Uncivilized Books recently announced their new Fall catalog and for a limited time are offering all 5 of these soon-to-be-released books for a discounted price of $65 (US) with free shipping. The highlight of the collection is a new graphic novel from renowned French cartoonist Joann Sfar called Pascin, about the life of the Jewish modernist painter of the same name. In addition there is Sophie Yanow’s War of Streets and Houses, a reflection on the military origins of urban planning that she wrote during her participation in the Montreal student strikes in 2012, and That Night, A Monster… by Marzena Sowa and Berenika Kołomycka which is an all-ages children’s comic about a boy whose mom gets turned into a fern.
The most interesting parts of the Fall catalog however are two books in Uncivilized’s new “Critical Cartoons” series that seek to give a platform to new critical voices and let them explore a particular comics subject in thoughtful, provocative, long-form essays. The first is Ed vs. Yummy Fur by Brian Evenson which takes a look at Chester Brown’s highly influential one-man anthology comic from the ’90s Yummy Fur (which contained the original serialization of his now classic Ed The Happy Clown) and includes a new interview with the cartoonist. The second is Carl Barks’ Duck: Your Average American by Peter Schilling Jr, examining Barks’ classic 20-year run writing and drawing Donald Duck comics for Disney which, to this day, are considered some of the finest comics ever produced.
Two consecutive episodes of The Comics Alternative podcast discuss some of our books. First, is an episode (54) long examination of Dash Shaw’s entire body of work. Dash’s latest work (New School, 3 New Stories) is the focus though both Body World and Bottomless Belly Button get extended treatment as well… as does our own New Jobs (which is close to selling out… if you want a copy, now is the time!). The next episode (55) becomes enmeshed in the labyrinthine corridors of David B.’s work as the hosts discuss Black Paths and Incidents in the Night. The hosts totally fall for Incidents in the Night and name it their best read of the week. Anybody who loves reading books instantly falls in love with Incidents in the Night and this is really palpable in the conversation in the podcast. Check out these episodes. They’re worth a listen if you’re interested in these artists work.
Nothing that I’ve read of Van Gieson’s previous comics – certainly not the WWII story he did for Mome – prepared me for this delightfully weird, silly and occasionally genuinely creepy comic. Like the worst ADD-addled student, the comic zips between storylines involving a former leader of a satanic cult reduced to selling cars, an alcoholic cartoonist who likes to buck cherished beliefs about 20th century music in her comics, a lizard woman hiding out in her hotel, a uber-green secret service agent and really I’m just scratching the surface here. I detect the strong influence of early Eightball, particularly Like a Velvet Glove Cast in Iron, but as influences go that’s not a bad one to have. This is a deliciously goofy, occasionally deranged comic and I’m eager to see how Van Gieson will tie all these various threads together. Assuming he plans to that is.
Another great review for Incidents in the Night, this time on Bleeding Cool:
In a vertiginous swirl, he encounters faceless and book-faced beings, creatures from mythology, gods and monsters, as well as the Angel of Death for good measure. The artwork is black and white, with a heavily wood-blocked feel, both stark and detail-laden. Panels topple into each other, draw back and remain fixed, lose their borders and reassert themselves as David B.’s journey takes on different forms. Dream, reality, and mythology are all up for grabs, as David B. accompanies Travers into the unknown. The book is a triumph of personal storytelling and memorable artwork, and a gem brought to the English-speaking world in this translation.
The rest is here.
A nice review of Sammy the Mouse on Bleeding Cool:
Sammy The Mouse, Books 1 and 2. Sammy is a series that draws on comic strip and early comic tradition, with a heady injection of underground comics sensibilities. […] The slightly paranoid atmosphere, a justified paranoia given the unpredictability of events, wouldn’t be amiss in a Kafka short story, and the inking and coloring on the books are so subtle and nuanced that there’s a certain delicacy to its ridiculous and slapstick elements.
Read more here.
Did you know that Zak Sally is an honest to god celebrity? It’s true! In addition to being an amazing cartoonist and publisher (with La Mano) he has a storied past as bassist for great bands like Low and Enemymine (not to mention his solo record). That’s why he gets to have a six page spread in Filter magazine!
Get a peek into his amazing studio (am I saying amazing too much?)!
Look at that grin!
A peek at the cover of Sammy the Mouse book 2 and sample of Zak’s cross-dressing stage antics! So yeah, total super star!
Amazing Facts is a smorgasbord of social satire and gonzo surrealism masquerading as silly, fact-mangling mayhem. [The] sketchy, up-against-deadline artwork teems with itchy energy, and the jokes land solidly—but it really takes off when it enters the meta-zone and incorporates an ongoing storyline about how the strip itself is in danger of being axed by the Times.
Read the rest here.
CB: How did the story of Over The Wall develop and what was your creative process?
PW: I’d been playing around with the idea of a huge, abandoned city for a while before I started working onOver the Wall, although none of those ideas worked out. Over the Wall really started with an image of a girl standing on top of a wall—with, of course, a big desolate city in the background—that popped into my head one day. I started asking questions about the scene, like why was she on the wall? What was she looking for? What was going on in the city? Things just evolved from there.
CB: Over The Wall began as a webcomic on your site, Shipwreck Planet. Why did you choose the digital route for distribution?
PW: There are a lot of really great stories online now, things like Gunnerkrigg Court (a pretty great one, especially if you’re into the all-ages thing) or Rice Boy (a fun collection of weird fantasy stories), that are doing long form stories with skill and care. The web feels like a legitimate place to publish yourself now, although I think it has a ways to go before it becomes the final destination for comics. I think everyone who posts stuff online is planning on getting it into print at some point, but it’s a good way to start building an audience (plus having to upload a page every week is a great way to stay on task).
Sam Alden (& The Beat) already let the cat out of the bag. We’re very excited to publish It Never Happened Again by Sam Alden in Spring next year. A full and proper announcement is forthcoming, but since Sam already posted the cover, we thought we’d publish a nicer higher resolution version (Sam’s pencils get a little chewed up by resizing). Click on the image to see it bigger & clearer.
Though he works with a limited character count and color palette and keeps the story clearly focused on the seemingly simple rescue mission, Wartman allows himself one bit of extravagance: the amount of detail in his images. The characters are cartoonish enough to be friendly or creepy as needed and are supported by a fully fleshed-out setting, which firmly brings the reader into the tale. Middle-school readers will love this strong young woman and her dramatic fantasy-adventure.
The whole review is here.