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.
320-page color/black & white 9.25" x 12.25" hardcover • $49.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-508-2
"Perfect Nonsense is a perfect gift for a fan of illustration and golden age comics and humor and, hm, absurdism." -Heidi MacDonald, The Beat
"[a] hardcover survey of the career of the poet and illustrator behind Jingle Jangle Comics among other zany pursuits of the type which often wouldn't capture the eye of comic book aficionados..." –Joe McCulloch, The Comics Journal
George Carlson was one of the most prolific and innovative cartoonists and illustrators of the 20th century, whose playful, absurdist, exquisitely rendered drawings graced every medium, from comic books to children's games to magazines — and Perfect Nonsense is the most definitive and expansive collection of his work ever published!
Perfect Nonsense is a cornucopia of Carlson's outrageous visual fantasies, ranging from gag cartoons, comics, riddles, games, and children's book illustrations (most famously, Uncle Wiggily) to magazine covers, political cartoons, advertising images, and locomotive and Naval illustrations, as well as a juicy selection of over 80 pages of his legendary "Jingle Jangle Tales" and "Pie-Faced Prince of Pretzleburg" stories (with irresistible titles like "The Musical Whifflesnort and the Red-Hot Music Roll" and "The Rocketeering Doodlebug and the Self-Winding Horsefly")!
Carlson's career spanned over 50 years and his inspired imagination never flagged. Meticulously compiled and with a profusely illustrated biographical introduction by Daniel Yezbick, Perfect Nonsense is the perfect compendium by one of America's wildest practitioners of visual and verbal lunacy.
"…Perfect Nonsense: The Chaotic Comics and Goofy Games of George Carlson is a perfect gift for a fan of illustration and golden age comics and humor and absurdism…. This is a lovingly researched retrospective of all of Carlson's work. For all comics scholars this is a MUST HAVE." – Heidi MacDonald, The Beat
"…George Carlson [was] an under-appreciated, largely overlooked cartoonist, illustrator, game designer, and graphic artist extraordinaire who will finally get his due with the forthcoming release of Perfect Nonsense: The Chaotic Comics and Goofy Games of George Carlson…. The spirit of George Carlson’s playful, surreal world can be seen in everything from Pee-wee’s Playhouse to 24-hour comics." – Paul Tumey, The Comics Journal
"...a genyoowine sensibility." – Art Spiegelman
"…[A] master. Carlson… was an old-timer, …drawing funny pictures many years before comic books were invented.... I love nonsense or I probably wouldn't be a comic book fan, where about 90% of everything is nonsense in one way or another. But George Carlson took nonsense to another level…" – Pappy's Golden Age Comics Blogzine
"…[An] incredible artist… Samuel Beckett in a clever plastic disguise." – Harlan Ellison
Perfect Nonsense tells the complete story behind one of the most innovative and under-rated Golden Age artists, classic children's illustrators, and nonsense poets in American history. For more than 50 years, George Carlson created thousands of distinctive and dynamic cartoons, comics, riddles, and games that thrilled both children and adults with their fanciful spirit and nonsensical humor. There has never been a career retrospective of this startling cartoonist and illustrator — until now!
Carlson's inspired cartoons — ranging from the intellectual to the surreal — place him at home with not only acknowledged masters of American humor like George Herriman, S. J. Perelman, Milt Gross, Bill Holman, and Jack Kent, but also globally celebrated absurdists like Beckett, Pirandello, and his life-long inspiration, Lewis Carroll.
Carlson also made his mark as an accomplished designer of more serious themes including magazine covers, political cartoons, advertisements, locomotive and naval illustration, and, most famously, the original book jacket for the first edition of Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind. Now, after more than 15 years of searching, compiling, and conjuring, the incredible depth of George Carlson's artistry and ingenuity finally gets the comprehensive treatment it has so long deserved with copious full color examples of material both exquisite and obscure. Alongside plentiful cartoons, individual drawings, and comics (including Carlson's "ghost" work on Gene Byrnes' Reg'lar Fellers), this edition offers a meticulously researched critical introduction, rare examples of original art and unpublished projects, and a biographical timeline of Carlson's first three decades as a commercial artist drawing on recently unearthed artifacts from the Carlson family estate.
Perfect Nonsense focuses on Carlson's prolific work as a gag cartoonist, children's illustrator, commercial designer, and art instructor from 1907 to just before World War II. Decades before his celebrated Jingle Jangle Comics, Carlson forever altered the nature of children's publishing during his tenure as chief artist and designer for the pioneering children's pulp, John Martin's Book. Carlson turned the magazine itself into a toy, filled with seasonal games, holiday cut-outs, curious crosswords, graphic exercises, puzzles, riddles, rebuses, and more.
As Carlson himself once observed, his early works brim with a unique spirit of happiness and fun. We have not only captured the very best of that spirit in this collection, but also the many secrets behind its legacy. Loaded with wonder and wit, the creations of George L. Carlson will inspire cartoon and comics aficionados, teachers of children's media, scholars of American humor, and anyone interested in the ever-evolving landscapes of image and language.
Embedded here and in downloadable form is a substantial smattering of pages from our upcoming book Perfect Nonsense: The Chaotic Comics and Goofy Games of George Carlson. The most amazing early 20th century illustrator, comics artist, and creator of absurd whimsy you've probably never heard of, Carlson is finally getting his due in this beautiful and hefty volume. Our excerpt includes portions from throughout the book to give you a sampling of his gorgeous and delightful work for various media. One look and you're certain to fall in love! Pre-order now for projected delivery in mid-to-late January.
Do you like beautiful books? Do you like gorgeous illustration? Do you like fun, inventive comics? Then you will love Perfect Nonsense: The Chaotic Comics and Goofy Games of George Carlson, coming in January. Collecting Carlson's mostly youth-oriented work from the first half of the 20th century, Perfect Nonsense is brimming with clever whimsy and swoon-worthy artwork in a package so lovely we all crowded around designer Tony Ong and his pup Otis (out of frame) to congratulate him on a job well done when the first advance copies arrived.
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