The creator of ‘Upgrade Soul’ discusses ‘BTTM FDRS,’ his collaboration with Ben Passmore.
Ezra Claytan Daniels is a writer, illustrator and designer who made a huge splash in comics when Upgrade Soul first came out. It may have made a huge impact on a lot of readers and critics, winning the Dwayne McDuffie Award in 2017 and being nominated forseveralawards over the past few weeks, but it was a hard sell to publishers and started out as an app.
Fantagraphics just published his second book, a collaboration with Ben Passmore. BTTM FDRSis a horror story in a very best tradition of the genre. The story of gentrification in a Chicago neighborhood tackles race and class, and involves a monster that is linked to an old building. It’s thoughtful and funny, disturbing and shocking, and Daniels was kind enough to answer a few questions about the book and his process.
Fantagraphics has some solace for those of us who can’t be at Comic-Con this year: Their annual 20% off sale. The Smash Pages crew picks some of their faves if you’re in the mood to buy some comics.
While Fantagraphics goes to Comic-Con every year, they also have a little something for those of us who can’t be there: Their annual Comic-Con weekend sale. Any books you buy through the Fantagraphics Store are 20% off with the promo code SDCC. As they say in the ad, “It’s all the excitement of Comic-Con, without the sweaty cosplayers!”
OK, that was hyperbole, but there are some pretty good deals here, whether you’re interested in something new or catching up with a classic. Here are some of our top picks.
You’ll find original art scans, process pieces and more in two new Studio Editions coming in October.
Fantagraphics has announced Studio Editions for two popular comic artists — Daniel Clowes and Ed Piskor.
Much like IDW’s popular Artist’s Editions line, Studio Editions contain un-retouched original art scans — letting you see the artist’s originals in a way that you’d otherwise only see if you had direct access to them. “These full-size reproductions retain original pencil marks, corrections, and marginalia—fascinating imperfections that provide insights into the creative process of these master cartoonists,” the press release reads.
“The Underground Sketchbook” gets a new printing this October.
Fantagraphics has announced plans to release four out-of-print Tomi Ungerer books — The Underground Sketchbook, The Party, Babylon and Adam and Eve.
While probably best known for his work on children’s books like The Three Robbers and Flat Stanley, the illustrator and author’s career also included advertising, protest art, erotica and “books for adults” before he passed away a week ago at the age of 87. The four books Fantagraphics will reprint fall into that latter category.
“While preparing for my career-spanning interview with Tomi Ungerer that appears in the new print edition of The Comics Journal, I was astonished to discover that many of his best satirical works were only available as used books at exorbitant prices,” said Fantagraphics Publisher Gary Groth in a press release. “In an attempt to right this wrong, I chose four of his books to reprint, all trenchant commentaries on the folly of our relationships and the absurdity of our social order.”
The shared universe by Josh Bayer and friends returns in June from a new publisher.
Josh Bayer’s All Time Comics will return for a new five-part series from a new publisher this year. Floating World Comics, the Portland, Oregon comic shop-turned-publisher, will pick up where Fantagraphics left off with Zerosis Deathscape, an “epic event” co-written by Bayer and Josh Simmons, with art by Trevor Von Eeden.
“It’s about space and time meeting anti-time and alternate-space,” Bayer said about the new series. “It’s a chance to combine Bronze Age adventure genre comics with traces of every type of comics we love, from E.C. Segar to indie DIY comics.”
The All Time Comics shared universe launched in 2017 at Fantagraphics with four one-shots that featured the work of contemporary indie creators like Ben Marra and Noah Van Sciver with classic superhero artists like Al Milgrom and Herb Trimpe. Joining Von Eeden on art this time around will be Gabrielle Bell, Julia Gfrörer, Benjamin Marra and Tom Toye, and colorist Daniel Lee.
The cartoonist discusses her latest book from Fantagraphics, the comics workshops she conducted in refugee shelters in Germany and much more.
The full title of Ali Fitzgerald’s first book is Drawn to Berlin: Comic Workshops in Refugee Shelters and Other Stories from a New Europe. The book details time that the Berlin-based cartoonist spent teaching comics workshops in a refugee center and the people she met there. To add a depth to their stories and Fitzgerald trying to understand the changing face of Berlin, she turns to Joseph Roth and his book What I Saw: Reports from Berlin 1920-1933, where Roth documented the lives of refugees in Berlin, demonstrating how this is not a new phenomenon. Moreover, while the refugees have not found the Berlin they were hoping for, neither did Fitzgerald, who was first inspired to visit the city from her reading of Christopher Isherwood and others.
Fitzgerald has been making comics for years. She made Hungover Bear and Friends for McSweeney’s, and Bermuda Square for New York. Fitzgerald has contributed to many publications including The New Yorker, The New York Times, Huffington Post, and BitchMagazine. She was kind enough to answer a few questions over email about her book.
It is not too late to score some last minute deals!
As the day winds down, it is not too late to score some last minute Cyber Monday sales. It is a good idea to check your own local comic store for deals closest to home. Here are some comic and comic related deals online
The Canadian musician discusses his first graphic novel.
Nick Thorburn is a Canadian musician who has fronted the bands The Unicorns, Islands, Mister Heavenly and others. He’s composed music for various projects, including the film Ingrid Goes West and the podcast Serial.
His new project is the book Penguins, which is out now from Fantagraphics. A wordless book that inventively tells short tales of penguins in stories that are mundane and fantastic and inventive and strange. It’s an inventive and darkly comic debut, and Thorburn was kind enough to answer a few questions about the book.
The creator of ‘Blammo’ and Fante Bukowski discusses his latest projects, ‘One Dirty Tree’ and ‘A Perfect Failure.’
Noah Van Sciver has had an incredibly successful and productive year. The cartoonist released a new issue of his comic Blammo, and three books of his are out from two publishers this fall. Uncivilized Press just released One Dirty Tree, a comics memoir about his childhood and the end of a relationship just as he was about to turn thirty. Fantagraphics is publishing A Perfect Failure: Fante Bukowski Three, which completes a trilogy of books about the annoying and hilarious talentless writer who named himself Fante Bukowski, and a sketchbook by Van Sciver, Constant Companion.
One Dirty Tree and A Perfect Failure are possibly Van Sciver’s best books, and he took some time out after recovering from con crud to discuss the books and his current project.