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Category >> Johnny Ryan

Daily OCD 11/29/12
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Rich TommasoNo Straight LinesJustin HallJohnny RyanJacques TardiGary GrothFloyd GottfredsonDisneyDaily OCDclassicsChris WareCharles M SchulzCarl Barks 29 Nov 2012 7:18 PM

The first snowflake of Online Commentaries & Diversions: 

Naked Cartoonists

• Review: Publishers Weekly enjoys Naked Cartoonists, edited by Gary Groth. "The litmus test for any collective work based on the idea of one page per artist is whether the whole is greater than the sum of the individual parts. . . [Naked Cartoonists] no trouble achieving that goal. . . Dan Piraro (Bizarro) deserves kudos for his strategically-located likeness of Garfield . . .

• Plug: Elliot Bay Book Company shows off a copy of Naked Cartoonists from their store and Dave states, "Hilarious. Scary. Weird. And just plain bawdy. If this is wrong, I don’t want to be right."

• Review: Print Magazine (issue 66.3 June 2012) gingerly flips through the pages of Naked Cartoonists. "Does your Sunday morning routine consis of reading The Wizard of Id and thinking, Gosh, I wish it had more nudity? Then Fantagraphics Books has just the thing for you." While out-and-about obscenity is rare, "there are moments of genuine creepiness, as when Jeff Keane, heir to The Family Circus, drops trou along side his fictional self, Jeffy.

Prison Pit 4

• Review: Speaking of nudish things, Slate takes the time to slog through Prison Pit 4 by Johnny Ryan. Noah Bertlasky states, "For those who find filthy, blotchy tactile ink clots, überviolence, or body horror even remotely appealing, you need to buy this and its predecessors immediately."

Blacklung

• Review (audio): The boys on the block (Comics Books are Burning in Hell) review violent comics so naturally Blacklung by Chris Wright is included. The book affected the reviewers since it's "basically Chris Wright drawing terrifying shit" and Wright's drawing style falls in between "Old newspaper comics, like E.C. Segar's Popeye and Roy Crane's Wash Tubbs and Usagi Yojimbo [by Stan Sakai]."

Donald Duck: A Christmas for Shacktown Charlie Brown's Christmas Stocking Mickey Mouse: Hause of the Seven Haunts

• Review: New York Journal of Books looks at Walt Disney's Donald Duck: A Christmas for Shacktown by Carl Barks. Mark Squirek writes, "What he was really doing was showing us the absurdity of human behavior. . . This is a book that can be enjoyed by everyone from six to eighty. . . This is classic art and storytelling from a master of the form. Carl Barks ranks right up there with Jack Kirby and Will Eisner. If you love the frustrated, quacking, crazed Donald from the cartoons of the forties, you have to read A Christmas for Shacktown.

• Review: The Christian Science Monitor unwraps Charlie Brown's Christmas Stocking by Charles M. Schulz. Rich Clablaugh takes another sip of cider and says, "The design of the book is marvelous, thick off-white stock printed in two colors – red and green of course. . .Charlie Brown's Christmas Stocking is sure to bring a warm smile to readers young and old. A yearly reading of this little gem can in itself become a new tradition for the Christmas season."

• Review: Westfield Blog looks at archival prints from Fantagraphics. Roger Ash recounts, "Popeye, Pogo, Charlie Brown, Mickey Mouse, and many other classic comic strip characters live on at Fantagraphics in outstanding collections. If you aren't reading any of these, you should be."

The Cavalier Mr. Thompson

• Review: Forbidden Planet International writes about Rich Tommaso's graphic novel, The Cavalier Mr. Thompson. "What the Cavalier does very well is encompass the zeitgeist of an era and people vividly. . . or the most part you’re happy to be led through the rooms and ravines, over train tracks and down corridors as a gentle narration of tales from times gone by ensconces you comfortingly," says Zainab.

No Straight Lines NY Times Book Review

• Review: Glen Weldon writes a large article in the New York Times Book Review on our newest anthology on queer comics. "With No Straight Lines [editor Justin Hall] has produced a useful, combative and frequently moving chronicle of a culture in perpetual transition; to read it is to watch as an insular demimonde transforms itself, in painful fits and joyful starts, and steps out into a wider monde."

It Was the War of the Trenches

• Review: Graphixia looks at Jacques Tardi's It Was the War of the Trenches. Scott Marsden states, "Seeing Tardi’s portrayal of the horrors of trench warfare and his vision of the random senselessness and brutality that accompanies it reminds us to reflect on our (mis)conceptions of history, drawing attention to the fractal realities that are embedded in events that have been experienced internationally. . . it feels far closer to reality than the propagandized historical materials offered by the typical academic publishing industry. . .

Hotwire Issue 1

• Review: Rob Clough reposts his review of our Hotwire anthology, this time on High Low. "A book for those who read Ghost World or American Splendor and [want] to know where to go next."

Chris Ware

• Review: Chris Ware is profiled on the NY Review of Books on Jimmy Corrigan through Building Stories.

Giant Robot's Post-It Show 8 Curated by Esther Pearl Watson and Mark Todd!
Written by janice headley | Filed under Steven WeissmanRenee FrenchMartin CendredaMalachi WardLilli CarréJohnny RyanJohn CuneoGabrielle BelleventsEsther Pearl WatsonEleanor DavisAndrice Arp 27 Nov 2012 10:30 AM

Giant Robot Post-It Show 8

Write yourself a note so you don't forget! It's time for the Eighth Annual Giant Robot Post-It Show, curated by our own Esther Pearl Watson with her equally-awesome husband Mark Todd!

Each one-of-a-kind Post-It masterpiece is merely $20, and this might possibly be the biggest Post-It Show yet with over 2,000 submissions! And there's over 260 artists involved, including our own Andrice Arp, Gabrielle Bell, Lilli Carre, Martin Cendreda, John Cuneo, Eleanor Davis, Renee French, Johnny Ryan, Malachi Ward, and Steven Weissman!

The Giant Robot Post-It Show 8 runs from December 8th through 16th at GR2 [ 2062 Sawtelle Blvd., Los Angeles, CA ] with an opening reception event on Saturday, December 8th from 6:00 - 10:00 PM. Come prepared to "cash-and-carry"!

Prison Pit fan art by Guy Davis
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Things to seeJohnny Ryanfan art 23 Nov 2012 2:09 PM

Prison Pit fan art by Guy Davis

There's been some great Prison Pit fan art since the series started but if I were Johnny Ryan I'd be putting my feet up and basking in this one for a while: Guy Davis renders the unnamed hulking oafspawn from Book 4. Dig it bigger here.

Cover Uncovered: Prison Pit Book 5 by Johnny Ryan
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Johnny RyanComing Attractions 16 Nov 2012 3:09 PM

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201211/pp5_color_final.jpg

Nobody can ever accuse Johnny Ryan of slacking. Prison Pit Book 4 is still warm on the shelves and already Johnny has turned in the cover art for Book 5, which won't be out until Fall of next year. What is that floating death head tank thing? Who are those guys? What kind of crazy shit is gonna happen in this one? WHAT KIND???

Daily OCD 11/14/12
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Wally WoodSteven WeissmanRon Regé JrRobert CrumbPeanutsLilli CarréJoost SwarteJohnny RyanJim WoodringJaime HernandezJacques BoyreauHarvey KurtzmanHal FosterGreg SadowskiGary PanterFloyd GottfredsonEllen ForneyEC ComicsDisneyDaily OCDChris WrightCharles M SchulzCharles BurnsCarl BarksBasil Wolverton 14 Nov 2012 6:20 PM

 The first rain-free (HA!) day of Online Commentaries & Diversions:

The Cartoon Utopia

• Review: The Comics Journal looks at Ron Rege Jr.'s The Cartoon Utopia. Katie Haegel writes, "Almost impossible to categorize, the work in Cartoon Utopia is both fully realized in a formal sense and wonderfully idiosyncratic. Like, it’s really out there. . . to me the work is much stronger when it depicts magic in action, which Regé accomplishes by telling us stories about historical figures and their relationship to the natural world."

• Review: Robot 6 reviews The Cartoon Utopia by Ron Rege Jr. Chris Mautner writes "with Rege drawing science, new age spiritualism, the occult, astrology and Jungian archetypes to come up with a personal grand unification theory. There are no plots or characters in the book to speak of, instead Rege merely muses and illustrates his theories, which mainly have to on the interconnectedness of all living matter."

• Plugs: Best covers of the week by Andy Khouri on Comics Alliance. Ron Regé Jr's The Cartoon Utopia: "This cover really makes me smile, and maybe gives me a sense of four-color spiritual well-being. But cartoon utopia looks more outdoorsy than I expected."

• Review: Page 45 enjoys the gentle pages of The Cartoon Utopia. Stephen L. Holland states, "Regé is back with a spiritual manifesto and ode to creativity: a singular, secular vision delivered with all the fervour of a religious sermon. It’s a call not to arms but to peace and perception unshackled from the conditioning of ages, exhorting all to see new possibilities, infinite possibilities, so enabling one’s full potential to be realised in both senses of the word."

Barack Hussein Obama

• Review: Barack Hussein Obama by Steven Weissman is reviewed on Bookslut. Martyn Pedler says, "His Obama begins as a kind of smug, stoner everyman: telling 'your momma' jokes, discussing old movies with visiting dignitaries . . .  Weissman’s pages -- drawn in ballpoint into a moleskin notebook -- use a four-panel gag structure that makes the book immediately addictive."  

• Review: Publishers Weekly takes on Barack Hussein Obama by Steven Weissman.". . . readers will likely have to be content with being one part giddy and three parts puzzled. . . Perhaps that’s Weissman’s point: that the farce of contemporary politics has the capacity to make one simultaneously giddy, confused, and disenchanted."

• Interview (audio): Speaking of Steven Weissman, Obama and the elections, he is interviewed on KPFK 90.7 FM's show Beneath the Surface

Charle Brown's Christmas Stocking  Heads or Tails

• Review: Comics Worth Reading looks at Charlie Brown's Christmas Stocking by Charles Schulz. KC Carlson says, "Charlie Brown’s Christmas Stocking is the perfect stocking stuffer for any Peanuts fan — which is probably most of the planet!"

• Review: Comics Worth Reading looks at Charlie Brown's Christmas Stocking by Charles Schulz. KC Carlson says, "Charlie Brown’s Christmas Stocking is the perfect stocking stuffer for any Peanuts fan — which is probably most of the planet!"

• Review: Cartoonist Lilli Carré finds herself Boing-Boing-ed. Brian Heater describes Heads or Tails collection, "These strips, which originally in the pages of places like The Believer and Mome, find the artist dipping her toes into new pools, the sort of freedom afforded by the low commitments of the short story form, often to truly wonderful effect."

Prison Pit Book 4  
 • Interview: Eddie Wright of MTV Geek interviews Johnny Ryan about Prison Pit 4 and why us humans love it so much. "Well, I think it connects to comic fans because it's the stripped down essence of what popular superhero comics are, which is men beating the living shit out of each other. People love it."
 
• Review: Reglar Wiglar spit takes while reading Johnny Ryan's Prison Pit 4. Chris Auman says, "This is Ryan’s depraved ID unleashed in its purest form: blood, guts, genitalia and fecal matter abound—actually they don’t abound so much as they’re sprayed all over absolutely everything in a fantastical sci-fi orgy of digustedness.
 
Came the Dawn Corpse on the Imjin! Spacehawk
 
Blacklung Dal Tokyo Spacehawk Mini
• Plugs: Best covers of the week by Andy Khouri on Comics Alliance. continues with Wallace Wood's Came the Dawn: "And while we're talking smart use of interior art, here's another superb example. This collection is all about the mastery of Wally Wood, so the cover presents a taste of his work in an uncluttered and respectful way, while also establishing a trade dress for Fantagraphics' new EC artists line." Chris Wright's Blacklung: "I see a lot of Joann Sfar in this densely demonic and stylishly constructed cover, and that's enough to convince me to investigate the work of newcomer Chris Wright." Spacehawk mini-comic by Basil Wolverton: "Basil Wolverton may be best known for his grotesque caricatures in MAD Magazine, but he worked in a lot of genres. Spacehawk was evidently one of his early works, and if this gorgeously lurid cover is anything to go by it was a delightfully daffy sci-fi pulp."

• Review: Booklist Online carves out a place in their hearts for Wallace Wood's Came the Dawn. Ray Olson writes, "This volume presenting all his horror and crime stories chronologically shows him refining what is at first a crude though powerful sense of mise-en-scène into one that is assured, highly detailed, and lightly caricatural."

• Review: AV Club reviewed all our new books Came the Dawn by Wallace Wood and Corpse on the Imjin by Harvey Kurtzman. Noel Murray writes, "in writer/artist-driven volumes, printed in black and white, with additional essays and archival material . . . [and] both immediately reveal the value in the artist-driven approach. . . Feldstein’s stories were like the comic-book equivalent to some of the seediest B-movies, and Wood’s art fit Feldstein’s text, with lots of deep shadows and wrinkles reflecting a complicated world." On Basil Wolverton Spacehawk, "As with Kurtzman’s war comics, it’s remarkable to see art so twisted applied to such vivid pulp tales—almost as though Wolverton was trying his hardest to be Alex Raymond, but couldn’t help turning out images to rival Salvador Dalí." Gary Panter's "Dal Tokyo would evolve, strip-by-strip, into a distinctly Panter-esque swirl of science fiction and pure abstraction, in keeping with the artist’s one-of-a-kind sense of design, and his pursuit of comics that resemble music and poetry."
 
•Plug: Web Cast Beacon reviews all free Halloween Comics Fest freebies. They enjoy Tales from the Crypt and Spacehawk. YES, mail in those ad coupons, people. 
 
Problematic
• Interview: Jim Woodring is interviewed by Peter Bebergal on hippies, hallucinations and all the good stuff that goes into his latest work, Problematic, a skechbook. "I frequently saw things at night — silently jabbering heads at the foot of my bed, distorted animals and objects hanging in the air over me. Often I saw a huge staring eye that made me vomit with fear."
 
Mickey Mouse: House of the Seven Haunts Mickey Mouse: High Noon at Inferno Gulch
• Plug: On Boing-Boing, Mark Frauenfelder tips his digi-hat to Floyd Gottfredson: "Gottfredson's Mickey is a plucky, goodhearted imp, bursting with energy and impulsively eager for adventure. . . [Carl] Barks will always have a special place in my heart, but I've added Gottfredson to my short list of great American cartoonists."

The Lost Art of Ah Pook

• Review: Page 45 looks at The Lost Art of Ah Pook and Stephen L. Holland ponders "Malcom Mc Neill has taken the time to put this eye-frazzling book of art – some of it sequential – into context, for the work itself is very much lost. . . There are vast scenes of ancient ritual, carnal lust and very modern warfare transcending time just as they were always intended."

Walt Disney's Uncle Scrooge: Only a Poor Old Man Action! Myster! Thrills!

• Review: Booklist Online likes Walt Disney's Uncle Scrooge: Only a Poor Old Man by Carl Barks. Ian Chipman states, "from the bitter cold of the Klondike to the bottom of the Caribbean. . . Barks’ comics are an absolute treasure that have aged remarkably well, and are finally getting wide-scale publication to introduce them to a new generation of readers."

• Review: Gene Ambaum of Unshelved happily views covers from Action! Mystery! Thrills!, edited by Greg Sadowski. "Beautiful full-color reproductions of unblemished comic book covers show the amazing art and the breadth of genres on the newsstands before Fredric Wertham screwed everything up in the 1950s. . . The colors are bright, and the art is just plain fun."

Is That All There Is? Prince Valiant 2: 1939-1940
• Review: Is That All There Is? by Joost Swarte gets reviewed on Bookgasm. JT Lindroos states, ". . . it’s impossible not to enjoy this ultimately all-too-brief volume for every single panel it presents. Swarte is consistently projecting an incisive and curious mind at work, perfectly tuned to his showstopping skills as an artist nonpareil."

• Review: Comic Book Daily reviews Prince Valiant Volume 2: 1939-1940. Scott VanderPloeg write, "All of it beautifully drawn as only Hal Foster could. Each page is a visual feast that begs to be savoured."

Sexytime The Complete Crumb Comics

• Review: Rod Lott of Bookgasm spends a long, loooong time checking out Sexytime. "[Editor Jacque Boyreau] has a knack for picking images; much like Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart and hardcore porn, Boyreau knows it when he sees it. And luckily, he shares it, this time from the visual-presentation experts of Fantagraphics Books — a match made in poster-art heaven."

• Plug: Matt Bielby writes about The Complete Crumb Volume 1 by R. Crumb in Comic Heroes Magazine: "It's incredible stuff, much of it obviously for completists only, but even the most obscure volumes track a fascinating, and developing, world view."
 
Charles Burns   Ellen ForneyJaime Hernandez
• Interview: Charles Burns is interviewed on Cult Montreal by Emily Raine about The Hive, his creepy artwork and the Black Hole movie. "It’s not my intention to be creepy per se, or that’s not the reason I’m writing stories. I think they end up being whatever they are. Maybe I’m just a creepy guy, I don’t know."

• Interview (audio): One of our favorite creators, Ellen Forney, speaks to KUOW/NPR on bi-polar disorder, comics and her new work, Marbles. 

• Plug: Jaime Hernandez will be at the Copenhagen Comics Fest in Copenhagen, Denmark in June of 2013. Mark them calendars!

Prison Pit 4 to rip the shit out of your iPad
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Johnny Ryandigital comicscomiXology 14 Nov 2012 3:53 PM

Prison Pit 4 on iPad

Today marks the same-day release of Prison Pit Book 4 from Fantagraphics in bookstores and at comiXology, we're getting into the giving swing of things. In Johnny Ryan's latest 'raging flume of blood and cum' as Joe McCullough says, we find Cannibal Fuckface has just about had it with prisoners messing with him. He discovers the only way to escape the Caligulon is to brainfuck the Slorge and create a giant, brainless oafchild that only knows how to annihilate everything in its path. 

116 gristly pages of smackdowns, foaming villians and unsympathetic bowel movements can be yours in the $12.99 book thrillbent on making sure you never touch your genitals again in the same way. Without puking. 

"There's no point in trying to explain Prison Pit. You can only experience it to understand it. Start buy buying all of them at once if you haven't yet. . . It wears its intentional stupidness and violence on its sleeve while also showing off Johnny Ryan's sophisticated sense of composition and black and white ink prettiness." -Nick Gazin, VICE

"Hey are you doing any more scary guys made out of tar ripping each other's dicks off? You know why I like those? Because you don't have to read all them stupid words and stuff. Right? Haa ha, hey Johnny wanna come over and play? Ha Ha!" - Tony Millionaire

New Comics Day: Charlie Brown, Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse, Prison Pit
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under New Comics DayMickey MouseJohnny RyanFloyd GottfredsonDisneyCharles M SchulzCarl Barks 13 Nov 2012 11:26 PM

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.

Charlie Brown's Christmas Stocking by Charles M. Schulz

Charlie Brown's Christmas Stocking
by Charles M. Schulz

56-page three-color 5.75" x 5.75" hardcover • $9.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-624-9

"WOW, CHARLIE BROWN – a pair of ’60s holiday treats for Good Housekeeping and Woman’s Day form the bulk of Charlie Brown’s Christmas Stocking, a 56-page, 5.75" x 5.75" seasonal fancy." – Joe McCulloch, The Comics Journal

"I’m... eager for Charlie Brown’s Christmas Stocking." – Michael May, Robot 6

"I'm a fairly obsessive Peanuts reader, so I'll be glad to have this. It looks like it would be a nice little gift book." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter

Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 4: House of the Seven Haunts by Floyd Gottfredson

Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 4: House of the Seven Haunts
by Floyd Gottfredson

280-page black & white/color 10.5" x 8.75" hardcover • $29.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-575-4

Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 3 + 4 Box Set by Floyd Gottfredson

Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 3 + 4 Box Set
by Floyd Gottfredson

two 280-page black & white/color 10.5" x 8.75" hardcovers with slipcase • $49.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-576-1

"WOW, MICKEY MOUSE – Floyd Gottfredson & co. return for another 280 big gulp of vintage newspaper strips in Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse Vol. 4: House of the Seven Haunts, which sees large birds running amok, ghosts spreading terror, and Goofy finally addressed by his proper Christian name." – Joe McCulloch, The Comics Journal

"The publisher has pulled out all the stops on these wonderful collections.... Highly Recommended." – Bud Plant

"...[P]robably where my money will go is Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse, Volume 4: House of the Seven Haunts ($29.99). I’m heading to Disney World next week and that would be great reading on the plane." – Michael May, Robot 6

"More of that Floyd Gottfredson, inky goodness, now in the long stretch of its prime." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter

"Oh, dear, which volume of classic Disney material to get? Do I go with Vol. 4 of Floyd Gottfredson’s sublime daily Mickey Mouse strip, House of the Seven Haunts? Or do I choose the unparalleled genius of Carl Barks and get Donald Duck: A Christmas for Shacktown? The Donald Duck volume has the edge since it contains 'The Golden Helmet,' a favorite story of mine from childhood, but since I’m splurging I’ll just get both." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6

Walt Disney's Donald Duck: A Christmas for Shacktown by Carl Barks

Walt Disney's Donald Duck: A Christmas for Shacktown
by Carl Barks

240-page full-color 7.5" x 10.25" hardcover • $28.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-574-7

"WOW, DONALD DUCK – Carl Barks is in charge of 240 pages of re-colored comic book stories in Walt Disney’s Donald Duck: A Christmas for Shacktown, gathering up some fine early ’50s material." – Joe McCulloch, The Comics Journal

"This is super-pretty work from a comics master and on my reading stand right now. ...[T]he comics here sure are a lot of fun, and read well today as kind of valentines mailed from the Land Of Narrative." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter

Prison Pit Book 4 by Johnny Ryan

Prison Pit Book 4
by Johnny Ryan

116-page black & white 6.5" x 8.5" softcover • $12.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-591-4

"WOW, CANNIBAL FUCKFACE – motherfuckers are gonna get ripped to shit in Prison Pit Book Four, a 116-page continuation of Johnny Ryan’s raging flume of blood and cum, and a top-notch example of the manga influence on Comics for Everyone today." – Joe McCulloch, The Comics Journal

"Johnny Ryan's -- I first wrote out 'Johnny Riot's,' which I think I may prefer -- manga-influenced fight comic pushes into the second half of its run with more of the same. It's one of the few series where more of the same is perfectly acceptable." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter

"Thor's Picks of the Week" – Midtown Comics 

"New Prison Pit! This one is one for the record books." – Bergen Street Comics









Shop Johnny Ryan in Johnny Ryan's new shop
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Original ArtmerchJohnny Ryan 13 Nov 2012 6:29 PM

Johnny Ryan web shop screengrab

"Just a heads up that I’ve created an all-new online shop which features my books, prints, original art, etc., all in one place. Check it out here. This is the ONLY place I am offering original artwork for sale online, and the inventory will change from time to time as I dig up more originals and stuff to sell," says Johnny Ryan on his blog. So go do that!

Fantagraphics October 2012 arrivals recap
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under William S BurroughsWally WoodRon Regé JrPeanutsNico Vassilakisnew releasesMickey MouseMalcolm McNeillLilli CarréLewis TrondheimJohnny RyanHarvey KurtzmanFloyd GottfredsonEC ComicsDisneyCrag HillChris WrightCharles M SchulzCarol Tyler 2 Nov 2012 1:07 AM
What's new around our mail-order operation in the past month? Oh, just FOURTEEN new books. (Actually sixteen, but two of them snuck onto last month's recap.) We've got Mickey Mouse! We've got Charlie Brown! We've got Cannibal F***face! Our eagerly-awaited first EC Comics Library volumes have arrived, along with 3 major books by cutting-edge talents, the final volume of a masterful memoir series, the start of a wonderful fantasy-adventure series from one of the greats, and some bold experimental books for those of you interested in the various ways literature and images can intersect. (Remember, our New Releases page always lists the 20 most recent arrivals, and our Upcoming Arrivals page has dozens of future releases available for pre-order.) Read on for all the details:

Blacklung by Chris Wright

Blacklung
by Chris Wright

128-page black & white 9.25" x 12.25" hardcover • $24.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-587-7

See Previews / Order Now

Chris Wright’s Blacklung is unquestionably one of the most impressive graphic novel debuts in recent years, a sweeping, magisterially conceived, visually startling tale of violence, amorality, fortitude, and redemption, one part Melville, one part Peckinpah. Blacklung is a story that lives up to the term graphic novel, that could only exist in sequential pictures — densely textured, highly stylized, delicately and boldly rendered drawings that is, taken together, wholly original.

In a night of piratical treachery when an arrogant school teacher is accidentally shanghaied aboard the frigate Hand, his fate becomes inextricably fettered to that of a sardonic gangster. Dependent on one another for survival in their strange and dangerous new home, the two form an unlikely alliance as they alternately elude or confront the thieves and cutthroats that bad luck has made their companions and captors. After an act of terrible violence, the teacher is brought before the ship’s captain and instructed to use his literary skills to aid him in writing his memoirs. He is to serve as scribe for a man who, in his remaining years, has made it his mission to commit as many acts of evil as possible in order to ensure that he meet his dead wife in hell. As the captain’s protected confidant, finding his only comfort in the few books afforded him, the teacher bears witness to monstrous brutality, relentless cruelty, strange wisdom, and a journey of redemption through loss of faith.

Advance Praise:

“I could not have imagined how impressive a work Blacklung would turn out to be. It’s a graphic novel, both in its vernacular term and in a more literal sense, violent and horrible and poetic at the same time – the sort of thing McCarthy might write if he were more interested in pirates than cowboys or Appalachians. Blacklung is a great book; canonically great.” —Chris Schweizer (Crogan’s Adventures)

“A truly organic and interesting way to cartoon, the complete package of verbal cadence and informative visual style.” – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter


Came the Dawn and Other Stories Illustrated by Wallace Wood (The EC Comics Library)

Came the Dawn and Other Stories (The EC Comics Library)
Illustrated by Wallace Wood; written by Al Feldstein et al.; edited by Gary Groth

208-page black & white 7.25" x 10.25" hardcover • $28.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-546-4

See Previews / Order Now

Jack Davis's Tales from the CryptOrder this book and receive the Jack Davis's Tales from the Crypt Halloween mini-comic shown here as a FREE bonus! Limit one per customer while supplies last.


The 20th century had hit its exact midpoint. Social upheaval — sexual, social, racial, cultural — was in the air; and the fledgling EC comics line was about to become a vital part of it.

Working within the horror, war, crime, and science fiction genres, publisher William Gaines and editor/writer Al Feldstein combined a deliciously disreputable, envelope-pushing sensibility with moments of genuine, outraged social consciousness, which shone a hard light onto such hot-button topics as racism, anti-Semitism, mob justice, and misogyny and sexism.

The 1950s were also a launching pad for some of the greatest comic book artists in history, many of whom worked for EC — including Wallace Wood, whose hypnotically detailed, lushly expressive brushwork brought to life menacing thugs, ominous cityscapes, and small-town America, as well as Everymen grappling with profound moral issues — not to mention some of the most heart-stoppingly beautiful women ever to sashay across a comic book page.

Came the Dawn collects all 26 Wood-drawn horror and crime stories — including the full baker’s dozen of EC’s most courageous and politically charged dramas.

EC Comics LogoTaking its title from one of Wood’s all-time classics, the evil little paranoid thriller “Came the Dawn,” this collection features page after page after page of Wood’s sleek and meticulously crafted artwork put in the service of cunning twist-ending stories, most often from the typewriter of EC editor Al Feldstein. These tales range from supernatural shockers from the pages of Tales From the Crypt and The Haunt of Fear (“The Living Corpse,” “Terror Ride,” “Man From the Grave,” “Horror in the Freak Tent”) to often pointedly contemporary crime thrillers from Crime SuspenStories (“The Assault,” “The Whipping,” and “Confession,” which was singled out for specific excoriation in the anti-comics screed Seduction of the Innocent, thus giving it a special cachet), but the breathtaking art and whiplash-inducing shock endings are constants throughout.

Like every book in the Fantagraphics EC line, Came the Dawn features extensive essays and notes on these classic stories by EC experts — but the real “meat” of the matter (sometimes literally, in the grislier stories) is supplied by these ofted lurid, sometimes downright over-the-top, but always compelling and superbly crafted, classic comic-book masterpieces.


Corpse on the Imjin! and Other Stories by Harvey Kurtzman

Corpse on the Imjin! and Other Stories (The EC Comics Library)
by Harvey Kurtzman, et al.

240-page black & white/color 7.25" x 10.25" hardcover • $28.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-545-7

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Jack Davis's Tales from the CryptOrder this book and receive the Jack Davis's Tales from the Crypt Halloween mini-comic shown here as a FREE bonus! Limit one per customer while supplies last.


The creation of MAD would have been enough to cement Harvey Kurtzman’s reputation as one of the titans of American comics, but Kurtzman also created two other comics landmarks: the scrupulously-researched and superbly-crafted war comics Two-Fisted Tales and Frontline Combat. Here were finally war comics without heroic, cigar-chomping sergeants, wisecracking privates from Brooklyn, or cartoon Nazis and “Japs” to be mowed down by the Yank heroes, but an unflinching look at the horror and madness of combat throughout history.

Kurtzman employed some of the finest of the EC artists including Jack Davis, John Severin, and Wallace Wood, but his vision came through clearest in the dozen or so stories he both wrote and drew himself, in his uniquely bold, slashing, cartoony-but-dead-serious style (“Stonewall Jackson,” “Iwo Jima,” “Rubble,” “Big ‘If ’,” and Kurtzman’s own favorite, “Air Burst”) — as well as his vividly colored, narratively-dense covers, all 23 of which are reproduced here in full color in a special portfolio.

EC Comics LogoCorpse on the Imjin! is rounded off with a dozen or so stories written and laid out by Kurtzman and drawn by “short-timers,” i.e. cartoonists whose contributions to his war books only comprised a story or two — including such giants as designer extraordinaire Alex Toth, Marvel comics stalwart Gene Colan, and a pre-Sgt. Rock Joe Kubert... and such unexpected guests as “The Lighter Side of...” MAD artist Dave Berg and DC comics veteran Ric Estrada — as well as a rarity: a story by EC regular John Severin inked by Kurtzman.

Like every book in the Fantagraphics EC line, Corpse on the Imjin! features extensive essays and notes on these classic stories by EC experts — but Kurtzman’s stories, as vital, powerful, affecting, and even, yes, modern today as when they were created 60 years ago, are what makes this collection a must-have for any comics reader.


The Cartoon Utopia by Ron Regé Jr.

The Cartoon Utopia
by Ron Regé, Jr.

144-page black & white 10.25" x 12.25" hardcover • $24.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-596-9

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Ron Regé, Jr. is a very unusual yet accomplished storyteller whose work exudes a passionate moral, idealistic core that sets him apart from his peers. The Cartoon Utopia is his Magnum Opus, a unique work of comic art that, in the words of its author, "focuses on ideas that I've become intrigued by that stem from magical, alchemical, ancient ideas & mystery schools." It's part sci-fi, part philosophy, part visual poetry, and part social manifesto. Regé's work exudes psychedelia, outsider rawness, and pure cartoonish joy.

In The Cartoon Utopia, "Utopians" of the future world are attempting to send messages through consciousness, outside of the constricts of time as we understand it. They live in a world of advanced collective consciousness and want to help us understand how to achieve what they have accomplished. They get together to perform this task in a way that evolved out of our current system of consuming information and entertainment. In other words, the opposite of television. Instead, these messages appear in the form of art, music and storytelling.

Praise for Ron Regé, Jr.:

"One of a handful of cartoonists in the history of the medium to not only reinvent comics to suit his own idiosyncratic impulses and inspirations as an artist, but also to imbue it with his own peculiar, ever changing emotional energy. To me, he is unquestionably one of 'the greats.'" – Chris Ware

"Slow down when you read his pictures and ornately lettered words, quivering, scintillating, radiant, and they will leave you awake and awakened." – Paul Gravett


Charlie Brown's Christmas Stocking by Charles M. Schulz

Charlie Brown's Christmas Stocking
by Charles M. Schulz

56-page three-color 5.75" x 5.75" hardcover • $9.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-624-9

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During his fifty-year career, ninety-nine percent of Charles Schulz's creative energies went into the daily Peanuts comic strip. But once in a while he would create a special something else on the side, and this adorable little package collects two of his best "extras" from the 1960s: two Christmas-themed stories written and drawn for national magazines.

Created in 1963 (two years before the Charlie Brown Christmas TV special) as a supplement for Good Housekeeping magazine, "Charlie Brown's Christmas Stocking" comprises 15 original captioned vignettes featuring the entire Peanuts cast of the time — Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus, Schroeder, Frieda, Violet, Shermy, and Sally — each with a joke or reflection about the season.

"The Christmas Story" is an original tale created for Woman's Day in 1968, this one focusing just on Snoopy and the Van Pelt siblings, with Lucy and Linus each explaining the meaning of the holiday to Snoopy. "I’m going to have to be careful," Snoopy reflects at the end of the story, resting on his doghouse next to his bone-decorated tree; "all this theology could ruin my Christmas."

The book also includes notes on the provenance of the stories and a pocket-sized biography of Schulz. A perfect gift item for the season!


Heads or Tails by Lilli Carré

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Heads or Tails
by Lilli Carré

200-page full-color 7" x 9" softcover • $22.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-597-6

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The creator of 2008’s acclaimed graphic novel The Lagoon — named to many annual critics’ lists including Publishers Weekly and USA Today’s Pop Candy — is back with a stunningly designed and packaged collection of some of the most poetic and confident short fiction being produced in comics today. These stories, created over a period of five years, touch on ideas of flip sides, choices, and extreme ambivalence.

Carré’s elegant short stories read like the gothic, family narratives of Flannery O’Connor or Carson McCullers, but told visually. Poetic rhythms — a coin flip, a circling ferris wheel — are punctuated by elements of melancholy fantasy pushed forward by character-driven, naturalistic dialogue. The stories in Heads or Tails display a virtuosic breadth of visual styles and color palettes, each in perfect service of the story, and range from experimental one-pagers to short masterpieces like "The Thing About Madeline" (featured in The Best American Comics 2008), to graphic novellas like "The Carnival" (featured in David Sedaris’ and Dave Eggers’ 2010 Best American Nonrequired Reading, originally published in MOME), to new work created for this book.


The Last Vispo Anthology: Visual Poetry 1998-2008

The Last Vispo Anthology: Visual Poetry 1998-2008
by various artists; edited by Nico Vassilakis & Crag Hill

336-page full-color 8" x 10" softcover • $39.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-626-3

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Fantagraphics spotlights the intersection of art and language in this innovative new collection — without peer in English — that gathers the work of visual poets from around the world into one stunning volume. The alphabet is turned on its head and inside-out and the results culminate in a compilation of daring and surprising verbo-visual gems.

The Last Vispo Anthology is composed of vispo (a portmanteau of the words “visual” and “poetry") from the years 1998 to 2008, during a burst of creative activity fueled by file sharing and email, which made it possible for the vispo community to establish a more heightened and sophisticated dialogue with one another. The collection extends the dialectic between art and literature that began with ancient “shaped text,” medieval pattern poetry, and dada typography, pushing past the concrete poetics of the 1950s and the subsequent mail art movement of the 1980s to its current incarnation. Rather than settle into predictable, unchallenged patterns, this vibrant poetry seizes new tools to expand the body of work that inhabits the borderlands of visual art and poetic language.

The Last Vispo Anthology features 148 contributors from 23 countries on five continents. It includes 12 essays that illuminate the abundant history and the state of vispo today. The anthology offers a broad amalgam of long-time practitioners and poets new to visual poetry over the last decade, underscoring the longevity and the continued vitality of the art form.

Advance Praise:

“The descriptor ‘visual poetry’ cannot begin to hint at the wealth of potent mystery that The Last Vispo contains. It knocked my mind right off its cozy little track and sent it sprawling through a myriad of brand new experiences. I can’t remember the last time I encountered something so charged, mysterious, deep and pleasurably upsetting as this book.” – Jim Woodring

“A delightful cornucopia of imaginary languagescapes, opening the eye to other alphabetic climes, beyond the ho-hum regimentation of linear normalcies. & all from (just about) the past decade. Visual poetries: alive and expanding. It’s positively viral.” – Charles Bernstein

“Staring your way into and through the letter as object — the letter as solitary sign, the letter as crowned king. Staring gives us the keys to the kingdom. This book is a glorious adjunct to the long history of concrete and visual poetry. Long live the king!” – Harry Mathews


The Lost Art of Ah Pook Is Here: Images from the Graphic Novel by Malcolm McNeill

The Lost Art of Ah Pook Is Here: Images from the Graphic Novel
by Malcolm McNeill

168-page full-color 10.25" x 13.25" hardcover • $39.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-445-0

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BARGAIN COMBO:
Order this book with its companion volume and save 20%!
The Lost Art of Ah Pook + Observed While Falling - Gift Set
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In 1970, William S. Burroughs and artist Malcolm McNeill began a small collaborative project on a comic entitled The Unspeakable Mr. Hart, which appeared in the first four issues of Cyclops, England’s first comics magazine for an adult readership. Soon after, Burroughs and McNeill agreed to collaborate on a book-length meditation on time, power, control, and corruption that evoked the Mayan codices and specifically, the Mayan god of death, Ah Pook. Ah Pook Is Here was to include their character Mr. Hart, but stray from the conventional comics form to explore different juxtapositions of images and words.

Ah Pook was never finished in its intended form. In a 1979 prose collection that included only the words from the collaboration, Ah Pook is Here and Other Texts (Calder, 1979), Burroughs explains in the preface that they envisioned the work to be “one that falls into neither the category of the conventional illustrated book nor that of a comix publication.” Rather, the work was to include “about a hundred pages of artwork with text (thirty in full-color) and about fifty pages of text alone.” The book was conceived as a single painting in which text and images were combined in whatever form seemed appropriate to the narrative. It was conceived as 120 continuous pages that would "fold out." Such a book was, at the time, unprecedented, and no publisher was willing to take a chance and publish a “graphic novel.”

However, Malcolm McNeill created nearly a hundred paintings, illustrations, and sketches for the book, and these, finally, are seeing the light of day in The Lost Art of Ah Pook. (Burroughs’ text will not be included.) McNeill himself is an exemplary craftsman and visionary painter whose images have languished for over 30 years, unseen. Even in a context divorced from the words, they represent a stunning precursor to the graphic novel form to come.

Sara J. Van Ness contributes an historical essay chronicling the long history of Burroughs’ and McNeill’s work together, including its incomplete publishing history with Rolling Stone’s Straight Arrow Press, the excerpt that ran in Rush magazine, and the text that was published without pictures.

Observed While Falling

Observed While Falling: Bill Burroughs, Ah Pook, and Me
by Malcolm McNeill

192-page full-color 6.75" x 10.25" hardcover • $29.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-561-7

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Observed While Falling is an account of the personal and creative interaction that defined the collaboration between the writer William S. Burroughs and the artist Malcolm McNeill on the graphic novel Ah Pook Is Here. The memoir chronicles the events that surrounded it, the reasons it was abandoned and the unusual circumstances that brought it back to life. McNeill describes his growing friendship with Burroughs and how their personal relationship affected their creative partnership. The book is written with insight and humor, and is liberally sprinkled with the kind of outré anecdotes one would expect working with a writer as original and eccentric as Burroughs. It confirms Burroughs’ and McNeill’s prescience, the place of Ah Pook in relation to the contemporary graphic novel, and its anticipation of the events surrounding 2012. The book offers new insights into Burroughs’ working methods as well as how the two explored the possibilities of words and images working together to form the ambitious literary hybrid that they didn’t know, at the time, was a harbinger of the 21st century “graphic novel.” McNeill expounds on the lessons of that experience to bring Ah Pook into present time. In light of current events, Ah Pook is unquestionably Here now.

Observed While Falling presents a unique view of the creative process that will be of interest to artists, writers and general readers alike. A perspective evoked by a literary experiment that has endured for forty years and still continues to “happen.”

The Lost Art of Ah Pook Is Here & Observed While Falling

Exclusive Savings: Order both volumes together and save 20% off the combined cover price!


Prison Pit Book 4 by Johnny Ryan

Prison Pit Book 4
by Johnny Ryan

116-page black & white 6.5" x 8.5" softcover • $12.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-591-4

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Order this book and receive this FBI•MINI comic shown here as a FREE bonus! Click here for details. Limit one per customer while supplies last.


BARGAIN COMBO:
Prison Pit: Books 1 - 4
Price: $51.96 $38.97

As always, a plot summary of the latest installment of Johnny (Angry Youth Comix) Ryan’s hugely popular sci-fi-prison-planet-gore-fest-slugfest-a-thon serial must, in order to be presentable to normal, decent human beings, be cut into fine Belgian lace. And so, with apologies:

“Cannibal F***face discovers the only way to escape the Caligulon is to brainf*** the Slorge and create a giant, brainless oafchild that only knows how to annihilate everything in its path. And what happens when the Slugstaxx show up and use their nightj*** to turn this mindless monster against CF? Total F***ing Mayhem.”

Advance Praise: "You know you're reading Prison Pit when there's a character called Undigestible Scrotum and someone tries to see if he lives up to his name... Prison Pit is what you read when no one is home and you're not eating." – Chris Mautner


Ralph Azham Vol. 1: Why Would You Lie to Someone You Love? by Lewis Trondheim

Ralph Azham Vol. 1: Why Would You Lie to Someone You Love?
by Lewis Trondheim

96-page full-color 8.5" x 6.625" hardcover • $14.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-593-8

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Within his tiny village, Ralph Azham is considered an insolent good-for-nothing layabout, a virtual pariah — particularly since he was supposed to be a Chosen One. (Things didn’t work out.) Yet his odd azure coloration and a few unique abilities (he can predict births and deaths) suggest that there may be more to him than meets the eye. And when the terrifying Horde stages one of its regular raids on his village, Ralph takes the young Raoul under his wing and sets out for a series of adventures...

Trondheim is already well known to fantasy buffs for the worldwide success Dungeon, the complex set of interlocking series he created with fellow cartoonist Joann Sfar and a raft of artists. While Ralph Azham works within the same genre, this is a far more tightly focused, single-character-starring new series for which Trondheim is solely responsible — that is, except for the stunningly rich coloring, provided by his longtime collaborator Brigitte Findakly working in hand-executed watercolors for the first time in over a decade.

Witty and fleet-footed like all of Trondheim's work, madly inventive in terms of characters, creatures, and events, Ralph Azham is scheduled to run for at least six volumes and is presented in a distinctive "landscape" format.

"Trondheim is a master! Fun, irreverent, and filled with moments of truthiness! Just when you think you know where he's taking you, he suddenly turns sideways and surprises." – Jeff Smith, creator of Bone


Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 4: House of the Seven Haunts by Floyd Gottfredson

Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 4: House of the Seven Haunts
by Floyd Gottfredson

280-page black & white/color 10.5" x 8.75" hardcover • $29.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-575-4

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Who says dead men tell no tales? When grim grinning ghosts come out to socialize, they’ll find fearless Mickey all ready to rumble — as soon as he’s done fighting gangsters, bandits, and international men of mystery, that is! From Africa to Eastern Europe, our favorite big cheese is in for terrifying thrills — and he’s bringing Goofy, Donald Duck, and that big palooka Pegleg Pete along for the ride!

When Mickey sets out to eject "The Seven Ghosts" from Bassett Manor, he finds more than just specters providing the scares! Next, moving smoothly from horror to science fiction, our hero discovers an awesome "Island in the Sky" — and meets its maker, the powerful atomic scientist Dr. Einmug!

Lovingly restored from Disney’s original negatives and proof sheets, House of the Seven Haunts also includes more than 50 pages of spooky supplementary features! You’ll enjoy rare behind-the-scenes art, vintage publicity material, and fascinating commentary by a haunted houseful of Disney scholars.

Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 3 + 4 Box Set by Floyd Gottfredson

Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 3 + 4 Box Set
by Floyd Gottfredson

two 280-page black & white/color 10.5" x 8.75" hardcovers with slipcase • $49.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-576-1

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Two more volumes of Mickey's thrilling adventures from the 1930s, packaged in a beautiful and sturdy slipcase and priced cheaper than the individual volumes! A perfect gift and/or collector's item.


You'll Never Know Book 3: Soldier's Heart by C. Tyler

You'll Never Know Book 3: Soldier's Heart
by C. Tyler

128-page full-color 12" x 10.25" hardcover • $29.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-548-8

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BARGAIN COMBO:
You'll Never Know Books 1-3: The Complete Trilogy
Price: $74.97 $59.98

In one of the most eagerly-anticipated graphic novels of 2012, Soldier’s Heart concludes the story of Carol Tyler and her delving into her father’s war experiences in a way that is both surprising and devastating — and rather than trying to summarize this episode and thus possibly spoil it for readers, we prefer to simply offer a selection of comments on the first two installments of this autobiographical masterpiece.

Publishers Weekly: “(Starred Review) In the first volume of Tyler’s planned trilogy of graphic memoirs, she dug into the eruptive, violent memories of her father’s WWII experiences while simultaneously dealing with a husband who decided to go find himself and leave her with a daughter to raise. [Book Two] is no less rich and overwhelming. Tyler gets back to the business of detailing her father’s war stories — difficult given that he is ‘one of those guys who closed it off and never talked about it’ — as well as coming to terms with her already touchy parents’ increasingly ornery attitudes. Closing the circle somewhat is Tyler’s concern over her daughter’s troubled nature, which seems to mirror her own wild past. While the language of Chicago-raised and Cincinnati-based Tyler has a winningly self-deprecating Midwestern spareness to it, her art is a lavishly prepared kaleidoscope of watercolors and finely etched drawings, all composed to look like the greatest family photo album of all time. The story’s honest self-revelations and humane evocations of family dramas are tremendously moving. Tyler’s book could well leave readers simultaneously eager to see the third volume, but also nervous about the traumas, home front and war front, that it might contain.”

Booklist: “Tyler’s fluid, expressive linework, complemented by subtly overlaid watercolors, gives ideal visual expression to a narrative that’s at once sensitive and hard-nosed... Decades of drawing mostly autobiographical stories have honed her skills, enabling her to produce a work that ranks in quality with the graphic memoirs of Alison Bechdel (Fun Home) and Marjane Satrapi (Persepolis).”

Prison Pit Book 4 by Johnny Ryan - Now in Stock
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under new releasesJohnny Ryan 31 Oct 2012 7:42 PM

Just arrived and shipping now from our mail-order department:

Prison Pit Book 4 by Johnny Ryan

Prison Pit Book 4
by Johnny Ryan

116-page black & white 6.5" x 8.5" softcover • $12.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-591-4

See Previews / Order Now

Order this book and receive this FBI•MINI comic shown here as a FREE bonus! Click here for details. Limit one per customer while supplies last.


BARGAIN COMBO:
Prison Pit: Books 1 - 4
Price: $51.96 $38.97

As always, a plot summary of the latest installment of Johnny (Angry Youth Comix) Ryan’s hugely popular sci-fi-prison-planet-gore-fest-slugfest-a-thon serial must, in order to be presentable to normal, decent human beings, be cut into fine Belgian lace. And so, with apologies:

“Cannibal F***face discovers the only way to escape the Caligulon is to brainf*** the Slorge and create a giant, brainless oafchild that only knows how to annihilate everything in its path. And what happens when the Slugstaxx show up and use their nightj*** to turn this mindless monster against CF? Total F***ing Mayhem.”

Advance Praise: "You know you're reading Prison Pit when there's a character called Undigestible Scrotum and someone tries to see if he lives up to his name... Prison Pit is what you read when no one is home and you're not eating." – Chris Mautner