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Category >> reviews

Daily OCD Extra: November 2012 Book Review
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under reviewsLewis TrondheimDaily OCD 31 Oct 2012 1:28 PM

This month's issue of Booklist reviewed a recent releases by Fantagraphics creators, excerpted below: 

Ralph Azham Volume 1: Why Would You Lie to Someone You Love?

Ralph Azham Volume 1: "Why Lie to Someone You Love." by Lewis Trondheim

Ian Chipman writes, ". . . Now, English readers can dig into another fantasy series populated by [Trondheim's] distinctive anthropomorphized animals and distinguished by equal parts cutting humor and bizarre plot twists. . . What seems like a good, old-fashioned unlikely-hero tale in the making actually turns out to be more complex and slippery, as Ralph’s past gets sliced in bit by bit as we gradually learn about the world he inhabits, all leading to a blindsiding reveal and a tantalizing finish. Trondheim’s cartooning is as saucy and quirky as ever in this first of six volumes that promises more endearing oddities to come."

Detail of Ralph Azham

Daily OCD Extra: June 2012 Booklist reviews
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under reviewsHans RickheitGabriella GiandelliDaily OCD 19 Jun 2012 6:11 PM

This month's issue of Booklist reviewed two recent releases by Fantagraphics creators, excerpted below:

Folly

Folly: The Consequences of Indiscretion by Hans Rickheit: "Here are early stories by the graphic novelist whose work... comes closer than any other’s (except Nate Powell’s) to the prose stories of Zoran Živkovi, Andrew Crumey, Kelly Link, Ray Vukcevich, Theodora Goss, Benjamin Rosenbaum, and other practitioners of what’s been called slipstream fiction. They feature people, animals, and flesh-and-machine hybrids in all stages of development and dissolution, from fetus and pupa to suppurating near-corpse to skeleton . . . Among their protagonists, a bear-headed man in a long coat and high boots and identical teen sisters Cochlea and Eustachia, who wear only black masks and very short-skirted tops, recur often. Rescued from their original appearances in Rickheit’s slim, stapled-together Chrome Fetus Comics, these stories are less polished than his current stuff . . . but fully developed in every other aspect of his puzzling, engrossing, and disturbing storytelling." — Ray Olson

Interiorae

Interiorae by Gabriella Giandelli: "A large and (mostly) invisible rabbit looks over the affairs of various tenants in a modern apartment building: an elderly woman dying in one apartment, a couple entrenched in unhappiness and unfaithfulness in another, young schoolgirl friends in a third, and a happy group of ghosts in a fourth . . . the rabbit as harbinger of change [leaps] from panel to panel, view to view, addressing the reader enough to keep the outsider engaged in asking what might happen to whom next. The images are gorgeously penciled and inked, with coloring to note moods and approaching climaxes and denouements in the various tales. The rabbit’s own identity — or power — finds explanation in an Algonquin tale found in an open book on a bed in one scene; figuring out who is the Boss in the basement, sometimes referenced by the rabbit, takes more digging. Beautifully rendered art and sweetly told, serious stories." — Francisca Goldsmith

Daily OCD: 6/12/12
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Steve DitkoSignificant ObjectsreviewsNoah Van SciverJustin HallJaime HernandezinterviewsHans RickheitGabriella GiandelliFlannery OConnorDaily OCD 12 Jun 2012 8:00 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Interiorae

• Interview: On the National Post, Nathalie Atkinson interviews Gabriella Giandelli on her graphic novel, Interiorae., and the retrospective exhibit at the Italian Cultural Institute. Giandelli states, "There are some stories where it would be possible to have the soundtrack of what you listened to during the work for every page of the story. Or sometimes the song is inside my work — nobody knows but for me it’s there."

Review: The Weekly Crisis solves the weekly dilemma for you with a "buy it" verdict for Gabriella Giandelli's Interiorae. Taylor Pithers says, "Giandelli also weaves magic on the way the other characters speak. There is a certain rhythmic beauty to the dialogue that gives the whole book a feeling of quiet, almost as if everyone is speaking in soft tones."

 Folly

Review: The Boston Phoenix gets a slap in the face from Hans Rickheit and asks for more. In the review of Folly: The Consequences of Indiscretion, S.I. Rosenbaum says, "It's as if other masters of visual bodyhorror — Cronenberg, Burns, Dan Clowes, Tarsem Singh — are weird by choice. Rickheit, it seems, just can't help it. There's a conviction to his creepiness, a compulsive nature even in his early draftsmanship."

Eric Reynolds and Noah Van Sciver

Commentary: BEA was last week and Publishers Weekly couldn't get enough of Associate Publisher Eric Reynolds and new book, The Hypo by Noah Van Sciver. Heidi MacDonald and Calvin Reid teamed up to cover the event: "Eric Reynolds said it was a good show for the house, noting that all the galleys for Van Sciver books were taken and there was “huge interest” in Fantagraphics titles, like the Flannery O’Connor: The Cartoons."

 God and Science

•Review: The Comics Bulletin reviewed God and Science: Return of the Ti-Girls by Jaime Hernandez. In the wake of near-universal criticism for super hero comics, Jason Sacks gives an angsty-yet-positive review: "[God and Science] is indeed very indy and quirky and idiosyncratic and personal and uncompromising as any of Jaime's comics."

 No Straight Lines

Plug: The blog for CAKE (Chicago Alternative Comics Expo) mentioned the our newest collection, No Straight Lines.  "LGBTQ cartooning has been one of the most vibrant artistic and countercultural movements of the past 40 years, tackling complex issues of identity and changing social mores with intelligence, humor, and an irreverent imagination. No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics . . . is the most definitive collection to date of this material, showcasing the spectrum from lesbian underground comix, to gay newspaper strips, to bi punk zines, to trans webcomics." Debuting this weekend at Cake in Chicago, you can find editor, Justin Hall, at table 76.

 Mysterious Traveler: Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 3

Review: A short-and-sweet review on Scripp News popped up today. Andrew A. Smith tips his hat to Mysterious Traveler: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 3. " . . .despite the stultifying constriction of the draconian Comics Code of 1954, Ditko managed a remarkable body of work in both volume and content. Even more amazing is his accelerated learning curve, which shoots straight up from first page to last."

 Significant Objects

Commentary: Alt-weekly The Austin Chronicle writer Kimberley Jones mentions receiving Significant Objects: 100 Extraordinary Stories about Ordinary Things. "Maybe those kitty saucers and crumb sweepers will have to leg-wrestle Cary Grant for space in tomorrow night's REM picture show."

Daily OCD: 6/11/12
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tim KreiderreviewsPrince ValiantPopeyeMonte SchulzLove and RocketsLorenzo MattottiJosh SimmonsJoe DalyJaime HernandezJacques TardiHal FosterEC SegarDaniel ClowesDaily OCDawards 11 Jun 2012 7:30 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Lorenzo Mattotti

Awards: Congratulations to Lorenzo Mattotti for the much-deserved Max and Moritz Prize Lifetime Achievement Award and to Joe Sacco for being awarded Best International Comic Book, as announced over the weekend at the Internationaler Comic Salon at Erlanger and reported by Tom Spurgeon at The Comics Reporter, Torsten Adair at The Beat and Joe Gordon at Forbidden Planet International

Ghost World: Special Edition

Review: At Boing Boing, as part of their "Mind Blowing Movies" series of guest posts, Amy Crehore examines the Ghost World film: "I knew it was going to be good, but I had no idea that the movie Ghost World (2001) would bathe me in such an uncanny sense of deja vu from start to finish. The characters are so real and familiar that they could have been based on my friends and me."

Commentary: Ashok Karra has a short but thought-provoking analysis of elements of the Ghost World graphic novel: "A ghost world could be three things. Two of them are types of haunting: either by the past (nostalgia for childhood) or the present (the glow of the television). The third possibility is that you pass through as a ghost."

Plug: At Flavorwire, Emily Temple includes Ghost World on the list of "30 Books Everyone Should Read Before Turning 30," saying "Clowes writes some of the most essentially realistic teenagers we’ve ever come across, which is important when you are (or have ever been) a realistic teenager yourself."

New York Mon Amour

Plug/Preview: At The Beat, Jessica Lee posts a 5-page sneak peek of New York Mon Amour by Jacques Tardi et al., saying "This newest Tardi release... is slated for a July release, just in time for Independence Day, where we can all revel in the patriotic depictions of New York that Tardi has provided — oh wait. True to his new realism style, 'Manhattan' retains the same kind of gritty aesthetic as his illustrations of WWI trench warfare as well as Parisian life."

The Furry Trap

Review: "The 11 horror stories in [The Furry Trap] showcase Simmons’s possession of a dark and capable imagination, one that has discomfort down to an exact science.... Simmons is at his best in stories like 'Mutant' and 'Demonwood,' where rash decisions and chance encounters lead to nightmarish consequences ... Simmons’s brand of deep unease permeates all of [these stories], even in the opening story, 'In a Land of Magic,' which features a scene of sexual and physical violence that could lead to sleepless nights. The book is also filled with illustrations and short comics that just add to the pile of evidence that Simmons has a wide-ranging talent, with an artistic sense that brings to life his most ghoulish creations. These stories are, hopefully, harbingers of even stronger and more sinister work in the future..." – Publishers Weekly

God and Science: Return of the Ti-Girls

Review: "The action [in God and Science] ebbs and flows, but the story remains engaging and exciting. I had to read it all in one afternoon because I just couldn't put it down. I was enjoying it too much to stop reading.... [There]'s another great thing about this comic — there's some subtle philosophical questions nudged in that the characters (and reader) have to answer themselves.... I can't recommend this title enough. I can easily say that I want more Ti-Girls, or at least comic characters like them." – Sheena McNeil, Sequential Tart

Prince Valiant Vol. 5: 1945-1946

Review: "Prince Valiant Vol. 5 — As the war years draw to a close, the strip finds Valiant settling down — at least a little bit — by finally winning his true heart’s love, Aleta. There’s still enough brigands and evildoers to keep Val busy, but a lot of Vol. 5 is spent with the couple developing their relationship, and Harold Foster deepening and developing Aleta’s character in the process. ...[I]t remains a thrilling, boisterous work." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6

Dungeon Quest Book 3

Review: "Dungeon Quest Book Three — Joe Daly’s faithful D&D fantasy by way of Harold and Kumar proceeds apace, with lots of bloody skirmishes with fierce animals and fiercer bandits and an abundance of jokes about penises, pot, hand-jobs and the like.... His incredibly detailed forest backgrounds are really quite exquisite, and the full panel sequences of his band of adventurers simply trekking along a forest path or walking through a stream were my favorite parts of the book." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6

Love and Rockets Library: The Complete Vol. 1

Commentary: It's been interesting seeing the evolution of the "hey, they should bring Love and Rockets to the screen" article in the age of the serialized cable drama. Arthur Smith at The Paley Center for Media is the latest to add his voice to the chorus

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/covers/2012/thumbs/bookcover_popey6.jpg

Plug: "Got this beautiful Popeye compilation book (Fantagraphics) a couple of days ago. Haven't had a chance to even crack it open, but my son is now running around going 'Arf, arf.' It's a hit." – Ruben Bolling

Ray Bradbury, Monte Schulz & Gary Groth at Comic-Con International 2009

Tribute: At The New York Times, Tim Kreider remembers the great Ray Bradbury: "Prescience is not the measure of a science-fiction author’s success — we don’t value the work of H. G. Wells because he foresaw the atomic bomb or Arthur C. Clarke for inventing the communications satellite — but it is worth pausing, on the occasion of Ray Bradbury’s death, to notice how uncannily accurate was his vision of the numb, cruel future we now inhabit."

Tribute: Monte Schulz (seen above with Bradbury and Gary Groth at Comic-Con 2009 — click the image for a larger version) has a lovely memorial to Bradbury currently on the main page of the Santa Barbara Writers Conference website

Daily OCD: 6/7-6/8/12
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewsPat Thomasnicolas mahlerMegan KelsoJoe DalyinterviewsDaily OCD 8 Jun 2012 10:01 PM

The latest Online Commentary & Diversions:

Dungeon Quest Book 3

Review: "Beyond the quality of the artwork, which remains amazingly detailed and perfectly perfect in its storytelling, Dungeon Quest is really funny, the humor sometimes seeming dissonant — but pleasingly so — given the seriousness with which Daly approaches, say, drawing a rock-strewn valley or depicting a slow, tiring march through a forest (It’s almost Tolkeinesque in his commitment to describing walking!) or choreographing a thrilling action scene." – J. Caleb Mozzocco, Robot 6

Angelman

Review (Audio): The guys at Washington, D.C.'s Big Planet Comics discuss Angelman by Nicolas Mahler on this week's episode of their podcast, declaring "if you're sensitive about your love of superhero comics, this is probably not for you, but if you want awesomely cool cartooning art by Mahler and something really different, here you go. It's funny too."

Listen, Whitey! The Sights and Sounds of Black Power 1965-1975

Interview (Audio): Pat Thomas is the guest on this episode of "The Sidebar" podcast at Soul Sides, talking about his book Listen, Whitey! The Sights and Sounds of Black Power 1965-1975 and playing excerpts from the companion album

Megan Kelso self-portrait

Interview (Audio): The Nown podcast hosts "Melkorka and Kelli take a road trip up to Seattle for a visit with Evergreen alumni and cartoonist Megan Kelso"

Daily OCD: 6/5-6/6/12
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Usagi YojimboThomas OttSpain RodriguezreviewsMichael KuppermanKrazy KatJoost SwarteJim WoodringinterviewsGeorge HerrimanFlannery OConnorDaily OCDawards 6 Jun 2012 8:42 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Is That All There Is?

Awards: Congratulations to the great Joost Swarte, awarded the 2012 Marten Toonder Prize and its concomitant fat cash prize by the Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture, as reported by Tom Spurgeon at The Comics Reporter

Krazy & Ignatz 1922-1924

Review: "One of the first comprehensive comic strip reprint projects of the current era, and arguably the most important, has achieved completion with the publication of the thirteenth and final volume in Fantagraphics’ series collecting George Herriman’s Krazy Kat Sunday pages in their entirety.... I expect I will be reading from this library for years to come. I am as grateful for this body of work as, I expect, readers of Emily Dickinson were when her complete works were first published in full." – Bill Kartalopoulos, Print

Cruisin' with the Hound

Review (Audio): Inkstuds host Robin McConnell is joined by Paul Gravett, Joe McCulloch and Tom Spurgeon for a roundtable discussion of Cruisin' with the Hound by Spain Rodriguez and other books

Flannery O'Connor: The Cartoons

Review: "Here are the early ejaculations from the primordial form of what was to become one of the great American writers. Here is Flannery O'Connor as she is  formulating her unique vision of America and all that it entails.... What value does Flannery O'Connor: The Cartoons have inherently? I think the answer to that question is entirely subjective. ...I personally wish to thank Fantagraphics for going out on a limb and publishing this book, if for no other reason than to put Flannery O'Connor back into the pop culture discussion for however briefly it may be." – Daniel Elkin, Comics Bulletin

Cinema Panopticum

Review: "Anyone can be grotesque and horrifying. To truly get under the skin of the audience is an ability not many have. Someone who does is Thomas Ott, and he uses his ability to the highest effect in Cinema Panopticum. ...[I]f you are looking for an unsettling horror story rendered beautifully by an expert craftsman there is no doubt this should be in your collection." – Taylor Pithers, The Weekly Crisis

Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010

Interview (Audio): Spend 3 minutes with Michael Kupperman as Tom Gambino of Pronto Comics talks to Michael from the floor of last April's MoCCA Fest on the ProntoCast podcast

Jim Woodring

Film Studies: At Boing Boing, Jim Woodring writes about the 1931 Fleischer Bros. short that expanded his young mind: "I might have come to grips with the overwhelming mystery of life in a rational, organic manner if it weren't for a cartoon I saw on my family's old black and white TV in the mid '50s when I was three or four years old. This cartoon rang a bell so loud that I can still feel its reverberations.... Whatever [the creators'] motivation and intent, 'Bimbo's Initiation' became my prime symbolic interpreter, the foundation of my life's path and endlessly exploding bomb at the core of my creative output."

Samurai Warrior: The Battles of Usagi Yojimbo

Gaming: Thanks to intrepid Fantagraphics intern Michael Fitzgerald for passing along this article at Hardcore Gaming 101 about something that I've been very curious about, the Usagi Yojimbo "Samurai Warrior" game for Commodore 64

Daily OCD: 6/4/12
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Steven BrowerstaffreviewsPrince ValiantMort MeskinLove and RocketsJosh Simmonsjeffrey brownJaime HernandezinterviewsHal FosterGabriella GiandelliFantagraphics BookstoreDaily OCD 5 Jun 2012 12:30 AM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Interiorae

Review: "The sad, forgotten beauty of the in-between moments of daily life: playing a board game at a kitchen table just cleared from a family dinner; listening to music having just slipped off your shoes; daydreaming while doing the dishes. What would it be like if a series of graphic novellas tried to capture these moments? What if it also featured an omnipresent, invisible rabbit that could change sizes and a dark, cloud-shaped creature ('the Big Blind') living in the basement of an apartment building that fed on the memories, dreams, and nightmares of its inhabitants? It would probably be something like the Italian comic-book creator Gabriella Giandelli’s... Interiorae." – Nicholas Rombes, Oxford American

The Furry Trap

Preview: At The Beat, Jessica Lee presents a 5 page sneak peek of the new book by Josh Simmons, saying "Toying with the vulnerability of characters that seem timelessly recognizable, i.e. fairies in a fantastical land or a batman-esque figure scaling a wall, The Furry Trap is a graphic novel that is set to shock and appall its reader, yet Simmons is able to retain an even stronger range of visual style that makes this graphic novel’s scope extend further than being just a horrific tale."

Prince Valiant Vol. 5: 1945-1946

Plug: "...[T]he new volume of Prince Valiant, volume 5, is here and an event all its own. Fantagraphics' new hardcover printings of these wonderful Hal Foster Sunday pages offers the finest reproduction yet, far superior to their old softcover series. While I own the original Sunday pages, collected years ago, I could not resist sitting down with these new volumes and getting re-hooked on the stories AND art by one of the very true masters of comic art." – Bud Plant

Out of the Shadows

Plug: "Out of the Shadows deserves your attention. Meskin is one of my favorite artists from the 1940s and 1950s.... Mort's work here are some of the hidden gems of the Golden Age.... This book comes a long way to reveal this incredible talent who rose above the mass of Golden Age artists." – Bud Plant

Mechanics #2

Interview: I think we missed this February 2011 interview with Jaime Hernandez on the SiDEBAR podcast — The Comics Reporter caught it

Commentary: At The Comics Reporter, Tom Spurgeon on becoming a regular Love and Rockets reader via the Mechanics reprint series

Jeffrey Brown at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery

Scene: The Seattle Star's Heather Logue reports on Saturday's Jeffrey Brown signing at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery: "And truthfully I did spend much of my time at the reading trying desperately to stop picturing in my mind the cartoon genitalia he’d drawn dozens of times in his books. Awkward."

Jen Vaughn at MoCCA

Scene: Jen Vaughn is driving cross country to start her new job here at Fantagraphics and she's making stops along the way to do portfolio reviews and evangelize for her former employer, the Center for Cartoon Studies. I think we picked a good one!

Daily OCD: 6/1/12
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewspreviewsJosh SimmonsJohnny GruelleJohn BensoninterviewsHans RickheitDaily OCD 1 Jun 2012 10:18 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

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

Preview/Interview: At Print Magazine, Michael Dooley presents a bunch of pages of The Sincerest Form of Parody: The Best 1950s Mad-Inspired Satirical Comics and has a quick Q&A with editor John Benson: "When Isaac Asimov edited his massive Before the Golden Age anthology of 1930s science fiction... he relied entirely on his memories of reading the stories when they first appeared, and that's how he made his selections. Similarly, Jules Feiffer largely relied on his memories of the stories from his original reading when making selections for his seminal The Great Comic Book Heroes in 1965. Like the Asimov and Feiffer books, The Sincerest Form of Parody is partly an exercise in nostalgia, so in making my selections, I think it's fair to give some consideration to my reaction to the material when I first saw it."

Mr. Twee Deedle

Review: "...Fantagraphics recently unlocked whatever crate must have been used to house Mr. Twee Deedle: Raggedy Ann's Sprightly Cousin: The Forgotten Fantasy Masterpieces of Johnny Gruelle. Over a foot long and over a foot-and-a-half tall, the hardcover features the most beautiful endpapers in recent memory. Gruelle’s artwork is full of whimsy, presented in both the richest nostalgic color and black and white. The narrative involves two children on a journey through a magical land as guided by a wood sprite, but this is truthfully an art book. It’s meant to be read sprawled out on the floor, the only surface in an average reader’s home that is likely large enough to properly balance this fine luxury. Rick Marschall provides a lengthy, informative essay that is lavishly accompanied by further illustrations." – Alex Carr, Omnivoracious

Folly: The Consequences of Indescretion

Review: "In an age of indie-comics dependent upon the banality of the everyday, a hesitant realism, Rickheit eschews reality in favor of the impossible, a state of existence that is truly fantastical. But this is not a utopia, this is a world entirely of the body, though not only the body of human beings, but the body of all living meat, of anything that breathes and shits. This is a world of pure imagination, of subconscious desires let loose with an acutely detailed drawing style. And ultimately, [Folly]’s a perfect work for those who refuse to float away from their bodies but are ready to let their heads go where-ever one can find the new." – Invisible Mike, HTMLGIANT

The Furry Trap

Tweet of the Day: "I just read The Furry Trap by Josh Simmons; I'll be on the Internet the rest of the day looking for instructions on how to boil my eyes." – Tom Spurgeon (@comicsreporter)

Daily OCD: 5/29-5/31/12
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Usagi YojimboStan Sakaireviewsnicolas mahlerMoto HagiomangaLove and RocketsJosh SimmonsJoe DalyJaime HernandezinterviewsHans RickheitGilbert HernandezDaniel ClowesDaily OCD 31 May 2012 7:53 PM

The latest Online Commentary & Diversions:

The Furry Trap

Review: "Josh Simmons' book The Furry Trap is truly disturbing in its depravity. Makes Ultra Gash Inferno look cute. An inspiring & exhilarating read! How many comics can you honestly say made you sick or upset when you read them? Furry Trap made me question the First Amendment at times." – Sammy Harkham

Dungeon Quest Book 3

Review: "By this point, the reader will know if [Dungeon Quest] is their cup of tea; anyone who enjoys alt-comics takes on fantasy and/or stoner humor will find this a sheer delight. I'd say the sheer level of craftsmanship and the way Daly shifts storytelling modes so quickly would at least interest other readers, especially those who enjoy deadpan absurdism, since that's the core of Daly's sense of humor. For the continuing fan of this series, Daly continues to raise the stakes in each volume and adds richness and depth for those who are looking for more detail. Above all else, he does for the reader what he does with his party: he keeps things moving even when his characters are navel-gazing." – Rob Clough, High-Low

A Drunken Dream and Other Stories

Review: "...Moto Hagio has more on her agenda than simply trotting out tired 'girly' storylines. Her protagonists struggle with loss, rejection, and insecurity in a manner sure to strike readers as honest and familiar, never reductive or patronizing.... The stories collected here [in A Drunken Dream] span 31 years of Hagio’s career and, while the later stories do seem a bit looser and more confident, the earlier stories certainly don’t suffer by comparison." – Andrew Fuerste-Henry, No Flying No Tights

Usagi Yojimbo, Book 1: The Ronin

Review: "Boasting [Fantagraphics'] usual high-production values and showcasing the genesis of the indie comics icon, [Usagi Yojimbo, Book 1:] The Ronin is a meticulously curated artifact of comics history.... The book is worth buying for the art alone. Sharply reproduced on gratifyingly durable stock, the quality of the lines leap out from the page even in these early stories." – Abhimanyu Das, Slant Magazine

Angelman

Profile: At Comic Book Resources, Shaun Manning talks to Nicolas Mahler about his superhero spoof Angelman: "Mahler said he does not have an in-depth knowledge of the major events and storylines [in superhero comics] of recent years, but said he is still familiar with the culture. 'I think my point of view is very '80s, that is when I stopped reading them,' he said. 'After that, I only have very superficial information. I know more about the fanboys, actually. I enjoy the scene around superheroes more than the stories themselves. I like it when people take this very seriously, and can debate endlessly about little faults in a superhero's universe."'


Folly: The Consequences of Indescretion

Interview: Following an introduction in his native Greek, Comicdom's Tomas Papadimitropoulos posts his untranslated (i.e. English) Q&A with Hans Rickheit: "I am compelled to draw these comics.... These stories follow a certain pattern of logic that makes sense to me. I don’t have the vocabulary to explain how it works, that is why I draw them as comic strips."

Mr. Clowes, we present you with the Katzenjammer Medallion for comic excellence!

Interview: The A.V. Club's Keith Phipps has a great Q&A with Daniel Clowes: "I can look at my early work and see what a pained struggle it was to draw what I was drawing. I was trying so hard to get this specific look that was in my head, and always falling short. I could see the frustration in the lines, and I remember my hand being tensed and redrawing things a thousand times until I finally inked it, and just having this general tense anxiety about every drawing. I think that comes through in the artwork, and gives it this certain kind of manic energy, this kind of repressed energy, so you feel like it’s sort of bursting at the seams or something."

Interview (Audio): Daniel Clowes sits down for a chat on Bay Area NPR station KQED's Forum with host Michael Krasny

Video: Via Meltdown Comics and Boing Boing, a charming short film by Rocío Mesa about a couple of dedicated Daniel Clowes fans

Love and Rockets Library: The Complete Vol. 1

Plug: "...[W]e recommend checking out Love and Rockets Library: The Complete Vol. 1 from Fantagraphics, which collects every issue of the landmark alt-comic series between 1982 and 1996. In Love and Rockets, Gilbert and his brother Jaime Hernandez wrote stories ranging from satire to political intrigue, and introduced such noteworthy characters as Luba, the temperamental, full-figured mayor of a Central American village, and Maggie Chascarrillo, a punk rock-loving Mexican girl who becomes a solar mechanic. ...[T]here's no better time to become a Los Bros Hernandez zombie than right now." – Phil Guie, Critical Mob

Daily OCD: 5/25-5/28/12
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Steve DitkoreviewsPat ThomasLove and RocketsJohnny GruelleJohn BensoninterviewsGilbert HernandezFredrik StrombergDaily OCDCharles BurnsBlake Bell 29 May 2012 12:33 AM

The latest Online Commentary & Diversions:

Squa Tront #13

Feature: At Print magazine, Michael Dooley spotlights the new 13th issue of Squa Tront — "...Squa Tront has set itself out to explore every facet of EC's history, through stimulating, in-depth journalism, scholarly analyses, critiques, bios, interviews, and, of course, illustrations. Under the supervision of its current editor, John Benson, it has established a high standard for fanzine professionalism, in both literary content and production values." — with a generous sampling of images and an interview with Benson: "But really, as far as Squa Tront goes, what sustains my interest most is probably my love of print media and the pleasure of creating a physical package."

Plug: "A new issue of Squa Tront is a rare and special event, not to be missed." – Bud Plant

Mysterious Traveler

Review: "Oftentimes the first volume of an archival project gets greeted with a lot of ballyhoo while later volumes fail to get any ink, even though the later books represent the subject in question better than the earlier, more fumbling work. So let this serve as notice that the third volume of the Blake Bell-edited series [The Steve Ditko Archives] is the best one yet, showing Ditko in 1957, about to turn 30 and learning to deploy his distinctive faces and abstract shapes in the service of stories with real flow. ...[T]he nightmarish visions of stories like 'The Man Who Lost His Face' and 'The Last One' are classic Ditko, with off-kilter panel designs and anguished figures conveying a sense of sanity slipping away." – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club

Blood of Palomar

Review: "...Blood of Palomar is a thrilling book... Hernández’s writing and artwork are excellent. The black-and-white pen work is perfect — there are a vividness and richness to the action, story, and scenes already that would likely be drowned in color. With 34 characters and multiple story threads, a first read can be dizzying, yet all is exquisitely kept in balance. Though certainly most characters are not given much depth, the large cast gives the sense of a real community. The main characters are complex, flawed, and fascinating.... Blood of Palomar haunted my thoughts long after I finished reading." – Michael Stock, The Capeless Crusader

Mr. Twee Deedle

Plug: "How to best demonstrate the awesome might of Fantagraphics' new Johnny Gruelle collection, Mr. Twee Deedle?... It's more akin to flipping the pages of a wallpaper sampler than a collection of historic comics.... It dominates the largest clear surface in my house — the kitchen island — like a B-52 bomber somehow parked astride an aircraft carrier's deck. And then you open it up. ...[T]he art on the page is massive, but filled with delicate details.... Many of the strips are illustrated from eye-level of small children, and the natural world around the characters seems almost life-sized." – John Mesjak, My 3 Books

Black Images in the Comics

Plug: "Comics have long been home to a variety of races, be it alien or underground or from an alternate dimension. But in the 100-plus year history of comics, one of the toughest for creators to portray accurately is that of black characters. And now Fantagraphics is putting back in print a key work examining that strained relationship, Fredrik Strömberg‘s Eisner-nominated Black Images in the Comics: A Visual History." – Chris Arrant, Robot 6

Listen, Whitey! The Sights and Sounds of Black Power 1965-1975

Interview (Audio): Pat Thomas was on BBC Radio's Front Row Daily last Friday talking about his book Listen, Whitey! The Sights and Sounds of Black Power 1965-1975 — follow the link and "it's the one that says 'Tracey Emin; news from Cannes' — I'm on for about 10 minutes at the end," instructs Pat

Big Baby

Commentary: Robot 6's Chris Mautner takes you back to "Comics College" with another of his handy reader's guides, this time to the work of Charles Burns


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