Over on the Abstract Comics blog, Andrei Molotiu has leaked word about The Last Vispo Anthology: Visual Poetry 1998 - 2008, edited by Crag Hill and Nico Vassilakis and to be published by us in Fall of next year. Above, "Emma," a piece by Nico which accompanied the news. Fantagraphics loyalists may also know Nico as our longtime warehouse/shipping manager, and we've long been proud to boast one of the foremost practitioners of visual poetry, a.k.a. vispo, on our staff, so this book is near and dear to our hearts. Vispo and abstract comics are related disciplines, so readers of our Abstract Comics anthology should definitely keep this on their radar. An announcement about this book is forthcoming, but we figured we'd share as long as the news is out there.
Drew Friedman's heavenly new portrait of Swedish wrestler-turned-thespian Tor Johnson is now available as a limited-edition fine art print from Drew Friedman Fine Art Prints. Who wouldn't want Tor's floating head decorating their home? No one worth knowing, that's who.
We're gearing up for the release of Kolor Klimax: Nordic Comics Now, our anthology of current Scandinavian comics edited by Matthias Wivel under the aegis of Nordicomics and scheduled for publication in March 2012. There was a "sneak release" party tonight in Copenhagen — you can learn more about that AND see a preview of the book at Matthias's The Metabunker blog.
"Seemingly inspired by the size and shape of Kramers Ergot -- and sharing some of the same graphic tendencies on the inside -- Kolor Klimax is a head-turning compilation of new graphic tendencies by emerging and well-established Scandanavian artists. If at times the 'something for everyone' tendency causes the book to lose some of its focus, it is clear nonetheless that any reader is going to be astounded by some of the amazing works that were heretofore sheltered from them.... Ultimately, there is no way not to recommend Kolor Klimax. It showcases a wide range of extremely talented cartoonists, and will open your eyes to a whole world of comics that get far too little attention. Something to anticipate for Spring."
The new Diamond Previews catalog came out recently 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 January 2012 (give or take — some release dates may 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.
At his blog Jason has begunposting panels from his new as-yet-untitled book in progress, saying "For the moment it looks like it will be around 150-160 pages. So I guess this will be my first graphic novel. That means I'm a... I'm a... graphic novelist! Woo hoo!" The dialogue above translates as "Fucking hell..."
We got a couple of early advance copies of Wandering Son Vol. 2 by Shimura Takako here at the office a couple days ago — here's a couple of quickie snaps to tide you over until we get the full previews set up. This beautifully-told story has many eager and devoted fans and we're as excited to get it into their hands as they are to read it! Have you pre-ordered your copy yet?
Members of the press are currently receiving our Spring/Summer 2012 distributor's catalog, with all of our releases slated to hit the book market from April through August of next year (in other words, everything but pamphlet comics) — but why should they have all the fun? Download your very own PDF of the catalog (11.9 MB) to get all the scoop on (spoiler alert)...
We say this every time, but man oh man, what a season! Joshua Glenn of Hilobrow (who, full disclosure, is co-editor of Significant Objects), says this about the new catalog: "The great news is that Fantagraphics keeps getting better. I am utterly blown away by the nature and quality of the books they’re publishing. Look at their author list — it’s second only to the Dalkey Archive’s.... I want to retreat to a cave and spend the winter doing nothing but reading Fantagraphics titles. I need a grant. Fantagraphics is a national treasure, providing a much-needed poke in the eye for this country’s middlebrow and lamestream culture. Long may they thrive." Thanks Joshua!
• Interview: Dan Wagstaff, a.k.a. The Casual Optimist, has a Q&A with Jason: "I have ideas in my brain, just lying there, that I sometimes think about. This can last years. Then suddenly I can get ideas for dialogues. I write this down. It’s maybe four or five pages. I can start working on those, and at the same time think about what’s going to happen next. I don’t write a full script. It’s based on improvisation. I write pieces of dialogue. Or sometimes I sketch out the pages first, the images, and write the dialogue after. I usually work on nine or ten pages at the same time, pencil a bit here , then ink it, and then pencil a bit there and ink that. It’s the completely wrong way of doing it, by the way, but it seems to be the only way I can work."
• Plugs: Martha Cornog of Library Journal spotlights a few of our upcoming releases in the latest "Graphic Novels Prepub Alert":
Creeping Death from Neptune: Horror and Science Fiction Comics by Basil Wolverton: "The line between horror and humor dissolves easily, and Wolverton's extravagantly grotesque drawings drew chortles and chills from readers of MAD magazine and numerous comics from the 1940s to the 1950s.... Now a few years after a successful New York exhibit plus several published collections of illustrations and shorter pieces, this volume reprints important sf/horror sequential work, carefully restored, plus material from his personal ledgers and diaries."
Jack Jackson's American History: Los Tejanos & Lost Cause: "With the pen name of 'Jaxon,' Jackson (1941-2006) drew Texas history into comics that included Mexican as well as Anglo legacies. Los Tejanos ('the Texans' of Mexican ancestry) fixes on Juan Seguín, a tragic figure in the 1835-75 Texas-Mexican conflict. Lost Cause chronicles the state's turmoil during Reconstruction, in the wake of the Civil War. Jackson's detailed, realistically drawn accounts will be useful for anyone interested in those coordinates of U.S. history or in Latino-Anglo heritage."
No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics: "Herewith a color and black-and-white sampler from a little-recognized underground of gay comics from the past four decades, including [Alison] Bechdel and [Howard] Cruse, Europe's Ralf Koenig, and 2011 ALA keynoter Dan Savage. Huh? Dan Savage wrote comics?! Indeedy, indeedy. Fantagraphics promises 'smart, funny, and profound' — and uncensored."
The lady is complaining that the fall has broken her just-purchased "ballen" (round Christmas tree ornaments) and her "piek" (an ornament for the top of the tree), but both words have a sexual connotation ("balls" and "dick" if you will), resulting in a Beavis and Butt-head huh-huh-huh effect.
"Balls" works easily in either language, but the "piek" follow-up stumped me for days (not least because I had to ask Joost to explain it, which he did).
And then I figured it out. The penis reference was a cul-de-sac, but...