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Category >> interviews

Daily OCD: 10/11/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Richard SalareviewsPeter BaggeMomeMichael KuppermanMartiLove and RocketsLaura ParkJoe KubertJaime HernandezinterviewsDisneyDerek Van GiesonDaniel ClowesDaily OCDCarl BarksBill Schelly 11 Oct 2011 8:05 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

The Cabbie Vol. 1

Review: "Wearing its stylistic debt to Chester Gould’s classic Dick Tracy strips on its sleeve, this Spanish-produced series [The Cabbie] (which was originally printed in the ’80s) revels in a stark and sleazy noir aesthetic that drags the reader on a vicious trip through the scabrous underbelly of 'the Big City.'... An intriguing throwback to the days of heroes with worldviews defined in terms as rigidly black and white as the panels they battled their way through, this visual and thematic love letter to (and simultaneous critique of) Gould’s tropes is highly recommended for grownups with a taste for refreshingly lurid pulp fiction." – Publishers Weekly

The Hidden

Review: "The Hidden feels like a Poe short story, but Richard Sala actually reaches further back into gothic literature for information, filtering Frankenstein through a zombie apocalypse. Just like Poe, the fun here is all in the telling, and Sala’s campfire-ghost-story illustration is blunt enough to be cynically hilarious and cruelly gory, often at the same time. The allegory is the same as from Shelley’s original, but like the best gothic writing, the fun comes from putting the pieces — all the pieces — together at the end." – David Berry, National Post

Interview: Robot 6's Chris Mautner has a brief chat with Richard Sala about a book that's not ours (the Nursery Rhyme Comics anthology from First Second) but any interview with Richard is worthwhile

Mome Vol. 22

Review: "The final edition of Mome leaves a vacuum that thus far has always managed to get filled — let’s hope the graphic world hasn’t lost its taste for short stories just yet — but it will always be a shame to file something this sharply curated in the shelf. The fifth installment of Devil Doll is likely the most beautiful piece here, and there’s a terrific streak of humour throughout — Laura Perk’s Hobbesian, malevolent George is the pitch-black highlight, but there’s plenty of other strains — all adding up to an end that’s perfectly fitting, but no less unfortunate." – David Berry, National Post

The Art of Joe Kubert

Review: "Last month, Fantagraphics released The Art of Joe Kubert, a wonderful oversized art book that traces the career of the comics legend who has worked successfully in all the major 'Ages' of comics. While seeing the art in a larger format is nice, it's the text that winds through the book that opened my eyes to a lot of new things in comics that I had never known before.... Schelly's words opened up a new world of art critique for me.... The Art of Joe Kubert is probably the best DC book I read in September, and DC didn't even publish it. Fantagraphics did, and a wonderful job they did, from the raw materials to the book design and packaging." – Augie DeBlieck Jr., Comic Book Resources

Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes

Review: "Maybe, perhaps, at last, the time is right for a mass re-evaluation of the Duck comics, as Fantagraphics steps into the breach to produce a definitive library of Carl Barks' oeuvre. Not only do they step in, but they do so fearlessly... The series starts in November with Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes, an impressively affordable $25 hardcover... Happily, the stories look great and the book is a wonder to hold in your hand.... As to the content, itself, it's just as remarkable an achievement in comics as I remembered.... The contents of the book are as good as they're going to get, produced with an eye towards recapturing as much of the look of the original printings as possible, without sacrificing clarity or design. The quality of the black and white line work is top notch, too.... Pre-order today. Just do it. You can thank me later." – Augie DeBlieck Jr., Comic Book Resources

Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010

Interview: Speaking of short interviews about books that aren't ours, there's a Q&A with Michael Kupperman on the Marvel website about his contribution to their upcoming humor anthology Shame Itself

Love and Rockets: New Stories #4

Commentary: Robot 6's Sean T. Collins points out and comments on Bob Temuka's (spoilery) writeup of the new issue of Love and Rockets: New Stories, saying "it’s as good at conveying the unique nature of the 'Locas' saga, the way its stories shift and grow and can be seen differently over time as we and Jaime and the characters all age and learn more about what happened, as well as any piece I’ve ever read."

Links: Another comprehensive round of Hernandez Bros.-related links from Love & Maggie

Ghost World

Commentary: Robot 6's Sean T. Collins again, spotlighting a choice quote re: Ghost World from CBR's report on Dan Clowes & Adrian Tomine's spotlight panel at APE

Studs Kirby: The Voice of America [Sold Out]

Feature: Kudos to Comics Bulletin for including some off-the-beaten-path choices in their "Top Ten Indie Comics That Should Be Movies" list... Studs Kirby: The Movie we would totally like to see

Daily OCD Extra: Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes preview & Gary Groth interview at the L.A. Times
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under previewsinterviewsGary GrothDisneyDaily OCDCarl Barks 11 Oct 2011 5:04 PM

Walt Disney presents Donald Duck - Carl Barks

Geoff Boucher of the Los Angeles Times talks to Gary Groth about The Carl Barks Library — "There is in fact an emotional truth at the center of Barks' work; he even said that this was his primary goal, though I can’t dig up the quote at the moment, perhaps I’m thinking of when he told an interviewer that in his stories he was 'telling it like it is' and 'laying it on the line.' The comics critic Don Phelps once told me that it was Barks who made Donald Duck a citizen of the nation of comics characters, which I always remember as being a particularly eloquent way of saying that he invested Donald with such humanity." — and presents a 10-page preview from Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes.

Daily OCD: 10/10/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewsMichael KuppermanMartiMack WhiteLove and RocketsLos Bros HernandezJaime HernandezinterviewsGreg SadowskiFour Color FearFlannery OConnorEleanor DavisDrew FriedmanDaily OCD 10 Oct 2011 11:57 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Love and Rockets: New Stories #4

Review: "It should go without saying by now that any new volume of Love and Rockets is a must for any serious comics fan... [and] New Stories 4 is... one of the major events of the comics year ... [A]nyone who loves brilliant cartooning technique should appreciate the way Jaime draws the casual sag of a post-coital naked body, or the way he illustrates a pre-schooler tugging at his mother, oblivious to any notion of 'personal space.' And anyone who’s alive in the world should be moved by this story’s depiction of life as a series of accidents, miscommunications, and embarrassments, which sometimes work out okay regardless." – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club

Love: At The Tearoom of Despair, Bob Temuka offers some spoiler-filled thoughts on Love and Rockets: New Stories #4, saying "this is no review. This is love. The art is as beautiful as always, evocative of time and place, and Jaime still draws the best body language and facial expressions in the medium, telling entire stories in a frown or wink.... While it’s no surprise that Jaime Hernandez is still producing magnificent and beautiful comics, it is also still incredible to see how big his storytelling balls are, man."

Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010

Review: "Though not strictly a comic book, Michael Kupperman’s Mark Twain’s Autobiography 1910-2010 is very much of a piece with the cartoonist’s gleefully absurdist Tales Designed To Thrizzle series. ...Kupperman picks up the story of an American icon beginning with what the newspapers reported as Mark Twain’s 'death.' Kupperman’s Twain quickly sets the record straight, then relates what he’s been up to for the past century: fighting in World War I, losing a fortune by investing in chocolate-covered olives, making gangster pictures inspired by The Wizard Of Oz… y’know, the usual. Kupperman’s working method seems to be just to let his mind wander, making stream-of-consciousness associations that fuse into comedy." – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club

The Cabbie Vol. 1

Review: "Initially published in the ’80s, [The Cabbie] mimics the basic comic strip format — even going as far as aping the way Chester Gould used thick black lines for basically everything with Dick Tracy — but is supremely screwed up. The protagonist, a cab driver is obsessed with money, has a tricked out cab, happens upon bizarre crimes, and even gets tortured by a family living in the slums. It is a really uncomfortable experience from cover to cover, and I am stoked it exists." – Sam Hockley-Smith, The Fader

Review: "This is a harsh and uncompromising tale of escalating crime and uncaring punishments: blackly cynical, existentially scary and populated with a cast of battered, desolate characters of increasingly degenerate desperation. Even the monsters are victims. But for all that The Cabbie is an incredibly compelling drama with strong allegorical overtones and brutally mesmerizing visuals. Any adult follower of the art form should be conversant with this superb work and with a second volume forthcoming hopefully we soon all will be." – Win Wiacek, Now Read This!

Even More Old Jewish Comedians

Interview: At The Comics Journal, Jay Ruttenberg sits down for brunch with Drew Friedman to kibbitz about the Old Jewish Comedians books: "Well, I found Jerry [Lewis] to be completely delightful. Just great. He’s very inquisitive about the process about what I do. He asks, 'Drew, how do you do what you do?' So I say, 'Jerry, how do you do what you do?' You gotta butter him up: 'I especially love drawing you, Jerry.' But a lot of them hate each other. It’s very funny. You bring up one comedian to another comedian, and there’s venom. It’s amusing to me. There’s nothing funnier than angry comedians. Nothing better!"

Interview: Jason Diamond at Jewcy also gets a crack at Drew Friedman: "I kinda bounce around the [nerd] map. I don’t really fit into one category.  I love comedians, comic books, and old movies. Really anything from the past. With these Old Jewish Comedian books, they have nothing really to do with comic books, but everything I’ve done in my career led to these books."

Mome Vol. 8 - Summer 2007

Interview: Robot 6's Tim O'Shea has a quick chat with Mome contributor Eleanor Davis about her contribution to that Nursery Rhyme Comics anthology

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

Feature: October means features on horror comics, and Casey Burchby's look at the history of the genre at SF Weekly says "A recent collection called Four Color Fear, edited by Greg Sadowski, collects terrific examples of horror comics from non-EC sources, including Eerie, Web of Evil, and Chamber of Chills. The work in this volume is much wider ranging in subject matter and style than Tales from the Crypt, which tended to follow a handful of formulas."

Villa of the Mysteries

Commentary: Robot 6's Chris Mautner lobbies us to put out a collection of Mack White's Villa of the Mysteries and other comics, saying "CIA conspiracies. Carny shows. Obscure pagan rituals. Snake handlers. Brainwashed assassins. Nudist nuns. Roman gods. Psychedelic western landscapes. Very short men with very, very large penises. Such are the essential elements found in the comics of Mack White, who, for the past couple of decades, has created some of the most bizarre, paranoid and succulently pulpish comics around. Born and raised in Texas, Mack's comics are infused with the Lone Star state's own unique blend of rugged individualism and suspicion of authority."

Flannery O'Connor: The Cartoons

Plug: At Comic Book Resources, Greg Burgas goes "Flippin' Through Previews and finds "Fantagraphics offers Flannery O’Connor: The Cartoons on page 294. Yes, you read that correctly. Apparently O’Connor was quite the cartoonist in the 1940s. This has to be awesome, right?"

Daily OCD: 10/6/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Shannon WheelerOil and WaterLeslie SteininterviewsDaily OCDBest of 2011 6 Oct 2011 7:40 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Eye of the Majestic Creature

List: Jeff Newelt names Leslie Stein's Eye of the Majestic Creature to Heeb Magazine's "Best of 5771: Comics" list, saying "What a treat discovering a new 'voice' that speaks to you as much as longtime favorites."

Oil and Water

Interview: Shannon Wheeler talks about Oil and Water in a Q&A with Portland Monthly: "Fishermen couldn’t fish, plants were dying, scientists didn’t know what the effects were, and tourism was crippled. In addition to the environmental damage, there was damage to people’s lives that is profound. We very much wanted to tell the human story."

Daily OCD: 10/5/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewsLove and RocketsLos Bros HernandezKevin HuizengaJaime HernandezinterviewsIgnatz SeriesGilbert HernandezEsther Pearl WatsonDaily OCD 5 Oct 2011 7:51 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Love and Rockets: New Stories #4

Review: "We cannot commend Love & Rockets to you highly enough... 'Return for Me' will not disappoint..., and I was left speechless for hours.... There’s far more of Maggie in parts three, four and five of 'The Love Bunglers,' and I could begin almost any review of a Jaime Hernandez story with my 'Poor Maggie' refrain. Still, poor Maggie… Then there’s the delightfully mannered dance and duel from Gilbert Hernandez of 'And Then Reality Kicks In.' No one does comics like Gilbert. Sometimes it’s as if he’s never read another comic in his life (other than maybe his brothers’) and so invents an unprecedented comicbook performance. Time and again Gilbert turns your expectations right on their heads, especially here in 'King Vampire,' the most unusual fang-fest you could ever imagine!" – Stephen L. Holland, Page 45

Ganges #2

Review: "About [Ganges #2] a lot can be said like 'our whole life is a game,' and this will be true, but more true to say will be that all good things must come to an end, you’ve played, and that's enough. And the moral is simple: not work joins people together, but fun." – Ray Garraty, Endless Falls Up

Unlovable: The Complete Collection Box Set

Interview (Audio): Esther Pearl Watson is one of the guests on the new episode of The Comix Claptrap podcast, recorded live at APE last weekend

Daily OCD: 10/3/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Steve DuinShannon WheelerreviewsPeter BaggeOil and WaterMichael KuppermanLove and RocketsinterviewsGilbert HernandezDrew FriedmanDaily OCD 3 Oct 2011 11:51 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Oil and Water

Review: "Beautifully bound, this is graphic journalism on a human and environmental disaster with long-term consequences far beyond here-and-gone traditional news coverage. Honestly told, well written, beautifully illustrated  and accessible to a wide audience: Oil and Water should reach readers of all ages and satisfy the most discerning critics. BRAVO!" – Craig Seasholes, JacketFlap

Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010

Review: "More a graphic book than straight comic book or straight novel, it plays to the strengths of both mediums. Kupperman’s prose recalls the casual absurdity of early Woody Allen or Douglas Adams, and as there is no real overarching narrative other than Mark Twain’s fictional life, he is able to indulge his every comedic whim, be it a film noir genre parody or a chapter that’s mostly just a list of silly names. The artwork, rendered in black, white and blue, is fabulous as always. The greatest part of his art is how deadpan it is. His simple, clean lines have a retro style that wouldn’t be out of place in a Golden Age comic book or an old magazine advertisement.... Mark Twain’s Autobiography 1910-2010 is a testament to Kupperman’s strengths as both writer and artist." – Brandon Beck, Spandexless

Yeah!

Review: "...Gilbert Hernandez... and... Peter Bagge... design an alternative dimension for alternative music in their graphic novel Yeah!, one that includes the spazzy siren call and pratfalls of teenage girls and the twitchy slapstick of music business screw-ups from other galaxies. ...[T]hese two secret masters of rock fandom and mavericks of cartooning show zest-finesse and feisty satire chronicling the lives lived on the margins of collaborated garage bomp in a series of outrageous stories that could only be true in the music world they’ve personally known..." – Chris Estey, KEXP

Even More Old Jewish Comedians

Interview: Jean-Emmanuel Deluxe of French record label Tricatel talks to Drew Friedman (en Français), and so of course the first topic is Jerry Lewis: "The French understand clearly what so many Americans are unable to grasp, that is to say that Jerry Lewis is an actor AND a brilliant and innovative director. Unfortunately, people will not realize it until long after his death."

Interview: Brian Heater of The Daily Cross Hatch wraps up his chat with Drew Friedman. Oh look, here's a familiar topic: "Jerry Lewis is a very serious guy. When I talk him, he’s very serious. He asks me what I’m doing and how I do this and that, as if he’s taking notes. He’s so interested in what I’m doing. He doesn’t want to talk about himself, which is kind of strange."

Love and Rockets: New Stories #4

Links: Another comprehensive round of Hernandez Bros.-related links from Love & Maggie

Daily OCD: 9/30/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewsPaul HornschemeierMichael KuppermanJacques TardiinterviewsDaily OCD 1 Oct 2011 1:24 AM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010

Profile: CT.com's Alan Bisbort talks to Michael Kupperman in advance of his appearance at Hartford's Mark Twain House tomorrow: "Kupperman, to be clear and fair, is quite fond of Twain, so his own caricatures are done with the affection one has for an eccentric uncle. His portrayals of Twain are interchangeable with his equally affectionate depictions of Albert Einstein — Twain and Einstein have, in fact, regularly appeared together in Kupperman's comic strips over the years — so he was pleasantly surprised by a recent serendipitous Internet purchase. 'I ordered a Twain wig and mustache from the official Twain website,' he says. 'And the label said "Twain/Einstein" so I must be on the right track.'"

Paul Hornschemeier

Interview: Paul Hornschemeier has a brief chat with MSN Postbox: "I think both my stories’ trajectories and my [philosophy] degree are both symptoms of a central disease. While I tend to gravitate toward comedy and joking around in a social context, I think that I’ve always been pretty introspective when I’m sitting around by myself. Which you tend to do a lot as a cartoonist — as in all of the time."

The Arctic Marauder

Review: "Fantagraphics keeps the hits rolling throughout 2011 and The Arctic Marauder is the latest in their Jacques Tardi translations line.... The art is wonderful. Tardi has this rounded style that is unique and easily identifiable, all at once his signature. The level of detail is astounding, in the background and mechanical details as rendered faux woodcuts. The 9×11.75″ pages present the art in gloriously large detail: be sure to drink in every inch of this black and white work.... At $17 for a sixty-four page oversized hardcover this is a great value: while the vintage prose was lost on me it stands as a great period work with wonderfully detailed art." – eBabble

Peter Bagge talks to Reason TV
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under videoPeter Baggeinterviews 30 Sep 2011 4:44 PM

Interviewer Nick Gillespie talks to Peter Bagge for Reason TV (YouTube link):

"Bagge discusses how he came to define his libertarian political worldview at a young age, and laments his frustration at being an artist who's political views are frequently mischaracterized as 'right wing' by other artists, simply for failing to be in lock-step with the rest of the predominantly progressive-left art world. He also discusses a recent Reason assignment which took him within the walls of a women's prison, and how the experience led him to question his own preconceived notions about the drug war and involuntary incarceration for drug users. His funny, outrageous and often introspective anthology of Reason cartoon journalism, Everybody is Stupid Except Me (And Other Astute Observations) is available from Fantagraphics."

Yes it is!

Diaflogue: Michael Kupperman Exclusive Q&A
Written by janice headley | Filed under Michael KuppermaninterviewsDiaflogue 30 Sep 2011 2:15 PM

Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010 by Michael Kupperman

This interview with Michael Kupperman about his new book Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010 was conducted by Fantagraphics intern Steven Davis. Thanks to Steven and Michael!

STEVEN DAVIS: You’ve been talking about doing a longer-form narrative for a while. What made you decide on the autobiographical format?

MICHAEL KUPPERMAN: It’s just what I fell into doing. I find the reasons for doing things, the “why,” is very important, and if you’re doing what you’re doing because it genuinely amuses, you’re in the strongest position possible. I just started writing a couple of chapters and I was enjoying it, and it felt like the right thing to do to go for a book.

DAVIS: How do you feel about your results?

KUPPERMAN: Well, I’m always self-critical to a painful degree, but I do find myself laughing when I look at it. I feel pretty good, I guess; the reader’s reaction is all up to whether they find me funny or not.

DAVIS: Was it refreshing to work with a different format?

KUPPERMAN: It’s interesting to notice the difference. Both are wonderful escapes — and with writing I’m able to execute some rapid changes of idiom — but one notable thing is that writing has more of a time limit. You can only write for two or three hours at a stretch before you start to lose focus, I find. Whereas drawing is an activity you can really lose yourself in for as long as you can stay awake — I’ve drawn for as long as 20 hours at a stretch.

DAVIS: Why is Mark Twain a better target for parody than his partner Albert Einstein?

KUPPERMAN: Well, there was the occasion of the anniversary of his death: That really tipped the scales. But Einstein only really works for me as a character in relation to Twain: the same way Harpo only worked in relation to Chico or Groucho. Not alone. I’d love to do more with the two of them, though.

DAVIS: There’s a full chapter in the book that is cartooned, in which Mark Twain finds himself an accidental member of the Apollo 11 mission. Why did you decide to cartoon this section?

KUPPERMAN: I just wanted to break up the text a bit, and the Moon mission seemed like a good excuse to do some cartooning. That’s one in which many of the jokes are more visual.

DAVIS: Did any ideas that you’d originally intended to be comics get transformed into prose?

KUPPERMAN: No. That’s not so easy to do… A lot of ideas only work for the medium you invented them for. I have a bunch of material from my various aborted TV pilot deals that I can’t find a way to re-use, unfortunately.

DAVIS: What is the appeal of autobiographies? How does that translate into satire?

KUPPERMAN: Autobiographies have an automatically funny component in the self-deception that we all practice, which can be inadvertently revealing. The self-justifying and obfuscation that most autobiographies contain are comedy gold. The last two I read were the autobiographies of Jerry Weintraub and Esther Williams. Both contained comedic elements, although Esther was by far the better swimmer.

DAVIS: What specific autobiographical tropes did you most focus on subverting?

KUPPERMAN: False modesty is a big one, also unwittingly revelatory anecdotes, such as when the aliens try to get Twain to have sex with Sophia Loren; and the shaping of one’s life into a narrative, and how unreliable that can be.

DAVIS: You’ve talked about simplifying the cartooning in order to better focus on the humor. How is this reflected in Twain as compared to your past works?

KUPPERMAN: I think the Twain book is a big step forward in that direction. The art is much more streamlined, and less influenced by art from the past. I concentrated on just carrying the jokes through the art.

DAVIS: There’s a momentum in Tales Designed to Thrizzle that moves the reader through the book, even though it lacks a continuous narrative. In what ways did you approach flow and progression for Twain?

KUPPERMAN: I tried to vary the tone of the chapters enough so that the reader would be carried through what is basically a series of routines… I’ve never sustained one scenario for so long, but I’m eager to move on to longer projects still.

DAVIS: How did Snake ‘N’ Bacon become your flagship strip?

KUPPERMAN: People kept asking for it. And when Avon (subsequently bought by HarperCollins) asked me to do a book, they insisted Snake ‘N’ Bacon be in the title. Then later on Scott Jacobson and Rich Blomquist from The Daily Show spearheaded the Snake ’N’ Bacon pilot for Adult Swim, same thing. They’re anti-characters, basically: extremely limited in almost every way.

Some people do really seem to like them. I’ve even seen tattoos!

DAVIS: I’m curious about your past pseudonym P. Revess. Where did this come from and where did it go?

KUPPERMAN: It was just the prefect pseudonym I came up with— mysterious, ambisexual — and I stopped using it because some dumb editor at New York Press told me I should just use one name, my own. And I was an idiot and listened to her.

DAVIS: Were your parents supportive as you pursued a career as an artist?

KUPPERMAN: Yes. I don’t know if they saw it coming but they’ve adjusted well.

DAVIS: What type of art were you interested in when you attended art school?

KUPPERMAN: Basically anything and everything (still am):What I didn’t know was how I should fit into it all...

DAVIS: How were you first exposed to surrealism and dadaism?

KUPPERMAN: Through Alice in Wonderland and books like that, but I think it’s just part of the culture now. Comedy now has a strong strain of surrealism in it.

DAVIS: What has kept you interested in surreal humor?

KUPPERMAN: It’s what I respond to. I love idioms sliding into each other and situations that melt and transform: dream logic, where meaning shifts and overturns.

DAVIS: You’ve talked about being influenced by sketch comedy shows, Monty Python and SCTV. A few years ago you had the chance to write some sketches for The Peter Serafinowicz Show. Was that a pretty easy adjustment for you?

KUPPERMAN: It wasn’t an easy situation, because I was so far away. The real writing action was taking place in London, and I was in New York. Even when an idea came from me — the whole acting-class thing, which in my version was with Michael Caine —it would be so heavily re-written that it wasn’t so much mine anymore. That’s just the way things work. I’d love to try again on a more level playing field.

DAVIS: I know you’ve talked a little about this before. But can you discuss some of your experiences writing scripts for DC — Any differences in your process? Any challenges? Any new creative avenues it allowed you to explore?

KUPPERMAN: It was frustrating — the more of those comics I did, the less rewarding it became. The very first one — a Jetsons story where Mr. Spacely becomes a baby— was probably the best. But the editing became more and more severe. The last story I did was a Scooby-Doo — they even changed the name of a character I wrote from Murderous Pete to Homeless Pete! I didn’t pursue it after that.

DAVIS: You’ve called Twitter a "petri dish of comedy.” For you, is the Internet mostly helpful or distracting?

KUPPERMAN: Helpful, but you have to limit your exposure or depression will result. I do love Twitter and the people I’ve met on there, and I try not to let it prevent me working.

DAVIS: You’re currently producing a weekly comic called Up All Night. Will any of these strips or related strips be featured in future issues of Thrizzle?

KUPPERMAN: Perhaps some of them…

DAVIS: In an interview last year you mentioned a potential project with Adult Swim after the Snake ’N’ Bacon pilot wasn’t picked up. Can you elaborate on that at all?

KUPPERMAN: Yes- they hired me to develop a horror pilot. But by the time I had characters and a scenario their attention had completely drifted away. This happened to a lot of talented and well-known comedy people last year, so I’m not alone! Dealing with Adult Swim is like trying to talk to someone peaking on an acid trip. You never know what they’ll say or do next...

DAVIS: Between TV Funhouse and the Snake ’N’ Bacon pilot, you’ve done quite a bit of work in animation. How do you feel about the current state of animation?

KUPPERMAN: I am indifferent, since I’m not involved. There really isn’t anything that’s compelling me to watch lately...

DAVIS: Many alternative cartoonists have transitioned into animation and videogames. How interested are you in pursuing jobs in different media?

KUPPERMAN: I’m only interested as long I continue to exist as an artist! So it has to be on my terms to some extent. I had that with the S&B pilot, which is why it was so amazing. I drew every inch of the animation, that’s why it looks the way it does. But I have a horror of producing crap, and unfortunately most media product ends up being just that.

DAVIS: How does your work reflect what’s going on across media, in terms of humor, today?

KUPPERMAN: I think my humor is very contiguous with the humor that’s going on now in live comedy, the better TV comedy, podcasting the smart stuff. Not comics though: I feel very alone there. Most other humor in comics is excruciating.

DAVIS: You have a serious graphic novel called Henry Spelman in the works. Can you tell us any more about that?

KUPPERMAN: Not at the moment! I’m trying to examine my options with as clear a head as possible. My bank balance is always a concern, and right now I’m just trying to stay alert. I’m hoping to get into the Spelman project soon, but it’s a matter of balancing the work against the chances of an advance in today’s publishing world, truly the worst and least hospitable ever. And I’m waiting to see how the Twain book does…

Michael Kupperman

Don't forget to catch Michael Kupperman on the "Twain in the Membrane" book tour! -- janice

Daily OCD: 9/29/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under videoRichard SalareviewsPaul HornschemeierMomeMichael KuppermanJesse MoynihaninterviewsGreg SadowskiGahan WilsonFrank SantoroDavid BDaily OCDAlex Toth 29 Sep 2011 7:39 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

The Hidden

Review: "Sala creates stories in which brightly colored, cartoony art and characters who speak in casual idiom tell of events that aren’t so much humorous or casual as provocative and scary. In [The Hidden], he combines motifs of a postapocalyptic landscape, wanderers, some vampiric businessmen, and, ultimately, Dr. Frankenstein. The stew works perfectly: readers have no chance to engage in incredulity... Characters are introduced at a steady but manageable pace, and it is only at story’s end that the opening pages become horrifyingly clear. Sala works with a full palette of beautiful, gemlike hues held in generous panels. Even the monsters have individuated faces, which only ramps up the horror." – Francisca Goldsmith, School Library Journal

Interview: Comic Book Resources' Shaun Manning talks to Richard Sala about The Hidden: "It's a story about consequences. It's about what happens when you set wheels in motion that maybe you can't control, that in fact spin completely out of control. What do you do? Do you take responsibility for what comes next or, or do you run away and distance yourself from what you've caused and try to pretend it doesn't matter. And it's about what happens when you finally realize that it's up to you to stop what you started. Is that vague enough?! It's not exactly a 'high concept' description, I'm afraid."

Setting the Standard: Comics by Alex Toth 1952-1954

Review: "A dark horse contender for comics creator of the year can be found in the unlikely personage of the late artist Alex Toth... Setting the Standard aims at... a conceptually sound and compelling [goal]: the publication of Toth's work between 1952 and 1954 for the long-defunct comics publisher Standard... The work is in a variety of sturdy, popular genres. The presentation of the comics themselves proves crisp and strong. The manner in which the increasingly valuable Sadowski and his publisher chose to present the supporting material is even better." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter

Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010

Review: "I think the most important thing you need to know about [Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010] is that it made me laugh out loud not once, but close to a dozen times. At one point, during an exchange with a famous cartoon strip writer, I think I laughed for a solid minute. It might have been longer, except the neighbors threatened to shoot me. And if they'd done me in, I'd never have gotten a chance to review this and tell you that this is one of the best books -- if not *the* best book -- I've read all year." – Rob McMonigal, Panel Patter

Nuts

Interview: Comic Book Resources' Alex Dueben chats with Gahan Wilson about Nuts: "On the whole, [the comic] was mostly autobiographical. It just rolled out and it was and continues to be very satisfying to me. It helped me see kids better, too. They're just wonderful. The creativity of children is kind of frightening. They all do these drawings which are just gorgeous and profound, and they'll do poetry. They're brilliant.... I think they're very encouraging because they give you a peek at what we could be if we grew up right. I think there's hope for us all, and kids are evidence of that."

Mome Vol. 22: Fall 2011 - Jesse Moynihan

Interview: At The Comics Journal it's a Mome dude tête-à-tête as Frank Santoro quizzes Jesse Moynihan: "I did some color guides with Photoshop for a piece called Simon Magus (MOME 22). That was helpful but not usually how I do things. Since I’m using a medium that can build layers, it’s not difficult to go back in and edit the color scheme to an extent. For the most part I trust that my eye can decide what needs to happen on the fly."

The Armed Garden and Other Stories

Interview (Audio): On the latest episode of the Panel Borders podcast, Alex Fitch talks to David B. about his new book Black Paths (audio in multiple formats at the link)

Interview (Video): At SPX, Paul Hornschemeier sat down for an on-camera chat with Joe Mochove and Rusty Rowley. "We discuss all of the important topics of the day: Earnest Borgnine, mobility scooters, terrorism, and delicious orange juice," says Paul at his blog. (What is it with the Borgnine?)