As the leaves begin to turn shades of red and orange (or fall straight off and green depending on where you live), backpacks are dusted off in preparation for a new load of textbooks, and we move into fall, we figure you could use some cause for celebration. How about our Labor Day/Back-To-School Sale? We've got great titles of all-ages, young-adult, and non-fiction titles at a whopping 40% Off from Saturday, August 30th through Monday, September 1st!
School can be anything you make of it, especially you don't give a damn. For the guy or girl that knows everything, try Unlovable 1and 2by Esther Pearl Watson. She may only break wind and not hearts, but Tammy Pierce is unstoppable. For some short stories from all walks of life, ugly and less ugly, grab Daniel Clowes' Caricature, often compared to to Nabokov for their complex naturalism and sense of humor.
Is cutting class altogether a common memory for you? How about a classic Fantagraphics alternative comic, sure to win even the most jaded of hearts: Daniel Clowes' Ghost World (now in its 20th printing) is for you. Already have it? Try the male version of Ghost World, Celebrated Summer by Charles Forsman, that came out in 2014. Night Fisher by R. Kikuo Johnson also follows the teenage trail of growing up and growing apart.
Cutting class was too weak? You just dropped out all together? Damn, you might enjoy Giraffes in My Hair, a Jack Kerouac-style story lived by Bruce Paley and drawn by his partner,Carol Swain, all about the summer of '67. On the cusp of flunking out with a drug habit, A Mess of Everything by Miss Lasko-Gross, is an intense and raw look at her own high-school experience. If you're looking for more personal and semi-autobiographical comic stories look no further than The Squirrel Mother by Megan Kelso. It also contains stories about the idea of America and American history, such as a trilogy of short pieces about Alexander Hamilton.
Consider some new books about comics as an assignment for a graded discussion. Black Images in the Comics by Fredrik Strömberg walks through comics, old and new, to enlighten the audience about the hideous caricatures racism produces so that we may never stray there again. Best American Comics Criticism compiled by Ben Schwartz features the best essays on comics from Chris Ware on Rodolphe Töpffer, Dan Clowes on Mad's Will Elder, The Daily Show's John Hodgman on Jack Kirby and more!
Things will be getting naughty in San Diego when Monte Schulz brings his latest novel Naughty to town!
Join him on Friday, November 22nd at 7:00 PM as he presents a story of love, deceit, and insanity, and how our lives are too often directed by the inexplicable vagaries of fate. Inspired by the true story of Iva Kroeger and her husband Ralph, indicted for the murders of Mildred and Jay Arneson in 1962, Naughty culminates in a sensational trial that captivated the Bay area.
Mysterious Galaxy is located at 7051 Clairemont Mesa Blvd, Suite #302, in San Diego, just east of Interstate 805.
Joe Krueger has felt out of sorts his entire life. Sheltered by artistic parents and shipped off to harrowing New Guinea with the Army Air Corps during World War II, he's never seemed to find his place in the world. Then one rainy evening, after a long drive down the north coast of California, he stops at a boardinghouse and meets sweet and sexy Ida Macauley, who rents him a room. Later that very night, Ida tells him "Mother" and "Father" have run their Ford over a cliff, then seduces him in the teary aftermath. Smitten now, Joe starts helping out around the boardinghouse, and the two marry. The honeymoon is over when a shocking series of events force the Kruegers down to San Francisco, where Ida is injured in a fluke traffic accident. Soon enough, insurance investigators have chased them out of the city to another town, where Ida schemes to swindle a motel owner out of her property. Next, the motel owner and her crippled husband are missing, a water softener salesman is shot, and workmen are digging holes in Joe Krueger's basement.
Inspired by the true story of Iva Kroeger and her husband Ralph, indicted for the murders of Mildred and Jay Arneson in 1962, Naughty culminates in a sensational trial that captivated the Bay area for half a year. At last, Ida, whose crimes and outrageous antics seem finally to have caught up with her, is at her zenith, pleading insanity and doing her best to make a farce of the courtroom. Naughty explores exactly what happens when a pretty, yet darkly sociopathic young woman is unleashed in our midst, leaving a trail of hapless victims in her wake.
Schulz shifts gears from his recent Jazz Age Trilogy to offer up a crime noir novel in the James M. Cain tradition, a startling tale of love, deceit, and insanity, and how our lives are too often directed by the inexplicable vagaries of fate. Imagine the pathology laid bare in Don Delillo's Libra fused with the sordid and desperate criminality of Jim Thompson's The Getaway and the black humor of Bruce Jay Friedman. Naughty is a stunningly authentic ride back into Eisenhower's america, where things were apparently not quite as breezy as they seemed.
"With Naughty, Monte Schulz infuses old school noir with the depth and complexity of the best historical fiction — it’s what James M. Cain would’ve done with The Postman Always Rings Twice had he taken himself more seriously. Following his ill-fated lovers Joe and Ida down a rabbit hole teeming with greed, lust and ultimately, murder, readers will find themselves transported in time to late '50s California — where an ambitious looker like Ida could either get rich, or kill a few suckers like Joe trying." – Gar Haywood, author, Hollywood Cemetery Road
"Naughty is a book in the fine tradition of James M. Cain. Set in 1950s California, this compelling crime novel has all the noir elements: hard-boiled cops, treacherous women, fall guys, drifters, grifters, and schemers. And, of course, murder. Monte Schultz has written a book with memorable characters, atmospheric settings, and a hard-charging plot that will keep readers turning the pages." – Miles Corwin, author, Kind of Blue
Veteran Joe Krueger is drifting in 1950s California, looking for work wherever he can find it. Tired after a long drive, he stops at a boardinghouse and meets sweet — and sexy — Ida, who rents him a room. That very night, Ida tells him "Mother" and "Father" have run their auto over a cliff, then seduces him in the teary aftermath. Smitten now, Joe starts helping out around the boardinghouse, and the two marry. The honeymoon is over when a shocking series of events force the Kruegers down to San Francisco, where Ida is injured in a bus accident. Soon enough, insurance investigators have chased them out of the city to another town where Ida schemes to swindle a motel owner out of her property. Next, the motel owner and her crippled husband are missing, a water softener salesman is shot, and workmen are digging holes in Joe Krueger's basement.
Schulz shifts gears from his recent Jazz Age Trilogy, combining the exquisitely wrought language of those novels and a straight-for-the-throat pulpy narrative. Imagine the pathology laid bare in Don DeLillo's Libra fused with the sordid and desperate criminality of Jim Thompson's The Getaway, and the black humor of Bruce Jay Friedman.
Based on the true story of Iva Kroeger and her husband Ralph, who were indicted for the murders of Mildred and Jay Arneson in 1962, Naughty culminates in a trial: Ida, whose crimes have (only just) begun to catch up to her, is at her zenith, pleading insanity and playing the part to the hilt. The reader learns Joe's and Ida's fates via excerpts from authentic court documents. Naughty explores exactly what happens when "a swell-looking babe" is unleashed on real life, leaving marks, patsies, and bodies in her wake.
Author Monte Schulz vigorously smudges the lines between fact, pulp fiction and literary fiction in Naughty, his first novel after completing his Jazz Age trilogy. Sexy, sociopathic Ida Krueger draws her husband Joe into an escalating web of deception and death. A fictionalized account of a real-life series of crimes and subsequent sensational murder trial that electrified California in the mid-20th century, told in Schulz's exquisitely wrought prose, Naughty is literary noir as you like it.
Get sucked in by our 36-page excerpt, which you can read and download for free, and once you're hooked, pre-order the book or find it on shelves in October.
Naughty, the new novel by Monte Schulz, is a fictionalization of a sordid and sensational true crime story. Combining the best aspects of pulp noir and literary fiction, Schulz weaves a vivid and compelling tale of sociopathy, seduction, deceit and murder, and the ensuing courtroom drama, all dressed in authentic Eisenhower-era detail. The lurid jacket paintings are by artist Debbie Faas. The book is due on shelves in October; see here for more info and stay tuned for more previews between now and then!
For those of us sitting out Comic-Con this year (boo hoo), it means missing out on some special deals on the convention showroom floor. Well, us stay-at-homes should get to have a little fun too!
Now until Comic-Con ends on Sunday, July 21, an assortment of our already-discounted gift sets of sequential or related books are marked down EVEN MORE, at least an extra 10% off and up to 1/3 off! And after the sale, some of these sets won't be offered anymore, so this may be your LAST CHANCE to get them at a discount! Your choices (while supplies last) include:
Somebody brought an old Who's Who in the DC Universe for Trina to sign the page with her Cheetah illustration. That lady's done it all!
Another DC character also made an appearance at the No Straight Lines signing. (At least I think that's Poison Ivy.)
Matt Groening showed off his pal Gary Panter's Dal Tokyo while Akbar & Jeff walked past in the background. Matt recounted for us how he helped save the strip from being dumped at the L.A. Weekly back in the 1980s by arguing that it's one of the greatest works of art of the 20th century.
Eric shows off Johnny Gruelle's Mr. Twee Deedle to Matt, who was particularly taken with Gruelle's "birds-eye view" strips in the book and walked away with it under his arm.
Shannon Wheeler was signing Oil and Water before he even had a chance to sit down.
• Review: At Boing Boing, as part of their "Mind Blowing Movies" series of guest posts, Amy Crehore examines the Ghost World film: "I knew it was going to be good, but I had no idea that the movie Ghost World (2001) would bathe me in such an uncanny sense of deja vu from start to finish. The characters are so real and familiar that they could have been based on my friends and me."
• Commentary:Ashok Karra has a short but thought-provoking analysis of elements of the Ghost World graphic novel: "A ghost world could be three things. Two of them are types of haunting: either by the past (nostalgia for childhood) or the present (the glow of the television). The third possibility is that you pass through as a ghost."
• Plug: At Flavorwire, Emily Temple includes Ghost World on the list of "30 Books Everyone Should Read Before Turning 30," saying "Clowes writes some of the most essentially realistic teenagers we’ve ever come across, which is important when you are (or have ever been) a realistic teenager yourself."
• Plug/Preview: At The Beat, Jessica Lee posts a 5-page sneak peek of New York Mon Amour by Jacques Tardi et al., saying "This newest Tardi release... is slated for a July release, just in time for Independence Day, where we can all revel in the patriotic depictions of New York that Tardi has provided — oh wait. True to his new realism style, 'Manhattan' retains the same kind of gritty aesthetic as his illustrations of WWI trench warfare as well as Parisian life."
• Review: "The 11 horror stories in [The Furry Trap] showcase Simmons’s possession of a dark and capable imagination, one that has discomfort down to an exact science.... Simmons is at his best in stories like 'Mutant' and 'Demonwood,' where rash decisions and chance encounters lead to nightmarish consequences ... Simmons’s brand of deep unease permeates all of [these stories], even in the opening story, 'In a Land of Magic,' which features a scene of sexual and physical violence that could lead to sleepless nights. The book is also filled with illustrations and short comics that just add to the pile of evidence that Simmons has a wide-ranging talent, with an artistic sense that brings to life his most ghoulish creations. These stories are, hopefully, harbingers of even stronger and more sinister work in the future..." – Publishers Weekly
• Review: "The action [in God and Science] ebbs and flows, but the story remains engaging and exciting. I had to read it all in one afternoon because I just couldn't put it down. I was enjoying it too much to stop reading.... [There]'s another great thing about this comic — there's some subtle philosophical questions nudged in that the characters (and reader) have to answer themselves.... I can't recommend this title enough. I can easily say that I want more Ti-Girls, or at least comic characters like them." – Sheena McNeil, Sequential Tart
• Review: "Prince Valiant Vol. 5 — As the war years draw to a close, the strip finds Valiant settling down — at least a little bit — by finally winning his true heart’s love, Aleta. There’s still enough brigands and evildoers to keep Val busy, but a lot of Vol. 5 is spent with the couple developing their relationship, and Harold Foster deepening and developing Aleta’s character in the process. ...[I]t remains a thrilling, boisterous work." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6
• Review: "Dungeon Quest Book Three — Joe Daly’s faithful D&D fantasy by way of Harold and Kumar proceeds apace, with lots of bloody skirmishes with fierce animals and fiercer bandits and an abundance of jokes about penises, pot, hand-jobs and the like.... His incredibly detailed forest backgrounds are really quite exquisite, and the full panel sequences of his band of adventurers simply trekking along a forest path or walking through a stream were my favorite parts of the book." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6
• Commentary: It's been interesting seeing the evolution of the "hey, they should bring Love and Rockets to the screen" article in the age of the serialized cable drama. Arthur Smith at The Paley Center for Media is the latest to add his voice to the chorus
• Plug: "Got this beautiful Popeye compilation book (Fantagraphics) a couple of days ago. Haven't had a chance to even crack it open, but my son is now running around going 'Arf, arf.' It's a hit." – Ruben Bolling
• Tribute: At The New York Times, Tim Kreider remembers the great Ray Bradbury: "Prescience is not the measure of a science-fiction author’s success — we don’t value the work of H. G. Wells because he foresaw the atomic bomb or Arthur C. Clarke for inventing the communications satellite — but it is worth pausing, on the occasion of Ray Bradbury’s death, to notice how uncannily accurate was his vision of the numb, cruel future we now inhabit."