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Category >> interviews

Daily OCD: 12/8/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Walt KellyRenee FrenchPeanutsMonte SchulzMickey MouseMichael KuppermanJacques TardiinterviewsFloyd GottfredsonDisneyDaily OCDCharles M SchulzCarl Barks 8 Dec 2011 7:43 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 1

Plug: At The Huffington Post, Dave Scheidt's "2011 Holiday Gift Guide Comic Books" include Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 1 by Michael Kupperman: "The funniest comic you've never read. Laugh out loud funny. Spastic, bizarre and gut busting. Fans of Saturday Night Live, Mad Magazine and just anyone who likes to laugh will love this book. A fair warning, if you read this book in public, you will laugh like a mad man and most likely frighten people like I did."

Pogo Vol. 1Complete Peanuts Boxed Set 1950-1954

Plugs: The staff of The Outhouse puts together their "Holiday Wishlist 2011," with "Royal Nonesuch" recommending Pogo - The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips Volume 1: Through the Wild Blue Wonder by Walt Kelly...

"Kelly's Pogo is a masterclass in wordsmithing, satire, and relatable art. Although this collection apparently doesn't get to the more overtly political satire that made Pogo so famous, it does promise to be a great look at the start of an important and quintessential comic strip. The statements Kelly makes in these early stories are about character relationships, design, and humor as well as use of the English language in surprising and touching ways. This is the surely the ground floor of what looks to be the next great collection series in comics literature."

...and "Nightfly" suggesting The Complete Peanuts 1950-1954 box set:

"Charles M. Schulz's relatable characters are literally part of the fabric of my being. Peanuts helped forge my earliest appreciation for sequential art and, funny as it seems, philosophy. I can't wait until the day I have a shelf filled with every strip ever starring Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Pig-Pen and the rest of the Peanuts gang."

Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 1-2 box setComplete Peanuts Boxed Set 1979-1982

Plugs: iFanboy's "2011 Holiday Gift Guide: Lost Treasures," written by Paul Montgomery, includes:

...Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 1 + 2 Box Set by Floyd Gottfredson...

"Mickey’s grown soft in his old age, but back in the day he was my kind of bastard. Dude’s a straight up rascal, and launches headlong into danger, starting with the seminal 'Race to Death Valley.' Floyd Gottfredson’s wily take on the character is revered by the best cartoonists, and Fantagraphics has packaged these earliest serial strips from the 30s in some truly handsome volumes. Take advantage of the two volume slipcover edition for a great value and the publisher’s now signature excellence in presentation."

...The Complete Peanuts 1979-1982 box set by Charles M. Schulz...

"Every year, the top item on my own Christmas list is the annual box-set collecting Fantagraphics’ latest volumes of Charles Schulz’s Complete Peanuts.... Watching Chuck and Snoopy evolve from their original designs of the early 50s to the more familiar iterations I grew up with in the Funnies is an incredible experience."

The Arctic MarauderWalt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes

...The Arctic Marauder by Jacques Tardi...

"Turns out it wasn’t that easy navigating the Arctic Ocean from Russian to France at the turn of the 20th century. If you dig on Poe and Verne and antique diving helmets, this woodcut melodrama is just for you."

...Pogo - The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips Volume 1: Through the Wild Blue Wonder by Walt Kelly...

"Years in the making, this new collection of Walt Kelly’s Pogo dailies and weekend strips does due justice to a comic that ought to be as much a household name as Peanuts or Doonesbury.... Mix in Kelly’s whimsical, lyrical 'Swamp speak' and you’ve got some real poetry on your hands."

...and Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes by Carl Barks:

"This is as beautiful a book as I’ve purchased this year, and the stories within have much to offer both children and adult fans of visual storytelling and even comedy. Barks knew how to contract a joke, and this is a masterclass."

The Big Town

Plug: Robot 6's Michael May makes an unexpected choice when spotlighting upcoming titles listed in the current issue of Previews: "The Big Town - Charles Schulz’ son wrote this novel (the last in his jazz-age trilogy) about the end of the Roaring Twenties and 'the role of business, crime, morality, and love in our lives.' It’s not comics, but it sounds ambitious and transporting."

Mome Vol. 16 - Fall 2009

Interview (Audio): Renee French is the guest on the latest episode of The Ink Panthers Show podcast, who promise chat about "puffy man-nipples"

Daily OCD: 12/5/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Walt KellyTony MillionaireShimura TakakoRichard SalareviewsPaul NelsonMickey MousemangaLove and RocketsLinda MedleyKevin HuizengaKevin AveryJoe KubertJacques TardiJack DavisinterviewsFloyd GottfredsonDisneyDave McKeanDaily OCDCarl BarksBill SchellyBest of 2011Al Jaffee 5 Dec 2011 8:04 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Love and Rockets: New Stories #4

List: The Austin American-Statesman's Joe Gross names Love and Rockets: New Stories #4 the best comic of 2011: "One of the wonderful things about seeing a masterpiece in the making is the mysterious feeling, the racing of the soul that takes place when it hits you that you are, in fact, seeing a masterpiece in the making.... Symphonic, tragic, revelatory, exciting and devastating as only great art can be, 'The Love Bunglers' is one of the best comics ever made."

Celluloid

List: Paste ranks Dave McKean's Celluloid at #5 on The 10 Best New Comics of 2011: "The visionary art director behind The Sandman’s covers creates a coital masterwork that elicits beauty and excitement in equal measure.... Celluloid is a treasure of technical finesse and sensual mystique that transcends its potential controversy."

Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 1: Race to Death Valley

List: Paste's list of The Ten Best Reissues/Collections of 2011 includes Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 1: Race to Death Valley by Floyd Gottfredson at #9 ("Gottfredson had an animator’s knack for storytelling, and his layouts remain clear no matter how busy they get. Much of the humor is stilted by modern standards, but you’ll be too enthralled by the exciting plots and likable characters to care"), Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture – A Career Retrospective at #7 ("Fantagraphics has finally given him the grand and serious treatment he deserves, without minimizing his goofy sense of humor"), and Walt Disney’s Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes in the #1 spot ("Barks’ strips combine high adventure with humor and subtle cultural commentaries, but they remain grounded in character... Lost in the Andes is a gorgeously packaged collection of some of the finest comics ever made.")

Reviews (Video): On the new episode of the Comics-and-More Podcast, hosts Dave Ferraro and Patrick Markfort discuss Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 1: Race to Death Valley by Floyd Gottfredson and Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes by Carl Barks (two-part video at the link)

Ganges #4

List: At Poopsheet Foundation, Justin Giampaoli names Kevin Huizenga's Ganges #4 one of the "Best Mini-Comics & Small Press Titles of 2011": "It’s the continuing adventures of Glenn Ganges and his latest nocturnal outing, as he navigates his sleepless existence on a seemingly endless night. With the degree of interactivity occurring between the page and the readers, there’s as much technique on display here as there is original storytelling."

List: Leeds, UK comic shop OK Comics posts their Top Ten Graphic Novels of 2011: "9. Like a Sniper Lining Up His Shot by Jaques Tardi published by @fantagraphics. A hitman's reluctance to perform one last job leads to an emotional breakdown. Legendary French comics artist Jacques Tardi on fine form."

Pogo Vol. 1

List: The Globe and Mail includes Pogo - The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips Volume 1: Through the Wild Blue Wonder by Walt Kelly in their "2011 gift book guide": "Fans of what for many is the greatest of all comic strips have waited a long time for this, the first of a projected 12 volumes (1949-1950) from the brilliant Walt Kelly. The congenial Pogo Possum and his swampland friends... spring to life in this collection of daily and Sunday comics, filled with Kelly’s characteristic wordplay. One hopes this will introduce a new generation to this comic, satiric masterwork."

Review: "Pogo: The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips: Volume 1—Through the Wild Blue Wonder proves to be worth the wait.... Overall, the package serves Pogo well.... The biggest revelation of reading the first two years of Pogo is how polished and funny the strip was right from the start, and also how nearly every Pogo panel is a delight unto itself. Kelly didn’t necessarily build to big punchlines; he’d slip funny sight gags and memorable lines everywhere there was room. ...[T]here’s a classic Pogo moment on just about every page of this book." – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club

Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes

Review: "Even now, Barks’ stories are clever and funny, as he leads the ducks into impossible situations and then gives them unexpected ways out. And they’re poignant in their own way, too.... What’s impressive about Fantagraphics’ Lost in the Andes is that it encourages both a fannish and an intellectual approach to the material. For those who want to skew highbrow, the book includes an appendix with scholarly analysis of each story.... And for those who just want to curl up with more than 200 pages of some of the best-written comics ever published, Lost in the Andes has all the square eggs, rubber bricks, golden Christmas trees, and races around the world that any kid or grown-up could ever want." – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club

Review: "Fantagraphics’ initial release of its new series of Carl Barks books is titled, Walt Disney’s Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes and reprints one of the most famous, and most BELOVED, comic book stories which Carl ever wrote and drew! ...I’m impressed with the quality of the publication. In my estimation, the coloring is excellent and the format engaging…. The critical essays composed by a number of Barks scholars are also insightful and well written.... In my opinion, as a Carl Barks fan, this initial volume is well worth acquiring!" – Carl Barks Fan Club Newsletter

The Art of Joe Kubert

Reviews: "Two... giants of American illustration get the handsome coffee-table-book treatment with Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture and The Art of Joe Kubert... The Kubert book — edited by Bill Schelly — is more text-heavy, covering Kubert’s early years as a journeyman penciler and inker on a slew of indistinct superhero and adventure comics, then exploring how Kubert developed the fine shading and gritty realism he’d become famed for starting in the late ’50s. The Davis book saves most of its biographical detail and critical analysis for the intro and appendix, filling the intervening 200 pages with full-sized examples of the half-cartoony/half-photographic approach that Davis brought to Mad magazine and countless movie posters. Both offer ample visual evidence of how two men found the 'art' in commercial art, turning work-for-hire assignments into opportunities to express their particular visions of the world." – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club

 Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson

List: Springfield, Massachusetts The Republican columnist Tom Shea has Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson by Kevin Avery in a tie for "music book of the year"

Review: "To (re-)discover a first-rate critic, and read about a life that went wrong in a harrowing way, you must read Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson, by Kevin Avery.... This volume is exhilarating. Avery tells with great energy Nelson’s tale, with copious details about the active period of his subject’s life, and in so doing limns a portrait of a certain kind of pop-culture/bohemian existence in the late-70s. And Avery’s generous selection of Nelson’s writings are certainly among Paul’s best..." – Ken Tucker (Entertainment Weekly), The Best American Poetry

Wandering Son Vol. 1

Review: "What makes Wandering Son work is its slow-burn pace and calm atmosphere. It takes a delicate subject – transgender children- and explores it slowly and carefully. Much like its characters, it moves at its own pace, easing the reader into the characters’ lives.... I am really eager to read volume two of Wandering Son, though a little hesitant as well. I know that the road in front of Shu and Yoshino isn’t going to be an easy one and I don’t want to see them get hurt. But the fact that I’m talking about the characters as though they’re real people just shows how deep this manga has gotten under my skin." – Shannon Fay, Kuriousity

The Hidden

Review: "Richard Sala is one of those creators that holds a fairly unique voice in comics. Many people have tried to replicate his off-beat brand of horror, but ultimately nothing out there quite like his. So with a new graphic novel called The Hidden out, the question for most people won’t be, 'Should I read it?' but 'When should I read it?'... The Hidden isn’t perfect... but what Sala does well, he does very well indeed. There’s quite a lot to love in The Hidden, with some scenes in particular that will stick with the reader for a long time." – Greg McElhatton, Read About Comics

500 Portraits

Plug: "This new book of portraits from @tonymillionaire is exquisite: a wonderful Xmas gift!" – Peter Serafinowicz

Plug: Laughing Squid's Rusty Blazenhoff spotlights Tony Millionaire's 500 Portraits

Castle Waiting Vol. 1

Plug: "Have you ever wondered what happened after 'Happily Ever After'? This graphic novel [Castle Waiting] is a modern tale that incorporates fairytale characters and settings. Funny, thoughtful and not at all what you'd expect." – The Victoria Times Colonist

Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture - A Career Retrospective

Interview: Wall Street Journal subscribers can read a Q&A with Jack Davis conducted last week in NYC by Bruce Bennett here: "Every time you went in to see Bill Gaines, he would write you a check when you brought in a story. You didn't have to put in a bill or anything. I was very, very hungry and I was thinking about getting married. So I kept the road pretty hot between home and Canal Street. I would go in for that almighty check, go home and do the work, bring it in and get another check and pick up another story." [Update: A clever reader has pointed out that non-subscribers can read the article in Google's cache]

Humbug

Profile: CNN's Todd Leopold profiles the great Al Jaffee: "After a bumpy several years in which he bounced like a pinball between his parents -- moving from Savannah, Georgia, to Lithuania, to one borough and then another of New York City, back to Lithuania and back again to New York -- art was something to hold on to, a way to establish an identity. He had no idea it would lead anywhere."

Video Interview: Drew Friedman talks to Mr. Media
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under videointerviewsDrew Friedman 29 Nov 2011 8:59 PM

Drew Friedman sat down with Mr. Media's Bob Andelman for a chat at the International Society of Caricature Artists convention in Florida a couple weeks ago (where Drew was keynote speaker). Come for Drew's Jerry Lewis impression, stay for the live drawing demonstration! [YouTube link]

Daily OCD: 11/29/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Wilfred SantiagoShimura TakakoRichard SalareviewsPaul NelsonmangaLove and RocketsLos Bros HernandezKevin AveryJohnny RyanJasonJaime HernandezinterviewsGilbert HernandezDisneyDaily OCDcontestsCarl BarksBest of 2011 29 Nov 2011 8:36 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Wandering Son Vol. 2

List: At MTV Geek, Brigid Alverson names Wandering Son by Shimura Takako one of The Best Manga Series of 2011: "Wandering Son is a delightful, quiet manga about a girly boy and a boyish girl.... This is not your typical gender-bender manga playing a gender switch for laughs (and fanservice); it's a quiet, subtle story of a boy coming to terms with himself."

 Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson

Review: "Believe it or not, music criticism was responsible for some of 2011's finest books, with Kevin Avery's impeccably researched Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson leading the pack.... Avery has done an outstanding job assembling a collection of the writer's work, fully illustrating why he was such an influential presence in his time. But, sadly, especially in our time, it also reads as something of a cautionary tale — ...you might wonder why on earth anyone would ever choose rock criticism as a career in the first place." – Bill Holdship, Detroit Metro Times

Prison Pit Book 3

Review: "I have no idea if it was part of cartoonist Johnny Ryan's overall plan for Prison Pit, but this latest book in the growing-to-classic-status series strikes me as a 'step-back' installment. This is where a series that was once less certain in the market place eschews some of the instant gratification of its first couple of books for the sake of layering in additional plot elements that look like they'll pay off further down the line. It's the kind of work that makes you think that its creator is thinking of the long-term as opposed to focusing solely on the short. Prison Pit had some of that particular swagger from the very beginning; this book seems even more settled and confident.... As was the case with the first two books, Johnny Ryan makes his case for mastery at a second, very specific genre, connected to the first through the extremes of expression involved." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter

Love and Rockets: New Stories #4

Reviews (Audio): The November 20 episode of Easy Rider, the radio show for "rock, punk rock, country, power pop, garage and comics" from Radio PFM out of Arras in northern France, features Johnny Ryan's Prison Pit Book 3, Love and Rockets: New Stories #4 by the Hernandez Bros., and Jaime Hernandez's Esperanza among their Comics of the Week

21: The Story of Roberto Clemente

Interview: At Memory Is Fiction, Craig Staufenberg talks with Wilfred Santiago: "Any subject or theme can work in comics, the narrative has unique, endless breakdowns. It’s a unique prism, anything that’s seen through it is distorted in a comic book way. The author, the cartoonist, just brings to light a particular side of that prism. I try to quit comics but it keeps pulling me back."

Invisible Hands - Richard Sala

Interview: Network Awesome Magazine has a fun Q&A with Richard Sala about the Invisible Hands animated shorts: "They used stop-motion.  The staff would blow up my drawings onto colored paper and then cut out all the figures and  movable parts.   The pieces were then positioned on three layers of glass – to give depth – with the camera looking down.  Next, the director, Denis Morella, carefully moved the pieces around – including the mouths, to match the dialogue – for each click of the camera.  I grew up loving stop-motion – everything from Ray Harryhausen to Gumby – so, I thought doing the animation that way was pretty cool."

Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes

Plug: Comics writer Jeff Parker reveals that Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes by Carl Barks is at the top of his holiday wish list at Robot 6

I Killed Adolf Hitler

Contest: Over at The Beat, Heidi MacDonald is giving away her spare copy of Jason's I Killed Adolf Hitler to one lucky winner

Daily OCD: 11/28/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Walt KellyTony MillionaireSteve DuinShimura TakakoShannon WheelerreviewsPaul NelsonOlivier SchrauwenOil and WaterMichael KuppermanMichael J VassallomangaLove and RocketsKevin AveryinterviewsGreg SadowskiGahan WilsonFour Color FearDrew FriedmanDisneyDaily OCDCarl BarksBlake BellAlex Toth 28 Nov 2011 8:42 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Oil and Water

Feature: At New Orleans-based website Gambit, Alex Woodward looks at Oil and Water — "As the book gets deeper south and deeper into the complexities and relationships of oil to the Gulf and its people, the stories get murky and collide, mimicking an ebb-and-flow that at first is much like oil and water, then gradually homogenizes. The Portlanders come to grips with their own misconceptions, and the characters that were once miles away from their lives become embedded into their own." — and talks to the book's creators (writer Steve Duin, artist Shannon Wheeler and editor Mike Rosen)

Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010

Review: "...Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010... is mainly an excuse to insert Twain, Zelig-like, into every decade between 1910 and today. Of course he made a lot of money in the 1920s and lost it all in the 1930s. Of course he and Albert Einstein were repeatedly struck in the head by a hammer-wielding monkey. And of course he sleeps with Mamie Eisenhower ('this lady was one hot dish.') It's all told in Kupperman's Marx Brothers-style absurdist deadpan voice, and if you like Tales Designed to Thrizzle, then you'll love this book. It's packed with laugh-out-loud moments..." – Paul Constant, The Stranger

Nuts

Review: "Gahan Wilson's Nuts features kids talking the way adults really talk... The kids in Nuts are vain, covetous, not so very bright, and they stagger around, reeling, from one unpleasant surprise to the next. They get their hair cut ('Sometimes I wonder if it's just that he's a lousy barber...') they look at some gory magazines, ('We're just not ready for that shit') and they attend funerals of uncles ('My God—I never saw them acting this way before! They've all fallen apart!'). Weirdly, by giving his kids the vocabularies of adults, he really captures the neuroses of childhood. We begin life as we live it now: Dazed, angry, and bitter at our own fundamental lack of control."  – Paul Constant, The Stranger

Pogo Vol. 1

Review: "Fantagraphics has a nice introduction giving a brief biography of Kelly, and describing many of the struggles he had with Pogo and syndication. There is also a fantastic notes section at the end, which points out historical trivia as well as giving the context for some of the strips.... It’s possible that the appeal of Pogo may be lost on folks who are so used to everything that it influenced, be it talking animal comedies or political satires. Doesn’t matter to me, though. This strip is funny, well-drawn, and features a huge mass of likeable characters doing entertaining things. Put it together with Fantagraphics’ excellent presentation, and you have a definite must-buy." – Sean Gaffney, Manga Bookshelf

Setting the Standard: Comics by Alex Toth 1952-1954

Review: "Greg Sadowski and Fantagraphics’ Setting the Standard is perhaps the best book on Alex Toth that has been published thus far... Sadowski takes a straightforward, comprehensive approach and so Setting the Standard can rest comfortably on the bookshelf next to Fantagraphics’ other excellent recent collections of essential comics such as Hal Foster’s Prince Valiant, Roy Crane’s Captain Easy and Buz Sawyer and Carl Barks’ Disney epics.... There are... many passages of thoughtful comics storytelling. The romance work is often brilliantly articulated and visualized... Toth’s handling of horror and suspense is intuitive, sometimes harrowing and exhibits his more radical inventions.... In Sadowski’s book, Toth’s work speaks for itself and the artist likewise. The book’s assemblage and design are very well done to make a package which is pulpy but tasteful, not cheap nor overly slick, not high/low cute or old-boy sentimental. It provides a complete and important body of work by a great cartoonist." – James Romberger (contributor to the final Mome), The Hooded Utilitarian

The Man Who Grew His Beard

Review: At his blog Mandorla, Santiago Garcia reviews The Man Who Grew His Beard by Olivier Schrauwen en Español

Love and Rockets: New Stories #4

List: MTV Geek rounds up "10 Sexy, Sexy Comic Books... That Are Also Really Good" (a title which begs the question, but anyway...) and doesn't forget to include Love and Rockets on it

Links: Love & Maggie pipes up with another comprehensive batch of Love and Rockets-related links

Four Color Fear: Forgotten Horror Comics of the 1950s [2nd Printing]

Plug: Boing Boing's Cory Doctorow puts Four Color Fear on that site's Gift Guide 2011 (unfortunately the book's currently unavailable, having sold through 2 printings already)

Wandering Son Vol. 2

Plug: Thanks to Deb Aoki for including us on the list of "10 Hot Spots for Cyber Monday Deals for Manga Gifts" at About.com Manga (thanks to today's deal on the Wandering Son books)

Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes

Plug: Jim Rugg (contributor to the final Mome) recommends Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes in his "holiday gift list"

 Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson

Interview (Audio): Kevin Avery was a guest on the November 26 episode of In the Studio with Bob Reid and Blair Packham on Toronto's CFRB Newstalk 1010 to discuss Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson

The Secret History of Marvel Comics - preliminary cover art

Behind the Scenes: At his blog, co-author Blake Bell begins a weekly series of looks inside the in-progress book The Secret History of Marvel Comics

500 Portraits

Advice: Tony Millionaire offers some sound and practical career advice to aspiring illustrators — seriously

Even More Old Jewish Comedians

Gossip: Drew Friedman made today's New York Daily News gossip page with the heartwarming tale of a Thanksgiving miracle!

Daily OCD: 11/25/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Wilfred SantiagoWalt KellyUsagi YojimboStan SakaiShimura TakakoreviewsMickey MouseMaurice TillieuxmangaJack DavisinterviewsFloyd GottfredsonDisneyDaily OCDCarl BarksBest of 201121 25 Nov 2011 8:26 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Pogo Vol. 1

Review: "The good news: it’s here, it’s real. The better news: it’s incredible. Walt Kelly’s lively, robust, and poetic world is faithfully and lovingly produced in this, the first of a proposed twelve volume series. The hardcover is printed horizontally, maintaining the integrity of the 'strip' format, with ample margins to avoid any gutter-loss. Fantagraphics knew this first volume would be scrutinized by hardcore Pogo fans, and they’ve outdone expectations, dating each strip, providing historical context for the more esoteric 1940s references, and even reproducing the color Sunday strips.... Through the Wild Blue Wonder is one of our Best Comics and Graphic Novels of 2011, and there might not be a better gift this holiday for the historical and literary comics fan." – Alex Carr, Omnivoracious (Amazon.com)

Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 1-2 box set

Review: "The usually tight-gripped Disney empire agreed to turn over their most treasured property to Fantagraphics (yes, again!). The results are eye-opening, featuring a Mickey that might be unfamiliar to most present-day fans. The stories are dense, packing plenty of dialogue into the strips — and the themes are darker than the bright-eyed, factory-sealed tales of today. Mickey is multi-dimensional in the first volume, Race to Death Valley, making rash decisions without much concern for everyone’s safety. Thankfully, Minnie is by his side to both reign him in and sometimes encourage his recklessness. The reproduction is crisp — the black inks are meticulous in their separation, and the book is augmented with over 50 pages of essays and Mickey esoterica. Volume 2, Trapped on Treasure Island, published last month, and Fantagraphics has a gift edition slipcase that contains both volumes. This dynamic look is a revelation in the life of the character who started it all for Disney." – Alex Carr, Omnivoracious (Amazon.com)

Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes

Review (Audio): Washington DC comics shop Big Planet Comics looks at Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes in the latest episode of their podcast

Plug: At Comic Book Resources' "Black Friday Comics Shopping Guide": "Fantagraphics is all over the legacies of some of the best artists ever to work for the Walt Disney company with Floyd Gottfredson's Mickey Mouse, vol. 1 ($29.99) and Carl Barks' Donald Duck ($24.99). Disney's most famous characters need no introduction, but their modern incarnations are so far from their roots that these collections will surprise anyone seeing these strips for the first time. Any of these volumes is a guaranteed smile."

Wandering Son Vol. 2

Plug: Deb Aoki's Manga Gift Guide at About.com Manga includes Wandering Son Vols. 1 & 2 by Shimura Takako: "This critically acclaimed series is available as over-sized hardcovers, which makes them especially gift-worthy, but the story is also charming and sensitive in a way that doesn't bash the reader over the head with a preachy agenda. Volume 2 is due out soon, so get that too if you can."

Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture - A Career Retrospective

Plugs: The Comics Reporter's indispensable "Black Friday Holiday Shopping Guide 2011" (in progress) makes mention of some of our publications (Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture and Gil Jordan, Private Detective: Murder by High Tide among them) and affiliated artists

21: The Story of Roberto Clemente

List: Robert Birnbaum, a.k.a. Our Man in Boston, names 21: The Story of Roberto Clemente by Wilfred Santiago one of his favorite books of the year on "The Best List of 2011"

Stan Sakai, at the 2007 San Diego Comic-Con

Interview (Video): School Library Journal's Eva Volin caught Stan Sakai on camera at Comic-Con in San Diego for a quick Q&A

Daily OCD: 11/23/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Walt KellyVictor MoscosoSteve DuinShannon WheelerreviewsPaul HornschemeierOil and WaterMomeMichael KuppermanLove and RocketsLos Bros HernandezJaime HernandezinterviewsGilbert HernandezFBI MINIsDaily OCDBest of 2011Alexander Theroux 23 Nov 2011 9:56 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Pogo Vol. 1 Love and Rockets: New Stories #4

List: After appearing on Amazon.com's Best Books of 2011 — Comics and Graphic Novels top 10, Love and Rockets: New Stories #4 and Pogo Vol. 1 show up on Amazon.ca's list of the same name, in the #5 and #4 positions respectively

Plug: At NPR's Monkey See, Glen Weldon recommends Pogo Vol. 1 as a "tryptophan-tastic tome" for your turkey-coma reading enjoyment: "Walt Kelly's seminal, satirical, exquisitely rendered, hugely influential (and, not for nothing, actually funny) comic strip is getting a deluxe treatment by Fantagraphics. Crisply reproduced at a generous size that makes it easier than ever to marvel over Kelly's marvelous linework, this book is everything fans and comics historians were hoping for."

Tales Designed to Thrizzle #7

Review: "...[Tales Designed to] Thrizzle returns to form with lucky number seven — and of all things, it seems like Christopher Nolan’s Inception provided the catalyst.... I’ve described director Christopher Nolan’s movies as what stupid people think smart movies look like; Michael Kupperman’s comics are the opposite, stupid comics made by a smart person for smart people, so perhaps there’s some yin-yang resonance there. Regardless, Kupperman recognized Inception‘s Russian-nesting-doll structure of dreams within dreams within dreams as natural connective tissue for his stream-of-consciousness comedy... It’s nice to hold documentary evidence of Kupperman’s comic genius in my hands again." – Sean T. Collins, The Comics Journal

Oil and Water

Review: "The authors [of Oil and Water] show admirable self-awareness in portraying their semifictional companions (and by implication, themselves) as naive voyeurs whose presence mostly irritates their subjects. 'Lemme get this straight,' says one character. 'They white. We black. They blue. We red. They rich…and I got $53 to buy a week’s worth of groceries. And they gonna tell our stories?' Actually, they do a fine job." – Ruth Brown, Willamette Week

Estonia

Review: "Full of endnotes, translating many phrases he quotes in their original languages, and graced by a few of the couple’s photos and Sarah’s plein air oil paintings, [Estonia: A Ramble Through the Periphery] provides a suitably quirky introduction to Theroux as an essayist and critic.... As the author of two Fantagraphics short studies on Al Capp and Edward Gorey, Theroux’s elliptical style and elongated perspective delineates an American tradition of satire that connects him to Thomas Nast’s political and cultural caricatures of a century and a half ago.... Catch the wit and the venom, the depth and the breadth, of this honest account of 'a strange, unlooked-for place at the back of beyond' where 'the fascination of its strangeness' renders it a fitting subject for a curious report by a memorably talented, ever off-kilter, chronicler of oddity. [Rating] 8/10" – John L. Murphy, PopMatters

FBI•MINIs

Plugs: Our FBI•MINIs have garnered attention from Tom Spurgeon at The Comics Reporter ("I want as many as I can get my hands on"), J.K. Parkin at Robot 6 ("The big chain stores might have cheap TVs this weekend, but how many of them come with a Tony Millionaire mini-comic? Not nearly enough, I tell ya"), Alan Gardner at The Daily Cartoonist ("If you're already planning on picking out some titles for the holidays, might as well get the rare or unpublished work as well"), Paul Constant at The Stranger ("These books are a great idea; a special gift for your special comics fan")

The Girl from HOPPERS

Scene: At The HeroesOnline Blog, read a recap of the Love and Rockets discussion group which we previously spotlighted here

Mome Vol. 17

Interview: "I talked on the phone with Adam Witt of Comics Will Break Your Heart about the early days of the Mome anthology, serializing work, collaboration with other artists, film, and my inability to remember the dates of anything. I apologize in advance for the mumbling bits," says Paul Hornschemeier on his blog

Sex, Rock & Optical Illusions

Analysis: At Robot 6, Matt Seneca examines the sequential imagery in a poster by Victor Moscoso: "The poster Moscoso created for SF-based motion picture company Pablo Ferro Films... is a watershed moment in the artist’s oeuvre, the place where his works in comics and posters unify with perfect elegance. It’s also a fascinating, formally audacious piece of comics, one that breaks rules and innovates furiously without giving up an iota of visual beauty."

Daily OCD: 11/22/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Warren BernardWalt KellyRick MarschallPaul NelsonMarschall BooksKevin AveryJoe KubertinterviewsDisneyDame DarcyDaily OCDCarl BarksBill Schelly 22 Nov 2011 8:25 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Drawing Power: A Compendium of Cartoon Advertising 1870s-1940s

Review: "Rick Marschall and Warren Bernard’s Drawing Power is a provocative visual examination of the wonderful world of cartoon advertising.... Marschall and Bernard have mixed an unusual batch of artistic and economic history. After reading this book, you’ll never look at comic strips and capitalism the same way again." – Michael Taube, The Washington Post

 Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson

Review: "It's a little silly for me to do the full-disclosure tap dance... I'm quoted ten times in Kevin Avery's Paul Nelson biography-collection-tribute, Everything Is an Afterthought, and thanked prominently in the acknowledgments.... [The book is] better than you might figure.... With Nelson, the wild card was Avery, an unknown from Utah whose national track record starts here. But he's done inspired, diligent work. Constructed from a greater proportion of direct quotes than is normally deemed proper, the biography is doubly gripping as a result... And though the critical analyses that triggered this admiration shone less brightly than I'd hoped, the narrative writing I'd put less stock in compensated." – Robert Christgau, The Barnes & Noble Review

Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes

Review: "Over the past decade, probably the single biggest frustration we've experienced here at The Copacetic Comics Company was the inability to offer customers the opportunity to experience the magic of Carl Barks in book form.... The influence on American culture of the Disney duck comic books Carl Barks wrote, penciled, inked and lettered for roughly a quarter century is incalculably large.... Carl Barks is one of the true titans of comic books, one of the very few who can hold their own with the likes of Jack Kirby, Will Eisner, Harvey Kurtzman and R. Crumb. His fluid cartooning and storytelling is simply unmatched.... Now, at last, ...his collected works will once again become available for North American readers... in what — based on the evidence of the first volume — is sure to be the most outstanding edition ever produced.... The Fantagraphics edition of The Carl Barks Library is ideal in almost every way and is sure to be the definitive edition of the works of this great comics master." – Bill Boichel (we presume), The Copacetic Comics Company

The Art of Joe Kubert + Man of Rock [with FREE Signed Bookplate]

Interview: Comics Bulletin's Jason Sacks sat down for a chat with Bill Schelly about chronicling the life and art of Joe Kubert: "Think of the effect he's had. It's like an amplifier. He's used amplification through all his students. His philosophy about good storytelling techniques, solid drawing fundamentals and all those things he's imbued in all those students who go out to every field of artistic endeavor and, in fact, internationally. So his effect is really international."

Pogo Vol. 1

Plugs: "Just in time for Christmas, Fantagraphics has published the first volumes of two archival comics series that promise to be amazing.... Carl Barks’s Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes — is a beautiful, 240-page, full-color collection... If you’ve got kids, it’s a terrific introduction to Barks’s DD mythos.... Walt Kelly’s Pogo was one of the great hilobrow comic strips of all time.... Go, Fantagraphics, go!" – HiLobrow

Meat Cake [with FREE Bonus Comic + Signed Bookplate]

Astrology: We totally almost missed that VICE talked to Dame Darcy about The Day of Elevens.

Daily OCD: 11/21/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Walt KellySteve DuinSpain RodriguezShannon WheelerRich TommasoreviewsPeter BaggePaul NelsonOil and WaterMichael KuppermanMichael J VassalloKevin AveryJoe KubertJacques TardiinterviewsFantagraphics BookstoreDisneyDash ShawDaily OCDCarl BarksBlake BellBill Schelly 22 Nov 2011 12:18 AM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes

Review: "Barks, the artist, is a master cartoonist, drawing lively, expressive characters with a graceful sense of movement. His beautiful, detailed backgrounds plant the ducks in a fully realized world that adds weight to his storytelling.... But besides the entertaining plots, Barks’ appeal is in his characters. He gives his ducks many human frailties and while they usually try to do the right thing, they make mistakes, get angry, frustrated, and even fail. Fantagraphics Books... does its usual high quality work here as well. The design and layout of the book is a handy comic-book size hardcover with bright, colorful reproductions of the comics. Besides the comics, there are articles on Barks and analysis on each story... For both newcomers to Barks' work and diehard fans, [Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes] is a book that any comic book reader would love to find under the Christmas tree." – Rich Clabaugh, The Christian Science Monitor

Review (Audio): Owen Craig, co-host of the Panel Culture podcast, looks at Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes by Carl Barks

Interview: At The Comics Reporter, Tom Spurgeon talks with Rich Tommaso about his coloring work on our Carl Barks Library series — "[Disney] said we didn't have to be so religious about it. They wanted to make sure the color for the ducks, the reds and blues and the yellows, that those were pretty much bang-on. But they agreed that there was a little bit of leeway. If something looked like a bad color choice, you could find something in the ballpark range of that color. So that's what I would do." — and about his own comics work

The Art of Joe Kubert

Review: "All aspects of Kubert's career are touched on in this tome, which is loaded with beautiful colour reproductions of its subject's artwork and complemented by a lengthy and insightful critical commentary by comic book historian Bill Schelly. Over the course of the book's 224 pages, you can see quite clearly how Kubert's art evolved and how his storytelling skills developed, but also how his unique style, those striking touch and sinewy images that could have been rendered by no one else, has remained intact. As with Fantagraphics' previous coffee table comic art books, The Art of Joe Kubert makes you want to see more — all! — of the artist's work." – Miles Fielder, The List

 Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson

Review: "Frank Zappa once said 'most rock journalism is people who can’t write, interviewing people who can’t talk, for people who can’t read.' However true that might be, Paul Nelson was one who most definitely could write. And he interviewed people who could talk, and plenty of people read what he wrote. Kevin Avery certainly read what Nelson wrote, and has now written Everything Is an Afterthought, which is both a biography of Nelson and a collection of his work, including some pieces that have never been published.... Like the best critics, Nelson was primarily a fan of what he wrote about, subjects that struck a chord with him. And here’s a bio and a collection of his work written by a fan of his." – Robert O'Connor, Spike Magazine

Plugs: The Los Angeles Times "Hero Complex Holiday Gift Guide for 2011" includes Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes by Carl Barks and both volumes of The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec by Jacques Tardi

Pogo Vol. 1

Plug: Proud contributor to our first Walt Kelly Pogo volume Mark Evanier talks up the book on his blog: "It's a wonderful book and though I am a Consulting Editor — I think that's my title — I can rave about it because I deserve very little credit for its wonderfulness. Any book that properly presents the work of Mr. Kelly is going to be, by definition, wonderful...and Carolyn Kelly (daughter of Walt, companion of mine) and Fantagraphics Books made sure it was properly presented."

Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010

Plug: "...Michael Kupperman's new book [Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010]... has everything a boy could want, including Mark Twain on the track of the elusive yeti!... Albert Einstein is a major supporting player in the book (he and Twain open a detective agency, natch) and somehow it behooves me to remind everyone that in real life for really real, Einstein's granddaughter married a renowned bigfoot hunter. That is a fact you can look up on your computer!" – Jack Pendarvis

Peter Bagge signing flyer

Plug: At Seattlest Heather Logue's recommended lit events for the week include Peter Bagge's Black Friday signing at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery

Oil and Water

Interview: Robot 6's Tim O'Shea talks with Shannon Wheeler, with a couple of revealing behind-the-scenes tidbits about Oil and Water in the second half: "Steve [Duin] understands a scene really well. When all the characters visited the bird cleaning facility there was a large storytelling arc with multiple subplots. I would have been afraid to juggle so many elements. I would have focused on the single note of the horror of the facility. Steve isn’t afraid to trust the reader to understand. I’m a lot less trusting of the reader. Steve showed me how to have more faith in the narrative."

Cruisin' with the Hound

Profile: At Babylon Falling Sean Stewart has an image- and quote-packed writeup of his visit with Spain Rodriguez (via Dan N. at TCJ.com)

The Unclothed Man in the 35th Century A.D. [with FREE Signed Bookplate]

Profile: MTV's Liquid Television blog has a nice little writeup on Dash Shaw

The Secret History of Marvel Comics - preliminary cover art

Behind the Scenes: At his blog, Blake Bell gives you another progress update on The Secret History of Marvel Comics, with some fun scans and photos

Daily OCD: 11/18/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Steve DuinShannon WheelerOil and WaterJohnny RyaninterviewsDaily OCD 18 Nov 2011 5:29 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Oil and Water

Scene: At Examiner.com, Christian Lipski reports from the Oil and Water book release with Steve Duin, Shannon Wheeler, Mike Rosen and Tom Orzechowski at Bridge City Comics in Portland last Wednesday: "Wheeler described the give-and-take nature of his meetings with Duin, during which they would talk about the best way to illustrate the author's script. 'I'd push for certain things, and Steve would push back,' said the artist. 'Sometimes he'd want something more subtle and I'd think it would need to be more over-the-top, or the other way around. We had good discussions.'"

 

FRED

True Love: VICE's Tim Small talks to Johnny Ryan and Frédéric Fleury about their epic ongoing comic insult war


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