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8 posts from September 2008

September 25, 2008

A lovely review of Alan's War in The Comics Reporter

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I'm happy to note that Emmanuel Guibert's unconventional WWII biography Alan's War has been generating a gratifying volume of smart, lively discussion, and this latest contribution is no exception:

Alan Cope is a typical American soldier in that very little about what happened to him is as emblematic of a group experience as the media-driven, popular, collective post-War narrative would have you believe. ...At about two thirds of the way through the book, you'll realize that Alan's War isn't a proper biography, let alone a war story, although it can be seen to function that way if you squint your eyes and hold the book at the correct angle away from your face. There are tanks and German and Russians, after all, and even a story or two about moral drift. Don't believe your eyes, though; trust your inner ear. Guibert admits what you'll suspect on your own: that the comic is there to capture Alan Cope's voice.

In addition to being an exceptionally thoughtful and perceptive review, it's also a lovely piece of writing. Read it here.

September 24, 2008

‘Colbert Report’ Writer Glenn Eichler Explains His Mysterious Graphic Novel ‘Stuffed’


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Nisha Gopalan writes at MTV.com about First Second's 2009 title STUFFED by Glenn Eichler and Nick Bertozzi:

The other day, comic illustrator Nick Bertozzi (”The Salon”) slyly leaked a few pages of “Stuffed,” his comics collaboration with “Colbert Report” writer, Glenn Eichler, on his LiveJournal. Here’s what we saw: a chubby, middle-aged, long-haired, bearded dude falling out of bed; and later, said slacker explaining how he drilled a hole in his own head to free his mind, man. Is this the Lebowski sequel we’ve all been waiting for!?

Not exactly. But as we learned from recent Emmy recipient Eichler (who previously worked on MTV’s “Beavis & Butthead” and “Daria”), his graphic novel — like that seminal movie — is indeed imbued with dark comedy, cerebral subtext, and a lingering sense of existential unease.

Read the rest of the article!

And see Nick Bertozzi's early glimpse of the book here!

September 23, 2008

Eddie Campbell Speaks!

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watch him here

[video interview courtesy of the lovely and talented proprietor of Bookslut, Jessa Crispin]

September 18, 2008

A Storm of Reviews for Danica Novgorodoff's Debut Graphic Novel

Danica is in Louisville, Kentucky today (at Carmichael's Bookstore) and in Chicago at Quimby's on Saturday. 

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“What stands out about Novgorodoff's book are the artistry of its pages -- the fine-art edge her watercolors give to illustrations that help propel the story line -- and the human themes of loneliness, spiritual meaning and connection to the landscape of one's home territory that are associated more with literature or high-art cinema than with the comic-book form.” – The Kentucky Courier Journal

A sharp, often challenging story. . . . SLOW STORM works so well because of Novgorodoff’s ability to almost constantly convey motion and movement. She captures on the page even simple things like winds blowing, or people and animals running, or cars and trucks driving, all with a flair.” – Book Reporter

 I read several books last weekend, but one that won't leave my head is Danica Novgorodoff's Slow Storm. This book was such a hit at Comic-Con that I couldn't get a copy, and now I understand why. The art is breathtaking. The story intertwines a small-town female firefighter and an illegal immigrant who works in a stable. When a storm hits, their lives change. I read the entire thing while sitting on my back porch on a rainy day, and I can't imagine a more perfect setting.” – USA Today's Pop Candy

“Slow Storm’s poignant themes, accompanied by Novgorodoff’s lush watercolor washes and masterful linework, tell an emotionally-charged tale of homesickness and horses, storms and saints.” – Quimby’s

Featured Artist: Comics Should Be Good – A Month of Art Stars

“Just like a Slow Storm, there's a brooding atmosphere and mounting intensity throughout Novgorodoff's subtle, refreshingly different drama, as she shows how these two people from very different worlds and worldviews, both adrift, with secrets to hide, neither sure of their place in life, build a bond of understanding and come to recognise the sensitivity and hope in each other.” – Paul Gravett

“I admire the texture and ambition that Novgorodoff brings to this tale of lost souls. . . . there are numerous moments in Slow Storm that betray a Level 4 hurricane of talent.” – The Oregonian

“Danica Novgorodoff's graphic novel 'Slow Storm' is eerily relevant — and just plain eerie.” – NY Magazine

“In the few gestures these characters exchange as they pass on their way through different journeys, Novgoroff has captured as much or more as any novel or movie. Clearly a contender for best graphic novel of the year.” – Omnivoracious/amazon.com book blog

Slow Storm is a promising debut and a beautiful work of artistic fiction. The author's excellent grasp of dialogue works to establish the characters' voices as believable, and her atmospheric artwork and attention to the story's setting make for an immersing reading experience.” – Newsarama

“Novgorodoff is a genuine talent, an educated painter with style and composition skills to spare. Her work is haunting and powerful, and the character of Ursa really comes alive on the page… even as Ursa feels her life’s energy slipping from her in a maze of pain and bad decisions. It’s a very mature piece of work for someone putting out her first full-length graphic novel.” – Comics Waiting Room

“A multifaceted story about a lonely female firefighter and the illegal immigrant she tries to shelter.” – The Onion AV Club

“First-time graphic novelists rarely display such grace and confidence as this Eisner nominee. In a deliberately paced character study of two disenfranchised souls -- a complicated woman firefighter and a desperate illegal immigrant -- Novgorodoff leans on lovely watercolor panels, not necessarily words, to reveal intimate details about her wounded characters and the stark Kentucky landscape that surrounds and sometimes stifles them. "Slow Storm" is a sad ballad about sorrow-prone people . . . it’s a joy to read.” – The Contra Costa Times

“Eisner and Isotope winner Danica Novgorodoff’s new work Slow Storm. . . . promises to be in the vein of books like Blankets and Palookaville with its "literary graphic novel" pedigree.” – Broken Frontier
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(bolds mine!)

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September 12, 2008

Eddie Campbell, classified a Category 4 Storm

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Links, links aplenty:

"Campbell's newest release, "The Amazing Remarkable Monsieur Leotard," is a return to that greatness we should expect from him and First Second."—Brick


"Eddie Campbell's metafictional romp, The Amazing, Remarkable Monsieur Leotard (First Second, $17), written in collaboration with Dan Best, isn't a graphic novel so much as an overstuffed trunk spilling over with whimsical adventures, factual morsels, and gags." —Bookforum


"The last part of the book, dealing with Etienne and his friends in their post-circus old age, is surprisingly moving, with a happy-sad ending that even includes a cameo appearance by Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel, the creators of Superman. It's a perfect end to a story that could only be told in the comics format."—CityPages


"One of the best things about Eddie Campbell is that, as a creator, I never feel like he's fallen into a rut. Each new project always seems very different from the previous one, trying out new ideas and storytelling tactics. Sure enough, his and Dan Best's new book, The Amazing Remarkable Monsieur Leotard, is completely different from the last book of Campbell's I read. And in some ways, I think it's my favorite book from Campbell in a long while. . . . Campbell and Best have gone all-out and created a comic masterpiece."—Read About Comics

"It's just a gorgeous book, a great bit of comics storytelling that uses the form like nothing else out there. Campbell makes comics like nobody else, and the world is richer for having his work in it. Hopefully, he'll be able to keep delivering beautiful works like this for years to come."—IndiePulp

"Long live the amazing remarkable monsieur Campbell!"—Omnivoracious/amazon.com book blog

"There will not be a more inventive or funnier comic book released in calendar year 2008 than The Amazing Remarkable Monsieur Leotard by Eddie Campbell and Dan Best, published by First Second. And by "calendar year 2008," of course, I mean, "The 21st Century.""—Comic Book Galaxy


"Eddie Campbell remains one of the comic industry's most creative and challenging voices, getting more mileage out of an idea than nearly any other creator. His sense of design and appreciation for playful characters and scenarios serves him well in this engaging, entertaining book about unlikely families and the eventfulness of life." —Newsarama


"MONSIEUR LEOTARD is one of the strangest, most artistically brave books I've read in recent memory"—Comics Waiting Room


"This fantastical story following fictional and real life characters Forrest Gump-ing through historical events and made up adventures is a feast for the brain and eyes. . . . First Second has made a name for itself by producing quality material, but this book outdoes all of its previous endeavors."—Ain't It Cool


"It's a first class tour-de-Campbell whimsy" —Comic Book Resources


"A fine Eddie Campbell book, in the style that no one else could replicate, and a joy to read."—Comic Mix


"In the delightful "The Amazing Remarkable Monsieur Leotard" graphic novel treasure Eddie Campbell and his collaborator Dan Best take a look at old side shows and draw a direct line between those performers and the modern day superhero. This unexpected feat is accomplished by examining the structure of exciting narratives and sweeping adventures as experienced by outsiders."—Shuffleboil


(my bolds)

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September 07, 2008

A Jon Stewart gem

Ok so this blog isn't typically a political forum, but this gem from the Daily Show is just too good not to share... Could this qualify Jon Stewart for a Pulitzer?

And after this, back to work on our comics (the other kind)...

ALAN'S WAR profiled in Publisher's Weekly

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An exquisite piece from Kate Culkin in Publisher's Weekly—can be read here.

September 05, 2008

SLOW STORM release party at ROCKETSHIP in Brooklyn!

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Tonight in Brooklyn! RELEASE PARTY for SLOW STORM with its author and artist Danica Novgorodoff at the world class ROCKETSHIP store!

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