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Category >> manga

Daily OCD: 10/24/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under The Comics JournalT Edward BakRoy CraneRichard SalareviewsPaul NelsonMoto HagiomangaLove and RocketsLos Bros HernandezLeslie SteinKevin AveryJasonJaime HernandezinterviewsHo Che AndersonGreg SadowskiGilbert HernandezGary PanterDaily OCDCaptain EasyAlex Toth 25 Oct 2011 2:24 AM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Eye of the Majestic Creature

Review/Interview: "Leslie Stein is a pretty lady who made a comic [Eye of the Majestic Creature] in which she is a cute/gross little humanoid with eyes that are like coins and a best friend who is a guitar. Her comical alter ego is named Larry Bear and her guitar's name is Marshy. They live in a house in a field, but it's pretty clear that almost everything they experience is some joked-up fantasized autobiographical story. It's hard to know what's based on reality and what isn't, and which characters are based on real folks and which are just supposed to be Leslie's internal feelings personified.... Leslie's work communicates an urban loneliness that I relate to a lot, seeing as we live in the same place. It's cute and sad and familiar, especially if you're 30 or under." – Nick Gazin, who also talks to Leslie at Vice: "I think for the most part she represents the lighter side of my personality. I'm happy when I'm drawing and I hope that comes across through her on the page, in whatever situation she is in. She dresses a bit weirder than I do, so that's fun. I'm not really a shy person, but I feel like I'm constantly embarrassing myself. She doesn't have that self-consciousness."

The Hidden

Review: "Post-apocalyptic stories tend to be grim, but The Hidden is very dark indeed.... The book feels like a modern-day gothic horror. The survivors are metaphors for humanity, with a heroic few battling an onslaught of monsters, human or otherwise. Humanity is on the brink of extinction, and still people bring out the worst in one another.... Sala’s illustration is compelling... ★★★★ [out of 5]" – Grovel

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

Review: "[Kevin] Avery’s book, Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson, is an admirably unorthodox construction that starts with a bracing 180-page biography of Paul followed by a 265 page collection of Nelson’s music writing, primarily that from the seventies focusing on the artists he was particularly drawn to.... What’s impressive about Avery’s biographic half of the book is that he’s produced both an intimate personal bio and a comprehensive professional bio as well. He’s talked to virtually everyone who Nelson inspired or mentored in rock criticism starting in the latter half of the sixties and into the Rolling Stone years. These knuckleheads are a who’s who of American rock criticism, God help us." – Joe Carducci (SST Records, Rock and the Pop Narcotic), The New Vulgate

Setting the Standard: Comics by Alex Toth 1952-1954

Review: "I was looking forward to this new book [Setting the Standard] a/ because it's Alex Toth and b/ because it reprints 60 stories, Toth's entire contribution to the catalogue of a long defunct publisher whose material we rarely see reprinted.... Toth's work has long been admired for its distilled simplicity of black and white design, but these early pages fizz and bubble with life.... The book under discussion is from Fantagraphics, with the original printed pages restored in all their colours by Greg Sadowski, who put the whole package together with extensive notes..." – Eddie Campbell (via The Comics Reporter)

Plugs: Brian Ralph's choices for his guest contribution to Robot 6's weekly "What Are You Reading?" column include Captain Easy Vol. 2 by Roy Crane ("It’s a fun combination of action and laughs. Sometimes very serious and other times very cartoony, in both story and art style. I just love the way Roy Crane draws these goons. And the colors! The palettes are unusual and beautiful.") and Setting the Standard: Comics by Alex Toth 1952-1954 ("I’ll read one of these [stories] before I go to bed. I like that in a short page count he quickly develops a rich story and twilight zoney twist. Sometimes it’s a bizarre romance or horror story with a stunning conclusion. They’re a fun read.")

Isle of 100,000 Graves

Review: "Brief but witty dialogue and black humor come together in a brutal satire of deception, torture and the death penalty. This comic is a good comedy that combines the sense of adventure and intrigue of Jason's comics, his 'tempo' and narrative tone, with a trio of protagonists who I came to appreciate in very few pages. Emotion, gags, surprises, and an ending that you do not expect. Isle of 100,000 Graves is an original and very enjoyable read that keeps Jason as a safe bet in the shopping cart. Between tenderness and cruelty, of course the contribution of writer Fabien Vehlmann to the Norwegian cartoonist's particular universe could not have been more successful." – Alita News (translated from Spanish)

Love and Rockets: New Stories #4

Review: "Warm-hearted, deceptively heart-wrenching, challenging, charming and irresistibly addictive, Love and Rockets: New Stories is a grown up comics fan’s dream come true and remains as valid and groundbreaking as its earlier incarnations — the diamond point of the cutting edge of American graphic narrative." – Win Wiacek, Now Read This!

Reviews (Video): Hosts Patrick Markfort and Dave Ferraro discuss Love and Rockets: New Stories #4 by the Hernandez Brothers and Gilbert's Love from the Shadows on the latest Comics-and-More podcast (4-part video at the link)

Discussion (Audio): Hosts Tim Young and Kumar Sivasubramanian, along with special guest Tom Spurgeon, discuss the Love and Rockets work of Jaime Hernandez on the latest episode of the Deconstructing Comics Podcast

Fantagraphics booth - TCAF 2011

Interview: The Comics Reporter 's Tom Spurgeon talks to backbone Mome contributor T. Edward Bak about his experience at Boomfest in St. Petersburg, Russia: "There were so many things going on. There were people interested in all of the presentations. They took place over four or five hours, in three or four different centers. A lot of artists were there. For these kinds of presentations, it was other artists attending. It was like APE: you have people that are making comics or are interested in making comics."

Jimbo's Inferno

Interview: At The Comics Journal, Matt Seneca enjoys a studio visit and thoughtful discussion with Gary Panter: "That’s one of the games that modern art plays: where does it go, and what does it affect by trying to go? And so, usually in fine art, you’re making a kind of pregnant or puzzling object, or some object that has presence and which calls to people, hopefully. It arrests them for a second and various things happen, whereas in a comic, I want people lying in bed reading it. I want people lying in bed and reading it, and you forget you’re reading it, and you go in the story, and you’re like, 'Whoa! What happened?' And you either remember it or you don’t."

The Comics Journal #300

Interview (Translated): The Frog 2000 blog translates the Howard Chaykin/Ho Che Anderson conversation from The Comics Journal #300 into Spanish (1st of 3 parts)

A Drunken  Dream and Other Stories [Pre-Order]

Publishing/Crime: Anime News Network has news of new work from Moto Hagio and reports on warnings of forged Hagio artwork in the marketplace

The Comics Journal Special Edition 2005 - Back in Stock!
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Vaughn BodeThe Comics JournalMilt Grossmanga 6 Oct 2011 5:52 PM

The Comics Journal Special Edition Vol. 5

Oops! Due to an inventory SNAFU the 2005 Special Edition issue of The Comics Journal was mistakenly thought to be sold out and removed from our online catalog. But we still have a bunch of 'em! This oversized (12" x 12") humdinger includes features on masters of manga Hideshi Hino, Suehiro Maruo, Saseo Ono, Osamu Tezuka and Yoshihiro Tsuge;  three great writers on Vaughn Bodé; Bill Blackbeard on Milt Gross; a report from the Montreal comics scene; and a star-studded anthology comics section on the theme of "seduction" with comics from (deep breath): Rick Altergott, Ho Che Anderson, Andrice Arp, Gabrielle Bell, Marc Bell, Ariel Bordeaux, David Collier, Colleen Coover, Jeremy Eaton, Mary Fleener, Rick Geary, Bill Griffith, Matti Hagelberg, Richard Hahn, Leah Hayes, Gilbert Hernandez, Jaime Hernandez, Paul Hornschemeier, Igort, Gerald Jablonski, Ted Jouflas, Megan Kelso, Peter Kuper, Carol Lay, Lorna Miller, David Paleo, Arnold Roth, Michael Sloan, Spain Rodriguez, Frank Stack, Carol Swain, and Ken Takahama, not to mention a back-cover illustration by Tony Millionaire! Why don't you have one already? Get it now!

Daily OCD: 9/28/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Robert CrumbreviewsPaul NelsonOlivier SchrauwenMoto HagioMichel GagneMichael KuppermanmangaLove and RocketsKevin AveryJohnny RyanJoe SimonJack KirbyinterviewsGilbert HernandezDaily OCDCarl RichterB Krigstein 28 Sep 2011 7:51 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010

Review: "This is hugely imaginative, exultantly silly, gag-a-minute writing that manages to comment on the popular culture of the last century while willfully wallowing in it — Python with a wry dose of Pynchon.... Were you, dear reader, to ask me if the brevity of [Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010]'s chronologically arranged but narratively stand-alone chapters made it an ideal book for bathroom reading, I would call you a coarse, disgusting pig-person, demand that you leave my office, and wipe down the chair you'd been sitting in. ... But, yes." – Glen Weldon, NPR Monkey See

Interview: SF Weekly's Casey Burchby, who says "Drawing inspiration from Mad among other influences, Kupperman's brand of humor is punchy and ridiculous... Like the best satire, it reflects a vision of our world that is simultaneously accurate and abstracted. ​Kupperman's new book, Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910 - 2010, comes from the same comedic source," talks to Michael Kupperman: "Some of my comedic influences are deliberately funny, others are not. The unwittingly bad, the pompously ineffectual, the flimsily maudlin -- these are all genres I warm to. The Sunday comics page on 9/11 this year was a good example. Like it does anyone any good to see Hagar and Momma weeping."

Prison Pit Book 3

Review: "I literally dropped everything to read this thing.... Volume three in Ryan’s madcap ultra-violent combat comic [Prison Pit] is firmly in the vein, so to speak, of the first installment: No-holds-barred body-horror battle between monster-men who look like refugees from an alternate-universe He-Man whose house artist was Pushead instead of Earl Norem.... It is... a series fixated not just on surviving the present moment on a narrative level, but on drawing that moment out to ludicrous lengths on a visual level. Its action is defined by page after page of grotesque bodily transformations depicted beat by gruesome beat.... The introduction of the 'arch enemy' is a tantalizing link to the past for a story that draws so much of its power from living (and dying) in the now." – Sean T. Collins, The Comics Journal

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

Review: "Everything Is an Afterthought presents a vision of the heyday of rock journalism, times that have long past.... The story Kevin Avery tells is of someone who believed passionately in the art that moved him... Few of the artists profiled in the selected works do much for me — late ‘70s Rod Stewart, Jackson Browne, [Warren] Zevon — but Nelson writes about each with such care and insight that I went back to listen to all of them again." – Alex Rawls, Offbeat

The Man Who Grew His Beard

Review: "Oddly enough, the title, its font and also the cover art of The Man Who Grew His Beard made me think of the 1985 book The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by neurologist Oliver Sacks describing the case histories of some of his patients, which given the completely insane collection of shorts in this book, both in terms of the stories and art, may not be entirely coincidental, I suspect. If surreal, single-panel humorist David Shrigley were ever to do comics, this is exactly what they would be like, to the point that I had to do a quick google search to check Olivier Schrauwen wasn’t a nom de plume for Mr. Shrigley. He isn’t." – Jonathan Rigby, Page 45

Palomar: The Heartbreak Soup Stories [Sold Out]

List: Comics Bulletin includes Palomar by Gilbert Hernandez among their "Top Ten Comics to Share with Your Boyfriend and/or Girlfriend": "Palomar is really defined by its characterization, with the town's mayor Luba and her family often acting as the center. The stories set in Palomar are a large part of why Love & Rockets became such an important work as they showed how the scope of novels could be applied to the medium."

B. Krigstein Volume 1

Profile: At Trouble with Comics, Alan David Doane details his appreciation of the work of Bernard Krigstein, noting: "A few years ago, Fantagraphics Books released B. Krigstein: Volume One by Greg Sadowski. This oversized hardcover artbook/biography is one of the finest of its kind ever released, and although Krigstein’s story is largely one of restriction and boundaries, it should be noted that B. Krigstein Vol. 1 is not a depressing book. Its author was meticulous in his creation of a lasting, vital document of the subject, a man who took life and art very seriously and suffered greatly for both. The book is, in fact, a celebration of the life and work of Bernard Krigstein, and even if you think you know who that is, I guarantee you that by the time you get to the end of the book, you’re going to know the man and his work one hell of a lot better."

A Drunken  Dream and Other Stories [Pre-Order]

Plug: At The Atlantic, Noah Berlatsky spotlights A Drunken Dream and Other Stories by Moto Hagio in a slideshow feature of alternatives to sexist superhero comics

Plugs: Martha Cornog of Library Journal spotlights some of our upcoming releases in the latest "Graphic Novels Prepub Alert":

The Life and Death of Fritz the Cat

The Life and Death of Fritz the Cat by Robert Crumb: "Crumb's infamous and ever-horny Fritz has been reprinted before, but not recently and never in hardcover.... An underground classic, with touches of critical brilliance amid its college-kid-wannabe plots."

The Crumb Compendium

The Crumb Compendium by Carl Richter: "Mr. Natural turns 45 next year, as many years as his creator Robert Crumb has been publishing. Fantagraphics is billing this compendium as the 'definitive reference guide' to Crumb's oeuvre, covering published comics plus other artwork, merchandise, articles and interviews, characters, and photographs. Richter is a Crumb collector who served as consultant to Fantagraphics on The Complete Crumb Comics set, and Crumb himself helped out. Hey, guys, keep on truckin'!"

Young Romance

Young Romance: The Best of Simon & Kirby's 1940s-'50s Romance Comics by Joe Simon & Jack Kirby, ed. by Michel Gagné: "The guys who created Captain America also jump-started romance comics with several vanguard series. Top selling until the Comics Code clashed with '60s permissiveness, the genre captured feminine readers even if plots and characters tended to push patriarchal sex roles and a Stepford Wives take on coupledom."

Daily OCD: 9/27/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Moto HagiomangainterviewsDrew FriedmanDaily OCD 27 Sep 2011 6:59 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Even More Old Jewish Comedians

Interview: Brian Heater's conversation with Drew Friedman at The Daily Cross Hatch continues: "Another reason I want to quit these books is that there’s always younger comedians coming up, and I just can’t keep up. Howard Stern’s gonna be an old guy in a couple of years.... I’m not crazy about some of them, and I just don’t want to think about drawing Adam Sandler when he’s an old man, or Ben Stiller, or even Jerry Seinfeld. It just doesn’t appeal to me."

from Heart of Thomas - Moto Hagio

Commentary: Divine Decision reports on our Moto Hagio The Heart of Thomas news en Español

Daily OCD Extra: Heart of Thomas press roundup
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Moto HagiomangaDaily OCD 23 Sep 2011 9:20 PM

from Heart of Thomas - Moto Hagio

We gathered up some press reaction and commentary to our announcement last week that we're publishing Moto Hagio's The Heart of Thomas next year:

• Lissa Pattillo of Kuriousity, who inadvertently helped break the news on Twitter, comments: "I’m really looking forward to reading Heart of Thomas. It piqued my interest after coming up a number of times during conversations re: Moto Hagio and Drunken Dream. We’ve got a year to wait but for almost 500+ pages, hardcover, and a classic manga we’d only dream of any other publisher releasing, it’ll be well worth it!"

• The mighty Anime News Network picks up the news

• Brigid Alverson's MTV Geek coverage of our announcement provides excellent background on the book and its creator

• "Moto Hagio fans have a whole lot more to be happy about as Fantagraphics has announced that they’re following up their release of A Drunken Dream and Other Stories with Heart of Thomas come next August. The company put a lot behind the release this past year and it garnered them a lot of critical acclaim both from the in the know manga crowd but also from the mainstream side, making it much easier to jump into another prestige style release from the celebrated mangaka." – Chris Beveridge, The Fandom Post

• Scott Green of Crunchyroll (who are streaming the anime adaptation of Shimura Takako's Wandering Son) shares the news, with a little background info

Moto Hagio's The Heart of Thomas coming in Summer/Fall 2012
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Moto HagioMatt ThornmangaComing Attractions 14 Sep 2011 6:03 PM

from Heart of Thomas - Moto Hagio
(click for larger version)

Word has slipped out and is spreading around the Twittersphere like wildfire, so we thought we'd make it official: following our wildly successful edition of A Drunken Dream and Other Stories by Moto Hagio, we will be publishing Hagio-sensei's The Heart of Thomas (Thomas no Shinzō /トーマの心臓 ), edited and translated by Matt Thorn, next year. The book is planned to be a $35.00, 8" x 10" 480-page hardcover, black and white with 16 pages of duotone (as seen above), and is currently scheduled for August 2012, subject to change.

We'll be posting more information about this book and our complete Spring/Summer 2012 lineup in the near future — stay tuned!

[Note: This post has been updated to add the missing "The" to the title.]

Daily OCD: 9/12/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Warren BernardSteven BrowerstaffShimura TakakoRoger LangridgeRick MarschallRichard SalareviewsPeanutsNoah Van SciverNeil GaimanMort MeskinMomeMickey MouseMichael KuppermanMarschall BooksmangaLove and RocketsKim DeitchJohnny RyanJohnny GruelleJoe SimonJasonJacques TardiJack KirbyinterviewsFloyd GottfredsonDrew FriedmanDisneyDave McKeanDaily OCDCharles M SchulzBlazing CombatAlex Chun 12 Sep 2011 8:10 PM

A double dose of Online Commentary & Diversions:

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

Review: "Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse: Race To Death Valley by Floyd Gottfredson will be warmly received by comics aficionados but should also intrigue Disney animation buffs who aren't necessarily plugged into comic strip history. Editors David Gerstein and Gary Groth have not only scoured the planet for the best surviving artwork on Gottfredson's first epic continuity, which ran in newspapers from April to September of 1930; they've provided background essays (by a raft of experts), vintage press materials and artwork to put it into the context of Walt Disney's burgeoning career, and Mickey Mouse's budding stardom.... I have a feeling that this book, crafted with such obvious care, will earn Gottfredson a new legion of admirers." – Leonard Maltin

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

Review: "Popeye hawking newspapers? Donald Duck selling gasoline? You'll find them and a whole cavalcade of comic strip characters in Drawing Power: A Compendium of Cartoon Advertising, edited by Rick Marschall and Warren Bernard. In a hundred-plus pages you are treated to a sampling of cartoon print ads from the 1890s to 1940s. There are short informative blurbs about the cartoonists (some of whom were featured in ads themselves) and the history behind the ads. A great treat for fans of comic strips, Americana, and ephemera." – The Christian Science Monitor "Top Picks"

Review: "Not long ago a very interesting book was released which aims precisely to investigate and chronicle the parallel paths of comics and advertising from 1870 until 1940 entitled Drawing Power: A Compendium of Cartoon Advertising. Fantagraphics Books offers a hearty volume... which is our guide with text and images to the 'commercial' roots of the comic strip and the amazing work that resulted from comics creators who worked in advertising.... Drawing Power: A Compendium of Cartoon Advertising is a book that will surely pique the interest of those involved in the communication sector, but also all who are drawn to pop culture. An excellent edition from Fantagraphics..." – Lida Tsene, Comicdom (translated from Greek)

The Hidden

Review: "Richard Sala’s The Hidden is yet another undead saga, though it’s more ambitious than most.... As the backstory deepens, Sala ties The Hidden to older literary traditions, weaving in pieces of folktales and the legend of Frankenstein. Because Sala has had a career-long fascination with B-movies, gothic illustrations, and general ghoulishness, this plot is right in his wheelhouse. But The Hidden isn’t just an entertaining riff on well-worn horror concepts. Taking his cues from Mary Shelley, Sala explores human vanity and arrogance as a way of showing how everything can go so wrong so fast." – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club

Mome Vol. 22

Review: "...Mome 22 concludes the run of one of alt-comics' longest-running and most essential anthologies. Like Weirdo before it, Mome bridged the gap between veteran cartoonists and the new breed... Here’s hoping that as with Zap, Raw, Arcade, and so many that have gone before, another anthology will rise to take Mome’s place. And soon." – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club

Wandering Son Vol. 1

Review: "...Shimura Takako is a master at portraying subtle events in a slice of life story about adolescence that never feels didactic.... One of the things I like about Wandering Son is the way many of the events in the book are simultaneously safe and filled with dramatic tension.... Like the storyline, Shimura’s art is simple but nuanced.... As you’d expect from Fantagraphics, the production quality for Wandering Son is excellent. I hope that more manga is on the horizon from them. While I’ll happily read more cheaply produced manga, it is nice to have a variety of options. Carefully curated manga like Wandering Son is a treat." – Anna Neatrour, Manga Report

Isle of 100,000 Graves

Review: "Jason’s deadpan, anthropomorphic characters make his books must-reads for me.... I'd give [Isle of 100,000 Graves] to my daughter... and my wife... in hopes that, after laughing at the Hangman’s Academy’s students, teachers, and administrators, they’ll agree to dress up in multi-colored hoods and carry instruments of torture next Halloween." – Gene Ambaum, The Unshelved Book Club

The Pin-Up Art of Humorama

Review: "Chun fills his collections with the best cartoons – the ones that can still delight readers, and Covey uses his lively and inventive design sense to make these old cartoons fresh and vital. With The Pin-Up Art of Humorama, Chun and Covey will once again make you believe that the art of Humorama is still alive and kicking – although the line ceased to exist decades ago. [Grade:] A" – Leroy Douresseaux, I Reads You

The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec Vol. 1: Pterror Over Paris and The Eiffel Tower Demon

Review: "This Fantagraphics edition collects the first two French albums of Les Aventures Extraordinaires d’Adèle Blanc-Sec (Pterror Over Paris and The Eiffel Tower Demon) in a large format hardback edition, and it’s beautifully presented. First released in 1976, Jacques Tardi’s story has a timeless quality, set in an alternative, steam-punk universe, shortly before World War I.... Tardi’s art recreates the scenery beautifully, with stunning backdrops bringing the architecture and beauty of Paris to life. ...[A] compelling and enjoyable mystery story with an alternative Victorian feel." – Grovel

Blazing Combat [Softcover Ed. - Pre-Order]

Review: "Comic fanboys have read Sgt. Rock or The Howling Commandos which are realistic in many ways, but there was a time when a comic mag got down right truthful. I’m speaking of Blazing Combat #1-4 (1965-66, Warren) and recently Fantagraphics collected the run in both hardcover and softcover. Blazing Combat was an anthology comic that showed the very dark and very real side of war. A loose followup to the EC Comics War genre books, it showed US G.I.’s dying in terrible ways, commanders giving orders with little regard for consequences and the militaristic definition of collateral damage. Jim Warren let it all hang out when it came to editing Archie Goodwin’s writing... Of course Goodwin is a genius and I’m usually more of a word-man when it comes to comics, but this time it’s the art that captured my attention. It’s a who’s-who of monster talent..." – Chris Marshall, Collected Comics Library

Fred the Clown

Review: "Fred [the Clown] is a figure of innocence, a lovelorn sad sack who keeps getting hit by custard pies — and, even harder, by life — over and over again, but keeps standing back up to go on. Langridge mostly tells his story in short wordless comics stories... in his usual style, a crisp modern interpretation of the classic '20s animation look... They're slapsticky stories of a sad clown, using the accouterments of vaudeville and early Hollywood, that nonetheless feel entirely new and fresh and funny. I don't know how Langridge does it, but he does it very very well." – Andrew Wheeler, The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent.

Celluloid [Pre-Order]

Plug: "You must buy @DaveMcKean's NSFW book 'CELLULOID' at your local comics or book store. Or in a plain brown wrapper..." – Neil Gaiman

Prison Pit Book 3

Preview/Plug: Comicsphere re-formats and re-presents one of our previews of Johnny Ryan's Prison Pit Book 3 to their readers, with Josh West saying "This is set to be 120 pages of ‘once you see it, it can’t ever be unseen’ scenarios and, honestly, Comicsphere couldn’t be more excited! Unbelievably unpredictable, violent, satirical and likely to entertain more than anything else on the shelves through September, the Prison Pit makes Hell look like nothing more than a relaxing Sunday morning stroll through a (really hot) meadow."

Interview: Comic Book Resources' Tim Callahan has a wide-ranging conversation with Johnny Ryan about Prison Pit and other topics: "I guess I have this fascination with stories where the 'hero' is not a hero at all. He's a loser or an idiot or a scumbag, but somehow the author makes us give a shit about him or her.... I think this is a strain that also runs through my work. It's about bad people, doing bad things, but I try and trick people into caring about or liking these people."

Preview/Plug: Comicsphere gives the same treatment as above to our excerpt of Jacques Tardi & Jean-Patrick Manchette's Like a Sniper Lining Up His Shot, with Josh West saying "...Jacques Tardi returns to the world of guns, crime, betrayal and bloodshed with this stunning, grisly, and remarkably faithful interpretation of Manchette’s last completed crime thriller."

Mr. Twee Deedle, Raggedy Ann’s Sprightly Cousin: The Forgotten Fantasy Masterpieces of Johnny Gruelle

Plugs: Robot 6's Michael May singles out a few of our upcoming releases from the November Previews catalog for spotlighting:

"Mr. Twee Deedle: Raggedy Ann’s Sprightly Cousin – The Forgotten Fantasy Masterpieces of Johnny Gruelle – I almost drowned in the amount of praise Fantagraphics poured on Gruelle’s work in the ad, but simply looking at the cover, it appears to be justified."

"The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec, Volume 2: The Mad Scientist/Mummies on Parade – Even if I wasn’t already turned on to the awesomeness of Jacques Tardi’s Belle-Époquian heroine, 'Mummies on Parade' would be enough to necessitate this purchase."

"Athos in America – Jason returns to The Last Musketeer and includes other Jasony stories like 'The Brain That Wouldn’t Virginia Woolf.'"

Pogo - Vol. 1 of the Complete Syndicated Comic Strips: Through the Wild Blue Wonder

Plugs: Graphic Novel Reporter includes almost everything we have coming out over the next 3 months in their "Great Graphic Novels of Fall 2011" roundup, particularly the Adult Fiction and Nonfiction categories (though we feel we should point out that Alexander Theroux's Estonia is neither fiction nor a graphic novel)

The Complete Peanuts 1981-1982 (Vol. 16)

Plug: "We’re over halfway done, and have moved into the last 20 years of the strip with the release of The Complete Peanuts: 1981 to 1982. Can you believe how fast time is flying? Kudos to Fantagraphics for maintaining the incredibly high standard of quality and presentation they established at the outset, with this entry featuring an introduction from cartoonist Lynn Johnston. More!" – Ken Plume, FRED

Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010

Interview: Newsarama's Albert Ching talks to Michael Kupperman about his new book Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010: "One other character I frequently think of when doing Twain — writing that book, or doing him in Thrizzle — is Dave Thomas from SCTV doing Walter Cronkite. Which in some ways is very similar — this kind of roguish, semi-self-befuddled character, roaming around having adventures."

Even More Old Jewish Comedians

Interview: The Daily Cross Hatch's Brian Heater begins a multi-part chat with Drew Friedman: "Basically when Monte Beauchamp who edits those books invited me to do a book, I thought about what I like to draw the most. I like to draw comedians and old Jews. So I put those two together and started working on them between assignments over a year. I just got pleasure in drawing them. I could put aside any annoying assignment I had and just get down to drawing those old Jewish faces. That’s what it came down to."

Howard the Duck - Noah Van Sciver

Interview: Washington City Paper's Mike Rhode had a little pre-SPX Q&A with Noah Van Sciver: "I'm excited to stop by the Fantagraphics table and say hello to those guys and see what's new." Well shucks!

From Shadow to Light: The Life & Art of Mort Meskin

Analysis: At The Comics Journal, From Shadow to Light author Steven Brower examines the dream comics of Jack Kirby, Joe Simon, and Mort Meskin

Love and Rockets: New Stories #4

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

The Search for Smilin' Ed!

Lore: "’71 was a weird year for me. I never had quite so many women coming and going, as I did that year in the apartment I shared with Gary. But I was still drinking too much and just overdoing it in general, hedonistically speaking. I was getting very little good work done (gosh, I wonder why?) and was generally pretty miserable." – Kim Deitch's epic memoir-in-music "Mad About Music: My Life in Records" at TCJ.com forges into the 1970s

Fantagraphics booth - TCAF 2011

Staff picks: Our own Ambassador of Awesome (and funniest Flogger) Janice Headley is the guest contributor to this week's Robot 6 "What Are You Reading?" column

How to get Shimura Takako's new doujinshi
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Shimura Takakomanga 6 Sep 2011 7:17 PM

Takako Shimura - Aoikitoiki

Shimura Takako announces that her new 28-page doujinshi Aoikitoiki (青息吐息) can now be ordered through Comic Zin for ¥420. There are a few sample pages you can check out from each of the 3 short stories, "Eve Confesses," "Friend of My Brother" and "Cover Girl":

from Aoikitoiki - Shimura Takako

(I don't know whether shipping is available outside Japan, but presumably if you're ordering this comic you read Japanese and can suss that out on the Comic Zin website.) 

Daily OCD: 9/1-2/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under The Comics JournalShimura TakakoRichard SalareviewsPrince ValiantmangaKim DeitchJack JacksoninterviewsHal FosterGary GrothDaily OCD 2 Sep 2011 7:48 PM

Yesterday's and today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

The Hidden

Review: "Sala consistently introduces red-cheeked, innocent characters and then puts them through the meat-grinder, and in The Hidden he plays with mad science. ...Sala’s novel features plenty of 'tell,' because if it’s one thing mad scientists enjoy, it’s expository dialogue. There are gorgeous single-panel pages filled with huge dialogue balloons, and it’s to the author and illustrator’s credit that it’s always a hoot; Sala is a professional when it comes to tongue-in-cheek visuals (the friendly looking characters with spilled intestines) and storytelling.... Its ending is... abrupt..., but it leaves ample room for a welcome continuation. The lushly colored package is vintage Fantagraphics, of course." – Alex Carr, Omnivoracious (Amazon.com)

The Comics Journal #301

Review: "Relaunching in a book-sized format, Comics Journal #301 came out from Fantagraphics this summer, and has already gone through a second printing. The magazine is dense, with over three hundred pages, containing enough essays, interviews, reviews, and art pages to easily fill 2-4 of the old issues.... Where else in comics journalism are you going to find a viewpoint of comics encompassing enough to put so many different realms of the artform under the same microscope and give it all due consideration? The drastic shift in format indicates a willingness of Fantagraphics to take risks with its flagship publication." – Greg Baldino, Bleeding Cool

Wandering Son Vol. 1

Review: "...[T]his gentle, inviting series about two transgendered elementary school students... has truly captured my attention.... Wandering Son feels at times more like a series of character sketches that all connect together than a narrative-driven book, but it’s a structure that makes me that much more intrigued... Takako’s art is beautiful here, delicate line drawings that fit well with her story.... Last but not least, props need to go to Fantagraphics for a great physical design of the book.... This isn’t quite like anything else on the market right now, and I’m thrilled to see Fantagraphics exposing it to a wider audience." – Greg McElhatton, Read About Comics

Prince Valiant Vol. 4: 1943-1944

Plug: "One of the great things about the major newspaper comics collection projects is that you look at a new volume, like this one in the Prince Valiant series, and you realize there is volume after volume of high-quality work to come." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter

 Jack Jackson's American History: Los Tejanos & Lost Cause [

Interview: The normally Love and Rockets-focused Love & Maggie blog steps out of their usual purview to hit up Gary Groth for more information about our forthcoming series Jack Jackson's American History (starting next year with Los Tejanos/Lost Cause) — if you're at all interested in these books, definitely check this out

The Search for Smilin' Ed!

Lore: "Before resuming I should say this: Drug taking, by myself and others, really peaks in this chapter. It isn’t something I’m proud of or a thing I endorse. But it is the way it all happened." So begins the ninth installment of Kim Deitch's epic memoir-in-music "Mad About Music: My Life in Records" at TCJ.com

Daily OCD: 8/29/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Warren BernardWalt KellyThe Comics JournalspainShimura TakakoRick MarschallreviewsPeanutsMegan KelsoMarschall BooksmangaJim WoodringDave McKeanDaily OCDCharles M SchulzCharles BurnsBob FingermanBill GriffithBest of 2010 29 Aug 2011 8:03 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Artichoke Tales [Pre-Order]

List: At his High-Low blog Rob Clough posts his belated Top 50 Books of 2010 list, with Megan Kelso's Artichoke Tales at #1, 4 of our books in the top 5, 5 in the top 10, 8 in the top 20, and 14 overall in the top 50 — it's a long but worthwhile read

Congress of the Animals

Review: "Calling Congress of the Animals recommended reading is a bit misleading. It’s definitely recommended, but it doesn’t technically involve reading. The entire book doesn’t feature a single word bubble. The only words are on the book jacket. What this is is a story told entirely through pictures — delightful pictures at that.... This was really an entertaining book. It was visually different from anything I’ve ever seen in a comic, the story was unique, and some parts were laugh out loud funny..." – Corey Pung, Panel Discussions (via Americaware)

Skin Deep [Softcover Ed. - with FREE Signed Bookplate]

Review: "...Skin Deep by Charles Burns... [is a] true masterpiece in which Burns returns to choose the mechanisms and the language of grade-B horror films, crime fiction, pulp, the aesthetics of the 50's and Robert Crumb's comics to make a harsh social criticism.... Stories in which Burns continues to explore the darkest corners of the human condition while keeping us on edge vignette to vignette." – Jesús Jiménez, Radio y Televisión Española (translated from Spanish)

Beg the Question

Review: "...[T]he adventures of a group of twenty-something New York residents, like Friends but with ethnic variation and far more realistic apartments, and, you know, actual problems. The characters of Beg the Question are surrounded by ugliness and idiocy in one of the most complicated cities in the world, yet they are decent human beings who support each other. It’s not supposed to be autobiographical, but you can tell that Fingerman has lived through many of the situations and knows the characters well." – Grant Buist, The Name of This Cartoon Is Brunswick

The Complete Peanuts 1981-1982 (Vol. 16)

Commentary: "So I just finished reading Fantagraphics’ The Complete Peanuts 1981-1982, and... the vast majority of this book was new to me, having not read previous reprintings of the strips from this period (as opposed to the near-memorization of the reprint books from the late ’70s and earlier). One of the great new features of this particular reprint series, aside from, y’know, the whole completeness of the strips reprints and all, is the index in each volume." – Mike Sterling, Mike Sterling's Progressive Ruin

Pogo - Vol. 1 of the Complete Syndicated Comic Strips: Through the Wild Blue Wonder

Plug: "Walt Kelly’s Pogo is one of the greatest comic strips I’ve ever read. It’s simply brilliant; quaint and sweet on the surface but deeper readings reveals layers of very smart political and social satire. And as you can clearly see, Walt Kelly’s artwork is magnificent.... Fantagraphics are presenting the entire strip, including the beautiful full colour Sunday strips for the very first time, in a series of 12 hardcover volumes that reprint approximately 2 years worth of  material at a time. I guarantee that if you get Volume 1, you’ll be signing up for the remaining 11." – Richard Cowdry, The Forbidden Planet International Blog Log

The Comics Journal #301

Plugs: Librairie Drawn & Quarterly in Montreal just got in a bunch of our recent releases (The Comics Journal #301, Drawing Power, Celluloid and Wandering Son Vol. 1) and their Chantale wrote up nice little plugs for them all on their 211 Bernard blog

Bill Griffith

Profile: At The Comics Journal, R.C. Harvey presents an updated version of a 1994 profile of Bill Griffith originally done for Cartoonist PROfiles

Nightmare Alley

Analysis: At comiXology, Columbia University librarian Karen Green does a detailed comparison of William Lindsay Gresham's 1946 novel Nightmare Alley, the 1947 film version, and the 2003 graphic novel adaptation by Spain Rodriguez


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