Archive for November, 2010

Paying For It


Friday, November 19, 2010

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Chester Brown's Paying For It

Normally I wouldn’t post out of turn but I had to share this, especially since I don’t think anyone else has posted it. If is to be trusted, this is the cover for the most eagerly anticipated comic book of 2011, Chester Brown’s Paying For It.

Post Script: It looks like I jumped the gun if not the shark. Sammy Harkham (see comments below) says this is not the cover. Oh well … I guess I’m just too eager to see the book.

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These Guys…


Friday, November 19, 2010

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Coffee and Conversation at DAP

An excuse: Well, it’s been a week of nothing but Brian Chippendale and CF for me. I just put the boys in a cab to JFK and tonight they will be at Floating World Comics in Portland OR, for a party and interview with Matt Fraction. Tomorrow night they’ll be at Family in Los Angeles. Let me say this: Their slide shows are pretty damn great, and not to be missed. It goes on… Just to keep the fun going, here are a couple brand new interviews with Chippendale at Inkstuds and Arthur. Compare and contrast and see if he contradicts or repeats himself. Try it at home!

An item: I direct your attention over to Same Hat, where CC pal Ryan Holmberg is doing some group research on Lone Wolf and Cub writer Koike Kazuo. Apparently he also wrote a Hulk comic book for the Japanese market in the 1970s. I would like to read that.

A recommendation: I love Denys Wortman’s New York. It’s a beautifully produced book of this forgotten cartoonist’s vivid NYC-observed cartoons. The drawings are nuanced and yet amazingly muscular and gritty. I’d never seen the work before and found myself completely absorbed in Wortman’s bygone world. Great drawings and a great historical presentation by James Sturm and Brandon Elston. Kudos to D&Q for supporting such a wonderful project. There is a an exhibition on now at The Museum of the City of New York, which I look forward to checking out asap.

End on a stupid note: A very brief “Dapper Dan’s SuperMovies Column”: Let me just say: The Green Lantern trailer totally blows, except for the monster dude that looks like the Elephant Man. That part is cool. But does everything have to be a wise cracking hunk who grows up and finds responsibility? It’s creepy! And why are ALL sci-fi sets seemingly designed by the same boring people? I want more architectural phalluses and glistening drops of liquid, not boring faux-cities. Well, the boys and I hold out hope for Darren Aronofsky’s Wolverine movie. That should be good.

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“Obviously Talking to a Man”


Thursday, November 18, 2010

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As I once promised, my plan for today was to review the latest issue of Glamourpuss, but things got away from me, and it looks like I won’t be able to get to it until later. But some research I was doing for the post might do as a temporary substitute.

Here are two quotations from popular manuals on cartooning, released a half-century apart. They both give advice on how to draw women for comic books. Which quote is from which book?


Don’t emphasize muscles on a female! Toned and taut, to be sure, but keep the curves and the sensuality—and vive le difference!


The sexy female figure may be divided into four central parts. First comes the head and hair. A pretty face must be crowned with appropriate hair. … Women readers especially are critical of the way a cartoonist draws the hair on any female characters. Second comes the breasts. It is here that beginners and sometimes even professionals go off the beam by over-exaggeration. The width of a single pen or brush line can make the difference between a pleasing shape and a vulgar or crude lump of fat. Don’t lay sex on with a trowel. Be subtle about it. True, the breasts are drawn larger and a little higher than in real life, but how much larger and higher depends upon the over-all style of the individual cartoonist. Third are the hips. Exaggeration is needed here, too, but again one must not overdo it. Fourth and finally come the legs. The sexy gal must have long shapely legs. A short, dumpy figure has not much appeal and should be avoided.

One of the quotations is from the 1956 classic Famous Artists Cartoon Course (see illustration), and the other is from the just released Stan Lee’s How to Draw Comics (I wish I had access to a scanner now, because, oh the illustration I could use from that book — check this post again tonight tomorrow for a late visual update.)


New York Plays Itself


Thursday, November 18, 2010

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A new time-waster:

The Gem Theater


That Inkstuds Book


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

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The new Inkstuds book

As Jog mentioned last week, the Inkstuds book is now in stores. Jog avoided saying too much about it for conflict of interest reasons, and I have even more conflicts than he does. I wrote the introduction to the book, which also includes the transcript on an interview with me, Dan, and Tom Spurgeon.

But Comics Comics has a long and noble tradition of **ahem**Dan Nadel**ahem** shameless self-promotion, so I’ll say a few words. It’s a very handsome book, amply illustrated with examples of the cartoonists work. And to his credit Robin McConnnell has interviewed many cartoonists who have rarely if ever been questioned about their work (notably the great Ted Stearn). Finally and unexpectedly, the interviews read very well in print. Even though I’ve listened to many of the interviews before, I’ve found that when I read them I pick up on nuances that I missed as a listener. So if you’re interested in contemporary comics, I’d suggest picking up the book.

Here’s an excerpt from my intro:

Among the many comics interviewers, the best were Verne Greene, John Benson, Arn Saba, Gary Groth, and Todd Hignite.  In the early 1960s, Greene, who then drew the strip Bringing Up Father, hosted a radio program on WRVR in New York City where he chatted with peers like Chester Gould and Roy Crane, getting them to share in the secrets of their craft. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Benson conducted path-breaking interviews with comic book artists such as Bernie Krigstein and Gil Kane, where they spoke honestly about the commercial limits of the form and their artistic ambitions. In the 1970s, Arn Saba, then a young cartoonist with an enviable gig at CBC radio, interviewed such venerable comic strip masters as Hal Foster, Floyd Gottfriedson, and Milton Caniff, catching them in the twilight of their career…..

I’ll add a regret that I didn’t talk about Tom Spurgeon as one of the great interviewers, since he’s done some really deft quizing of both mainstream comics artists, and a wide range of contemporary art cartoonists and also writers about comics. I know from my own experience, that Tom is a really acute reader whose questions are like x-rays in the way the lay bare the insides of a book. 

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THIS WEEK IN COMICS! (11/17/10 – Small Lives)


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

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Here we have an image from one of the highlights of this week’s releases: Fantagraphics’ The Littlest Pirate King, an English edition of the 2009 album Roi Rose by the redoubtable David B., himself working from a Pierre Mac Orlan prose story (from 1921, I believe). It ‘s a lovely presentation, as thin (48 pages), tall (8.5 x 11.25″) and comparatively costly ($16.99) as the hardcover album format tends to demand; it’s no surprise, perhaps, that the slightly altered title and solicitation copy (“…a magical yarn that can be enjoyed by young and old alike”) motion toward the Young Adult or children’s books market, a potentially safer space for works in this or similar format(s).

Yet there’s also an appreciable difference between what we’ve seen of David B. in English and what we’re about to get. If this is the kid-friendly Beauchard joint, its calling card is the artist’s interest in depicting animated panel-to-panel ‘action,’ as seen above. There is a great interest here in impactful representation: huge sea creatures, sloshing waves, thick shadows and rich colors, dictative of mood.

The iconographic style typically deployed by the artist — at least in the body of work available to English-only readers — sinks into a manga-like diminution of detail, like how a character might become chibi for the purposes of delivering a joke, though for David B. it’s to blend individual forms into masses of activity, gradually shrinking in the bottom two tiers as each panel leaps forward in space and time. In closer views, the skeletal nature of David B.’s undead cast allows for some dramatic use of shadow (panel 1), while otherwise conveying the mass of humanity that is the undead. No anonymous zombies here, yet it is an effort (and damn effective) at fixed depiction, which rests this younger-targeted piece that much closer to the mainstream of genre comics art.


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Frank’s Favorites of 2010


Sunday, November 14, 2010

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I wanted to do a “best of ” list that was personal favorites of this past year. The way I gauge the alt/art/fusion comics calendar is from SPX to SPX. So, a book that comes out post-SPX 2010 is on the 2011 list. Get it? Good. So, for example, The Whale, If ‘n Oof, and Powr Mastrs 3 were not out at SPX 2010 so they are on next year’s list.

I think my favorite of this last year was CF’s City Hunter. To me, it summed up the feeling in art comics over the last few years. Again, I mean this “for me” – what I see is Christopher riffing on the genre comics I know and love: the ’80s black and white explosion comics. Their dead serious sincerity and folk art determination is very real – and Christopher, I believe, has channeled this very eloquently. It’s a mash up of scenes that may possibly look like scribbles to you but to me they speak a clear language. Lots of backgrounds with “Main Dice” the main character swinging down the street. Lots of “straight talk” from the editor of the Fantasy Empire Magazine company. It’s like Christopher made his own black & white action comic and worried more about how the indicia and logo would look than the how the story unfolded – which is exactly what most ’80s black and white explosion action comics are about – so it’s kind of perfect. Christopher summed up this approach so well that it really shut the door on this kind of thing. I think the window has possibly closed on my own nostalgia for these genre comics – CF’s re-bop re-phrasing of the whole scene just makes me want to read his incarnation of it over and over again. (more…)

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Sunday in Providence RI


Friday, November 12, 2010

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Say hey, we’re talking today!

Come see Brian Chippendale and C.F. release their new books into the world at 4 pm on Sunday, Nov. 14 at Ada Books in Providence, R.I. They will be inaugurating their almighty slide show talks in which they will reveal all of their secrets. I will be there nervously standing to the side, wondering what kind of vegan food I’ll be eating for dinner. The tour then rolls on, my friends, as you can see below (and yes, you’re reading that correctly, the boys will be interviewed by Matt Fraction in Portland OR).

PROVIDENCE, RI: ADA BOOKS: NOV. 14, 4 pm. Slideshow and signing

NEW YORK, NY, THE STRAND: NOV. 18, 7 pm. Slideshow and signing

PORTLAND, OR: FLOATING WORLD COMICS: NOV. 19, 6 pm, Signing, slideshow and special live interview by Matt Fraction

LOS ANGELES, CA: FAMILY: NOV. 20, 8:15 pm, Slideshow and signing

TORONTO, ON: THE BEGUILING: DEC. 2, 7 pm, Slideshow and signing

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Moebius Musing


Friday, November 12, 2010

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In fact I am still recovering from last weekend’s NY Art Book Fair, which ran me more ragged than any fair before it. So this will be short. Never have I seen such voracious enthusiasm for books and printed stuff. I sold like half a dozen rolls of King Terry toilet paper! Who does that?! I dunno. And I sold a TON of Moebius books. Not to worry, Brian, I sold tons of If ‘n Oof, too. But Moebius… (more…)

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Comics Enriched Their Lives! #18


Thursday, November 11, 2010

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Dino De Laurentiis, film producer.

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