Can you tell we've been rooting around in our warehouse a lot lately? Our most recent find: vintage copies of two thought-to-be-lost issues of the seminal magazine on classic comic strips (edited by Rosebud Archives' Rick Marschall):
Nemo: The Classic Comics Library #2 dates from 1983 and includes an exclusive interview with Siegel & Shuster and their early pre-Superman "Superman" story; a history of William Randolph Hearst; early Western funnies by Fred Harman; a history of superhero strips; a Caniff Terry and the Pirates tale; and a profile of Art Young.
Nemo: The Classic Comics Library #30 from 1989 features an introduction to Winsor McCay's Little Nemo in Slumberland; the evolution of Ernie Bushmiller's Nancy; a biography excerpt of Puck founder Joseph Keppler; and (20 years before our book collection) a selection of Sam's Strip by Mort Walker & Jerry Dumas.
We also still have copies of the final double issue, #31/32, with a rare long interview with Charles Schulz, a feature by R.C. Harvey on Milton Caniff (dealing with Vietnam), Edward Sorel on Krazy Kat, and 16 pages of Polly and Her Pals Sundays, shot from crisp black & white syndicate proofs. Supplies are limited, so get them while you can!
Our slogan is "Publisher of the World's Best Cartoonists Since 1976," and we mean it when we say THE WORLD. Beyond North America our creators hail from such far-flung locales as Japan, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Switzerland, France, Italy, Spain, and the UK. (We've also published some Latin American creators over the years but that stuff's out of print. And we're not including our neighbors to the north this time around — we'll get you later, Canada.)
• Commentary: "I was a long-standing fan of the art of graphic critique from my youngest days. I’d first come across Bill Mauldin’s one-panel portraits of Willie and Joe in my teen years. These WWII G.I.s were foot soldiers for democracy, serving and surviving in the trenches and roughly rendered in charcoal and ink. And they revealed to me how powerfully political perspectives can be expressed with tremendous warmth and humanity." – Michael Dooley, Voice: AIGA Journal of Design
Remember last week when we reported that Gilbert Hernandez did a cover for an upcoming comics one-shot from Dark Horse focused on a character from the web series The Guild? (That's a mouthful.) Well Peter Bagge did one too, as revealed today by USA Today Pop Candy.
We discovered an inventory SNAFU, so Frank Vol. 1 by Jim Woodring has been upgraded from "Sold Out" to "We Got Plenty"! This softcover volume contains Frank material currently not in print elsewhere (including 32 pages of full-color stories), so if you're a recent Frankophile and you don't have this stuff in your collection, now's your chance!
This Saturday is the first inaugural Jet City Comic Show here in our own backyard of Seattle, and we will be there. Come by and say hi to Larry Reid and Jacq Cohen, and in the afternoon, look for Peter Bagge and newly-crowned GENIUSJim Woodring, who will be signing books for an hour or two. Stop by an pick up a coupon for 20% off at our bookstore and gallery!
Stephen Dixon is one of the most acclaimed authors of short stories in the history of American letters. His work, characterized by mordant humor and a frank attention to human sexuality, has earned him a Guggenheim Fellowship, the American Academy Institute of Arts and Letters Prize for Fiction, the O. Henry Award, and the Pushcart Prize. Fantagraphics Books is proud to present this incredible volume of short stories, a massive collection of vintage Dixon. Dixon’s finely chiseled sentences cut to the quick of people’s lives. None of these stories have been collected in any book; they have appeared in a wide variety of literary journals over almost 40 years and Dixon has entirely rewritten all of them. Dixon admirers will be cheered to learn that these stories comprise a wholly original work.
Centrally concerning himself with the American condition, Dixon explores in What Is All This? obsessions of body image, the increasingly polarized political landscape, sex — in all its incarnations — and the gloriously pointless minutiae of modern life, from bus rides to tying shoelaces. Using the canvas of his native New York he astutely captures the edgy madness that infects the city through the neuroses of his narrators with a style that owes as much to Neo-Realist cinema as it does to modern literature. What Is All This? is published in hardcover, designed by Fantagraphics’ award-winning Art Director Jacob Covey.
Stephen Dixon was born in 1936 in New York City. He graduated from the City College of New York in 1958 and is a former faculty member of Johns Hopkins University. He is also a two time National Book Award nominee — for his novels Frog and Interstate. He still hammers out his fiction on a vintage typewriter.
In Nate Neal's first full-length graphic novel, the author explores the primal mysteries and sordid inner workings of a Paleolithic cave-dwelling tribe, creating an original "silent" reading experience by using symbols instead of words.
When a mysterious nomad girl is offered up as an item of trade, she seeks refuge by forming a tenacious friendship with the local cave-painter turned outcast. Together they set out on a dangerous mission to bring truth to their corrupt tribe with the help of their new discovery (via some psychotropic mushrooms): drawings that tell a story. Subsequently, they become enmeshed in the violent power struggles and sensual intrigues between the alpha males and alpha females.
In The Sanctuary, art, inspiration, and communication is in conflict with tradition and law, and then ovel dramatizes the moral imperative of man facing the truth even at the cost of his, and society's, lives.
Featuring its own delicately crafted Paleolithic language, The Sanctuary breaks new ground by bringing complex ideas to the page with primal immediacy and sophistication through Neal's adroit use of pantomime storytelling that provide many layers of symbolism and meaning. This is a darkly comic journey through a prehistoric re-imagining of art and comics.
Rip M.D. is the debut graphic novel from The Angry Beavers creator Mitch Schauer, a creepy, fun-filled all-ages adventure introducing Ripley Plimpt, an eleven-year-old boy whose ordinary life is turned upside-down when he discovers that monsters are not only real, but are also in desperate need of his help to overcome their very real problems.
One foggy night, while searching for monsters in the cemetery behind his house, Ripley finds and rescues the tiniest of bats impaled on a thorn bush. What Ripley doesn’t realize is that he’s just saved the life, or “un-life,” of one of the world’s most dangerous night creatures — a vampire! Word spreads among all monsters of Rip’s heroic gallantry and kindness. Before long, legendary and mythical monsters from around the world are showing up on his doorstep proclaiming Rip as Rip M.D. — Monster Doctor!
Writing and illustrating the graphic novel, Emmy-Award winning and long time producer, writer and designer Schauer has teamed with comic book veteran Mike Vosburg who’s bringing his innovative, illustrative style to the artwork’s inking. Michael Lessa and Justin Yamaguchi are creating a whole new look for Rip M.D. with their beautiful color and special effects expertise.
Rip M.D. is the first collaboration between the independent animation studio Lincoln Butterfield, who’s producing the graphic novel, and Fantagraphics Books, who’s publishing it.
• Review: "Released last year, Johnny Ryan’s Prison Pit: Book One was the kind of offensive, polarising piece of trash that readers either embraced like a lovable, rotting puppy carcass or bolted from in aghast terror. Both camps will feel vindicated then, that Prison Pit: Book Two returns with just as much phallic, alien grappling gore as the original, if not more. Me? I’m content to let the book slam its bloody, jagged nailed middle finger through my cornea any day of the week. [...] Who needs Asterios Polyp when the central narrative movement of this comic is a mission titled 'Operation Rape Ladydactyl'? Not me, that's for sure." – Avoid the Future
• Review: "Prison Pit Book Two is as funny as Book One, and what it lacks in hysterical wordplay ('want me to send you an e-vite' remains the gold standard), it makes up for in its delirious commitment to excess, both in the grotesqueries on display as well as the suspense. This may not be the comic everybody else were waiting for, but around these parts, it most certainly was. Pin a rose on my dick, call me king of the geckos: I have found my homeland." – Tucker Stone, The Factual Opinion
• Interview: Ao Meng of The Daily Texan talks to Johnny Ryan about Prison Pit and his other work: "My experience when I’m watching a movie where somebody’s head explodes or some crazy monster cuts their legs off, I’m laughing my head off because it’s so outrageous and violent. That kind of stuff just makes me laugh, and so I guess I was incorporating that into my work."
• Review: "The net cannot convey what a marvelous little object-book [Set to Sea] is. And the content ain’t bad either. I’ll throw in the same comparison everyone else is making: it’s like a collaboration between Herman Melville and E.C. Segar." – M. Ace, Irregular Orbit
• Review: "Forgotten comics genius, Milt Gross, sends up arty 'wordless novels,' old-time melodramas and silent movie potboilers all at once with his inimitable cartoon flair [in He Done Her Wrong]. Why, oh why couldn’t I see this when I was a kid?!" – M. Ace, Irregular Orbit
• Review: Dominic Moschitti of The Quarter Bin video podcast looks at Jason's Meow, Baby! (out of print but compiled in Almost Silent) and also writes "Elvis fights Godzilla! A Caveman goes on a date! Dracula watches TV! If any of these events sound exciting to you, or the mere thought amuses you, then you need to pick up Jason’s graphic novel, Meow, Baby! I did and now I’m writing this! But honestly folks, if you’re into comic strips you have to read this book. It’s hilarious."
• Plugs: "Instead of coming out with regular comic books on an irregular basis, the Hernandez brothers have smartly turned their legendary, groundbreaking comic series [Love and Rockets] into an annual, trade paperback-sized tome. It's an annual treat that's well worth the wait. [...] Johnny Ryan's approach to humor is sort of like a scorched earth/take no prisoners strategy. Prison Pit mixes pro-wrestling, grindhouse, video games with Gary Panter and Kentaro Miura's manga and the results are brutal, hilarious and brutally hilarious. [...] Too Soon? collects Drew Friedman's celebrity portraits from the past 15 years. His style is simultaneously hyper-realistic and grotesque, and always engaging and delightful. This is an excellent collection of one of the finest caricature/portrait/editorialist artists working today." – Benn Ray (Atomic Books), Largehearted Boy
• Plug: "Love and Rockets: New Stories #3 is the latest from the Hernandez Brothers and sees Jaime return to the cast of Locas after his superheroic two-parter. Gilbert’s offering is a somewhat weirder tale of alien terrain and a furry mating season. Alien mating season. Not the dress-up-as-squirrels kind of furry. Or something. I think. [...] Drew Friedman’s been beavering away painting portraits of the famous and the infamous... so it’s about time someone collected the last fifteen years’ worth. Too Soon? is a hardcover full of familiar, grotesque faces..." – The Gosh! Comics Blog
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