Local publisher Fantagraphics made three announcements that should have been the biggest news at the San Diego Comic-Con last weekend.
First, and this is a little inside baseball-y, but Eric Reynolds was officially named Fantagraphics' associate publisher. Reynolds edits the series Mome, which I have stated is like the McSweeney's of comics. He's got a real commitment to finding great new talent, and this can only be great news for the future of the publisher.
The two other pieces of news are looking backwards, but still quite exciting: Next spring, Fantagraphics will publish the first volume in the Complete Pogo. I can't believe Pogo isn't in print right now.
And they just announced that they will collect all of Ernie Bushmiller's Nancy comic strips in chronological order. If you've never read David Schmader's love letter to Nancy that was published in the book section last year, you really should. It perfectly describes the weird pleasure of Bushmiller's strip:
"It was so beautiful and strange and boring and homely and mysterious and normal. I could never not read it." That's Lynda Barry talking about Nancy, and having my favorite contemporary cartoonist sum up my favorite childhood comic strip so eloquently is deeply gratifying. Like Barry's, my Nancy feelings are complicated but undeniable. Even as a kid, I realized Ernie Bushmiller's strip was dumb and weird and dull—and literally never, ever funny—but nothing could stop my eyes from seeking out the blocky lines and spare bursts of text, which read like Depression-era kid-talk as translated by the Japanese (for whom Spaceballs is Crazy in Space!).
I'm so excited for this one. It should be a real brain-fuck.