Before the Amazing Spider-Man, before the mysterious Dr. Strange, before the black-and-white world of the Ayn Rand-inspired Mr. A, the legendary comic book artist Steve Ditko was conjuring all manners of horrors at his drawing table. In his first two years in the industry (1953 and 1954), Ditko drew tales of macabre suspense that were not yet hobbled by the imminent Comics Code Authority (adopted in Oct. 1954). These stories featured graphic bloodshed, dismemberment and blood-curdling acid baths as the ugly end to the lives of the dark and twisted inhabitants of Steve Ditko’s imagination.
Following up on Strange and Stranger: The World of Steve Ditko, Blake Bell’s 2008 best-selling critical retrospective of Ditko’s career, Strange Suspense: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 1 features, for the first time, spectacular full-color reprints of every story from those first two years of his career. Beginning with Ditko’s very first story to Ditko’s short stint in the Joe Simon/Jack Kirby studio, to Ditko’s eventual encampment at the Charlton Comics operation in 1954, readers will see the initial works of an artist already at a level of craftsmanship that exceeded most of his peers. The book also features editor Bell’s insightful introduction, providing historical background and speaking to Ditko's influence and his unique craft.
"I'm so excited by Fantagraphics bringing us a complete version of witzend... That's a bunch of interesting cartoonists doing work at the far frontier of their creative impulses that weren't given that opportunity a whole lot." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
"Witzend is a gem." – iFanboy
"[Witzend's] salient point, that comic artists were entitled to more control and ownership of their own work, would eventually be recognized by the publishers of comic books, but it is hard to argue that witzend itself was a key factor in that development. Like so many other visionary endeavors, it may simply have been ahead of its time." – Rick Spanier
"Wally Wood is one of the best comic book artists that ever lived." – Mark Frauenfelder, Boing Boing
Shortly after completing the serialization of Sergio Ponchione's surreal masterpiece Grotesque, we came across portions of his project DKW: Ditko Kirby Wood on his blog, and we immediately knew we had to bring this phenomenal work to American readers. A loving tribute to Steve, Jack, and Wally, DKW tells their stories with astounding, eye-popping, trippy visuals that transport you inside the imaginations of these three master comics-makers.
We're pleased to present DKW as a one-shot comic book coming to comic shops this July! Look for it in the May issue of Previews, out in two weeks, and demand it from your local retailer.
As great as the new cover for the forthcoming paperback edition of Strange Suspense: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 1 looks on screen, it looks even better in person as we ogle the advance copies fresh out of the box today. And, of course, the guts are still phenomenal, collecting Ditko's earliest pre-Code horror and suspense work, expertly restored in full lurid color, and compiled by acclaimed Ditko biographer Blake Bell.
If you missed out on the hardcover edition of this volume, be sure to snap up this version right away — you can reserve your copy, and read an excerpt with 3 full stories, right here!
Like a monolith, the formidable witzend box set rises from the corner of my desk. With two hardcover volumes in a slipcase collecting the complete run of Wallace Wood & company's landmark anthology series, featuring incredible artwork and scintillating stories from a murderers' row of creators, it's a monumental package, a must-have for the comics cognoscenti, and a guaranteed toe-crusher if you drop it on your foot.
This bastion of freedom of expression and independence from commercial and editorial restraint should be on shelves before Independence Day and available through our mail-order a bit sooner. If you haven't already, browse our enormous preview and reserve your copy, right here, today!
There's so much incredible stuff to show you in our two-volume complete hardcover collection of witzend, our downloadable preview runs to a ridiculous 87 pages (and 45 MB), with a smattering of pages and the cover art from each issue, the Tables of Contents, and a bit more.
In rough order of appearance: Wallace Wood, Al Williamson, Jack Gaughan, Gray Morrow, Harvey Kurtzman, Warren Sattler, Reed Crandall, Don Martin, Steve Ditko, Art Spiegelman, Richard Bassford, Roger Brand, Frank Frazetta, Grass Green, Vaughn Bodé, James Frankfort, Steranko, Jeffrey Catherine Jones, John Benson, Sorrel Garika, Ed Paschke, Bernie Wrightson, Alphonse Mucha, Bill Pearson, Ralph Reese, Nicola Cuti, William Stillwell, John Adkins Richardson, W.C. Fields, Dick Giordano, Alex Toth, Howard Chaykin, Mike Zeck, Joe Staton, George Bush, Dennis Janke, Al Sirois, Bhob Stewart, John Norton, Willy Pogany, Zolne Rowich, Brad Foster, Steve Stiles, and others. And that's just the preview!
Even a perfunctory glance at a small portion of these pages will be enough to convince you that this book is a must-have. Fortunately, you can pre-order your own copy right now!
At four volumes and counting, our Steve Ditko Archives series continues collecting the early work by this prolific comics legend, and now we go back to the beginning for a new paperback edition of the sold-out first volume, Strange Suspense. This is the earliest, pre-Code stuff, which means that it's the grisliest and most horrifying, just like you like it!
Our downloadable excerpt includes the Table of Contents and two complete short stories: "Library of Horror" ("Good heavens! I've trespassed into the beyond -- and there's no escape!") and "Die Laughing!" ("I-I'm clearing out! This joke of Chandler's is too grisly for my taste!"), plus one of Ditko's eye-popping covers. Pre-order your copy today for delivery in June.
Steve Ditko is such a great image-maker, it must be hard for our designers to choose artwork for the covers of our Steve Ditko Archives collections of his early, pre-Marvel work. With Volume 1, Strange Suspense, we got a chance to make a double dip from the deep Ditko inkwell for our new softcover reprint, coming this summer with this newly-designed cover. Behind you, lady!! Stay tuned for more sneak peeks. (Of course, if you don't want to wait to read this book, it's available digitally right now on comiXology.)
72-page black & white (with spot color) 6" x 9" softcover • $14.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-734-5
A local medical expert and sheriff are summoned to investigate a strange sighting that sets the stage for Conor Stechschulte's debut graphic novella: a severed human head that still seems to be talking. We flash back to a pair of butchers who arrive at work one morning to find not only that there is no meat in their shop but also that they have forgotten completely how to do their job. As customers arrive, they are too fearful for their livelihood to admit their dilemma, leading to increasingly disastrous events. But what has caused their strange amnesia? This often hilarious, enigmatic, and uncomfortable book will establish Stechschulte as an exciting new talent.
240-page full-color 6.75" x 9.75" softcover • $28.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-739-0
Before Spider-Man and Dr. Strange, the legendary comic book artist Steve Ditko was conjuring all manners of horrors at his drawing table. In his first two years in the industry (1953 and 1954), Ditko drew tales of macabre suspense that were not yet hobbled by the imminent Comics Code Authority (adopted in Oct. 1954). These stories featured graphic bloodshed, dismemberment, and blood-curdling acid baths as the ugly end to the lives of the dark and twisted inhabitants of Steve Ditko's imagination. Strange Suspense features spectacular full-color reprints of every story from those first two years of his career. Edited by Ditko expert Blake Bell. Now in paperback!
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