Not a ton going on this week... I s'pose we're all either recovering from CAKE, or gearing up for... SAN DIEGO! (More details about that coming soon.)
Monday, June 18th
• New York City, NY: Tim Kreider will be doing a signing at the Half King Restuarant & Bar at 7:00 PM! (more info)
Friday, June 22nd
• St Louis, MO: Kevin Huizenga will be doing a signing at Star Clipper, along with Dan Zettwoch, at 7:00 PM! (more info)
Saturday, June 23rd
• Brighton, UK: There's gonna be a midsummer midnight 35mm-print screening of the Daniel Clowes movie Ghost World at the Duke Of York's Cinema. They'll have a Ghost World-themed bar, zine stalls, and a raffle! Plus, the screening will be preceeded by live music from Sacred Paws and The Choo-Choo Trains! What? No Blueshammer? (more info)
“Ya still think it pays to fight dirty?” No bad guys can beat Walt Disney’s classic Mickey; no other “modest mouse” has seen more two-fisted action or outrageous comedy! And now our big-eared hero is back with more edge-of-your-seat adventures: traveling from Umbrellastan to Texas — and duking it out with villains like Dr. Vulter, Pegleg Pete, and malicious miser Eli Squinch!
Floyd Gottfredson, artist and writer of Mickey Mouse, turned the strip into a 100-proof cocktail of thrills, comedy, warmth, and cynicism. In this volume, you’ll saddle up for Gottfredson’s two most famous Wild West epics: a “Race for Riches” amid rockslides and rustlers, then a dead-shot showdown with the brutal “Bat Bandit!” Back home in Mouseton, the mayhem continues when Mickey, Donald, and Goofy run a crime-fighting newspaper — and face trouble with mobsters and speeding black sedans!
Lovingly restored from Disney’s proof sheets, High Noon at Inferno Gulch also includes more than 50 pages of rootin’-tootin’ supplementary features! You’ll enjoy rare behind-the-scenes art, vintage publicity material, and vivid commentary by a pistol-packin’ posse of seasoned Disney scholars, including a Foreword by Thomas Andrae and an appreciation by the late Bill Blackbeard.
Walt Disney often said that his studio’s success “all started with a Mouse.” Now it’s time to rediscover the wild, unforgettable personality behind the icon!
Recently Fantagraphics stopped by Ohio State University's Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum in Columbus. This structural testament to housing and preserving original cartoon strips makes it a one-of-a-kind-place. Curator Jenny Robb said hello but my after-hours and behind the scene tour guide was librarian Caitlin McGurk!
Students of OSU and traveling scholars (like me!) can request to see original art and read books in the main reference room. The room itself is lined with popular comics reference material, less Marvel's Anatomy and more History of Chinese Comics that was written by a scholar rather than a draw-er.
Caitlin pulled everything I asked for from the collection and more! Fantagraphics utilizes the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library when creating our classic reprint lines. They even have an amazingly sophisticated camera for large scans---we're talking longer and wider than a human.
The stacks were automated, slowly sliding over on tracks after a crank is turned AND button pressed. To avoid trouble, the stacks are lined on the bottom with emergency-stop bars. It's pretty damn cool. The Library houses the larges manga collection in the United States, possibly the world.
The flat files have dim lighting, plastic sleeves around the strips and dust covers to fit over the artwork to prevent sliding or damage. GLOVES are a must.
Prince Valiant by Hal Foster lay inside one of the drawers, well many strips lay in there just begging to be looked at.
Dan DeCarlo's Betty & Veronica cover was not only environmentally topical but sassy like most of his artwork.
Ernie Bushmiller's Nancy. People seem to love her or hate her but Ernie Bushmiller's mathematically complex and erudite leading lady is a joy to see. Caitlin pulled one of the wackiest strips she could find for me dating back to November 16th, 1947.
How many can YOU blow?
Last but not least, was an original Nell Brinkley in a gold frame. Having won over the hearts of many a Gibson girl Brinkley's sparkling ladies went from pining lovers to adventurous maidens.
The collection also boasted some amazing newspaper inserts called The Book of Magic, originally printed with broadsheet newspaper The Seattle Post-Intelligencer. The Book of Magic was full of comics, stories and ads geared towards children.
A big, warm hug to Caitlin McGurk for the after hours tour and the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum for existing! You should make a stop there on your next visit to Ohio or on a road trip. Look out because in 2013 they are moving to a primo new building complete with comics festivities!
Jack Davis arrived on the illustration scene in the euphoric post-war America of the late 1940s when consumer society was booming and the work force identified with commercial images that reflected this underlying sense of confidence and American bravado. Advertising agencies were looking for new ways to tap a rich and expanding market, and there was a vast array of media that needed illustrations. Davis’ animated and exuberant images possessed a sense of spontaneous energy that proved to have universal appeal in every medium he worked in.
Beginning with his masterful pen and ink cartooning at EC Comics, he quickly forged a reputation as one of the most versatile artists in comics, drawing humor, horror, and war stories. In Harvey Kurtzman’s MAD, especially, Davis made a mark as a master of caricature, composition, and wild, anarchic crowd scenes, practically vibrating with energy.
After stints at MAD, Trump, and Humbug — three humor magazines that defined the satirical zeitgeist of the ’50s — Davis went on to become the most successful commercial illustrator of his generation, illustrating movie posters, magazine articles, magazine fiction, LP jackets, and more.
Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture is a gigantic, unparalleled career-spanning retrospective, between whose hard covers resides the greatest collection — in terms of both quantity and quality — of Jack Davis’ work ever assembled! It includes work from every stage of his long and varied career, such as: excerpts of satirical drawings from his college humor ’zine, The Bull Sheet; examples of his comics work from EC, MAD, Humbug, Trump, and obscure work he did for other companies in the 1950s such as Dell; movie posters including It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, The Bad News Bears, Woody Allen’s Bananas, The Party, and others; LP jacket art for such musicians and bands as Hans Conreid and the Creature Orchestra’s Monster Rally, Spike Jones and Ben Cooler; cartoons and illustrations from Playboy, Sports Illustrated, Time, TV Guide, Esquire, and many others; unpublished illustrations and drawings Davis did as self-promotional pieces, proposed comic strips that never sold (such as his Civil War epic “Beaureagard”), finished drawings for unrealized magazine projects — and even illustrations unearthed in the Davis archives that the artist himself can’t identify!
Much of the material will be scanned directly from original art, showing the painterly brush strokes and black and white pen work with far greater fidelity than any previous reproduction ever has. Many paintings and illustrations are accompanied by preliminary drawings that demonstrate the evolution of Davis’ drawing process.
In the back of the book you'll find a biography of Davis by Gary Groth, as well as tributes and testimonals written by a spectrum of Davis's cartoonist contemporaries and fans including Sergio Aragonés, Peter Bagge, Coop, Bob Fingerman, Drew Friedman, Bill Griffith, Al Jaffee, Joe Kubert, Peter Kuper, Tony Millionaire, Nate Neal, Spain Rodriguez and Jim Woodring.
Download a PDF excerpt (33.2 MB) with a smattering of 22 pages from the book.
•Review: Today on the Comics Alliance, writer Matt D. Wilson covers the unique career of Michael Kupperman. The king of one-man anthologies cannot be classified, "There's no need to elaborate on how or why [Mark Twain and Albert Einstein] know each other; Kupperman wants to get straight into the laboratory ghosts and ant colony visits. Kupperman's humor doesn't rest in relationships; it's invested in concepts."
•Plug: Fantagraphics creator Michael Kupperman will be performing his own blend of comedy with geek rapper, Adam WarRock, on July 10th (for those of you not going to the Significant Objects party at The Strand). Tickets available now for the show at Littlefield in Brooklyn.
•Review: Bookstore McNally Jackson lovingly writes on about Stephen Dixon's collected stories, What Is All This?: Uncollected Stories . Dustin says,"Let us call that the first tenet of Stephen Dixon: the world can be—though we are in it, of it—ill-fitting, like pants. The world is like pants. And the pants always win."
•Commentary:The Hooded Utilitarian couldn't get enough of the Fantagraphics stylish booth at BEA. Cheryl Lynn Eaton enjoyed the seating the fact we "provided free sample books to those who had questions. Eric Reynolds even took the time to help a lapsed reader like me sort through the intricate history of Love and Rockets, which was greatly appreciated! I was highly impressed."
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