Check out George O'Connor's recent interview for a radio program in Perth, Australia: FASTER THAN LIGHT: Popular Culture Analysis & Review
Lovely piece in response to the new First Second catalog, from Beth Davies-Stofka at BROKEN FRONTIER...
And she sure throws down a gauntlet for someone to start the Graphic Novel's Rotten Tomatoes...
It would be great if graphic novels had the same channels of exposure as the movies. It’s easy to find out what’s playing, just by looking in the newspaper. Internet sites like the Internet Movie Database tell you what’s showing and what’s hot, and lists forthcoming releases in theaters and on DVD. Film critics abound, their reviews easily obtained online. Rotten Tomatoes even gathers up and analyzes all the reviews of a movie and provides a critical consensus, along with hot links to all the reviews. And all the large cities have art houses that show some of the quality independent films that don’t go into wide distribution.
Graphic novels are slowly gaining greater exposure, and you can at least count on a few year-ending “best of” list to tell you what you shouldn’t miss. But unlike the movies, it isn’t simple to track what’s new, what’s hot, and what’s forthcoming. Certainly not as simple as walking out to your front lawn and opening the paper to the movie page.
Nor is it simple to track down critical reviews. While a Rotten Tomatoes for graphic novels would be most welcome, it’s not here yet.
Joel Crabtree goes graphic at SILVER BULLET, with a wide ranging chat about First Second.
All around America, I've been meeting independent booksellers, large and small. Some of those who've jumped into the Graphic Novel adventure have been very pleasantly surprised! Others aren't sure, or haven't made it work yet, and are wondering what to do. For those, we're putting together a special pamphlet we'll update every so often, called:
STARTING OR IMPROVING YOUR GRAPHIC NOVEL SECTION
..to download it just click the above link.
...and in this mighty little document, we've put together a selection for four different age categories, of just a few Graphic Novel titles that are true gems. And hey, this isn't just some ploy to promote First Second -- it's a ploy to promote First Second AND a bunch of other works we believe in, from Top Shelf, Oni Press, Marvel, DC, Slave Labor, AiT/Planet Lar,Pantheon, Houghton Mifflin, S&S, Drawn & Quarterly, NBM and Fantagraphics, and others too.
Try these, O valiant bookseller, if you're not sure where to start — and watch as your amazed customers gasp at the knowledgeable staff's picks, and return with droves of their friends!
Think we're kidding? Try, please! And let us know how it goes at firstname.lastname@example.org ...
And you, who aren't a bookseller: does your local bookstore have an eye-popping, jaw-dropping, mouth-watering, well-lit and friendly Graphic Novel aisle? Or do they need help getting current? Tell them about this!
It’s no secret that I love Gipi’s work – I did my best to sell out all our copies of Garage Band last weekend at the New York ComicCon (and succeeded!).
One of my all-time favorite scenes is when a big-shot in the music industry offers Stefano a job working in the head office of his record company – an opportunity to rub shoulders with “real musicians” and to leave behind his pals and their small-time garage band. It’s pretty obvious that this record company guy is a bit sleazy (he meets with Stefano smoking a cigarette and wearing nothing but a flowered towel, after all), but his ghost image standing next to Stefano at poolside and the transparent hand on Stefano’s shoulder in the next panel give him an eerie quality, as if he were in fact the specter of disillusionment, corrupt ambition, and greed. The devil is perched on Stefano’s shoulder, whispering sweet and sickening temptations in his ear.
(click to enlarge)
The scene ends with the two gazing in silence over the man’s vast and empty swimming pool – a symbol of wealth and success, but also of the complete soullessness with which the man operates in the world; a vacuity that is being offered to Stefano in tandem with material gains and the possibility of fame, if only he’ll give up his friends and the music that he loves.
I think that in Garage Band, and in Notes for a War Story (forthcoming from :01 in the fall of 2007), Gipi really gets at the core of what it means to grow up – to have your idealism challenged, to realize that because of social and economic differences not everyone is on equal footing and not everything is possible, and to make decisions based on those hard realities and still try to hold on to what you love and know to be true and right.
p.s. Oh yeah, and the art is gorgeous.