Hopefully you’ve followed Gabrielle Bell’s great series of July diary comics this year. She decided to post her entries throughout the month of August, and this week marks the end. If you haven’t followed along, no problem. You can easily visit her website and quickly take the plunge.
For the moment, we’ll link to Friday’s entry, July 21st.
Also, order Gabrielle’s latest book Truth is Fragmentary. If you like these latest snippets, you may as well know the whole story.
Sam Alden’s It Never Happened Again is racking up reviews! This time, Rob McMonigal from Panel Patter and Robert Boyd from The Great God Pan is Dead are the critics in questions. Here’s what they’re saying:
There’s a sequence in Anime that is absolutely amazing, though, because it shows that comics can convey a sense of movement, even in static images. Over the course of about 15 panels, Alden focuses not on Janet or the passengers or the plane itself, but what she can see out the window. At one point, all the reader has to look at are a few tiny dots, because they are out over the ocean. You can “see” the plane move as a result, thanks to the framing device, focus, and selection of images presented in this tight window on the action. Though it’s probably the least-detailed part of the book, in some ways it’s the most powerful, and shows just how much thought goes into Alden’s work.
Read the full Panel Patter review here.
James Joyce wrote that the moment of an epiphany in a story was when “the soul of the commonest object … seems to us radiant, and may be manifested through any chance, word or gesture.” Alden finds this in “Hawaii 1997.”
Read Robert’s full thoughts here.
Order Sam’s book because it’s really good.
BuzzFeed asked 23 female cartoonists to draw their bodies, and Gabrielle Bell was one of them. She contributes a short strip about swimming naked in a river, done up in her classic diary comic style. Others included are Vanessa Davis, Hope Larson and Roberta Gregory.
You can check out the full list here. Order Gabrielle’s latest, Truth is Fragmentary, from our website.
The 2014 Ignatz nominees were announced yesterday, and we’re ecstatic both Sophie Yanow’s War of Streets and Houses and Kevin Huizenga and Dan Zettwoch’s Amazing Facts and Beyond were recognized! It’s such a great list of books this year, so we’re kind of blown away to be among them.
Sophie’s been on a streak of late. Along with releasing such a great book this year, she did an excellent interview for The Atlantic (read here) and received a wonderful review from Rob Clough at The Comics Journal.
Indeed, the abstractness of her line combined with the artificial solidity of the zip-a-tone gives the protest scenes a strange quality that would be difficult to capture in a more naturalistic style. It’s as though the adrenaline and fear she experienced rendered the experience no more than a set of rushing lines. It’s sort of a flip-side to Joe Sacco’s slightly cartoony naturalism in capturing an environment; indeed, with her pupils blotted out by the white circles of her glasses much like Sacco, they are not dissimilar both in terms of intent and execution. The difference is that Yanow is not a temporary visitor, but someone who chose to live and work in Montreal.
War of Streets and Houses is nominated for Outstanding Graphic Novel.
Kevin and Dan’s Amazing Facts and Beyond was well reviewed by Publishers Weekly, which is cool. But Jeopardy Champion Ken Jennings is a fan, so that’s obviously super, super cool.
I feel like a pretty well-informed guy, but the great Leon Beyond taught me something new on virtually every page of this beautiful collection. Indispensable!”
Amazing Facts and Beyond is nominated for Outstanding Anthology or Collection.
Order the books here and here.
Congrats to all the nominees. See you at SPX!
Sam Alden’s It Never Happened Again received a great review from writer Dan Kois and The Slate Book Review.
Alden’s natural sense of framing and pace, his willingness to use silent panels to tell stories, and his beautiful (yes, beautiful) pencil images combined to open my eyes to a new idea of what a great comic can be. It helps that he’s also an excellent writer—both stories sketch out lonely, lost characters efficiently, and put them each through very different quests for meaning.
Read the whole review here, and order your copy of It Never Happened Again, already. Alright!?
Comic Book Resources published an interesting interview with Ed Brubaker yesterday, discussing the series wrap on he and Sean Phillips’s Fatale.
Jon Lewis appears in the book for a story set in Seattle in the 90s, and while his character ends up dead, it’s still a cool nod. It reads like a companion piece to Brubaker’s introduction to True Swamp: Choose Your Poison.
A lot of people didn’t think they were going to stop in Seattle in the ’90s, Ed.
Yeah. I was stuck there for a long time in the ’90s. [Laughter] It was a lot of fun, though. A few of my old friends from the indie comics scene really loved that arc because it felt like I was taking what I do now and blending it with something like “Lowlife.” Two of the main characters in the band in that story are based on old cartoonist friends of mine — Jon Lewis and Tom Hart. We used to be roommates in a house together and do zines and stuff. So a lot of that stuff was real things we’d talk about. It feels real to me because they’re some of my oldest friends. It was a lot of fun to put them in my comic and kill them. [Laughs] I warned them ahead of time when they gave me permission to use their likenesses that they would probably die badly.
Read the full interview here. Also, check out Jon’s work. It paints an interesting picture of a certain era. Order True Swamp: Choose Your Poison here.
Are you reading Gabrielle Bell’s July Diary (in August) right now? You should be! She’s really knocking it out of the park! It’s not often we get new daily comics from Gabrielle, so go to it! Start here, and keep reading!
We’re extending our Gabrielle Bell set deal until the end of the month, so if you need to catch up on her recent books, now is the time! If you don’t have a copy of her brand new book, Truth is Fragmentary, get it here.
Eel Mansions creator Derek Van Gieson gave a lengthy interview to The Comics Alternative podcast. He discusses the book, his past work on Mome and his relationship with Uncivilized publisher Tom K. Plus, Derek gives us the apt, one-line description for Eel Mansions: “The Young and the Restless meets the X-Files.” How can you say no to that?
You can listen to the episode here.
Eel Mansions #’s 1-6 are available here. Follow Uncivilized Books on Twitter, and stay informed.
Erik Johnson’s Kozmo-Knot met its Kickstarter goal (and then some), locking in a total $4,667. Ninety-one backers made this “kinetic pantomime” about a space and caveman possible, and we’re excited to collaborate with Erik through our Uncivilized LAB label to bring it to you.
Erik posted a warm thank you on the campaign’s page:
91 people gave their support, putting this crazy project past the finish line!
We can’t thank you enough, but we do look forward to producing an amazing edition of Kozmo-Knot and related pledge rewards. Please expect a first production update within the month!
Follow Erik on Twitter for future updates. Or, hey, follow Uncivilized Books, and we’ll inform you of what’s next.
An impressive array of talent including Gabrielle Bell are part of an art show in Beacon, New York, (about a ten minute walk from the Metro North train station). Many of the artists will be be present, including Ariel Schrag, who will be reading from her acclaimed debut novel Adam, and Matt Thurber, who will be performing one of his famous scroll readings. Wish we could be there!