Is it the impeccable draftsmanship and absolute mastery of drawing horses? Is it the scary beasts?
The saucy threats from a wife to her husband?
Or is it consistently amazing comics coupled with out-of-this-world production? Whatever it is, Prince Valiant Volume 10 1955-1956 by Hal Foster (a past 2012, 2014 Eisner nominee) hit the NY Times Best Seller list. Volume 8 hit the NY Times Best Seller's list this time last year. Volume 10 traverses the lands of Constantinople, Eastern Russia and Camelot in addition to wrapping up stories on the kidnapping of Aleta, Valiant's trusty wife, and hunger problems in Thule.
And we're pretty sure it had to do with this pre-David Bowie yet Bowie-esque look on the cover. Or all of the above.
We just received word that two of our new graphic novels have received Society of Illustrator awards in the Long-Form category! Olivier Schrauwen's surreal look back, forward and beyond Arsene Schrauwen was awarded the gold medal while and Jaime Hernandez's The Love Bunglers, the apex of the love affair of Maggie and Ray, has received the silver medal! Haven't read these excellent graphic novels yet? See what other people are saying and buy a copy from our online store, your local comic shop or check it out at the library.
"His work, strange and surreal, bears the influences of many 20th Century comics, but with a distinctly contemporary voice. They're strange and moving, full of delusional characters, and show Schrauwen's skills a master storyteller." -Alex Dueben, Comic Book Resources
"Ollie Schrauwen's new graphic novel ARSENE SCHRAUWEN, from FANTAGRAPHICS, is rich and fantastical, yet at the same time resolutely physical and sensual. It is a comic that provides much more than a story; reading it is an experience." -Harris Smith, comiXology Unbound
"Since 1981, with pitch-perfect dialogue and impeccable draftsmanship, Hernandez has conveyed more entertaining (and poignant) drama than just about any contemporary filmmaker or novelist. There's a word for what this guy is doing with his life's work - can someone give him a MacArthur grant and make it official?" -R.C. Baker, Village Voice
"As ever with Hernandez, it's funny, complex, unsettling and beautifully drawn. It's also a reminder that a graphic novel can do things that a novel told in straightforward prose simply can't." - Anna Carey, The Irish Times
Wilfred Santiago's most recent dance in the comics world is on the basketball court with Michael Jordan: Bull on Parade. His kinetic and gorgeously painted graphic novel is sitting pretty for the second week in a row on the NY Times Best Seller's list. "This biography focuses on the public and private life of the superstar basketball player during his professional career…" Michael Jordan: BOP focuses on, as Santiago puts it, a fascinating figure who was never too interested in satisfying people, other than his own personal drive. Grab a copy before they are all gone!
Here's what some recent reviewers and critics have said about this heart-pounding, sneaker-thumping story:
"From a scuffle with Patrick Ewing in the book's opening pages to the titanic feat of multiple NBA Championships, this book breaths with potent comic book electricity, phrasing court pivots and jump-shots with the same bombast as celestial superhero brawls." - Sean Edgar, Paste Magazine
"Players lurch across the court, striding over a mundane landscape that Santiago transforms into a mythopoetic stage. It's grandiose, theatric...Wilfred Santiago does a fantastic job of getting me to buy into a subject I have no real interest in. The level of craft at play-in the writing, art, coloring-is exceptional, and BULL ON PARADE is a work totally befitting its colossal subject." -Shea Hennum, This Is Infamous
The official list of nominees for Angoulême Festival Awards was announced (on Turkey Day) and Julio's Dayby Gilbert Hernandezgraces the top of that list. The translated graphic novel Julio is available from French comics publisher, Atrabile, or you can get the boring ol' English version from Fantagraphics. Check out the books in person this upcoming January 29th-February 1st at Festival d'Angoulême. Congrats to Gilbert!
The Women's Caucus for Art (WCA) is pleased to announce that artist Sue Coe (of Sheep of Foolsand Blab!) is a recipient for the 2015 WCA Lifetime Achievement Award along with Kiki Smith, and Martha Wilson. The WCA will celebrate the honorees and their accomplishments at an awards ceremony and gala at the New York Institute of Technology on February 12, 2015.
The awards celebration will take place on Thursday February 12, 2015 at the New York Institute of Technology Auditorium (NYIT) at 1871 Broadway, New York, NY. The Gala kicks off with a ticketed cocktail reception from 5:30 to 7pm. The ticketed reception will include dinner, an open bar, and the opportunity to congratulate the awardees. The Awards Ceremony (free and open to the public) will take place from 7:30-9pm and a coffee and dessert reception will follow from 9-10pm. The celebration is held during the annual Women's Caucus for Art and College Art Association conferences.
The Women's Caucus for Art's mission is to build a legacy for women in the arts. For over 40 years, the WCA has honored and celebrated women in the visual arts with the Lifetime Achievement Awards. The LTA is one on the most prestigious awards for women in the visual arts and the benchmark of WCA's legacy initiatives.
Past honorees have represented the full range of distinguished achievement in the visual arts professions. This year's awardees are no exception, with considerable accomplishment, achievement, and contributions to the visual arts represented by their professional efforts. Find out more information and purchase tickets on the WCA website today.
The Pennsylvania Center for the Book is thrilled to present Jim Woodring with the Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize for his graphic novel, Fran. Woodring will be 4 to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 19, in Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library at Penn State. As described by the jury, "Hypnotic and subliminal while entertaining and compelling, ‘Fran's' dream world is at once familiar and unsettling, a conduit to mental states that, in many ways, only the graphic novel can achieve. Woodring's work poses a refreshing change from the trend towards wordy graphic memoir, entreating the reader to reckon with a world whose language we cannot capture in our own."
So you too can be transported to the Unifactor to visit Frank, Fran, Pupshaw and Pushpaw during Woodring's talk and acceptance speech. For more information about the PA Center for the Book and past winners, visit their site. The Paterno Library is located along intercampus road Curtin Rd and N. Allen Street. Grab your own copy of Fran today!
Joyce Farmer of Special Exits had the pleasure to announce Woodring as the recipient of this year's award. Sponsored by Penn State University Libraries and administered by the Pennsylvania Center for the Book, an affiliate of the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress, the Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize is presented annually to the best graphic novel, fiction or non-fiction, published in the previous calendar year by a living U.S. or Canadian citizen or resident. A prize of $2,500, the two volume set of Ward's six novels published by the Library of America, and a suitable commemorative will be presented to 2014 winner, Jim Woodring, for his book "Fran."
For more information about Woodring's presentation or if you have questions about the physical access provided or need to make arrangements for special accommodations at the Penn State site, contact Caroline Wermuth at
Paterno Library (at the intersection of Curtin Rd and N. Allen St) University Park, PA 16802
Meanwhile, Simon Hanselmann's Megahex is still on the list, two weeks in a row, making it one 'hot fortnight' for the people at the funny papers. So the lesson? 2014 loves anthropomorphic characters, be they child-appropriate or not. Pick up a copy of these two great to hold, even better to read graphic novels today!
On Saturday night, founder and co-publisher Gary Groth received the Genius Award in Literature from Seattle alt-weekly paper, The Stranger. (Photo above by Kelly O. of The Stranger). His competition was fierce but the force of the movement he created when he founded Fantagraphics with Mike Catron and soldiered on with Kim Thompson created a form of comics so prevalent. Paul Constant interviews Groth yet again after the event on comics at the Stranger's Slog: "Pop culture has become so stupefyingly banal that it's caught up with comics. It's kind of terrifying when you think about it," states Groth in reference to the multiple superhero movies, TV shows and comics popping up from here as far as the eye can see. Picture below by Short Run.
Associate Publisher Eric Reynolds was present at the Stranger Awards and commented, "It was a great night for Fantagraphics and for Seattle, and even though Gary's been completely insufferable since Saturday night, going on and on about 'genius this' and 'genius that,' blah blah blah, we're extremely proud of the big lug."
Eric, Kelly O. and Gary
Yes, indeed, we are so proud of Gary and happy to be a part of the everchanging landscape of comics, graphic novels and just damn good storytelling. VIVA COMICS and VIVA GROTH!
Congratulations are in order for Simon Hanselmann because his book MEGAHEXjust showed up on the New York Times Best Sellers' list sandwiched inbetween Bryan Lee O'Malley and Jules Feiffer. Grab a copy from your local comic shop, bookstore, our online store or your local library. Trade weed for it, do what you have to do to read it because not ONLY is it a best seller but it is almost sold out!
The description is also too perfect in it's simplicity. "Meet Megg. She's a witch and has a black cat named Mogg. She is also depressed and addicted to drugs." This sweeter-than-the-real-thing book has to be seen to be believed but check out what everyone is saying about it.
"...not only do I find Megg, Mogg, Owl et al bloody funny at times in that first half, as the book wore on I found myself becoming more and more absorbed and fascinated by the darkness, the progression of the comedy into misery and despair, handled really well by Hanselmann." - Richard Bruton, Forbidden Planet
"Every page is beautiful. Every joke is funny. Every character is a complete asshole. The book itself is a nice chunky hardcover with some good heft and a cover design that is made to resemble a DVD box set of a TV show." - Nick Gazin, VICE
This week we celebrate Peter Bagge, one of our cartoonists who has been drawing comics for 35 years. He was recognized on Monday by the United States Artists Fellows as a 2014 USA Rockefeller Fellow of Literature! The U.S.A. program is a "grant-making organization funded by philanthropic foundations and individuals to support creativity. The 16 women and 18 men were [chosen] by experts in their fields and were among 116 nominated artists living in the United States." Bagge also received $50,000!
2014 has been a banner year with the release of Bagge's HATE collection Buddy Buys a Dump and Fantagraphics will soon be rolling out another title from the cartoonist as well. Raise a glass and make a toast to Peter Bagge! You're number one, indeed.
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