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!
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.
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
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.
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!