A lot of catching up to do with this batch of clips & strips — click for improved/additional viewing and possible artist commentary at the sources:
• A couple of things Bill Griffith has recently shared on Facebook: the rejected first draft of the home screen for the Zippy Comix iPhone app, and a "lost" Wacky Packages design that Bill says is "almost sacrilegious"
We have reached the landmark 20th volume of Mome. For those of you who read the box scores, that’s 5 years, 20 volumes, 72 artists, and 2,352 pages of comics.
Much is new in this anniversary volume. Fantagraphics' flagship anthology now boasts a new design courtesy of art director Adam Grano (who also chips in a few pages of art), and we have 4 other artists making their Mome debuts: Steven "Ribs" Weissman's haunting story "This Already Happened" makes its first appearance in print after being serialized at What Things Do; Sergio Ponchione provides a full-color prequel story to his acclaimed series Grotesque (translated from its appearance in Italy's Linus magazine); and we welcome Chicago stalwart Jeremy Tinder and Portland illustrator Aidan Koch to the fold with their new stories.
From our returning champions: another "Blind Date" from Dash Shaw; a forest fable from Sara Edward-Corbett; part 2 of "The White Rhinoceros" from Josh Simmons and The Partridge in the Pear Tree; the continuation of T. Edward Bak's "Wild Man," Derek Van Gieson's "Devil Doll," and cover-boy Ted Stearn's "Fuzz and Pluck in: The Moolah Tree" serials; another atmospheric Conor O'Keefe story; a star-studded story in verse from Nate Neal; and more autobiographical vignettes by Nicolas Mahler. It all adds up to another diverse and rewarding volume of this literary comics juggernaut.
Download an EXCLUSIVE 15-page PDF excerpt (4.3 MB) with a page from every artist in the issue, plus the Table of Contents.
• Review: "For the most part, Four Color Fear: Forgotten Horror Comics of the 1950s might be viewed as a graphic/comic aficionado’s plaything, but there are lots of material that a social historian should find relevant. [...] Editors John Benson and Greg Sadowski have done extensive research to collate the best of EC’s competitors... and have diligently digitally restored the art to reflect the standards of that era. [...] By the way, I found the images hilarious. Yup." – Robert Birnbaum, The Morning News
• Review: "A Drunken Dream and Other Stories, the Fantagraphics collection of short stories from across Moto Hagio’s career, is one of those books that spoils you. It’s so lovingly conceived and beautifully produced, and the material it contains is so strong that it’s hard not to envision who might be next to receive this generous treatment. Hagio, one of the founders of modern shôjo manga and great contemporary manga in general, certainly deserves as much of a gracious spotlight as publishers are able to provide. [...] It’s also vibrant reading." – David Welsh, The Manga Curmudgeon (He's also giving away a copy — click for details.)
• Plugs: "There’s a nice pile of interesting things from Fantagraphics this week. Firstly there’s A Drunken Dream & Other Stories by the legendary Moto Hagio, whose acclaimed shōjo (girls’ comics) are seeing print in English for the very first time. There are ten stories in this collection which spans an entire career of work (Hagio’s been at it for over 40 years) along with an interview and a foreword by underground comix iconTrina Robbins. [...] Grotesque #4 is the final chapter of Sergio Ponchione’s bizarre masterpiece, Interiorae #4 is the final glimpse you’ll get into the lives of everyone in the apartment building, but Niger #3 is not the end and nor isSammy the Mouse #3. Handsome books. And they always smell nice." – The Gosh! Comics Blog
Our Summer 2010 Ignatz Series titles, which we just got in stock yesterday, are also scheduled to land in comic shops this week! Let's see what the comics bloggers are saying about their imminent arrival, collectively and individually:
"This summer's four new Ignatz releases from Coconino/Fantagraphics, and examples of one of the great comics formats of the last 15 years. I liked the Sammy the Mouse book the best, but they're all beautiful." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
"I've been digging Fantagraphics' Ignatz imprint for a while now, so I'm quite happy that Wednesday sees the release of four new books in that line." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6
32-page duotone 8.5" x 11" saddle-stitched softcover with jacket • $7.95 (part of the Ignatz Series) ISBN: 978-1-60699-419-1
"...[A] suite of small character studies, mostly reprised from earlier issues, mostly concerning dissatisfaction over life’s elusive meanings – dynamic visuals both segregate Ponchione’s characters from one another (spatially, design-wise) and suggest a unity of anxiety across varied human experiences. Fun cartooning, at the very least." – Joe McCulloch, Comics Comics
"...[P]ossibly the most unjustly ignored book in the Ignatz line, just as surreal as Sammy [the Mouse], but more cartoony and cerebral, though no less haunting or effective a work. Constantly adventurous in its layout and narrative, it's one of those books that can be read multiple times and still make new discoveries." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6
32-page duotone 8.5" x 11" saddle-stitched softcover with jacket • $7.95 (part of the Ignatz Series) ISBN: 978-1-60699-420-7
"...Gabriella Giandelli‘s story of an apartment building and the mystic cartoon forces that serve as its roving eyes and the roiling collective unconsciousness of its stressed, depressed, idle tenants." – Joe McCulloch, Comics Comics
32-page duotone 8.5" x 11" saddle-stitched softcover with jacket • $7.95 (part of the Ignatz Series ) ISBN: 978-1-60699-421-4
"[A] lushly scratched sociological allegory by Leila Marzocchi, not entirely unlike Anders Nilsen’s Big Questions in its gathering of woodland creatures to discuss odd happenings, but more whimsical and 'cartooned,' despite a real lingering atmosphere of threat." – Joe McCulloch, Comics Comics
32-page duotone 8.5" x 11" saddle-stitched softcover with jacket • $7.95 (part of the Ignatz Series) ISBN: 978-1-60699-426-9
"My first choice would be the new issue from Zak Sally, again following slightly mutated cartoon archetypes through a series of journeys and conversations apparently at the beck and call of persuasive, godly forces." – Joe McCulloch, Comics Comics
"The long-awaited new issue of Zak Sally's bleak, meticulous series, which I think is the only Ignatz title about an actual cartoon mouse." – Douglas Wolk, Comics Alliance
"...[A] grubby, disturbingly surreal, anthropomorphic tale involving a surly mouse, drunken duck and reclusive dog, not to mention a number of seemingly nefarious and supernatural elements that turn up from time to time. ...Sally is producing a real sharp, evocative and haunting work that manages to send a delicious chill up my spine upon reading it." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6
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Wolk also plugs Drew Weing's Set to Sea, even though it's not on the official shipping list — "I think the entirety of Drew Weing's wonderfully drawn comic about a frustrated would-be poet who basically becomes Popeye against his will is still online [Not quite – Ed.], but this little hardcover edition (one panel per page) is awfully handsome" — so it may be arriving at your shop if it hasn't already. Why not contact them to find out?
(P.S. There are also new comics — not from us — by Émile Bravo and Trina Robbins in shops this week! Ask your friendly neighborhood comic purveyor.)
We have four new issues of Ignatz Series series just arrived in our warehouse and ready to ship now, available individually or get all 4 for the price of 3 in our Ignatz Summer 2010 Super-Pack! One of them comes with a special exclusive bonus, and to help you catch up on the stories, all back issues of these 4 series are 20% off for a limited time! Read on for details.
In the concluding chapter of Sergio Ponchione’s dreamworld masterpiece, the mysteriously omnipotent O’Blique and the inquisitive Professor Hackensack wrap up all the loose ends, as we see what happened to the three protagonists of the first issue, and what Cryptic City is now like after the cataclysmic events of #2-3. Oh, and we also learn the meaning of life — all in Ponchione’s wildly inventive, super-detailed graphics.
In the climactic final issue, a tormented Angela finally finds her way into “The Forest” and final peace. We could tell you what happens to the other denizens of the apartment building whose lives we’ve been following throughout this 4 issue series, including a struggling couple, the kids, the Creature That Lives in the Basement and Feeds on Dreams, and his envoy the White Rabbit, but wouldn’t you rather find out for yourself?
Peculiar happenings in the Burnt Spruce Forest take the spotlight away from the rapidly-growing Dolly. Answering last issue’s question, “What are those crackling and rumbling sounds emanating from Wingman’s nest?,” a rock suddenly sprouts wings! A meeting is convened among the birds and the theory is advanced that it’s a fossilized egg suddenly sprung to life. Back at Cesare’s nest where Dolly lives, a monstrous intruder once again threatens to cut short her brief life...!
Our hero Sammy finally gets a chance to sit by himself — but for only three pages! There's more disembodied voices telling Sammy what to do which is followed by the anger, frustration, cursing and free-floating dread you've come to love from this gorgeous, surreal, FUNNY-animal series. Where the heck is Puppy Boy? What's that shovel for? Why all the terrified glassy-eyed staring off into nothingness? You may or may not find out in Sammy the Mouse #3!
While supplies last, get a FREE limited-edition print with this issue! These two-color prints were hand-pressed by Zak Sally and are signed and/or embossed with the La Mano Press seal.
• Johnny Ryan has a bunch of new prints for sale. We saw Matt Groening admiring the one above at Comic-Con, our own Kristy Valenti very happily bought the cat one, and the "Nachos" one is just 100% pure genius
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