Chris Mautner, Author at Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources - Page 2 of 73
It happens every year: Despite the best efforts of authors, publishers and publicists, there are smart, funny and downright entertaining comics that fail to get their proper due. It’s a truth made more manifest every year as production and publishing costs are lowered and more and more people find ways of getting their work on print or online.
So once again I’ve put together a list of some books I thought could have used a bit more love, at least in terms of coverage if not also sales (though usually it’s both). These aren’t necessarily the best books of the past year – I’m not sure I’d swap any of them out for my own top 10 list – they’re just really good comics that didn’t seem to get enough attention. Let me know what you’d add to the list in the comments section below.
There’s been a wealth of children comics available recently, but I feel pretty safe in saying there hasn’t been anything quite like Kevin Scalzo‘s Sugar Booger. At least, I haven’t seen any comics involving a large, boisterous, bright blue bear with the uncanny ability to make delicious candy spew forth from his nose.
Although he’s been a part of the alternative comics scene for several decades now, Scalzo is jumping into serialized waters with the release of the first issue of this ongoing series (two more issues are planned for 2014) from Alternative Comics.
Combining a DayGlo pop sensibility with some Margaret Keane-like eyeballs, a dash of (PG-rated) underground grotesquery, and a dollop of Casper the Friendly Ghost for good measure, Sugar Booger is a rather tart confection that, while perhaps not for all tastes, will be appreciated by those who like a salty edge to their confectioneries.
I talked to Scalzo over email about the new comic, writing for kids, and his plans for the series.
There’s are a number of reasons why Dennis Eichhorn‘s Real Stuff was regarded as one of the better autobiographical comics of the 1990s. One thing, of course, was that he has lived an interesting and varied life – including a stint in jail – and has come across some unique, and at times bizarre, characters.
The other is that Eichhorn was a gifted raconteur, knowing exactly what beats of his story to hit and when, and the perfect point to deliver the punchline, even if it was retelling a funny thing someone said over drinks. Add to that the fact he collaborated with some of the most talented cartoonists in the industry at the time – Mary Fleener, Julie Doucet, Peter Bagge and Chester Brown, to name just a few – and tailored his stories to fit each artist’s unique strengths. I don’t know how the division of labor works with Eichhorn, whether he gives out detailed thumbnails or just a page of uninterrupted text, but he seems to understand the rhythm of comics exceedingly well.
British publisher SelfMadeHero earlier today announced its publishing plans for the first few months of 2014. They include a biography of painter Vincent van Gogh by Dutch artist Barbara Stok, a political satire set during the Iraq War by Abel Lanzac and Christophe Blain (!), the true story of boxer Hertzko Haft, who survived Auschwitz to become a heavyweight prize-fighter, and a collaboration between David Camus and Nick Abadzis (Laika, Hugo Tate) that involves Orson Welles and a Cuban cigar-roller.
You can find the full descriptions below.
Small press publisher 2D Cloud will have two new books debut at this year’s Toronto Comics Arts Festival. One of those is Rudy by Mark Connery, which we mentioned on Wednesday. The other is Detrimental Information by John and Luke Holden. Critic and blogger Rob Clough describes the Holdens as ”two brothers with a touch for the bizarre and grotesque” and “a deadpan, absurd sense of humor perfectly offset by the scrawled, often manic nature of their linework.”
2D Publisher Raighne Hogan provided us with a eight-page preview of their upcoming book, which is expected to arrive in stores in the spring. Check it out below.
Science and comics have proved a popular combination lately, as more and more cartoonists here and abroad attempt to tackle real-life topics that don’t involve their love lives (not that there’s anything wrong with that). The latest entry in this category will come in April when Abrams releases Climate Changed: A Personal Journey through the Science by French author Philippe Squarzoni.
The book, which will be 480 pages and cost $24.95, will examine what exactly global warming and its effects are while asking whether we have the ability to stave off the dire predictions that some make. Nonfiction is no stranger to Squarzoni, who has previously completed books about Central American politics and author Richard Brautigan, and this promises to be a highly detailed, heavily researched book.
After the jump you can read Abrams’ official press release:
Linthout’s first book on these shores was The Years of the Elephant, about a father trying to cope with his son’s suicide, published in 2010 by Fanfare/Ponent Mon. This new book, Conundrum’s description notes, is a sequel to Years, which won the Flemish Bronzen Adhemar.
[What We Need to Know] uses a wide-angle lens to encompass the entire family, specifically three brothers who each need to cope with their own ghosts. The style of both these autobiographical books is done in pencils without inks, in other words a rough and unfinished look, which perfectly matches the psychological state of the characters. Fortunately, they can consult “The Book” in emergencies. In that magic reference work, the famous artist WL’s mother has collected innumerable facts, recipes, and advice, in essence, what we need to know about life.
Conundrum was kind enough to provide us with a preview of the book, which you can see below.
London-based small press publisher Breakdown Press hasn’t been around very long, but it already has an ambitious line-up planned for the new year.
Having already published books by such intriguing up-and-coming artists as Connor Willumsen and Richard Short, Breakdown’s 2014 line-up includes Mutiny Bay by Antoine Cosse, a 16th-century epic about two of Magellan’s men who end up marooned, and Good News Bible: The Deadline Strips of Shaky Kane, which collects all the work The Bulletproof Coffin artist did for the ’90 British comics magazine.
Below you can find some exclusive preview pages, as well as details from the publisher.
Alternative Comics has announced it will release Sunbeam on the Astronaut by Steven Cerio in April. The 56-page book collects new and previously unpublished material by by the artist, whose hallucinatory images have graced numerous anthologies (Last Gasp Comics and Stories, Hotwire), as well as album covers and posters for such performers as The Residents and Ministry, not to mention his own books, Pie and Steven Cerio’s ABC Book: A Drug Primer.
Sunbeam on the Astronaut will include stills from his recent film The Magnificent Pigtail Shadow, and stories involving characters from some of the film projects he did with The Residents, as well as paintings, collages and more. The book will also be available on Apple’s iBooks with a full soundtrack and narration.
Drawn and Quarterly has an extensive list of releases planned for the first half of the new year, including the debut book by Belgian cartoonist Brecht Vandenbroucke, White Cube. The 64-page book will go on sale in March for the list price of $22.95, and Vandenbroucke will appear in April at MoCCA to help promote it.
White Cube is a collection of wordless gag strips mostly involving a pair of twins who attempt to interact with the worlds of art, fashion and high culture in general, with humorous results. Although this is his first book, Vandenbroucke’s work might be familiar to you, as he’s done comics for Nobrow and illustrations for The New York Times.
Below, you can read D&Q’s press release and sample a five-page preview.
Now the 49th state can add at least one name to its roster, Anna Bongiovanni. The Fairbanks native, now transplanted to Minnesota, released her debut Out of Hollow Water through the small-press publisher 2D Cloud. It’s a rather haunting trio of short stories, told in simple, one-panel-per-page fashion, to detail various emotional, familial and even sexual trauma. Bongiovanni, however, relies upon folklore and fairy-tale tropes to give her stories an eerie, otherworldly feel that makes these stories both alien and universal at the same time. It’s a pretty impressive debut.
I talked with Bongiovanni over email during the holidays about her new book and its origins.
Chris Mautner: First of all, tell me a little bit about yourself. Where are you from? How did you get interested in drawing? How were you introduced to comics and what made you decide to start making your own?
Ann Bongiovanni: I was born and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska. I never got into comics until my parents just happened to buy an Archie comic from the grocery store. Then I was hooked, like obsessed, with Archie comics. Luckily, I calmed down and – while Archie holds a special nostalgic place in my heart – I am not nearly as crazed about the series as I once was. For a few years, I attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and tried to major in elementary education, but all I ever did was draw comics. It’s what I did in-between homework assignments and during lectures. Instead of going to parties, I was drawing in my dorm room alone. I don’t really know what that says about me (yikes), but I couldn’t really think about anything other than telling my own stories. It didn’t help that I really dislike children and wanted nothing to do with them. My parents convinced me to try attending the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 2007 and get a BFA in comic art, and I’ve been drawing comics ever since.
U.K. publisher Nobrow has been making serous inroads in North America, thanks largely to a colorful, lively and diverse lineup of titles that appeal to a variety of ages while showcasing the strengths of the comics medium.
The new year might possibly be the company’s breakthrough into the American market, as it’s not only making a push with a new U.S. office, but also has a lineup of intriguing comics planned. Readers can expect to see a new book in the increasingly popular Hilda series from Luke Pearson, the second volume in Jesse Moynihan’s ongoing Forming storyline, an all-ages account of Shackleton’s journey to Antarctica, a comic about neuroscience and more.
Check out details about Nobrow’s upcoming releases, as well as some swell cover art, below.
Wonder what Koyama Press has planned for the coming year? Well, wonder no more: The company has announced it will release four books in May and June, including titles by acclaimed cartoonists Michael DeForge (Lose, Very Casual) and Jesse Jacobs (By This You Shall Know Him).
DeForge’s A Body Beneath will collect material from issues 2-5 of his one-man anthology series Lose. Jacobs’ Safari Honeymoon follows a newly married couple as they venture into a mysterious forest filled with weird creatures.
Koyama Press will also publish Cat Person by Seo Kim, a collection of comics by the Adventure Time storyboard artist starring herself and her cat, and 100 Crushes, which compiles artist Elisha Lim‘s gay-themed comics.
Then, in November, the company will release Distance Mover by Patrick Kyle. about a man who owns a magical vehicle that can explore the world when not fending off the evil “Ooze.”
You can find more information about all of these books, including cost and ISBN number, as well as some preview pages, below.
As Tom Spurgeon reported a few weeks ago, the small press publisher 2D Cloud announced it has five books planned for 2014. One of the two of those debuting in May at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival is Mark Connery’s Rudy by Mark Connery, featuring the character that’s been appearing in various minicomics and anthologies for a while now. But this is, to my mind, the first time he’s starred in his own full-fledged comic.
2D Cloud provided us with a short preview of the comic, which you can see below.
You’ve seen them at amusement parks and train stations, and perhaps even glimpsed some makeshift ones at weddings and other large social functions. Photo booths have been a part of Americana for generations, despite digital technology threatening to make them a relic of yesteryear. Still, most of us give them little thought beyond the opportunity to get a quick picture taken.
Not so with Meags Fitzgerald. The Canadian artist has been obsessed with the technology, history and aesthetics of photo booths for years, and she’s managed to turn her interest into a graphic novel, Photobooth: A Biography, which will be released in May by Conundrum Press. As you might expect, it delves deeply into the history of the device, its significance and what is being lost in the move to digital.
I interviewed Fitzgerald by email last week about her upcoming book and abiding love for this disappearing technology.