72-page black & white (with spot color) 6" x 9" softcover • $14.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-734-5
A local medical expert and sheriff are summoned to investigate a strange sighting that sets the stage for Conor Stechschulte's debut graphic novella: a severed human head that still seems to be talking. We flash back to a pair of butchers who arrive at work one morning to find not only that there is no meat in their shop but also that they have forgotten completely how to do their job. As customers arrive, they are too fearful for their livelihood to admit their dilemma, leading to increasingly disastrous events. But what has caused their strange amnesia? This often hilarious, enigmatic, and uncomfortable book will establish Stechschulte as an exciting new talent.
240-page full-color 6.75" x 9.75" softcover • $28.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-739-0
Before Spider-Man and 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 and 1954), Ditko drew tales of macabre suspense that were not yet hobbled by the imminent Comics Code Authority (adopted in Oct. 1954). 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 features spectacular full-color reprints of every story from those first two years of his career. Edited by Ditko expert Blake Bell. Now in paperback!
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.
240-page full-color 7.25" x 10" hardcover • $39.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-640-9
"I think [Ditko's] a foundational mainstream talent, and one of the interesting ones like Johnny Craig in that a lot of his influence is felt more directly in areas outside of conventional mainstream funnybooks. I could read him all day. And then the next day." –Tom Spurgeon, Comics Reporter
"Ditko's distinctly off-kilter drawings and boldly potent composition" and the "meticulous restoration means that the stories look far better here than they did upon their original appearances." –Gordon Flagg, Booklist Online
156-page black & white/color 8.5" x 11" softcover • $19.99 978-1-60699-683-6
"These are all must haves, and every positive vibe I emanated up the screen in the direction of Steve Ditko goes double for Mr. Crumb. This is pretty prime time material in terms of the material that made and kept him an icon in the 1970s, but then again, nearly all of these volumes has something. I admire Fantagraphics for their commitment to keep this material in print." –Tom Spurgeon, Comics Reporter
144-page black & white/color 8.5" x 11" softcover • $19.99 978-1-56097-076-7
"The Complete Crumb series is especially useful in reminding us that Crumb has continued to evolve through the sixties. His more recent work is quieter and more literary... The most recent installment, collecting material originally published in Weirdo magazine, contains some of Crumb's best work." –The National Post
“If you get a title that catches on, then add a few more, you’re in for a nice profit.”
“No other field of endeavor is so populated with the get-rich-quick boys.” — Literary Digest
“[Martin Goodman] used to split my salary up into six different checks.”
“The guys who published were monsters.”
— Vince Fago, Timely Comics editor-in-chief
“We want plenty of sex, horror, and gore.” — Gene Fornshell, a Goodman editor
“I felt that we were a company of copycats.” — Stan Lee
Fans and the public have historically labored under three false impressions about Marvel Comics. First, that there actually was a comic book company named “Marvel” for its first 30 or so years. Second, that Goodman founded the company to produce comic books. And third, that star artists Steve Ditko and Jack Kirby — who famously quit the company in late 1965 and 1970 respectively — did so solely as a result of their clashes with editor Stan Lee.
All of those popular beliefs are factually incorrect. Martin Goodman formed the company that would one day become Marvel Comics in 1933 — six years earlier than is commonly supposed. And he formed it, really, to sell magazines. Cheap magazines. Cheap magazines printed on cheap paper. And “it” wasn’t just one company. Oh, and Ditko’s and Kirby’s beefs were more with Goodman than with Lee (more on that later).
Marvel Comics is home to such legendary super-heroes as Spider-Man, Hulk, Thor, Captain America, and Iron Man, all of whom have spun box office gold in the 21st century. But Marvel Comics has a secret history hidden in the shadows of these well-known franchises.
The Secret History of Marvel Comics digs back to the 1930s when Marvel Comics wasn’t just a comic-book producing company. Marvel Comics owner Martin Goodman had tentacles into a publishing world that might have made that era’s conservative American parents lynch him on his front porch. Marvel was but a small part of Goodman’s publishing empire, which had begun years before he published his first comic book. Goodman mostly published lurid and sensationalistic story books (known as “pulps”) and magazines, featuring sexually-charged detective and romance short fiction, and celebrity gossip scandal sheets. And artists like Jack Kirby, who was producing Captain America for eight-year-olds, were simultaneously dipping their toes in both ponds.
The Secret History of Marvel Comics tells this parallel story of 1930s/40s Marvel Comics sharing offices with those Goodman publications not quite fit for children. The book also features a comprehensive display of the artwork produced for Goodman’s other enterprises by Marvel Comics artists such as Jack Kirby and Joe Simon, Alex Schomburg, Bill Everett, Al Jaffee, and Dan DeCarlo, plus the very best pulp artists in the field, including Norman Saunders, John Walter Scott, Hans Wesso, L.F. Bjorklund, and Marvel Comics #1 cover artist Frank R. Paul. Goodman’s magazines also featured cover stories on celebrities such as Jackie Gleason, Elizabeth Taylor, Liberace, and Sophia Loren, as well as contributions from famous literary and social figures such as Isaac Asimov, Theodore Sturgeon, and L. Ron Hubbard.
These rare pieces of comic art, pulp and magazine history will open the door to Marvel Comics’ unseen history.
Five years before Steve Ditko began work on his now legendary co-creations for Marvel Comics, the Amazing Spider-Man and Doctor Strange, he was pro- ducing some of his best work in near anonymity for Charlton Comics. Like its predecessors, Impossible Tales: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 4 features over 200 meticulously restored full-color pages of Ditko in his early prime — stories that have never seen a proper reprinting until now, thrilling stories of suspense, mystery, haunted houses, and unsuspecting victims all delineated in Ditko’s wildly idiosyncratic, masterful style.
This fourth volume ranks as the best in the Steve Ditko Archives series to date thanks in large part to the inspiration Ditko took from comics derived from the classic host-narrated radio shows, which gave an extra oomph to his creepy yarns. Moreover, comics such as This Magazine Is Haunted and Tales of the Mysterious Traveler bore witness to a veritable explosion in Ditko’s ingenuity in terms of manipulating the traditional comic-book page layout. This new level of excellence also manifested itself in his work on other books, such as Mysteries of Unexplored Worlds, Out of This World, Strange Suspense Stories, and Unusual Tales, all of which are amply represented in this volume.
Marvel Comics — home to virtuous heroes like Spider-Man, Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, and The Avengers - has a hidden sordid past, stretching back to long before the first Marvel Comic rolled off the presses.
Authors Blake Bell and Dr. Michael J. Vassallo pull back the curtain on the real-life characters who built the publishing empire that became Marvel Comics, document their shady practices, and reveal how it all shaped the Marvel we know today.
Lavishly illustrated and wildly revealing, The Secret History of Marvel Comics discredits long-held myths about Marvel and bursts open a treasure trove of lost artwork by comic book legends Jack Kirby, Joe Simon, Bill Everett, Carl Burgos, Alex Schomburg, and dozens more. none of this art ever appeared in any comic book!
Includes early writings by Stan Lee plus a rare Human Torch escapade — published here in color for the first time!
More great 1950s shockers from the co-creator of Spider-Man! Steve Ditko's prolific work for Charlton Comics in the years before his legendary stint at Marvel has never been properly reprinted — until now! The Steve Ditko Archives series keeps getting better, with more thrilling stories of suspense, mystery, haunted houses, and unsuspecting victims, all given extra oomph by Ditko's increasingly ingenious layouts and wildly idiosyncratic, masterful style.
Over 200 pages from such titles as This Magazine Is Haunted, Tales of the Mysterious Traveler, Mysteries of Unexplored Worlds, Out of This World, Strange Suspense Stories, and Unusual Tales have been meticulously restored in full four-color glory. Don't miss this essential collection of creepy classics from one of comics' most innovative and individualistic artists!
Also joining the authors will be special guests, famed artists Al Jaffee and Stan Goldberg to discuss their memories of working for owner Martin Goodman during the halcyon days of Marvel Comics in the 1940s and 50s!
All those in attendance will receive a special limited edition, tipped-in plate for the book, signed by the authors, and the cost of admission also gives you access to an exclusive signing session and catered reception afterwards (with cash bar).
Tickets are $20 non-members, $15 members, $10 students/seniors, and are available online here. The Society of Illustrators is located at 128 East 63rd Street.
Holy yes-more-please, SPX rocked us. Jacq Cohen, Gary Groth and I traversed across the country for one of the single best comic books shows that exists. We knew it was going to be quite the fun time when we boarded the plane and saw Joseph Remnant. A small favor to stranger later and he was TRAPPED between us for 4+ hours.
SPX is that magical place where we stay in the same hotel as the convention so you run into people all the time. We found a Ben Catmull by the elevators right away! Maybe he was haunting the place (NOT COOL, BEN)
Early morning rise and shine, all the books were out in their deliciously intimidating stacks including all sexy color Peanuts Every Sunday.
Speaking of Peanuts, kids are attracted to it like a magnet. Yes!
Sketching Guantanamo also debuted at SPX and Janet Hamlin, the military tribunal artist for the last seven years showed upwith some new sketches. This book is very important, not just to Janet or us but to the United States as a form of public record.
Peter Bagge signs some books for fans! (photo by Meredith Rizzo)
Zak Sally took a break behind our booth to do some sweet sketches.
The last thing to do at a con after packing up some unsold books and labeling boxes is EAT COOKIES. SPX social media coordinator and crazy busy man, Michael David Thomas, is the stuff fucking dreams are made of my friends.
I'm so pissed I forgot to show off my '90s HIP HOP socks to Ed while he was signing Hip Hop Family Tree. See those smiley faces and peace signs? The kind of socks you keep for the rest of your life! Eden Miller, Ignatz organizer, also showed off her own foot related fashion---an Ignatz tattoo pulled right from the pages of Herriman's comic!
Back on the plane ride home, Jacq took a photo of me working on comics.
We had SUCH a great time at SPX, thank you so much to Warren Bernard, Michael David Thomas, Dan Stafford, Eden Miller, Sam Marx and the many, many, many other staffers and volunteers who made the show rock. Our bags are already packed for next year.