Online Commentary & Diversions, first of the week, last of the month:
• Coming Attractions: Chris Mautner of Robot 6 got his hands on our Spring/Summer 2010 catalog and runs it all down for you
• Review: "Of all the comics published in 2009, none has deserved more acclaim... than You Are There. ... Tardi's art, which combines the liveliness and simplicity of the best cartooning with a well-observed realism is perfect for this kind of surreal tale. ... His work deserves to be read and will endlessly reward readers who seek it out." – Robert Boyd
• Review: "[Like a Dog] is a gloriously rough-hewn and hands-on collection from a compulsive cartoonist and storyteller packaged with the flair and imagination that has become a trademark of the world’s leading publisher of fascinating comics. ...Sally’s dedication to innovation, exploration and imagination will astound and entrance anyone who knows capital A Art when they see it." – Win Wiacek, Now Read This!
• Review: "[Strange Suspense: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 1] is a cracking collection in its own right but as an examination of one of the art-form’s greatest stylists it is also an invaluable insight into the very nature of comics. This is a book true fans would happily kill or die for." – Win Wiacek, Now Read This!
• Review: "Columbia's book [Pim & Francie] is positively festooned with frightening moments and tableaux... Any single upsetting image is a rosette on a much more ambitious and awesome-to-behold cake. Al Columbia has progressed to the point where he can haunt my nightmares for three days as an aside." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
• Review: "...The Complete Iron Devil is a humorous adult fantasy book with great art. However, it wouldn't be nearly as good if it weren't for the excellent Devil's Angel story, which points out the craziness of 'morality police.'" – Bernard C. Cormier, [here] (CanadaEast)
• Plug: Polish blog kg looks forward to our next two CompleteCrumb reprints (perfectly broken English courtesy Google): "And you need to know that to find and collect all the works of Crumb is as hard as winning for best player of the world, being Polish football player."
• Plug: "It’s like a bomb went off in the subconscious of Max Fleischer and Columbia was around to collect the pieces years later when they fell to earth. In this time of safe substitution power fantasies, Columbia’s work is truly provocative stuff. Funny, dark, and impeccably executed." – The Synesthetic Fugue Incident
To paraphrase Monty Burns, we've had one of our trademark changes of heart — the exclusive signed silkscreen print pictured above, previously only available with direct orders of the standard edition of Gahan Wilson: Fifty Years of Playboy Cartoons, will also be sent to people who order the Collectors Edition direct from us (including those who have already pre-ordered). That means that for a limited time while supplies last, the Collectors Edition will come with two prints: the silkscreen and the letterpress. See product listings for details. Supplies are very limited, and today's your only day to get either set at 30% off, so don't snooze!
OVER ONE THOUSAND CARTOONS SPANNING 50 YEARS OF A LEGENDARY CAREER
Fifty-one, to be exact, but let’s not quibble. Gahan Wilson is among the most popular, widely-read, and beloved cartoonists in the history of the medium, whose career spans the 2nd half of the 20th century, and all of the 21st. His work has been seen by millions — no, hundreds of millions — in the pages of Playboy, The New Yorker, Punch, The National Lampoon, and many other magazines; there is no telling, really, how many readers he has corrupted or comforted. He is revered for his playfully sinister take on childhood, adulthood, men, women, and monsters. His brand of humor makes you laugh until you cry. And it’s about time that a collection of his cartoons was published that did justice to his vast body of work.
When Gahan Wilson walked into Hugh Hefner’s office in 1957, he sat down as Hefner was on the phone, gently rejecting a submission to his new gentlemen’s magazine: “I think it’s very well-written and I liked it very much,” Hefner reportedly said, “but it’s anti-sin. And I’m afraid we’re pro-sin.” Wilson knew, at that moment, that he had found a kindred spirit and a potential home for his cartoons. And indeed he had; Wilson appeared in every issue of Playboy from the December 1957 issue to today. It has been one of the most fruitful, successful, and long-lived relationships between a contributor and a magazine, ever.
Gahan Wilson: 50 Years of Playboy Cartoons features not only every cartoon Wilson drew for Playboy, but all his prose fiction that has appeared in that magazine as well, from his first story in the June, 1962 issue, “Horror Trio,” to such classics as “Dracula Country” (September 1978). It also includes the text-and-art features he drew for Playboy, such as his look at Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, his take on our country’s “pathology of violence,” and his appreciation of “transplant surgery.”
Wilson’s notoriously black sense of comedy is on display throughout the book, leaving no sacred cow unturned (an image curiously absent in the book), ridiculing everything from state sponsored executions to the sober precincts of the nouveau rich, from teenage dating to police line-ups, with scalding and hilarious satirical jabs. Although Wilson is known as an artist who relishes the creepy side of modern life, this three-volume set truly demonstrates the depth and breadth of his range — from illustrating private angst we never knew we had (when you eat a steak, just whom are you eating?) to the ironic and deadpan take on horrifying public issues (ecological disaster, nuclear destruction anyone?).
Gahan Wilson has been peeling back the troubling layers of modern life with his incongruously playful and unnerving cartoons, assailing our deepest fears and our most inane follies. This three-volume set is a testament to one of the funniest — and wickedly disturbing — cartoonists alive.
PREVIEWS! Download an EXCLUSIVE 25-page PDF excerpt containing all of Wilson's strips from 1958-1959, including a series of strips spoofing Sherlock Holmes (8 MB). Read Neil Gaiman's Introduction right here. And read designer Jacob Covey's production notes, with copious photos, on Flog! The Fantagraphics Blog.
942-page full-color 8" x 10" three-volume hardcover set with slipcase • $125.00 ISBN: 978-1-60699-298-2 Bonus signed silkscreen print included with the first 50 orders! Add to Cart • More Info & Previews
Limited Collectors Edition with signed letterpress print and box set of facsimile holiday cards • $175.00 ISBN: 978-1-60699-334-7 Add to Cart • More Info & Previews
With this fourth volume of our beloved series, Segar’s Popeye reaches one of its highest peaks in “Plunder Island,” the glorious, epic-length Sunday-continuity adventure that ran for eight months and pitted the intrepid sailorman against the malevolent Sea Hag and her terrifying, grotesque sidekick the Goon — helped, and sometimes hindered by, the easily corruptible J. Wellington Wimpy. “Plunder Island” is presented here for the first time in its complete, full-color, uncut glory!
Meanwhile, in the “dailies” section of Popeye Volume 4, Popeye visits “Poodleburg” and gets involved in a quest for both “Romance and Riches.” Other stories include “Unifruit” (featuring the return of King Blozo), the western epic “Black Valley” (with the unforgettable sight of Popeye in drag), “The Pool of Youth” (featuring the return of the Sea Hag... and her sister!); and the beginning of the extended six-month-long yarn “Popeye’s Ark”!
Comics historian Richard Marschall rounds off this volume with a long article on Segar’s storytelling skills and narrative strategies, focusing in particular on the “Plunder Island” sequence. Rediscover an American treasure in this handsomely designed series to be enjoyed by comic fans of all ages.
Download an EXCLUSIVE 15-page PDF excerpt (6.4 MB) with 5 pages of Sundays and 10 pages of dailies!
Huffington Post contributor Michael Giltz writes: "The best way to celebrate Schulz and his work is the ongoing series being published by Fantagraphics. The latest volume -- The Complete Peanuts, 1973-1974 ($28.99; Fantagraphics) -- is a lovingly produced volume that includes every strip from those two years in a handsome hardcover book designed by Seth. Like earlier editions, it's a thrill to read the strip chronologically and in one fell swoop. You get a far better sense of Schulz's creative zig-zagging as he suddenly and unexpectedly finds himself at the tip of a pop culture juggernaut." Read the rest here.
• List: At NPR.org, Glen Weldon recommends "Tomes With Which to Tough Out Your Turkey Coma," including Linda Medley's Castle Waiting ("a wryly funny fairy tale narrative that's both women-centered and women-powered") and Gilbert Hernandez 's Palomar ("Dense, vividly realized and both literally and figuratively magical")
• Interview: Robot 6's Chris Mautner talks to Dash Shaw about The Unclothed Man in the 34th Century A.D., BodyWorld and other topics: "There’s a meshing going on between film/animation and comics. The meshing is happening in my own interests, the subject matter of my stories, the way my stories are created, and it’s been fueled a little by what’s going on outside of me..."
ActuaBD interviews Lorenzo Mattotti (translated) about his new art book collaboration with Lou Reed, Le Corbeau (The Raven), among other topics. Above, Mattotti & Reed sign the book at Galerie Martel in Paris, where the original art is on display until January. Holy smokes! (Via The Comics Reporter)
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