"Part biography, part retrospective, part collected chronicles of a comic legend, this is a huge undertaking that pays off in every way you could expect, and a million ways you couldn't." – The Daily Planet
"It's a stunning body of work that brings together loosely personal and wholly fictional stories about joy, anguish, fear and loneliness - emotions all motivated by that essential quest to be the best you can be." – James Cartwright, It's Nice That
"This book contains many more examples of the sorts of stories that made him so rightly famous, including a couple of epic globe-trotting adventures, plenty of swiftly swelling domestic comedies, and two Christmas comics, which Barks seems to have specialized in." – J. Caleb Mozzocco, School Library Journal
"After last issue's splashy stories, this issue is a bit more low-key with regard to Killer and her story, preferring to lay some narrative pipe and give the characters a bit of room to breathe and interact." –Rob Clough, High-Low
Ulli Lust just won the 2014 LA Times Book Award for Graphic Novels & Comics for her excellent Today is the Last Day of the End of Your Life. This prestigious award joins her 2011 Angouleme Prize for the original language printing and her Ignatz Award for Best Graphic Novel from last fall.
Pick up a copy at your local bookstore, our website or the upcoming festivals we're attending: Linework NW, TCAF and CAKE!
This graphic novel has had a little Fantagraphics story tacked onto it from Associate Publisher Eric Reynolds first seeing it at a festival in Europe to it being the last book Kim Thompson ever translated. Congratulations to Ulli Lust for a fantastic and touching book. Read Ulli's acceptance speech here: you'll love it because, well it's a comic!
David B., Incidents in the Night: Vol. 1 (Uncivilized Books)
Ben Katchor, Hand-Drying in America: And Other Stories (Pantheon)
Joe Sacco, The Great War: July 1, 1916: The First Day of the Battle of the Somme (W. W. Norton & Co.)
This Friday, April 11th, the winner will be awarded in a sold out event. Is it corny to say they're already winners to us? 'Cause it's true!
Depending on how things go, you can stop by the Festival of Books on Saturday, April 12th to either congratulate or console Anders Nilsen, who will be in town to participate in the panel "Illustrating the Point: The Art of the Graphic Novel" at noon, alongside fellow artists Mimi Pond, Ben Katchor and Vanessa Davis. The panel will be held in the Seeley G. Mudd. Auditorium, Room 123.
Illustrating the Point: The Art of the Graphic Novel - See more at: http://events.latimes.com/festivalofbooks/fob-schedule/#sthash.WE0PLtRj.dpuf
On Friday evening, April 11, 2014, at 7:30 pm, the winners of the 2013 Book Prizes will be awarded at a ceremony in Bovard Auditorium on the campus of USC. The ceremony will be followed by a buffet reception. We sincerely hope your finalist (s) will be able to attend event. This occasion will mark the 34th annual presentation of the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes and will inaugurate the 19th Los Angeles Times Festival of Books.
Congratulations to Ulli and Anders for making it this far. Haven't checked out these titles? Grab a copy from ourwebsite or your local library today!
The most delicious 50% candy so let's eat our feelings of Online Commentaries and Diversions:
• Plug: The Advocate lists Julio's Day as great gift. "[Julio's Day] is a remarkable literary work that compresses 100 years into 100 pages and demonstrates how dramatically life changed for gay men between 1900 and 2000." –Jacob M, The Advocate
• Plug:The AV Club lists Julio's Day at #8 of the top 10 Graphic Novels and Art Comics of 2013. "Comic books have a unique way of evoking the passage of time within static images, and Gilbert Hernandez is a cartoonist that is keenly aware of how he can use the medium to manipulate that chronal flow." –Oliver Sava, The AV Club
• Review: Julio's Day on Comic Pusher "This is a fantastic book, yet another example of a master cartoonist at work, an excellent representative Gilbert Hernandez for those unfamiliar with him, and a fine addition to the library of those who have grown with his work over 30 years." -Jeffrey O. Gustafson, Comics Pusher
• Review:Maria M. by Gilbert Hernandez on Page 45: "Crime and punishment executed with rapidfire, bullet-point precision...The cartooning is, as ever, an immaculately clean and balanced black and white joy, the expressions are exquisite and the breasts, they are humungous." -SLH, Page 45
• Plug:Maria M. "More than 30 years into his career, there's no stopping Gilbert Hernandez..." -Tom Murphy, Broken Frontier
• Plug: GNR takes a look at Gilbert Hernandez's The Troublemakers: "I found the book to be engrossing, compelling, and a lot of fun for both noir and comics fans." -Sterg Botzakis, Graphic Novel Resources
• Review: Best of 2013 on Comics Pusher "Obviously this was the year of Gilbert Hernandez…Gilbert filled the void of singular marquis comics with no less than five stunning works, collectively casting its own literary shadow for subsequent generations to wonder at. Someday you can tell your grandchildren that you were alive when the Hernandez Brothers were creating comics, and when Gilbert owned 2013." –Jeffrey O. Gustafson, Comics Pusher
• Review: Comic Book Bin looks at Love and Rockets: New Stories #6"Here, both [Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez] are like great athletes that use human growth hormone (HGH) to extend their peak performance into middle age. Los Bros. have found creative and artistic steroids, as they are producing Love and Rockets comics that are as good as they've ever been. Or maybe genius never gets old and keeps producing all-star work." –Leroy Douresseaux, Comic Book Bin
• Review: "Love and Rockets continues to be a vital and important ongoing document of two creators at the absolute height of their powers, and the only venue to read new material from Jaime. The brothers' respective works, their respective worlds, stand alone - but in Love and Rockets we get the privilege of experiencing jolts of both, alternating between brother and brother, between greatness and greatness." –Jeffrey O. Gustafson, Comic Pusher
• Plug:Love and Rockets Companion is examined on VICE "Love and Rockets is a great comic that has been around for 30 years now and the characters in the book have aged in time with us... This book's dust jacket, which unfolds into a family tree, will help sort you out if you're like me and can't keep the characters straight" -Nick Gazin, VICE
• Review: Grovel checks out Maria M. "Love and Rockets fans shouldn't be without this, but anyone else with an interest in sharp, sexy, violent but sophisticated stories can still enjoy it for what it is: a B-movie homage that takes the genre above and beyond our expectations." -Andy Shaw, Grovel
• Plug:The Omnivoracious lists Love and Rockets the series as part of the Lambda awards "These are life stories, told as life unfolds-with humor, heartbreak, and perseverance" –Alex Carr
• Plug: Paste lists The Love Bunglers on the Most Anticipated comics of 2014! "Any time a collection of Jaime Hernandez's Maggie (and/or Hopey) stories is published, it's cause for celebration." -Hillary Brown, Paste
• Review: Wandering Son 6 by Shimura Takako "in Wandering Son, Volume 6 so many parallels are made between Shuichi and Takatsuki's real life and the very deliberately crafted Romeo and Juliet production.... It may not be a particularly subtle narrative technique on Shimura's part, but it is a very effective one. The play echos their experiences, emphasizing specific aspects of their lives and relationships not only for the characters, but for the readers as well. Wandering Son continues to be an absolutely wonderful series." –Ash Brown, Experiments in Manga
• Plug:The Advocate lists the Wandering Son series "An amazing series, Wandering Son offers an unusual glimpse into the lives of gender-nonconforming kids. Suitable for readers 13 and older and engaging enough to keep readers of all ages impatiently awaiting next year's Volume 5."
• Review: The Chicago Tribune looks at Carl Barks' Donald Duck: Christmas on Bear Mountain. "Ridiculously, infuriatingly, this is the first time the work of America's finest cartoonist (his only real competition being George Herriman, Walt Kelly and Charles Schulz) has been reproduced with the care and splendor it deserves. Imagine if Duke Ellington's recordings were only now being properly remastered and collected." – Michael Robbins, The Chicago Tribune
• Review:Donald Duck: Christmas on Bear Mountain "Carl Barks is one of those truly perfect cartoonists. It feels so good to have these books with beautiful Fantagraphics quality production sitting on my shelf...You'll get sucked in." –Nick Gazin, VICE
• Review: SLJ onDonald Duck: Christmas on Bear Mountain"Barks's Disney comics were and are enormously well crafted and equally enormously entertaining, timeless comedy adventures that Fanta presents in such handsomely designed volumes that they make the perfect gift for just about any reader of comics." –J. Caleb Mozzocco, School Library Journal
• Review:Donald Duck: Christmas on Bear Mountain "Scrooge is a lot grouchier, bitter and ill tempered than his later incarnations and closer to the Dickens persona rather than Bark's character...whenever I bring up the subject of ducks with my comic book pals, they look at me a-scant but I highly recommend this fabulous collection from Fantagraphics that celebrates the life and prodigious body of work of the Dean of Duckdom, the irreplaceable Carl Barks." –Chris Marshall, Collected Comics Library
• Plug:Atomichearted Boy looks at The Treasury of Mini Comics, edited by Michael Dowers. "Mini comics are like the wild west of the comics world - in this lo-fi, DIY formate - it's anything - and everything - goes."–Benn Ray, Atomic Books
• Review:The Secret History of Marvel Comicsby Blake Bell and Doc Michael J Vassallo"…this book expands our understanding of the publishing industry context in which those comics were produced, and it gives us an unprecedented portfolio of non-comic book art from some notable comic book artists." -John Hilgart, The Comics Journal
• Review: "what's been unearthed here (much of it never reprinted) is both visually and historically stunning…The Secret History of Marvel Comics is a stunning book (in more ways than one) of beauties, beasts, and bombast, as well as a wonderfully askew look at the Precambrian Era of Marvel Comics." –KC Carlson, Comics Worth Reading
• Interview:Bomb Blog asks Stephen Dixon about His Wife Leaves Him: "Yes. I wanted most of the novel to be in his head. For this, he has to be lying back in bed with his room dark and his eyes closed, remembering things in their marriage. Of course, there is action in the dream. There's movement, I should say. It's a very interior novel." -Dixon
Review: David Evanier looks at His Wife Leaves Him and Stephen Dixon in general. "Stephen Dixon is, in my opinion, the best and most overlooked American Jewish fiction writer in the country. If I left out "Jewish," he would still be the best."–David Evanier, The Jewish Book Council
• Review:Publishers Weekly gives His Wife Leaves Him a starred review: "A peek into the private world of their marriage proves the novel to be more than the sum of its parts as the reader is granted a panoramic view of the evolution of two characters and their relationship."
• Interview: James Fleming writes a very nice intro to Dixon's His Wife Leaves Him and includes some email correspondence with him on Burrow Press. "How do I even begin to explain how Dixon--though we've never met in person and I've never taken a writing class with him--effectively taught me nearly everything I know about short-story and novel writing."
• Review:Goddamn This War! on FPI Best of 2013 list: "Tardi's burning rage at the injustice and immorality of what was done to so many is undimmed by the passing of time, and as we enter the centenary year of the start of that awful war this work becomes even more vital for readers." –Joe Gordon, Forbidden Planet International
• Review:Goddamn This War! "Jacques Tardi is a one of the most versatile cartoonists to ever lift a pencil...We descend into Hell with these soldiers, live their unbelievably intense live, and are inexorably and subtly changed by the experience. That is the power of great Art. That is the power of the great Jacques Tardi." –Jason Sacks, Comics Bulletin
• Plug:Goddamn This War! made Mark Burrier's Best of 2013 list. "Besides the meticulously-referenced artwork, Tardi painted these panels using inks and they are gorgeous...Kim Thompson did a bang up job translating this. The narrator is recounting what it was like during WWI and the tone holds up well to translation." -Mark Burrier
• Review:Ghost and Ruins by Ben Catmull on NY Journal of Books: "For those who like their horror with more then a hint of detached humor, Ghosts and Ruins is the perfect book to leave out at both Halloween and Christmas. These are wonderfully scary stories drawn and told with such beauty and wit you regret when they end. " –Mark Squirek, NY Journal of Books
• Review:Ghost and Ruins by Ben Catmull on Famous Monsters: "If Escher and Gorey met in Maurice Sendak's house and decided to riff on Junji Ito manga, you might have something similar to these pages…All fans of black and white horror movies owe it to themselves to hunt this down and subsequently cower under the covers like a kid in the cold." –Holly Interlandi, Famous Monsters
• Plug: "Ghost and Ruins will satisfy your craving for dark and creepy, yet beautiful drawings of - you got it - ghosts and ruins!" –Jade, Librarie D&Q
• Review: On Richard Sala's Violenzia "Sala takes the conventions of Golden Age comics like Dick Tracy and The Shadow and [modernizes] them for the digital era" –HTML Giant
• Review:Richard Sala's The Hidden. "There's no mistaking a panel of a Sala comic for a panel of anyone else's comic...it is probably his grandest and most epic in terms of scale, and it's full of suspense, mystery, horror, violence and a perhaps surprising amount of action..." –J. Caleb Mozzoccoo, Every Day is Like Wednesday
• Review: Katherine Whaley receives a Starred Reviewi n Publishers Weekly: "a parade of 20th century American philosophical fads, particularly those rooted in the entertainment business, pseudoscience, commercialized spiritualism, and general quackery. The story is earnestly told from Kate's wide-eyed perspective and achieves a tone that emphasizes the multifaceted nature of human experience."
• Review: Barracuda in the Attic by Kipp Friedman on Boswell Book Company "Growing up as one of three sons of the writer Bruce J. Friedman, they had adventures many of us can't imagine... Kipp's upbringing does resonate with me more than just another New York story..." -Daniel Goldin
• Review: Willard Mullins' Golden Age of Baseball gets reviewed "Through the eyes of someone like Mullin, with his graceful portraits of folks like Babe Ruth and Stan Musial, the sport seems thousands of years old. An artifact. A time capsule… This is a beautiful-looking book, thorough and affectionate in its treatment of the cartoonist Willard Mullin and his coverage of the sport for which he is best known: baseball." -Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Journal
• Plug: "...we get to watch Charles M. Schulz's cast evolve, along with his simple yet lyrical line. [Peanuts Every Sunday] is a complement to Fantagraphics' continuing and indispensable 'Complete Peanuts' publishing project." -Dana Jennings, NY Times
• Plug: Westfield Comics on Peanuts Every Sunday. "If Peanuts Every Sunday isn't under your Christmas Tree this year, put aside some of your Holiday 'loot' (as early Schulz might say) to make sure you pick it up as soon as you can. You won't regret it. It's the kind of gift book I'd be getting for Grandma Lil, if she were still around" -KC Carlson, Westfield Comics
• Ottawa, ON: Oh, Ottawa! Dave Cooper presents his latest art show Eddy Table and Other Misbehavers at the La Petite Mort Gallery! Dave will have a ton of affordable drawings and doodles available, as well as a cool super-affordable, specially-priced inaugural fine art print to celebrate his new printing venture! (more info)
• Ottawa, ON: Ottawa, it's a two-fer-Thursday! World-famous cartoonist and filmmaker Max Andersson will screen his first feature-length film Tito on Ice as part of the Ottawa International Animation Festival! Don't miss it! (more info)
• Burlington, VT: Don't miss Chris Wrightat the 2013 Burlington Book Festival! He'll be part of the panel "The Novel Graphic: A Summit", alongside Vermont’s first Cartoonist Laureate, James Kochalka; award-winning author and artist Genese Grill; and legendary illustrator, author, and New Yorker cartoonist Ed Koren. (more info)
• Ottawa, ON: Ottawa, were you not listening when I said "don't miss it" back on Thursday? Were you too busy enjoying the fun at Dave Cooper's art show? Well, you've got another chance to see Max Andersson's feature-length film Tito on Ice as part of the Ottawa International Animation Festival! Go, go, go! (more info)
On Saturday night, Ulli Lust won the Ignatz Award for Best Graphic Novel for her large work Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life. Translated by Kim Thompson, the story is set back in 1984, where a rebellious, 17-year-old, punked-out Ulli Lust sets out for a wild hitchhiking trip across Italy.
Charming and well, just plain bad-ass Lust sold out of her graphic novel earlier in the day. Thank you for your support and coming to say hi to our favorite Austrian cartoonist! Get your own copy of her book today!
[The Umpteen Millionaire Club is our series which puts forth book club discussion questions for Fantagraphics titles. The Comics Journal interns Keith Baralato, Eli Powell, and Evans Winters put together this set of questions. - Ed.]
Today Is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life is a graphic memoir by Ulli Lust, set in the 1980s, which recounts her journey from Vienna, Austria, down through Italy, finally arriving on the island of Sicily. Seventeen-year-old “Ulli” lives on the streets, traveling with nothing but her best friend Edi, a sleeping bag, and barely enough money to buy a coffee. This rebellious young woman lives a life free of possessions or concern for the future as she interacts with fellow vagabonds, junkies, prostitutes, and even the Sicilian mob.
What motivates Ulli to travel?
Early on, Ulli states that she wants to “accumulate as much experience as possible, to meet as many people as possible” (34). How successful is she in this goal?
How does Ulli’s life on the streets differ from the people she meets who are more permanently rooted in poverty, homelessness, drugs, and hustling?
What impact do the people she meets have on her? (List of Characters: Edi, Andreas, Dieter, Guido, Frankie, Gino, Paolo, Marc, etc.)
How does Ulli’s gender affect her position as a traveler?
What purpose do Ulli’s journal entries serve?
How does Ulli’s vision of herself and/or what she will become match up with how you viewed the character?
How does Lust use metaphorical imagery to tell her story? What effect do these techniques have on the reader as far as understanding Ulli’s inner life/experience?
Does Ulli live as if today is the last day of the rest of her life? How does her attitude toward this idea change throughout the story?
On the last page of the book, why does Ulli crawl out of her bed onto the floor to sleep? What does the bed symbolize for Ulli?