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Category >> 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.

Things to See: Vintage Beto, Xaime and others
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Things to seeThe Comics JournalJaime HernandezGilbert HernandezFantagraphics historyAmazing Heroes 2 Mar 2011 9:11 PM

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201102/jaime-shehulk.jpg

Wanna see a whole bunch of vintage spot illos scanned from old issues of The Comics Journal and Amazing Heroes by Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez (above) and other artists (Mitch O'Connell, Kevin Nowlan, Bruce Timm) before they were stars? Ed Piskor has you covered at his Wizzywig Comics blog.

Daily OCD: 3/1/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Usagi YojimboThe Comics JournalStan SakaiRoy CranePirus and MezzoMark KalesnikoJordan CraneDash ShawDaily OCD 1 Mar 2011 4:35 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

The Comics Journal #301

Plug: "The Comics Journal: long known as a magazine where you can look at never before released sketches from R. Crumb next to essays about Wonder Woman’s bondage past next to in-depth interviews with superhero comics auteurs next to oral histories of underground dudes you didn’t even know you were interested in until you read about their entire lives. We could go on that tangent forever, but instead we’ll just direct you here to pre-order." – Sam Hockley-Smith, The Fader

King of the Flies Vol. 2: The Origin of the World

Plug: "In Mezzo and Pirus’ King of the Flies, characters who die in the first volume... come back to watch over the still-living – lovers, friends, mothers. Mezzo and Pirus’ undead are able to travel to Mars in the blink of an eye, and then back to the David Lynchian small-town that is the story’s main setting. Liberated from physical constraints, they are frustrated, morose, angry, holding onto grudges. ...Mezzo and Prius... have created a darkly erotic and blackly humoured book that, days after finishing, I’m still thinking about." – Shawn Conner, Guttersnipe

Freeway

Plug: Los Angeles magazine features Freeway by Mark Kalesniko in their latest roundup of books of local interest

Usagi Yojimbo: The Special Edition [Pre-Order]

Interview: The Daily Cross Hatch's Brian Heater continues his conversation with Stan Sakai: "Originally, I had wanted to do a series inspired by the life of a 17th century samurai named Miyamoto Musashi, but — he’s regarded as one of the great swordsmen in Japanese history, but one day I just drew a rabbit and Musashi became a rabbit. Instead of Miyamoto Musashi, my charcter was Miyamoto Usagi — 'usagi' means 'rabbit' in Japanese. The 'Miyamoto' part I kept as an homage to the original Musahi, but everything else is pretty much original."

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201102/variety-dashshaw.jpg

Profile: Variety recently talked to Dash Shaw about his artwork in the feature film Rabbit Holehere's a scan, uploaded by Dash

Cartoonist PROfiles - Roy Crane

Feature: Mike Lynch posts scans of a "How to Draw Buz Sawyer" article by Roy Crane from a 1969 issue of Cartoonist PROfiles

Uptight #4 [January 2011]

Unpaid product placement: Jordan Crane's Uptight #4 makes a cameo appearance in Kevin Church & Benjamin Birdie's relaunched webcomic The Rack

First Look: The Comics Journal #301
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tim HensleyThe Comics JournalStephen DixonRobert CrumbMichael KuppermanJoe SaccoJim WoodringComing AttractionsAl Jaffee 24 Feb 2011 7:53 AM

The Comics Journal No. 301

It is true: after much foofaraw and mishegas, The Comics Journal #301 went to the printer last week and is due to be available in May. (You may have come across an earlier version of the cover here on our website, but here for the first time is the final version.)

Short description:

The Journal is reborn. In these 600+ pages: R. Crumb interview & critical roundtable on Genesis; Joe Sacco interview; Jim Woodring, Tim Hensley & Stephen Dixon sketchbooks; Jaffee & Kupperman in conversation; Gerald McBoing Boing; much more.

This volume is guest designed by internationally respected Criterion art director Eric Skillman

See here for more information on the issue and stay tuned for updates and previews.

The Comics Journal No. 301

TCJ.com 2/12/11 - 2/18/11 recap and preview of next week
Written by Mike Dean | Filed under The Comics Journal 18 Feb 2011 4:58 PM

This past week on TCJ.com:

Rob Clough’s series on Comics as Poetry, Part One, Part Two.

Mathhias Wivel took in the Moebius exhibit.

Sean Michael Robinson interviewed Cerebus‘ Gerhard gave about craft and technique: Part One, Part Two, Part Three.

R. C. Harvey on virtuosity in cartooning.

Rob Clough got The Broadcast.

R.C. Harvey had the poop on poop in the funny pages.

Shaenon Garrity looked back at City of Glass.

Kristian Williams examined a field guide for use during a zombie attack.

Gavin Lees wants you to help him figure out what’s going on in a panel in Oji Suzuki’s A Single Match.

R.C. Harvey explained how editorial cartoons handled the censorship of Huckleberry Finn.

Rich Kreiner was a good boy this year and got a copy of The Simpsons episode guide as a gift.

Nathan Wilson looked at Liar’s Kiss.

R. C. Harvey pondered the connection between stand-up comedy and comic strips.

An HU brawl about Ebony White spilled over to tcj.com via Tom Crippen.

Belgian Bart Croonenborghs told us about The Girl and the Gorilla.

Jesse Tangen-Mills began an examination of blackface in comics south of the border.

Marco Pellitteri noted the Lucca comics festival mirrored the state of Italian comics.

And coming up next week:

Shaun Partridge and Josh Simmons talk about The White Rhinoceros and getting arrested at a David Cassidy concert. John Ridgway talks about his four decades in comics, from Commando and Doctor Who to Hellblazer and The Hulk. R.C. Harvey selects the best editorial cartoons of 2010. Reviewed: Grant Morrison’s The Return of Bruce Wayne, Tezuka’s Ayoko, Tim Kreider’s Twilight of the Assholes, Robert Venditti’s Homeland Directive, editor Neil Gaiman’s The Best American Comics 2010, Metaphrog’s Louis: Night Salad, Matt Fraction’s Casanova, Desmond Reed’s minis and the latest entries in Fantagraphics’ Ignatz line ... And much more!

Image from “The Evil that Men Do!” written by Peter David and drawn by John Ridgeway, collected in The Incredible Hulk #335 (September 1987) [© Marvel Characters, Inc.]

TCJ.com 2/5/11 - 2/11/11 recap and preview of next week
Written by Mike Dean | Filed under The Comics Journal 11 Feb 2011 4:37 PM

This past week on TCJ.com:

Rob Clough concluded his look at Drawn & Quarterly’s reprints of classic comic books and strips with Doug Wright’s Nipper (1963-1964).

Geoff Johns talked to Nathan Wilson about his craft and career: Part One, Part Two.

Rob Clough rounded up and reviewed Candy Or Medicine, Devil’s Lake, Desmond Reed minis, Dina Kelberman, The Cornelia Collection.

Minis Monday: Rich Kreiner looked at Ophestios, 1890.

R.C. Harvey remarked on Dick Locher’s retirement from the Dick Tracy strip, and Joe Staton as his replacement.

Shaenon Garrity drew readers’ attention to exhibits at the Cartoon Art Museum.

Kristian Williams reviewed Audrey Niffenegger’s The Night Bookmobile.

Rob Clough reviewed the 26th issue of the comics zine Mineshaft, edited by Everett Rand and Gioia Palmieri.

R.C. Harvey examined The Wolverton Bible.

Donald Phelps wrote an essay on plotting in Billy De Beck’s Barney Google.

R.C. Harvey looked at how U.S. editorial cartoons depicted the Egyptian conflict.

Kent Worcester bids farewell.

And coming up next week:

Gerhard speaks: an epic interview on the craft behind Cerebus; Matthias Wivel attends the mammoth Moebius retrospective in Paris; Rob Clough begins a series on comics as poetry and reviews The Broadcast; Gavin Lees reviews Oji Suzuki’s A Single Match anthology; and Rich Kreiner immerses himself in The Simpsons Ultimate Episode Guide.

1995 Arzach image ©Moebius

TCJ.com 1/29/11 - 2/4/11 recap and preview of next week
Written by Mike Dean | Filed under The Comics Journal 4 Feb 2011 3:54 PM

This past week on TCJ.com:

Rob Clough reviewed Only Skin #6, by Sean Ford; Mr. Cellar’s Attic, by Noel Freibert; and Courtship of Ms. Smith, by Alexis Frederick-Frost.

R.C. Harvey got some advice from a trio of cartoonists.

Chris Ware talked to Matthias Wivel at Komiks.dk: Part One, Part Two.

R. Fiore on Chris Ware’s Acme Novelty Library Vol. 20.

Rob Clough looked at John Stanley’s Nancy comic books.

In his Minis Monday column, Rich Kreiner traced a different kind of underground comics lineage via Colin Tedford’s Square Dance #4.

R.C. Harvey close-read Jan. 35 comic strips.

Our Angoulême coverage.

R.C. Harvey welcomed back Peyo and the Smurfs.

Rob Clough also looked at Tubby.

R.C. Harvey noted some recent comic-strip cameos.

Tom Crippen pondered Superman’s immigration status.

Rob Clough examined the all-ages “experiment” Solipsistic Pop #3.

R.C. Harvey: Writer Defined.

R.C. Harvey also chose Sinfest as one of his Best Comics of 2010.

Meanwhile, tcj.com’s international bloggers looked at the controversy surrounding Don Lawrence’ Storm, explained the Latin American legacies of Luiz Sá and Harvey Pekar and announced Australian comics events.

And coming next week:

Geoff Johns, DC Co-Publisher/Chief Creative Officer/writer and co-producer of the Green Lantern movie, talks to Nathan Wilson; Kristian Williams takes a ride on The Night Bookmobile; R.C. Harvey reviews the Wolverton Bible; Rob Clough examines Doug Wright’s Nipper and the underground comix zine Mineshaft; and much more.


From Green Lantern #59 (December 2010), written by Johns, penciled by Doug Mahnke and inked by Christian Alamy, Keith Champagne and Mahnke. ©2010 DC Comics

TCJ.com 1/22/11 - 1/28/11 recap and preview of next week
Written by Mike Dean | Filed under The Comics Journal 28 Jan 2011 3:55 PM

This past week on TCJ.com:

R.C. Harvey on comic strips and “Logic Gone Sane.”

Rob Clough concluded his three-part series on recent D&Q issues with a look at the final installment of Anders Nilsen’s Big Questions.

Parts Four, Five and Six went up of Kristian Williams series of essays on Garth Ennis’ aerial combat comics.

Rob Clough worked through his tcj.com slush pile.

R.C. Harvey looked at comic strips that tackled religious subject matter.

Rich Kreiner touted Tag Team.

Rob Clough looked at Adrian Tomine’s Scenes from an Impending Marriage through the prism of wedding-induced psychosis.

R.C. Harvey looked at some pictures.

He also praised X-9: Secret Agent Corrigan by Al Williamson and Archie Goodwin.

Rob Clough was curious about Curio Cabinet.

Matthias Wivel, Fredrik Stromberg (also here and here) and Bart Croonenborghs are serving as our foreign correspondents at Angoulême.

Bart Croonenborghs also took a side-trip through the Mountains of Madness.

Sean Michael Robinson leaves food for thought for the weekend with his analysis of The Simpsons Child Pornography case.

And coming next week:

Chris Ware talks to Matthias Wivel; R.C. Harvey looks at Smurfs creator Peyo and tells us what it means to write comics; Rob Clough and Rich Kreiner cover minis from up-and-comers such as Alexis Frederick-Frost and Colin Tedford; and our foreign correspondents on all the latest from Angoulême.


©2010 Peyo