Well isn't this just super cool? Love and Rockets creators Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez were on NPR last week to talk about the music that helped shape their groundbreaking alt comics series. (Just in time for me to figure out my Hopey Halloween costume! Easier said than done, it turns out.)
After a very successful Kickstarter campaign Dave Sim had started work on republishing the entire Cerebus series, starting with High Society as high quality digital comics, including all the ephemeral content left out of earlier reprints. And then a fire happened which destroyed a lot of the Cerebus negatives, which, combined with the end through low sales of his latest project left Dave Sim pondering the end of his cartoonist career. But there's hope, as Fantagraphics bigwig Kim Thompson offered to help. [more inside]
Cartoonist Justin Hall is about to release No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics, a book celebrating and showcasing the work of queer cartoonists, including Trina Robbins, Alison Bechdel, and Joey Alison Sayers. A 36-page excerpt can be downloaded here (pdf, 3.6 mb). [more inside]
"Since their birth early in the century, comic books had been regarded as a kind of junior magazine and allowed to occupy space on the shelves or spinner racks of newsstands, grocery stores, drugstores, dime stores, and sometimes even bookstores. They caught on quickly and, initially, more than earned their place in those venues, but after the 1940s, the comics industry experienced more downs than ups. The Marvel-led resurgence of the 1960s had foundered by the 1970s to the point where extinction seemed like a real possibility. Comics retailer (and former distributor) Steve Schanes put it succinctly: 'Comics were on their last breath. They couldn’t have lasted another four years.'" Part One: Fine Young Cannibals: How Phil Seuling and a Generation of Teenage Entrepreneurs Created the Direct Market and Changed the Face of Comics [more inside]
Al Columbia has finally updated his site . Previously, there had been ominous hinting at a more fleshed-out web experience, but no follow-up. Rumors of a documentary by Kevin Belli have been in the air for years, but nothing has been announced beyond this (scroll down). In March, the Fantagraphics blog brought more news of the documentary's progress and hints of publishing Columbia's sketchbooks. Columbia himself confirmed the Fantagraphics book at the beginning of April in an Inkstuds interview (audio), describing it as a large-format collection of most of his unpublished work from the last ten years. Promises, promises. His contribution to Mome 7 and 8 seem to be a bit more concrete. If you've been waiting on A.C. all these years, you'll want to hear that interview: he brings you song (his own Percival Cook), much nervous laughter, meandering descriptions, and dream revelations (at age 12, a dream of having sex with Felix the Cat). [more inside]
Bush Junta: A Field Guide to Corruption in Government - A substantial visual document (200 pages of comics from Fantagraphics, fact-checked with an extensive bibliography; the link goes to a number of sample pages) on the Bush Dynasty, from its beginnings benefitting off of Hitler and WW2 (that entire piece, which is printed in english, is posted in its original dutch online here), to the Bush's connection to Reagan's assassination, CIA and Iran-Contra, ending with the unsettling origins and profiles of the current administration. A great election primer, featuring comics and art by Steve Brodner, Ralph Steadman, Spain Rodriguez and many others. (Amazon link provided for a better description)
The entire 50 years of Peanuts are to be reprinted in chronological hardback volumes by Fantagraphics in a project that will take 12 and a half years to complete.
UH OH, Fantagraphics Books in Seattle, home of chris ware, dan clowes, r. crumb, charles burns and a host of other awesome comic artists is facing desperate times!