• Review: "Tardi's art [in The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec Vol. 1] well deserves the praise that he's a grandmaster of comics. It's detailed, expressive, authentic, and distinctive. His world-building is thorough, the setting established through both background art and scene selection. Frequent recaps keep the reader up to speed, while emphasizing how amusingly convoluted everything quickly becomes. Tardi knows the conventions of this kind of rollicking, complicated adventure, and the story points out how ridiculous they are at the same time it's engaging in them." – Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
• Review: "Jason is a Norwegian living in France; the Montpellier of the title [Werewolves of Montpellier] is his adopted home. This biographical trivia might suggest that this is his most personal work yet, but if it is, it’s only in the sense that his personal vision of comics is running on all cylinders here; while nothing he’s put out (in English, anyway) has been bad, he’s continually refining his sensibility, and this is Jason at his most Jason." – Jonathan Bogart, FA
• Review: "Fantagraphics has always been the industry leader in getting old comic strips back into print..., and while their Prince Valiant reprints from the 1990s were wonderful at the time, this new edition is the best the strip has looked since it was originally printed on Sunday broadsheets in the 1930s and 40s. With Foster’s original colors — and he was as brilliant and forward-thinking in his use of color as he was brilliant and medium-changing in his black-and-white drawing — and a strong, heavy binding, these are archival editions, the sort of books that should be passed down to the next generation." – Jonathan Bogart, FA
• Interview: At The Daily Cross Hatch, it's the penultimate installment of Brian Heater's chat with Jaime Hernandez: "It’s very difficult for me when people ask me to do a talk or an example of a page—how I break down a page and stuff like that. It’s not that easy for me. There are teachers and there are doers—I’m a doer. I don’t know how this stuff happens, it just spills out of me, it’s that kind of thing. [...] I don’t want to fight that, because I’m afraid it will ruin it and it will change it, or my art won’t be that distinctive. I’d rather just leave that to the gods."
See a nice juicy 10-page excerpt from Usagi Yojimbo: The Special Edition by Stan Sakai at Comics Alliance, whose David Brothers writes "Usagi Yojimbo: The Special Edition... is a release worth paying attention to. It often flies under the radar, but Stan Sakai's Usagi Yojimbo has been one of the most consistently well-written and well-drawn comics over the past twenty-five years. Sakai has created a long-running series that doesn't need jumping on points or events to tell good stories. He simply creates classic tales, month-in, month-out."
A matching volume to 2009’s Almost Silent, What I Did collects three of Jason’s acclaimed 1990s graphic novels into a handsome, definitive omnibus format.
"Hey, Wait...," which was the first of Jason's books to be translated to English, tells the story of two childhood friends. A dreadful event midway through the story changes their lives forever, and the story becomes the summary of lives lived, wasted, and lost. Jason's sparse dialogue, dark wit, and supremely bold use of "jump-cuts" from one scene to the next make "Hey, Wait..." a surprising and engaging debut.
"Sshhhh!" is one of Jason’s virtuoso silent performances, the cradle-to-grave life of one of his bird-headed characters. A sharp suite of short tales, ranging from funny to terrifying to surreal to touching, all told entirely in pantomime. Jason's clean, deadpan art style hides a wealth of emotion and human complexity, leavened with a wicked wit.
And the one Jason fans have been waiting for is the long-out-of-print "The Iron Wagon," an ingenious, atypically (for Jason) talky murder mystery set in early-20th-century Norway, adapted from a classic Norwegian novel by Stein Riverton — albeit starring Jason’s patented blank-eyed animal-headed characters and told in moody two-color panels.
Bonus Savings: Order What I Did together with its companion volume Almost Silent and save 20%!Click here to order.
For decades they have roamed the seas, this shipload of undead pirates. They are desperate to die, but every time they try to dash their ship to splinters and end their miserable existence, a malevolent God scoops them out of danger. And so they have no choice but to continue to sail the seas, looting and killing.
Until one day, having exterminated yet another ship of the living, they come across a little pink baby. Adopting him as their mascot and dubbing him their "Littlest King," they continue their journeys. But eventually the King begins to grow up...
Adapted by David B., the acclaimed creator of Epileptic, from a short story by Pierre Mac Orlan (which was published decades before the release of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, thank you very much), The Littlest Pirate King is David B.'s first full-color graphic novel to be released in English, and his vivid palette combines with his stunningly elegant graphics to create a magical yarn that can be enjoyed by young and old alike.
Collecting 2 years of strips 2007-2009. More booze-soaked buffoonery, lyrical passages, violence, sentimentality, and poop jokes with Drinky Crow & Uncle Gabby. Lowbrow yuks and elegant cartooning from comics' true drunken master.
"Tony Millionaire’s Maakies does not appear on the comics pages of daily newspapers, but lurks darkly instead in our nation’s alternative weeklies...
"Uncle Gabby, a monkey, and Drinky Crow, an alcoholic crow, are characters of pure, ginned-up id, engaging in high jinks that range from the boobish to the bizarre: making 'booze cream' from the milk of drunken cows in one panel, going to prison to have time to read Swinburne in the next. The humor is often so lowbrow as to be subterranean. If Gasoline Alley is preoccupied with life's slow unfolding, Maakies is fascinated by its swift, violent ends. It is difficult to count the times Gabby or Crow have been mutilated, shot in the head, eaten, burned in hell.
"And yet Millionaire, raised by an art-teacher by the sea, can draw the living spit out of a ship or a giant squid. It is just as likely that Maakies will feature one character vomiting into another’s mouth as it will a wordless, befuddling, beautiful parade of intricately rendered church spires and tall buildings. It sways this way between the very low and the very high; the only applicable adverb here is drunkenly, for as the name might suggest, there is a lot of boozing in Drinky Crow's life. This may offend (or may be the least of the offenses), but I would bet if you counted Crow's tipples against the number of highballs the Lockhorns had consumed, it'd come out even. And in his surrealist impulse and draftsman’s brio, Millionaire is the closest thing we have to George Herriman of Krazy Kat."
The most dazzlingly insane film reference book of all time, Destroy All Movies!!! is an informative, hilarious, and impossibly complete guide to every goddamn appearance of a punk (or new waver!) to hit the screen in the 20th Century. This wildly comprehensive eyeball-slammer features A-to-Z coverage of over 1100 feature films from around the world, as well as dozens of exclusive interviews with the creators and cast of essential titles such as Repo Man, Return of the Living Dead, The Decline of Western Civilization and Valley Girl. Everyone from Richard Hell to Penelope Spheeris to Ian MacKaye contributes his or her uncensored reminiscences from the front lines of a revolution. Other interviewees include Alex Cox, Nick Zedd, Lech Kowalski, Mary Woronov and Circle Jerks frontman Keith Morris. Also examined are hundreds of prime examples of straight-to-VHS slasher trash, Brooklyn junkie masterpieces, Filipino breakdancing fairytales, no-budget post-apocalyptic epics, and movies that shouldn’t even have been released, many of which have never been written about online or in print!
In the late ’70s, Punk Rock and its followers ambushed the world with nuclear force. It was an unprecedented phenomenon that infested radios, print, and culture as a whole. Of all its shell-shocked witnesses, the least prepared was Hollywood, who viewed the movement as a walking epidemic of self-abusive, garbage-eating, candy-colored manimals ripe for marketable stereotyping. The results were hilarious, as lowbrow cinema was forever altered in the shadows of 20-inch mohawks and steel-spiked wardrobes. Meanwhile, punk participants like Spheeris and Alex Cox managed to document the emerging outbreak in a more humanistic light, creating enduring visions of a new breed of youth through blazing music documentaries and innovative narrative assaults.
Destroy All Movies!!! nails down both ends of the spectrum with superhuman research, vicious precision, and electrically charged stills and images, and is the first and final definitive armchair roadmap to punk and new wave on celluloid. Five years in the making, this pulse-bursting monument to lowbrow cultural obsession is a must for all film fanatics, music maniacs, anti-fashion mutants, ’80s nostalgists, sleazoids, cop-killers, and spazzmatics!
With its long-awaited second volume, this witty and sublimely drawn fantasy eases into a relaxed comedy of manners as Lady Jain settles into her new life in Castle Waiting.
Unexpected visitors result in the discovery and exploration of a secret passageway, not to mention an epic bowling tournament. A quest for ladies’ underpants, the identity of Pindar’s father, the education of Simon, Rackham and Chess arguing about the “manly arts,” and an escape-prone goat are just a few of the elements in this delightful new volume.
The book also includes many flashbacks that deepen the stories behind the characters, including Jain’s earliest romantic entanglements and conflicts with her bratty older sisters, the horrific past of the enigmatic Dr. Fell, and more.
For any Americans out there who remain ignorant of the cultural currency of Jacques Tardi and his creation Adèle Blanc-Sec in his native France and/or require proof beyond the recent Luc Besson film adaptation: our friend and continental correspondent Marianne Goldin, currently living overseas in France, sends along this photo of packages of Adèle Blanc-Sec brand sugar at the local market. Looks like there's more Tardi Adèle artwork on the indivudually-wrapped lumps, too. Kim Thompson comments, "Ha! Funny that she's possibly the least 'sweet' heroine in comics history. ADELE LEMONS would be more like it." I suppose it's appropriate inasmuch as sugar is white (blanc) and dry (sec).
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