We're very pleased to have had three books chosen by the American Library Association's GLBT Round Table for their two honors lists this year. 7 Miles a Second by David Wojnarowicz, James Romberger, and Marguerite Van Cook and Julio's Day by Gilbert Hernandez were both named to the 2014 Over the Rainbow List of recommended books for adult readers in the Graphic Narrative category, and Wandering Son Vol. 4 by Shimura Takako was chosen for the 2014 Rainbow List of recommended reading for younger readers under Graphic Novels. (This is the third year in a row on the list for the Wandering Son series.)
Now that our Kickstarter campaign has wrapped up, we're starting to offer our Spring-Summer 2014 books as plain old regular pre-orders. Our first batch is listed below, and more will become available as they're built into our bookkeeping system (which can be an irregular process). We've also set up a few discounted gift sets to help you save some bucks while building your collection. Be among the first to reserve your copies — hit those links to learn more about each title and start building your shopping cart!
312-page black & white 7.5" x 9.25" softcover • $19.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-753-6
Gilbert Hernandez's characters bid "Farewell, My Palomar" as they exit the Eden of the Central American town in Volume 10 of the Love and Rockets Library. Locals have begun to drift up to the United States to seek their fortunes, but when an earthquake levels Palomar, ever-resourceful Luba and her clan are on the move once again. In the U.S. the lives of Maria's daughters — mayor and matriarch Luba, body-builder Petra, and therapist/film star Fritz — and their families become more and more intertwined. Mischievous children's show hostess Doralís MCs many (but not all) of the sisters' romances, and exploits are detailed in missives from comics-loving Venus to her fierce, one-armed cousin Casimira.
176-page black & white 7.5" x 10.25" • $22.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-755-0
Helen is an amateur bird watcher and naturalist who lives in a rural community in Wales. When local farmer Bill tells Helen that a "rare bird" named Emrys killed himself at Cuddig farm, she decides to investigate. One of the dogs at the farm tells her, by way of explanation, that Emrys "had no feathers and couldn’t fly." She plucks an old cosmetic kit from a dumpster and discovers it belonged to Emrys. Inventorying the kit's contents, she finds a spent .12 gauge shotgun shell. Her attempt to learn more about Emrys turns into a journey of self-discovery and ultimately a hard-fought reconciliation with the world — as it is. Carol Swain's Gast is the rare kind of contemporary graphic novel that critics are conjuring when they exult over the promise of the art form — a philosophically mature vision, uniquely executed by an artist wholly in control of her craft. In Gast, Helen's inner life is slowly revealed through a mixture of naturalistic detail and phantasmagoric occurrences.
220-page black & white 5.75" x 8.5" softcover • $24.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-751-2
This sci-fi epic takes place somewhere in the outer cosmos, beyond reckoning or observation. The mysterious Dr. Z has enlisted three space heroes to search the galaxy for the fabled Twelve Gems of Power: the hulking alien-brawn Furz; the beautiful and deadly sabre-wielding Venus; and the soft-spoken canine technician, Dogstar. They meet many strange and storied characters on their journey, but none so strange or sinister as their dear benefactor himself. With a heavy dose of humor and wall-to-wall action, this is one of the most action-packed and funny books of the year.
It's time for the Billy Ireland Festival of Cartoon Art, and this year, they've got even more to celebrate as the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum at Ohio State University is moving into wonderful new, expanded facility in Sullivant Hall! All weekend long, they're breaking in the new building with comics events, including this very special evening with Gilbert & Jaime Hernandez, this Saturday, November 16th!
Kicking off at 7:30 PM, join them for a freewheeling conversation between these alternative comics legends as they discuss their groundbreaking series Love & Rockets, and their ongoing stories about Latino and Latina life, love, and punk rock on both sides of the border.
Admission is free for Ohio State students with BUCK ID, or $5 for the general public, and available online here.
(By the way, check out that sweet festival logo below, designed by our very own Paul Hornschemeier!)
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.
140-page black & white 5.75" x 8.5" hardcover • $22.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-719-2
"I liked this one the best of the pulp-stories that feature the movies made by his character Fritz in the Palomar/Post-Palomar universe he depicts in Love And Rockets... An amazing year for Hernandez." -Tom Spurgeon, Comics Reporter
Gilbert Hernandez continues his metafictional realization of the film career of his troubled heroine Rosalba "Fritz" Martinez, who abandoned her psychotherapy practice to become queen of the Z-grade exploitation movies. Now she's starring in the role she was literally born to play, in a dramatization of her own mother's life! The "true" story of Maria M. was told in Hernandez's classic Poison River, collected from the pages of Love and Rockets; this original graphic novel embodies the first part of the film version. Maria's life consorting with the underworld makes for a sordid tale of sex, drugs, violence, and power that fits right in with Fritz's other film credits.
Praise for other books in the "Fritz B-Movie" series:
"I picture Gilbert Hernandez approaching his drawing board these days like Lawrence of Arabia approaching a Turkish convoy: 'NO PRISONERS! NO PRISONERS!'" – Sean T. Collins, Robot 6
"Gilbert Hernandez is one of the great craftsmen of modern comics... Hernandez’s new Fritz book, Love from the Shadows, is as bracing as a slug of bottom-shelf rotgut...." – Douglas Wolk, The New York Times Sunday Book Review
"If alternative comics can be equated to independent film, then Hernandez has become the medium's David Lynch or Guy Maddin, rolling his personal obsessions and freewheeling abstractions into stories that present as pulp, then take some very weird turns." – The A.V. Club
"The rich emotions and passionate characters of [Gilbert] Hernandez are translated to a welcome new graphic novel, which fills B-movie situations with real drama... Hernandez takes his readers on a harrowing journey.... It's heavy stuff, but highly recommended." – Publishers Weekly
A woman comes to the U.S. from Latin America to escape her shady past, only to fall into a new shady life. After a go at the adult entertainment business, Maria marries a drug lord and her dangerous past is nothing compared to her new life in America. The drug lord's son, Gorgo, secretly falls in love with her and he watches over her like a guardian angel. Danger and corruption (and of course sex) drive the first half of this love story.
Long-time Love and Rockets readers will find the storyline familiar... and that’s because, in an Adaptation-style meta twist, Maria M. is actually the B-movie film adaptation of the life story of Luba's mother Maria, as previously seen in its "real" version in the classic graphic novel Poison River (available in the Beyond Palomar collection) — starring Maria's own daughter playing her own mother.
Confused? Don't be! Maria M. works perfectly on its own terms as the kind of violent, sexy pulp tale that Gilbert Hernandez has proven so adept at these past several years, and the "source material" for the story just provides an extra layer of delight for the cognoscenti.