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Category >> The Comics Journal

The Complete Comics Journal Joins Online Archive from Alexander Street Press
Written by Eric Reynolds | Filed under The Comics Journal 31 Jul 2012 8:39 AM

Underground and Independent Comics

THE COMPLETE COMICS JOURNAL ARCHIVES JOIN THE UNDERGROUND AND INDEPENDENT COMICS ARCHIVE FROM ALEXANDER STREET PRESS

Fantagraphics Books, publisher of The Comics Journal, has announced a partnership with Alexander Street Press to make the complete archive of the The Comics Journal available as part of its Underground and Independent Comics online collection. This is the first-ever scholarly online collection for researchers and students of literary and underground comic books and graphic novels, and the inclusion of more than 25,000 pages of interviews, commentary, theory and criticism from the 35 year history of The Comics Journal marks a significant contribution to the academic study of the comics form.

“Most back issues of The Comics Journal are sold out and unavailable,” says Comics Journal founder and Fantagraphics President Gary Groth. “This will allow academics, critics, and historians access to the magazine that's covered the widest range of cartooning for the longest period of time. We believe Alexander Street Press' project serves an important cultural function and we're very pleased to be part of it.”

The Underground and Independent Comics online collection covers the works that inspired the first underground comix from the 1960s (such as works by Basil Wolverton and Harvey Kurtzman), to the first generation of underground cartoonists (including R. Crumb, Gilbert Shelton, Spain Rodriguez and many others) and encompasses modern sequential artists like Gilbert Hernandez, Jaime Hernandez and Daniel Clowes, with over 75,000 pages of comics from the 1950s to present. With the inclusion of The Comics Journal archives, scholars can now similarly trace the roots of comics criticism and have access to the Journal’s incomparable oral history of the field.

Institutions who have already subscribed or purchased the archive include the Library of Congress, British Library, Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Notre Dame and many others.

Comics have become an increasingly popular area of academic study, and yet the typical library has only a small selection of graphic novels in the catalog. Underground and Independent Comics solves this problem, collecting thousands of comics and related texts in one, easy-to-use online collection. With multiple combinable search fields, users can sort the materials in the collection by type, coloring, publication date, writer, penciler, inker, character, genre, publisher and more. Scholarship never before possible is now just a few keystrokes away.

“The chance to have access to 100,000 pages of underground and new wave comics in ways that were unimaginable a short time ago should change the face of comics research completely.” — James Danky, faculty of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Harvey Awards Nominees: Ganges #4, Mickey Mouse & The Comics Journal
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under The Comics JournalMickey MouseKevin HuizengaFloyd GottfredsonDisneyawards 3 Jul 2012 3:03 AM

The nominees for the 2012 Harvey Awards were announced yesterday and we're pleased to share that we've received 3 nominations:

Ganges #4 by Kevin Huizenga

Ganges #4 by Kevin HuizengaBest Single Issue or Story

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/covers/2011/bookcover_mmx1_2-3d.jpg

Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse by Floyd GottfredsonBest Domestic Reprint Project

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The Comics JournalBest Biographical, Historical, or Journalistic Presentation

Winners will be announced at a ceremony on September 8, 2012 at the Baltimore Comic-Con, as per tradition. Browse and order all of our 2012 nominated titles here, and see here for links to past years' award honorees. Congratulations to all the nominees!

Daily OCD 6.26.12
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under The Comics JournalRick Marschallnicolas mahlermaurice fucking sendakJohnny GruelleJim WoodringDaily OCD 26 Jun 2012 5:56 PM

 The most recent ramblin' Online Commentaries & Diversions:

The Comics Journal #302

•Commentary: ABC News and Amy Bingham picked up a few quotes by a partial interview online by Gary Groth with Maurice Sendak. The full interview will be published in The Comics Journal #302 in December: “Bush was president, I thought, ‘Be brave. Tie a bomb to your shirt. Insist on going to the White House. And I want to  have a big hug with the vice president, definitely."

•Commenary: MSNBC's Kurt Schlosser also writes on Maurice Sendak's TCJ #302 interview. In the article, associate publisher Eric Reynolds is also quoted, "[Sendak] was at the point in his life where he clearly didn't give a damn about propriety; he could speak his mind and clearly enjoyed provocation. I see these comments as part and parcel of his personality, not as a legitimate, actionable, treasonous threat."

Mr. Twee Deedle

•Review: The Washington Times takes a close look at Mr. Twee Deedle, edited by Rick Marschall. The long-forgotten artwork of Johnny Gruelle inspired writer Michael Taube: "Mr. Twee Deedle’s world is, quite simply, a series of innocent tales in a fantasyland that any child - and many adults - would have loved to experience, if but for a short while."

The Frank Book

 •Plug: The Frank Book by Jim Woodring gets a nice staff recommendation on the Harvard Book Store site. Craig H. says, "[Frank] takes us on his adventures through the psychedelic terrain of “The Unifactor,” a universe alive with rich pen-width and symmetrical, flying devices

Angelman

•Plug (audio): In the first few minutes of podcast Bullseye with Jesse Thorn, Angelman is recommended. Comics journalist Brian Heater of the Daily Crosshatch says, "it's Sergio Aragonés meets David Foster Wallace. . . about a little red winged superhero and his powers are good listening and empathy."

Groth on Sendak
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under The Comics Journalmaurice fucking sendakGary GrothComing Attractions 15 May 2012 8:02 PM

Late last year Gary Groth interviewed the recently-departed Maurice Sendak for the forthcoming next issue of The Comics Journal (#302, due toward the end of this year). At TCJ.com, Gary shares the story of how his encounter with Sendak came together along with a sneak peek of a few choice snippets from the interview.

2012 Eisner Award nominees!
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Warren BernardThe Comics JournalShimura TakakoRick MarschallPrince ValiantMickey MouseMark KalesnikoKevin HuizengaJim WoodringJasonJacques TardiHal FosterFloyd GottfredsonDisneyCCIawards 5 Apr 2012 4:51 AM

Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards logo

The list of nominees for the 2012 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards was announced yesterday and we are pleased to report that our artists and publications received a total of 10 nominations in 8 categories:

Ganges #4 by Kevin Huizenga

Ganges #4 by Kevin Huizenga:

• Best Single Issue

Freeway by Mark Kalesniko

Freeway by Mark Kalesniko:

• Best Graphic Album – New

Prince Valiant Vol. 3: 1941-1942 by Hal Foster Prince Valiant Vol. 4: 1943-1944 by Hal Foster

Prince Valiant Vol. 3: 1941-1942 and Vol. 4: 1943-1944 by Hal Foster, edited by Kim Thompson:

• Best Archival Collection/Project – Strips

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Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 1: Race to Death Valley & Vol. 2: Trapped on Treasure Island (also available in the Vols. 1-2 Box Set) by Floyd Gottfredson, edited by David Gerstein & Gary Groth:

• Best Archival Collection/Project – Strips

Isle of 100,000 Graves by Jason & Fabien Vehlmann

Isle of 100,000 Graves by Jason & Fabien Vehlmann:

• Best U.S. Edition of International Material

Like a Sniper Lining Up His Shot by Jacques Tardi & Jean-Patrick Manchette

Like a Sniper Lining Up His Shot by Jacques Tardi & Jean-Patrick Manchette:

• Best U.S. Edition of International Material

Wandering Son Vol. 1 by Shimura Takako

Wandering Son Vol. 1 by Shimura Takako:

• Best U.S. Edition of International Material – Asia

Congress of the Animals by Jim Woodring

Congress of the Animals by Jim Woodring:

• Best Writer/Artist — Jim Woodring (Jim is also nominated for Best Short Story for "Harvest of Fear" in The Simpsons’ Treehouse of Horror #17 from Bongo)

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The Comics Journal, edited by Gary Groth, and The Comics Journal website, www.tcj.com, edited by Timothy Hodler and Dan Nadel:

• Best Comics-Related Journalism

Drawing Power: A Compendium of Cartoon Advertising 1870s-1940s

Drawing Power: A Compendium of Cartoon Advertising 1870s-1940s, edited by Rick Marschall and Warren Bernard:

• Best Comics-Related Book

As announced in January, Bill Blackbeard (responsible for the Krazy & Ignatz series and so much more), Mort Meskin, Trina Robbins (underground legend and, for us, editor of The Brinkley Girls), and Gilbert Shelton (underground legend and contributor to Mome) are among the nominees for induction into the Eisner Hall of Fame.

An additional shout-out to Fantagraphics contributors, alumni and friends who received nominations for work with other publishers, including Stan Sakai, Ed Brubaker, Émile Bravo, Geoffrey Hayes, Roger Langridge, Anders Nilsen, Daniel Clowes, Al Jaffee, Rick Geary, Tom Orzechowski (who lettered Oil and Water), Ivan Brunetti, Eric Skillman (designer of The Comics Journal #301), and anyone I may have overlooked. Congratulations to all the nominees!

Winners will be announced at a ceremony on Friday, July 13, 2012 at Comic-Con International in San Diego. Browse and order all of our 2012 nominated titles here, and see here for links to past years' award honorees.

Daily OCD: 3/1/12
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under The Comics JournalPat ThomasinterviewsDiane NoominDaily OCDawards 1 Mar 2012 8:26 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

The Comics Journal #301

Awards: Hey, The Comics Journal picked up a nomination for "Favourite Magazine About Comics" in the 2012 edition of the long-running UK-based Eagle Awards, reports The Comics Reporter and also Robot 6

Glitz-2-Go

Interview (Audio): Inkstuds radio programme host Robin McConnell chats with Diane Noomin about her new book Glitz-2-Go

Listen, Whitey!

Plug: "Listen, Whitey! is the largest collection of Black Power recordings, and the only book of its kind. Even if you’re not that much into social history or political music, the rock and soul rabble rousing and poetic preachers and extrapolative urban players here are exciting to listen to, and the artwork accompanying it in both the CD booklet and the full book is extraordinary." – The KEXP Blog

Daily OCD: 2/3/12
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under The Comics JournalStan SakaireviewsPaul KarasikLaura ParkJoost SwarteJasonJack JacksoninterviewsDaily OCD 4 Feb 2012 12:06 AM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions (none yesterday):

Is That All There Is?

Review: "If Spielberg shed the skin of Hergé’s style in an effort to get to the heart of his stories, the compelling work of Dutch cartoonist Joost Swarte performs the procedure in reverse.... Swarte, equally inspired by the underground comix that emerged from the American counterculture of the 1960s and ’70s, adapted the clear line and reanimated it with subversive content unlike the perennially chipper Boy Scoutism of Hergé’s Tintin. ...Is That All There Is?, collecting the bulk of his comics oeuvre to date (excluding a body of children’s comics), provides an overdue opportunity to linger over and consider his narrative work.... Like a Rube Goldberg machine designed according to De Stijl aesthetics—with a rhythm and blues soundtrack—Swarte’s comics communicate a historically freighted, European sense of the absurd, poised toward a globalizing, postmodern present." – Bill Kartalopoulos, The Brooklyn Rail

Review: "The real joy of Swarte’s work... is the architectural elegance of his illustrations and his fine ability to colour them using everything from watercolour to retro duo-tones. Looking at Swarte’s mostly 20th century work [in Is That All There Is?] now, what’s also — and tangentially — interesting is the retro-futuristic look of it: the settings are near-future, but everything’s styled circa the 1940s, much in the same way Ridley Scott imagined the future in Bladerunner. For sheer design swagger you need to check Swarte out." – Miles Fielder, The List

Athos in America

Review: "These stories [in Athos in America] are a little less open-and-shut than Jason usually makes. His comics are always good, but I usually don't think about them too much after reading them. This one's more of a think stimulator than previous books.... It's a beautiful book. This is definitely Jason's best book yet. Good job, Jason." – Nick Gazin, VICE

keep on trudgin'

Interview: Chicago Publishes has an interview with Mome contributor Laura Park: "I’m really happy with the stories I did for MOME. I love short stories. Novels are the format now — it’s a selling format. You can have graphic novels in a bookstore, because non-comics people might buy them. Whenever you can get a comic from the comic shop into a bookstore, it’ll make more money. But short stories are kind of magical to me. My favorite writer is Flannery O’Connor. She has novels, but her short stories are the ones that linger and itch away through you."

 Jack Jackson's American History: Los Tejanos & Lost Cause [

Bibliography: Love & Maggie presents a comprehensive annotated guide to Jack Jackson-related materials in back issues of The Comics Journal

Stan Sakai Angoulême sketch

Scene: Paul Karasik has a delightful report from Angoulême; Stan Sakai has one too, with Usagi sketches

Daily OCD: 2/1/12
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Walt KellyThe Comics JournalreviewsPrince ValiantPat ThomasOil and WaterMartiJohnny GruelleJoe SaccoJacques TardiHo Che AndersonHal FosterGreg SadowskiDaniel ClowesDaily OCD 1 Feb 2012 8:14 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Action! Mystery! Thrills!

Review: "Nearly every cover in this collection [Action! Mystery! Thrills! Comic Book Covers of the Golden Age 1933-45] sizzles like a good slice of breakfast bacon. Pop art and the peculiar modernist aesthetic that defined postwar American culture really started here, with the liberation of comics from the funny pages and their metamorphosis into this most dynamic and demented of mediums. As a result, every deli and newsstand in America became its own peculiar gallery exhibit, a nexus of transient mass culture. This magical and immersive communion is now a thing of the past, but flipping through the gory, scary, and often beautiful pages of this discerning and honest anthology is an intoxicating experience." – Publishers Weekly

Review: "If you think you've seen all the best early comic covers, this'll make you think again.... I have a bias here myself...I helped Greg put parts of this together, with rare and fun covers from my own collection. Here you find the really cool and offbeat stuff... And Greg writes a concise bio of every cover and cover artist, putting each in perspective. I can't wait to show this to my Golden Age collecting buddies, it's a must-have book. You have my word on it." – Bud Plant

Pogo Vol. 1

Review: "...[N]o publisher has done more to preserve the Great American Newspaper Strip than the Seattle-based Fantagraphics, which has undertaken an audacious program of reprints in the last decade.... The most recent addition to the Fantagraphics line is the most anticipated: Walt Kelly’s unassailable funny-animal strip about Pogo the possum and his cadre of friends and antagonists in the Okefenokee Swamp. ...[I]f the company can pull off a complete edition of Kelly’s masterpiece — especially a full series as lovely as the first volume promises — ...it will be a publishing masterpiece of its own." – Matthew Everett, MetroPulse

Listen, Whitey!

Review: "Is Listen, Whitey! The Sights and Sounds of Black Power 1965-1975 the coolest book ever published? Yes, it is. Just out from the stellar Seattle publisher Fantagraphics, Listen, Whitey! is a gorgeously designed and smartly written coffee table book... Author Pat Thomas has done major archeological work to unearth albums from the era; for people like me who love classic record designs from the 1960s and ’70s, it’s heaven.... The book is a joy to leaf through.... Black music, art, and culture has been assimilated, and it’s made America a better, stronger place. Listen, Whitey! is an archival project, not a modern one. To which I, a white guy, can only say: Right on!" – Mark Judge, The Daily Caller

The Cabbie Vol. 1

Review: "The page in [The Cabbie Vol. 1] where the cabbie brings his father’s sewage covered remains home and puts them in what’s left of the coffin and then puts the coffin on top of his mother’s recently deceased body tells you everything you need to know. Unless you’re a Prince Valiant dude, this is the best reprint of the year. Impregnable would be the best word, EXCELLENT! will have to do." – Tucker Stone, Savage Critics

Prince Valiant Vol. 4: 1943-1944

Review: "Prince Valiant Vol. 4: 1943-1944 is not only a great book, I think it could also serve well as a good jumping-on point for those curious about the strip. By this point Foster has gotten a strong grip on his characters and the format of the strip, and with a new storyline beginning so early on in this volume you don’t have to worry about being lost. And while this volume doesn’t end at a conclusion for the last storyline (running a whopping 20 months in all, as it turns out, only the first 7 months are present here), there’s so much meat here that you’ll be eager for Prince Valiant Vol. 5 so you can find out how it ends. I, for one, can’t wait." – Greg McElhatton, Read About Comics

Ghost World: Special Edition

Review: "Are you a fan of Ghost World? You might not have noticed that Seattle-based Fantagraphics has reduced the price of their Ghost World: Special Edition to a bargain-priced $25.... The Special Edition is packed with goodies sure to thrill the Ghost World geek.... It’s a great item to add to your Ghost World collection — or to get it started." – Gillian Gaar, Examiner.com

Oil and Water

List: At Library Journal, Bonnie Brzozowski presents a guide to graphic nonfiction for librarians, spotlighting works including Palestine, It Was the War of the Trenches, Oil and Water, and King, and recommending The Comics Journal as an online resource

Mr. Twee Deedle, Raggedy Ann’s Sprightly Cousin: The Forgotten Fantasy Masterpieces of Johnny Gruelle

Plug: At Boing Boing, Mark Frauenfelder shares a beautiful Johnny Gruelle Mr. Twee Deedle panel (via The Pictorial Arts). Hey Mark, we have a whole book of that stuff coming out!

Things to See: Leslie Stein Cartoonist's Diary at The Comics Journal
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Things to seeThe Comics JournalLeslie Stein 16 Jan 2012 3:06 PM

Leslie Stein - Day 1

Leslie Stein gives you an illustrated and photo-documented glimpse into her life all this week for the latest Cartoonist's Diary feature at TCJ.com. Her self-portrait in the style of Sam Henderson is worth the price of admission alone.

[Follow our Tumblr blog for lots more Things to See every day.]

Daily OCD: 1/9/12
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Zak SallyTony MillionaireThe Comics JournalRobert CrumbreviewsPrince ValiantPeanutsMichel GagneMatthias WivelLove and RocketsJoe SimonJim WoodringJaime HernandezJacques TardiJack KirbyinterviewsHal FosterGary GrothGahan WilsonFantagraphics historyFantagraphics BookstoreDaily OCDCharles M Schulz 9 Jan 2012 8:29 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Young Romance: The Best of Simon & Kirby's Romance Comics

Review: "...Young Romance: The Best of Simon & Kirby’s Romance Comics isn’t just a book of some minor historical interest; it’s a genuinely entertaining and artful set of comics, and in some ways more readable than Simon and Kirby’s adventure stories.... Simon’s plots deal with jealousy, class conflict, mistaken identity, selfishness, and selflessness — the romance staples — while Kirby’s art makes these tales of passion and deceit especially dynamic, with deep shadows and a mix of the glamorous and the lumpen. ...Simon and Kirby... depict[ed] a world of darkness and heavy emotion, inhabited by clean-looking people in pretty clothes." – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club

The Life and Death of Fritz the Cat

Review: "Though not a novel per se, The Life and Death of Fritz the Cat does tell a story of sorts, about Crumb’s evolution as an artist, from the mild-mannered greeting-card designer who drew cheeky doodles in his spare time, to the prickly satirist who’d use Fritz as a way to comment on the sick soul of the ’60s and his own at-times-unwieldy success." – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club

Nuts

Review: "Nuts wasn't action-packed or boldly satirical. Just the opposite, in fact -- it was subtle and thoughtful, with what I'm guessing was a heavy autobiographical element on the part of Mr.Wilson.... You might not have grown up when Wilson did, or when the [National Lampoon] was published, or when I first read these strips years ago, so the details have changed. But I'm willing to bet the emotions our hero felt remain almost exactly the same, no matter what generation is reading about him. And, of course, Gahan Wilson's cartooning is what makes the strips special." – Will Pfeifer, X-Ray Spex

Prince Valiant Vol. 4: 1943-1944

Review: "There are few collections of comics that you can truly describe as 'beautiful art'; however, Fantagraphics’ series of Prince Valiant trades is absolutely stunning to look at and is easy to write flattering things about, because it is so flattering for a reader’s eyes to behold Foster’s artwork crisp, clear, and huge in all its splendor. The fourth volume of Prince Valiant, which collects all the Sunday pages in full color from 1943 to 1944, is just wonderful, whether you are 4 or 94; it is a totally engrossing experience to dive into the world of the adventurous prince on these pages." – Drew McCabe, ComicAttack.net

Zak Sally author photo, 2009

Interview: The Comics Reporter's Tom Spurgeon talks with Zak Sally about his new self-published, self-printed collection of Sammy the Mouse: "I've gotten out three issues of Sammy in five years, and in that five years I've had two kids, I've been married. My life has changed extraordinarily. That's just the way art works, you know. I was doing issue #2 -- maybe #3, I can't remember -- and there was stuff going on in my life. Six months later I look at that issue and I was like, 'Oh my sweet God.' It was absolutely reflective of what had been going on at the time, and I was completely unaware of it. I just think that's part of it, and that's the way it works."

Kolor Klimax

Interview: At Nummer 9, Erik Barkman has a Q&A (in Danish) with Johan F. Krarups (editor Matthias Wivel describes it as a "commentary track") about his contribution to the Kolor Klimax: Nordic Comics Now anthology

God and Science: Return of the Ti-Girls

Plug: Heidi MacDonald of The Beat looks forward to Jaime Hernandez's God and Science: Return of the Ti-Girls: "We can’t help but think that all of the people calling for great superhero stories featuring women will find Ti-Girls a masterpiece, as well, an entire superhero universe made up of nothing but superheroines of various shapes and sizes. It’s jaunty Jaime to be sure, but even so probably one of the best superhero stories of the last decade."

The Complete Peanuts 1979-1980 (Vol. 15)

Plug: "Fantagraphics is still the gold standard for classy newspaper strip collections. I’m afraid people are getting jaded now about how the wonderful Peanuts volumes are chugging right along year after year, but it’s worth pointing out that they continue to be everything anyone could ever want from an archive edition. What’s more, Fantagraphics followed it up with these new Floyd Gottfredson Mickey Mouse collections." – Greg Hatcher, Comic Book Resources

Jim Woodring

Plug: Found this nice nugget in Laura Hudson's interview with Chris Onstad at ComicsAlliance: "Jim Woodring is great, and is one of those people who will honestly admit to you that, 'Yeah, my brain's a little f**ked up.' His comics are sort of a manifestation of his brain. It works for him. He's a really wonderful guy. He has this big three-story place with big, gothic abbey rope hanging in front of the front door. The rope rings a little bell to let you know that someone's at the door. One time it rings in the foyer so his wife opens the door, and there's this little cat there that came in from the road. So they let the cat in, shut the door, and we all go about our night. Then we watched Popeye for two hours. That's Jim. And he does all of his work based on hallucination. None of it's set in reality. Uncanny things that make me feel strange happen [in his comics]."

Like a Sniper Lining Up His Shot / West Coast Blues

Analysis: Jordan Hurder, Chance Press examines the collaborations between Jacques Tardi and Jean-Patrick Manchette: "Tardi is a fantastically celebrated cartoonist who has been at the forefront of the industry in France for 35 years. In contrast to his slow burn, Manchette shot out ten crime novels over the course of ten years, redefined and reinvigorated the French crime novel, became hugely influential, and died of cancer in the 1990s.... The compatibility between the two artists is uncanny; maybe a better critic could point out exactly why in just a few words, or maybe it’s one of those matchups that works without needing explanation." – Jordan Hurder, Chance Press

TCJ

Commentary: Gary Groth remembers Christopher Hitchens in "My Dinner with Hitch" at The Comics Journal

Fantastic Fanzine 10 cover

History: Speaking of our dear leader, David Hine presents some scans from an issue of Gary's pre-Fantagraphics fanzine, Fantastic Fanzine (hat tip to Dan Nadel at TCJ.com)

Portraits

Scene: Our own Stephanie Hayes has a quick recap and some great snaps from Tony Millionaire's appearance at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery this past Saturday