FF1972: The Guardsmen of Infinity Portfolio

(August 7, 2019)

The Guardsmen of Infinity Portfolio by Carter Scholz and Jim Wilson. This is the second publication from what one might call Fantagraphics’ prehistory. Publisher Groth was a teenager at the time, and I’m going to guess that everybody else involved was, too. You have to love the self confidence displayed in that introduction up there. … Continue reading FF1972: The Guardsmen of Infinity Portfolio

FF1976: Always Comes Twilight

(August 7, 2019)

Always Comes Twilight edited by Dave Dapkewicz. Concluding our look at Fantagraphics’ prehistory, here’s Always Comes Twilight, a 48 page magazine sized… thing… printed on nice thick paper. The editor explains what this thing is: It’s a fanzine, and that he’s grown out of comics fandom and will never read a comic again. Which is … Continue reading FF1976: Always Comes Twilight

FF1971: A Selection of Fictional Narratives

(August 7, 2019)

A Selection of Fictional Narratives by Dennis Fujitake. A couple of years ago I read all the floppies that Fantagraphics had published. It was a pretty random thing to do, but it turned out to be a fun little project. I used comics.org to get a list of the comics to read, and at the … Continue reading FF1971: A Selection of Fictional Narratives

Hard Boiled Monster Comics

(March 12, 2017)

When I started the Fantagraphics re-reading project, I wasn’t really aware of the Monster and Hard-Boiled imprints. So when I bought a bunch of these comics and had a peek at them, I quickly decided to limit the project to “main-line Fantagraphics” only. It was spiralling out of control, anyway, so any way of limiting … Continue reading Hard Boiled Monster Comics

Fantagraphics Floppies Redux

(January 6, 2017)

Done! Perhaps I should just leave it at that, but I feel like bloviating a bit. (“NO!  REALLY?”) But at the end of this post, there’ll be an index. Feel free to skip to it if you’re the index reading kind of person. (The following should probably be read in the voice of Comic Book … Continue reading Fantagraphics Floppies Redux

FF2016: Love and Rockets

(January 5, 2017)

Love and Rockets volume 4 #1 by Jaime Hernandez and Gilbert Hernandez. So here we are: The final post in this blog series about Fantagraphics comic book comics. And eerily enough, we end with the same series we started with: Love and Rockets. I didn’t plan this, but the first issue in the new series … Continue reading FF2016: Love and Rockets

FF1990: Fringe/Fauna

(January 4, 2017)

The Fauna Rebellion #1-3, Adventures on the Fringe #1-5 by R. L. Crabb. Fantagraphics had previously published The Natural Enquirer by 70s underground veteran R. L. Crabb. The Fauna Rebellion was apparently created in the mid-80s, but not published until 1990. It’s about animals staging a rebellion against humans. The joke above is typical for … Continue reading FF1990: Fringe/Fauna

FF2001: Fuzz & Pluck in Splitsville

(January 3, 2017)

Fuzz & Pluck in Splitsville #1-5 by Ted Stearn. The physical format of this series is reminiscent of La Perdida, published a few years earlier: It’s slightly smaller than standard US comic book size, is thick (most issues are 48 pages) and has stiff covers. We last saw our plucky pair in the Zero Zero … Continue reading FF2001: Fuzz & Pluck in Splitsville

FF1991: Perramus: Escape from the Past

(January 2, 2017)

Perramus: Escape from the Past by Alberto Breccia and Juan Sasturain. Hi! I had hoped to end this blog series about Fantagraphics last year, but having the scheduling slide is so very Fantagraphics, isn’t it? Only three more posts to go, though. Very early-90s Fantagraphics design courtesy of Dale Yarger. Anyway, strangely enough, I did … Continue reading FF1991: Perramus: Escape from the Past

FF1996: Coventry

(December 24, 2016)

Coventry #1-3 by Bill Willingham. Willingham is known these days for writing Fables, the Vertigo series re-appropriating fairy tale figures, but in the 90s he was doing things like Ironwood and Time Wankers for Eros Comix, the Fantagraphics imprint. I think I assumed at the time that Coventry was more of the same, but it … Continue reading FF1996: Coventry

FF1992: Trailer Trash

(December 23, 2016)

Trailer Trash #1-9 by Roy Tompkins. If you were to rifle through Trailer Trash, you would probably assume that this was going to be a book of nihilist violent gross-out fun like, say, Angry Youth Comics. The internal monologues from the viewpoint characters keeps on coming, which seems rather outdated these days, I guess: Every … Continue reading FF1992: Trailer Trash

FF1993: Idiotland

(December 22, 2016)

Idiotland #1-7 by Doug Allen and Gary Leib. Doug Allen is best known for Steven, I think, while Leib has appeared in a number of anthologies. Idiotland was a shared series: They both do solo pieces, but the majority of the work seems to be collaborative. This is a humour anthology with about half a … Continue reading FF1993: Idiotland

FF1993: Palestine

(December 21, 2016)

Palestine #1-9 by Joe Sacco. Last time we visited Sacco (which was with Yahoo), we saw that he had gotten a burgeoning interest in journalism, war and Palestinians. So doing an extended reportage tour to Palestine (and Israel) and a comic book series was the logical progression from that. Tackling a serious subject doesn’t mean … Continue reading FF1993: Palestine

FF1996: Villa of the Mysteries

(December 20, 2016)

Villa of the Mysteries #1-3 by Mack White. My goal for this blog series was to (re-)read all Fantagraphics comic book comics, but, dear reader, I have to let you know that I failed! Failed, I tell you! I have been unable to acquire the third issue of this comic, even going so far as … Continue reading FF1996: Villa of the Mysteries

FF1991: A Couple of Winos

(December 19, 2016)

A Couple of Winos by Matthias Schultheiss from a story by Charles Bukowski. Fantagraphics’ early attempts at publishing European comics was often rather awkward, trying to fit material made for different formats into something they could entice an American audience to buy. But this time it kinda works. Schultheiss’ artwork here looks like a mash-up … Continue reading FF1991: A Couple of Winos

FF1991: Check-Up/Unseen

(December 18, 2016)

Check-Up #1, Sight Unseen by James Sturm. We last saw James Sturm just a few days ago in this blog series with his Cereal Killings comic book. Check-Up seem to be going for a classic Fantagraphics single author anthology vibe: It’s even published in magazine size, just like Neat Stuff and Lloyd Llewellyn. So you … Continue reading FF1991: Check-Up/Unseen

FF1991: Loose Teeth

(December 17, 2016)

Loose Teeth #1-3 by Scott Musgrove and Brian Sendelbach. Both Musgrove and Sendelbach had appeared in various anthologies before doing Loose Teeth together. This series has solo pieces from both of them, but they also collaborate on a number of stories. The first issue opens with a competition of sorts: Readers are invited to send … Continue reading FF1991: Loose Teeth

FF2004: The Mystery of Woolverine Woo-Bait

(December 16, 2016)

The Mystery of Woolverine Woo-Bait by Joe Coleman. This is the third and final internet-acquired comic for this blog series (sorry!): Some books are just impossible to find. I can perhaps understand the scarcity of copies in this case. Joe Coleman is a pretty famous artist, and this is his only published comic book. That … Continue reading FF2004: The Mystery of Woolverine Woo-Bait

FF1992: The Cereal Killings

(December 15, 2016)

The Cereal Killings #1-8 by James Sturm. This series passed my completely by when it was released in the 90s. I’ve read most of his later stuff, like Market Day and The Golem’s Mighty Swing, which are both very earnest, so I was curious what a book with such a punny name would read like… … Continue reading FF1992: The Cereal Killings

FF1988: Yahoo/Spotlight

(December 14, 2016)

Yahoo #1-6, Spotlight on the Genius That Is Joe Sacco by Joe Sacco. We last saw Sacco in this blog series in Centrifugal Bumple-Puppy (by emacs! When was that? This summer? Feels like several years ago…). Sacco was the editor of this quite successful humour anthology (well, artistically, not commercially, I guess), and he went … Continue reading FF1988: Yahoo/Spotlight

FF1996: Art & Beauty Magazine

(December 13, 2016)

Art & Beauty Magazine #1-2 by Robert Crumb. I should have covered this series in the other Crumb blog post, but I just couldn’t find the second issue anywhere. I still haven’t, so, er, a copy fell off a truck. On the internet. And landed in my tablet. That’s my story and I’m sticking to … Continue reading FF1996: Art & Beauty Magazine

FF1995: Schizo

(December 12, 2016)

Schizo #1-4 by Ivan Brunetti. I remember reading the first two issues in the mid-90s and being really impressed by their intensity. In my mind, the books were like a midway point between Scott Russo’s Jizz and Johnny Ryan’s Angry Youth Comix. That is, on the continuum from pure misanthropic rant (Jizz) to pure misanthropic … Continue reading FF1995: Schizo

FF1991: Playgrounds

(December 11, 2016)

Playgrounds #1 by Peter Rees. In the Obscure Fantagraphics Publications Derby, I think this probably takes the prize: I can’t find any reviews of it on the web or in The Comics Journal, but a mention in a comments page tells me that this was originally published in New Zealand, and then republished by Fantagraphics. … Continue reading FF1991: Playgrounds

FF1998: Evil Eye

(December 10, 2016)

Evil Eye #1-12 by Richard Sala. Sala is one of the more distinctive stylists in American comics. Like Charles Burns, he appeared on the scene in the early 80s, fully formed, with an art style like nobody else, and with a narrow range of subjects for his comics. Burns was mostly about growing up and … Continue reading FF1998: Evil Eye

FF2004: Trucker Fags in Denial

(December 9, 2016)

Trucker Fags in Denial by Jim Blanchard and Jim Goad. This is a collection of a monthly single page comic that was originally serialised in Exotic magazine. Jim Blanchard is perhaps still most famous as the inker for Peter Bagge’s Hate in the 90s, but he’s also released a number of solo collections. This comic … Continue reading FF2004: Trucker Fags in Denial

FF1994: Pressed/Weasel

(December 8, 2016)

Pressed Tongue #1-3, Weasel #1-7 by Dave Cooper. In my mind, Dave Cooper was part of a movement towards “body horror” in 90s comics, as exemplified by Renée French, Al Columbia and (somewhat earlier) Jim Woodring. All these artists are technically proficient and create dark, “squishy” pages that straddle the line, uneasily, between horror and … Continue reading FF1994: Pressed/Weasel

FF1982: Hugo

(December 7, 2016)

Hugo #1, Hugo (second series) #1-3 by Milton Knight, jr. Hugo was, I think, Fantagraphics third comic book (after, ahem, Flames of Gyro and Love and Rockets). It’s been a while since I’ve read these comics. I can’t imagine I’ve looked at them since they were published, so that’s 30 years? Let’s re-read. The first … Continue reading FF1982: Hugo

FF1986: Anything Goes!

(December 6, 2016)

Anything Goes! edited by Gary Groth. I just realised that the end was in sight for this blog series, so my enthusiasm returned. There may be some slight pauses before we get to the end, as I’m waiting for some issues to arrive to complete some runs… Anyway! Anything Goes! is, perhaps, not formally a … Continue reading FF1986: Anything Goes!

FF1989: The Natural Inquirer

(December 5, 2016)

The Natural Inquirer by R. L. Crabb. Crabb is mainly known for his underground series Tales of the Jackalope. This book has a few pages of jackalope lore, but most of the pages concern other species like: The is not a comic book per se, but is just a series of these drawings and descriptions. … Continue reading FF1989: The Natural Inquirer

FF2006: Uptight

(December 4, 2016)

Uptight #1-5 by Jordan Crane. This is one the very last floppies Fantagraphics has published, and it doesn’t look much like Fantagraphics comic book comics usually look. There’s no verbose indicia (“any similarities to etc”), no UPC code, it’s cheap, the cover stock is the same as the interior stock, and the first three issues … Continue reading FF2006: Uptight

FF2003: The Pogostick

(December 3, 2016)

The Pogostick #1-2 by Al Columbia and Ethan Persoff. We’ve seen both Al Columbia and Ethan Persoff before in this article series, and here they turn up with a collaboration. This book has an unusual format, being smaller than standard-size comics and printed “sideways”. Sort of. Based on the indicia and guessing, this was probably … Continue reading FF2003: The Pogostick

FF2001: Angry Youth Comix

(December 2, 2016)

Angry Youth Comix #1-14 by Johnny Ryan. I guess Ryan works in the gross-out humour comics tradition exemplified by people like Sam Henderson, but he’s most similar to Ivan Brunetti in his most deranged moods. Or perhaps there’s a Mike Diana influence going on here, although I think Ryan probably doesn’t really mean it the … Continue reading FF2001: Angry Youth Comix

FF1994: Omaha the Cat Dancer

(December 1, 2016)

Omaha the Cat Dancer #1-20, vol 2 #1-4 by Reed Waller and Kate Worley. Reed Waller started Omaha in the mid-70s, and the earliest instalments were published in underground anthologies like Snarf and Bizarre Sex by Kitchen Sink. It’s an anthropomorphic tale of sex, politics and corruption that focuses on Chuck Katt (real name Tabey … Continue reading FF1994: Omaha the Cat Dancer

FF1993: Grit Bath

(November 30, 2016)

Grit Bath #1-3 by Renée French. Renée French always felt to me like a part of a mini-movement within alternative comics that upped the body horror stakes beyond what was, perhaps, reasonable. I’m thinking of artists like Al Colombia and Dave Cooper, that all mix childish whimsy with horrible, horrible squishy horror. They’re all sort … Continue reading FF1993: Grit Bath

FF2006: Swamp Preacher

(November 29, 2016)

Swamp Preacher #1 by David Sandlin. Sandlin is an artist who’s only done a handful of comics, I think. He’s had a few pieces in Blab, I seem to recall. This magazine sized book is strikingly printed in burgundy and green (and no black ink), giving the pages a muddy, swampy look very apposite for … Continue reading FF2006: Swamp Preacher

FF1990: Amazons

(November 28, 2016)

Amazons by Frank Stack. Frank Stack is a first-generation underground artist: His first underground comic was published in 1962 (The Adventures of Jesus), but he hasn’t published that many books. Amazons is one of his rare 80s/90s solo floppies, and I don’t know whether it’s an original work, or whether it’s a collection of pieces … Continue reading FF1990: Amazons

FF1993: Sleepy/Whotnot

(November 27, 2016)

Whotnot #1-4, Sleepy: The Early Daze by Jeremy Eaton. Eaton is probably most well-known for his alternative weekly strip “A Sleepyhead Tale” from the late 80s/early 90s. Fantagraphics released a handful of collections of that series, but only one of them are in floppy format, so I get to skip the rest for this blog … Continue reading FF1993: Sleepy/Whotnot

FF1986: Usagi Yojimbo

(November 26, 2016)

Usagi Yojimbo Summer Special #1, Usagi Yojimbo #1-38, Usagi Yojimbo Color Special #1-4 by Stan Sakai. There aren’t many Fantagraphics series that has had more issues than Usagi Yojimbo (uhm, Love & Rockets and Naughty Bits), but they were all published over a long time period. Usagi Yojimbo is the only character focused Fantagraphics publication … Continue reading FF1986: Usagi Yojimbo

FF1995: Mystic/Loathing

(November 25, 2016)

Self-Loathing Comics #1-2 by Aline Kominsky-Crumb and Robert Crumb. Mystic Funnies #1-3 by Robert Crumb. Fantagraphics has published a large number of Crumbian books, most notably the Complete Crumb Collection in the 80s, and the Love That Bunch collection in 1990. But they haven’t really published a lot of their original comics, just various collections. … Continue reading FF1995: Mystic/Loathing

FF1993: An Accidental Death

(November 24, 2016)

An Accidental Death by Eric Shanower and Ed Brubaker. On the face of it, this seems like a rather unlikely thing for Fantagraphics to have published: A standalone story about a psycho teenager murdering a girl on Guantanamo, and then his non-psycho friend helping him, created by two people well ensconced within mainstream US comics. … Continue reading FF1993: An Accidental Death

FF2003: Storylines: An Anthology of Emerging Cartoonists

(November 23, 2016)

Storylines: An Anthology of Emerging Cartoonists #1 edited by James Sturm. As anthologies go, this is unassuming physically: Standard size comic book, thin paper, a slightly vague cover. Most of the pieces are obviously not drawn with a comic book format in mind: Most leave a wide border at the top and the bottom, which … Continue reading FF2003: Storylines: An Anthology of Emerging Cartoonists

FF2003: Ape

(November 22, 2016)

Ape by Theodoros Nikos Jouflas. Jouflas appeared in various anthologies (like Pictopia) throughout the 90s, and published two books, both of which I vaguely remember as being collections of shorter pieces (Scary and Filthy). But I may be misremembering; it’s a long time since I’ve read those. This 32 page magazine (with stiff covers) is … Continue reading FF2003: Ape

FF1990: 3 Fox Comics

(November 21, 2016)

Tattoo Man Special #1 by Dave Hodson and Greg Gates. Walking Wounded #1, True Confusions #1 by Dave Hodson. These comics were part of the attempt by the Australian Fox Comics to get wider distribution by co-publishing with Fantagraphics. The Fox Comics anthology was being published somewhat concurrently with these comics. Tattoo Man reprints the … Continue reading FF1990: 3 Fox Comics

FF1999: Steven

(November 20, 2016)

Steven Presents Dumpy, Steven Comix #2: Steven at Sea by Doug Allen. Steven is a long-running weekly strip that’s mostly featured in alternative magazines and newspapers. While these two comics have titles that seem to hint at more focussed tales, they turn out to just reprint a bunch of Steven strips. Eight issues had previously … Continue reading FF1999: Steven

FF1998: Pop Life

(November 19, 2016)

Pop Life #1-5 by Ho Che Anderson and Wilfred Santiago. I’m running out of Fantagraphics pamphlets to write articles about here. (Was that a sigh of relief I heard?) But that’s not because I’ve done them all. No, it’s just that I’m stalled since I’m waiting for a bunch of comics to arrive in the … Continue reading FF1998: Pop Life

FF1998: Top Notch Comics

(November 18, 2016)

Top Notch Comics #1 by Ethan Persoff. I remember this comic being somehow controversial, but I can’t quite remember why. There are some very Chris Ware-esque things about it. It has an unusual size, it’s printed in duo-tone, and it uses blurred backgrounds. There are things to cut out and assemble. There’s a fake ad. … Continue reading FF1998: Top Notch Comics

FF2004: Noire Orange

(November 17, 2016)

Blood Orange #1-4, Bête Noire: The International Comic Art Quarterly #1 edited by Chris Polkki. Since Bête Noire is termed an “international” quarterly, and Blood Orange isn’t, and they have the same format and editor, I assumed that Blood Orange would be an all-American feast. But, nope, the Orange has got plenty of foreigners, too. … Continue reading FF2004: Noire Orange

FF1993: Meat Cake

(November 16, 2016)

Meat Cake #0-17 by Dame Darcy. I’m going to try to write this blog article without using the word “quirky”. Oops! I remember getting these comics about once a year throughout the 90s, and every time I was all “yay!”. It’s an utterly original comic book, filled with strange adventures and loopy, obsessive artwork. There … Continue reading FF1993: Meat Cake

FF2005: Tales Designed to Thrizzle

(November 15, 2016)

Tales Designed to Thrizzle #1-8 by Michael Kupperman. I’m a bit exhausted. Laughing so hard your eyes are streaming for two or three hours takes a toll. Kupperman used to work under the pen name “P. Revess”, and published pieces in various anthologies throughout the 90s, I think. His method hasn’t really changed much: He … Continue reading FF2005: Tales Designed to Thrizzle

FF1995: Minimum Wage

(November 14, 2016)

Minimum Wage #1-10, Monkey Jank by Bob Fingerman. Fantagraphics had published an introductory Minimal Wage graphic novel before starting this series, which is perhaps an unusual publishing strategy. Fingerman had also published a number of porn comics through Eros before this series. Minimum Wage is about a guy who’s a comic book artist, living in … Continue reading FF1995: Minimum Wage

FF1993: The ACME Novelty Library

(November 13, 2016)

The ACME Novelty Library #1-15 by Chris Ware. Yikes. Or… finally? Chris Ware? If you asked me drunkenly at a bar sometime “Say, Lars, who’s your favourite comic book artist?”, I’d sputter and be all “er, uhm”, but if you limited it to “favourite American comic book artist that started in the 90s and is … Continue reading FF1993: The ACME Novelty Library

FF2002: Belly Button Comix

(November 12, 2016)

Belly Button Comix #1-2 by Sophie Crumb. It’s fun to see how Crumb’s artwork evolves over these two issues, created while she was between 19 and 22, I think. Crumb’s trying out a lot of styles, like this very late-60s underground bigfoot style. And then a very worked-at realistic illustration. And then washes. Anyway, the … Continue reading FF2002: Belly Button Comix

FF2003: Funny Friends

(November 11, 2016)

Mabel Normand and Her Funny Friends, Fatty Arbuckle and His Funny Friends edited by Marilyn Slater. These two magazine sized comics collects pieces of a British publication from 1921, now in the public domain. Each issue includes a brief biography of the movie star in question. But the meat of each issue is the reprinting … Continue reading FF2003: Funny Friends

FF2004: Holy Moly

(November 10, 2016)

Holy Moly by Leah Hayes. Fantagraphics doesn’t work a lot with the materiality of their books: The vast majority of them are unremarkable as physical objects. This is quite different from some of their smaller peers, where they often have unique sizes, papers or printing methods. This is one of those rare unique floppies from … Continue reading FF2004: Holy Moly

FF2005: Grenuord

(November 9, 2016)

Grenuord #1-3 by Francesca Ghermandi. I am not a comics publishing genius, but serialising a translation of an Italian graphic novel as a series of $5-6 comic books, in 2005, published with a four-month interval between each issue, does not seem like the plan most likely to succeed. It’s told in a decompressed style: Big … Continue reading FF2005: Grenuord

FF1996: Primitive Cretin

(November 8, 2016)

Primitive Cretin by Henriette Valium. This is an oversized collection of Henriette Valium’s work from the early 90s. It’s slightly wider than a magazine, and quite a bit taller. Kim Thompson hadpublished Valium earlier in Zero Zero, but the smaller size of that anthology meant that most of Valium’s drawings were somewhat difficult to make … Continue reading FF1996: Primitive Cretin

FF1994: Way Out Strips

(November 7, 2016)

Way Out Strips volume 3 #1-4 by Carol Swain. I’ve been a massive fan of Carol Swain ever since I happened onto one of her short, oblique, beautifully drawn stories in an issue of Chris Reynold’s Mauretania magazine. After that, she self-published four issues of the first Way Out Strips series, but I’ve never been … Continue reading FF1994: Way Out Strips

FF1990: Art/Leather/Knuckle/Zoot!

(November 6, 2016)

Art d’Ecco #1-4, Zoot! #1-6 by Andrew and Roger Langridge. Leather Underwear, Knuckles the Malevolent Nun #1-2 by Cornelius Stone and Roger Langridge. I had read the first issue of Art d’Ecco before, but that had apparently not inspired me to buy the rest of the issues at the time. How exciting! Is it going … Continue reading FF1990: Art/Leather/Knuckle/Zoot!

FF1994: Different Beat Comics

(November 5, 2016)

Different Beat Comics #1 edited by Kim Thompson. This book features a bunch of short (mostly two page) pieces that either are previously unpublished or are very obscure. It’s meant as both a way to read those obscure pieces and as a promotional tool: All artists featured had regular series going at Fantagraphics at the … Continue reading FF1994: Different Beat Comics

FF1991: I Before E

(November 4, 2016)

I Before E #1-2 by Sam Kieth. These two issues reprint a lot of Sam Kieth’s early work; Kieth had become a hot artist over the past few years. I like how “Fantagraphics” isn’t mentioned at all on the covers. Perhaps keeping that fact a secret would entice Sandman fans to buy them? The most … Continue reading FF1991: I Before E

FF1991: Guttersnipe D

(November 3, 2016)

Avenue D, Guttersnipe Comics #1-2 by Glenn Head. I guess you could call Glenn Head a third generation underground comix artist. His comics seem to belong to that lineage even if he started working in the 80s. Avenue D collects various bits and pieces into a 48 page magazine sized single author anthology. About half … Continue reading FF1991: Guttersnipe D

FF1989: Stinz

(November 2, 2016)

Stinz #1-4 by Donna Barr. Stinz had been running in the Dreamery anthology by Eclipse Comics for a while, but the Fantagraphics title is his first solo comic. Stinz is a half-horse living in an alternate reality Austria in the early 1900s. Rather high concept, eh? But it’s fun. Barr has a lively drawing style … Continue reading FF1989: Stinz

FF1992: Not Love & Rockets

(November 1, 2016)

Ten Years of Love and Rockets, Tales from Shock City #1, Blubber #1-3 by Beto Hernandez with Mario Hernandez and Jaime Hernandez. These are comics that I should have covered in the Love and Rockets blog post, perhaps. At least the first one. Probably not the last one. It’s a bit of a mish-mash, but … Continue reading FF1992: Not Love & Rockets

FF1992: Crap

(October 31, 2016)

Bummer #1, Completely Bad Boys, Crap #1-7, Damnation! #1 by J. R. Williams. I covered Bad Comics, oh, months ago (how much further to go!!!), and should probably have done these ones at the same time, but I forgot. So you get two J. R. Williams posts. I have the Cat-Head Comics edition of Bummer … Continue reading FF1992: Crap

FF1992: Suburban Voodoo Comics

(October 30, 2016)

Suburban Voodoo Comics by Matthew Guest. This is a 48 page one-shot (edited by Robert Boyd) with three stories that all seem like they might be autobiographical. They’re tales of normal teenage life… … and Christian damage. The artwork is rather appealing, but I can’t help wonder whether something has gone wrong in the printing … Continue reading FF1992: Suburban Voodoo Comics

FF1989: Waldo

(October 29, 2016)

Shadowland #1-2, Stuff of Dreams #1-3 by Kim Deitch. The Mishkin File, The Boulevard of Broken Dreams, Waldo World #1-3 by Kim and Simon Deitch. Kim Deitch (sometimes in collaboration with his brother Simon) has spun this long interconnected tale for decades, spread out over a number of titles and collections. One part of this … Continue reading FF1989: Waldo

FF1992: Sap Tunes

(October 28, 2016)

Sap Tunes #1-2 by Granger Davis and Steve Kongsle. I’m finding out now that Fantagraphics sure released a lot of, er, very short series by artists I’ve never heard of. Here’s another one. Davis does a pair of pieces about this guy… … who works in retail, is slightly disgruntled with stupid customers (see above), … Continue reading FF1992: Sap Tunes

FF1992: WildB.R.A.T.S: Bad Redundant Art Teams

(October 28, 2016)

WildB.R.A.T.S: Bad Redundant Art Teams #1 by Dean Williams and Aaron McClellan. Dean Williams… where have I seen that name before? Oh, we wrote the execrable Butt Biscuit series from Fantagraphics. *gulp* Well, Fantagraphics has published a few parody comics over the years, but they usually make fun of things that are considered interesting by … Continue reading FF1992: WildB.R.A.T.S: Bad Redundant Art Teams

FF1992: S.O.S.

(October 27, 2016)

S.O.S. by Mark Kalesniko. This is brief, mostly wordless story about surviving on your own in the big, bad world. So allegory. But while somewhat hokey, it’s attractively drawn and somewhat touching. Here we see our hero take a bite out of the nasty shark. See? Allegory! I think this may be the first Kalesniko … Continue reading FF1992: S.O.S.

FF1989: Kafka: The Execution

(October 26, 2016)

Kafka: The Execution by Leopoldo Durañona. Fantagraphics were publishing fellow South Americans Muñoz & Sampaya in a similar format to this (magazine size with cardboard covers) at the time (as well as anthologising Francisco Solano Lopez). I’m not familiar with Durañona’s work, but this is kinda interesting. The artwork is a bit reminiscent of Moebius. … Continue reading FF1989: Kafka: The Execution

FF1989: The Eye of Mongombo

(October 25, 2016)

The Eye of Mongombo #1-7 by Doug Gray. Before this series, Doug Gray had a couple of appearances in Critters, I think. The Eye of Mongombo is a pretty funny comic book about that archaeologist up there (transformed into a duck) who looks for a treasure in South America. Hijinx ensue. A lot. I find … Continue reading FF1989: The Eye of Mongombo

FF1999: Neatish Stuff

(October 24, 2016)

The Bradleys #1-6, Junior #1-5 by Peter Bagge. Martini Baton by Dave Carrino and Peter Bagge. These are all reprints, and since I’ve read the books these were sourced from (Neat Stuff and Weirdo), I considered skipping them. But then my CDO fired (it’s like OCD, but with the letters in the proper order), and … Continue reading FF1999: Neatish Stuff

FF1988: Stickboy

(October 23, 2016)

Stickboy #1-3 by Dennis Worden. Stickboy had been published by a different publisher before Fantagraphics stepped in, and it would continue to be published by various publishers after Fantagraphics bowed out. I haven’t read any of those incarnations, though. The first Fantagraphics issue starts off like a normal pre-slacker comic book, what with Stickboy looking … Continue reading FF1988: Stickboy

FF1997: La Artbabe

(October 22, 2016)

Artbabe volume 2 #1-4, La Perdida #1-5 by Jessica Abel. Artbabe started out as a self-published mini-comic, and then Abel got a Xeric grant and published the final issue of Volume 1 as a standard-size US comic book (with real distribution). I haven’t got the first four issues (although I may have the collection here … Continue reading FF1997: La Artbabe

FF1991: Kid Anarchy

(October 21, 2016)

Kid Anarchy #1-3 by George Cole and Mike McCarthy. Picking up a comic book with from a writer/artist pair always makes me sceptical. Statistically speaking, single author comics are better. But perhaps this one is the one that will convince me once and for all that that’s a stupid prejudice! Yes! Oh, deer. Gander at … Continue reading FF1991: Kid Anarchy

FF1983: Don Rosa’s Comics and Stories

(October 20, 2016)

Don Rosa’s Comics and Stories #1-2 by Don Rosa. This may have been something like the third comic series that Fantagraphics published (after Love & Rockets and Hugo). It was apparently planned as an ongoing series, but was axed after two issues. This magazine sized comic book reprints The Pertwillaby Papers, which had previously been … Continue reading FF1983: Don Rosa’s Comics and Stories

FF1995: Zero Zero

(October 19, 2016)

Zero Zero #1-27 edited by Kim Thompson. There have been a few anthologies that have defined generations. These things seem to happen when there’s a happy confluence between an editor (or editors) and a new, burgeoning scene: There are artists that people sum up as “Raw artists”, for instance, because Françoise Mouly and Art Spiegelman … Continue reading FF1995: Zero Zero

FF2014: DKW: Ditko Kirby Wood

(October 18, 2016)

DKW: Ditko Kirby Wood by Sergio Ponchione. This comic book (colour, slick pages) is a translation of material previously published in Italy, which is a pretty unusual thing to do in 2014 (since alternative pamphlets don’t seem to sell much). It’s dedicated to the recently deceased Fantagraphics co-publisher Kim Thompson. Anyway, there’s a framing story … Continue reading FF2014: DKW: Ditko Kirby Wood

FF2006: Monster Parade

(October 18, 2016)

Monster Parade #1 by Ben Catmull. Apparently meant to be a series, only one issue was published. It’s a quirkily amusing book. Here we have a winter storm… And here we learn how certain kinds of perfume are made, and it does explain a lot. The stories are rather oblique. They set a mood, and … Continue reading FF2006: Monster Parade

FF2006: Runaway Comics

(October 17, 2016)

Runaway Comics #1-3 by Mark Martin. Mark Martin is not a very prolific artist and is probably most famous for his Gnatrat series (or his duo comic book with Jim Woodring, Tantalizing Stories). So a new solo series from him was exciting. Martin is an excellent cartoonist. The stories in Runaway Comics mostly feature his … Continue reading FF2006: Runaway Comics

FF2013: 3 New Comics

(October 16, 2016)

3 New Stories, Cosplayers #1-2 by Dash Shaw. The major alternative publishers have all but stopped publishing comic book comics, so it was quite a surprise when Fantagraphics dropped 3 New Stories on an unsuspecting public in 2013. According to the comics database and my notes here, Fantagraphics had published no new pamphlet series since … Continue reading FF2013: 3 New Comics

FF1999: Death & Candy

(October 15, 2016)

Death & Candy #1-4 by Max Andersson. Max Andersson is a Swedish cartoonist who make nightmarish stream of consciousness comics. Andersson’s style takes me back to early 80s New York newave comics: Macabre and funny stuff in a blender. Here’s Car Boy, one of Andersson’s more recognisable characters. The print quality of the first issue … Continue reading FF1999: Death & Candy

FF1999: Spicecapades

(October 14, 2016)

Spicecapades edited by Queen Itchie. By 1999, I would have thought that Spice Mania had subsided? So it was probably too late publish this to cash in, but perhaps that wasn’t the point, anyway… So what’s up here? If not a cash grab, is it an honest appreciation or ironic appropriation? “No thanks to all … Continue reading FF1999: Spicecapades

FF1997: Poot

(October 13, 2016)

Poot #1-4 by Walt Holcombe. The last three issues of this series are in a format that’s a bit smaller than standard-size US comics, while this first one is very small indeed. Around this time, there seemed to be a lot of comics in vaguely this style: Slick, cartoony, anthropomorphic and wistful tales of love … Continue reading FF1997: Poot

FF1996: Rollercoaster

(October 12, 2016)

Rollercoaster #1-2 by Rich Tomasso. Tomasso had previously published the Clover Honey graphic novel at Fantagraphics (and the Cannibal Romance series at Eros), but Rollercoaster seems like an attempt at creating one of those single author anthologies that Fantagraphics published so many of. The major story in the first issue is about a girl who … Continue reading FF1996: Rollercoaster

FF2004: Worn Tuff Elbow

(October 12, 2016)

Worn Tuff Elbow #1 by Marc Bell. This magazine sized book was apparently planned as a series, but only one issue was published. Since the cover says “Theatre Absurd-O”, I thought that this was going to be weirder than it is. I’ve gotta get me some 250% moisturisation, too. Anyway, most of the issue is … Continue reading FF2004: Worn Tuff Elbow

FF1994: Raisin Doofus

(October 11, 2016)

Doofus #1-2, Raisin Pie #1-5  by Rick Altergott and Ariel Bordeaux. Doofus had been running in various anthologies, but must prominently as a backup feature in Hate. So spinning it off into its own title probably seemed quite natural. I’ve never enjoyed reading Doofus, but haven’t really examined why. It’s obvious why people would find … Continue reading FF1994: Raisin Doofus

FF1997: Steve Ditko’s Strange Avenging Tales

(October 10, 2016)

Steve Ditko’s Strange Avenging Tales #1 by Steve Ditko. After leaving Marvel in the early 70s, Ditko has been publishing a stream of Ayn Rand-inspired comics at any publisher that would let him do whatever he wanted without any interference. Strange Avenging Tales was apparently an attempt at doing one of these comics at Fantagraphics, … Continue reading FF1997: Steve Ditko’s Strange Avenging Tales

FF1996: Empty Skull Comics

(October 10, 2016)

Empty Skull Comics by Gerald Jablonski. Mm, yes… Jim Woodring provides an introduction and offers the idea that Jablonski is possibly insane. The first half of this collection doesn’t seem particularly crazy. The humour is off-kilter, but the silliness is within normal parameters, I would say. This sort of humour is just my thing. You … Continue reading FF1996: Empty Skull Comics

FF1994: Nurture the Devil

(October 9, 2016)

Nurture the Devil #1-3 by Jeff Johnson. There seemed to be a micro-movement towards body horror going on at Fantagraphics in the mid-90s. Renée French, Dave Cooper and Jeff Johnson all did violent, visceral, sexually charged comics around this time, with squishy, ink-soaked artwork. Nice introduction, but I really wanted to highlight a typical Fantagraphics … Continue reading FF1994: Nurture the Devil

FF1992: (You and Your) Big Mouth

(October 8, 2016)

(You and Your) Big Mouth #1-7 by Pat Moriarity and various. There are several series that feature a single writer and a wide cast of artists (Real Stuff, Duplex Planet Illustrated, American Splendor), but this is one of the very few series that has one single artist, and a wide roster of writers. A comics … Continue reading FF1992: (You and Your) Big Mouth

FF1995: Prick Comix

(October 8, 2016)

Prick Comix by Sean Brennan and Tom Giansante. This comic reminds me a bit of those random underground comix that were published in the early 70s. Just goofing around (while high, most likely) without much ambition to do much beyond that. That’s the Dalai Lama fighting against some kidnappers by playing a Kenny G tune. … Continue reading FF1995: Prick Comix

FF1991: Cultural Jet Lag

(October 7, 2016)

Cultural Jet Lag #1 by Tom Robert and Jim Siergey. Cultural Jet Lag was apparently a weekly strip, and this might be a collection of some of those strips. However, the format varies wildly, and some of the longer stories don’t really seem like weekly strips, so perhaps it’s a mixture of reprints and new … Continue reading FF1991: Cultural Jet Lag

FF1993: Griffith Observatory

(October 7, 2016)

Griffith Observatory by Bill Griffith. Bill Griffith’s most famous creation is Zippy the Pinhead, of course, which is still running today. These days, I mostly read them via Arnold Zwicky’s blog, where he explains all the references. (They can be pretty obscure.) I’ve always enjoyed Zippy, but reading it in collections (which has been my … Continue reading FF1993: Griffith Observatory

FF1994: Life Under Sanctions

(October 6, 2016)

Life Under Sanctions, Psychonaut #1-2 by Aleksandar Zograf. These comics were written during (and after) the ex-Yugoslavian wars in the early to mid nineties, and are like despatches that try to explain what’s going on. Jim Woodring provides the introduction, which you might think is an odd choice for a book about war. But Zograf … Continue reading FF1994: Life Under Sanctions

FF1993: Verbatim

(October 6, 2016)

Verbatim #1-2 by Carl Belfast. Autobio comics is one of the major genres in art comics now, and it’s difficult to recall just how controversial they were in some circles in the early 90s. This is yet another parody of the genre, and it’s not completely successful, I think. Gaze into his navel… Belfast’s art … Continue reading FF1993: Verbatim

FF1994: Insomnia

(October 5, 2016)

Insomnia by Andrew Moran. This is a rather odd tale (an insomniac drives to Ohio to attend a sleep clinic) drawn in a rather original fashion, rather. Hm… slightly early 80s-ish New York scratchy style? Yeah, New Jersey. As you know, here at the Paper Quality Blog, what we’re most concerned about is the paper … Continue reading FF1994: Insomnia

FF1990: Laundryland

(October 5, 2016)

Laundryland by Forg & Jeans. A rather mysterious comic book. There’s no introduction, no editorial text: Just the comics themselves. Is this a translated comic? Where are Forg & Jeans from? What’s going on? It’s about a woman who runs a laundry, and her friends. The first issue is very laid back. What happens is … Continue reading FF1990: Laundryland

FF1993: Duplex Planet Illustrated

(October 4, 2016)

Duplex Planet Illustrated #1-15, A Vast Knowledge of General Subjects by David Greenberger and various. This is one of those early-90s Fantagraphics comics that I don’t recall all that well, other than I liked it fine at the time. I wasn’t really very enthusiastic about re-reading it, so I wondered whether I had suppressed some … Continue reading FF1993: Duplex Planet Illustrated

FF1993: Black Dogs

(October 3, 2016)

Black Dogs by Ho Che Anderson. This book is a short (14-page) introduction to the Martin Luther King, jr. series of graphic novels Ho Che Anderson would publish later. It’s set in the present day, and Anderson kinda explains why it exists: So it’s set in the present, and it discusses whether it’s appropriate to … Continue reading FF1993: Black Dogs

FF1991: Jizz

(October 3, 2016)

Jizz #1-10 by Scott Russo. There was an double entendre epidemic going around at the time: Colin Upton’s Big Thing, Roberta Gregory’s Naughty Bits… and Scott Russo’s Jizz, which is, perhaps, only half as entendrey.  A single entendre. I didn’t remember much of this series, only that it was outrageous and somewhat controversial, but I … Continue reading FF1991: Jizz

FF1983: Journey

(October 2, 2016)

Journey #1-27, Journey: Wardrums #1-2 by William Messner-Loebs. The first fourteen issues of Journey were published by Aardvark-Vanaheim. While this blog series is supposed to be about Fantagraphics, I just had to re-read them all. I was about 14 when Journey started, and I remember being really enthusiastic about it. I’ve re-read the first handfuls … Continue reading FF1983: Journey

FF1992: The Librarian

(October 2, 2016)

The Librarian by Penny Moran Van Horn. Is that Steve Jobs? Penny Moran Van Horn had earlier published short pieces in Weirdo and Twisted Sisters, but this was her first (and only, I think) solo publication (except the Recipe for Disaster and Other Stories compilation published later). The story is about a slum lord librarian … Continue reading FF1992: The Librarian

FF1992: Doofer: Pathway to McEarth

(October 1, 2016)

Doofer: Pathway to McEarth by Paul Ollswang, Taft Chatham and James Carpenter. This magazine reprints a few of the Ollswang pieces from Graphic Story Monthly and Prime Cuts, the two earliest “general” Fantagraphics anthologies. In addition, there’s a framing story of sorts… … because this magazine was meant as an introduction to a graphic novel … Continue reading FF1992: Doofer: Pathway to McEarth

FF1992: Crucial Fiction

(October 1, 2016)

Crucial Fiction by Julian Lawrence and Mark Yuill. Despite the name, I thought that perhaps this was an autobio series, just based on the intensity of the start of the first issue. That certainly looks and reads like a confessional religious outsider autobiographical piece, but since it ends with the protagonist building a new Christ … Continue reading FF1992: Crucial Fiction

FF1992: Butt Biscuit

(September 30, 2016)

Butt Biscuit by Dean Williams and Ted Couldron. What a thoroughly unpleasant comic book. The plot is about a kid with Down’s who’s kidnapped by a producer of speciality porn. I guess the idea is to be as offensive as possible, and then it’ll automatically be funny? So it’s a papery version of 4chan. The … Continue reading FF1992: Butt Biscuit

FF1992: Test Dirt

(September 30, 2016)

Test Dirt #1 by Tony Fitzgerald. As we get to the 90s, my “collection” of Fantagraphics comics grows spottier. I bought all the major long running comic books at the time, but the less known stuff passed me by: I was a poor student. And had to pay attention to other things. Like getting started … Continue reading FF1992: Test Dirt

FF1987: Frazetta

(September 29, 2016)

Thun’da Tales #1 Untamed Love #1 By Frank Frazetta and various. There’s no text in these comics to explain why they exist beyond what’s on the covers: “finally presented in a quality full-color edition!” So my guess is that these are comics from the early 50s that had somehow fallen into the public domain, and … Continue reading FF1987: Frazetta

FF1982: Gil Kane’s Savage!

(September 29, 2016)

Gil Kane’s Savage! by Gil Kane and Archie Goodwin. I think this is Fantagraphics’ third comic book, after The Flames of Gyro and Love and Rockets, so it’s historically interesting. It’s a reprint of a magazine published in 1968, and RC Harvey gives some context in an opening essay: He then goes on to talk … Continue reading FF1982: Gil Kane’s Savage!

FF1990: Hate

(September 28, 2016)

Hate #1-30, Hate Jamboree, Hate Annual #1-10 by Peter Bagge. Hate is Peter Bagge’s smash success series after winding up Neat Stuff. (Which wasn’t, I guess.  A smash success.) It’s also the last of the, er, “institutional indie” comics that Fantagraphics published in the 80s/90s in this blog series, after Love and Rockets, Eightball and … Continue reading FF1990: Hate

FF1990: Lust of the Nazi Weasel Women

(September 27, 2016)

Lust of the Nazi Weasel Women #1-4 by Mitch Manzer. Manzer had previously done the very amusing Rory Randall, the Singing Cowboy serial, but Lust of the Nazi Weasel Women is his first (and only, I think) solo series. As with the Rory Randall series, what we have here is a number of really silly … Continue reading FF1990: Lust of the Nazi Weasel Women

FF1990: Kuper

(September 26, 2016)

It’s Only a Matter of Life and Death Bleeding Heart #1-5 Wild Life #1-2 By Peter Kuper. Around this time, Fantagraphics published a number of magazine-sized single creator collections of work previously published in various anthologies: Mostly Fantagraphics anthologies like Prime Cuts and Graphic Story Monthly. It’s Only a Matter of Life and Death is … Continue reading FF1990: Kuper

FF1990: Har Har Comics

(September 25, 2016)

Har Har Comics #1-2 by Mike Kazaleh. After Captain Jack was cancelled, Fantagraphics gave Kazaleh another go with this very short-lived series: One issue in 1990, and another in 1992. (The indicia in the latter issue lists it as being published “bi-annually”, which I guess is right in some jurisdictions.) The two issues mostly consist … Continue reading FF1990: Har Har Comics

FF1990: Fission Chicken

(September 25, 2016)

Fission Chicken #1-4 by JP Morgan and Kyle Rothweiler. Fission Chicken ran in Critters for most of that magazine’s run. I think I mentioned in that blog article that I wasn’t much fond of Fission Chicken when I read it in Critters as a teenager, so I didn’t buy this series when it came out. … Continue reading FF1990: Fission Chicken

FF1989: Grootlore

(September 24, 2016)

Grootlore #1-2 Grootlore volume 2 #1-3 By Peter Gullerud. I’ve always known that Kim Thompson was the one of the two Fantagraphics owners who’s into anthropomorphics, but I wasn’t aware that it was so clear-cut: Anything funny-animal (Critters) or European(ish) (Sinner) is edited by Kim Thompson, and anything sci-fi-ish (Threat) or art (Flash Marks) is … Continue reading FF1989: Grootlore

FF1989: Teaser and the Blacksmith

(September 24, 2016)

Teaser and the Blacksmith by Timothy H. Glass. This is a very strange comic book by a New Zealander called Timothy H. Glass. I don’t know whether that’s his real name: I could well understand it if whoever created this would want to do so under a pseudonym. It seems to genuinely be from Australia … Continue reading FF1989: Teaser and the Blacksmith

FF1989: Fox Comics

(September 23, 2016)

Fox Comics Special Fox Comics #24-27 Edited by David Vodicka. The first twenty-three issues of Fox Comics were published in Australia, but they apparently wanted to get wider distribution by publishing through Fantagraphics. And that worked: Just see, I bought those issues. I’ve been trying to find the Aussie-only issues over the years, and here’s … Continue reading FF1989: Fox Comics

FF1988: Christmas with Superswine

(September 23, 2016)

Christmas with Superswine by Gary Fields. This is rather weird. It sounds like a special edition of a running series, but Superswine wasn’t published as its own series until three years later. But perhaps the point was just to publish something seasonal. The indicia says that it was published in February, which sounds typical for … Continue reading FF1988: Christmas with Superswine

FF1988: Flash Marks

(September 22, 2016)

Flash Marks by Carel Moiseiwitsch. This is a collection of short pieces that have previously appeared in various anthologies in the 80s. It is, unfortunately, the only major collection of her work, and it isn’t very major. I mean, it’s bigly excellent, as the vernacular goes, but it’s just 32 pages. Magazine size, though. The … Continue reading FF1988: Flash Marks

FF1988: The Tell-Tale Heart and Other Stories

(September 22, 2016)

The Tell-Tale Heart and Other Stories by Edgar Allen Poe. From what fetid hell did this magazine arise? It reprints three Edgar Allen Poe stories (that you’ve probably read before), illustrated in this fashion: The borders are repeated throughout each story, so this magazine has three borders, one cover and twelve illustrations (by Daryl and … Continue reading FF1988: The Tell-Tale Heart and Other Stories

FF1987: Jim

(September 21, 2016)

Jim #1-4 Jim vol 2 #1-6 Jim Special: Frank’s Real Pa Frank #1-4 By Jim Woodring. Jim (the series, not the author) started off as a collection of material that Jim (the author, not the series) had published in the 1982-86 period. The first four issues are magazine sized… and very strange. The dedication in … Continue reading FF1987: Jim

FF1987: The Wandering Stars

(September 21, 2016)

The Wandering Stars #1 by Stuart Hopen and Sam Kieth. Another entry in the “Fantagraphics sci-fi cancelled mysteriously” series, this one lasted only one issue and ends with the words “to be continued…” And it’s a very nice issue indeed. Kieth would later switch to a more decompressed art style, but here he crams a … Continue reading FF1987: The Wandering Stars

FF1987: Dinosaur Rex

(September 20, 2016)

Dinosaur Rex #1-3 by Jan Strnad and Henry Mayo. What a fun series. This is another one of the comics from the Upshot imprint, edited by Jan Strnad.  The imprint was supposed to be action oriented entertainment, I think. They only managed to publish three series before cancellation (Dalgoda: Flesh and Bones, The Miracle Squad … Continue reading FF1987: Dinosaur Rex

FF1987: Dog Boy

(September 19, 2016)

Dog Boy #1-10 by Steve Lafler. Lafler had (self-published, I think?) Dog Boy under the Cat-Head Comics moniker for a few years, but moved to Fantagraphics in 1987, and restarted the numbering. I didn’t read Dog Boy back in the 80s. That is, I had the first issue, and I vaguely remember being vaguely puzzled. … Continue reading FF1987: Dog Boy

FF1986: The Miracle Squad

(September 18, 2016)

The Miracle Squad #1-4 by John Wooley and Terry Tidwell. This comic book was part of the Jan Strnad-edited Upshot line of comics, which didn’t last very long. And this was, I think, the only one that Strnad didn’t write himself. It’s in colour, which I guess means that Fantagraphics thought that this 30s B-movie … Continue reading FF1986: The Miracle Squad

FF1988: Itchy Planet

(September 17, 2016)

Itchy Planet #1-3 edited by Leonard Rifas. Leonard Rifas published a number of comics in the 70s under the Edu Comics banner, and Itchy Planet continues pretty much in that vein: Informative pieces and political agitation. There’s even a motto. So you have reviews, text pieces and things like this page: A survey of comics … Continue reading FF1988: Itchy Planet

FF2006: Castle Waiting

(September 16, 2016)

Castle Waiting #1-18 by Linda Medley I haven’t done this series of postings in anything resembling chronological order, but I did decide to try to do the remaining ones in an orderly… order… But then I flipped past Castle Waiting in the boxes once again, and I just had to re-read it. Again. Castle Waiting … Continue reading FF2006: Castle Waiting

FF1986: Threat!

(September 15, 2016)

Threat! #1-10 Anthologies usually do not have a set roster of contributors. There are some, like Zap Comix, but it’s usually a revolving door sort of thing. Threat! was a 32 page, magazine size, monthly anthology with four running serials, each taking up eight (or fewer) pages, and didn’t deviate (much) from that format until … Continue reading FF1986: Threat!

FF1986: Doomsday Squad

(September 14, 2016)

Doomsday Squad #1-7 by Joe Gill and John Byrne. This series was supposed to be called “John Byrne Classics” and reprints the old Charlton Comics series Doomsday +1. Apparently Byrne protested and it ended up being called Doomsday Squad instead. He was also apparently supposed to supply the covers, but only did two, while most … Continue reading FF1986: Doomsday Squad

FF1991: Aesop’s Fables

(September 14, 2016)

Aesop’s Fables #1-3 adapted by Charles Santino. This series has a slightly odd motivation for its existence: So the project wasn’t started by somebody with a passion for fables, but just somebody looking around for something to adapt. You’d think that this would result in some pretty shoddy comics, but they’re quite amusing. The majority … Continue reading FF1991: Aesop’s Fables

FF1988: Critters Special

(September 13, 2016)

Critters Special #1 by Stan Sakai. I should have covered this one in the Critters article, but I forgot. Anyway, the series lasted only one issue, and featured Nilson Groundthumper (and Hermy), characters developed for the Critters series, I think. Sakai would, of course, go on to do Usagi Yojimbo (which he’s still doing), but … Continue reading FF1988: Critters Special

FF1994: Alex

(September 12, 2016)

Alex #1-6 by Mark Kalesniko. This is a quite unusual Fantagraphics floppy series: 1) It’s not a single-author anthology, but a proper story that 2) seems to be designed to last for six issues and 3) wasn’t cancelled before it was completed and 4) was published on a strict bi-monthly schedule (which may be a … Continue reading FF1994: Alex

FF1998: The Nimrod

(September 11, 2016)

The Nimrod #1-7 by Lewis Trondheim. This series is a collection of various of the more “indie” Trondheim works: Autobio, a McConey story, and several shorter pieces, so I can see why it looked like it might make sense to publish this stuff in English in pamphlet format. It’s like US indie comics, so publishing … Continue reading FF1998: The Nimrod

FF1992: Collier’s

(September 10, 2016)

Collier’s #1-4 by David Collier. This series was published in a variety of sizes (two standard comic book, one standard magazine, and one in the middle somewhere) at a glacial pace between 1992 and 1998. I think I remember seeing work from David Collier popping up in various anthologies around that time, but I would … Continue reading FF1992: Collier’s

FF1987: Centrifugal Bumble-Puppy

(September 9, 2016)

Centrifugal Bumble-Puppy #1-8 edited by Joe Sacco. Sacco announced in the last issue of the Honk! magazine that it’d be changing its name to Centrifugal Bumble-Puppy, but it did more than that. The page count dropped from 48 to 32, the interviews disappeared and the text features mostly disappeared, and a new roster of regular … Continue reading FF1987: Centrifugal Bumble-Puppy

FF1993: Frederick & Eloise: A Love Story

(September 8, 2016)

Frederick & Eloise: A Love Story by Brian Biggs. Here’s another pretty odd one, both in format (slightly wider than high) and content. There’s two panels per page and not too many words, so it’s a very quick read. The plot, as it is, doesn’t really go the way you think it’s going, which is … Continue reading FF1993: Frederick & Eloise: A Love Story

FF1993: Holy Cross

(September 7, 2016)

Holy Cross #1-3 written by Malachy Coney. Well, this is an odd series. It’s written by Malachy Coney and drawn by three different people; it’s set in Belfast during the troubles; every issue is of a different size; and it’s three separate but somewhat interconnected stories. Let’s take a look. The first issue, shorter and … Continue reading FF1993: Holy Cross

FF1993: In the Days of the Ace Rock ‘n’ Roll Club

(September 6, 2016)

In the Days of the Ace Rock ‘n’ Roll Club by Eddie Campbell. I totally forgot about this one when I did the blog article on the other Fantagraphics Eddie Campbell comics… but since this one is from before the “Alec” period, and I called that article “Alic(ish)”, let’s just say I had this planned … Continue reading FF1993: In the Days of the Ace Rock ‘n’ Roll Club

FF1995: Black Hole

(September 5, 2016)

Black Hole #1-12 by Charles Burns. This book is Charles Burns magnum opus on being a teenager, doing drugs and having sex. And, of course, having horrible mutating diseases. He’d been doing work in this area pretty much from the beginning, but only scratching the surface. So to speak. He finally went all out here, … Continue reading FF1995: Black Hole

FF1986: Honk!

(September 4, 2016)

Honk #1-5 edited by Tom Mason and then Joe Sacco. Hey! Comics aren’t just about serious stuff any more! Honk! was Fantagraphics’ first humour magazine. It’s a mixture of comics, interviews and features: It sometimes reads a bit like a version of The Comics Journal that somebody has stuck a lot of comics pages in. … Continue reading FF1986: Honk!

FF1993: Brain Capers

(September 3, 2016)

Brain Capers #1 by Mario Hernandez. This book mainly collects various comics Hernandez had published in other Fantagraphics books (I think). I recognise pieces from Real Girl and Street Music, at least… The original pieces are pretty light on story, but they’re interesting graphically. Here we seem to be going off in a slightly more … Continue reading FF1993: Brain Capers

FF1992: Cud

(September 2, 2016)

Cud #1-8 by Terry Laban. Cud was Terry Laban’s more explicitly underground comics series after the relationship dramedy series Unsupervised Existence. Confusingly enough, the main serial is about a gross performance artist named Bob Cudd, but it’s a different character than the gross performance artist named Bob in Unsupervised Existence. Reuse before recycle. Slight digression … Continue reading FF1992: Cud

FF1989: Eightball

(September 1, 2016)

Eightball #1-23 by Daniel Clowes. I was very curious about how re-reading Eightball would feel like. I read Clowes’ latest (very acclaimed) book Patience a few months back, and I thought it was crap. (There. I’ve now statistically alienated about 97% of potential readers of this blog article.) It was so bad that it started … Continue reading FF1989: Eightball

FF1988: Lloyd Llewellyn Special

(August 31, 2016)

Lloyd Llewellyn Special #1 by Daniel Clowes. When I did the post on Lloyd Llewellyn earlier, I didn’t know that this special (published about a year after the original series) existed. But it arrived now, so… Let’s… er… discuss. Apparently this special was supposed to be in colour, but due to low demand (from the … Continue reading FF1988: Lloyd Llewellyn Special

FF1989: Unsupervised Existence

(August 30, 2016)

Unsupervised Existence #1-7 by Terry Laban. Wow.  I used to love this series. What happened? Unsupervised Existence was started as a small-press mini comic, I think?  I haven’t read that incarnation, but it was reprinted by Rip Off as Twice-Told Tales of Unsupervised Existence.  Fantagraphics then continued the series… The main series in Unsupervised Existence … Continue reading FF1989: Unsupervised Existence

FF1989: Blite

(August 29, 2016)

Blite by Phil Elliott. Phil Elliott is part of that British Fast Fiction/Escape generation, but has perhaps had less published in the US than others in that crowd… It’s a collection of shorter stories mostly featuring the “Gimbley” character. I think you could describe them as having a sort dream logic, but what strikes me … Continue reading FF1989: Blite

FF1987: Myron Moose Funnies

(August 28, 2016)

Myron Moose Funnies by Bob Foster. This reads very much like 70s underground comix, which is pretty strange for published in 1987. And there is a series from 1971 with the same name. Is it a reprint? I’ve spent four minutes googling and I do not know. Anyway, it was apparently planned as a three … Continue reading FF1987: Myron Moose Funnies

FF1990: Alec(ish)

(August 27, 2016)

The Dead Muse Little Italy The Cheque, Mate By Eddie Campbell and various. These three comics were published in a transitional phase of Eddie Campbell’s career. He’d published an acclaimed series of autobiographical stories under the collective name “Alec”, mostly in British anthologies and collections, but also in a series of collections. He’d tried to … Continue reading FF1990: Alec(ish)

FF1988: Bad News

(August 26, 2016)

Bad News #3 edited by Paul Karasik. The Bad News anthology series was conceived as a class exercise for the students at the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York. This first issue was edited by Art Spiegelman (I think; I haven’t been able to locate a copy or find any reliable info on … Continue reading FF1988: Bad News

FF1989: Neil & Buzz in Space and Time

(August 25, 2016)

OK, drama over?  (Or at least a plan of sorts.) So back to the series of posts that can’t possibly interest more than approx. five people in the world: An overview of all Fantagraphics comic book comics ever published. Neil & Buzz in Space and Time by George Alec Effinger & Henry Mayo. In the … Continue reading FF1989: Neil & Buzz in Space and Time

FF1991: Big Thing

(July 26, 2016)

Big Thing #1-4 by Colin Upton. This series is probably called Colin Upton’s Other Big Thing (Upton had self-published more that 60 mini-comics by this time, and one larger one, which was called Big Thing, so this name makes sense), and then Colin Upton’s Other Slightly Smaller Big Thing (when it went to a smaller … Continue reading FF1991: Big Thing

FF1994: Bad Comics

(July 25, 2016)

Bad Comics #1 by JR Williams. A previous #1 had been published a few years earlier by Cat-Head Comics, and if I remember correctly, it was much like this one: A random collection of funny comics by JR Williams. Like Sam Henderson, he’s someone who seems to know the mechanics of telling a joke well, … Continue reading FF1994: Bad Comics

FF1990: Graphic Story Monthly

(July 24, 2016)

Graphic Story Monthly #1-7 edited by Gary Groth. Graphic Story Monthly was Fantagraphics’ second attempt at a “general” comics anthology, following hot on the heels of Prime Cuts. In some ways, it’s just a continuation of that series under a new name. Many of the same contributors and features continue on from the first series, … Continue reading FF1990: Graphic Story Monthly

FF1979: The Flames of Gyro

(July 23, 2016)

The Flames of Gyro by Jay Disbrow. I don’t have a complete set of all floppies Fantagraphics have ever published, so while writing this series I’ve started to buy the stuff I’m missing. This is one of them. The Flames of Gyro (featuring Valgar Gunnar) is the first comic book that Fantagraphics published, and it’s… … Continue reading FF1979: The Flames of Gyro

FF1995: Girltalk

(July 22, 2016)

Girltalk #1-4 The cover of the first issue says “1st full issue”, but that’s because a sort of “preview” issue was included with issue seven of Real Girl. No editor is listed, but Isabella Bannerman and Sabrina Jones seem to be the central people here, perhaps. This anthology sprang out of the venerable World War … Continue reading FF1995: Girltalk

FF1991: Tales from the Outer Boroughs

(July 18, 2016)

Tales from the Outer Boroughs #1-5 by Douglas Michael. This is a pretty odd series, even as odd series go. I guess I can see the inspiration here from people like Rick Geary, Ben Katchor and Chris Reynolds, but the artwork isn’t as distinctive as any of those, really. He does have the oblique weirdness … Continue reading FF1991: Tales from the Outer Boroughs

FF1991: Naughty Bits

(July 14, 2016)

Naughty Bits #1-40 by Roberta Gregory. I’d been a fan of Roberta Gregory since way before Naughty Bits started in 1991. I’d gotten a hand on Dynamite Damsels when I was, like, 14, and I really loved her somewhat gentle style and pretty whimsical subject matter (like in Winging It). Unicorns and aliens and mysteries … Continue reading FF1991: Naughty Bits

FF1985: Neat Stuff

(July 7, 2016)

Neat Stuff #1-15 by Peter Bagge. I don’t quite recall how I felt about Peter Bagge’s comics when I was a teenager. I certainly wasn’t obsessing about it like I was with, say, Chester Brown or Moebius. That the first issue of Neat Stuff that I have is a third printing from the mid-90s is … Continue reading FF1985: Neat Stuff

FF1990: Pedestrian Vulgarity

(July 4, 2016)

Pedestrian Vulgarity #1 by Dennis Worden. Another one of those one-off magazines that Fantagraphics published at random during the late 80s and early 90s. This time it’s a collection of mostly one-page funny strips by Dennis Worden, who is best known for doing Stickboy for quite a while. There’s only one page of stick persons … Continue reading FF1990: Pedestrian Vulgarity

FF1988: Street Music

(July 3, 2016)

Street Music #1-6 edited by Mark Burbey. Street Music is a somewhat unusual anthology. It’s mainly the vehicle for the “Street Music” serial, which takes up something between a third and a half of each issue, and which is written by the editor, Mark Burbey, and drawn by Bili Turner. Neither of them could be … Continue reading FF1988: Street Music

FF1990: Kaktus Valley

(July 2, 2016)

Kaktus Valley #1 edited by John Carlin and Gary Panter. This is another one of those one-off magazines Fantagraphics used to publish that seemed to arrive without any context. Reading it, it seems like the idea is to gather a lot of people from the more punkey end of the Raw generation together and have … Continue reading FF1990: Kaktus Valley

FF1990: Real Girl

(June 30, 2016)

Real Girl #1-9 edited by Angela Bocage. I had forgotten how many anthologies Fantagraphics used to publish. Anthologies are still a thing, but I don’t think there’s much being published in something resembling this format: An editor who wants to explore a specific theme, and then invites contributors to participate. (Perhaps Island by Brandon Graham … Continue reading FF1990: Real Girl

FF1986: Lloyd Llewellyn

(June 29, 2016)

Lloyd Llewellyn #1-6 by Daniel Clowes. Daniel Clowes is one of the most celebrated comics artists working today, but back in 1986 (when he was 25), he created his first comic book series: Lloyd Llewellyn. To say that it was an overwhelming success would probably to be overwhelmingly generous. Before doing this series, he had … Continue reading FF1986: Lloyd Llewellyn

FF1995: Filibusting Comics

(June 26, 2016)

Filibusting Comics #1 by Dylan Sisson. This book is a parody of Scott McCloud’s seminal “Understanding Comics” book. I mean, that’s a pretty sticky book. McCloud’s career is an unusual one. He made a fondly remembered book back in the 80s, Zot, that wasn’t a major commercial success. It was sweet and fun, but not … Continue reading FF1995: Filibusting Comics

FF1984: Dalgoda

(June 24, 2016)

Dalgoda #1-8 Flesh & Bones #1-4 By Jan Strnad and Dennis Fujitake. I think this may be Fantagraphic’s first colour comic book. They’d released a couple of albums (“graphic novels”) in colour, but every comic book comic was in black and white. According to the editorial by Gary Groth, it was something of a financial … Continue reading FF1984: Dalgoda

FF1990: Real Life

(June 23, 2016)

Real Life #1 by Mark Zingarelli. Autobiographical comics are often written by shy introverts (or so the cliché goes), but there’s also a tradition of manly men making the stuff (perhaps beginning with Spain). The most prolific manly man in the field is the writer Dennis Eichhorn. He just writes the stuff and gets a … Continue reading FF1990: Real Life

FF1987: Good Girls

(June 22, 2016)

Good Girls #1-6 by Carol Lay. There are two serials in Good Girls. The first one is about a journalist who handles the “lonely hearts” column and gets into wacky adventures, as with these slightly oedipal superhero enthusiasts. The second feature is a romance parody about a billionaire who’s been brought up in Africa and … Continue reading FF1987: Good Girls

FF1986: Critters

(June 21, 2016)

Critters #1-50 edited by Kim Thompson. Ah, funny animals… It’s such a strange genre, if that’s the name for it. Perhaps “stylistic convention” is better. You have anthropomorphic characters in basically any genre (humour, science fiction, mysteries, anything), and there are fans that are really into reading stories in all these genres as long as … Continue reading FF1986: Critters

FF1987: Prime Cuts

(June 12, 2016)

Prime Cuts #1-10 edited by Gary Groth. There are some storied American comics anthologies: Arcade, Raw, Weirdo… (Well, and the ones that started popping up since the turn of the century.) Prime Cuts isn’t one that you hear mentioned much these days. It was (I think) Fantagraphics’ first major “serious” anthology. They had already published … Continue reading FF1987: Prime Cuts

FF1994: The Biologic Show

(June 11, 2016)

The Biologic show #0-1 by Al Columbia. This is a pretty odd… series. The first issue (#0) is magazine sized and is mostly shorter pieces. The second issue (#1) is announced as being quarterly, and then there are no more issues. Anyway, I assume everybody knows Columbia’s story (Bill Sienkiewicz’s assistant on Alan Moore’s Big … Continue reading FF1994: The Biologic Show

FF1986: Captain Jack

(June 9, 2016)

The Adventures of Captain Jack #1-12 A*K*Q*J #1 By Mike Kazaleh. Back in the 80s, Fantagraphics published a number of funny animal titles. This one is one of the funnier funny animal titles. Kazaleh’s day job is as a storyboarder for animated films. It’s kinda obvious looking at some of the scenes, but it’s not … Continue reading FF1986: Captain Jack

FF1989: The Adventures of Mr. Pyridine

(June 8, 2016)

The Adventures of Mr. Pyridine #1 by M. Singh Fantagraphics published a large number of what you might perhaps call “aspirational series”. That is, they aspired to be series, but I think everybody involved could guess that there would most likely be no more than one issue. Perhaps I should gather a few up in … Continue reading FF1989: The Adventures of Mr. Pyridine

FF1986: Keif Llama

(June 6, 2016)

Particle Dreams #1-6 Keif Llama: Xenotech #1-6 By Matt Howarth. Matt Howarth is best known for his The Annoying Post Bros series. The protagonists there run around different universes killing people and having fun. I never quite warmed up to that concept, although I’ve probably read most of the issues by now. These comics, on … Continue reading FF1986: Keif Llama

FF1987: Sinner

(June 5, 2016)

Sinner #1-5 by José Muñoz and Carlos Sampayo. After the previous post which literally killed me, I (in a ghostly incarnation) decided to do a very small series today. Sinner is one of the earliest attempts by Fantagraphics at bringing French-ey comics to the US. (The creators are Argentinian, but live in Europe and publishes … Continue reading FF1987: Sinner

FF1982: Love and Rockets

(June 1, 2016)

Created by Jaime Hernandez, Beto Hernandez and Mario Hernandez. Love and Rockets #1-50, Mechanics #1-3, Love and Rockets Bonanza , Whoa, Nellie #1-3, New Love #1-6, Maggie and Hopey Color Special, Penny Century #1-7, Luba #1-10, Luba’s Comics and Stories #1-8, Love and Rockets vol II #1-20, Love and Rockets: New stories #1-8, New Tales … Continue reading FF1982: Love and Rockets

Reading Fantagraphics

(June 1, 2016)

I’ve been meaning to re-read all of Love and Rockets for years and years. But I’ve never found the time, because all my comics reading time has been occupied by reading new comics. *sniff* I’ve paused my avaracious comics acquisition onslaught slightly and rooted out all the Love and Rockets issues. But doing so, I … Continue reading Reading Fantagraphics