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.
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:
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.
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!
We're in the midst of assembling our Fall 2013-Winter 2014 season, and while there's still lots of stuff we're keeping under our collective hat for now (we've barely just revealed our Spring-Summer 2013 season, for pete's sake), some other stuff has been leaking out here and there... like this forthcoming book from Paul Hornschemeier, Artists Authors Thinkers Directors, collecting his sketchbook portraits from his Daily Forlorn blog. Pictures of smart people for smart people! Did excitement for this book cause yesterday's catastrophic Tumblr outage? We may never know.
Behold, the new issue of The Comics Journal, an edition so awesome we made it a flip-book with TWO cover features: Gary Groth's newsmaking interview with the late Maurice Sendak on one side, and Kim Thompson's interview with Jacques Tardi on the other side. (To clarify, there aren't two separate covers; every copy has both covers and which one's the "front" depends on which way you turn it.) And there's a whooole lotta stuff in between. Look for excerpts to be posted on TCJ.com as the release date nears (early February being our current best guess). TCJ sets the agenda for intelligent comics conversation, so pre-order your copy today and don't get left behind.
News of our upcoming Graham Chaffee book Good Dog has been warmly received by everyone who's been waiting for Chaffee's return to comics. For months now Graham has posting process art for the entire book on his blog, from rough character drawings to script notes to layouts done in his sketchbook. It so happens he just posted the last page (so spoiler warnings apply) so now's the time to dive on in!
We're pleased to bring you the rundown on our Spring-Summer 2013 season of upcoming releases by presenting the catalog prepared for our book-market distributor, W.W. Norton. Scroll through it in an embedded reader on this page, and download a better-quality 26.8MB PDF version here. As you read, please keep in mind that most of these books are still in development and all artwork, contents, prices, specs, and release dates (especially release dates) are preliminary and subject to change.
With about 3 dozen new books and a fat handful of reprints and new editions of previous books, there's a lot to look forward to, including:
• Plus an anthology of 4 decades of mini comics, a prose memoir by Kipp Friedman, and a revised, updated and rewritten history of women cartoonists by Trina Robbins
Check our Upcoming Arrivals page for updates as books from this catalog are added to our website. Information about our distributors can be found here, and more resources for press and retailers can be found here.
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