Here's your first glimpse at the feature interviews with Norwegian graphic novelist Jason and Lio cartoonist Mark Tartulli, the special portfolio of cartoonists' holiday cards, the comics section of Barney Google strips, and more that can be found in the upcoming Comics Journal #294. Click this link if the embedded slideshow doesn't appear above, and/or to open it in a new window.
Also: other publishers have new stuff coming out from our pals Chris Ware, Gilbert Hernandez and Kevin Huizenga, so this is definitely a good week to hit the shops. As customary, we've got previews of our releases that you can check out at the links above to help maximize your shopping time.
This superbly evocative graphic novella by the award-winning Norwegian cartoonist Jason (his first appearance in the English language) starts off as a melancholy childhood memoir and then, with a shocking twist midway through, becomes the summary of lives lived, wasted, and lost. (Imagine a version of Stand by Me in which not all of the kids outrace the train.) Like Art Spiegelman did with Maus, Jason utilizes anthropomorphic stylizations to reach deeper, more general truths, and to create elegantly minimalist panels whose emotional depth charge comes as an even greater shock. His sparse dialogue, dark wit, and supremely bold use of "jump-cuts" from one scene to the next (sometimes spanning a number of years) make Hey, Wait... a surprising and engaging debut. Love and Rockets co-creator Gilbert Hernandez calls this one of the best graphic novels ever.
F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Ezra Pound, and James Joyce walk into a Parisian bar... no, it's not the beginning of a joke, but the premise of Jason's unique new graphic novel. Set in 1920s Paris, The Left Bank Gang is a deliciously inventive re-imagining of these four literary figures as not only typical Jason anthropomorphics, but...graphic novelists! Yes, in Jason's warped world, cartooning is the dominant form of fiction, and not only do these four work literary giants work in the comics medium but they get together to discuss pen vs. brush, chat about the latest graphic novels from Dostoevsky ("I can't tell any of his characters apart!") to Faulkner ("Hasn't he heard of white space? His panels are too crowded!"), and bemoan their erratic careers. With guest appearances by Zelda Fitzgerald and Jean-Paul Sartre, and a few remarkable twists and turns along the way, and you've got one of the funniest and most playful graphic novels of the year. Like Jason's acclaimed Why Are You Doing This?, The Left Bank Gang is rendered in full spectacular color.
2007 Eisner Award Winner, Best U.S. Edition of International Material
From the multiple Eisner and Harvey Award-winning author comes this sharp suite of short tales, ranging from the funny to the terrifying to the surreal to the touching, all told entirely in pantomime. Like Chris Ware, Jason's clean, deadpan style (featuring animal-headed characters with mask-like faces) hides a wealth of emotion and human complexity, leavened with a wicked wit. Jason's work has also drawn comparisons to Art Spiegelman for the similar ways both artists utilize anthropomorphic stylizations to reach deeper, more general truths, and to create elegantly minimalist panels whose emotional depth-charge comes as an even greater shock. His dark wit and supremely bold use of "jump-cuts" from one scene to the next are endlessly surprising and exhilarating. This new 2008 reprint features a brand new cover design.
We've got a brand-new selection of downloadable wallpapers featuring recent and upcoming Fantagraphics titles. Just click on the size that matches your monitor resolution and the image will open in a new window; if you're on a PC, right-click the image and select "Set As Background"; if you're on a Mac, control+click and select "Set As Desktop Background." (We don't know what the procedure is for iPhones, but if you have one, you probably do, right?) And for our complete selection of wallpapers, click right here!
The following books are now available for pre-order! Click the cover images for more info about each book. And of course we'll be bringing you previews as the release dates get closer. All are expected to arrive between now and the end of October. For more, see our Upcoming Arrivals page.
More "Behind the Scenes": Part of the sheet of Jason lettering for the translations in "Pocket Full of Rain." There wasn't much to translate so Jason just wrote it all out on a single sheet of paper. A fun bit of ephemera that went along with this stray bit of text.