Until a few years ago I'd never heard of Fletcher Hanks. But ever since I came across I Shall Destroy All The Civilized Planets! and You Shall Die By Your Own Evil Creation!, the Fantagraphics collections of the Golden Age cartoonists' work, I've been semi-obsessed. Hanks' most famous creation, Stardust The Super Wizard, is a twisted version of Nietzsche's Übermensch. His stories read like fever dreams, with a near omnipotent Adonis flying through the sky and handing out his flat out messed up version of justice to criminals -- turning them into rats, crushing their torsos with one hand, or throwing their heads into the deepest corners of space. Equal parts bizarre and fascinating, the stories somehow manage to tap into many of our subconscious fears. Basically, I love them.
And now collectible toy company Goldenagefigurines.com is making a dream of many Hanks fans come true, as they've created a figurine of Stardust, and have announced upcoming statues of other Hanks creations, including The Black Terror and Fantomah, believed to be the first comic book superheroine.
Charles Forsman’s recently concluded 16-part miniseries The End of the F**king World(or TEOTFW in Fantagraphics’s upcoming bookstore-friendly collection) is a rare bird, especially in today’s near-completely Balkanized comic book market; a genuine crowd pleaser. I’ve worked in comic book shops since before I started high school, and what pains me the most consistently about the otherwise delightful years I’ve put in is how little comics communicates with itself. The way so many comic book readers retrace their footsteps every Wednesday to the same superhero comics they bought last week, or the same mini comics they bought last week, or the same “indie” comics, or whatever is most familiar. As a fan of comics the medium more than any one set of stylistic gestures, I always just wish that everyone would reach across the aisles and try a little bit of everything. Of course, the reading public is hardly to blame for walking around in the blinders clapped on by an industry more comfortable with rehashing the stories that played five years ago or cannibalizing the signifiers of so-called “nerd culture” than creating books that honestly appeal to a wide group of people.
For the past year and change, though, TEOTFW did exactly what I wish every comic had the ability to do: grabbed anyone who took a look and forced them into a deeply compelling story much easier to stay inside of than leave.
Fantagraphics has announced that it will publish the first collection of work from acclaimed Australian cartoonist Simon Hanselmann. Titled Megahex, the deluxe hardcover will contain more than 200 pages from Hanselmann's celebrated Megg, Mogg, and Owl comics, which the artist posts on his Girl Mountain tumblr.
Industry professionals new and old gathered last night for the 2013 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards at Comic-Con International in San Diego, and it proved to be a big night for Chris Ware, Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples. Ware's Building Stories took home four awards, including Best Writer/Artist and Best Publication Design, while Vaughan and Staples' Saga swept its three categories: Best Continuing Series, Best New Series and Best Writer. Among the highlights of the evening was several award recipients and presenters using their time on stage to offer a few kind words in remembrance of Kim Thompson, the legendary Fantagraphics co-publisher who passed away last month.
And while we regretfully inform you that ComicsAlliance was not among the evening's winners, we once again thank the judges for considering us.
You can see a complete list of nominees and winners below.
There was almost no way I wasn't going to enjoy Lost Cat. The latest Fantagraphics book from Norwegian cartoonist Jason, it was billed as a crime noir tale with a nod to Raymond Chandler's The Big Sleep. Essentially, this was one of my favorite cartoonists telling a story in one of my favorite genres. So while my enjoying it seemed almost assured, it ended up being more than I expected. A commentary on longing and isolation with a twist that should seem out of place yet somehow works perfectly, Lost Cat isn't just my favorite comic of 2013 so far, but it's now my favorite work by one of the greatest cartoonist working in comics today.
Since his quirky, moving, and massive Bottomless Belly Button made every person in the world's best books of 2008 list, cartoonist Dash Shaw has turned his attention to shorter forms and new media. The long-running webcomic Bodyworld, the short story collection The Unclothed Man in the 35th Century AD, and the IFC animated shorts of the same name have all been marked successes, but many readers, myself included, wondered how long it would be before Shaw cycled back around to a new original graphic novel.
New School, the artist’s first long-form OGN in five years, is now available from Fantagraphics Books, and it answers our wonder with its own. A hardbound, 340-page story of brotherhood, prophecy, and theme parks, New School is surreal, emotional, and delirious with color.
When Fantagraphics co-publisher Kim Thompson passed away earlier this week, the comics industry lost one of its leading advocates, greatest editors, and most important voices. Thompson edited and developed talent such as Chris Ware, Dan Clowes and Stan Sakai. Further, he worked tirelessly to edit, translate and publish the work of many extraordinary European cartoonists -- including Jason, Jacques Tardi, Guy Peelaert and more --whose creations the American audience likely never would have seen. Much of Thompson's output had a profound effect on of comics' current creators. As such, when word of his passing came out, there was a huge outpouring of love and admiration from editors, creators, and fans alike who owe so much to Thompson, a man whose efforts influenced so many.
Kim Thompson, Co-Publisher of Fantagraphics and one of the most important editors in the comics industry over the last 30 years, passed away this morning due to complications from lung cancer. He was 56 years old. Over a career that spanned more than three decades, Thompson edited talent such as Chris Ware, Peter Bagge, Stan Sakai and Joe Sacco, and introduced the work of many legendary European cartoonists to the North American audience.
Fantagraphics Books has confirmed a September 2013 release date for Love And Rockets: The Covers, the eagerly anticipated and first ever full-color compilation of cover artwork from the legendary alt comics opus by Los Bros Hernandez.
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