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Category >> staff

Prison Pit Party Pics & Performance Video
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under videostaffrockJohnny RyanFantagraphics Bookstoreevents 12 Oct 2009 11:19 AM

Johnny Ryan

Left: Ajax Wood IS Ardent Vein IS Cannibal Fuckface. Right: man of the hour Johnny Ryan. Saturday night will definitely go down as one of the most memorable events in the history of Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery thanks to Ardent Vein's incredible performance/reading of Chapter 1 of Johnny's Prison Pit Book 1. If you weren't one of the lucky people who witnessed it in person, behold, we've put it on YouTube in two parts!

Johnny Ryan

Johnny Ryan

Lots more photos in our Flickr set here.

Daily OCD: 9/30/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tony MillionairestaffrockreviewsNoah Van SciverJohnny RyanJoe DalyDame DarcyaudioAnders Nilsen 30 Sep 2009 3:05 PM

Cripes, September is over already? Here's your Online Commentary & Diversions:

• Review: "The Red Monkey Double Happiness Book makes for pleasant midday reading, maybe perched somewhere outdoors in the sun with a glass of ginger ale at your side. Read it in a lazy mood, identify with the slacker characters, and speculate on whether you could solve demented mysteries as well as they could. (Answer: probably not.)" – Molly Young, We Love You So

• Interview: Making his second appearance on the Inkstuds radio programme, Mr. Tony Millionaire

• Plug: "Man, if that Crumb book weren't coming out [Prison Pit: Book 1] would easily be my main pick for the week. Johnny Ryan does straight on fantasy/action, with no tongue in cheek, but without forsaking a single ounce of blood or guts. In fact, this may be even more gory and gruesome than his humor stuff... but those with strong stomachs will thrill to Ryan's grotesque and truly imaginative fight fest." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6

• Things to see: Dolls! DVDs! It's your Dame Darcy update

• Things to see: Fantastic Four #9, page 10 by Anders Nilsen

• Tunes: The latest entry in the Inkstuds Mixtape series of cartoonist-curated playlists is from Noah Van Sciver

• Staff: “Language is Hell and Other Concrete Poetry from Nico Vassilakis” at Pilot Books in Seattle

Music Inspired by Fletcher Hanks, or Our Former Intern is Better than Your Former Intern
Written by Kristy Valenti | Filed under staffrockFletcher Hanks 11 Sep 2009 2:36 PM

Though the office is in a state of mourning at losing our Scottish Connection (code name LAN Formatique), we can console ourselves with his music, which was inspired by the comics of Fletcher Hanks:

LAN Formatique

Smoke Signal 2 out now
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under staffMichael KuppermanGabrielle BellDash Shaw 4 Sep 2009 1:59 PM

Smoke Signal 2 cover by Dash Shaw

The second issue of this oversized broadsheet newspaper comics anthology (take that, Wednesday Comics) published by Desert Island is out now. Cover by Dash Shaw, with strips by Gabrielle Bell, Michael Kupperman, Frank Santoro, our own Jason T. Miles, and over 30 more contributors. Available for free in person at Desert Island in Brooklyn or $3 postpaid.

2009 Ignatz Awards nominees - 15% off!
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tim LaneTim HensleyTed StearnT Edward Bakstaffsales specialsRichard SalaMomeLilli CarréJosh SimmonsJordan CraneGabriella GiandelliDash ShawCarol Tylerawards 24 Aug 2009 4:10 PM
We received the list of our nominees for this year's Ignatz Awards. It's a good lookin' list, and we're especially proud to have staffer Jason T. Miles nominated for Outstanding Comic! As is traditional, we've put all of our nominated titles on sale -- 15% off for a limited time! Click here to browse & buy. Recipients of the brick will be announced at SPX on September 26. For all the nominees, head to the SPX website for the official announcement.
 
Outstanding Artist
Tim Hensley, Mome (Fantagraphics), Kramer's Ergot #7 (Buenaventura)
Richard Sala, Delphine (Fantagraphics/Coconino)
Josh Simmons, Mome (Fantagraphics)
Carol Tyler, You'll Never Know, Book One: A Good and Decent Man (Fantagraphics)
 
Outstanding Anthology or Collection
Abandoned Cars, Tim Lane (Fantagraphics)
Fuzz and Pluck: Splitsville by Ted Stearn (Fantagraphics)
 
Outstanding Graphic Novel
 
Outstanding Story
"The Carnival," Mome #14, Lilli Carré (Fantagraphics)
 
Outstanding Series
Delphine, Richard Sala (Fantagraphics/Coconino)
Interiorae, Gabriella Giandelli (Fantagraphics/Coconino)
Uptight, Jordan Crane (Fantagraphics)
 
Outstanding Comic
Interiorae #3, Gabriella Giandelli (Fantagraphics/Coconino)
Uptight #3, Jordan Crane (Fantagraphics)
Dead Ringer, Jason T. Miles (La Mano)
 
Congratulations to everybody, including T. Edward Bak, nominated for Outstanding New Talent even before his amazing Mome story was eligible, and Dash Shaw, nominated for Outstanding Online Comic for Bodyworld.
Daily OCD: 8/21/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tim LanestaffreviewsLilli CarréJacques Tardi 21 Aug 2009 2:30 PM

Friday Online Commentary & Diversions:

• Review: "As slim, smooth, and hard as its attractive, Adam Grano-designed album-style hardcover format, West Coast Blues is as strong a crime comic as you're likely to see this year (or until whenever the next Gipi Wish You Were Here Ignatz book comes out)... Tardi's art [is] a master class in spotted blacks and lines like garrote wire... This sucker's good." - Sean T. Collins

• Things to see: I want to go to this crazy restaurant depicted by Tim Lane

• Things to see: Third in a series of hand-drawn animated GIFs by Lilli Carré

• Staff: Disparate Magnets, the new book of poetry by our own Nico Vassilakis, is deemed "some of Vassilakis's best work to date" by The Stranger's Paul Constant

Daily OCD: 8/19/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tim HensleyThe Comics JournalstaffSethRichard SalareviewsPeanutsJohnny RyanIgnatz SeriesGilbert HernandezDash ShawDame DarcyBob Levin 19 Aug 2009 3:20 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions for the day:

• Analysis: For Comics Comics, Dash Shaw pens an appreciation of the work of Tim Hensley: "It’s like what he chooses to draw in the environment (and what he chooses not to draw) is determined by some graphic Feng Shui. When his comics are at their most beautiful, these environments function both as the story’s world and abstractly... With his best dialogue, a line that you first read as being surreally disconnected on a second reading is funny and on a third reading reveals a wider scope of the story."

• Review: "Yes, both of these books are like kryptonite to good taste. But there are a couple of big differences between what Johnny Ryan is doing in Comics Are for Idiots!, his latest Blecky Yuckerella strip collection, and what he's doing in Prison Pit, his ultraviolent action-comic debut... The four-panel Blecky strips often feel like a breakneck race to the punchline through some kind of bizarre obstacle course requiring the basic premise of the gag to get more ridiculous with each panel... Ryan's rep as altcomix's premier overgrown juvenile delinquent is well deserved--and don't get me wrong, you can absolutely enjoy Prison Pit on that level--but the poetic savagery he depicts here is the work of a grown-ass man." - Sean T. Collins

• Review: "[Delphine], Richard Sala's contribution to Fantagraphics's prestigious Ignatz Series, is some of his strongest and most personal work yet... He sets his pop-cultural influences aside this time to lead us down a grimmer path... As for the art -- well, what can I say? It's recognizably Sala's, and at the top of his game, but taken to the next level, in that the usual precision of his black-and-white work is here inflected with sepia washes that give an added visual dimension to the murkiness of the hero's experience... The heavy dustjackets, with such gorgeous full-color art not only front and back but on both big inside flaps, deliver a lush visual and tactile experience that no bonus gallery in a collection will be able to duplicate... By whatever route you get here, I highly recommend this." - Curt Purcell, The Groovy Age of Horror

• Review: "Even when she's not especially inspired, Dame Darcy creates superior goth comics: cheerfully mean-spirited, idiosyncratically stylish, and oozing with surreal ichor... In [Meat Cake #17], Darcy indulges her goth tropes and her feminism: men are tormented, sisterhood is affirmed, and light-hearted squick is relished by all. And, as always, Darcy's eccentric drawing is a joy, with perspective, proportion, and visual logic all flattened out to fit into geometrically obscure but oddly elegant patterns." - Noah Berlatsky, The Comics Journal (reprinted at The Hooded Utilitarian)

• Plug: "The big story here [in The Comics Journal #299] is Bob Levin's spectacular essay on Michel Choquette and his never-completed comics anthology... Sadly, the project never got off the ground, and Levin details in his typical stellar fashion why and how. It's a fascinating tale, one well worth your $12." - Chris Mautner, Robot 6

• Plug: "The new Comics Journal (#299) is in Direct Market stores today. I got mine a week ago and love it, especially the absolutely essential Bob Levin cover article." - Alan David Doane, Comic Book Galaxy

• Plug: "This is a particularly excellent issue of TCJ, thanks to Bob Levin's magnificent 50-page... history of 'The Someday Funnies'... You really need to read it." - Douglas Wolk, Comics Alliance

• Interview: Seth continues discussing his design work for The Complete Peanuts in the final part of Brian Heater's interview at The Daily Cross Hatch: "Schulz’s work is right there in the book. Every line in those strips is his. But the design stuff is just design stuff. It’s a setting to put a gem in. The setting is not the gem."

• Things to see: At the Covered blog, Anthony Vukojevich does a Gilbert Hernandez Birdland cover

• Staff: The Comics Reporter and Publishers Weekly have the scoop on our newest hire, Jacq Cohen

Hey, I know that guy
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under staffcomics industry 11 Aug 2009 2:10 PM
I know what's up with Fantagraphics Associate Publisher Eric Reynolds since he sits right across the room from me (his nifty new job title didn't come with its own office), but for the rest of you, Publishers Weekly's Heidi MacDonald grills him about past, present and future, with first glimpses at some of his upcoming editorial projects. It's a must-read for Fanta loyalists and industry observers.
Fantacon 2009
Written by Eric Reynolds | Filed under staff 28 Jul 2009 9:03 AM

Every year when much of the staff heads down to San Diego, there are always a few poor souls who have to stay behind and (theoretically) hold down the fort, answer phones, get books out the door to printers, etc. But how much work really gets done? This year we installed hidden cameras and decided to monitor the emails of those who stuck around. It's not pretty:

If you see a sudden surge in sloppily produced books from Fanta in about three months, you'll know it was because the entire art dept (including Adam Grano, above) worked drunk during Comicon (side note: this also explains much of our output from about 1994-1999).

Anyone who thinks they spoke to Gary Groth on the office phone last week and wondered why he was slurring his words and going on and on about the ninja turtles might want to call back this week. Anyone who needs to speak to Jacob Covey soon might want to try the unemployment office.

I have no idea what's going on here but it clearly involves a level of frivolity not tolerated in the office. Jenny Catchings and Eric Buckler, start updating your resumés immediately.

Here's TCJ Editor Michael Dean looking into the security cam just before getting up to cover the lens with what appeared to be whipped cream; I don't even want to know what happened next and neither do you. 

I intercepted this missive from Grano's email account with the subject header "backyard cosplay NOW". 

Note to Kim: next time you leave town, lock the door to your office. 

Daily OCD: 7/15/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tim KreiderstaffJules FeifferJason 15 Jul 2009 1:43 PM

A brief yet interesting installment of Online Commentary & Diversions:

• Profile: "I loved comic books and, if you read enough of them, they’d give you a sort of caffeine high." - Jules Feiffer, in a lengthy conversation with NYC Graphic's Christopher Irving

• Profile: Norway.com puts together the scoop on native son Jason and Low Moon

• Things to see: Dylan Horrocks presents his story from Dirty Stories Vol. 2 online for your reading enjoyment (NSFW)

• Things to read: A great essay by Tim Kreider for The New York Times "Happy Days" blog

• Staff: New vispoems and essay from our own Nico Vassilakis