Comic shops get their shipments on Thursday this week due to the U.S. holiday on Monday. Read on to see what comics-blog commentators are saying about this week's release, click the book link for more info and previews, and contact your local shop to confirm availability.
220-page full-color 9" x 12" hardcover • $39.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-358-3
"From Shadow to Light: The Life and Art of Mort Meskin is a swell-looking history of a little-examined and little-known Golden Age artist who is only just now getting his due. Author Steve Brower and Fantagraphics provide the education." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6
"Fantagraphics presents a 220-page, 9.5″ x 12.25″ hardcover career overview by Steven Brower (w’ Peter & Philip Meskin), no doubt with many illustrations included. Introduction by Jerry Robinson." – Joe McCulloch, Comics Comics
"...[A] lavishly illustrated and sampled history... Mort Meskin... was the only Golden Age artist other than Lou Fine to make a specific impression on me before I was a teen..." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
One of our most anticipated books of the year is scheduled to hit comic shops this week. Read on to see what comics-blog commentators are saying about our releases this week, click the book links for more info and previews, and contact your local shop to confirm availability.
288-page black & white/color 7.25" x 9.75" hardcover • $24.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-377-4
"...[T]his much-anticipated 288-page hardcover Fantagraphics collection of assorted short comics by Japanese girls’ comics pioneer Moto Hagio is functionally (if not intentionally) a corrective of sorts. [...] This... is a new gold-hued Hagio for a Golden Age of Reprints in the mighty manga manner..." – Joe McCulloch, Comics Comics (extracted from a full review)
"The class of this week's offering, an engaging selection of stories from a very talented creator. The history, but the stories just work as weird, little stories." [I think there might be some words missing there – Ed.] – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
"Let’s go right to the pick of the week, shall we? That would be Moto Hagio’s A Drunken Dream and Other Stories, the first result of the Fantagraphics-Shogakukan team-up that’s being curated by Matt Thorn. It’s a deeply glorious book that brims with Hagio’s psychological and emotional insights." – David Welsh, The Manga Curmudgeon
"It’s a book with a great deal of historic and literary importance, but beyond that, it’s just a great read, and that’s good enough for me." – Brigid Alverson, Robot 6
"...[A] collection of short stories spanning several decades from a true pioneer and a cartoonist who helped shape the shape the face of manga, shojo manga especially." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6
This week's comic shop shipment is slated to include the following new titles. Read on to see what comics-blog commentators are saying about our releases this week, and contact your local shop to confirm availability.
two 344-page black & white 8.5" x 7" hardcovers in a custom slipcase • $49.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-376-7
"Continuing Fantagraphics’... presentation of Charles Schulz’s original iteration of eventually finite childhood, in spite of it all. Alec Baldwin greets you at the front. There’s also a two-volume ’75-’78 box set due." – Joe McCulloch, Comics Comics
"I always forget what a smart strip Peanuts was. I just opened this volume to a random page to remind myself of what the vibe of this period of Peanuts was like, and there was a joke about Christo. What comic strips were making Christo jokes in 1978?" – Douglas Wolk, Comics Alliance
"I thought the latest volume was really strong, full of odd Peppermint Patty stories and a lot more bold and confident than I remember the strip at the time. Plus the Alec Baldwin intro was pretty good, too." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
"Covering the years 1977-78, and featuring an introduction by Alec Baldwin (of all things), this latest book features some great sequences, like the one where Charlie Brown bites the kite-eating tree and ends up going on the lam to hide from the EPA. Those who feel Schulz’s best work was in the late 50s and 60s really need to re-evaluate these strips." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6
Note to NYC shoppers: Jim Hanley's Universe is offering 25% off all Complete Peanuts volumes for one week 8/25-8/31/10 — click here for details!
"The strangest and perhaps greatest book I saw at last month's Comic-Con International. It's like it was art designed by a tree full of elves that don't quite get human publications." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
"An apparently first-ever print retrospective of postcard illustrator Pettingill, a Wisconsin native whose self-printed drawings documented both calm natural settings and teeming, wrinkled, riotously parodic rural living. With an introduction by Robert Crumb (who published some of the artist’s work in Weirdo), an appreciation by Johnny Ryan, and a biographical essay by Gary Groth (online here)." – Joe McCulloch, Comics Comics
Our Summer 2010 Ignatz Series titles, which we just got in stock yesterday, are also scheduled to land in comic shops this week! Let's see what the comics bloggers are saying about their imminent arrival, collectively and individually:
"This summer's four new Ignatz releases from Coconino/Fantagraphics, and examples of one of the great comics formats of the last 15 years. I liked the Sammy the Mouse book the best, but they're all beautiful." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
"I've been digging Fantagraphics' Ignatz imprint for a while now, so I'm quite happy that Wednesday sees the release of four new books in that line." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6
32-page duotone 8.5" x 11" saddle-stitched softcover with jacket • $7.95 (part of the Ignatz Series) ISBN: 978-1-60699-419-1
"...[A] suite of small character studies, mostly reprised from earlier issues, mostly concerning dissatisfaction over life’s elusive meanings – dynamic visuals both segregate Ponchione’s characters from one another (spatially, design-wise) and suggest a unity of anxiety across varied human experiences. Fun cartooning, at the very least." – Joe McCulloch, Comics Comics
"...[P]ossibly the most unjustly ignored book in the Ignatz line, just as surreal as Sammy [the Mouse], but more cartoony and cerebral, though no less haunting or effective a work. Constantly adventurous in its layout and narrative, it's one of those books that can be read multiple times and still make new discoveries." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6
32-page duotone 8.5" x 11" saddle-stitched softcover with jacket • $7.95 (part of the Ignatz Series) ISBN: 978-1-60699-420-7
"...Gabriella Giandelli‘s story of an apartment building and the mystic cartoon forces that serve as its roving eyes and the roiling collective unconsciousness of its stressed, depressed, idle tenants." – Joe McCulloch, Comics Comics
32-page duotone 8.5" x 11" saddle-stitched softcover with jacket • $7.95 (part of the Ignatz Series ) ISBN: 978-1-60699-421-4
"[A] lushly scratched sociological allegory by Leila Marzocchi, not entirely unlike Anders Nilsen’s Big Questions in its gathering of woodland creatures to discuss odd happenings, but more whimsical and 'cartooned,' despite a real lingering atmosphere of threat." – Joe McCulloch, Comics Comics
32-page duotone 8.5" x 11" saddle-stitched softcover with jacket • $7.95 (part of the Ignatz Series) ISBN: 978-1-60699-426-9
"My first choice would be the new issue from Zak Sally, again following slightly mutated cartoon archetypes through a series of journeys and conversations apparently at the beck and call of persuasive, godly forces." – Joe McCulloch, Comics Comics
"The long-awaited new issue of Zak Sally's bleak, meticulous series, which I think is the only Ignatz title about an actual cartoon mouse." – Douglas Wolk, Comics Alliance
"...[A] grubby, disturbingly surreal, anthropomorphic tale involving a surly mouse, drunken duck and reclusive dog, not to mention a number of seemingly nefarious and supernatural elements that turn up from time to time. ...Sally is producing a real sharp, evocative and haunting work that manages to send a delicious chill up my spine upon reading it." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6
- - -
Wolk also plugs Drew Weing's Set to Sea, even though it's not on the official shipping list — "I think the entirety of Drew Weing's wonderfully drawn comic about a frustrated would-be poet who basically becomes Popeye against his will is still online [Not quite – Ed.], but this little hardcover edition (one panel per page) is awfully handsome" — so it may be arriving at your shop if it hasn't already. Why not contact them to find out?
(P.S. There are also new comics — not from us — by Émile Bravo and Trina Robbins in shops this week! Ask your friendly neighborhood comic purveyor.)
Two items which are due to arrive in this week's shipment to comic shops were not published by us but are of interest, one of which we are distributing and the other of which comes from one of the "big two":
136-page black & white 5.5" x 8.5" softcover • $10.95
Contrary to what is being reported, this is not a new printing of Hans Rickheit's Xeric-winning 2002 graphic novella which preceded The Squirrel Machine: this is the original self-published edition, which we are distributing to the Direct Market for the first time (via Adult Previews, due to the book's mature content). View some sample artwork here.
"...[R]un, don't walk, to get that book. Rickheit's a major talent and that book is something erotic and special. It's like a dirty secret." – Sean T. Collins, Attentiondeficitdisorderly
We have two new releases scheduled to find their way to comic shops this week. You can check out extensive previews for each book at their respective links below so you can be an informed consumer before taking your money down to your local shop. As usual, we'll let the blogosphere do our plugging for us:
240-page black & white/color 6.5" x 9.75" softcover • $22.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-367-5
"...[A] mail-order tome of electrical cages, creepy costumes, and other casual torture devices. DeMoulin [Bros.] marketed these gadgets to men's social clubs, who were all too happy to subject new recruits to shocking see-saws and detonating flower pots." – io9
"I think Midtown’s fucking with me? Or, Fantagraphics is releasing a 240-page reproduction of a 1930 catalog from De Moulin Bros. & Co., specializing in dangerous-looking props to use in lodge initiations and such. Featuring a new appreciation by David Copperfield, in his first Fantagraphics appearance since retiring the Anton Drek pseudonym." [Ha ha ha! - Ed.] – Joe McCulloch, Comics Comics
"I can't tell if this is really cool-sounding or if that title reads like an unfortunate google translation." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
128-page color/b&w 7" x 9" softcover • $14.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-349-1
"A new Gilbert Hernandez story is set for this latest edition of Fantagraphics’ house anthology, along with the start of a 'satiric psychedelic epic' from writer Shaun Partridge and artist Josh Simmons. Also: Olivier Schrauwen, Tim Lane, T. Edward Bak, more." – Joe McCulloch, Comics Comics
"The 'short pieces by regular contributors' paradigm for Fantagraphics' anthology series seems to have mostly gone out the window; instead, this volume involves Josh Simmons pushing some buttons, Olivier Schrauen doing a piece that looks like a Paper Rad/Winsor McCay mash-up, Gilbert Hernandez with one of his weird-ass Roy stories, and so on." – Douglas Wolk, Comics Alliance
"I'm a regular reader of this square-bound anthology series, but even if I wasn't I'd be picking this up for the debut of a new story by Gilbert Hernandez featuring the always awesome Roy, as well as a new 'satiric psychedelic epic' by Josh Simmons and a guy who for some strange reason wants to call himself The Partridge in the Pear Tree." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6
"This is a really good issue, leaning more towards Eric Reynolds' 'I edited Dirty Stories and my own comics can be terribly frightening' side than his art comics side. Some very potent, troubling short stories and some unorthodox yet beautiful-looking comics art." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
112-page full-color 10.25" x 14" hardcover • $29.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-348-4
"...[M]ore nuanced and detailed than ever before." – Joe McCulloch, Comics Comics
"Oh, these are so gorgeous it's not even funny. We're on an upswing in terms of the legacy enjoyed by Hal Foster's legendary creation -- people are reading it again, and enjoying it..." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
48-page full-color 7" x 10" softcover • $12.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-359-0
"I’ve seen shorter Jason works featuring a werewolf character or two before, but a whole comic all about werewolves by him kinda blows my mind. See, he doesn’t draw his characters as humans, but as anthropomorphic animals, right? So the werewolves in this story are anthropomorphic cartoon cat men when they’re in their 'human' form, and when they’re in their wolf-man form they’re basically anthropomorphic cartoon cat men with shaggier hair. I’m sure I’m thinking too much about it; I’ve read a review copy already, and I’m happy to report one need not think too much about anything in here—it’s another fairly straightforward, bittersweet comedy from an artist who’s become something of a bittersweet comedy factory over the years. It’s a pleasure, from cover to cover." – J. Caleb Mozzocco, Newsarama
"New Jason – top o’ the list. The popular harassment this time around involves romantic werewolves (or at least a romantically-addled fake werewolf and the authentic lycanthropes he’s irritated) — sure to score big with the Twilight die-hard inside your head..." – Joe McCulloch, Comics Comics
"Every ten months or so, the Norwegian cartoonist Jason unleashes a new, brief, brilliant graphic novel on the world... This one involves a bored burglar who dresses up as a werewolf, and what happens when he encounters actual werewolves." – Douglas Wolk, Comics Alliance
"The idiosyncratic Norwegian cartoonist Jason delivers a tale about a burglar who dresses up as a werewolf...and the real-life werewolves who are less than impressed with his antics..." – Cyriaque Lamar, io9
"New Jason. I know of many people that look forward to these books in this format as much as anyone has ever anticipated anything in comics." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
Form your own impressions by checking out the previews for each book at the links above, and get the scoop on availability from your local shop.
Hokey smokes, hope you've been saving your nickels because we've got 5, count 'em 5, brand new books slated to hit comic shops this week! Read on for more info and to see what the other new-comics-day bloggers are saying [now edited to add Tom Spurgeon].
232-page monochrome 6.75" x 8.25" hardcover • $22.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-344-6
"I absolutely loved this Megan Kelso graphic novel — a kind of anthropological/fictional-historical fantasy/love story thing involving a fractured culture of people with artichoke leaves for hair — and I'm not afraid to say so." – Douglas Wolk, Comics Alliance
"Getting back to much-awaited new projects, here’s Megan Kelso’s 232-page intergenerational fantasy, excerpted/anticipated here and there, depicting struggle and serenity among the fleshily vulnerable artichoke folk. ...Kelso’s visual style remains appealing as ever." – Joe McCulloch, Comics Comics
"Megan Kelso (The Squirrel Mother) returns with her most ambitious work to date..." – J. Caleb Mozzocco, Newsarama
"Fantagraphics reminds us that they’re more than just awesome, Matt Thorn-curated manga with Megan Kelso’s Artichoke Tales. ... This is Kelso’s first long-form effort, and I’m looking forward to seeing what she does with that length of narrative." – David Welsh, The Manga Curmudgeon
"I'm still digesting this, the oddest book I've read all year." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
104-page black & white 6.5" x 9" hardcover • $19.99 ISBN: 978-1-56097-917-3
"Tony Millionaire’s sequel to his excellent 2006 Billy Hazelnuts, a gorgeous evocation of sprawling, daydreamy adventure strip narratives pairing gritty-but-whimsical hardcases with not-too-sweet innocents. Here we find grumpy homunculus Billy adjusting poorly to helping out with animals on the farm, only to set off on a mission to reunite a baby owl with its mother. It looks really funny and beautiful." – Joe McCulloch, Comics Comics
"Maakies cartoonist Tony Millionaire's 'all-ages' sequel to Billy Hazelnuts, and by 'all-ages' he apparently means that it's the kind of grotesque slapstick farce that could potentially entertain small children while creeping the living heck out of their parents..." – Douglas Wolk, Comics Alliance
"What's MY PICK OF THE WEEK? The Billy Hazelnuts and the Crazy Bird hardcover by the one and only Tony Millionaire. ... In the Billy Hazelnuts all-ages series, Millionaire spins the yarn of Billy, a garbage-homunculus, and the family who loves him. In this installment, the bizarre Billy must return a baby owl to the woods. Rampant weirdness ensues." – Cyriaque Lamar, io9
"Prolific Maakies cartoonist and Sock Monkey creator Tony Millionaire’s long-awaited second Billy Hazelnuts graphic novel finally arrives." – J. Caleb Mozzocco, Newsarama
"The release of a new Tony Millionaire stand-alone book is an overall world good." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
128-page black & white 8.25" x 10.75" hardcover • $19.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-352-1
"Finally(!), here’s a new 128-page hardcover edition of Fantagraphics’ 1995 compilation of assorted Robert Crumb shorts starring the famous lil’ bearded guy." – Joe McCulloch, Comics Comics
"Fantagraphics is having a pretty damn huge week (and there’s a couple more swell-looking books below)." [Yep!] – J. Caleb Mozzocco, Newsarama
"This is one of the better Christmas-gift books Fantagraphics ever made... A kind of Crumb-primer, or Crumb for people who might want to get at him from a more standard comics stories standpoint." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
240-page black & white/duotone 7" x 10.25" softcover • $22.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-346-0
"...includes the best of comics creator, character and all-around renaissance woman Dame Darcy’s first decade of Meat Cake comics..." – J. Caleb Mozzocco, Newsarama
"No, stay in your chair, this close-to-last-of-the-classic-one-artist-anthology-comic-books isn’t going bookshelf for good – it’s an expanded 240-page softcover reissue of Fantagraphics’ 2003 (200-page) hardcover collection of the best of Dame Darcy’s comical fictions and stitched-up Victoriana, with guest writer Alan Moore popping in for a later story..." – Joe McCulloch, Comics Comics
"This collection of Dame Darcy's twisted fairy tale saga was out-of-print and gets a much deserved resurrection, replete with her collaboration with Alan Moore." – Cyriaque Lamar, io9
"Dame Darcy is the canary in the cage as alt-comics makes its way through the catacombs of modern comics publishing. As long as she has a publishing presence, something must going at least semi-okay." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
240-page two-color 8" x 10" hardcover • $22.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-323-1
"I read it a few weeks ago, and it’s easily one of the best comics works I’ve experienced so far this year. It’s an extremely ambitious story set in a fantasy world that explores the various ways in which war and fear can tear people apart while knitting communities together. It’s occasionally touching, occasionally scary, always thrilling and remarkably complex. I hope to review it in this space sometime soon, but I’d like to give it another read or two before I attempt doing so. In the mean time, allow me to at least wholeheartedly recommend it." – J. Caleb Mozzocco, Newsarama
"...Percy Gloom was perfectly dedicated to its metaphors of human caution as aggravated by society and religion. This new 240-page work promises a similarly-conceived world, this time as built by an amnesiac war veteran forever alert to obscure but surely dire threats. Surely!" – Joe McCulloch, Comics Comics
"Russ Manning Award winner Cathy Malkasian's new graphic novel is a sprawling, splendidly grotesque-looking fable about the kinds of lies that preserve patriarchy and perpetuate war, set in and around a city called Blessedbowl whose inhabitants believe that they're afloat on a sea of fire and at war with evil forces from outside, neither of which are true. It's worth a look for sure." – Douglas Wolk, Comics Alliance
"I'm looking forward to this one because a) I know absolutely nothing about it, and b) I went into the cartoonist's previous book Percy Gloom with every expectation I'd hate it until my legs fell off from the acidic bile collected in them from my hating of it, but ended up super-charmed by like page eight." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
Still not convinced? Check out our previews and excerpts for each book at their respective links above and judge for yourself. As always, we recommend confirming availability with your local shop before toddling on down.
I'm back from taking a couple of days off and catching up on things that I missed during that time, including the arrival of new comics in stores last Thursday (a day late due to the U.S. holiday), including:
32-page full-color 6.75" x 9.5" comic book • $4.95 ISBN: 978-1-60699-422-1
"The best alternative comic book series right now? It's certainly some of the funniest comics going, even if I have little to say other than apparently spout broad, positive clichés on its behalf," said Tom Spurgeon at The Comics Reporter last week.
Hopefully your local shop hasn't sold out already — maybe give them a jingle and have them put one on hold for you if you didn't already pick it up last week.
Three new compact softcovers wending their way into comic shops this week. Plentiful previews, bonus downloads, and more information about each book await you at the links below. Your local comic shop can divulge availability at their particular establishment if contacted in advance. Read on to see descriptions and comments from the comics bloggers:
"Definitive title notwithstanding, this 360-page Ben Schwartz-edited volume actually concerns itself with writing pertinent to (though not exclusively concerned with) the maturation and rise in public consciousness of North American ‘literary’ comics..." – Joe McCulloch, Comics Comics
"Disclaimer: I've got an essay in this Ben Schwartz-edited anthology, which features criticism as well as interviews and historical pieces." – Douglas Wolk, Comics Alliance
The Comics Reporter's Tom Spurgeon refers you to his interview with Ben Schwartz, which he prefaced by saying "It's the kind of volume that starts fights... — but that's okay and it's part of the fun. There's a lot of good work in the book and one or two absolutely inspired choices. Anyone with an interest in comics should at least give it a flip-through, and anyone with an interest in writing about the medium should use it as a springboard to discover a host of excellent new favorites."
"...[N]othing but transcriptions of Twitter feeds, message boards and comics blogs, mostly dealing with Stephanie Brown and how messed up Identity Crisis was. Oh wait a minute, I’m thinking of The Worst American Comics Criticism, the volume of comics writing I’m editing, in my mind." – J. Caleb Mozzocco, Newsarama
136-page black & white 6" x 8.25" softcover • $12.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-347-7
"...[T]he 136-page latest from the always-fun Joe Daly..., a hugely vulgar quest adventure imposing video game RPG tropes on the aggressive banality of suburban navigation..." – Joe McCulloch, Comics Comics
"Joe Daly's latest, an Angouleme Festival essential book this year in its French-language iteration, is so deeply weird it makes his oddball Hergé pastiche in his last work look like actual, straight-forward Hergé." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
"I’m not doing a very good job of describing it, I know, but that’s only because it’s so damn weird. Hopefully I’ll do a better job when I sit down to write a formal review. In the mean time, give it a flip-through tomorrow! It has a character named Lash Penis in it!" – J. Caleb Mozzocco, Newsarama
162-page black & white 6" x 8.75" softcover (with full-color foldout) • $16.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-324-8
"Nice – a spankin’ new Fantagraphics collection of one of the major ’stray’ Kim Deitch works, a 1997-98 serial from the pages of the publisher’s old funnybook anthology series Zero Zero. Join your humble artist/narrator and Waldo the cat as they explore the demon-visited world of children’s programming..." – Joe McCulloch, Comics Comics
"A major collection from an A-List comics talent. This time out the great Kim Deitch examines the nature of entertainment through the ways audiences encounter, process and recall it. The joyful image-making couldn't be more entertaining to drink in." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
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