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Category >> The Comics Journal

Daily OCD: 8/4/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Willie and JoeThe Comics JournalSteve DitkoreviewsRand HolmesPatrick RosenkranzKrazy KatKim DeitchinterviewsGilbert HernandezGeorge HerrimanDisneyDaily OCDCarl BarksBill MauldinaudioAlex Chun 4 Aug 2011 7:59 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Krazy & Ignatz 1935-1936: A Wild Warmth of Chromatic Gravy

List: The Hooded Utilitarian, nearing the top of their results in their International Best Comics Poll, reveals George Herriman's Krazy Kat at #2, with a brief essay by Jeet Heer 

The Comics Journal #301

Review: "...The Comics Journal #301... is crammed with fantastic content. The volume's texture, heft, and text make it the readers' equivalent of a dense slab of chocolate cake.... In short, Gary Groth and his editorial team have produced a stellar contribution to comics history and scholarship. It is a feast for comics aficionados and neophytes alike. " – Casey Burchby, SF Weekly

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201108/donald-blad1.jpg

Plug: The Forbidden Planet International blog shares our latest update on Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes with its readers, and then bums them out with news of the book's unavailability in the UK

Willie & Joe: Back Home

Plug: "I second Tom Spurgeon’s recommendation of Bill Mauldin’s Willie and Joe Back Home. I was amazed by how brutally frank the comics are, and how affecting. I actually prefer it to his WWII work — it’s even more impassioned, and the cartooning loosens enough to show off a really expressive, cutting line." – Dan Nadel, The Comics Journal

The Pin-Up Art of Humorama

Plug: "Alex Chun has a new volume available from Fantagraphics Books in his series which profiles the 'few dollars a drawing' gag writers who sold work to the Humorama line of digest publications during the 1950s and into the early 1970s. As I have been writing on the lesser known artists who contributed, with the scant information available...I eagerly await the book!" – Jim Linderman, Dull Tool Dim Bulb

The Artist Himself: A Rand Holmes Retrospective [Pre-Order]

Interview (Audio): Patrick Rosenkranz discusses Vancouver-based underground comix artist Rand Holmes with Vancouver-based Inkstuds host Robin McConnell in advance of the Holmes exhibit and presentation this Saturday at Vancouver comic shop Lucky's. Vancouver!

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

Analysis: At Entrecomics, Alberto Garcia examines the Steve Ditko influence/homages in some of Gilbert Hernandez's early work — even if you don't read Spanish, the images will have you going "ah-haaaa..."

The Search for Smilin' Ed!

Lore: Kim Deitch's "Mad About Music: My Life in Records" column returns over at TCJ.com, with more on Elvis Presley and the early days of rock 'n' roll

Now in stock: The Comics Journal #301
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under The Comics Journalnew releases 5 Jul 2011 1:04 AM

Just arrived in our warehouse and ready to ship:

The Comics Journal #301

The Comics Journal #301
Edited by Mike Dean & Kristy Valenti; Gary Groth, Editor in Chief

640-page black & white/color 6.75" x 8.5" softcover • $30.00
ISBN: 978-1-60699-291-3

See Previews / Order Now

The Comics Journal has been, for almost 35 years, the standard bearer of critical inquiry, discrimination, debate, and serious discussion of comics as art, and the object of love and devotion among the comics cognescenti — and hate and scorn among the philistines, natch. We published our 300th issue in late 2009 and spent the ensuing year-plus re- conceptualizing the institution as an annual book-length “magazine” — over 600 pages long, chock full of the kinds of criticism, interviews, commentary, and history that has made it the most award-winning and critically lauded magazine in the history of comics.

This volume features a focus on R. Crumb’s most commercially successful project of his career, his comics adaptation of Genesis, including the most extensive interview he’s given on the subject as well as a long critical roundtable among six comics critics reviewing the book and debating each other over its merits; plus:

• An interview with Joe Sacco about his recent journalistic masterpiece, Footnotes in Gaza;

• A peek into the private sketchbooks of (and accompanying interviews with) Jim Woodring, Tim Hensley, and the novelist Stephen Dixon;

• A conversation between Mad Fold-Out creator Al Jaffee and Thrizzle auteur Michael Kupperman;

• A complete full-color reprinting of the 1950s "Gerald McBoing Boing" comic;

• The first significant biographical essay charting the turn-of-the-century cartoonist and illustrator John T. McCutcheon;

• A critical re-assessment of Dave Sim's Cerebus by Tim Kreider

and essays and reviews by R. Fiore, R.C. Harvey, Chris Lanier, Rob Clough, and others.

Over 600 pages long, this is a year's worth of The Comics Journal rolled into one extraordinary objet d'art. As a special treat, this volume is guest designed by internationally respected Criterion art director Eric Skillman. The Comics Journal #301 is no mere magazine but a gigantic compendium covering comics past and present that will shock and delight every truly curious comics reader.

Exclusive Savings: One issue not enough? Get on board with a money-saving 3-issue subscription, which also gets you access to the online TCJ back-issue archives at TCJ.com!

Daily OCD: 6/30/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Wilfred SantiagoThe Comics JournalreviewsMickey MouseLou ReedLorenzo MattottiKim DeitchJim WoodringJasonFloyd GottfredsonDisneyDaily OCDaudio21 30 Jun 2011 6:55 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Congress of the Animals

Review: "Expectations are foiled at every turn [in Congress of the Animals] precisely because Woodring is digging deep into the rich soil of his own imagination; he's pulling these stories up from the same place that myths and legends come from, and in that way, his books have the weird weight and unmistakable freshness of myth. These are stories that haven't been told before, but they come from the place where stories are born, so they're instantly recognizable to everyone. And because they live in the prelinguistic language of cartoons, almost anyone on the planet can look at a page and immediately understand what is happening." – Paul Constant, The Stranger

Plug: Further, Jim Woodring's appearance at Elliott Bay Book Company tonight is today's "The Stranger Suggests," Paul Constant saying "Every one of Woodring's comics is an epic poem, a psychedelic novel, and a deeply personal memoir. If you can't identify with his protagonist, the innocent-but-fickle Frank, there's something wrong with you."

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

Review: "In Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse Vol. 1, part of an ambitious, multi-volume reprint project from Fantagraphics, 21st century readers are reintroduced to this largely forgotten Mickey and his unfortunately largely forgotten cartoonist. It’s like meeting Mickey Mouse for the first time — and learning the little guy is actually a total badass. ★★★★ [out of 5]" – J. Caleb Mozzocco, Las Vegas Weekly

Isle of 100,000 Graves

Review: "Mordantly hilarious, this superbly cynical fable [Isle of 100,000 Graves] rattles along in captivating fashion: a perfect romp for older kids and a huge treat for fans looking for something a little bit different. Jason’s work always jumps directly into the reader’s brain and heart, using his beastly repertory company to gently pose eternal questions about basic human needs in a soft but relentless quest for answers. That you don’t ever notice the deep stuff because of the clever gags and safe, familiar 'funny-animal' characters should indicate just how good a cartoonist he is. His collaboration here with the sly and sardonic Vehlmann has produced a genuine classic that we’ll all be talking about for years to come." – Win Wiacek, Now Read This!

The Raven

Plug: "...[W]hile it seems like an oddball idea to put an individual spin on masterworks like Poe's, [The Raven] actually looks gorgeous, the artwork fantastic and macabre..." – Sydney Brownstone, The L Magazine

Plug: "Lou Reed has been quite busy these days. When he's not collaborating with Metallica on a record, he's spending time putting together a graphic novel based around his 'spiritual forefather' Edgar Allen Poe, called, appropriately, The Raven. ...Reed's Poe-esque lyrics have been collected into a book and illustrated with paintings by New Yorker cartoonist Lorenzo Mattotti. And yes, the book looks just as creepy as you'd expect." – Jamie Feldmar, Gothamist

21: The Story of Roberto Clemente

Interview (Audio): Inkstuds host Robin McConnell's latest guest: "Wilfred Santiago’s comic biography of Roberto Clemente [21] is a great look at a specific time in not only baseball, but also touching on mid century american racial and political tones. Wilfred skillfully tackles a range of issues in this great collection. It was a delight to discuss this great book with him."

The Search for Smilin' Ed!

Lore: Kim Deitch's "Mad About Music: My Life in Records" column continues over at TCJ.com, with the new third installment focusing on television

The Comics Journal #301 excerpt at TCJ.com: Robert Crumb Genesis interview
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under The Comics JournalRobert CrumbpreviewsGary Groth 29 Jun 2011 2:44 PM

The Comics Journal #301 - Crumb interview detail

TCJ.com keeps rolling out the exlusive previews from The Comics Journal #301: today's feature is an excerpt from Gary Groth's interview with Robert Crumb about Genesis. This one hypes itself.

Daily OCD: 6/23/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Wilfred SantiagoTim KreiderThe Comics JournalSteve DitkoShimura TakakoreviewsLinda MedleyKim DeitchJim WoodringGene DeitchDave McKeanDaily OCDBlake BellBill EverettaudioAnders Nilsen21 23 Jun 2011 7:20 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Castle Waiting

List: Castle Waiting Vols. 1 & 2 take two spots on Nancy Pearl's "10 Terrific Summer Reads" list at NPR.org: "The black-and-white drawings are precisely crafted, with small, endearing touches that render each character entirely unique. The dialogue is clever and filled with subtle grace notes of drollness and humor. The set will be especially appealing to readers of all ages who enjoy seeing and reading traditional fairy tale tropes teased and played with, all with a sense of good-humored fun."

Congress of the Animals

Review: "...Congress of the Animals finds twisted fabulist Woodring at the top of his darkly delightful game: Open the book at random and the odds are very good that your gaze will alight upon something that stings, bites, drips, oozes or squelches. Tentacled plant-beasts threaten the unwary, factories powered by crushed blackbirds produce who-knows-what, slimy amphibians enact bizarre rituals and a tribe of naked, faceless men whom the jacket copy refers to as "blind gut-worshippers" — easily the most potent nightmare fuel Woodring has ever produced — drug passersby for mysterious purposes of their own. You certainly won't want to live inside the covers of Congress of the Animals, but it's a fascinating and thrilling feat of imagination, and one hell of a place to visit." – Glen Weldon, NPR.org

Wandering Son Vol. 1

Review: "This book does something I love. It takes me inside a world I’ve never known.... Shimura’s writing does a good job of exposing the readers to the realities of being transgender. Wandering Son ignited my imagination and got me trying to relate to and understand these characters as deeply as possible.... Shimura has crafted an excellent opening volume.... The quiet pace and subject matter make this series a perfect read for the alternative comics crowd. Fans of shoujo and josei manga will enjoy it too. I’d love for everyone to at least give the first volume of Wandering Son a try. It’s a rare gem of emotional honesty and complexity that rewards those willing to take the risk and move outside their typical reading habits." – Ed Sizemore, Comics Worth Reading

Monologues for Calculating the Density of Black Holes

Review: "Monologues for Calculating the Density of Black Holes by Anders Nilsen... touched a special spot that I strive towards in my reading; it created atmosphere. There’s a weight to the unhinged timeline and nonsensical dialogue. It feels calculated, even as it touches on topics such as 'Godzilla vs. Richard Simmons.' The drawings are simple, yet they effortlessly convey time and feel appropriate for the content. It was a quick read, but one that I’ll be revisiting. Check it out." – Au Yeah!

21: The Story of Roberto Clemente

Interview: Newsarama's Michael Lorah talks to Wilfred Santiago about the creation of 21: The Story of Roberto Clemente: "A baseball sequence is all about interpretation; there are cold, unchangeable facts. If the batter hits a home run to left field in the second inning, etc., then those are unchangeable facts about that scene. So it’s about the reading of the particulars. I mean, if you are saying sad things while laughing maniacally, it’s different than if you are saying them while sobbing and in tears. Therefore, it’s all about what role that particular game sequence plays in the story as a whole. It’s not a book about baseball, even though there’s baseball in it."

Celluloid [Pre-Order]

Interview (Audio): Inkstuds host Robin McConnell rang up Dave McKean (on Skype presumably) for a conversation about his latest book: "Celluloid, fresh out from Fantagraphics, is a remarkable work exploring pornography through a very particular lens. Needless to say, it is fantastic."

Strange Suspense + Unexplored Worlds: The Steve Ditko Archives Vols. 1-2

Interview (Audio): Blake Bell goes on the Collected Comics Library podcast to talk with host Chris Marshall about the ongoing Steve Ditko Archives and the upcoming Bill Everett Archives

The Comics Journal #301

Opinion: At Robot 6, Sean T. Collins comments on the excerpt from Tim Kreider's Cerebus essay from The Comics Journal #301 which appears at TCJ.com

The Search for Smilin' Ed!

Lore: Kim Deitch continues his new column over at TCJ.com, "Mad About Music: My Life in Records," featuring (among other things) a few of his dad Gene's jazz illustrations (as seen in our book Cat on a Hot Thin Groove)

The Comics Journal #301 excerpt at TCJ.com: Tim Kreider on Cerebus
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tim KreiderThe Comics Journalpreviews 21 Jun 2011 6:11 PM

The Comics Journal #301 - Tim Kreider on Cerebus detail

There's another exclusive preview of The Comics Journal #301 to be seen at TCJ.com today: an excerpt from Tim Kreider's must-read critical essay "Irredeemable: Dave Sim's Cerebus."

The Comics Journal #301 excerpt at TCJ.com: Al Jaffee & Michael Kupperman
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under The Comics JournalpreviewsMichael KuppermanAl Jaffee 13 Jun 2011 2:04 PM

Mad Fold-In - Al Jaffee

Bounce on over to TCJ.com for another exclusive preview of The Comics Journal #301: an excerpt from the conversation between Thrizzler Michael Kupperman and MADman Al Jaffee!

The Comics Journal #301 excerpt at TCJ.com: Joe Sacco interview
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under The Comics JournalpreviewsJoe SaccoGary Groth 6 Jun 2011 2:52 PM

The Comics Journal #301 - Joe Sacco detail

With the much-anticipated arrival of The Comics Journal #301 about a month away, TCJ.com gives you your first real taste of the issue beyond our photo & video teasers: an excerpt from Gary Groth's interview with Joe Sacco about Footnotes in Gaza. Go, read!

The Comics Journal #301 - Previews, Pre-Order
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under videoTim KreiderTim HensleyThe Comics JournalStephen DixonRobert Crumbpreviewsnew releasesMichael KuppermanJoe SaccoJim WoodringGary GrothAl Jaffee 26 May 2011 8:45 AM

The Comics Journal #301

The Comics Journal #301
Edited by Mike Dean & Kristy Valenti; Gary Groth, Editor in Chief

640-page black & white/color 6.75" x 8.5" softcover • $30.00
ISBN: 978-1-60699-291-3

Ships in: July 2011 (subject to change) — Pre-Order Now

The Comics Journal has been, for almost 35 years, the standard bearer of critical inquiry, discrimination, debate, and serious discussion of comics as art, and the object of love and devotion among the comics cognescenti — and hate and scorn among the philistines, natch. We published our 300th issue in late 2009 and spent the ensuing year-plus re- conceptualizing the institution as an annual book-length “magazine” — over 600 pages long, chock full of the kinds of criticism, interviews, commentary, and history that has made it the most award-winning and critically lauded magazine in the history of comics.

This volume features a focus on R. Crumb’s most commercially successful project of his career, his comics adaptation of Genesis, including the most extensive interview he’s given on the subject as well as a long critical roundtable among six comics critics reviewing the book and debating each other over its merits; plus:

• An interview with Joe Sacco about his recent journalistic masterpiece, Footnotes in Gaza;

• A peek into the private sketchbooks of (and accompanying interviews with) Jim Woodring, Tim Hensley, and the novelist Stephen Dixon;

• A conversation between Mad Fold-Out creator Al Jaffee and Thrizzle auteur Michael Kupperman;

• A complete full-color reprinting of the 1950s "Gerald McBoing Boing" comic;

• The first significant biographical essay charting the turn-of-the-century cartoonist and illustrator John T. McCutcheon;

• A critical re-assessment of Dave Sim's Cerebus by Tim Kreider

and essays and reviews by R. Fiore, R.C. Harvey, Chris Lanier, Rob Clough, and others.

Over 600 pages long, this is a year's worth of The Comics Journal rolled into one extraordinary objet d'art. As a special treat, this volume is guest designed by internationally respected Criterion art director Eric Skillman. The Comics Journal #301 is no mere magazine but a gigantic compendium covering comics past and present that will shock and delight every truly curious comics reader.

Video & Photo Slideshow Preview (view in new window):

One issue not enough? Get on board with a money-saving 3-issue subscription, which also gets you access to the online TCJ back-issue archives at TCJ.com

The Comics Journal update & sale: #301 too big for its britches; up to 1/2 off back issues!
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under The Comics Journalsales specialsnew releases 17 May 2011 11:59 PM

The Comics Journal #301

We are victims of our own success! Demand for The Comics Journal #301 is greater than we estimated and advance orders for the issue exceeded what we printed, so we have gone immediately back to press for a second printing. Since we couldn't fill all the orders from the first printing and didn't want to short any one segment of the market — comics stores, bookstores, subscribers — we decided to wait until we receive the second shipment before releasing the book, resulting in a 3-4 week delay, pushing the release to early July. It's been delayed so long already, what's another month? The lucky dozens who have managed to buy advance copies from us at MoCCA and TCAF will tell you, it's worth the wait!

This also gives you some extra time to get on board with a money-saving 3-issue subscription, which also gets you access to the online TCJ back-issue archives at TCJ.com!

And speaking of back issues, to help the wait for the new issue pass a little bit faster, save up to 50% off all TCJ back issues, Special Editions and Library editions through next Wednesday, May 25 2011!

(Note that this sale is not in effect at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery, but there is always a great selection of TCJ back issues available there for half off in our legendary back room of damaged books!)


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