New from ComicsLit: BETTY BLUES
Renaud Dillies Little Rice Duck has built himself quite the reputation around the West Wood, playing his trumpet in bars with their smoky, sweaty ambience, tequila sunrises, and jazz. But between his trumpet and his flame Betty, things are going astray. Betty is drowning her need of him in expensive champagne, something someone else is more than happy to provide… something he’d much prefer, like her, would just stay chilled.
8 ½ x 11, 80pp., full color hc, $18.99, ISBN 9781561637584
SIZZLE #59 The kinky lavishly rendered fetish story Magenta Noir continues, along with “It Could Happen to You”, the roguish “District 69” and the return of Cornnell Clarke’s “Peanut Butter” series. Cover by Kevin (“Girl”) Taylor.
Quarterly magazine, full color, $6.99
Dillies, of Bubbles & Gondola, which received effusive praise and got 2 Eisner noms, has his next GN out, Abelard, and you can get it at your comics stores now! as well as everywhere else, including soon as an e-book or from Comixology.
“The timing of this book couldn’t be better, speaking as it does to what the citizens of a well-off community value, and how they shirk social responsibility. The lesson is plain, yet sensitively and elegantly rendered.”
“Wilde’s beloved allegory is beautifully and smartly adapted by master craftsman Russell…The tale of the lifeless boy and the faithful avian is conveyed sweetly and with great heart.”
The Miami Herald on The Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde:The Happy Prince
“P. Craig Russell has taken an interesting approach to illustrating this tale: he includes all the text from Wilde and adds a visual element to enhance and compliment that text…It’s his classic and timeless art style that elevate and enhance this story so well. It’s worth noting that Russell does everything on this book: layout, design and lettering along with the art. A meticulous artist who doesn’t do anything without a reason.”
“I first read the prose in my late teens and it’s stayed in my heart ever since. Here P. Craig Russell has done wonders with the work, his fine, clean line lit with lambent colours. I even love what he’s done with the speech bubbles linked to their square-boxed, qualifying commentary. More than anything, though, his art here is the ultimate essay in tenderness.”
“Dilles’ engaging cartooning style is a bod to Krazy Kat, and he paces the book with a categorial whimsy that is simultaneously well-plotted and fanciful.”
Comic Buyer’s Guide on Bubbles & Gondola
“Despite the whimsical drawing and fanciful setting, one can’t help but feel that this is an intensely personal book for Dillies. This isn’t simply a book about writer’s block, but about a specific kind of aspiration and the blocks against that aspiration.”
“Despite focusing on two young girls, this is a very adult book. There are strips making jokes about the theory of relativity, adult toys, violence, and alcoholism. The twins’ mother’s sexual frustration and odd ways of coping with that frustration is a major storyline throughout the collection. The book derives a lot of its humor from the ridiculousness of seeing 8-year-olds make jokes about adult topics, such as the Neo-Nazi classmate who says the Holocaust never happened or when Kinky and Cosy have drinks in a bar with some aliens…The plotline involving the mother falling in love with the recycling bin, for example, was a bit too out there.”
“Renaud Dillies does something only a few comic artists are good at: he purposefully uses a series of simplistic images only to surprise us when beautiful scenes show up all of a sudden. Chris Ware is a master at that, but Renaud Dillies brings in a vintage appeal that will fascinate anyone who likes old Disney cartoons or fine art. Bubbles and Gondola is one of the few comics I’ve ever found that came close to attaining the synthesis of high and low art that I haven’t seen since Jacques Tardi‘s comics from five decades ago.”
“Disguised as a cute animal story, Dillies’s substantive tale of writer’s block, social anxiety, and the magical and restorative powers of allowing oneself to take a break and have fun proves striking it its visuals and narrative.
Dillies and his publishers have used some very physical choices here to show the magic Charles finds as he steps outside, makes friends, allows himself to delight in things as winsome as soap bubbles and a hot air balloon.”
“You come away from this slim, packed volume knowing all the basics of the Sacco & Vanzetti case and quite a lot more. He’s at home in the era—no corny ‘20s clichés in his art, just period suits and hairstyles—and in command of his subject: the art of celebrated killings.”
A pet site adopts Stargazing Dog:
“This book will hook your interest in an instant, make you more teary eyed than you’d ever admit, and leave you with a deeper respect for companion animals.”
“It is the perfect book to enjoy on a quiet evening, preferably with a dog by your side. And chances are you’ll wind up taking your dog for a walk afterwards, pondering what you’ve just read as you gaze up at the starry sky above you.”
“With an artistic style recalling Herriman’s Krazy Kat and a fanciful imagination evoking St. Exupery’s simple, elegant flights of whimsy, Dillies takes his audience on a strange trip through Charlie’s fears and inadequacies. Billed as an all-ages book, the plot and narration are simple yet crafty, the real storytelling technique coming through in the visuals. Dillies’ transitions are particularly slick, as he moves between the real world of Charlie’s humdrum, lonely existence and the vast, dreamlike realms of his burgeoning imagination.” Broken Frontier on Bubbles & Gondola
“Geary is almost universally praised for his stylish and crafty art, with extreme attention to detail and dead-on historical depiction of characters and settings. Sadly overlooked, however, is his writing. He’s often deadpan and hilarious but in the latest entry in his current series, A Treasury of XXth Century Murder, he masterfully organizes the story surrounding the infamous 1920 murder, subsequent trials and ongoing controversies into a highly readable and fascinating package. His art, as always, is ceaselessly expressive and charming, but let’s also give credit to this modern American master as one whose complete craft is at its peak.”
“Now this is the kind of crazy crap I like to see in my comic strips. Arson, didlo jokes, cripple jokes, Fair Trade ripping, addressing the issue of violence in schools in an insensitive manner — all this and more is within the pages of Kinky and Cosy, from the Belgian comic strip from writer/artist, Nix. You’re pretty much going to have to toss all your self-righteousness out the window because if you don’t, you’ll just get offended and end up missing something that is cute, funny, and disturbing all rolled up into the form of two twin girls who get into their own brand of trouble.”
“This is an awfully charming book. Renaud Dillies is a wonderful artist, able to capture the intense and sweet fairy-tale life that Charlie the Mouse lives in, a world of bright colors, intense emotions and frustrating disappointments.”