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...
Amazing Mysteries: The Bill Everett Archives Vol. 1 went to the printer today and series editor Blake Bell celebrates by revealing the final cover art for the book — a snappy number designed by Alexa Koenings in our art department. At Blake's blog you can see the entire cover spread (front, back and spine) and read Blake's thoughts and background info on the book, which is due in December.
Fantagraphics Books is offering a tasty treat this Halloween season — a FREE Donald Duck mini-comic by cartoon genius Carl Barks! In the "Jet Witch," our plucky duck buzzes Duckburg on a jet-powered broom. Predictably, all manner of hilarious Halloween havoc ensues.
In one of the stories in Joost Swarte's upcoming Is That All There Is?, translated from the Dutch, a character speaks entirely in rebuses. Accordingly, Joost had to create an entirely new set of drawings for the English-language rebus, which I basically came up with and he tweaked. The whale is Joost's idea, and while the rebus purist in me objects a little to replacing that many letters, it's such an adorable whale I can't really squawk. Can you decode it?
Book goes to the printer next week! With Complete Pogo Volume 1 now in print and the Swarte book at the printer, many are the doubters who are having to eat their words even as I type this.
The new Diamond Previews catalog is out today 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 December 2011 (give or take — some release dates may have changed since the issue went to press) and a selection of gift book suggestions. 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.