The second book from Ray Fenwick, author of 2008’s acclaimed Hall of Best Knowledge. In Mascots, a collection of impressionistic stories combine to create a wildly absurd — yet vaguely familiar — parallel world. Like Fenwick’s previous work, the acclaimed Hall of Best Knowledge (one of Booklist’s “Top Ten Graphic Novels of 2008”), Mascots is driven by lettering and language, part art and part comics, this time taking the form of bright, full color paintings on found book covers. These paintings can be experienced individually, each on their own terms, but together they reveal a surreal world that captures the mood of our times with manic energy.
This week's comic shop shipment is slated to include the following new titles. Read on to see what comics-blog commentators are saying about our releases this week, and contact your local shop to confirm availability.
384-page black & white 5.75" x 8.25" hardcover • $29.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-405-4
"...[A] second thick (384-page) hardcover compilation of Linda Medley’s well-regarded folkloric/fairy story exploration, now as pertinent a bridge between ’90s comic book self-publishing and current YA comics interest as its former publishing cousin Bone. I presume this includes all of the Fantagraphics-published Vol. II material thus far, totaling 15 issues... [Yes. – Ed.]" – Joe McCulloch, Comics Comics
"You know how some comics seem to be collective community efforts, in that they traffic in styles and ideas that are on the minds and coming out of the fingertips of the art form's chattering class? Linda Medley's quiet, humane fantasy is the opposite of that, a creation wholly her own." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
"...[M]y book of this week [is] Castle Waiting Volume 2. The first Castle Waiting book was one of my Best of 2006, and I anticipate similarly great things from the followup. Linda Medley puts out a wonderfully fresh and modern take on fantasy conventions, including the title castle with its exotic and magical inhabitants." – Johanna Draper Carlson, Comics Worth Reading
"The other highlight of the week has to be the second collection of Linda Medley’s Castle Waiting. The publisher describes the comics as 'witty and sublimely drawn fantasy [that] eases into a relaxed comedy of manners,' which is perfectly true. It’s really a treat of a series, one that I bought in pamphlet form and will buy in its collected state, which almost never happens." – David Welsh, The Manga Curmudgeon
"If I had $30… I’d give it all to Fantagraphics in exchange for the second volume of Castle Waiting, the long-awaited continuation of Linda Medley’s story. I’ll confess I haven’t read the first volume yet—maybe that should be my splurge—but my librarian friends strongly recommend it, and their description of an updated fairy tale with a modern sensibility makes me want to give it a try." – Brigid Alverson, Robot 6
"I believe this concludes the parts of this very sweet, very good-natured, apparently open-ended fantasy series that writer/artist Linda Medley has serialized thus far. As with the otherwise entirely different A Hard Day's Night, I started enjoying the series much more when I realized that nothing much was actually going to happen at any point." – Douglas Wolk, Comics Alliance
"FACT: I can't stand fantasy. Except for this. This is the real deal. Likable characters, exotic setting that doesn't spend hours wanking the reader for being a nerd that knows their Dungeons and Dragons, and a real story about people." – "Lydia Park," The Rack
120-page black & white 12" x 5" hardcover • $19.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-392-7
"This is neither French nor a comics version of an old children’s book, and yet it seems so of a kind! Maybe it’s the 'Little,' or Tony Millionaire’s affinity for vintage cartooning and illustration, or perhaps Maakies simply goes with everything." – Joe McCulloch, Comics Comics (see below for context)
"I think Tony Millionaire may be in that slightly-taken-for-granted phase of his career right now, and that's not fair. Sometimes it is, just not with Tony. I can't imagine not owning all of these, even if the rest of my collection is barbarian comics." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
"The newest collection of Tony Millionaire’s comic strip. It’s two years worth of drunk comics." – Benn Ray (Atomic Books), Largehearted Boy
48-page full-color 8.5" x 11.25" hardcover • $16.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-403-0
"...[O]ne of the highlights of this week’s releases: Fantagraphics’ The Littlest Pirate King, an English edition of the 2009 album Roi Rose by the redoubtable David B., himself working from a Pierre Mac Orlan prose story (from 1921, I believe). It ‘s a lovely presentation..." – Joe McCulloch, Comics Comics (it's a full review, do go give it a read)
"David B., one of comics' mightiest visual talents, with an adaptation of an all-ages tale full of dream logic and creepy things. How could you walk by and not at the very least hold it in your hands for a time?" – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
"I’m a sucker for anything French artist David B does, so I’ll be sure to snatch and grab a copy of The Littlest Pirate King, his latest entry on American shores, an all-ages titles about a young boy who leads a group of undead pirates." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6
"I’m very tempted by the new volume of Batman: The Brave and the Bold and Castle Waiting, but they’re both trumped by David B and his ghost pirates in The Littlest Pirate King. Still, since I’m splurging, let’s just get all three." – Michael May, Robot 6
"A children's graphic novel — well, older children, anyway — by the great French cartoonist David B., based on a short story by Pierre Mac Orlan about a child commanding a ship of undead pirates. All the best things in one place, basically." – Douglas Wolk, Comics Alliance
272-page black & white/duotone 6.5" x 8.75" hardcover • $24.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-414-6
"Being another of the week’s Fanta hardcover collections, an omnibus edition of the publisher’s first three translated books by Jason. Hey, Wait… almost certainly requires no introduction... Sshhhh! took the form of wordless seriocomic vignettes relating to one of Jason’s silent clown-type wanderer characters, while The Iron Wagon spun around for a dialogue-heavy adaptation of a formative Scandinavian mystery novel… oh wow, maybe that should be on the cover these days." – Joe McCulloch, Comics Comics
"The comics here are pretty great, although I greatly prefer the individual books to these omnibus collections. They're first class and everything, but I think those individual Jason book are about as perfect as they come production-wise. Still: Jason, and the comics that put him on the North American alt-comics map." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter (Please note that, even if you agree with Tom, several of the original books are out of print.)
"Fantagraphics collects another trio of Jason stories in the trilogy format they’ve been re-releasing some of his work in. This $25, 270-page hardcover includes Hey, Wait, Sshhhh! and the long out-of-print The Iron Wagon." – J. Caleb Mozzocco, Newsarama
"Reprints of three of the Norwegian cartoonist Jason's early books: 'Hey, Wait...,' 'Sshhhh!' and 'The Iron Wagon.' The first of those is particularly terrific, and maybe the first instance of Jason's habit of creating books that midway through abruptly turn into very different sorts of stories." – Douglas Wolk, Comics Alliance
• Review: "Tardi's art [in The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec Vol. 1] well deserves the praise that he's a grandmaster of comics. It's detailed, expressive, authentic, and distinctive. His world-building is thorough, the setting established through both background art and scene selection. Frequent recaps keep the reader up to speed, while emphasizing how amusingly convoluted everything quickly becomes. Tardi knows the conventions of this kind of rollicking, complicated adventure, and the story points out how ridiculous they are at the same time it's engaging in them." – Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
• Review: "Jason is a Norwegian living in France; the Montpellier of the title [Werewolves of Montpellier] is his adopted home. This biographical trivia might suggest that this is his most personal work yet, but if it is, it’s only in the sense that his personal vision of comics is running on all cylinders here; while nothing he’s put out (in English, anyway) has been bad, he’s continually refining his sensibility, and this is Jason at his most Jason." – Jonathan Bogart, FA
• Review: "Fantagraphics has always been the industry leader in getting old comic strips back into print..., and while their Prince Valiant reprints from the 1990s were wonderful at the time, this new edition is the best the strip has looked since it was originally printed on Sunday broadsheets in the 1930s and 40s. With Foster’s original colors — and he was as brilliant and forward-thinking in his use of color as he was brilliant and medium-changing in his black-and-white drawing — and a strong, heavy binding, these are archival editions, the sort of books that should be passed down to the next generation." – Jonathan Bogart, FA
• Interview: At The Daily Cross Hatch, it's the penultimate installment of Brian Heater's chat with Jaime Hernandez: "It’s very difficult for me when people ask me to do a talk or an example of a page—how I break down a page and stuff like that. It’s not that easy for me. There are teachers and there are doers—I’m a doer. I don’t know how this stuff happens, it just spills out of me, it’s that kind of thing. [...] I don’t want to fight that, because I’m afraid it will ruin it and it will change it, or my art won’t be that distinctive. I’d rather just leave that to the gods."
See a nice juicy 10-page excerpt from Usagi Yojimbo: The Special Edition by Stan Sakai at Comics Alliance, whose David Brothers writes "Usagi Yojimbo: The Special Edition... is a release worth paying attention to. It often flies under the radar, but Stan Sakai's Usagi Yojimbo has been one of the most consistently well-written and well-drawn comics over the past twenty-five years. Sakai has created a long-running series that doesn't need jumping on points or events to tell good stories. He simply creates classic tales, month-in, month-out."
A matching volume to 2009’s Almost Silent, What I Did collects three of Jason’s acclaimed 1990s graphic novels into a handsome, definitive omnibus format.
"Hey, Wait...," which was the first of Jason's books to be translated to English, tells the story of two childhood friends. A dreadful event midway through the story changes their lives forever, and the story becomes the summary of lives lived, wasted, and lost. Jason's sparse dialogue, dark wit, and supremely bold use of "jump-cuts" from one scene to the next make "Hey, Wait..." a surprising and engaging debut.
"Sshhhh!" is one of Jason’s virtuoso silent performances, the cradle-to-grave life of one of his bird-headed characters. A sharp suite of short tales, ranging from funny to terrifying to surreal to touching, all told entirely in pantomime. Jason's clean, deadpan art style hides a wealth of emotion and human complexity, leavened with a wicked wit.
And the one Jason fans have been waiting for is the long-out-of-print "The Iron Wagon," an ingenious, atypically (for Jason) talky murder mystery set in early-20th-century Norway, adapted from a classic Norwegian novel by Stein Riverton — albeit starring Jason’s patented blank-eyed animal-headed characters and told in moody two-color panels.
Bonus Savings: Order What I Did together with its companion volume Almost Silent and save 20%!Click here to order.
For decades they have roamed the seas, this shipload of undead pirates. They are desperate to die, but every time they try to dash their ship to splinters and end their miserable existence, a malevolent God scoops them out of danger. And so they have no choice but to continue to sail the seas, looting and killing.
Until one day, having exterminated yet another ship of the living, they come across a little pink baby. Adopting him as their mascot and dubbing him their "Littlest King," they continue their journeys. But eventually the King begins to grow up...
Adapted by David B., the acclaimed creator of Epileptic, from a short story by Pierre Mac Orlan (which was published decades before the release of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, thank you very much), The Littlest Pirate King is David B.'s first full-color graphic novel to be released in English, and his vivid palette combines with his stunningly elegant graphics to create a magical yarn that can be enjoyed by young and old alike.
Collecting 2 years of strips 2007-2009. More booze-soaked buffoonery, lyrical passages, violence, sentimentality, and poop jokes with Drinky Crow & Uncle Gabby. Lowbrow yuks and elegant cartooning from comics' true drunken master.
"Tony Millionaire’s Maakies does not appear on the comics pages of daily newspapers, but lurks darkly instead in our nation’s alternative weeklies...
"Uncle Gabby, a monkey, and Drinky Crow, an alcoholic crow, are characters of pure, ginned-up id, engaging in high jinks that range from the boobish to the bizarre: making 'booze cream' from the milk of drunken cows in one panel, going to prison to have time to read Swinburne in the next. The humor is often so lowbrow as to be subterranean. If Gasoline Alley is preoccupied with life's slow unfolding, Maakies is fascinated by its swift, violent ends. It is difficult to count the times Gabby or Crow have been mutilated, shot in the head, eaten, burned in hell.
"And yet Millionaire, raised by an art-teacher by the sea, can draw the living spit out of a ship or a giant squid. It is just as likely that Maakies will feature one character vomiting into another’s mouth as it will a wordless, befuddling, beautiful parade of intricately rendered church spires and tall buildings. It sways this way between the very low and the very high; the only applicable adverb here is drunkenly, for as the name might suggest, there is a lot of boozing in Drinky Crow's life. This may offend (or may be the least of the offenses), but I would bet if you counted Crow's tipples against the number of highballs the Lockhorns had consumed, it'd come out even. And in his surrealist impulse and draftsman’s brio, Millionaire is the closest thing we have to George Herriman of Krazy Kat."
The most dazzlingly insane film reference book of all time, Destroy All Movies!!! is an informative, hilarious, and impossibly complete guide to every goddamn appearance of a punk (or new waver!) to hit the screen in the 20th Century. This wildly comprehensive eyeball-slammer features A-to-Z coverage of over 1100 feature films from around the world, as well as dozens of exclusive interviews with the creators and cast of essential titles such as Repo Man, Return of the Living Dead, The Decline of Western Civilization and Valley Girl. Everyone from Richard Hell to Penelope Spheeris to Ian MacKaye contributes his or her uncensored reminiscences from the front lines of a revolution. Other interviewees include Alex Cox, Nick Zedd, Lech Kowalski, Mary Woronov and Circle Jerks frontman Keith Morris. Also examined are hundreds of prime examples of straight-to-VHS slasher trash, Brooklyn junkie masterpieces, Filipino breakdancing fairytales, no-budget post-apocalyptic epics, and movies that shouldn’t even have been released, many of which have never been written about online or in print!
In the late ’70s, Punk Rock and its followers ambushed the world with nuclear force. It was an unprecedented phenomenon that infested radios, print, and culture as a whole. Of all its shell-shocked witnesses, the least prepared was Hollywood, who viewed the movement as a walking epidemic of self-abusive, garbage-eating, candy-colored manimals ripe for marketable stereotyping. The results were hilarious, as lowbrow cinema was forever altered in the shadows of 20-inch mohawks and steel-spiked wardrobes. Meanwhile, punk participants like Spheeris and Alex Cox managed to document the emerging outbreak in a more humanistic light, creating enduring visions of a new breed of youth through blazing music documentaries and innovative narrative assaults.
Destroy All Movies!!! nails down both ends of the spectrum with superhuman research, vicious precision, and electrically charged stills and images, and is the first and final definitive armchair roadmap to punk and new wave on celluloid. Five years in the making, this pulse-bursting monument to lowbrow cultural obsession is a must for all film fanatics, music maniacs, anti-fashion mutants, ’80s nostalgists, sleazoids, cop-killers, and spazzmatics!
With its long-awaited second volume, this witty and sublimely drawn fantasy eases into a relaxed comedy of manners as Lady Jain settles into her new life in Castle Waiting.
Unexpected visitors result in the discovery and exploration of a secret passageway, not to mention an epic bowling tournament. A quest for ladies’ underpants, the identity of Pindar’s father, the education of Simon, Rackham and Chess arguing about the “manly arts,” and an escape-prone goat are just a few of the elements in this delightful new volume.
The book also includes many flashbacks that deepen the stories behind the characters, including Jain’s earliest romantic entanglements and conflicts with her bratty older sisters, the horrific past of the enigmatic Dr. Fell, and more.
Register and Login to receive full member benefits, including members-only special offers, commenting privileges on Flog! The Fantagraphics Blog, newsletters and special announcements via email, and stuff we haven't even thought of yet. Membership is free and spam-free, so Sign Up Today!