Tag Archives: fantagraphics

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 2/3

Sometimes, the staff at Graphic Policy read more comics than we’re able to get reviewed. When that happens you’ll see a weekly feature compiling short reviews from the staff of the comics, or graphic novels, we just didn’t get a chance to write a full review for.

These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews.




MotherlandsCoverKill the Minotaur TPB (Image): This revisionist re-telling of the Greek legend of Theseus managed to hold my interest but I doubt that I’ll remember much about it next week. Co-writers Chris Pasetto and Christian Cantamesa show they can craft a good plot and artist Lukas Ketner graces his pages with a nice blend of Ray Harryhausen and H.R. Giger but the characters are largely trope ridden cliches and the team never manages between themselves to do anything that lifts this treatment above any of the hundreds of times you’ve heard this story before. It’s worth it if you find the single issues in the dollar bin or catch a sale on ComiXology or you find it on the shelf at your local library. Rating: 6 Recommendation: Pass

Motherlands #1 (DC/Vertigo): Tabitha Tubach is a bounty hunter trolling a surreal multiverse for wanted criminals and the daughter of “The Scarlet Sylph”, once one of the most renowned stars of the golden age of “huntertainment”, now disabled and retired. When Tabitha brings in a perp with information regarding one of the most wanted people in existence mother and child must team up to bring them in. Motherlands is far from writer Si Spurrier’s best work. The pacing didn’t feel quite right to me and I saw the last page cliffhanger coming about ten pages in advance. That said I’ve enjoyed enough of his other work (his Legion run was fantastic) to give this one at least one more issue to hook me. The characters are strong, there’s a lot of potential in the concept and the art by Rachael Stott is very good. Stott’s elegant style keeps things detailed without being cluttered and her sense of design provides us with a few weird visions that aren’t quite like anything we’ve seen before. There’s also a nifty bit where letterer Simon Bowland uses the shape of the word balloons to help indicate movement between worlds in the chase scene. Rating: 7 Verdict: Buy.

Eternal (Black Mask): Haunted by ghosts both literal and metaphorical shield maiden Vif must make a stand. This is a gorgeous book. Artist Eric Zawadski has a spare style that recalls Becky Cloonan and he adds lots of flourishes to his layout that enhance the story and draw you into the world of medieval Viking village. Colorist Dee Cunniffe assists the illusion with a muted a muted palette that brilliantly recall the spectres of cold and frost. Ryan K Lindsay’s story is good but it suffers from the constant leaps from past to present. This makes it hard to comprehend on a first read. Still it’s rich enough that you’ll want to read it twice. Rating: 7.5 Recommendation: Buy

Phoenix Resurrection Jean Grey #5 (Marvel) Even coming up with enough to say for a short review is a challenge. The art by Leinil Francis Yu is up to his usual high standard and Joe Bennett’s is adequate I guess. As to Matthew Rosenberg’s story… well, one mutant character I like is back and another is dead (for now) and yet I felt absolutely nothing after reading this. Maybe I would have a different response had I been reading the series straight along from issue#1, but if you can’t manage to eke out some emotion from the climactic moment in your story then you’ve failed in whatever it was you set out to do as a storyteller. The first part of Dark Phoenix Saga I read was the last and that inspired me to go back and read the whole thing from the beginning. This doesn’t do that at all. I’m hoping X-Men Red#1 will rekindle my love for mighty Marvel’s merry mutants because this issue left me cold. Rating: 5 (and that’s mostly because I like Yu’s art). Recommendation: Pass



animosity 12Animosity #12 (Aftershock)** – I wanna keep loving Sandor, but Marguerite Bennett is making it tough, as the secrets around everyone’s favorite over-protective dog continue to grow. Unfortunately, the suspense surrounding the current main plot — a humans vs. bees war — has been constructed in a bit more slipshod manner. It still makes for okay reading, but only that — okay reading. Fortunately, while the writing on this frankly over-franchised series has been slipping lately, Rafael De Latorre’s art continues to both shine and consistently improve. Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Read. 

Punisher Max: The Platoon #5 (Marvel/Max)** – The penultimate issue of Garth Ennis and Goran Parlov’s “Punisher In Vietnam” mini-series continues to ramp up the high-wire tension without letting up on either the razor-sharp characterization or the pitch-pitch combat writing. Frank’s left in a real pickle at the end of this one, and how it’s all going to play out is anyone’s guess — quite a feat considering that we all know our protagonist and most of the other principal players are sure to get out alive. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Underwinter: A Field Of Feathers #4 (Image)** – Speaking of penultimate issues, there’s just one more to go in Ray Fawkes’ impressionistic horror series, and he sets the stage for what should probably be a terrific finale by giving away just enough of his hand in this admittedly heavily-expository installment — but not too much. The lush and atmospheric art seals the deal, and all in all I have to say that I’m missing this comic before it’s even over with. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Dark Ark #5 (Aftershock)** – Cullen Bunn and Juan Doe put their first arc on this series to bed with an installment that sees an accidental (and frightening) visit to the Ark by a gaggle on angels that ends with our protagonist seeing his mission changing in abrupt, and sure-to-be-fascinating, fashion. Good as the scripting is, though, for my money Doe’s stylish and darkly atmospheric art and colors are the real star of this book. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy


JEAN_GREY_CVR_011Jean Grey #11 (Marvel) Dennis Hopeless and company’s solo story of time displaced Jean Grey and a major chapter in the ongoing “Phoenix saga” comes to a close as Jean battles the cosmic firebird in a kind of limbo between life and death. This purgatory-esque framing narrative provides a great opportunity for Victor Ibanez and Alberto Albuquerque to show Jean fighting in various cool locations like Limbo, the Savage Land, and best of all, the fiery pits of the Days of Future Past reality featuring the hound, Rachel Grey. But the comic isn’t just a fight for time, but young Jean coming to terms with who she is as a woman and X-Man without the Phoenix’s interference. Corresponding to the main story in Phoenix Resurrection, Hopeless finishes out his story by creating a reality where two Jeans can interact and learn from each other and not continually have to fight back and forth for the whims of a flaming avian plot device. I look forward to seeing what future writers do with them. Overall: 8 Verdict: Read


Big Trouble in Little China: Old Man Jack #5 (Boom!)** – In the latest issue of this romp through the apocalyptic future that Jack Burton caused, we throw down with the Three Storms. “There will be no popping! This time will be much weirder!” This series is a hoot: John Carpenter & Anthony Burch’s script has a breakneck pace and Jorge Corona’s art is energetic and expressive, with a cartoony style that still really delivers on the action. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

now 2.jpgNOW #2 (Fantagraphics)** – I am so, so very happy that this anthology exists! Not only does it give me the chance to regularly see work by artists I know like Dash Shaw and Sammy Harkham, but I get to discover even more work. At 120 pages it’s the perfect size, too, for a week of bite-sized reading. Highlights this time around for me: Tommi Musturi’s “Samuel”, with colourful landscapes that reminded me of a more formally-precise Peter Max, Anuj Streatha’s “National Bird” (with an absolutely brilliant image at the centre of it that I can’t get out of my head), James Turek’s “Saved” (“Let’s remember/Those throw away days/When going nowhere meant so much”) and Ariel Lopez V.’s hipster Twilight Zone piece “A Perfect Triangle” (and now that I’ve said “hipster Twilight Zone” I just want this artist to do more of them). Go give these people your money so they can make more art. Overall: 7.5 (because, after all, anthology) Recommendation:  Buy


Star Wars DJ Most Wanted (Marvel)– Having watched the Last Jedi, honestly it was djmostwanted.jpghard to find a reason to care about Benicio Del Toro’s mysterious character. So when I found out they were doing a prequel story,I wanted to give the character another chance, in hopes of finding out what would happen in the next movie.Unfortunately, that potential was never realized in this story. Sad to say, but fans of Star Wars, should keep moving, nothing worth your time here. Overall: 4 Recommendation: Pass

Punisher Platoon #5 (Marvel)**– We catch up with the Platoon soon after they get deployed into another high visibility area, one which leaves them more open then they know. Ly Quan, Frank’s “mirror” female version, finds her opportunity to pounce and that’s exactly what she does. This quagmire leaves Frank and the boys, in a position where they can neither retreat nor surrender, as Ly Quan has a taste for blood. By book’s end, it seems the Platoon is as good as dead, but as everyone who has read the Punisher knows, Castle has no quit in him. Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy


Moon Knight #191 (Marvel) – After the wackiness of the last few but fun Moon Knight runs, I wondered where Bemis would take this run. I am happy to report that it is so far so good for Mr. Spector and his friends. The art is great, the plot is crazy fun, and the jokes are funny. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Old Man Logan #34 (Marvel) – Marvel has continued it’s Legacy branded nostalgic trend of tapping into past storylines across their titles, as Old Man Logan digs deep into Madripoor, Silver Samurai, and The Hand. This was a fun issue, and I have enjoyed every issue of Old Man Logan, with this being no different. Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Well, there you have it, folks. The reviews we didn’t quite get a chance to write. See you next week!

Please note that with some of the above comics, Graphic Policy was provided FREE copies for review. Where we purchased the comics, you’ll see an asterisk (*). If you don’t see that, you can infer the comic was a review copy. In cases where we were provided a review copy and we also purchased the comic you’ll see two asterisks (**).

Review: TEOTFW

The Secret life of Walter Mitty is one of those movies that no matter what walk of life you come form, you can relate to. His fantasies throughout the movie speaks to anyone and everyone who felt something towards someone. His fantasies with his object of desire is any boy who falls in love with a girl. His fights with the new boss, is anyone who has had a bad relationship with their supervisor. The movie made the viewer assured that every fantasy was too fantastical to be true.

Eventually, Mitty goes on his own real-life adventures, in the movie, ones which if you had a bucket list, these would be the places you ventured. Not once did he get the girl or hit his boss in the face, as his justice was assuredly passive aggressive. Therefore, when these impossible feats happen in real life, we all wish we could be in their shoes. So, when I heard about TEOTFW (The End of the F*$king World), where one of the main characters becomes nihilistic, and act upon these fantasies.

We meet James, a young adult, who goes through life, not caring about himself and is nonchalant about hi relationships and surroundings. This change when he meets Alyssa, his girlfriend, who despite his abuses, and violent behavior, is like a puppy dog in love. Eventually, James starts killing people, leaving a ton of bodies in his wake, and with the police on his trial, but James and Alyssa’s bond becomes even stronger. By book’s end, James and Alyssa got caught, but everyone who they across including the police officer hunting them, becomes affected this murderous duo.

Overall, a hard-hitting, frightening look at inhumanity and the darkness that occupies all of us, as it this is an exercise in restraint, and those without it. The story By Charles Forsman was scary, suspenseful, and disturbing. The art by Forsman reminds of Garry Trudeau’s work on Doonesbury. Altogether, a crazy ride, which will make the reader understand, that everyone is one bad choice from ruining their lives.

Story: Charles Forsman Art: Charles Forsman
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

10 Spooky Comics for this Halloween

If you, like the rest of the internet, have been celebrating Halloween since before Labor Day, or have gotten swept up in the pumpkin spice frenzy, or are riding the high of those spooky seasonal vibes, hey. You’re not alone.

Though this year has been widely deemed a dumpster fire, 2017 has provided some excellent seasonal reads for readers who like their comics with a side of horror and mystery. Here are ten comics perfect for setting the Halloween mood.

Donny Cates, Garry Brown, and Mark Englert (AfterShock Comics)

Being a teenager can feel like hell. For pregnant sixteen year old Sadie, it might literally be hell. The first volume explores the strength of familial relationships, navigating the world as a teen mom, and how to deal when a powerful underground group of assassins tries to kill your baby, who is the antichrist.

Goldie Vance
Hope Larson, Jackie Ball, Brittney Williams, Noah Hayes (BOOM! Studios)

Goldie Vance is a teenage detective story appropriate for all ages. Join Goldie as she takes on the mysteries at the Florida resort where she and her dad work. The series is no longer published as single issues and will instead be published in the future in a series of graphic novels, and each arc is an excellent jumping-on point for the series.

Goosebumps_01_CoverA copyGoosebumps: Monsters at Midnight
Jeremy Lambert and Chris Fenoglio (IDW Publishing)

Goosebumps: Monsters at Midnight was released by IDW earlier this month. While it’s definitely geared toward a younger demographic, the first issue is full of references to the original books and stays true to their voice.

HellraiserOmnibus_v1_SC_PRESS_1Hellraiser Omnibus Volume 1
Clive Barker, Tom Garcia, various (BOOM! Studios)

The Hellraiser Omnibus isn’t for the squeamish. The book collects issues 1-20 of Clive Barker’s 2011-2012 Hellraiser series, as well as Hellraiser Annual #1. As part of Hellraiser canon, the comic explores the fate of Kirsty Cotton and the Cenobite realm–and changes them forever.

Mina Elwell, Eli Powell, and Tristan Elwell (Scout Comics)

The first issue of this Lovecraft-inspired horror comic from Scout Comics was released earlier this month. The story follows Sam, who is trying to save her town (and the people in it) from vicious monster attacks while keeping her grip on sanity.

Marguerite Bennett, Ariela Kristantina, and Jessica Kholine (AfterShock Comics)

The second collected volume of Insexts will be released in late November, but this comic is well worth reading. The first volume followed Lady Bertram and her lover Mariah as they come to grips with their insect powers and go up against the monsters terrorizing Victorian England. The second volume deals with the aftermath in the same beautiful, erotic, and horrific style as the first volume.

Nancy-Hardy-001-Cov-A-DaltonNancy Drew and the Hardy Boys: The Big Lie
Anthony Del Col, Werther Dell’Edera (Dynamite Entertainment)

Fans of the original series or previous Drew-Hardy team-ups will likely appreciate this series, which brings the gang back together to figure out who killed Fenton Hardy. This is something of a dark departure from the original series (which never featured murder) but is an interesting update appropriate for teens and adults alike.

Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda (Image Comics)

Though Monstress is currently on hiatus, this comic remains one of the most visually and narratively interesting comics published this year. The second volume, released in July, develops each character as they process the consequences of the Monstrum living inside main character Maika.

anc_lit-my_favorite_thing_is_monsters-900My Favorite Thing is Monsters
Emil Ferris (Fantagraphics)

My Favorite Thing is Monsters is a gorgeous book with an incredible amount of narrative depth. Though the fact that the main character, Karen Reyes, believes herself a monster makes this read Halloween-appropriate, readers will likely find plenty to relate to in Karen’s interests and search for identity.

My-Pretty-Vampire-coverMy Pretty Vampire
Katie Skelly (Fantagraphics)

Katie Skelly’s My Pretty Vampire combines comics with vintage horror in a gorgeous and compelling color palette. The book follows vampire Clover, who escapes from an oppressive ruled by her brother. Clover’s newfound freedom leads her on a town-wide murder spree, with a shadowy organization not far behind.

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

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 8/6

Sometimes, the staff at Graphic Policy read more comics than we’re able to get reviewed. When that happens you’ll see a weekly feature compiling short reviews from the staff of the comics, or graphic novels, we just didn’t get a chance to write a full review for.

These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews.


Generations Banner Hulk & Totally Awesome Hulk #1 (Marvel) If this is how the rest of the Generations series goes, I’ll happily continue to ignore it. An utterly pointless comic that either suffers from Secret Empire not actually being over or from being the beginning of a poor emulation of DC’s Rebirth. Save yourself some money and walk away from this – I’d have been furious if I’d have plonked down money for this, but instead I’m merely miffed that I’ve wasted my time reading a review copy. Overall: 4 Recommendation: Pass

Ryan C

HadriansWall_08-1Hadrian’s Wall #8 (Image)** – Having wrapped up the “whodunnit?” portion of their story in this series’ penultimate issue, Kyle Higgins, Alec Siegel, and Bill Sienkiew — sorry, Rod Reis — focus on the personal side of things for their highly satisfying, lavishly-illustrated conclusion. The result? A comic that definitely exits on a very high note indeed. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Black Bolt #4 (Marvel)** – Saladin Ahmed and Christian Ward take a side-step with this issue into the backstory of Crusher Creel, as told from his point of view, and it’s absolutely awesome. Gorgeous art, compelling characterization, razor-sharp dialogue, and a gut-punch of an ending that shows just how much of a bastard our ostensible “hero” can be. Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Batman #28 (DC)** – You knew the good times wouldn’t last, and with this segment of “The War Of Jokes And Riddles,” Tom King slides back into the kind of rudderless, slipshod writing that’s characterized far too much of his run on this book to date. Gorgeous art from Mikel Janin with innovative layouts and stirring action sequences aren’t enough to save this sorry installment of a storyline that suddenly seems in danger of completely going off the rails. Overall: 4 Recommendation: Pass

Elsewhere #1 (Image)** – Jay Faerber and Sumeyye Kesgin appear to have a winner on their hands if the first issue of their immediately-charming “Amelia Earhart washes up in cosmic fantasyland” story is anything to go by. Quick, pacy,and fun storytelling with spot-on characterization and lushly-rendered art makes for a very compelling opening salvo indeed, and I can’t wait to see where this one goes from here. Killer cliffhanger, too! Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

nick fury 5 comic.jpgShean

Nick Fury #5 (Marvel)– Vacation time is usually a signal to most people for some respite and relaxation. Not so much for spies, as their minds stay working most rooms as is the case with Fury in this issue. As he is ordered to take a vacation, everything is not what it seems. As his bosses have sent him to a town where everyone, and I mean everyone is an assassin, even the little kids, as this issue proves despite the faults that Marvel has enacted on other books and characters, they know exactly what to do with Fury and how to do it right. Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy


Stray Bullets #26 (Image/El Capitan)** – Just like clockwork, when you think that a) things can’t get any worse and b) you can never like these horrible characters, David Lapham comes up with the goods. It never feels forced; Kretchmeyer and Annie really are the worst, but their characters are so clear and they are so obviously in way over their heads that a crazy humanity shines through. Kretch: “I always have this nagging feeling… that I’m doing something wrong.” Annie: “I never feel that way.” OH, DAMN. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

StrayBulletsSNR_26-1Sex Criminals #20 (Image)** – Even when they don’t succeed, Fraction & Zdarsky are always trying something. But I think two things are getting in my way these days: their formal experiments and their plotting. I have the feeling that both of these things are being laid on top of what are very strong and interesting characters and a very necessary theme. What Dr. Kincaid says is, I think, true of this book as well: the creators are spending so much time chasing a “that” when all I really want is for it to be about “us”. When Matt and Chip just spend time with the actual human beings in the book, they are really brilliant. But they can’t seem to resist undercutting their own humanity with corny jokes and their need for “plot” and “action”. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

 Love and Rockets #3 (Fantagraphics)** – And here I thought Jaime had nothing more to say about the old punk days in Hoppers, and now all I want is more stories about Del Chimney and the Island of Lost Souls. His take on superheroes in “Animus” is breathtaking, like old black and white Mara Corday movies. There’s something so weird and pure about it, just moving from one strange confrontation to the next – but his figure drawing is so grounded, his characters have such actual weight, that what could be just cartoonish becomes really horrific. On the Beto side, it looks like all of his Baby and Fritz stories are leading us back to Palomar, and none too soon for my tastes. Where Jaime’s characters are grounded, Beto’s seem to be floating; but that’s not exactly a weakness, either. It feels to me like there’s a cord that’s been cut, that the characters are bereft and mournful – and that the last panel in this issue, Baby and Rosario in silhouette, holding hands and walking away, is the most real thing Beto’s drawn in a while. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Well, there you have it, folks. The reviews we didn’t quite get a chance to write. See you next week!

Please note that with some of the above comics, Graphic Policy was provided FREE copies for review. Where we purchased the comics, you’ll see an asterisk (*). If you don’t see that, you can infer the comic was a review copy. In cases where we were provided a review copy and we also purchased the comic you’ll see two asterisks (**).

Demo-Graphics: The State of Indie/Small Press Comics

Earlier this week I brought you demographic reports based off of Facebook data for Marvel, and DC. Up next is independent/small press comics! Basically, everyone not the “big two.”

For this report I looked at comic book publisher likes that are not the big two or part of the big two. For this report, Vertigo, Zuda, Icon, are not included though they share similar comics as to other in this report. For this report, terms like IDW Publishing, BOOM! Studios, Fantagraphics were included. Manga was left out of this as well.

You can check out the stats for 2014 as well as those for 2015, and 2016.

Facebook Population: Over 4,200,000 in the United States

The indie/small press population has dropped about 2.6 million individuals. The previous year gained 2.4 million. With explosive growth for both DC and Marvel it’s interesting to see this drop and especially drop that much.

In 2014 and 2015 Spanish speakers accounted for 12.50%. In 2016 the percentage increased to 16.18%. 2017 sees the percent drop to 14.76%.

Gender and Age

In 2014 men accounted for 57.50% of the population and women 40.63%. A year later, that shifted with men accounting for 59.09% and women 40.91%. 2016 saw women account for 51.47% and men 48.53%.

It looks like women have mainly dropped interest accounting for 40.48% in 2017 while men increased to 59.52%. Men decreased about 800,000 while women decreased 1.8 million.

With men being a majority again things have shifted once again. Women are a majority age 17 and under but it looks like the 20s and 30s is where there’s the greatest loss in women.

Relationship Status

With a smaller populate, every demographic took a dive, though there’s a larger percentage that are “unspecified,” a trend we’ve seen elsewhere. “Single” also saw an increase in percentage.


With such a change in gender breakdowns, there’s absolutely shifts here.

Gender Interest

“Men interested in men” and “men interested in men and women” both remained steady since last year as far as percentage. Women is where things dropped but that’s expected due to the overall population decrease.


Compared to last year all ethnicities decreased in overall population but precentage is mixed. African Americans and Asian Americans both increased as a percentage while Hispanics dropped. Interestingly, English-dominant Hispanics increased slightly in percentage.


And not shockingly populations dropped here too. Generation X and Millennials saw a slight increase in percentage while Baby Boomers saw a loss.

Join us tomorrow when we look at comicdom as a whole!

Fantagraphics at Comic-Con 2017: Debuts, Panels, Signings and a SALE!

Your one-stop-shop for the best comics in all the land, right in the heart of the San Diego Convention Center. Stop by the Fantagraphics booth for info on signings, panels, friendly-ish smiles and of course all the books!


Thursday, July 21stMichael Dormer and the Legend of Hot Curl, 4-5pm

Eric Reynolds (associate editor, Fantagraphics Books), Michael Powers (co-editor with Reynolds of Michael Dormer and the Legend of of Hot Curl), and Steve Barilotti (editor, SURFER magazine) discuss the confluence of the Beat movement with the So-Cal surf scene that was defined by the counterculture visuals of artist Michael Dormer, subject of a retrospective from Fantagraphics Books.
Room 29AB

Friday, July 21

Taking Comics from Web to Print, 11:30am-12:30pm

Join cartoonists and special guests Simon Hanselmann (Megahex) and Liz Suburbia (Sacred Heart) as they discuss their cartooning careers and best practices for transitioning your stories to a physical format. Hear from award-winning cartoonists about the pros and cons of web vs. print, tips for getting work noticed, and where to go after you make the jump. Moderated by editor Eric Reynolds.
Room 24ABC


Saturday, July 22nd

The Life and Legend of Wallace Wood, 3:30-4:30pm

On what would be the 90th birthday of comic master Wallace Wood, we look back and dig deep into his career and life, sharing highlights and lowlights of the groundbreaking artist. J. Michael Catron, editor of the Eisner Nominated series The Life and Legend of Wallace Wood, presents pieces from the Wood archive rarely seen before.
Room: 26AB

John Stanley, Giving Life to Little Lulu, 6-7pm

Eisner-winning author Bill Schelly and Fantagraphics publisher Gary Groth give a slide show presentation on the work of John Stanley, the creative genius who wrote and drew Little Lulu for her first 15 years in comic books. Stanley took Saturday Evening Post cartoonist Marge Buell’s scrappy Lulu Moppet and turned her into a genuine feminist icon, and the star of one of the best-selling comics of the 1950s.
Room 9

Check the full panel schedule with all of their artists


Otherworld Barbara Vol. 2 by Moto Hagio

Nanami had sworn to never see her granddaughter, Aoba, again. A despairing Kiriya had rejected his father, Tokio. Yet now both are traveling with Tokio to Engaru, where Aoba has slept and dreamt of the island of Barbara for seven years. The poltergeist phenomena become more intense. Aoba seems desperate. Is her world coming to an end? And does that end mean the end of the world, one hundred years in the future? What is the connection between Ezra, Johannes Sera, Paris, Pine, and a senile old man called “Doctor Azzurro?” What truth hides in the ravings of an increasingly unhinged Akemi? In the end, it comes down to a father’s frantic efforts to save the life of his son. But…which son? Who is the dreamer and who is the dreamed? Can the dreamer become the dreamed, and the dreamed the dreamer?

Last Girl Standing by Trina Robbins

Born on the cusp of WWII in 1938, at a time when other little girls dreamed of being nurses and secretaries, Trina Robbins’s ambition was to be a bohemian; and indeed she did. She chronicles a life of sex, drugs, rock ’n’ roll — and comics — in Last Girl Standing. From science fiction to the Sunset Strip, from New York’s underground newspapers to San Francisco’s underground comix: Trina Robbins broke the rules and broke the law. From dressing Mama Cass to being pelted with jelly babies as she helped photograph the Rolling Stones’s first US tour, from drunken New York nights spent with Jim Morrison to producing the very first all-woman comic book, this former Lady of the Canyon takes no prisoners in this heavily illustrated memoir.

Love & Rockets Vol. IV #3

What is “punk”? What did it all mean? What does it mean now? What will it mean in the end? The Locas girls’ punk reunion has come to a close but the evening has just begun. Also, the Animus situation has gotten too BIG for reunited sisters Lumina and Isla. Meanwhile, on the Gilbert side: Fritz starred in a Dr. Who ripoff only to see her 10-year-old daughter take over the role before returning to the show’s last episode 5 years later. Meanwhile, Fritz’s newly reunited twin daughters get to (uncomfortably) know one another and meet a classic Palomar character (or three)!


The Ladies-in-Waiting by Santiago Garcia & Javier OlivaresIn 1656,

In 1656, Diego Velázquez, leading figure in the Spanish Golden Age of painting, created one of the most enigmatic works in the history of art: Las Meninas (The Ladies-in-Waiting). This graphic novel, written and drawn by two of Spain’s most sophisticated comics creators, examines its legacy as one of the first paintings to explore the relationship among the viewer, reality, and unreality. (It guest stars Cano, Salvador Dalí, Zurbarán, and many others.) Olivares’s art moves from clear line to expressionistic; from pen nib to brush stokes; from one color palette to another, as The Ladies-in-Waiting uses fiction to explore the ties among artists and patrons, the past and the present, institutions and audiences, creators and creativity. Their combined efforts have garnered not only international comics prizes, but the equivalent of the National Book Award in Spain, where the book has been a commercial and critical sensation.

Unreal City by D.J. Bryant

Unreal City contains five highly charged stories about relationships: “Echoes into Eternity,” “Evelyn Dalton-Hoyt,” “Emordana,” “The Yellowknife Retrospective,” and “Objet d’Art.” The stories address gender, narcissism, marriage, subjectivity, objectification, and the thin line that divides love from hate. Bryant’s characters sometimes feel like they are navigating their way through the darkness in an attempt to make sense of love, sex, art, and life. Existential and elliptical, the stories play beautifully against Bryant’s precise and fully-realized artwork, which echoes such masters as Jaime Hernandez and Daniel Clowes. In Unreal City, characters cannot walk into a room without their world turning inside out. Readers will be similarly upended by the discovery of this major new talent.
Michael Dormer and the Legend of Hot Curl by Michael Dormer, Eric Reynolds & Michael Powers

Michael Dormer is synonymous with the California surf counterculture in the 1960s and 1970s. The post-World War II influence of Beatnik poetry, jazz, and art interpretation around the California Coast created a revolution in the Orange County surf world, and no one defined the visual style of this movement more than Michael Dormer. His career as an artist took off in the 1960s, when he created Hot Curl, the mop-haired, knobby-kneed, pot-bellied surfer who quickly became a nationwide sensation, appearing regularly in SurfToons magazine (and still appearing regularly in SURFER magazine). He also created the cult classic 1960s TV show Shrimpenstein!, an off-beat children’s show featuring a miniature Frankenstein monster, which was a favorite of Frank Sinatra’s. Michael Dormer and the Legend of Hot Curl is the first-ever retrospective of this unique artist’s work.
Johnny Appleseed by Paul Buhle & Noah Van Sciver

John Chapman, aka Johnny Appleseed, made himself the stuff of legend by spreading the seeds of apple trees from Wisconsin to Indiana. Along with that, he offered the seeds of nonviolence and vegetarianism, good relationships with Native Americans, and peace among the settlers. He was one of the New World’s earliest followers of the Swedish theologian Emanuel Swedenborg. The story of John Chapman operates as a counter-narrative to the glorification of violence, conquest, and prevailing notions of how the West

John Chapman, aka Johnny Appleseed, made himself the stuff of legend by spreading the seeds of apple trees from Wisconsin to Indiana. Along with that, he offered the seeds of nonviolence and vegetarianism, good relationships with Native Americans, and peace among the settlers. He was one of the New World’s earliest followers of the Swedish theologian Emanuel Swedenborg. The story of John Chapman operates as a counter-narrative to the glorification of violence, conquest, and prevailing notions of how the West

John Chapman, aka Johnny Appleseed, made himself the stuff of legend by spreading the seeds of apple trees from Wisconsin to Indiana. Along with that, he offered the seeds of nonviolence and vegetarianism, good relationships with Native Americans, and peace among the settlers. He was one of the New World’s earliest followers of the Swedish theologian Emanuel Swedenborg. The story of John Chapman operates as a counter-narrative to the glorification of violence, conquest, and prevailing notions of how the West was Won. It differentiates between the history and the half-myths of Johnny Appleseed’s life and work: His apples, for instance, were prized for many reasons, but none more so than for the making of hard cider. He was also a real estate speculator of sorts, purchasing potentially fertile but unproven acres and then planting saplings before flipping the land. Yet, he had less interest in financial gain―and yes, this is an accurate part of the mythology―than in spreading visions of peace and love. Johnny Appleseed brings this quintessentially American story to life in comics form.

See all the debuts on the Flog

Fantagraphics will have a limited number of these beauties in stock at the booth, designed by Anya Davidson.


Can’t make it to Comic-Con? You can still get all the books you want, at a great discount. Enjoy 20% off EVERYTHING online at Fantagraphics.com starting next Thursday. Offer valid 7/20-7/23.

Not sure what books to pick up at our booth (#1721) or during the sale? Browse staff picks and find your next favorite graphic novel here.

Review: On the Camino

Life is full of pilgrimages, in one way or the other. If you joined the military, every deployment feels like a pilgrimage as, you have to go a thousand miles away from home. Religions have their own pilgrimages, in Islam and there is Mecca and in Christianity, there is Jurasalem. If you are a music fan, it depends on your taste, it could be Graceland, if you love Elvis Presley and if you love Prince, then its Paisley Park.

Then there are physical ones that are legendary, like the Appalachia Trail, which more than a few thousand people have tried and never finished. In the book and movie, Wild, a woman, who lost everything, roughs the Pacific Cres Trail, a journey that is hard even with company. Each person, who has braved these journeys, have one thing in common, sheer will. Just as Jason, who wrote I Killed Adolf Hitler, hit a birthday milestone of 50 years, he decided to brave the Camino trail in Spain, which he documented in On the Camino.

Jason sets off on this journey by himself, meeting different people, who are headed the same direction but not quite on the trail, as each stranger asks him why he is doing it. The reader follows him and he goes form hostel to hostel, meeting different people from different countries, all traveling and exploring themselves. He even meets another cartoonist, giving her advice on how to find a publisher. By book’s end, Jason’s and the reader’s feet are sore, as this was truly a walk to remember.

Overall, another excellent book by Jason as he tells a story like no other and even makes this well-worn genre all its own, even more interesting. The story by Jason, is full of life love and twists and turns. The art by Jason feels more human than he may have intended to draw it. Altogether, a journey worth taking, as this master storyteller, makes you feel every heartbeat.

Story: Jason Art: Jason
Story: 10 Art 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Review: My Favorite Thing is Monsters

Monster movies are making a comeback of sorts, as the recently released The Mummy has, put those films back into the public consciousness. Showing my age, I still remember a time, when these characters were very much a part of popular culture, and for the most part, it has always been, as Count Chocula has never gone away as a cereal, so too these characters have never left. Then there is Adam Sandler’s Hotel Transylvania series, which has brought these characters to a new generation. I guess what has eluded these characters, even though they have been connected to the horror genre since their introduction, is that they are not as scary.

Penny Dreadful, the TV show and comic, tried to bring this element back to these characters, and although it was an excellent tv show and comic book, they never quite brought back that fear factor. What Penny Dreadful, did remind audiences of these characters, is that the source material, were well written stories. They thrived and become legend, because the writers behind these books, wrote well, and understood what was entertaining about these characters. Emil Ferris understands this about her character in My Favorite Thing is Monsters Volume 1, which makes it so amazing a read.

In the opening salvos of this book, the reader is quickly acclimated into a world where monsters are commonplace, and a little girl by the name of Karen Reyes is being hunted by a mob, just for being a werewolf, but it was all a dream if not an eventuality. In a book that unfolds as part memoir/ part sketchbook, about a young artist who loves drawings monsters, in a familiar tale of family and loss which unfolds in the most gorgeous pages any reader would see combined with a strange tale about a string of murders in 1960s Chicago. Karen plays private investigator, attempting to solve these murders on her own while struggling with the pains of growing up. By the end of the book, which is part wish fulfillment, part slice of life memoir, part art worship, the reader appreciates Karen’s journey, while reminiscing of their own.

Overall, probably one of the most essential books every reader who loves a great story must have in their collection. The story by Ferris, feels like the Secret Life of Walter Mitty, but with monsters, and keeps the reader moving forward. The art by Ferris, will leave the reader floored by how beautiful and luminous it is. Altogether, a great book, for anyone who love a great story, an if you love monster movies and MAD Magazine, it would help but not necessary, as a good story like this, will always shine through.

Story: Emil Ferris Art: Emil Ferris
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Hip Hop Family Tree Volume 4

I remember the first time I heard Eric B & Rakim, his voice was not like anything else in hip-hop at the time. The first song from the duo that captivated my ears, was “Let the Rhythm Hit Em”, a sonic tour de force that would have been pedestrian in lesser hands. In Rakim’s calming baritone and, and elusive wordplay, it became juggernaut, which in my mind, made rhyming, a skill. Rakim, was the one emcee, who became the standard for all other rappers to compare themselves to, and although the music’s standards have changed, he is still a revered figure.

I remember my friends talking about rappers Like Schooly D and Doug E Fresh. This was when rappers had to be clever and have a message.  In this fourth volume of Hip Hop Family Tree, it delves into those two epic years, 1984-1985. The reader finds out How not only Rakim but Biz Markie became superstars and changed the musical landscape forever.

The reader is introduced to Egyptian Lover at the height of the infamous “pause tapes”. Creator Ed Piskor also gets into the influence of funk music had on early Hip Hop especially the Godfather of Soul himself, James Brown. The reader is also taken to the West Coast, where a local LA radio station, KDAY, becomes the first of its kind, a radio station to play hip hop 24/7/365. Lastly, the reader is introduced to epic battle between the rappers from the Bronx i.e. KRS One and BDP and the rappers from Queens i.e. MC Shan.

Overall, an excellent volume in this epic series, which is to say the very least, magnificent. The story by Piskor, always well researched and contains as much as any soap opera. The art by Piskor, gives the reader, more than serves the subject matter. Altogether, a superior installment

Story: Ed Piskor Art: Ed Piskor
Story:10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

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