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Category >> miscellany

Death Draws the Line
Written by Eric Reynolds | Filed under miscellany 3 Jun 2008 9:57 PM

 

I picked this old dime novel up at a second-hand store years ago for the comics connection and excellent cover and back cover:

 

 

At the time, I didn't even look inside, but the book includes about two dozen strips near the end that help solve the book's mystery:

The book is written by Jack Iams, whom I know nothing about, and is from Dell Publishing in 1948. Iams acknowledges a few comics-related folk in his 'Author's Notes':

'Acknowledgments' sounds unduly pompous in front of a murder mystery, but I would like to give credit for several assists, as follows:

First and foremost, to Bill O'Brian, whose cartoons have enlivened any number of magazines and newspapers, for the series of comic strips that wind up the book;

To Roy Crane, creator of 'Buz Sawyer,' for his help in the basic concoction of the story;

To Ward Greene, of King Features Syndicate, slave-driver-in-waiting to the aforementioned Roy Crane, for checking the manuscript and technical assistance" 

I'm not familiar with O'Brian or Greene, either, so if anyone has any info on them, post a comment! O'Brian's not a bad cartoonist, I can see a bit of a Gene Deitch influence in the Harold Gray-meets-Chester Gould storyline: 

 

  

UPDATE, courtesy my pal Paul Slade: Turns out Jack Iams was a pretty prominent journalist on both sides of the Atlantic, wrote for Newsweek, the New York Herald Tribune, the London Daily Mail and was, for his work as a novelist, once compared to Evelyn Waugh (!). He produced not only Death Draws the Line, but also The Countess to Boot (1941), Prematurely Gay (1948) and (my favourite) Do Not Murder Before Christmas (1949). You'll find more details of his life and work here and here. 

Thanks, Paul! Paul asked if I would post an example of Iams' prose, so here's a scan of page 1:

  

 

 

Buried in paper.
Written by Eric Reynolds | Filed under miscellany 3 Jun 2008 8:15 AM
This story by Luc Sante, "The Book Collection that Devoured My Life," was something all too familiar to me and probably others reading this blog. If, like me, you've actually worried that your book collection could pose a physical threat to your children, you should read this.
Reward if Found: Jason T. Miles
Written by Eric Reynolds | Filed under miscellany 2 Jun 2008 2:57 PM

He was last seen headed down for the Book Expo in Los Angeles from Seattle. He never showed up at the con. Instead, the guy pictured above was working our booth all weekend. We don't know who he is. If you know Jason and have any information on his whereabouts, please contact Fantagraphics.  Here is a recent photo of him from our Christmas party last Dec. (with Jacob Covey on the right): 

 

 

Gary Leib in NY Times
Written by Eric Reynolds | Filed under miscellany 2 Jun 2008 9:10 AM

Animator and cartoonist Gary Leib delivers a short history of Manhattan's Meatpacking District for the NY Times. 

UPDATE: Gary was kind enough to send me a few stills from the piece, and also tells me that this animation is the first of four created for the Times. Each piece is about a minute long, and is a very personal take on different parts of NY. The original score is by NY based jazz genius Michael Hashim. So stay tuned to the NYTimes.com for more!

 

Confidential...
Written by Eric Reynolds | Filed under miscellany 30 May 2008 12:14 PM

... to Gary Groth and Jason Miles in Los Angeles. "ABC," boys. Second prize is a set of steak knives.

The more things change...
Written by Eric Reynolds | Filed under miscellany 28 May 2008 9:48 AM
... the more they stay the same. Bryan Lee O'Malley justly eviscerates Tokyopop's new contracts, while Jack Kirby spins.
The Austin-American Menace
Written by Eric Reynolds | Filed under miscellanyDennis the Menace 21 May 2008 11:16 AM
My pal Jeff Salamon has started a books blog for the Austin American Statesman. It's mostly local literary news, not necessarily much comics talk, but you simply have to love the graphic sig that he created for the top of it:
 


New Yorker cartoons minus the cartoons
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under miscellany 12 May 2008 11:22 AM
In the tradition of such internet memes as Garfield without the thought balloons and Garfield without Garfield, now there's New Yorker cartoons without the drawings.
Graham Lineham of IT Crowd
Written by Eric Reynolds | Filed under miscellany 12 May 2008 9:50 AM

I enjoyed this interview with IT Crowd creator Graham Lineham. Especially this incredibly flattering quote: 

"The thing I'm happiest about is getting lots of Fantagraphics comics onto the set and also lots of Guided By Voices records." 

I am a nerd.
Written by Eric Reynolds | Filed under miscellany 8 May 2008 8:35 PM

Gasoline Alley bisque bobbleheads from the 1930s: 

Good times: