We're pleased to announce that we have a few exclusive bonus items to give away to our customers at Small Press Expo this weekend! Since a few artists with debut books can't make it to the show, we have SPX signature plates, all exclusive to the show and all with brand new artwork!
Folks who purchase Ron Rege Jr.'s The Cartoon Utopia will receive one of these hand-drawn, hand-colored plates along with the book. Ron sent us a scan of his lettering, we printed them, and then Ron drew his special signature-drawing on each one, with lots of unique variations.
Buying Johnny Ryan's Prison Pit Book 4? You'll get one of these signed plates featuring a drawing by Johnny done specially for SPX. (This photo is of a full sheet before we cut 'em up.)
And with Carol Tyler 's You'll Never Know Book 3: Soldier's Heart you'll get one of these beautiful signed two-sided double-bookmarks, handcrafted by Carol using little fake flowers and bits of sandpaper from her dad's workshop! They're like paper nunchucks of beauty and wonderfulness.
But wait, there's more!
Even though he'll be there signing his new book Blacklung in person, Chris Wright drew this special page for us apologizing for the page mixup in the book, which we've made into a print that he'll be signing for insertion into the book. We also printed mini-posters of some of the promotional art Chris recently drew for the book, which we'll be giving out to anyone who asks!
Whew, that's a lot of sweet stuff to get your hands on! All are available exclusively at our SPX table this weekend while supplies last, first come first served! (And if there's any left over, we'll maybe make them available to our mail-order customers.)
(And that's not all... our signing artists may also be bringing their own goodies — for instance, Steven Weissman's Barack Hussein Obama campaign stickers, and who knows what else!)
Due to popular demand, in addition to the new softcover edition, we are offering this new hardcover edition at the same increased trim size (and with a new matte cover treatment — see photo below for comparison with the First Edition, which is also still available), limited to 500 copies worldwide!
By appropriating and subverting Tintin creator Hergé’s classic “clear line” style, Joost Swarte revitalized European alternative comics in the 1970s with a series of satirical, musically elegant, supremely beautifully drawn short stories — often featuring his innocent, magnificently-quiffed Jopo de Pojo, or his orotund scientist character, Anton Makassar.
Under Swarte’s own exacting supervision, Is That All There Is? will collect virtually all of his alternative comics work from 1972 to date, including the RAW magazine stories that brought him fame among American comics aficionados in the 1980s. Especially great pains will be taken to match Swarte’s superb coloring, which includes stories executed in watercolor, comics printed in retro duotones, fiendishly clever use of Zip-a-Tone screens, and much more. (There’s even a story about how to color comics art using those screens, with Makassar as the teacher.)
Other noteworthy stories include Swarte’s take on an episode from Hergé’s early days, a Fats Domino story, a tribute to the legendary “Upside-Downs” strip, and a story titled simply “Modern Art.”
“I’ve loved Joost Swarte’s perfect cartoons, drawings and designs for decades and it’s nothing short of ridiculous that a comprehensive edition of this brilliant artist’s work has never been available in America until now. Swarte is considered a national treasure in his native Holland, and if you open this book, you’ll understand why.” — Chris Ware
Seriously go grab something to mop up the tears and exploded-brain matter before clicking "play" on this astonishing short animated film directed by Dash Shaw and co-written by Dash and filmmaker John Cameron Mitchell (with backgrounds by Frank Santoro) encompassing two songs by the amazing Icelandic band Sigur Rós from their new album Valtari. Like seriously.
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.
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.
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
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!
Heh, heh! Got a real chiller-diller this time fiends! Join me, The Crypt-Keeper, your host of howls, along with Jack Davis and Al Feldstein as we creep our way through four spine-tingling, hair-standing, blood-curdling tales of terror! We'll scare you silly! Trick or treat? Treat!!
Jack Davis's Tales from the Crypt is one of TWO special mini-comics we produced as a special Halloween 2012 give-away for participating comic shops (stay tuned for our announcement of the second one... here's a hint: rhymes with "Grasil Molverton"). Contact your local shop for availability.
We're like Navin Johnson on new phone book day over here!
Advance copies of these two highly-anticipated beauties arrived at the office yesterday: the first two volumes in our EC Comics Library series, Came the Dawn and Other Stories illustrated by Wallace Wood and Corpse on the Imjin! and Other Stories by Harvey Kurtzman et al. Came the Dawn features thrilling crime and suspense stories drawn by Wood (written mostly by Al Feldstein), and Corpse on the Imjin! contains Kurtzman's masterful and influential war stories illustrated by himself and others. If you didn't know and hadn't gathered, the volumes in this new series collect stories by genre and creator, in glorious black and white. (And don't they look handsome? Series design & art direction by good ol' Jacob Covey.) This classic material has never been collected this way before, and we're honored and proud to be doing it!
We've already posted excerpts from each book on its respective page with several full stories you can read (plus the tables of contents for your reference), and, of course, stay tuned for further previews. We also have a special deal for our mail-order customers where you can buy both books together for 20% off! Yes, we will have advance copies for sale at SPX next week and at our EC exhibit at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery next month (stay tuned for more about that), and the books are due to hit the shelves in November.
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