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Category >> Thomas Ott

Wanna See Something Scary?
Written by Larry Reid | Filed under Thomas OttSimon HanselmannRichard SalaJoe KubertGary PanterFantagraphics BookstoreeventsEC ComicsDaniel ClowesConor StechschulteChris WrightCharles BurnsCarl BarksBill SchellyBen CatmullAl Columbia 6 Oct 2014 11:52 AM

With Halloween approaching, it's a good time to consider some spooky favorites from Fantagraphics Books.

 Big_Baby2  Ghost_World2

The formative work of Charles Burns in Big Baby foreshadows the brilliance that would follow. Alluring stories like "Curse of the Molemen," "Blood Club," and "Teen Plague" remain creepy and compelling while exploring themes of adolescent angst. Ghost World by Daniel Clowes is a similarly insightful examination of the otherworldly imaginations of its youthful protagonists. It remains among the greatest graphic novels - and film adaptations - of all time.

Pim_Francie2 

Al Columbia's Pim & Francie is at first blush a collection of meticulously rendered drawings, but a closer examination reveals a seductive narrative involving a cute cartoon couple caught in a world of horrific nightmares.

 Ghost_in_the_Grotto2

Ghost of the Grotto by comics genius Carl Barks is a playful adventure set in an exotic island locale, sure to appeal to kids and adults alike. See also The Old Castle's Secret for more fowl frights.

Megahex2   Amateurs2

A misanthropic witch wrestles with real world issues in Simon Hanselmann's Megahex and surreal horror unfolds in The Amateurs by Conor Stechschulte as two butchers are afflicted with a mysterious case of amnesia. Meat these amazing artists this Saturday at Fantagraphics Bookstore.

Fall2014_front2    October_2014_Art_Attack_low_copy

More terrifying tales can be found in Ben Catmull's Ghosts and Ruins, Gary Panter's Jimbo in Purgatory, the EC Comics Library from midcentury America's masters of macabre, Weird Horrors & Daring Adventures: The Joe Kubert Archive Vol. 1 edited by Bill SchellyBlacklung by Chris WrightR.I.P by Thomas Ott, and everything by Richard Sala.

Sweet Halloween Treats!
Written by Larry Reid | Filed under Wally WoodThomas OttSteve DitkoRichard SalaJosh SimmonsJoe KubertJasonHans RickheitGary PanterGahan WilsonDaniel ClowesCharles BurnsBill SchellyBen Catmull 21 Oct 2013 2:10 PM

With Halloween looming, allow me to suggest thirteen frightening favorites from Fantagraphics Books. Spooky fun for everyone, in no particular order.

Ghost_World Peculia Big_Baby

Daniel Clowes' modern masterpiece Ghost World eerily conveys the otherworldly cool of 1990s counterculture. Peculia, by Clowes colleague Richard Sala, collects the misadventures of the precocious protagonist of his Evil Eye comic book serial. Northwest native Charles Burns' essential Big Baby anthology of contemporary horror comix includes classics like "Blood Club," "Teen Plague," and "Curse of the Molemen."

Mysterious_Traveler Weird_Horrors Came_the_Dawn

Mysterious Traveler collects proto-psychedelic horror from Steve Ditko's Charlton era. Similarly, Weird Horrors displays the late, great Joe Kubert's pre-Code classics edited by Kubert scholar Bill Schelly. Wally Wood weighs in with Came the Dawn, featuring timeless tales from the "Vault of Horror," as well as mid-century socio-political nightmares like "The Guilty."

Ghosts_and_Ruins The_Furry_Trap

Ghosts and Ruins is a Ben Catmull collection of exquisite depictions and descriptions of haunted dwellings. Read it with Josh Simmons' disturbing anthology The Furry Trap. Other favorites include Folly by Hans Rickheit, Isle of 100,000 Graves by Jason, Thomas Ott's wordless wonder Cinema Panopticum, Jimbo's Inferno by the great Gary Panter, and finally, from the master of macabre, Gahan Wilson: 50 Years of Playboy Cartoons. Boo!

Gahan_Wilson

Daily OCD: 6/5-6/6/12
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Usagi YojimboThomas OttSpain RodriguezreviewsMichael KuppermanKrazy KatJoost SwarteJim WoodringinterviewsGeorge HerrimanFlannery OConnorDaily OCDawards 6 Jun 2012 8:42 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Is That All There Is?

Awards: Congratulations to the great Joost Swarte, awarded the 2012 Marten Toonder Prize and its concomitant fat cash prize by the Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture, as reported by Tom Spurgeon at The Comics Reporter

Krazy & Ignatz 1922-1924

Review: "One of the first comprehensive comic strip reprint projects of the current era, and arguably the most important, has achieved completion with the publication of the thirteenth and final volume in Fantagraphics’ series collecting George Herriman’s Krazy Kat Sunday pages in their entirety.... I expect I will be reading from this library for years to come. I am as grateful for this body of work as, I expect, readers of Emily Dickinson were when her complete works were first published in full." – Bill Kartalopoulos, Print

Cruisin' with the Hound

Review (Audio): Inkstuds host Robin McConnell is joined by Paul Gravett, Joe McCulloch and Tom Spurgeon for a roundtable discussion of Cruisin' with the Hound by Spain Rodriguez and other books

Flannery O'Connor: The Cartoons

Review: "Here are the early ejaculations from the primordial form of what was to become one of the great American writers. Here is Flannery O'Connor as she is  formulating her unique vision of America and all that it entails.... What value does Flannery O'Connor: The Cartoons have inherently? I think the answer to that question is entirely subjective. ...I personally wish to thank Fantagraphics for going out on a limb and publishing this book, if for no other reason than to put Flannery O'Connor back into the pop culture discussion for however briefly it may be." – Daniel Elkin, Comics Bulletin

Cinema Panopticum

Review: "Anyone can be grotesque and horrifying. To truly get under the skin of the audience is an ability not many have. Someone who does is Thomas Ott, and he uses his ability to the highest effect in Cinema Panopticum. ...[I]f you are looking for an unsettling horror story rendered beautifully by an expert craftsman there is no doubt this should be in your collection." – Taylor Pithers, The Weekly Crisis

Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010

Interview (Audio): Spend 3 minutes with Michael Kupperman as Tom Gambino of Pronto Comics talks to Michael from the floor of last April's MoCCA Fest on the ProntoCast podcast

Jim Woodring

Film Studies: At Boing Boing, Jim Woodring writes about the 1931 Fleischer Bros. short that expanded his young mind: "I might have come to grips with the overwhelming mystery of life in a rational, organic manner if it weren't for a cartoon I saw on my family's old black and white TV in the mid '50s when I was three or four years old. This cartoon rang a bell so loud that I can still feel its reverberations.... Whatever [the creators'] motivation and intent, 'Bimbo's Initiation' became my prime symbolic interpreter, the foundation of my life's path and endlessly exploding bomb at the core of my creative output."

Samurai Warrior: The Battles of Usagi Yojimbo

Gaming: Thanks to intrepid Fantagraphics intern Michael Fitzgerald for passing along this article at Hardcore Gaming 101 about something that I've been very curious about, the Usagi Yojimbo "Samurai Warrior" game for Commodore 64

Cinema Panopticum (Softcover Ed.) by Thomas Ott - Now in Stock
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Thomas Ottnew releases 6 Apr 2012 12:31 AM

Now in stock in our warehouse and ready to ship to our mail-order customers:

Cinema Panopticum by Thomas Ott

Cinema Panopticum (Softcover Ed.)
by Thomas Ott

104-page black & white 6.5" x 9.25" softcover • $16.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-485-6

See Previews / Order Now

T. Ott plunges into the darkness with five graphic horror novelettes: "The Hotel," "The Champion," "The Experiment," "The Prophet," and the story which frames it all, "The Girl," each executed in his hallucinatory and hyper-detailed scratchboard style.

The first story in the book introduces the other four: A little girl visits an amusement park. She looks fascinated, but finds everything too expensive. Finally, behind the rollercoaster she eyeballs a small booth with "CINEMA PANOPTICUM" written on it. Inside there are boxes with screens. Every box contains a movie; the title of each appears on each screen. Each costs only one coin, so the price is right for the little girl. She puts her money in the first box: "The Hotel" begins. In the film, a traveler goes to sleep in what seems to be an otherwise empty hotel. His awakening is the stuff of nightmares.

"The Champion," the second film, introduces a Mexican wrestler who fights against death himself. In a typical Ott twist, he wins and loses at the same time. In the third film, "The Experiment," a short-sighted man initially goes blind from some pills his doctor gave him, but soon the blindness wears off and he finds they accord quite a view. In the final story, "The Prophet," a vagrant foresees the end of the world and tries to warn people, but nobody believes him. They will soon enough...

Ott’s O. Henry-esque plot twists will delight fans of classic horror like The Twilight Zone and Tales From the Crypt, or modern efforts like M. Night Shyamalan’s films (well, the good ones); his artwork will haunt you long after you’ve put the book down.

New Comics Day 3/28/12: The Sincerest Form of Parody, Cinema Panopticum
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Thomas OttNew Comics DayJohn Benson 28 Mar 2012 1:03 AM

This week's comic shop shipment is slated to include the following new titles. Read on to see what comics-blog commentators and web-savvy comic shops are saying about them (more to be added as they appear), check out our previews at the links, and contact your local shop to confirm availability.

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/covers/2012/bookcover_sinpar.jpg

The Sincerest Form of Parody: The Best 1950s MAD-Inspired Satirical Comics
by various artists; edited by John Benson

192-page full-color 7.25" x 10.25" softcover • $24.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-511-2

"Before there were knockoffs of MAD-the-magazine like Cracked and Crazy... there were a whole lot of knockoffs of MAD-the-comic-book, like Whack, Nuts, Eh, Unsane... This John Benson-edited anthology collects work from a bunch of them." – Douglas Wolk, ComicsAlliance

"On the historical side, Fantagraphics brings us The Sincerest Form of Parody: The Best 1950s MAD Inspired Satirical Comics ($24.99). KC’s working on a review that we’ll have for you shortly [since posted here – Ed.]." – Joanna Draper Carlson, Comics Worth Reading

"I was well aware of the number of imitators that attempted to capitalize on Kurtzman and company’s success early on, but didin’t know much more than that. Were any of these comics any good? Hopefully this book will let me know." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6

"Editor John Benson follows up 2010′s excellent Four Color Fear: Forgotten Horror Comics of the 1950s [John Benson provided editorial consultation and contributed to the back matter for Four Color Fear, but the book was edited by Greg Sadowski – Ed.] with The Sincerest Form of Parody: The Best 1950s MAD-Inspired Satirical Comics, culling choice bits from humor magazines by Atlas, Charlton, Harvey and the like; $24.99." – Joe McCulloch, The Comics Journal

"The success of MAD Magazine lead to a number of 1950s knock-offs. This book collects some of the of the finest examples of non-MAD parody comics, featuring work by Jack Davis, Will Elder, Jack Kirby, Dick Ayers, Bill Everett, Bob Powell, and many more. Portzebie!" – Benn Ray (Atomic Books), Largehearted Boy

Cinema Panopticum by Thomas Ott

Cinema Panopticum (Softcover Ed.)
by Thomas Ott

104-page black & white 6.5" x 9.25" softcover • $16.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-485-6

"And readers that missed out on Thomas Ott’s 2005 collection of wordless works can now enjoy a softcover edition of Cinema Panopticum; $16.99." – Joe McCulloch, The Comics Journal

"Love reading comics but find all the words a drag? Then Thomas Ott's wordless, gorgeous and haunting scratchboard horror stories are just the thing for you." – Benn Ray (Atomic Books), Largehearted Boy

"I assume this is a new edition of the Thomas Ott, in which case I already have it. If you don't, those books tend to hold up really well over time." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter



Cinema Panopticum (Softcover Ed.) by Thomas Ott - Previews, Pre-Order
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under videoThomas Ottpreviewsnew releases 21 Feb 2012 12:52 AM

Cinema Panopticum by Thomas Ott

Cinema Panopticum (Softcover Ed.)
by Thomas Ott

104-page black & white 6.5" x 9.25" softcover • $16.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-485-6

Ships in: March 2012 (subject to change) — Pre-Order Now

T. Ott plunges into the darkness with five graphic horror novelettes: "The Hotel," "The Champion," "The Experiment," "The Prophet," and the story which frames it all, "The Girl," each executed in his hallucinatory and hyper-detailed scratchboard style.

The first story in the book introduces the other four: A little girl visits an amusement park. She looks fascinated, but finds everything too expensive. Finally, behind the rollercoaster she eyeballs a small booth with "CINEMA PANOPTICUM" written on it. Inside there are boxes with screens. Every box contains a movie; the title of each appears on each screen. Each costs only one coin, so the price is right for the little girl. She puts her money in the first box: "The Hotel" begins. In the film, a traveler goes to sleep in what seems to be an otherwise empty hotel. His awakening is the stuff of nightmares.

"The Champion," the second film, introduces a Mexican wrestler who fights against death himself. In a typical Ott twist, he wins and loses at the same time. In the third film, "The Experiment," a short-sighted man initially goes blind from some pills his doctor gave him, but soon the blindness wears off and he finds they accord quite a view. In the final story, "The Prophet," a vagrant foresees the end of the world and tries to warn people, but nobody believes him. They will soon enough...

Ott’s O. Henry-esque plot twists will delight fans of classic horror like The Twilight Zone and Tales From the Crypt, or modern efforts like M. Night Shyamalan’s films (well, the good ones); his artwork will haunt you long after you’ve put the book down.

Download and read a 14-page PDF excerpt (1.9 MB) with the introductory story, "The Girl."

Video & Photo Slideshow Preview (view in new window):



What's in the December Diamond Previews
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Thomas OttRobert CrumbPrince ValiantPeanutsMonte SchulzMatthias WivelHans RickheitHal FosterDiamondCharles M Schulz 30 Nov 2011 4:38 AM

Shipping February 2012 from Fantagraphics Books

The new Diamond Previews catalog is out today and in it you'll find our usual 2-page spread (download the PDF) with our releases scheduled to arrive in your local comic shop in February 2012 (give or take — some release dates may have changed since the issue went to press). We're pleased to offer additional and updated information about these upcoming releases here on our website, to help shops and customers alike make more informed ordering decisions.

This month's Spotlight item is a new softcover edition of Swiss horror-meister's short story collection Cinema Panopticum; our anthology of Scandinavian cartoonists Kolor Klimax: Nordic Comics Now is "Certified Cool"; and the issue also includes the new volumes of our best-selling The Complete Peanuts and Prince Valiant series; a new, expanded edition of The Complete Crumb Comics Vol. 1 with 60 newly-discovered, never-before-published pages; Folly, a collection of Hans Rickheit's inscrutable and discomfiting minicomics; and the final (prose) novel in Monte Schulz's jazz-age trilogy, The Big Town.

See them all here!

Jason, Lilli Carré & Thomas Ott skate decks for... Penguin?
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Thomas OttmerchLilli CarréJason 15 Aug 2011 7:23 PM

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201108/penguin-skateboards.jpg

If I were up on skate lingo I would be spouting the equivalent of "holy crap" here... Penguin has produced a series of limited edition skate decks featuring artwork from their Penguin Classics Deluxe line, including covers by Jason for Kerouac's Dharma Bums, Lilli Carré for Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and Thomas Ott for We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson. At Lilli's blog you can see a photo of her hoisting hers over her head. There was a Facebook contest where you could win one (which we learned of too late) and USA Today's report on the decks lists some promotional events on college campuses — no word on if/when you'll actually be able to buy these, though.

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201108/banner_classics_skateboards.jpg

Daily OCD: 5/18/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Thomas OttRichard SalareviewsPeter BaggePaul HornschemeierJohnny RyanJasonGilbert HernandezDaily OCDAnders Nilsen 18 May 2011 6:56 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

List: Joe McCabe of FEARnet names "Five Horror Graphic Novels You Need to Read," including:

R.I.P.: Best of 1985-2004

"The black-and-white scratchboard art of German comics creator Thomas Ott is without peer among today's comics artists. That Ott can also tell one helluva fun horror short story is almost icing on the cake.... This omnibus volume [R.I.P.: Best of 1985-2004] collects his three out-of-print albums... I've never read a Thomas Ott tale that was anything less than fantastic. Highly recommended."

The Chuckling Whatsit

"...[Richard Sala] has carved his own niche as perhaps the most twisted but brilliant cartoonist working in comics today.... Labyrinthine in its complexity and endlessly imaginative in its designs and characterizations, [The Chuckling Whatsit] tells the story of Broom, an unemployed writer who gets mixed up in a murder plot and the Ghoul Appreciation Society Headquarters (GASH), whose membership boasts more creepy eccentrics than the collected works of Edward Gorey."

Yeah!

Review/Interview: After reviewing Yeah!, Vice's Nick Gazin asked writer Peter Bagge about some things that troubled him about the comic:

[Gazin:] The main feeling that the comic left me with was a crushing sense of hopelessness. With the exception of the cover art, the girls usually seem unhappy.

[Bagge:] Why?!? Well, I gave them troubled backstories, but they sure have a lot of fun at the same time. 

[Gazin:] I guess I feel like Krazy, Honey, and Woo Woo don't usually look like they're having fun. They look troubled, upset, or angry in almost every panel. They go to other planets, but they usually don't enjoy it. Even when Woo Woo gets to date her rockstar crush, Hobo Cappiletto, she's too racked with guilt to be able to enjoy it. It seems like they're only having fun on the front and back cover.

[Bagge:] Good point! I guess I simply enjoy their misery. I'm a monster!

Opinion: Help put Yeah! in perspective by reading Peter Bagge's essay "Raiding Hannah's Stash: An Appreciation of Late '90s Bubblegum Music" at Scram magazine

Isle of 100,000 Graves

Interview: At Comic Book Resources, Shaun Manning talks to Jason and Fabien Vehlmann about collaborating on their new graphic novel Isle of 100,000 Graves. Says Vehlmann: "I love his incredible and unusual style, and I didn't want to change it totally... So even if I created the entire story and the characters of Isle of 100,000 Graves, I also did kind of a 'forger-job,' trying to write as if I was Jason but also bringing my own private topics (death, childhood, etc...), which was a very exciting challenge." Manning says of the book, "Displaying all of the keen wit, sharp twists and disarming sincerity readers have come to love in books like Werewolves of Montpellier, I Killed Adolf Hitler and others, Isle of 100,000 Graves teams the artist known as Jason with writer Fabien Vehlmann for a wholly original adventure tale that pushes both creators in an intriguing new direction."

Prison Pit Book 3 by Johnny Ryan

Plug: "Get ready, because if you like comics in which monsters and barbarian wrestlers beat the living shit out of each other (and who doesn’t?), [Prison Pit Book Three] is probably going to be the best book you’ve read since Prison Pit Book Two." – Ben Spencer, Nerd City

Paul Hornschemeier

Commentary: The Chicago Tribune's Heidi Stevens goes to Paul Hornschemeier & Anders Nilsen for expert opinions on the use of "grawlix" (you know, "#$&*!")

Daily OCD: 4/26/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Thomas OttThe Comics JournalreviewsPaul NelsonKevin AveryDaily OCD 26 Apr 2011 6:30 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson [Nov. 2011]

Review: "...Everything is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson by Kevin Avery — due out this November from Fantagraphic Books — is an absolutely riveting and (I think) important read. ...I'm only halfway through the book at the moment, but I can tell you that Avery has done an absolutely smashing job of research and that there's a lot to chew on here about all sorts of issues... I'll have more to say about it later in the year, when it's actually in print, but rest assured that this would be an important book if Avery had done nothing more than get some of Nelson's brilliant essays and reviews between hardcovers, where they clearly belong, at last." – Steve Simels, PowerPop

R.I.P.: Best of 1985-2004

Review: "Ott’s psychobilly sensibilities litter his narrative world with pimps, thugs and geeks; desperate chancers, deadly beloveds and down and outs on the edge of reality as well as society, so if jaded comics fans might feel they’ve been here before, the wider world are still only curious first-timers into a dismal dimension of vice, spice and bad advice. Graphic, violent funny and unforgettable [R.I.P.: Best of 1985-2004] is a special treat for thrill-starved adults in search of something a little beyond the norm." – Win Wiacek, Now Read This!

The Comics Journal #58 [Sold Out]

Commentary: "It's fascinating to see the history of comics play out in real time by reading these 30-year-old 'fanzines' (which is what The Comics Journal was called by pretty much everyone who refers to the magazine within its pages, even though it was already much more than that within the first few years of its existence) and reflect on how much the industry has changed and yet how the same questions and concerns from 1980 still pop up in conversations around the comic book water cooler today." – Timothy Callahan, Comic Book Resources

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