The upcoming February 2009 issue of The Comics Journal is our annual Best of the Year issue, featuring interviews with the year's most acclaimed cartoonists: Lynda Barry, Frank Quitely, Dash Shaw and Mike Luckovich. Plus best-of lists from dozens of comics pros, a preview of C. Tyler's new book, a gallery of new Finnish comics, and lots more. Click here if the embedded slideshow doesn't appear above, or to open a larger version in a new window.
Sweet merciful Jebus do we have an ever-lovin' load of books coming out in the next couple of months -- about a dozen of 'em, if all goes according to plan. The advance copies have been pouring into our office and we've got lots of preview photos and videos to share with you. We'll present one book a day here on Flog but if you're impatient you can head over to our Flickr page and gorge yourself on the first 5 sets right now, with many more to come shortly.
Today we're presenting The Wolverton Bible, which features hundreds of amazing illustrations of the Old Testament and Revelations by MAD pioneer Basil Wolverton. Click here if the embedded slideshow doesn't appear above or to open it larger in a new window.
Loosely based on a teenager’s diary from the 1980s found in a gas-station bathroom, Unlovable details the sometimes ordinary, sometimes humiliating, often poignant and frequently hilarious exploits of underdog Tammy Pierce. This remarkably touching and funny graphic novel tells the first-person account of Tammy’s sophomore year in 1985, from the first day of school to winter break. Her hopes, dreams, agonies and defeats are brought to vivid, comedic life by Watson’s lovingly grotesque drawings, filled with all the eighties essentials — too much mascara, leg warmers with heels and huge hair — as well as timeless teen concerns like acne, dandruff, and the opposite sex (or same sex, in some cases).
In the epic saga that is Unlovable, Tammy finds herself dealing with: tampons, teasing, crushes, The Smiths, tube socks, facial hair, lice, celibacy, fantasy dream proms, gym showers, skid marks, a secret admirer, prank calls, backstabbers, winter ball, barfing, narcs, breakdancing, hot wheels, glamour shots, roller coasters, Halloween costumes, boogers, boys, boy crazy feelings, biker babes, and even some butt cracks. Tammy’s life isn’t pretty, but it is endlessly charming and hilarious.
Originally (and still) serialized in Bust magazine, Unlovable includes over 100 new pages created just for this edition, which is handsomely packaged in a unique hot pink hardcover format with sparkly blue glitter that would make Tammy proud.
Sweet baby Jane! We just barely got Esther Pearl Watson's Unlovable Vol. 1 out the door, and now we've got the cover for Vol. 2 to show you! This one will feature pink glitter and I'm guessing that the orange is going to be day-glo like the hot pink of Vol. 1. I'm betting that Vol. 2 will be out early next year -- Eric can correct me in the comments if I'm wrong.
Here's the world premiere of Seth's cover design for The Complete Peanuts 1973-1974, this Fall's volume in the series. This is a preliminary version; the final printed version will likely have minor changes. If you'd been wondering (like I had) how Seth was going to handle the scale issue for the Woodstock cover, here's his beautiful solution. And watch out: the 1971-1972 volume (with Sally on the cover) is looking like it will arrive earlier than expected!
We are proud to present the fifth volume of Hank Ketcham's phenomenal panel covering the end of the Postwar Era, 1959-1960. Ketcham captured the mischievousness, rambunctiousness, and anarchy of a kid's world better than any other cartoonist. The strip appeals to both parents and children — while parents shake their head ruefully at how accurately Ketcham caught the essence of children's natural zest for mayhem, children identify with Dennis and the chaos that he leaves in his wake. Ketcham's gags are funny, subtle and touching, and executed with a vivacious, exquisite line.
Ketcham drew Dennis the Menace from 1951 to 1994, when he retired and let his assistant take over the strip. This fifth volume of Hank Ketcham's Complete Dennis the Menace publishes every single panel strip from 1959 and 1960 in one handsome brick of a hardcover. Ketcham's legendary pen and ink work is in full flower in this volume as are the various situations and themes that Ketcham would return to again and again, featuring Dennis and his regular group of supporting players: his long-suffering parents, the even longer-suffering neighbors Mr. and Mrs. Wilson, Dennis's dog Ruff and his best pal Joey, the annoying Margaret, the adorable Gina, and more.
Whoops, forgot to post yesterday... the only thing we had scheduled to arrive in comic shops this week is a reoffer of Mome Vols. 7-10, so if you're missing any of those issues and your local shop hasn't had them for a while, now would be a good time to check back in with them!
Due in February, Hank Ketcham's Complete Dennis the Menace 1959-1960 features the tiny troublemaker's encounters with bobby-soxers, beatniks, cats and hobos, and of course plenty of mischief at home and in the neighborhood, all expressed through Ketcham's dazzlingly fluid line. Click this link if the embedded slideshow doesn't appear above, and/or to open it in a new window.
The Comics Journal #295 is chock full of all the comicky goodness that you’ve come to expect from our fine publication! Check it out:
Sean T. Collins interviews writer Brian K. Vaughan about Y the Last Man, Ex Machina, Runaways, Pride of Baghdad, how a career in comics led him to writing for the hit television series Lost, and much, much more.
Paul Karasik presents a conversation with Italian cartoonist Gipi, who talks about Garage Band, Notes for a War Story, the Ignatz books and how he narrowly avoided a life of crime.
Rob Clough offers us a chat with humor cartoonist John Kerschbaum, covering everything from The Wiggly Reader to Pete & Pussy to why he couldn’t figure out why his first editors hated him so much.
Michael Dean examines the page rates paid by the Best American Comics anthology series.
Noah Berlatsky digs into the comic-book closet and finds out what’s hiding back there.
R.C. Harvey examines the life of Flash Gordon/Rip Kirby creator Alex Raymond.
Our comics section this issue: Charles A. Voight’s short-lived newspaper strip The Theorist, in its entirety.
As always, we’ve got free online previews of our Brian K. Vaughan, Gipi and John Kerschbaum interviews to whet your apetite. The Comics Journal #295 — around the comics world in 208 pages! Don’t miss it.