Let's see what Online Commentary & Diversions popped up over the weekend:
• Review: "Abstract Comics: The Anthology is an impressive collection of old and new work with unique pages covering exactly what the title says... bold... intriguing... This is a book for readers who like fine art or those who would like to expand their sequential art experiences. A hearty slap on the back for Fantagraphics for choosing to create this marvelous example of a widely unknown artistic expression." - Kris Bather, Comic Book Jesus
• Review: "I had always equated [Prince] Valiant with everything that is dull and lifeless and boring and supposedly good for you, but it turns out I was completely and utterly wrong. On the contrary, it's a rip-snorting good time, full of high adventure and thrilling escapades. And Valiant, far from being the schoolmarmish goody two-shoes I imagined him being, is full of piss and vinegar and quite a bloodthirsty young chap, which makes him a good deal more interesting than some of his contemporaries on the comics page." - Chris Mautner, Robot 6
• Review: "Tales Designed to Thrizzle #5, like all the previous issues by Michael Kupperman, did not fail at thrilling or dazzling me." - Brian Cronin, Robot 6 (same link as above)
• Review: "...C. Tyler's You'll Never Know Book One: A Good and Decent Man isn't... much like any other autobio comic I've encountered... It’s a really rather fascinating work, and the longer one thinks about it, the more important and universal it seems to be. On the surface level, of course, it’s an extremely interesting, rather unique story of a couple different life’s stories, and how they overlap, but there plenty of other levels waiting to be discovered and ruminated over. I won’t be at all surprised to see this book taking slots on a lot of best of the year lists in another six months or so." - J. Caleb Mozzocco, Newsarama
• Review: "Don’t think of [The Wolverton Bible] as an exception or a bizarre footnote in religious art but one and maybe the 20th century continuation... By the end of the book, pages after pages of doom and destruction, you realize that Wolverton is maybe the only person to illustrate the The Old Testament and the Book of Revelation -- the most 'savage' books of the bible." - Are You a Serious Comic Book Reader?
• Plug: "Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 1: It's the collection of the first four issues of Michael Kupperman's hilarious series, now in color! This stuff is comedy gold, so get it if you haven't read it already, and hell, spend the extra money to see the non-monochromatic version if you want." - Matthew J. Brady
• Events: Jared Gardner reports from a panel he moderated with Arnold Roth, Mort Walker and Brian Walker as part of the celebration of the merger of the International Museum of Cartoon Art with Ohio State University's Cartoon Library and Museum, adding that Jean Schulz has set up a matching grant to raise needed funds for the combined museum to move into a new permanent home
• Oddity: At Guttergeek, Chris Reilly interviews himself: "I actually am a big fan of Michael Kupperman and Eric Reynolds from Fantagraphics just sent me a copy of the hardcover Tales Designated to Thrizzle Vol. 1 and I would like to conduct this interview by commenting on the quotes of this book – would that be cool?" Um, 'kay...
HAROLD FOSTER’S LEGENDARY MEDIEVAL EPIC, FINALLY IN ITS DEFINITIVE EDITION
Universally acclaimed as the most stunningly gorgeous adventure comic strip of all time, Prince Valiant ran for 35 years under the virtuoso pen of its creator, Hal Foster. (Such was its popularity that today, decades after Foster’s death, it continues to run under different hands.)
The giant Sunday-funnies pages (Valiant ran only on Sundays) gave Foster a huge canvas upon which he was able to limn epic swordfights, stunning scenes of pomp and pageantry, and some of the most beautiful human beings — male and female — ever to appear in comics. And he matched his nonpareil visual sense with the narrative instincts of a born storyteller, propelling his daring young hero from one crisis to another with barely a panel to catch one’s breath.
Prince Valiant has previously been widely available only in re-colored, somewhat degraded editions (now out of print and fetching collectors’ prices). Thanks to advances in production technology and newly available original proof sheets, this new series from the industry leader in quality strip classics is the first to feature superb restored artwork that captures every delicate line and chromatic nuance of Foster’s original masterpiece. Comic strip aficionados will be ecstatic, and younger readers who enjoy a classic adventure yarn will be bowled over.
Volume One is rounded out with a rare, in-depth classic Foster interview previously available only in a long out-of-print issue of The Comics Journal, as well as an informative Afterword detailing the production and restoration of this edition, which you can read in its entirety right here on our website.
Today's hot batch of Online Commentary & Diversions:
• Review: "...[T]he furtive griminess that Jason wrings from his stock character designs is impressive to behold... [Y]ou'll enjoy any number of his typical moments of storytelling grace..." - otherwise Tom Spurgeon is unfortunately somewhat sparing in praise for Jason's Low Moon at The Comics Reporter
• Review: "Miss [Lasko-Gross]' previous book, Escape from 'Special,' launched her fearless plan to produce an autobiographical trilogy. [A] Mess [of Everything]tackles the high-school years, which involve mean girls, mean boys and plenty of awkward social situations. Each anecdote is super-short with cringeworthy dialogue that you'll identify with and will remind you of how fortunate you are to have lived through that rough period." - Whitney Matheson, "Three Graphic Novels You Should Read Immediately," USA Today Pop Candy
• Review: "I’ve read some crazy comix, and while he won’t scare you under the sheets like S. Clay Wilson, [John] Kerschbaum can be as raw as R. Crumb, Peter Bagge, and [Johnny] Ryan, who may be his closest comix cousins... No fan of adult funny animal comics (like Fritz the Cat) will want to miss Petey & Pussy... Petey & Pussy is some funny shit." - Leroy Douresseaux, Comic Book Bin
• Plug: "Fantagraphics is shortly to publish a new edition of Prince Valiant, Hal Foster's legendary, Golden Age comic strip of knights, swashbuckling, romance and chivalry... Foster's artwork is amazing. Foster was an exceptional talent in an era of exceptional talents." - OK Erok
• Plug: "The fifth issue of Tales Designed to Thrizzle is in and it's even weirder than the last one. See aliens give a bloke sexy lady legs! Twain plus Einstein plus enraged badger! Hobo fashion! If you've not read any of Michael Kupperman's stuff before now's yer chance..." - Gosh! Comics
Prince Valiant Vol. 1: 1937-1938 by Hal Foster is now available for pre-order. This new series begins the definitive collection of Foster's masterpiece, reproduced from newly available original proof sheets for a truly revelatory reading experience and presented in a beautiful oversize hardcover format. This book is scheduled to be in stock and ready to ship in mid-June and in stores approximately 4 weeks after that (subject to change).
Click through and you can download a free PDF of the first 10 Valiant strips! We don't have the photo previews yet (stay tuned), but we do have a nifty bonus feature for you: Kim Thompson's Afterword, "A History of Valiants," details the restoration and production of this edition and compares it with previous editions from various publishers around the world, and we've put it online for your reading enjoyment. Fascinating stuff!
In February 2008 a Portuguese Prince Valiant fan published a special, English-language black and white edition of the first two years of Prince Valiant, shot from the very best proof sheets and carefully restored. Due to contractual limitations on territory this edition was NEVER made available in the U.S. — until now! By special arrangement with King Features Syndicate and the publisher, Fantagraphics has a little under 300 copies available for mail and website orders. They just arrived in our warehouse.
Fantagraphics is the EXCLUSIVE distributors in North America. This book is not available in comics shops (well, except for the Seattle Fantagraphics store). It is not available in bookstores. It is not available through Amazon.com. (We expect copies will turn up on eBay and Amazon's second-hand store at hugely inflated prices before the year is out, though.) This is it! And there are, as we said, fewer than 300 copies. We expect to be sold out within no more than a month or two.
It's a gorgeous, big 11" x 14" hardcover, and it's a thrill to see Foster's sumptuous linework for these first two years reproduced so crisply. Every Foster fan will need one! (It also includes a good, heavily illustrated five-page introduction chock full of rare Foster art.) See more images in our photo slideshow embedded below. Click here if it is not visible, and/or to view it larger in a new window (recommended).
Price is $35.00 per copy.
If you want to pre-order the full-color Fantagraphics edition of Prince Valiant 1937-1938 (due out in June 2009) as well, we're offering the two together at $55.00 (so you'd be getting $10 off the Fanta edition) -- just select that option when placing your order. (Our edition will be available for pre-order on its own in a few days from now.) Remember, the two books contain the EXACT SAME STORY MATERIAL — just one is black and white, and one is color — totally different reading and visual experiences. Order online or call 1-800-657-1100 (206-524-1967 in Canada).
Please note this is ONLY for North American customers (customers outside North America can order copies direct from the publisher: mcaldas59 [at] sapo [dot] pt), there are NO wholesale discounts available (although 20/20 Club discounts do apply), and only ONE copy per customer.
100-page black & white 11" x 14" hardcover • $35.00 Order Now!
Thanks to some inventory reshuffling we now have several formerly out-of-stock books back in our warehouse and available to order! Quantities are very limited — in some cases, literally a handful — so get your order in quick before they're gone again! The list: