Tag Archives: fantagraphics books

The End of the Fucking World, Reprinted!

Before The End of the Fucking World was a genre-bending, international smash hit on Netflix and Channel 4, it was the 2013 critically-acclaimed graphic novel by Charles Forsman, published (without the asterisks) by Fantagraphics Books! Re-released this past fall in a new hardcover edition, the book flew off the shelves within 24 hours of the hit series’ debut on Netflix last Friday. As a result, an ambitious third printing of The End of the Fucking World has been expedited and will hit stores in early February.

The End of the Fucking World is an eight episode series that premiered on Channel 4 and All 4 in the United Kingdom in October of 2017 and on Netflix internationally on January 5th, 2018. The show stars Jessica Barden and Alex Lawther as Alyssa and James, two teenagers whose predilections for nihilism spiral into horrific and humorous mayhem.

Originally self-published by Forsman in mini-comic form, The End of the Fucking World was collected and published as a softcover graphic novel by Fantagraphics in 2013. It was re-released in hardcover in late 2017 in anticipation of its small screen debut.

Pre-order your copy of The End of the Fucking World today from your local bookstore, comic shop, or directly.

Review: Night Business

There is something so satisfying about watching a revenge movie. Watching a protagonist, who has been wronged, taking justice in their own hands. This is the wish fulfillment of the everyman and why everybody cheers when the main character finally fulfills their measure of vengeance. This is why the audience for these movies still exist, which is why the trailer for upcoming Bruce Willis remake of Death Wish, has movie fans anticipating its release.

Throughout the years, there have been some really good revenge movies including the aforementioned Charles Bronson classic. One of the few revenge movies, that I have only watched once, as it is one of those films, you cannot un-see but still is excellent, is Pedro Almodovar’s brutal The Skin I Live In, as it still gives me the creeps thinking about that twist. My favorite all-time favorite revenge film, is John Woo’s The Killer, which had Chow Yun Fat, who plays a police officer who wages a one-man war against the Triad after they kill his partner. This same vein of revenge, retribution and get back, fills the pages of Benjamin Marra’s ultraviolent Night Business.

In the opening pages, we meet Jazzie, a young stripper, who is loved by everyone she meets, until a masked man, stabs her to death. The reader soon finds out he is a serial killer and the only person who can stop him, is Johnny Timothy, a friend of Jazzie and an entrepreneur, who seeks revenge, and wants to stop the killer before more dancers are murdered. We follow Johnny as he gets closer, but are constantly deterred by pimps, killers, a cult, and a gang but is helped by a mysterious bikini clad biker. By book’s end, what started out as a mission of vengeance becomes an opening of a bloody Pandora’s box.

Overall, a neon laced tale of sex, money and murder over a pulsating beat but doesn’t forsake a great story for nostalgia. The story by Marra is action packed, melodramatic and at times, cheesy, in the best way. The art by Marra reminds me of Michel Fiffe, but also has a glow all its own, and the way the art accompanies the story, it completes the experience as a fast 80s action movie. Altogether, an excellent revenge story that will have you looking for your VHS copy of Raw Deal.

Story: Benjamin Marra Art: Benjamin Marra
Story: 10 Art: 9.2 Overall: 9.6 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Zegas

The most interesting thing about growing up with siblings, is no one knows you better. They know what gets under your skin, what aggravates you and what makes you happy. When you are children, you tend to push each other buttons and more than a few times, get each other in trouble. As you get older, some of those same feelings remain but most mature.

Out of all my relationships, my relationship with my sister, is probably one of the closest I have in my life. This is true for most of my family and some of my friends, as that bond is like nothing else. That’s why when I used to watch Super Friends, growing up, and I saw the Wonder Twins, it always felt like that was me and her. That same bond is what I felt throughout, when I read Zegas, about a pair of adult siblings living together.

In the first story, “Birthday,” we meet Boston and Emily Zegas, as the readers get a front seat to just complicated their relationship is, where they both love each other but can get on each other’s nerves. In one of the more esoteric stories, “Cactus,” Emily accidentally steps on a cactus plant Boston is growing, which leads to an otherworldly effect happening to the plant. In “Plum,” Boston gets an adverse food allergy, and must use alternative means to get rid of it. By book’s end, each story highlights a master at work, as Fiffe, as the way he weaves narratives, is what makes his work since, so superior to his contemporaries.

Overall, an interesting set of stories, which show how cinematic the creator’s view of the character is. The stories by Michel Fiffe are humorous, uncanny, and stirring. The art by Fiffe differs from story to story, although he uses mostly the same characters, he changes his perception based on the story. Altogether, a gritty collection, which challenges the set boundaries of visual storytelling   and proves that some of the best stories are told outside of the box.

Story: Michel Fiffe Art: Michel Fiffe
Story: 8.8 Art: 8.6 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Quazarz vs. The Jealous Machines release party with Ish (Shabazz Palaces) & Joshua Ray Stephens January 4th

Somehow, through fire or through fury, the Palaceer of Shabazz Palaces caught wind of the tale, and it is through his prism that we hear the story.

And so the tale is told while surfing on the board of Shabazz Palaces, with its sturdy base angled for takeoff on a new trajectory. There is new blood and space and room to be different and have different assets and different art and different ways to talk and also open up some space inside to do something new. There are pages and there are drawings, and color and faces and inked dialogues written in ancient futuristic hieroglyph. There are scales and there is melody and there are Sunny days and there is Darkness, but that—it should be noted—to the Palaceer is not a lack of illumination or brightness. Maybe it is dark, but in it is always optimism and joy, a bright darkness and a full, hopeful one as well.

Imbued with the energy and ideas from all the creative embers floating in the atmosphere like fireflies, Shabazz Palaces recorded this entire album over the course of two weeks with Blood in Seattle. New gear and new equipment disintegrated comfort zones into dust and a new path appeared in the ashes.

Illustrated by cartoonist Joshua Ray Stephens this full-color, 32-page book includes a download code for the full album. Joshua Ray Stephens worked directly with Shabazz Palaces to interpret the album track-by-track, creating a cohesive whole that synchronizes music and image. Printed in a large 11” x 17” format, with saddle-stitch binding, this limited-edition art piece further expands the ambitious universe of Quazarz and Shabazz Palaces. The illustrated album version of Quazarz vs. The Jealous Machines is being released in collaboration with Fantagraphics Books. This limited edition item will be printed in a hand-numbered run of 1,000 copies and includes a download code for the album.

WHO: Ish & Joshua Ray Stephens
WHAT: Quazarz vs. The Jealous Machines release party and art exhibit
WHEN: January 4, 6-8pm
WHERE: Floating World Comics, 400 NW Couch St. OR, 97209

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Wednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

Each week our contributors are choosing up to five books and why they’re choosing the books. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Batman: Creature of the Night #1 (DC Comics) – Kurt Busiek and John Paul Leon unite for a spiritual companion to Superman: Secret Identity. Busiek writing Batman, yes please!

Catalyst Prime: Kino #1 (Lion Forge Comics) – A new entry in Lion Forge’s impressive new world. Anything the release is worth checking out and has us excited!

Chasing Hitler #1 (Red 5 Comics) – From the mind of a high school senior, the niece of Jai Nitz. The creator and concept of Hitler surviving and being chased down has us intrigued.

Dark Ark #3 (AfterShock) – Have you read the first two issues? This mash-up of horror and Biblical concepts is a fascinating and fun read.

Darkhawk #51 (Marvel) – We’re always interested in seeing what Marvel is doing with these one-shots and revisiting some classic characters and stories.

Eternity #2 (Valiant) – Is another classic in the making too hogh a bar?

Giantkillers #0 (IDW Publishing/Ominous Press) – Bart Sears and Ron Marz are continuing to kick off their new world and we want to see what it’s all about.

Interceptor Vol. 2 Reactor #1 (Vault Comics) – Donny Cates is writing it and that’s all we need to know about this return into the world of vampire warfare.

John Wick #1 (Dynamite Entertainment) – If you’ve seen the two movies you know why we’re excited for this.

Mystik U #1 (DC Comics) – It’s Harry Potter meets Gotham Academy with DC’s mystical characters. We’re onboard to see where this goes.

Splatoon Vol. 1 (VIZ Media) – The popular video game in manga form!

Star Trek Discovery #1 (IDW Publishing) – The show has been fantastic so we’re expect the same with these comics.

Star Wars Comics (Marvel and IDW Publishing) – There’s four different Star Wars comics from two publishers and we’re excited for them all.

Sword of Ages #1 (IDW Publishing) – Gabriel Rodriguez, the writer/artist/Locke & Key co-creator does fantasy. Yes please!

Zegas GN (Fantagraphics) – Michel Fiffe of Copra awesomeness. That alone should get you interested in this.

Review: Fog Over Tolbiac Bridge

Hard boiled crime novels are a bit of a guilty pleasure, for me and not too many do it as good as Michael Connelly. All the books he writes captures a certain panache to his characters and to his settings, where everything is interconnected. Much like his character, Harry Bosch, a hardnosed detective, whose life is riddled with personal conflicts, family drama and questions about his past that remain unresolved. He also gets involved with the people surrounding his cases and often sees a lot of himself in them.

Characters like Bosch, although messy in the way he does business, from the outside, it becomes personal to him, which is why we root for Bosch even though he doesn’t follow the rules. Heroes that don’t follow rules like Bosch and Jack Bauer, are focused, determined and justice is their primary cause. Even if this type of behavior in real life may be irrational, it is still being admirable. This what I thought about Inspector Nestor Burma, when I read Fog Over Tolbiac Bridge.

It is 1950s Paris, and Burma, has been brought to a hospital morgue to help identify someone he is being told, was a friend of his. He discovers it was old friend from almost 30 years ago, someone he lost touch but was very much close to. As Burma, gets deeper into why his friend was killed, an old colleague gets killed as well. By book’s end, everything ties to a robbery, and the person pulling the strings finally meets his maker.

Overall, an excellent book which feels like the beautiful love child of the Two Jacks and The Mighty Quinn. The story by Leo Malet and Jacques Tardi is intricate, flourished with eater eggs and suspenseful. The art by Jacques Tardi is gorgeous. Altogether, Malet and Tardi, prove they can do hard boiled crime just as good as their American counterparts.

Story: Leo Malet and Jacques Tardi Art: Jacques Tardi
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Band for Life

To do what you love no matter, the reward, is a gift in and of itself.  When people play sports as children, they do it because they love the game they play, it is not until later, if they have talent, that someone imbues them with the fact that they are. Same goes for creatives as many people do it because it is their escape and they love it. As the love for the actual vice, is what makes it a joy to do.

This is what comedians and musicians know very well, as the performing of their craft, leads them to keep on doing what they do.  Comedians may spend years and even decades, before their work translates to more opportunities. Musicians, may suffer the same fate, as it can be a long time before they get a record deal. In Band For Life, we meet a band who actually loves making music and the reader gets to find out exactly why.

In the first few pages, the reader gets introduced to an alternative version of Chicago, where everyone looks like a supernatural creature. What follows is a series of misadventures, where each character, does something to aggravate the other. One of the standout stories “Caged Beauties”, we find out how one of the band members learned how to be a drummer while in jail. By book’s end, you are invested and oddly relate to these characters, as they have you wondering about your own relationships.

Overall, a funny, interesting, and wildly entertaining book which reminds of excellent Image book, The Humans, but about music. The story by Anya Davidson feels like weekly comic strip but reads like a coming of age novel. The art by Davidson employs the aesthetics of the great funk bands Parliament -Funkadelic and Johnny Guitar Watson.  Altogether, a book which was entertaining, pensive, and funky as hell.

Story: Anya Davidson Art: Anya Davidson
Story:10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Love From the Shadows

I recently re-watched the gone too soon tv show, Terriers, which was on FX. For those who are unfamiliar, it is about a pair of private investigators, one ex-cop and ex-con, who undertake several different odd cases. The over-arching storyline reminded me of watching Robert Towne’s and Jack Nicholson’s Chinatown, about a mass conspiracy involving some big land barons and a bunch of coverups. This reminded of those old pulp novels I grew up reading some involving crime, some about deceit amongst individuals, but each story just as juicy as the other.

In comics, Ed Brubaker has been one of the individuals, who is also ardent about this genre as is evident in his books, Velvet and The Fade Out. Traces of the genre can also be seen in Jason Aaron’s underrated tome Scalped. Rarely have adaptations of some of the films have ever been undertaken, as a lot of these movies were gems and inspired movies like Far From Heaven. This lead me to Gilbert Hernandez’s (Love and Rockets) solo outing series of books, which explores Luba’s (character from Love and Rockets) sister, Fritz’s movies and one of the most prominent ones being, Love from The Shadows.

In this adaptation of this faux movie, Fritz portrays Dolores, a well to do woman who enjoys the lush life as the concubine of a supernatural scam artist. Eventually Dolores, is called home as her father’s health deteriorates and some old family wounds are reopened. A chance encounter leads her to the film business where she runs into a series of “abusive people”, which use her for their pleasure as a betrayal allows this descent. By book’s end, Dolores takes control of her situation and exacts revenge in the worst way.

Overall, an excellent story which proves that Hernandez is quite a cinephile capturing the tone and driving themes that were prominent in most of these movies, much like the Pam Grier movie, Coffy. The story by Hernandez, is lithe, complex, and entertaining. The art by Hernandez is reminiscent of his work on Love and Rockets but with few subtle differences. Altogether, a book that will give smiles and cringes, but will entertain nonetheless.

Story: Gilbert Hernandez Art: Gilbert Hernandez
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Wednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

Each week our contributors are choosing up to five books and why they’re choosing the books. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Elana

4 Kids Walk Into A Bank issue #5 (Black Mask Studios) – One of the best mini series around, 4 Kids reaches its conclusion. If you want a Stranger Things or Stand By Me type story with an incredibly well written girl protagonist and wise humor this series is for you. Read my review of issues 1-3.

 

Paul

Top Pick: Astonishing X-Men #3 (Marvel) – This X title hit the ground running in the first issue, and shows no signs of letting up. This book has a very interesting group of X-Men making up the team, many I’m happy to see in a team book again. The action is non stop, the writing is really good and one surprise already caught me off guard, so I’m really looking forward to see what else his book is going to throw at me.

Champions #12 (Marvel) – It’s no surprise to anyone following the site that this is one of my favorite titles right now, and I’m really looking forward to this issue and seeing where the team is post Secret Empire. The solicit is promising a change to the line up, and while I do welcome change, I’m a little nervous how a change to the team could change the dynamic and the overall feel of the book. But, I’m optimistic and can’t wait to find out.

Jessica Jones #12 (Marvel) – Being one of my favorite characters (before Netflix and it was cool to be a fan of Jessica’s) I am really enjoying this title. I can’t wait for Maria Hill’s secrets to come to light and how Jessica will react, and how these revelations will shake up Jessica’s world.

 

Javier

Top Pick: World Reader #6 (Aftershock Comics) – I first came across Loveness’ writing in Marvel’s Rocket Racoon & Groot. It was one of the best emotional reads I have had in a while. Since then, if he writes it, I buy it. In his latest work–well supported by Juan Doe’s vibrant art–he gives us more sci-fi laden empathic space travels across the universe, seeking the answers to dead worlds.

Iron Fist #7 (Marvel) – Everybody has been hating on Marvel lately, but they still remain one of the top players in the comic book world and attract top talent (Disney must offer a hell of a health insurance plan). A prime example is Ed Brisson taking over and bringing life back to the Iron Fist character. This latest arc teams him up with Shang-Chi Master of Kung Fu; plus Mike Perkins’, dark colored, action packed art is a visual thrill.

Doom Patrol #8 (DC’s Young Animal) – True, it’s not Grant Morrison’s DP, but Gerard Way’s new take stands on it’s own, and has enough weird to keep me coming back month after month.

Seven to Eternity #9 (Image) – This sci-fi western fantasy by Rick Remender has become one of my favorites. I miss Opena’s art, but Harren is filling in the job nicely.

Postal #22 (Image/TopCow) – Hill and Goodhart are bringing things to a head as the town folk of Eden ready themselves for all out conflict with the FBI.

 

Brett

Top Pick: Poppies of Iraq (Drawn & Quarterly) – So many good books this week, but this is the absolute top of my list. This graphic novel is Brigitte Findakly’s chronicle of her relationship with her homeland of Iraq and the history she experienced there. Can’t wait to read this and see her take.

Ab Irato #5 (Lion Forge Comics) – Lion Forge’s “Catalyst” line of comics is making headlines but this series is some of the smartest writing in comics right now looking at a political uprising from the ground perspective.

Beirut Won’t Cry (Fantagraphics Books) – An artist’s view of the summer of 2006 Israeli attack on Lebanon. While I probably won’t agree with everything said, I want to see what’s said.

Dastardly and Muttley #1 (DC Comics) – Garth Ennis taking on the classic pair. It sounds insane and I can’t wait to read it.

Lazaretto #1 (BOOM! Studios) – A pandemic strikes a dorm complex at a small college and it’s quarantined with kids trapped inside. Sounds like an amazing concept.

Review: The Interview

In your lifetime, eventually you will face “a crisis of conscience “, where it appears whatever you do, you fail. It can affect many facets of your life. In your personal life, a relationship with a loved one, may not be as good as you would like it to be. In your professional life, you may not be in the where you expected to be and may be years behind you goal.

What these facets of our life, have in common other than you are your association to people and events. People come into your life all the time, how you interact with them, determine how long they will be there. Events occur, and they much like people, can stay with you for a while. In Manuele Fior’s The Interview, an existential science fiction story, which challenges how one reacts in their professional life when their personal life falls apart.

We meet a psychologist, Raniero, living in the year 2049, in Italy who a few things going in his life which includes a marriage which is trouble, a car accident and being a victim in a crime when most people fall apart he buries himself in his work. He starts to treat a patient, Dora, who claims to have been communicating extraterrestrials in the sky, the same ones Raniero has been getting slivers of light from. As his encounters with Dora become more frequent, so does his bond with her, and he starts to realize that there may be some truth between what he sees and what she hears. By book’s end, a decision must be made and everything clings on Raniero’s belief in what is the truth.

Overall, an endearing novel that captures the reader in the most alluring ride of a story. The story by Fior will grip the reader instantly. The art by Fior, is straightforward and abstract simultaneously. Altogether, a beautiful book that will leave you wondering what the future holds.

Story: Manuele Fior Art: Manuele Fior
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

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