"…[An] essential purchase for any collection that values comic-strip reprints … [T]he inventive wordplay, idiosyncratic swamp patter, and goofy slapstick are all in full effect right from the start, as is the broad cast of loony critters that would eventually number upwards of 500 distinct characters. Due to run 12 volumes, this collection completes the holy trifecta, along with Charles Schulz’ Peanuts and George Herriman’s Krazy Kat, of comic strips whose influence cannot be overstated." – Ian Chipman, Booklist
"…[T]here’s simply no denying Kelly’s mastery: he evokes full characters with nothing but a few choice words, and the sprightliness of his visual style is all fun here, laying the groundwork for what would become profoundly subversive later. The included essays, as is usually the case for Fantagraphics reissues, absolutely nail the context and import of the strip, too. I just don’t think you can say you love comics and not have this around." – David Berry, National Post
"The book is lovingly made and the strips presented with care and pleasure. But is it any good? Oh yes. It’s funny and charming, bursting with witty wordplay and vivid characters you love immediately…. In short, read Pogo and you can immediately see it slide into the pop cultural matrix and how it drew upon the work that came earlier, moved forward the art form of comic strips and influenced artists after it for generations to come. But most of all you’ll laugh…" – Michael Giltz, The Huffington Post
"Like the similarly peripatetic cartoonist Ben Katchor, she draws from, and at, unusual angles, beckoning the eye to travel across the story-world’s space to unusual nooks and crannies, dirty floors and empty skies." – Sean T. Collins, The Comics Journal
"It would be easy to dismiss Megahex as another stoner comic. But there’s so much lurking beneath the seemingly superficial surfaces – questions about friendship, loyalty, love, drug addiction, sexual identity, and hopelessness." – Gareth Branwyn, BoingBoing
A boxed set of the twenty-first and twenty-second volumes of The Complete Peanuts, designed by the award-winning graphic novelist, Seth. Shipping shrinkwrapped, with volumes 1991-1992 and 1993-1994 packed in a sturdy custom box designed especially for this set, it's the perfect gift book item.
Even the most devoted Peanuts fan will be surprised by revisiting Schulz's last decade of work. Schulz's cartooning has never been more expressive, and his sense of humor never more unencumbered by formula or tradition. In one sequence, the gang waits... and waits... for a school bus that never comes. Another shockingly showcases Charlie Brown hitting a game-winning home run — off Roy Hobbs's great-granddaughter? Then, Linus lobbies the White House to nominate Snoopy for a Supreme Court seat (it would go to Ruth Bader Ginsburg). Woodstock discovers his long-lost grandfather's diary, detailing a hard life in captivity (birdcage). Snoopy lands in the hospital with pneumonia, and all three of his brothers — Andy, Spike, and Olaf — come pay their respects. This is the 22nd volume (of 25) of the bestselling series collecting every single one of the 18,000-plus strips created by Schulz from 1950-2000.
The central character of Set to Sea is a big lug and an aspiring poet who runs up tabs at the local bars by day and haunts the docks by night, writing paeans to the seafaring life. When he gets shanghaied aboard a clipper bound for Hong Kong, he finds the sailor's life a bit rougher than his romantic nautical fantasies, but he learns to live — and love — a Conradian life on the sea, all the while writing poetry about pirates, bad food, unceremonious funerals, foreign ports, and unexpected epiphanies. By the end of his life, he's found satisfaction in living a life of adventure and finding a receptive and appreciative readership. What more could one ask for? Set to Sea is part rollicking adventure, part maritime ballad told in visual rhyme. Every page is a single panel, every panel is a stunning illustration, every illustration a part of a larger whole that tells a story in the deft language of cartooning.
The precocious sock monkey Uncle Gabby, his innocent pal Mr. Crow, and their tiny doll-friend, Inches, are the heroes of this funny, unsettling, and all-new Sock Monkey storybook. Convinced that their human, Ann-Louise, has been kidnapped by a vicious monster dubbed the Amarok, our heroes bravely venture into the Haunted Woods to rescue her. The epic quest that follows takes them by sea, land, and air through many fantastic lands and introduces a cast of fanciful characters and creatures including the Trumbernick (the pixie shaman of the forest), a giant sea monster, the Guardsmen of Bear Town, and a flock of flying harpies. Beloved by adults and children, Sock Monkey hearkens back to all-ages fantasy-adventure such as The Wizard of Oz or Alice in Wonderland.
It’s in this volume (featuring another two years' worth of Pogo strips) that we meet one of Walt Kelly's boldest political caricatures. Folks across America had little trouble equating the insidious wildcat Simple J. Malarkey with the ascendant anti-Communist senator, Joseph McCarthy. The subject was sensitive enough that by the following year a Providence, Rhode Island newspaper threatened to drop the strip if Malarkey's face were to appear in it again. Kelly’s response? He had Malarkey appear again but put a bag over the character's head for his next appearance. Ergo, his face did not appear. (Typical of Kelly's layers of verbal wit, the character Malarkey was hiding from was a "Rhode Island Red" hen, referencing both the source of his need to conceal Malarkey and the underlying political controversy.) The entirety of these sequences can be found in this book.
But the Malarkey storyline is only a tiny portion of those rich, eventful two years, which include such classic sequences as con-man Seminole Sam's attempts to corner the market on water (which Porkypine's Uncle Baldwin tries to one-up by cornering the market on dirt); a return engagement of Pup Dog and Houn'dog's blank-eyed Little Orphan Annie parody "Li'l Arf and Nonny"; Churchy La Femme going in drag to deliver a love poem he wrote, Cyrano style, on Deacon Mushrat’s behalf to Sis Boombah (the aforementioned hen); P.T. Bridgeport's return to the swamp in search of new talent; and of course two rousing choruses of "Deck Us All With Boston Charlie."
In addition to presenting all of 1953 and 1954's daily strips complete and in order for the first time anywhere (many of them once again scanned from original syndicate proofs, for their crispest and most detailed appearance ever), Pogo Volume 3: "Evidence to the Contrary" also contains all 104 Sunday strips from these two years, presented in lush full color for the first time since their original appearance in Sunday sections 60 years ago — plus the usual in-depth "Swamp Talk" historical annotations by R.C. Harvey, spectacular samples of Kelly's work scanned from original art, and a whole lot more!
Dash Shaw's Doctors has been optioned by Twentieth Century Fox. Producer David Goyer (Batman Begins; Man of Steel; The Dark Knight) has jumped on board to adapt Shaw's sci-fi graphic novela into a feature film.
"I'm curious and excited to see what they do with it," says cartoonist Dash Shaw.
Doctors is centered around a machine called the Charon that can bring a dead person back to life by manipulating the memories of the recently deceased. The creator of the device, Dr. Cho, has found a way to make death into a profitable venture. When a young woman loses her mother in a tragic accident, she calls on Cho and his team to bring her mom back. But what happens if a person doesn't want to come back? Part science-fiction thriller, part family drama, part morality play for the 21st century, Doctors packs a lot of story into 96 pages.
"From the moment I read Dash's first draft of this book, I could picture it as a film, so this is exciting news," explains Fantagraphics Associate Publisher Eric Reynolds.
VP of Production at Fox, Matt Riley, will be overseeing the project. Further details have yet to be released.
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