March 2, 2011 / More →
(with illustrator Sean Phillips) for Sweet Smell of Success. Genius. 'nuff said.
The film itself (from Criterion), made in 1957, starring Tony Curtis and Burt Lancaster, is a masterpiece; as relevant today as ever. Lancaster's role, based on a legendary Hollywood gossip columnist, is slimy, in the Glen Beck mould. The entire cast was pitch-perfect, but Curtis was out of this world.
Extras included a terrific short film about the director, Alexander (Sandy) Mackendrick, and short film about director of photography, James Wong Howe.
Great stuff. Highly recommended. Read more about this film in this Criterion essay by Paul Cronin, "Mackendrick and Odets."
• Fantagraphics & Top Shelf Presents: Con Artists, the Emerald City Comic-Con After-Party. Saturday, March 5th at the Jewel Box Theater at the Rendezvous. Featuring: Can You Imagine?;
The Rheas; and Matthew Southworth, frontman for The Capillaries. DJ'ing between sets will be DJ Janice, aka Janice Headley, Events Coordinator for Fantagraphics (and Programming Assistant at Seattle radio station KEXP).
Saturday, March 5th, 2011 at 9:00 pm
Jewel Box Theater at The Rendezvous
2322 2nd Avenue in Belltown
Admission $5 (General Public)
FREE with Emerald City Comic-Con badge
21 and over with ID
• Big thanks to AdHouse maestro Chris Pitzer for two outstanding new Nobrow Press books, he's sub-distributing. Both by a crazy-talented new talent (for me, at least), named Jon McNaught, titled Birchfield Close and Pebble Island. I am absolutely digging on this stuff. I know that direct comparisons can be tricky, but really, imagine the human moments, pacing, and natural rhythms of Kevin Huizenga (especially some of his older short pieces in his superlative mini, Supermonster) + the formal, mathematical visual patterns of Chris Ware + a warm, rich color palette straight from the Hudson River School. This = WOW.
• Finally, um, yeah... yet one more in a lost list of reasons i personally am not on Facebook.
February 22, 2011 / More →
Our own Jess Smart Smiley — who's first Top Shelf Kids Club book Upside Down: A Vampires Tale hits stores this Halloween — has launched a modest Kickstarter campaign to create a Monster Coloring Book!
February 17, 2011 / More →
This week she's also starting a weekly column called "S'Crapbook" at a pretty high-profile Brooklyn blog called Only The Blog Knows Brooklyn. S'Crapbook will be little odds and ends about comix and family life.
In this sequel to the classic bestseller Perspective! For the Comic Book Artist, David Chelsea takes perspective to a whole other level—by exploring the most dramatic viewpoints employed by today’s artists. Many of these techniques have been carefully guarded secrets for centuries. But David, and his hollow-headed friend, Mugg, make them accessible to a new generation of artists, cartoonists, illustrators, and animators. In Extreme Perspective! For Artists, you’ll learn how to
• Render complicated multi-sided objects in perfect perspective
• Create accurate shadows and reflections from your own imagination
• Master the most difficult kinds of curvilinear perspective systems
• Draw eye-popping images in fisheye perspective
• Use your computer to create elaborate scenes quicker and more easily
• … And much, much more!
• Cammy gives Too Cool To Be Forgotten high marks, at Cammy's Comics Corner.
February 12, 2011 / More →
what with all the hoopla over the Canada Reads nomination for Jeff Lemire's Essex County; our book deal with Congressman John Lewis; and James Kochalka becoming Cartoonist Laureate for the state of Vermont! Whew!...
January 19, 2011 / More →
GRAPHIC RADICALS: 30 Years of World War 3 Illustrated
December 7, 2010 to February 5, 2011
at EXIT ART
475 Tenth Avenue (at 36th Street), New York, NY 10018
Graphic Radicals is a 30th anniversary retrospective of World War 3 Illustrated, an independently published political comic magazine founded in 1980 by artists Seth Tobocman and Peter Kuper. Comprised of original comics, drawings and paintings, posters, commissioned murals, documentary film, animation and a complete set of issues, Graphic Radicals is the largest World War 3 exhibition to date. New York Times review here.
In conjunction with the show there are several events:
Friday, January 21 / 7-9pm
With artist talks by Peter Kuper, Fly, Susan Simensky Bietile and Friends Of Brad Will
Wednesday, January 26 / 7-9pm
With artists talks by Sabrina Jones, Kevin Pyle and Milk Not Jails
Friday, February 4th / 7-9pm
EXIT ART 475 Tenth Avenue (at 36th Street), New York, NY 10018
212-966-7745 / A, C, E to 34th Street / Penn Station
Open Tue.–Thu., 10am–6pm; Fri., 10am–8pm; and Sat., 12–6pm.
[Note from the bartender. If you're not familiar with WW3 co-founder Peter Kuper's bracing work, it truly is what is called "important." Not only is it ideologically challenging, but it's gorgeous to boot. We published Peter's one and only monograph, Speechless, about a decade ago, and it is still a masterpiece to this day.]
• Oh, how i do love interns. Current one MarieLaure Cros (aka Malo), is a real Parisian gem. In addition to repping some of Frances finest cartoonists for English Language translations, and occasionally working over at Floating World Comics, she finds time to work for Top Shelf. Here, she took the massive pile of loot i brought home and enjoyed from APE a few months back, and systematically entered names and contact data for me. Merci beaucoup, Malo.
Would that i had time to write full reviews. Alas. I don't. That said, if you find it here, it has my tacit endorsement, and i recommend you seek it out.
THE LAST CHANCE KIDS by Pacolli
OGNER STUMP, by Andrew Goldfarb
TIGERS ON THE PROWL & THE OLD RED TRUCK, by Scott Morse
ELF WORLD, edited by Francois Vigneault, published by Family Style. Cover by Sammy Harkham. Contributors include: Grant Reynolds, Alec Longstreth, Ben Costa & J.R . Parks, David Enos, Jane Samborski, Dash Shaw, Eve Englezos, Josh Moutray.
THE LONELY BEAR, by Roman Muradov
DOPPELGANGER, Tom NEELY
The following are creators and websites gleaned from our very useful friends, business cards and promotional postcards. (To all the naysayers who say print serves no purpose, i beg to differ.) Click, browse, and enjoy.
Oooh, neat! Dylan (Sparkplug) Williams and comics scholar Lisa Magnum are spreading the word about the comics class they're teaching (hopefully!) as part of the Independent Publishing Resource Center (IPRC) Certificate Program. The enrollment is a couple shy of what they'd like to see, so snap to it, Portlanders... what are you waiting for?
January 5, 2011 / More →
• Our friend, and fellow member of the International Comics Cognoscenti, John Weeks is making comics again! Check out his site Quick Draw!
• Hermes Press is known for producing monographs on various illustrators, and Golden & Silver Age comics artists. They choose pretty damn good stuff to put out, and while their heart is in the right place, boy could they use an art director. Most of their releases have perfunctory design at best, and occasionally, just poor reproduction. Thankfully such is not the case with the recent John Buscema: Michelangelo of Comics. To the benefit of us all, the author of this book, Brian Peck, also designed it, and i'm happy to say this is one of the bitchinist classic comics art monographs to come out in a long while. I've long been a huge Buscema fan, and this books hits the mark from cover to cover. A perfect combination of content and form. Good on Mr. Peck, and good on Hermes Press for an exquisite publication. If you like vintage comics art, and just fine draftsmanship in general, this book comes highly recommended. I haven't seen it at any local comics shops, so order it direct from the publisher.
January 3, 2011 / More →
I just received this delightful holiday greeting from the great Belgian cartoonist Jean Bourguignon. My French is suspect (at best), but i do believe the sentiment is well conveyed in the image alone. Merci beaucoup, Jean!
• Last night i finished watching the brilliant Bryan Fuller television series Wonderfalls. This guy is a friggin' genius. Not only in his ideas (obviously), but also in his ability to surround himself with a truly amazing staff of actors and writers. I'd previously seen the also heartfelt and uplifting series Pushing Daisies, so now i guess it's on to his earlier effort Dead Like Me. The idea that genuinely beautiful television like this, raging with love and humanity, is generally unceremoniously canceled in a mere handful of episodes, while absolute shit like two and a half men (not worthy of capitals OR italics!!) survives for years on end, makes me throw up a little in my mouth. What a f*cking travesty. If you like the offbeat — which Top Shelf fans usually do — and you haven't seen this delightful series, buy and watch it now, and you can thank me later.
January 1, 2011 / More →
December 28, 2010 / More →
I'm spent from Christmas, folks, but it was entirely worth it. I think i might be in the minority, but i LOVE the holidays. That said, i could live without the holiday hangovers... such is the bartender's prerogative.
• Meanwhile, feast on this truly awesome editorial illustration (and rough drafts) Jeffrey Brown made for an article in Filter magazine titled "Televisionaries." I grew up with a lot of this stuff, though sad to say i missed Pee Wee's Playhouse and Fraggle Rock.
December 24, 2010 / More →
• And more fun stuff from the Center For Cartoon Studies. Art by CCS student Dakota McFadzean.