Written by Eric Reynolds
Wednesday, 20 May 2009
FANTAGRAPHICS BOOKS ANNOUNCES THE ACQUISITION OF THIS SIDE OF JORDAN, A NOVEL BY MONTE SCHULZ
THIS SIDE OF JORDAN, by MONTE SCHULZ, will be unveiled at the 2009 Book Expo America in New York City, May 29-31, with an appearance by the author on Saturday, May 30, at 2:30PM in the Autographing Area.
SEATTLE, WA, MAY 20, 2009 --- This September, Fantagraphics Books is proud to publish This Side of Jordan, by Monte Schulz, only the second original prose novel (following 2007's Laura Warholic by Alexander Theroux) in the company's 33-year history.
This Side of Jordan is a tapestry of American life in the summer before the economic crash of 1929, and a quintessential novel of the rural Midwest offered unexpectedly as a crime thriller. Full of American landscapes and totems, images and notions, foibles and fables, beasts and the blessed, it follows the experiences of 19-year-old tubercular farm boy Alvin Pendergast. The novel begins with an ill-fated dance marathon and a chance encounter with a slick con artist and gangster named Chester Burke. Fearing relapse of his consumption and a return to the sanitarium that had already stolen a year of his life, Alvin imprudently follows Chester across the Mississippi River only to enter a vortex of criminal violence and deceit.
With Alvin in tow, Chester's insouciant disregard for life serves him well during a series of bank robberies and senseless murders, the sociopathic gangster assuming the role of a dark angel on Judgment Day, cleansing the scrolls of those whose sad fortune draws them across his path. Too ill to flee, too morally weak to object, Alvin resigns himself to what seems like certain doom. Fortunately, Alvin finds another companion on the road, a lonely, eccentric, and grandiloquent dwarf named Rascal, whose own infirmity binds their destinies together. Eventually, the young farm boy must make a decision: stick with Chester, who will surely kill him at the slightest hint of betrayal, or muster the courage to stake his life on faith in Rascal's clever plan to save them both.
Monte Schulz is the son of Charles M. Schulz, creator of Peanuts, and in This Side of Jordan one of his ambitions was to recreate the time of his mother's and father's Jazz Age childhood, when America was making the irresistible transition from rural to urban life.
"When I was in my early twenties, and Dad saw that I was developing an interest in writing, he showed me some of the beautiful passages of Thomas Wolfe and John Steinbeck, and lent me his copies of Complete Poems by Carl Sandburg and Edgar Lee Masters' Spoon River Anthology, and Joan Didion's Slouching Towards Bethlehem. He told me the writer's gift is to be able to express for people certain ideas and emotions they cannot express for themselves," says Schulz.
Told in the voice of a lost generation hurtling toward the Great Depression, This Side of Jordan evokes crowded Main Streets and tourist camps, miles of cornfields, rural churches and musty parlors, with the momentum of a freight train, but delivered in the seductive, rhythmic tradition of Southern lyricism reminiscent of Flannery O'Connor and Truman Capote.
Fantagraphics publisher Gary Groth said he was leery when Schulz asked him to read the novel "because, after all, how does the publisher of The Complete Peanuts reject a novel by Charles Schulz's son?" After reading it, however, he was "bowled over by the beauty of the prose and Monte's command over every aspect of the form. It isn't hyperbolic to say that Monte is as good a writer as his father is a cartoonist. That's why we wanted to publish it."
This Side of Jordan is Schulz's second novel. His first, Down by the River, was published by Viking in 1991. Library Journal raved that it compared to Stand by Me and Twin Peaks, and seemed "ready-made for Hollywood." He spent ten years writing Crossing Eden, from which This Side Of Jordan is drawn as the first of three interconnected novels; the second and third, Fields of Eden and The Big Town, will be published in 2010 and 2011. This Side of Jordan will be published as a jacketed hardcover this September by Fantagraphics Books, with a painted cover by noted cartoonist Al Columbia. Schulz will make his first public appearance promoting the novel at the 2009 Book Expo America, signing galleys on Saturday, May 30, at 2:30PM in the convention's autographing area. A West Coast tour will follow in the Fall (dates and locations t.b.a.).
Schulz received his M.A. in American Studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara. He lives in Northern California.
Fantagraphics Books has been the world's leading publisher of comics and graphic novels since 1976, with titles including The Complete Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz. 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: Microsoft Word (988 KB), PDF (1.3 MB)
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 20 May 2009 )
Written by Jason Miles
Wednesday, 13 May 2009
As seen in the pages of Previews, these are the books and comics slated for release by Fantagraphics Books in August, 2009. Please note that all details, including cover art, prices, specs, contents, and release dates are preliminary and subject to change.
THE COMPLETE PEANUTS 1973-1974
by Charles M. Schulz
Introduction by Billie Jean King
8.5 x 7, HC, 344 pages, BW, $28.99
Celebrate life with THE COMPLETE PEANUTS!
Fantagraphics is proud to present the release of the
12th volume of the most recognized comic strip of all
time! Charles M. Schulz’s American masterpiece has
defined the way we read, create and consider comic
strips. Nothing short of genius, Schulz’s ability to articuate
the human experience through pathos and humor
is authentic to the point where the line between art and
existence is nearly unrecognizable. We are all Charlie
Brown, Snoopy, Linus, Lucy and Woodstock!
THE COMPLETE PEANUTS 1971-1974 BOX SET
by Charles M. Schulz
Introductions by Kristin Chenoweth
& Billie Jean King
2 books, 8.5 x 7, HC, 344 pages, BW, $49.95
CAPTAIN EASY, SOLDIER OF FORTUNE: The Complete Sunday
Newspaper Strips Vol. 1
by Roy Crane
10.5 x 14.75, HC, 160 pages, FC, $35.00
Roy Crane is a GIANT among cartoonists and Fantagraphics
is embarking upon an ambitious reprinting of
his best work within CAPTAIN EASY, SOLDIER
OF FORTURNE. 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.
by Femke Hiemstra
6.5 x 8.25, HC, 208 pages, FC, $29.99
Dutch artist and designer Femke Hiemstra has a unique style
and vision that evokes the work of Robert Williams and Mark
Ryden, but with a less cynical worldview that invites the viewer
to enter the magic spaces she creates. ROCK CANDY is the
artist’s first retrospective and spotlights her talent, whimsy and
wit in a deluxe package certain to catapult her to the forefront of the Pop Surrealism
movement. Hiemstra’s paintings and illustrations are united by a meticulous attention
to craft that gives life to her dark, lush, fairytale landscapes where inanimate objects
come to life and frolic with anthropomorphs of all types.
THIS SIDE OF JORDAN
by Monte Schulz
6 x 9, HC, 304 pages, $22.99
BE CAREFUL! WARNING! CAUTION! WARNING! THIS IS A
PROSE NOVEL! THIS IS NOT A COMIC BOOK OR GRAPHIC
NOVEL! Written for his father, the late cartoonist, Charles M.
Schulz, Monte Schulz’s PROSE NOVEL opens in the spring of
1929, as the 19 year old consumptive farm boy Alvin Pendergast
attends an ill-fated dance marathon he’s too sickly to participate in. After a year of
his life has been stolen by a sanitarium, an invitation for a late-night slice of pie is too
seductive to pass up and before he knows it, Alvin finds himself up to his eyeballs in
horror, beauty, strangeness and death. THIS SIDE OF JORDAN weds the phantasmagoric
with the Southern Gothic literary tradition all in search of the common as
well as the cosmic satori of our experience. Cover by Al Columbia!
THE SPECIAL EDITION
by Stan Sakai
2 books, 7 x 10.25, HC, 1200 pages, BW, $95.00
THE SPECIAL EDITION -
LIMITED SIGNED EDITION
$135.00, ISBN 978-1-60699-332-3
Created in 1984, Stan Sakai’s USAGI YOJIMBO
(2008 Eisner Nominee for Best Continuing Series) has
vaulted to the forefront of iconic modern comics characters
and is a perennial, favorite. Stuffed with engaging
supporting characters, villains, and even a romantic interest or two, USAGI YOJIMBO
chronicles the action-packed wanderings of a masterless samurai in feudal Japan.
For the first ten years of his career, the battling bunny was published by Fantagraphics.
In honor of his 25th anniversary, Fantagraphics is releasing a deluxe slipcase set collecting
the first seven USAGI YOJIMBO books! With over 1000 pages of story and
brimming with extra’s (full color cover gallery! behind the scenes art! career-spanning
interview! and more!), this is the complete! definitive! early USAGI YOJIMBO!
LOVE AND ROCKETS:
NEW STORIES #2
by Gilbert & Jaime Hernandez
6.625 x 9, SC, 104 pages, BW, $14.99
This volume gets off to a flying start with “Hypnotwist,” Gilbert’s
epic story of a beautiful, leggy redhead’s surreal journey into
a night filled with mysterious shady characters, dreamlike violence,
and sparkling retro spike heels. Then, in the concluding
50-page chapter of Jaime’s outrageous, acclaimed, superhero mash-up “Ti-Girls
Adventures,” our protagonist, rookie do-gooder Boot Angel, learns more hard lessons
about becoming a superheroine. Eventually, just about the entire cast gets together for
a reunion that unexpectedly takes place in Maggie’s tiny bedroom apartment. Finally,
Beto gets top heavy with “Sad Girl,” and introduces Killer! the sweetest teen startlet of
the solar system! Forget WATCHMEN, LOVE AND ROCKETS is the big one!
LIKE A DOG
by Zak Sally
7 x 10.25, HC, 144 pages, PC, $22.99
One man’s heartfelt and irreverent record of his time on this
rock, Zak Sally’s unflinchingly veracious book, LIKE A DOG,
is both direct and oblique, which we find rather miraculous
considering the messy and murky waters of human experience
it manages to navigate. LIKE A DOG is among the few
comic book testimonials burdened by the yen to understand and articulate the mundane
and the magnificent. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself laughing and crying
as you claw your way through each hard fought page!
Click here to download a print-quality PDF of our colorful spread from the August Previews (6.3 MB)
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 13 May 2009 )
Written by Eric Reynolds
Tuesday, 28 April 2009
TONY MILLIONAIRE PRESENTS DRINKY CROW'S MAAKIES TREASURY AT FANTAGRAPHICS BOOKSTORE & GALLERY ON MAY 9
April 27, 2009 - SEATTLE, WA. Celebrated cartoonist Tony Millionaire will appear at Seattle's Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery on Saturday, May 9 for an exhibition of original artwork and signing of his new book Drinky Crow's Maakies Treasury.
Millionaire's Maakies is among the best and most popular weekly comic strips in America, running in over a dozen of the largest U.S. weekly newspapers including the Village Voice, L.A. Weekly and Seattle's The Stranger. The strip has also been adapted into the hit animated series The Drinky Crow Show on the Cartoon Network's Adult Swim.
Maakies chronicles the intoxicating high-seas adventures of alcoholic corvid Drinky Crow and his equally-inebriated simian sidekick Uncle Gabby, blending vaudeville-style humor and a magnificent rendering quality that recalls the glory days of the American comic strip. Designed by publishing's foremost graphic artist Chip Kidd, with an introduction by acclaimed author Dave Eggers, Drinky Crow's Maakies Treasury collects the second five years of the strip in a deluxe landscape hardcover format that complements the strip's classic style. According to the New York Times Book Review, "Millionaire is the closest thing we have to George Herriman of Krazy Kat."
Drinky Crow's Maakies Treasury
Millionaire's appearance on Saturday May 9, from 6:00 to 9:00 PM will include an exhibition highlighting 10 years of original Maakies strips, complemented by a screening of episodes of the animated Drinky Crow Show. The artist will be available to sign copies of his many books and informally discuss his influential body of work. Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale Street at the corner of Airport Way S., just minutes south of downtown. This event coincides with the festive Georgetown Second Saturday Art Attack featuring visual and performing arts presentations in dozens of locations throughout the historic arts community. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone 206.658.0110.
TONY MILLIONAIRE: DRINKY CROW'S MAAKIES TREASURY
Art exhibition and book signing SATURDAY, MAY 9 6:00 to 9:00 PM
Exhibition continues through June 10, 2009
Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery
1201 S. Vale Street (at Airport Way S.) Seattle, WA 98108 Phone: 206.658.0110
Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM
Click here to download the press release in Microsoft Word format (32 KB)
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 28 April 2009 )
Written by Eric Reynolds
Wednesday, 25 March 2009
CELEBTRATED CARTOONISTS JAIME HERNANDEZ AND STAN SAKAI APPEAR AT FANTAGRAPHICS BOOKSTORE & GALLERY ON APRIL 4
Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery proudly presents two of the most accomplished and popular cartoonists in America on Saturday, April 4, from 6:00 to 9:00 PM. Jaime Hernandez, co-creator of the phenomenal Love and Rockets series, will appear with Stan Sakai of Usagi Yojimbo fame for an exhibition of original art and book signing event. They will be joined by special guest Paul Hornschemeier signing copies of his handsome new hardcover Mother, Come Home.
Jaime Hernandez, together with his brother Gilbert, revolutionized the comic book form with their epic series Love and Rockets. Introduced in 1982, their mythical tale of contemporary multicultural society re-energized a moribund medium and gave birth to the “alternative comics” genre. Jaime’s central characters, Maggie and Hopey, emerged as icons for a generation of disaffected youth and their stories remain relevant and compelling today. With nearly 100 comic books to his credit, and over a dozen collected anthologies published by Fantagraphics Books, Jaime Hernandez is among the most influential cartoonists of his generation. In the words of Alan Moore, "Jaime's art balances big white and black spaces to create a world of nuance in between, just as his writing balances our big human feelings and our small human trivias to generate its incredible emotional power. Quite simply, this is one of the twentieth century's most significant comics creators at the peak of his form, with every line a wedding of classicism and cool."
Love and Rockets: New Stories #1
Much like Jaime Hernandez, Stan Sakai relies on his cultural heritage in the expansive adventure series Usagi Yojimbo. Sakai chronicles the escapades of wandering Samurai bunny Miyamoto Usagi in feudal Japan with beautifully crafted artwork and an engaging narrative style that appeals to readers of all ages. Usagi Yojimbo is at once poignant, edifying, funny, and spellbinding – a singular achievement in the comics medium. Fantagraphics Books and Portland-based Dark Horse Comics have collected his work in over 24 volumes. According to comic book sage Stan Lee: “One of the most original, innovative, well-executed comic books anywhere to be found.”
Usagi Yojimbo Book 1: The Ronin
Mother, Come Home is Paul Hornschemeier’s piercing graphic-novel debut, long out of print and now available for the first time in hardcover. It secured the cartoonist’s place as one of his generation’s most skillful and ambitious practitioners, and proved a harbinger of the subject matter that the artist would go on to explore most consistently in later work: the nuclear family.
Mother, Come Home [Hardcover Edition - with FREE Signed Bookplate]
You Save: 75.00%
The exhibition and reception on Saturday, April 4 will serve as the official after-party for the Emerald City ComiCon. Expect an array of comics professionals and luminaries to be in attendance. Admission is free. Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale Street at Airport Way S. in Seattle’s colorful Georgetown arts community. Open daily, 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sunday until 5:00. Phone 206.658.0110.
Jaime Hernandez, Stan Sakai
Love and Rockets and Usagi Yojimbo
Art exhibition and book signing
Saturday, April 4, 6:00 – 9:00 PM
Emerald City ComiCon after-party
Special guest Paul Hornschemeier
Exhibition continues through May 6, 2009.
Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery
Click here to download the press release in Microsoft Word format (35 KB)
1201 S. Vale Street (at Airport Way S.)
Seattle, WA 98108
Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 25 March 2009 )
Written by Eric Reynolds
Thursday, 19 March 2009
FANTAGRAPHICS BOOKS AND THE STRAND PRESENT:
AN EVENING OF HUMBUG
In 1957, five artists — Harvey Kurtzman, Will Elder, Arnold Roth, Al Jaffee and Jack Davis — hot on the heels of creating MAD magazine, pooled their money and their talent and entered into the creative, exuberant folly of a lifetime by creating the greatest satirical magazine of their careers. Join Humbug co-founders Arnold Roth and Al Jaffee in a book signing and discussion about this historic publication with Fantagraphics Publisher and editor of the collected Humbug, Gary Groth. Attendees will also enjoy an exclusive screening of a documentary short film about the late Will Elder.
An Evening with Humbug
Featuring Arnold Roth and Al Jaffee in conversation with Gary Groth
Tuesday, April 14, 7:00PM
The Strand Bookstore
12th St. & Broadway, New York, NY
Last Updated ( Thursday, 19 March 2009 )
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