• Review: "After far too long a hiatus the new incarnation of The Comics Journal is available and as inspired as ever. The Journal is the paramount English-language publication dedicated to the Art of graphic narrative, covering comics, cartooning and related fields domestic and global; interviewing creators, disseminating the facts and even advertising the best and most challenging product. They’ve done it competently, passionately and proudly for decades. You won’t always agree with the opinions expressed — editorial or from the many and various insiders and cognoscenti who have been featured — but you’d be an idiot to ignore or dismiss them if you care at all about the industry or the medium.... This is a superb uber-magazine for comics lovers: it won’t ever tell you where and when to buy but it will certainly make you wonder why you do or don’t." – Win Wiacek, Now Read This!
• Plug: "...I heartily recommend Dave McKean’s new 'erotic graphic novel' Celluloid. Mixing paint, photography, ink, and charcoal — and eschewing dialogue altogether — McKean creates a comic book version of one of Radley Metzger’s erotic art films, in which lustful impulses lead otherwise civilized people on a dark, surreal journey." – Noel Murray, in a thought-provoking essay on erotica in comics and beyond at The A.V. Club
The new Diamond Previews catalog is out today and in it you'll find our usual 2-page spread with our releases scheduled to arrive in your local comic shop in November 2011 (give or take — some release dates may have changed since the issue went to press). We're pleased to offer additional and updated information about these upcoming releases here on our website, to help shops and customers alike make more informed ordering decisions.
These two books are available at comic shops today — and to order direct from us — at new reduced prices! This is not a sale but a permanent price reduction! They're the exact same books as before — the only thing that's changed is the price tag.
We've lowered the price of Ghost World: Special Edition by Daniel Clowes from $39.99 to $25.00! This deluxe hardcover includes the original graphic novel, the Oscar-nominated screenplay of the film adaptation, and tons of bonus artwork and ephemera.
And we've slashed Gahan Wilson: Fifty Years of Playboy Cartoons by 40%, from $125.oo to $75.00! This hefty 3-volume set collects Wilson's complete Playboy work in full color, all wrapped up in a unique slipcase with a plexiglas window.
A few blog mentions:
"There’s also a nice $25 super-deluxe edition of Ghost World and a new $75 edition of that great Gahan Wilson Playboy collection that you really should get cause it’s totes awesome." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6
"...[N]ew and what one guesses is more attractive pricing for the Ghost World edition and the Gahan Wilson boxed set, both of which should be in just about any serious cartoon library." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
"CONFLICT OF INTEREST RESERVOIR: Crush the ones you love with Gahan Wilson: Fifty Years of Playboy Cartoons, a three-volume slipcased set now repriced to $75.00. Also, Dan Clowes’ Ghost World: Special Edition is now $25.00. Diamond does not have the new Jacques Tardi (Like a Sniper Lining Up His Shot ) listed for release, but keep an eye out!" – Joe McCulloch, The Comics Journal
• Review: "Popular culture historian Rick Marschall and biographer/researcher Warren Bernard have compiled here [in Drawing Power] a captivating potted history of the rise of the art of commercial cartooning in an increasingly advertising-aware America (…and make a strong argument that one could not have thrived without the other) whilst providing a glorious panoply of staggeringly evocative, nostalgic and enduring picture-poems which shaped the habits of a nation.... Stuffed with astounding images, fascinating lost ephemera and mouth-watering photos of toys and trinkets no fan could resist, this colossal collection is a beautiful piece of cartoon Americana that will delight and tantalise all who read it… and the best is yet to come." – Win Wiacek, Now Read This!
• Interview: Writer Peter Bebergal talks with Jim Woodring at his Too Much to Dream website: "It’s ridiculous to sit in meditation and try to stop thoughts from arising (chitta vritti narodaha) and then get up, sit at the drawing board and try to whip the mind up to think as wildly as possible. It’s downright crazy to try to subdue the ego for an hour and then inflame it for the working day and then try to subdue it again at the end of the day."
eaders who haven't discovered Jim Woodring's Frank stories will find a treat waiting for them in the pages of this book. Since publication in 1991 of the award-winning, epoch-making "Frank in the River," these lusciously hypnotic fables have dazzled cartoon lovers the world over.
Frank is a generic anthropomorph who lives in a world of mysterious and dangerous beauty. Propelled by forces beyond his control, including his own unquenchable curiosity, he finds himself in one bizarre escapade after another, frequently involving the loathsome Manhog or the power-hungry Whim. Luckily, Frank has a protector and ally in the form of his feisty godling companion, Pupshaw.
Frank's adventures are told in a series of nearly wordless cartoon stories that draw readers deep into a hallucinatory mindscape governed by a profound interior logic that raises The Frank Book to a level above fantasy. As Francis Ford Coppola says in his introduction, "The ancient myths and folk tales of all cultures which have been preserved for so many centuries have meaning for us today because the fantastic elements in them are rooted in immutable reality. The Frank stories belong to this class of literature."
"Jim Woodring may be the most important cartoonist of his generation. The Frank stories are masterpieces, each and every one. Read them. Re-read them. Re-re-read them. Every cell in your body will remember this spellbinding, visionary work." – Scott McCloud
"Frank will take you to another world, re-arrange your consciousness and reprogram the inside of your head. It's cheaper than virtual reality, less risky than recreational pharmaceuticals, and more fun than falling asleep." – Neil Gaiman
"Frank, and I say this without a shred of hyperbole, is a work of true genius by one of the all-time greats." – Daniel Clowes
Free Signature Plate: We found a stash of limited-edition signed bookplates left over from a previous edition which we're giving away for no extra charge with purchase of either of these new editions! Supplies are limited and may run out without notice so get yours before they're gone!
• List: At his High-Low blog Rob Clough posts his belated Top 50 Books of 2010 list, with Megan Kelso's Artichoke Tales at #1, 4 of our books in the top 5, 5 in the top 10, 8 in the top 20, and 14 overall in the top 50 — it's a long but worthwhile read
• Review: "Calling Congress of the Animals recommended reading is a bit misleading. It’s definitely recommended, but it doesn’t technically involve reading. The entire book doesn’t feature a single word bubble. The only words are on the book jacket. What this is is a story told entirely through pictures — delightful pictures at that.... This was really an entertaining book. It was visually different from anything I’ve ever seen in a comic, the story was unique, and some parts were laugh out loud funny..." – Corey Pung, Panel Discussions (via Americaware)
• Review: "...Skin Deep by Charles Burns... [is a] true masterpiece in which Burns returns to choose the mechanisms and the language of grade-B horror films, crime fiction, pulp, the aesthetics of the 50's and Robert Crumb's comics to make a harsh social criticism.... Stories in which Burns continues to explore the darkest corners of the human condition while keeping us on edge vignette to vignette." – Jesús Jiménez, Radio y Televisión Española (translated from Spanish)
• Review: "...[T]he adventures of a group of twenty-something New York residents, like Friends but with ethnic variation and far more realistic apartments, and, you know, actual problems. The characters of Beg the Question are surrounded by ugliness and idiocy in one of the most complicated cities in the world, yet they are decent human beings who support each other. It’s not supposed to be autobiographical, but you can tell that Fingerman has lived through many of the situations and knows the characters well." – Grant Buist, The Name of This Cartoon Is Brunswick
• Commentary: "So I just finished reading Fantagraphics’ The Complete Peanuts 1981-1982, and... the vast majority of this book was new to me, having not read previous reprintings of the strips from this period (as opposed to the near-memorization of the reprint books from the late ’70s and earlier). One of the great new features of this particular reprint series, aside from, y’know, the whole completeness of the strips reprints and all, is the index in each volume." – Mike Sterling, Mike Sterling's Progressive Ruin
• Plug: "Walt Kelly’s Pogo is one of the greatest comic strips I’ve ever read. It’s simply brilliant; quaint and sweet on the surface but deeper readings reveals layers of very smart political and social satire. And as you can clearly see, Walt Kelly’s artwork is magnificent.... Fantagraphics are presenting the entire strip, including the beautiful full colour Sunday strips for the very first time, in a series of 12 hardcover volumes that reprint approximately 2 years worth of material at a time. I guarantee that if you get Volume 1, you’ll be signing up for the remaining 11." – Richard Cowdry, The Forbidden Planet International Blog Log
Brazilian publisher Gal Editora put together this spiffy trailer for their translated edition of our Blazing Combat collection (Combate Inglório). It works pretty well as an advertisement for our edition too, even if you don't read Portuguese. Perhaps someday I'll teach myself how to make trailers like this; in the meantime you can check out our video preview too. (Via Bleeding Cool.)
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