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Category >> The Comics Journal

The Comics Journal #302 - Previews, Pre-Order
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under videoTim KreiderThe Comics JournalRoy CraneRobert CrumbRC Harveypreviewsnew releasesmaurice fucking sendakMatthias WivelLewis TrondheimKim ThompsonJoe SaccoJacques TardiGary GrothCarl Barks 19 Dec 2012 6:57 PM

The Comics Journal #302 - Maurice Sendak cover

The Comics Journal #302
edited by Mike Dean & Kristy Valenti; Gary Groth, Executive Editor

672-page black & white/color 7" x 8.5" softcover
ISBN: 978-1-60699-603-4

Ships in: February 2013 (subject to change) — Pre-Order Now

The newly formatted, 600+ page Comics Journal proved a resounding success with 2011’s edition. 2012’s Volume 302 is sure to prove just as essential and exciting to comics readers worldwide.

This edition’s cover feature is a long, intimate interview-portrait with and of Maurice Sendak, the greatest and most successful children’s book author of the 20th — and 21st — century, the author of Where the Wild Things Are, In the Night Kitchen, Outside Over There, Higglety Piggelty Pop, and the illustrator of works by Herman Melville, Leo Tolstoy, and Randall Jarrell. In his longest published interview (and one of the last before his death in 2012), Sendak looks back over a career spanning over 60 years and talks to Gary Groth about art, life, and death (especially death), how his childhood, his parents, and his siblings affected his art and outlook, his search for meaning — and also, on the lighter side, about his love (and hate) of movies. And his unbridled comments on the political leadership of the previous decade have already garnered national media attention and controversy.

Sharing equal billing in this issue's flip-book format: Kim Thompson conducts a career-spanning interview with French graphic novel pioneer Jacques Tardi. The two explore the Eisner Award-winner’s genre-spanning oeuvre comprising historical fiction, action-adventure, crime-thriller, “icepunk” and more, focusing on Tardi's working methods (with step by step illustration), collaborations and other media (such as film and animation), and his fascination with World War I. Plus, Matthias Wivel examines Tardi's adaptation of Léo Malet's 120, Rue de la Gare.

Also in this issue, Art Spiegelman conducts a wide-ranging aesthetic colloquy on classic kids’ comics (Carl Barks’s Donald Duck, John Stanley’s Little Lulu, Sheldon Mayer’s Sugar and Spike, and many more) with a group of comics critics and historians. Bob Levin provides a revelatory investigation of the twisted history of the "Keep on Truckin’" litigation and a fascinating biographical portrait of R. Crumb’s lawyer, Albert Morse. Warren Bernard writes a ground-breaking historical investigation of the 1954 Senate Subcommittee Hearing on Juvenile Delinquency. R.C. Harvey looks at Bill Hume's Babysan and Donald Phelps examines Percy Crosby's Skippy. And a tribute to the late Dylan Williams from his peers and the artists he published.

Plus: “How to Draw Buz Sawyer” by renowned newspaper cartoonist Roy Crane (and a previously unpublished interview), a new comic by Joe Sacco and one by Lewis Trondheim in English for the first time, Tim Kreider on Chester Brown, Tom Crippen on Mort Weisinger and Superman, Rich Kreiner on "difficult comics," and a visual gallery of and commentary on proto-comics.

The Comics Journal has been for 37 years the world’s foremost critical magazine about comics. It is now more vital than ever, a gigantic print compendium of critiques, interviews, and comics.

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

The Comics Journal #302 - Tardi cover

First Look: The Comics Journal #302
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under The Comics Journalmaurice fucking sendakKim ThompsonJacques TardiGary GrothComing Attractions 10 Dec 2012 6:04 PM

The Comics Journal #302

Behold, the new issue of The Comics Journal, an edition so awesome we made it a flip-book with TWO cover features: Gary Groth's newsmaking interview with the late Maurice Sendak on one side, and Kim Thompson's interview with Jacques Tardi on the other side. (To clarify, there aren't two separate covers; every copy has both covers and which one's the "front" depends on which way you turn it.) And there's a whooole lotta stuff in between. Look for excerpts to be posted on TCJ.com as the release date nears (early February being our current best guess). TCJ sets the agenda for intelligent comics conversation, so pre-order your copy today and don't get left behind.

FEEL IT!

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

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/covers/2011/bookcover_cj301.jpg

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)

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/covers/2011/bookcover_cj301.jpg

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!