Written by Eric Reynolds
Monday, 23 November 2009
FANTAGRAPHICS BOOKS ANNOUNCES THE ACQUISITION OF STEPHEN DIXON'S WHAT IS ALL THIS?, A COLLECTION OF MODERN FICTION
SEATTLE, WA, NOV. 20, 2009 --- Fantagraphics Books is proud to announce the acquisition of What Is All This?, a 900-page collection of previously uncollected short fiction by two-time National Book Award Nominee (1991, 1995) Stephen Dixon. The collection will be published in May, 2010 and mark the third entry in Fantagraphics burgeoning line of literary fiction, following Alexander Theroux's Laura Warholic (2007) and Monte Schulz's This Side of Jordan (2009). Along with Theroux, Dixon is the second National Book Award nominated-author to publish new fiction through Fantagraphics.
"Stephen Dixon is one of the great secret masters - too secret. I return again and again to his stories for writerly inspiration, moral support and comic relief at moments of personal misery, and, several times, in a spirit of outright plagiaristic necessity: borrowing a jumpstart from a few lines of Dixon has been a real problem-solver in my own short fiction. Please read him, you." - Jonathan Lethem
Dixon is one of the most acclaimed authors of short stories in the history of American letters. He has published previously through acclaimed independent literary presses like McSweeney's and Melville House, as well as corporate houses like Henry Holt. His work, characterized by mordant humor and a frank attention to human sexuality, has earned him a Guggenheim Fellowship, the American Academy Institute of Arts and Letters Prize for Fiction, the O. Henry Award, and the Pushcart Prize. Fantagraphics Books is proud to present his latest volume of short stories, a massive collection of vintage Dixon, eschewing the modernism and quasi-autobiography of his I-trilogy and instead treating readers to a pared-down, crystalline style more reminiscent of Hemingway.
"Dixon is one of the few writers whose new work I will put everything aside to read, which is to say he is in the company of Alice Munro, Lorrie Moore, and Lydia Davis.... Put aside whatever you're reading, and read him." - J. Robert Lennon
"This is our third book of prose fiction -after Alex Theroux's Laura Warholic and Monte Schulz's This Side of Jordan- and readers may notice that the common denominator among these books is that language itself serves as the animating literary force," says acquiring editor and Fantagraphics co-publisher Gary Groth. "Dixon's finely chiseled sentences cut to the quick of people's lives. None of these stories have been collected in any book; they have appeared in a wide variety of literary journals over almost 40 years and Dixon has entirely rewritten all of them. Dixon admirers will be cheered to learn that these stories comprise a wholly original work."
Centrally concerning himself with the American condition, Dixon explores in What Is All This? obsessions of body image, the increasingly polarized political landscape, sex -in all its incarnations- and the gloriously pointless minutiae of modern life, from bus rides to tying shoelaces. Using the canvas of his native New York (with one significant exception that affords Dixon the opportunity to create a furiously political fable) he astutely captures the edgy madness that infects the city through the neuroses of his narrators with a style that owes as much to Neo-Reaist cinema as it does to modern literature. What Is All This? will be published in hardcover, designed by Fantagraphics award-winning Art Director Jacob Covey. "Stephen Dixon is one of the few writers who completely challenged, then changed how I think about writing and reading," says Covey. "He was the first writer I recognized as making Art that was as viscerally relevant as painting or music. Designing a book for someone who was so formative to me is one of the rarest and most intimidating opportunities I can imagine."
"I have read a lot of Dixon's writing. If I didn't like his writing I would not have read so many things of his." - Tao Lin
Stephen Dixon was born in 1936 in New York City. He graduated from the City College of New York in 1958 and is a former faculty member of Johns Hopkins University. In his early 20s, he worked as a journalist in radio, interviewing such monumental figures as John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, and Nikita Khrushchev. His witty, keenly observed narratives and sharply hewn prose have appeared in every major market magazine from Harper's to Playboy and have earned him two National Book Award nominations -for his novels Frog and Interstate. He still hammers out his fiction on a vintage typewriter.
Fantagraphics Books has been the world's leading publisher of comics and graphic novels since 1976, with titles by Robert Crumb, Charles M. Schulz, Joe Sacco, Daniel Clowes, Chris Ware and many others. In 2007, the company launched its prose division, beginning with novels by Alexander Theroux (Laura Warholic) and Jules Feiffer (a reissue of the noted artist's 1963 novel, Harry, the Rat with Women).
Download the press release: PDF (344 KB)
Last Updated ( Monday, 23 November 2009 )
Written by Jason Miles
Tuesday, 03 November 2009
As seen in the pages of Previews, these are the books and comics slated for release by Fantagraphics Books in February, 2010. Please note that all details, including cover art, prices, specs, contents, and release dates are preliminary and subject to change.
by Cathy Malkasian
240 pgs, 2 Color, 8 x 10, Hardcover, $22.99
Do ideas of war and enemies hold people together? Is a culture of conflict too seductive not to be irresistible?
These are the questions 2008 Eisner Award Winner Cathy Malkasian explores in her second graphic
novel Temperance, a fully realized, multi-layered world, inhabited by vivid characters and master craftsmanship.
After a brutal injury in battle, Lester has no memory of his prior life. For the next thirty years his wife
does everything to keep him from remembering —and re-constructing— a society, Blessedbowl, that elevates
him as a hero. Blessedbowl is a cultural convergence of lies, memories, stories, and beliefs. Its people
thrive on ideas of persecution, exceptionality, and enemies, convinced that war is lurking just outside their
walls. Malkasian creates a densely textured social context, masterfully conveying the idiosyncratic physical
domain with its spiraling structures and quasi-medieval architecture along with intimate yet plastic portraits
of her characters in a rich, tonal pencil line. Temperance is a galvanizing work of empathy and violence
by one of today’s most thoughtful and accomplished cartoonists. Be there!
THE SEARCH FOR SMILIN' ED
by Kim Deitch
144 pgs, B&W, 6.75 x 9.75, Softcover, $16.99
The Search for Smilin’ Ed is the latest of Kim Deitch’s
graphic novels to showcase his obsessive burrowing into
the nooks and crannies of vintage American popular
culture. Launched on his latest investigation by a remark
from his brother about a shared childhood favorite
(“Y’know, I heard that when Smilin’ Ed died... his body
was NEVER found!”), Deitch begins to uncover some
truly amazing things about the kiddie-show host and his
malevolent sidekick, Froggy the Gremlin. Meanwhile,
Deitch’s muse and nemesis Waldo the Cat abandons
Deitch to hang out with some demon buddies, and soon
both Waldo and Deitch are closing in on the mysteries
of Smilin’ Ed and Froggy. Bonus! Deitch has also created
a brand new story starring Waldo in his 21st century
post-Alias The Cat state of domestic bliss, stumbling across
an army of (French-) talking beavers. Of course, there’s a
story behind that...
SAND & FURY: A SCREAM QUEEN ADVENTURE
by Ho Che Anderson
144 pgs, 2 Color, 7 x 9, Softcover, $16.99
A story of blood, of sex, of death — of sound and retribution.
It opens as a girl by the side of a desert road accepts
a ride from a stranger. How could she know that behind
that wheel sits the angel of death? Of course, even the
angel of death once had a life. During that life, death was
a successful business woman, with a great career and an
even greater future. It’s true she could be a little cavalier
with her innate gifts; she had, after all, broken the heart of
everyone who had ever loved her. And then, one day — the
monster entered the woman’s life and changed everything
forever. Drawn in a stark, chiseled, expressionistic line
that evokes modern attitudes and classic terror of the
unknown and unknowable.
CAPTAIN EASY, SOLDIER OF FORTUNE: The Complete Sunday
Newspaper Strips Vol. 1
by Roy Crane
10.5 x 14.75, HC, 144 pages, FC, $39.99
Roy Crane is a GIANT among cartoonists and Fantagraphics
is embarking upon an ambitious reprinting of
his best work within Captain Easy, Soldier of Fortune. Dig in and bask in the radiance
of these FULL COLOR, prismatic Sunday strips! Discover
with each page a buried treasure of adventure
and chicanery replete with Crane’s mastery of comics
storytelling. Citing Crane’s influence on comics, the artist Gil Kane once said, “Superman
was Captain Easy; Batman was Captain Easy.” BEWARE! Beautiful women!
Pirates! Sunken ships! And fun! fun! FUN! are barely contained within this beautiful
package brought to you by Fantagraphics, the torchbearer of quality when it comes to
classic comic strip reprints.
BLAZING COMBAT S/C
by Archie Goodwin and The Best Damn Cartoonists of the 20th Century
200 pgs, B&W, 8 x 10, Softcover, $19.99
The legendary anti-war comic now in paperback! Written
by Archie Goodwin and drawn by such luminaries as
Frank Frazetta, Wally Wood, John Severin, Alex Toth,
Al Williamson, Russ Heath, Reed Crandall, and Gene
Colon. Following in the tradition of Harvey Kurtzman’s
Two-Fisted Tales and Frontline Combat, Goodwin’s
stories reflected the human realities and personal costs of
war rather than exploiting the clichés of the traditional
men’s adventure genre. They are among the best about war
HIGH SOFT LISP
by Gilbert Hernandez
144 pgs, B&W, 6.5 x 9.75, Softcover, $16.99
Rosalba “Fritz” Martinez, bombshell, former punkette,
former psychiatrist, “Z” movie star — in supremely sexy
and constantly surprising in this BRUTAL graphic novel
masterpiece (what do you expect, it’s GILBERT HERNANDEZ!).
“Five six. Hundred twenty-eight pounds.
Forty-three twenty-two thirty-six. High soft lisp. Genius
level I.Q.” That’s how motivational speaker Mark Herrera
sums up Fritz. And Herrera should know, being only one
of many compassionately misguided chumps to fall under
Fritz’s “lithping” spell. With over a dozen brand new
pages, Gilbert Hernandez has fleshed out his initial suite
of Fritz stories, thus creating a comprehensive volume
that further explores the rich world of Love and Rockets!
by Jaime Hernandez
240 pgs, B&W, 7.5 x 9.25, Softcover, $18.99
A collection in the style of Maggie The Mechanic. Penny
Century collects the well loved comic book series of the
same title and select stories featuring Penny from Love
and Rockets, as well as the long out of print graphic novel
Whoa Nellie! The Penny material features... Penny! The
hottest super heroine of Earth and beyond! Whoa Nellie
is hands down the best female wrestling comic of ALL
TIME. From the master cartoonist Jaime Hernandez!
BEST AMERICAN COMICS CRITICISM
edited by Ben Schwartz
280 pgs, B&W, 7 x 9, Softcover, $19.99
Conventional wisdom states that cartooning and graphic
novels exist in a golden age of creativity, popularity, and
critical acceptance. But why? Today, the signal is stronger
than ever, but so is the noise. New York Times, Vanity
Fair, and Bookforum critic Ben Schwartz assembles the
greatest lineup of comics critics the world has yet seen
to testify on behalf of this increasingly vital medium.
This volume includes Daniel Clowes, Jonathan Lethem,
Chris Ware, Jonathan Franzen, Frank Miller, Will Eisner,
John Updike, Donald Phelps and more! This collection
functions as a valuable guide for fans, retailers, civilians,
and maladjusted children, tracing the current comics
renaissance from its beginnings and creative growth to
the cutting edge of today’s artists. Killer!
Click here to download a print-quality PDF of our 2-page spread from the December 2009 issue of Previews, with listings for February 2010. (6 MB)
Last Updated ( Friday, 08 January 2010 )
Written by Eric Reynolds
Thursday, 29 October 2009
FANTAGRAPHICS & EDITOR GREG SADOWSKI PARTNER ON SIX NEW BOOK COLLECTIONS OF CLASSIC COMIC BOOK MATERIAL
Fantagraphics Books is proud to announce that it has struck a deal with comics historian and editor Greg Sadowski to produce six new collections of classic comic book material for the Seattle publisher. Sadowski is a Harvey and Eisner Award-nominated editor who has previously overseen the publication of the acclaimed collections SUPERMEN: THE FIRST WAVE OF COMIC BOOK HEROES 1936-1941, as well as B. KRIGSTEIN and B. KRIGSTEIN COMICS. He is a former staff editor and designer for Fantagraphics Books and currently works freelance from his home on San Juan Island in Washington State's Puget Sound.
"Greg has written one of the landmark cartoonist biographies (and only the first half yet!) with B. Krigstein, and the collections of comics from the '40s and '50s that he's edited for us — B. Krigstein Comics and Supermen!, to date — have been meticulously assembled, with an eye toward selection, flow, and accompanying historical text. We're pleased that he's got such an ambitious agenda ahead," says Fantagraphics Publisher Gary Groth, who acquired the books.
The books will be released one per season, beginning with FOUR COLOR FEAR: FORGOTTEN HORROR COMICS OF THE 1950s in June 2010 and produced in collaboration with comics historian John Benson (SQUA TRONT). The second book, due in Fall 2010, will be a collection of legendary artist Alex Toth's work for Standard Comics in the 1950s. The remaining books will be release in subsequent seasons, with exact schedules to be announced. The full list of books follows below.
FOUR COLOR FEAR: Forgotten Horror Comics of the 1950s
RELEASE DATE: June 2010
This full-color 304-page edition collects the finest horror comics of the pre-code era (1950-54). EC is the company that most fans associate with horror, but to the average reader there remain unseen a tremendous volume of genuinely disturbing, compulsive, and imaginative stories from publishers such as Ajax-Farrell, Atlas, Charlton, Fawcett, Quality, Standard and many more. Four Color Fear collects the best, and includes 40 full-sized covers. Featured are comic book legends such as Jack Cole, Steve Ditko, George Evans, Frank Frazetta, Alex Toth, Al Williamson, Basil Wolverton, Wally Wood, L.B. Cole, Matt Fox and many others. "In these types of compilations, I try to provide a service to the reader who has neither the time, inclination, nor bank account to purchase and sift through hundreds of golden age comic books to glean off that precious 10% — the most distinctive and worthwhile examples from a particular genre," says Sadowski.
SETTING THE STANDARD: Alex Toth at Standard Comics 1952-54
RELEASE DATE: Fall 2010
"It's hard to overstate the influence of Alex Toth on the art of comic books," says Sadowski. "Toth was from that first generation who grew up reading comic books, and he came to the medium armed with enough discipline, talent, and sheer love and respect for the medium to create a technique free of condescension, artifice, or shortcuts. His work at Standard first established him as the 'comic book artist's artist.'" Learning his craft at Eastern and DC, Alex Toth arrived at Standard Comics in late 1951 with a fully formed, graphically impeccable technique perfectly suited to the comic book medium - honest, uncompromising, and free of condescension and artifice. Includes a biographical sketch and an essay on Toth's approach to comic book storytelling, based heavily on his interviews and written correspondence.
THE ROAD TO PLASTIC MAN: The Golden Age Comics of Jack Cole 1937-41
RELEASE DATE: t.b.a.
"From his earliest days in comics, Jack Cole was one intense artist / writer. It just took him a few years to fully incorporate humor into his work, so this book tracks his artistic evolution leading up to Plastic Man," says Sadowski. Jack Cole's irreverent yet artistically first-rate approach to comic book art was a refreshing departure for a young industry that tended to take itself a bit too seriously. His work influenced many of his contemporaries, most notably Will Eisner, whose Spirit gradually assumed Cole's intoxicating mixture of fun and high drama. The book begins with early "big foot" work for Centaur's Funny Pages, then gives way to raucous adventure and crime stories before honing in on the nefarious Claw, the boy inventor Dickie Dean, and proto-superheroes the Comet, Daredevil, and Silver Streak.
AWAY FROM HOME: EC Artists at Other Companies
RELEASE DATE: t.b.a.
The key ingredient in what made EC the most celebrated comic book company of all time was its remarkable stable of artists: Reed Crandall, Jack Davis, George Evans, Will Elder, Al Feldstein, Jack Kamen, Bernard Krigstein, Harvey Kurtzman, Graham Ingels, Joe Orlando, John Severin, Basil Wolverton, Wallace Wood, and Al Williamson, as well as that of part-timers Frank Frazetta, Roy G. Krenkel, Alex Toth, and Angelo Torres. "This book collects the best non-EC art by the EC stable of artists, in other words, the cream of the 1950s crop. A lot of these guys were pals and they often collaborated, so there will be a healthy sampling of these fraternal efforts," says Sadowski.
CREEPING DEATH FROM NEPTUNE: Basil Wolverton's Sci-Fi and Horror Comics 1938-55
RELEASE DATE: t.b.a.
"Many of Wolverton's comics have been reprinted in a number of formats, but for years I've been waiting for a full-color compilation of his serious golden age work. Finally I decided to do it myself. Like the Cole book, this one is a no-brainer," says Sadowski. Given the media coverage of his recent retrospective at New York's Barbara Gladstone Gallery, it's high time for a full-color anthology of Basil Wolverton's serious comic book work. This edition covers all bases, from his early features, Space Patrol and Meteor Martin, into Spacehawk ("Lone Wolf of the Void"), and ending with the skewed master's gloriously repugnant horror comics.
THE COMIC BOOK FRANKENSTEIN: The Monster According to Dick Briefer
RELEASE DATE: t.b.a.
"Dick Briefer had been involved in comic books since its earliest days. He was one of the first to work at Will Eisner and Jerry Iger's comic book studio in the mid-1930s. Like Eisner, Cole, and Wolverton, Briefer was responsible for the complete package: writing, layouts, pencils and inks, and often the lettering. He did his best work on FRANKENSTEIN, and this compilation should restore his status as one of the form's major pioneers," says Sadowski. Briefer's Frankenstein made its debut in 1940 in Prize Comics. He continually ramped up the monster's humorous aspect, which in turn increased its popularity, and Frankenstein was rewarded with its own title in 1945. Then, with the horror craze in full swing in 1951, Briefer responded by reverting the character back to its frightening origins. This book will travel through Briefer's complete Frankenstein series and shed light on one of comic books' most gifted creators.
Fantagraphics Books (www.fantagraphics.com) has been the world’s leading publisher of comics and graphic novels since 1976. To obtain more information on any of these titles or to obtain sample artwork, contact Jacq Cohen, Director of Publicity, Fantagraphics Books: 206.524.1967 x216 or
For information on all subsidiary rights, contact Gary Groth, President & Co-Publisher, Fantagraphics Books: 206.524.1967 x 217 or
Last Updated ( Friday, 24 September 2010 )
Written by Jacq Cohen
Wednesday, 28 October 2009
The Comics Journal is about to take two major steps forward in its evolution. First, after 33 years and several incarnations, TCJ is answering the peoples’ prayers and upping the Web content on tcj.com. Next, the print publication will be consolidated around two expanded semi-annual editions, each customized to fit its content.
The new, full-service tcj.com will deliver everything readers love — in-depth interviews, smart columns, sharp criticism, real journalism — on a daily basis. And not only will readers get the traditional Comics Journal content faster, but they will also be able to access features beyond the reach of print magazines: videos, slide shows, audio files, original-art galleries and an army of both new and established Journal-caliber bloggers filtering the comics world through their unique perspectives. In short, it is the dawning of a Comics Journal that knows no bounds.
Focusing on what print does best, the Comics Journal magazine will be more beautiful than ever, an elegant combination of interviews, articles, and objet d'art. Uniquely sized and formatted, evocatively visual and tactile, each issue will be an event. Readers will get their first look at the direction The Comics Journal will be moving in with issue #300.
Coming in November 2009: issue 300 of The Comics Journal and a comprehensive new website!
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 28 October 2009 )
Written by Eric Reynolds
Wednesday, 28 October 2009
Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery celebrates Al Columbia's astonishing new graphic novel PIM & FRANCIE on Saturday, November 7.
October 27, 2009 - SEATTLE, WA. Al Columbia is widely regarded among his peers as one of the most accomplished and influential artists working in comics today. On the occasion of the publication of PIM & FRANCIE, his most ambitious work to date, Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is hosting a rare public appearance by the cartoonist on Saturday, November 7 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM.
PIM & FRANCIE represents a breathtaking vision of contemporary American art. Collecting over a decade's worth of artifacts, excavations, comic strips, animation stills, storybook covers, and much more, this broken jigsaw puzzle of a book tells the story of title characters Pim and Francie, a pair of childlike imps whose irresponsible antics get them into horrific, fantastic trouble. Their loosely defined relationship only contributes to the existential fear that lingers underneath the various perils they are subjected to. Columbia's brilliant, fairytale-like backdrops hint at further layers of reality lurking under every gingerbread house or behind every sunny afternoon. Never have such colorful, imaginative vistas instilled such an atmosphere of dread, and with such a wicked sense of humor.
Columbia's work has been previously published by Fantagraphics Books in two issues of Biologic Show, as well as anthologies Zero Zero, Blab!, and most recently MOME. He currently resides in Connecticut.
The reception will feature an exhibition of recent work by Al Columbia from the collection of Scott Eder. Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale Street at the corner of Airport Way S. in the heart of Seattle's historic Georgetown arts community. Please join us on Saturday, November 7 to welcome this exceptional artist to Seattle.
AL COLUMBIA: PIM & FRANCIE
Art exhibition and book signing
Saturday, November 7, 6:00 - 8:00 PM
Download the press release: Microsoft Word (41 KB)
Exhibition continues through December 9, 2009
Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery
1201 S. Vale Street (at Airport Way S.) Seattle, WA
Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 28 October 2009 )
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