Press tidbits of the week

“Dillies’ art evokes the work of an earlier poetic penman, George (Krazy Kat) Herriman, though with a trace more detailed elegance. (The book’s carnival scenes are particularly splendiferous.)”
Library Media Connection gives Rick Geary‘s Sacco & Vanzetti a starred review:
“If anyone can bring an eighty year story to life, Geary is the man for the job. He tells the story with aplomb and allows another generation of students to see this case.”
Also, Scribblers.us says:
“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.”

Foundanimals.com

Comic Book Resources put Salvatore, vol.2 on the top of their ‘6 most criminally ignored’ books of 2011 saying: ‘Certainly there’s nothing quite like it being published right now.”

Chris Mautner, CBR

Midwest Book Review says of it:

“The absurdities mount in this wry, whimsical tale. Highly recommended.”

Pendleton Ward loves Dungeon, many top tens + lots more love

First an interesting factoid: the creator of the Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time show, Pendleton Ward cites Joann Sfar and Dungeon as a strong influence in this interview on USA Today’s Pop Candy column. 

Stargazing Dog is #3 on Panel Patter, #5 on Comics Worth Reading, on the best list of Kuriousity, and #1 on SFSite/Nexus Graphica

Catherine Dacey at Manga Critic had this to say of it:

“Perhaps the best compliment I can pay Murakami is to acknowledge just how much Stargazing Dog moved me. Not in a cheap, dog-in-peril sort of way, but in the same way that Vittorio de Sica’s Umberto D. touched me: as a beautiful meditation on the human-canine bond, one that acknowledges the complexity and inequality of that relationship, as well its enduring power. One of 2011′s best new manga.”

Pop Matters reviewed the Opera set we’re offering combining all of P. Craig Russell’s Opera adaptations:

“What Russell also manages to do with these works is to advance the narratives, offering a supremely dramatic graphic rendering, yet still enabling the ‘music’ to come through.”

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reviews the latest Salvatore:

 “Nicolas De Crecy offers a delightful follow-up to his graphic novel about a lovelorn, fondue-loving dog.” 

Comics Worth Reading chimes in on it:

“It is Salvatore’s journey into temptation when he picks up a hitchhiking beauty that carries this book along. Rich in character and filled with one remarkably strange moment after another, this one is well worth your time.”

Back to the top ten lists: The Onion’s AV Club puts Rick Geary’s Sacco & Vanzetti as #8.

Comics Worth Reading put also Little Nothings 4 in a best 10.

Best of 2011

That time of year and we got so far NPR, Graphic Novel Reporter and Fearnet + a late last minute addition… not bad:

First, NPR’s Monkey See put Stargazing Dog in their top list. From the initial review:

“Throughout, the dog remains steadfastly loyal, his expression largely unchanged from the eager, hopelessly-in-love dog-smile you see there on the cover. That’s what Murakami’s getting at: the resiliency of the bond tying us to dogs, and them to us, and how it provides a blissfully uncomplicated comfort amid our increasingly complicated lives.”

Graphic Novel Reporter’s John Hogan puts our Sky Over the Louvre in his bhest of 2011 list: “A beautiful combination of art and story.”

Fearnet puts Geary’s Sacco & Vanzetti on their list: “proves the master of drolly impish cartooning hasn’t lost his touch, as it presents a pair of protagonists (anarchists, no less) strangely sympathetic in their relevancy to today’s world.”

And this latest news: Alan David Doane at Trouble with Comics puts 2 of ours out of his top ten books for 2011! Little Nothings 4 and Geary’s Sacco & Vanzetti.

Booklist and Smithsonian chime in on Stargazing Dog.

Stargazing Dog gets another appreciative nod this time from the Smithsonian magazine online.

And Booklist is about to publish this review of it:

“Reading this graphic novel is the emotional equivalent to listening to NPR’s StoryCorps—moving, beautiful, and ultimately heart-wrenching.”

Dungeon  Monstres 3 and 4 get good reviews from Unshelved, a favorite comics blog amongst Librarians, calling the series “a fabulous array of five inter-related graphic novel series.”

Stargazing Dog back to press!

Within 2 months of its release, we are back to press with Stargazing Dog and taking the occasion to correct a couple typos some reviewers have given us maybe a bit too much grief over. Fact is we worked quite heavily on this book, a first for us with manga so it was a learning curve we had to go up.

At first we were going to do the book in the original Japanese reading direction, by the way, but because the theme of this is all audiences, not just manga fan oriented, we were advised and indeed had to agree that reverting it to our more standard direction would be wiser. That meant a last minute effort to make everything right, as best as possible, unfortunately we did miss a couple elements.

Rectified now!

And if this is important for you, we’re happy to replace your copy with the new one if you care to write us and send the copy back, well packed, please, so it won’t get damaged.

The reprint is shipping within the next week…

John Hodgman on Dungeon + more press

“The companionship of Daddy and his dog stands for something that is attainable in our lives — even in an era when so many other dreams are being dashed. No wonder this book resonated so much in its native land.”

Seattle Post Intelligencer on Stargazing Dog

“Geary works his magic once again. This would be an excellent choice for schools and libraries looking for literary graphic novels, for teachers who want to spark discussion of the case, and for any teens looking for an enthralling nonfiction read.”

School Library Journal on Geary’s Sacco & Vanzetti.

TV Personality John Hodgman (The Daily Show) has some nice things to say about our series Dungeon over at Newsarama.

Happy Gobble Gobble.

Onion’s AV Club on Stargazing Dog

The Onion’s online AV Club on Stargazing Dog:

“Murakami knows he has a powerful central image in this happy, ignorant mutt and the desperate man who loves him, and so he stands back from it just enough to let it work on the reader, never pushing the story too far to the maudlin.”

And here’s a comment made there posted by a reader calling himself Finally Mad Enough to Post that we thought quite eloquent:

“I ordered and read Stargazing Dog the second I heard about it, and it beautifully crushed me.

I’m going to make an admission here AV Commentators, the secret origin of Finally Mad Enough To Post: I ‘can’t’ cry, I’ve got such an tall thick emotional wall between me and bottled up sadness that it takes huge events to open cracks.
I tore through Stargazing Dog and it left me blubbering like a beaten toddler. I loved every sad destiny-foretold beautiful page of it.
Is it a manipulative book? Yes, but it is executed with such naturalness and quality even if you know what’s coming the effect holds true.  I’m not being objective of course, but I don’t have to. I just loved this, and sometimes when the art reaches that point it’s beyond criticism.”

A more ambivalent review from Comics Reporter:

“While I think some readers may find the story affecting and the situation depicted genuinely scary — in that it underlines how close we all are to being cut loose by society — others are likely to find its story over-the-top and its emotional through-line bordering on shamelessness, and perhaps the whole affair suffering from a lack of sophistication.”

Miami Herald on Geary: give credit to his writing also!

“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.”

No Flying No Tights on Stargazing Dog

“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

The Miami Herald on Geary’s Sacco & Vanzetti:

“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.”

Cat Lovers on Stargazing Dog + more

Two cat lovers on this dog’s tale, The Stargazing Dog that is:

“I may be a cat person, but I am certainly not immune to the touching tale of a good-hearted and grateful dog who is faithful to his master until the very end. Poignant.”

Manga Bookshelf

“I was surprised, really, at how much I got sucked in by this book, especially because I’m a cat person. But the universality of Daddy and the dog’s tale works no matter who you are. Recommended.”

says Marc Mason at Comics Waiting Room.

And Playback:Stl makes a good point on Sacco & Vanzetti:

 “In this increasingly xenophobic and classist era, Geary does us all a service with this stylish reprise of their case.”

Kinky & Cosy, you either hate or love it:

“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.”

Comics Bulletin, giving it 4 bullets (it’ll take more than that to kill’em). The very same goes on to critique Bubbles & Gondola:

“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.”

Publishers Weekly starred review for Stargazing Dog + Teacher Librarian on Sacco

“Offers some profound insight on the human condition (by way of the canine condition) without being too sweet or sappy.”

Says Publishers Weekly of Stargazing Dog in a second starred review in just a few weeks for NBM’s graphic novels. The other recent one was for Bubbles & Gondola.

“We have been really zeroing in on absolutely the best GNs to  publish or we simply won’t bother,” says NBM Publisher Terry Nantier. “These two out of the park just show the results of our focus. If it’s from NBM, you simply can’t afford to miss it!” Stargazing Dog is already close to selling out of its 1st print run in just a few weeks.

“Were Vanzetti and Sacco murderers or victims of judicial prejudice?  Either way, their case definitely said something about the America they called home. Geary’s historical mysteries always sparkle with clarity, both in the artwork and plot, and in this book he also resists the urge to decide that one side was right, all while giving the reader the most up-to-date information possible.”

Teacher Librarian