We received the following message from Small Press Expo executive director Warren Bernard, with permission to share it with our readers:
"Yesterday I went up and presented the graphic novels to the Montgomery County Public Library (MCPL) as the final act of the SPX Graphic Novel Gift Program. Attached are 2 photos. The first is the Director of the MCPL, Parker Hamilton holding a copy of one of your Love and Rockets books. The second is a picture of the books we donated as well as the people involved. On the far left is your A Mess of Everything and third from the right is your Love and Rockets."
But wait! There's more! Warren will be signing at the Fantagraphics table at SPX on September 10th and 11th. We're lucky to get him to sit still for a couple of hours, because Warren is also the executive director of SPX!
• Review: "Popular culture historian Rick Marschall and biographer/researcher Warren Bernard have compiled here [in Drawing Power] a captivating potted history of the rise of the art of commercial cartooning in an increasingly advertising-aware America (…and make a strong argument that one could not have thrived without the other) whilst providing a glorious panoply of staggeringly evocative, nostalgic and enduring picture-poems which shaped the habits of a nation.... Stuffed with astounding images, fascinating lost ephemera and mouth-watering photos of toys and trinkets no fan could resist, this colossal collection is a beautiful piece of cartoon Americana that will delight and tantalise all who read it… and the best is yet to come." – Win Wiacek, Now Read This!
• Interview: Writer Peter Bebergal talks with Jim Woodring at his Too Much to Dream website: "It’s ridiculous to sit in meditation and try to stop thoughts from arising (chitta vritti narodaha) and then get up, sit at the drawing board and try to whip the mind up to think as wildly as possible. It’s downright crazy to try to subdue the ego for an hour and then inflame it for the working day and then try to subdue it again at the end of the day."
• List: At his High-Low blog Rob Clough posts his belated Top 50 Books of 2010 list, with Megan Kelso's Artichoke Tales at #1, 4 of our books in the top 5, 5 in the top 10, 8 in the top 20, and 14 overall in the top 50 — it's a long but worthwhile read
• Review: "Calling Congress of the Animals recommended reading is a bit misleading. It’s definitely recommended, but it doesn’t technically involve reading. The entire book doesn’t feature a single word bubble. The only words are on the book jacket. What this is is a story told entirely through pictures — delightful pictures at that.... This was really an entertaining book. It was visually different from anything I’ve ever seen in a comic, the story was unique, and some parts were laugh out loud funny..." – Corey Pung, Panel Discussions (via Americaware)
• Review: "...Skin Deep by Charles Burns... [is a] true masterpiece in which Burns returns to choose the mechanisms and the language of grade-B horror films, crime fiction, pulp, the aesthetics of the 50's and Robert Crumb's comics to make a harsh social criticism.... Stories in which Burns continues to explore the darkest corners of the human condition while keeping us on edge vignette to vignette." – Jesús Jiménez, Radio y Televisión Española (translated from Spanish)
• Review: "...[T]he adventures of a group of twenty-something New York residents, like Friends but with ethnic variation and far more realistic apartments, and, you know, actual problems. The characters of Beg the Question are surrounded by ugliness and idiocy in one of the most complicated cities in the world, yet they are decent human beings who support each other. It’s not supposed to be autobiographical, but you can tell that Fingerman has lived through many of the situations and knows the characters well." – Grant Buist, The Name of This Cartoon Is Brunswick
• Commentary: "So I just finished reading Fantagraphics’ The Complete Peanuts 1981-1982, and... the vast majority of this book was new to me, having not read previous reprintings of the strips from this period (as opposed to the near-memorization of the reprint books from the late ’70s and earlier). One of the great new features of this particular reprint series, aside from, y’know, the whole completeness of the strips reprints and all, is the index in each volume." – Mike Sterling, Mike Sterling's Progressive Ruin
• Plug: "Walt Kelly’s Pogo is one of the greatest comic strips I’ve ever read. It’s simply brilliant; quaint and sweet on the surface but deeper readings reveals layers of very smart political and social satire. And as you can clearly see, Walt Kelly’s artwork is magnificent.... Fantagraphics are presenting the entire strip, including the beautiful full colour Sunday strips for the very first time, in a series of 12 hardcover volumes that reprint approximately 2 years worth of material at a time. I guarantee that if you get Volume 1, you’ll be signing up for the remaining 11." – Richard Cowdry, The Forbidden Planet International Blog Log
Starting at 7:00 PM, Bernard will show you work from the 1870s to 1940, documenting how popular cartoon characters like the Yellow Kid, Little Orphan Annie, and Popeye have figured in advertising campaigns, and how their creators were highly sought-after pitchmen, selling products alongside the best movie stars in Hollywood. As part of his presentation, Bernard will have on-hand original ads and other advertisting items from the era.
This week's comic shop shipment is slated to include the following new titles. Read on to see what comics-blog commentators and web-savvy comic shops are saying about them (more to be added as they appear), check out our previews at the links, and contact your local shop to confirm availability.
248-page black & white 7.5" x 9.25" softcover • $18.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-449-8
"Yes, I hear people say, Jaime Hernandez, I keep hearing about how great he is and everything, but there are like a million books, how do I know which are the good ones? Here's a tip: try this paperback. It includes, I believe, the contents of Ghost of Hoppers and The Education of Hopey Glass, both of which are stone cold incredible; not sure if it includes 'La Maggie La Loca' or not [Nope – Ed.], but for 19 bucks you are not going to go too wrong. (It's true that you'll be showing up for the Maggie-and-Hopey sequence of stories rather late. You'll pick it up in no time, though.)" – Douglas Wolk, Comics Alliance
"Splurgewise, I’m unsure whether I’ve actually read the stories in the Esperanza collection of Jaime Hernandez’ Love & Rockets stories (Fantagraphics, $18.99) – I tend to lose track of the material between the first L&R run and the new one, for some reason – but if I haven’t, then that, for sure." – Graeme McMillan, Robot 6
"Two of Jaime's most popular Love & Rockets characters find themselves, as so many of us do these days, somewhat older, slightly more settled and still wrestling with personal demons." – Benn Ray (Atomic Books), Largehearted Boy
"...of course any Hernandez release deserves a mention, this time out Jaime Hernandez gets the spotlight as Esperanza (Fantagraphics) reprints material after the Penny Century collection." – Dave's Comics
216-page duotone 5.75" x 7.75" softcover • $19.99 ISBN: 978-1-56097-959-3
"...[I]f it’s softcore smut you’re looking for, there’s the Pin-Up Art of Humorama, which features gag cartoons by folks like Dave Berg and Brad 'Marmaduke' Anderson about buxom secretaries being chased around their desks by portly, lustful employers and whatnot." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6
128-page full-color 9.5" x 13" softcover • $28.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-399-6
"This is the kind of book that people are going to be saying 'oh cool!' about when they discover it on your bookshelf a couple of decades from now: a collection of pre-1940 ads (compiled by Rick Marschall and Warren Bernard) that incorporated cartoons, and particularly cartoons by significant cartoonists. Did you know that Noel Sickles and Milton Caniff collaborated on a series of 'Mr. Coffee-Nerves' strips advertising Postum? Or that Dr. Seuss drew ads for insecticide?" – Douglas Wolk, Comics Alliance
"...[M]y love of all things retro is going to lead me to Drawing Power: A Compendium of Cartoon Advertising from Fantagraphics..." – Brigid Alverson, Robot 6
"An informative historical look at the cartoonists and characters that have been used, and how they've been used, for advertising and the products they advertised." – Benn Ray (Atomic Books), Largehearted Boy
640-page black & white/color 6.75" x 8.5" softcover • $30.00 ISBN: 978-1-60699-291-3
"I’ve already got a copy, but let me recommend plunking down your entire $30 on the 301st issue of The Comics Journal. This brick of a … magazine? book? journal? features some great essays and interviews, most notably Tim Kreider’s lengthy analysis of Cerebus, and an extensive roundtable on R. Crumb’s Book of Genesis, including a thoughtful interview with Crumb hisself." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6
"After a year of publishing material on their website, The Comics Journal #301 (Fantagraphics) weighs in at an enormous 600+ pages with discussions of Robert Crumb's Book of Genesis, Jim Woodring's sketches, Al Jaffee and Michael Kupperman in dialogue and you're barely half way through." – Dave's Comics
"CONFLICT OF INTEREST RESERVOIR: Well, it’s been a few weeks now since it hit some East Coast stores, but Diamond is now announcing the imminent and full arrival of the very essence of the Conflict of Interest Reservoir, The Comics Journal #301, now at 640 pages and featuring chats with Robert Crumb and Joe Sacco, Al Jaffee & Michael Kupperman in conversation, perspectives on Cerebus and The Book of Genesis Illustrated by R. Crumb, and multifarious species of collegiate smart-arsery AS YOU LIKE IT; $30.00. Also be on the lookout for Esperanza, another thick Love and Rockets collection taking the Jaime material up to the start of the present (vol. 3) series; $18.99. Alex Chun has his latest girlie cartooning showcase, The Pin-Up Art of Humorama, promising spicy drawings by Marmaduke creator Brad Anderson, among other suspects; $19.99. And Rick Marschall & Warren Bernard present Drawing Power: A Compendium of Cartoon Advertising 1870s-1940s, archiving Mr. Coffee Nerves and other early comics-based adverts for generations to come; $28.99."
Make a habit of visiting Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery this fall as we approach five years of presenting comix culture to the masses. It just keeps getting better:
On Saturday, September 3 between noon and 3:00 PM, we host a sneak preview of "Hooked on Comix 3." Fimmakers David P. Moore and Audry Mandelbaum will be present for a continuous screening of the latest installment of their insightful documentary series on alternative comix. This one features the lovely Dame Darcy and always entertaining Tony Millionaire. Can't wait.
On Saturday, September 10 we open Drawing Power, an amazing exhibition of cartoon advertising curated by Warren Bernard. On Saturday, September 24 Bernard will present a slide talk followed by a book signing from 6:00 to 8:00 PM. He'll be joined by visual artist and cartoonist Tom Neely presenting his latest "painted novel" The Wolf.
On Saturday, October 1 we'll host a special preview of the topical graphic novel Oil and Water with journalist writer Steve Duin from 6:00 to 8:00 PM.
The following Saturday, October 8 we welcome comix legend Trina Robbins for an exhibition and slide talk on Nell Brinkley from her phenomenal book Brinkley Girls, who will be in town as an guest at the Geek Girl Con.
Don't miss a minute of the action. Visit Fantagraphics Bookstore daily. If you don't live here, with local housing prices remaining soft and the Seattle job market improving, now's a good time to move. See ya'll soon.