Axel-In-Charge: Extending "Secret Wars," Excitement for a "Totally Awesome Hulk"
As much as I loved the Ignatz version of Delphine — Richard Sala’s take on Snow White — I’ve been eagerly waiting for Fantagraphics to release a more bookshelf-friendly version. The publisher announced that some time ago, but as the January release draws nearer, Fantagraphics has released some sneak peeks of the new version. There’s an 11-page excerpt in the store and photos of the hardback volume on their blog.
I’ve included a few pages of the excerpt below, but visit the Fantagraphics store to see all 11 and to pre-order the book.
Happy Mother’s Day and welcome to another edition of What Are You Reading? Today our special guest is Ryan Ferrier, who I spoke to a couple of weeks ago about his comic Tiger Lawyer and recently kicked off an Indie GoGo project to fund the second issue.
To see what Ryan and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.
I was first introduced to Zak Sally’s work via Recidivist, his collection of short stories, which knocked my proverbial socks off. I remember in particular being struck by his gravitas and willingness to poke at uncomfortable and dark places, not to mention his pitch-black sense of humor.
Sally has only gotten better since then, a fact most easily verified by his work on Sammy the Mouse, an ongoing, ostensibly funny-animal story that was initially serialized as part of Fantagraphics’ Ignatz series.
Now Sally has collected those three Ignatz issues and collected them into a smaller trade paperback, published via his own imprint, La Mano 21. In the true D.I.Y. spirit, Sally didn’t just stop there, but went on to even print the comic himself, using a 2-color press he bought.
I recently talked to Sally over email about the new Sammy collection, his decision to become a printer as well as a publisher and how his experience as a musician (he was a member of the band Low and recently released a solo album) informs his work as a cartoonist. I was touched and gratified by his candor and thoughtfulness, not to mention his willingness to answer my prickly, annoyingly personal questions with honesty and aplomb.
I wanted to start by asking you about your decision to not only publish the book yourself but print it as well. How did you get ahold of a printing press?
Well, in 2004 someone told me about one that’s been sitting in a basement here in Minneapolis, and it was going for $250. at that point in my life, it seemed like an idea worth trying, and a natural extension of doing zines/ self publishing etc. and the price was certainly right. Six years later i found a newer model, with 2-color capabilities, for $500. I sold my old press and quickly found out why the new one had gone for so cheap.
It’s time once again for our monthly trip through Previews looking for cool, new comics. As usual, we’re focusing on graphic novels, collected volumes and first issues so that we don’t have to come up with a new way to say, “Batwoman is still awesome!” every month. And we’ll continue letting Tom and Carla do the heavy lifting in regards to DC and Marvel’s solicitations.
One cool change this month and for the foreseeable future: I’m joined by Graeme McMillan who’ll also be pointing out his favorites.
Finally, please feel free to play along in the comments. Tell us what we missed that you’re looking forward to or – if you’re a comics creator – mention your own stuff.
The Art of Daniel Clowes: Modern Cartoonist – I admit, I tend to run hot and cold on Clowes’ output, but I’m a sucker for coffee-table career retrospectives, so the idea of taking 224 pages to look back at his career to date (with, of course, the traditional little-seen artwork and commentary) seems like a must-look at the very least. [Graeme]
Rachel Rising, Volume 1: The Shadow of Death – Terry Moore’s latest series gets its first collection and I love the premise of a woman’s waking up in a shallow grave with no memory of how she got there and needing to figure out who tried to kill to her. [Michael]
An important point is that Igort’s original vision [for the Ignatz comics line] was all about finding a way to help cartoonists get paid more. I can get behind that. I’d love to see more of that.
—Ganges author Kevin Huizenga on Italian cartoonist and publisher Igort’s motivation for launching the Ignatz line of high-end alternative comics. Now more or less defunct, the Ignatz line was co-published by Igort’s Coconino Press and a variety of international publishers, including Fantagraphics here in the United States. Boasting a line-up that included Huizenga, Gilbert Hernandez, David B., Zak Sally, Igort, Gipi, Gabriella Giandelli and more, the Ignatz line embraced an unusual format: oversized 32-page staple-bound comics with dust jackets. The idea was that the simultaneous release of individual comics in multiple languages made possible through Coconino’s co-publishing agreement would go a long way toward financially supporting the creators involved. The problem, as Huizenga explains in his interview with Robot 6’s Chris Mautner over at CBR, is that with all those creators and all those publishers in all those countries, there were too many variables for the project to function effectively for any prolonged period of time. Still, I’m with Huizenga: It’s nice to see an effort of that artistic pedigree be formulated not just for the fun of publishing good comics, but a sincere desire to see the makers of those good comics get paid well.
With all of next week’s Comic-Con International’s panels fully revealed, those of you who are attending are probably putting together your schedule as we speak … but don’t forget to factor in some of the cool stuff that’ll be going on on the floor. Here’s a list of stuff you can do and people you can meet at various booths, with no doubt more on the way:
• Dark Horse Comics will have Gabriel Ba, Fabio Moon, Morgan Spurlock, Stan Sakai, Mike Mignola, Noah Wyle, Moon Bloodgood, Eric Powell, Joss Whedon, Janet & Alex Evanovich, Felicia Day and more at their booth.
• BOOM! Studios also released their booth schedule, which features appearances by Mark Waid, Claudio Sanchez, Peter David and Tad Stones, who created Darkwing Duck.
• Fantagraphics has released their booth schedule, along with a list of new books that will debut at the show. These include new volumes of their Peanuts collections, a new Prison Pit book, several Ignatz titles and Moto Hagio’s A Drunken Dream and Other Stories.
If you’re like me (and who’s to say you aren’t), you’ve no doubt been wondering what’s up with Fantagraphics Ignatz line, which up until recently seemed to be stuck on standby. This week finally sees the release of two new issues — Delphine #4 and Grotesque #3 – and over at Flog, Kim Thompson reveals that more is on the way, including the third issue of Kevin Huizenga’s Ganges.
Next up, likely to be released toward the end of the year, is a double whammy of Niger #3 by Leila Marzocchi (check out the cover of this wild ecological fable), and the fourth and concluding installment of Ponchione’s Grotesque (with another standalone story). Then Spring 2010 will, if everything goes well, see the release of the fourth issue of Igort’s cartoonist-graphic-novel-a-clef Baobab; the fourth (and concluding) issue of Gabriella Giandelli’s hard-to-pronounce magical apartment building story Interiorae; and the third issue of Zak Sally’s otherworldly picaresque Sammy the Mouse.
Thompson also writes that the Gipi series Wish You Were Here and Marti ‘s Calvario Hills are M.I.A. for now, though David B. may have a new issue of Babel out sometime next year.