The acclaimed anthology of contemporary comics steams toward its landmark 20th issue. This issue leads off with the cover story, the first part of the satiric psychedelic epic "The White Rhinoceros," drawn by Josh Simmons and written by The Partridge in the Pear Tree. It is our privilege to welcome the great Gilbert Hernandez to the pages of Mome with a brand-new story starring his beloved character Roy! Also debuting this issue, exciting newcomer D.J. Bryant, with what may be the most hard-boiled story to appear in Mome yet. And making return appearances: Olivier Schrauwen, Tim Lane, Conor O'Keefe, and Robert Goodin with new stories, and T. Edward Bak with the continuation of his epic "Wild Man" serial.
Download an EXCLUSIVE 9-page PDF excerpt (1.6 MB) with a page from every artist in the issue, plus the Table of Contents.
I wish I had time to Flog all that I'd like to Flog but until I manage to write some decent design-related posts (as if anyone wanted my take on the history of the illuminated Bible up through the Wolverton Bible), here's a quick bit of editorializing promotion for a few talented people:
• There's a new interview with Andy Smith over on James Morrison's Caustic Cover Critic book cover blog (which is a good place to hang out if you care about such things). Andy is a UK illustrator who does a lot of distinctive book cover design work. He also makes silkscreened comics by way of a kids-book format (one illustration per page/spread). The work is lively and really satisfying to hold. Frequently his books use typography as a narrator's voice but also as a kind of character and setting. I'm always impressed with people who can pull off messy, loose drawing styles with total confidence and Andy manages to do it with deceptive sophistication. These are comics meant to be a joy and they are.
• Last weekend I had the chance to put up Mome artist T. Edward Bak in our guest room and I really enjoyed talking with him about the research for his in-progress graphic novel about the life of G. W. Steller. With all the self-indulgent Kickstarter projects that feel like sad panhandling, Bak's book is a standout for what makes that site a great resource. Anyone who wants to support comics as a legitimate form of reportage/biography should fund this project on principle alone. Bak is doing a remarkable amount of background study to make this book not just some accessible story of an easy-to-glorify character but one that presents a new perspective on a legendary naturalist explorer. Sign on here.
• Then there's Lizz Hickey. I love the artwork of Lizz Hickey so if she wants to make a comic book out of copperplate etchings, then I can get behind her need to raise money for such an expensive endeavor. I'm not going to try to describe her work. She's unique, very unique.
• T. Edward Bak and I were also talking about the Facebook posts of Art Chantry. Chantry is an icon of contemporary graphic design and a wealth of popular culture knowledge (especially of the blue collar variety) as it relates to design. He's had a big impact on me over the years and his lengthy and entertaining Facebook posts are well worth enduring whatever makes Facebook supposedly evil.
• And speaking of Chantry, Mikey Burton did this smart poster for one of Art's speaking engagements. Mikey does some great design work and I was excited to talk to him recently about xerox transfer process but all he did is tell me I should quit it because it gave him spontaneous nosebleeds. What a killjoy.
We've reported on T. Edward Bak's previous efforts to raise funds for his Alaska research expedition for his graphic novel Wild Man, currently serialized in Mome; he's now set up an account with Kickstarter to further assist with the project. Check out the video and the awesome pledge gifts and pledge pledge pledge!
I made brief mention of this in yesterday's "Things to see" but it deserves better notice than that. Congratulations to Mome contributor T. Edward Bak on being awarded a residency in Alaska (our second artist headed up there this year, hot on the heels of Jim Woodring)! He needs your help in covering his expenses and is selling original pages (I've seen them and they're beautiful) to raise funds. Here's his plea in his own words:
"So, last week, I was awarded this artist residency in Talkeetna, Alaska, through Seattle's La Familia gallery. I'm planning on being up there through the month of July, and am currently raising funds through the sale of original drawings from the work to help cover supplies, travel expenses, and a field drawing expedition into the Bering Sea and the Aleutian Islands (Dutch Harbor, specifically). I have Paypal set up and details listed on my blog http://antizerogravity.blogspot.com. My deadline for raising $ is July 1. Thanks for your support!"
• Also on Facebook, Bill Griffith posts this one-page story (excerpted above) which was recently published in a new book about Levittown, Second Suburb, edited by Dianne Harris (link goes straight to the image file, since I don't know Bill's Facebook privacy settings, but he posts cool stuff all the time)
• T. Edward Bak is posting several pages from his current serialized Mome story "Wild Man" — for 50 bucks you can purchase an original page and help fund his impending trip to Alaska for field research for the story, so hit that Paypal link on his blog
160-page full-color 9" x 6.75" hardcover • $22.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-308-8
Joe McCulloch at Comics Comics describes it aptly: "An interesting experiment in Golden Age of Reprints presentational engineering, this new 160-page landscape-format Fantagraphics hardcover collects all of the great Basil Wolverton’s crackpot daily advice strips as seen in the pages of Fawcett’s Whiz Comics, 1945-52, presented in comparison with Wolverton’s original pencil roughs for what looks like every installment." The Comics Reporter's Tom Spurgeon brings the basketball metaphor: "Who doesn't want to read as much Basil Wolverton as they can? He's not in the starting all-time five, but he gets a lot of playing time off the bench." At Comics Alliance Douglas Wolk declaims "Goofiness, history and process!"
128-page color/b&w 7" x 9" softcover • $14.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-303-3
Joe McCulloch at Comics Comics opines "The centerpiece of this Spring 2010 edition of the Fantagraphics house anthology is, without question, the return of Dave Cooper to comics" and of the other contributors says "That really is a nice lineup"; Tom Spurgeon of The Comics Reporter agrees that it "offers a super-strong line-up of creators." We can't disagree — you can see the full table of contents and samples from each contributor as part of our PDF excerpt.
So head on down to your local comic shop, but not before checking out the bountiful information and sneak peeks at the links above, and it's always a good idea to confirm availability beforehand.