Tagged: James Jean

So It’s Thursday, It’s Holiday Week New Release Day. And It’s Huge.

Highlights:

pr3Process Recess 3 Acclaimed and uber-popular Fables cover artist James Jean’s new artbook from AdHouse arrived this week.  Copies of the book adorn the counters at FP NYC and when I first saw them this morning I thought I was looking at a Soccer score.  PR3, Brazil 0.  However, it is not.  In fact, it’s a dead-sexy hardcover collecting sketches, experimental paintings, and photographs of his methods and workstations.  It is, essentially, an exploration of the artist’s process.  More so than the previous two volumes in this series which, by the way, now command a ridiculous price in the aftermarket. And though I’m not nearly as big a fan as  some are (I know this… I’ve dealt with the horde of Jean fans for years now.  They are frothing, insatiable, and multitudinous.) I do recognize genius books from talented individuals.  This is right near the top of the list.

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The John Stanley Library:  Nancy Vol 01 HC–  The first of D&Q’s gorgeous hardcovers collecting the adventures of Nancy and Sluggo by John Stanley.  One of the most revered kids’ cartoonists of all time and known primarily as the artist behind Little Lulu, Mr. Stanley’s Nancy work is playful, mischievous, and hilarious.  And ya gotta love Sluggo! Collects comics from the issues #146-150, originally published by Dell in 1957-1958.

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dcd400467Dead Space Extraction One-Shot– Anthony Johnston(w), Ben Templesmith(a).  I’ve not played the video game this comic’s based on, but damn ya gotta dig this.  Creepy space station, claustrophobia, and monsters, and, Ben Templesmith!!!!!!!! What’s not to love? It’s horror.  It’s SF.  It’s totally today, yet tremendously timeless! Boffo, Lenny.  Socko, Lenny.

That’s right.  Eight exclamation points for Ben Templesmith.

The Art of Tony Millionaire– Long delayed, yet eagerly (to put it mildly) anticipated, Dark Horse’s new hardcover is a phenomenal retrospective of the Maakies and Sock Monkey astist’s work.  Featured are drawings from childhood to present, an introduction by Elvis Costello, full story reprints, an overview of pin-ups and other commercial work, and anecdotal insight by the man himself.  Any fan of Tony’s can spot a Millionaire drawing a mile away.  He is one of the most distinct, singular voices to ever work in the medium.  And he’s a pretty fun dude. From the man what brought us Drinky Crow:

tony2On my fortieth birthday I finally realized I was an alcoholic.  I decided to moderate my drinking by limiting myself to only beer and wine.  At my birthday party I guzzled four bottles of Merlot.  My friends and I tried to get a taxicab to take us from Brooklyn into Manhattan, but there were five of us and the taxi driver would only take four.  Enraged, I crawled on top of the cab and started screaming through the windshield.  My friends clambered out of the cab and the taxi driver took off, me atop.  When we got up to about 30 mph I had to make a decision.  Jump off now, or wait until he got up to 60.  So I jumped, ripping my pants from hip to cuff, badly cutting my leg.  No bones broken, I went to bed.  Thereafter, I decide to limit myself to only beer.

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This book… highest possible recommendation.

It’s also Fantagraphics Thursday, in which it seems the publisher decides to release its entire fall catalog at once:

hypnotwistLove and Rockets New Stories no.2–  Jaime & Gilbert’s now annual morsel of terrific featuring four brand new stories.  Of particular note is Beto’s silent story HYPNOTWIST, surreal and David Lynch-ish in feel and IMHO reminiscent of his Vertigo book Sloth.  It’s absolutely wild.  There’s also two installments of Jaime’s Ti-Girls Adventures, which is just plain fun comicking.  The whole package makes one wish for more than one L&R per year, but Hey!  Better one a year than none at all.

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Rock Candy: The Artwork of Femke Hiemstra–  Pop Surrealism mistress Hiemsta gets the Fanta tratment, with a smart little beautifully designed hardcover covering her burgeoning, yet impressive career.

The Red Monkey Double Happiness Book–  Ach!!!  Too many books… Not read this one yet, ashamed to admit.   Look for words about Joe Daly’s new book in a future installment of From the Coffee Table of Jeff Ayers, a planned column of thoughts and reviews of books that have lingered in my apartment well past my initial procurement of them.  Looks good, though.

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West Coast Blues–  Really kick ass crime story (an adaptation of a novel by Jean-Patrick Manchette) adapted by french cartoonist Jacques Tardi, of whom Ed Brubaker of Criminal fame has this to say:

Tardi brings a rough and gritty reality and an existential strangeness that makes his crime stories different than anyone else’s. I’ll read anything he draws.

And there ya have it.

Giraffes in My Hair: A Rock ‘N’ Roll Life–  By Bruce Paley(w) and Carol Swain(a).  A memoir.  Let’s let Fanta’s pics do the talkin’ here:

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allAll and Sundry, Uncollected Work 2004-2009–  And finally, a super neato collection of the Mother Come Home author Paul Hornschmeier’s commercial work, cover illustrations, guest strips, sketches, and an odball story or two.  I’d like to reprint Paul’s “A Brief Overview of Our Champion” from The Tick’s 20th Anniversary Special, collected in this book.  Let’s see what I can rustle up… Look for an update.  It’ll be worth the watch.  It’s kinda great.

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When Writers Attack!

by Jeff Ayers

Further proving this writer’s hypothesis that damn near  everyone involved in the pop arts these days wants to be associated with comics & geek culture, an onslaught of prose novelists are releasing comics in the near future, led by this week’s Anita Blake: Guilty Pleasures #1 from Laurell K.Hamilton.  Other recent medium-hoppers of note include espionage/suspense  writers Greg Rucka (52, Whiteout) and Brad Meltzer (Identity Crisis, Justice League), as well as fantasists Raymond E. Feist, Tad Williams, and Orson Scott Card.  Movie and TV personalities are also jumping aboard as director Reggie Huddlin, Lost producer Damon Lindelof, Buffy creator Joss Whedon, and Allan Heinberg of The OC are all writing comics, too.

While this trend is anything but new, the sheer number of projects granted to these fledging comic authors is daunting to say the least.  One wonders if the job pool for established comic writers will soon be shallower by way of  this new wave, regardless of the former’s prior successes, their knowledge of the medium, and their ability to make a deadline.  Indeed, many of these newer ongoing projects from “outside” writers are plagued by release dates not met and rush-jobs churned out on account of the writer’s other, more profitable, obligations.  However, as long as their comics maintain a consistent level of quality and punctuality they are worth note.

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