§ Jules Feiffer’s THE EXPLAINERS gets a front-page review in the NY Times Book Review by David Kamp:

Of course, representing any Feiffer strip with a quick quotation really doesn’t do it justice. His garrulous, neurotic characters yammer on and on, their logorrhea half the fun (and often taking up more than half the space). A mouse in the clutches of a cat shouts: “Go ahead! Eat me! Play into their hands!” The cat meekly responds, “Can’t we just accept our given roles?” There follows an elaborate back-and-forth about established mores, class systems and man’s paternalism toward animals, which so flummoxes the cat that he loses his appetite and leaves. Whereupon the mouse mutters: “Weakling — wishy-washy. I would have eaten him.” And the kicker: “What can you expect from liberals.”

There’s also a slide show in the online version.

BUT THAT’S NOT ALL! Inside, Douglas Wolk reviews the latest books from Los Bros Hernandez with a review stunningly entitled The Audacity of Hopey:

Like most of Hernandez’s books, “The Education” was initially serialized in “Love and Rockets,” the series he’s shared with his brother Gilbert since 1982. The two virtually never collaborate, and they could scarcely be more dissimilar in style, but their work appears side by side so regularly that they often simply call themselves “Los Bros. Hernandez.” After 50 issues as a magazine and another 20 in a more standard comic book format, “Love and Rockets” has now entered its third incarnation, as an annual paperback book subtitled “New Stories.” Jaime’s cover for the first volume shows a gigantic super­heroine calmly removing the Art Deco top of a skyscraper and replacing it with a propeller beanie. That’s pretty much what the brothers are up to on the inside: having established themselves as masters of the subdued, lit-fic-style graphic novel, they’re hauling the rockets back onto the launch pad and blasting off.

[Scan via a very proud Flog]

§ Bonus: At The Atlantic, Ta-Nehisi Coates looks at a few comics:

But we’re not going to dwell there. Comic books are still–along with hip-hop, D&D, and my Dad’s collection of black books–my first literary inspiration. They gave me my that sense of the fantastic and the magical that, as I’ve said before, I really believe all little black boys should have. Especially in these times. Listen to any Wu-Tang, Big Pun or Jeru album and you’ll realize that I wasn’t alone in this. Anyway, I’ve developed this habit–whenever I travel–of popping into the local comic book shop and perusing the collection. I always liked Dwayne McDuffie’s work on Justice League Unlimited. For me, that show made the case against comic book movies. OK, that’s too broad. But if you look at what they were able to achieve, with old fashion animation, it’s just stunning.