DOG BUTTS AND LOVE. AND STUFF LIKE THAT. AND CATS. AND REVIEWS.

Cartoonist Jim Benton (best known for It’s Happy Bunny) released his first collection of web cartoons, Dog Butts and Love. And Stuff Like That. And Cats. through NBM.  And based on the reactions from some of the critics out there, you’re missing out if you don’t check it out.

 

“Each page of his Dog Butts … features a different comic, some simple one-panel cartoons, some multi-panel gag strips. The art styles employed are so incredibly different that many of them look like they’re the works of different cartoonists, with Benton affecting different design styles, different lines, different color schemes, different lettering and even different types of jokes throughout.

There are a few that aren’t even jokes, but look like greeting cards, and read as heartwarming, if saccharine, affirmative statements. Some are dark and twisted the way some of the most memorable Perry Bible Fellowship cartoons were. Sometimes he works blue. Sometimes he presents work tame enough that it could appear on a newspaper comics page. Other times he presents perfect, wordless one-panel gags that look like better-drawn installments of Gary Larson’s Far Side.

Everything about the book is all over the map except, perhaps, for its level of quality.”

Robot 6

“The pieces in question range from single-panel gags to short sequential pieces, but the thing they share in common is the level of intelligence and cleverness on display. He is consistently darkly funny, often touching a chord with a tough truth at the heart of the cartoon…The whole book is worth your time.”

Comics Waiting Room

“From the sketchy to the hyper detailed to the super cartoony, Benton is a master at his craft…It’s silly and ridiculous and entirely enjoyable!

Coverless

“I found myself mentally comparing it to the great gag cartoonist books of my youth…As a jokester, Benton is as capable of coming up with a silly boob joke as he is a darkly comic riff on existential angst.”

Seattle P-I

 

Rick Geary’s MADISON SQUARE TRAGEDY Has Critics Smiling

Nominated as a 2014 Great Graphic Novel for Teens from The Young Adult Library Services Association of the ALA

“I really enjoy Rick Geary’s non-fiction comics about true crimes. His 2013 effort is the story of how architect Stanford White was shot in the face. Geary illustrates his books with maps, house cutaways, evidence shots, and explores every lead…even if such leads prove to be false, Geary explains their reason for not being possible/credible. Geary’s books are a great gateway for non-comic readers who think comics are all capes & cowl *BAM* *POW* to see that there truly are other genres of stories waiting out them in the pages of comics.”

– David Petersen (Mouseguard) naming Madison Square Tragedy to his Best of the Year list.

“Geary’s tale is a ripe one, and his evocation of an era where Victorian mores clashed with more modern ideas is wittily crafted..As is par for this series, Geary’s black-and-white art relishes period detail as it maintains a largely detached view on the people involved… As in other volumes in this magnificent graphic series, Geary’s interest is as much in the reactions to the horrendous crimes depicted as in the criminal acts themselves. In so doing, he tells us much about the Good Olde Days that it’d be best not to forget.”

Blog Critics

“Usual brilliant Geary art par excellance, needs no further description.  I’d read a phone book illustrated by the man!  My only complaint?  The long wait till Geary’s next book!”

It’s All Comic To Me

 

 

 

FAMILY TIES Review Round Up

Eric Hobbs and Noel Tuazon’s Shakespearean organized crime graphic novel, Family Ties, is their first work together since The Broadcast.  Here’s what the critics have to say.

Family Ties is a single volume graphic novel packed with tension and wrought with emotion, as well as more than a little violence. With all the hallmarks of the best mob movies, alongside the emotions of family dramas, Hobbs has crafted an engaging and original story.”

NJ.com

The best part about Family Ties, and the reason I’d recommend it, is the art, by Noel Tuazon, all black and white. And gray. Lots of gray. His figures and objects are mostly minimalist sketches, and the “coloring” is various shades of gray watercolor, which I, in my non-art history background, associate with traditional Chinese and Japanese nature paintings. Meaning that the story is just automatically moody and exotic-looking. But also, the black and white and gray formatting serves as a metaphor for the story morality: it’s not a world of black/white bad/good, but a whole bunch of people operating somewhere in the middle.”

Comics Bulletin

“A superb graphic novel that should appeal to students of Elizabethan drama and of grandiosely brutal gangster stories.”

Seattle Post Intelligencer

 

 

Family Ties: the word is out!

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So it’s been about since the release of Family Ties and the response has been great. Thanks to everyone who’s picked up a copy, especially those who stopped by and saw Noel and I at TCAF last month. Not many people have a book signed by both of us.

For those who couldn’t make it out to TCAF for a chat, here’s an interview Noel and I did with CBR along with the first reviews we’ve seen roll in since the book’s release…

Comic Book Resources interview:
Family Ties Puts Shakespearean Spin On Alaska Crime

Seattlepi.com review:
“A superb graphic novel.” 

NJ.com review:
A cold weather Martin Scorsese film packed into a tiny graphic novel, “Family Ties” is overflowing with tension and pain and ends in tragedy that is almost a relief to the anguish that preceded it.”

 

It’s All Comic To Me blog review:
“Absolutely brilliant… One of the best dramatic graphic novels I’ve read all year.”

Comics Bulletin review:
“A visual feast.”

****

About the book: 

Hoping to secure a future for his children, an aging Alaskan crime boss looks to retire and divide his empire amongst his three heirs. But when his idealistic son refuses the inheritance, the old man disowns him. This turns out to be a fatal mistake when he sees his cold-blooded daughters use their new-found power and influence against him. Inspired by the classic play KING LEAR, THE GODFATHER meets Shakespearean tragedy in this epic tale of betrayal and loss.

 

ALL STAR Knocks It Out Of The Park

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The reviews for Jesse Lonergan’s All Star are in!

“It’s an authentic tale of life in a small community, particularly in the wordless sequences of ball practice or late-night party. It’s a pleasure to get lost in the art.”

Comics Worth Reading

“Lonergan’s story hits all the right notes of smalltown life and athletic struggle, with loose, energetic, manga-inspired art.”

Publisher’s Weekly

All Star captures small-town adolescence perfectly (perhaps all too perfectly, depending on a reader’s mood and propensity for elegiac nostalgia), and is actually a great deal of fun, despite the down ending and the heavy melodrama.

Lonergan is a sensational character designer and cartoonist, and while all of the lines in all of the panels are dynamic and expressive, this is never more apparent than when he’s drawing the sports action, in which balls fly like meteors, and hit the ground, a glove or a bat with explosions.”

Robot 6

 

“Lonergan does get things right at every turn. His town feels right, the people who live there feel right, the reaction to what happens feels right, and the angst Carl feels over it feels right. There’s a universal recognition of the human condition here that works. Having grown up in a town like this, I saw the truth in it. The art has a crisp, cartoon-y look about it, and the ending, while feeling a little manufactured, resonates in the final panels. Solid stuff.”

Comics Wating Room

 

“Thoughtful, provocative, and populated by believable human characters, All Star is highly recommended. All Star does contain some cursing and a few sexual allusions, though it is never explicit, and is therefore more suitable for teens and adults (or any reader who is mature enough to understand what the Lewinsky scandal was all about).”

Midwest Book Review

 

This was so good. So damn good. I don’t care for baseball at all, but this isn’t necessarily about baseball. It’s about being someone who is willing to take a stand for what they think is important...”

Coverless

 

There are also two fantastic interviews with Lonergan at Comic Book Resources and San Angelo Times that are both excellent reads.

All Star is available now.

Rick Geary’s ‘MADISON SQUARE TRAGEDY’ Brings The Murder To You

Rick Geary’s latest Treasury of XXth Century Murder volume, Madison Square Tragedy: The Murder of Stanford White is available now.

Rick recently spoke to Comic Book Resources about what went into re-creating the Stanford White Murder, his distinctive style and the specific moment which sparked his interest in the genre.

Read the interview HERE and after the jump read what critics are saying about Rick’s latest.

Continue reading “Rick Geary’s ‘MADISON SQUARE TRAGEDY’ Brings The Murder To You”

Press & Praise for Science

Science: a Discovery in Comics has been out for two months now, and has received a few really good reviews:

 

Marc Mason in the Comics Waiting Room:

“Absolutely terrific.”

“Her art is simple and straight-forward, and she always chooses function over form: everything works to service the lessons she is trying to impart. When people ask me about how comics can serve a purpose in the classroom, this is precisely the kind of book I use to demonstrate that very thing.”

Win Wiacek on ComicsReview.co.uk:

“A truly sharp and witty book.”
“Clear, concise, appropriately challenging and informatively funny, Science – A Discovery in Comics is a wonder of unpretentious, exuberant graphic craft and a timeless book we can all enjoy.”

 —

Mark Squirek in the New York Journal of Books:

“Science: A Discovery in Comics is a book that will inspire both five year olds and their grandparents as they laugh along in discovery.”

Rob McMonigal on PanelPatter.com:

“I can’t recommend this one highly enough, both for younger readers and adults who enjoy overviews of expansive subjects.”

Martha Thomases on ComicMix.com:

“If you have a curious kid in your household, you could do worse than get her this book. Even if that kid is 60 years old.”

 —

There have also been three great interviews:

 

Needless to say, I’m over the moon with all these positive reviews and interviews!

Go buy my book! That many reporters can’t be wrong!

NBM Review Round-Up!

Omaha The Cat Dancer Volume 8

“Quality erotic comics.”

Publisher’s Weekly

“Dave Sim might win the title for longest and most determined self-published comic, but Omaha the Cat Dancer is much more fun and human as an artist’s significant, consuming accomplishment.”

Comics Worth Reading

Zombillenium

“A hoot from start to finish, with funny situations, great characters, witty dialogue, and art that is utterly gorgeous.”

Comics Waiting Room

An Enchantment

“Tinged with themes of regret and late life redemption, Durieux’s work is more a ruminative dialog than a complex tale. The book’s strength rests on its evocative earth-toned art and its appealing couple, who we can honestly accept in their late night museum setting. His heroine proves particularly striking; in lesser hands, she’d prove sentimentally Boho, but Durieux gives her dialogue a scholarly intelligence that’s suited to this lovingly illustrated graphic discourse on art and humanity. Every one of the volumes to date in the Louvre series has been an art and comics lover’s treat: An Enchanment does not prove an exception.”

Seattle Post-Intelligencer

The Initiates

“Davodeau and his old friend, the Loire winemaker Richard Leroy, spend a year enlightening the other about their respective professions. Wine, so often the producer of mental fog, becomes instead an agent of clarity; the two men, to say nothing of Davodeau’s readers, learn a great deal about the painstaking processes that make a comic book or a bottle.”

New Statesman

“A compelling, entertaining and educational tale that takes full advantage of the graphic storytelling medium.”

Miami Herald

“Although I’m not nearly as familiar with the French comics scene, I did recognize some of the figures mentioned in the book, like Lewis Trondheim (who makes an appearance) and Moebius. And I know even less about wine and wine-making. But even so, I really enjoyed following Davodeau and Leroy as they each explored a world that was totally new to them.”

Stargazing Dog was first published in Japan in 2008, where it has sold over a half million copies. It’s a relatively short graphic novel that should take about a half hour to read, except that I had to take numerous breaks from reading to cry. Do not read this in a public setting…This is a must read not only for the characters and plot but for the artwork too.”

The Book Shark

Taxes, The Tea Party and Those Revolting Rebels

“Mack has a refreshingly cynical view of, well, everything. All the familiar characters (Sam Adams, George Washington, King George) are presented with their personal motives front and center. (My favorite part: after Lexington & Concord we see a silhouette of Paul Revere filling out an expense voucher for his midnight ride.) Everyone was acting out of self-interest, as is always the case, but this time the result somewhat luckily ended up advancing the cause of democracy and human rights.”

Unshelved

PERSIA BLUES – “Engaging, Rewarding and Just Plain Refreshingly Different”

If you haven’t read Persia Blues writer Dara Naraghi’s piece on Bleeding Cool from this past week you should by all means.

Persia Blues is according to Naraghi, “best described as a fusion of historical fantasy and modern social commentary, featuring a strong-willed young Iranian female protagonist.”

Sounds pretty interesting, doesn’t it?

Here’s what folks across the web are saying about it:

“it’s good — it’s very good”

Comic Book Resources

“Naragahi and Bowman structure their tale in a meaningful manner, jumping back and forth between stories without disrupting the flow or hampering intelligibility.”

– Comics Alternative

“There’s a huge treat to be found inside the pages of Persia Blues.”

Graphic Novel Reporter

“Gleefully melding past and present, fact and fiction, this introductory volume revels in exploiting reader expectation and confusion to craft a beguiling multi-layered tale about family, responsibility, guilt, oppression and the hunger for independence that carries the reader along, promoting wonder and second-guessing whilst weaving a tapestry of mystery…Engaging, rewarding and just plain refreshingly different, Persia Blues looks set to become a classic in years to come.”

Now Read This

NBM Review Round-Up!

Faster Than A Speeding Bullet: The Rise of the Graphic Novel


This book should be in the library of every comic book fan. It provides an excellent history, hitting the high (and view-changing) points. This book will help you speak knowledgably on the subject. Even if you’re not an avid comics fan and /or only like a small segment of things under the umbrella of “comics,” this history is interesting and insightful.

Sequential Tart

 

Lover’s Lane: The Hall-Mills Mystery

The book delves into the case and examines all the potential suspects, reading like a police procedural…Don’t be put off by this low-key presentation. The events, motives and individuals will leave you trying to solve this mystery.

The Joplin Globe

An Enchantment

More like a poem than a story…An Enchantment is an ambitious work and one worth checking out. It’s romantic, affecting, charming, fun, and utterly beautiful.

– Playback: STL

Durieux makes the Louvre a fantasy world, where anyone can be anyone else, and the artwork helps with the whimsical tone he’s going for – despite the old man’s age and fears, the book never becomes too dreary…It’s a charming comic, though, one that gets under your skin more than you might expect, and it’s a nice story of two people searching for something new. Whether they find it or not is for you to discover.

– Good Comics Blog at Comic Book Resources

An Enchantment delivers exactly what it promises in a sepia-toned dreamscape exploring the world of the Louvre. Worth a few reads to really absorb the entire work.

– Spandexless

 

The Lives of Sacco & Vanzetti

This was a very entertaining book, maybe my favourite of the series. It does a great job of evoking the era, outlining the issues involved and keeping it all a good read as well, and Geary’s art has been consistently excellent for decades.

– Four Realities

The Initiates

It’s a great story of two people who willingly decided to venture outside of their comfort zones and find out more about something they knew little about–and as a result, found more in common with each other than they thought possible. It’s an examination of how we are when we love something we’re dedicated to, and it’s engrossing in a way that invites you to just sit, relax, and take it all in after an exhausting day.

– Spandexless