The tallest seedlings of Online Commentaries & Diversions:
• Review:ForeWord looks at Dash Shaw's New School. "Like its predecessors, New School is unlike everything else out there.…It’s a startling, yet aptly mundane vision of one man’s future, made all the more believable by Shaw’s expressive, cartoony drawings and generally solid scripting…ultimately, it’s an entertaining and thoughtful graphic novel," writes Bill Baker.
• Review:Paraphilia Magazine covers the two Malcolm McNeill books about his collaborations with William S. Burroughs. "Observed While Falling is an invaluable addition to the library of any Burroughs fan…Having shed light on a previously dark corner of the Burroughs legacy, will hopefully provide vital research material for critical analysis of this gravely neglected work produced during a largely overlooked period in his career," writes Edward S. Robinson. The Lost Art of Ah Pook enchants, "Mc Neill’s images – they’re more than mere illustrations – are rich, complex, and often very strange indeed. Disturbed and disturbing…Mc Neill’s large-form images are remarkable works of art…throughout the quality of Mc Neill’s draftsmanship is of a rare standard."
• Review:Comics Worth Reading recommends Pogo Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 by Walt Kelly. "These upscale volumes collecting the classic Pogo comic strip are archival quality, beautifully reproduced and a pleasure to look upon…Pogo is well-loved for a reason. The strips are beautifully drawn and keenly observent of human nature."
• Interview (audio):Janet Hamlin is interviewed by Anna Maria Tremonti on CBC Radio show, The Current, about working on Sketching Guantanamo and being at the courtroom trials. "What I'm working on that day is determined by whatever activity is in court…"
• Review (audio): Brian Heater is a guest on Bullseye with Jesse Thorn and brings up Peter Bagge's Other Stuff. Heater gabs, "…the iconic underground cartoonist of the 90s, anything depicted a slacker or the grunge era was probably by Bagge. Other Stuff has an overly cartoony look that is nicely juxtaposed by true-to-life stories…"
• Interview (video):Ed Piskor is interviewed by Jared Gardner during his Columbus Museum of Art Residency and speaks on his life through comics and Hip Hop Family Tree. "I grew up in just a hip hop environment, my house was the nucleus between three parks in town you could go to any given one and see some hip hop going on, rudimentary stuff …a few slabs of linoleum and a boombox," answered Piskor.
• Review:ConSequential reviewed The Hypo by Noah Van Sciver recently. "Van Sciver’s depiction is sufficiently sympathetic as to make the reader really root for him as he struggles against rival suitors, Mary’s family and his own anxious temperament. …the fact that it’s endearing, engaging and an all-round good read should make it your kind of thing as well," writes Lucy Boyes.
• Plug:Our Man in Boston profiles David Wojnarowicz and 7 Miles a Second. "Artists James Romberger and Marguerite Van Cook vividly depict David Wojnarowicz’s life and struggles in a much improved edition…" says Robert Birnbaum.
• Review:Grovel reads Beta Testing the Apocalypse by Tom Kaczynski. "Anyone that likes the exploration of ideas, particularly the relationship between humanity, geography, architecture and technology, might get a kick out of reading something different, especially presented in such an unusual form," writes Andy Shaw.
•Review:MetroPulse checks out the EC Library Comics from Wallace Wood and Harvey Kurtzman. "EC had no fear of getting political, long before comics 'grew up.'…Fantagraphics’ EC Comics Library is a must-own for anyone who considers themselves a serious comics fan."Corpse on the Imjin! is "Thoroughly researched and meticulously detailed, Kurtzman’s stories are grim stuff in an era when most Americans believed their country could do no wrong… Grade-school boys reading these dark tales at the time must have had their minds completely blown." Meanwhile, Wally Wood's Came the Dawn! "The tales here are mostly crowd-pleasers with the sort of twist endings that would later become a Twilight Zone trademark."
• Review:Everything is an Afterthought by Kevin Avery is examined in Caught by the River. Andy Childs says, "it becomes apparent that when the history of rock’n'roll is ever written as it should be then he, Nelson, will take his place as a pivotal and hugely influential figure…Kevin Avery does a masterly job in re-constructing Paul Nelson’s reputation and after the enthusiastic critique in the first half of the book the examples of his work in the second half do not disappoint at all."
Some views of The Cat on a Hot Thin Groove, collecting Oscar-winning animator Gene Deitch's jazz cartoons and illustrations from The Record Changer magazine from 1945-1951 with the artist's commentary. This new softcover edition will be out in April.
Want to hug a record but afraid you'll scratch it? Raffie and Foppie are for you!
Chicago-based label FPE Records asked our own Ron Regé, Jr. to draw some dancing records for an ad, and once they saw the results, they wanted to hug 'em! So, the idea for stuffed Raffie and Foppie record dolls was born.
FPE currently launched a Kickstarter to get these cuties manufactured, so check it out and get yourself some huggable new friends!
"…best known for his stories for the legendary EC Comics—8 of which are included here—Krigstein also produced remarkable work…in genres ranging from crime and horror to war and westerns.… Although Krigstein was a masterful illustrator…capable of varying his style to suit the demands of the story, his genius lay in how he broke down the scripts, using multiple, subdivided panels to audaciously manipulate time.…Krigstein’s thoughtful, intelligent approach to telling a story should be an eye-opener to readers of today’s mainstream comic books, which increasingly rely on huge panels filled with vacuous excitement and overblown rendering."
It begins in the year 1900, with the scream of a newborn. It ends, 100 pages later, in the year 2000, with the death rattle of a 100-year-old man. The infant and the old man are both Julio, and Gilbert Hernandez’s Julio’s Day (originally serialized in Love and Rockets Vol. II but never completed until now) is his latest graphic novel, a masterpiece of elliptical, emotional storytelling that traces one life — indeed, one century in a human life — through a series of carefully crafted, consistently surprising and enthralling vignettes.
There is hope and joy, there is bullying and grief, there is war (so much war — this is after all the 20th century), there is love, there is heartbreak. While Julio’s Day has some settings and elements in common with Hernandez’s Palomar cycle (the Central American protagonists and milieu, the vivid characters, the strong familial and social ties), this is a very much a singular, standalone story that will help cement his position as one of the strongest and most original cartoonists of this, or any other, century.
"Julio's Day is a story of one man's life, but it's a great deal more than that as well. It's the story of the life of a century, also told as if a day. Beginning with Julio's birth in 1900 and ending with his death in 2000, the graphic novel touches on most of the major events that shaped the 20th century." – Brian Evenson, from his introduction
"A haunting performance and about as perfect a literary work as I've read in years. Hernandez accomplishes in 100 pages what most novelists only dream of — rendering the closeted phlegmatic Julio in all his confounding complexity and in the process creating an unflinching biography of a community, a country and a century. A masterpiece." – Junot Díaz
So what do we have for Peanuts fans this time around?
An ill-considered attempt at flirting sends Charlie Brown to the school doctor... Linus's ongoing romance with the too-young "Lydia" of the many names continues... Snoopy is joined in the trenches by his brother Spike... Sally engages in a career as a playwright by penning the school Christmas play but mixes up Gabriel and Geronimo... A hockey mishap sends Snoopy to the doctor for knee surgery, in a (clearly autobiographical) sequence that lasts only until everyone figures out that dogs don’t have knees... Linus and Lucy’s kid brother Rerun begins to take on the greater role that will lead to him being one of the dominant characters in the 1990s... and Snoopy, inevitably, writes a "kiss and tell" book.
As we reach the 19th (!) book in this epochal, best-selling series collecting arguably the greatest comic strip of all time and head toward the end of the 1980s, Charles Schulz is still as inventive, hilarious, and touching as ever... and this volume even features a surprise format change, as the daily strip switches from its trademark four-square-panels format to a more flexible one-to-four-variable-panels format which, along with Schulz's increased use of gray tones, give this volume a striking, distinctive look.
This volume's introduction is by a fellow comic strip legend, Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau.
Another fascinating collection of early work from one of America's most original, trenchant, and uncompromising artists. "Some More Early Years of Bitter Struggle" features several key stories from Crumb’s pre-underground, homemade comics of the early 1960s (such as Farb and Arcade), with stories featuring early Crumb characters Fritz the Cat, Jim, Mabel, and Little Billy Bean. It also includes "Roberta Smith, Office Girl," Crumb's charming 4-panel strip for the American Greetings employee newsletter; a full-color section of cover illustrations; copious reproductions from Crumb's sketchbooks; and more of the biographical introduction by Crumb confidant Marty Pahls.
1989 Harvey Award Winner, Best Domestic Reprint Project
From the creator of the 2005 hit graphic novel Black Hole and the recent trilogy X'ed Out, The Hive and Sugar Skull comes this new softcover edition of his other masterpiece of modern horror. Big Baby is a particularly impressionable young boy named Tony Delmonte, who lives in a seemingly typical American suburb until he sneaks out of his room one night and becomes entangled in a horrific plot involving summer camp murders and backyard burials. Burns' clinical precision as an artist adds a sinister chill to his droll sense of humor, and his affection for 20th-century pulp fiction permeates throughout, creating a brilliant narrative that perfectly captures the unease and fear of adolescence.
"At once alluring and grotesque, Burns' imagery has been eagerly embraced by the counterculture, mainstream media, and a recalcitrant art world without ever compromising his strikingly singular aesthetic." – Juxtapoz
"The work of Charles Burns is a vision that's both horrifying and hilariously funny, and which he executes with cold, ruthless clarity... It's almost as if the artist... as if her weren't quite... human!" – R. Crumb
Ensconced in the avant-garde of the extraordinary social and cultural upheavals that were drawing 1960s Europe into the building wave of postmodernism, a Belgian advertising dropout, fed up with the corporate world, conceived the first "adult comic book" virtually off the top of his head.
By creating The Adventures of Jodelle, a deluxe comics album that wore its revolutionary Pop sensibility on its sleeve, Guy Peellaert obliterated the conventions of what had up to that point been a minor, childish medium. Ironically appropriating the face and body of the teen idol Sylvie Vartan, he fashioned a new kind of heroine, a sensual, parodically beautiful spy. For his setting he chose a defiantly anachronistic Roman Empire, into which irrupted the most flamboyant symbols of a conquering America, the originator of all fantasies.
Every page of this fascinating saga features a flood of topical references and in-jokes, operating playfully on the border that separated so-called "high" and "low" cultures. Peellaert drew from the most exciting stimuli of his time, subjecting them to his powerful formal innovations: Pop Art, extreme fashions, strident advertising, shock graphics, and cinematic techniques all collided in virtuoso compositions of extreme sophistication, whose inspirations ranged from classical paintings to Gottlieb pinball machines.
Published to thunderous acclaim in France in 1966 and then throughout Europe and in the U.S., Jodelle was an instant classic, whose influence would spread far beyond the confines of comics. It also triggered Guy Peellaert's "Pop Period," a creative whirlwind marked by his 1967 creation of PRAVDA, an unforgettable character that has since been acknowledged as a major component of the European Pop movement.
Completely remastered and featuring a new translation, this long-awaited reprinting of The Adventures of Jodelle is accompanied by an 80-page, lushly-illustrated textual supplement created in partnership with the artist's estate which traces the creative path travelled by this maverick artist, who multiplied his chosen means of expression, skipping from comics to cinema and moving through fashion, periodicals, and television, including collaborations with many of the great figures of mythical 1960s-era Paris, from Serge Gainsbourg to Yves Saint Laurent.
"Guy Peellaert was to Europe what Andy Warhol was to America — except Guy had more talent!" – Jim Steranko
"Peellaert's comic strips were the literature of intelligence, imagination and romanticism." – Federico Fellini
"Lusciously designed flat color patterns and a dizzying forced perspective reminiscent of Matisse and Japanese prints. Graphically, Jodelle sets a new record in comic-strip sophistication." – New York magazine
"As an art student in the Swinging Sixties, I discovered the first adult-oriented comics, like Barbarella and Guy Peellaert's The Adventures of Jodelle. At that very moment a whole new universe opened up to me. Having grown up in a home where comics were banned and considered mindless, that discovery was really one of adulthood and maturity." – Milo Manara
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