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One of the more notable news stories of the week was the announcement by Mome editor (and Fantagraphics co-publisher) Eric Reynolds that the quarterly anthology would come to an end with the release of the 22nd volume later this year.
The series has had a rather remarkable and distinguished run since its inception in 2005. In addition to featuring work by such notable cartoonists like Jim Woodring and Gilbert Hernandez, it’s served as a publishing venue to highlight the work of up and coming artists like Laura Park, Tom Kaczynski and Sara Edward-Corbett, as well as introduce American readers to work by notable European creators like Emile Bravo and Sergio Ponchione.
As a memorial of sorts for the anthology’s oncoming demise, I thought I’d attempt to put together a quick list of my own favorite stories from Mome. This was a tough list to put together actually, and there are a number of names I feel a bit guilty for leaving off, but I’m sure you all can duly chastise me for my omissions in the comments section.
Welcome to another installment of “Food or Comics?” Every week we set certain hypothetical spending limits on ourselves and go through the agony of trying to determine what comes home and what stays on the shelves. So join us as we run down what comics we’d buy if they only had $15 and $30 to spend, as well as what we’d get if we had some “mad money” to splurge with.
Check out Diamond’s full release list if you’d like to play along in our comments section.
If I had $15, at least $9 of it – okay, $8.98 – would be already spoken for. The first issue of Batman Incorporated ($3.99) and one-shot lead-in Batman: The Return #1 ($4.99) offer up the first glimpses of what Grant Morrison has in mind for his new Batus-quo and, after the way he brought the RIP/Return of Bruce Wayne storyline to a close, I’m pretty much on board no matter what. The remaining money…? It’s a tough one, but I’m going to go for Spider-Girl #1 ($3.99), pretty much because I like Paul Tobin’s writing, I like the Twitter gimmick (Somewhere, Joe Casey’s going “I did it first in Final Crisis Aftermath: Dance!” and I know, Joe), and, most importantly, the Spider-Girl short was my favorite part of last week’s Amazing Spider-Man relaunch issue. Who could’ve seen that coming?
If you didn’t get enough from the preview Sean linked to the other day, we’ve got you covered. Courtesy of our fiendishly fantastic friends at Fantagraphics, we’re pleased to bring you seven more pages from The Littlest Pirate King, David B.’s adaptation of a short story by Pierre Mac Orlan.
It features both pirates and the undead, two of my favorite things. You can find more information on the book, plus the preview, after the jump.
Something spooky this way comes: Over on the Fantagraphics website, you can find previews and pre-order info for a pair of creepy kids comics from European comics superstars. First up is Toys in the Basement from Blab! mainstay Stéphane Blanquet, about a kid who shows up for a friend’s Halloween party in an embarrassing bunny costume, only to get stranded in the basement with a secret society of very pissed-off toys. Fanta puts it this way: “Imagine Toy Story as reimagined by David Lynch and Charles Burns and you’ll have a good idea of what this story is like. And yes, it is for kids!” Sold!
Next up is The Littlest Pirate King by Epileptic genius David B., adapted from a story by Pierre Mac Orlan. In this tale, a baby is adopted as the mascot for a crew of undead pirates, but things change as he grows up. Fanta notes that this will be David B.’s first full-color graphic novel to be released in English, and that alone makes it worth the price of admission even if you don’t enjoy pirate skeletons, in which case I don’t wanna know you anyway. All-ages meets All Hallow’s Eve!
NBM publisher Terry Nantier posted some news yesterday about his company’s upcoming publishing plans. Papercutz, NBM’s all-ages imprint, has picked up the rights to publish a Garfield comic book based on the Cartoon Network show — which, of course, is based on the comic strip of the same name.
He also mentioned some new projects and initiatives for NBM proper:
I can tell you we’ve got a new David B lined up where we’re going to take a quite different approach to how we present it than what we’ve been doing. Also the next Louvre book will look quite different! Basically, we’re seeing we don’t need to be married to the 6×9 format as much as we were so we’re going to open things up!
Also, we’re seeing a need for our books to reflect what we publish: beautiful quality comics you want to have physically and keep proudly in your library. For those who’d rather not spend so much, we’ll be multiplying our efforts on the E-book side.
Every so often I like to use this column to focus not just on the various American comics that have languished in uncollected obscurity for far too long, but to also examine great works found in other comics-loving countries like France and Japan that for reasons both frustrating and inscrutable have yet to arrive on our shores.
So this week I’m looking across the Atlantic to a 1997 graphic novel written by David B and drawn by Chris Blain, both French. Both names should at least ring a bell with the discerning indie reader, David B. having won well-deserved plaudits for his extraordinarily haunting memoir Epileptic, while Blain found his name on a number of top ten lists last year with First Second’s release of his revisionist Western Gus and His Gang.
La Revolte d’Hop-Frog is a Western as well, though it bears little resemblance to Gus, however, or to any Western I’ve ever seen or read. It’s more like The X-Files set in 19th Century Texas. Oh, it has plenty of gunfights for sure. And cowboys. And tons of Indians. The central plot, however, revolves around a number of talking teapots, guns, lamps,stoves and other inanimate objects gaining sentience and declaring all-out war on their previous owners.