Do you like beautiful books? Do you like gorgeous illustration? Do you like fun, inventive comics? Then you will love Perfect Nonsense: The Chaotic Comics and Goofy Games of George Carlson, coming in January. Collecting Carlson's mostly youth-oriented work from the first half of the 20th century, Perfect Nonsense is brimming with clever whimsy and swoon-worthy artwork in a package so lovely we all crowded around designer Tony Ong and his pup Otis (out of frame) to congratulate him on a job well done when the first advance copies arrived.
Cartoonist of Percy Gloom and Wake Up, Percy Gloom, Cathy Malkasian is one busy woman. After working on such animations like Rugrats, The Wild Thornberrys film (for which she received a British Academy Award nomination), and most recently, creating 20 episodes of Curious George for PBS since 2008, she still has time to make a new graphic novel AND create her own small series. Hiding in Happytown is available to watch on YouTube and is the "adult animatic series featuring the travails of a tortoise in a city full of rabbits." Excitable, nervous and depressed, Scampers the tortoise is one of us, the person who isn't swept up in a musical moment every damn minute of the day and knows that darkness creeps around every corner.
With titles like "Froth and Debt" or "Sex Education," the series will be sure to impress you. Watch the rest of Malkasian's Hiding in Happytown on YouTube and preorder Wake Up, Percy Gloom today!
Most Seattlelites recognize the cartoons of Steven Weissman since he's been drawing I, Anonymous for the Seattle Stranger for quite awhile. In this weekly letter column, he pens the diatribes of the angry, bitter, self-loathing and oblivious. Last month's was a favorite of mine, a huge fan of the C-word, handled with the utmost care (see above). Weissman's love of duotone, gray shading and dot-matrix-heavy shading makes his drawings perfect for print and they look hella fine on the web too. Weissman was sweet enough to answer some questions about how he approaches the weekly illustrations.
Q: Do the letters appear on your doorstep in a huge sack just steeped in vitriol?
A: [Art Director] Aaron Huffman sends me a letter sometime between Wednesday and Friday each week after Stranger associate editor David Schmader or some shadowy 'they' pick the letters.
Q: What is your process like for a weekly drawing based on someone else's ideas?
A: I've usually scanned the letter once by Friday. I'll print it out on Sunday night, underline key phrases and make a couple of sketches. By Monday morning, I have a pretty clear idea of what I'm drawing.
Sometimes the Seattle-specific letters can be puzzling (I'm in Los Angeles), but I can only think of one where I was completely stumped, and all I remember about that one is my solution being some guy eating a toaster waffle.
Q: Have you ever been contacted by the people who wrote the letters or the ones who figured out they were the subject?
A: I've sold drawings to people related to the letters before. They make great gifts for friends recovering from messy breakups (35% of I, Anonymous letters are breakups). Original art is also a great way to say "I'm sorry I gave you V.D."
Fantagraphics' veteran Jeremy Eaton continues to draw his mashup characters or Jumbles since his show last fall in Seattle. Luba and Olive Oyl is one of our favorites, good thing that iconic Luba hammer exists for the sake of Olive Oyl's shoes (created by Gilbert Hernandez and E.C. Segar respectively). Jeremy's posted more than a few of his 'jumbles' onlineso check it out today! And try to name all the characters jumbled together below.
Looking for that special something to give to special someone you love? (In my case, that would be me.) Order a commission directly from an artist! Josh Simmons of The Furry Trap, House and Jessica Farm is one of the many artists offering his service to you. Simmons said he is very flexible and can tailor things to peoples' budget, or something like the Witch-King of the Nazgul painting above is the most time-consuming, would go for the highest price. When I asked if the highest price was money, the soul or a bucket of blood, he agreed any of the three would do. Horrifying.
But like most cartoonists, artists, people of note, Simmons can create for children too! So for the parent who wants an original drawing but needs G-rated content, Simmons has a sweet side too. Well, it's still spooky.
Cathy Malkasian thinks we're dirty. What else can we expect when she sends us a box of beautifully-crafted soap? We're working so hard on publishing books; its a sweaty business. To be fair, she sent the box to Eric Reynolds but he is nice and clean enough to share with the rest of us. Each soap is a charcter from Malkasian's 2007 hit, Percy Gloom. Look at those perfectly molded soaps, Percy even has his cute hat on!
Malkasian's next graphic novel is due out in April entitled Wake Up Percy Gloom! S0 get soapy and squeaky clean for the next book. You'll have to pardon me for ending this FLOG! post early, I've got a sudsy, frothy Percy soap face to stick into my sweaty under-arms.
Due to privacy concerns I'm slightly uneasy about posting photos of other people's babies, but this is too good not to share, so I'll just leave it anonymous and say that it came via Kevin Huizenga, who says "Wanted: more readers like [this]."
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