Welcome to Sean Michael Wilson

I’d like to welcome to this blog Sean Michael Wilson, whose new book The Story of Lee will be shipping from us to comics stores in December. He’s also noted for AX, Alternative Manga from Top Shelf which has been getting a lot of press and he’s got an adaptation of a famous Japanese classic tale coming out from Kodansha here.

Prolific guy for a ‘wee brain.’ Meeting him is to enjoy his Scot’s brogue, btw. A Scot living in Japan for years and into manga aplenty. And that’s no blarney, mate!

The art for this is by Japanese Chie Kutsuwada who lves in… the UK.

How mixed up is that?!

USA TODAY’s Pop Candy on Geary’s Axe-Man

“Speaking of great art, you can’t go wrong with Geary — his work displays a humor, style and class that make it instantly recognizable. This latest book adds an element of horror, though: It tells the compelling, bizarre story of a series of brutal murders in New Orleans that seem connected (but are they?). While the ending may not satisfy everyone, the art should immerse readers instantly and show that the story is best told in graphic-novel form.”

Whitney Matheson at Usa Today’s Pop Candy blog.

The Gerry half of Markgerry today…

I was sitting at a bar and grill on Michigan Avenue, eating a blue-cheese loaded iceberg wedge and drinking a basil-infused gimlet, taking notes in my little Moleskine notebook while the guide to the Chicago Art Institute that I’d been using as a bookmark lay on the table next to it. In small-talking the waiter I said I was from San Francisco and I’d come to Chicago because my son was attending G-Fest, a convention for Godzilla fans. We shared a smile: oh, those crazy kids, ha ha ha. Overall, I was doing a very good impersonation of an adult.

But ten days later I was at the San Diego Comic Con, and I wasn’t with my son. True, I had a graphic novel to promote, Networked, one that sprang from a web comic commissioned by a nonprofit advocacy group. I could try to pretend that that’s the only reason I was at Comic Con, but that wouldn’t explain the twenty-six straight years I’d been there before this one.

I get why my son loves Godzilla. And it’s not just that he’s huge and destructive and free of the constrictions of society and all those other virtues I wrote about in a book called Killing Monsters. It’s also the simple fact that he’s junk.

He’s chuckled at by the rest of the world, and Nicky is part of a select group who understand that there’s something valuable in that junk, who can tell you why the guy who directed Mothra is better than the guy who directed Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster and why YMSF makes more accurate vinyl monster toys (or “figures,” if you will) than Bandai and how the composer of the best Godzilla soundtracks consciously combined Western symphonic music with Japanese folk ballads and why the American Godzilla movie really sucks.

I was that way with comics before they had a cachet, when comic cons drew only a few thousand obsessive guys and a few dozen embarrassed girlfriends. I liked discovering artistry in a medium completely dismissed by the world at large. I liked being able to take one look at a comic book page and recognize the artist, and somehow it meant more that hardly anyone beyond the confines of that convention center would even know his name.

It wasn’t just about finding a community and setting myself apart, either, although those were both part of it. It was also about coming to rescue of the junk. It was about saving great junk from the garbage and telling those obscure artists and writers that someone noticed. And it was about discovering gems that lay right under the noses of the mavens of culture but that they could never recognize.

Even as writing graphic novels has developed a weird sort of prestige, even as I find myself writing stories with serious intents, I never want to lose touch with the passion for junk culture that helped me fall in love with this medium in the first place. I want the freedom and whimsicality and creative latitude that junk does best flowing through everything I write. I want to see Networked in the quarter box on the floor. Okay, not literally. But I want to see it in the quarter box of my soul.

—Gerard Jones

A gush over A Home for Mr. Easter + more

Calling it “Thoroughly enjoyable entertainment”, School Library Journal in their latest issue goes on:

“The artwork is energetic with a rock-solid understanding of cartooning and kineticism … with an unusual protagonist and showcasing a quirky new voice in comics.”

…Rock-solid understanding… and Brooke is all of maybe 22, fresh out of college? Oh, yeah. And we agree! That’s why this book is awesome!

And Mr. Hornswoggler is back, this time on Elephant Man by Greg Houston:

“Every generation, and every art, needs wild men. If an art is lucky, it can get one every generation — but it can’t count on that. Comics, still an outsider form eighty years later, has more wild men than most — Fletcher Hanks, Bob Burden, Jim Woodring, Tony Millionaire, Marc Hansen — but that never means that there isn’t room for a new one.

Greg Houston is the newest wild man of comics, with plots that nearly out-odd Burden and art that rivals Basil Wolverton or Drew Friedman in its taste for grotesques.

His off-center inventiveness and gleeful squalor will appeal to those of us tired of the same old pretty punch-em-up types.”

“I haven’t gotten too far into Eric Hobbs and Noel Tuazon’s Broadcast yet, but I’m impressed with Tuazon’s loose style and the care with which Hobbs is setting up his story. The characters have all emerged as individuals with strong personalities, and good and evil are sharply delineated. Tuazon’s art is washy and atmospheric, and he does a great job of setting the scene, including small details such as a set table or a scarecrow on a rainy night.”

Says Brigid Alverson over at Robot 6.

Rick Geary interviewed

A nice informative interview of Rick Geary over at Ain’t It Cool Comics as well as a review of his latest Terrible Axe-Man of New Orleans:

“As I read, the voice narrating this book reminds me of the beginning of MAGNOLIA or the narration throughout THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD. It was this inscrutable delivery that chilled me to the bone in as Geary describes step by step the Axe-Man’s bloody rampage. By the time the Axe-Man sends a threatening letter Zodiac-style to the local newspaper describing himself as “a full demon from the hottest hell” my fingers clutched this book with all their might. Geary has mastered telling his stories in this documentarian manner, describing these mysteries as if reporting on them first hand. Geary’s books are relentlessly researched and the proof shows that he is definitely in love with his work.

Geary’s art is another plus for this book. Simple and stark lines and straightforward panels convey a tone of utter terror. The scenes of the killer in the shadows and the crime scene he leaves behind are absolutely bone chilling.
If you don’t find this to be one of the most chilling reads of the year, you’re a stronger man than I.”

Mark L. Miller, AICN

SPX: wow! love the energy.

Just back from the SPX show this last weekend, held in Bethesda. Saturday was amazing. A crowded big hotel conference room full of people eager to get the latest exciting indie comics.

The energy and enthusiasm was palpable as we blew through all the Dungeon books we brought within 2 hours, sold out of our premier of The Broadcast and sold a lot of A Home for Mr. Easter and Greg Houston’s books Vatican Hustle and his new Elephant Man.

Eric Hobbs had flewn in from Indiana for the occasion and we also had Brooke Allen up from Savannah and Greg Houston from… Baltimore all busy signing. Brooke had cute little pins to give away and had made little Mr. Easter figurines which she painted right there for people.

What impressed me the most, after not having been able to go the last couple of years myself (our artists took care of the NBM tables themselves), was a clear turnaround in attitude where in the past many were shy to spend more than a buck or two at a time on mini-comics and kinda stared at the graphic novels. Now they were there to get the latest GNs even if they were, as some publishers do them, at more than $25. Of course, great preference was given to those that the artists could be there to sign (which is why the early blow out of Dungeon took me by surprise, we’ll come better armed next year- oddly enough though we couldn’t sell Little Nothings. Go figure).

Thanks to ever-charming Brooke, Eric and Greg, all very good at engaging the fans, in helping to make this an exciting event to be at.

See ya there next year!

The Fabler Interviews BROADCAST Artist Noel Tuazon

Noel just did a great little interview over on The Fabler in promotion of our new book together, THE BROADCAST. Not only does he offer some great insight into his process, but he also does an extremely good job selling this book.

On an additional note, the books are in! I just got my copies, and they look fantastic. You’re going to love it. They’ll be hitting shelves soon, but if you’re in the area we’ll be premiering the book at this weekend’s SPX. I’ll be there to meet fans and sign copies. Hope to see you there.