Published November 12, 2009 by Molly
You might remember Nina Matsumoto from a single perfect image she created in 2007 called Simpsonzu (above). The illustration was simple: a portrait of the entire Simpsons cast rendered in manga style. The internet rejoiced, Matsumoto was named a new talent, and she landed penciler positions for both The Simpsons and Futurama comic book series.
Matsumoto went on to publish a full-length English manga about the world of yokai (Japanese spirits) in 2008, to loads of acclaim. Del Rey published the book, Yokaiden, and it’s one to add to your list if you’re into the enchanting/adventurous theatrics of manga. At the very least, it’s awfully charming!
Published September 29, 2009 by Graham
Have you bought a comic book in the past few years? Not a graphic novel or some fancy anthology—I’m talking about those olde thyme flimsy, staple-bound periodicals filled with illustrated narratives and costing less than a bag of movie theater popcorn. It wouldn’t be a shock if you said no, and cartoonist Jordan Crane wouldn’t blame you– but he’s not giving up on the medium without a fight.
After years of creating resplendent illustrations, designing floral wallpaper for our favorite bookstore, and intermittently revealing his narrative brilliance through one-off comics, Crane has recently focused his creative talents on an Ignatz-winning (that’s geek-speak for “good”) comic series called Uptight. Presenting melancholy tales of workaday worries and broken relationships right alongside whimsical, child-friendly fare, Uptight provides a fascinating peek inside Crane’s constantly shifting thoughts, and never fails to entertain.
Read on to discover this venerable artist’s love for Maurice Sendak’s Little Bear, the challenges of cartooning for kids, and his call to revolution for a post-superhero world.
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Published September 8, 2009 by Graham
Over the past decade, Kramer’s Ergot has established itself as the world’s premiere collection of underground comics. Quickly evolving from a hand-printed zine into a luxurious hardcover book, before climaxing in a massive, Malaysian-printed seventh volume, the anthology’s editor (and Family co-founder) Sammy Harkham’s visionary project has become so vast in its scope that even the legendary Matt Groening contributed a special Life in Hell strip to the latest installment.
Now Harkham is returning the favor, taking the editorial reigns at Groening’s Simpsons Comics for the October issue– and he’s brought many of the Kramer’s Ergot crew along with him. What’s sure to be the weirdest, raddest (officially sanctioned) take on the Simpsons ever boasts contributrions from Jordan Crane, C.F., Matthew Thurber, Jeffrey Brown, Paper Rad, and many other revered alternative comic dignitaries. Not only will each of these bodacious artists be translating The Simpsons into their offbeat personal styles, but this will also be the long-running comic’s fifteenth annual “Treehouse of Horror” issue– meaning each story must not only be funny, they’ll also have to riff on the conventions of horror. Nerdy mouths everywhere are watering in anticipation.