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Category >> Crag Hill

The Last Vispo Launches in the Pacific Northwest!
Written by janice headley | Filed under Nico VassilakisLast VispoFantagraphics BookstoreeventsCrag Hill 5 Dec 2012 10:30 AM

The Last Vispo Launches in the Pacific Northwest!

Shout it out! Last month, Northwesterners got the chance to experience The Last Vispo Anthology: Visual Poetry 1998-2008 in person, and it was indeed, a hoot and a holler! (That's editor Nico Vassilakis leading the call, and Fantagraphics co-founder Mike Catron helping out in the background!)

A fleet of poets descended upon the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery on Saturday, November 24th, and throughout the evening, they performed small batches of readings.

The Last Vispo Launches in the Pacific Northwest!

Contributor Gustave Morin traveled all the way from somewhere in Southern Ontario -- "Let's just say, Detroit," he told us -- for his performance.

The Last Vispo Launches in the Pacific Northwest!

Another Canadian, poet Donato Mancini, braved the border crossing for a reading with us. He had a very touching moment when he was flipping through the book to find his piece, and just exclaimed, awestruck, "I still can't believe this thing exists!"

The Last Vispo Launches in the Pacific Northwest!

In between the batches of readings, we were fortunate to have musical performances from Lori Goldston (former Nirvana and Earth cellist, and recent Stranger “Genius Award” recipient) with former Black Cat Orchestra band mate Kyle Hanson.

The Last Vispo Launches in the Pacific Northwest!

Sadly, this evening was also a farewell party for Nico, a longtime co-worker of ours, who is moving to New York with his new bride. This shot is blurry, but I love the proud round of applause he's getting from Gary Groth here. We'll miss you, Nico!!!

The Last Vispo Launches in the Pacific Northwest!

Warehouse hero Ajax Wood prepares to bitchslap the young Conrad Groth. Just kidding, I have no idea what is going on. You can see more photos from the opening reception at the Fantagraphics Flickr.

The next day, the posse of poets headed north for an event at the STAG (Strathcona Art Gallery) Library. The following photos were shot by Steve Calvert, and you can see more in this Facebook gallery.

The Last Vispo Launches in the Pacific Northwest

The Last Vispo Launches in the Pacific Northwest

The Last Vispo Launches in the Pacific Northwest

Thank you to all the poets for participating in this very special weekend for a very special book!

Our exhibit of prints from the anthology will continue to be on display at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery through tomorrow Thursday, December 6th, and are for sale for the ridiculously low price of $25 each. Drop by to see them at 1201 S. Vale Street in Seattle's Georgetown district. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone: (206) 658-0110.

Daily OCD 11/28/12
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Wandering SonSteven WeissmanSignificant ObjectsShimura TakakoRob WalkerNico VassilakisLove and RocketsLos Bros HernandezLilli CarréLast VispoJoshua GlennJoost SwarteJoe KubertJames RombergerJaime HernandezGilbert HernandezGabriella GiandelliDavid WojnarowiczDaily OCDCrag Hill 28 Nov 2012 6:11 PM

The luckiest Powerball ticket of Online Commentaries & Diversions:Heads or Tails

• Review: Drawn's John Martz is ready for Heads or Tails. "Lilli Carré is one of those cartoonists who has been putting out plenty of great work. . . She’s a master of short stories, so this collection is a welcome addition to my bookshelves. Rainbow Moment, a smartly-crafted story of nested memories all told in different colour palettes is the stand out work, and worth the price of admission alone."

Barack Hussein Obama

• Review: John Martz of Drawn looks at Barack Hussein Obama. "Steven Weissman has been posting his odd comic strip, named after and starring a Bizarro-Universe version of Barack Hussein Obama . . . and it quickly became one of my favourite comics online. . . Obama’s re-election, if anything, hopefully means another four years of this strange and delightful oddity."

Wandering Son Vol. 3

• Plug: On Librairie D + Q, staffer Helen lists Wandering Son Vol. 3 in her picks for 2012. "Shimura Takako treats her two young, trans* protagonists (or an approximation of "trans*", in the context of Japanese gender politics and identities) with gentleness, but does not fall into the trap of painting an overly rosy picture of their experience . . . while [they navigate] the general difficulties and anxieties of tween-hood."

Significant Objects

• Plug: Maria Popova creates her 10 Best Design Books of 2012 and reiterates her love of Significant Objects on Brain Pickings. " 'The universe is made of stories, not atoms,' poet Muriel Rukeyser famously remarked. Hardly anyone can back this bombastic proclamation with more empirical conviction than [editors] Rob Walker and Joshua Glenn."

Interiorae

• Review: Geekrocker looks at Gabriella Giandelli's Interiorae. Wee Claire says, "Giandelli's pale ghostly illustrations reflect the sombre, mysterious mood Giandelli skilfully creates. This isn't a story about great feats of human strength or otherworldly adventures, this is a simple tale about real human lives.. . . Interiorae shows us that if we look hard enough, there's a little bit of magic waiting around every darkened corner."

7 Miles a Second

• Plug: Chris Butcher recommends you pre-order 7 Miles a Second. "James Romberger and Marguerite Van Cook do a phenomenal job at bringing [writer David Wojnarowicz's] story to life, and this is a vital and important piece of gay history that had been denied to me as a gay teen, and which has been out of print for far too long."

Is That All There Is? Weird Horrors

• Plug: Boing Boing posted their 2012 Gift Guide and included two of our books again, Is That All There Is? by Joose Swarte. "This anthology of Swarte's alternative comics from 1972 showcases his famous clean-line style that makes reading his work a pleasure." Mark Frauenfelder also includes Joe Kubert's Weird Horrors that showcases "his versatility in a variety of genres, including horror, humor, and romance."
The Last Vispo
 • Plug: Recordings from The Last Vispo 's Seattle book launch are encamped here! Thanks to Greg Bem for posting.
Heartbreak Soup Maggie the Mechanic

• Review: Avid fan and writer Benjamin Herman rereads Love and Rockets, while making some great conclusions on the way. "[Duck Feet] was my first real exposure to Gilbert’s stories of Luba and the denizens of the Latin American village of Palomar, and I really enjoyed it.  Gilbert’s writing was full of character, containing a distinctive voice, his artwork imbued with real atmosphere. . . Gilbert expertly crafted an almost epic tale that spans across a generation, giving us very real, flawed, dysfunctional characters." For Jaime's work "one of the key elements of Jaime’s stories is the process of growing up, of maturing, the struggle to become an adult and leave childhood behind.  Maggie and Hopey both have to face the choice of pursuing long-term adult relationships or continuing teenage flings."

Daily OCD 11/21/12
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under staffOlivier Schrauwenoffice funNoah Van SciverNico VassilakisMoto HagioLorenzo MattottiLinda MedleylibraryJaime HernandezJacques TardiJack JacksonFlannery OConnorDaily OCDCrag HillChris WrightCharles Burns 21 Nov 2012 3:52 PM

The strongest umbrella in the wind of Online Commentaries & Diversions: 

The Last Vispo

• Review: Paul Constant of The Stranger looks at The Last Vispo: Visual Poetry 1998-2008, edited by Nico Vassilakis and Crag Hill. "As an art book, it demands hours of investigation. . . For those linguistic pioneers looking to find the future of fiction, this could be one of the most informative poetry anthologies to be published in the new millennium."

Adele Blanc-Sec

• Review: NPR's My Guilty Pleasure looks at the Jacques Tardi graphics novels of Adèle Blanc-Sec who is "young writer with the brains of Sherlock Holmes, the body of Angelina Jolie and the stoic fortitude of the Marlboro Man." Rosecrans Baldwin states, "The books are part adventure comic, part hardboiled fiction. They're terrific whodunits that conjure up all the precise atmospheric detail of, say, a Georges Simenon novel, but with twice the plot."

The Crackle of the Frost

• Review: The Crackle of the Frost makes NPR's Graphic Novels that Fell Under the Radar of 2012 list. Glen Weldon states, "it's Mattotti's breathtakingly vivid paintings, pulsating with the mysterious poetry of unsettling dreams, that add a welcome and indelible splash of Kafka and Murakami."

Blacklung

• Review: Blacklung by Chris Wright gets reviewed on Nerds of a Feather. Philippe Duhart says, "Wright’s genius is further evident in his ability to use these aberrant cartoonish characterizations to convey human emotion, particularly terror. Wright’s portrayal of violence is stark and chilling – despite or perhaps because of his singular style. . . Black Lung worked on all counts. Plus, pirates."

• Review (video): Kapow Comics down in Australia reviews Chris Wright's Blacklung. Al states "this is a complicated book with musings on philosophy, literature, mortality and especially, religion has a big focus." Sonya says, "Every single character changes in this story, their journey changes them . . . [Blacklung] prayed on my mind. It lingers with you."

Flannery O'Connor: The Cartoons

• Review: Glen David Gold looks at Flannery O'Connor: The Cartoons edited by Kelly Gerald in the LA Review of Books. In an attempt to see how the bread is made, Gold, "Cartooning was O'Connor's first artistic passion. . . . An article in the local paper and a pile of rejection slips from The New Yorker indicate how serious she was. . . not an early blush of Flannery the fiction writer at work. But I'd still recommend it to the curious. Come at it without expecting same genius, but look at it because it's an extreme close up of biography."

Los Tejanos and Lost Cause

• Review: Publishers Weekly looks at Jack Jackson's Los Tejanos and Lost Causes. "Comics’ current vogue for nonfiction was pioneered in these two works from the late underground comix founding father Jackson, who died in 2006. Jackson brought an R. Crumb–style crosshatching and love of facial grotesquery to these two densely researched historical graphic novels."

The Heart of Thomas

• Plug: Publishers Weekly and Ada Price show a sneak peak of The Heart of Thomas by Moto Hagio. Enjoy 14 pages of pure genius but don't forget to read each one right to left! We're talking manga here.

The Hypo

• Review: Rob Clough of The Comics Journal enjoys The Hypo by Noah Van Sciver."he’s made a fairly significant leap as both a draftsman and a storyteller in a relatively short period of time . . . Van Sciver’s greatest achievement in this book is his storytelling restraint. He lets his cross-hatching gets across the grime . . He wants to show the reader a different side of the Lincoln we grew up reading about in the history books, but also wants the reader to connect this younger man to the future president."

Castle Waiting Vol. 1

• Review: Fantasy Literature takes a peek at Castle Waiting Vol. 1 by Linda Medley and Ruth Arnell is in love. "the charming ink illustrations have a piquant charming quality that match the story wonderfully. . . Linda Medley has written a gentle feminist fairy tale comic book that truly deserves to have a wider audience."
 
Black Hole
 
• Review: Sonia Harris of Comics Book Resources reads Black Hole by Charles Burns all in one sitting, one evening. "Reading Black Hole all at once in a nice, tidy bundle, it is impossible to experience what Black Hole was for all those years while it was slowly seeping out, issue by issue.  . .  it is visceral poetry, a true expression of the medium with imagery and words working together to create the most intimate impact. Black Hole is beautiful and terrible, it is a treasure."

Jaime Hernandez

• Interview: Antonio Solina of Italian site Lo Spazio Bianco interviews with Jaime Hernandez .

Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival The Man Who Grew His Beard

• Commentary: On the Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival, Coming Books are Burning in Hell talk non-stop about the mystery cartoonist that is Olivier Schrauwen of The Man Who Grew His Beard. BCGF coverge by The Beat (Heidi) describes the Olivier Schrauwen exhibit and Hannah Means-Shannon on the panels. Julia Pohl-Miranda from Drawn and Quarterly snaps a pic of me and former intern Anna hard at work (and pretty hot, you can see our sweat)

• Commentary: OSU Librarian, Caitlin McGurk, visited the Fantagraphics office and wrote up a nice report on us at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum blog!

The Last Vispo Anthology featured at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery on November 24
Written by Larry Reid | Filed under Nico VassilakisFantagraphics BookstoreeventsCrag Hill 13 Nov 2012 2:11 PM

The Last Vispo Anthology: Visual Poetry 1998 - 2008

The Last Vispo Anthology: Visual Poetry 1998 – 2008 featured at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery on November 24.

Much like the language of comix, visual poetry employs imagery to supplement the written word. This ocular form of discourse is the subject of a new book, The Last Vispo Anthology, edited by Northwest literary artists Nico Vassilakis and Crag Hill.  Their work will be feted with an exhibition, readings, and music performance at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery on Saturday, November 24 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM.

The reception will feature short readings by contributors James Yeary, Donato Mancini, Robert Mittenthal, Joseph Keppler and Gustave Morin, as well as editors Hill and Vassilakis. The exhibition will include 15 prints from the anthology. Musical entertainment will be provided by Lori Goldston (former Nirvana and Earth cellist, and recent Stranger “Genius Award” recipient) performing with former Black Cat Orchestra band mate Kyle Hanson. This event marks the departure to New York of editor Nico Vassilakis, a longtime Fantagraphics employee and fixture in Seattle’s cultural community. Admission is always free.

Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale Street in Seattle’s vibrant Georgetown industrial arts corridor. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone 206.658.0110.

Listing Information

The Last Vispo Anthology exhibition, book signing and readings featuring music by Lori Goldston and Kyle Hanson.

Saturday, November 24, 6:00 to 8:00 PM.
Exhibition continues through December 6.
Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery
1201 S. Vale St. Seattle,WA 206.658.0110
Open daily 11:30 – 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM



Fantagraphics October 2012 arrivals recap
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under William S BurroughsWally WoodRon Regé JrPeanutsNico Vassilakisnew releasesMickey MouseMalcolm McNeillLilli CarréLewis TrondheimJohnny RyanHarvey KurtzmanFloyd GottfredsonEC ComicsDisneyCrag HillChris WrightCharles M SchulzCarol Tyler 2 Nov 2012 1:07 AM
What's new around our mail-order operation in the past month? Oh, just FOURTEEN new books. (Actually sixteen, but two of them snuck onto last month's recap.) We've got Mickey Mouse! We've got Charlie Brown! We've got Cannibal F***face! Our eagerly-awaited first EC Comics Library volumes have arrived, along with 3 major books by cutting-edge talents, the final volume of a masterful memoir series, the start of a wonderful fantasy-adventure series from one of the greats, and some bold experimental books for those of you interested in the various ways literature and images can intersect. (Remember, our New Releases page always lists the 20 most recent arrivals, and our Upcoming Arrivals page has dozens of future releases available for pre-order.) Read on for all the details:

Blacklung by Chris Wright

Blacklung
by Chris Wright

128-page black & white 9.25" x 12.25" hardcover • $24.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-587-7

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Chris Wright’s Blacklung is unquestionably one of the most impressive graphic novel debuts in recent years, a sweeping, magisterially conceived, visually startling tale of violence, amorality, fortitude, and redemption, one part Melville, one part Peckinpah. Blacklung is a story that lives up to the term graphic novel, that could only exist in sequential pictures — densely textured, highly stylized, delicately and boldly rendered drawings that is, taken together, wholly original.

In a night of piratical treachery when an arrogant school teacher is accidentally shanghaied aboard the frigate Hand, his fate becomes inextricably fettered to that of a sardonic gangster. Dependent on one another for survival in their strange and dangerous new home, the two form an unlikely alliance as they alternately elude or confront the thieves and cutthroats that bad luck has made their companions and captors. After an act of terrible violence, the teacher is brought before the ship’s captain and instructed to use his literary skills to aid him in writing his memoirs. He is to serve as scribe for a man who, in his remaining years, has made it his mission to commit as many acts of evil as possible in order to ensure that he meet his dead wife in hell. As the captain’s protected confidant, finding his only comfort in the few books afforded him, the teacher bears witness to monstrous brutality, relentless cruelty, strange wisdom, and a journey of redemption through loss of faith.

Advance Praise:

“I could not have imagined how impressive a work Blacklung would turn out to be. It’s a graphic novel, both in its vernacular term and in a more literal sense, violent and horrible and poetic at the same time – the sort of thing McCarthy might write if he were more interested in pirates than cowboys or Appalachians. Blacklung is a great book; canonically great.” —Chris Schweizer (Crogan’s Adventures)

“A truly organic and interesting way to cartoon, the complete package of verbal cadence and informative visual style.” – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter


Came the Dawn and Other Stories Illustrated by Wallace Wood (The EC Comics Library)

Came the Dawn and Other Stories (The EC Comics Library)
Illustrated by Wallace Wood; written by Al Feldstein et al.; edited by Gary Groth

208-page black & white 7.25" x 10.25" hardcover • $28.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-546-4

See Previews / Order Now

Jack Davis's Tales from the CryptOrder this book and receive the Jack Davis's Tales from the Crypt Halloween mini-comic shown here as a FREE bonus! Limit one per customer while supplies last.


The 20th century had hit its exact midpoint. Social upheaval — sexual, social, racial, cultural — was in the air; and the fledgling EC comics line was about to become a vital part of it.

Working within the horror, war, crime, and science fiction genres, publisher William Gaines and editor/writer Al Feldstein combined a deliciously disreputable, envelope-pushing sensibility with moments of genuine, outraged social consciousness, which shone a hard light onto such hot-button topics as racism, anti-Semitism, mob justice, and misogyny and sexism.

The 1950s were also a launching pad for some of the greatest comic book artists in history, many of whom worked for EC — including Wallace Wood, whose hypnotically detailed, lushly expressive brushwork brought to life menacing thugs, ominous cityscapes, and small-town America, as well as Everymen grappling with profound moral issues — not to mention some of the most heart-stoppingly beautiful women ever to sashay across a comic book page.

Came the Dawn collects all 26 Wood-drawn horror and crime stories — including the full baker’s dozen of EC’s most courageous and politically charged dramas.

EC Comics LogoTaking its title from one of Wood’s all-time classics, the evil little paranoid thriller “Came the Dawn,” this collection features page after page after page of Wood’s sleek and meticulously crafted artwork put in the service of cunning twist-ending stories, most often from the typewriter of EC editor Al Feldstein. These tales range from supernatural shockers from the pages of Tales From the Crypt and The Haunt of Fear (“The Living Corpse,” “Terror Ride,” “Man From the Grave,” “Horror in the Freak Tent”) to often pointedly contemporary crime thrillers from Crime SuspenStories (“The Assault,” “The Whipping,” and “Confession,” which was singled out for specific excoriation in the anti-comics screed Seduction of the Innocent, thus giving it a special cachet), but the breathtaking art and whiplash-inducing shock endings are constants throughout.

Like every book in the Fantagraphics EC line, Came the Dawn features extensive essays and notes on these classic stories by EC experts — but the real “meat” of the matter (sometimes literally, in the grislier stories) is supplied by these ofted lurid, sometimes downright over-the-top, but always compelling and superbly crafted, classic comic-book masterpieces.


Corpse on the Imjin! and Other Stories by Harvey Kurtzman

Corpse on the Imjin! and Other Stories (The EC Comics Library)
by Harvey Kurtzman, et al.

240-page black & white/color 7.25" x 10.25" hardcover • $28.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-545-7

See Previews / Order Now

Jack Davis's Tales from the CryptOrder this book and receive the Jack Davis's Tales from the Crypt Halloween mini-comic shown here as a FREE bonus! Limit one per customer while supplies last.


The creation of MAD would have been enough to cement Harvey Kurtzman’s reputation as one of the titans of American comics, but Kurtzman also created two other comics landmarks: the scrupulously-researched and superbly-crafted war comics Two-Fisted Tales and Frontline Combat. Here were finally war comics without heroic, cigar-chomping sergeants, wisecracking privates from Brooklyn, or cartoon Nazis and “Japs” to be mowed down by the Yank heroes, but an unflinching look at the horror and madness of combat throughout history.

Kurtzman employed some of the finest of the EC artists including Jack Davis, John Severin, and Wallace Wood, but his vision came through clearest in the dozen or so stories he both wrote and drew himself, in his uniquely bold, slashing, cartoony-but-dead-serious style (“Stonewall Jackson,” “Iwo Jima,” “Rubble,” “Big ‘If ’,” and Kurtzman’s own favorite, “Air Burst”) — as well as his vividly colored, narratively-dense covers, all 23 of which are reproduced here in full color in a special portfolio.

EC Comics LogoCorpse on the Imjin! is rounded off with a dozen or so stories written and laid out by Kurtzman and drawn by “short-timers,” i.e. cartoonists whose contributions to his war books only comprised a story or two — including such giants as designer extraordinaire Alex Toth, Marvel comics stalwart Gene Colan, and a pre-Sgt. Rock Joe Kubert... and such unexpected guests as “The Lighter Side of...” MAD artist Dave Berg and DC comics veteran Ric Estrada — as well as a rarity: a story by EC regular John Severin inked by Kurtzman.

Like every book in the Fantagraphics EC line, Corpse on the Imjin! features extensive essays and notes on these classic stories by EC experts — but Kurtzman’s stories, as vital, powerful, affecting, and even, yes, modern today as when they were created 60 years ago, are what makes this collection a must-have for any comics reader.


The Cartoon Utopia by Ron Regé Jr.

The Cartoon Utopia
by Ron Regé, Jr.

144-page black & white 10.25" x 12.25" hardcover • $24.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-596-9

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Ron Regé, Jr. is a very unusual yet accomplished storyteller whose work exudes a passionate moral, idealistic core that sets him apart from his peers. The Cartoon Utopia is his Magnum Opus, a unique work of comic art that, in the words of its author, "focuses on ideas that I've become intrigued by that stem from magical, alchemical, ancient ideas & mystery schools." It's part sci-fi, part philosophy, part visual poetry, and part social manifesto. Regé's work exudes psychedelia, outsider rawness, and pure cartoonish joy.

In The Cartoon Utopia, "Utopians" of the future world are attempting to send messages through consciousness, outside of the constricts of time as we understand it. They live in a world of advanced collective consciousness and want to help us understand how to achieve what they have accomplished. They get together to perform this task in a way that evolved out of our current system of consuming information and entertainment. In other words, the opposite of television. Instead, these messages appear in the form of art, music and storytelling.

Praise for Ron Regé, Jr.:

"One of a handful of cartoonists in the history of the medium to not only reinvent comics to suit his own idiosyncratic impulses and inspirations as an artist, but also to imbue it with his own peculiar, ever changing emotional energy. To me, he is unquestionably one of 'the greats.'" – Chris Ware

"Slow down when you read his pictures and ornately lettered words, quivering, scintillating, radiant, and they will leave you awake and awakened." – Paul Gravett


Charlie Brown's Christmas Stocking by Charles M. Schulz

Charlie Brown's Christmas Stocking
by Charles M. Schulz

56-page three-color 5.75" x 5.75" hardcover • $9.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-624-9

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During his fifty-year career, ninety-nine percent of Charles Schulz's creative energies went into the daily Peanuts comic strip. But once in a while he would create a special something else on the side, and this adorable little package collects two of his best "extras" from the 1960s: two Christmas-themed stories written and drawn for national magazines.

Created in 1963 (two years before the Charlie Brown Christmas TV special) as a supplement for Good Housekeeping magazine, "Charlie Brown's Christmas Stocking" comprises 15 original captioned vignettes featuring the entire Peanuts cast of the time — Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus, Schroeder, Frieda, Violet, Shermy, and Sally — each with a joke or reflection about the season.

"The Christmas Story" is an original tale created for Woman's Day in 1968, this one focusing just on Snoopy and the Van Pelt siblings, with Lucy and Linus each explaining the meaning of the holiday to Snoopy. "I’m going to have to be careful," Snoopy reflects at the end of the story, resting on his doghouse next to his bone-decorated tree; "all this theology could ruin my Christmas."

The book also includes notes on the provenance of the stories and a pocket-sized biography of Schulz. A perfect gift item for the season!


Heads or Tails by Lilli Carré

SPECIAL OFFER:
The Lagoon
Add Lilli Carré's acclaimed debut The Lagoon to your order for just $9.99 ($5 off)! Use the option menu when ordering.

Heads or Tails
by Lilli Carré

200-page full-color 7" x 9" softcover • $22.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-597-6

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The creator of 2008’s acclaimed graphic novel The Lagoon — named to many annual critics’ lists including Publishers Weekly and USA Today’s Pop Candy — is back with a stunningly designed and packaged collection of some of the most poetic and confident short fiction being produced in comics today. These stories, created over a period of five years, touch on ideas of flip sides, choices, and extreme ambivalence.

Carré’s elegant short stories read like the gothic, family narratives of Flannery O’Connor or Carson McCullers, but told visually. Poetic rhythms — a coin flip, a circling ferris wheel — are punctuated by elements of melancholy fantasy pushed forward by character-driven, naturalistic dialogue. The stories in Heads or Tails display a virtuosic breadth of visual styles and color palettes, each in perfect service of the story, and range from experimental one-pagers to short masterpieces like "The Thing About Madeline" (featured in The Best American Comics 2008), to graphic novellas like "The Carnival" (featured in David Sedaris’ and Dave Eggers’ 2010 Best American Nonrequired Reading, originally published in MOME), to new work created for this book.


The Last Vispo Anthology: Visual Poetry 1998-2008

The Last Vispo Anthology: Visual Poetry 1998-2008
by various artists; edited by Nico Vassilakis & Crag Hill

336-page full-color 8" x 10" softcover • $39.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-626-3

See Previews / Order Now

Fantagraphics spotlights the intersection of art and language in this innovative new collection — without peer in English — that gathers the work of visual poets from around the world into one stunning volume. The alphabet is turned on its head and inside-out and the results culminate in a compilation of daring and surprising verbo-visual gems.

The Last Vispo Anthology is composed of vispo (a portmanteau of the words “visual” and “poetry") from the years 1998 to 2008, during a burst of creative activity fueled by file sharing and email, which made it possible for the vispo community to establish a more heightened and sophisticated dialogue with one another. The collection extends the dialectic between art and literature that began with ancient “shaped text,” medieval pattern poetry, and dada typography, pushing past the concrete poetics of the 1950s and the subsequent mail art movement of the 1980s to its current incarnation. Rather than settle into predictable, unchallenged patterns, this vibrant poetry seizes new tools to expand the body of work that inhabits the borderlands of visual art and poetic language.

The Last Vispo Anthology features 148 contributors from 23 countries on five continents. It includes 12 essays that illuminate the abundant history and the state of vispo today. The anthology offers a broad amalgam of long-time practitioners and poets new to visual poetry over the last decade, underscoring the longevity and the continued vitality of the art form.

Advance Praise:

“The descriptor ‘visual poetry’ cannot begin to hint at the wealth of potent mystery that The Last Vispo contains. It knocked my mind right off its cozy little track and sent it sprawling through a myriad of brand new experiences. I can’t remember the last time I encountered something so charged, mysterious, deep and pleasurably upsetting as this book.” – Jim Woodring

“A delightful cornucopia of imaginary languagescapes, opening the eye to other alphabetic climes, beyond the ho-hum regimentation of linear normalcies. & all from (just about) the past decade. Visual poetries: alive and expanding. It’s positively viral.” – Charles Bernstein

“Staring your way into and through the letter as object — the letter as solitary sign, the letter as crowned king. Staring gives us the keys to the kingdom. This book is a glorious adjunct to the long history of concrete and visual poetry. Long live the king!” – Harry Mathews


The Lost Art of Ah Pook Is Here: Images from the Graphic Novel by Malcolm McNeill

The Lost Art of Ah Pook Is Here: Images from the Graphic Novel
by Malcolm McNeill

168-page full-color 10.25" x 13.25" hardcover • $39.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-445-0

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BARGAIN COMBO:
Order this book with its companion volume and save 20%!
The Lost Art of Ah Pook + Observed While Falling - Gift Set
Price: $69.98 $55.98

In 1970, William S. Burroughs and artist Malcolm McNeill began a small collaborative project on a comic entitled The Unspeakable Mr. Hart, which appeared in the first four issues of Cyclops, England’s first comics magazine for an adult readership. Soon after, Burroughs and McNeill agreed to collaborate on a book-length meditation on time, power, control, and corruption that evoked the Mayan codices and specifically, the Mayan god of death, Ah Pook. Ah Pook Is Here was to include their character Mr. Hart, but stray from the conventional comics form to explore different juxtapositions of images and words.

Ah Pook was never finished in its intended form. In a 1979 prose collection that included only the words from the collaboration, Ah Pook is Here and Other Texts (Calder, 1979), Burroughs explains in the preface that they envisioned the work to be “one that falls into neither the category of the conventional illustrated book nor that of a comix publication.” Rather, the work was to include “about a hundred pages of artwork with text (thirty in full-color) and about fifty pages of text alone.” The book was conceived as a single painting in which text and images were combined in whatever form seemed appropriate to the narrative. It was conceived as 120 continuous pages that would "fold out." Such a book was, at the time, unprecedented, and no publisher was willing to take a chance and publish a “graphic novel.”

However, Malcolm McNeill created nearly a hundred paintings, illustrations, and sketches for the book, and these, finally, are seeing the light of day in The Lost Art of Ah Pook. (Burroughs’ text will not be included.) McNeill himself is an exemplary craftsman and visionary painter whose images have languished for over 30 years, unseen. Even in a context divorced from the words, they represent a stunning precursor to the graphic novel form to come.

Sara J. Van Ness contributes an historical essay chronicling the long history of Burroughs’ and McNeill’s work together, including its incomplete publishing history with Rolling Stone’s Straight Arrow Press, the excerpt that ran in Rush magazine, and the text that was published without pictures.

Observed While Falling

Observed While Falling: Bill Burroughs, Ah Pook, and Me
by Malcolm McNeill

192-page full-color 6.75" x 10.25" hardcover • $29.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-561-7

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Observed While Falling is an account of the personal and creative interaction that defined the collaboration between the writer William S. Burroughs and the artist Malcolm McNeill on the graphic novel Ah Pook Is Here. The memoir chronicles the events that surrounded it, the reasons it was abandoned and the unusual circumstances that brought it back to life. McNeill describes his growing friendship with Burroughs and how their personal relationship affected their creative partnership. The book is written with insight and humor, and is liberally sprinkled with the kind of outré anecdotes one would expect working with a writer as original and eccentric as Burroughs. It confirms Burroughs’ and McNeill’s prescience, the place of Ah Pook in relation to the contemporary graphic novel, and its anticipation of the events surrounding 2012. The book offers new insights into Burroughs’ working methods as well as how the two explored the possibilities of words and images working together to form the ambitious literary hybrid that they didn’t know, at the time, was a harbinger of the 21st century “graphic novel.” McNeill expounds on the lessons of that experience to bring Ah Pook into present time. In light of current events, Ah Pook is unquestionably Here now.

Observed While Falling presents a unique view of the creative process that will be of interest to artists, writers and general readers alike. A perspective evoked by a literary experiment that has endured for forty years and still continues to “happen.”

The Lost Art of Ah Pook Is Here & Observed While Falling

Exclusive Savings: Order both volumes together and save 20% off the combined cover price!


Prison Pit Book 4 by Johnny Ryan

Prison Pit Book 4
by Johnny Ryan

116-page black & white 6.5" x 8.5" softcover • $12.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-591-4

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Order this book and receive this FBI•MINI comic shown here as a FREE bonus! Click here for details. Limit one per customer while supplies last.


BARGAIN COMBO:
Prison Pit: Books 1 - 4
Price: $51.96 $38.97

As always, a plot summary of the latest installment of Johnny (Angry Youth Comix) Ryan’s hugely popular sci-fi-prison-planet-gore-fest-slugfest-a-thon serial must, in order to be presentable to normal, decent human beings, be cut into fine Belgian lace. And so, with apologies:

“Cannibal F***face discovers the only way to escape the Caligulon is to brainf*** the Slorge and create a giant, brainless oafchild that only knows how to annihilate everything in its path. And what happens when the Slugstaxx show up and use their nightj*** to turn this mindless monster against CF? Total F***ing Mayhem.”

Advance Praise: "You know you're reading Prison Pit when there's a character called Undigestible Scrotum and someone tries to see if he lives up to his name... Prison Pit is what you read when no one is home and you're not eating." – Chris Mautner


Ralph Azham Vol. 1: Why Would You Lie to Someone You Love? by Lewis Trondheim

Ralph Azham Vol. 1: Why Would You Lie to Someone You Love?
by Lewis Trondheim

96-page full-color 8.5" x 6.625" hardcover • $14.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-593-8

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Within his tiny village, Ralph Azham is considered an insolent good-for-nothing layabout, a virtual pariah — particularly since he was supposed to be a Chosen One. (Things didn’t work out.) Yet his odd azure coloration and a few unique abilities (he can predict births and deaths) suggest that there may be more to him than meets the eye. And when the terrifying Horde stages one of its regular raids on his village, Ralph takes the young Raoul under his wing and sets out for a series of adventures...

Trondheim is already well known to fantasy buffs for the worldwide success Dungeon, the complex set of interlocking series he created with fellow cartoonist Joann Sfar and a raft of artists. While Ralph Azham works within the same genre, this is a far more tightly focused, single-character-starring new series for which Trondheim is solely responsible — that is, except for the stunningly rich coloring, provided by his longtime collaborator Brigitte Findakly working in hand-executed watercolors for the first time in over a decade.

Witty and fleet-footed like all of Trondheim's work, madly inventive in terms of characters, creatures, and events, Ralph Azham is scheduled to run for at least six volumes and is presented in a distinctive "landscape" format.

"Trondheim is a master! Fun, irreverent, and filled with moments of truthiness! Just when you think you know where he's taking you, he suddenly turns sideways and surprises." – Jeff Smith, creator of Bone


Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 4: House of the Seven Haunts by Floyd Gottfredson

Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 4: House of the Seven Haunts
by Floyd Gottfredson

280-page black & white/color 10.5" x 8.75" hardcover • $29.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-575-4

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Who says dead men tell no tales? When grim grinning ghosts come out to socialize, they’ll find fearless Mickey all ready to rumble — as soon as he’s done fighting gangsters, bandits, and international men of mystery, that is! From Africa to Eastern Europe, our favorite big cheese is in for terrifying thrills — and he’s bringing Goofy, Donald Duck, and that big palooka Pegleg Pete along for the ride!

When Mickey sets out to eject "The Seven Ghosts" from Bassett Manor, he finds more than just specters providing the scares! Next, moving smoothly from horror to science fiction, our hero discovers an awesome "Island in the Sky" — and meets its maker, the powerful atomic scientist Dr. Einmug!

Lovingly restored from Disney’s original negatives and proof sheets, House of the Seven Haunts also includes more than 50 pages of spooky supplementary features! You’ll enjoy rare behind-the-scenes art, vintage publicity material, and fascinating commentary by a haunted houseful of Disney scholars.

Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 3 + 4 Box Set by Floyd Gottfredson

Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 3 + 4 Box Set
by Floyd Gottfredson

two 280-page black & white/color 10.5" x 8.75" hardcovers with slipcase • $49.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-576-1

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Two more volumes of Mickey's thrilling adventures from the 1930s, packaged in a beautiful and sturdy slipcase and priced cheaper than the individual volumes! A perfect gift and/or collector's item.


You'll Never Know Book 3: Soldier's Heart by C. Tyler

You'll Never Know Book 3: Soldier's Heart
by C. Tyler

128-page full-color 12" x 10.25" hardcover • $29.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-548-8

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BARGAIN COMBO:
You'll Never Know Books 1-3: The Complete Trilogy
Price: $74.97 $59.98

In one of the most eagerly-anticipated graphic novels of 2012, Soldier’s Heart concludes the story of Carol Tyler and her delving into her father’s war experiences in a way that is both surprising and devastating — and rather than trying to summarize this episode and thus possibly spoil it for readers, we prefer to simply offer a selection of comments on the first two installments of this autobiographical masterpiece.

Publishers Weekly: “(Starred Review) In the first volume of Tyler’s planned trilogy of graphic memoirs, she dug into the eruptive, violent memories of her father’s WWII experiences while simultaneously dealing with a husband who decided to go find himself and leave her with a daughter to raise. [Book Two] is no less rich and overwhelming. Tyler gets back to the business of detailing her father’s war stories — difficult given that he is ‘one of those guys who closed it off and never talked about it’ — as well as coming to terms with her already touchy parents’ increasingly ornery attitudes. Closing the circle somewhat is Tyler’s concern over her daughter’s troubled nature, which seems to mirror her own wild past. While the language of Chicago-raised and Cincinnati-based Tyler has a winningly self-deprecating Midwestern spareness to it, her art is a lavishly prepared kaleidoscope of watercolors and finely etched drawings, all composed to look like the greatest family photo album of all time. The story’s honest self-revelations and humane evocations of family dramas are tremendously moving. Tyler’s book could well leave readers simultaneously eager to see the third volume, but also nervous about the traumas, home front and war front, that it might contain.”

Booklist: “Tyler’s fluid, expressive linework, complemented by subtly overlaid watercolors, gives ideal visual expression to a narrative that’s at once sensitive and hard-nosed... Decades of drawing mostly autobiographical stories have honed her skills, enabling her to produce a work that ranks in quality with the graphic memoirs of Alison Bechdel (Fun Home) and Marjane Satrapi (Persepolis).”

Daily OCD 10/30/12
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Wally WoodStorm PSteven WeissmanRoy CraneRich TommasoNo Straight Linesnicolas mahlerNico VassilakisMartiLast VispoJustin HallJoyce FarmerJoost SwarteJoe KubertDaily OCDCrag HillBill SchellyAnders Nilsen 30 Oct 2012 11:38 PM

The cuddliest cat at the shelter of Online Commentaries & Diversions:

The Last Vispo

• Review: Body Literature reviews The Last Vispo Anthology: Visual Poetry 1998-2008 edited by Nico Vassilakis & Crag Hill. Stephan Delbos writes "The Last Vispo Anthology is strange. It is also challenging, eclectic, confounding, erudite, punchy, and, by turns, beautiful. . .overall there is an elegiac note to this anthology, which extends from the title to the feeling, put forth by several of the essays, that visual poetry is facing a turning point.. .visual poetry is the bastard hermaphrodite of arts and letters. In a good way."

The Cavalier Mr. Thompson

• Review: David Fournol looks at The Cavalier Mr. Thompson by Rich Tommaso, a rough translation states, "Exemplified by its beautiful design and the use of only two colors gives the book a slightly dated, authentic look. . Describing and illustrating people's lives is a major talent of Rich Tommaso's. It is a process that has already been perfected in another of his works. . ."

Barack Hussein Obama Came the Dawn

• Review: Los Angeles I'm Yours gets Barack Hussein Obama by Steven Weissman in a big way. Kyle Fitzpatrick says, "The novel follows a gangly Barack Hussein Obama who is a constant prankster and has absolutely no manners. . . It’s a dark world and Obama is the smarmy asshole king. . . It’s a great pre-election graphic novel with some great, dark laughs."

• Review: Comic Book Resources and Tim Callahan looks at two books from the 'W' section of his library. Barack Hussein Obama by Steven Weissman "seems part of a larger movement (from IDW's Artist's Editions to years of Kramers Ergot) to signify the artwork as the end result rather than as a means of producing an end result. . . And Weissman's work demands ingestion and interpretation rather than declaration. Oh, it's good, too, if that has any meaning after all that abstraction." On Wallace Wood's Came the Dawn from the EC Library, Callahan posits, "This is a serious-looking, important comic, for serious-minded, important people. This isn't some lascivious spectacle. Heck, there's only one female on the cover, and she's facing away from us. No one is carrying around any chopped-off heads or limbs. There's no blood anywhere. No shrieking to be seen."

The End Cabbie 2Storm P.

• Plug: Chris Mautner of Robot 6 looks through our next season catalog. The End by Anders Nilson, I tend to consider this book. . . to be his best work to date, an absolutely shattering and deeply moving account of dealing with loss and grief." On The Cabbie Vol. 2 by Marti, Mautner mentions, "Oh man, I seriously love me some Cabbie. I don’t think the first volume exactly sold like hotcakes, but I’m glad to see their continuing on with Marti’s ultra-dark Chester Gould homage." In reference to Storm P.: A Century of Laughter: "Kim Thompson is going to school us all in the world of Eurocomics or die trying. I, for one, am always eager to learn, however.  This coffee-table book features the work of Danish gag cartoonist Robert Storm Petersen, whose work is reminiscent of O. Soglow and other New York cartoonists from the same era." 

Weird Horrors Is That All There Is?

• Plug: Boing Boing covers a few of their favorite books. Mark Frauenfelder enjoyed flipping through Weird Horrors and Daring Adventures by Joe Kubert, edited by Bill Schelly. "Best known for Sgt. Rock, Tarzan, and Hawkman in the 1960s and 70s, this anthology of Kubert's 1940s work reveals his versatility in a variety of genres, including horror, humor, and romance." In regards to the Is That All There Is? by Joose Swarte Frauenfelder admits, "I prefer his work over Hergé's (don't shoot me). This anthology of Swarte's alternative comics from 1972 showcases his famous clean-line style that makes reading his work a pleasure."

 No Straight Lines

• Review: Jason Sacks of Comics Bulletin interviews Justin Hall, editor of No Straight Lines, on queer comics, teaching comics and preserving history. Hall says, "I think in general the queer comics underground is – if you could categorize it with anything, there is a directness and honesty to the work – a real rawness that's quite impressive. I think that comes out of the feminist underground comics: Wimmen’s Comix, Tits and Clits, etc."

• Review: Gay Comics List talks about No Straight Lines, edited by Justin Hall. Francois Peneaud says, "Hall wisely chose to follow a (more or less) chronological path instead of anything fancier, but that doesn’t mean he has nothing interesting to say, far from it. The tension between specialized comics (by which I mean comics made by and for a specific group of people) and mainstream audience, the evolution from the urgent need for visibility to the creation of complexified issues and characters, all these and more are covered in a few pages."

Angelman

• Review: Editor Kim Thompson speaks to World Literature Today about translating Nicholas Mahler's Angelman and other books in the Fantagraphics library. "Humor is far more difficult to translate than anything else. If you translate a dramatic sequence and your words or rhythm aren’t quite right, it still can work."

Special Exits

• Review: Page 45 enjoys Special Exits by Joyce Farmer. "No punches are pulled, this is life, specifically the twilight years and subsequent demise of elderly parents, told with such honesty, candour and compassion that I actually find myself welling up again as I'm typing this. . . SPECIAL EXITS becomes a testament to the human spirit and the value of a positive outlook on life, especially in one's latter years when faced with failing health," says Jonathan.

Buz Sawyer Vol 2: Sultry's Tiger

• Review: The Comics Reporter enjoys Buz Sawyer Vol. 2: Sultry's Tiger by Roy Crane. Tom Spurgeon says, "To get the obvious out of the way, this book has some almost impossibly beautiful cartooning in it. Even for someone like me that finds the basic visual approach of Buz Sawyer less thrilling than the more rugged, crude cartooning of Crane's Wash Tubbs work, there are several panels of stop and whistle variety."

New Comics Day 10/31/12: EC Comics Library, Carré, Regé, Vispo, Halloween!
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Ron Regé JrNico VassilakisNew Comics DayLilli CarréJack DavisHarvey KurtzmanEC ComicsCrag HillBasil Wolverton 30 Oct 2012 7:01 PM

This week's comic shop shipment is slated to include the following new titles. Read on to see what comics-blog commentators and web-savvy comic shops are saying about them (more to be added as they appear), check out our previews at the links, and contact your local shop to confirm availability.

"This is a super-strong week for the Seattle-based alt-comics mainstay publishing house. In fact, that would be a strong season for a lot of publishers." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter

Came the Dawn and Other Stories Illustrated by Wallace Wood (The EC Comics Library)

Came the Dawn and Other Stories (The EC Comics Library)
Illustrated by Wallace Wood; written by Al Feldstein et al.; edited by Gary Groth

208-page black & white 7.25" x 10.25" hardcover • $28.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-546-4

Corpse on the Imjin! and Other Stories by Harvey Kurtzman

Corpse on the Imjin! and Other Stories (The EC Comics Library)
by Harvey Kurtzman, et al.

240-page black & white/color 7.25" x 10.25" hardcover • $28.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-545-7

"If I could splurge, I’d snatch up EC: Wally Wood – Came the Dawn and Other Stories. I’ve been aware of Wally Wood for a almost two decades now, but I tend to go through periods of simply floating around before I consume and learn more about him in short but voracious periods." – Chris Arrant, Robot 6

"...I feel like I haven’t read enough Kurtzman, so I’d like to read [Corpse on the Imjin]..." – Brigid Alverson, Robot 6

"I’m pretty excited for the new Fantagraphics EC books..." – Brian Hibbs (Comix Experience), The Savage Critics

"Fans of the old, influential genre stuff will enjoy Corpse on the Imjin! and Other Stories and Came the Dawn and Other Stories, two b&w collections of EC material focused on, respectively, Harvey Kurtzman and Wally Wood..." – Joe McCulloch, The Comics Journal

"The EC books I'm looking forward to devouring on some rainy afternoon in the next three or four weeks. I find that work pleasurable, and I look forward to seeing if reading these comics arranged by author (mostly) changes my opinion about any of the artists in question." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter

"These @fantagraphics EC Libraries are slick!!" – Pulp Fiction

The Cartoon Utopia by Ron Regé Jr.

The Cartoon Utopia
by Ron Regé, Jr.

144-page black & white 10.25" x 12.25" hardcover • $24.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-596-9

"...I’ll first mention The Cartoon Utopia, a 144-page 'part sci-fi, part philosophy, part visual poetry, and part social manifesto' hardcover by the always-interesting Ron Regé, Jr." – Joe McCulloch, The Comics Journal

"Ron Regé Jr. is one of those special cartoonists where I buy everything he does without asking questions first." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter

Heads or Tails by Lilli Carré

Heads or Tails
by Lilli Carré

200-page full-color 7" x 9" softcover • $22.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-597-6

"Poetic short fiction pieces from an artist Chicago is proud to call its own." – Quimby's Bookstore

"...Heads or Tails [is] a nice-looking collection of short stories by up-and-comer Lilli Carré (The Lagoon), most of which ran in the Mome anthology..." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6

"Lilli Carré returns after 2008′s The Lagoon with Heads or Tails, a 200-page collection of short stories..." – Joe McCulloch, The Comics Journal

"On the strength of this latest collection, with which I'm only about halfway done, Lilli Carré may join that group of [special] cartoonists [where I buy everything she does without asking questions first] much sooner than I thought possible, and I really liked her previous work. There's nothing about Heads or Tails that has to be processed through the 'promising cartoonist' filter, if that makes any sense." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter

The Last Vispo Anthology: Visual Poetry 1998-2008

The Last Vispo Anthology: Visual Poetry 1998-2008
by various artists; edited by Nico Vassilakis & Crag Hill

336-page full-color 8" x 10" softcover • $39.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-626-3

"Finally, The Last Vispo Anthology: Visual Poetry 1998-2008 presents 336 pages of visual poetry to tickle your image/text fancy." – Joe McCulloch, The Comics Journal

"I'm not even sure what Last Vispo Anthology is, but I'd look at it -- I assume it's the visual poetry thing that's been a big part of the lives of several people that have worked the last 20 years." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter

Jack Davis's Tales from the Crypt

Spacehawk - Halloween Comics Fest 2012

AND don't forget our two Halloween mini-comics, Jack Davis's Tales from the Crypt (more EC fun) and Spacehawk (a sampler of the upcoming Basil Wolverton collection, bundled for trick-or-treat handouts) available exclusively at participating comic shops!









The Last Vispo Anthology: Visual Poetry 1998-2008 - Now in Stock
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Nico Vassilakisnew releasesCrag Hill 23 Oct 2012 2:09 AM

Just arrived and being shipped with love by the co-editor himself from our mail-order department:

The Last Vispo Anthology: Visual Poetry 1998-2008

The Last Vispo Anthology: Visual Poetry 1998-2008
by various artists; edited by Nico Vassilakis & Crag Hill

336-page full-color 8" x 10" softcover • $39.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-626-3

See Previews / Order Now

Fantagraphics spotlights the intersection of art and language in this innovative new collection — without peer in English — that gathers the work of visual poets from around the world into one stunning volume. The alphabet is turned on its head and inside-out and the results culminate in a compilation of daring and surprising verbo-visual gems.

The Last Vispo Anthology is composed of vispo (a portmanteau of the words “visual” and “poetry") from the years 1998 to 2008, during a burst of creative activity fueled by file sharing and email, which made it possible for the vispo community to establish a more heightened and sophisticated dialogue with one another. The collection extends the dialectic between art and literature that began with ancient “shaped text,” medieval pattern poetry, and dada typography, pushing past the concrete poetics of the 1950s and the subsequent mail art movement of the 1980s to its current incarnation. Rather than settle into predictable, unchallenged patterns, this vibrant poetry seizes new tools to expand the body of work that inhabits the borderlands of visual art and poetic language.

The Last Vispo Anthology features 148 contributors from 23 countries on five continents. It includes 12 essays that illuminate the abundant history and the state of vispo today. The anthology offers a broad amalgam of long-time practitioners and poets new to visual poetry over the last decade, underscoring the longevity and the continued vitality of the art form.

Advance Praise:

“The descriptor ‘visual poetry’ cannot begin to hint at the wealth of potent mystery that The Last Vispo contains. It knocked my mind right off its cozy little track and sent it sprawling through a myriad of brand new experiences. I can’t remember the last time I encountered something so charged, mysterious, deep and pleasurably upsetting as this book.” – Jim Woodring

“A delightful cornucopia of imaginary languagescapes, opening the eye to other alphabetic climes, beyond the ho-hum regimentation of linear normalcies. & all from (just about) the past decade. Visual poetries: alive and expanding. It’s positively viral.” – Charles Bernstein

“Staring your way into and through the letter as object — the letter as solitary sign, the letter as crowned king. Staring gives us the keys to the kingdom. This book is a glorious adjunct to the long history of concrete and visual poetry. Long live the king!” – Harry Mathews

This Week in Fantagraphics Events: 10/8-10/15
Written by janice headley | Filed under Nico VassilakisGary PanterFantagraphics BookstoreeventsEC ComicsDaniel ClowesCrag Hill 9 Oct 2012 5:30 PM

 The Last Vispo

 Tuesday, October 9th

Portland, OR: Dr. David Seaman will deliver the lecture "From the First Vis Po Anthology (BC—Before Christ) to the Last Vis Po Anthology (AA—After Apple)" at Gallery 214 on the campus of the Pacific Northwest College of Art. They are currently hosting an exhibit featuring work from The Last Vispo Anthology: Visual Poetry 1998-2008! (more info)

San Francisco, CA:  Daniel Clowes and Dave Eggers take the stage at Litquake, San Francisco's annual literary festival! The two will discuss the vagaries of the creative process, their favorite comics, books, and movies, and anything else that might come up. (more info)

Gary Panter Dal Tokyo show

Wednesday, October 10th

Seattle, WA: It's your last chance to view our Gary Panter exhibit at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery! Stop by to see this astounding original artwork in person! (more info)

Friday, October 12th

Columbus, OH: Poet John M. Bennett will be celebrating his 70th birthday and the release of  The Last Vispo Anthology: Visual Poetry 1998-2008 at the It Looks Like It’s Open Gallery! (more info)

HorrorFront

Saturday, October 13th

Seattle, WA: Our latest exhibit The Horror: from the EC Comics Library debuts at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery! Our own Mike Catron will present a short slideshow presentation, and we'll have musical entertainment from Swedish-born, Berlin-based recording artist Molly Nilsson. (more info)

Love and Rockets 30th Anniversary poster

San Francisco, CA: Join us for the opening reception of Love and Rockets: A 30th Anniversary Celebration at the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco, CA with special guests Jaime, Gilbert and Mario Hernandez! This career-spanning retrospective exhibition will include more than 50 pieces of original artwork from their groundbreaking comic. (more info

San Francisco, CA: Go bananas with us at APE: the Alternative Press Expo, with special guests Jaime, Gilbert and Mario Hernandez, Jim Woodring, Mark Kalesniko, Justin Hall, and Shannon Wheeler! (more info)

Sunday, October 14th

San Francisco, CA: It's your last day to see us at APE: the Alternative Press Expo! (more info)

The Last Vispo at the Pacific Northwest College of Art!
Written by janice headley | Filed under Nico VassilakiseventsCrag Hill 2 Oct 2012 11:29 AM

The Last Vispo

The Last Vispo comes first this month at the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, OR!

Pages from The Last Vispo Anthology: Visual Poetry 1998-2008 will be on display at Gallery 214 on campus starting Thursday, October 4th through Friday, October 26th.

And then on Tuesday, October 9th at 6:30 PM, Dr. David Seaman will deliver the lecture "From the First Vis Po Anthology (BC—Before Christ) to the Last Vis Po Anthology (AA—After Apple)".

This discussion is aimed at situating visual poetry in a tradition that counters the conventional oral tradition of literature. From Meleager's Greek Anthology to this current exhibition, poets in opposition to the mainstream have chosen to express themselves in ways that cannot be rendered simply with the spoken word. This lecture/discussion will illustrate past examples and evoke the present poetic reality, with insider insights into the visual poetry scene in the U.S., France, Germany and Italy.
 
Also, on Tuesday, October 23rd, our editors Nico Vassilakis & Crag Hill will be joined by contributor James Yeary to perform a collage of excerpts of essays from the anthology at 6:30 PM!

Gallery 214 is located on the campus of the Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) at 1241 NW Johnson in Portland OR.