Now back in print in a new, affordable 2009 softcover edition!
Charles Burns is the creator of the landmark horror graphic novel Black Hole (in development as a major motion picture directed by David Fincher as of this writing). Skin Deep is the third (following El Borbah and Big Baby) of a series of three volumes reprinting his acclaimed oeuvre up to Black Hole. Skin Deep includes Burns's popular character Dog Boy (a red-blooded all-American boy with the transplanted heart of a dog) and the classic strip "Dog Days," in which a hash-slinging vixen wags her tail at our fearful hero. The book also collects "Burn Again," which features a strange fella named Bliss Blister, claiming to bring the Word of God, but some fear he brings something evil and profane. In "A Marriage Made in Hell," a young wife's flesh tingled with passion, but the sight of her made her husband's skin crawl. Was the love-knot she tied really a hangman's noose? These tales of doomed romance set a tone for the rest of Skin Deep. In addition to the comics, Skin Deep includes several pages of new illustrations reprinted from Burns's sketchbooks as well as covers and other pieces from foreign editions of Burns's work.
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• Review: "Issue #3 of Jordan Crane's Uptight serves as a wonderful example of just how good pamphlet format comics can be... Uptight #3 delivers 24 pages of beautifully focused storytelling... If you like Crane's work or simply want to try something a little different, do go out and buy this. Uptight represents everything single issue comics should be but so very rarely are. Fact is, we need more comics like this, so vote with your wallets and support the fine folks at Fantagraphics..." - Matthew Dick, Exquisite Things
• Review/Profile: "...[Boody Rogers's] command of dream-state narrative logic and language-mangling dialogue remains unnerving and uproarious in about equal measure... Now comes the Fantagraphics edition of Boody: The Bizarre Comics of Boody Rogers — a 144-page whopper, rich in humor and dreamlike oddities..." - Michael H. Price of the Fort Worth Business Press recounts meeting Rogers in the 1980s and also reviews Rogers's memoir, Homeless Bound
• Review: "For his latest... book [Low Moon], Jason has decided to try something a bit different... In attempting to stretch himself, though, he offers some of his weakest work to date, but some of his strongest and emotionally wrenching as well... Longtime readers... will definitely want to pick it up..." - Chris Mautner, Robot 6
• Plug: "Literally jam-packed with strips that constantly vary in sizes, [Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 1] shines with [Michael] Kupperman's earth-shattering wit, his excellent vintage-comics-inspired draftsmanship and his genius comedic timing. Thanks Fantagraphics!" - Librarie D+Q
• Plug: "You'll Never Know[Book 1: A Good and Decent Man] by C. Tyler arrived this week... it is funny, moving, sad -- highly recommended." - Librarie D+Q
• Plug: "The Comics Journal #298: Lotsa good interviews in this issue... For me though, the meat of the issue is the wealth of daily Skippy strips by Percy Crosby reproduced in the gallery section." - Chris Mautner, Robot 6
• Interview: Publishers Weekly has a Q&A with Peter Bagge about his new collection Everybody Is Stupid Except for Me. Money quote: "I could have taken the Doonesbury route and pandered to my fellow libertarians by pretending I (and they) had all the answers, but that would have been both too easy and dishonest."
• Interview: Newsarama's Zack Smith talks to Sam's Strip creators Mort Walker and Jerry Dumas about the creation of the strip and the new Fantagraphics collection. Sample quote from Walker: "You always put something personal in every strip, so it’s wonderful to see all these old strips again."
• Charity: ComicList reports that Jaime Hernandez will participate in Comic Book Legal Defense Fund fundraising at Comic Con with an autograph card and original art auction
• Oddity: What does Popeye have in common with Michael Jackson? Well, now they're both subjects of Jeff Koons artwork, according to this Reuters story
• Review: "There's always a touch of melancholy in everything that Jason writes, but there's a bleakness in some of these stories [in Low Moon] that I haven't seen since Hey, Wait.... All told, this is still a book every Jason fan should read..." - Rob Clough
• Review: Brix Picks' Book of the Week is The Chuckling Whatsit by Richard Sala, which they say "is one of those books that I revisit regularly because it's just so fun to read."
• Review: Bookopolis gives Unlovable Vol. 1 by Esther Pearl Watson 4.5 stars: "This book is so much fun - it kept me laughing for hours. Not only is the dialogue hilarious but the drawings themselves are really hysterical."
• Review: The Walrus, running down all of this year's Doug Wright Awards nominees, looks at Hall of Best Knowledge by Ray Fenwick: "...Fenwick’s skill with design renders the handwritten words adaptable and full of stubborn character, turning them into a cocky little world of their own."
• Preview: Holy Heroes on our solicitation for The Wolverton Bible: "Now this is exciting... as someone who's a fan of the weird, the religious, and the weird religious, [this book] is more than welcome news."
• Bram Meehan puts this year's two major Bill Mauldin releases, our collection Willie & Joe: The WWII Years and Todd DePastino's biography A Life Up Front, in a shared #10 position on his "Top Ten Comics of 2008" (via TCR)
Back in stock: signed bookplates for Big Baby, El Borbah and Skin Deep by Charles Burns; Percy Gloom by Cathy Malkasian; and Billy Hazelnuts by Tony Millionaire. How do you acquire these delightful hand-signed-by-the-artist little extras, you might ask? We give 'em away for FREE when you buy their respective books from us (while supplies last)!
• Congratulations and good luck to Linda Medley for being named a finalist (and the only American on the list) for the Prix de la Critique 2008 by the Association des Critiques et Journalistes de Bande Dessinée for Château l'Attente, the French edition of Castle Waiting