010

Plug: Michael Kupperman's Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010 was a favorite acquisition at Comic-Con among some of Comics Alliance 's writers

Set to Sea

Plug: "A trip to the comics shop yesterday netted me a copy of Drew Weing’s Set to Sea. It’s pure indulgence, because I have already read the story online, but Fantagraphics’ small, almost jewel-like presentation is really beautiful. Weing tells his story one panel at a time, and each panel could be framed as a work of art in itself, so having it in a book, without the clutter of the web, is a worthy investment." – Brigid Alverson, Robot 6

Classic Pin-up Art of Jack Cole [Softcover Ed.]

Commentary: Robot 6's Chris Mautner recommends The Classic Pin-Up Art of Jack Cole and Betsy and Me as "further reading" in his "Comics College" introduction to Jack Cole's work

TCJ.com

Commentary: At The Comics Journal, Frank Santoro talks about working with Dash Shaw on Dash's animation project and drawing for animation vs. drawing for comics

EC Comics logo

Scene: Comic Book Resources' Marlan Harris gives a recap of our 35th Anniversary panel at Comic-Con — unfortunately it contains several factual errors, some of which I have endeavored to correct in the comments thread

Scene: Our EC and ZAP announcements top Michael Dooley's list of 13 highlights from Comic-Con at Print magazine's Imprint blog

Snapshots from the Stan Sakai Exhibit
Written by janice headley | Filed under Usagi YojimboStan Sakaievents 12 Jul 2011 11:13 AM

Stan Sakai at Usagi Yojimbo exhibit

Wow! The Usagi Yojimbo exhibit just opened at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles this past weekend, and the rave reviews are already pouring in!  We got some great photos from our friends at Dark Horse that we just had to share... like THIS ONE:

Sergio Aragonés at the Stan Sakai exhibit

Why, that's no evil ronin! That's Sergio Aragonés! Gak, indeed!

Usagi Yojimbo exhibit (pic by Giant Robot)

Our friends at Giant Robot were also on the scene! They posted some beautiful shots of the show on their website, including a loving tribute sketch from Stan Lee, ha! 

Don't forget: Year of the Rabbit: Stan Sakai's Usagi Yojimbo runs until October 30th at the Japanese American National Museum [369 East First Street, Los Angeles]. Go see it for yourself!