Hello from Angouleme. I’m at this year’s edition of the show that attracts as many as 200,000 people every year. It’s France’s San Diego. Lewis Trondheim has had many a page of his Little Nothings dedicated to this show, especially around his consecration with the grand prize here a couple years ago.
Just arrived yesterday and this morning, visited some of the exhibits. Blutch who is one of the main artists of the new generation like Trondheim was given the Grand Prize last year, so that makes him President of this year’s fair and also enables him to put up an exhibition of hois works. In a new space the convention didn’t have before, Blutch has what is this year a regular gallery type hanging of many never before seen works of his. Usually these exhibits mix a recreation of the artist’s world so this is a bit unusual. He also says right up front that he’s not showing his life work or best originals from graphic novels, but various creations he made which had never seen daylight since “and don’t expect any identification.” He’s an original and his work shows how creative and off the beaten path he is. Unfortunately not seen here so far, I believe.
Next to his exhibit is another excellent one of the history of humor cartoons but what I found most interesting was going to see the all new extension of the comics museum which finally has a beautiful new space to show off their extensive collection which they do by presenting a history of comics, with a strong French comics angle obviously but well and in a great space. As you walk over a pedestrian bridge to it, you pass a life size statue of Corto Maltese peering dreamily into the distance. When is San Diego going to do that?
All this with the possibility that Angouleme will no longer host the fair. There was a big debate that even threatened this year’s show, with an almost last minute save. It would be ironic for this city which has streets signs in balloons and two of its main streets named after Goscinny and Herge!
I am very excited to introduce Brooke Allen here, see her post below. Even just a student still, she shows incredible talent already and her energetic drawing style coupled with an uproarious story will make her intro book A Home for Mr. Easter a hit, I just know it!
Take a look at the previews we’ve posted. I’m tellin’ ya her book is irresistible. Just got all the pages and I’m relishing them, snickering openly in the subway while people stare at me for reading such stuff in public. Nyeh, nyeh.
oop, a bit late here, as it’s already a few posts down, but a warm welcome to Pablo Callejo, whose art graces Ted’s latest Year of Loving Dangerously.
Of course, you might already know him for his work with Rob Vollmar on Bluesman and the Castaways.
Always wondrous stuff.
And hopefully he’ll talk for both he and Ted who *grumblmumbl* hardly participates here even if I resort to pointing a gun at him!!!
Ted?… You there?
Welcome to our latest addition to our author/editor blog: Lewis Trondheim as his pages get posted here from the upcoming comics blog collection LITTLE NOTHINGS: Uneasy Happiness, due out in January and being solicited now in comics shops. Lewis needs little introduction at this point, this comics blog series has charmed many for its authenticity and great sense of observation. He is also the co-creator on DUNGEON and we’ve published quite a few more books of his including Li’l Santa, btw, a charming series for Xmas .
So every Monday and Thursday, make sure to drop by for his latest comics blog: Little Nothings. Of course you can RSS this as well.
Get the word out!
Ted Rall’s book on his trip to Afganistan right in the middle of the war after 9/11 turns out to be dead-on these many years later.
Ted predicted things wouldn’t be so easy and that the Taliban was hardly wiped out. Afghanistan has historically been the doom of empires from the UK to Russia and alas, the loathsome Taliban just keeps coming back to haunt us in a similar fashion. Now we hear the Obama administration is mulling over sending in more troops, that things aren’t going well. Most interestingly, that the elections may have been marred by extensive fraud which shines a very dim light on the US propped-up government of Hamid Karzai.
I didn’t want to hear it back then but I gotta admit, Ted was right. We hadn’t heard the last word from this quagmire and being involved is like sinking in quick sand.
If you didn’t read his To Afghanistan & Back, you’ll find it fascinating and ever so relevant today. He rushed out there bravely in the middle of the war zone and had the balls, when we all were bloodthirsty for revenge and waving the flag, to denounce what he saw as the uselessness of this action and uncover its absurdities.
It’s a collection of articles he sent in to the Village Voice and chapters in comics showing his adventure and what he saw. We’ve sold over 20,000 copies making this one of our best-selling books and it’s his best, I think… until maybe now when he’s about to bring out Year of Loving Dangerously which has NO politics and is about a tormented part of his life as painted by Pablo (Bluesman) Callejo.
As this is about to come out, a good time to check out a significant previous book of his.
One of our best and most anticipated books this season, The Big Kahn, is now out and available in stores. Buzz was mounting in San Diego for it as we premiered it there.
As soon as Neil presented this concept to me, I knew we had a winner. But at first, like most people, I thought it would be a comedy. What, a Rabbi who wasn’t Jewish? Turned out to be a grifter? But when Neil explained to me this was serious and I read on more about his concept, I was even more intrigued. It’s a funny premise alright, but what Neil does with it is fascinating. It becomes a story on the nature of faith and with all the different characters in it, reacting in a wide variety of ways, it’s just a great read, his best work so far. I fell in love with it, I hope you do too.
But who knows? Let’s keep our fingers crossed that he’ll come back to it.
This should ship from the printer in a couple weeks and be in stores within a week or two after that.
This fall, I’m quite excited to introduce another absolutely mind boggling talent comin’ outta nowhere: Greg Houston of Vatican Hustle, coming in October.
Lock up your virgin daughter! Close the window shutters tight! We’ve just got him set up to start blogging here.
When I read his comics, every once in a while I check the mirror to make sure I ain’t gettin’ so ugly myself…
So, drum roll please… Greg Houston should be in here soon.
This remarkable graphic novel by the talented Korean artist Byun Byung Jun is moving, at times melancholy and quite lyrical. We brought out his Run, Bong-Gu, Run! a couple years ago to good acclaim. This continues our little Manhwa department which also has Buja’s Diary by an old Korean master.
Check it out, it’s in stores now! And if you like it, tell people, hey, tell me right here in a comment. Would love to hear what you think.
Arlene’s Heart has shipped and should have reached stores by now. Look for it, it’s a moving fantasy fairy tale for adults and a tribute to surviving personal loss and rejection.
Beautifully painted. See previews here.