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Category >> Supermen

Daily OCD: 5/21/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under SupermenreviewsMichael KuppermanKevin HuizengaJim FloraEleanor DavisBob Fingermanawardsaudio 21 May 2009 4:51 PM

No Online Commentary & Diversions tomorrow if I can help it: I'm taking the day off!

• Awards: Congratulations to Mome contributor Eleanor Davis for being nominated for this year's Russ Manning Most Promising Newcomer award (given out at the Eisner Awards ceremony at Comic Con International) for her excellent Toon Books release Stinky!

• Review: "The biggest surprise might be how good these stories are, even if they failed to take off in the way that, say, Superman did... [T]he Notes section at the end, written by editor Greg Sadowski, ...is truly fantastic... His studious efforts are worth the price of the book alone... These stories deserved another look and more attention. Sadowski has done an admirable job of making Supermen! The First Wave of Comic Book Heroes 1936–1941 not only reverent, but exciting and fun as well." - John Hogan, Graphic Novel Reporter

• Review: "I might say [Michael] Kupperman is one of the greatest satirists of our time, if I could figure out what he's satirizing. The basic facts: this collect[ion] of... Tales Designed to Thrizzle... featur[es] dozens of short pieces done on a chaotic array of subjects in so many styles much of it comes across as found art, and almost all of it's hilarious. Any attempt to summarize things like 'Mentally Ill Gangster Comics' or 'Crime Is Pushing the Limits' would miss the point completely. Except to say this is media culture put through the grinder. Top-notch." - Steven Grant, Comic Book Resources

• Interview: Ladies and gentlemen, the Inkstuds interview with Bob Fingerman

• Good news: The Comics Reporter reports that Amazing Facts... and Beyond! with Leon Beyond by Kevin Huizenga, Ted May & Dan Zettwoch will be returning to the pages of the weekly Riverfront Times

• Things to see (and buy): New Jim Flora print

Daily OCD: Bonus Twitter Edition
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under The Comics JournalSupermenPrince ValiantpreviewsPeanutsMichael KuppermanJohnny RyanBlazing CombatAl Columbia 18 May 2009 2:50 PM

Here's a few days worth of buzz from Twitter... I don't know if I can make this a habit (and this might be borderline obnoxious), but we'll see:

BeaucoupKevin: Between you, me and the fencepost, if DC or Marvel reprinted their Golden Age material in the Fantagraphics' SUPERMEN! format, I'd not mind.

Triphibian: The Prince Valiant collection from Fantagraphics looks very, very sexy. http://www.fantagraphics.com/princevaliant

Omnivoracious: New Fantagraphics catalog in the mail (candy!). Most enticing: Al Columbia's first book (http://tinyurl.com/oku8ge), Comics Journal 300.

saratea: @valientthorr I'm still on my Little Lulu/Johnny Ryan/lotsa Fantagraphics/Top Shelf releases & I still pull out the occasional Thor #nojoke 

MrGranger: I agree. RT @leaveittokaren: Reading: The Complete Peanuts vol. 11 1971-72 from @fantagraphics The series is fantastic! 

brettwarnock: Wow!... Fantagraphics' Late 09 / Early 2010 schedule is crazy goodness. Hotwire # 3! Newave, prince Valiant, Ditko, Gahan Wilson, Tardi... 

jwoliner: HEY Fantagraphics is releasing a collection of @MKupperman's awesome "Tales Designed To Thrizzle"!! Preorder here: http://tinyurl.com/qjkjwc 

PaulTobin: Score! A friend just sent me the new Blazing Combat hc, and now the studio is absorbing its "full of awesome" flavor. 

michaelthorner: @PaulTobin I was raving about Blazing Combat just a couple of weeks ago. @fantagraphics did a wonderful restoration job. More #AlexToth ! 

And this bit of business:

BRIANMBENDIS: Dark pet avengers just got the greenlight 

JorgenBakken: @BRIANMBENDIS DP Avengers? From Fantagraphics, for sure. 

Daily OCD: 5/13/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under SupermenreviewsLinda MedleyJohnny RyanHumbugCarol Tyler 13 May 2009 1:09 PM

Your Online Commentary and Diversions for the day:

• Review: "It’s great to read comics that are fun, inventive, and delighting in the medium instead of dour, 'relevant,' and procedural. Supermen is a teasing look at a truly Golden Age." - Dave Lartigue, Dave Ex Machina

• Review: "Never before reprinted, Fantagraphics recently collected Humbug, complete with new essays, interviews, and annotations, in two handsome hardback volumes. [...] Jack Davis and Will Elder... elevated the comic-book parody beyond the standards of Mad and Trump. For Humbug, Davis produced some of the best work of his long career. Al Jaffee... tackled varied topics... all with equal skill and irreverence..." - Rick Klaw, San Antonio Current

• Review: "Blazing Combat... features a collection of some of the most beautiful black and white comic art you have ever seen... It also features interviews and some of the most beautiful printing I have seen. Honestly, put down those monthly comics for a week and buy something you will enjoy a lifetime. From cover to cover, this book is what keeps me in comics." - Jimmy Palmiotti, Newsarama

• Review: "Supermen! The First Wave of Comic Book Heroes 1936-1941 is the book I've been waiting for - a crazed whirlwind tour through the raw badlands of early superheroes, the best and the weirdest of the early days... Fantagraphics Books has assembled 20 of these quirky gems into a nicely designed, affordable full-color paperback. It's like a roadmap of alternative history, where you can imagine that a character like Stardust the Super Wizard became a star... It's one of the best comic collections of the year. Bring on a sequel!" - Nik Dirga, Blogcritics

• Plug: "Castle Waiting Vol. II #15: ...Linda Medley’s warm, winsome fantasy series continues at its relaxed pace." - Chris Mautner, Robot 6

• Profile: The University of Cincinnati describes how faculty member C. Tyler, inspired by her graphic memoir You'll Never Know, is teaming up her students with military veterans to tell the veterans' stories in comics format, in order to help veterans talk about their experiences and share them with the civilian public to increase awareness of veterans' issues

• Things to see: Insane comics from Turkey, presented by Johnny Ryan

Daily OCD: 5/12/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tim LaneThe Comics JournalSupermenRoger LangridgereviewsPeter BaggeBob FingermanBlazing Combat 12 May 2009 1:38 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

• Review: "Just finished reading and cannot recommend enough the new Fantagraphics release Blazing Combat" - This Is Why I Hate You

• Review: "Something for everyone in this educational, humorous and borderline offensive tome. Communicated in Bagge’s trademarked bugged out style, [Everybody Is Stupid Except for Me] is a must-have for fans of incisive political commentary." - Kevin Mathews, The Power of Pop

• Review: "...Supermen! provides a concise glimpse into what the early comic books were like back when the medium was really fresh... Today’s readers will be surprised at how some of the material from a supposed more naive times really comes across rather grim and gritty... The 20 stories on view here provide an intriguing insight of where many of our modern day comic book heroes may have originated from, even if indirectly." - Kevin Mathews, The Power of Pop

• Preview: Fábio Moon previews and provides a bit of background about his and his brother's cover art for The Comics Journal #298

• Interview: Robot 6's Tim O'Shea talks with Bob Fingerman about his latest releases, including Connective Tissue

• Things to see: Another eye-melting page from Tim Lane's "The Passenger"

• Things to see: Roger Langridge takes a break from the Muppets for a Krazy Kat kommission

Daily OCD: 5/11/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under SupermenreviewsPeter BaggePeanutsNell BrinkleyMort WalkerLove and Rocketslife imitates comicsjohn kerschbaumJerry DumasJaime HernandezHumbug 11 May 2009 12:52 PM

• Review: "Petey & Pussy is surreal, rude, crass, crude with studied obnoxiousness, and bitterly, bitingly funny in a perfect post-modern manner... an utterly captivating world of bawdy, grown-up laughs that only the most po-faced conservative could resist. Adult fun for slacker smart-asses of all ages guaranteed to make your beer spurt out of your nose so read carefully..." - Win Wiaceck, Now Read This!

• Review: "Humbug was cool beyond cool... fabulous art..." - Roger Sabin, The Guardian

• Review: "The Humbug set from Fantagraphics is out and it's great. Fine printing and binding will keep this slipcased two-volume set looking good long after the rest of us are gone." - Harry Lee Green, Hairy Green Eyeball 

• Review: "Maybe the business was too young, or maybe these characters were just a warm-up for what was to come so they didn't quite stick, but they are just as cool as any early Superman or Batman comic. The comics are all really neat to read, crude and unfiltered... So if you’re a comics fan, especially of the early stuff, this book is a must-have... [Supermen! The First Wave of Comic Book Heroes 1936-1941] is gritty and exciting, so definitely go check it out!" - Tom Hardej, CC2K

• Review: "A fantastic companion to 2007’s Fletcher Hanks retrospective I Shall Destroy All The Civilized Planets!, [Supermen!] is pure pop culture heaven... While it’s easy to see why these characters have been been consigned to the dustbin of history, there’s an undeniable charm to practically every story in here... The only problem with this book is that it leaves you wanting more..." - Kevin Church

• Review: "...Sam's Strip was an interesting comic in its own right. The phrase 'ahead of its own time' is one that's bandied about frequently when discussing it, and even now the juxtapositions within it are occasionally surreal enough to cause amusement through their sheer audacity... As small a fact as it may be, the near-flawless execution of the book helps to make it feel like more of a prestige package, a celebration of the series rather than just a cheap cash-in... [T]his straightforward but well-made collection is a thoroughly worthy purchase." - Andrew Williams, Den of Geek

• Preview: "Illustrator Nell Brinkley's women were the Roaring Twenties' answer to the aloof Gibson Girl. Curly-haired, rambunctious and more than a bit naughty, the Brinkley Girls were a national sensation..." - She's a Betty

• Preview: "For those of you familiar only with [Peter] Bagge’s Gen X tales of angry, lost youth in Hate, the realisation that Bagge has developed into an opinionated, curmudgeonly middle aged man may seem as disturbing as seeing your favourite band of your teens back on stage now they’re all 40 somethings. But there’s no need to fear -- Bagge’s middle age self displays all the angry, hilarious energy of his younger self, just with more direction and purpose. [Everybody Is Stupid Except for Me is] definitely one to look forward to." - Richard Bruton, The Forbidden Planet International Blog Log

• Interview: Amazon.com's Omnivoracious blog sat down for a chat with Jaime Hernandez at Emerald City ComiCon. Sample quote: "I like to get goofy, off-the-wall [comics], just to have a box of 50s or 60s stuff that doesn’t really make sense. You know, I like to open the box once in a while to look at it for fun stuff, inspiration. Looking at an old comic gets me excited to do comics sometimes."

• Life imitates comics: Trend de la Crème looks at the fashion runway, sees Peanuts (via Spurge)

Daily OCD: 5/5/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under SupermenRory HayesRobert CrumbreviewsPopeyeMiss Lasko-GrossBob LevinAnders Nilsen 5 May 2009 1:43 PM

Your Online Commentary & Diversions for the day:

• Review: "...Supermen!: The First Wave Of Comic Book Heroes 1939-41 pulls together some of the goofiest, most innocent, most violent superhero comics ever penned... The forematter (a lovely, insightful, nostalgic essay by Jonathan Lethem) and the afterword (a collection of bibliographic and historical notes on each strip) make perfect bookends for the hot stuff in the middle. This is pure and unadulterated Id, the kind of thing that inspired a moral panic about the corruption of the young. It's every bit as potent today." - Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing

• Review: "Miss Lasko-Gross takes us into the skankiest basement makeout sessions of our teenage despair in [A Mess of Everything]... Her fictional stand-in figures out how to work the system and achieves redemption through beautifully ugly comics that aptly capture the darker hallucinogenic melodramas of teenage geekdom." - Richard Gehr, The Village Voice

• Review: "[A] wild and woolly collection of pre-Superman supermen... As Jonathan Lethem notes in his introduction, our appreciation for the bizarre otherness of these characters in retrospect suggests that our contemporary icons might well appear no less 'totally opaque and infinitely awkward' to future readers." - Richard Gehr, The Village Voice (same link as above)

• Review: "Bob Levin's new book [Most Outrageous: The Trials and Trespasses of Dwaine Tinsley and Chester the Molester] sheds light on the legendary HUSTLER cartoonist without passing judgment or picking a side. Nevertheless, the author paints a fascinating picture of the good ol' boy folks around here called Uncle Dwaine." - K.K. Le Roque, Hustler (from print)

• Review: "Rory Hayes was nuts. I mean, really, truly insane... Hayes was tapping into a rich vein of paranoia and insanity that was truly disturbing... Rory Hayes work has the authentic voice of a true outsider artist, a genuine madman in a world full of posers... Where Demented Wented... is a fascinating collection and well presented. Recommended." - Colin Upton, Inkstuds

• Plug: "Monologues for Calculating the Density of Black Holes: [...] No more adventurous a way to spend $22.99 in comics monies this week."  - Jog

• Oddity: "I Dream of Popeye"??

• Oddity: R. Crumb sneakers from Vans?? (via Spurge)

• Oddity: Marc Palm mashes up Crumb & the Muppets (via everywhere)

Daily links: 4/30/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under SupermenreviewsMort WalkerLove and RocketsLos Bros HernandezJerry DumasHumbugDaniel ClowesBoody RogersBob Fingerman 30 Apr 2009 2:01 PM

• Review: "Riveting... Fingerman [is] one of the meatiest cartoonists going... Fingerman makes [Connective Tissue protagonist] Darla so smart and funny and draws so distinctively, like Daumier might for Playboy..." - Booklist (no link; from print)

• Review: "Boody... is a compilation of the wonky comics work of that overlooked genius, Boody Rogers... Rogers' quirky cartooning style is faintly reminiscent of Al Capp crossed with Basil Wolverton, and his creations are wild and strange to say the least. This is an attractive compilation, wonderfully designed by Jacob Covey, that captures the charm and feel of 1940s-era comic books." - Gary Sassaman, Innocent Bystander

• Review: "Humbug is... sumptuous... It is quite possibly the best designed book I've ever seen come out of any comics company, clean and attractive and perfectly suiting its late 1950s time period. ...[I]t's a perfect little time capsule by five cartoonists and humorists at the top of their respective games." - Gary Sassaman, Innocent Bystander (same link as above)

• Review: "Sam's Strip is a whimsical little humor strip... It's a giant in-joke, charming in its inception and invention... and again, it's one damn fine-looking book." - Gary Sassaman, Innocent Bystander (same link as above)

• Review: "Supermen! [is]... in a format (designed by the editor) that perfectly complements its source material... I'm hoping for a second volume." - Gary Sassaman, Innocent Bystander (same link as above)

• Plug: Decider previews our FCBD Love and Rockets comic: "While this teaser doesn’t feature any of the series’ most beloved characters (save superhero wannabe Penny Century), it’s still a good introduction to Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez’s blend of magical realism, goofy wit, and surprising poignancy."

• Discussion: The Ohlone College "Bibliophiles Anonymous" book club is reading Ghost World in May

Daily links: 4/24/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under SupermenreviewsMomeLilli CarréEsther Pearl WatsonBlazing CombatAndrice Arp 24 Apr 2009 2:29 PM

• Review: "If war is hell, Blazing Combat is heaven. ...[A]lthough the subject matter is bleak, the presentation it’s been given is beautiful. This is as good as war comics get." - Rod Lott, Bookgasm

• Review: "Adam Grano’s bold cover design is the perfect complement to Fantagraphics’ comprehensive collection of [Blazing Combat]... It’s remarkable how little these stories have aged, as many cover thematic ground that resonates to this day." - Kevin Church

• Review: "Anders Nilsen's comics have the rare power to generate queasy laughter... Random cruelty, futility, ennui, and an implied assault on human complacency are the order of the day [in Monologues for Calculating the Density of Black Holes]. When Nilsen wants you to feel his boredom, or taunt you for your own, he's merciless... Nilsen is a relentlessly interesting comics creator. ...I'm looking forward to his next performance in the wasteland." - Byron Kerman, PLAYBACK:stl

• Review: "The Lagoon is a peculiar book, continually confounding the reader's expectations. It starts out in many ways like a mystery or thriller novel does... But as the book progresses, it turns into a very different beast (no pun intended); a hidden romance, a story about longings, and family relationships... [T]his is a story that feels lush and moody in a way that comics often try to be but rarely succeed... The art in The Lagoon is a beautiful, lush, textured affair from [Lilli] Carré. It's almost like a cross between Charles Burns and Craig Thompson... The Lagoon is a beautiful graphic novel, ...a very solid, well-crafted book, and whatever Carré’s next project is, it’ll be one to keep an eye out for." - Greg McElhatton, Read About Comics

• Review: "I love love love Unlovable... The cover has glitter, too. LOVE it!... [Tammy] Pierce's earnest attempts to fit in at school and with her friends [are] funny and endearing, and sometimes embarrassing... Those days were such a pain in the ass, but they were the best." - MacKenzieLand

• Interview: SciFiPulse.Net talks to Greg Sadowski, editor of Supermen! The First Wave of Comic Book Heroes 1936-1941. Choice quote: "Some have written that I chose artists strictly for their name value, but the truth is that after you’ve gone through hundreds of golden age books, the same guys stop you time after time: Cole, Eisner, Everett, Fine, Hanks, Kirby, Wolverton, and every now and then a few others. That’s how they became 'name' artists in the first place - because they were the best."

• Plug: Our pal J.R. Williams hypes Supermen! on his Flickr feed

• Things to see: Speaking of Flickr, here's a photo of Andrice Arp posing with a blowup of her cover art for Mome Vol. 15 (which I'm going to get up on the site here for pre-order real soon, I promise) from the good folks at Tugboat Press

Daily links: 4/21/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under SupermenRobert GoodinreviewsNoah Van SciverNell BrinkleyMichael KuppermanDash ShawBoody Rogers 21 Apr 2009 2:16 PM

• Review: "Supermen! is an interesting book. All these knockoffs of Superman have a certain creepy charm — like an off-brand children's entertainer — and there is some art, especially by Basil Wolverton and Jack Cole, that is literally decades ahead of its time." - Paul Constant, The Stranger

• Review: "...Boody: The Bizarre Comics of Boody Rogers is a real revelation... Boody Rogers' stories... don't seem to follow narrative structure. They're like Robert Crumb crossed with Li'l Abner. And they are amazing. This is the book to get if you think you know anything about comic book history; it will show you something you never would have thought existed." - Paul Constant, The Stranger (same link as above)

• Preview: "Tales Designed to Thrizzle #5: Ain't nothing better than the latest from Michael Kupperman; nothing else to say." - Jog, rounding up this week's new comics

• Preview: "Tales Designed to Thrizzle #5 - Michael Kupperman is the funniest man alive..." - The Rack, rounding up this week's new comics

• Preview: The Inkwell Bookstore Blog thinks that the cover for The Brinkley Girls is cool

• Interview: At RevolutionSF, Jay Willson has a Q&A with Comics Journal and future Mome contributor Noah Van Sciver. Choice quote: "I'm like the Bruce Springsteen of comics, only I'm actually really cool."

• Event: For Robot 6, Chris Mautner reports from Dash Shaw's presentations at Franklin and Marshall College's Emerging Writers Festival last week

• Things to see: Self-rejected Covered entries by Robert Goodin (from before he killed it with that Donald Duck one)

Daily links: 4/20/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under SupermenSteven WeissmanreviewsPeter BaggeMonte SchulzMiss Lasko-GrossMichael Kuppermanmary fleenerKevin HuizengaJohnny RyanJasonEsther Pearl WatsonDave CooperDash ShawBlazing CombatBill MauldinBasil WolvertonAbstract Comics 20 Apr 2009 3:48 PM

• Review: "...[T]he primitive funnybooks rescued from obscurity by Greg Sadowski in Supermen! The First Wave of Comic Book Heroes 1936-1941 contain within their awesomely naïve and rudimentarily brilliant pages all the seeds of the postmodern graphic novel... Compounded equally from pulp fiction, movies, newspaper strips, and sheer desperate commercial-deadline-brainstorm lunacy, these early superhero tales created their own fresh synthetic mythology and compositional tools on the fly." - Paul DiFilippo, The Barnes & Noble Review

• Review: "[Bottomless Belly Button] reads almost like a John Updike novel... [Dash Shaw] really utilizes the medium to its fullest capacity..." - Benn Ray (Atomic Books) on WYPR (Baltimore public radio - streaming audio)

• Review: "[The Wolverton Bible] is fascinating read; it's a fascinating document by one of the most important illustrators of the 20th century." - Benn Ray (Atomic Books) on WYPR (Baltimore public radio - streaming audio - same link as above)

• Review: "Fantagraphics’ collection of the four issues of Blazing Combat blew me away from the start. The size and heft of the hardback reminded me of my textbooks from my school days. And once I cracked open the book, I found myself getting a hell of an education with this one."- Tim O'Shea, Robot 6, "What Are You Reading?"

• Review: "If nothing else, Supermen! puts Fletcher Hanks’ career in perspective... These are comics designed to make you tear your hair out waiting for the next issue, just to see if these guys could top themselves.  Great fun all around." - Tom Bondurant, Robot 6, "What Are You Reading?" (same link as above)

• Review: "Jason is an expert at expressing a complex idea with simple visuals and dialogue. Most of his works contain little to no dialogue, actually -- entire stories can be read in facial expressions, twitches, color changes and movements. The entirety of Tell Me Something contains 7 lines of dialogue. It tells the story of 2 lovers and the trials they go through to be together, using dual layered story arcs differentiated simply by the panel borders to convey depth and reshape the story into an intriguing form." - The Inside Flap [Ed. note: Tell Me Something is out of print, but will be collected along with other Jason stories in a forthcoming hardcover]

• Preview: Doug Pratt and Monte Schulz have an exchange in the comments of Pratt's blog about Schulz's forthcoming novel This Side of Jordan (previewed here)

• Preview: The Kenyon Review makes note of our forthcoming Abstract Comics anthology

• Previews: Matthew Brady offers succinct commentary on two of our upcoming titles: Tales Designed to Thrizzle #5 by Michael Kupperman ("This comic is funny") and A Mess of Everything by Miss Lasko-Gross ("The art looks great")

• List: For Robot 6, Chris Mautner names "Six ‘retired' artists we'd like to see return to comics," including Brian Biggs ("...Frederick and Eloise [brings] a whimsical, storybook approach that never seem[s] overly twee or sweet. Indeed, [it is] often grounded by some dark undercurrents, not to mention backed by some serious artistic chops"), Dave Cooper ("Surreal, mind-warping books like Suckle, Ripple and his ongoing series Weasel, which chronicled a number of sweaty, paunchy, disturbingly neurotic and oversexed characters, had Cooper earning acclaim equal to the likes of Clowes and Ware"), and Mary Fleener ("...[S]he remains one of the most original voices in comics, with an art style that’s completely her own (no one draws a sex scene like her)." [Note to Mautner: Mary Fleener had a new comics story titled "Niacin" in Hotwire Comics Vol. 2, which we put out last year])

• Interview: At Robot 6, Tim O'Shea talks to Esther Pearl Watson about Unlovable Vol. 1. Choice quote: "I was a lot like Tammy and still am. It’s everything I fear."

• Profile: Seattle neighborhood newspaper The Ballard News-Tribune spotlights "alternative comics legend" and Ballard resident Peter Bagge

• Profile/Things to see: Goofbutton presents scans of the Bill Mauldin section in the 1977 World Book Year Book (via Spurge)

• Things to see: Buster Keaton as drawn by Kevin Huizenga for Cinefamily

• Things to see: New Vice comics from Johnny Ryan; believe it or not, one of 'em's just plain cute

• Things to see: Chubby vs. Pullapart battle royale from Ribs


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