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Category >> Coming Attractions

Naughty Hal Foster?
Written by Kim Thompson | Filed under Prince ValiantHal FosterComing Attractions 16 Jan 2013 12:22 PM

We are pleased to announce that the sixth volume of our acclaimed Prince Valiant series -- once again shot from Hal Foster's original set of syndicate proofs -- is now shipping to stores and readers.

We're busily working away on Volume 7, covering the years 1949 and 1950, which we expect to have out in May or June, trying to catch up from the slightly delayed Volume 6, and thereby aiming for three volumes this year. (By the way, our Free Comic Book Day comic for this year will feature an advance excerpt from Volume 7. Be sure to grab one -- if only to see how we managed to break down Foster's lush, oversized tabloid pages to comic book format.)

With the exception of the occasional pin-up-style shot of Princess Aleta (which are pretty hot, actually), Prince Valiant has always been considered a rather staid, conservative strip, but Val/Foster expert Brian Kane (author of a fascinating article about Foster's treatment of North American natives in the current volume, and of course the wonderful Prince Valiant Companion) pointed out two panels from the upcoming volume that suggest that Mr. Foster may have had a wicked sense of humor. In this sequence from 1950, young Arf is smitten with a "maid with flaming hair and eyes of blue" as he almost falls out of a tree. For his clothing to drape so that the pommel of his sword creates a huge bulge in the fabric in one panel can be dismissed as a graphic happenstance. But to see Arf back on ground with the end of his sword still "pitching a tent" is maybe a little... eyebrow-raising.

Come, fly with me!

Well, maybe we're just seeing things. But as Fredric Wertham famously wrote, "In ordinary comic books, there are pictures within pictures for children who know how to look."

Cover Uncovered: Wandering Son Vol. 4 by Shimura Takako
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Shimura TakakoMatt ThornComing Attractions 15 Jan 2013 1:49 PM

Wandering Son Vol. 4 by Shimura Takako

Wandering Son fans rejoice — the latest volume of Shimura Takako's highly addictive manga series has been bundled off to the printer for release this Spring! This final version of the cover isn't too different from the version that's already been floating around out there — we just went with brown instead of grey for the spine and title logo — but we're excited to share it with you nonetheless. In this volume things are starting to get a little more fraught as our cast edges into adolescence and feelings start to get more complicated. Don't forget, we're still offering our Vols. 4-6 subscription  — save money and automatically receive the next 3 volumes as soon as they're released!

First Look: Julio's Day by Gilbert Hernandez
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Love and RocketsComing Attractions 14 Jan 2013 1:07 PM

Julio's Day

Julio's Day

Oh, you know, just another masterpiece from one of the all-time greats. Our advance copies of Julio's Day by Gilbert Hernandez arrived late last week and we're still all abuzz with excitement. This magnificent graphic novel compresses the complexities of a century-long life into 100 pages, from birth to death (with a few sidetracks along the way). Collected from the pages of Love and Rockets but standing alone from Gilbert's post-Palomar continuity, it's the perfect introduction to the genius of Beto. This beautiful hardcover should be available in March. Stand by for more extensive previews; for now you can read a 9-page excerpt, and pre-order your copy, right here.

Wake Up, Percy Gloom commercial no. 1
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under videoComing AttractionsCathy Malkasiananimation 9 Jan 2013 2:32 PM

From Cathy Malkasian, the first in a series of animated "commercials" for Wake Up, Percy Gloom, the upcoming sequel to her acclaimed debut graphic novel Percy Gloom, coming this Spring. If you weren't already conscious of the book... now you are!

What's in the January 2013 Diamond Previews
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Zippy the PinheadSamuel R DelanyPrince ValiantMichael J VassalloMia WolffLinda MedleyKim DeitchHal FosterDiamondComing AttractionsCathy MalkasianBlake BellBill GriffithAlexander Theroux 8 Jan 2013 5:19 PM

Shipping March 2013 from Fantagraphics Books

This month's Diamond Previews catalog is out now and in it you'll find our usual 2-page spread (download the PDF) with our releases scheduled to arrive in your local comic shop in March 2013 (give or take — release dates are likely to have changed since the issue went to press). We're pleased to offer additional and updated information about these upcoming releases here on our website, to help shops and customers alike make more informed ordering decisions.

We have two Spotlight items this month: The Secret History of Marvel Comics by Blake Bell & Dr. Michael J. Vassallo, revealing the tawdry pulp origins of the comic company that they'd like you to forget about, and Bread & Wine, a new edition of the unusual and groundbreaking love story/memoir by Samuel R. Delany & Mia Wolff. The new expanded and relettered Castle Waiting Vol. 2: Definitive Edition by Linda Medley is "Certified Cool," and we've also got Bill Griffith's new Zippy collection The Dingburg Diaries, Cathy Malkasian's sequel graphic novel Wake Up, Percy Gloom, Kim Deitch's brand new original graphic novel The Amazing, Enlightening and Absolutely True Adventures of Katherine Whaley, and the paperback of Alexander Theroux's mammoth prose novel Laura Warholic. All this plus our 2013 Free Comic Book Day offering (for May), Hal Foster's Prince Valiant!

See them all here!

Cover Uncovered: The Complete Peanuts 1987-1988 (Vol. 19) by Charles M. Schulz
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under SethPeanutsComing AttractionsCharles M Schulz 4 Jan 2013 1:01 PM

The Complete Peanuts 1987-1988 (Vol. 19) by Charles M. Schulz

Hey Luuuucy! She's got her dander up about something on Seth's cover design for The Complete Peanuts 1987-1988 by Charles M. Schulz. It's the 19th volume in the series and we've reached the milestone point where Schulz switched from 4 uniform panels to a variable layout. And this volume's Foreword is by another comic strip legend, Garry Trudeau. You won't want to miss it when it comes out in March! We're giving you a sneak peek excerpt with all the strips from January 1987 which you can read right here.

Crockett Johnson's BARNABY: 1st Look
Written by Eric Reynolds | Filed under Editors NotesCrockett JohnsonComing AttractionsChris WareBarnaby 31 Dec 2012 11:33 AM

Earlier this month we wrapped up what has been my favorite project I've ever worked on. I've been pretty lucky to work on some amazing books by many of my favorite cartoonists, but this... this is something else. This is Crockett Johnson's BARNABY . This has been my #1 dream project for well over a decade, and it's now real.

Which is all to say, I'm genuinely thrilled to be the first one to present this sneak peek at Vol. 1.

If you're unfamiliar with BARNABY, let me allow Chris Ware to set the stage. This is from his introduction to Vol. 1:

"I never thought I'd see this day, but the book you hold is, well... the last great comic strip. Yes, there are dozens of other strips worth rereading, but none are this Great; this is great like Beethoven, or Steinbeck, or Picasso. This is so great it lives in its own timeless bubble of oddness and truth..." — Chris Ware

BARNABY is the long-lost comic strip masterpiece by Crockett Johnson, legendary children's book author (Harold and the Purple Crayon) and illustrator (Ruth Krauss' The Carrot Seed). 

Featuring the misadventures of five-year-old Barnaby Baxter and his cigar-chomping, bumbling con-artist of a Fairy Godfather, J.J. O'Malley, BARNABY deftly balanced fantasy, humor, politics and elegant cartooning in a strip that captured the imaginations of kids and intelligent adults alike, including Dorothy Parker, Charles Schulz, W.C. Fields, Gardner Rea and Milton Caniff. We will be collecting in five volumes the entire, original ten-year run from 1942-1952.  

  

Speaking of BARNABY superfans, our books are being designed by Daniel Clowes, which would sound more inspired if he weren't really the only man ever considered for the job. Dan is the person who first introduced me to the work of Johnson over 15 years ago, and I know this series means as much to him as anyone. I couldn't be happier with his designs. You've seen Dan's final cover for Vol. 1 above. Here's Dan's initial thumbnail rough from his sketchboook earlier this year; as you can see, he pretty much nailed it on the first take:

Here's a similar peek at one of Dan's initial "storyboards" for the book, this time for the opening spread of Jeet Heer's introductory essay:

... and here's the final, more-or-less identical final version, executed by our own esteemed Tony Ong and Clowes:

Dan makes things easy. 

Here's a teaser of the entire jacket:

  

I can't end this post without mentioning my series co-editor, Philip Nel. Phil knows more about Crockett Johnson than anyone. Period. If you like Barnaby, please read Nel's definitive bio: Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss: How an Unlikely Couple Found Love, Dodged the FBI, and Transformed Children's Literature from the University Press of Mississippi.

In addition to his invaluable help behind-the-scenes, Phil has provided two indispensible resources for our first volume: a comprehensive biographical essay on Johnson focusing on the creation of Barnaby, as well as "The Elves, Leprechauns, Gnomes, and Little Men's Chowder and Marching Society: A Handy Pocket Guide," a stunningly comprehensive glossary to everything referenced in BARNABY. He'll even explicate formulas like this: 

Anyway, there's much more to be had in this first volume, but I'm honestly reluctant to tip our hand too much. I can't wait for people to see this book. Featuring the first two calendar years of the strip, 1942-1943, you're in for a dense, rewarding treat. Look for it in stores by late-March or early-April (we'll update you as we go). 

And once you finish Vol. 1, look for Vol. 2* in Spring 2014:

* This one's just a mockup and by no means final.  

Covers Uncovered: The EC Library's 50 Girls 50 and 'Tain't the Meat...
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Jack DavisEC ComicsComing AttractionsAl Williamson 28 Dec 2012 1:56 PM

50 Girls 50 and Other Stories by Al Williamson

'Tain't the Meat... It's the Humanity! and Other Stories by Jack Davis

The next two volumes in our EC Comics Library series are off to the printer: 50 Girls 50 and Other Stories illustrated by Al Williamson and 'Tain't the Meat... It's the Humanity! and Other Stories illustrated by Jack Davis! If you like stories with spaceships, vampires, dinosaurs, werewolves, aliens, death and/or dismemberment, all illustrated with verve and panache, boy howdy, are these the books for you! Both these bad boys should be available in March. We've posted excerpts from both books boasting 3 complete stories each on their respective pages, where you can also pre-order your copies — and save some bucks by ordering both books together in our discounted set!

First Look: Messages in a Bottle: Comic Book Stories by B. Krigstein
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Greg SadowskiComing AttractionsB Krigstein 27 Dec 2012 12:44 PM

Messages in a Bottle

Messages in a Bottle

Coming in late February/early March, Messages in a Bottle collects the best work by Bernard Krigstein, a singular draftsman and one of the most graphically sophisticated comics illustrators of all time, whose too-brief career in the 1940s and '50s included work for EC and Atlas Comics. For those who have been awaiting a new edition of our long-out-of-print B. Krigstein: Comics, this book contains every story from that volume plus several more. It is our great privilege to have had a number of these stories specially recolored by the great Marie Severin; the remainder have been painstakingly restored from the original comic books by acclaimed editor Greg Sadowski. Read a free 22-page excerpt with 3 complete stories, and pre-order a copy, right here.

It's Prince Valiant for Free Comic Book Day!
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Prince ValiantHal FosterComing Attractions 13 Dec 2012 6:26 PM

Hal Foster's Prince Valiant - FCBD

Classic adventures await you on the first Saturday in May, a.k.a. one of the funnest days of the year! We are pleased to present Hal Foster's Prince Valiant for Free Comic Book Day on May 4, 2013.

This full-color comic collects two Prince Valiant stories from Hal Foster's 1950 peak: "Home Again," in which Val, Aleta, and newborn baby Prince Arn enjoy an eventful ocean journey back to Thule; and “The Challenge,” in which another knight's unwelcome advances on Aleta result in a classic duel with Valiant!


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