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Category >> manga

Daily OCD: 8/25/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Walt KellyShimura TakakoreviewsmangaKevin HuizengaJesse MoynihanJasonJacques TardiinterviewsIgnatz SeriesEC ComicsDaily OCD 25 Aug 2011 7:21 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Wandering Son Vol. 1

Review: "...Shimura Takako tells this story in such a gentle, unobtrusive way, one might believe that this story flows naturally – as if it simply spun itself from nature and is the way it is supposed to be. I think Matt Thorn’s tidy translation, which goes down the mental gullet with such smoothness, is a big reason for how readable this is. Wandering Son is not flashy or aggressive, nor does it pander or try to be hip and stylish. Takako draws the reader in so quietly that some may be surprised to find themselves on a journey of discovery and exploration with these characters. It’s like seeing preadolescence for the first time or seeing it again through fresh eyes and a new perspective.... If only more comic books were so evocative and so clear in their storytelling like Wandering Son, an ideal comic book. Ages 8 to 80 will like Wandering Son. [Grade] A" – Leroy Douresseaux, I Reads You

What I Did

Review: "Of the three books collected in this volume [What I Did], Hey, Wait... is a really evocative portrait of how childhood experiences can affect one throughout his entire life, and The Iron Wagon (which adapts an early-twentieth-century Norwegian novel) is a pretty good murder mystery that makes good use of Jason's deadpan style, but it's the middle entry, Sshhhh!, that really sticks with me, immediately jumping to the top of my favorites among the cartoonist's works.... It's sad, wonderful, exhilarating work, a great example of how amazing Jason is at what he does, and how nobody else can do it like him." – Matthew J. Brady, Warren Peace Sings the Blues

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

Review: "The plot often takes a sharp turn towards the absurd and downright crazy, but eventually the story always comes back to our heroine. Adele Blanc-Sec takes no crap... It’s really nice to see such a strong female character at the centre of all this mayhem, and her character really pulls the book together.... Tardi’s artwork is great to look at; his panels are vibrant and full of life. In his hands Paris 1911 is a busy metropolitan city still hanging on to its 18th century spirit and facade.... The first volume of The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec left me with more questions than answers, and volume 2’s release date of November seems all to far away! I look forward to reading more of Adele Blanc-Sec’s adventures." – Will Pond, Good Comic Books

Ganges #1

Review: "Glenn Ganges — the protagonist of the first volume of the series Ganges — is a dreamer, an eccentric, a loving husband, but first and foremost a restless man. Meaningless details do not give rest to him, he makes a mountain out of a molehill, and his fantasies replace the reality. Five stories under one cover are the five pieces of a day in the life of Ganges.... I’d like to meet this Ganges." – Ray Garraty, Endless Falls Up

Mome Vol. 22: Fall 2011 - Jesse Moynihan

Interview: Fantagraphics Summer 2011 intern Ao Meng chats with Mome contributor Jesse Moynihan for his school paper, The Daily Texan

EC Comics logo

Commentary (Audio): The Collected Comics Library podcast host Chris Marshall discusses our upcoming EC Comics Library series

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

Conflict of Interest: Our own Eric Buckler shares details of our latest Pogo update in his "Indie Comics Digest" column for The Snipe

Daily OCD: 8/18/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Willie and JoeShimura TakakoreviewsmangaDaily OCDBill MauldinAlex Chun 18 Aug 2011 5:35 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Willie & Joe: Back Home

Review: "...Willie & Joe: Back Home... is superbly done. Like many Fantagraphics releases over the years, this book easily could be placed in a personal library or on a coffee table for public viewing. In many ways, it can be described best as a piece of art and something to be treasured by collectors, comic-strip enthusiasts and military buffs alike.... The strips are a stunning mix of blunt political messaging with dark, satirical humor." – Michael Taube, The Washington Times

Wandering Son Vol. 1

Review: "While manga isn’t usually known for its subtlety, Wandering Son is an exception. The panels have little in the way of background, and there is less exaggeration and slapstick than you will find in a typical manga. The story builds slowly, drawing you in to the quiet internal thoughts of the two children.... Takako’s Wandering Son works as an insight into how it feels to be transgendered, and also as a metaphor for growing up.... Wandering Son reminds us how hard it can be for anyone, whatever gender, to become who we want to be as a person." – Ashley Cook, Giant Fire Breathing Robot

The Pin-Up Art of Humorama

Review: "Technically, [The Pin-Up Art of Humorama] isn’t a graphic novel or trade collection, it’s a picture book – but an absolutely stunning one, collecting some of the best and most guiltily funny illustrations ever produced: a beguiling remembrance of a different time and the sexual mores of an entirely alien generation which nevertheless presents an enticing, intoxicating treat for art lovers and, I’m afraid to admit, many hearty laughs. This is work which is still utterly addictive and the book is an honest-to-gosh treasure beyond compare." – Win Wiacek, Now Read This!

Wandering Son turns 100, new Shimura Takako comic
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Shimura Takakomanga 17 Aug 2011 5:47 PM

Comic Beam September 2011 - Shimura Takako

The September 2011 issue of monthly manga magazine Comic Beam contains the landmark 100th serialized chapter of Shimura Takako's Wandering Son, featured (as one might hope) on the cover. We got some catching up to do!

She's also revealed the cover to a new 28-page comic which is debuting in Japan in a few days — if any fluent Japanese speakers would like to translate the details at those links and post them in the comments, we'd be most grateful!

Takako Shimura - Aoikitoiki

Daily OCD: 8/16/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Shimura TakakoRichard SalareviewsMomemangaJim WoodringinterviewsDaily OCD 16 Aug 2011 6:27 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

The Hidden

Review: "Since... humor has emerged as such a tremendous, even defining part of Sala's appeal, I must confess that on a first reading, I was a little put-off to find it reduced to such a dim flicker. But on a second reading, with the understanding that he was exploring grimmer and more downbeat territory, other strengths grew more apparent — dreadful scenes of apocalypse, vistas of desolation, one truly appalling horror flashback set-piece, violence that feels more brutal than delirious, and tension between characters rooted more in how they treat each other than in their comical quirks. ...[O]ne of the great pleasures of reading a Sala comic for me is to let him lead me down the uniquely crooked lanes of his imagination. So buy The Hidden, and enjoy the journey. Highly recommended!" – Curt Purcell, The Groovy Age of Horror

Wandering Son Vol. 1

Review (Video): At Comics-and-More Patrick Markfort of Articulate Nerd joins Dave Ferraro for an in-depth two-part discussion of Shimura Takako's Wandering Son Vol. 1

Mome Vol. 22

Plug: "For the last six years, Mome has kind of been to comics what CMJ used to be for music: Open it up, and readers were bound to discover something new and enticing. Sadly, the comics quarterly ends its run this month with Vol. 22, a massive, all-star issue featuring Pop Candy faves like Dash Shaw, Lilli Carre, Anders Nilsen, Paul Hornschemeier, Gabrielle Bell, Jim Rugg and Zak Sally. Even if you're new to the mag, this would be the one issue to purchase." – Whitney Matheson, USA Today Pop Candy

Jim Woodring

Profile: The Sydney Morning Herald's Megan Johnston talks to Jim Woodring in anticipation of his appearance at the city's GRAPHIC Festival this weekend: "One thing Woodring does fear, however, is that people will find him 'disappointingly normal' compared with his work. 'All I can say is they should be grateful that they’re seeing me when I’m being that way,' he says."

Daily OCD: 8/15/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Willie and JoeWarren BernardSupermenShimura TakakoRick MarschallreviewsPeanutsOlivier SchrauwenMichael KuppermanMarschall BooksmangaKim ThompsonKevin HuizengaJohnny GruelleJim WoodringJacques TardiinterviewsIgortIgnatz SeriesGreg SadowskiGary GrothFrancisco Solano LópezDisneyDaily OCDCharles M SchulzCarl BarksBill MauldinaudioAlex Toth 16 Aug 2011 12:07 AM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Willie & Joe: Back Home

Review: "...[T]he cartoons in Willie & Joe: Back Home capture Mauldin at a low ebb personally, and ferociously inspired professionally.... The material in Back Home is bitter but witty, and remarkable for its courage. Given the platform of a major syndicate, Mauldin used his moral authority — as a firsthand observer of atrocity, venality, and want — to try and make his complacent countrymen feel a little shame. Where his wartime cartoons had said, 'I am one of you' to grunts in the trenches, his post-war work said, 'What the hell happened to you?' to the people who stayed home. At the time, the public rejected Mauldin’s lectures. Today they’re a blistering reminder that life after WWII wasn’t all suburban bliss and baby boom." – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club

Willie & Joe: The WWII Years

Review: "Told with humor and a great depth of sensitivity, these comics offer a human lens to an epic more often expressed in grandiose terms. Over the past couple of years Fantagraphics has amazed me consistently with its archival releases of seminal cartoonists' work, and Willie and Joe: The WWII Years is yet another fine example." – David Gutowski, Largehearted Boy

Setting the Standard: Comics by Alex Toth 1952-1954

Review: "Toth brought clarity and drama to the page — the equivalent of a top Hollywood director elevating rote material through elegant framing and camera moves.... Nearly every drawing in this book is purposeful and exciting, and they flow together to tell stories so clearly that the words are often superfluous. Setting the Standard is a treasure trove..." – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club

Review: "...Jacques Tardi is certainly in Toth’s league when it comes to rendering seamy genre fare with real artistry. Like a Sniper Lining Up His Shot ... is a wonderfully wicked piece of work, tracking a hitman as he tries to sever all ties with his past and retire with his childhood sweetheart. The story’s a familiar one... but Manchette’s approach is especially violent and gory, with a tough twist ending. And Tardi picks up on the sadness underlying the brutality, sketching a black-and-white world where the choice to go to the dark side is irrevocable, no matter how hard characters work to wrest control of their fates." – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club

The Man Who Grew His Beard

Review: "...Belgian artist Olivier Schrauwen does a fine job of approximating the high weirdness of early-20th-century newspaper comics in The Man Who Grew His Beard, a collection of seven deeply strange short stories.... Schrauwen mixes ink and paint in ways that blur the distinctions between comics and fine art, and he brings back certain themes — instruction and erotica, primarily — that suggest how men try and fail to place parameters on the primal. But The Man Who Grew His Beard isn’t meant to be 'understood' so much as it is to be entered and experienced, in all its wildness." – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club

Ganges #4

Review: "Kevin Huizenga’s Ganges #4 continues the artist’s increasingly masterful hybrid of direct storytelling and experimental abstraction.... The story suits Huizenga’s style, since he can document both the familiar minutiae of daily life and the sense of unreality that takes hold whenever someone is up half the night. Huizenga works in visual motifs of endlessly branching possibilities and spiraling shapes, showing how becoming 'lost in thought' can be terrifying. In short: This is another terrific installment of a series that’s fast becoming a classic." – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club

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

Review: "Mr. Twee Deedle, Raggedy Ann’s Sprightly Cousin: The Forgotten Fantasy Masterpieces of Johnny Gruelle... collects the strip that illustrator Gruelle created to fill the void left by Little Nemo when Winsor McKay departed The New York Herald. Though not as imaginative as McKay, Gruelle’s Mr. Twee Deedle was every bit as colorful and lavishly rendered, telling gentle fairy stories that explore a rich fantasy world existing in tandem with our own, like children having elaborate playtimes mere feet away from their parents’ more prosaic lives." – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club (NOTE: This review was based on samples of the strip provided to the reviewer; the book itself is incomplete and still in production.)

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

Review: "...Drawing Power... brings together an eclectic set of examples of comics being used to sell products. The pages are fun to look at — from Mickey Mouse pitching Post Toasties to Dr. Seuss illustrating ads for Esso Marine Products — but the topic is a little too large for a 120-page book, especially one so loosely organized. Then again, maybe that’s the point: to create a reading experience as chaotic and laced with odd beauty as cartooning itself." – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club

Review: "I have long admired Woodring’s brilliant, hallucinatory, and bizarre Frank comics. But his work has taken a leap forward with last year’s Weathercraft and this year’s Congress of the Animals. The Frank world is one the reader benefits by being immersed in. What might seem a bit incomprehensible in a short strip blossoms into a dark Dionysian dream in these two graphic novels.... If I keep mention them together, it is because I believe they beg to be read together. They show different but complimentary sides of Woodring’s vision. And also because these two books combine to form, I believe, one of the greatest achievements in recent comics. If you are a fan of the strange, the uncanny, the bizarre, the hallucinatory, and the fantastic, I can’t recommend them enough." – Lincoln Michel, The Faster Times

The Complete Peanuts 1950-1952 (Vol. 1) [NORTH AMERICA ONLY]

Review: For Magnet, Marc Bianchi of the band Her Space Holiday (they're good!) pens an appreciation of Charles M. Schulz's Peanuts, adding "A good place to rediscover the Peanuts is through the retrospective that Fantagraphics started releasing in 2004. They are complete and total masterpieces, from the elegant layouts provided by famed comic-book artist Seth to the wonderful guest introductions each volume has... If you are ever in a shop that carries these books, I highly suggest thumbing through one of them. Especially the earliest works (1950-1952 or 1953-1954). You are guaranteed to find something that in one panel can tear your heart apart and, in the next, put it back together again."

Wandering Son Vol. 1

Review: "To say that Wandering Son isn't a manga for everyone is perhaps stating the obvious, but despite the potential to make light of its cross-dressing, coming of age tale it proves itself to be an impressively subtle and considered take on growing up within this opening volume.  ...[G]ive it time and you'll find an impressive, character-driven series beneath its simplistic surface that will both charm and fascinate you, leaving you rooting for its characters and wanting to follow them through to (you hope) eventual happiness." – Andy Hanley, UK Anime Network

Supermen! The First Wave of Comic Book Heroes 1936-1941

Review: "Supermen!: The First Wave of Comic Book Heroes, 1936-1941 promises to fill gaps in 'the origins and early development of superheroes and the comic book form.' Editor Greg Sadwoski has assembled an eye-catching collection of stories, magazine covers, and house ads showing unfamiliar faces from the first years of American adventures comics. ...Supermen! is most interesting for what didn’t lead anywhere.... Seeing what didn’t work or become the norm can be as illuminating as seeing what did." – J.L. Bell, Oz and Ends (via Robot 6)

Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes

Plug: "...[D]espite his undeniable gift for crafting  elegant and vibrant storytelling that transcends all genres, sadly there has never before been a comprehensive, affordably priced reprinting of Carl Barks' Disney work…until now. Fantagraphics Books recently announced that it will begin reprinting the entire catalog of the master’s Disney material, beginning with the release of Walt Disney’s Donald Duck: 'Lost in the Andes' by Carl Barks in October, 2011." – Bill Baker, The Morton Report

Plug/Interview (Audio): On Boing Boing's Gweek podcast, guest Ruben Bolling (Tom the Dancing Bug) and hosts Mark Frauenfelder & Rob Beschizza discuss Carl Barks amongst themselves and The Carl Barks Library with our own Gary Groth

Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010

Interview (Audio): The hosts of Comics Alliance's "War Rocket Ajax" podcast talk to Michael Kupperman about his new book Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010, crafting his brand of humor and sundry other topics (such as bleu cheese): "It's about things taking the turn that you don't expect, the ball taking the bounce you don't expect. That for me is an example of trying to make the sentence end up in a place that's different from where it started."

Baobab #1

Interview (Audio): Enjoy a lengthy conversation between Baobab creator/Ignatz Series editor Igort and Inkstuds host Robin McConnell

Ana (Unpublished)

Tribute: At The Comics Journal, Kim Thompson's obituary of Francisco Solano López: "Argentina’s Francisco Solano López was a titan of South American comics, on a level with the great Alberto Breccia, the temporary honorary Argentinean (during the 1950s) Hugo Pratt, and the hugely influential writer Hector Oesterheld (who collaborated with all three)." (Excerpt courtesy TCJ's Tim Hodler)

Daily OCD: 8/10/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Shimura TakakoreviewsMickey MousemangaGreg SadowskiFloyd GottfredsonDisneyDaily OCDCarl BarksAlex Toth 9 Aug 2011 7:05 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Setting the Standard: Comics by Alex Toth 1952-1954

Review: "Alex Toth was a tale-teller and a master of erudite refinement, his avowed mission to pare away every unnecessary line and element in life and in work. His dream was to make perfect graphic stories. He was eternally searching for 'how to tell a story, to the exclusion of all else.' This long-awaited collection [Setting the Standard] shows how talent, imagination and dedication to that ideal can elevate even the most genre-locked episode into a masterpiece [of] the form and a comicbook into art." – Win Wiacek, Now Read This!

Wandering Son Vol. 1

Review: "Shimura Takako’s Wandering Son crafts, with the utmost care, a story of the struggles and adversities faced by cross dressing youths at the brink of blossoming into preteens.... Given the delicate subject matter of the main characters involved I felt that Shimura Takako crafted a wonderful introductory volume into the lives of these young individuals as they struggle with their identities, school life, and most of all approaching the brink of puberty." – Amy Grocki, Manga Village

Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes

Plug/Conflict of Interest: Our own Eric Buckler has begun writing a new "Adventures in Indie Comics" column for The Snipe, and in his inaugural post he highlights Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes: "Drawn by Carl Barks, a pioneer in cartooning and inventor of much of Donald’s universe, the stories highlight the duck at his best 1948-1950. Like the Mickey strips, Barks’ Duck introduces us to an edgy and crazed collection of creatures in contrast to the softer Disney we are used to. The first in a series will be out in October."

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

History: A fascinating footnote to Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse by Floyd Gottfredson: at Planet Mouse, Jim Korkis writes about his involvement with eariler, unauthorized attempts to reprint Gottfredson's Mickey strips and presents two introductory essays he wrote for the aborted series

What's in the August Diamond Previews
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Shimura TakakoPaul NelsonmangaKevin AveryJasonJack DavisDisneyDiane NoominDiamondComing AttractionsCarl BarksBill Griffith 3 Aug 2011 3:05 AM

Shipping October 2011 from Fantagraphics Books

The new Diamond Previews catalog is out today and in it you'll find our usual 2-page spread with our releases scheduled to arrive in your local comic shop in October 2011 (give or take — some release dates have changed since the issue went to press), plus a full-page Featured Item spotlight on Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes by Carl Barks! We're pleased to offer additional and updated information about these upcoming releases here on our website, to help shops and customers alike make more informed ordering decisions.

In addition to our first Barks Library book you'll find hotly-anticipated titles like the second volume of Shimura Takako's Wandering Son; the husband-wife duo of Bill Griffith: Lost and Found – Comics 1970-1994 and Diane Noomin's Glitz-2-Go ("Certified Cool"!); our big Jack Davis art book; a surprise comic book treat for Jason fans, Jason Conquers America; and our already-acclaimed next book of rock-n-roll writing, Kevin Avery's Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson. See them all here!

Previews - Donald Duck page

Daily OCD: 8/1/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under ZapWilfred SantiagoWalt KellyUsagi YojimboStan SakaiShimura TakakoreviewsPeanutsMoto HagioMickey MouseMichael KuppermanMaurice TillieuxmangaJim WoodringJack ColeFrank SantoroFloyd GottfredsonEC ComicsDrew WeingDrew FriedmanDisneyDave McKeanDash ShawDaily OCDCharles M SchulzAlex Chun21 1 Aug 2011 9:09 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Gil Jordan, Private Detective: Murder by High Tide

Review: "Originally appearing from 1958 to 1960, these insouciant, stylish, and thrilling dramas should appeal to readers of all ages. If they don't hook a whole new batch of bande dessinée fans, France needs to take back the Statue of Liberty in a huff.... Both stories zip by with nary a dull patch. Confections lacking in gravitas, they nevertheless own the supreme virtues of lightness and panache. Tillieux's art is always easy on the eye.... If Spielberg is looking for a second franchise after Tintin, he couldn't go wrong with Gil Jordan." – Paul Di Filippo, The Barnes & Noble Review

Wandering Son Vol. 1

List: At About.com - Manga, Deb Aoki shares comments that she and her fellow panelists on the "Best and Worst Manga" panel at Comic-Con made about Wandering Son Vol. 1 by Shimura Takako (named a Best New Teen Manga and a Best New Grown-Up Manga) and A Drunken Dream and Other Stories by Moto Hagio (named a Best New Grown-Up Manga)

Review: "Thanks to well known translator Matt Thorn, this volume is a very smooth read. I don’t often comment on such things, but Thorn took great care in interpreting and presenting this book, and it pays off in a very pleasing flow of text. The art is also quite lovely, very simplistic, and flows well from panel to panel. The color pages in the beginning have a beautiful, water color look to them. Fantagraphics has put out a gorgeous hardcover book with Wandering Son." – Kristin Bomba, ComicAttack.net

The Pin-Up Art of Humorama

Review: "Fantagraphics’ The Pin-Up Art of Humorama collects hundreds of racy cartoons from the once-ubiquitous tasteless humor mag.... The Fantagraphics edition, edited by Alex Chun and Jacob Covey, 'remasters' these toons with a two-color treatment that really captures the graphic feel of the mouldering pulps that still grace the ends of yard-sale tables in cities across America. It must be said that none of these are very funny, but they’re often quite beautiful and nostalgic." – Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing

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

Review: "Every once in a while, a book comes along that is simply spectacular. This collection of [Mickey Mouse] comic strips by Floyd Gottfredson is a perfect example of how to present, analyze and reconstruct subject matter that is viewed differently today. The series editors (David Gerstein and Gary Groth) pull no punches in discussing why Mickey was carrying a gun or the use of slang that is noticeably offensive by today's standards. This is a wonderful vehicle for presenting historically accurate art. Other companies should take notice.... This is a stunning work. The historical presentation is flawless, as is the artwork." – George Taylor, Imaginerding

Celluloid [Pre-Order]

Review: "[In Celluloid], McKean is attempting to subvert hardened notions of both comics and pornography. It's a book that gets the blood racing just as it raises questions that just won't go away about the nature of art, porn, and the male gaze.... By painting an erotic sequence with a surrealist's brush, McKean reveals the raw sexual current that underscores all pornography." – Peter Bebergal, Bookslut

Review: "An unapologetically hard-core hardcover, Celluloid follows a young woman’s sexual epiphany... and feels almost like a silent, erotic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, with the White Rabbit and the rabbit-hole replaced by an ancient movie camera and a doorway to…somewhere else. By itself, typically, McKean’s technical mastery (beginning with pen and ink and finishing with photography) steals the breath away; ditto his visual motifs — involving fruit, say, or eyes. A bravura performance, Celluloid (which ends, by the way, with signal wit) constitutes an astounding fusion of the Dionysiac and the Apolline, in Nietzschean terms, and less invites reading than demands rereading." – Bryan A. Hollerbach, PLAYBACK:stl

Congress of the Animals

Review: "In the oneiric power of his work as a writer/artist, Jim Woodring enjoys few rivals in contemporary comics... Within the first ten pages of Congress of the Animals, calamity literally descends on poor Frank in the form of a wood-boxed croquet set. In the next ten, our bucktoothed, bobtail boyo suffers both a labor dispute and a credit crisis, and thereafter, in the U.S. in 2011, it should come as no surprise that things fast go from bad to worse; just for starters, Frank has to enter the working world. Ameliorating all of his tribulations, at least from readers’ vantage, are his creator’s nonpareil pen and undulant line — a quivery visual seduction courtesy of Higgins. Moreover, by the finale, Frank’s [spoiler redacted – Ed.] — so the little guy ain’t doin’ too bad, y’know?" – Bryan A. Hollerbach, PLAYBACK:stl

Review: "Like Weathercraft, this new work [Congress of the Animals] is completely silent, showcasing Woodring's amazing talent to convey a story without a word, with seemingly little effort. It's just an eye-popping visual feast of amazing illustrations in this crazy world where Woodring can put whatever he wants on the page, to a stunning end result." – Dave Ferraro, Comics-and-More (via the SPX Tumblr)

21: The Story of Roberto Clemente

Review: "How wrong I was to underestimate the powerful storytelling medium of the emerging graphic novel platform, especially when masterfully rendered by an author and artist as remarkably talented as Santiago. I expected an exciting visual presentation, and was not disappointed, as Santiago’s heavy-lined, representational graphic style was, in turn whimsical, arresting, quirky, and most of all, emotional. But I wasn’t prepared for the wonderfully passionate portrayal of the human side of Clemente’s legendary journey from Puerto Rico into baseball immortality.... Captivating, revealing, and dramatic, 21 accomplished through art, creative use of informed imagination, and pure passion, far more than I thought possible from a graphic novel. I believe I now have a more complete picture of Roberto Clemente, but not of his statistics, or even his style of play, or of his place in baseball history. I have a truer sense of his heart." – Mark W. Schraf, Spitball

The Complete Peanuts 1950-1952 (Vol. 1) [NORTH AMERICA ONLY]

Review: Adorable alert! At Bookie Woogie, 11-year-old Gracie (and her dad Aaron Zenz) review The Complete Peanuts:

Gracie:  Charlie Brown!  He's the one who thinks, "Life is going bad... I'm an awful person... Nothing good ever happens to me..."
Dad:  Would you be friends with him?
Gracie:  I would. I love him. My love for him goes to the ceiling of a skyscraper.  But nothing good ever happens to him ever. Once he won a race -- that's probably the only thing he's ever won. And the prize was 5 free haircuts...
Dad:  Ha!
Gracie:  He's only got a twist of hair in front. And he's like, "Five free hair cuts?  I don't have much hair to cut! And even if I did... my dad is a barber!"
Dad:  Poor Charlie Brown.
Gracie:  Yeah, nothing good ever happens to him. He's always getting teased for his perfectly round head.

Usagi Yojimbo Book 4: The Dragon Bellow Conspiracy

Interview: The Comics Reporter's Tom Spurgeon talks with Stan Sakai: "Usagi was first published 27 years ago, and that time I just concentrated on the next story. It was around maybe... I would say with book four, The Dragon Bellow Conspiracy. That was the first major storyline. It took maybe 10 issues or something, I'm not exactly sure. Maybe eight issues.... Before then, I was thinking, 'Usagi's going to be canceled any month.' [laughter] 'I can't spend too much time devoting myself to a long storyline.' But once I did that and got over that hurdle, that's when I realized that hey, this could go on for a long time."

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

List: The Hooded Utilitarian begins revealing the top 10 results in their International Best Comics Poll, with Walt Kelly's Pogo coming in at #8

Even More Old Jewish Comedians

Plug: Canada's National Post spotlights Drew Friedman's forthcoming book Even More Old Jewish Comedians

Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010

Plug: Michael Kupperman's Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010 was a favorite acquisition at Comic-Con among some of Comics Alliance 's writers

Set to Sea

Plug: "A trip to the comics shop yesterday netted me a copy of Drew Weing’s Set to Sea. It’s pure indulgence, because I have already read the story online, but Fantagraphics’ small, almost jewel-like presentation is really beautiful. Weing tells his story one panel at a time, and each panel could be framed as a work of art in itself, so having it in a book, without the clutter of the web, is a worthy investment." – Brigid Alverson, Robot 6

Classic Pin-up Art of Jack Cole [Softcover Ed.]

Commentary: Robot 6's Chris Mautner recommends The Classic Pin-Up Art of Jack Cole and Betsy and Me as "further reading" in his "Comics College" introduction to Jack Cole's work

TCJ.com

Commentary: At The Comics Journal, Frank Santoro talks about working with Dash Shaw on Dash's animation project and drawing for animation vs. drawing for comics

EC Comics logo

Scene: Comic Book Resources' Marlan Harris gives a recap of our 35th Anniversary panel at Comic-Con — unfortunately it contains several factual errors, some of which I have endeavored to correct in the comments thread

Scene: Our EC and ZAP announcements top Michael Dooley's list of 13 highlights from Comic-Con at Print magazine's Imprint blog

Daily OCD: 7/27/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Willie and JoeSteve DuinShimura TakakoShannon WheelerreviewsRaymond MacherotPeanutsOil and WaterMomeMegan KelsomangaLove and RocketsKevin Huizengajohn kerschbaumJaime HernandezDaily OCDCharles M SchulzCarol TylerBill Mauldin 27 Jul 2011 11:38 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Sibyl-Anne Vs. Ratticus

Review: "Macherot’s animals are cute and full of character, from the porcupine sheriff to the cigar-smoking, shop-keeping bird. Visually they resemble Walt Kelly’s Pogo, with backgrounds that will look familiar to anybody who ever watched The Smurfs cartoon.... There might be more slapstick than the average post-elementary school reader can appreciate, but the adorable art, amiable characters, and a thrilling late-story air battle will keep you interested until the end. Best of all are the brief glimpses at domestic country mouse mundanity, like Sibyl-Anne’s love for baking pies and the aside where she and Boomer talk about how nice a certain table and its parasol are." – Garrett Martin, Paste

Wandering Son Vol. 1

Review: "This series [Wandering Son] is beautiful, perfectly capturing that time at the age of 10 or 11 where naivety and confusion meet in the formative years of your young identity. Where androgyny is a fine thing, defined by its ambiguity and as distinct as any sex." – Tom Rosin, Page 45

Willie & Joe: The WWII Years

Review: "The Willie and Joe cartoons and characters are some of the most enduring and honest symbols of all military history.... Alternating trenchant cynicism, moral outrage, gallows humour, absurdist observation, shared miseries, staggering sentimentality and the total shock and awe of still being alive every morning, this cartoon catalogue of the Last Just War [Willie & Joe: The WWII Years] is a truly breathtaking collection that no fan, art-lover, historian or humanitarian can afford to miss. …And it will make you cry and laugh out loud too." – Win Wiacek, Now Read This!

Willie & Joe: Back Home

Review: "...[Willie & Joe: Back Home] features some of the most powerful assaults on the appalling edifice of post-war America ever seen. The artist’s castigating observations on how a society treats returning soldiers are as pertinent now as they ever were; the pressures on families and children even more so; whilst his exposure of armchair strategists, politicians and businessmen seeking to exploit wars for gain and how quickly allies can become enemies are tragically more relevant than any rational person could wish. ...[W]e have here a magnificent example of passion and creativity used as a weapon of social change and a work of art every citizen should be exposed to, because these are aspects of humanity that we seem unable to outgrow." – Win Wiacek, Now Read This!

You'll Never Know Book 2: Collateral Damage [Pre-Order]

Review: "Visually, Tyler's style is unique in the comics world.... The scrapbook design of [You'll Never Know, Book 2: Collateral Damage] is just one of many remarkable decorative touches she adds. Color is tremendously important both in a narrative sense (identifying key times and characters) and an emotional sense (modulating feelings felt on a page in an expressive style). The complexity of her page design (changing formats on an almost page-to-page basis) is brought to earth by the simplicity of her character design. The result is what feels like an ornate, powerful and cohesive sketchbook/journal.... Most impressively, Tyler manages to bring a static kind of craft (a sketchbook) to life with panels that crackle with energy and movement. There are no easy outs or answers in Tyler's attempts to create, maintain and understand connections with her loved ones..." – Rob Clough, High-Low

Love and Rockets Library (Locas Book 2): The Girl from H.O.P.P.E.R.S.

Essay: The Comics Reporter's Tom Spurgeon on Jaime Hernandez's The Death of Speedy, written for Team Cul de Sac's Favorites zine: "Hernandez's evocation of that fragile period between school and adulthood, that extended moment where every single lustful entanglement, unwise friendship, afternoon spent drinking outside, nighttime spent cruising are acts of life-affirming rebellion, is as lovely and generous and kind as anything ever depicted in the comics form."

The Complete Peanuts 1950-1952 (Vol. 1) [NORTH AMERICA ONLY]

Commentary: "It could be seen as frustrating that I've still got five years to wait to complete the Peanuts collection, ...but in some ways it's nice. If they came out more quickly, there would be more of a feeling of urgency about ploughing through the strips, whereas I'm able to take a more leisurely approach, reading bits here and there. After all, they were only really meant to be read once a day. I don't buy many books these days, preferring to download them to my Kindle, but these books are definitely going to be a part of my life for as long as they'll last (or as long as I'll last, whichever comes first) and I do look forward to seeing 50 years of Schulz magic lined up on my shelves. I just need to work out where I'll put them all... Such is the life of a completist!" – James Ellaby, Lullabies from a Giant Golden Radio

Ganges #2

Analysis: At Robot 6, Matt Seneca examines a page from Ganges #2: "Kevin Huizenga is one of the cartoonists whose work addresses comics’ conflict between the abstract and the literal most frequently and interestingly.  Huizenga’s attempts at using comics to mimic the visual effect of video games are especially notable: rather than creating the simulacrum of reality that the vast majority of comics do, what is brought forth instead is a simulacrum of a simulacrum, a copy of a copy, something already abstract abstracted further, its ties to reality stressed and stretched about as close to the breaking point as they can go."

Mome Vol. 22

Interview: The Daily Cross Hatch's Brian Heater wraps up his 4-part conversation with Mome editor Eric Reynolds: "I think Mome actually got better as I actively stopped worrying about who the readership might be, and actively indulged my own interests.... I think that began to happen as early as the fifth or sixth issue. And I think, by the end of it — you can point to a lot of things that we probably would have leaned against publishing at the beginning."

Queen of the Black Black

Profiles: Following the news that the Xeric Foundation is discontinuing its publishing grants, the writers of Robot 6 spotlight some of their favorite past grant recipients, including Megan Kelso and John Kerschbaum

Oil & Water by Steve Duin & Shannon Wheeler

Awards: The Oregonian's Steve Duin congratulates his Oil & Water collaborator Shannon Wheeler on Wheeler's Eisner Award win last weekend

Daily OCD: 7/26/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Taking Punk to the MassesShimura TakakoreviewsPaul HornschemeierMickey MouseMaurice TillieuxmangaLou ReedLorenzo MattottiJohnny RyanJaime HernandezJacques TardiFloyd GottfredsonDrew FriedmanDisneyDiane NoominDaily OCDAlex Chun 27 Jul 2011 12:28 AM

We'll be catching up on the past week's Online Commentary & Diversions over the next several days.

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

Review: "Fantagraphics Books, which has previously done such an amazing job of collecting other classic comic strips like Prince Valiant and Peanuts , once again hits it out of the park with this collection [Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 1].... From the beautifully reproduced strips to the densely packed ancillary features, this must be the book that editors David Gerstein and Fantagraphics’ co-founder Gary Groth wanted for years for their own libraries. Their enthusiasm shows in the wonderfully designed package. This book is highly recommended for any Disney fan and fans of America's rich comic strip history." – Rich Clabaugh, Christian Science Monitor

Gil Jordan, Private Detective: Murder by High Tide

Review: "Murder by High Tide introduces Maurice Tillieux’s private detective Gil Jordan to America, collecting two 1950s stories from an acclaimed series that has never before been translated into English. Tillieux isn’t quite Hergé, but he’s adept at writing and drawing suspenseful detective stories with brief flurries of action. ...Tillieux’s plotting and deft hand at action, figures, and environments make Murder by High Tide a thrilling read." – Garrett Martin, Paste

Wandering Son Vol. 1

Review: "...Fantagraphics is always a good place to start if you’re worried about trying something new. The venerable comics publisher is a stamp of quality, a guarantee that the vetting process has been serious and that, at very least, the book you hold in your hands will have been beautifully printed. Wandering Son [Vol.] 1 bears all that out.... It’s a lovely, tactile-y rich object, but it’s also a sweet book in terms of content. ...[T]he characters are pleasant to spend time with, the art is emotive and expressive (embarrassment comes up a lot), and there is a gentleness to the whole project that is welcome." – Hillary Brown, Paste

Review: "...Shimura Takako's Wandering Son, with its direct treatment of transgenderism, feels simultaneously natural and singular in the world of manga.... The true distinction of Wandering Son is not its subject matter so much as Shimura Takako's quiet and sensitive handling of it. Fifth grade is a difficult time and age for any author to handle well, and throwing transgenderism into the mix merely adds to the challenge. By keeping the story's focus on the intensely personal thoughts, experiences, and emotions of the characters, Shimura avoids both heavy-handed preachiness and overly melodramatic scenes, keeping the tone of the story sympathetic and realistic and — most importantly — a story." – Caleb Dunaway, Otaku USA

Review: "...Fantagraphics' edition is beautifully presented as a full-sized hardcover with excellent print and paper quality. The volume is just as lovely to behold as it is to read.... Instead of following a strictly linear narrative, Wandering Son provides a somewhat fragmented view. To me, it seems more like a collection of memories, glimpses of important and influential moments in the characters' lives. Though told chronologically, the story has an impressionistic quality to it. Wandering Son is lovely and quiet with tremendous emotional depth.... I was very pleased with the first volume of Wandering Son and greatly look forward to the release of the second volume." – Ash Brown, Experiments in Manga

The Raven

Review: "Brought straight to your chamber door from the ever-awesome Fantagraphics, we finally have The Raven graphic novel. Personally commissioned by Reed, legendary illustrator Lorenzo Mattotti (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Stigmata) has sketched some remarkably vivid scenes for what amounts to the definitive bard of Baltimore project from New York City’s own poet laureate.... Hardcovered, with a jacket by Grammy-nominated designer Jesse LeDoux, the whole presentation is indeed first-class." – Logan K. Young, Paste

Taking Punk to the Masses: From Nowhere to Nevermind - A Visual History from the Permanent Collection of Experience Music Project

Review: "...Taking Punk to the Masses: From Nowhere to Nevermind... is a dense tome... packed with beautiful photos of EMP’s vast collection of instruments, posters and flyers and assorted rock and punk memorabilia, with commentary and excerpts from the oral history project, featuring testimonials from people like Greg Ginn and J Mascis and Grant Hart and Novoselic, on facing pages. The effect is that of taking a guided tour through the museum, exhibit by exhibit, with headphones on.... There’s an awful lot to look at here, and the book stands up to repeated readings.... Taking Punk to the Masses is a definite keeper for anyone who loves the bands of the Pacific Northwest or the history of rock in America." – John G. Nettles, Flagpole

The Pin-Up Art of Humorama

Review: "Simply put, if you’ve enjoyed any of Alex Chun and Jacob Covey’s series of glamour-girl cartoon retrospectives they’ve assembled for Fantagraphics over the years, you’ll want — if not need — their latest, The Pin-Up Art of Humorama.... As with Chun and Covey’s previous collaborations, the captions to the cartoons rarely matter — sometimes, they don’t even match what’s depicted. All that matters is the art, full of lovely, curvy, super-sexy women whose bra sizes run deep into the alphabet. It may not come in a brown paper wrapper, but yeah, this book’s hot. It spills over with an abundance of retro tease to please." — Rod Lott, Bookgasm

The Arctic Marauder

Reviews: At his High-Low blog, Rob Clough looks at several of our translated volumes of the work of Jacques Tardi: "Tardi is an interesting figure because he felt comfortable writing mainstream material like detective stories, mysteries, fantasy and even science-fiction (though usually of a period nature; The Arctic Marauder, for example is a steampunk book) as well as more experimental and mature fare. No matter what the subject, his books always have a density and meatiness to them that rewards multiple readings. I'll briefly examine each book roughly in order of narrative complexity."

Glitz-2-Go

Plug: Library Journal's Martha Cornog spotlights Diane Noomin's Glitz-2-Go in the latest Graphic Novels Prepub Alert: "Retro-glamgirl DiDi Glitz, Noomin's signature character, originally appeared in the women's comics anthology Twisted Sisters and other collections. Hypno Magazine described her as a 'shamelessly campy, mai-tai-swilling swinger with a voracious appetite for polyester, poodles, and doomed relationships.' Also, 'hysterically funny.' This volume collects nearly 40 years of Noomin comics. Catch this transcript of a Noomin presentation about her work, with sample strips, some NSFW."

Even More Old Jewish Comedians

Plug: I was very excited to present Leonard Maltin with a copy of Drew Friedman's brand new book at Comic-Con, and today Maltin writes on his Movie Crazy blog "Fantagraphics Books had just received its first copies of Drew Friedman’s latest opus, Even More Old Jewish Comedians, which in the 'real world' is still a pre-order item."

Locas II: Maggie, Hopey & Ray [with FREE Signed Bookplate]

Interview: Jaime Hernandez reveals what kind of music he listens to while he's working in a survey on the topic by the Village Voice's R.C. Baker: "When told that one artist interviewed didn't want a fondness for a particularly 'retarded' pop song revealed, he cracks up. 'They don't want you to know they have a heart,' he says. 'I was never afraid to show mine — I put it out there in the comic every time.'"

Paul Hornschemeier

Interview (Video): Lee Keeler of Classy Hands has an on-camera chat with Paul Hornschemeier

Prison Pit

Scene: From Whitney Matheson's rundown of "50 Things I Learned at Comic-Con" at USA Today Pop Candy: "23. Johnny Ryan aims to scare us all. One of the most frightening moments on the convention floor came when a bloody, shirtless man walked up to the Fantagraphics booth and started screaming. Turns out he was portraying a character in Ryan's Prison Pit."


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