With Halloween looming, allow me to suggest thirteen frightening favorites from Fantagraphics Books. Spooky fun for everyone, in no particular order.
Daniel Clowes' modern masterpiece Ghost World eerily conveys the otherworldly cool of 1990s counterculture. Peculia, by Clowes colleague Richard Sala, collects the misadventures of the precocious protagonist of his EvilEye comic book serial. Northwest native Charles Burns' essential Big Baby anthology of contemporary horror comix includes classics like "Blood Club," "Teen Plague," and "Curse of the Molemen."
Mysterious Traveler collects proto-psychedelic horror from Steve Ditko's Charlton era. Similarly, Weird Horrors displays the late, great JoeKubert's pre-Code classics edited by Kubert scholar BillSchelly. WallyWood weighs in with Came the Dawn, featuring timeless tales from the "Vault of Horror," as well as mid-century socio-political nightmares like "The Guilty."
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.
108-page black & white 8.25" x 10.75" hardcover • $22.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-625-6
"It's an engaging collection of vignettes full of magical realism and compelling characters...evoke[s] comparisons to the short fiction of Jorge Luis Borges or, in the case of the science fiction-styled entries, Ray Bradbury." -Publishers Weekly
176-page full-color 12" x 6.25" hardcover • $29.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-612-6
"Fantagraphics has reprinted the full run of Gahan Wilson's Sunday Comics with their customary attention to detail and gorgeous reproduction... These comics crack me up, especially the weeks that are seemingly endless variations on different themes." -Jason Sacks, Comics Bulletin
216-page black & white 7.25" x 10.25" hardcover • $28.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-659-1
"Feldstein's art has a delightful amount of expressiveness to it and a remarkable amount of subtle beauty - if a word like beauty can be applied to comics that feature strange blob aliens from outer space." -Jason Sacks, Comics Bulletin
For a few too-short years between 1972 and 1974, lucky newspaper readers were treated to something special in their Sunday funnies section: a weekly color strip by one of America’s greatest cartoonists — Gahan Wilson.
Each installment of Gahan Wilson Sunday Comics presents a cluster of single-panel gags. Some Sundays are a freewheeling mélange of board meetings, monsters, and cavemen, while others riff on a topic or subject (cats, luggage, magicians, wallpaper). The last gag most weeks is part of a recurring series, either the sometimes eerily prophetic “Future Funnies” or the lovably sinister “The Creep.” With a continuous procession of adorably grotesque freaks, geeks, and weirdos in improbably surreal scenarios, delineated in his signature saggy-baggy style, Wilson brought the same off-kilter perspective of his famous Playboy, New Yorker, and National Lampoon cartoons to a more family-friendly venue, without losing his subversive, satirical edge.
Fantagraphics is proud to rescue yet another great 20th-century funny-pages rarity from yellowing newsprint and present its entire run in this single volume, lovingly restored and with a brief historical commentary.
“Morbid merriment. Tender cruelties. Risible frailties. Sincere hypocrisies. Of such oxymorons is the art of famed cartoonist Gahan Wilson made. Ever since the ’50s, Wilson has proudly carried aloft the moldering, web-festooned banner first hoisted by Charles Addams.” – Paul De Filippo, The Washington Post
Gahan Wilson is probably best known for his macabre Playboy cartoons, filled with charming monsters, goofy mad scientists, and melting victims, and his cutting-edge work in the National Lampoon, but he's also one of the most versatile cartoonists alive whose work has appeared in a wide range of media venues. Gahan Wilson Sunday Comics is Wilson's assault from within: His little-known syndicated strip that appeared in America’s newspapers between 1974 and 1976.
Readers must have been startled to find Wilson's freaks, geeks, and weirdos nestled among family, funny-animal, and soap opera offerings. (The term "zombie strip" — a strip that has long outlived its original creator — takes on a whole new meaning in Wilson's hands.) While each strip, at first glance, appears to be a standard, color Sunday strip (albeit without panel borders), each Sunday Comic is a collection of one-panel gag cartoons, delineated in Wilson's brilliantly controlled wiggly-but-sophisticated pen line. The last gag cartoon on each Sunday is part of a recurring series, either "Future Funnies" or "The Creep." Some Sundays are a freewheeling mélange of board meetings, monsters, and cavemen (with cameos by Wilson's Kid character from Nuts, his gimlet-eyed view of childhood, collected in 2011 by Fantagraphics), while others riff on a topic or subject (clocks, plants, wallpaper, etc.). As is his wont, Wilson mines the blackest of black comedy in the banal horror of human nature.
Gahan Wilson Sunday Comics collects, for the first time, each and every one of these strips, luxuriating across a 12" x 6" landscape format, with Fantagraphics' trademark high production values, innovative design, and succinct historical commentary.
Oh, goody!Gahan Wilson Sunday Comics in the pulpy flesh. A lost masterpiece from a cartoon giant. Wilson's mid-1970s Sunday strip — really a collection of one-panel gags, a freewheeling mélange of board meetings, monsters, cavemen and so on — are collected in this fine, long edition. While Wilson is better known for his work in Playboy and National Lampoon, it's fun to see him harness all the colors of the rainbow to convey the blackest of black comedy. Prismatic AND perverse.
Can you hear the oom-pah-pah accompanying some of the finest cartooning of lumpy, melty, and always hilarious people? Perhaps you need to read a few pages over here (full-screen viewing recommended), or get the PDF directly, and pre-order the book here.
In terms of pure fun, Gahan Wilson Sunday Comics is hard to beat. Our wide-format volume, coming late next month, collects the full run of Wilson's little-seen mid-1970s weekly newspaper strip. Each installment contains 5 or so gags in signature Gahanian style — droopy, lumpy and slightly twisted.
Find out what you're in for with our excerpt containing the first 15 strips. View the preview in the embedded reader here (full-screen viewing recommended) or get the PDF directly, and pre-order the book here.
Oh, what a treat! We couldn't be happier that the great Gahan Wilson did this all-new illustration for the cover of our upcoming collection of Gahan Wilson Sunday Comics, his 1974-1976 funny-pages feature. Yep, it's another great but short-lived comic strip by one of cartooning's best, fished from the deep waters of obscurity and given the loving Fantagraphics treatment! These darkly delightful, subversively satirical strips have been carefully spiffed up and will be presented in a "widescreen" hardcover format hitting shelves in July. More sneak peeks are on the way, and you can pre-order now.
Linda Medley, cartoonist of Castle Waiting and much more, recently shared some old Comic-Con International or San Diego Comic Con badges with us. Above is her FIRST Comic-Con badge. Twelve years later, Medley designed the badge for the 1991 con (below). As you can see Toucan existed even then, pre-blog. This was an extra they gave Linda so no names on it and the official one had a slightly different design printed with METALLIC INK. This is so bad ass.
The 2000 SDCC badge still sported artwork: DINOSAURS by Gahan Wilson (his new book coming out soon)
Badges need only have three things: the name of the show, the year and your name but some amazing art can make the show more memorable! And while I understand the need for currency level standards of 'authenticity' to keep all the photoshop pros from creating fake badges.... c'mon:
Bland. How cool would a drawing with the linework printed in the holographic paper be? It'd probably have the power to BLIND PEOPLE.