8 posts categorized "FAVORITE SCENES"

March 02, 2007

Favorite Scene, by Danica Novgorodoff

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.

September 06, 2005



What is the all time best kiss in a graphic novel? Feel free to weigh in and send your suggestion. Here are three contenders.

1. From ISAAC THE PIRATE (published in the US by NBM). Christophe Blain has a number of kissing scenes in several titles of this series. Can't decide which is my favorite. Maybe the one in the fifth volume, when Isaac kisses his wife's sister. But I don't have it with me, so I can't scan it. This one is from earlier. It's up there too.

Isaackiss© Christophe Blain

2. This next one is from Paul Pope's THB, his incredible sprawling martian epic, in volume 6d (from HORSE PRESS) when the main character HR follows the strange Jig up to a rooftop. One of the best first kisses.

Popekiss© Paul Pope

3. And this one! Krazy Kat finally kisses Ignatz! Ok, so he's sleeping, but still, he can't remain unaffected. A history making smooch. (From the Abradale Press compilation -- and it's all the more meaningful if you also read the amazing Fantagraphics collection, designed by Chris Ware).



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August 25, 2005

FAVORITES -- from Gene Yang


There's a book that's going to make a hell of a noise: AMERICAN BORN CHINESE by Gene Yang. Seriously brilliiant stuff. Coming out Fall '06. Can't say more. Mum's the word. Who is mum anyway. But wait, I'm not kidding -- this kind of project is why FIRST SECOND exists in the first place.

Oh, you don't believe me. Just you wait and see. I've never read anything like it. And it has color by Lark Pien.

More shameless plugs later, as we get nearer to releasing it.

In the meantime, in our continuing award-winning FAVORITE SCENES, here's Gene's entry:


"There's a reason the Japanese call Osamu Tezuka the God of Comics.

In high school, I refused to watch anime or read manga. I found the plots trite, the storytelling unintelligible, and the pancake eyes utterly annoying. Plus, why did all the boys get projectile nose bleeds whenever a pretty girl walked by? Leave me to my Todd McFarlane Spider-mans and Peter David Hulks, thank you. At least gamma rays make sense; they're, you know, scientific and stuff.

Then Osamu Tezuka came along. A year after I graduated college, after hearing his name over and over again in comic book magazines articles, comics websites, and Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics, I decided to pick up the first volume of Adolf, Tezuka's World War II epic, from the local Borders.


The first few pages unnerved me in a way that's difficult to describe. Sohei Toge, a Japanese news reporter covering the 1936 Berlin Olympics, discovers that his brother, a student living in Germany, was mysteriously thrown out of his bedroom window. The drawings were much simpler than the American superhero art I'd grown up on, yet they were so much more... intense. They grabbed me by the intestines and wouldn't let go. Sohei Toge might've only been a line drawing, but my guts didn't know it. I was scared for him.

Over the next few weeks I bought the entire five volume set of Adolf. I read it again and again, not only for the visceral thrill of the story, but also to pick at Tezuka's secrets. Why do these pancake-eyed characters pull me into their lives so completely?

I'll let you know when I've figured it out." -- Gene YANG

August 24, 2005

FAVORITES -- from Leland Myrick

Leland Myrick is the creator of an exquisite memoir called MISSOURI BOY, which we're really proud to publish. Coming out in Fall '06, so more about it in the near future...


In the meantime, here's Leland's entry in our chronicle of all-time favorite moments in graphic novels:


"I read Varlot Soldat by Tardi and Daeninckx around the time it came out in 1999. Like most of Tardi's work, images from that book have stuck with me ever since. Few can draw the pain and humiliation of war like Tardi. I've sent you an image of Varlot running from the church which has just been blown up." -- Leland MYRICK


August 23, 2005

FAVORITES -- from Joann Sfar

Continuing with the Sfar fest, here's his entry in our popular FAVORITES feature:


Terryandpirates_2 Terry2

"My favourite scene in a comic book is the following: The hero of Terry and The Pirates is asleep on a chinese boat, there is the moon, the waves, the silent calm of night in black and white. And the mean dark haired femme fatale dressed in satin kisses his lips while he sleeps.

And WE read this strip and we know he had the chance to kiss this wonderful person and well she actually gave him a kiss and he doesn't even know. Would he have been awakened he would have refused because this good guy never kisses bad girls and we read this book and could just die. And we are in love.

I also revere this Will Eisner's splash page: "Hi, myname is P'Gell and this is not a story for little kids" or something like that.


I love when the Thing goes back to Yancee Street wearing sunglasses.


I love Hugo Pratt's Treasure Island." --- Joann SFAR


August 19, 2005

FAVORITES -- From Sara Varon


"here is of one of my favorite passages: 2 pages from 'the roumanian circus', which is the
story in 'jetlag' (by actus tragicus) written by etgar keret and illustrated by rutu modan.


" i love etgar keret's stories in that book, because they are so bleak and strange and hopeless but also funny. and rutu modan is my favorite illustrator and storyteller of the actus crowd.


"the page with the clowns in the dryer seemed like a good one because it really caught the mood of the whole story. but the monkey page is my all-time favorite comics page - how could you not love the rotten monkey in the wheelchair? the tiny drawing of him throwing an apple at the piano-player's head makes me crack up every time i see it, and i love (in all her drawings) rutu modan's use of line and color and shapes and patterns, and all the little details she puts in the background which embellish the writing."
-- Sara VARON


© Pages Copyright Keret/Modan (Actus Tragicus)

August 18, 2005

FAVORITES - from Nick Abadzis

There are several extremely talented authors from the U.K. working on original commissions with FIRST SECOND. Among them is Nick Abadzis, whose LAIKA is due out next fall. More to come about that later...!

In the meantime, he sends us one of his favorite scenes from a graphic novel, in our continuing feature:


Baudoin_page © copyright Edmond Baudoin

"There's a scene in Edmond Baudoin's BD album Le Portrait, which I bought it in its original oversized Futuropolis edition back in about 1990 or '91. The whole book blew my mind, but a particular five-panel sequence stood out: page 43 where the artist Michel is at work on a portrait of Carol, the model he's kind of obsessed with. He's asking himself to get a bit of distance from her. As he draws, a mirror of himself, a kind of shadow-opposite works behind the easel, echoing his movement. In the next panel, the easel and the portrait has disappeared, and artist and shadow become joined at the point of the piece of charcoal as it moves across the invisible paper that now is all that separates them. Michel is "recommencing the portrait," and the next silent panel seems to ask, who is this a portrait actually of? Carol, or Michel himself, what he sees of himself reflected in her? The shadow begins to move out of the frame in the last panel of the page as the caption asks what it is he's searching for.

The sequence, like so much of Baudoin's work, is both incredibly subtle and beautifully bold. It also captures this incredible sense of movement. Baudoin was inventing new visual grammar (as he still does) but was unconstrained by this, allowing himself to be utterly expressive. Yeah, it spoke to me! The whole book is astonishing and well, I've rambled on a bit so I should get back to work."

August 16, 2005

FAVORITES - from Mark Siegel


This new feature will appear from time to time on the FIRST SECOND website... Various authors and creators will share with us an all time favorite graphic novel scene. Something that struck them and stayed with them, and contributed to their love of the medium.

To kick things off, here's one from me.

THE RABBI'S CAT by Joann Sfar -- coming out in the US from Pantheon books this summer. I love this book, through and through, and I think it places Sfar high among great authors in any form.

© Copyright Sfar, 2005

My favorite scene is when the old rabbi meets up with an old Arab who shares his last name -- Sfar. The whole sequence, beginning with the meeting of their respective pets, a cat and a donkey, leads to one of the most enchanting moments I've ever found in a graphic novel. Like the whole of Sfar's still unfolding story, this scene makes a bridge between Jews and Muslims and makes me believe Art will succeed where politics continually fail.

If you're hungry for Sfar's magical worlds, check our CATALOG PAGE in coming weeks for his many upcoming titles with FIRST SECOND.

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