88. Buddy Bradley fromHate, Buddy Buys a Dump, etc. "For some, though, Bagge's early ‘90s hipster caricature was the closest comics got to depicting the world Gen X'ers knew, or at least the world they thought would make them look cool if they acted like they knew it. Through Buddy, Bagge bitingly dredged up the paranoia at the core of every ‘90s alt doofus." – Garrett Martin
35. Enid Coleslaw from Ghost World "Teenage girls, in particular, get the short shrift in comics as Betties and Veronicas, but Enid is spunky, dangerous and recognizably human. In Ghost World, Enid brings her glorious three dimensions to the trials of adolescence." – Hillary Brown
"His cantankerous, money-crazed persona is tempered by a sympathetic backstory from Barks, showing how the millionaire waterfowl earned every dime of his immense wealth through hard work and cunning. This simple setup has fueled decades of stories, the animated series DuckTales and, more recently, a new series of acclaimed reprints of Barks' classic comics by Fantagraphics." –Zack Smith
"Hopey is all spikes and broken glass - a kid at heart - and, as children are, often thoughtless, selfish and wild. That she manages to be completely endearing and relatable to the reader speaks to Hernandez's achievement in Hopey's characterization." – Hillary Brown
10. Maggie from Love and Rockets/Locas by Jaime Hernandez "Maggie's evolving, deepening emotions since 1981 make her one of the most realized and substantial characters in the entire comics medium. She's stereotypically feminine in many aspects - emotional, irrational, eats her feelings - but she also bends gender norms, as evidenced by her talent as a mechanic." – Hillary Brown
Rolling Stone recently listed it's Top 50 Non-Superhero Graphic Novels and we made up 22% of that list (including a few books that we published and have been rereleased by others). If you haven't picked up one of these books, get steppin' to your local comic book store, buy one from the website, visit the library---you've go so many options! Picks by Joe Gross also of the Austin-American Statesman.
47Safe Area Gorazde by Joe Sacco "Joe Sacco is one of the medium's premier journalists; that he has focused on war-torn regions makes his work feel that much more vital and impressive...Gorazde - is a great place to start."
44You'll Never Know series by C. Tyler "Tyler is a top flight memoirist, and You'll Never Know pulses with a maturity not often found in the medium."
43Usagi Yojimbo by Stan Sakai "Never less than thoughtful and entertaining, Usagi Yojimbo is one of the most consistent comics around."
15Uncle Scrooge by Carl Barks "His Donald Duck stories are a comedic blast, but his Uncle Scrooge stories are veritable silly symphonies of complicated plotting and intercontinental adventure. Need a master class in how to tell a great comics story? Read any Barks' Scrooge stories from 1950 until his retirement in 1966. It's all there."
5The Complete Crumb by R. Crumb "To ignore him completely is only to invite accidentally ripping him off; he's the Bob Dylan of the comics underground, and his work is embedded in the medium's DNA now."
1Love and Rockets by Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez "Imagine the Clash or R.E.M. or Run-DMC not only never broke up, but, for 30 years, never once released a less-than-excellent record. Imagine their command of their craft just became more pronounced year after year, earning the unshakable admiration of their fans and peers. Imagine they made the best record of their career, 30 years on, this decade. This is essentially what Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez have done with Love and Rockets, the greatest American comic book series of all time."
The painting I donated to the CAPS auction to benefit the Sakai family back in December is now up for bids! Here’s some info about the painting, if you are interested: the illustration is from the Japanese folktale Little Peachling and was originally done for the front cover of one of my earliest children’s books, Favorite Tales from Many Lands, written by Walter Retan and published by Grossett & Dunlap in 1989. This was painted on illustration board (basically, a piece of bristol board attached to a chipboard backing), then "stripped" (peeled off the backing board) because back in those days, children, artwork was color separated by wrapping it around a drum scanner. Because of this the backside is a bit fuzzy, but so is your cat's so don't judge.
Left to right: Linda Medley, Stan Sakai, Mark Crilley, and Jeff Smith. Not pictured: Charles Vess. Old Man's Cave, Ohio, November 1998
There's been tons of wonderful artwork donated, and right now you have the opportunity to bid on pieces from three of my old buddies above, counting Charlie who was there but didn't show up in the photo because faerie glamour.
Mark Crilley's fantastic watercolor of Usagi. Go watch the amazing video Mark made of him coloring this piece, be soothed by his awesome weatherman voice, then bid like crazy because this auction ends on Sunday.
Also ending Sunday is Charles Vess's huge, gorgeous watercolor spread which comes with bonus Neil Gaiman cooties! So it's well worth your consideration. And paycheck.
Also well worth it are the Sakais. Seriously, they are the nicest people in comics -- and beyond -- and Stan is a LEGEND. Even if you can't bid in the auctions, you can still donate via PayPal, and every little bit helps.
Call it a Love Hate relationship: Visitors to the Fantagraphics booth #207 at this weekend's sold-out Emerald City Comicon in Seattle will be the first in the country to get copies of Buddy Buys a Dump. The third volume of Peter Bagge's Buddy Bradley stories includes the Hate Annual adventures with a new 20-page conclusion. Come see.
Ellen Forney and David Lasky will sign at our booth today at 4:30 following their informative panel discussion on health care in the comix community. Don't miss the panel on Fantagraphics' future on Saturday at 1:00 PM in room TCC 301 with panelists Gary Groth, Eric Reynolds, Michael Catron and Kristy Valenti moderated by Paul Constant of The Stranger. (Check out this week's issue for Constant's panel preview.) This fascinating discussion will continue after the panel when the editors drop by our booth. Then meet the editor of Simon and Kirby's Young Romance series, Michel Gagné, at 3:00 PM.
Don't miss the booth appearance by Stan Sakai on Sunday at 11:00 AM. He'll be signing the first seven volumes of Usagi Yojimbo collections — a spectacular series brought to print by the late Kim Thompson. Here's a chance to meet one of America's most extraordinary artists. We'll have some seasonal Usagi treats in store for adoring fans.
Saturday, March 29th 1:00-2:00 PM Gary Groth, Eric Reynolds, Mike Catron, Kristy Valenti
[Our editorial dream team will also be appearing on the panel Fantagraphics Books: Forecasting the Future of Misfit Lit , on Saturday, March 29th. The Stranger's Paul Constant will lead the fantastic four in a discussion at 1:00 PM in Room TCC 301. Don't miss your chance at some first-hand scoop on our future projects!]
Seattle's lovable scamp, and the Manager and Curator of the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery, Larry Reid will be more than happy to sell you some comics from Booth 207, up on the fourth floor. Please note: this is a condensed version of the map. You can view the full map here.
But wait! There's even more panels you can check out when you're not at our booth!
Friday, March 28th // The Wit and Wisdom of WebcartoonistsVeteran creators Jennie Breeden (The Devil's Panties), Danielle Corsetto (Girls with Slingshots), and Shaenon Garrity (Skin Horse, Monster of the Week), will share insights gleaned from a collective 38 years of webcomics experience. Moderated by Fantagraphics' Kristy Valenti. [ Room: HALL D (602-603) / 1:40 PM - 2:30 PM ]
Saturday, March 29th // What We Mean When We Say "Comics"Comics have become more diverse and divergent in recent years than possibly ever before, as a medium, an industry and a community. But what, exactly, are we talking about when we say "comics," anyway? Join panelists Kurt Busiek, Chris Roberson, Jen Vaughn, Shannon Watters, and Allison Baker as they discuss all things "comic." [ Room: HALL C (610) / 12:20 PM - 1:10 PM ]
Saturday, March 29th // It's More Than Drawing: Exploring Other Careers in the Comics Industry Working in the comic industry is not just limited to being an artist. Taking an initial comic concept through its steps to become a finished product takes a small army. From storyline creators and concept artists to the teams behind comic creation technology and tools, there are options in comic-focused career paths. Join panelists (including Fantagraphics' Mike Catron) as they discuss the growing spaces and emerging positions in the comics industry, share their personal advice and insight and even shed light on how they broke into their current job market. [ Room: 2B / 4:00 PM - 4:50 PM ]
Emerald City Comicon is held at the Washington State Convention & Trade Center at 800 Convention Place in bustlin' downtown Seattle.
"Just as Usagi has learned that swordsmanship is more than fighting, Stan Sakai has obviously learned that art is more than drawing. The entire field would be richer if more artists embraced this lesson." – Robert Asprin, from the introduction
"If you haven't seen this ultra-cool series, you must! It involves a rabbit samurai — yes, a rabbit samurai — that young readers will love for the action and sophisticated art. I adore it for those reasons too, but there's more substance to it than you might expect. A good Zen comic is hard to find, and this one is nearly perfect." – USA Today Pop Candy
"These bittersweet adventure stories offer entertaining reading, especially for young Asian-Americans who feel excluded from mainstream juvenile literature." – Los Angeles Times
"One of the most original, innovative, well-executed comic books anywhere to be found." – Stan Lee
Another teaser from our new reprint of Stan Sakai's Usagi Yojimbo Book 3: The Wanderer's Road for you: a downloadable excerpt with 19 pages from the book, including most of the first story, "The Tower." When Usagi comes to the aid of a hungry tokagé (the little dinosaur-like lizards that populate the Usagiverse), they both find themselves in peril at the hands — and cleaver — of an angry cook. The exciting conclusion, and six other stories (helpfully listed in the included Table of Contents), await you in this timeless classic, which you can pre-order now for shipment in April.
152-page black & white 6" x 9" softcover • $16.99 ISBN: 978-1-56097-009-5
7th printing! Ships in April 2014 (subject to change) — Pre-Order Now
Perhaps the best samurai rabbit story ever told, Usagi Yojimbo Book 3 collects full-length Usagi stories from issues #7 through #12 of the original Fantagraphics series, including "The Tower" (which introduces Usagi's travelling companion Spot the Wonder Lizard), "Return of the Blind Swordspig," "A Mother's Love," "Blade of the Gods," "The Shogun's Gift," and the hilarious Groo tribute "The Tea Cup," co-starring the amoral mercenary rhino Gen. ("Gen does what Gen does best!") PLUS, the little-seen Usagi team-up with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles "Turtle Soup and Rabbit Stew," written and drawn by Sakai. A must-have for adventure lovers of all ages!
The first softcover edition of Usagi Yojimbo Book 3: The Wanderer's Road came out in 1989. Now, 25 years later, the 7th printing is soon to hit shelves. This is an essential volume of Stan Sakai's rabbit ronin saga, featuring the debut of Usagi's lizard pal Spot, the return of the Blind Swordspig, the introduction of the terrifying Jei (seen above), a hat-tip to Groo co-starring the mercenary Gen, deepening feudal intrigue featuring Tomoe and the Neko Ninja, and the first Ninja Turtle crossover story!
This February, Michigan State University will host their annual MSU Comics Forum, an event that brings together scholars, creators, and fans in order to explore celebrate the medium of comics, graphic storytelling, and sequential art.
And this year's keynote speaker is noneother than the great Stan Sakai! On Friday, February 21st, Stan will be speaking from 7:00 to 8:30 PM in the Residential College of Arts & Humanities Theater. Sakai-san will be discussing his long-running anthropomorphic animal series, Usagi Yojimbo, and talking about his wonderful, highly-acclaimed 30+ year career!
MSU Comics Forum will take place at Snyder/Phillips Hall at Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan.