Home arrow Browse Shop

Search / Login

Quick Links:
Latest Releases
Browse by Artist
Love and Rockets Guide
Peanuts books
Disney books
More browsing options under "Browse Shop" above


Search: All Titles

Advanced Search
Login / Free Registration
Detail Search
Download Area
Show Cart
Your Cart is currently empty.

Subscribe

Sign up for our email newsletters for updates on new releases, events, special deals and more.

New Releases

The EC Comics Slipcase Vol. 1
The EC Comics Slipcase Vol. 1
$94.99
Add to Cart

Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Trail of the Unicorn (The Complete Carl Barks Disney Library Vol. 8) [U.S./CANADA ONLY]
Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Trail of the Unicorn (The Complete Carl Barks Disney Library Vol. 8) [U.S./CANADA ONLY]
$29.99
Add to Cart

Cosplayers
Cosplayers
$5.00
Add to Cart

Batter Up, Charlie Brown!
Batter Up, Charlie Brown!
$9.99
Add to Cart

all new releases


Pirates in the Heartland: The Mythology of S. Clay Wilson Vol. 1 - Cover Uncovered, Designer's Notes
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under S Clay WilsonPatrick RosenkranzComing Attractions 17 Mar 2014 11:36 AM

Pirates in the Heartland: The Mythology of S. Clay Wilson Vol. 1

The man. His work. They coexist on the cover and in the pages of Pirates in the Heartland: The Mythology of S. Clay Wilson Vol. 1, compiling Wilson's seminal underground comix work along with the first part of Patrick Rosenkranz's authoritative biography. Wilson unleashed a cannon barrage on the boundaries of the comics art form and rushed through, flintlocks blazing, cutlass in teeth, and fly open, taking no prisoners with his outrageous output. This book, combined with its two forthcoming sequels, will be the last word and the ultimate collection of a comics legend. Look for more previews between now and its release this summer.

And for lots more insight into the cover design, art director Jacob Covey wrote these notes on his personal Facebook page, re-presented here with his kind permission:

Here's the cover design for the new Fantagraphics book from Patrick Rosenkranz, The Mythology of S. Clay Wilson, Volume One: Pirates In the Heartland. This is the result of more comps than I have ever produced before and I figured I'd write about it to get at some idea of why.

For one thing, I went into this project with little enthusiasm. Wilson is a pioneering Underground Comix artist who inspired R. Crumb to let loose his id, to break comics wide open for self-expression. But Wilson on the surface -- and after forty years of being built upon (back to before I was born) -- lacks the contrasting dignity of Crumb's linework and his compositions are DENSE. Wilson art is recognizable: His line, and his humor, is crass; there is no white space and there are no taboos.

There are artists you have to recalibrate for and, for me, Wilson turns out to be one of those. It took a lot of sitting with the stories to let down my guard and enjoy how powerful the work is. A lot of artists talk about wanting to get back to creating like a kid again. Wilson manages to remain as unfiltered as an adolescent in detention. His is not the art of an innocent kindergartner who draws fanciful anatomy in a surreal landscape but that of the self-realizing, hormone-raging, unclean middle-beast that is boys who are becoming men. He still draws like a kid, just not the kid we romanticize about. At a time when most of us become self-conscious and begin self-censoring Wilson did not.

That accomplishment in itself is remarkable but his relentless creating is the application that makes him genius. Wilson seems to exist solely to get his sprawling imagination down on paper. His prolific output is that of the consummate artist. That it is also very graphic, violent, and offensive to most all social norms takes a little adjusting to.

So all of this is what I had to assimilate just to start my job. To feel like I had enough grasp on Wilson to "brand" his life by designing this cover to (volume one of) his biography. My first attempts weren't about Wilson but associations with his Underground brethren and the psychedelia connected to the period. Pinks, Cyans, solid clashing color. All completely missing the character of Wilson. Wilson was (is) certainly a drug user but of the escapist, rebellious variety, not the trippy, feel-good variety. He's a meat-and-potatoes guy who creates fevered worlds, including his own. Hence the title "The Mythology of S. Clay Wilson" -- a smart nuance on the part of Rosenkranz.

In publishing, one has to approach a cover with the information of an expert and the ignorance of a browser. In biographies, a photo of the subject is generally employed for good reason: The viewer immediately knows this is a book about a person. (Hence the trend in fiction of generally cropping off the heads of models or having them looking away -- this is not about THEM.) But Wilson is recognizable only by his artwork, so a photo alone isn't enough information. Ultimately, my solution is a kind of psychedelia but a practical one: Pirate art (a favorite theme of Wilson) overlaying a mythic portrait of young Wilson. Creation and creator in color overlays that force your eye to try to unhook one from the other.

I generally consider it a failure when cover design requires a band of color upon which to set the type. In this case, it allowed for the art to be the primary feature, to be a bit uncontrolled, while the type treatment is an anchor that harkens classic album design. This kind of visual messaging is trying to align Wilson with rebels and rockstars without making false promises. The trickiest part was simply finding Wilson art that had ANY white space so his portrait could connect with the viewer. The dual function of his artwork blowing the brains out, simultaneously, of Wilson and another of Wilson's creation was too wonderful to pass up but I'm going to leave the symbology of such things to the viewer.

Pirates in the Heartland: The Mythology of S. Clay Wilson Vol. 1 cover 

The Complete Peanuts 1950-1952 (Vol. 1) Softcover Edition by Charles M. Schulz - First Look
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under PeanutsComing AttractionsCharles M Schulz 17 Mar 2014 10:55 AM

The Complete Peanuts 1950-1952 paperback cover photo

The Complete Peanuts 1950-1952 paperback pages photo

Hey Charlie Brown: you had one job!

For the new softcover editions, we redesigned The Complete Peanuts inside and out, as you can see in these snapshots of a just-arrived advance copy of the kick-off volume, The Complete Peanuts 1950-1952. Looks pretty snappy, huh?

Even if you've been collecting the hardcover volumes, you'll want to have these affordable paperbacks around for the kids and for loaning out or giving as gifts to friends and relatives, and of course the brilliance of Charles M. Schulz's beloved strip endures no matter what the format. Pre-order your copy (it'll be available a couple of months from now) and read a free excerpt right here.

Steve Brodner Delivers Jack Davis Lecture at UGA!
Written by janice headley | Filed under Steve BrodnerJack Davisevents 17 Mar 2014 9:30 AM

The annual Jack Davis Distinguished Visiting Artist Lecture will be held this week, and noneother than savage editorial cartoonist/illustrator Steve Brodner will present a public lecture for the occasion!

Join Steve on Thursday, March 20th at 5:30 PM for Game of Thrones: The Political Art of Steve Brodner, at the Lamar Dodd School of Art at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia!

The UGA explains, "the intent of the Jack Davis Distinguished Visiting Artist program is to honor Jack and his contributions to our popular culture, and to bring outstanding professional illustrators who share in this tradition to the UGA campus for a public lecture and creative exchanges with students and faculty."

Steve adds: "It is a great honor. Not only to be asked to join fellow artists who truly appreciate the traditions of satirical journalism, but also to celebrate the great Jack Davis, who is an alum. I have met Mr. Davis and can tell you a more gentle and courtly man you could not hope to meet. As an artist he is, for me, a paragon of the kind of work that fired me up in the very beginning. If ever there was a perfect illustrator, he is it."

So, come celebrate Jack in his 90th year (!!!) in the Lamar Dodd School of Art building on the campus of the University of Georgia [ 270 River Road ] in Athens, Georgia.

Usagi Yojimbo Book 3: The Wanderer's Road by Stan Sakai - Photoset Preview
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Usagi YojimboStan Sakaipreviewsnew releases 16 Mar 2014 10:11 AM

"Just as Usagi has learned that swordsmanship is more than fighting, Stan Sakai has obviously learned that art is more than drawing. The entire field would be richer if more artists embraced this lesson." – Robert Asprin, from the introduction

"If you haven't seen this ultra-cool series, you must! It involves a rabbit samurai — yes, a rabbit samurai — that young readers will love for the action and sophisticated art. I adore it for those reasons too, but there's more substance to it than you might expect. A good Zen comic is hard to find, and this one is nearly perfect." – USA Today Pop Candy

"These bittersweet adventure stories offer entertaining reading, especially for young Asian-Americans who feel excluded from mainstream juvenile literature." – Los Angeles Times

"One of the most original, innovative, well-executed comic books anywhere to be found." – Stan Lee

Usagi Yojimbo Book 3: The Wanderer's Road
by Stan Sakai

152-page black & white 6" x 9" softcover • $16.99
ISBN: 978-1-56097-009-5

7th printing! Due to arrive in about 4-6 weeks. Click the thumbnails for larger versions; get more info, see more previews and pre-order your copy here:

http://www.fantagraphics.com/usagiyojimbo3

Strange Suspense: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 1 - Paperback Cover Uncovered
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Steve DitkoComing AttractionsBlake Bell 14 Mar 2014 12:38 PM

Strange Suspense: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 1 (Paperback)

Steve Ditko is such a great image-maker, it must be hard for our designers to choose artwork for the covers of our Steve Ditko Archives collections of his early, pre-Marvel work. With Volume 1, Strange Suspense, we got a chance to make a double dip from the deep Ditko inkwell for our new softcover reprint, coming this summer with this newly-designed cover. Behind you, lady!! Stay tuned for more sneak peeks. (Of course, if you don't want to wait to read this book, it's available digitally right now on comiXology.)

Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Trail of the Unicorn by Carl Barks - Video/Photo Slideshow Preview
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under videopreviewsnew releasesDisneyCarl Barks 14 Mar 2014 12:15 PM

Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Trail of the Unicorn (The Complete Carl Barks Disney Library Vol. 8)
by Carl Barks

224-page full-color 7.5" x 10.25" hardcover • $28.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-741-3

Ships in: April 2014 (subject to change) — Pre-Order Now

It’s off to Shangri-Lala for Donald, Huey, Dewey, and Louie, on a perilous expedition to bring back a rare unicorn for Uncle Scrooge! But it’s not as easy as it sounds, with a mysterious stowaway, intrigue, and double-crosses in this land of many secrets. But once you do catch a unicorn, what, exactly, do you do with him? Then, in a trio of frigid challenges — “Luck of the North,” “Land of the Totem Poles,” and “Serum to Codfish Cove” — the Ducks must face the perils of the north. Each story has been meticulously restored and re-colored. Insightful story notes by an international panel of Barks experts. Introduction by Jeff Kinney, bestselling author of Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Edited by Gary Groth.

View Video & Photo Slideshow Preview in New Window

Trail of the Unicorn cover photo

© Disney Enterprises, Inc.

Buz Sawyer Vol. 3: Typhoons and Honeymoons by Roy Crane - Photoset Preview
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Roy Cranepreviewsnew releases 14 Mar 2014 11:47 AM

"Crane expertly mixes high action... with just the right amount of romance, creating a storytelling engine... gorgeous art, with cleanly drawn figures, extensive shading..." — Paste

"...Buz Sawyer features the same seamless blend of derring-do and humor, both in its story lines and in Crane’s economical, slightly cartoonish artwork, which had made Wash Tubbs one of the most popular strips of the era and which would keep Buz flying for more than four decades." — Booklist

"If I had to pick a favorite [classic comic-strip reprint] right now, I’d say the Fantagraphics reprints of Buz Sawyer by Roy Crane. I just love the energy, humor, adventure and charm of them." – Kurt Busiek

“[Roy Crane] is a treasure. There is still no one around who draws any better.” — Charles M. Schulz

“Roy Crane did adventure with a beautiful combination of cartooning and storytelling. Every panel was an entertaining panel, with something to look at. When you combine his storytelling ability, with or without balloons, with his action and those great panels, you can’t fail.” — John Severin

Buz Sawyer Vol. 3: Typhoons and Honeymoons
by Roy Crane

232-page black & white/color 9.25" x 9.25" hardcover • $39.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-703-1

Due to arrive in about 2-4 weeks. Click the thumbnails for larger versions; get more info, see more previews and pre-order your copy here:

http://www.fantagraphics.com/buzsawyer3

The Complete Peanuts 1950-1952 (Vol. 1) Softcover Edition by Charles M. Schulz - Excerpt
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under previewsPeanutsComing AttractionsCharles M Schulz 14 Mar 2014 11:24 AM

If there's anyone out there who's been holding out for a softcover edition of The Complete Peanuts, your patience is soon to pay off! Or if you're late to the Peanuts party and want to start from the beginning, now is the time. Our paperback of The Complete Peanuts 1950-1952, the first volume in our definitive, unexpurgated collection of Charles M. Schulz's decades-spanning masterpiece, is due in a couple of months, and we have a bunch of pages to share with you!

We've pulled our downloadable excerpt from the middle of the book at the beginning of 1952, when Schulz began doing Sundays, with five full weeks of strips for your enjoyment! Reserve your copy today for delivery in May.

The Complete Peanuts 1950-1952 (Vol. 1) Softcover Edition by Charles M. Schulz

Tim Kreider Discussion at Headquarters Library in Gainesville, Florida!
Written by janice headley | Filed under Tim Kreiderevents 14 Mar 2014 9:13 AM

Celebrated essayist and cartoonist Tim Kreider will discuss his work and career in Gainesville, Florida, on Saturday, March 22nd!

Join them starting at 2:00 PM at The Headquarters Library, and hear Kreider talk of his work for The New York Times, and reflect on his long-running cartoon, The Pain--When Will It End?  Kreider's most recent collection, Twilight of the Assholes: Cartoons & Essays 2005-2009, is even more apocalyptic, deranged, and hilarious!

This event is free and open to the public. The Headquarters Library is located at 401 E. University Avenue in Gainesville, FL. 

Richard Sala introduces... Super-Enigmatix!
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under webcomicsThings to seeRichard SalaComing Attractions 13 Mar 2014 5:46 PM

Launched today, a new webcomic serial by the one and only Richard SalaSuper-Enigmatix introduces the titular masked and caped criminal mastermind. What kind of conspiracy is he weaving, and can former Inspector Jory and former Detective Charms unravel it? Tune in every Thursday for new installments!

This pulpy story is your first taste of what's to come in our forthcoming collection of all-new Sala short stories, In a Glass Grotesquely, due this Fall!