Our half-height kids books celebrating Carl Barks' iconic duck family is back with a new collection of rip roaring adventures. This time, Donald Duck finds himself donning a sheriff's badge in order to ferret out the mysterious misbranding of cattle in Bullet Valley. And, as ever, Donald's intrepid and clever nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie are at his side, ready to help him when plans invariably go awry.
The beautiful, bold cover design has been finished, and we're proud to show it off for you today! Sheriff of Bullet Valley is slated to be released Spring 2015, so keep your eyeballs peeled for more updates and previews in the upcoming months. Of course, you can also pre-order the book straight away, give yourself a little something to look forward to come March!
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. WARNING: Do not atttempt to carry all of these titles at once. You are only human.
80-page black & white 6" x 9" hardcover • $16.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-746-8
"Compelling, beguiling and visually intoxicating, this latest Sock Monkey yarn judiciously leavens discovery with anxiety, heartbreak with gleeful imaginative innocence and terror with bold triumph…Win's Christmas Gift Recommendation: a new classic to add to the "Every Kid Must Read" list... 10/10" –Win Wiacek, Now Read This!
"It's really good. I thought that giant Sock Monkey collection was criminally under-discussed when it came out. Those are lovely, lovely comics. The characters work in this form, too." –Tom Spurgeon, Comics Reporter
144-page black & white with color 5" x 6.25" softcover • $14.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-771-0
"Now that sublime and out-of-print yarn is back as a deliciously handy, pocket-sized softcover reissue that will - if there's any justice - finally make [Weing] a household name amongst lovers of tall tales and comic treasures." –Win Wiacek, Now Read This!
"Very few words are needed in Weing's debut graphic novel [Set to Sea] to tell the story of a poet wanna-be who is kidnapped by pirates and learns the ways of the sea through hard labor and even tougher battles. The cross-hatch styling is reminiscent of old engravings and perfectly suits the subject matter. Each page features just one frame, full of detail and atmosphere. With hints of The Odyssey, Moby Dick, Popeye and Treasure Island, Weing has created a modern classic in the pirate genre." –School Library Journal
216-page full color 8.5" x 11" hardcover • $29.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-780-2
"You're gonna want to pick that up this week, or write yourself a note to do so in the near future, as it's a pretty great collection..." –J Caleb. Mozzocco, Every Day is Like Wednesday
"You must think I'm a broken record by now. Any time a Carl Barks or Don Rosa book of Donald Duck or Uncle Scrooge comics is released, I get all excited. Because they're great! I'm not kidding! Also good for jaded fans too cool for kids' comics." –Tim Finn, Hub Comics (via 13th Dimension)
"Let me be perfectly clear: The Don Rosa & Carl Barks Duck books are as good as comics get. Period. Nothing surpasses - only matches - the pure imagination, humor, adventure, and heart of these Donald Duck & Uncle Scrooge stories. These are desert island comics - if I had to take only one box of comics with me somewhere, a couple of these volumes would be coming with." –Vince Ostrowski, Multiversity Comics
"…it's a rare, rare accomplishment what Rosa did with these great Carl Barks characters and comics." –Tom Spurgeon, Comics Reporter
368-page black & white with color 11.25" x 9.25" hard/soft/cover • $45.00 ISBN: 978-1-60699-694-2
"...[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 biggest revelation of reading the first two years of Pogo is how polished and funny the strip was right from the start, and also how nearly every Pogo panel is a delight unto itself. Kelly didn't necessarily build to big punchlines; he'd slip funny sight gags and memorable lines everywhere there was room. ...[T]here's a classic Pogo moment on just about every page of this book." - Noel Murray, The A.V. Club
288-page full color 13.25" x 9.5" hardcover • $49.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-794-9
"The daily black-and-white comics were great but the full-color Sunday strips gave Schulz a big, beautiful canvas to let his expert pacing and amazing linework breathe in a rainbow of color...it's really the entire mix of characters ...and their mix of adult prickliness and childlike naiveté that made Charles Schulz's iconic comics strips so timeless." - Evan Narcisse, Kotaku
472-page full color 7.75" x 10.5" hardcover • $49.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-796-3
"I will not rest until everyone is reading these reasonably priced and beautifully designed and edited volumes of Carl Barks' Disney Duck masterpieces… every one of them are great." –Andy Mansell, Heroes Online
"Even now, Barks' stories are clever and funny, as he leads the ducks into impossible situations and then gives them unexpected ways out. And they're poignant in their own way, too.... What's impressive about Fantagraphics' Lost in the Andes is that it encourages both a fannish and an intellectual approach to the material." - Noel Murray, The A.V. Club
Meanwhile, Simon Hanselmann's Megahex is still on the list, two weeks in a row, making it one 'hot fortnight' for the people at the funny papers. So the lesson? 2014 loves anthropomorphic characters, be they child-appropriate or not. Pick up a copy of these two great to hold, even better to read graphic novels today!
"I see Blacklung almost, as an expressionist play. I didn’t want these guys to seem like real people. At the same time there IS a human face behind every mask… Unless you put a mask on a dog, then it’s a dog face behind the mask." – Right Ear Left
"Now here’s something to be thankful for—the fourth in Fantagraphics’ growing line of seasonal-themed gift books collecting classic Peanuts material. Snoopy’s Thanksgiving, as the title indicates, is concerned with next month’s big holiday." – J. Caleb Mozzocco, School Library Journal
"…not only do I find Megg, Mogg, Owl et al bloody funny at times in that first half, as the book wore on I found myself becoming more and more absorbed and fascinated by the darkness, the progression of the comedy into misery and despair, handled really well by Hanselmann." – Richard Bruton, Forbidden Planet
"Featuring old-school underground comix, but with the style and serial nature of even older-school Sunday newspaper comics strips, Megahex is the sort of comic that could only gestate on the Internet, and only find final, full expression in book form from a publisher like Fantagraphics." – J. Caleb Mozzocco, Las Vegas Weekly
"Fantagraphics has been lovingly reprinting Banks' classic Uncle Scrooge comics into beautifully designed and recolored hardcover collections. This 14th volume of reprints, Uncle Scrooge: The Seven Cities of Gold, begins with the classic story "The Seven Cities of Cibola," which is notable for inspiring the giant, rolling boulder scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark." – Rich Barrett, Mental Floss
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.
100-page black & white 6.625" x 10.5" softcover • $14.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-748-2
"the artist is heading back to his underground roots, citing the influence of ZAP and Weirdo and promising an exuberant, satirical and confrontational read…It'll be interesting to see how well the established audience for Sacco's journo-comix respond to this change of tone." –Tom Murphy, Broken Frontier
240-page full color 7.5" x 10.25" hardcover • $29.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-795-6
"Before this point, most Uncle Scrooge stories played off of his greed and paranoia about safeguarding his wealth from the dastardly Beagle Boys, but this shift towards treasure hunting would be the way forward for the comics for decades, eventually inspiring the popular Duck Tales cartoon series in the 1980s." -Rich Barrett, Mental Floss
260-page black & white with color 8.25" x 10.75" hardcover • $39.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-769-7
"Tardi is unremitting in his focus on the small, human details of the catastrophe-not just the look of uniforms and weaponry, but the way one soldier advances in an awkward, stiff-armed posture, 'protecting my belly with the butt of the rifle,' and the way another makes sculptures and rings from discarded shells, to sell to his comrades." - Gabriel Winslow-Yost, The New York Review of Books
Uncle Scrooge takes Donald and the nephews on a perilous trek in search of the fabled seven cities of gold! This is the Scrooge story famous for providing Steven Spielberg and George Lucas with inspiration for parts of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Speaking of gold and movies, James Bond fans might recognize in “The Mysterious Stone Ray” a gimmick that was later used in Goldfinger — Uncle Scrooge’s pores fill with gold dust from his money bin. It makes him ill so he goes on vacation, which turns into a rescue mission for a sailor stranded on an island with some very mysterious baddies. Also, Scrooge decides to run for Treasurer of Duckburg, but it seems the only way to get votes is to spend a lot of money. (Sound familiar?) And you know what Uncle Scrooge thinks of that! Carl Barks delivers another superb collection of clever plot twists, laugh-out-loud comedy, and all-around cartooning brilliance.
"At times harsh, but always humane, The Lonesome Go hits you like a smack in the face. It’s a graphic novel in the truest sense, meant to be read as much as viewed. It’s a rich, substantial work by an artist and writer who is using the medium of comics to its fullest potential." – Harris Smith,comiXology
Review: "Disfigured hobos lurch from panel to panel into fresh horrors. The vintage hairstyles of the ‘40s, nude bodies, a prescription-pill driven freak-out climaxing in much vomit: whatever he draws, Lane’s heavily shadowed style is always a marvel. The nighttime scenes – which are most of them – rise from seas of black ink." – Bryon Kerman,St. Louis Magazine
Review: "This new book is a continuation of the types of themes and characters Lane first explored there: drifters, hobos, Americana, automobilia, early rock and roll and more. The narratives pay homage to the Beats, Charles Bukowski and Tom Waits, among others." – Seth Peagler, Heroes Online
"This book is terse and powerful in a way that would make Emily Dickinson green with envy. Never saying more than he needs to, Shaw does a commendable job showing us the story in "Doctors."" – Sam LeBas, Multiversity Comics
Review: "…what fascinates the Two Guys the most is the very premise of Doctors. It's a narrative that raises some profound questions, and it's one that might even work well in other media, such as adapted for television." – Comics Alternative Podcast Episode #102
"Every page is beautiful. Every joke is funny. Every character is a complete asshole. The book itself is a nice chunky hardcover with some good heft and a cover design that is made to resemble a DVD box set of a TV show." – Nick Gazin, VICE
"Fantagraphics has done such an excellent job with The Carl Barks Library that this is hardly the ideal format for adults to experience these very same stories, but it is a pretty ideal companion format: Cheaper, more portable and more convenient, it offers an excellent introduction to some of the great stories of one of the greatest cartoonists." – J. Caleb Mozzocco, School Library Journal
Interview:Ed Piskor speaks with amNY about his best-selling series, Hip Hop Family Tree: "I want to make a comic that hip-hop people will read and then maybe give comic books a shot if it's not a normal portion of your pop culture diet."
A double dose of Donald Duck! Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes and Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Trail of the Unicorn make up this special boxed set of two of our most popular Donald Duck albums exquisitely re-presenting the Duck stories of Carl Barks, one of the most brilliant cartoonists of the 20th century. The title story of Lost in the Andes features the Ducks' memorable quest to South America in search of rare "square eggs" and Trail of the Unicorn's title tale is a trek to the Himalayas to find that fabled mythical creature. Handsomely presented in a stunningly beautiful and colorful box set at a special price that even Uncle Scrooge would approve.
With Halloween approaching, it's a good time to consider some spooky favorites from Fantagraphics Books.
The formative work of Charles Burns in Big Baby foreshadows the brilliance that would follow. Alluring stories like "Curse of the Molemen," "Blood Club," and "Teen Plague" remain creepy and compelling while exploring themes of adolescent angst. Ghost World by Daniel Clowes is a similarly insightful examination of the otherworldly imaginations of its youthful protagonists. It remains among the greatest graphic novels - and film adaptations - of all time.
Al Columbia's Pim & Francie is at first blush a collection of meticulously rendered drawings, but a closer examination reveals a seductive narrative involving a cute cartoon couple caught in a world of horrific nightmares.
A misanthropic witch wrestles with real world issues in Simon Hanselmann's Megahexand surreal horror unfolds in The Amateurs by Conor Stechschulte as two butchers are afflicted with a mysterious case of amnesia. Meat these amazing artists this Saturday at Fantagraphics Bookstore.
Excerpts for each book are available at their respective listing pages, and we'll have an unboxing video preview to whet your appetite for this box set—a perfect gift for any Carl Barks fan. Until then, check out the box set page, where you can pre-order your copy for an October delivery.