Ron Regé, Jr. is a very unusual yet accomplished storyteller whose work exudes a passionate moral, idealistic core that sets him apart from his peers. The Cartoon Utopia is his Magnum Opus, a unique work of comic art that, in the words of its author, "focuses on ideas that I've become intrigued by that stem from magical, alchemical, ancient ideas & mystery schools." It's part sci-fi, part philosophy, part visual poetry, and part social manifesto. Regé's work exudes psychedelia, outsider rawness, and pure cartoonish joy.
In The Cartoon Utopia, "Utopians" of the future world are attempting to send messages through consciousness, outside of the constricts of time as we understand it. They live in a world of advanced collective consciousness and want to help us understand how to achieve what they have accomplished. They get together to perform this task in a way that evolved out of our current system of consuming information and entertainment. In other words, the opposite of television. Instead, these messages appear in the form of art, music and storytelling.
Praise for Ron Regé, Jr.:
"One of a handful of cartoonists in the history of the medium to not only reinvent comics to suit his own idiosyncratic impulses and inspirations as an artist, but also to imbue it with his own peculiar, ever changing emotional energy. To me, he is unquestionably one of 'the greats.'" – Chris Ware
"Slow down when you read his pictures and ornately lettered words, quivering, scintillating, radiant, and they will leave you awake and awakened." – Paul Gravett
Add Lilli Carré's acclaimed debut The Lagoon to your order for just $9.99 ($5 off)! Use the option menu when ordering.
The creator of 2008’s acclaimed graphic novel The Lagoon — named to many annual critics’ lists including Publishers Weekly and USA Today’s Pop Candy — is back with a stunningly designed and packaged collection of some of the most poetic and confident short fiction being produced in comics today. These stories, created over a period of five years, touch on ideas of flip sides, choices, and extreme ambivalence.
Carré’s elegant short stories read like the gothic, family narratives of Flannery O’Connor or Carson McCullers, but told visually. Poetic rhythms — a coin flip, a circling ferris wheel — are punctuated by elements of melancholy fantasy pushed forward by character-driven, naturalistic dialogue. The stories in Heads or Tails display a virtuosic breadth of visual styles and color palettes, each in perfect service of the story, and range from experimental one-pagers to short masterpieces like "The Thing About Madeline" (featured in The Best American Comics 2008), to graphic novellas like "The Carnival" (featured in David Sedaris’ and Dave Eggers’ 2010 Best American Nonrequired Reading, originally published in MOME), to new work created for this book.
Fantagraphics spotlights the intersection of art and language in this innovative new collection — without peer in English — that gathers the work of visual poets from around the world into one stunning volume. The alphabet is turned on its head and inside-out and the results culminate in a compilation of daring and surprising verbo-visual gems.
The Last Vispo Anthology is composed of vispo (a portmanteau of the words “visual” and “poetry") from the years 1998 to 2008, during a burst of creative activity fueled by file sharing and email, which made it possible for the vispo community to establish a more heightened and sophisticated dialogue with one another. The collection extends the dialectic between art and literature that began with ancient “shaped text,” medieval pattern poetry, and dada typography, pushing past the concrete poetics of the 1950s and the subsequent mail art movement of the 1980s to its current incarnation. Rather than settle into predictable, unchallenged patterns, this vibrant poetry seizes new tools to expand the body of work that inhabits the borderlands of visual art and poetic language.
The Last Vispo Anthology features 148 contributors from 23 countries on five continents. It includes 12 essays that illuminate the abundant history and the state of vispo today. The anthology offers a broad amalgam of long-time practitioners and poets new to visual poetry over the last decade, underscoring the longevity and the continued vitality of the art form.
“The descriptor ‘visual poetry’ cannot begin to hint at the wealth of potent mystery that The Last Vispo contains. It knocked my mind right off its cozy little track and sent it sprawling through a myriad of brand new experiences. I can’t remember the last time I encountered something so charged, mysterious, deep and pleasurably upsetting as this book.” – Jim Woodring
“A delightful cornucopia of imaginary languagescapes, opening the eye to other alphabetic climes, beyond the ho-hum regimentation of linear normalcies. & all from (just about) the past decade. Visual poetries: alive and expanding. It’s positively viral.” – Charles Bernstein
“Staring your way into and through the letter as object — the letter as solitary sign, the letter as crowned king. Staring gives us the keys to the kingdom. This book is a glorious adjunct to the long history of concrete and visual poetry. Long live the king!” – Harry Mathews
The fantastically newest Online Commentaries & Diversions:
• Review: Over at Read About Comics, Greg McElhatton cracks open a copy of Lewis Trondheim's newest English translation. "Ralph Azham Vol. Oneis a nice little surprise; what initially looks cute and fun is dark and enjoyable, and Trondheim’s gradual reveals of the story’s contents are strong enough that it makes reading the next volume a must. . . I’m definitely back for Book Two; this was a great deal of fun."
• Interview (audio): Robin McConnell of the Inkstuds podcast interviews Noah Van Sciver on The Hypo and his newest work online, Saint Cole on The Expositor.
• Interview:AV Club caught up with Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez during this year, the 30th Anniversary of Love and Rockets! Jaime could not see a future without Love and Rockets: "The only thing I can see in the future is I picture Love And Rockets number whatever way down the road and they have to explain: 'This special issue, Jaime died halfway through doing it. So there’s going to be some pages with just pencils on it and some blank pages. But we thought we owed it to him to finish it, to print it.' A half-issue and then, well, that’s it."
• Review: Steven Heller writes about Dal Tokyo by Gary Panter on The Atlantic: "Dal Tokyo might best be seen as a combination of nightmare, daydream, ramble, and sketch, with a decided stream-of-consciousness tone, which is not unlike Panter's own Texas lilting manner when talking. In fact, for all its eccentricity, Dal Tokyo is akin to a Texas tall tale."
• Plug (video): The short film Objects of Our Desire focuses on the project Significant Objects as part of the The Future of Story Telling series. The book is edited by Joshua Glenn and Rob Walker. “Stories are the foundation of what we do everyday,” Richelle Parham, the vice president and chief marketing officer of eBay.
• Review:Read About Comics and Greg McElhatton looked at Walt Disney's Uncle Scrooge: Only a Poor Old Man by Carl Barks. "The more I see of Barks’ comics, the more I kick myself for having taken this long to read them. . . If you haven’t experienced Barks’ Duck comics yourself, I think this is a great a place as any to begin. Definitely check it out for yourself. Highly recommended."
• Review:Blog Critics's Sixy Minute Manga reviews and summarizes Shimura Takako's Wandering Son Vol. 2. Lesley Aeschliman states ". . . the more minimal and simplistic art works for the story being told in this series. . . I would recommend this manga series to readers who have an appreciation for literature that concerns LGBT issues."
• Review (audio):Deconstructing Comics podcast spend the full hour discussing A Drunken Dream and Other Stories. Tim Young and Kumar Sivasubramanian argue and agree on Moto Hagio's work in the book with stories that "dwelt on not fitting in, losing what you love, and other themes that could be depressing, but were usually expressed in innovative and compelling ways."
•Review: Gene Ambaum of Unshelved enjoys his read of Wilfred Santiago's 21: The Story of Roberto Clemente. Ambaum says, "I was intrigued how the author would fit his life story into a brief, illustrated book. It emphasized the major events that shaped his life, and the powerful, stark images made me feel like I experienced the tragic and poignant moments."
• Commentary:ComicBooked talks about the 90s and Fantagraphics' place within the context of pushing out music and the amazing album art of Charles Burns, Daniel Clowes and Peter Bagge.
For one of the first times, Flannery O'Connor gets to hang out with some contemporaries but not of the prose world, the art world. Spotted for sale in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Flannery O'Connor shares shelf space with painters like Amedeo Modigliani, Giorgio Morandi, and Georgia O'Keeffe (yes, yes, alphabetically). You'll enjoy her ideas and experimentation, they laid the groundwork for her future fiction and she joins the ranks of other writers who played around in the visual arts like E. E. Cummings and William Blake. Pick up a copy of her book of linocuts and cartoons, edited by Kelly Gerald, today to shelve along with some of YOUR favorite artists in your bookshelf.
(L to R: Georgia O'Keeffe flower, Modigliani's muse, and Morandi's still-life objects)
• Eugene, OR: The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon in Eugene, OR is hosting the exhibit GOOD GRIEF! Original Art from 50 Years of Charles M. Schulz's PEANUTS, and curator Ben Saunders will interview Jan Eliot about her experiences with Charles Schulz and her own career as the artist of the nationally successful newspaper strip "Stone Soup." (more info)
I'll confess: I'm such a fan of Gabrielle Bell's work that I couldn't even wait for this Saturday's event to get my hands on The Voyeurs, her latest collection out now from Uncivilized Books. I started reading it on the plane home from APE, and finished it last night. No surprise, it's really, really good!
Tom is not only the proprietor of Uncivilized Books, he is also the artist behind our forthcoming release Beta Testing the Apocalypse, a collection of his contributions for Mome with some new material, too! The book won't be ready in time for Saturday, but be sure to check out the Uncivilized titles he'll have in store!
Join us for what's sure to be an incredible night filled with awesome, nice, talented folks, this Saturday, October 20th, from 6:00 to 8:00 PM, at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery, located at 1201 S. Vale Street in Seattle's Georgetown district.
While we're still mourning the passing of the great Joe Kubert, it's now our distinct pleasure to take you back to the early days of his incredible career with Weird Horrors & Daring Adventures: The Joe Kubert Archives Vol. 1, compiling 33 of the best of his pre-Code freelance stories for the first time. Edited by the preeminent Kubert expert Bill Schelly (acclaimed author of the Kubert bio Man of Rock and The Art of Joe Kubert), and produced and restored to the usual Fantagraphics standard, it's an essential volume for the serious comics library and a heck of a lot of fun to boot. Pre-orders for the book will ship in about 2 months and it should be on the shelves shortly after that. Extensive previews are on the way; in the meantime enjoy a free 22-page excerpt, with the Table of Contents and 3 complete stories (plus a glorious cover repro), right here.
A lot of painstaking work is about to come to fruition as we're preparing to send our new edition of the cult classic The Adventures of Jodelle by Guy Peellaert & Pierre Bartier off to the printer. From Kim Thompson's new English translation to the meticulous recreation of the eye-popping colors to the 80 pages of new supplemental material, with the entire package overseen by Peellaert's son Orson, we've gone all-out to bring you the definitive edition of this psychedelic, satirical, and sexy Pop Art masterpiece. We're pleased to bring you this first look at the finalized cover design; the book itself should be hitting shelves in February.
Here is a book that we are very proud to be presenting this December: Jack Jackson's American History: Los Tejanos & Lost Cause, combining two of Jackson's historical graphic novels from the 1980s into a new, lovingly-produced hardcover volume (the first in a series of three). Together they comprise a masterful and unflinching look at Texas during its decades-long pre-Civil War conflict with Mexico and its struggles during the Reconstruction. Combining historical verisimilitude with crisp, muscular artwork, Jackson's uncompromising work is unparallelled in his milieu, and we are pleased to present his great works in a format befitting their stature. More copious previews are in the works; for now you can read 26 pages, with excerpts from both stories, right here.
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