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Category >> The Comics Journal

Video: the TCJ panel and more at Strandicon
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under videoThe Comics JournalKim DeitchGary GrotheventsDan Nadel 18 Apr 2011 11:13 PM

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201104/tcj-strand-vidcap.jpg

The Strand, who are obsessive about documenting all their events on video, bless 'em, have posted numerous clips from their pre-MoCCA "Strandicon" spate of comics-related panels and presentations, including The Comics Journal panel with (L-R above) Dan Nadel & Tim Hodler of TCJ.com, TCJ executive editor/Fantagraphics honcho Gary Groth, and token artist Kim Deitch. The Beat has already done all the heavy lifting of compiling and embedding the clips into a single blog post, so we'll throw it over there for all your viewing enjoyment.

Daily OCD: 4/5/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Wilfred SantiagoThe Comics JournalSteven BrowerreviewsPeter BaggeNoah Van SciverMort MeskinJacques TardiDaily OCDAline Kominsky-Crumb21 5 Apr 2011 4:17 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

21: The Story of Roberto Clemente

Feature: At Care2, Wilfred Santiago, creator of 21: The Story of Roberto Clemente, writes about Clemente the humanitarian: "Clemente was aware that being a baseball player gave him the resources to do even greater good than he could have imagined. Most importantly, we have the opportunity to know and share his life story, and for that, we all are very fortunate to come across the history of a man like Roberto Clemente."

The Arctic Marauder

Review: "The art is wonderful. Tardi has this rounded style that is unique and easily identifiable, all at once his signature. The level of detail is astounding, in the background and mechanical details as rendered faux woodcuts...: be sure to drink in every inch of this black and white work. [...] At $17 for a sixty-four page oversized hardcover [The Arctic Marauder] is a great value: ...it stands as a great period work with wonderfully detailed art." – Scott VanderPloeg, Comic Book Daily

From Shadow to Light: The Life & Art of Mort Meskin

Review: "As an art book From Shadow to Light is stunning; ...it offers a remarkable and overdue testament to [Mort] Meskin (1916-1995), one of the seminal yet overshadowed figures of the comic book’s formative era. I can’t imagine not having this book in the Platonic comics studies library. [...] Of the recent bounty of deluxe books exhibiting vintage comic art — surely this is the Golden Age for comic book historiography and appreciation? — From Shadow to Light is one of the best. It is beautiful. Its design is dynamic yet coherent... The survival of so many Meskin originals, from comic book pages through storyboards and advertising comps to paintings, even to sketches on (!) paper towels, is itself cause for celebration, and, man, Brower exhibits these objects to advantage." – Charles Hatfield, The Panelists

Hate Annual #9

Plug: Reason's Brian Doherty touts: "Reason's cartoonist genius Peter Bagge will be leaving his Seattle stronghold and blessing the people of New York with his luminous presence this week in multiple venues [MoCCA, Desert Island & Scott Eder Gallery]. ... It'll be a Baggapalooza weekend! If you live anywhere near New York, check out one or all of his appearances. If you live on Earth, buy all [his new] books [Hate Annual #9 and Yeah!]."

The Comics Journal #139

Interview: The Aline Kominsky-Crumb interview conducted by Peter Bagge for The Comics Journal #139 (December 1990) is now reprinted at TCJ.com

Howard the Duck - Noah Van Sciver

Interview: The Daily Cross Hatch's Brian Heater begins a multipart conversation with Mome contributor Noah Van Sciver: "I have some Zap Comics, but besides the Crumb stuff, it just does nothing for me. But I like the freedom that they had in the 60s. I’m more into the 80s and 90s."

Announcing Our MoCCA 2011 Schedule!
Written by janice headley | Filed under Tim KreiderThe Comics JournalTed StearnStephen DeStefanoShimura TakakoSara Edward-CorbettRoy CranePeter BaggePaul HornschemeierNate NealMickey MouseMichael KuppermanMark NewgardenLewis TrondheimLeslie SteinKim DeitchJules FeifferJohnny Ryanjohn kerschbaumJim WoodringJessica AbelJasonGilbert HernandezGahan WilsonGabrielle BellFloyd GottfredsoneventsDerek Van GiesonDave McKeanDash ShawCharles BurnsAl Jaffee 4 Apr 2011 8:31 AM

We're thrilled to present the Fantagraphics guide to the 2011 MoCCA Fest, happening this weekend Saturday, April 9th and Sunday, April 10th at the Lexington Avenue Armory in New York City! Print this out and use it as your shopping checklist and your weekend schedule!

First off, take a look at all the amazing new releases that we will be debuting at the show!  Many of these books won't be in stores for several more months, and copies are limited, so make our table your first stop, or risk missing out!

Approximate Continuum Comics by Lewis Trondheim
Captain Easy Vol. 2 by Roy Crane
Celluloid by Dave McKean
Congress of the Animals by Jim Woodring
Hate Annual #9 by Peter Bagge
Isle of 100,000 Graves by Jason
Take a Joke by Johnny Ryan
Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 1 by Floyd Gottfredson [Unfortunately, this one won't make it after all!]
Wandering Son Book 1 by Shimura Takako
Yeah! by Peter Bagge & Gilbert Hernandez
The Comics Journal #301, edited by Gary Groth
Eye of the Majestic Creature by Leslie Stein

Secondly, check out our jam-packed schedule of awesome authors who will be signing at the Fantagraphics table over the weekend.  Not only will they be signing our books, but several of them will be bringing previews of works-in-progress!

Saturday, April 9th
11:30 am-12:30 pm     Derek Van Gieson / Nate Neal / Sara Edward-Corbett
12:30 pm-1:30 pm      Stephen DeStefano / Mark Newgarden
1:30 pm-2:30 pm        Kim Deitch / Peter Bagge
2:30 pm-3:30 pm        Gahan Wilson / Charles Burns / Tim Kreider
3:30 pm-4:30 pm        Michael Kupperman / Ted Stearn / Dash Shaw
4:30 pm-5:30 pm        Paul Hornschemeier / Leslie Stein

Sunday, April 10th
11:30 am-12:30 pm     Derek Van Gieson / Sara Edward-Corbett
12:30 pm-1:30 pm      Kim Deitch / Gahan Wilson
1:30 pm-2:30 pm        Leslie Stein / Michael Kupperman  / John Kerschbaum
2:30 pm-3:30 pm        Drew Friedman / Peter Bagge
3:30 pm-4:30 pm        Ted Stearn / Paul Hornschemeier
4:30 pm-5:30 pm        Stephen DeStefano / George Chieffet (tentative) / Nate Neal

update: George Chieffet will be unable to join us on Sunday, but John Kerschbaum has been added to the 1:30 pm slot that day!

another update: Tim Kreider will be joining us on Saturday afternoon at 2:30 pm before his panel at 4:30 pm!

All this and more awaits you at the Fantagraphics booth, located at #J1, J2, K1, K2. 

And finally, get a gander at all these great panels!  If you haven't already heard from The Daily Cross Hatch, they've added a second room this year, and they'll be doing more one-on-one conversations like the ones with Gahan Wilson and Peter Bagge listed below! You won't want to miss it!

Saturday, April 9th

11:30 am // Teaching Comics: Jessica Abel joins fellow panelists Bill Kartalopoulos and Tom Hart in a discussion from reading for content/visuals, to teaching how to “read” their visual rhetoric, to thinking about how to tell a story visually, what makes comics worth teaching? (Room A)

1:30 pm // Building a Book, From Start to Finish: Mark Newgarden moderates a panel with Stephen DeStefano (as well as Ben Katchor and Lauren Redniss), with an exploration of the blood, sweat, and tears that go into making a book. (Room A)

1:30 pm // Gahan Wilson: Playboy and Beyond: We explore the long, storied career of satirist Gahan Wilson. (Room B)

2:30 pm // Volunteer of the Year: Peter Kuper will present Al Jaffee with the Klein Award! (Room A)

2:30 pm // Dash Shaw and Brecht Evens in Conversation: Dash Shaw and Brecht Evens are among the most prodigious and prolific young artists working in comics today. Both began publishing ambitious work while still in school, and both have since gained notice for their lush, inventive, and thoughtful comics. (Room B)

4:30 pm //  The State of Editorial Cartooning: Brian Heater presents a panel with Tim Kreider (along with Ruben Bolling and Ted Rall) on the trials and tribulations of creating political cartoons in 2011. (Room A)

5:30 pm //  MoCCA Presents the Cross Hatch Carousel: Cartoonists and voice actors perform live comics readings, featuring our own Michael Kupperman and Ted Stearn, as well as Jeffrey Lewis, R. Sikoryak, Kate Beaton, Lisa Hanawalt, Julie Klausner, and more. (Room A)

Sunday, April 10th

12:30 pm // Almost True: Calvin Reid leads a discussion on where autobiography and fiction collide with Gabrielle Bell and Leslie Stein (and Joe Ollmann and Pascal Girard). (Room A)

1:30 pm // Peter Bagge: A History of Hate: Brian Heater spotlights Peter Bagge, in a one-on-one conversation with one of alternative comics’ most influential and enduring voices. (Room B) 

1:30 pm //  The Enterprising Will Eisner: Charles Brownstein leads a panel with Jules Feiffer, as well as Denis Kitchen and Paul Levitz. Come learn about who Will Eisner was as an entrepreneuring artist in a time when New York was the center of the commercial art universe, and how his art was shaped by that environment. (Room A)

3:30 pm // Ink Panthers Live: The popular podcast live, with special guests, like John Kerschbaum. (Room B)

So, get ready! -- and we'll see you at MoCCA!

The Comics Journal panel at the Strand Bookstore pre-MoCCA
Written by janice headley | Filed under The Comics JournalKim DeitchGary GrotheventsDan Nadel 30 Mar 2011 9:33 AM

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201103/strandicon-header.jpg

The infamous Strand Bookstore in New York City is known for its "18 miles of books," and on Friday, April 8th, they're devoting at least one of those miles to Strandicon, a celebration of comics!

The Strand will be hosting an afternoon of special appearances (including a 6:00 pm appearance by Dash Shaw), and the evening concludes with a celebration of The Comics Journal, featuring a panel with editors Tim Hodler and Dan Nadel, along with founding editor Gary Groth and longtime cartoonist and TCJ interviewee Kim Deitch.

So, if you live in New York, or if you'll be town for MoCCA, join us at 7:00 pm for what's sure to be a spirited discussion! (Strandicon will take place in the Comics & Graphic Novels Department of the Strand, on the Second Floor at 828 Broadway / 12th Street.)

Eric Skillman on designing The Comics Journal #301
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under The Comics JournalDesignbehind the scene 16 Mar 2011 12:40 PM

The Comics Journal No. 301

On his Cozy Lummox blog, award-winning designer Eric Skillman discusses his process for putting together the new issue of The Comics Journal: "I was pretty excited when Jacob Covey emailed me to ask if I might be interested in re-designing the venerable Comics Journal for its upcoming relaunch as an annual (rather than monthly) publication. Then I found out it was going to be 600-something pages. But by that point it was too late to say no! (I'm kidding... mostly.)" It's a fascinating behind-the-scenes peek!

Daily OCD: 3/11/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under The Comics JournalShimura TakakoreviewsOlivier SchrauwenNoah Van ScivermangaJoe SaccoFantagraphics BookstoreDaily OCDaudio 11 Mar 2011 4:22 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Wandering Son: Book 1

Review: "The main thing I kept thinking about while reading Wandering Son — beyond the continuous undercurrent of general squee — is how things that seem insignificant to one person can be secretly, intensely significant to someone else. [...] The story is subtle, simple, poignant, and innocent. The tone is matched by Shimura’s uncluttered artwork, which features big panels, little screentone, and extremely minimal backgrounds." – Michelle Smith, Soliloquy in Blue

Safe Area Gorazde: The Special Edition

Interview (Audio): Inkstuds host Robin McConnell to Joe Sacco in advance of Joe's trip to Toronto next week

Howard the Duck - Noah Van Sciver

Interview: The A.V. Club Denver talks to "arguably Denver’s premier underground comic artist" Noah Van Sciver: "People e-mail me to ask if they can send me a comic. They’re sending me these hand-stapled comics and asking me what I think. It’s great. If you’re not going to be paid a lot, you might as well meet like-minded people and start a gang." (Via Robot 6)

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201011/so-25-4-2048-72-p0.jpg

Profile: "Olivier Schrauwen is not the first Belgian cartoonist that I would have pegged for success in the United States, but I'm certainly not going to complain about the opportunities that he is receiving. Since the publication of his book My Boy in English translation, he has published short pieces in Mome and elsewhere, generating a solid buzz for his idiosyncratic take on human disconnectedness. His new book, L'Homme qui se laissait pousser la barbe (Actes Sud/L'An 02) collects a number of short works that have been anthologized around the world, and was nominated for a prize at this year's Angouleme Festival. It will be published later this year in English as The Man Who Grew His Beard by Fantagraphics. [...] L'Homme is a collection of seven short pieces that can be read very quickly or studied for days." – Bart Beaty, The Comics Reporter

TCJ.com

Commentary: At Trouble with Comics, Christopher Allen offers his initial impressions of the revamped TCJ.com; our pal Peggy Burns over at D&Q also gives it a thumbs-up

Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery

Profile: iFanboy's Chris Arrant profiles Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery as part of their "Publishers Who Have Their Own Comic Book Stores" feature: "Opening in late 2006, this Seattle store acts as defacto gift shop and gallery extension of the long-time publisher's comics line. The store boasts a complete repository of everything Fantagraphics has in print — as well as a number of rarities you wouldn't find most anywhere else."

Daily OCD: 3/10/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under The Comics JournalreviewsJoyce FarmerDaily OCD 10 Mar 2011 4:34 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Special Exits

Review: "Does this make Special Exits seem like a downer? Good. It is a downer. It's also funny and touching, and gratifyingly cleareyed about the messy emotions involved in caring for aging parents. [...] It's no spoiler to reveal that Special Exits doesn't have a happy ending. After all, no one gets a happy ending. But thanks to the hard work and loving care of Laura — and some heaven-sent hospice workers — her parents die more gracefully than many. And thanks to the thoughtful writing and art of Joyce Farmer, their lives and deaths will be a comfort to readers beginning to consider the end of their parents' lives — or their own." – Dan Kois, The Washington Post

TCJ.com

Commentary: Almost missed this — Sequential's Bryan Munn comments on the launch of the new TCJ.com and gives a brief history of The Comics Journal

Own a piece of Comics Journal history
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under The Comics JournalJim WoodringGary GrothFantagraphics historyEbay 9 Mar 2011 8:54 PM

The Comics Journal no. 133 pasteup

In an effort to find a loving home for some fascinating artifacts and give ourselves a little more storage space, we are auctioning the original production pasteups for the entire issue #133 of The Comics Journal from 1989, including all 120 original pages, front and back covers, and production ephemera.

Gary Groth provided this description of the issue:

"This was our special sex & violence issue, published at the height of a minor but persistent media brouhaha over the sexual and violence quotient in 'grown-up' comics from Marvel and DC. DC had implemented a ratings system — or announced it — and a number of creators — Frank Miller, Alan Moore, Howard Chaykin — were up in arms over it. This was a remarkably solid issue analyzing the question from every which way. I approached Jim Woodring for a cover and he did a doozy, encapsulating the theme in a single image. It would've been the issue's art director who literally pasted it all up, using wax and photostats and typesetting-on-film. Those were the days."

See the eBay auction listing here. By the way, the issue is still available to purchase.

Daily OCD: 3/7/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Usagi YojimboThe Comics JournalSteve DitkoStan SakaistaffSergio PonchioneRoy CranereviewsRenee FrenchPopeyeIgnatz SeriesGary GrothEC SegarDan NadelDaily OCDCarol TylerBlake Bell 7 Mar 2011 6:10 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Buz Sawyer Vol. 1: The War in the Pacific

Review: "Though the episodic flow and gung-ho patriotism of the strips are simplistic in both content and conception, the depth they lack is greatly made up for by the vast, epic compositions that contain Crane’s spring-coiled bigfoot cartooning, the explosive you-are-there immediacy of his dogfights and shootouts, and the sensuous intensity of form and shape he brings to gorgeous women and vehicles of war alike. [...] Crane worked in broad strokes, which is what made him a great cartoonist; but in Buz Sawyer he also sometimes discovers quieter places, ones truly worthy of the sumptuousness with which he imbued every panel." – Matt Seneca, The Comics Journal

Freeway

Review: "Kalesniko is a major talent, and this book, which depicts a day stuck in traffic on a California freeway, presents considerable space for reflection, gossip, roman a clef and more. [...] Though the text of the story is rich and interesting, Kalesniko's art is amazing; manga-esque yet thoroughly Western, and richly expressive and subtle. Freeway will inevitably place high on many critic's year's-best lists." – Richard Pachter, The Miami Herald

Twilight of the Assholes: Cartoons & Essays 2005-2009

Review: "Political commentary often has a short shelf life, but Kreider's collection of cartoons and essays [Twilight of the Assholes] remains potent and pungent, despite its primary focus on the excesses and detritus of the Bush administration. There are no claims of fairness, balance, sensitivity or subtlety here. Kreider's sharp pen skewers holier-than-thou hypocrites, patently phony pious proselytizers, opportunists and idiots of all stripes — gleefully and without fear." – Richard Pachter, The Miami Herald

Popeye Vol. 5: "Wha's a Jeep?"

Review: "With the core cast established, Segar takes more liberties with the formulas established in earlier books... and Segar continues to find new ways to play his cast off one another. How do Olive and Wimpy react when Eugene predicts Popeye will lose a prize fight for the first time ever? How does Popeye react to being a leader of men? It’s all here, all adventure and all hilarity. Fantagraphics, as you’ll know if you’ve been reading the series to date, continues to provide a gorgeous package – a towering book... with a striking die-cut cover. [...] Popeye Vol. 5: 'Wha’s a Jeep?' stands out as another winning classic comic strip collection, a reminder how great the medium has been and how dynamic it can still be." – Michael C. Lorah, Newsarama

Unexplored Worlds: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 2

Review: "The value in this volume [Unexplored Worlds: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 2] is not in the stories themselves... but in tracking how Ditko’s art develops. Amid the stock characters of hapless dullards, five o’clock shadow Everymen and saturnine businessmen and the typical rocketships and ray guns of the day, Ditko gains confidence and consistency in his depictions, and an ability to pack more information into fewer images and to guide the reader’s eye across the page for maximum impact. His ability to convey otherworldly horrors flowers as well..." – Christopher Allen, Trouble with Comics

Grotesque #4

Review: "...[W]hy is Sergio Ponchione not regarded as one of the top artists in the field today?! [Grotesque #4] is absolutely gorgeous. Lush, bizarre, and moving. The type of comics art which you dwell on a single panel for minutes at a time. The amount of detail and skill in each drawing is astounding. The tones and colors along with the expressive line and brush work create a mood of deep inspection." – P.D. Houston, Renderwrx Productions

TCJ.com

Interview: The Comics Reporter's Tom Spurgeon talks to new TCJ.com honchos Dan Nadel & Tim Hodler about taking the reins of The Comics Journal's online presence: "The initial goal was and remains the creation of a genuine on-line comics magazine (as opposed to blog, or series of blogs), with all of the long-form essays, interviews, reviews, and visual features that come with it. In other words, yes, we're attempting a counter-intuitive web site strategy, in the hopes that quality content will draw people in. We're interested in making a magazine that has a place in the larger visual culture, and can be a go-to source for people seeking insightful writing about comics."

Commentary: Robot 6's Sean T. Collins, on the new TCJ.com: "Since I’m writing for the thing, I may not be in the best position to comment about it, but quite aside from my own minor role in the proceedings, the move is a welcome and long-overdue one. [...] Handing the Journal‘s website to an experienced print/web editorial team with a clear vision of comics and how to talk about them, one that moreover has been on the leading edge of comics criticism for some years now, is a major step in the right direction."

Usagi Yojimbo: The Special Edition [Pre-Order]

Interview: The Daily Cross Hatch's Brian Heater concludes his conversation with Stan Sakai: "I own the characters, so I can do basically whatever I want with him, as far as the story goes. Most of it is adventure, I’ve done romances, I’ve done mysteries — I even did Space Usagi, where he goes through outer space. I can pretty much do anything I want with him, so I never get bored. I’m having fun with Usagi, even after so many years."

Mome Vol. 16 - Fall 2009

Interview: The Comics Reporter's Tom Spurgeon talks to Renee French: "I've been fishing around. I don't know if it's my age or what, but I'm confused. I have a bunch of obsessions that keep coming back. If I just kind of do something else, like these one-off drawings that I've been doing lately, it's not satisfying. I actually need to feel a little on-edge and crazy, I think."

Emerald City ComiCon

Interview: Seattlest's Hanna Brooks Olsen chatted with our own Larry Reid at Emerald City ComiCon yesterday and got "some pretty spectacular insight on what's going on" with us

Feature: The Seattle Times' Janet I. Tu does her due diligence in her profile of Emerald City ComiCon and asks the president of Seattle's largest comics publisher about the event: "'It's mind-bending how big it is now and how influential,' said Gary Groth, who works at Seattle-based Fantagraphics Books, a graphic-novel and comic-book publisher, and edits the print edition of The Comics Journal, a magazine of news and criticism on comics and cartooning. Groth attributes the growth of such conventions to comics becoming a more integral part of pop culture. 'Or perhaps pop culture has become more comic-book-ized,' he said. 'You see it with comic-book movies or TV shows like Heroes. What used to be seen as essentially kids' entertainment has become grown-up entertainment.'"

You'll Never Know Book 2: Collateral Damage

Commentary: Robot 6's Sean T. Collins comments on Alex Dueben's interview with Carol Tyler for that blog's parent site Comic Book Resources: "Having been sucked in by war fever myself several years ago, I find myself more and more moved by accounts of how even the most well-intentioned conflicts make a rubble of countless human lives, both the ones taken and the ones scarred, physically, economically, or emotionally. ...[Tyler is] doing vitally important work."

Introducing the new TCJ.com
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under The Comics Journal 7 Mar 2011 12:21 PM

TCJ.com

The Comics Journal is proud to announce the relaunch of TCJ.com with new editorial oversight. Redesigned, reorganized, with an incredible lineup of new contributors — it's pretty amazing. Read a welcome message from new editors Dan Nadel and Tim Hodler (formerly of Comics Comics) here; our press release is here. There's a lot to see already.


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