So, having picked up such fairly recent books over the last few weeks as Jules Feiffer's memoir, Backing into Forward (Nan A. Talese/Doubleday--"a division of Random House," still seems so odd), and Lynda Barry's book of inspiration mostly for young adult writers (but for anyone, really, particularly those of us who are fans of her "Ernie Pook's Comeek"), What It Is (Drawn & Quarterly), the earlier influences also come to mind, including the two titles that really sucked me back into reading comics aimed at adults...Love and Rockets, the intertwined comics stories by Jaime, Gilbert and sometimes Mario Hernandez (and now an annual magazine), and the assembled contributors to Wimmen's Comix, not least the 13th issue, from 1988 (courtesy the Women in Comics wikia):
Editors: Lee Binswanger and Caryn Leschen
Cover by Krystine Kryttre
The Visit by Trina Robbins
Ladies by Carol Tyler
The Magic Lemon by Caryn Leschen
Hoodoo Voodoo by Leslie Ewing
Beyond Reason by Joey Epstein
The Night by Cécilia Capuana
Becoming Normal by Judy Becker
Clair de Lune by Rebecka Wright, Barb Rausch and Angela Bocage
Ella Gets Her Man by Pauline Murray and Suzy Varty
Futures by Angela Bocage
Emil's Cafe by Lee Binswanger
The Dead Girl by William Clark and Mary Fleener
Voodoo Woman by Carel Moiseiwitsch
While Wimmen's Comix was soon to fold (might have just folded as I was catching up with it), other similar projects arose, including one that produced some magazine issues after two popular, now ridiculously out of print anthologies:
Diane Noomin's anthologies, which of course also followed various projects of similar scope (often in magazine form) by the likes of Aline Kominsky-Crumb, Joyce Farmer and Lyn Chevli, and Trina Robbins, were certainly clarion calls, as well as great fun to read. (I've certainly cited the collected work of contributor Mary Fleener in FFBs past. In fact, here's a handy page from her story "The Jelly," collected in Twisted Sisters:)
Another recent purchase really goes back to my initial love of comics, particularly Harvey Kurtzman's Mad, inasmuch as it's a collection of sketches and finished work exploring the processes of Kurtzman's long-term partner (on the Playboy cartoon strip "Little Annie Fanny"), Will Elder. Chicken Fat touches on nearly all Elder's work, from the early art school studies through his solo cartoon work (including his failed pitch for a continuing one-panel in the Charles Addams or "Family Circus" mode, "Adverse Anthony"), including caricature for newsmagazines and ad campaigns, even as a rather small book. Among the more amusing oddities included are the roughs and finished work of illustration for a parody that Playboy published 1960, "Girls for the Slime God," which Cele Goldsmith at Amazing: Fact and Science Fiction commissioned Isaac Asimov to respond to, published in the magazine as "Playboy and the Slime God" and reprinted in his collections as "What Is This Thing Called Love?"--the William Knoles article, the mildly salacious Henry Kuttner pulp stories that had been reprinted in the November 1960 Playboy from the brief experiment in sexed-up sf pulp Marvel Tales, and various explications were much later anthologized by Mike Resnick, with new analysis by Barry Malzberg and others, under the Knoles title (another FFB, if ever there was).
Meanwhile, back to Mad...the latter parody puzzled me slightly as to how to pronounce the title, since I'd only seen the Yiddish word for "thief" (with implication of thug) transliterated as "goniff" previously...
For more of today's books, please see Patti Abbott's blog...