|Introducing The Comics Journal's new International Comics blog feature|
|Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under The Comics Journal||26 Jul 2010 2:47 PM|
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"San Diego Comic-Con blah, blah blah … Preview clip of new Green Lantern movie yadda, yadda, yadda … Sure, all the bloggers are talking a blue streak about a big-deal comics convention in Southern California, and that’s just fine, but there’s a whole world out there beyond San Diego." Thus begins The Comics Journal editor Michael Dean's introduction to TCJ.com's new International Comics feature. Respected correspondents in Argentina, Australia, Italy, The Philippines, Sweden and Turkey will be reporting on their local scenes, with more to be added soon. We're very excited to announce this new globe-spanning initiative.
Periodic (and tardy... so busy) clips & strips — click for improved/additional viewing at the sources:
• Last week's "I, Anonymous" spot by Steven Weissman; also, if you want to see the scanned version of the current Barack Hussein Obama strip, it's here; also, the greatest Little League team photo ever
• From Kevin Huizenga: psychedelic explorations with Photoshop filters and aspects of McSkulls at Fight or Run; a helpful diagram at New Construction; and Glenn Ganges roughs at his flagship The Balloonist
"When you Orcs are through fighting, you can clean up this tell, it is a pig sty and a disgrace. Do you hear me? Just look at this mess– skulls and guts everywhere. Do you act like this at home?"
The nominations for the 2010 Harvey Awards have been announced and we're pleased to report that our artists and publications have been honored with 5 of them:
Best Domestic Reprint Project: Humbug
Special Award for Excellence in Presentation: The Brinkley Girls: The Best of Nell Brinkley's Cartoons from 1913-1940, edited by Trina Robbins, designed by Adam Grano
Best Biographical, Historical or Journalistic Presentation: The Comics Journal, edited by Gary Groth, Michael Dean and Kristy Valenti
Our normal M.O. with award nominations is to put the nominated titles on sale — conveniently, all of these titles are already on sale because they are also 2010 Eisner Award nominees. Still, browse and shop our 2010 Harvey Award nominees here.
Several of our worthy pals also picked up nominations for their non-Fantagraphics work, including but not limited to Robert Crumb, Roger Langridge, Joe Sacco, Seth & R. Sikoryak — congratulations to all. The complete list of nominees can be found here.
Catching up with Online Commentary & Diversions:
• Review: "Over the last few decades, Jim Woodring has been drawing a series of wordless, blissfully cruel slapstick fables, set in a world of grotesque entities and psychedelic minarets: half unshakable nightmare, half Weathercraft... flows so smoothly and delightfully from each image to the next that it’s easy to ignore that it has its own idea of sense, which may not jibe with anybody else’s." – Douglas Wolk, The New York Timescartoon filtered through the Bhagavad Gita.
• Review: "For those who find the work involving enough, Weathercraft will resonate with them on some emotional level — there's moments that unnerve, moments that touch — and while it is an immersive experience, the comic, especially in its hardcover form, operates most like a testimony of events. It's a comic, through and through, but it hews closer to a religious tome than it does a Love & Rockets installment." – Tucker Stone, comiXology
• Review: "It’s better to experience Woodring’s work than to try and understand it. Weathercraft focuses on Frank’s frequent nemesis Manhog — a representative of humanity at its morally weakest — as he goes through multiple stages of degradation on his way to almost achieving a higher consciousness. The humanoid mongrel Frank hangs around the edges of the story with his loyal pets, but Weathercraft is mainly about how Manhog — and by extension the reader — sees how sick, freaky, and beautiful the world can be… [Grade] A-" – The A.V. Club
• Review: "Megan Kelso is best known for elegant, small-scale comics... with a historical or memoiristic bent. So it’s surprising and wonderful that Artichoke Tales, her first novel-length work, is the sort of world-building fantasy story that comes with a family tree and a map on its endpapers. ... Kelso’s ligne claire artwork is consistently sweet and airy, depicting blobby, dot-eyed characters whose body language says as much as their words. The approach provides a likable surface for a story with much darker and stickier depths, about a land whose cultural heritage is rotting away in the aftermath of a civil war." – Douglas Wolk, The New York Times
• Review: "South African comic book writer/artist Joe Daly’s Dungeon Quest: Book One takes a hilariously askew look at the madness of fantasy quest games. ...[R]eaders with a high tolerance for absurdity and a healthy sense of humor about the subject matter will probably love what's on offer here." – Matt Staggs, Suvudu
• Review: "Watching [Wally] and his equally gangly, geometric cohorts stretch and sprint and smash their way across Hensley's brighly colored backgrounds and block-lettered sound effects is like reading your favorite poem — or even... Wally Gropius itself — as translated into a language with a totally different alphabet. ... And wonder of wonders, the book finds its own way to be really funny amid all these highfalutin hijinks..." – Sean T. Collins, Attentiondeficitdisorderly
• Review: "[Wally Gropius] has quickly become one of my favorite graphic novels. ... The comic is too odd to be described as 'commentary.' It seems far more synthetic than parodic: it blends recognizable influences into something truly new... The plot of Wally Gropius has been described as surreal or random, but it’s coherent and far more complex than I first thought... The book is an encyclopedia of cartoony facial expressions and bodily gestures, and should be studied at the CCS as such. WG radiates a real sense of joy, of 'cartooning unfettered.' ... Hensley is one of the best, and most idiosyncratic, writers of text in comics." – Ken Parille, Blog Flume
• Review: "[Daniel] Clowes isn’t as zany as he used to be, so there’s a void to be filled here, and Wally Gropius does that ably: The hardcover collects Hensley’s Gropius stories from the anthology series Mome (with a little extra material thrown in), and his immaculate, vaguely ’50s style owes as much to Mort Walker, Archie Comics, and other vintage teen-humor strips as it does to Clowes. ... [Grade] B" – The A.V. Club
• Review: "...Captain Easy follows a mysterious agent-for-hire as he travels exotic lands, battling bad guys. ...Crane’s art is stunning, combining simple cartoony figures with richly detailed backgrounds in clever, colorful layouts. It isn’t even necessary to read the dialogue or captions to follow the action; just scan Crane’s dynamic lines, which make every panel look like a unique work of pop art… [Grade] A-" – The A.V. Club
• Review: "I was pretty excited when I found out that Fantagraphics was publishing an anthology of The Best American Comics Criticism. ... Editor Ben Schwartz did a great job selecting pieces that comprise a vibrant narrative of the industry. From graphic novels with literary aspirations to comics about capes, the breadth of content in here is really fantastic. ... But of all the essays in the book, only one is written by a woman. That’s a big let down." – Erin Polgreen, Attackerman
• Plug: "Drew Friedman is the master American caricaturist of our time. Not only are his portraits of the famous so realistic, they induce double takes, but he also captures truths about personality and draws out (pun intended) the funny in everyone." – Michael Simmons, LA Weekly
• Interview: Comics Comics' Nicole Rudick sat Al Columbia down for his most candid and revealing interview ever: "So, yeah, I can still draw Pim and Francie. They’re a lot of fun to draw. Almost too much fun. You start to get intoxicated working on them. It’s like, 'This is too much fun. This shouldn’t be allowed. This shouldn’t be legal.' I always put it aside because it just gets me too . . . they’re very intense and fun and maybe fun upsets me."
• Interview: The Daily Cross Hatch's Brian Heater concludes his conversation with Gene Deitch: "I hate the term '2D.' That’s bullshit. They put us in that category. They say they’re making 3D. They’re not 3D. What Pixar does is not 3D because it’s shaded. The screen is flat. It’s a flat picture. It’s just an illusion."
• Profile: Taylor Dungjen of University of Cincinnati student newspaper The News Record profiles U of C faculty member C. Tyler: "You might say Tyler is a proud American. You might even call her a patriot. She says she is a liberal hippie chick who supports American troops."
Only about 12 hours left for EVERY issue of The Comics Journal to be on sale! All available issues through #287 are HALF OFF and #288-300 are 1/3 OFF! Plus, all Comics Journal Library books and Comics Journal Special Editions are also HALF OFF! Time's a-ticking away so get those orders in while you can.
This is huge — EVERY issue of The Comics Journal is now on sale! All available issues through #287 are HALF OFF and #288-300 are 1/3 OFF! Plus, all Comics Journal Library books and Comics Journal Special Editions are also HALF OFF!
In preparation for the sale we scoured our warehouse and discovered two classic old issues from deep in the past which were previously thought out of print: The landmark #38 from 1978, named a Top Ten Issue of TCJ by Love & Maggie and a personal favorite of Kim Thompson's, features coverage of DC Comics' cover-price increase, Gary Groth's historic interview with Gil Kane, reviews of Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Allegro Non Troppo, the first ever "Blood and Thunder" letters column, and much more! And the jam-packed #139 from 1990 includes Peter Bagge interviewing Aline Kominsky-Crumb, part 2 of an Alan Moore interview, Jim Woodring's post-mortem on Weirdo, reporting on the Florida retailer obscenity bust, a Lloyd Dangle sketchbook and more. That's just a tiny sample of the kinds of great features that await you in the pages of this award-winning, critically-lauded magazine.
This sale lasts for a VERY limited time and who knows when we'll repeat it (it's been over 3 years since our last TCJ sale) so don't hesitate to load up on the world's best magazine about comics! It's all over at the end of the day next Friday, May 14, 2010.
Online Commentary & Diversions:
• Review: "This extraordinary collection of World War I tales offers perhaps the finest work from the lauded Tardi. Each story, based on actual accounts from French soldiers, relates the often-horrific realities of trench-warfare. Disturbing yet compelling images abound: a dead, mangled horse hanging from a tree serves as a warning; rats feasting on corpses; amputations; executions; countless dead. Far more memorable are the impassioned stories themselves. Betrayal, deceit, mistrust, murder, hope, and even humor run throughout these tales. Painstakingly researched, the amazing Tardi perfectly captures the everyday despair of the World War I trench soldier. Visceral, powerful, and effective, the flawless It Was The War of the Trenches blazes a new standard for the war comic." – Rick Klaw, The SF Site: Nexus Graphica
• Review: "One of the nice things about the rise of highbrow comics is the how many genuinely lurid entertainments a gentleman can get away with adding to his library. For starters, we’d suggest Tim Lane’s Abandoned Cars. It’s the modern equivalent of the Raymond Chandler yarns that fill up the more exciting portion of your bookshelf — a string of police chases and back-alley fist fights with a surprisingly introspective thread running in the background." – Kempt
• Interview: Mr. Media's Bob Andelman talks to Gahan Wilson about Fifty Years of Playboy Cartoons: ""I said, 'I'll see Mr. Kurtzman?' 'Oh, no,' the receptionist said. 'Trump is out of New York.' The art director came up behind me and said, 'Hef would like to see you.' I didn't know who or what a Hef was." Listen via the embedded player above or at this link, or download the MP3
• Commentary: On the Schulz Library blog, Robyn Chapman culls some tidbits from the 1999 interview with Megan Kelso in The Comics Journal #216: "The Journal in known for its in-depth interviews, and this one didn’t disappoint."
We are exceedingly pleased to report that Fantagraphics publications and artists received a record 18 nominations for the 2010 Eisner Awards. To celebrate, we're offering these titles at 18% off for a limited time! Click here for the full sale selection. (Sale is valid for online and phone orders only.) Winners will be announced at a ceremony on Friday, July 23, 2010 at Comic-Con International in San Diego. Congratulations to all the nominees! Fantagraphics' nominations are as follows:
• Best Short Story: "Because I Love You So Much," by Nikoline Werdelin, in From Wonderland with Love: Danish Comics in the Third Millennium
• Best Single Issue: Ganges #3, by Kevin Huizenga
• Best Humor Publication: Drinky Crow's Maakies Treasury, by Tony Millionaire
• Best Humor Publication: Everybody Is Stupid Except for Me and Other Astute Observations, by Peter Bagge
• Best Anthology: Abstract Comics, edited by Andrei Molotiu
• Best Adaptation from Another Work: West Coast Blues, by Jean-Patrick Manchette, adapted by Jacques Tardi
• Best Archival Collection — Strips: The Brinkley Girls: The Best of Nell Brinkley's Cartoons 1913-1940, edited by Trina Robbins
• Best Archival Collection — Strips: Gahan Wilson: Fifty Years of Playboy Cartoons, by Gahan Wilson, edited by Gary Groth
• Best Archival Collection — Strips: Prince Valiant, Vol. 1: 1937-1938, by Hal Foster, edited by Kim Thompson
• Best Archival Collection — Comic Books: Blazing Combat, by Archie Goodwin et al., edited by Gary Groth
• Best Archival Collection — Comic Books: Humbug, by Harvey Kurtzman et al., edited by Gary Groth
• Best Comics-Related Periodical: The Comics Journal, edited by Gary Groth, Michael Dean, and Kristy Valenti
• Best Lettering: Richard Sala, Delphine (Fantagraphics), Cat Burglar Black (First Second)
Daily clips & strips — click for improved/additional viewing at the sources:
• Now that Jon Adams is going to be in Mome I should start featuring his webcomic Truth Serum (and his new weekly strip Friendship Town for the San Francisco Chronicle when that starts showing up — via Robot 6)
• Our own Jason T. Miles came across this gallery of original vintage Comics Journal spot illustrations by Rik (a.k.a. Rick, a.k.a. Doc) Livingston, such as the swashbuckling robots from issue #49 above... and they're for sale at very reasonable prices
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The Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale St., Seattle WA 98108. Tel: 206-658-0110.