Raise a glass: Tim Lane's self-published comic book series Happy Hour in America is about to make its triumphant return! The long-awaited third issue will soon be available through John Porcellino's Spit and a Half distro (where the first two classic issues are still available), and right now, as a tribute to the 10-cent origin of the comic book, Tim is offering the first 10 copies for one thin dime to the first 10 individuals who request one! Get on it, if it's not already too late!
Our friends at Poketo have just released a new series of wallets entitled "You're a Riot, Grrrl!" -- each wallet featuring artwork by bold female artists, like Lisa Hanawalt, Hellen Jo, and our very own, Esther Pearl Watson!
I got the "Unlovable" wallet at San Diego Comic-Con, and lemme tell ya, so far, it's been quite lovable! The inside design boasts the truth "1978 Honda Hatchbacks are sexy" (damn straight) and it comes with a 1" Tammy Pierce button.
Poketo even did an illustrated interview with Esther on their blog, which you can read here, and you can get a wallet for yourself here. Totally.
At his blog, Jason writes "My German publisher, Reprodukt, is celebrating their 20 years of existence by having an exhibition in Berlin. They have asked their artists to draw a page from one of the books that have been published, a book by another artist. I chose to do a page from Daniel Clowes' Like a Velvet Glove Cast in Iron." That sound you just heard is me and a few thousand other comics nerds collapsing with the vapors.
Joe Kubert is one of the great comic book artists. His career literally traverses the history of comics, beginning in 1938 when he became a professional at age 12, to today as one of the greatest draftsmen working in the field. Kubert is known and respected as much for his sinewy, passionate drawing as he is for his consummate storytelling skills. Over his 70-year career in comics, he has worked as an artist, an editor, a publisher, an entrepreneur, and a cartooning auteur. The Art of Joe Kubert is a deluxe, full-color coffee table book that honors this legendary creator with beautifully reproduced artwork from every phase of his career as well as critical commentary by the book’s editor, comics historian and Kubert biographer Bill Schelly.
Schelly’s text parallels the visual evolution of the artist’s work, tracing his life and career from his early days drawing Hawkman in the Golden Age, to his creation of Tor, his involvement in creating 3-D comics in the 1950s, his tour de force stints on DC’s war comics — Sgt. Rock, The Unknown Soldier and the groundbreaking Enemy Ace — in the 1960s, to illustrating the adventures of Tarzan in the 1970s. And before finding a creative safe haven at DC Comics in the ’50s, Kubert drew for many smaller and more obscure companies, including Holyoke, Quality, Fiction House, Harvey, St. John, and others — all of which are represented, including a 50-page section of comic-book stories in the horror, crime, and SF genres from the pre-Comics Code era, reprinted in full color for the first time.
Although Kubert is known for his contributions to pop culture icons such as Tarzan and Sgt. Rock, he has also invested his creative energy in more personal projects over the last 20 years, including journalistic and historical graphic novels such as his Eisner Award-winning Fax from Sarajevo and Yossel: April 19, 1943, all of which are illustrated along with Schelly’s insightful analysis that places these later, more mature works in the context of Kubert’s career.
Master caricaturist/portraitist Drew Friedman’s spectacular visual tribute to, well, old Jewish comedians returns with a third and concluding installment that throws its net a bit wider to include a few women (Olive Oyl voice Mae Questel, Ed Sullivan show regular Jean Carroll, and The Rise of the Goldbergs creator Gertrude Goldberg); a handful of more contemporary figures (Richard Belzer, whose Law & Order: SVU gig has eclipsed his stand-up comedy, and Welcome Back, Kotter’s Gabe Kaplan); and pop-culture legends (Prof. Irwin Corey, legendary Warner Bros. voice artist Mel Blanc), plus among others Marty Ingels, Fyvush Finkel, Gary Morton, Sam Levenson, Bobby Remsen, Max Patkin, Marvin Kaplan, Norm Crosby, Sammy Shore, Joey Adams, Lou Jacobi, and Sid James. It’s a heaping pastrami sandwich of gloriously liver-spotted, wrinkled personalities, that will appeal to anyone who likes old people, Jews, or comedians.
Even More Old Jewish Comedians, which features a cover of comedian Stewie Stone, is augmented with an introduction from not-quite-old-yet Jewish comedian and Comedy Central roasts regular Jeffrey Ross.
"You'd have to be absolutely mushugina to pass this book up." – Juxtapoz
"This is a beautiful tribute to all the men & women who have made life a joy. If Job had a copy and had known these people, he would never had written that terrible book." — Jerry Stiller
"I grew up adoring old Jewish comedians and through Drew Friedman's renditions, I now appreciate and love them more than ever. God bless these books!" – Joe Franklin
“Drew Friedman is better than Picasso.” — Howard Stern
“I’m proud to be in the old Jew book!” — Jerry Lewis
• Review: "The initial cartoons in [Willie & Joe: Back Home] show Willie and Joe struggling to adjust to civilian life and usually failing, albeit not without letting out a sardonic quip.... Eventually Willie and Joe faded into the background, however, as Mauldin started focusing more on other problems facing returning grunts — a housing shortage, trouble finding work — and then rather savagely (and rather bluntly) went after racists and right-wing extremists.... The end result is a collection of cartoons that both read like the work of someone desperate to rage against perceived injustices as loudly as possible, but also seemingly desperate to demolish whatever status he has attained as quickly as possible... it’s a fascinating book..." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6
• Commentary: On his blog, Eddie Campbell says "I recently bought the Fantagraphics complete Mauldin's Willie and Joe in soft cover. Bill Mauldin is one of the indisputable geniuses in the history of cartooning and I consider it an obligation to have the best available collection of his work on my shelf," and goes on to make some fascinating observations about changes in Mauldin's cartooning during the war
• Tribute/Interview:Entrecomics presents a transcription of the final talk given in Spain by Francisco Solano López in 2008 (in Spanish), saying "We could do a review of his career, but it would not do justice either to the immense capacity for work by the author or the influence that some of the works to which he contributed... had on several generations of readers in different countries."
We were very sad to learn of the death of F. Solano López, the great Argentine cartoonist whose many contributions to Fantagraphics over the years included the graphic novel Ana, the Jim Woodring-penned Freaks adaptation, and many, many pages of delightful X-rated comics for Young Witches and Sexy Symphonies. I will be penning a full obituary/appreciation of Solano for TCJ.com over the weekend; in the meantime, courtesy of Jim W., here is a bona fide Solano López oddity, the first page of an aborted adaptation of the 1959 movie The Wasp Woman created by the Freaks co-conspirators for Roger Corman's Cosmic Comics line back in the 1990s.
Every time I visit Fantagraphics office I damn near trip over Julie Doucet's cat carrier, which has been at the foot of the back stairs since she resided in the apartment upstairs in 1993. I worked as Fantagraphics beer tech back then - the "Summer of Hate" in Seattle. A blur of rock shows, cartoonist signings, art events, and parties. This was before the grunge movement had been corrupted by corporations and devastated by drugs. Great fun! I wish I could remember it. Occupational hazard, I suppose. I wonder what happened to Julie's cat. (Has anybody looked inside the carrier?)
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