Sorry to make you think about Christmas in September, but we just have to share this peek at this adorable little gift book we're putting out in November, just in time for stuffing stockings: Charlie Brown's Christmas Stocking by Charles M. Schulz! This book (in a size and format similar to Peanuts classics like Happiness Is a Warm Puppy) collects two never-before-reprinted holiday-themed 1960s magazine features written and drawn by Schulz starring the Peanuts gang. It's our first Peanuts book that's not part of The Complete Peanuts series and we couldn't be more excited! Get some early gift shopping out of the way by pre-ordering a copy now, and be on the lookout for more sneak peeks.
Following up an exciting summer of digital releases by a variety of Fantagraphics authors, today Love and Rockets: New Stories #5 is on bookshelves and digital bookshelves worldwide. But it is not alone. For newcomers, long-time fans and people who need to move across the country with ease, Fantagraphics announces the new digital release of the first two volumes from the Love and Rockets Library. Maggie the Mechanic by Jaime Hernandez and Heartbreak Soup by Gilbert Hernandez are now also available for download. These volumes assemble the Hernandez Brothers work seperately in perfect chronological order and the intuitive Guided View by comiXology smoothly sends the reader from one beautiful panel to the next.
In Heartbreak Soup, we visit the small Central American town of Palomar and Gilbert's main cast of characters as children. High drama and strong emotions permeate this 288-page volume from "Sopa de Gran Pena" to the great love story "For the Love of Carmen." Maggie the Mechanic follows Maggie and her best friend and sometimes lover, Hopey, and their circle of friends with strong sci-fi stories by Jaime. Gan favorites wrestler Rena Titañon and Maggie's handsome love interest, Rand Race, appear all over this 272-page digital premiere.
For those of you caught up on the story, Love and Rockets: New Stories #5 collects the newest comics by the Hernandez Brothers! Jaime focuses on less-seen characters Frogmouth and her half-sister, Tonta, while Gilbert views the town of Palomar through the seemingly superficial lens of Hollywood all in 102 pages.
For the low and lovely price of $14.99 you can purchase the beginning of a series that is still going strong after thirty years. Head over to comiXology today and find out why readers, creators and retailers all over are mohawked-head over booted heels for Love and Rockets.
"The Love and Rockets Vol. 1 reprints may be my favorite publishing project of the last five years, and there are a lot of fine projects going on... the smaller, bargain-priced volumes [are] the perfect vehicle for that material, the best comics series of all time." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
"I've never seen anything else in comics — I guess there might be something in literature — but in comics there's never been anybody that's touched what the Hernandez brothers have." – Robert Crumb
"An addictive soap opera, replete with humor and heart." – The Washington Post
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.
144-page two-color 6" x 9" softcover • $16.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-610-2 Published by Recoil Graphic Novels
"For my splurge, I’d pick up Rich Tommasso’s Cavalier Mr. Thompson, a historical mystery set in Texas in the 1920s. I love history, mysteries, and Tommasso’s work, so that’s a slam dunk for me." – Brigid Alverson, Robot 6
"Graeme already mentioned Crackle of the Frost [see below – Ed.], but there’s also The Cavalier Mr. Thompson by Rich Tommasso... Decisions, decisions…" – Chris Mautner, Robot 6
"If I had some splurge money, ...there are also some great graphic novels competing for my dollars. ...Cavalier Mr. Thompson: A Sam Hill Novel [is] tempting." – Michael May, Robot 6
"If I could splurge, I’d get go in with my fellow Food or Comic writers and get Cavalier Mr. Thompson by Rich Tomasso. A 1920s crime story set on the dusty oil fields of West Texas? Sweet Jesus, this sounds great. And you can quote me on that, Fantagraphics." – Chris Arrant, Robot 6
"...Rich has a ton of fans, some of whom are going to be quite glad to have a complete work to read from the comics author." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
120-page full-color 8" x 10" hardcover • $19.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-543-3
"...The Crackle of the Frost... is worth mentioning because it is drop-dead beautiful and highly recommended." – Graeme McMillan, Robot 6
"The Mattotti is ridiculous, I've been picking that one up and looking at it for about three weeks now." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
"...the great Lorenzo Mattotti returns with The Crackle of the Frost, a 2001 collaboration with Jorge Zentner, focusing on loosened personal commitments and damned pretty/ominous observations..." – Joe McCulloch, The Comics Journal
104-page black & white 7.5" x 9.25" softcover • $14.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-586-0
"Wow. Lot of good books out this week. My first $15, however, would have to, have to, have to be spent on Vol. 5 of Love and Rockets New Stories, the latest collection from Los Bros. Gilbert returns to Palomar (!) to tell the heretofore secret origin of Vicente, while Jaime follows up on the masterpiece that was 'Love Bunglers' with a look at Vivian the Frogmouth and her relationship with her sister. I dunno how Jaime could possibly match the highs of the last volume, but any new issue of Love and Rockets is cause for celebration." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6
"The follow-up to last summer's devastatingly good issue isn't as devastating, but it's still really good. Lots of Borneo in the Jaime story. I find that character alternately hilarious and terrifying. If Locas/Wire comparisons ever take hold, Borneo is one of those characters of Jaime's the most like that TV show's many memorable supporting-to-minor characters. The Gilbert is Palomar-focused and features both Sheriff Chelo and Tipin Tipin, and it's impossible not to be happy seeing those two on the page. Everyone should visit Los Bros this weekend at Small Press Expo." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
"Nice looking week – especially because of the new LOVE & ROCKETS (Finally!)" – Brian Hibbs (Comix Experience), The Savage Critics
"Very strong week... proudly headed by the 104-page release of Love and Rockets: New Stories #5, perfect for anyone who can’t quite get out to SPX this weekend but still demand some communal satisfaction in seeing Jaime hone in on his extensive supporting cast and Gilbert return to Palomar for the series’ 30th anniversary with Fantagraphics." – Joe McCulloch, The Comics Journal
Esther Pearl Watson's flying saucer paintings are some of my favorite things in the world. Add in a dinosaur and watch me hurt myself racing for my wallet: "The Future Passed Over a Fake Dinosaur," the above-pictured print, is now available from Tiny Showcase.
But wait! You can also own tiny originals — Esther has these mini-paintings for sale, each of which comes in its own hand-decorated box. I bought one of these from Esther at Comic-Con (and one of Mark Todd's too) and I luuuuuve it.
The newest hazelnuttiest spread of Online Commentaries & Diversions:
• Interview:Publishers Weekly and James Romberger stop Gary Panter during his busy drawing and teaching schedule to ask him questions about Dal Tokyo. Panter is quoted, "Being that this intends to be an experimental approach to comic making and drawing, like the Jimbo in Purgatory book, I don't expect the reader to get a normal story experience or the satisfaction that comes from skillful story traditional development. I hope the reader will get something else that they never got from a comic before: evidence of an investigation into the ways and means of cartooning and maybe a dizzy feeling."
• Review: Originally published in Danish in 2005, this review of Jimbo in Purgatory by Gary Panter was just translated into English on The Metabunker. Matthias Wivel says, "With humor and a spectacular visual imagination, Panter serves up a lavish and remarkably generous, but never chaotic book that reminds us of the way in which truth emerges socially –moved by the power of will, thought, and faith."
• Review:Publishers Weekly reviews Jorge Zentner and Lorenzo Mattotti's Crackle of the Frost. "Despite the depressing story line, Mattotti’s truly inspired lines, expressive forms, and wild visual imagination will captivate."
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
Join Fantagraphics this weekend for the 2012 Small Press Expo in Bethesda, Maryland! On September 15th & 16th, we'll be filling the Marriott Betheseda Conference Center with some dazzling debuts, panels, and signings! Come meet your favorite artists and get your books signed:
Making its debut at SPX this weekend and coming to stores in November, it's Blacklung, Chris Wright's long-buzzed-about debut graphic novel (following his acclaimed short story collection Inkweed). We call it "a sweeping, magisterially conceived, visually startling tale of violence, amorality, fortitude, and redemption, one part Melville, one part Peckinpah." And it's got pirates! You can pre-order and read a 12-page excerpt right here.
(A small warning: now that we have the printed books in hand, we noticed that due to a strange and unique confluence of events, page 36 is accidentally repeated on page 27. Fortunately, there are no missing pages, and somehow it doesn't even mess up any other page spreads — like we said, strange. So when you come to that page and it seems out of sequence, just skip on to the next page and everything will be fine.)
This is just one title from a large shipment of advance copies we received on Friday last week, which means we'll be doling out more sneak peeks over the next few days. It's gettin' kinda hectic 'round here!
The humming un-tested electric fence of Online Commentaries & Diversions:
• Review:The Comics Journal reviews Dal Tokyo by Gary Panter. Joshua Glenn writes, "Panter’s draughtsmanship is fluid and permeable, it changes from week to week. . . Some installments are so crammed with detail and extraneous scribbles that the eye can’t possibly take it all in; others are stripped down, emptied out, haiku-like. In short, Dal Tokyo is absurd, unimaginable, and perfect."
• Interview: Jason Sacks from the Comics Bulletin caught up with Gary Panter at his Fantagraphics Bookstore signing this weekend and asked him some questions about Dal Tokyo: "I think that Dal Tokyo, because it's experimental, it's continually reminding you that it's being made. Whereas most comics they're trying to draw you into the illusion and keep you there. That's what comics are supposed to do and that's what popular comics do," Sacks points out.
• Review:North Adams Transcript looks and looks and looks again at Sexytime edited by Jacques Boyreau. John Seven laments, "The posters are the ephemera of an artifact called the porn theater that lurks in my ‘70s childhood. A place where sleaze was visible, but contained. . .If you can deal with it, "Sexytime" is a fun and often ridiculous reminder of a world that seemed so dangerous when many of us were kids, but is now gone."
• Review: Nick Gazin on Vice reviews Tales Designed to Thrizzle #8 by Michael Kupperman: "It really feels like something you would dream about, except it is loaded with guffaws. . . This whole comic is basically the best ideas you've never thought of. After reading it you'll be all, 'That is so clever, why didn't I think of it? AND THESE JOKES!' "
• Plug: Rob at Panel Patter goes over some of the books he's looking forward to at SPX this month. "The Hypo is the book I'm most looking forward to. The deep thinker Noah Van Sciver taking on deep thinker Abraham Lincoln at the lowest point in his life? SOLD." And Tales Designed to Thrizzle #8 "finishes up the quirky comic from new Panel Patter favorite Michael Kupperman. It's sure to be packed full of hysterical mashups and general insanity, based on pop culture and puns, both new and old."
• Review:Publishers Weekly reviews No Straight Lines again and is quite happy: ". . . who the volume is aimed at—the LGBT audience or a much wider one? Editor [Justin] Hall guns for the latter, but without softening the edges that define the genre, and he’s quite successful."
• Review: The SFCrowsNest reviews oldie-but-a-goodie The Hidden by Richard Sala. Aidan Fortune says, "The use of watercolours in the art gives it a children’s storybook feel that will stir up memories of reading horror stories underneath the covers by torchlight. Despite this warm look, ‘The Hidden’ is gripping, chilling and certainly not for children."
• Review:Dave's Strange World looks at Kevin Avery's Everything is an Afterthought, "Everything is an Afterthought is a loving tribute to a writer who deserved bigger and better success than his demons would allow. It’s clear from the testimonials and interviews given for this book how loved [Paul] Nelson was by his colleagues and friends."
The Brooklyn Book Festival is coming up, and our own Michael Kupperman has organized a "bookend" event to kick things off with hilarity! Join The Comics Crowd on Saturday, September 22nd for an evening of comics readings and panel projections!
Mr. Kupperman will be joined by an all-star cast, including Gabrielle Bell, Julia Wertz (Drinking at the Movies), Bob Sikoryak (Masterpiece Comics), Lauren Weinstein (Girl Stories), Lisa Hanawalt (I Want You), and Aaron Diaz (The Tomorrow Girl).
The crowd will gather at 8:00 PM at Bergen Street Comics [ 470 Bergen Street, between Flatbush & 5th Avenues ]. Festivities are free and open to the public! Don't miss it!
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