One more new arrival in our warehouse among the deluge we informed you of yesterday — the first Fantagraphics edition was published in 2007, and now this perennial bestseller is already in its 5th printing:
"What do I have in common with the Jews? I don't even have anything in common with myself." Nothing could better express the essence of Franz Kafka, a man described by his friends as living behind a "glass wall." Kafka wrote in the tradition of the great Yiddish storytellers, whose stock-in-trade was bizarre fantasy tainted with hilarity and self-abasement. What he added to this tradition was an almost unbearably expanded consciousness. Alienated from his roots, his family, his surroundings, and primarily from his own body, Kafka created a unique literary language in which to hide away, transforming himself into a cockroach, an ape, a dog, a mole or a circus artiste who starves himself to death in front of admiring crowds. David Zane Mairowitz's brilliant text and the illustrations and comic panels of the world's greatest cartoonist, Robert Crumb (himself no stranger to self-loathing and alienation), help us to understand the essence of Kafka and provide insight beyond the cliche "Kafkaesque," peering through Kafka's glass wall like no other book before it. The book is a wonderful educational tool for those unfamiliar with Kafka, including a brief but inclusive biography as well as the plots of many of his works, all illustrated by Crumb, making this newly designed edition a must-have for admirers of both Kafka and Crumb.
Musician John Heneghan, whom I've mentioned on this blog previously, is a frequent musical collaborator with R. Crumb. And now, he's been entrusted with selling off some of the more extraneous items in Crumb's legendary 78 record collection. Many of the items include hand-written notes by Crumb on the sleeve of each piece. These could make a super cool, ultra-unique gift for any Crumb fans in your life.
I'd never seen this Crumb painting before. I entertained the notion that it might be a fraud for a moment, but I think the telltale signs are the building facades and cars, which are classic "Harlem"-era Crumb. Available on eBay for a mere $100K.
• Review: "First off: a round of applause to Kim Thompson for his translation of The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec. The French title of the first volume translates literally as 'Adele and the Beast,' and that was the title of the previous American version (20 years or so ago) — but 'Pterror over Paris' is way funnier, and in line with the overheated, not entirely serious style of this book. ...[T]his is really charming stuff... and it's super-fun." – Douglas Wolk, TIME/Techland
• Review: "This is a powerful tale about creativity, morality, verity and above all, responsibility which demands that the reader work for his reward. As an exploration of imagination it is subtly enticing, but as an examination of Mankind’s unchanging primal nature The Sanctuary is pitilessly honest. Abstract, symbolic, metaphorical yet gloriously approachable, this devastatingly clever saga is a 'must-see' for any serious fan of comics and every student of the human condition." – Win Wiacek, Now Read This!
• Review: "In collecting all the (mostly) non-Locas, non-Palomar odds’n'ends from the initial run of Love and Rockets from both Gilbert and Jaime — and Mario too, the 'sometimes Y' to Beto and Xaime’s AEIOU —Amor y Cohetes reinforces [a particular] conception of the brothers’ working relationship. It’s not one-upsmanship, it’s not trading eights, it’s more a matter of pulling from a collective pool of ideas about comics." – Sean T. Collins, Attentiondeficitdisorderly
• Interview: For the L.A. Times Hero Complex blog, Deborah Vankin talks to Robert Crumb (actually an outtake from a slightly longer Crumb interview done for a feature on Joyce Farmer running in the print version of the Times soon): "Maybe I’m less angry. I don’t know. Actually, I’m not less angry. When I go back to America, after a few days I am once again filled with this kind of angry alienation and disgust with this thing there that America has got — you have no idea how pervasive it is there. The public relations and propaganda put out by the corporate mono-culture there is so pervasive."
As part of our warehouse move, we've stumbled across a tiny cache of hardcover editions of the COMPLETE CRUMB COMICS VOLUME 11, first editions complete with signed plates. Even though the REGULAR hardcovers, which have long been sold out too, are selling for north of $100 from on-line stores we're offering these signed ones (only one per customer!) for the original $75 price. What a bargain!
There are VERY FEW of these left, so we'd encourage anyone who wants to buy them to call us at 1-800-657-1100 muy pronto. Trust snail mail or even the website's 24-hour turnaround and you may be S.O.L.