When the formulaic constraints, censorious nature, and onerous lack of creator's rights in mainstream comics got to be too much for the brilliant cartoonist Wallace Wood in 1966, he struck out on his own with the self-published witzend. It became a haven for Wood and his fellow professional cartoonist friends where they could produce the kind of personal work that they wanted to do, without regard to commercial demands — and with friends like Frank Frazetta, Al Williamson, Reed Crandall, Ralph Reese, Archie Goodwin, Angelo Torres, Steve Ditko, Harvey Kurtzman, Will Elder, Art Spiegelman, Don Martin, Vaughn Bodé, Jim Steranko, Jeff Jones, Howard Chaykin, Trina Robbins, Bernie Wrightson, and literally dozens more, it was bound to be a great ride! Now, Fantagraphics presents the complete run of witzend in this beautiful slipcased two-volume set with a special introduction by Bill Pearson and a history by Patrick Rosenkranz.
A lovely book filled with depraved, degenerate art and the colorful story of the man who made it, Pirates in the Heartland: The Mythology of S. Clay Wilson Vol. 1 is due out in about 2 months, and we've got our advance copies to begin showing off. Above, one of the only borderline-SFW comics spreads we can show you from the book, and the beginning of a middle chapter of this volume's part of the biography by underground comix historian Patrick Rosenkranz, who also compiled the comics. This book is An Event and we're excited to get it out into the world! You can check out some excerpts and reserve your copy right here.
Love takes many shapes and shades in The Complete Peanuts 1991-1992. Charlie Brown's interest in the Little Red-Haired Girl is rekindled; Linus fails to impress Lydia; Sally hoorays for Hollywood; Marcie pines for the World War I Flying Ace, who becomes lost in his cups (of root beer); Peppermint Patty and Marcie try to make Charlie Brown choose between them; and Snoopy is dangerously obsessed... with cookies.
The Complete Peanuts: 1950-1952 launches the definitive collection of Charles M. Schulz's masterpiece, introducing the strip's beloved characters — Lucy, Schroeder, Snoopy, Linus, and, of course, Charlie Brown.
"Charles Schulz was an innovative genius of American comics and also the marathon man, drawing strip after strip, writing the storyboards for the TV specials, creating a fantasy world that connected kids as well as adults, and all based on powerful iconic characters who express deep feelings of loneliness and resentment and despair." - Garrison Keillor, from his introduction
How did a nervous, creative kid from a normal family in Nebraska grow up to make some of the most outrageous, transgressive, Id-ful comics ever put to paper? You'll find the answer — and the comics — in Pirates in the Heartland, the first book in our 3-volume biography and retrospective of S. Clay Wilson by Patrick Rosenkranz. Wilson, of course, is a member of the Zap Comix collective and creator of the Checkered Demon; Rosenkranz is one of the preeminent authorities on underground comix and the author of the definitive history of the genre, Rebel Visions. Their mighty powers combine in this essential series that takes an unflinching look at the man and his work.
In our downloadable excerpt, read about Wilson's childhood in the heartland, see some of his youthful artwork, and read some of his earliest underground comix stories with, yes, pirates. Expected availability is in about 8 weeks, give or take;pre-sale is on now!
It's a happy day for the Love and Rockets fans in the office (i.e. all of us): advance copies of Luba and Her Family are in the house! This is the latest Gilbert Hernandez volume in the Love and Rockets Library softcover omnibus series and the first to collect Gilbert's work from the post-Volume 1 era. Whether you're the kind of completist who needs all the books, or the kind who just wants to read all the stories in the proper narrative order, or a new reader who wants to jump on with a good, more recent starting point, you need this book. Jump on our pre-sale and take a gander at some of the contents (including the table thereof) right here.
The painting I donated to the CAPS auction to benefit the Sakai family back in December is now up for bids! Here’s some info about the painting, if you are interested: the illustration is from the Japanese folktale Little Peachling and was originally done for the front cover of one of my earliest children’s books, Favorite Tales from Many Lands, written by Walter Retan and published by Grossett & Dunlap in 1989. This was painted on illustration board (basically, a piece of bristol board attached to a chipboard backing), then "stripped" (peeled off the backing board) because back in those days, children, artwork was color separated by wrapping it around a drum scanner. Because of this the backside is a bit fuzzy, but so is your cat's so don't judge.
Left to right: Linda Medley, Stan Sakai, Mark Crilley, and Jeff Smith. Not pictured: Charles Vess. Old Man's Cave, Ohio, November 1998
There's been tons of wonderful artwork donated, and right now you have the opportunity to bid on pieces from three of my old buddies above, counting Charlie who was there but didn't show up in the photo because faerie glamour.
Mark Crilley's fantastic watercolor of Usagi. Go watch the amazing video Mark made of him coloring this piece, be soothed by his awesome weatherman voice, then bid like crazy because this auction ends on Sunday.
Also ending Sunday is Charles Vess's huge, gorgeous watercolor spread which comes with bonus Neil Gaiman cooties! So it's well worth your consideration. And paycheck.
Also well worth it are the Sakais. Seriously, they are the nicest people in comics -- and beyond -- and Stan is a LEGEND. Even if you can't bid in the auctions, you can still donate via PayPal, and every little bit helps.
The team of Harvey Kurtzman and John Severin was one of the most fruitful collaborations in the history of comics. The work they did combines the taut emotional and psychological insights of Stephen Crane with a verisimilitude so gritty that it seems as if they are reporting from the scene. Together with inker and friend Will Elder, whose own obsession for detail perfectly heightened the impact of every line, they produced 34 war stories — emotionally draining and dramatically eloquent — in just under three years. This book collects them all. Settings include: the Roman empire; the Revolutionary War; the American-Indian Wars; the Alamo; the Civil War; World War I (in the trenches and in the air); World War II (in the Pacific and in Europe, including the D-Day invasion); and the Korean War.
"The minute you looked at his artwork you knew you were looking at a John Severin illustration; it could be no one else. Besides his inimitable style, there was a feeling of total authenticity to whatever he drew, whether it was a Western, a crime story, a superhero saga or a science fiction yarn." – Stan Lee
We didn't really change the cover art for Wandering Son Vol. 7 by Shimura Takako from the preliminary mockup before we sent it to press, but let's make it official anyway. Don't Takatsuki-san and Nitori-kun look adorable in their winter outfits? The book will be out in the dog days of summer, so this snowy scene will help you think cool thoughts. Zits, a ski trip, drama club, and just plain drama are in store for our gender-questioning teen heroes in this seventh installment of the beloved series.
As always, be on the lookout for future previews, put in your pre-order, and don't forget, for a limited time you can subscribe to Vols. 7 & 8 at a discount when you order Vol. 6!
"Charles Schulz was an innovative genius of American comics and also the marathon man, drawing strip after strip, writing the storyboards for the TV specials, creating a fantasy world that connected kids as well as adults, and all based on powerful iconic characters who express deep feelings of loneliness and resentment and despair." — Garrison Keillor, from his introduction