Cartoonist, journalist, designer and lover of all comics! Here to encourage you to read Fantagraphics books and then pass them on to your friends AND family. Especially those Eros ones. Graduate of The Center for Cartoon Studies.
Dash Shaw's newest comic, 3 New Stories, is available today for the first time both in print and digitally via comiXology! In this 32 page comic, Shaw creates three full-color short stories exploring varied dystopian societies, from a Sherlock Holmes-style investigator who must complete his high school degree to filmed "voluntary" nudity to prison camps full of jaded children.
Enjoy this full meal of comic on its own or consider it an appetizer for New School out next month. It's only $2.99 for a fun read.
"Dash Shaw is a modern comics master. He experiments with everything from structure to narrative to color. If you're unfamiliar with his work, he's sort of like Gary Panter illustrating a Chris Ware story, or, in this case, 3 stories of dystopian societies." -Benn Ray, Atomic Books
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.
472-page black & white 5.75" x 8.25" hardcover • $29.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-633-1
"Castle Waiting creates a vibrant fantasy world not unlike The Lord of the Rings' Middle-earth but with a focus on the lives of women.... Fun to read and look at, Castle Waiting will enthrall fantasy readers of both genders." – Time
144 page black & white with color 8/5" x 11" softcover • $19.99 ISBN: 978-0-930193-92-8
"Fantagraphics' Crumb project advances into wilder, woolier, scarier, more fantastic, and lewder and still lewder territory in [Volume 5]... This is definitely X-rated material — make that triple-X! — but it's brilliant, scabrously hilarious, absolutely basic to understanding the 1960s American counterculture, and authentically mind-blowing." – Booklist
comiXology and Fantagraphics bring another classic cartoonist to the digital screen in Weird Horrors & Daring Adventures: The Joe Kurbert Archives Vol. 1. Joe Kubert sealed his reputation as one of the greatest American comicbook cartoonists of all time with the four-color adventures of Sgt. Rock of Easy Company, Enemy Ace, and Tarzan, all done for DC Comics during the 1960s and 1970s (themselves already the subject of archival editions)... but he had been working in comics since the 1940s. In fact, young Kubert produced an exciting, significant body of work as a freelance artist for a variety of comic book publishers in the postwar era, in a glorious variety of non-super hero genres: horror, crime, science fiction, western, romance, humor, and more. For the first time since the printe edition, 33 of the best of these stories have been collected in one full-color volume, with a special emphasis on horror and crime.
Drawn in the pre-Comics Code era, they are more thrilling, violent and sexy (by contemporary standards) than much of his later work. And just the titles of the comic books from which these stories are taken are wonderfully evocative of a bygone era of four-color fun: Cowpuncher, Abbott and Costello Comics, Three Stooges, Eerie, Planet Comics, Meet Miss Pepper, Strange Terrors, Green Hornet Comics, Whack, Jesse James, Out of This World, Crime Does Not Pay, Weird Thrillers, Police Lineup, and Hollywood Confessions. With an extensive set of historical notes and an essay by the book's editor Bill Schelly, author of the Art of Joe Kubert art book and Man of Rock Kubert biography. For $24.99, this thick volume of comics takes up no space on your shelf but will no doubt fill your brain with images, keeping you up until the wee hours.
"Schelly and the always sterling Fantagraphics production team do a nice job of preserving the look and feel of these comics…the master cartoonist was equally at home doing broad humor as intense action/adventure as well as lighter, Archie-style teen humor."–Jason Sacks, Comics Bulletin
"Best known for Sgt. Rock, Tarzan, and Hawkman in the 1960s and 70s, this anthology of Kubert's 1940s work reveals his versatility in a variety of genres, including horror, humor, and romance." -Mark Frauenfelder, Boing Boing
Most Seattlelites recognize the cartoons of Steven Weissman since he's been drawing I, Anonymous for the Seattle Stranger for quite awhile. In this weekly letter column, he pens the diatribes of the angry, bitter, self-loathing and oblivious. Last month's was a favorite of mine, a huge fan of the C-word, handled with the utmost care (see above). Weissman's love of duotone, gray shading and dot-matrix-heavy shading makes his drawings perfect for print and they look hella fine on the web too. Weissman was sweet enough to answer some questions about how he approaches the weekly illustrations.
Q: Do the letters appear on your doorstep in a huge sack just steeped in vitriol?
A: [Art Director] Aaron Huffman sends me a letter sometime between Wednesday and Friday each week after Stranger associate editor David Schmader or some shadowy 'they' pick the letters.
Q: What is your process like for a weekly drawing based on someone else's ideas?
A: I've usually scanned the letter once by Friday. I'll print it out on Sunday night, underline key phrases and make a couple of sketches. By Monday morning, I have a pretty clear idea of what I'm drawing.
Sometimes the Seattle-specific letters can be puzzling (I'm in Los Angeles), but I can only think of one where I was completely stumped, and all I remember about that one is my solution being some guy eating a toaster waffle.
Q: Have you ever been contacted by the people who wrote the letters or the ones who figured out they were the subject?
A: I've sold drawings to people related to the letters before. They make great gifts for friends recovering from messy breakups (35% of I, Anonymous letters are breakups). Original art is also a great way to say "I'm sorry I gave you V.D."
The annual Stumptown Comics Awards nominees have been announced. Here on out, it's a down-and-dirty voting contest so we have a few recommendation on who you should vote for (Spoiler: our books) and the fact you should ask your mom and her intense network of friends.
Noah Van Sciver is up for Best Cartoonist for The Hypo. His emotionally charged drawing style added depth and charimsa to the beleaguered story of Abraham Lincoln long before he was a president.
Lilli Carré is up for two awards for Best Colorist and Publication Design for Heads or Tails. Carré recently was a Lynd Ward Prize honoree for 2013 for the same book. Filled to the brim with sweet, whimsical short stories that leave you shivering, this one-woman book of tales delivers for either side of the coin.
Every great once in awhile, like a giant locust swarm happening on the same calendar day as a solar eclipse, Ivan Brunetti offers a page of original art for sale. This time it is the page below (detail above) from The New Yorker, the December 21, 2009 issue.
The Peppercorn Saison is the first of many beers in the newest collaboration between a Fantagraphics cartoonist, Jim Woodring this time, and Elysian Brewing Company, who created the 12 Beers of the Apocalypse based on Charles Burns' Black Hole art last year. The Oddland series will feature gorgeous full-color labels with a hint of bright, shimmering foil and artwork based on the ingredients. From the Elysian press release: "Head Brewer Dick Cantwell and his brainstormy gang get an idea; they run it by Woodring, who sketches his two cents' worth and sends it on back; then the recipe is tweaked, the ingredients secured, suggestions made as to visual format, and away we all go, to Oddland."
Weird ingredients are once more very much the order of the day--black, green, white and pink peppercorns for the first go, pears, cumin and cardamom for the second, and who knows what for the third--focused, inverted, enlarged and then made small again through the Woodring lens. The labels will both disturb and amuse you; the beers intrigue, refresh and engage you.
The Oddland Peppercorn Saison will hit stores in 22-ounce bottles, restaurants and bars on draft and Elysian's own taps around May 15 of this year. You can drink it down at home even while reading Weathercraft, Congress of the Animals or the soon-to-be-released, Fran. Keep your eyes peeled and throats thirsty for a fun keg-tapping event featuring the Oddland ring-and-inkmasters, Jim Woodring.
The book that has been sold-out twice in a row comes to you, dear reader, in digital form. Four Color Fear: Forgotten Horror Comics of the 1950s. The finest non-EC horror covers and stories of the pre-code era by artist perennials Jack Cole, Reed Crandall, George Evans, Frank Frazetta, Jack Katz, Al Williamson, Basil Wolverton, and Wallace Wood, collected in a robust and affordable volume. And by volume, we mean four. This book is SO BIG, SO HUGE that we had to break it up into four parts: CMYK for the printing colors Cyan (blue), Magenta, Yellow and Black or parts one, two, three, four.
Editors John Benson and Greg Sadowski have sifted through hundreds of rare books to cherry-pick the most compelling scripts and art, and they provide extensive background notes on the artists, writers, and companies involved in their creation. Digital restoration has been performed with subtlety and restraint, mainly to correct registration and printing errors, with every effort made to retain the flavor of the original comics, and to provide the reader the experience of finding a most delightful read in their dusty, creaky attic. Each part is only 6.99 for 80-something pages bound to terrify and keep you up all night long, glowing from your tablets thanks to comiXology.
"[Its] a wonderfully creepy hurtle through the exuberant, cheerfully gross and icky horror comics that prevailed in the golden, pre-Comics-Code era. ...[T]he art is brilliant: indistinct piles of slimy viscera, purple-green zombies, skull-faced vampires and demons, Satan in a dozen guises, witches and occult symbols, creatures from the eleven hells of the darkest mythos of the human spirit." – Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing
It was announced last week by Penn State University Libraries and the Pennsylvania Center for the Book that Chris Ware won the Lynd Ward Prize for Best Graphic Novel 2013, Lilli Carré with Heads or Tails was one of the two Honorable Mentions (along with Theo Ellsworth's The Understanding Monster)
"Each story is exquisitely crafted, demonstrating both a compelling literary style and a rich, engaging design sense that can seem deceptively naïve or childlike on first glance but in context reveals striking sophistication and complexity." You're damn right, it was and is! Lilli Carré's book,Heads or Tails is available in its beautiful simplicity and accumulating complexity at our online store or a bookstore near you.
Finally, the sold-out first volme of the Ditko Archives is here in digital reading glory via comiXology, Strange Suspense. Before the Amazing Spider-Man and mysterious Dr. Strange, the legendary comic book artist Steve Ditko was conjuring all manners of horrors at his drawing table. In his first two years in the industry (1953 and1954), Ditko drew tales of macabre suspense that were not yet hobbled by the Comics Code Authority. These stories featured graphic bloodshed, dismemberment and blood-curdling acid baths as the ugly end to the lives of the dark and twisted inhabitants of Steve Ditko's imagination.
Strange Suspense: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 1features, for the first time, spectacular full-color reprints of every story from those first two years of his career. Beginning with Ditko's very first story to Ditko's short stint in the Joe Simon/Jack Kirby studio, to Ditko's eventual encampment at the Charlton Comics operation in 1954, readers will see the initial works of an artist already at a level of craftsmanship that exceeded most of his peers. The book also features editor Blake Bell's insightful introduction, providing historical background and speaking to Ditko's influence and his unique craft.
Enjoy this 238 page masterpiece on your reading tablets, anywhere, anytime.
"Fantastic... Raw and grotesque and beautifully drawn and presented." –Dave Gibbons
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