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Category >> staff

ECCC was A+++!
Written by janice headley | Filed under staffrockPeter BaggeMegan KelsoJim WoodringJim BlanchardJacques BoyreaueventsBasil Wolverton 16 Mar 2011 10:38 AM
Fantagraphics at Emerald City ComiCon 2011
Fantagraphics staffers Eric Buckler, Gavin Lees, and an appearance from head honcho Gary Groth!
 
Thanks to everyone who visited the Fantagraphics booth at the 9th Annual Emerald City Comicon! It was great to see everyone there, and we hope you're enjoying the books you bought from us!
 
We sold out of Prison Pit, Vol. 1 and Werewolves of Montpelier pretty quickly -- which I think is awesome and hilarious for this mostly mainstream show. Is Cannibal Fuckface the next great superhero? Clearly, yes. 
 
 
It was exciting to debut hot-off-the-presses copies of Four Color Fear, Love From the Shadows, Safe Area Gorazde: The Special Edition, and The Last Rose of Summer. And if you were there on Sunday, our great curator Larry Reid was on hand, presenting a sneak peek at our upcoming release Taking Punk to the Masses, out next month! Thanks to Seattlest for the pic above, and for the "comiconversation" with Larry on their site!
 
Fantagraphics at Emerald City ComiCon 2011- Jacques Boyreau
 
We hope you all enjoyed getting your books signed by our artists Peter Bagge and Megan Kelso, and editor Jacques Boyreau, seen above talking "grindhouse" with some ComiCon attendees. Thanks to them for spending time with us at our booth that weekend! 
 
And thanks so much to the Fantagraphics staffers who manned the table. I wanna send out an extra-special thanks to the latest member of the Fantagraphics team, Ian Burns, for working all three days of the con! (Congratulations on the promotion from intern to Customer Service Representative!)
 
And another extra-special thanks goes to The Comics Journal contributor Gavin Lees who was a welcome weekend-long surprise addition to the team, along with his intergalactic-sweetie Heather (who got to meet Shatner!!!).
 
Finally, an additional thanks goes out to our friends at AmericaWare for keeping the good-lookin' staffers of Fantagraphics even more good-lookin' with t-shirts sporting the artwork of Jim Woodring, Jim Blanchard, and (not a Jim) Basil Wolverton. These fantastic tees are available for a limited time only at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery, so hurry down there for the best selection!
 
Top Shelf at Emerald City ComiCon - Brett Warnock
 
You can check out more pictures from Emerald City ComiCon on the Fantagraphics Flickr. Above is a pic I snuck of friend Brett Warnock at the Top Shelf Productions booth. Top Shelf were the co-sponsors of our "Con Artists" ECCC After-Party, which was a rockin'-fun time! Photos from the party are also up on Flickr, like the ones seen below!
 
Matthew Southworth at Con Artists ECCC afterparty
Matthew Southworth, of The Capillaries
 
Can You Imagine? at Con Artists ECCC afterparty
Peter Bagge, to the right, with Can You Imagine?
 
The Rheas at Con Artists ECCC afterparty
Fantagraphics Associate Publisher Eric Reynolds with The Rheas
 
Up next: MoCCA!!  Mike, Gary, and I will see you there!
 


Things to See: 3/7/11 Roundup
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tom KaczynskiThings to seeSteven WeissmanSteve BrodnerstaffSergio PonchioneRichard SalaMegan KelsoMatthias LehmannMark KalesnikoMarco CoronaKevin HuizengaJohnny RyanJohn HankiewiczJim BlanchardJasonHans RickheitFrank SantoroEleanor DavisDash ShawDaniel ClowesDame Darcy 7 Mar 2011 10:55 PM

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201103/traumavalleyslimmiles15.jpg

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201103/electionfunniespage4.jpg

• More from the mid-aughts Arthur magazine archives: "Trauma Valley" (not to be confused with Profanity Hill) by our own Jason T. Miles and "Post-Election Funnies" from John Hankiewicz, Megan Kelso and others

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201103/il_570xn.224614150.jpg

Dame Darcy started a new illustration series inspired by her new Southern-Gothic surroundings; that and more in her latest blog update

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201103/murray_unused.jpg

The unpublished first version of Daniel Clowes's portrait of Bill Murray for GQ (shown on the Clowes blog alongside the final version)

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201103/warren%20beatty%20blog.jpg

Warren Beatty as John McCabe by Jim Blanchard

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201103/bambi1.jpg

The true-life story of Bambi Bembenek as illustrated by Richard Sala for Playboy in the mid-1990s

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201103/dimensional-shift.jpg

• The volume of terrific sketches by Tom Kaczynski at his Transatlantis blog has really kicked up; there's also publishing news from his Uncivilized Books concern

leprethon

• It's Johnny Ryan's poster for "Leprethon" (that's right, a St. Patrick's day marathon of Leprechaun movies) at Cinefamily

Cangue League Poster

• Holy smokes it's a cavalcade of strips, sketches, illustrations and book proposals on Nate Neal's Flickr stream

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201103/pegasuses-xl.jpg

This album cover illustration by Eleanor Davis

And more Things to See from the past week:

• New sketches illustrations from Matthias Lehmann at his Bloc-Notes blog

• Vintage Mjau Mjau artwork and Audrey Hepburn film reviews by Jason at his Cats Without Dogs blog

Steven Weissman's latest "I, Anonymous" spots (accepted and killed) on his Chewing Gum in Church blog

Proportion, pages and other artwork from Frank Santoro

• Recent sketches by Marco Corona at his Il Canguro Pugilatore blog

• Sketches by Mark Kalesniko (for his new graphic novel Freeway and otherwise) at his blog

• Herrimanesque sketches and another page from a Kevin Huizenga "Focus" book at his New Construction blog

• A new illustration at Mondobliquo and an older series begins at Splog!, the Sergio Ponchione Lost Objects Gallery blog

Sketches, portraits, & updates from Steve Brodner

• Daily drawings from Dash Shaw at The Ruined Cast blog (#125 is funny)

Another old Chrome Fetus strip from Hans Rickheit

Daily OCD: 3/7/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Usagi YojimboThe Comics JournalSteve DitkoStan SakaistaffSergio PonchioneRoy CranereviewsRenee FrenchPopeyeIgnatz SeriesGary GrothEC SegarDan NadelDaily OCDCarol TylerBlake Bell 7 Mar 2011 6:10 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Buz Sawyer Vol. 1: The War in the Pacific

Review: "Though the episodic flow and gung-ho patriotism of the strips are simplistic in both content and conception, the depth they lack is greatly made up for by the vast, epic compositions that contain Crane’s spring-coiled bigfoot cartooning, the explosive you-are-there immediacy of his dogfights and shootouts, and the sensuous intensity of form and shape he brings to gorgeous women and vehicles of war alike. [...] Crane worked in broad strokes, which is what made him a great cartoonist; but in Buz Sawyer he also sometimes discovers quieter places, ones truly worthy of the sumptuousness with which he imbued every panel." – Matt Seneca, The Comics Journal

Freeway

Review: "Kalesniko is a major talent, and this book, which depicts a day stuck in traffic on a California freeway, presents considerable space for reflection, gossip, roman a clef and more. [...] Though the text of the story is rich and interesting, Kalesniko's art is amazing; manga-esque yet thoroughly Western, and richly expressive and subtle. Freeway will inevitably place high on many critic's year's-best lists." – Richard Pachter, The Miami Herald

Twilight of the Assholes: Cartoons & Essays 2005-2009

Review: "Political commentary often has a short shelf life, but Kreider's collection of cartoons and essays [Twilight of the Assholes] remains potent and pungent, despite its primary focus on the excesses and detritus of the Bush administration. There are no claims of fairness, balance, sensitivity or subtlety here. Kreider's sharp pen skewers holier-than-thou hypocrites, patently phony pious proselytizers, opportunists and idiots of all stripes — gleefully and without fear." – Richard Pachter, The Miami Herald

Popeye Vol. 5: "Wha's a Jeep?"

Review: "With the core cast established, Segar takes more liberties with the formulas established in earlier books... and Segar continues to find new ways to play his cast off one another. How do Olive and Wimpy react when Eugene predicts Popeye will lose a prize fight for the first time ever? How does Popeye react to being a leader of men? It’s all here, all adventure and all hilarity. Fantagraphics, as you’ll know if you’ve been reading the series to date, continues to provide a gorgeous package – a towering book... with a striking die-cut cover. [...] Popeye Vol. 5: 'Wha’s a Jeep?' stands out as another winning classic comic strip collection, a reminder how great the medium has been and how dynamic it can still be." – Michael C. Lorah, Newsarama

Unexplored Worlds: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 2

Review: "The value in this volume [Unexplored Worlds: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 2] is not in the stories themselves... but in tracking how Ditko’s art develops. Amid the stock characters of hapless dullards, five o’clock shadow Everymen and saturnine businessmen and the typical rocketships and ray guns of the day, Ditko gains confidence and consistency in his depictions, and an ability to pack more information into fewer images and to guide the reader’s eye across the page for maximum impact. His ability to convey otherworldly horrors flowers as well..." – Christopher Allen, Trouble with Comics

Grotesque #4

Review: "...[W]hy is Sergio Ponchione not regarded as one of the top artists in the field today?! [Grotesque #4] is absolutely gorgeous. Lush, bizarre, and moving. The type of comics art which you dwell on a single panel for minutes at a time. The amount of detail and skill in each drawing is astounding. The tones and colors along with the expressive line and brush work create a mood of deep inspection." – P.D. Houston, Renderwrx Productions

TCJ.com

Interview: The Comics Reporter's Tom Spurgeon talks to new TCJ.com honchos Dan Nadel & Tim Hodler about taking the reins of The Comics Journal's online presence: "The initial goal was and remains the creation of a genuine on-line comics magazine (as opposed to blog, or series of blogs), with all of the long-form essays, interviews, reviews, and visual features that come with it. In other words, yes, we're attempting a counter-intuitive web site strategy, in the hopes that quality content will draw people in. We're interested in making a magazine that has a place in the larger visual culture, and can be a go-to source for people seeking insightful writing about comics."

Commentary: Robot 6's Sean T. Collins, on the new TCJ.com: "Since I’m writing for the thing, I may not be in the best position to comment about it, but quite aside from my own minor role in the proceedings, the move is a welcome and long-overdue one. [...] Handing the Journal‘s website to an experienced print/web editorial team with a clear vision of comics and how to talk about them, one that moreover has been on the leading edge of comics criticism for some years now, is a major step in the right direction."

Usagi Yojimbo: The Special Edition [Pre-Order]

Interview: The Daily Cross Hatch's Brian Heater concludes his conversation with Stan Sakai: "I own the characters, so I can do basically whatever I want with him, as far as the story goes. Most of it is adventure, I’ve done romances, I’ve done mysteries — I even did Space Usagi, where he goes through outer space. I can pretty much do anything I want with him, so I never get bored. I’m having fun with Usagi, even after so many years."

Mome Vol. 16 - Fall 2009

Interview: The Comics Reporter's Tom Spurgeon talks to Renee French: "I've been fishing around. I don't know if it's my age or what, but I'm confused. I have a bunch of obsessions that keep coming back. If I just kind of do something else, like these one-off drawings that I've been doing lately, it's not satisfying. I actually need to feel a little on-edge and crazy, I think."

Emerald City ComiCon

Interview: Seattlest's Hanna Brooks Olsen chatted with our own Larry Reid at Emerald City ComiCon yesterday and got "some pretty spectacular insight on what's going on" with us

Feature: The Seattle Times' Janet I. Tu does her due diligence in her profile of Emerald City ComiCon and asks the president of Seattle's largest comics publisher about the event: "'It's mind-bending how big it is now and how influential,' said Gary Groth, who works at Seattle-based Fantagraphics Books, a graphic-novel and comic-book publisher, and edits the print edition of The Comics Journal, a magazine of news and criticism on comics and cartooning. Groth attributes the growth of such conventions to comics becoming a more integral part of pop culture. 'Or perhaps pop culture has become more comic-book-ized,' he said. 'You see it with comic-book movies or TV shows like Heroes. What used to be seen as essentially kids' entertainment has become grown-up entertainment.'"

You'll Never Know Book 2: Collateral Damage

Commentary: Robot 6's Sean T. Collins comments on Alex Dueben's interview with Carol Tyler for that blog's parent site Comic Book Resources: "Having been sucked in by war fever myself several years ago, I find myself more and more moved by accounts of how even the most well-intentioned conflicts make a rubble of countless human lives, both the ones taken and the ones scarred, physically, economically, or emotionally. ...[Tyler is] doing vitally important work."

Dilbert: Let's You and Him Fight!
Written by Eric Reynolds | Filed under staffoffice funKim ThompsonGary Grothcomic strips 1 Mar 2011 12:25 PM

   

Last week, Amazon.com temporarily reduced the price of our $125 Gahan Wilson: 50 Years of Playboy Cartoons to a ridiculously low $30. Several prominent folks, including our old pal Neil Gaiman, tweeted and/or blogged about it, and at one point on Monday night, the book had risen to #16 on Amazon's sales charts for ALL books, and to #1 in the bargain books category. Somehow, this led to the following actual, real email exchange about the comic strip Dilbert. A week later, the debate rages on. In other words: Just Another Week at Fantagraphics Books.

Kim Thompson wrote:

That Bargain Books section is pretty sweet sometimes. I just bought an $85 DILBERT supercollection for the office for twenty-two bucks. (Yes, I love DILBERT. I know most cartoonists can't get past the art, but it's funny as hell.)

Eric Reynolds wrote:

LA LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU!

Gary Groth wrote:

Oh my fucking God.

Kim Thompson wrote:

Read [Scott Adams'] blog, which is unencumbered by his godawful art. He's the sharpest comedy writer in comic strips.

Tell me if this one doesn't make you laugh: http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/1996-03-27/

Eric Reynolds wrote:

Sorry.

Gary Groth wrote:

I hope yer joking. It's too late to look for a new partner.

Jacob Covey wrote:

What's weird is Kim and Eric haven't ever worked in one of those godawful Dilbert cubical jobs to my knowledge.

Gary Groth wrote:

I bet I've worked in more shitty jobs -including "cubicle" jobs- than everyone here. I hate Dilbert and don't think it's funny. It's humor that's calculated to make working in cubicles more palatable.

Kim Thompson wrote:

I think you're all going by a vision of DILBERT of like 20 years ago. (Newsflash, DOONESBURY isn't about a bunch of college students arguing any more either.) It's blossomed into a relentless examination of deception and self-delusion in the workplace and beyond, based on the premise that 90% of actions taken are taken for reasons that are selfish, idiotic, or both, and boiling them down to their most basic absurdities.

Gary Groth wrote:

That's the problem: the strip is essentially gutless, so generic and so absent specificity as to be meaningless. Selfishness, sloth, and idiocy are its constant (easy) targets -vices to which no one can object- and executed in such a cutesy, innocuous way that they prompt a reflexively knowing and self-satisfied smirk.

The strip you linked to perfectly encapsulates the strip's modus operandi of recapitulating the Peter Principle in the most banal way imaginable. It reflects, regurgitates, and therefore flatters the reader's own "insight" on the workplace and panders to his sense of superiority to the bureaucracy he serves (or is served by).

The problem with the Doonesbury analogy is that Doonesbury was good. (Plus, you're ten years off: the college stuff took place 30 years ago.)

Kim Thompson wrote:

It's true that Adams is fundamentally pro-business (in the sense that many military comedies are actually pro-Army) but the idea that he's an agent of Satan intent on narcotizing the cubicle workers is hippy-dippy talk, unless you adhere to the notion that any blowing off of steam (e.g. laughter) just delays the inevitable revolution when workers will throw off their shackles and string up the man.

Gary Groth wrote:

That's a Dilbert-ish response, which suggests that its flattening perspective is contagious. Pop entertainment doesn't have to be anti-revolutionary in a hippy-dippy Marxist 1970s kinda way in order to be nauseating, status-quo supportive crap. The fact that it's not single handedly holding back a revolution that will never come just makes it more insidious. The rank ad file would remain narcoticized if Dilbert didn't exist, but its existence sure doesn't hurt.

Eric Reynolds wrote:

Irresistible force, meet immovable object.

Kim Thompson wrote:

Wait, when did Kenneth Smith start sending me emails signed "GG"?

This is the kind of apocalyptic society-is-doomed rant critics will periodically unleash on more or less harmless pop-culture successes which I genuinely can't take seriously enough to respond to. If you're going to go medieval on any work of (to stretch the definition to a breaking point in DILBERT's case, admittedly) art that rests on the foundation that in theory capitalism might be an OK system, then it's a bit like criticizing rock music from the point of view that electric guitars are pure evil.

I did get the DOONESBURY timeline wrong. Time flies!

Gary Groth wrote:

I am not asking for every comic strip to be an Adorno-esque revolutionary screed, but if the whole purpose of the strip is to comment on contemporary economic and commercial life, it's hardly asking too much to invest the work with a degree of conscience or acuity and not serve as a hypocritical feel-good bromide for a mindless status quo that it celebrates and criticizes at the same time.

Mostly, though, it's just lame - as any humor would inevitably be if it's foundation is based on social arrangements being "OK" (or, as I would put it, hunky dory). What a concept!

Anyway, I get it. Pop culture and -especially billion dollar pop culture successes- are harmless and criticizing them on political or moral grounds is going "medieval," because, y'know, they're, like, harmless and don't mean anything and why don't I chill out and sit back and take it easy for God's sake.

I consider it a success whenever I can elicit a dig at Ken Smith.

Kim Thompson wrote:

It's a hypocritical feel-good bromide that postulates that pretty much everyone in the world is a selfish idiot and all personal and professional interaction spirals inevitably into entropy? By what standards, compared to SHOAH?

Any humor that is not based on a socialistic view of the world is ipso facto lame?

Any pointed examination of human behavior within a certain context/matrix is invalid unless it fundamentally challenges that context/matrix? (E.g., the HURT LOCKER conundrum.)

It's possible there is a middle ground between apocalyptic doom-laden rants and dismissing-as-utterly-harmless, but this would require living in a non-Manichean world which, as we know from Mister A (or Rorschach), is a craven compromise with the forces of evil.

I think there is plenty of pop culture that is insidious and subtly destructive, and that's worth pointing out (although perhaps not quite so Howard Beale-ishly), but I also think it's possible to overreach and I think it can be morally dubious and qualitatively good at the same time. Sometimes I begin to suspect that ALL good art (or decent entertainment) is actually morally dubious at best.

Eric Reynolds wrote:

This could be the greatest critical roundtable in tcj.com history.

Gary Groth wrote:

• Kim was the first to cite capitalism and is, now, the first to cite socialism. There's a Manichean world view on display here, but not mine.

• Reading Wilde's paradoxical dictum on moral and immoral art literally always leads to trouble.

• There is a long list of morally dubious great art - RiefenstahlPoundCeline, the usual suspects- because their aesthetic virtues trump their moral vices or at least can be appreciated while holding one's nose. Unfortunately, Dilbert has no aesthetic virtues at all; its observations of the human condition are art-free and, not to put too fine a point on it, but we have both been too polite to mention what a visual eyesore it is even among the visually desiccated ranks of today's newspaper strips.

• I wondered why images of Dilbert flitted through my head when I was watching Shoah last week.

• A pointed examination would have to be just that - pointed.

• Postulating (postulating?) day after day and year after year that pretty much everyone in the world is a selfish idiot and all personal and professional interaction spirals inevitably into entropy devolves rapidly into a one-dimensional, reductive and even dishonest schtick (because not everyone in the world is a selfish idiot and all personal and professional interactions don't spiral into entropy - or do they? Maybe I'm behind the curve on this one) that's numbing in its repetitiveness and simple-mindedness. Even savage critiques of the way we live -think Face in the Crowd of Elmer Gantry- feature real human beings with whom we can empathize and who refuse to sink into nihilism and entropy. Dilbert isn't pointed, isn't a critique, isn't an examination - it's a relentless of glib, shallow cliches about office politics and managerial ineptitude that a million office drones could probably come up with if they just typed and scribbled long enough.

It has no juice, it has no fire. It's a sedative.

• Funny you should mention Network. A little shrill, sure, but at least it had guts and passion eloquence and a touch of humanity. Dilbert is just a load of crap.

Kim Thompson wrote:

Hey now, I take grave exception to the claim that we've been "too polite" to mention the hideousness of the art, I referred to "his godawful art" days ago, and then to Breathed "drawing better than Scott Adams, but everyone does, including Cathy Guisewite and 90% of the submissions in our slush pile."

I think we're played out on this. I'm not sure I can quite wrap my head around defending DILBERT against the charge of constituting, basically, "feel-good nihilism" although it sounds like a great genre. If Barnes & Noble had a section for "feel-good nihilism" I'd make a beeline for it every time, and not just for the DILBERT books.

Gary Groth wrote:

"Feel good nihilism" has ben a post-modern genre for years and has its own section in B&N. Where've you been?

You're right, you mentioned the hideous art e-mails ago; but in my defense, it cannot be said too much or too often.

Look, I know right at this moment, at 10:59 PM at the end of a grueling Tuesday, you believe that Dilbert is a not only a laff riot, but a shrewd, pointed exercise in sociological observation, but take my word for it just this once - it is a a piece of shit. There are issues facing us that are legitimately open to debate - should we have national health care, should we be landing troops on Libya, is Ditko as good as Kirby? - but this is not one of them.

Dilbert is the antithesis of everything Fantagraphics stands for - believe it, baby.

Kim Thompson wrote:

As in most cases, I am right and you are wrong.

DILBERT is not a sociological observation. It's (for the most part) an ongoing exercise in analyzing how something that is theoretically sensible and logical (corporate business structures built to produce things and make money) is undone by human nature (stupidity, selfishness, cowardice, etc.) to actually consistently do the opposite of what it's intended to achieve. One could argue equally convincingly that it's a paean to capitalism (laid low by its flawed practitioners) or a postmortem/condemnation of it (a system that doesn't take into account its practitioners is inherently doomed).

Leaving aside whether it's well drawn (it isn't) or well written (it is, a series of precise, almost haiku-like mockeries that remove any shred of humanity or individuality for pure conceptual humor), I can see where its adamant refusal to engage the moral or political underpinnings of capitalism or corporate culture might be infuriating for anyone who needs to strain his entertainment through his own sociopolitical colander of correctness. (Also the lack of humanity could be off-putting, I guess, if you're into the whole humanity thing.)

There's also the question as to whether it's funny or not, which is probably impossible to resolve because any sentence that starts off "This is not funny because..." is automatically meaningless.

Good debate! as Sean Hannity would say.

Did I mention I like ARLO AND JANIS too?

Gary Groth wrote:

Yes, once Dilbert is completely divorced from the historic/political/cultural/economic context that it clearly inhabits and exploits and after that pesky "humanity thing" is expunged from the equation and he strip is neatly turned into an abstraction (or "pure conceptual humor" you've really got something there.

Are you sure Scott Adams isn't a pseudonym for "Watson"? The results couldn't be appreciably different.

Kim Thompson wrote:

Er, uh, what?

Gary Groth:

No fair! That was going to be my opening argument against Arlo and Janis.

POLL QUESTION:

'Con Artists' Party at the Jewel Box Following the Emerald City Comicon
Written by Larry Reid | Filed under staffrockPeter BaggeFantagraphics Bookstoreevents 25 Feb 2011 11:00 AM

Con Artists flyer

Northwest residents won't want to miss out on the action after the Emerald City Comicon in Seattle on Saturday, March 5. Captain Kirk, Riker, Data, Crusher... hell — half the crew of the Enterprise will be guests at the convention. After the convention, beam yourself down to the Jewel Box Theater at the Rendezvous for the fabulous "Con Artists" concert. The show is FREE with convention credentials.

The party opens with a solo music set by Matthew Southworth, co-creator of Stumptown (with convention guest Greg Rucka.) Before concentrating on his comics career, Southworth made a splash with the Capillaries. Also on the bill is Peter Bagge's Can You Imagine? Bagge will be at the con on Saturday, and will entertain revelers at the Jewel Box with his pop combo featuring legendary musician and producer Steve Fisk. The festivities conclude with a set by the Rheas, fronted by our dreamy associate publisher Eric Reynolds. The lovely Janice Headley will spin spacey platters, and the Rendezvous, located at 2322 in Seattle's lively Belltown neighborhood, features fantastic food and affordable drinks. 21 and over with ID.

A limited number of advance tickets to the convention are still available at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery at 1201 S. Vale Street. Phone 206.658.0110. See you soon.

Daily OCD: 2/22/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under staffreviewsMomeJosh SimmonsJoe DalyEdward GoreyDaily OCDAlexander Theroux 22 Feb 2011 4:34 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Dungeon Quest, Book 2

Review: "Anyone who ever got into fantasy role-playing games during their early adolescence no doubt remembers how those early forays into heroic adventuring could be fraught with profane characters, ludicrous moments during breaks from the quest at hand, and the strange, often puerile creations of a hormonally charged dungeon master. All of those elements fuel the entertaining world that Daly drops readers into with [Dungeon Quest Book 2]... There are encounters with monsters, violent battles, magical items to be gathered, eerie dungeons, and so on, but we are also treated to a hilarious bit where the characters get zooted on weed and cocaine while spouting drug-appropriate dialogue. With a visual style that’s a gene-splicing of Charles Burns’s Lynchian creepiness with an 'underground' sensibility, this quirky work is every bit as entertaining as it sounds, spouting anarchic humor in every direction." – Publishers Weekly

The Strange Case of Edward Gorey [Expanded Hardcover Edition]

Interview: The Comics Reporter's Tom Spurgeon talks to Alexander Theroux about the new edition of his book The Strange Case of Edward Gorey: "Gary [Groth] asked me to expand on the paperback. I didn't know I was going to add to that. I originally typed that manuscript. I got the paperback on-line, and started to see where I would expand it. That's why it's occasionally repetitious. If there was a paragraph on what Gorey collected, I would build on that for the hardcover. So we never really foresaw that it was going to be a much longer book. But once I got the bit between my teeth in looking at him, I had remembered a lot of things and interviewed a lot of people... it just builds. Since the hardcover has come out, I had about 20 new thoughts about him. Recollections, new things, that come every day."

Murder by High Tide: Gil Jordan, Private Eye [June 2011]  Sibyl-Anne Vs. Ratticus [June 2011]

Interview: At Words Without Borders, the Amazon-supported Online Magazine for International Literature, Dot Lin talks to our own beloved Co-Publisher Kim Thompson about our line of Franco-Belgian all-ages comics: "I don't know how they'll be greeted by American audiences, but I'm in a position now where I can force them down people's throats. The fact that I seem to have succeeded with Tardi where everyone else failed has made me a bit cocky, I'm afraid."

Mome Vol. 19 - Summer 2010

Interview: The Comics Journal presents the second part of Ian Burns's Q&A with Shaun Partridge, writer of the Josh Simmons-drawn Mome serial "The White Rhinoceros": "Me and Josh, we always know something is good when we feel we didn’t do it. When I do a painting, if I look at the painting and go, 'That’s a cool painting! Oh! I did that! How weird.' That’s when I know it’s good and that’s why I think we know The White Rhino is really good. I’m connected to it in a way. I am. I wrote it; Josh is illustrating it. But we stand back from it and we’re like, 'Wow, this is really far out and fun.' And we just laugh."

Things to See: 2/21/11 Roundup
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Usagi YojimboTom KaczynskiTim HensleyThings to seeSteven WeissmanSteve BrodnerStan SakaistaffSergio PonchioneRenee FrenchNoah Van SciverMatthias LehmannMark KalesnikoMarco CoronaLilli CarréLaura ParkKevin HuizengaJosh SimmonsJasonGipiFrank SantoroDash ShawAndrice Arp 21 Feb 2011 10:51 PM

Stan Talks to Usagi

• This strip by Stan Sakai showing himself interviewing his creation Usagi Yojimbo is so damn cute I'm sharing it even though it was posted on the blog of our rival publisher Dark Horse. Heck, rival schmival, buy Usagi no matter who puts it out! It's Usagi!

Obama - Jason T. Miles

Happy Presidents Day from our own Jason T. Miles

Marching Band - Lilli Carré

A glimpse at her story in Mome Vol. 21 from Lilli Carré

Lucy Parsons comic

• Pick up the new issue of Bitch magazine for a one page comic about Lucy Parsons by Laura Park

Polyp

A mess of collaborative drawings by Andrice Arp and friends

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201102/wg_covered_meyer.jpg

At Covered, it's Tim Hensley's Wally Gropius done Action Comics #1-style by Jeffrey Meyer

And more Things to See from the past week:

• A new illustration from Matthias Lehmann at his Bloc-Notes blog

• Strips, illustrations and film reviews by Jason at his Cats Without Dogs blog

Steven Weissman's latest "I, Anonymous" spot on his Chewing Gum in Church blog

Landscapes in airbrush and pen from Frank Santoro

• Recent timely sketches & illustrations by Marco Corona at his Il Canguro Pugilatore blog

• More artwork from Mark Kalesniko's new graphic novel Freeway at his blog — dang a lot of work went into that book

• A page from a Kevin Huizenga "Focus" book at his New Construction blog

Noah Van Sciver has a Bad Dream and translates a ghost story to video

New sketches & strips by Laura Park

The latest from Renee French

• The final batch of sketches from the "21" sketchbook at Splog!, the Sergio Ponchione Lost Objects Gallery blog

Sketches, portraits, & updates from Steve Brodner

Gipi still illustrates for Internazionale

• A nattily dressed forlorn monstrosity and a portrait of collaborator Shaun Partridge by Josh Simmons

• Daily drawings from Dash Shaw at The Ruined Cast blog

• Recent sketches by Tom Kaczynski at his Transatlantis blog

Things to See: 2/14/11 Roundup
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Wilfred SantiagoTony MillionaireThings to seeSteve BrodnerstaffSophie CrumbSergio PonchioneRenee FrenchNoah Van SciverMark KalesnikoMarco CoronaLaura ParkKevin HuizengaJosh SimmonsJohn HankiewiczJim BlanchardJasonHans RickheitEleanor DavisDash Shaw 14 Feb 2011 4:44 PM

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201102/nodoctors_cd.jpg

• Magnificent new album cover illustration by Tony Millionaire

OUTSIDE THE BONES

• Wonderfully lurid book cover illustration by Wilfred Santiago for Outside the Bones by Lyn Di Iorio

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201102/nite1.jpg

• Tributes to St. Ogan and more sketching by Kevin Huizenga at STL Drawing Club and New Construction

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201102/thenosehead.jpg

Renee French, still great on a daily basis

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201102/skbkfeb11.jpg

• New sketches & watercolors by Sophie Crumb

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201102/february10th.jpg

• I'm at a loss to describe this by Josh Simmons

Bush Sr.

Jason T. Miles continues his hall of laughing Presidents

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201102/oliver%20reed%20blog1.jpg

Oliver Reed by Jim Blanchard

And more Things to See from the past week:

• Strips, illustrations and film reviews by Jason at his Cats Without Dogs blog

A page from a forthcoming comic by John Hankiewicz

• Sketches by Marco Corona at his Il Canguro Pugilatore blog

• More artwork from Mark Kalesniko's new graphic novel Freeway and drawings of stylish girls at his blog

Noah Van Sciver's "Throbbing Head"

New sketches & strips by Laura Park

• Another great batch of sketches at Splog!, the Sergio Ponchione Lost Objects Gallery blog

Sketches, portraits, & updates from Steve Brodner

• Daily drawings from Dash Shaw at The Ruined Cast blog

Hans Rickheit attempts to capture a Cochlea & Eustachia catfight

• Sketches and prints by Eleanor Davis at her We Be Ouija blog

Things to See: 2/7/11 Roundup
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Things to seeSteven WeissmanSteve BrodnerstaffSergio PonchioneRichard SalaRenee FrenchNoah Van SciverMatthias LehmannMarco CoronaLaura ParkJim FloraJim BlanchardJasonHans RickheitDerek Van GiesonDash ShawDame Darcy 7 Feb 2011 11:51 PM

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201102/bride-copy.jpg

Some magazine illustrations from Richard Sala's archives

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Ronald Wilson Reagan by our own Jason T. Miles

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201102/keystonecrowd.jpg

• A previously unseen Jim Flora piece at the Jim Flora Art blog

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201102/chickenlittle%20blog1.jpg

Jim Blanchard did this custom-painted Chicken Little figurine a few years ago

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201102/oldstrangerstrip1.jpg

An older Chrome Fetus strip by Hans Rickheit that has been excised from his upcoming Folly collection

And more Things to See from the past week:

• New illustrations from Matthias Lehmann at his Bloc-Notes blog

• Various strips and illustrations by Jason at his Cats Without Dogs blog

Steven Weissman's latest "I, Anonymous" spot on his Chewing Gum in Church blog

• The latest Dame Darcy artwork and handicrafts in her latest blog update

• A new illustration by Marco Corona at his Il Canguro Pugilatore blog

A tale of the cartoonist's life from Noah Van Sciver

Laura Park sketches a snowy Chicago street

• Another great batch of sketches at Splog!, the Sergio Ponchione Lost Objects Gallery blog

New drawings from Renee French

Sketches, portraits, & updates from Steve Brodner

• Daily drawings from Dash Shaw at The Ruined Cast blog

• New sketches & strips from Derek Van Gieson at his These Days I Remain blog

Things to See: Yo Gabba Gabba! fan art by Eric Reynolds
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Things to seestaff 1 Feb 2011 4:43 PM

Yo Gabba Gabba!

Our own Eric Reynolds sketched up Muno, Plex, Brobee, Toodee & Foofa as a coloring page for his adorable daughter Clem and posted it on his Flickr page so you can download a high-res version and print it out for your kids too (Eric notes you might want to white out the word bubble first). Fun!