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Buz Sawyer Vol. 3: Typhoons and Honeymoons
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Buddy Buys a Dump: The Complete Buddy Bradley Stories from "Hate" Comics Vol. 3 (2000-2013)
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Category >> Coming Attractions

Luba and Her Family by Gilbert Hernandez - Cover Uncovered
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Love and RocketsGilbert HernandezComing Attractions 20 Mar 2014 11:58 AM

Luba and Her Family by Gilbert Hernandez

At last, the long-awaited next Gilbert Hernandez volume in the comprehensive Love and Rockets Library paperback series is nearly here! Luba and Her Family is at the printer now for release in July. This is the first book in this format to collect Gilbert's work past the original 50-issue L&R series. (We'll reveal the full Table of Contents and provide more previews in the not-too-distant future.)

This book is also the debut of the new addition to our Art Department, Keeli McCarthy, who designed the cover based on the look established by Jacob Covey, with her own fresh twist. Welcome, Keeli!

You don't have to wait to pre-order your copy; and for full immersion or gift-giving, you can get all 4 of Gilbert's L&R Library volumes for a tidy discount!

Prince Valiant Vol. 9: 1953-1954 by Hal Foster - Cover Uncovered
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Prince ValiantHal FosterComing Attractions 19 Mar 2014 5:02 PM

Prince Valiant Vol. 9: 1953-1954 by Hal Foster

Another gorgeous volume of Hal Foster's magnum opus is off to the printer! Prince Valiant Vol. 9: 1953-1954 collects two more years of quests, danger, sorcery, family milestones, treachery, and comic relief from one of the greatest illustrators to ever grace the comics page. It almost goes without saying, but a reminder can't hurt: these volumes are scanned from original engraver's proofs, meaning that the strip has never looked better and making this the ultimate Prince Valiant series.

This volume is expected to be available in early July; look for more sneak peeks between now and then, and pre-orders are being taken now!

Hip Hop Family Tree Demand Sends Book to a Third Printing
Written by Jacq Cohen | Filed under Ed PiskorComing Attractions 18 Mar 2014 12:13 PM

Hip Hop Family Tree Vol. 1 by Ed Piskor

An exciting announcement from Fantagraphics Books: after only twelve weeks, Ed Piskor's Hip Hop Family Tree Book One is going back to press for a third printing. The historical account—in graphic novel form—of hip-hop music and culture hit shelves December 11, 2013, and the first printing sold out within a month. A second printing sold out even more quickly after hitting stores in early March.

The book is beloved by critics as much as fans. The Washington Post: “Piskor’s book feels just as real and authentic as the retro rap it celebrates.” NPR calls the series “a real fusion of both art forms”; it continues, “Piskor tells the gripping origin story of hip-hop in storyboard form with original artwork. Illuminating for kids and grown-ups alike.”

“I’m literally making a comic that I want to read,” says cartoonist Ed Piskor. “I feel like Hip Hop Family Tree is a comic I was born to draw and it’s an absolute pleasure that people seem to dig it too. Truthfully, though, I’d be lying if I said I was surprised about the reaction from readers.”

While fans await the third printing of Book One and the forthcoming Book Two, Free Comic Book Day on May 3 will afford an opportunity to introduce new readers to the series, as Fantagraphics will distribute—for FREE—Hip Hop Family Tree Two-in-One comic book, which features all-new pin-ups and other exclusive content not in the books, as well as selections from Book One and the as yet unreleased Book Two.

Hip Hop Family Tree Two-in-One

With the release of Hip Hop Family Tree Book Two set for August, both cartoonist and publisher alike are gearing up for a full schedule of book signings and special events tied in with the book. Piskor will be in appearance at comics festivals around the world from PIX in Pittsburgh, to Comic Salon in Erlangen Germany, then SPX in Bethesda, to APE in San Francisco, and many more. Along with signings at The Beguiling in Toronto for Free Comic Book Day and book launch celebrations at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery in Seattle, Bridge City Comics in Portland, and City Lights in San Francisco.

Hip Hop Family Tree Book 2

Lastly, it’s never too early to start thinking about the gift-giving season: this November will see the release of a collector’s edition boxed set, collecting Books One and Two in a custom hardcover slipcase designed and illustrated by Piskor. This set will feature all-new cover art on each book, as well as another exclusive item unavailable anywhere else: Hip Hop Family Tree #300, an all-new 24-page comic book that celebrates a historic confluence of hip-hop and comic book culture, when Spike Lee directed Image Comics co-founder Rob Liefeld in a Levi’s Jeans commercial, which Piskor tells in a pitch- perfect visual parody / pastiche / homage to the Image house style of the 1990s as defined by Liefeld, McFarlane, etc.

Hip Hop Family Tree Box Set

For more information, please visit fantagraphics.com/hhft.

Pirates in the Heartland: The Mythology of S. Clay Wilson Vol. 1 - Cover Uncovered, Designer's Notes
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under S Clay WilsonPatrick RosenkranzComing Attractions 17 Mar 2014 11:36 AM

Pirates in the Heartland: The Mythology of S. Clay Wilson Vol. 1

The man. His work. They coexist on the cover and in the pages of Pirates in the Heartland: The Mythology of S. Clay Wilson Vol. 1, compiling Wilson's seminal underground comix work along with the first part of Patrick Rosenkranz's authoritative biography. Wilson unleashed a cannon barrage on the boundaries of the comics art form and rushed through, flintlocks blazing, cutlass in teeth, and fly open, taking no prisoners with his outrageous output. This book, combined with its two forthcoming sequels, will be the last word and the ultimate collection of a comics legend. Look for more previews between now and its release this summer.

And for lots more insight into the cover design, art director Jacob Covey wrote these notes on his personal Facebook page, re-presented here with his kind permission:

Here's the cover design for the new Fantagraphics book from Patrick Rosenkranz, The Mythology of S. Clay Wilson, Volume One: Pirates In the Heartland. This is the result of more comps than I have ever produced before and I figured I'd write about it to get at some idea of why.

For one thing, I went into this project with little enthusiasm. Wilson is a pioneering Underground Comix artist who inspired R. Crumb to let loose his id, to break comics wide open for self-expression. But Wilson on the surface -- and after forty years of being built upon (back to before I was born) -- lacks the contrasting dignity of Crumb's linework and his compositions are DENSE. Wilson art is recognizable: His line, and his humor, is crass; there is no white space and there are no taboos.

There are artists you have to recalibrate for and, for me, Wilson turns out to be one of those. It took a lot of sitting with the stories to let down my guard and enjoy how powerful the work is. A lot of artists talk about wanting to get back to creating like a kid again. Wilson manages to remain as unfiltered as an adolescent in detention. His is not the art of an innocent kindergartner who draws fanciful anatomy in a surreal landscape but that of the self-realizing, hormone-raging, unclean middle-beast that is boys who are becoming men. He still draws like a kid, just not the kid we romanticize about. At a time when most of us become self-conscious and begin self-censoring Wilson did not.

That accomplishment in itself is remarkable but his relentless creating is the application that makes him genius. Wilson seems to exist solely to get his sprawling imagination down on paper. His prolific output is that of the consummate artist. That it is also very graphic, violent, and offensive to most all social norms takes a little adjusting to.

So all of this is what I had to assimilate just to start my job. To feel like I had enough grasp on Wilson to "brand" his life by designing this cover to (volume one of) his biography. My first attempts weren't about Wilson but associations with his Underground brethren and the psychedelia connected to the period. Pinks, Cyans, solid clashing color. All completely missing the character of Wilson. Wilson was (is) certainly a drug user but of the escapist, rebellious variety, not the trippy, feel-good variety. He's a meat-and-potatoes guy who creates fevered worlds, including his own. Hence the title "The Mythology of S. Clay Wilson" -- a smart nuance on the part of Rosenkranz.

In publishing, one has to approach a cover with the information of an expert and the ignorance of a browser. In biographies, a photo of the subject is generally employed for good reason: The viewer immediately knows this is a book about a person. (Hence the trend in fiction of generally cropping off the heads of models or having them looking away -- this is not about THEM.) But Wilson is recognizable only by his artwork, so a photo alone isn't enough information. Ultimately, my solution is a kind of psychedelia but a practical one: Pirate art (a favorite theme of Wilson) overlaying a mythic portrait of young Wilson. Creation and creator in color overlays that force your eye to try to unhook one from the other.

I generally consider it a failure when cover design requires a band of color upon which to set the type. In this case, it allowed for the art to be the primary feature, to be a bit uncontrolled, while the type treatment is an anchor that harkens classic album design. This kind of visual messaging is trying to align Wilson with rebels and rockstars without making false promises. The trickiest part was simply finding Wilson art that had ANY white space so his portrait could connect with the viewer. The dual function of his artwork blowing the brains out, simultaneously, of Wilson and another of Wilson's creation was too wonderful to pass up but I'm going to leave the symbology of such things to the viewer.

Pirates in the Heartland: The Mythology of S. Clay Wilson Vol. 1 cover 

The Complete Peanuts 1950-1952 (Vol. 1) Softcover Edition by Charles M. Schulz - First Look
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under PeanutsComing AttractionsCharles M Schulz 17 Mar 2014 10:55 AM

The Complete Peanuts 1950-1952 paperback cover photo

The Complete Peanuts 1950-1952 paperback pages photo

Hey Charlie Brown: you had one job!

For the new softcover editions, we redesigned The Complete Peanuts inside and out, as you can see in these snapshots of a just-arrived advance copy of the kick-off volume, The Complete Peanuts 1950-1952. Looks pretty snappy, huh?

Even if you've been collecting the hardcover volumes, you'll want to have these affordable paperbacks around for the kids and for loaning out or giving as gifts to friends and relatives, and of course the brilliance of Charles M. Schulz's beloved strip endures no matter what the format. Pre-order your copy (it'll be available a couple of months from now) and read a free excerpt right here.

Strange Suspense: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 1 - Paperback Cover Uncovered
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Steve DitkoComing AttractionsBlake Bell 14 Mar 2014 12:38 PM

Strange Suspense: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 1 (Paperback)

Steve Ditko is such a great image-maker, it must be hard for our designers to choose artwork for the covers of our Steve Ditko Archives collections of his early, pre-Marvel work. With Volume 1, Strange Suspense, we got a chance to make a double dip from the deep Ditko inkwell for our new softcover reprint, coming this summer with this newly-designed cover. Behind you, lady!! Stay tuned for more sneak peeks. (Of course, if you don't want to wait to read this book, it's available digitally right now on comiXology.)

The Complete Peanuts 1950-1952 (Vol. 1) Softcover Edition by Charles M. Schulz - Excerpt
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under previewsPeanutsComing AttractionsCharles M Schulz 14 Mar 2014 11:24 AM

If there's anyone out there who's been holding out for a softcover edition of The Complete Peanuts, your patience is soon to pay off! Or if you're late to the Peanuts party and want to start from the beginning, now is the time. Our paperback of The Complete Peanuts 1950-1952, the first volume in our definitive, unexpurgated collection of Charles M. Schulz's decades-spanning masterpiece, is due in a couple of months, and we have a bunch of pages to share with you!

We've pulled our downloadable excerpt from the middle of the book at the beginning of 1952, when Schulz began doing Sundays, with five full weeks of strips for your enjoyment! Reserve your copy today for delivery in May.

The Complete Peanuts 1950-1952 (Vol. 1) Softcover Edition by Charles M. Schulz

Richard Sala introduces... Super-Enigmatix!
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under webcomicsThings to seeRichard SalaComing Attractions 13 Mar 2014 5:46 PM

Launched today, a new webcomic serial by the one and only Richard SalaSuper-Enigmatix introduces the titular masked and caped criminal mastermind. What kind of conspiracy is he weaving, and can former Inspector Jory and former Detective Charms unravel it? Tune in every Thursday for new installments!

This pulpy story is your first taste of what's to come in our forthcoming collection of all-new Sala short stories, In a Glass Grotesquely, due this Fall!

Cork High and Bottle Deep by Virgil Partch - Cover Uncovered
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Virgil PartchComing Attractions 11 Mar 2014 5:11 PM

Cork High and Bottle Deep by Virgil Partch

Our recent book Vip: The Mad World of Virgil Partch, massive as it is, still only skims the surface of Partch's work. With Cork High and Bottle Deep, coming this summer, we plunge a swizzle stick into the depths of one aspect of his prolific career: boozy cartoons! Nothing amplifies the human comedy more than liquorous libations, and nobody captured mankind's firewater-fueled foibles like Vip. We've bottled the bacchanal up in this classy, minimalist cover worthy of your top shelf. Put it on your tab now and we'll serve it up to you as soon as it's available.

The Amateurs by Conor Stechschulte - First Look
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Conor StechschulteComing Attractions 10 Mar 2014 3:53 PM

The Amateurs cover photo

The Amateurs pages photo

A beautiful little book about god-awful occurrences, Conor Stechschulte's debut The Amateurs has arrived at the office in a bundle of advance copies. Two butchers in rural, pre-industrial America are afflicted with mysterious selective amnesia and an inexplicable dedication to their job; the results are absurd and disastrous, and the story is framed with hints of the supernatural. It would be a comedy of errors if it weren't all so horrifying.

This unsettling, kinetic, and breathtaking graphic novella arrives in stores in May; read an 8-page excerpt and pre-order your copy right here.