Cripes, September is over already? Here's your Online Commentary & Diversions:
• Review: "The Red Monkey Double Happiness Book makes for pleasant midday reading, maybe perched somewhere outdoors in the sun with a glass of ginger ale at your side. Read it in a lazy mood, identify with the slacker characters, and speculate on whether you could solve demented mysteries as well as they could. (Answer: probably not.)" – Molly Young, We Love You So
• Plug: "Man, if that Crumb book weren't coming out [Prison Pit: Book 1] would easily be my main pick for the week. Johnny Ryan does straight on fantasy/action, with no tongue in cheek, but without forsaking a single ounce of blood or guts. In fact, this may be even more gory and gruesome than his humor stuff... but those with strong stomachs will thrill to Ryan's grotesque and truly imaginative fight fest." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6
Washingtonians, don't forget Tony Millionaire is in Puyallup tonight (we can only hope he goes to the Puyallup Fair in that getup) and Seattle tomorrow night with Chris Onstad. (Details here.) Here they are at Powell's Books in Portland OR on Wednesday. Photo courtesy Tugboat Press.
The first issue of Marvel's new 3 part anthology mini-series, STRANGE TALES, is in comic shops this week. It features my long-delayed "Incorrigible Hulk" story, which has been broken up into 3 parts, with one part in each issue. My original cover will also serve as the cover of ST #2 (see above).
This mini-series also features many indy comics superstars,all of whom get to interpret one or more of Marvel's well known characters in their own style. Each issue is also 48 pages long and only $3.99. Quite a deal!
Paul Buckley is Art Director at Penguin Books, a publisher known for iconic design (and Art Directors), and he recently started a Flickr page featuring a small sampling of his work. Buckley is also the guy who managed to spearhead all those amazing classics-of-literature-covered-by-cartoonists. It may seem obvious-- Chris Ware doing the cover art to Candide, Jason doing Dharma Bums, Charles Burns on The Jungle, and so many more-- but getting all that through the marketing teams and other red tape at an enormous publishing house isn't just brilliant, it's tenacious.
Looks like the hits just keep coming with the biggest no-brainer of all (Tony Millionaire covering Moby Dick) plus Ho Che Anderson, Jeffrey Brown, etc.
Perhaps our next online poll ought to ask for suggestions on future Penguin Classics. My vote: Bil Keane doing Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal."
UPDATE: I have to learn not to make these sloppy blog posts. I've made a lengthy note in the comments on why, as a book designer, I consider this feat noteworthy.
More importantly, Paul Buckley has pointed out that Helen Yentus was his partner on the original round of these covers. One of the great things Yentus pulls off is making novel covers that read as complete images, a perfect hybrid of typography and image. So it makes sense she would be involved here.
Your daily dose of Online Commentary & Diversions:
• Profile: The Oklahoma Gazette dedicates a cover feature (pictured above) to native son Boody Rogers, talking to Yoe, Nadel and Spiegelman about his work. Of our collection of his comics they say "Boody: The Bizarre Comics of Boody Rogers reprints 13 of Boody Rogers' comic-book stories between 1948 and 1950. Although they have fallen into the public domain, publisher Fantagraphics has restored the color and images to its typical standards of quality ... not to mention standards of unapologetic weirdness."
• Review: "...Terr'ble Thompson is... playful fun... [Gene] Deitch’s upbeat mangling of the English language and silly twists will keep readers of many ages entertained." - Michael C. Lorah, Newsarama
"And I pursued, best I can, to get the record I just made to look as beautiful as possible. Tony Millionaire has delivered this very beautiful and intriguing illustration. You know, the hand and hand-ink thing has a refinement you can't get with a computer. It's got the touch of a masterful artist." — Elvis Costello, talking to Newsweek
It's your Online Commentary & Diversions for the day:
• Review: "There is this old-fashioned comic feel that mixes so well with the overall theme and texture of this short. [In] Ganges #2... [Kevin] Huizenga's elegant neo-clear-line style brings a crispness and humor to these low-key slice-of-life stories, and the gray-blue duotone he has picked gives the art a new depth and complexity." - Hero Spy
• Plug: "I’m also trying Blazing Combat, the war comic collection from Fantagraphics. I don’t know much about the series, so this should expand my knowledge of a type of comic I’m not much familiar with." - Johanna Draper Carlson, Robot 6 "What Are You Reading?"