The great Al Feldstein celebrates his 87th birthday today, so what better day to reveal the first all-Feldstein volume in our EC Comics Library series? It gives us great pleasure to be presenting Child of Tomorrow! and Other Stories, coming in Summer 2013, collecting sci-fi stories written and drawn by Feldstein from the pages of Weird Science and Weird Fantasy. Of course, you can experience Feldstein's prolific EC writing in the Wallace Wood-illustrated Came the Dawn and Other Stories and many forthcoming volumes in the EC Comics Library series!
Oh, and in Spring of next year, look for Fall Guy for Murder and Other Stories, collecting Johnny Craig's Crime SuspenStories tales!
Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2012, the complete Love and Rockets library is finally going digital with this series of compact, thick, affordable, mass-market volumes that present the whole story in perfect chronological order. Fantagraphics and comiXology release the next book in Gilbert Hernadez' Love and Rockets series Human Diastrophism (following Heartbreak Soup, already available to download). Keeping with the uncomfortable themes that only October can bring, a serial killer stalks the idyllic Central American town of Palomar through 256 pages. This group of stories is Gilbert's sweeping exploration of the importance of individual human actions in a social and political environment, of our need to make our presence felt in the world, to impact the whole of humanity for the better, or just to establish a livable existence.
"Human Diastrophism," named one of the greatest comic book stories of the 20th Century by The Comics Journal, and continuing on through more modern-day classics. At $14.99 you can save that shelfspace and travel in reading style and ease.
Also included are all the post-"Diastrophism" stories, in which Luba's past (as seen in the epic Poison River) comes back to haunt her, and the seeds are sown for the "Palomar diaspora" that ends this dense, enthralling book.
"I don't think there's ever been a greater cartooning talent in terms of what he brings the serial comic book form." – The Comics Reporter
"There's no denying that Beto's comics reflect one of the highest peaks the comics medium has yet achieved." – The Onion A.V. Club
What will happen when these two incredible talents collide at Skylight Books in Los Angeles? Will time stop? Will doves cry? You'll have to find out for yourself at 5:00 PM!
To prepare everyone for the awesome, and to give those outside of the L.A.-area a glimpse of what we'll be missing, I asked the guys a few questions about the other. Today, we start with Steven:
Do you remember the first time you met Ron? Ron and I met at Wonder Con '99. I traded him a copy of Hi-Yo Silver #21 I'd just spent all my money on for The Dum Dum Posse Reader. He was really cool about it, so we exchanged numbers.
Do you have any funny stories of Ron? A few of us were driving around L.A. a couple of years ago when Ron's car started smoking like crazy. Luckily, we were near a mechanic I knew, and he was willing to take a look at it while we waited around. It was really hot out, so Ron bought us ice-cream from a passing cart vendor. After a bit, we wandered back to the garage where the mechanic was just finishing up, and he said it looked like Ron had blown a seal.
"What? No!" Ron told him, embarrassed. "We just had some ice-cream."
Skylight Books is located at 1818 N Vermont Ave. in the Los Feliz neighborhood of L.A. Someone go and tell Steve what a haiku is!!! And stay tuned for The Squeegee Thief's answers on Steven, coming tomorrow...
FANTAGRAPHICS BOOKS ANNOUNCES NEW GRAPHIC NOVEL AND COMIC BOOK FROM DASH SHAW
Fantagraphics Books is proud to announce that it has acquired the new graphic novel, NEW SCHOOL, from acclaimed cartoonist Dash Shaw, who previously created the graphic novels BOTTOMLESS BELLY BUTTON (Fantagraphics, 2008) and BODYWORLD (Pantheon, 2010).
To be published in April 2013, NEW SCHOOL is an all-new, 340 page work of fiction that was loosely inspired by Shaw's experience as a teenaged foreign exchange student. "New School is my most personal book. It's all true (sort of). I dramatized and changed things to make everything closer to how it felt. The book took years of difficult work to make. Now I can't wait to hold it in my hands!" says Shaw.
"Dash is one of the most intellectually curious and fearless cartoonists I've ever known," says Associate Publisher Eric Reynolds. "He created one of the past decade's most acclaimed graphic novels -- BOTTOMLESS BELLY BUTTON -- and pushed himself to experiment with the form even further in the books BODYWORLD and THE UNCLOTHED MAN IN THE 35TH CENTURY A.D. NEW SCHOOL feels something like the apotheosis of all three of those books. It's a major work by a cartoonist in full control of his still-flowering potential."
NEW SCHOOL stars a likeably earnest if naive young man, Danny, who was raised on '90s pop culture like Jurassic Park and X-Men. Danny's story starts when his brother Luke fails to return from a trip to a remote island where he was hired to teach English to the employees of a new amusement park called ClockWorld. Built by wealthy industrialists but staffed by island natives, ClockWorld is an ambitious theme park that recreates historical events from throughout history.
Danny is given the charge of bringing his brother home, and is initially overwhelmed by his new and exotic surroundings. His initial infatuation quickly shifts to disillusionment, and his sense of "being different" grows to alienation, especially after he discovers that Luke has made a new life, new family, and even a new personality for himself on ClockWorld. How Danny and Luke's relationship resolves is the heart of NEW SCHOOL. NEW SCHOOL is at once funny and deadly serious, naturalistic and fantastic, easily readable while wildly artistic, personal and political, familiar and completely new.
Shaw adds, "I love Gary and Eric and Jason and the people at Fantagraphics. New School is extremely important to me and I know they'll do a stellar job with it."
Additionally, Fantagraphics will also publish in April an all-new comic book by Shaw titled 3 NEW STORIES. This stand-alone work will feature three all-new, full-color short stories that explore varied dystopian societies. From a Sherlock Holmes-style investigator who must complete his high school degree to filmed "voluntary" nudity to prison camps full of jaded children, Shaw pens each story with his signature style and unique spin, all in 32 pages.
Currently Shaw is working on a feature-length animation called "Shell Game", complete with his complex live-painting style and poetic sensibilities. He recently directed an animated music video for Sigur Rós, which is now available to watch online.
"A former student of the genius artist-seer-cartoonist Gary Panter, Dash, it's fair to say, is something of a genius as well." — Chris Ware
"Dash Shaw is an utterly brilliant young cartoonist who has, in a few short years, advanced from the academic experiments of his earlier work... into a formalist genius whose skills encompass both a natural gift for color and a feel for subtle, indirect characterization." – Bill Howard, Only the Cinema
"Kaleidoscopic... Shaw has a deft touch... Like the very best illustrated fiction, Shaw's work moves between pathos and humor, between the fantastic and the familiar." – The Christian Science Monitor
This week's comic shop shipment is slated to include the following new titles. Read on to see what comics-blog commentators and web-savvy comic shops are saying about them (more to be added as they appear), check out our previews at the links, and contact your local shop to confirm availability.
192-page full-color 6.75" x 10.25" hardcover • $29.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-561-7
"Might as well start off with The Lost Art of Ah Pook Is Here: Images From the Graphic Novel, a 168-page hardcover suite of materials composed by artist Malcolm McNeill for an aborted ’70s book collaboration with William S. Burroughs... The Burroughs stuff will not be included in that book, although interested parties may nonetheless want to check out Observed While Falling: Bill Burroughs, Ah Pook, and Me, a new 192-page memoir by McNeill detailing their creative relationship." – Joe McCulloch, The Comics Journal
"My splurge would be the one-two punch of The Lost Art of Ah Pook Is Here and Observed While Falling: Bill Burroughs, Ah Pook and Me by Malcolm McNeill. Ah Pook is a pseudo-comic that Burroughs and McNeill collaborated on but never finished back in the 1970s. The first book offers a look at McNeill’s elaborate paintings for the work, while in the second McNeill writes about his experiences working with the Naked Lunch author. I imagine both books would make for fascinating reading." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6
96-page full-color 8.5" x 6.625" hardcover • $14.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-593-8
"...Ralph Azham, Volume 1: Why Would You Lie to Someone You Love [is] Lewis Trondheim’s new fantasy series about a town pariah that might have more going on than first glance would suggest. Trondheim has proved with his contributions to the ongoing Dungeon series that he’s quite comfy in the fantasy milieu, able to create intricate worlds and stories that blend free-spirited humor with emotional gravitas. I expect this will be more of the excellent same." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6
"...I like Trondheim and a six-volume fantasy series by him is something I’m ready to begin." – Michael May, Robot 6
"...Lewis Trondheim sees a new (est. 2011) French series released for English delectation with Ralph Azham Vol. 1: Why Would You Lie to Someone You Love?" – Joe McCulloch, The Comics Journal
"Lewis Trondheim is a wonderful, prolific and very mainstream-oriented cartoonist -- by the last I mean he has books in print that I can give to just about anybody on my Christmas shopping list, with everyone getting a different book. I liked this one quite a bit on the first read; the writing seemed way more measured than a lot of fantasies in comics form usually seem to me." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
128-page full-color 12" x 10.25" hardcover • $29.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-548-8
"... [In] the third and final volume of Carol Tyler’s You’ll Never Know trilogy, ...(I hope) we will finally discover what traumatized her father during World War II and haunted him for the rest of his life. Even if we don’t, Tyler’s superb storytelling makes this a book to read over and over again." – Brigid Alverson, Robot 6
"...I’d... grab the third volume of You’ll Never Know, Carol Tyler’s three part saga about her father and how his experiences during WWII shaped him and his family. Tyler is a great cartoonist and woefully under-appreciated, so here’s hoping this final volume gets her some of the recognition she so richly deserves." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6
"...Carol Tyler wraps up her hugely admired familial biography series with You’ll Never Know Vol. 3 (of 3): Soldier’s Heart." – Joe McCulloch, The Comics Journal
And finally, The Comics Reporter's Tom Spurgeon on the Malcolm McNeill & C. Tyler books: "As much grief as my former employers sometimes get for things that it's perceived they don't do as well as publisher A, B or C, this week throws a spotlight on two of their great virtues through two top-of-post worthy works: providing a home for archival work of great interest, facilitating later-in-career work from masterful cartoonists of the underground and early-alternative generations. Good on them. Buy both books."
The 20th century had hit its exact midpoint. Social upheaval — sexual, social, racial, cultural — was in the air; and the fledgling EC comics line was about to become a vital part of it.
Working within the horror, war, crime, and science fiction genres, publisher William Gaines and editor/writer Al Feldstein combined a deliciously disreputable, envelope-pushing sensibility with moments of genuine, outraged social consciousness, which shone a hard light onto such hot-button topics as racism, anti-Semitism, mob justice, and misogyny and sexism.
The 1950s were also a launching pad for some of the greatest comic book artists in history, many of whom worked for EC — including Wallace Wood, whose hypnotically detailed, lushly expressive brushwork brought to life menacing thugs, ominous cityscapes, and small-town America, as well as Everymen grappling with profound moral issues — not to mention some of the most heart-stoppingly beautiful women ever to sashay across a comic book page.
Came the Dawn collects all 26 Wood-drawn horror and crime stories — including the full baker’s dozen of EC’s most courageous and politically charged dramas.
Taking its title from one of Wood’s all-time classics, the evil little paranoid thriller “Came the Dawn,” this collection features page after page after page of Wood’s sleek and meticulously crafted artwork put in the service of cunning twist-ending stories, most often from the typewriter of EC editor Al Feldstein. These tales range from supernatural shockers from the pages of Tales From the Crypt and The Haunt of Fear (“The Living Corpse,” “Terror Ride,” “Man From the Grave,” “Horror in the Freak Tent”) to often pointedly contemporary crime thrillers from Crime SuspenStories (“The Assault,” “The Whipping,” and “Confession,” which was singled out for specific excoriation in the anti-comics screed Seduction of the Innocent, thus giving it a special cachet), but the breathtaking art and whiplash-inducing shock endings are constants throughout.
Like every book in the Fantagraphics EC line, Came the Dawn features extensive essays and notes on these classic stories by EC experts — but the real “meat” of the matter (sometimes literally, in the grislier stories) is supplied by these ofted lurid, sometimes downright over-the-top, but always compelling and superbly crafted, classic comic-book masterpieces.
The creation of MAD would have been enough to cement Harvey Kurtzman’s reputation as one of the titans of American comics, but Kurtzman also created two other comics landmarks: the scrupulously-researched and superbly-crafted war comics Two-Fisted Tales and Frontline Combat. Here were finally war comics without heroic, cigar-chomping sergeants, wisecracking privates from Brooklyn, or cartoon Nazis and “Japs” to be mowed down by the Yank heroes, but an unflinching look at the horror and madness of combat throughout history.
Kurtzman employed some of the finest of the EC artists including Jack Davis, John Severin, and Wallace Wood, but his vision came through clearest in the dozen or so stories he both wrote and drew himself, in his uniquely bold, slashing, cartoony-but-dead-serious style (“Stonewall Jackson,” “Iwo Jima,” “Rubble,” “Big ‘If ’,” and Kurtzman’s own favorite, “Air Burst”) — as well as his vividly colored, narratively-dense covers, all 23 of which are reproduced here in full color in a special portfolio.
Corpse on the Imjin! is rounded off with a dozen or so stories written and laid out by Kurtzman and drawn by “short-timers,” i.e. cartoonists whose contributions to his war books only comprised a story or two — including such giants as designer extraordinaire Alex Toth, Marvel comics stalwart Gene Colan, and a pre-Sgt. Rock Joe Kubert... and such unexpected guests as “The Lighter Side of...” MAD artist Dave Berg and DC comics veteran Ric Estrada — as well as a rarity: a story by EC regular John Severin inked by Kurtzman.
Like every book in the Fantagraphics EC line, Corpse on the Imjin! features extensive essays and notes on these classic stories by EC experts — but Kurtzman’s stories, as vital, powerful, affecting, and even, yes, modern today as when they were created 60 years ago, are what makes this collection a must-have for any comics reader.
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