Getting a jump on the holiday shopping season, the editors of Amazon.com have released their choices for the best books of the year in categories ranging from Romance and Literature & Fiction to History and Science Fiction & Fantasy. Of course, what were most interested in is Comics & Graphic Novels:
1. Building Stories, by Chris Ware (Pantheon)
2. Darth Vader and Son, by Jeffrey Brown (Chronicle Books)
3. Saga, Vol. 1, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (Image Comics)
4. The Hive, by Charles Burns (Pantheon)
5. Prophet, Vol. 1: Remission, by Brandon Graham, Farel Dalrymple, Giannis Milonogiannis and Simon Roy (Image Comics)
6. The Underwater Welder, by Jeff Lemire (Top Shelf Productions)
7. Swamp Thing, Vol. 1: Raise Them Bones, by by Scott Snyder and Yanick Paquette (DC Comics)
8. Wonder Woman, Vol. 1: Blood, by Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang (DC Comics)
9. Creepy Presents Richard Corben, by Richard Corben and various authors (Dark Horse)
10. Avengers: The Children’s Crusade, by Allan Heinberg, Olivier Coipel, Jim Cheung and Alan Davis (Marvel)
As I said a while back, comics seems to be having an increasing influence on fine art and illustration. One aspect of this is fine art fetishizing the iconography of comics. You may already have seen the work of the photorealist Glennray Tutor, and his still lifes of toys and fireworks often positioned around comic art, like the above shot of some marbles illuminating a romance comic. Tutor is using comic art as a signifier of pure Americana, as American as the vinyl Donald Ducks or bottles of hot sauce he also takes as subject matter.
It’s hard not to see his influence upon the painter Matthew Bone. Bone isn’t a photorealist, and he utilizes the artifacts of nerd culture in a similar way to a very different end. His work literally fetishizes comics and toys: a semi-nude woman writhing on a bed of old Marvel comics; a pair of erotically charged models salivating over a Gundam toy; a nude in a Darth Vader helmet clutching handfuls of Storm Trooper action figures to her breasts; another mock-fellating a Gamorean guard toy. The bio on his website claims “by utilizing the conventions of pop culture, and it’s willingness to embrace the artifice as the sincere, Matthew is able to create a re-envisioned modern mythology.” That’s quite a claim for what a less sympathetic critic might just call an inappropriate fixation upon the pop cultural iconography of his youth mixing with a retrogressive view of female sexuality — NSFW examples below. Also below: Michael Latimer, the street art
swiper Lichtenstein, and Sam Spratt.
Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading? This week our special guest is artist Ivan Anaya, one of the winners of the winner of the Skullkickers Tavern Tales Contest. He’ll join the other winner, writer Aubrey Sitterson, on a story for Skullkickers #18.
To see what Ivan and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.
Awards | The Guy Davis short story “The Phototaker” has been removed from the 2012 Eisner Awards ballot after it was determined to be ineligible. “The ‘Phototaker’ Eisner nomination was a mix up,” Davis wrote on Twitter. ” Jackie Estrada messaged me after I posted asking about the original English version, which came out in Metal Hurlant #9 (2003). So it’s not eligible for the 2012 Eisner nomination and has been removed. Thanks for all the congratulations yesterday, but I’m happy to clear this up and have it removed from the running.” [Eisner Awards]
Publishing | DC Comics’ Senior Vice President of Sales Bob Wayne and Vice President of Marketing John Cunningham respond to March’s direct-market sales estimates, which saw Marvel claim three of the Top 10 spots after a February shutout. “We are pleased that we gained share, and we never expected that we would hold ten out of ten at the top of the chart for ever,” Wayne said. “I think it is better for the business if everybody is firing on all cylinders, that our competitors are doing interesting things, and we are doing interesting things. It keeps everybody on their toes and it keeps enthusiasm in the readership. The retailers remain involved wanting to make sure that they have enough of everything. I think it’s a good thing all around.” [ICv2.com]
Welcome once again to What Are You Reading?, our weekly look at what’s on the night stands of the Robot 6 crew. This week our special guest is Kody Chamberlain, who you might know from such comics as Punks, newuniversal: 1959, The Foundation and his latest, Sweets, from Image Comics.
To see what Kody and the rest of the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below …
Dark Horse Comics sent over their signing and panel schedule for the New York Comic Con, which gives some indication of some of the things they’ll likely be talking about at the show:
• Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson will be on hand to talk about Beasts of Burden. If you’ve ever read any of The Dark Horse Book of . . . horror anthologies, then you know the duo has collaborated on a series of stories about talking dogs and cats — the first of which, “Stray,” from The Dark Horse Book of Hauntings, won an Eisner. After years of closing out these anthologies, they’re getting their own four issue mini-series.
• Dark Horse has released collections of old Creepy magazines over the past few months, and an Eerie collection is due in March, I believe. But if I recall correctly, the plan was that they would eventually release new Creepy and Eerie comics. Just guessing here, but maybe that’ll be one of the things they talk about at the panel on Sunday.
Check out the complete schedule after the break …