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Daily links: 4/20/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under SupermenSteven WeissmanreviewsPeter BaggeMonte SchulzMiss Lasko-GrossMichael Kuppermanmary fleenerKevin HuizengaJohnny RyanJasonEsther Pearl WatsonDave CooperDash ShawBlazing CombatBill MauldinBasil WolvertonAbstract Comics 20 Apr 2009 2:48 PM

• Review: "...[T]he primitive funnybooks rescued from obscurity by Greg Sadowski in Supermen! The First Wave of Comic Book Heroes 1936-1941 contain within their awesomely naïve and rudimentarily brilliant pages all the seeds of the postmodern graphic novel... Compounded equally from pulp fiction, movies, newspaper strips, and sheer desperate commercial-deadline-brainstorm lunacy, these early superhero tales created their own fresh synthetic mythology and compositional tools on the fly." - Paul DiFilippo, The Barnes & Noble Review

• Review: "[Bottomless Belly Button] reads almost like a John Updike novel... [Dash Shaw] really utilizes the medium to its fullest capacity..." - Benn Ray (Atomic Books) on WYPR (Baltimore public radio - streaming audio)

• Review: "[The Wolverton Bible] is fascinating read; it's a fascinating document by one of the most important illustrators of the 20th century." - Benn Ray (Atomic Books) on WYPR (Baltimore public radio - streaming audio - same link as above)

• Review: "Fantagraphics’ collection of the four issues of Blazing Combat blew me away from the start. The size and heft of the hardback reminded me of my textbooks from my school days. And once I cracked open the book, I found myself getting a hell of an education with this one."- Tim O'Shea, Robot 6, "What Are You Reading?"

• Review: "If nothing else, Supermen! puts Fletcher Hanks’ career in perspective... These are comics designed to make you tear your hair out waiting for the next issue, just to see if these guys could top themselves.  Great fun all around." - Tom Bondurant, Robot 6, "What Are You Reading?" (same link as above)

• Review: "Jason is an expert at expressing a complex idea with simple visuals and dialogue. Most of his works contain little to no dialogue, actually -- entire stories can be read in facial expressions, twitches, color changes and movements. The entirety of Tell Me Something contains 7 lines of dialogue. It tells the story of 2 lovers and the trials they go through to be together, using dual layered story arcs differentiated simply by the panel borders to convey depth and reshape the story into an intriguing form." - The Inside Flap [Ed. note: Tell Me Something is out of print, but will be collected along with other Jason stories in a forthcoming hardcover]

• Preview: Doug Pratt and Monte Schulz have an exchange in the comments of Pratt's blog about Schulz's forthcoming novel This Side of Jordan (previewed here)

• Preview: The Kenyon Review makes note of our forthcoming Abstract Comics anthology

• Previews: Matthew Brady offers succinct commentary on two of our upcoming titles: Tales Designed to Thrizzle #5 by Michael Kupperman ("This comic is funny") and A Mess of Everything by Miss Lasko-Gross ("The art looks great")

• List: For Robot 6, Chris Mautner names "Six ‘retired' artists we'd like to see return to comics," including Brian Biggs ("...Frederick and Eloise [brings] a whimsical, storybook approach that never seem[s] overly twee or sweet. Indeed, [it is] often grounded by some dark undercurrents, not to mention backed by some serious artistic chops"), Dave Cooper ("Surreal, mind-warping books like Suckle, Ripple and his ongoing series Weasel, which chronicled a number of sweaty, paunchy, disturbingly neurotic and oversexed characters, had Cooper earning acclaim equal to the likes of Clowes and Ware"), and Mary Fleener ("...[S]he remains one of the most original voices in comics, with an art style that’s completely her own (no one draws a sex scene like her)." [Note to Mautner: Mary Fleener had a new comics story titled "Niacin" in Hotwire Comics Vol. 2, which we put out last year])

• Interview: At Robot 6, Tim O'Shea talks to Esther Pearl Watson about Unlovable Vol. 1. Choice quote: "I was a lot like Tammy and still am. It’s everything I fear."

• Profile: Seattle neighborhood newspaper The Ballard News-Tribune spotlights "alternative comics legend" and Ballard resident Peter Bagge

• Profile/Things to see: Goofbutton presents scans of the Bill Mauldin section in the 1977 World Book Year Book (via Spurge)

• Things to see: Buster Keaton as drawn by Kevin Huizenga for Cinefamily

• Things to see: New Vice comics from Johnny Ryan; believe it or not, one of 'em's just plain cute

• Things to see: Chubby vs. Pullapart battle royale from Ribs