The first physical copies of Johnny Ryan's Prison Pit Book 4 have crawled up on our shores, and more copies will be infecting Small Press Expo this weekend (where you can get an exclusive bonus signed bookplate) in advance of oozing into stores in November. This volume features the most hideous transmogrifications, the craziest foes, and the most brutal trials yet for our antihero Cannibal Fuckface as he seeks to free himself from the mysterious Caligulon. Plus a chainsaw on a stick. Get a taste with a 14-page excerpt and pre-order your copy right here.
We're pleased to announce that we have a few exclusive bonus items to give away to our customers at Small Press Expo this weekend! Since a few artists with debut books can't make it to the show, we have SPX signature plates, all exclusive to the show and all with brand new artwork!
Folks who purchase Ron Rege Jr.'s The Cartoon Utopia will receive one of these hand-drawn, hand-colored plates along with the book. Ron sent us a scan of his lettering, we printed them, and then Ron drew his special signature-drawing on each one, with lots of unique variations.
Buying Johnny Ryan's Prison Pit Book 4? You'll get one of these signed plates featuring a drawing by Johnny done specially for SPX. (This photo is of a full sheet before we cut 'em up.)
And with Carol Tyler 's You'll Never Know Book 3: Soldier's Heart you'll get one of these beautiful signed two-sided double-bookmarks, handcrafted by Carol using little fake flowers and bits of sandpaper from her dad's workshop! They're like paper nunchucks of beauty and wonderfulness.
But wait, there's more!
Even though he'll be there signing his new book Blacklung in person, Chris Wright drew this special page for us apologizing for the page mixup in the book, which we've made into a print that he'll be signing for insertion into the book. We also printed mini-posters of some of the promotional art Chris recently drew for the book, which we'll be giving out to anyone who asks!
Whew, that's a lot of sweet stuff to get your hands on! All are available exclusively at our SPX table this weekend while supplies last, first come first served! (And if there's any left over, we'll maybe make them available to our mail-order customers.)
(And that's not all... our signing artists may also be bringing their own goodies — for instance, Steven Weissman's Barack Hussein Obama campaign stickers, and who knows what else!)
Join Fantagraphics this weekend for the 2012 Small Press Expo in Bethesda, Maryland! On September 15th & 16th, we'll be filling the Marriott Betheseda Conference Center with some dazzling debuts, panels, and signings! Come meet your favorite artists and get your books signed:
You won't believe how many debuts we're bringing with us to Bethesda for the 2012 Small Press Expo on September 15th & 16th! Here's your SPX shopping list -- bring extra bags to carry everything:
• The Lost Art of Ah Pook Is Here: Images from the Graphic Novel by Malcolm McNeill (not officially out 'til October!) In 1970, William S. Burroughs and artist Malcolm 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. 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.
• Observed While Falling: Bill Burroughs, Ah Pook, and Me by Malcolm McNeill (not officially out 'til October!)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.
• Barack Hussein Obama by Steven WeissmanIt’s neither a biography nor an experiment, but a whole, fully-realized parallel America, a dada-esque, surrealistic satirical vision that is no more cockeyed than the real thing, its weirdness no more weird, its vision of the world no more terrifying, where the zombie-esque simulacra of Joe Biden and Hillary and Newt and Obama wander, if not exactly through the corridors of power, through an America they made and have to live in, like it or not. NOTE: Steven Weissman will be signing at SPX!
• Blacklung by Chris Wright (not officially out until October!) 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. NOTE: Chris Wright will be signing at SPX!
• Came the Dawn and Other Stories (The EC Comics Library) by author: Illustrated by Wallace Wood; written by Al Feldstein et al.; edited by Gary Groth (not officially out until October!) 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 Cartoon Utopia by Ron Rege, Jr.(not officially out until October!) 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.
• Corpse on the Imjin! and Other Stories (The EC Comics Library) by Harvey Kurtzman, et al.; edited by Gary Groth(not officially out until October!) Corpse 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.
• Naked Cartoonists: Drawers Drawing Themselves Without Drawers by Various Artists; edited by Gary GrothIn an irreverent twist to the fine art tradition of The Nude, this unique and original collection presents a “stripped” down version of the infamous “Gallery of Rogues” exhibit of cartoonist self-portraits at Ohio State University. Here you’ll find a cornucopia of cartoonists’ nude self-portraits from the collection of Mark J. Cohen and Rose Marie McDaniel.
• Heads or Tails by Lilli Carré(not officially out until November!) 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. NOTE: Lilli Carré will be signing at SPX!
• The Hypo by Noah Van Sciver The debut graphic novel from Noah Van Sciver follows the twentysomething Abraham Lincoln as he loses everything, long before becoming our most beloved president. Lincoln is a rising Whig in the state’s legislature as he arrives in Springfield, IL to practice law. As time passes and uncertainty creeps in, young Lincoln is forced to battle a dark cloud of depression brought on by a chain of defeats and failures culminating into a nervous breakdown that threatens his life and sanity. This cloud of dark depression Lincoln calls “The Hypo.” NOTE: Noah Van Sciver will be signing at SPX!
• Is That All There Is? by Joost Swarte[softcover & hardcover 2nd edition debut] Under Swarte’s own exacting supervision, Is That All There Is? will collect virtually all of his alternative comics work from 1972 to date, including the RAW magazine stories that brought him fame among American comics aficionados in the 1980s.
• Love and Rockets: New Stories #5 by Gilbert & Jaime HernandezIn Jaime's story “Crime Raiders International Mobsters and Executioners,” Tonta comes to visit for a weekend and sees what kind of life the Frog Princess is living with Reno and Borneo. On the other-brother side, Gilbert celebrates the 30th anniversary by bringing one of his current characters (“Killer,” granddaughter to the legendary Luba) into the Palomar milieu. NOTE: Gilbert & Jaime Hernandez will be signing at SPX!
• Prison Pit: Book 4 by Johnny Ryan(not officially out until November!) “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.”
• Ralph Azham Vol. 1: Why Would You Lie to Someone You Love? by Lewis Trondheim(not officially out until October!) 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.
• Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 4: House of the Seven Haunts by Floyd Gottfredson(not officially out until October!) 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!
• You'll Never Know Book 3: Soldier's Heart by C. Tyler(not officially out until October!) 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.
In case Prison Pit: Book 1 isn't enough to hold you, now available from comiXology is Prison Pit: Book 2 by Johnny "Prisoner number 206" Ryan.
This 118 page digital book continues with Cannibal Fuckface, the shirtless outer space barbarian antihero who remains damned to the Prison Pit (a vast wasteland beneath the crust of a barren planet, populated by the worst of the worst, where violence is the only law and evil creatures roam free). In this second volume, CF tries to get revenge against the evil behemoth that took his arm, and then winds up playing an unwilling participant in an elaborate escape attempt from the Pit.
This Johnny Ryan graphic novel combines his love for WWE wrestling, Gary Panter’s “Jimbo” comics, and Kentaro Miura’s “Berserk” Manga into a brutal showcase of violence, survival and revenge. Imagine a blend of old-fashioned role playing fantasy games like Dungeons & Dragons crossed with contemporary adult video games like Grand Theft Auto, filtered through Ryan’s sense of humor.
Not only can you carry this book with you anywhere on your digital reading device but you can show gruesome panels to people encroaching on your personal space on the bus in backlit brillance for only $9.99 at the comiXology store.
"Prison Pit Two is one of the most gruesome and beautiful new comics I've seen. It's the comics equivalent of Voivod's Rrröööaaarrr. Buy buy buy. Die die die." – Nick Gazin, Vice
There is more Johnny Ryan available digitally than you can shake a raggedly amputated alien arm at now thanks to comiXology. Prison Pit is an original graphic novel from the pen of Johnny Ryan combining his love for WWE wrestling, Gary Panter’s “Jimbo” comics, and Kentaro Miura’s “Berserk” Manga into a brutal showcase of violence, survival and revenge. Imagine a blend of old-fashioned role playing fantasy games like Dungeons & Dragons crossed with contemporary adult video games like Grand Theft Auto, filtered through Ryan’s sense of humor.
This 122 page digital book begins with Cannibal Fuckface being thrown into the Prison Pit, a barren negative-zone populated by intergalactic, violent monster criminals. In this first volume, C.F. gets into a bloody slorge war (a slorge is a giant slug that excretes a steroid-like drug called “fecid” that all the monster men are addicted to) with ultraprisoner Rottweiler Herpes and his henchmen Rabies Bloodbath and Assrat. The ensuing bloodbath is an over-the-top, hyperviolent yet hilarious farce worthy of Ryan’s inspiration, Kentaro Miura.
Not only can you carry this book with you anywhere on your digital reading device but you can show gruesome panels to bratty children or smug cubical co-workers in backlit brillance for only $9.99 at the comiXology store.
In the third series of comics to be released digitally after Love and Rocketsgoing digital, Johnny Ryan's favorite thing to draw in a public restroom critically-acclaimed humor series AngryYouthComix #5-7 are now available to download via comiXology joining the previous issues from last week. Ryan's work is too hot to handle for iTunes so use your comiXology apps on whatever retina-burning device you prefer. $1.99 can't even buy you a proper prophylactic in a restroom anymore but it can purchase you some excellent comics.
Join Loady in shaving a monkey, new character Boobs Peters and the best Black Hole parody ever. Did we say best? We meant disgusting. Plenty of laughs and gruesome page turns await you.
"Let me tell you something: In this increasingly cynical world of happily self-imposed isolation and sneering judgement, one graphicish novella, with pixie-like tickles, appears through the misty mist to take us all by the hand gently unto the night. You hold in your hand that very thing. Johnny Ryan's Angry Youth Comix. Now go away." – David Cross
Word's been buzzing around for a while that Dave Cooper & Johnny Ryan were developing an animated show for kids together and once we picked the pieces of our heads up off the floor we've all been eager to see the results. Well here it is, and now we have pieces of head all over the place again. PigGoatBananaMantis! was written by Johnny, art-directed by Dave, and animated by Nick Cross. (See the full list of credits on the YouTube page.) What do they call this, a pitch reel? Demo? I dunno, but whatever cable network executive passed on this is an IDIOT.
In the third series of comics to be released digitally after Love and Rocketsgoing digital, Johnny Ryan's favorite thing to draw in public restrooms and critically-acclaimed humor series Angry Youth Comix #1-4 are now available to download via comiXology. Taboo-tackling cartoonist Johnny Ryan raises the bar on what you can and can't do in comics, so much so that these titles too extreme for iTunes. The ground-breaking issues of this series are pillars --- wait, sinking cement blocks of exactly how low you can go and are available for $1.99 each at the comiXology store.
Join friends like Loady McGee and Synus O'Gynus and of course, Blecky Yuckerella in their politically-incorrect mishaps. From stories like "The Whorehouse of Dr. Moreau" to Hot-Headed Cyborg Ass-Kicker the reckless space bad-boy superhero, there's something for everyone to love and be insulted by.
"Each frame of the first five issues of Johnny Ryan's Angry Youth Comix is more patently offensive than an entire episode of South Park. Highly recommended!" – The Toilet Paper
•Interview (audio): NPR affliate 89.c KPCC interviewed both Significant Objects' editor Joshua Gleen and contributor Mark Frauenfelder (of BoingBoing and MAKE). Madeleine Brand says, "One's man trash is another man's treasure, especially if it comes with a really good story."
•Review:The Comics Journal shakes down Flannery O'Connor: The Cartoons, edited by Kelly Gerald.
•Interview (video):Bill Moyers interviews on comics journalist Joe Sacco "I'm not interested in tears, I'm not even interested in sentimentality. But I am interested in telling peoples' stories who are repressed or are poor." Sacco and collaborator Chris Hedges will join Bill Moyers for a chat TONIGHT, Wednesday, July 25 at 2 PM ET.
•Commentary: More insight on upcoming books from Fantagraphics as Bleeding Cool covered the SDCC Fantagraphics/D&Q panel. On Chris Wright's Black Lung:"The story was hard to follow, but that’s a good thing, because it sounds like the sort of surreal, go for broke, graphic storytelling that readers expect when they buy a Fantagraphics book. . . lyrical, anthropomorphic, violent and layered. Enough praise couldn’t be shed for this book. . ." On Ron Rege, Jr.'s Cartoon Utopia: "Beings from the future try to help us evolve, sending us messages, trying to show us what life can be like without “forced entertainment” (i.e. television). Drawn in an idiosyncratic, gorgeous, dense style. . ."
•Review:The Comics Journal locks their tractor beam onto Josh Simmon's collection called The Furry Trap. Brandon Soderberg says, "Josh Simmons’ work eschews the cheap thrills and glib cynicism of most horror comics. . .Simmons is a belligerent cartoonist, drawing without censure, adding a nervous energy to an ostensibly pleasant, bubbly style — like Gary Panter doing Where’s Waldo?, or Peanuts with all the existential despair laid completely bare. And he’s fully dedicated to simple, panel-to-panel pay-off, . . ."
•Plug: Summer art sales continue, this time with Johnny Ryan's A Famous Night (gig posters for concerts the never happened). Buy one for your walls and never have to entertain you in-laws at home again.
•Review:Comic Book Resources focuses on Barry Windsor-Smith's The Freebooters. While examining the first page, Greg Burgas said,"It’s amazing that Barry Windsor-Smith didn’t go blind drawing this page and the two that follows it, but luckily for readers, he managed to produce many beautiful pages after this. This is a fantastic way to begin this comic. . ."