July 17, 2012 | 4:01 p.m.

Comic-Con memories: Jaime Hernandez on San Diego’s days of ink

In September 1982, Gilbert, Jaime and Mario Hernandez published their first Fantagraphics issue of “Love and Rockets” but it premiered first at Comic-Con International in San Diego — and if you do the math you’ll see why this year’s convention was a special one for the illustrious family brand known simply as Los Bros Hernandez. Thirty years in the independent scene have made the Oxnard brothers a signature name at Comic-Con (not to mention the Southern California publishing and art scene) but Jaime Hernandez said it didn’t get off to an auspicious start. “The first time we spotted ‘Love and Rockets’ some guy was already selling it for half-off.” There was a far more impassioned response at the 2012 convention as fans cheered the news about three upcoming Los Bros Hernandez releases (including “Love and Rockets: New Stories” No. 5) and a push into the […]
April 02, 2012 | 1:23 p.m.

Dave McKean, Jim Woodring among L.A. Times Book Prize finalists

Aboriginal sci-fi, madcap cartoon realms, a sexualized dreamscape and a garden of geometric surrealism – these are the unexpected ideas and fascinating settings presented by the nominees in the graphic novel category for the 2012 Los Angeles Times Book Prizes. This is the 32nd presentation of the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes but just the third year that the graphic novel category has been included. The winners in all categories will be announced at a ceremony at USC on April 20, right before the start of the 17th annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, the largest book festival in the United States. Here’s a look at the nominees in the graphic novel field: Joseph Lambert, “I Will Bite You! And Other Stories” (Secret Acres): Lambert’s dazzling debut effort, “I Will Bite You!” is a collection of short works (it includes some of Lambert’s self-published mini-comics […]
April 28, 2011 | 10:03 a.m.

‘Weathercraft’: A wordless epic of toons and torture

Last year, “Asterios Polyp” won as the graphic novel category was introduced at the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes. The five finalists in the category this year have been announced and the winner will be named Friday. Leading up to the awards ceremony, we will be looking at each of the finalists. Today: “Weathercraft.” In his “Frank” comics — a staple in the world of alternative comics — Jim Woodring has put his anthropomorphic character through nearly two decades of scrapes, slapstick violence and meanderings through a cartoon universe that is both paradisaical and terrifying. In Woodring’s first full-length graphic novel “Weathercraft,” published by Fantagraphics, side character Manhog is thrust into the spotlight, forced on a quest for truth in a hallucinatory realm. Hero Complex’s Noelene Clark caught up with the Woodring. NC: Your pen-and-ink drawing style is beautifully reminiscent […]
Feb. 22, 2011 | 1:22 p.m.

Los Angeles Times Book Prizes: ‘Bodyworld,’ ‘The Lodger’ among graphic novel finalists

The finalists in the graphic novel category of the 2010 Los Angeles Times Book Prizes have been announced: “Duncan the Wonder Dog: Show One” by Adam Hines (Adhouse Books) “Bodyworld” by Dash Shaw (Pantheon) “The Lodger” by Karl Stevens (KSA Publishing) “You’ll Never Know, Book Two: Collateral Damage” by C. Tyler (Fantagraphics) “Weathercraft” by Jim Woodring (Fantagraphics) The 2010 Los Angeles Times Book Prizes will be awarded April 29 in a ceremony at the Los Angeles Times building. The annual event will be the 31st presentation of the awards. The graphic novel category was added last year and the first winner was “Asterios Polyp.” For a list of all nominees in all categories, go to our must-read sister blog, Jacket Copy. RECENT AND RELATED ‘Asterios Polyp’ wins Times Prize for graphic novels Steve Niles scares up laughs with “Doc Macabre” Dean Haspiel and […]
Nov. 28, 2010 | 1:12 p.m.

R. Crumb: Joyce Farmer’s ‘Special Exits’ on par with ‘Maus’

Hero Complex contributor Deborah Vankin visited with Joyce Farmer, who is poised to become a rediscovered figure on the comics scene…. Joyce Farmer is a surprise. The gentle, white-haired 71-year-old, whom you’d half expect to greet you at the door with a pan of steaming muffins, recently has emerged as one of the most provocative voices in the comics and graphic-literature landscape. Her debut book, the 208-page illustrated memoir “Special Exits,” chronicling the slow, freaky decline and ultimate death of her elderly parents, comes out next week from Fantagraphics carrying the enthusiastic endorsement of no less than R. Crumb. “It’s a completely unique work,” he says. “Nobody else will ever do anything like that again.” To be fair, Farmer is more of a reemerging voice in comics. She was born and brought up in South Los Angeles and was a feminist figure in […]
Nov. 19, 2010 | 3:51 p.m.

REVIEW: Charles Burns seeks out dark edge in ‘X’ed Out’

Charles Burns is back with his first major work since the venereal teen horror of the 2004’s “Black Hole”  and Ben Schwartz, editor of The Best American Comics Criticism,” has reviewed it for the Los Angeles Times. Here’s an excerpt from the review… “I try to control it … try to focus in on the good things … waking up with Sarah on a clear, beautiful day … walking with her through Chinatown, the sky impossibly bright and blue. Everything bright and clean and new … but my eyes always drift … I always look down.” That’s how the dream always goes for Doug, the main character of Charles Burns’ new graphic novel, “X’ed Out.” In a Burns comic, you just know things aren’t going to go well from there. Fans of Burns, who haven’t seen a major work out of him since […]
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