February 5, 2010 by Ted Rall
After wasting an entire year when his political capital was high on bank bailouts and pouring more money into Halliburton (Afghanistan and Iraq), Obama decides to act tough–now that it’s too late.
February 4, 2010 by NBM
“There’s a high level of cartooning skill on display in every panel, to the point where Houston fairly demands that the reader stop and linger on the images. A book that moved from mere self-indulgence to a uniquely comedic explosion of tightly-constructed gags and funny drawings.”
“This is the third volume in NBM’s new series of classic comic strip reprints, and it is their best thus far.
What McManus discovered in “Bringing Up Father” was a way to make the gag-a-day formula “flexible,” as he put it—to introduce new characters, new adventures, new environments and new economies without ever losing sight of the core of the joke. This volume reveals the artist coming to an awareness of that potential and the new possibilities as a cartoonist that he—and indeed the medium—has not fully realized up to that point. Perhaps the greatest pleasure in McManus’s work is the palpable pleasure that he always takes in his work, long after many of the most gifted cartoonists grew bored and began to phone it in. The dawning of that pleasure is on display in this terrific volume.”
February 2, 2010 by NBM
Here’s what’s in Diamond Previews this month for what’s coming in April:
Check out this one, Brooke Allen absolutely floored us when she presented this to us:
A HOME FOR MR. EASTER
Brooke A. Allen
You will love this crazy energetic book by a refreshing new talent! Tesana has never really fit into anything before but her daydreams. But when making an attempt to connect to her peers by joining in a pep rally planning committee she suddenly discovers a little white rabbit that lays brightly colored eggs. Realizing that she may have found the real life Easter bunny, Tesana embarks on an epic quest in an effort to get him back to his natural habitat and into safe hands. However as she progresses on her fanciful journey she gains more and more undesired attention until the quest becomes an increasingly madcap race to stay ahead of greedy pursuers and find a safe place for her new friend…wherever that place may be. It’s Tesana against the world!
6×9, 208pp, B&W, trade pb, $13.99,
More previews here! Hope you love it like we did and get the word around!
Also from Eurotica this month:
Robert Edison SANDIFORD
With art by Geof Isherwood
3 engrossing and salacious stories. In the title story, a traveler in a bar is accosted by a very horny young woman who bewitches him with unseen circumstances! Then, a photographer is asked by her best friends to tape them having sex—only to have the camera turned on her. Finally, as he lies dying, an old woman reflects on the passionate life she has led with her husband.
From a variety of female viewpoints, Great Moves by Robert Edison Sandiford (Attractive Forces, Steamy Mirrors) and Geof Isherwood (Conan, Suicide Squad, Dr. Strange, Lani the Leopard Queen) tells the stories of Caribbean people in love and lust.
8 1/2 x 11, 48pp., B&W trade pb.: $9.99, ISBN 978-1-56163-584-9
+ We’re bringing back Sandiford’s first 2 books which have been out of print:
Attractive Forces and Stray Moonbeams.
SEE MORE in Eurotica (you need to be over 18), click on the April Coming Up banner.
Meanwhile, might as well tell you our sister publishing co. Papercutz has the big launch of the new DISNEY FAIRIES coming in April. More coming about that on their site soon!
Plus they’ve got Geronimo Stilton #4, Classics Illustrated presenting it’s ninth volume with Peter Kuper’s adaptation of Sinclair’s “The Jungle,” and Hardy Boys #19.
Go check it out!
All of this being solicited for at your comics stores now.
February 2, 2010 by Ted Rall
Boom or Bust? We’re Always Wrong
NEW YORK—My father taught me to go left.
Not politically. He was a right-wing Republican. At the movies.
“Most people choose the right entrance,” he told me. “There are usually more seats on the left side of the theater.” I’ve found that to be true.
He dressed like a conformist. But Dad was a contrarian. “If you don’t know what to do,” he said, “do the exact opposite of what everyone else is doing. On average, conventional wisdom is always wrong. Run away from the crowd—and you’ll come out ahead in the long run.”
Never has the wisdom of his words been more apparent than now. Acting like Chicken Little proven right—this time, the sky really is falling—government and business are making decisions that are the exact opposite of the right ones.
Which is nothing new. Politicians and businessmen also do the exact opposite of what they should do during boom times too.
Consider prison policy. Hit hard by the Depression that began in 2008, cash-strapped states are releasing prisoners early. California’s early-release bill even eliminated supervised parole. Because the average recidivism rate is 80 percent, “[unsupervised parole] is designed to reduce the number of parolees returned to prison, essentially because the state will not know if they are violating the terms of their parole,” reports The Contra Costa Times.
But facing a state underemployment rate of 23 percent, California parolees have no real chance of finding work. Most will commit more crimes. From the standpoint of social stability and public safety, it would make more sense to keep them locked up.
If anything, a better time for leniency would have been the 1980s and 1990s. Jobs were plentiful. Wages were steady. Some employers, dealing with a tight labor market, would have welcomed ex-cons. Criminals could have gone straight. But leniency is not what happened.
Instead, “tough on crime” politicians pushed through longer sentences, fueling a massive boom in prison construction. In 1975 there were fewer than 600 state prisons in the U.S. By 2000 there were over a thousand —a 70 percent increase.
Many of those prisons are now being closed due to budget cuts.
If the leaders of our government and major corporations were smart, they would respond to booms and busts the opposite of the way they do.
During a boom, salaries are high. Stock prices rise. State and federal tax revenues go up. Governments run a surplus. Soon we hear calls to “give back” the people’s money—by cutting their taxes. As a result, tax rates fall. So do government revenues.
This is stupid. During a period of economic growth and low unemployment, governments should increase taxes. After all, people can afford to pay more when they earn more. And booms eventually end. So some surplus should be set aside for a rainy day.
During a bust, salaries stagnate or decline. Securities markets seize up or crash. Governments run into fiscal trouble. So they raise taxes.
This is stupid too. People are broke. The last thing they can afford during a recession is higher taxes. Governments should cut taxes when the economy sucks. They should be drawing on that big nest egg they should have stashed away during the fat years to pay bills and stimulate recovery.
The Stupid Opposite Game has been in full effect since the mid-1990s. Bill Clinton, who presided over the largest and longest economic expansion in U.S. history, slashed income taxes. Barack Obama, dealing with the gravest economic catastrophe since the 19th century, is effectively increasing them. To Obama’s credit, he doesn’t have a choice. The cycle can only be broken during a boom. It has to begin with that nest egg.
Then there’s spending.
Obama is a typical victim of the fear reflex, proposing a budget that freezes federal spending for the rest of his term—except for the military. Hit especially hard would be the Army Corps of Engineers and NASA.
This is exactly the opposite of the budget he ought to be proposing.
The Army Corps of Engineers builds the massive public works projects that create a ripple effect through the economy, immediately employing thousands of workers and leaving a legacy of infrastructure that can promote future economic growth. As FDR did during the 1930s, Obama ought to increase spending on infrastructure. Funding for NASA ends up paying a lot of salaries for scientists—people we ought to be encouraging.
The military budget, on the other hand, ought to be slashed. True, wars stimulate the economy. But they cost more than they earn—in lives, subsequent foreign aid and international contempt.
If CEOs and government officials were smart, they would be hiring like crazy. Millions of smart people are out of work. They can be hired much more cheaply than in the late 1990s. Plus they’ll stay longer. Competitors real and imagined have vanished. There’s less pressure to expand too quickly.
Venture capitalists ought to be loosening, not tightening, their purse strings. After all, there’s no better time to start a new business. Eighteen of the top 30 Dow Jones index companies were founded during economic downturns, including Johnson & Johnson, Caterpillar, McDonald’s, Walt Disney, Adobe, Intel, Compaq and Microsoft.
So what is a good contrarian to do? Celebrate. Take chances. Because the sky really is falling—and that’s great.
(Ted Rall is the author, with Pablo G. Callejo, of the new graphic memoir “The Year of Loving Dangerously.” He is publishing a new political manifesto for Fall 2010. His website is tedrall.com.)
COPYRIGHT 2010 TED RALL
February 2, 2010 by Ted Rall
8 pm tonight in NYC: I’m talking comix and politics at the People’s Improv Theater: Check out the 8 pm listing @ http://tinyurl.com/y87o8p8
January 29, 2010 by Ted Rall
Hi! I’ll be on MSNBC’s “Dylan Ratigan Show” today at 1:40 pm West Coast/4:40 pm East Coast time to discuss my plans to return to Afghanistan and whatever else they want to discuss. The show’s website: http://tinyurl.com/ybj7og3
January 28, 2010 by Brooke Allen
Here’s a couple of the first pages where our heroine, unwilling to take the bus to school, waits patiently for it’s arrival… next to her mom who undoubtedly only improves the situation.
An age old drama unfolds as mother and child debate the importance of education and the attendance there of… in the end, per usual, Mom wins the debate.
Note: her Mom using her ‘outside voice’ inside (that’s a Mom privilege).
Being dragged to the bus stop by your Mom A.K.A. starting the day off right.
This poor poor bus driver…. I like to believe that she was employed strictly based on her crazy crypt keeper appearance…I also like to believe that she’s really 30.
January 28, 2010 by Terry
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!
January 26, 2010 by NBM
Pop Syndicate says of Nowak’s new Graylight:
“Distinctively original and perfectly gorgeous artwork. Nowak employs a strange palette of colors, pastels mixed with earthy tones to create a lovely surreal vision of a winter landscape, a collection of characters utterly individual and reluctantly sharing a book with each other, much like the people in a Hopper painting. There is so much beauty in this little graphic novel that you will want to disassemble it and wallpaper your life with the pictures.
Intriguing story combined with powerful art makes Graylight a must-read.”
January 25, 2010 by Ted Rall
After reading that US military forces prohibited aid from reaching Haiti for as long as seven days after the earthquake–in order to establish “command and control,” whatever that is—hard-hitting editorial cartoonist Ted Rall and animator David Essman rushed out their trenchant critique of America’s bizarre post-9/11 practice of sending soldiers to disaster zones like New Orleans and the Indian Ocean after the tsunami.
Watch “Operation Haitian Freedom” here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oN8zVZzdbXQ