Behold the Bona Fide Balderdash! We just put the finishing touches on Pogo - The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips Vol. 2 and sent it off to the printer! (Right on schedule too, we might add.) Here's your first look at the final cover artwork (click the image for a slightly bigger version) — once again the book is lovingly edited and designed by Walt Kelly's daughter Carolyn Kelly. Look for the book to hit shelves right around Thanksgiving time; learn more about it and pre-order your copy here.
Also, although we decided not to when we started the series, we have been persuaded to release our Pogo volumes in slipcased sets of two (just like The Complete Peanuts and Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse), and the first set is also available for pre-order now. We'll share the final slipcase design with you as soon as it's ready to show off. We're still figuring out whether it will be feasible to offer the slipcases separately; stay tuned for news on that.
Prince Valiant expert Brian M. Kane shares this graphic he created to commemorate the debut of Val and Aleta's son Arn in the strip 65 years ago today. The blessed event just happens to take place in Prince Valiant Vol. 6: 1947-1948, which just happens to be the next volume in the series and just happens to be in the works for a scheduled December release and just happens to now be available for pre-order here on our website. Imagine that!
The sharp-eyed among you may have noticed that two of our newest releases come with two brand-new entries in our FBI•MINIs series of free bonus mini-comics:
"Ti-Girls: Roughs & Rejects" is a collection of preliminary and rejected pages for God and Science: Return of the Ti-Girls by Jaime Hernandez. It's a rare peek into Jaime's creative process! We didn't have this comic ready when God and Science came out — heck, we didn't even know this stuff existed until Jaime mentioned it at San Diego last month! — but in addition to getting this as a free bonus when you order that book, you can also get it with any issue(s) of Love and Rockets: New Stories, including the brand-new issue #5, or (as with all of the FBI•MINIs) with any mail-order purchase of $50 or more.
Our second new FBI•MINI offering, "Crackle of the Frost: Sketches," is a selection of preliminary roughs and sketches by Lorenzo Mattotti for his and Jorge Zentner's book The Crackle of the Frost and comes free with purchase of that book (or any mail-order purchase of $50 or more). Thumbnails, layouts, alternate panel compositions and more, done in Lorenzo's energetic linear style prior to the final lush pastel renderings seen in the book.
How do you follow up a one-two punch like Jaime Hernandez’s stunning two-part masterpiece “The Love Bunglers” from LRNS #3 and #4, which sent Maggie and Ray’s relationship in a startling new direction, as well as providing some mind-blowing revelations about Maggie’s (and her family’s) past?
If you’re Jaime, you deftly move sideways and switch focus to other characters, specifically Ray’s ex, the rambunctious “Frogmouth.” In “Crime Raiders International Mobsters and Executioners,” Tonta, the Frogmouth’s half-sister, comes to visit for a weekend and sees what kind of life the Frog Princess is living with Reno and Borneo — as well as a brand new character or two.
On the other-brother side, Gilbert Hernandez celebrates the 30th anniversary by bringing one of his current characters (“Killer,” granddaughter to the legendary Luba) into the Palomar milieu in a story that showcases a fictionalized “movie” Palomar (starring Fritz as a combination of Luba and Tonantzín), even as it brings back a number of the classic Palomar characters for real. This will be a much-anticipated homecoming for fans of the “classic” Love and Rockets of the 1980s.
Thirty years in, Love and Rockets continues to surprise and delight.
By appropriating and subverting Tintin creator Hergé’s classic “clear line” style, Joost Swarte revitalized European alternative comics in the 1970s with a series of satirical, musically elegant, supremely beautifully drawn short stories — often featuring his innocent, magnificently-quiffed Jopo de Pojo, or his orotund scientist character, Anton Makassar.
Under Swarte’s own exacting supervision, Is That All There Is? will collect virtually all of his alternative comics work from 1972 to date, including the RAW magazine stories that brought him fame among American comics aficionados in the 1980s. Especially great pains will be taken to match Swarte’s superb coloring, which includes stories executed in watercolor, comics printed in retro duotones, fiendishly clever use of Zip-a-Tone screens, and much more. (There’s even a story about how to color comics art using those screens, with Makassar as the teacher.)
Other noteworthy stories include Swarte’s take on an episode from Hergé’s early days, a Fats Domino story, a tribute to the legendary “Upside-Downs” strip, and a story titled simply “Modern Art.”
“I’ve loved Joost Swarte’s perfect cartoons, drawings and designs for decades and it’s nothing short of ridiculous that a comprehensive edition of this brilliant artist’s work has never been available in America until now. Swarte is considered a national treasure in his native Holland, and if you open this book, you’ll understand why.” — Chris Ware
When confronted with his girlfriend’s request that they have a child together, Samuel fled that relationship. But now, a year later, when he receives a letter from Alice announcing she is expecting a baby, old emotions flare up and he embarks on a long journey to see Alice again — to re-open, or perhaps close forever, that important chapter of his life. The Crackle of the Frost is the story of what he sees, hears, experiences, and learns during that journey.
In 2011, Fantagraphics presented the extraordinary Stigmata, a stunning display of Mattotti’s whirling, emotional, black and white linework put in the service of a devastating story — as well as his painted illustrations for Lou Reed’s The Raven. The Crackle of the Frost ups the visual ante even on those masterpieces, combining the narrative drive of the former with the lush color illustrations of the latter to create a graphic-novel masterpiece with panel after panel of sumptuous full-color paintings, as if Edward Hopper had suddenly decided to jump into comics.
"Mattotti is a master. It's obvious at one glance. His colors are music one can't help but dance to. Draw in closer, and Zentner's story conjures the psychic and emotional depth of Marguerite Duras and Murakami." – Craig Thompson (Blankets, Habibi)
Welcome To Big Spring, Texas and The Cavalier Hotel. A place brimming with all manner of colorful characters – horse thieves, roughnecks, shady lawmen, con men, oil barons, gamblers, bootleggers, flappers, dappers, wildcatters, railroad men, drunkards and murderers...
But Frank Hill, the proprietor of The Cavalier, has a new hotel dick (Nick Ford) to keep a sharp eye on folks who may cause trouble. Along with number one son, Sam Hill, The Cavalier should have been easy to patrol and kept duty free of any sort of criminal or unsavory activity.
That is, until Ross Thompson – a slick operator from Chicago — came into their humble abode and turned everything upside down. Not just the hotel, but the whole damn town! Big Spring was a just string of yarn for Mr. Thompson to pull and pull at, until the entire community came unraveled! Now you’ll have to crack open this here book for yourself to find out just how he done it...
Have you seen this man? We want to include this historical portrait of Juan Seguín in our upcoming book Jack Jackson's American History: Los Tejanos & Lost Cause, as we did on the back cover of our original edition of Los Tejanos (which predates the era of digital production by many years). We're in a hurry and high-res images aren't available online. We would just scan it from a file copy of the book but, as you can see, our file copies are in pretty rough shape. If you have a pristine copy of the book (or another source for the image) and can send us a high-res scan (300 dpi), we'll send you a free copy of the new Jack Jackson book when it comes out if we use your scan! (And we won't use it but it would be nice to have a clean digital copy of the front cover as well.) Please send your scan(s) to our "fbicomix@" email address. The race is on!
Hey look, it's the just-completed, totally eyeball-tickling final cover art for Tom Kaczynski's forthcoming story collection Beta Testing the Apocalypse, scheduled to arrive in November, which we describe as "a heady conflation of philosophy, fiction and comics that riffs on dystopian modernity, bleak man-made landscapes and the psychological effects of technological, social or environmental developments." If you've read Tom's stories in Mome, which are collected here (along with other material including a new story), you know the deal. You can learn more and pre-order a copy here, and of course keep it tuned here for more sneak peeks to come.
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