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Category >> staff

Jason T. Miles, Inkstud
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under staffaudio 14 Jan 2010 4:11 PM

JTM

Our own multifarious Jason T. Miles appeared on the Inkstuds radio programme today to discuss his comics, his new Seattle-centric zine distro venture Profanity Hill (Seattle-area zine makers: Jason wants you! Everyone else: go buy some stuff already), and toiling in the Fantagraphics salt mineslisten here.

Kim Thompson Podcast
Written by Eric Reynolds | Filed under staffpodcast 13 Jan 2010 8:15 AM

  

Fantagraphics' co-leader and secret weapon Kim Thompson speaks to Chris Marshall of the Collected Comics Podcast about our line of classic strip reprints and foreign translations. 

Colonel Groth in the Boudoir with an Xacto Knife
Written by Eric Reynolds | Filed under staff 28 Dec 2009 10:31 AM

Shortly before Christmas, we had a Fantagraphics holiday party hosted by yours truly and Mrs. Truly. I forgot to take any pictures, which is a shame, because a splendid time was had by all. Most of the Fanta staff was in attendance, with the noticeable exception of Ms. Kristy Valenti, although her presence was most certainly felt, thanks to a gift delivered via partner-in-crime Gavin Lees (apologies in advance for the crappy photo evidence): 

Kristy created a Fantagraphics-themed custom version of the ol' CLUE board game, featuring representations of most of the Fanta office staff and set in the palatial mansion of FBI HQ. As the story begins, Kristy herself has been the victim of foul play, and one of these characters done it:

The remaining questions are of course WHERE and HOW did he/she do it? The board was redesigned to feature all of the main rooms in the office. These two are my favorites:

Gary's Boudoir of course needs no explanation; Kim's office is called the kennel because he shares his office with Ludwig, the Fanta dachshund. The game is rounded out with various potential weapons from the office and custom location cards featuring locations in the mansion.

What else can I say? Kristy rules.  

Daily OCD: 12/23/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under The Comics JournalSupermenstaffPortable GrindhousePeanutsLove and RocketsKrazy KatKevin HuizengaJules FeifferJohn PhamJaime HernandezJacques BoyreauHumbugGeorge HerrimanFletcher HanksDash ShawCharles M SchulzCarol TylerBest of 2009 23 Dec 2009 3:31 PM

Christmas Eve Eve Online Commentary & Diversions:

List: We published 6 of John Seven's top 10 "Decade's Best: Comics - Archives & Collections": The Complete Peanuts, Explainers by Jules Feiffer, the two Fletcher Hanks books, Humbug, Locas by Jaime Hernandez, and Supermen! The First Wave of Comic Book Heroes 1936-1941

Review: "The packaging... is brilliant and the actual product is no less magnificent. The quality that Fantagraphics put into [Portable Grindhouse: The Lost Art of the VHS Box] is top-notch. The card and paper stock could not be more perfect. The high resolution pictures and scans of each of the films are almost like you are holding the original. ... This is a 'must-have' for genre fans, collectors and art lovers alike." – Cinesploitation

Review: "Huizenga delivers a quiet tour de force [in Ganges #3] that shows confident cartooning that thrills through its ease and craftsmanship,... documenting a normal life with a sharp eye and a penchant for gentle revelation." – John Seven, Worcester Magazine

Review: "...Krazy Kat is that most unlikely of things: poetry fostered and cared for unquestioningly by commerce." – David Mathews (an edited version originally appeared in The New Indian Express)

Plugs: Fictional or not, The Rack's Lydia Park says re: Sublife Vol. 2 "John Pham is just beyond good. So many great ideas executed perfectly. Think Chris Ware meets Kevin Huizenga" and re: The Unclothed Man in the 35th Century A.D. "Dash Shaw is incredible."

Interview: The Daily Cross Hatch's Brian Heater has a wonderful chat with Carol Tyler (part 1 of 4): "Everything is more complicated. Everything is layered. I think as you grow older, you have this experience, but then you also, exponentially, have all of these others, due to the fact that you’ve just lived longer. You’ve met more people, and you’ve been around, and done all of these things. I try to boil it down and try to figure out the best way to do this. A collection of symbols and the right words—I really try to be a wordsmith, but I’m not! Argh! I try to pick the right words and the right way to get an idea across. Sometimes you just have to shoot it out there like bullshit and other times you have to make it more poetic. You have to balance that."

Interview/Preview: The ubiquitous Dash Shaw talks to Rick Marshall about The Unclothed Man in the 35th Century A.D. at the MTV Splash Page blog (where there is also a 5-page sneak peek of the book): "I felt like I learned so much by drawing every day. If you want to get better at drawing the human figure, doing an animated series will definitely do that for you."

Interview: The Comics Reporter's Tom Spurgeon talks to The Comics Journal's Kristy Valenti, focusing on Little Nemo in Slumberland: So Many Splendid Sundays but touching on other topics as well

Things to see: Kevin Huizenga brings us some holiday freakonomics in Amazing Facts and Beyond with Leon Beyond

Jacob Covey, Beastmaster
Written by Eric Reynolds | Filed under staff 2 Dec 2009 7:02 AM

  

The Casual Optimist has a fine, fine interview up with our own dearly beloved Jacob Covey

 

Daily OCD: 10/30/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tim HensleyThomas OttstaffPaul HornschemeierLove and RocketsJohnny RyanJim FloraDave CooperDaniel ClowesAbstract Comics 30 Oct 2009 2:57 PM

Happy day-before-Halloween — lots of treats in today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

• Bookmark: And I thought I was thorough! Hats off to Love and Rockets fan blog Love & Maggie, your one stop for comprehensive L&R/Hernandez Bros. link gathering, commentary and more (hat tip to Mike Sterling)

• Profile: Newcity's Beatrice Smigasiewicz talks to Paul Hornschemeier about the conclusion of his Mome serial "Life with Mr. Dangerous" and other topics: “People are routinely surprised to find that in person I joke around all the time and am obsessed with comedy: they think that I must walk around in a constant fog of philosophical conundrums and Weltschmerz.”

• Things to see: It's getting to be time for Giant Robot's annual Post-It Show, with artists such as Johnny Ryan and Tim Hensley revealing their entries

• Things to see: Speaking of Tim, I want this to be a real thing so badly I can feel the flocking on my fingertips

• Things to see: Speaking of Johnny, he reveals that the final (sniff) issue of Nickelodeon magazine includes a strip written by him and drawn by Hector Mumbly (Dave Cooper) — !

• Things to see: At the Jim Flora blog, outtakes from The Curiously Sinister Art of Jim Flora

• ???: Can anyone translate this page for us? It's photos of Thomas Ott seemingly leading some kind of comics workshop, but beyond that I haven't a clue

• Contest: Create a text-only comic, submit it to Doctor Popular, and you could win a copy of Abstract Comics

• Staff: Oh snap! Our own Jason T. Miles is now blogging at Comics Comics. Holy crap that guy can write

• Crass Google pandering: Sasha Gray tells AOL's Asylum that she likes Ghost World (via AOL's Comics Alliance)

Daily OCD: 10/22/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under staffreviewsKevin HuizengaJaime HernandezJacques TardiCarol SwainaudioAl ColumbiaAbstract Comics 22 Oct 2009 3:38 PM

Poppin' fresh Online Commentary & Diversions:

• Review: "Giraffes in My Hair: A Rock ‘N' Roll Life... is deeply personal but doesn't get bogged down with self service or making a Titan out of a man. I love that here we have a view of some of the seedier sides of counterculture that doesn't have an agenda beyond the act of sharing...of storytelling. It feels like a recounting, almost a journalistic telling of the facts of his personal history. But it also feels like you're having a great dinner with an old friend. ... As a graphic novel it is very strong. Carol Swain’s rough-layered pencils are distinct and complex with texture. ... Giraffes achieves a fusion of art and story where each serves the other in a mutually empowering way. An ideal comic. It is sharp and witty visual commentary on sharp and witty writing. There is a great eye for details at play with Swain's artwork. ... It is as though the story and memory of the story are more important than the teller himself. Brilliant." – Jared Gniewek, Graphic NYC

• Review: "The fact is that comics have always had an abstract artistic potential — and as far as my memory goes, one that is accepted by all worthwhile theoretical definitions of comics. But, until now, its role was secondary, relegated to isolated experiments. It is here that the anthology does its job: presenting an overview and organizing it, Abstract Comics creates a movement. From it, abstraction in comics can move beyond an experiment and become a legitimate possibility — a process that began in the visual arts years ago." – Eduardo Nasi, Universo HQ (translated from Portuguese on the Abstract Comics Blog)

• Review: "West Coast Blues is Fantagraphics' first offering in what one hopes will be am ambitious Tardi reprint project... It's an elegant, somewhat unorthodox set-up, at least with Tardi's narration, and indeed Tardi makes a number of creative, idiosyncratic choices in adapting the novel. ... The '70s milieu shouldn't put anyone off, and in fact that's one of the book's charms, with Tardi's clean line depicting classic old Mercedes and Citroens, and plenty of legwork and driving rather than digital assistance. Tardi has a really appealing style, clear and photorealistic in the details and yet messy with life. ... Tardi doesn't shy away from the violence of the story, but he doesn't revel in it, either, his pages all varying grids, many with tall, narrow panels that keep the pace brisk." – Christopher Allen, Comic Book Galaxy

• Plug: "As Orson Welles and Terry Gilliam have film adaptations of Don Quixote as their great incomplete masterworks; Al Columbia has Pim and Francie. A work over 15 years in the making, and never now likely to be ‘finished', the pieces of it have been assembled as Pim & Francie: The Golden Bear Days." – Marc Arsenault, Wow Cool

• Interview: The folks at The Comix Claptrap kick off another season of comics podcasting by talking to Jaime Hernandez, in streaming and downloadable audio

• Things to see: The Covered blog is a Fantagraphics intraoffice special today, as Jason T. Miles pays homage to Eric Reynolds

• Things to see: I think Kevin Huizenga is on to something with "The System"

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