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.
100-page black & white 6.625" x 10.5" softcover • $14.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-748-2
"the artist is heading back to his underground roots, citing the influence of ZAP and Weirdo and promising an exuberant, satirical and confrontational read…It'll be interesting to see how well the established audience for Sacco's journo-comix respond to this change of tone." –Tom Murphy, Broken Frontier
240-page full color 7.5" x 10.25" hardcover • $29.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-795-6
"Before this point, most Uncle Scrooge stories played off of his greed and paranoia about safeguarding his wealth from the dastardly Beagle Boys, but this shift towards treasure hunting would be the way forward for the comics for decades, eventually inspiring the popular Duck Tales cartoon series in the 1980s." -Rich Barrett, Mental Floss
260-page black & white with color 8.25" x 10.75" hardcover • $39.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-769-7
"Tardi is unremitting in his focus on the small, human details of the catastrophe-not just the look of uniforms and weaponry, but the way one soldier advances in an awkward, stiff-armed posture, 'protecting my belly with the butt of the rifle,' and the way another makes sculptures and rings from discarded shells, to sell to his comrades." - Gabriel Winslow-Yost, The New York Review of Books
Jacques Tardi is responsible for the two acknowledged graphic novel masterpieces about World War I: It Was the War of the Trenches and Goddamn This War! To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of WWI in 2014, Fantagraphics is proud to release a two-volume boxed set collecting these two perennial classics. The first book, It Was the War of the Trenches, focuses on the day to day of the grunts in the trenches, bringing that existence alive as no one has before or since with some of his most stunning artwork. His second WWI masterwork, Goddamn This War!, is told with a sustained sense of outrage, pitch-black gallows humor, and impeccably scrupulous historical exactitude, in masterful full color.
"'The war to end all wars' has become a magisterial comic book to end all comic books. I seldom give blurbs, but this book is an essential classic. Among all of Jacques Tardi's towering achievements as a comics artist, nothing looms larger than this devastating crater of a work. It’s a compulsively readable wail of Existential despair, a kaleidoscope of war’s dehumanizing brutality and of Everyman’s suffering, as well as a deadpan masterpiece of the darkest black humor. The richly composed and obsessively researched drawings — perfectly poised between cartoon and illustration — march to the relentless beats of Tardi’s three horizontal panels per page to dig a hole deep inside your brain. This is one Hell of a book." – Art Spiegelman
"Tardi's depiction of the First World War is so impassioned and visceral that it can be compared to the work of the artists who actually served in the trenches." – Joe Sacco
"French master Tardi gives an infantry-level view of World War I's meat-grinder carnage in grim vignettes that primarily keep tight, telling focus on the stories of individual soldiers. …[It Was the War of the Trenches] deserves a place on the top shelf of graphic lit.” – Cliff Froehlich, St. Louis Post-Dipatch
Praise for Goddamn This War!
"As brutal and horrific as the Great War itself, this book rivals All Quiet on the Western Front when it comes to the insane idiocy of the conflict." – Max Brooks
We expect to see Tardi's WWI boxset out in October. Until then, we'll have more juicy previews and unboxing video in the coming weeks. And as per usual, our presale for the boxset is up and raring to go.
"Though Watson illustrates Tammy’s life in excruciating, embarrassing detail to often-hilarious effect, her clear affection and empathy for her subject shines through. She universalizes Tammy’s experiences, taking us back to relive our own tortured, giddy, deadly serious, horny, boring, and horribly self-conscious teenage years." – Robert Kirby, The Comics Journal
"This is exactly what summer blockbusters should be, only Milburn’s is a singular vision. He exploits clichés by embracing them, and he busily captures hyperspace hilarity, while the black and white pages never feel overwhelmed by the dark backdrops or Milburn’s detailed designs." – Alex Carr, Broken Frontier
"Tardi is unremitting in his focus on the small, human details of the catastrophe—not just the look of uniforms and weaponry, but the way one soldier advances in an awkward, stiff-armed posture, 'protecting my belly with the butt of the rifle,' and the way another makes sculptures and rings from discarded shells, to sell to his comrades." – Gabriel Winslow-Yost, The New York Review of Books
"Many of Davis’ stories here explore the way people live with each other and try to find themselves in the modern world. They are funny, surprising, touching, and insightful. Some have a sci-fi slant to them, some are fantasy, and some are just about real people." – Rich Barrett, Mental Floss
"The title story might be the best known in the entire EC comics oeuvre… EC tales often sported morals reinforcing decency and forward-thinking that were decades ahead of their time. 'Judgment Day' is one such story, an O. Henry type of tale about an Earthling astronaut who visits a robot-inhabited planet that is strictly divided along color lines…When the twist ending comes, it carries a surprise even today; sadly, this reflects as much on our own time as the era in which the story was produced." – David Maine, Spectrum Culture
"I was amazed to find that many of these people were born in the late 1800s and that most of them have military service as part of their illustrious resumes. These weren’t hoity-toity art students born with silver spoons in their mouths; these were hard-working American mutts that, against nearly impossible odds – using only their imaginations, a lot of blood, sweat and tears (and apparently a huge amount of cigarette smoke) – managed to craft a uniquely American artistic medium that would influence countless generations to come." – Bob Leeper, Nerdvana
"The story unfolds asynchronously, creating a sense of mystery. Why does the kids’ teacher, Miss Sakaki, have bandages on her face? Why is the class bully so affected by what happened to Arié? Why is the new kid at school, Amahiko, willing to jump out of his classroom’s window? And why are there glowing butterflies everywhere?" – Unshelved
Plug:Paul Gravett has a feature on French artist Jacques Tardi: "The exhibition and much of Tardi’s work reveals his strong anti-war feeling. It’s an obsession that goes back to his childhood, part of it spent in post-War Germany."
Commentary:MTV.com on social issues being discussed and dissected at Comic-Con. Trina Robbins "described the underground comics world being like a boys' club she wasn't invited into. So she and other women made their own comics. 'I produced the very first all-woman comic book in the world, in 1970,' she said. Her new book, 'Pretty in Ink,' is about women cartoonists, and only the latest book by this herstorian of women in comics."
It was bound to happen with 32 years of comics in the making. On Friday at the Eisner Awards Ceremony, the two cartoonists Fantagraphics has grown up with received their due. In the category of Best Writer/Artist, Jaime Hernandeznbsp;received an Eisner for his work on Love and Rockets to be followed quickly by Gilbert Hernandez for his standalone story "Untitled" in Love and Rockets: New Stories #6 (page 59 for those of you at home).
Gilbert gave a touching speech and we even snapped a photo of his notes. Jaime juggled his Eisner a bit, speechless yet very endearing.
AND Félicitations are due to Jacques Tardi and Jean-Pierre Verney!
The Eisner for Best U.S. Edition of International Material has been awarded to Goddamn This WarCreated 15 years after the completion of his Eisner Award-winning World War I masterwork It Was the War of the Trenches, Tardi's Goddamn This War! is a brand new, wholly individual graphic novel that serves as a companion piece to Trenches, but can be read entirely on its own. Told with gritty insight, wit, and despair-sharing Trenches sustained sense of outrage, pitch-black gallows humor, and impeccably scrupulous historical exactitude-this book is not to be missed.
Associate Publisher Eric Reynolds accepted the awards on behalf of Tardi, Verney and the late great translater and our publisher Kim Thompson. This was one of the last books Kim worked on from start to finish and Reynolds put it best when he said that Kim wanted to show the world the best European comics/bande dessinee possible.
The most delicious 50% candy so let's eat our feelings of Online Commentaries and Diversions:
• Plug: The Advocate lists Julio's Day as great gift. "[Julio's Day] is a remarkable literary work that compresses 100 years into 100 pages and demonstrates how dramatically life changed for gay men between 1900 and 2000." –Jacob M, The Advocate
• Plug:The AV Club lists Julio's Day at #8 of the top 10 Graphic Novels and Art Comics of 2013. "Comic books have a unique way of evoking the passage of time within static images, and Gilbert Hernandez is a cartoonist that is keenly aware of how he can use the medium to manipulate that chronal flow." –Oliver Sava, The AV Club
• Review: Julio's Day on Comic Pusher "This is a fantastic book, yet another example of a master cartoonist at work, an excellent representative Gilbert Hernandez for those unfamiliar with him, and a fine addition to the library of those who have grown with his work over 30 years." -Jeffrey O. Gustafson, Comics Pusher
• Review:Maria M. by Gilbert Hernandez on Page 45: "Crime and punishment executed with rapidfire, bullet-point precision...The cartooning is, as ever, an immaculately clean and balanced black and white joy, the expressions are exquisite and the breasts, they are humungous." -SLH, Page 45
• Plug:Maria M. "More than 30 years into his career, there's no stopping Gilbert Hernandez..." -Tom Murphy, Broken Frontier
• Plug: GNR takes a look at Gilbert Hernandez's The Troublemakers: "I found the book to be engrossing, compelling, and a lot of fun for both noir and comics fans." -Sterg Botzakis, Graphic Novel Resources
• Review: Best of 2013 on Comics Pusher "Obviously this was the year of Gilbert Hernandez…Gilbert filled the void of singular marquis comics with no less than five stunning works, collectively casting its own literary shadow for subsequent generations to wonder at. Someday you can tell your grandchildren that you were alive when the Hernandez Brothers were creating comics, and when Gilbert owned 2013." –Jeffrey O. Gustafson, Comics Pusher
• Review: Comic Book Bin looks at Love and Rockets: New Stories #6"Here, both [Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez] are like great athletes that use human growth hormone (HGH) to extend their peak performance into middle age. Los Bros. have found creative and artistic steroids, as they are producing Love and Rockets comics that are as good as they've ever been. Or maybe genius never gets old and keeps producing all-star work." –Leroy Douresseaux, Comic Book Bin
• Review: "Love and Rockets continues to be a vital and important ongoing document of two creators at the absolute height of their powers, and the only venue to read new material from Jaime. The brothers' respective works, their respective worlds, stand alone - but in Love and Rockets we get the privilege of experiencing jolts of both, alternating between brother and brother, between greatness and greatness." –Jeffrey O. Gustafson, Comic Pusher
• Plug:Love and Rockets Companion is examined on VICE "Love and Rockets is a great comic that has been around for 30 years now and the characters in the book have aged in time with us... This book's dust jacket, which unfolds into a family tree, will help sort you out if you're like me and can't keep the characters straight" -Nick Gazin, VICE
• Review: Grovel checks out Maria M. "Love and Rockets fans shouldn't be without this, but anyone else with an interest in sharp, sexy, violent but sophisticated stories can still enjoy it for what it is: a B-movie homage that takes the genre above and beyond our expectations." -Andy Shaw, Grovel
• Plug:The Omnivoracious lists Love and Rockets the series as part of the Lambda awards "These are life stories, told as life unfolds-with humor, heartbreak, and perseverance" –Alex Carr
• Plug: Paste lists The Love Bunglers on the Most Anticipated comics of 2014! "Any time a collection of Jaime Hernandez's Maggie (and/or Hopey) stories is published, it's cause for celebration." -Hillary Brown, Paste
• Review: Wandering Son 6 by Shimura Takako "in Wandering Son, Volume 6 so many parallels are made between Shuichi and Takatsuki's real life and the very deliberately crafted Romeo and Juliet production.... It may not be a particularly subtle narrative technique on Shimura's part, but it is a very effective one. The play echos their experiences, emphasizing specific aspects of their lives and relationships not only for the characters, but for the readers as well. Wandering Son continues to be an absolutely wonderful series." –Ash Brown, Experiments in Manga
• Plug:The Advocate lists the Wandering Son series "An amazing series, Wandering Son offers an unusual glimpse into the lives of gender-nonconforming kids. Suitable for readers 13 and older and engaging enough to keep readers of all ages impatiently awaiting next year's Volume 5."
• Review: The Chicago Tribune looks at Carl Barks' Donald Duck: Christmas on Bear Mountain. "Ridiculously, infuriatingly, this is the first time the work of America's finest cartoonist (his only real competition being George Herriman, Walt Kelly and Charles Schulz) has been reproduced with the care and splendor it deserves. Imagine if Duke Ellington's recordings were only now being properly remastered and collected." – Michael Robbins, The Chicago Tribune
• Review:Donald Duck: Christmas on Bear Mountain "Carl Barks is one of those truly perfect cartoonists. It feels so good to have these books with beautiful Fantagraphics quality production sitting on my shelf...You'll get sucked in." –Nick Gazin, VICE
• Review: SLJ onDonald Duck: Christmas on Bear Mountain"Barks's Disney comics were and are enormously well crafted and equally enormously entertaining, timeless comedy adventures that Fanta presents in such handsomely designed volumes that they make the perfect gift for just about any reader of comics." –J. Caleb Mozzocco, School Library Journal
• Review:Donald Duck: Christmas on Bear Mountain "Scrooge is a lot grouchier, bitter and ill tempered than his later incarnations and closer to the Dickens persona rather than Bark's character...whenever I bring up the subject of ducks with my comic book pals, they look at me a-scant but I highly recommend this fabulous collection from Fantagraphics that celebrates the life and prodigious body of work of the Dean of Duckdom, the irreplaceable Carl Barks." –Chris Marshall, Collected Comics Library
• Plug:Atomichearted Boy looks at The Treasury of Mini Comics, edited by Michael Dowers. "Mini comics are like the wild west of the comics world - in this lo-fi, DIY formate - it's anything - and everything - goes."–Benn Ray, Atomic Books
• Review:The Secret History of Marvel Comicsby Blake Bell and Doc Michael J Vassallo"…this book expands our understanding of the publishing industry context in which those comics were produced, and it gives us an unprecedented portfolio of non-comic book art from some notable comic book artists." -John Hilgart, The Comics Journal
• Review: "what's been unearthed here (much of it never reprinted) is both visually and historically stunning…The Secret History of Marvel Comics is a stunning book (in more ways than one) of beauties, beasts, and bombast, as well as a wonderfully askew look at the Precambrian Era of Marvel Comics." –KC Carlson, Comics Worth Reading
• Interview:Bomb Blog asks Stephen Dixon about His Wife Leaves Him: "Yes. I wanted most of the novel to be in his head. For this, he has to be lying back in bed with his room dark and his eyes closed, remembering things in their marriage. Of course, there is action in the dream. There's movement, I should say. It's a very interior novel." -Dixon
Review: David Evanier looks at His Wife Leaves Him and Stephen Dixon in general. "Stephen Dixon is, in my opinion, the best and most overlooked American Jewish fiction writer in the country. If I left out "Jewish," he would still be the best."–David Evanier, The Jewish Book Council
• Review:Publishers Weekly gives His Wife Leaves Him a starred review: "A peek into the private world of their marriage proves the novel to be more than the sum of its parts as the reader is granted a panoramic view of the evolution of two characters and their relationship."
• Interview: James Fleming writes a very nice intro to Dixon's His Wife Leaves Him and includes some email correspondence with him on Burrow Press. "How do I even begin to explain how Dixon--though we've never met in person and I've never taken a writing class with him--effectively taught me nearly everything I know about short-story and novel writing."
• Review:Goddamn This War! on FPI Best of 2013 list: "Tardi's burning rage at the injustice and immorality of what was done to so many is undimmed by the passing of time, and as we enter the centenary year of the start of that awful war this work becomes even more vital for readers." –Joe Gordon, Forbidden Planet International
• Review:Goddamn This War! "Jacques Tardi is a one of the most versatile cartoonists to ever lift a pencil...We descend into Hell with these soldiers, live their unbelievably intense live, and are inexorably and subtly changed by the experience. That is the power of great Art. That is the power of the great Jacques Tardi." –Jason Sacks, Comics Bulletin
• Plug:Goddamn This War! made Mark Burrier's Best of 2013 list. "Besides the meticulously-referenced artwork, Tardi painted these panels using inks and they are gorgeous...Kim Thompson did a bang up job translating this. The narrator is recounting what it was like during WWI and the tone holds up well to translation." -Mark Burrier
• Review:Ghost and Ruins by Ben Catmull on NY Journal of Books: "For those who like their horror with more then a hint of detached humor, Ghosts and Ruins is the perfect book to leave out at both Halloween and Christmas. These are wonderfully scary stories drawn and told with such beauty and wit you regret when they end. " –Mark Squirek, NY Journal of Books
• Review:Ghost and Ruins by Ben Catmull on Famous Monsters: "If Escher and Gorey met in Maurice Sendak's house and decided to riff on Junji Ito manga, you might have something similar to these pages…All fans of black and white horror movies owe it to themselves to hunt this down and subsequently cower under the covers like a kid in the cold." –Holly Interlandi, Famous Monsters
• Plug: "Ghost and Ruins will satisfy your craving for dark and creepy, yet beautiful drawings of - you got it - ghosts and ruins!" –Jade, Librarie D&Q
• Review: On Richard Sala's Violenzia "Sala takes the conventions of Golden Age comics like Dick Tracy and The Shadow and [modernizes] them for the digital era" –HTML Giant
• Review:Richard Sala's The Hidden. "There's no mistaking a panel of a Sala comic for a panel of anyone else's comic...it is probably his grandest and most epic in terms of scale, and it's full of suspense, mystery, horror, violence and a perhaps surprising amount of action..." –J. Caleb Mozzoccoo, Every Day is Like Wednesday
• Review: Katherine Whaley receives a Starred Reviewi n Publishers Weekly: "a parade of 20th century American philosophical fads, particularly those rooted in the entertainment business, pseudoscience, commercialized spiritualism, and general quackery. The story is earnestly told from Kate's wide-eyed perspective and achieves a tone that emphasizes the multifaceted nature of human experience."
• Review: Barracuda in the Attic by Kipp Friedman on Boswell Book Company "Growing up as one of three sons of the writer Bruce J. Friedman, they had adventures many of us can't imagine... Kipp's upbringing does resonate with me more than just another New York story..." -Daniel Goldin
• Review: Willard Mullins' Golden Age of Baseball gets reviewed "Through the eyes of someone like Mullin, with his graceful portraits of folks like Babe Ruth and Stan Musial, the sport seems thousands of years old. An artifact. A time capsule… This is a beautiful-looking book, thorough and affectionate in its treatment of the cartoonist Willard Mullin and his coverage of the sport for which he is best known: baseball." -Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Journal
• Plug: "...we get to watch Charles M. Schulz's cast evolve, along with his simple yet lyrical line. [Peanuts Every Sunday] is a complement to Fantagraphics' continuing and indispensable 'Complete Peanuts' publishing project." -Dana Jennings, NY Times
• Plug: Westfield Comics on Peanuts Every Sunday. "If Peanuts Every Sunday isn't under your Christmas Tree this year, put aside some of your Holiday 'loot' (as early Schulz might say) to make sure you pick it up as soon as you can. You won't regret it. It's the kind of gift book I'd be getting for Grandma Lil, if she were still around" -KC Carlson, Westfield Comics
Over the last 4 weeks we've been spotlighting the books in our upcoming Spring-Summer 2014 season, which are being made possible by the generous support of people like you who have backed our Kickstarter campaign. Now we've reached the final title in the catalog, and as a bonus we're revealing two titles for our Fall-Winter 2014 season! These books were already scheduled for previous seasons but were left in limbo after Kim Thompson's illness and passing earlier this year. We can now confirm that they are coming next year, thanks to everyone who helped us reach our first Kickstarter stretch goal!
(Please note that all artwork, contents, prices, specs, and release dates are preliminary and subject to change.)
160-page full-color 7.25" x 10" softcover • $22.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-764-2
The smash hit humor comic, now finally available in paperback! What are tales designed to thrizzle? Tales designed to thrizzle are about evil girls and their owls. They are about Jesus's half-brother, the Mysterious Avenger, Dick Crazy, scary snakes, delicious bacon, Private Eye Johnny Silhouette, the Silver Knight, Murder She Didn't Write, the Mannister, the Space Patrol, portraits where the eyes move, Pablo Picasso, sex blimps (and their logical inverse, sex holes), the hot boy band Boybank, soccer joust, Underpants-On-His-Head Man, Hercules the Public Domain Superhero, Cousin Granpa, Mister Bossman, Mark Twain, the silent robot Citobor and, of course, the '30s.
120-page black & white 7.5" x 10.5" hardcover • $18.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-705-5
Paris, 1950s. Nestor Burma's past comes knocking when Bélita, a young gypsy woman, leads him to the Salpêtrière hospital where he discovers the recently deceased Abel Benoît, an old buddy from his anarchist days. While Burma has chosen to move onto the (more or less) straight and narrow as a private eye, his friend had stayed on the other side of the law as a counterfeiter and worse, until his own past caught up with him, lethally. So now it’s up to Burma to avenge his friend, keep the girl safe, and hopefully unravel a mystery whose roots run far and deep back into the past...
Fog Over Tolbiac Bridge is the first of four major graphic novels adapted by Tardi from the legendary French crime writer Léo Malet's original "Nestor Burma" novels — each set in Paris, and each taking place in, and defined by, a different arrondissement. Tardi's stylish use of mechanical gray tones provides the book with a lovely period feel, and the very specific autobiographical elements of the original novel (Malet himself frequented the anarchist/vegan hostel that serves as the backdrop for the flashback sequences of Burma's youth) combined with Tardi's usual obsessive visual research give it a uniquely personal, authentic quality.
Created in the 1980s, Fog Over Tolbiac Bridge was an historic attempt on Tardi's part to inject a level of literary heft and ambition into the comics field, which back then was still struggling for legitimacy. The result is a cracking good detective yarn and a milestone in comics history.
120-page black & white 7" x 9.75" hardcover • $19.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-460-3
Disgusted and appalled with the today’s noisy and noisome world in which all is spectacle and surface sensation, Nick flees into the solitude of the desert. But even as he manages to recover some sort of spiritual balance thanks to an ascetic regimen of fasting and meditation, Nick is seduced by the most spectacular and mesmerizing spectacle of all time: The procession of the Queen of Saba.
In Vapor, the award-winning Spanish cartoonist Max (best known for his 2006 book Bardín the Superrealist) once again engages in delightful philosophical mind games, starring another wildly stylized and endearing protagonist — this time deploying a striking, crisp black and white graphic style perfectly suited for this desert-based fantasia.
As we approach our $200,000 stretch goal toward translating and publishing the European material that was left in the wake of Kim Thompson's untimely passing (which is what necessitated the campaign in the first place), and to show our gratitude on this day of giving thanks, we're turning a solo spotlight on the first "Kim book" to be rescheduled.
While no one can ever duplicate Kim as a translator, we're extraordinarily pleased that stepping into his shoes for this volume is Doug Headline, who happens to be the son of author Jean-Patrick Manchette, from whose work this book is adapted.
104-page black & white 7.25" x 10.5" hardcover • $19.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-620-1
Following the acclaimed West Coast Blues and Like a Sniper Lining Up His Shot, Jacques Tardi makes a third appointment with ace crime writer Jean-Patrick Manchette, full of pitch-black humor and a strong current of socio-political satire beneath its bleak surface. A rich industrialist hires a troubled young woman straight out of a psychiatric asylum to nanny his bratty son. But this seemingly altruistic impulse to help rehabilitate a troubled soul hides a darker motive: plans to stage a fake kidnapping of the child, using the nanny as a scapegoat. But things go horribly wrong, and now nanny and child are on the run, pursued both by the police and by a dangerous contract killer with a Terminator-like tenacity.
The 2013 Harvey Award Nominations list more than a few Fantagraphics' titles! Here's a peak at their covers and click on any to find out more information if for some reason they aren't already on your bookshelves!
Final ballots are due to the Harvey Awards by Monday, August 19, 2013. Full submission instructions can be found on the final ballot. Voting is open to anyone professionally involved in a creative capacity within the comics field. Final ballots are available at www.harveyawards.org. Those who prefer paper ballots may e-mail