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30 posts from May 2006

May 17, 2006


From Lewis Trondheim's Nothing Diaries . (Click to enlarge)


May 16, 2006

SCOTT MCCLOUD to strike again

Coming in September, from the brilliant Scott McCloud, author of UNDERSTANDING COMICS and REINVENTING COMICS -- both vital reference by a master of conveying concepts clearly and intelligently-- this time it's MAKING COMICS, from Harper Collins.

I'm getting in line for Dr. McCloud's latest prescription.

And I hope this means UNDERSTANDING COMICS will get a reprint by the same token.


reviews and things

My, my, it's busy days... Reviews are now coming in earnest. I'm off to Washington, DC for Book Expo America, where a zillion publishing people gather from around the world.

The excellent VOYA, or Voice of Youth Advocates, the library magazine for young adults has a bunch of reviews on our Spring titles. Here are a few juicy excerpts:

THE LOST COLONY by Grady Klein-- 5Q (5 out 5 for Quality)

Life is good in the little community on the Island until Mr. Stoop stumbles onto the place and start putting up posters about the slave auction in a nearby port. Everyone wants to have a word with the newcomer, whether to work with him or to drug him and ship him back to the mainland.


At first glance, this novel appears to be a cartoony rendition of America in the nineteenth century, but it quickly proves to be chock full of insight into the controversies of the past. The messages are hidden in plain sight as Klein uses his pictures to tell the real story behind all the words of the characters.


a fantastic addition to public and most school libraries.


(...) When Ferdinand breaks up with his cheating girlfriend, he starts to look for love in all the wrong places. Chance encounters, near misses, and pickup lines combine to detail one failure after another with woman both alive and undead. As Ferdinand tries to navigate his way through a variety of relationships, readers encounter the mixture of strange creatures that inhabit Sfar’s universe. Readers of Sfar’s other works will see many familiar faces among this motley crew of characters, from the traditional ghosts to the distinctive tree-folk. The viewpoint and humor of the four independent but interconnected stories will certainly resonate with older teens who will have experienced the same trials and tribulations in their own searches for love.

Edgy and creepy but at the same time universal and normal, Vampire Loves is a unique study in contrasts that will be a pleasurable discovery for graphic novel enthusiasts.

THE FATE OF THE ARTIST by Eddie Campbell

Campbell’s latest book follows the investigation into the disappearance of Eddie Campbell. Interweaving segments reveal glimpses of his life, relationships, and philosophy in a variety of formats.
With a large body of fictional and semiautobiographical work to his credit, this book is Campbell’s most artistically ambitious work to date. Reader who have followed his Alec series will find continuity here. In this thoughtful and funny meditation on art and its affect on the artist, or vice versa, he nimbly switches stylistic gears from detective noir to humor, often featuring his perpetually swearing daughter.
librarians will appreciate where the body is finally found, the location itself a commentary on the
state of the graphic novel.

THE FATE... progress notes on the media storm

It really is a media storm Eddie Campbell is provoking... We need to keep up with editorial reviews on the Fate of the Artist catalog page...

From Jeff Lester, who works at Brian Hibbs' THE COMICS EXPERIENCE store in San Francisco:

FATE OF THE ARTIST is not only far and away the release of the week but at this point in time, it's the release of the year, and, I think, the best book Campbell's released in about a decade.

Actually, the whole thing is too good not to post.... See what I mean:

FATE OF THE ARTIST SC: Really should be reviewed in the trade section, but since First Second launched all six titles on the same weekend (and then nothing for another six months! Just like a real comic book company! Woot!) and Graeme's review said everything I would've said (and, of course, said it better) I might as well hit it here so I can review another First Second book in the Trade section.
Fate Of The Artist is not only far and away the release of the week but at this point in time, it's the release of the year, and, I think, the best book Campbell's released in about a decade. When I first read the review copy a few months back, the book struck me as ineffably sad (although streaked through with rueful humor) as the artist prepares himself for his inevitable fate by ruminating on artists dead and forgotten, or remembered but not for their work, all while recounting his family's exasperated recollections of his absent-minded, pointlessly specific, self-amused artistic ways. I thought the book full of regrets that were twisted about, like ballon animals, in an effort to amuse.
But rereading the book yesterday, what caught me was how deeply funny it was, starting with the hilariously bold conceit of composing a self-elegy--Lycidas as written by...Lycidas!--and moving on through all the funny anecdotes, pastiche comic strips, that damn dog Monty, etc. Through all of it, there's an appreciation of how funny life can be, even at its most frustrated and unfulfilled, and that appreciation is infectious, giving the work not only the most difficult of emotional victories, a love of life that feels genuine yet unsentimental, but also something unique--a comforting sense of dread. Finishing The Fate of The Artist, I realized that if I was lucky, I would get to deal with sorrows, regrets, fears, fights and alienation, and if I was smart, I'd look forward to all of it.

As I said, it's the release of the week and quite possibly the year. Excellent work, and highly recommended.

And Eddie sent this in:

John Milton. Lycidas A Lament for a friend drowned in his passage from ... For Lycidas is dead, dead ere his prime. Young Lycidas, and hath not left his peer: ...

May 12, 2006



Ferdinand is a hopeless romantic—some would say he's pathetic. He drifts from one disastrous relationship to another . . .

Feel like a matchmaker? Perhaps you can help him!

Below are five potential love interests he will encounter in VAMPIRE LOVES. Please write to Ferdinand with your advice on which one he should date first and why.


Send your vampire dating advice with your mailing address to mail@firstsecondbooks.com before Monday, May 22nd.

We'll be posting our three favorite replies on Tuesday and each one will get a FREE copy of Joann Sfar'sVAMPIRE LOVES!


From Lewis Trondheim's Nothing Diaries . (Click to enlarge)


May 09, 2006

Eddie Campbell interview

Tom Spurgeon interviews Eddie Campbell over at The Comics Reporter !

And here's how Spurgeon introduces the piece, no less:

There's no artist working in comics today whose body of work I admire more than Eddie Campbell's. His books are among a handful that you can read at your lowest point of respect and regard for the medium and after closing the final page come out fighting for any and all things comics (although as he points out, Campbell may no longer join you on the front lines). He is also an underrated figure in industry history aside from his artistic contributions, putting out work in a variety of formats via small press outlets, alternative comics houses, independent publishers, self-publishing, and now the large publishing house First Second. As you'll likely notice here, Campbell has a well-deserved reputation as a fascinating person with whom to converse. (Read on...)

May 08, 2006

:01's NYC list

If you'd like to be kept informed of our events in the New York CIty area, please send a note to mail@firstsecondbooks.com, with NYC events in the subject field of your message.


From Lewis Trondheim's Nothing Diaries


May 05, 2006

Guest Blog: Emmanuel GUIBERT

Emmanuel Guibert sent in another fun blog entry and it's a SARDINE game!

Can you find the hidden key?

Since we're feeling guilty about not having something for Free Comic Book Day, the first five of you who send the right answer with a mailing address to mail@firstsecondbooks.com -- will get a FREE copy of SARDINE IN OUTER SPACE!


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