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Category >> interviews

Daily OCD Extra: Pat Thomas & Listen, Whitey! media domination
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under televisionreviewsPat ThomasinterviewsDaily OCDaudio 27 Feb 2012 7:16 PM

Pat Thomas has been all over the television and radio dial talking about Listen, Whitey! The Sights and Sounds of Black Power 1965-1975. He was host Nancy Guppy's guest on Friday's episode of Art Zone on the Seattle Channel — the segment begins at the 8:00 mark in the video embedded above or available here [Edit: link updated to jump directly to the segment].

Florangela Davila of NPR station KPLU talked to Pat this morning; streaming audio and a recap of the segment are available here.

Pat's appearance last Wednesday on WNYC's Soundcheck is embedded below and archived here.

Pat's guest spot on The Roadhouse with Greg Vandy on KEXP last Wednesday is available in the KEXP Streaming Archive through Wednesday of next week.

And if you prefer your interviews in good old text format Gillian Gaar has a Q&A with Pat at Examiner.com.

Meanwhile, the print press has been rolling in — here's a tremendous review by Mark Anthony Neal in the current issue of SPIN (click image to enlarge):

Listen Whitey! review - SPIN Magazine

Ian Abarahams gives the book a 4-star review in Record Collector magazine:

Listen Whitey! review in Record Collector

Jon "Mojo" Mills reviews the book and album for Shindig!:

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201202/shindigalbumreviewmarch2012.jpg

Another 4-star review, from Lois Wilson in Mojo magazine:

Listen Whitey! review - Mojo

Daily OCD: 2/23/12
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Robert CrumbreviewsMichael KuppermanJim WoodringJasoninterviewsGuy PeellaertGreg SadowskiDaily OCD 23 Feb 2012 8:02 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Jim Woodring

Interview: The Believer presents the fourth and concluding part of Ross Simonini's 2008 interview with Jim Woodring (which can be read in its entirety here): "I don’t believe in art like I used to. I believe in something beyond it, something that contains art and everything else. But I just don’t quite have the nerve to chuck drawing and painting. Part of it is that I enjoy IT too much, and part is that I don’t have the courage to renounce the world. I don’t want to move out of this nice neighborhood so that I can live in a shed and devote myself to meditating and touching something I can’t feel. I’m addicted to the fun of playing in the world."

The Life and Death of Fritz the Cat

Review: "Fantagraphics is giving us another opportunity to revisit R. Crumb's iconic character in a hardcover edition of his collected adventures, called The Life and Death of Fritz the Cat.... Despite Fritz's demise 40 years ago, these stories maintain their wit, satirical edge, and their ability to offend and shock. The earlier stories are funny and bizarre..., and the later ones are funny and angry... Even the final story can be viewed as funny in an extraordinarily dark context, although it helps to be aware of Crumb's intentions. To read 'Fritz the Cat, Superstar' first, or without knowledge of Crumb, would feel a lot like confronting a knife-wielding lunatic in a dark alley.... Fantagraphics' new hardcover edition of the Fritz portfolio is unburdened by editorial commentary or contextual material of any kind. This encourages readers to experience the comics as if for the first time -- and find that the acid in Crumb's humor still stings." – Casey Burchby, SF Weekly

Action! Mystery! Thrills!

Review: "Just released by Fantagraphics, [Action! Mystery! Thrills!] is one the best books yet done on Golden Age Comics! Sadowski is by far my favorite editor of compilations/retrospectives on comic book art!... A fascinating and important look at an exceptional period of American art! My highest recommendation to anyone interested in 20th Century illustration and of course the comics!" – Golden Age Comic Book Stories (via The Comics Reporter)

Athos in America

Review: "[Athos in America]'s the usual collection of laconic oddness and outright weirdness.... Yes, it would be fair to say if you're looking for examples of dark humour in comics, Jason probably would be a very good place to start." – Jonathan Rigby, Page 45

Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010

Review: "Mixing illustrated text pieces with short comic strips, Kupperman uses [an] oddball conceit [in Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010] to deliver a wacky, adventure-filled romp that sends you laughing your way through the twentieth century.... The thick, precise lines of Kupperman’s drawing style bring a much needed dead-pan expression to a book that might otherwise feel out of control. The text pieces are often well-used, giving Kupperman more room to play with Twain’s voice and toss in frequent verbal puns." – Matthew L. Moffett, No Flying No Tights

The Adventures of Jodelle

Plug: "A pop art masterpiece! If you liked Little Annie Fanny then you will like [The Adventures of Jodelle]. I think this is going to be great. And, for reference, Peellaert did the cover to Bowie’s Diamond Dogs so he knows what he’s doing." – Lee, Comics And...Other Imaginary Tales

Daily OCD: 2/22/12
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Roy CranereviewsPat ThomasinterviewsGreg SadowskiDrew WeingDaily OCD 22 Feb 2012 7:32 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Listen, Whitey!

Feature: The Stranger's Dave Segal talks to Pat Thomas about the creation of Listen, Whitey! The Sights and Sounds of Black Power 1965-1975 and says of the book, "Listen, Whitey! presents Black Power's volatile ups and downs with stunning imagery. Designed by Fantagraphics' Jacob Covey, the copiously illustrated Listen, Whitey! is a joy to behold as well as to read.... Ultimately, Thomas captures the revolutionary spirit of myriad vital strands of the movement and stokes your desire to hear these recordings."

Action! Mystery! Thrills!

Review: "...Action! Mystery! Thrills! Comic Book Covers of the Golden Age 1933-1945 [is] wonderful. ...Sadowski offers up an incredibly diverse gallery of forgotten superheroes, pistol-toting gangsters, cartoonish Nazis, and talking animals. Each cover has been painstakingly restored to pristine condition, and is presented in full color on glossy paper. It’s as close to browsing the comics rack of a World War II-era drugstore as most of us will ever get.... Sadowski... is one of the most adept chroniclers of comic-book history working today. He offers succinct but informative notes on each cover, but his most notable achievement in this volume is his selection of covers. The notes are helpful and fun, but it’s the progression of images itself that is the most telling.... At a perfectly reasonable $29.99, it’s a must for any comic-book fan’s library." – April Snellings, Knoxville Metro Pulse

Set to Sea

Review: "Set to Sea is a book to read and contemplate on, a book to look at and think about, a book to read slowly and then to read again. It's a lovely graphic novel from a creator I hope to see a lot more from as the years go on, and I hope his own busy life affords him enough leisure and time to continue to make gemlike, poetic stories like this one." – Andrew Wheeler, The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent.

Buz Sawyer Vol. 1: The War in the Pacific

Analysis: Buz Sawyer administers a spanking (and a beatdown) and Robot 6’s Matt Seneca analyzes the action in an October 1944 Roy Crane strip

Daily OCD: 2/21/12
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reivewsPaul NelsonMatthias WivelKevin AveryJasoninterviewshooray for HollywoodDavid BDaily OCD 21 Feb 2012 7:05 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Athos in America

Review: "Athos in America is a tour de force that showcases Jason’s immense talents as both an artist and a storyteller. These haunting stories will stick with you long after you’ve turned the last page. Rating: 10 out of 10" – Edward Kaye, Newsarama

I Killed Adolf Hitler

Interview: Comic Book Resources' Shaun Manning gets the inside scoop about the I Killed Adolf Hitler film project from Jason ("I hope it will be good. Or really bad. One of those. The disappointment would be if it's a mediocre film") and screenwriter D.C. Walker ("I viewed 'IKAH' as a jewel like the french short film 'La Jetee.' All the key themes were in place, it was just a matter of expanding on them like they did in 12 Monkeys (the film 'IKAH' will most resemble).")

Kolor Klimax: Nordic Comics Now

Interview (Video): Johan Krarup, who is nominated for the 2012 Ping Prisen for Best Danish Comic for his story "Nostalgia" in Kolor Klimax, is interviewed for the awards organization by Felix Møder and his splendid shirt & tie

Plug: "I gotta say I'm not a big fan of the illustration on this [Kolor Klimax] cover, but the design, color, and font choice made me stand up and take notice. I 'klimaxed' a little when I first saw it. Uggh, sorry, that was too much information." – Dave Johnson, Johnson's Cover Hi-lo

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

Interview (Audio): Kevin Avery talks about Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson on the Radio Free Song Club podcast's "19th Nervous Hoedown" episode; Avery tells us "The segment with me is at about the 37:00 mark — but don't pass up the great music before and aft."

The Littlest Pirate King

Analysis: "At the fairly new website Weird Fiction Review, Edward Gauvin compares David B.’s Littlest Pirate King with the prose story that inspired it, Pierre Mac Orlan’s 'Roi Rose,'" reports Tim Hodler at The Comics Journal

Daily OCD: 2/20/12
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Robert CrumbRichard SalareviewsMickey MouseinterviewsFrank SantoroFloyd GottfredsonDisneyDiane NoominDaily OCDCarl Barks 20 Feb 2012 7:55 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes

Review: "Barks's output has been reprinted often but either piecemeal in flimsy monthly comics or in high-priced collector's editions. [Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes], covering the years 1948-49, is the first in a planned 30-volume Barks library that will reprint his entire duck oeuvre in durable, affordable hardcovers.... Above all, Barks's Duckburg rings true because of his cynical world view. He rarely plastered on the sentimentality that dogs other Disney creations.... Although there are moral values in Barks's stories, he was never didactic and never wrote down to his readers. In his words, 'I always tried to write a story that I wouldn't mind buying myself.'" – Owen Heitmann, The Sydney Morning Herald

Glitz-2-Go

Interview: Peter Huestis, a.k.a. Princess Sparkle Pony, writes "Diane Noomin's comics cover quite a bit of territory, from the broad (ha, ha) farce of her Didi Glitz stories to penetrating social satire and revealing autobiography. At her best... she manages to combine all of the above approaches to devastating effect," and presents his 1995 Hypno Magazine interview with Noomin (the intro to which is blurbed on the back cover of Glitz-2-Go): "I consider myself a feminist. Certainly there are people who won't, but I'm a feminist and I think it's good to do sexual material, and make fun of sex, and not think that there are certain bodily functions that we shouldn't talk about because we're feminists. I think that's... fucked up."

Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 3: High Noon at Inferno Gulch

Plugs: On the Westfield Comics Blog, K.C. Carlson spotlights several of our upcoming releases in the current issue of Previews, singling out the next volume of Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse for this comment: "This is one of the best collections of vintage newspaper strips out there — among an amazing number of other great series! Oh, my wallet!"

The Life and Death of Fritz the Cat

Plug: "Fantagraphics Books reprints the best, from beginning to end, of Robert Crumb's iconic Fritz the Cat comics. Collected here is a sampling from the life of the famous funny animal, the American everyguy, metropolitan college student Fritz whose wise words of 1960's rebellion win him attention from ladies of all species. It's hard not to be charmed by Fritz." – 211 Bernard (Librairie Drawn & Quarterly)

Mad Night

Plug: "Reading or re-reading Sala's Mad Night seems an infinitely better use of all of our free time than reading anything on the Internet right now." – J. Caleb Mozzocco, Every Day Is Like Wednesday

Frank Santoro

(Behind the) Scene(s): Read all about Frank Santoro's visit to the hallowed halls of our HQ and workshop presentation at our swingin' storefront in his tour diary at The Comics Journal

Daily OCD: 2/15/12
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under staffShimura TakakoRobert CrumbreviewsMoto HagiomangainterviewsDaily OCDBill Griffith 15 Feb 2012 10:39 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Bill Griffith: Lost and Found - Comics 1969-2003

Review: "...[C]urrent fans of the [Zippy] strip are in for a surprise, a shock, and, ultimately, a major treat, when they pick up Griffith's new career retrospective, Lost and Found: Comics 1969-2003... The journey from these energy-packed, overstuffed, unpolished early comics to the elegant masterwork of the present is a journey greater than that of Gary Trudeau with Doonesbury or Charles Schultz with Peanuts.... His early reign as an oversexed adolescent-minded wiseacre gives way to a long golden afternoon of wry and wistful philosophizing, with frequent salient eruptions of deserved ire and malice toward all!" – Paul Di Filippo, The Barnes & Noble Review

Interview: At Literary Kicks, Alan Bisbort talks to Bill Griffith about his career-spanning collection Lost and Found: "When I put this new collection together, Fantagraphics had been trying to get me to do this book for about ten years. When they first suggested it, they wanted some of the early, pre-Zippy work, along with the other non-Zippy work of more recent years. But I told them at first that 'that stuff has got to be hidden. Maybe when I’m dead someone can bring it out' but then over a period of time I grew to accept my arc, so to speak, whatever my arc is."

Wandering Son Vol. 2

Review: "Wandering Son... is a measured, sensible and sensitive series... Part of Wandering Son's hook is a distanced view at discomfort with one's own body. The manga is written to evoke the feeling of being ill at ease in one's own skin, such that everyone who has went through puberty can sympathize with these characters, regardless of their own relationship with sexual identity issues. I'm not so sure how particularly, generally appealing the prospect of reliving those feeling may be, but that sort of identification is a crucial part of what makes Wandering Son a superlatively fascinating manga.... Though it may or may not be an effective mirror to our own lives, it has its reader thinking about everything, both small and significant, [that] shape[s] us. As a result, Wandering Son proves to be deeply involving in an unconventional way." – Scott Green, Ain't It Cool News

The Life and Death of Fritz the Cat

Review: "[The Life and Death of Fritz the Cat]'s beautifully drawn, even the earliest material. Fritz’s face is as expressive as all get-out, though you may be surprised at how dainty Crumb’s line is mid-period. One thing, however, remains consistent throughout and once more it’s Winston who hits the juvenile nail on its dream-addled, sex-obsessed head. 'Oh you’re such a child! Such a self-centred, egotistical child!'" – Stephen L. Holland, Page 45

A Drunken  Dream and Other Stories [Pre-Order]

Review: "I believe that the Drunken Dream collection of stories lays the groundwork for measuring all of the wonderful components of girls’ comics. It’s a heck of a yardstick, I’ll tell you that.... It’s impossible to read through these panels and not feel your own life in them — and that’s why Hagio is such a brilliant writer. Shoujo manga is all about feelings, and Hagio is the master of feelings. The Queen of Feelings. THE EMPRESS OF FEELINGS.... I had never heard of the 24 Year Group before reading this anthology, but I feel like my life has been dramatically enriched by this collection. I want to buy three copies of it so that I can loan 2 to new people and have a back up loan copy for the eventual time when one of them gets stolen." – NOVI Magazine

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/artistthumbs/larry-buddy.jpg

Commentary: At The Creators Project, Emerson Rosenthal talks to our own Larry Reid for an article on "the rise of DIY publishing and the revival of the printed word": "'The "Great Recession" forced us to get better with design if anything […] what you’re getting is a better looking book, more sustainable, and cheaper on the shelf. If anything, it’s a better product,' says Reid. 'At the same time, the self-bound ‘zine is definitely on the rebound.'"

Daily OCD: 2/14/12
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tony MillionairePeter BaggePat ThomasinterviewsDaily OCD 14 Feb 2012 7:13 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Tony Millionaire 1

Interview (Audio): On the new episode of the Jordan, Jesse, Go! podcast "Cartoonist Tony Millionaire joins Jordan and Jesse at Thorn Manor to teach us etymology, school dance etiquette, and generational pop culture."

Peter Bagge

Interview (Video): A brief 2009 video profile of a then-beardy Peter Bagge produced by Stussy to promote their line of Bagge-illustrated t-shirts has been newly uploaded to their Vimeo page (via Forbidden Planet International)

Listen, Whitey!

Yeesh: The good news: the current issue of Seattle's free CityArts magazine contains an excerpt from Listen, Whitey! The Sights and Sounds of Black Power 1965-1975 by Pat Thomas. The bad news: you might find a white-supremacist tract stapled into your copy, reports The Stranger

Daily OCD: 2/10/12
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewsPat ThomasMichel GagneJoe SimonJack KirbyinterviewsErnie BushmillerDaniel ClowesDaily OCD 10 Feb 2012 11:28 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Young Romance: The Best of Simon & Kirby's Romance Comics

Review: "...[T]hese comics are among the best in their genre without a doubt. ...[This] period was certainly the period of Jack Kirby’s greatest commercial success, and also the period of work which posterity has most neglected. For that this book [Young Romance ] is to be cheered, though there is much else to be happy about in it. There is the excellence of Gagné’s restoration work. It’s of a kind of cleanness which in the past, in archival projects by others, has often resulted in garishness. ...[I]t appears that Fantagraphics, perhaps by accident more than planning, is the only publisher to give us any coverage of the long neglected and just about forgotten 1950s genre of romance comics." – Eddie Campbell, The Comics Journal

Listen, Whitey!

Plug: "Activist/musician/writer Pat Thomas has been busy the past five years compiling music, speeches and photos from the height of the Black Power movement, spending much of that time in Oakland, California, the birthplace of the Black Panther Party. The result is Thomas’ forthcoming book, Listen, Whitey! The Sights and Sounds of Black Power 1965-1975 (out March 5 through Fantagraphics Books), which entrenches us in one of the most politically and culturally explosive times in America..." – Mark Lore, The Days of Lore

Nancy Is Happy

Interview: Casey Burchby presents a brief excerpt of an interview with Daniel Clowes conducted last Fall in which Clowes discusses how his collection of Ernie Bushmiller Nancy comic strips became the backbone of Nancy Is Happy: Complete Dailies 1943-1945: "I found it baffling that I had the best collection of Nancy strips. I bought a bunch of them off eBay in like 1998. It didn’t take any special effort. I just found some dealer that had a whole bunch of them, and I bought all of them I could get my hands on. And when it came time to do the book, they were looking all over and they couldn’t find them anywhere. And I had almost all of them."

Daily OCD: 2/9/12
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewsPat ThomasMichel GagneJoe SimonJack KirbyinterviewsDaily OCDBlake BellBill Everett 9 Feb 2012 7:41 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Listen, Whitey!

Feature: Jill Russell of KOMO TV's Seattle Pulp blog spotlights Listen, Whitey! The Sights and Sounds of Black Power 1965-1975 and talks to author Pat Thomas: "The main lesson Thomas takes away from this project is that young people are a forced to be reckoned with. The average age of a Black Panther was just 22. 'How many young people do you know are leading national movements?' he asked. 'When people have been stripped of their pride or ostracized too much, they will eventually fight back.'"

Amazing Mysteries: The Bill Everett Archives Vol. 1

Review: "For fans of comics from the dawn of the comic book era, this book [Amazing Mysteries: The Bill Everett Archives Vol. 1] is an indispensable gift from Blake Bell and Fantagraphics. For those who love to read great stories from the Golden Age, however, this volume isn't as great as the ones that will follow. Kudos to Fantagraphics for re-presenting these stories after all these years, but this book does prove the truism that when reading archival reprints, the first volume will often be the hardest to get through. I give this book three and a half stars for the fact that it exists, for the exhaustive research by Bell and his friends, and because some people will find this material fascinating. As for the comics themselves in this book, well, your mileage may vary." – Jason Sacks, Comics Bulletin

Young Romance: The Best of Simon & Kirby's Romance Comics

Plug: Young Romance: The Best of Simon & Kirby's Romance Comics leads off the L.A. Times Hero Complex Valentine's Day gift guide: "The creators of Captain America also helped create a softer comics genre: romance comics. In the late ’40s and ’50s, Joe Simon and Jack Kirby captivated girls and women with their 'Young Romance' tales of star-crossed lovers. This 208-page hardbound volume includes 21 of those stories."

Daily OCD: 2/8/12
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewsMichel GagneMark KalesnikoJohn BensonJoe SimonJack KirbyinterviewsDaily OCD 8 Feb 2012 5:31 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

The Sincerest Form of Parody: The Best 1950s MAD-Inspired Satirical Comics

Review: "And now, Fantagraphics has packaged some of the best movie parodies in this ripely-colored book [The Sincerest Form of Parody]. But these aren't Mad comics. They're the imitators which popped up on newsstands in the 1950s -- comic books like Whack, Nuts!, Crazy, Bughouse and Unsane.... Most of the comics in the pages of this book are understandably dated for today's web-weaned generation who may have never heard of I, Jury ('My Gun Is the Jury by Melvie Splane'), What's My Line? ('What's My Crime?'), or Come Back, Little Sheba ('Come Back Bathsheba'), but that doesn't drain these parodies of their punch." – David Abrams, The Quivering Pen

Young Romance: The Best of Simon & Kirby's Romance Comics

Plug: "Most of the 21 stories in this great new book collection [Young Romance] haven't been compiled before, and if you're not familiar with them, you're in for thrill after melodramatic thrill. My favorite: 'Norma, Queen of the Hot Dogs.'" – Michael Galucci, Cleveland Scene

Freeway

Interview: Mark Kalesniko talks about his latest graphic novel Freeway at the FLIP animation blog; that site's Steve Moore says "Mark Kalesniko’s graphic novel Freeway is a truly brilliant, hilarious look at the hunched and goofy lifestyle in our industry's ground zero. His humor is wickedly honest, his storytelling unflinching."