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Category >> Taking Punk to the Masses

Taking Punk to the Masses Tour: Olympia
Written by janice headley | Filed under Taking Punk to the Massesevents 3 Aug 2011 11:36 AM

Taking Punk to the Masses Northwest Tour poster

This summer, Taking Punk to the Masses: From Nowhere to Nevermind is going on tour, right here where it all began!

Join editor and Senior Curator of the EMP museum, Jacob McMurray, as he travels across the Northwest, offering an insider's look at this expansive document of the "Seattle" sound.

A page from Taking Punk to the Masses: From Nowhere to Nevermind
A page detail from Taking Punk to the Masses

This Friday, August 5th, McMurray will be reading at the Timberland Library in Olympia, WA. Olympia, as you may already know, has its own unique sound and history, and McMurray will be focusing on that during Friday's presentation! 

Even though it's a library, copies of the book will be available for purchase, so you can get yours signed, if you don't already have a copy.

This free, all-ages event starts at 7:30 PM this Friday. Note: since this is after regular library hours, no other library services will be available, so you'll have to come back another time to pay those overdue fines!

The Timberland Library is located at 313 8th Avenue SE in Olympia, WA. And be sure to check out the Fantagraphics Events page and stay tuned to the FLOG for upcoming dates on the Taking Punk to the Masses tour!

Daily OCD: 7/26/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Taking Punk to the MassesShimura TakakoreviewsPaul HornschemeierMickey MouseMaurice TillieuxmangaLou ReedLorenzo MattottiJohnny RyanJaime HernandezJacques TardiFloyd GottfredsonDrew FriedmanDisneyDiane NoominDaily OCDAlex Chun 27 Jul 2011 12:28 AM

We'll be catching up on the past week's Online Commentary & Diversions over the next several days.

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

Review: "Fantagraphics Books, which has previously done such an amazing job of collecting other classic comic strips like Prince Valiant and Peanuts , once again hits it out of the park with this collection [Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 1].... From the beautifully reproduced strips to the densely packed ancillary features, this must be the book that editors David Gerstein and Fantagraphics’ co-founder Gary Groth wanted for years for their own libraries. Their enthusiasm shows in the wonderfully designed package. This book is highly recommended for any Disney fan and fans of America's rich comic strip history." – Rich Clabaugh, Christian Science Monitor

Gil Jordan, Private Detective: Murder by High Tide

Review: "Murder by High Tide introduces Maurice Tillieux’s private detective Gil Jordan to America, collecting two 1950s stories from an acclaimed series that has never before been translated into English. Tillieux isn’t quite Hergé, but he’s adept at writing and drawing suspenseful detective stories with brief flurries of action. ...Tillieux’s plotting and deft hand at action, figures, and environments make Murder by High Tide a thrilling read." – Garrett Martin, Paste

Wandering Son Vol. 1

Review: "...Fantagraphics is always a good place to start if you’re worried about trying something new. The venerable comics publisher is a stamp of quality, a guarantee that the vetting process has been serious and that, at very least, the book you hold in your hands will have been beautifully printed. Wandering Son [Vol.] 1 bears all that out.... It’s a lovely, tactile-y rich object, but it’s also a sweet book in terms of content. ...[T]he characters are pleasant to spend time with, the art is emotive and expressive (embarrassment comes up a lot), and there is a gentleness to the whole project that is welcome." – Hillary Brown, Paste

Review: "...Shimura Takako's Wandering Son, with its direct treatment of transgenderism, feels simultaneously natural and singular in the world of manga.... The true distinction of Wandering Son is not its subject matter so much as Shimura Takako's quiet and sensitive handling of it. Fifth grade is a difficult time and age for any author to handle well, and throwing transgenderism into the mix merely adds to the challenge. By keeping the story's focus on the intensely personal thoughts, experiences, and emotions of the characters, Shimura avoids both heavy-handed preachiness and overly melodramatic scenes, keeping the tone of the story sympathetic and realistic and — most importantly — a story." – Caleb Dunaway, Otaku USA

Review: "...Fantagraphics' edition is beautifully presented as a full-sized hardcover with excellent print and paper quality. The volume is just as lovely to behold as it is to read.... Instead of following a strictly linear narrative, Wandering Son provides a somewhat fragmented view. To me, it seems more like a collection of memories, glimpses of important and influential moments in the characters' lives. Though told chronologically, the story has an impressionistic quality to it. Wandering Son is lovely and quiet with tremendous emotional depth.... I was very pleased with the first volume of Wandering Son and greatly look forward to the release of the second volume." – Ash Brown, Experiments in Manga

The Raven

Review: "Brought straight to your chamber door from the ever-awesome Fantagraphics, we finally have The Raven graphic novel. Personally commissioned by Reed, legendary illustrator Lorenzo Mattotti (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Stigmata) has sketched some remarkably vivid scenes for what amounts to the definitive bard of Baltimore project from New York City’s own poet laureate.... Hardcovered, with a jacket by Grammy-nominated designer Jesse LeDoux, the whole presentation is indeed first-class." – Logan K. Young, Paste

Taking Punk to the Masses: From Nowhere to Nevermind - A Visual History from the Permanent Collection of Experience Music Project

Review: "...Taking Punk to the Masses: From Nowhere to Nevermind... is a dense tome... packed with beautiful photos of EMP’s vast collection of instruments, posters and flyers and assorted rock and punk memorabilia, with commentary and excerpts from the oral history project, featuring testimonials from people like Greg Ginn and J Mascis and Grant Hart and Novoselic, on facing pages. The effect is that of taking a guided tour through the museum, exhibit by exhibit, with headphones on.... There’s an awful lot to look at here, and the book stands up to repeated readings.... Taking Punk to the Masses is a definite keeper for anyone who loves the bands of the Pacific Northwest or the history of rock in America." – John G. Nettles, Flagpole

The Pin-Up Art of Humorama

Review: "Simply put, if you’ve enjoyed any of Alex Chun and Jacob Covey’s series of glamour-girl cartoon retrospectives they’ve assembled for Fantagraphics over the years, you’ll want — if not need — their latest, The Pin-Up Art of Humorama.... As with Chun and Covey’s previous collaborations, the captions to the cartoons rarely matter — sometimes, they don’t even match what’s depicted. All that matters is the art, full of lovely, curvy, super-sexy women whose bra sizes run deep into the alphabet. It may not come in a brown paper wrapper, but yeah, this book’s hot. It spills over with an abundance of retro tease to please." — Rod Lott, Bookgasm

The Arctic Marauder

Reviews: At his High-Low blog, Rob Clough looks at several of our translated volumes of the work of Jacques Tardi: "Tardi is an interesting figure because he felt comfortable writing mainstream material like detective stories, mysteries, fantasy and even science-fiction (though usually of a period nature; The Arctic Marauder, for example is a steampunk book) as well as more experimental and mature fare. No matter what the subject, his books always have a density and meatiness to them that rewards multiple readings. I'll briefly examine each book roughly in order of narrative complexity."

Glitz-2-Go

Plug: Library Journal's Martha Cornog spotlights Diane Noomin's Glitz-2-Go in the latest Graphic Novels Prepub Alert: "Retro-glamgirl DiDi Glitz, Noomin's signature character, originally appeared in the women's comics anthology Twisted Sisters and other collections. Hypno Magazine described her as a 'shamelessly campy, mai-tai-swilling swinger with a voracious appetite for polyester, poodles, and doomed relationships.' Also, 'hysterically funny.' This volume collects nearly 40 years of Noomin comics. Catch this transcript of a Noomin presentation about her work, with sample strips, some NSFW."

Even More Old Jewish Comedians

Plug: I was very excited to present Leonard Maltin with a copy of Drew Friedman's brand new book at Comic-Con, and today Maltin writes on his Movie Crazy blog "Fantagraphics Books had just received its first copies of Drew Friedman’s latest opus, Even More Old Jewish Comedians, which in the 'real world' is still a pre-order item."

Locas II: Maggie, Hopey & Ray [with FREE Signed Bookplate]

Interview: Jaime Hernandez reveals what kind of music he listens to while he's working in a survey on the topic by the Village Voice's R.C. Baker: "When told that one artist interviewed didn't want a fondness for a particularly 'retarded' pop song revealed, he cracks up. 'They don't want you to know they have a heart,' he says. 'I was never afraid to show mine — I put it out there in the comic every time.'"

Paul Hornschemeier

Interview (Video): Lee Keeler of Classy Hands has an on-camera chat with Paul Hornschemeier

Prison Pit

Scene: From Whitney Matheson's rundown of "50 Things I Learned at Comic-Con" at USA Today Pop Candy: "23. Johnny Ryan aims to scare us all. One of the most frightening moments on the convention floor came when a bloody, shirtless man walked up to the Fantagraphics booth and started screaming. Turns out he was portraying a character in Ryan's Prison Pit."

Taking Drinks to the Masses
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Taking Punk to the Masses 15 Jul 2011 1:46 AM

Nirvana | Beervana

Hats off to Seattle's Phinney Neighborhood Association for their clever appropriation of Jacob Covey's Taking Punk to the Masses design for their annual Summer Beer Taste.

Beervana poster

Taking Punk to the Masses

Daily OCD: 7/12-13/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Taking Punk to the MassesShimura TakakoRoy CranereviewsMomemangaLeslie SteinJohnny RyanJoe SaccoJim WoodringHans RickheitDaily OCDCaptain Easyaudio 13 Jul 2011 7:13 PM

Ran out of time to finish yesterday's Online Commentary & Diversions so here's a two-fer:

Wandering Son Vol. 1

Review: "With skill, restraint and a deep sensitivity to the roiling emotions involved, Shimura relates the tale of fifth-grade boy Shuichi, who wants to be a girl, and his classmate Yoshino, a girl who wants to be a boy. This is the first volume of the Japanese saga [Wandering Son] to be published in English, and translator Thorn does great work parsing the complex gender honorifics of the Japanese language. We only just begin to get to know our two leads, but Shimura's approach allows us to feel their confusion, their heartache and — when a perceptive mutual friend orchestrates a plan that starts them down the road to self-acceptance — their quiet, nervous joy." – Glen Weldon, NPR - Monkey See

Review: "Gender roles and cross-dressing are often fodder for laughs in anime and manga, but this is the most serious and thoughtful take I've seen on the subject. And I love how Shimura doesn't make things too angsty for the characters. Maybe that will come later, but for now it's more of a quiet discomfort -- the reader is finding out at the same time as the characters, and it's quite touching. ...Wandering Son is a tender take on a taboo subject. I wish it success in the American market." – Eric Henrickson, The Detroit News - Geek Watch

Review: "Wandering Son by Shimura Takako is a heartfelt story of two people who I desperately feel for and for their families and friends.... The main thing that drew me to this book was the fact that unlike a lot of western media that plays off the fact that a transgender teenager would have to deal with their friends and peers ostracising or bullying them for being different, Wandering Son goes straight for the heart, tackling the more important idea of how the person in the story feels. Reading the first volume, I can feel their awkwardness at them coming to the decision that they are different from other people and that they need to do something about it.... I want to be alongside these characters as they discover who and how they are. I want to see them triumph in ways that many of us never get to. Most of all, I want to be there at the end even if it ends in failure." – Eeeper's Choice

Review (Audio): Phillip of Eeper's Choice, Erica Friedman, and David Welsh (The Manga Curmudgeon) discuss Wandering Son Vol. 1 with hosts Ed Sizemore and Johanna Draper Carlson on the Manga Out Loud podcast. At Manga Worth Reading, Carlson notes "We talk about the value of translation/cultural end notes (which inspired a followup post by David) and the pacing of the series in light of Takako Shimura’s career. It’s a wonderful read that we all enjoyed and recommend."

Captain Easy, Soldier of Fortune: The Complete Sunday Newspaper Strips Vol. 2 (1936-1937)

Review: "Collected in oversize hardbacks that present the pages at their original size, these beautiful books restore one of the original adventure heroes of the strips -- the affable (albeit two-fisted) mercenary who was much more interested in excitement than money or women, which is what he was supposedly after. [Captain] Easy moved through a more innocent — and largely unexplored — world, and there's no better word for this adventure strip than 'charming.'" – Andrew A. Smith, Scripps Howard News

Eye of the Majestic Creature

Review: "...Leslie Stein is a young lady out of Brooklyn, NY who has been crafting literary/illustrative dub versions of her tastes and trials and laying them out in meticulously crafted yet still oodles-of-eye-fun anecdotes and tall tales. Fanta has collected them all into Eye of the Majestic Creature, a big-sized anthology of her work, with color covers and B&W insides and a whole lot of heart reproduced superbly for proper long-term keeping.... Stein's easy-on-the-eyes drawing style shows an affinity for the same greatly defined, goofy universe Pete Bagge's youthful wanderers once trolled though Seattle in... I found it irresistible, and will come back to its gentle humor and delightful glimpses into woozy alt-country gal delights again and again." – Chris Estey, Three Imaginary Girls

Taking Punk to the Masses: From Nowhere to Nevermind - A Visual History from the Permanent Collection of Experience Music Project

Review: "Growing up to this era of punk rock, I feel an initial offense taken to McMurray’s collection of punk rock relics. It seems strange and kitschy to run across a book like Taking Punk to the Masses when you lived it. My first reaction was that we are not a novelty, punk was defined from a purpose and we are that purpose, not an exploitation. But the curious person that I am, I skimmed through it. Then I skimmed through it again. Then I read it. And then I fell in love with it." – Andrew Duncan, ZapTown

The Squirrel Machine

Commentary: At Robot 6, Sean T. Collins comments on the Jim Woodring letter to Hans Rickheit we shared here yesterday: "Woodring, an intrepid chronicler of the underbrain in his own right, clearly recognized a kindred spirit in Rickheit when the younger cartoonist sent him a copy of his elaborate and powerful Fantagraphics graphic novel The Squirrel Machine."

Mome Vol. 19 - Summer 2010

Interview: The Daily Cross Hatch's Brian Heater continues his conversation with Mome editor Eric Reynolds: "My two passions in comics are old strips like Popeye and the great cartoonists that I came of age reading, like Clowes and Charles Burns and the Hernandez Brothers. But, as much as that’s the stuff I dearly love, it’s the new stuff we’re publishing, the new artists, the sort of unexpected things that, on a day to day basis, keep me motivated and keep my interest in publishing, from day to day."

Johnny Ryan

Interview (Audio): Listen to Johnny Ryan's appearance today on the Sara Tea Time podcast

Safe Area Gorazde: The Special Edition

Scene: At El Estupendo Grouchomarxista, Tiago Soares reports (in Portuguese) from a recent São Paolo bookstore appearance by Joe Sacco

Daily OCD: 7/6/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Wilfred SantiagoTaking Punk to the MassesreviewsPeter BaggeMegan KelsoLou ReedLorenzo MattottiJohnny RyanGilbert HernandezDaily OCDBob Fingermanaudio21 6 Jul 2011 7:00 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

21: The Story of Roberto Clemente

Review: "...Wilfred Santiago... has done something very extraordinary and that's create a graphic novel that will eventually stand the test of time. If there was ever a novel that every Latino/Latina (baseball fan or not), comic book fan, family or anyone who volunteers/works in nonprofit must own in their library, it's 21: The Story of Roberto Clemente. Am I exaggerating? No, being the comic book nerd that I am, I haven't been this moved from a novel since I read Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.... While Roberto Clemente was a fantastic baseball player, it was his humanity in this graphic novel that shone brightly. And I thank Wilfred Santiago for creating his masterpiece and Fantagraphics for publishing it. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!" – Cesar Diaz, Latino Sports

Queen of the Black Black

Review: "[Megan Kelso's] interest in open-ended narrative is apparent and, while occasionally frustrating, important, and her gouache work in the title story [in Queen of the Black Black] is lovely and subtle..." – Hillary Brown, Paste

Yeah!

Reviews (Audio): The June 26 episode of Easy Rider, the radio show for "rock, punk rock, country, power pop, garage and comics" from Radio PFM out of Arras in northern France, features Johnny Ryan's Take a Joke among their Comics of the Week and Taking Punk to the Masses as their Book of the Week; on their July 3 episode, the Comics of the Week include Yeah! by Peter Bagge & Gilbert Hernandez and Gilbert's Love from the Shadows

The Raven

Scene: The New Yorker's Vanna Le reports from Lou Reed's reading of The Raven at the Strand bookstore in NYC last week: "Mattotti's illustrations, which were projected in a slide show, saturated the room with a kind of terror and despair. There was also something about the sound and sudden fits of fury in Reed's voice that seemed to mirror Poe's tormented vision." From the accompanying slideshow of images of the book: "Lorenzo Mattotti skillfully brings out the terror and elegance of Reed and Poe’s joint masterwork…. The book is an aesthetically stunning treat — but it isn’t only for the coffee table. Mattotti’s artwork is as enigmatic and suspenseful as the poetry itself."

Interview (Audio): Bob Fingerman is the guest on the new episode of The Comics Journal's TCJ Talkies podcast with host Mike Dawson

Fantagraphics Bookstore Open on July 4
Written by Larry Reid | Filed under Taking Punk to the MassesFantagraphics Bookstoreart shows 1 Jul 2011 1:09 PM

fireworks

For your viewing pleasure, Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery will be open on Monday, July 4 until 4:00 PM. This is the last weekend to take in Charles Peterson's fantastic exhibition Taking Punk to the Masses. Oooh, aaaah!

Daily OCD: 6/3/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Taking Punk to the MassesreviewsDaily OCD 3 Jun 2011 7:08 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Taking Punk to the Masses: From Nowhere to Nevermind - A Visual History from the Permanent Collection of Experience Music Project

Review: "Taking Punk to the Masses: From Nowhere to Nevermind is the latest volume dedicated to the celebration of punk — specifically, in this case, punk music from the Pacific Northwest. But unlike its notable forebears..., it complements its substantive oral history and vivid testimonials with an array of arresting visual artifacts — pivotal punk imagery that includes iconic show posters, electrifying performance photographs and heaps of wild costumes and dilapidated guitars — to tell its rambunctious story.... Paradoxically for a volume dedicated to such a proudly ragged and rough-hewn aesthetic, Taking Punk to the Masses is a beautifully constructed gem. Even more peculiarly for a history lesson wedged between hard covers, it'll make you hear the music that has so spectacularly inflamed your speakers and headphones for three decades." – Jason Diamond, NPR.org

Attention Comix Shoppers!
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Taking Punk to the MassesPeter BaggeJim WoodringFantagraphics Bookstoreevents 26 May 2011 2:23 PM

For your shopping pleasure, Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery will be open Memorial Day weekend, Saturday 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sunday and Monday 11:30 to 5:00 PM. Check out Charles Peterson's Taking Punk to the Masses show and pick up some lit to enrich your long weekend.

Mark your calendars now for Saturday, June 11!

 Carnival image

Jim Woodring signing Congress of the Animals at the festive Georgetown Carnival. Come see Larry and Bella defend their title in Hazard Factory's popular Power Tool Races. This year it's a Peter Bagge-inspired Monster Truck powered by a Black & Decker "Dragster" model belt sander. (I'm swear that's what it's called.) Art, music, circus acts, sideshows, carnival games, comix, cotton candy. What else is there?

Taking Punk to the Comix Shop
Written by Larry Reid | Filed under Taking Punk to the MassesPeter BaggeFantagraphics BookstoreCharles Burnsart showsArt Chantry 25 May 2011 1:41 PM
The opening reception for the Taking Punk to the Masses exhibition on May 14 was a stellar affair - a reunion of misfits and miscreants from Seattle's grunge era together with a new generation of counterculture mavens. The show documents Seattle's grunge scene in its formative period from 1983 - 1985. I often equate Seattle's youth culture in the mid-80s to San Francisco's hippie movement in the mid-60s. Both had a singular music style, provocative graphics, and an anti-fashion sensibility. Beyond that, these movements benefited from a community of gifted cartoonists that disseminated unfiltered observations. Fitting, then, that Peter Bagge was the special guest at the event on the occasion of the release of Hate Annual # 9 and the Yeah! collection.

PetersonPunkPic

It's remarkable how Peterson's early works display sophisticated formal qualities while capturing the energy of the era. The halo of light in many of the candid concert shots is used to stunning effect. Also evident is the advent of his signature cinematic approach to still photography. 

TakingPavittToThe Masses

Comix enthusiast Bruce Pavitt's Sub Pop fanzine of the early-80s featured the work of cartoonists like Lynda Barry and Charles Burns. His commitment to the emerging "Seattle Sound' in this period led to the phenomenal success of bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden, Mudhoney and others — all of whom released early recordings on his fledgling Sub Pop record label.

MarlowWilumJoDavid

Notable horror writer Wilum Hopfrog Pugmire, editor of seminal Seattle zine Punk Lust, pictured here between low brow art collectors Marlow Harris and Jo David.

TakingChantryToPunk

A rare public appearance by Art Chantry, perhaps the most influential graphic designer of his generation. He helped develop the aesthetics associated with grunge.

KickAssKuties

Look at this line up of kickass kuties: artist Lisa Petrucci, tattooist Sunny Buick visiting from Paris, and their art dealer extraordinaire Kirsten Anderson of Roq la Rue.

You can view the Peterson exhibition, and pick up the companion book, through July 5 at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery. See you all soon.

Daily OCD: 5/13-5/16/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Wilfred SantiagoTim KreiderThe Comics JournalTaking Punk to the MassesreviewsPeter BaggePeanutsPaul NelsonMichael KuppermanMark KalesnikoLove and RocketsLou ReedLos Bros HernandezLorenzo MattottiKevin AveryJoyce FarmerJohnny RyanFantagraphics BookstoreDaily OCDCharles M SchulzAl Jaffee21 16 May 2011 7:22 PM

The Online Commentary & Diversions hamster wheel started spinning a little too fast, but I think I've got it back under control now:

21: The Story of Roberto Clemente

Feature: For Largehearted Boy's "Book Notes" feature, Wilfred Santiago creates a musical playlist for 21: The Story of Roberto Clemente: "Golden age animation has been a big influence on my work and the graphic novel itself is very musical. It would be interesting to see the shape that it would take as a feature film. So here is what the 21 soundtrack would sound like."

(The following links are via the Largehearted Boy link above:)

Review: "The graphic novel [21] is a beautifully wrought Clemente collage, following the hitter from the impactful events of childhood through his career as a Pirate and up to his untimely death. While there were several poignant dramatic through lines, the book’s strength lies in its brilliant visuals, which far outweigh its strictly biographical content. In addition to his many other notable qualities, like his humanitarianism and his greatness as a player, Clemente was a beautiful man, with a striking physicality. Drawing on this aesthetic truth, Santiago stuns and heightens it, with an imaginative and dramatic illustrative style, with its palette of Pirates yellow, and orange and black. The oral tradition of myth-making is put into visual form here." – Ted Walker, Pitchers & Poets

Review: "The comic book biography is alive and well in 21: The Story of Roberto Clemente... In 21, Wilfred Santiago, who was also born in Puerto Rico, uses the language of comic books to tell the story of Clemente’s life as something like the arc of the hero’s journey or as a heroic epic.... 21 captures what made Clemente unique. However, Santiago uses the medium of the comic book in a unique way to tell the story of man who represents the best of us. [Grade] A-" – Leroy Douresseaux, I Reads You

Review: "...I love a good graphic novel biography. Well as those of you who are familiar with the great baseball player and humanitarian that Roberto Clemente was already know, it would be hard to tell his story in any media and for that story not to be powerful. ...21 ... is a handsome production... [and] an... EXCELLENT graphic novel." – Ralph Mathieu, Ich Liebe Comics!

Plug: "21: The Story of Roberto Clemente by Wilfred Santiago, a graphic novel by an illustrator and writer from Puerto Rico, received a nice write up in a recent issue of Sports Illustrated (linked here)... If we could only have found it at the book store. Sports shelves? Graphic novels? You give it a shot." – Tom Hoffarth, Los Angeles Daily News

Stigmata [Pre-Order - with Special Offer]

Review: "...Mattotti is an artist who is equally concerned with complex imagery and sharp storytelling — attention to that combination leads us to what makes Mattotti so great. Claudio Piersanti wrote a very crisp script for Stigmata, and Mattotti illuminates the story deftly, probably because he has a real appreciation for well told stories.... If one’s standard for great cartooning is drawing that tells a story without a shred of vagueness, Mattotti’s work on the events described above is thrilling in its virtuosity. But this is a work of art far more potent than a simple story well-told. Mattotti’s two extremes — that of high level storytelling and drawing that suggests unique emotions — exist side by side without any fuss." – Austin English, The Comics Journal

Freeway

Review: "While the core timeline of Freeway is only a few hours of frustration spent in traffic, Alex’s mind wanders through past fiction and reality, present fact, and fantasy. Kalesniko, who himself worked at Disney as an animator, designed his main character as an anthropomorphic dog. The result is a wistful, innocent, and somewhat naive protagonist who is coming to the realization that his childhood dreams aren’t quite turning out as he planned.... It is definitely worth the challenge of meandering through the crammed vehicles to reach those poignant moments of Alex’s life, moments many of us share in our own versions of our adult selves." – Ashley Cook, Giant Fire Breathing Robot

Review: "Less able graphic novelists might scare themselves silly with the scope of this book, but Mark Kalesniko’s attention to detail in all aspects of his craft — the backgrounds, the emotional ranges of the characters and the slow but steady-paced urbane drama — blends the components together masterfully.... [Freeway] is deeply sophisticated and literary. It deals with humanity’s big questions – love, death, life, and what we do with our time. It’s funny, touching, heart-warming, tragic and very engaging." – Andy Shaw, Grovel

Love and Rockets Sketchbook 2 [Softcover]

Review: "Gilbert’s sketches actually give an insight into how he feels about his characters, and as a reader, I found myself understanding the characters a bit more, just by looking at his drawings.... The work in the ‘Jaime’ section is quite beautiful and well drawn, however, it does not give further insights into the ways in which Jaime sees his characters, or what he has planned for them... To sum up, Love and Rockets Sketchbook Volume 2 is pretty awesome." – Lisa Polifroni, lisaloves2read

Take a Joke: Vol. 3 of the Collected Angry Youth Comix

Interview: At Inkstuds, a 2008 conversation with Johnny Ryan conducted and with illustations by Josh Bayer: "It’s interesting that you bring it up because people always demand that artists deliver some sort of meaning and truth, and when that truth’s hideous they throw up their arms and get upset and have hurt feelings and it’s 'you’re ruining people’s lives.' There’s conflict; you want the art to be true, but don’t want to be shown stuff that makes you feel bad, you can’t make people feel good all the time, it's not true, the object is to make people feel something. There’s no rule that it has to be something good."

Hate Annual #9

Interview: The Daily Cross Hatch wraps up their serialization of the transcript of Brian Heater's MoCCA panel conversation with Peter Bagge: "I used to worry about what my peers thought. That’s a big mistake. Never worry about what your peers think, because then you always find out that they would have done it in a heartbeat. [Laughter] If you take anything away from this conversation, it should be 'fuck Dan Clowes.'"

Taking Punk to the Masses: From Nowhere to Nevermind - A Visual History from the Permanent Collection of Experience Music Project

Feature: The Seattle Times' Marian Liu previews our Charles Peterson: Taking Punk to the Masses exhibit at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery: "'I was wondering why this kid was bothering to take photos,' said Larry Reid, curator of the Fantagraphics show, of Peterson. Now, flipping through the photos, Reid remembers each scene as if it happened yesterday. Drawn to the energy of the music, Reid was a good decade older than many in the scene then. He shepherded the artists by promoting their shows and allowing them to play in his gallery's basement. 'I can recognize the artists by their shoes,' said Reid, looking through the photos."

Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson [Nov. 2011]

Plug: "For a reality check, I turned to a former Rolling Stone colleague and friend who always seemed to have a better line on all things cultural than anyone else around and a way of stating his position in a manner that set him apart, way apart, from other music writers — make that writers, period — of his time, and boy does he put today’s snarky music press to shame. This would be the late Paul Nelson... (Nelson’s life and work are getting their just due in September with the publication of a long-awaited, diligently researched biography by Kevin Avery, Everything Is An Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson. Full disclosure: Yours truly was among those Avery interviewed. But buy the book anyway.)" – David McGee, The Bluegrass Special

Plug: "I’m in the process of reading an advance of Everything Is An Afterthought, Kevin Avery’s biography and selected works of the music critic Paul Nelson. Reading Nelson’s writing reminds me how of the role that he and other music critics of the time — our own John Swenson included — played in creating the myth of New York City for me." – Alex Rawls, OffBeat

The Comics Journal #301

Plug: "The 63-page conversation between mad geniuses Al Jaffee and Michael Kupperman in the new issue of The Comics Journal" lands on the "Lowbrow/Brilliant" quadrant of New York magazine's "Approval Matrix"

The Raven

Plug: "Back in 2003, Lou Reed paid tribute to poet Edgar Allen Poe with his sprawling The Raven, which didn't exactly strike a positive chord with the many critics and fans at the time. Nevertheless, Reed will now be revisiting that album with a new illustrated book. The book, also titled The Raven, was made in collaboration with Italian illustrator Lorenzo Mattotti.... We originally called The Raven 'bizarre and thoroughly uneven.' We'll have to see if this new illustrated spin helps to make the entire album a bit more rewarding." – Alex Hudson, exclaim.ca

Twilight of the Assholes: Cartoons & Essays 2005-2009

Essay: Twilight of the Assholes cartoonist/writer Tim Kreider recounts his experiences with internet dating for Nerve

Joyce Farmer

Feature: Friday was the last day of Joyce Farmer's "Cartoonist's Diary" at The Comics Journal

The Complete Peanuts 1953-1954 (Vol. 2) [NORTH AMERICA ONLY]

History: At Torontoist, Jamie Bradburn looks back to the 1954 debut of a little comic strip called Peanuts in the Toronto Telegram


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