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Category >> Blake Bell

Unexplored Worlds: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 2 - Previews, Pre-Order
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under videoSteve Ditkopreviewsnew releasesBlake Bell 9 Nov 2010 6:23 AM

Unexplored Worlds: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 2

Unexplored Worlds: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 2
by Steve Ditko; edited by Blake Bell

240-page full-color 7.25" x 10" hardcover • $39.99
ISNB: 978-1-60699-380-4

Ships in: December 2010 (subject to change) — Pre-Order Now

This is where Steve Ditko became Steve Ditko.

1954 and 1955 were tough years for the fledgling cartoonist: A life-threatening bout with tuberculosis sidelined him for almost a year, and his main client, Charlton Comics, suffered a devastating flood that forced it to shut its doors temporarily. Yet Ditko's enforced time off and subsequent need to seek out new clients (most particularly Marvel Comics, for whom he would go on to create Spider-Man), as well as his stubborn devotion to his craft, brought about an astonishing series of quantum leaps in his work — as displayed in this volume (following the best-selling Strange Suspense: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 1) of more than 200 pages' worth of never-before-collected horror and science-fiction stories from the early career of a comics great. Introduction by series editor Blake Bell.

Download an EXCLUSIVE 18-page PDF excerpt (8.5 MB) containing three thrilling tales!

Video & Photo Slideshow Preview (view in new window):

Strange Suspense + Unexplored Worlds: The Steve Ditko Archives Vols. 1 + 2

Bonus Savings: Order both volumes of The Steve Ditko Archives (Strange Suspense & Unexplored Worlds) together and save 20%!

Daily OCD: 11/8/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Steve DitkoreviewsLove and RocketsLos Bros HernandezJaime HernandezGilbert HernandezFour Color FearDestroy All MoviesDaily OCDCarol TylerBlake Bell 8 Nov 2010 5:20 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Unexplored Worlds: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 2 [Pre-Order]

Review: "This week I read Unexplored Worlds, the second collection of pre-Spider-Man comics drawn by Steve Ditko. This handsomely designed volume mainly collects work Ditko did for Charlton, a mix of sci-fi, western and post-code horror stories. Ditko is in fine form here...; he seems more sure of himself here, full of verve, dramatic angles and odd hand gestures. In some stories, you can see the groundwork being laid down for what was to come in a few years — there’s a sequence where a guy travels to another dimension where you can see the beginnings of Dr. Strange." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6

Four Color Fear: Forgotten Horror Comics of the 1950s [Pre-Order]

Review: "Each story is weird and wonderful in its own way, even when the writers and artists aren’t as skilled as others. Even better is a 32-page cover gallery in the middle, printed on glossy paper, each suitable for framing. I could stare at such covers all day. [Four Color Fear is an] excellent book..., expertly designed and popping with flaws-and-all color. At more than 300 pages..., [its] heft is welcome. For serious comics scholars or just those seeking a nostalgic kick, [it comes] highly recommended as [a] strong year’s-best contender..." – Rod Lott, Bookgasm

Interview: At The Faster Times, Ryan Joe goes behind the scenes of Four Color Fear with the book's co-editor Greg Sadowski: "The quality of the writing was [the] number one [consideration] — each story had to be a compelling read. The art came second, though I think every story we chose has interesting art."

Destroy All Movies!!!: The Complete Guide to Punks on Film [Pre-Order]

Review: "Consider this a warning. If you fail to immediately purchase a copy of Destroy All Movies a swarm of post-apocalyptic punk rock bikers will kick your door down and ram their fists down your throat. [...] This is an exhaustive reference work that is every bit as brash and entertaining as its subject matter. It's well written, exhaustively researched and laid out in a gorgeous, colorful package that'll make it a coffee table discussion piece in geek homes around the globe." – Todd Brown, Twitch

Interview: Joe Gross of the Austin American-Statesman, who says "Packed with stills from movies both cult and mainstream, filled with reviews of 1,100 films, and featuring interviews with crucial actors and directors, Destroy All Movies is everything one could hope for from a project this esoteric," talks to the book's editors, Zack Carlson and Bryan Connolly, who says: "It's not like a Leonard Maltin guide where you can just go down to the store and be like, 'Oh, I want this movie.' You're gonna really have to fight to find a lot of the stuff in there. Like some of it isn't even available in this country."

Love and Rockets: New Stories #3 [with FREE Signed Bookplate]

Review: "I just sat down and re-read thru the new Love and Rockets issue. Shame on you, True Believer, if you haven’t already dog-eared this one. Please, please order this one today and thank me for urging you to do so. ... Jaime Hernandez has outdone himself. I mean, I’m a cynical super fan at times who often believes he’s 'seen it all' and then something like L ‘n R New Stories #3 comes out and just slays me." – Frank Santoro (who goes on to examine Jaime's panel layouts and compare L&R to Rocky and Bullwinkle), Comics Comics

Interview: At The Daily Cross Hatch, Brian Heater's chat with Jaime Hernandez continues: "Maggie’s just got so much more going on than the other characters, for me. I like doing the other characters, but I’ll always go back to Maggie and the joy of creating her life. There’s just something about the character that I enjoy playing with and finding out where she’s going and who she is."

Birdland [Expanded Edition - Sold Out]

Review: Did you think Sean T. Collins was going to omit Birdland in his "Love and Rocktober" series at Attentiondeficitdisorderly? "Doing a straight-up porn comic that borrows the Palomar-verse characters Fritz and Petra gives Beto the freedom to be as silly and utopian as he wants, something he couldn’t get away with in the naturalist, politically aware world of Palomar and Love and Rockets proper."

You'll Never Know Book 2: Collateral Damage [Pre-Order]

Plug: Corey Blake spotlights Carol Tyler's You'll Never Know books as good examples of comics in print format

Daily OCD: 10/27-28/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Stephane BlanquetreviewsMoto HagiomangaLove and RocketsJosh SimmonsJasonGilbert HernandezFour Color FearDrew WeingDestroy All MoviesDavid BDaily OCDBlake BellBill Everett 28 Oct 2010 6:47 PM

Another two-day Online Commentary & Diversions (running a little off schedule, sorry):

Destroy All Movies!!!: The Complete Guide to Punks on Film [Pre-Order]

Review: "Hollywood is probably the most likely to misrepresent any culture, but their casting of punks as Neolithic, abusive, drug addicts with candy-colored hair and an inexplicable amount of chains is far too amusing to turn away from. [Destroy All Movies!!!] editors Zack Carlson and Bryan Connolly seem to have noticed this trend, and their commentary about each of these films borders on hilarious at several points. [...] In the end, you get both a compendium of thoughtful ruminations on punk culture and a hilarious collection of movie missteps..." – Thorin Klosowski, Denver Westword

Review: "[Jason] is without immediate peer, and perhaps the closest I can get to him is Jim Jarmusch, the indie film director... Werewolves of Montpellier is less about the grand sweep of its pseudo-horror set-up (which is utterly demolished by a delicious final page denouement), and more about its mundane aspects, which resonate further than the book's forty-odd pages. ★★★★ [out of 5]" – Michael Leader, Den of Geek

Fire & Water: Bill Everett, the Sub-Mariner and the Birth of Marvel Comics [with FREE Signed Bookplate]

Review: ‎"...Blake Bell has crafted an excellent look at one of comics' most underappreciated creators: compelling, well paced and entertaining. [...] Bell kept Fire & Water moving at an excellent pace, never dwelling too long on any details but giving us Everett's life in relation to his comic career. And that's the key: Bell is a comic fan and knows his audience is as well so that's the focus. [...] While the tale of Everett's life held my attention the art is the real star. Covering everything from early doodles to his last published page we get to see thirty plus years of material. [...] The fit and finish for Fire & Water is exceptional. A heavy matt paper is used that really shows off the material and gives it an almost period feel. The size is perfect for admiring the art and is easy to read; a new perfect package. I can't get enough of the dust jacket image and its design is stunning: a real eye catcher. At $40 it's a great value." – Scott VanderPloeg, Comic Book Daily

A Drunken  Dream and Other Stories [Pre-Order]

Review: At The Hooded Utilitarian, Noah Berlatsky's story-by-story examination of Moto Hagio's A Drunken Dream and Other Stories moves on to "Iguana Girl"

Love and Rockets Library (Palomar Book 1): Heartbreak Soup [with FREE Signed Bookplate]

Review: Sean T. Collins's "Love and Rocktober" review series at Attentiondeficitdisorderly moves on to Gilbert Hernandez's oeuvre, starting with Heartbreak Soup: "Whether in terms of family, sexuality, physicality, or deformity, biology is destiny for the people of Palomar... And although biology is obviously among Beto's primary concerns, destiny is the operative word. I don't think the Palomarians have the ability to escape the way the Locas do. Not all of them need to escape, mind you — there's a lot of really warm and adorable and hilarious and awesome stuff going down in Palomar — but whatever walks alongside them in their lives is gonna walk alongside them till the very end."

House [with FREE Signed Bookplate]

List: At Robot 6, guest contributor Van Jensen names Josh Simmons's House as one of his "six favorite horror comics & movies" (and, by reduction, one of his three favorite horror comics): "Simmons uses no words through the entire story, but his real accomplishment is utilizing the design of the pages to deliver an increasingly claustrophobic, disorienting and terrifying story."

The Littlest Pirate King + Toys in the Basement [Pre-Order]

Plug: At Robot 6, Sean T. Collins highlights our duo of creepy all-ages releases, David B.'s The Littlest Pirate King and Stéphane Blanquet's Toys in the Basement

Set to Sea

Interview: The Daily Cross Hatch's Brian Heater concludes his 3-part chat with Drew Weing: "What’s funny is, I’ve got Google Alerts for my name, so if somebody says it on the Internet, I show up like Beetlejuice. I click on it, like, 'ooh, this guy just dissed me.'" [Hi, Drew.]

Four Color Fear: Forgotten Horror Comics of the 1950s [Pre-Order]

Analysis: At Comics Comics, Timothy Hodler compares the reproduction/restoration style of Four Color Fear: Forgotten Horror Comics of the 1950s with another, similar book which also came out recently, also noting that "Greg Sadowski’s [text] is preferable by a wide margin." (There's plenty of discussion in the comments, and from Alan David Doane at Comic Book Galaxy.)

Daily OCD: 10/22-25/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Thomas OttreviewsNate NealMoto HagiomangaLyonel FeiningerLove and RocketsLewis TrondheimKevin HuizengaJasonJaime HernandezFour Color FearDestroy All MoviesDaily OCDComing AttractionsCathy MalkasianBlake BellBill Everett 25 Oct 2010 4:39 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions from Friday to today:

The Sanctuary

Review: "In The Sanctuary, Nate Neal traces back the history of manipulation, power battles and betrayal to a single cave, thousands of years ago. The story unfolds entirely in a Paleolithic language Neal created, rendering the action subtle as a tribe careens toward possible chaos amidst the battles contained. [...] In the dynamics that Neal presents, you can see your country, your town, your work place and your family, all rolled into one cautionary tale. In stark black and white, Neal’s art exhibits much sophistication, while still maintaining a required roughness, given the time period and level of civilization he’s portraying. [...] Neal’s book digs deep down to the core of our humanity that almost requires manipulation for movement, but suggests that sometimes there are victories for us even if we do require a shifty style of prodding." – John E. Mitchell, The North Adams Transcript

Review: "As ever, Jason's characters are universal precisely because they're so specific and odd; dog-faced werewolf Everymen, living their lives of quiet desperation. His art is precise and carefully defined, a collection of moments carefully chosen and arrayed to imply so much more than his characters could ever say. His silences are theatrical — he's the Beckett, or Pinter, of comics. And Werewolves of Montpellier is another masterly performance from one of our modern best." – Andrew Wheeler, The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent.

Love and Rockets: New Stories #3 [with FREE Signed Bookplate]

Reviews: Sean T. Collins continues "Love and Rocktober" at Attentiondeficitdisorderly, delving into Love and Rockets: New Stories with Jaime's "Ti-Girls Adventures" from #1-2 ("If 'Locas' has taught us anything, isn't it that women should be the stars and driving forces behind their own damn comic, even if they're dressing up in one-piece swimsuits and punching each other in the process?") and the "Browntown"/"The Love Bunglers" duology from #3 ("Such power! ...[One] of the most devastating — and I mean so sad it impacted me physically — comics I've ever read. I will never forget reading this book.")

A Drunken  Dream and Other Stories [Pre-Order]

Review: "...A Drunken Dream and Other Stories... sucked me into its stories and made me want to read a lot more of Hagio’s comics. A mixture of romance, science-fiction, and family drama, this ten story compilation is one of the strongest examples I’ve seen of the depth and breadth that the shôjo genre can contain. [...] Highly recommended." – Greg McElhatton, Read About Comics

Four Color Fear: Forgotten Horror Comics of the 1950s [Pre-Order]

Review: "Now [Four Color Fear: Forgotten Horror Comics of the 1950s] is my kind of Americana. A finely curated collection of pre-code horror comics from publishers whose initials are not E.C." – M. Ace, Irregular Orbit

Temperance

Review: "...[Temperance] is an intimidatingly rich work, full of symbolism and moody art... It's all lushly rendered in spooky gray tones, with lively, somewhat pudgy characters always striving forward toward their dubious goals... Malkasian clearly has poured her heart into this story, bringing the characters to life even as they act to make readers think beyond the story itself. It's a beautiful book, and one that will stick in the mind for some time after reading it." – Matthew J. Brady, Warren Peace Sings the Blues

Fire & Water: Bill Everett, the Sub-Mariner and the Birth of Marvel Comics [with FREE Signed Bookplate]

Review: "...[T]his fabulous tome highlights the astounding wizardry of one of the most accomplished draughtsmen and yarn-spinners of [comics'] incredibly fertile early period. [...] Evocatively written by biographer Blake Bell, with dozens of first hand accounts from family, friends and contemporaries; the sad, unjust life of this key figure of comics art is lovingly recounted here with hundreds of artistic examples... Fire and Water offers an opportunity to revel in the mastery of a truly unique pillar of America’s sequential Art establishment. [...] Brilliant, captivating, and utterly unmissable, this is the book Bill Everett deserves — and so do you." – Win Wiacek, Now Read This!

Destroy All Movies!!!: The Complete Guide to Punks on Film [Pre-Order]

Plug: "Wow, punk is now nostalgic. You can’t stop getting older, can you? Well, you can, but it’s not a good alternative. Anyway, Fantagraphics has announced that next month they will release Destroy All Movies!!! The Complete Guide to Punks on Film, over 400 pages of reference to 'every appearance of a punk (or new waver!) to hit the screen in the 20th Century.'" – Johanna Draper Carlson, DVDs Worth Watching

Ganges #1

Commentary: At Robot 6, Chris Mautner gives you a beginner's guide to Kevin Huizenga in the latest "Comics College" feature: "In the short time he’s been making comics, Huizenga has shown himself to be an author of considerable talent and probing sincerity."

Interview: Avoid the Future talks to Kevin Huizenga: "I often feel that I’m not really a true artist or a writer, just a fan whose playing make-believe. The inner compulsion I have is to put together something with a kind of complex structure, with some complex arrangement of things that surprises me, or makes me feel like my favorite comics do."

The Comic Strip Art of Lyonel Feininger

Commentary: At the Schulz Library Blog, read "Lyonel Feininger: Lost Expressionist Master of the Sunday Comics Page," a comics-history class essay by Andy Warner (CCS, Class of 2012)

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201005/thomasottrip_thumb.jpg

Coming Attractions: Library Journal's Martha Cornog spotlights R.I.P.: Best of 1985-2004 by Thomas Ott and Approximate Continuum Comics by Lewis Trondheim in their Graphic Novel Prepub Alert for January 2011 releases

Daily OCD: 10/19/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Zak SallyreviewsPatrick RosenkranzMegan KelsoLove and RocketsJohnny RyanJeremy TinderJaime HernandezJacques TardiDrew WeingDavid BDaily OCDComing AttractionsBoody RogersBlake BellBill Everett 19 Oct 2010 10:54 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions returns after a post-APE hiatus and subsequent sick day:

Love and Rockets: New Stories #3 [with FREE Signed Bookplate]

Review: "Good Jaime Hernandez comics are always just about the most satisfying books that money can buy, and I was so impressed with how the pleasure of seeing contemporary Maggie again for the first time in far too long [in Love and Rockets: New Stories #3] gave way to the satisfaction of seeing another building block in her curious history, and then everything turned unpleasant in a way that was equally bleak and fascinating. Watching Jaime fit everything together the way he does is breathtaking. Recommended for adult readers." – Grant Goggans, The Hipster Dad's Bookshelf

Love and Rockets Book 24: The Education of Hopey Glass

Review: It's still "Love and Rocktober" at Sean T. Collins's Attentiondeficitdisorderly: "If Ghost of Hoppers was Maggie's confrontation with adulthood, The Education of Hopey Glass serves up the equivalent for Hopey and Ray. It's fascinating to me to see where their lives have taken them versus where they were — and more importantly, what they represented to Maggie — when they were first juxtaposed. [...] What makes these two stories compelling and connects them to one another beyond the basic idea of the characters coming to terms with their age is how much the stories rely on the kinds of things only an artist of Jaime's caliber can pull off for their telling."

Prison Pit: Book 2  [Pre-Order]

Review: "Man’s oldest gynophobic horrors and most simplistic delight in sheer physical dominance are savagely delineated in this primitive, appalling, cathartic and blackly funny campaign of cartoon horror. Resplendent, triumphant juvenilia is adroitly shoved beyond all ethical limits into the darkest depths of absurdist comedy. Not for children, the faint-hearted or weak-stomached, [Prison Pit Book 2] is another non-stop rollercoaster of extreme violence, profanity and cartoon shock and awe at its most visceral and compelling. ...[T]his book is all-out over the top and flat out hilarious. Buy and see if you’re broad-minded, fundamentally honest and purely in need of ultra-adult silliness." – Win Wiacek, Now Read This!

Plug: "...Johnny Ryan’s Prison Pit Book 2... is the funniest shit I’ve read in years." – Sean Witzke, Robot 6

Like a Dog [with FREE Signed Bookplate]

Review: "Bitter, haunting stories [by Zak Sally] like 'The Man Who Killed Wally Wood' and 'The War Back Home' show a striking willingness to ask uncomfortable questions about himself and the world around him. His account of Dostoyevsky’s time in prison is a real highlight and I think marks a turning point in his storytelling ability. And the fearless, self-lacerating essay he provides at the end brings the book to a near-perfect close. Really, [Like a Dog] is a tight little collection." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6

Boody. The Bizarre Comics of Boody Rogers

Review: "There’s fourteen stories in all in this anthology, beautifully scanned, restored, and reproduced in all their four-color glory. [...] There’s a lot of fun to be had in these pages. [...] Boody properly showcases a sizeable enough collection of complete comics stories by the wildman inkslinger from Texas, finally elevating Rogers into the pantheon he’s always been part of — if only enough folks had been able to access his work. At last, they can!" – Steve Bissette, The Schulz Library Blog

Rebel Visions: The Underground Comix Revolution 1963-1975 [Revised Softcover Ed.]

Review: "The publication of Rebel Visions was a vital riposte to [a] tide of apathy, a vast and authoritative work built for the clear purpose of documenting the entire history of the US underground revolution in a definitive fashion: a not inconsiderable task given the various tributaries that have spewed forth since the early 1960s. [...] Rosenkranz diligently weaves a number of divergent themes using the oral histories of most of the major participants." – Kevin McCaighy, Exquisite Things (via ¡Journalista!)

Artichoke Tales [Pre-Order]

Interview: Kat Engh of Geek Girl on the Street chatted with Megan Kelso at APE over the weekend: "I like writing and movies and music and art forms that are about more than one thing. I’m really fascinated by that, and I think that comics really lend themselves to that kind of layering and layers in conflict, because you’ve literally got two tracks of information with pictures and words, and because they’re so separate from each other, they lend themselves to doing different things at the same time. I’ve always thought that if a comic’s not doing more than one thing, it’s not taking advantage of what is, so yeah, I’d say I actively strive for that."

Fire & Water: Bill Everett, the Sub-Mariner and the Birth of Marvel Comics [with FREE Signed Bookplate]

Interview: At Comic Book Resources, Chris Mautner talks to Fire & Water author Blake Bell at length about Bill Everett — "I think Everett is as unique a stylist as Ditko is. When you see Everett's work, you automatically know who it is if you have any inkling about any of the Silver or Golden Age artists. Secondly, in his own way he's as influential as Ditko. Without question, Everett created the antihero in superhero comics back in 1939 when he introduced the Sub-Mariner. There was no other comic book character like him." — and upcoming volumes of The Steve Ditko Archives.

Set to Sea

Interview: It's the second part of Brian Heater's conversation with Drew Weing at The Daily Cross Hatch: "It’s such a weird time where so much stuff is available online, though I went out of my way to make the book a nice little object. And I feel like it does read better in book form, because it’s a format that you can more lovingly pore over the detail."

Mome Vol. 20 - Fall 2010 [Pre-Order]

Interview: At Gapers Block, Rose Lannin talks to Jeremy Tinder, who makes his Fantagraphics debut in Mome Vol. 20. This quote is relevant to the Mome story: "I grew up reading newspaper strips, like Garfield. I think it was around age 5 when I really started getting into Garfield and tracing it out of the paper every day. [...] Garfield was my focus in life for six years, I was so into it."

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201010/armed-garden.jpg

Coming Attractions: Bleeding Cool's Rich Johnston reports here that "...[I]t seems that Fantagraphics, as part of their current attemp to to translate every French comic book in existence, has seized upon [David B.'s] book, Le Jardin armé et autres histoires or The Armed Garden and are to publish it in August next year," and here about our translation of Tardi & Manchette's Like a Sniper Lining Up His Shot, "...planned for August next year. Which, in terms of European-to-American translation is light speed."

APE 2010 update: preview peeks!
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Steve DitkoStephane BlanquetLinda MedleyJasoneventsDavid BComing AttractionsBlake Bell 15 Oct 2010 7:49 AM

We're on our way to the Alternative Press Expo this weekend in San Francisco and we decided at the last minute to bring display-only copies of a few of our upcoming releases with us for lucky fans to peruse:

What I Did by Jason

Toys in the Basement by Stephane Blanquet

The Littlest Pirate King by David B.

Castle Waiting Vol. 2

Unexplored Worlds: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 2

Unfortunately they won't be for sale at the show (and they're not available for pre-order here on our site just yet) but at least they'll be there for the looking!

Daily OCD: 10/13/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewsLove and RocketsJaime HernandezDestroy All MoviesDaily OCDBlake BellBill Everett 13 Oct 2010 4:46 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Love and Rockets Library (Locas Book 4): Penny Century [with FREE Signed Bookplate]

Review: "Love and Rocktober" continues with Sean T. Collins at Attentiondeficitdisorderly: "...[T]he comics in Penny Century look less dense and read that way, too. Maggie and Hopey seem to have settled down, somewhat — no longer careening from adventure to adventure or disaster to disaster, still involved in the lives and schemes of their eccentric friends but no longer completely swept up by them, still romantically (or at least sexually) entangled with one another but not to the all-or-nothing extremes of the past."

Fire & Water: Bill Everett, the Sub-Mariner and the Birth of Marvel Comics [with FREE Signed Bookplate]

Review: "Released at last, Blake Bell's biography [Fire & Water] devoted to Bill Everett... helps correct an injustice: Giving an author whose importance and personality are not recognized at their fair values a shot at the spotlight. [...] This is not a book that exhausts, by itself, Everett as a subject. But the book is moving (without falling into whining), documented and rich as Blake Bell restores a lot of truths about an author who did not 'merely' create Sub-Mariner and Daredevil." – Xavier Fournier, Comic Box [translated from French]

Destroy All Movies!!!: The Complete Guide to Punks on Film [Pre-Order]

Plug: "Wow, does this ever look good: Destroy All Movies!!!: The Complete Guide to Punks on Film, coming soon from Fantagraphics. Somehow this book completely evaded my radar, which is unforgivable of me." – Sean T. Collins, Attentiondeficitdisorderly

Daily OCD: 9/29/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Zippy the PinheadRoy CranereviewsNorman PettingillNate NealMoto HagioMomemangaLove and RocketsLos Bros HernandezJosh SimmonsJohnny RyanJaime HernandezGilbert HernandezFour Color FearDJ BryantDaily OCDCatalog No 439Captain EasyBlake BellBill GriffithBill Everett 29 Sep 2010 3:51 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions (with one carried over from yesterday's post-less day):

Love and Rockets: New Stories #3 [with FREE Signed Bookplate]

Review: "Normally I wouldn’t put in a spoiler warning for a few blog notes, but this is a special case. I’m going to be talking about Love and Rockets: New Stories #3, which contains what is arguably one of the best comics stories ever... It’s so easy to take the Hernandez Bros. for granted: they’ve been around so long, put out work regularly, and often use the same characters. So the temptation is to just think that they’re a stable public resource, like the library or a museum: they’ll always be there and we can ignore them for years, checking in on them only when we need to. But really, these guys are among the best cartoonists who have ever lived. Like Seth, Chris Ware, Dan Clowes, and Kim Deitch, they are constantly pushing themselves to do better work, and are now at a career peak. We need to give thanks for this, loudly and publicly." – Jeet Heer, Comics Comics

Norman Pettingill: Backwoods Humorist

Review: "Really, it’s hard to know what to make of [Norman Pettingill:] Backwoods Humorist, the first time you flip through its lovingly-curated pages. [...] I fell in love with it almost immediately, first caught completely off guard by the amateurish art in a book compiled by Fantagraphics. Why, precisely had the publisher chosen to compile these works in such a beautiful volume? There is, however, something disarmingly bewitching amongst Pettingill’s grotesque caricatures of country life. [...] In the great scheme of 20th century art, it’s difficult to imagine that Pettingill’s work will ever be regarded as much more than a somewhat high profile curiosity. For those seeking to discover an utterly fascinating body of work, however, that curiosity is certainly worth the price of admission." – Brian Heater, The Daily Cross Hatch

Four Color Fear: Forgotten Horror Comics of the 1950s [Pre-Order]

Review: "Greg Sadowski and John Benson did a superb job on this collection of early 1950s horror stories [Four Color Fear]... In addition to Greg's attractive design throughout, he delivers meticulous, pixel-perfect restorations... There are 25 pages of fascinating, informative notes by both Greg and John. [...] This book is like time-traveling, a document of an era. [...] This will stand as an important reference work that should be shelved alongside David Hajdu's The Ten-Cent Plague." – Bhob Stewart, Potrzebie

Mome Vol. 19 - Summer 2010

Review: "...Mome 19... is the best volume of the series so far. [...] Josh Simmons' 'White Rhinocerous Part 1'... is short, makes sense, is funny: great comic. The rest of Mome 19 doesn't fall apart on the job either... But the real prize here is DJ Bryant... Alongside a group of contemporaries who possess some of comic's most innovative talents, he chose refinement. It fucking worked." – Tucker Stone, The Factual Opinion

A Drunken  Dream and Other Stories [Pre-Order]

Review: The Hooded Utilitarian's Noah Berlatsky continues his story-by-story examination of Moto Hagio's A Drunken Dream and Other Stories with the title story

Fire & Water: Bill Everett,  the Sub-Mariner and the Birth of   Marvel Comics [September 2010] The Sanctuary Zippy: Ding Dong Daddy from Dingburg [Pre-Order]

 

Plugs: "Fire & Water... is a look at the life and body of work created by Bill Everett, the man who created the Sub-Mariner - the character upon which Marvel Comics would be built. [... In] The Sanctuary [Nate] Neal uses a cave-dwelling tribe to explore themes of communication and language and reveals himself to be a master storyteller. [...] Ding Dong Daddy from Dingburg... is the newest collection of comics legend Bill Griffith's Zippy the Pinhead comic strip. In this volume — Joan Rivers, Charles Bukowski, God, riboflavin, and more! Surreal and absurd yuks abound." – Benn Ray (Atomic Books), Largehearted Boy

Prison Pit: Book 2  [Pre-Order]

Plug: "...[I]f you’re in the mood for some dazzling, filthy violence then perhaps Johnny Ryan’s Prison Pit Volume 2 is... up your alley. It’s got CF the barbarian from outer space on the cover, dripping in blood and wearing nowt but pants." – The Gosh! Comics Blog

Captain Easy, Soldier of  Fortune: The Complete Sunday Newspaper  Strips Vol. 1 (1933-1935)

Plug: At Comix 411, Tom Mason, profiling Leslie Turner, Roy Crane's successor on Captain Easy, notes "For those interested in the origins of Captain Easy, you can’t do better than Fantagraphics Books which is reprinting Roy Crane’s classic strip, starting at the beginning."

Catalog No. 439: Burlesque  Paraphernalia and Side Degree Specialties and Costumes

Almost Plug: The 1930s "Human Centipede" image that Mark Frauenfelder Boing Boinged today happens to be found in our book Catalog No. 439: Burlesque Paraphernalia and Side Degree Specialties and Costumes

Daily OCD: 9/27/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Wilfred SantiagoTony MillionaireStephen DixonRIP MDreviewsRand HolmesPatrick RosenkranzMoto HagioMegan KelsomangaGreg IronsDaily OCDComing AttractionsBob LevinBlake BellBill Everett 27 Sep 2010 3:54 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

What Is All This? Uncollected Stories

Review: "This mammoth collection [What Is All This?] presents five decades of Dixon: sex, frustration, and attempts at deeper communication, mostly missed. The 62 stories evoke neuroses, delusion, banality, and everyday absurdities in deceptively simple sentences... There are echoes of Ernest Hemingway and prefigurings of Raymond Carver's lower-middle-class minimalism infusing tales of scrappers and scrapers... Usually sublime, sometimes sloppy, and occasionally bewildering, these stories are a testament to an impressive career spent too much under the radar." – Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) [Temporary link]

A Drunken  Dream and Other Stories [Pre-Order]

Review: "With its mix of sci-fi, romance, tragedy and comedy, A Drunken Dream is a memorable manga journey that shouldn't be missed or dismissed. [...] Drawing from deeply-felt personal experiences, Hagio draws stories for every person who has felt like an outsider, who has regretted past actions that can never be erased, or who has longed to be accepted for being who they are, not what people want them to be. These ideas sound so simple — but when touched by Hagio's pen, this is punch-in-the-gut powerful. [...] ★★★★1/2" – Deb Aoki, About.com: Manga

Billy Hazelnuts and the Crazy Bird

Review: "While they may not be standard children’s books, they are fun and entertaining and full of stuff kids would like, without being obscene or intended for mature audiences. They are the kind of books you would want your kid reading if your kid wasn’t a total dork. [...] You get the feeling of reading old fairy tales, where the Prince wasn’t always charming, the villains would erect down right disturbing and evil plots against the characters and the story, or just the world in general was presented as a harsh reminder of reality. [...] Tony [Millionaire]... really lets his imagination run with his latest book, Billy Hazelnuts and the Crazy Bird. [...] With or without children, you can feel good about reading this book." – Brian Jones, Flash Flood Media

Artichoke Tales [Pre-Order]

Review: "Artichoke Tales is by any definition a remarkable book — the first graphic novel by Megan Kelso, who has so far worked largely in the short story form, and a book that displays at every page Kelso’s unique voice as a graphic storyteller and the care and attention she lavished on this project over the past several years. [...] This is a beautiful book, at times a heartbreaking book. One feels the precision and thought behind every word, every line, all of it edited down and arranged to a spareness that is paradoxically lush and textured." – Jared Gardner, Guttergeek

Coming Attractions: "Why aren’t there more sports comics? More to the point why aren’t there more absolutely wonderful looking sports comics like Fantagraphics 2011 release 21: The Story of Roberto Clemente by Wilfred  Santiago?" – Richard Cowdry, The Forbidden Planet International Blog Log

RIP, M.D. [Pre-Order]

Plug: "[Rip M.D.] seems to be a comic more geared to a juvenile public, but should be pretty cool because there are a lot of monsters, really violent werewolves, zombies, and best of all, vampires that do not sparkle!" – Submundo Mamão (translated from Portuguese)

The Artist Himself: A Rand Holmes Retrospective [Pre-Order]

Interview: Guttersnipe's Shawn Conner talks to Patrick Rosenkranz about his new book The Artist Himself: A Rand Holmes Retrospective: "One thing’s for sure with Rand; there are a lot of good cartoonists who are not very interesting people. But he was both, an interesting person and a great cartoonist. That’s what interested me in the story."

You Call This Art?! A Greg Irons Retrospective

Profile: "Some artists seem to have had greatness as their destination as surely as if a tracking device had been implanted in their genes. Some veer toward it capriciously like a demon had seized the wheel. They start with a talent — to which they feed — in bites and gulps — their times; and, once expressed, the result is… YOWL! One of these was the underground cartoonist Greg Irons, the subject of Patrick Rosenkranz’s overlooked — and fascinating — retrospective You Call This Art?!!" – Bob Levin, The Comics Journal

Blake Bell & Wendy Everett

Event: On his blog, Blake Bell reports from his Fire & Water book launch & presentation with Wendy Everett in Toronto on Saturday

New Comics Day 9/22/10: Fire & Water, Four Color Fear & Zippy
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Zippy the PinheadNew Comics DayFour Color FearBlake BellBill GriffithBill Everett 21 Sep 2010 4:57 PM

This week's comic shop shipment is slated to include the following new titles. Read on to see what comics-blog commentators are saying about our releases this week, and contact your local shop to confirm availability.

 Fire & Water: Bill Everett, the Sub-Mariner and the Birth of Marvel Comics by Blake Bell

Fire & Water: Bill Everett, the Sub-Mariner and the Birth of Marvel Comics
by Blake Bell

192-page full-color 9" x 12" hardcover • $39.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-166-4

"This hardcover book by Strange and Stranger author Blake Bell features what looks to be substantial prose biography and appreciation, along with plenty of artwork from an artist who helped build the foundation for Marvel as both a publishing powerhouse and a fictional universe." – J. Caleb Mozzocco, Newsarama

"This is the next deluxe Fantagraphics hardcover/art book/biographical thingy by Blake Bell, of 2008′s Strange & Stranger: The World of Steve Ditko. The title suggests some focus on a specific period in the artist’s development and comic book history." – Joe McCulloch, Comics Comics

"A new one from comics historian Blake Bell; haven't read it yet, but it sure sounds interesting." – Douglas Wolk, Comics Alliance

"Bill Everett is one of my top three all-time mainstream comics industry figures, if not number one, and I can't wait to dig into this book." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter

"Then there’s Fire & Water: Bill Everett, the Sub Mariner and the Birth of Marvel Comics by Blake Bell, about the long-forgotten artist (and Daredevil co-creator) that I just finished reading and heartily recommend..." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6

Four Color Fear: Forgotten Horror Comics of the 1950s

Four Color Fear: Forgotten Horror Comics of the 1950s
by various artists; edited by John Benson and Greg Sadowski

320-page full-color 7.5" x 10.5" softcover • $29.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-343-9

"Oh man, it’s a good week for reprints, starting off with Four Color Fear, a collection of classic pre-code horror tales..." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6

"Editors Greg Sadowski and John Benson have collected 320-pages of horror comics and covers from the likes of Jack Cole, Reed Crandall, George Evans, Frank Frazetta, Jack Katz, Al Williamson, Basil Wolverton, and Wallace Wood, casting their net far wider than iconic horror comic purveyor EC for a wide variety of scary stuff." – J. Caleb Mozzocco, Newsarama

"My most anticipated reprint package in a while... – a new 320-page color compilation of non-EC, pre-Code horror comics, edited by John Benson (Squa Tront, Romance Without Tears) & Greg Sadowski (B. Krigstein, Supermen! The First Wave of Comic Book Heroes 1936-1941). Featuring works by Jack Cole, Basil Wolverton, Joe Kubert, Bob Powell..., Jack Katz, Al Williamson, Wally Wood and others. Many treats are anticipated." – Joe McCulloch, Comics Comics

"...[A] collection of smaller-house scary comics from the glorious, mainstream past..." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter

"One of the more promising retro books this week... — this softcover selects lost books from the golden age of horror comics that had unique aesthetic merits." – Cyriaque Lamar, io9

"If I could splurge… to really stimulate the economy, I’d throw in Four Color Fear: Forgotten Horror Comics of the 1950s, from Fantagraphics, because I love good vintage comics—and bad vintage comics, for that matter." – Brigid Alverson, Robot 6

Zippy: Ding Dong Daddy from Dingburg by Bill Griffith

Zippy: Ding Dong Daddy from Dingburg
by Bill Griffith

216-page black & white/color 8.5" x 8.5" softcover • $18.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-389-7

"As long as Zippy is being published in some forms, comics will always be at least all right." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter

"That new collection of Zippy strips, Ding Dong Daddy, looks interesting..." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6