Monthly Archives: August 2006

BONE: OVE Ships; Goes Back to Press

Blog entry by Jeff


The BONE: One Volume Edition is here!  It shipped last week to comic shops, and is now on its way to mainstream bookstores everywhere.  Malloy, our printer in Michigan, did a wonderful job as usual. The inks are black and the new cover looks great. Then yesterday, we were surprised to get a call from Jim Kuhoric of Diamond Comic Distributors telling us that they shipped the rest of the entire print run of 20,000 copies out to stores this week. And they want more! The Diamond warehouse is empty! There should be plenty of books around for the time being, but we plan to go back to press immediately.

This current printing of the BONE: One Volume Edition is published by Cartoon Books, has a new cover and is technically the seventh printing. It's a 1300 page graphic novel that contains the complete Bone story in the original black & white.

 As always, if you want to find the comic book store closest to you, call the Comic Shop Locator Serviced at 1-888-COMIC-BOOK or go to their webpage.  

Our Gang 2, and Walt Kelly’s Birthday

Blog entry by Jeff

Fantagraphics is doing a second volume of Walt Kelly's Our Gang comics from the 1940s.  The first collection was a pretty straight forward adaptation of the  short films in terms of setting and characters. This one has Kelly starting to take control; Spanky has been replaced by Happy (essentially Spanky with freckles at this stage), and the gang has a multi-part adventure on the high seas when they are accidentally marooned aboard a floating movie-prop pirate ship.

 

Above is the rough sketch I made for the cover of Our Gang vol.2. Froggy & Buckwheat are in the rigging, with Happy, Janet, and Petey looking out over the rail. I still want to add Mickey in there somewhere. I’ll update this once I tighten the pencils.  Designer Jacob Covey needs this by the end of the month, so I’d better get a move on (why do I always wait until the last minute?).

The first volume got a number of good reviews in Booklist and Publishers Weekly (both of which you can read at Amazon.com.), as well as in The Onion A.V. Club , IGN , and Comic Book Resources , just to name a few. Click here to see the blog entry I made when Our Gang vol. 1 shipped.

And raise a glass to Walt – - my favorite cartoonist was born on August 25, 1913.  Happy Birthday, Walt Kelly! Cartoonists the world over miss you.  Now there was a man who could draw a pig. Or a world leader as a pig.

Hi Megan and Oskar!

Blog entry by Jeff

I found this colorful trade paperback in my local independent book shop The Book Loft a few days ago. The Essential Guide to World Comics by Tim Pilcher and Brad Brooks is exactly what it claims to be. The opening lines are: "In other countries and cultures they’re called manga, manhua, manhwa, bande dessinee or BD, komicks, bilderstreifen or bildergecshichter…  In the USA and UK they’re known as comic books and they are the most prevalent, important yet misunderstood art form in the world."

Having spent a fair amount of time in Europe, immersed in the culture of comics, sometimes as a guest of festivals, and other times just visiting friends, I’ve discovered the surprising diversity – - and unity – -  that makes up the world comics scene.  Comics are everywhere, and the people who make them have a lot in common.  I like comics people.  There’s something about the art of comics that has captured all of us, and this book is the first one I’ve seen that starts to share that feeling.

 This beautifully illustrated book covers the basics like Tintin, and Asterix; master creators like Eisner, Herge, Kurtzman, and Pratt, but it also sweeps through the rest of the planet giving us comics from Japan, India, South America, Down Under, and the Middle East! It touches on Lise in Norway, Max in Spain, Lewis Trondheim in France, Vitankar in India, Moer in Germany, Bryan Talbot in England, and even Comics International's Dez Skinn – - Dez Skinn!! It's great, really. Dave Gibbons writes the foreword and he sums it up this way: “Like some modern day equivalent of the Victorian Baedeker’s Guide, this present volume will thrill you, as it has me, with a bold and exciting overview of what is really out there…”

And author Tim Pilcher has this dedication on page 4: “To Megan (the biggest Bone fan I know)…and Oskar, the next generation.”

That made my day! 

You can read the Booklist review and some reader reviews if you link directly to The Essential Guide to World Comics at Amazon.com!

 As always, if you want to find the comic book store closest to you, call the Comic Shop Locator Serviced at 1-888-COMIC-BOOK or go to their webpage.  


 

One fish, Two fish…

Blog entry by Jeff

 

Here are a couple of photos from friends. The first is from Jacky Harper, Scholastic’s coordinator for national conventions. Folks in the comics community who have been to one of Scholastic’s Thursday Night bashes in San Diego will recognize her as the hostess who puts on the best party in town. Jacky sent me this photo of her and her 20 (!) pound bass she caught while wearing her good luck Bone shirt!  This should keep her in fish & chips for awhile. The other picture is one I think Jacky will like seeing very much:  it was sent to me from Toronto by Bruce Peck of our mutual friend Ciaran McEvoy and his son Nolan reading their favorite Bone book together.

Comics!

Blog entry by Jeff

Look at this! Joe Kubert's Tarzan!

Joe Kubert’s lines are coarse and chunky like greasy charcoal, laid down in loose, easy gestures. The shapes and spaces they define are open, graceful and solid. If you are a Herriman fan, you will recognize the deliberate scratchiness that invites the eye to play – - and to fill in the missing information.

Weight and light are as real as the jungle, and convey the wonder and mystery of an impressionist painting.

In the summer of 1972, I sat on my parent's front porch with Kubert's first issue of Tarzan and found myself reading a completely different kind of comic book. These illustrated stories are filled with adventure, danger and a reverence for the mystery of the natural world. Nature is wild, and violent at times. Tarzan’s mastery of this world is made believable by his own understanding that he is part of it. Joe Kubert wrote, edited and drew these interpretations of the Burroughs character, creating the best version of the Ape Man I have ever encountered.

Kubert’s layout and pacing, his choice of shots, all were a huge influence on my own comics storytelling. His choices keep the reader engaged, right on top of the events, never letting the reader’s mind float back out to the edge of the page. Always keeping the reality close and moving! 

These comics were originally published by DC in the early 70's, but now Dark Horse (the current holder of the Tarzan license) has collected the entire run in a three volume hardcover set called TARZAN: THE JOE KUBERT YEARS. The printing is beautiful and the recreation of Tatjana Wood’s colors is not only perfect, but much appreciated. I opened these books up and was immediately taken to the jungle, hypnotized by the world of drawing, just like I was that day on my parents front porch when I was twelve.

These books are a treasure.

As always, if you want to find the comic book store nearest you, call 888-comic-book or visit The Comic Shop Locator Service website.