1. Cartooning Philosophy and Practice by Ivan Brunetti (Yale) $13.00 – This is about as close you are going to get to having Ivan Brunetti come to your house and teach you how to make great comics. Turns out, it’s pretty damn close – Philosophy and Practice serves up a concise and well-honed crash course on finding and fine tuning your comics voice. -EF
2. Art of Daniel Clowes Modern Cartoonist by Alvin Buenaventura and Daniel Clowes (Abrams ComicArts) $40.00 – Buenaventura’s assembled a lush monograph on the wild life and secret files of one of Quimby’s favorite Ink Studs. -EF
3. Mash Tun #1 Craft Beer Journal $8.00 – Lumpen-based beer rag, crafted in Chicago.
4. Weirdo #28 Verre Deau $4.95
5. What It Is by Lynda Barry (D&Q) $24.95
6. Picture This – The Near Sighted Monkey Book, Learn How to Art with the Near-Sighted by Lynda Barry (D&Q) $29.95 – Although I doubt this book needs any introduction, I’ll go ahead and quack a little about Lynda Barry’s exciting follow up to What It Is. These books are sort of a portable pair of life-coaches on the means and meaning in personal artistic process. Where Scott McCloud tries to crack open all the formal and technical elements of comics-making step-by-step in his “Understanding Comics” series, Lynda Barry is using rather sub-conscious processes to burrow deep into the intuitive realms of how and why content is created. It’s a pretty amorphous thing to get a handle on and Barry’s collaged approach reflects the subtleties of the fog while still assembling a book on “how to draw”. Picture This allows her to dig into the core of creating without being didactic or judgemental, writing the secret missing chapter to every “How to Draw Comics” book ever published. -EF
7. Binky Brown Meets the Holy Virgin Mary by Justin Green (McSweeneys) $29.99 – A lost classic of underground cartooning, Binky Brown Meets the Holy Virgin Mary is Justin Green’s autobiographical portrayal of his struggle with religion and his own neuroses. Binky Brown is a young Catholic struggling with all the usual problems of adolescence-puberty, agnosticism, and the fear that the strange ray of energy emanating from his private parts will strike a picture of the Holy Virgin Mary. Deeply confessional, with artwork that veers wildly between formalist and hallucinogenic, Binky Brown Meets the Holy Virgin Mary is the controversial masterpiece which invented the Autobiographical Graphic Novel.
8. Darth Vader and Son by Jeffrey Brown (Chronicle) $14.95 – What if your dad was DV? You might eat ice-cream together maybe? Or maybe he’d freeze your best friend in it maybe? No?
9. Are You My Mother?: A Comic Drama by Alison Bechdel $22.00
10. Remedy Quarterly #9 Escape $7.50