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Category >> The Comics Journal

Daily OCD: 7/2/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under The Comics JournalRoger LangridgereviewsPrince ValiantPeter BaggeMichael KuppermanJasonGilbert HernandezDrew FriedmanBlazing CombatBasil Wolverton 2 Jul 2009 3:28 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions will return Monday. Have a great holiday in the US of A.

• Review: "Like many mysteries, there's something initially frustrating about the end of 'Emily Says Hello,' but it's the best by Jason for a while... it's in the new Low Moon collection... Worth it for 'Emily' alone." - Graham Linehan (The IT Crowd, Father Ted), via Twitter (part 1, part 2)

• Review: "A thin line exists between [Basil] Wolverton’s jokey grotesqueries and the horrors of disfigurement and mutilation that appear in his postwar illustrations of the Book of Revelations (recently published in The Wolverton Bible)... Wolverton’s unsparing depictions of nightmarish prophecies are relentlessly grim but absorbingly so. There are hints of Goya’s crazed, melancholic Saturn and predictions of Charles Burns’s brooding mutant teens." - Nicole Rudick, Artforum (reviewing the Wolverton exhibit currently on view at Gladstone Gallery; hat tip to Drew Friedman)

• Review: "Oh my god. It’s like someone wheeled my senile, racist grandfather onto a metropolitan sidewalk and let him free associate. Unfortunately, my grandfather’s psychosis might have more acuity and humor than Everyone is Stupid [Except for Me]." - Ashley Cardiff, CC2K (via Reason link below; don't say we never post negative reviews)

• Review: "Michael Kupperman is the funniest cartoonist alive, and Tales Designed to Thrizzle is his funniest comic book... Thrizzle has the manic joy of a really good sketch-comedy series... Thrizzle was originally published as four comics, and Kupperman has recolored the series for its hardcover release... [It] should amuse just about anyone who can read." - Paul Constant, The Stranger

• Review: "[Fletcher] Hanks's stuff burns itself into and onto the brain like a giant scalding iron of dementedness." - fústar

• Review: "Certainly nobody takes umbrage with the claim that these are four awesome comics, collected in one hardcover edition [Blazing Combat]... Fantagraphics have done us a big favor by reprinting them all." - The Comic Book Haters (streaming video)

• Plug: "...Reason's own beloved Peter Bagge has a fantastic collection of a near-decade's worth of political cartooning coming out from Fantagraphics [Everybody Is Stupid Except for Me]. The content is king but the actual production is nothing short of stunning, filled with the bright, bright colors that Paul Simon used to sing about back when Kodak was still making film." - Nick Gillespie, Reason

• Plug: "Some good stuff that came out this week includes... Tales Designed to Thrizzle hardcover (the first four issues, now with the black and white bits in color, but still just as fantastic and funny), Prince Valiant Volume 1 (a new and gorgeous hardcover reprinting the Hal Foster original strips from 1937 and 1938)..." - Mike Sterling

• Interview: Michael Fiffe presents outtakes from his interview with Trevor Von Eeden from The Comics Journal #298

• Interview: At comiXology, Tucker Stone interviews The Comics Journal online editor, the ista! in ¡Journalista!, my comrade-in-linkblogging-arms, Dirk Deppey. Pull quote of all pull quotes: "I got the job at Fantagraphics by making fun of The Comics Journal's website on its message board, basically."

• Things to see: Drew Friedman's Monkey Girl

• Things to see: Further proof that Roger Langridge is awesome

• Oddity: The Beat offers sartorial advice for those proportioned like a Gilbert Hernandez character

• Apropos of nothing: Here's a disturbing photoshopped image of Thora "Enid Coleslaw" Birch, submitted by The Comics Journal's Matt Silvie

Daily OCD: 6/30/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under The Comics JournalreviewsPrince ValiantPopeyeMort WalkerMichael KuppermanLove and RocketsLos Bros HernandezJordan CraneJerry DumasJasonJaime HernandezHal FosterDaniel ClowesChris WareCharles BurnsCarol Tyler 30 Jun 2009 3:43 PM

The final Online Commentary & Diversions update for June '09:

• List: CBC Radio's Canada Reads: The Book Club posts the result of their month-long poll to determine "The Top 10 Graphic Novels": Black Hole and Love and Rockets come in at #5 and #6, respectively, with Ghost World and Jimmy Corrigan close runners-up

• Review: "Issue #3 of Jordan Crane's Uptight serves as a wonderful example of just how good pamphlet format comics can be... Uptight #3 delivers 24 pages of beautifully focused storytelling... If you like Crane's work or simply want to try something a little different, do go out and buy this. Uptight represents everything single issue comics should be but so very rarely are. Fact is, we need more comics like this, so vote with your wallets and support the fine folks at Fantagraphics..." - Matthew Dick, Exquisite Things

• Review/Profile: "...[Boody Rogers's] command of dream-state narrative logic and language-mangling dialogue remains unnerving and uproarious in about equal measure... Now comes the Fantagraphics edition of Boody: The Bizarre Comics of Boody Rogers — a 144-page whopper, rich in humor and dreamlike oddities..." - Michael H. Price of the Fort Worth Business Press recounts meeting Rogers in the 1980s and also reviews Rogers's memoir, Homeless Bound

• Review: "For his latest... book [Low Moon], Jason has decided to try something a bit different... In attempting to stretch himself, though, he offers some of his weakest work to date, but some of his strongest and emotionally wrenching as well... Longtime readers... will definitely want to pick it up..." - Chris Mautner, Robot 6

• Review: "The temptation is to shut up and let Hal Foster's panels speak for themselves... Designed by Adam Grano, Prince Valiant [Vol. 1:] 1937-1938 is a beautiful book." - Steve Duin, The Oregonian

• Plug: "Literally jam-packed with strips that constantly vary in sizes, [Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 1] shines with [Michael] Kupperman's earth-shattering wit, his excellent vintage-comics-inspired draftsmanship and his genius comedic timing. Thanks Fantagraphics!" - Librarie D+Q

• Plug: "You'll Never Know [Book 1: A Good and Decent Man] by C. Tyler arrived this week... it is funny, moving, sad -- highly recommended." - Librarie D+Q 

• Plug: "Dash Shaw = emotional psychedelic genius." - i want to spend the rest of my life everywhere, with everyone, one to one, always, forever, now.

• Plug: "The Comics Journal #298: Man, only two issues until the big Siege of Asgard prelude." - Jog - The Blog

• Plug: "The Comics Journal #298: Lotsa good interviews in this issue... For me though, the meat of the issue is the wealth of daily Skippy strips by Percy Crosby reproduced in the gallery section." - Chris Mautner, Robot 6

• Interview: Publishers Weekly has a Q&A with Peter Bagge about his new collection Everybody Is Stupid Except for Me. Money quote: "I could have taken the Doonesbury route and pandered to my fellow libertarians by pretending I (and they) had all the answers, but that would have been both too easy and dishonest."

• Interview: Newsarama's Zack Smith talks to Sam's Strip creators Mort Walker and Jerry Dumas about the creation of the strip and the new Fantagraphics collection. Sample quote from Walker: "You always put something personal in every strip, so it’s wonderful to see all these old strips again."

• Charity: ComicList reports that Jaime Hernandez will participate in Comic Book Legal Defense Fund fundraising at Comic Con with an autograph card and original art auction

• Oddity: What does Popeye have in common with Michael Jackson? Well, now they're both subjects of Jeff Koons artwork, according to this Reuters story

• Oddity: Did you hear about the former Drawn & Quarterly intern who attempted to navigate a handmade houseboat named the Velvet Glove Cast in Iron down the Mississippi River?

New Comics Day 7/1/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under The Comics Journalnew releasesNew Comics DayMichael Kupperman 30 Jun 2009 1:31 PM

Scheduled to arrive in better comics shops across the land this week: The Comics Journal #298, featuring The Umbrella Academy's Gabriel Bá & Fábio Moon, Perry Bible Fellowship's Nicholas Gurewitch, and much more:

The Comics Journal #298 - cover by Gabriel Bá & Fábio Moon

Also popping up on some unofficial lists: Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 1 by Michael Kupperman. It's not on the official distribution list, though, so no promises.

Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 1 by Michael Kupperman

As always, feast your eyes on our many previews and excerpts at the above links, and contact your local shop to confirm availability before busting open your piggy bank.

The Comics Journal #298: now online
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under The Comics Journalpreviews 24 Jun 2009 4:07 PM

From Journalista:

The Comics Journal #298

Now online for subscribers — and available soon in better bookstore and comics shop shelves nationwide — The Comics Journal #298, chock full of all the comicky goodness you need to get through the summer. Check it out:

  • Diego Assis presents a full-length interview with breakout comic-book stars Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá, who discuss their self-publishing apprenticeship in Brazil, their entry into the North American comics scene, their work on such titles as Casanova and The Umbrella Academy, and exactly who does what on their various projects.
  • Shaennon Garrity sits down for a chat with Perry Bible Fellowship creator Nicholas Gurewitch, who explains how he became an Internet cartoon sensation, where he goes next after ending his weekly run on the strip, and the joys of being an envelope artist.
  • Michel Fiffe tracks down one of the most fascinating cartoonists to rise out of the superhero-comics scene in the last three decades, Trevor Von Eeden, in a no-holds-barred conversation that illuminates Von Eeden’s struggles in the New York City corporate-comics industry and the attendant racism that came with it.
  • You will definitely not want to miss our comics section this issue, which features a massive gallery of Percy Crosby’s legendary newspaper strip, Skippy — the first publication of these exquisite strips in decades!
  • Bill Randall takes us through an issue of the renowned avant-garde manga anthology AX, and prepares us for the eagerly anticipated English-language collection of comics from said magazine scheduled for release later this year.

As always, we’ve got free excerpts from the new issue of the Journal on our TCJ.com website, fiendishly selected to whet your appetite: Here are choice bits from the Moon/Bá interview, the Gurewitch interview and the Von Eeden interview. It’s a wondrous bouquet of cartoon excellence — The Comics Journal #298! Accept no substitutes.

Daily OCD: 6/10/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under The Comics JournalSteve DitkoRichard SalareviewsPeanutsMort WalkerLos Bros HernandezLilli CarréJordan CraneJohn PhamJim FloraJim BlanchardJasonJacques TardiFletcher Hankseventscomics industry 11 Jun 2009 12:34 AM

I think we're all caught up on our Online Commentary & Diversions now:

• Review: "It's impossible not to love Jason's hapless cartoon characters; they're dog-faced descendants of Charlie Chaplin in that way, usually placed into situations far beyond their control or understanding... The five stories that make up Low Moon, Jason's newest collection of comics, hark back to the classic golden age of film... Each story reverberates with the little eccentricities that Jason has built a career on (instead of gunfights, the cowboys in the title story battle over long games of chess). Remarkably, none of them seem over-the-top or manipulative." - Paul Constant, The Stranger

• Review: "From Jordan Crane and Fantagraphics, Uptight #3. One of the best covers of the year and the last time, I suspect, that the guys in the crowd will read 'Back soon' and not feel that chill at the back of the neck." - Steve Duin, The Oregonian

• Review: Jog's extensive MoCCA wrapup includes a good look at our second Fletcher Hanks book You Shall Die by Your Own Evil Creation!

• Review: "Sublife weaves a tighter, more focused narrative with intelligently ornate Chris Ware inspired design..." - Raina Lee, Lunch

• Review: "The current issue of the Comics Journal (#297) has a wonderful in-depth interview with cartoonist Mort Walker, creator of Beetle Bailey, as well as a stable of other strips including Hi and Lois, Sam and Silo, and Boner's Ark that's a fun read." - Randy Reynaldo, WCG Comics

• Plug: Inkwell Bookstore's "Cover Art Cavalcade: Charming Cheesecake" recommends the Hernandez Brothers and our collections of vintage pin-up cartoons

• Commentary: Looking at our recent spate of Special Edition releases at examiner.com, Spencer Ellsworth says "the notes, interviews and annotations give a look into some of the most innovative of the new generation of movers and shakers in the current comics renaissance."

• List: Industry news & analysis site ICv2 ranks sales of The Complete Peanuts at #3 on the list of "Top 10 Humor Properties Q1 2009"

• List: The Comics Reporter reports that at BEA a panel of librarians chose a list of "Hot Fall Graphic Novels," including our forthcoming titles Strange Suspense: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 1 and West Coast Blues by Manchette & Tardi

• Preview: Parka Blogs presents images from The Curiously Sinister Art of Jim Flora

• Preview: The Casual Optimist notices the forthcoming The Sweetly Diabolic Art of Jim Flora

• Events: More MoCCA buzz from Sean T. Collins; Brian Heater at The Daily Cross Hatch (with photos); and Book By Its Cover with a pic of our table 

• Things to see: Richard Sala illustrates his process with the cover of Peculia

• Things to see: A portrait of Bully by Lilli Carre

• Things to see: Lemmy Kilmister gives Jim Blanchard's portrait of him a "10"

Now in stock: The Comics Journal #298 (Gabriel Bá & Fábio Moon, etc.)
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under The Comics Journalnew releases 10 Jun 2009 3:47 PM

The Comics Journal #298

The Comics Journal #298
Edited by Mike Dean & Kristy Valenti; Gary Groth, Executive Editor

In this issue: Brazilian twins Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon on The Umbrella Academy and breaking into U.S. comics; Perry Bible Fellowship's Nicholas Gurewitch talks about love; brutally honest Thriller artist Trevor Von Eeden on his professional and romantic struggles; Percy Crosby's Skippy rediscovered; Jiro Taniguchi's A Distant Neighborhood previewed; a cartoon interview of Peter Bagge by Noah Van Sciver; and much more!

208-page color/b&w 7.5" x 9.5" squarebound softcover magazine • $11.99
Add to CartMore Info & Previews

Daily OCD: 5/26/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under The Comics JournalRoger LangridgereviewsMomeMichael KuppermanJim BlanchardJasonHumbugFantagraphics historyEleanor DavisDash ShawBlazing CombatBeastsAnders Nilsen 26 May 2009 3:03 PM

Let's catch up on our Online Commentary & Diversions:

• Review: "...Monologues [for Calculating the Density of Black Holes is] spare and scratchy where [Anders Nilsen's] other work was detailed; loose and spontaneous where his other work was considered; and funny where his other work was melancholy. It's interesting to see the many influences that inform Monologues; there's a bit of absurdists like Ionesco, elements of Tom Stoppard's wit and philosophical musings, stream of consciousness dada in the style of Tristan Tzara, and oblique New Yorker type gags with the scratchy looseness of James Thurber and Saul Steinberg." - Rob Clough

• Review: "...[O]nce again, I’m engaged in Blazing Combat. What a thrill! And the art!... Highly recommended. Don’t argue! Just buy it!" - David McDonnell, Starlog

• Review: "This collection of the 1965-66 Blazing Combat war comic magazine is a stellar publication... It's a master class on how to tell a short story, and I highly recommend checking it out." - Sandy Bilus, I Love Rob Liefeld

• Review: "Blazing Combat, a new hardcover collection from Fantagraphics, showcases some truly fantastic work from a multitude of comics greats... The collection itself is sharp as a tack... Fantagraphics really packages it nicely..." - Litany of Schist

• Review: "This omnibus of all 11 issues of Humbug is equal parts giddy genius and period piece. The satire is razor-sharp... [T]here are such subtleties here and such rapier wit that the line is clearly visible from the Algonquin Round Table to Kurtzman to Crumb to Ralph Bakshi to Mr. Show to The Colbert Report." - Byron Kerman, PLAYBACK:stl

• Review: "Tales Designed to Thrizzle #5... is really funny." - Tucker Stone, "Advanced Common Sense," comiXology (fast-forward to the "Speed Round")

• Review: "In his way, [Michael] Kupperman's just as concerned with making comics' formal aspects work for him as Chris Ware. In his way he's every bit as effective. Goddammit this book [Tales Designed to Thrizzle #5] is funny." - Sean T. Collins

• Review: "[Beasts! Book 1] is captivating, wistful, funny and truly extraordinary - a Bestiary of the traditionally fantastic for the dreary 21st century where imagination and wonder have been formularised as crypto-zoology... a vivid package of sheer fantasy and artistic excellence..." - Win Wiacek, Now Read This!

• Review: "Now, with Low Moon, [Jason] has clenched his fist around me and won’t let me go - this is easily my favorite of his works to date... Top to bottom, I enjoyed Low Moon very much... A worthy addition to one’s bookshelf." - Marc Mason, Comics Waiting Room

• Review: "[In Abandoned Cars] Tim Lane presents a personal study of what he calls 'The Great American Mythological Drama,' a fog of events / thoughts / dreams / disappointments in music / literature / North American life... Lane leads to something more introspective and extremely sad." - Churrasco la Naje (from Google translation)

• Review: "...[A]lmost nothing is casual in Bottomless Belly Button and almost nothing is superficial in its narrative structure, nor its authorial intentions... [Dash] Shaw's work delves into the interior of the personal relationships of its protagonists, but also in the basic foundations of linear narrative... Shaw transcends the sphere of intellectual narrative to enter the much more epidermal level of physical sensations... Dash Shaw has composed a monumental work, sometimes puzzling, sometimes bordering on melodrama, but always strong and brave, a work full of qualities and findings that will, we believe, be a reference for future comics. His experimentation, his daring and his solutions can't help but remind us of an equally ambitious and dense work, Jimmy Corrigan... Do not miss this." - Little Nemo's Kat (from Google translation)

• Plug: Jonathan Ross gives us ("the company that flies the flag for independent, ground-breaking comics"), and The Comics Journal ("the only widely read and serious publication of comic-book criticism"), a nice shout-out in The Times

• Interview: The Daily Cross Hatch continues their conversation with Michael Kupperman. Sample quote: "I think the artist I feel closest with is Tony Millionaire, because he really lives in those comics. He could never be anything else."

• Profile: The Beat spotlights Eleanor Davis as part of their survey of Russ Manning Award nominees

• Profile: Vice looks at another side of Jim Blanchard: curator of wacky/creepy/sleazy music compilations

• History: The Beat engages in a bit of "Comics Archaeology," discussing several releases from our past (and present: "...it must be said, of all the art comix anthologies, Mome is probably the most perfect distillation. Sometimes evolution works.")

• Things to see: These two sample pages really make me wish that Roger Langridge had landed the Wallace & Gromit gig

Daily OCD: Bonus Twitter Edition
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under The Comics JournalSupermenPrince ValiantpreviewsPeanutsMichael KuppermanJohnny RyanBlazing CombatAl Columbia 18 May 2009 2:50 PM

Here's a few days worth of buzz from Twitter... I don't know if I can make this a habit (and this might be borderline obnoxious), but we'll see:

BeaucoupKevin: Between you, me and the fencepost, if DC or Marvel reprinted their Golden Age material in the Fantagraphics' SUPERMEN! format, I'd not mind.

Triphibian: The Prince Valiant collection from Fantagraphics looks very, very sexy. http://www.fantagraphics.com/princevaliant

Omnivoracious: New Fantagraphics catalog in the mail (candy!). Most enticing: Al Columbia's first book (http://tinyurl.com/oku8ge), Comics Journal 300.

saratea: @valientthorr I'm still on my Little Lulu/Johnny Ryan/lotsa Fantagraphics/Top Shelf releases & I still pull out the occasional Thor #nojoke 

MrGranger: I agree. RT @leaveittokaren: Reading: The Complete Peanuts vol. 11 1971-72 from @fantagraphics The series is fantastic! 

brettwarnock: Wow!... Fantagraphics' Late 09 / Early 2010 schedule is crazy goodness. Hotwire # 3! Newave, prince Valiant, Ditko, Gahan Wilson, Tardi... 

jwoliner: HEY Fantagraphics is releasing a collection of @MKupperman's awesome "Tales Designed To Thrizzle"!! Preorder here: http://tinyurl.com/qjkjwc 

PaulTobin: Score! A friend just sent me the new Blazing Combat hc, and now the studio is absorbing its "full of awesome" flavor. 

michaelthorner: @PaulTobin I was raving about Blazing Combat just a couple of weeks ago. @fantagraphics did a wonderful restoration job. More #AlexToth ! 

And this bit of business:

BRIANMBENDIS: Dark pet avengers just got the greenlight 

JorgenBakken: @BRIANMBENDIS DP Avengers? From Fantagraphics, for sure. 

Daily OCD: 5/12/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tim LaneThe Comics JournalSupermenRoger LangridgereviewsPeter BaggeBob FingermanBlazing Combat 12 May 2009 1:38 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

• Review: "Just finished reading and cannot recommend enough the new Fantagraphics release Blazing Combat" - This Is Why I Hate You

• Review: "Something for everyone in this educational, humorous and borderline offensive tome. Communicated in Bagge’s trademarked bugged out style, [Everybody Is Stupid Except for Me] is a must-have for fans of incisive political commentary." - Kevin Mathews, The Power of Pop

• Review: "...Supermen! provides a concise glimpse into what the early comic books were like back when the medium was really fresh... Today’s readers will be surprised at how some of the material from a supposed more naive times really comes across rather grim and gritty... The 20 stories on view here provide an intriguing insight of where many of our modern day comic book heroes may have originated from, even if indirectly." - Kevin Mathews, The Power of Pop

• Preview: Fábio Moon previews and provides a bit of background about his and his brother's cover art for The Comics Journal #298

• Interview: Robot 6's Tim O'Shea talks with Bob Fingerman about his latest releases, including Connective Tissue

• Things to see: Another eye-melting page from Tim Lane's "The Passenger"

• Things to see: Roger Langridge takes a break from the Muppets for a Krazy Kat kommission

The Comics Journal #298: Preview & Pre-Order
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under videoThe Comics Journalpreviewsnew releases 11 May 2009 2:07 PM

The Comics Journal No. 298 - cover by Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon

Now available for preview and pre-order: The Comics Journal #298, featuring interviews with Umbrella Academy artists Gabriel Bá & Fábio Moon; Perry Bible Fellowship's Nicholas Gurewitch; and Thriller artist Trevor Von Eeden, plus a gallery of Percy Crosby's Skippy strips and a whole lot more -- click here to check out the full Table of Contents. This issue is scheduled to be in stock and ready to ship in mid-June and in stores approximately 4 weeks after that (subject to change).

View a photo & video slideshow preview embedded here. Click here if it is not visible, and/or to view it larger in a new window (recommended).