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Category >> Walt Kelly

Daily OCD 12/7/12
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Walt KellySteven WeissmanRon Regé JrNoah Van SciverLorenzo MattottiLilli CarréJohnny RyanJoe DalyJasonGary PanterDisneyDaily OCDChuck ForsmanCharles M SchulzCarl Barks 7 Dec 2012 3:18 PM

The cutest Carré animation of Online Commentaries & Diversions*:

Walt Disney's Donald Duck: A Christmas for Shacktown Charlie brown's Christmas Stocking

• Review: Chris Sims on Comics Alliance looks at the first story (and title story) of the latest Carl Barks collection: Walt Disney's Donald Duck "A Christmas for Shacktown." Sims says, "At 32 pages, it's a sprawling epic (By Barks' standards, anyway) that hits those beautiful Holiday themes of altruism and the spirit of giving. Although to be fair, it does get a little closer to cannibalism than most other Christmas comics.

• Review: Speaking of Christmas comics, John Seven of the North Adams Transcript reads Charlie Brown's Christmas Stocking by Charles M. Schulz. "As with the best of Schulz's work, the humor alternates between deadpan and over the top, and the presentation of religion and holidays both is both irreverent and respectful at the same time. Schulz was a multi-faceted writer and could tackle contradictions through great simplicity. Charlie Brown's Christmas Stocking stands as gift from the past that is greater than the size of the package. It's a real treasure."

Dal Tokyo Barack Hussein Obama The Cartoon Utopia

• Review (audio): Comic Books are Burning in Hell take you on a whirlwind, family road-trip of a podcast review of Gary Panter, Dal Tokyo and his occasional critics (Andrew Arnold). "Panter is very good at drawing altered states." "What was loose, scrappy and punk rock becomes much tighter." "The later stuff in here is the quote, unquote nicest drawing Gary has ever done, most acceptable comicswise." The evolution of one man's comics.

• Plug (video): Last Gasp makes a cute and cool holiday gift guide featuring Dal Tokyo by Gary Panter, Barack Hussein Obama by Steven Weissman and The Cartoon Utopia by Ron Reje, Jr.

• Plug: Creator of Barack Hussein Obama, Steven Weissman, runs around looking for vintage comics with Love and Rockets co-creator, Mario Hernandez at the Comics Alliance. Need a hot tip? "They stick a lot old stuff in between the new stuff so I always look for the brown spines,"says Mario.

The End of the Fucking World

• Review: On the North Adams Transcript, John Seven enjoys Charles Forsman, Oily Comics and The End of the Fucking World. "When I started, I didn't have a real plan for [TEOTFW]," Forsman said. "I just wanted it to be fun. After laboring over the other book, I wanted to have fun again, because when you're working on something for awhile, you can get bogged down in the details."

• Plug: On the Forbidden Planet International site, Simon Moreton praises The End of the Fucking World by Charles Forsman as "It evokes that intoxicating, teen slacker vibe, a cool, calm, detached horror and the intelligence of a well-paced, keenly told tale."

Dungeon Quest 3

• Review: Filth and Fabulations includes Dungeon Quest 3 by Joe Daly in a Best of 2012 list. "The riffing on classic roleplaying tropes is often hilarious, but the true comedic brilliance of the series lies in the way Daly writes the often drawn out pages of dialogue between the main characters. He manages to capture the way people talk in real life perfectly."

Athos in America

• Review: MTV Geek's Best of Graphic Novel 2012 List includes Athos in America by Jason. "A series of short stories that put Jason's insecurities and imperfections on display in an occassionally uncomfortable and frequently moving way," states Eddie Wright.

The Hypo

• Review: MTV Geek's Best of Graphic Novel 2012 List counts Noah Van Sciver's The Hypo as Numbah One! "A big-budget movie can't capture the subtlety of Lincoln's personality like it's done here," states Valerie. Eddie Wright chimes in and says, "In Van Sciver's well-researched, moving portrait of the troubled president, he's painted as a nuanced, difficult, intriguing and most of all, human figure."

Prison Pit 4

• Review: Noah Bertlatksy of The Hooded Utilitarian looks at Johnny Ryan's Prison Pit 4, the importance of genitals in an invulnerable society. "Prison Pit is a hyberbolic, endless series of incredibly gruesome, pointless, testosterone-fueled battles with muscles and bodily fluids spurting copiously in every direction. . .  everybody, everywhere, is a sack of more or less constantly violated meat, to whom gender is epoxied (literally, in this sequence) as a means of more fully realizing the work of degradation."

Pogo Vol 2

• Plug: David Allen of the Daily Bulletin takes a look at all the comic strip reprints out currently, ready to read Pogo: The Complete Syndicated Strips Vol. 2 "Bona Fide Balderdash" by Walt Kelly. "Through his nonsense-spouting critters in the Okefenokee swamp, Kelly often satirized government and national politics, taking on the Red Scare and coining the phrase "We have met the enemy and he is us. But 'Pogo' also had slapstick combined with wordplay and whimsy. Nice to have 'Pogo' back."

The Crackle of the Frost
 
• Plug: Ng Suat Tong deconstructs The Crackle of the Frost by Mattotti and Zentner on The Hooded Utilitarian.

Heads or Tails

*referring to Lilli Carré's looping animation she made for Heads or Tails! Too irresistable. 

The Unexpurgated Swamp Talk Annotations from Pogo Vol. 2
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Walt KellyRC Harveymeta 7 Dec 2012 1:52 PM

R.C. Harvey, who seemingly knows everything about everything, once again shared the expanse of his knowledge in his annotations for our latest collection of Walt Kelly's Pogo strips and once again we had to bleed the red pen dry and carve Harv's original text down considerably from the original 10,000 (or so) words to print it in the allotted space in Pogo: The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips Vol. 2 - Bona Fide Balderdash. But again, since the internet knows no such space limitations, we are pleased to present the unadulterated, unedited Harv here on our website. (And if you've just picked up the new box set of Vols. 1 and 2, you can find his unexpurgated Vol. 1 notes here.)

So get comfy, maybe fix yourself a nice mug of cocoa. We'll start with the intro here, and then you can carry on to the notes themselves. If you know Harv, you know that his loquaciousness and erudition is matched only by his delightfully readable prose. Enjoy! – Ed.

Swamp Talk
Annotations and Historical Data
By R.C. Harvey

Although celebrated for his political allegory and satire, Walt Kelly laced Pogo with allusions to other aspects of contemporary life in America, plus literary references and snatches of poetry. In our less than literate society of 140-character communiques, many of Kelly’s nods at literature are obscure to the point of irrelevance, and the targets of much of his political sniping are no longer visible: sixty years after the fact, the events he so gleefully mocked have long been forgotten. My assignment here at the back of the book is to pull back the veil that the passage of time has drawn over the Pogo proceedings by reminding us of some of those things we’ve lost sight of.

Harmless drudgery though it is, I take heart at the words of comics afficionado and cartooner Clay Geerdes, who once said: “Probably only a handful of people, cartoonists among them, understand the many levels Kelly worked on in a single strip. He was to comics what William Faulkner was to the psychological novel” — an insight that doubtless justifies a few more generations of copiously footnoted articles about Pogo.

Albert AlligatorAnd so I plunge once again to a swirl of elucidation (clarifying explanation) the tedium of which will no doubt yield an ennui (listless boredom) greater than the enervating (paralyzing) effect of the bafflement that might otherwise prevail.

The period embraced by this volume (1951-52) provides a happy sample of the sort of crowd-pleasing antics that Kelly was staging in those days just before he turned the spotlight on political commentary; instead, we have unrelenting vaudevillian nonsense, mostly untinged by any topicalities whatsoever. His objective, he said, was to be funny. "I come from a school of old-time cartooning," he went on. "In the old days, we tried to make a buck out of drawing. I go after whatever seems funny to me."

In his pursuit of funny, Kelly eschewed plots. Plots, to Kelly, were not realistic. "The plot is an invention of storytellers," he said. And if none of his characters ever accomplishes anything or achieves whatever goal may have inspired the commencement of an action, that's realistic. "There are no pay-offs in real life," Kelly explained. "Besides, it always rings untrue when you try to wind up with a specific conclusion."

Consequently (in case you haven't noticed already), in Pogo things happen in much the same fashion as a ball of yarn unravels if rolled across the floor by a playful kitten. Pogo and the rest of "nature's screechers" that populate the swamp may begin with one thing in mind, but they are easily distracted (by misapprehended speeches or actions, by puns or other word play, by the arrival of a newcomer in their midst) into following an internal logic of their own that bears little or no resemblance to the meaning the rest of us fabricate for the world around us. And all the time, Kelly was honing his skill at political satire — as we can see in the pages to the fore, illuminated, we trust, by these notes at the aft. We begin with the daily strips; then, the Sundays.

Continue reading  

Daily OCD 12/5/12
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Walt KellySteven WeissmanShimura TakakoRon Regé JrRichard SalaPat ThomasNoah Van SciverNico VassilakisMoto HagioMichel GagneMatthias WivelLilli CarréLast VispoJustin HallJosh SimmonsJoe SimonJack KirbyGreg SadowskiGabriella GiandelliFloyd GottfredsonErnie BushmillerDisneyDaily OCDCrag HillChuck ForsmanChris WrightCharles M SchulzCarol TylerCarl Barks 6 Dec 2012 12:55 AM

The most symmetrical cake slice of Online Commentaries & Diversions:

You'll Never Know Series    

• Review: Publishers Weekly occasionally lets smart and famous people recommend books. Jeopardy Master Ken Jennings "skipped the obvious Marjane Satrapi and Alison Bechdel entries in favor of this lesser-known three-volume masterpiece, about Tyler’s complicated relationship with her distant dad, a World War II vet. With her playful, fluid brush line and busy patchwork of watercolor woodgrain, Tyler’s art looks like the past feels." Carol Tyler's complete series You'll Never Know is available.

Pogo Vol. 2

• Review: Booklist Online cooks up a review from some Pogo (The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips Vol. 2: "Bona Fide Balderdash"). Ian Chipman writes, "[Walt Kelly's] hallmarks of deft wordplay, daft swamp critters, and poisonously sharp sociopolitical satire are in full blossom here. The highlight is the 1952 election season that saw Pogo’s first and entirely reluctant presidential run and the birth of the “I Go Pogo” slogan. Mimicking “I Like Ike. . . A must for all collections of comic-strip history."

Uncle Scrooge: Only a Poor Old Man Young Romance Donald Duck: A Christmas for Shacktown  Mickey Mouse 4

• Plug: Forces of Geek throws out some good gift recommendations for kids like Walt Disney's Uncle Scrooge "Only a Poor Old Man" by Carl Barks. "Comic books have always been an excellent gateway into reading, and when it comes to smart, imaginative and engaging, you don't have to go much further than Carl Barks. . . What better way to introduce your own Huey, Dewey or Louie to comics?"

• Review: Paste Magazines's 10 Best Collections of 2012 include two Fantagraphics titles. Hillary Brown loved Young Romance, by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby edited by Michel Gagné who "painstakingly restored them (without making them look exactly new, thus giving the book the feel of a vintage compilation that just happens to be in amazing shape). . . Simon and Kirby tried to bring as much excitement to primarily psychological and interpersonal goings-on as to punching and flying." And this might be the last year anything by Carl Barks is on the list, "We’ll just grant it permanent honorary status as the best of the best, like when John Larroquette removed himself from Emmy consideration after winning four straight for Night Court. . . [Walt Disney's Donald Duck "A Christmas for Shacktown] once again proves Barks to be one of the finest draftsmen and storytellers we’ve ever had." Well put, Garrett Martin.

• Plug: The KUER Radiowest Show hosted many book sellers with their holiday gift ideas. Ken Sanders of Rare Books chose Walt Disney’s Donald Duck: “A Christmas for Shacktown” by for the "brilliant, brilliant artwork by Carl Barks" and Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse: Volume 4 “House of the Seven Haunts” by Floyd Gottfredson to top his 2012 list for kids.

The Cartoon Utopia

• Plug: The Scotsman lists some of the Best of 2012 as told by the best scotsman. Withered Hand's singer/songwriter Dan Willson has eyes only for Ron Rege, Jr. and states, "[The] Cartoon Utopia , his magnum opus, is quite a head-trip. Thousands of very dense little drawings and words resemble a psychedelic illuminated manuscript peppered with themes of spiritual redemption and good versus evil. It’s a very unusual and beautiful work."

• Plug: From Boing Boing's list of the Best Damn Comics of 2012, compiled by Brian Heater. On Ron Rege Jr.'s The Cartoon Utopia , "The first esoteric text of the new century. The harbinger of the New Aeon. This book will be a staple of Esoteric Lore for millennia to come."

Kolor Klimax

• Plug: Boing Boing makes my job easy by providing the Best Damn Comics of 2012. Compiled by Brian Heater, a lot of creative people offered up their favorite books of the year. Nick Abadzis thinks Kolor Klimax (edited by Matthias Wivel), "feels startling and vital to me and features a wide variety of styles, each as absorbing as all the others contained within these pages. I don't think I've enjoyed an anthology as much as this one in years."

Barack Hussein Obama

• Plug: From Boing Boing's list of the Best Damn Comics of 2012, compiled by Brian Heater. Box Brown on Barack Hussein Obama, "Steven Weissman does stuff with actual analog comic materials that most dudes can't even do with photoshop." Jeffrey Brown chimes in on BHO, "Strange, funny and beautiful. Weissman reinvents his comics with the kind of book I wish I would make." Will Dinksi agrees, "Barack Hussein Obama is pretty much my favorite book of the year. . . I get a better appreciation for Weissman's craft in the printed collection where it can feel like you're actually looking at the finished artwork." Mari Naomi says,"I just love what this book is. If I didn't know better, I wouldn't even recognize this as Weissman. And I like that."

The Last Vispo

• Review: Paris Review checks out The Last Vispo, edited by Nico Vassilakis and Crag Hill. Nicole Rudick states,"it makes sense that in visual form poetry would elicit a kind of motion, an unfolding over the space of a page, and that even its sound would be voiced as a series of discoveries. Movement disrupts the continuity of a sentence, a phrase, a word. And language, unsettled, is unbound."

The Furry Trap

• Plug: From Boing Boing's list of the Best Damn Comics of 2012, compiled by Brian Heater. Box Brown continues to wax poetic on Josh Simmons' The Furry Trap, "Funny, even as it makes your hair stand on end and your skin start to crawl... Horror comics that gash their way below the surface."

The Heart of Thomas

• Plug: From Boing Boing's list of the Best Damn Comics of 2012, compiled by Brian Heater. Shaenon K. Garrity says that The Heart of Thomas by Moto Hagio "is a book I've been awaiting for over ten years, and it exceeds my expectations."

Interiorae

• Plug: From Boing Boing's list of the Best Damn Comics of 2012, compiled by Brian Heater. Nate Powell on Interiorae by Gabriella Giandelli, is "just what I look for in a narrative: patient, dreamy, full of seemingly endless layers of shadow, slowly revealing the sweetness inside the rotten, all within the confines of a single high-rise apartment building, surrounded by snow and static."

Heads or Tails

• Review: Slate finds themselves choosing Heads or Tails, going for broke. Dan Kois says, "Lilli Carré’s short stories are dreamy, unlikely, and unsettling. What transforms the stories from nightmares to fables is Carré’s artwork, which varies with each story. . ."

• Review: Page 45 looks at Heads or Tails by Lilli Carré. "The art reminds me a little of Lynda Barry and the flow of the pages reminded me a little of Walt Holcombe. . .I recently recommended this book to a customer who named their favourite film as Amelie (good choice!) precisely because it has that feeling of whimsy about it."

• Plug: From Boing Boing's list of the Best Damn Comics of 2012, compiled by Brian Heater. Jeremy Tinder on Heads or Tails by Lilli Carré, "A nice encapsulation of many of the ways Lilli has been pushing herself both narratively and stylistically over the last few years. If only there was a way to squeeze her animation in there too." Will Dinksi comments on Heads or Tails by Lilli Carré, "Beautiful artwork. Thoughtfully paced. "Of The Essence" is one of the best comic book short stories I've ever read."

No Straight Lines

• Plug: From Boing Boing's list of the Best Damn Comics of 2012, compiled by Brian Heater. Robert Kirby on No Straight Lines edited by Justin Hall, "Long overdue, this beautifully-produced, sharply edited retrospective may usher in a new era of respect and recognition for a long-neglected realm of the alt-comics world."

The Hypo

• Review: Nate's Broadcast enjoyed The Hypo by Noah Van Sciver in addition to the recent film, Lincoln, and book America Aflame. "Van Sciver’s contribution to the Lincoln mythology is perfect for those who like their heroes a little troubled and messy, but good at their core- not a bad way to interpret the American ideal."
 
• Plug: From Boing Boing's list of the Best Damn Comics of 2012, compiled by Brian Heater. Will Dinski continues with The Hypo. "[Noah] Van Sciver is pretty prolific, but this is his best work to date. The line art just drips with anguish." Brian Heater thinks it "puts the cartoonist's brimming angst to a different use entirely, in a book that does precisely what a good piece of historical non-fiction should: finding a fascinating way to tell a story we were convinced we already knew."

Blacklung

• Review: Blacklung by Chris Wright is whittled on by Tucker Stone at TCJ. It's called "the big, trippy brother to Drew Weing’s Segar influenced Set To Sea. . . . [and] Gore saturates this comic. . .  Brutality for its own sake is the point of some entertaining movies, no reason it can’t be the point of some entertaining comics as well."

• Review: On Filth and Fabulations, Jeppe Mulich states that Chris Wright's "[Blacklung is] not a work of splatter punk or mindless gore, but rather an engaging, breathless, and humorous tale of the dregs of the sea, including a colorful assortment of pirates and madmen, quite clearly drawing inspiration from both Melville, Stevenson and Peckinpah."

Charlie Brown's Christmas Stocking

• Review: Paste Magazine reviews Charlie Brown's Christmas Stocking by Charles M. Schulz. "Seeing this work isolated and expanded only reinforces the sheer timelessness and brilliance inherent; Schulz was a master of mood and line in equal measure. . . it’s some of the finest nostalgia porn you can put under the tree," quips Sean Edgar. 

•Review: Pheonix New Times unwraps their present early and Jason P. Woodbury interviews Nat Gertler on Charlie Brown's Christmas Stocking by Charles M Schulz. "[Schulz] had done a Christmas book, Christmas is Together-Time, using red and green," Gertler says, explaining the minimal color palette. "We wanted to keep that simplicity and Christmas-sense in there." The stable of Schulz characters transcend fads and time because as Gertler points out "It's not the way kids talk, but they way they feel is the way that kids feel."

Nancy Vol. 1

• Plug: Drawn blog tops off another the Best of 2012 list with some Ernie Bushmiller. John Martz points out, "Nancy seems to be a love-it-or-leave-it strip, and I am firmly in the Love It camp. . . Often surreal, and always impeccably drawn, there is nothing quite like it. . . these books are a virtual masterclass in cartooning."

• Review: From Boing Boing's list of the Best Damn Comics of 2012, compiled by Brian Heater. Tom Kaczynski on Ernie Bushmiller's Nancy is Happy, "The minimalism of the art, the quirky humor, the amazing consistency, it all started with these strips.

Delphine

• Review: Getting ready for the hardback release of Delphine by Richard Sala, Carrie Cuinn of SF Portal reviews the tale complete with "dark duotone inking style, little dialogue, and gothic, shadowy, art. . . Overall I think that Sala’s retelling of that well-known love story is affectingly tragic. . . It is, in a word, creepy."

 The End of the Fucking World

• Review: If MTV Geek knows about The End of the Fucking World then the secret is out: Charles Forsman is amazing! "[It] pulls you in like no other comic this year. Stunning in its simplicity and brave in its subject matter. Charles Forsman is a future force. . . [it] is like stumbling onto the ultimate secret in comic books, but based on how great TEOTFW is, it won't be much a secret longer." 

Wandering Son Vol. 3

• Review: Ashley over at Bibliophibien looks at Wandering Son series by Shimura Takako, "While the story is focused on transgender topics, I think that this is a wonderfully moving coming-of-age story and captures the complexities of sexual identity, friendships, and family that teens face."

Action! Mystery! Thrills!

• Review: Rick Klaw at SF Site enjoys the glossy glory of Action! Mystery! Thrills!, edited by Greg Sadowski. "As in his previous volumes. . . Sadowski supplies copious end notes and annotations. Though this time, the information additionally reads as an entertaining history of early comics. . . Sadowski once again delivers an essential book for anyone with an interest in comics history."

Listen, Whitey!

• Plug: John McMurtrie of SF Gate (San Francisco Gate) lists Listen, Whitey! by Pat Thomas as one of the Music Books to Buy of 2012. 

Pogo Vol. 2: Bona Fide Balderdash & Vols. 1-2 Box Set by Walt Kelly - Now in Stock
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Walt Kellynew releases 4 Dec 2012 4:05 PM

Just arrived and shipping now from our mail-order department:

Pogo - The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips Vol. 2:

Pogo - The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips Vol. 2: "Bona Fide Balderdash"
by Walt Kelly

356-page black & white/color 11.25" x 9.25" hardcover • $39.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-584-6

See Previews / Order Now

While supplies last, customers who order this volume can also receive the box set slipcase for Vols. 1 and 2 at no extra charge!

Even though Pogo had been in syndication for less than two years as this volume begins, Walt Kelly's long professional experience (including seven years creating Pogo stories for comic books) had him at the peak of his powers, and this book features page after page of gorgeously drawn, hilarious vaudevillian dialogue and action among the swamp denizens, as well as Kelly's increasingly sharp-tongued political satire — especially on display during the 1952 election season.

Kelly was famous for his prolific creation of recurring characters, and by the end of this second volume, the count will already have topped over one hundred. New arrivals include Tammanany the Tiger, the voluble P.T. Bridgeport, the sinister Sarcophagus MacAbre (with his funereal speech balloons), Uncle Antler the bull moose... and Bewitched, Bothered, and Bemildred, the adorable trio of bats.

The two years of daily strips in this volume (all the strips from 1951 and 1952) have been collected before but in now long out of print books; and even there they were not as meticulously restored and reproduced as in this new series. Bona Fide Balderdash also reprints, literally for the first time ever in full color, the two full years of Sunday pages, also carefully restored and color-corrected, shot from the finest copies available.

This second volume is once again edited and designed by the cartoonist’s daughter, Carolyn Kelly, who is also handling much of the restoration work. It includes a new introduction by the legendary author, recording artist, and satirist Stan Freberg, who was not only a friend of Kelly’s but the voice of Albert the Alligator in the I Go Pogo: Pogo for President movie. There are also be more extensive annotations by comic strip historian and expert R.C. Harvey, as well as additional historical information from writer Mark Evanier.

Pogo - The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips Vol. 1-2 Box Set by Walt Kelly

Pogo - The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips Vol. 1-2 Box Set
by Walt Kelly

664-page black & white/color 11.5" x 9.5" x 3" two-volume slipcased hardcover set • $69.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-629-4

See Previews / Order Now

A boxed set of the first and second volumes of Pogo - The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips. Shipping shrinkwrapped, with Volume 1: "Through the Wild Blue Wonder" and Volume 2: "Bona Fide Balderdash" packed in a sturdy custom box designed especially for this set, it's the perfect gift book item. (For more information on the contents of each volume, see the individual product listings linked above.)

Already have Volume 1? Order Volume 2 and we'll include the box set slipcase at no extra charge! (While supplies last.)



Holiday Gift Ideas (hint: they are ALL books)
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Walt KellyNoah Van SciverMichael KuppermanLove and RocketsJustin HallJaime HernandezGilbert HernandezGeorge HerrimanGary PanterErnie BushmillerDisneyDaily OCDCharles M SchulzCarl BarksBasil Wolverton 26 Nov 2012 12:46 PM

Holiday Books

Now that the mess of Halloween is swept under the rug and Thanksgiving is over or has turned into subcutaneous fat around your middle-section, we can get back to what is really important: egg nog and books to buy for your loved ones be they the birthday-celebrating Sagittarius or Capricorn in your life or for an annual wintertime holiday. Many of our books have been featured on holiday gift guides and we even have thematic releases coming out just in time for the holidays. So peruse while you finish up your holiday shopping lists. (And remember our CYBER MONDAY sale is going on RIGHT NOW for 30% off 2012 titles and more)

Spacehawk

For the monster in you and that book to connect generations of family members, look no further than SPACEHAWK by Basil Wolverton. Cory Doctorow of Boing Boing believes "what you read it for is the character design, that amazing Wolverton grotesque that is as unmistakable as it is unforgettable. I mean to say, this guy could really draw monsters [in this] weighty tome that almost strobes with awesome."

Krazy & Ignatz Vol. 1 Krazy Vol. 2 Krazy Vol. 3 

For the completist and nostalgic fan, Publishers Weekly gift guide highlights the first three volumes of Krazy & Ignatz: Complete Sunday Strips 1916-1924 by George Herriman (for a whopping $95). PW states "One of the most admired and influential comic strips of all time, Krazy & Ignatz is collected in Krazy & Ignatz: Complete Sunday Strips 1916–1924, which contains the first nine years of George Herriman’s masterpiece into one (of three) handsome tomes." 

Pogo Box Set

For more strip and comic book archival collections Tom Spurgeon of The Comics Reporter suggests Walt Kelly's Pogo Vol. 1-2 Box Set. "I love the early Pogo work best of all the Pogo work, and these volumes are attractive in a way that's extremely difficult to guarantee with a post-World War 2 offering. They were cramming the strips into papers by then, making tear sheets and originals an even greater premium than is usual." A little history with your recommendation.

The Hypo

Speaking of history Publishers Weekly calls it a 'good yarn,' but The Hypo by Noah Van Sciver is also for 'that person who loved the film Lincoln' as Comic Book Resources puts it. "This is an angle of Lincoln that rarely gets seen, and Van Sciver's strong plotting and detailed artwork make this an engaging and easily accessible read to any reader."

No Straight Lines

In the mood for more biographies or memoirs? Publishers Weekly suggests No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics, edited by Justin Hall. The NY TIMES also featured this "sampling of comic books and comic strips featuring gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender themes and characters has strong language and sexual situations, but a lot of laughs too. It is a wonderful toe dip into the genre," states George Gene Gustines.

Mark Twain's Autobiography   Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 1

"For the person who reads John Hodgman" cartoonist, quippest and sharpest tack on the internet block Michael Kupperman is the man for you. Rob at Panel Patter continues, "He's the author of my favorite book of 2011, Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010, as well as the Tales Designed to Thrizzle anthology series. His work features outrageous satire . . . sending Twain off on wacky hijinks with Albert Einstein. Nothing is sacred and everything is skewered by Kupperman, who is a perfect fit for the lovers of Daily Show-like comedy.

Dal Tokyo

For the person who enjoys process over narrative the "punk icon Gary Panter’s angular world of neon brutalism" Dal Tokyo is the perfect gift for the 'Visual Splendor', says Publishers Weekly.

Love and Rockets New Stories #5 Maggie the Mechanic Heartbreak Soup

Tom Spurgeon of The Comics Reporter recommends comics for people WHO ALREADY LIKE THEM. #1 on his list is anything by The Hernandez Brothers. "They made some of the very best comics the year that Love and Rockets began; they made some of the very best comics this year." Start from the beginning with Gilbert's Palomar Series in the book Heartbreak Soup or with Jaime's Locas Series starting with Maggie the Mechanic. Is your loved one a huge fan? Get the latest book, Love and Rockets: New Stories #5.

Charlie Brown's Christmas Stocking

But wait! (There's more) We also have blue spruce trimmed books for your holiday and year-long enjoyment. First up is the perfect stocking stuffer Charlie Brown's Christmas Stocking, this adorable little package collects two of Charles M. Schulz's best "extras" from the 1960s: two Christmas-themed stories written and drawn for national magazines are FINALLY collected in book form. The Comics Reporter says, "There aren't a whole lot of Charles Schulz-related items that have yet to be published; this holiday-related book is one of the few hold-outs." Charlie Brown's Christmas Stocking was also featured on The LA Times Gifts for Under $25 "Charlie, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus, Schroeder, Frieda, Violet, Shermy and Sally all make appearances, and the book also includes a pocket-sized biography of Schulz." Created in the classic square style of Charlie Brown small book collections, this book is sure to warm your hearts without the need of a glowing fire or mug of mulled cider.

Donald Duck: A Christmas for Shacktown

Walt Disney's Donald Duck: A Christmas for Shacktown by Carl Barks is the third book in our Carl Barks Library which chronologically prints stories from this master. "A Christmas for Shacktown" is a rare 32-pager that stays within the confines of Duckburg, featuring a storyline in which the Duck family works hard to raise money to throw a Christmas party for the poor children of the city’s slums (depicted by Barks with surprisingly Dickensian grittiness). The Comics Reporter's Tom Spurgeon states, "I used to love the unabashed sentimentalism that saturates a story like this one, at least in the initial pages."

The rest of the book is also full of GOLD and not necessarily snow-covered. 240 pages in full-color glory make this a must-have no matter what the season. Featured on The LA Times Gifts for Under $50 "Fantagraphics has been reprinting Carl Barks’ classic Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge work, and this third volume focuses on Barks’ peak period in the early 1950s."

Nancy Likes Christmas

Finally, the second book of Ernie Bushmiller's famous strip Nancy is out for pre-order. Nancy Likes Christmas: Complete Dailies 1946-1948 is three more punny years of the fabulous life of an odd looking little girl. Order through us and you'll receive an FBI mini comic to throw in that stocking over the fireplace (be it real or the Netflix fireplace) as well. Spurgeon again, "it sounds good. I'm pro-Nancy and everything." It's kinda like being pro-education. We all agree it's a good thang.

Order now for the holidays! We even have the you must buy by this date to ensure proper delivery and minimum tears.

Don't fail to vote
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Walt KellySteven WeissmanMickey MouseFloyd GottfredsonErnie BushmillerDisneyCarl Barks 6 Nov 2012 4:23 PM

Barack Hussein Obama

Steven Weissman's Barack Hussein Obama has been about as enthusiastic about his campaign as Walt Kelly's Pogo, seen here learning of his first Presidential nomination in 1952 (in our 2nd Pogo volume, Bona Fide Balderdash, coming soon):

Pogo

Pogo was a favorite write-in candidate during Kelly's run on the strip; we couldn't find data on his standing in the 2008 election. However, according to one source, Mickey Mouse received 11 votes last time around (and found himself in executive office under unusual circumstances in the 1938 "Monarch of Medioka" storyline included in Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 4: House of the Seven Haunts by Floyd Gottfredson)...

Mickey Mouse

...and Donald Duck, who found himself tempted by a seat of power in "The Golden Helmet," found in the new Carl Barks Library volume A Christmas for Shacktown, received seven votes.

Donald Duck: King of North America

Meanwhile, our Peanuts pals have prepared their own ballot (Jen has vowed to write in Woodstock):

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201211/snoopy-ballot.jpg

So, America, be like Ernie Bushmiller's Nancy in this 1948 strip found in Nancy Likes Christmas, coming soon, and perform your solemn civic duty today!

Nancy votes

Pogo Vol. 2: Bona Fide Balderdash & Vols. 1-2 Box Set by Walt Kelly - Previews, Pre-Order
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Walt Kellyvideopreviewsnew releases 25 Oct 2012 1:18 AM

Pogo - The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips Vol. 2:

Pogo - The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips Vol. 2: "Bona Fide Balderdash"
by Walt Kelly

356-page black & white/color 11.25" x 9.25" hardcover • $39.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-584-6

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

While supplies last, customers who order this volume can also receive the box set slipcase for Vols. 1 and 2 at no extra charge!

Even though Pogo had been in syndication for less than two years as this volume begins, Walt Kelly's long professional experience (including seven years creating Pogo stories for comic books) had him at the peak of his powers, and this book features page after page of gorgeously drawn, hilarious vaudevillian dialogue and action among the swamp denizens, as well as Kelly's increasingly sharp-tongued political satire — especially on display during the 1952 election season.

Kelly was famous for his prolific creation of recurring characters, and by the end of this second volume, the count will already have topped over one hundred. New arrivals include Tammanany the Tiger, the voluble P.T. Bridgeport, the sinister Sarcophagus MacAbre (with his funereal speech balloons), Uncle Antler the bull moose... and Bewitched, Bothered, and Bemildred, the adorable trio of bats.

The two years of daily strips in this volume (all the strips from 1951 and 1952) have been collected before but in now long out of print books; and even there they were not as meticulously restored and reproduced as in this new series. Bona Fide Balderdash also reprints, literally for the first time ever in full color, the two full years of Sunday pages, also carefully restored and color-corrected, shot from the finest copies available.

This second volume is once again edited and designed by the cartoonist’s daughter, Carolyn Kelly, who is also handling much of the restoration work. It includes a new introduction by the legendary author, recording artist, and satirist Stan Freberg, who was not only a friend of Kelly’s but the voice of Albert the Alligator in the I Go Pogo: Pogo for President movie. There are also be more extensive annotations by comic strip historian and expert R.C. Harvey, as well as additional historical information from writer Mark Evanier.

34-page excerpt, including Table of Contents, 16 pages of dailies, 5 Sunday pages, and incidental artwork (download 6.7 MB PDF):

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

Pogo - The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips Vol. 1-2 Box Set by Walt Kelly

Pogo - The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips Vol. 1-2 Box Set
by Walt Kelly

664-page black & white/color 11.5" x 9.5" x 3" two-volume slipcased hardcover set • $69.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-629-4

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

A boxed set of the first and second volumes of Pogo - The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips. Shipping shrinkwrapped, with Volume 1: "Through the Wild Blue Wonder" and Volume 2: "Bona Fide Balderdash" packed in a sturdy custom box designed especially for this set, it's the perfect gift book item. (For more information on the contents of each volume, see the individual product listings linked above.)

Already have Volume 1? Order Volume 2 and we'll include the box set slipcase at no extra charge! (While supplies last.)

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





The deal with the Pogo slipcases
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Walt Kellysales specialsnew releases 4 Oct 2012 2:39 PM

Pogo Vol. 1-2 Box Set

Okay everybody, here's what we're going to do: since we went on record saying we weren't going to do slipcased Pogo sets when Volume 1 came out, and then we were convinced otherwise (with the first set out soon), we're gonna throw in the slipcase at no extra charge for everybody who orders Volume 2 from our mail-order outfit (unless you opt out). We'll even eat the extra packing and shipping costs! So no matter where you bought your Volume 1 from, you can get a slipcase for FREE, but only if you order Volume 2 from us — you won't be able to purchase the slipcase separately. Deal? Deal! But this is a limited-time offer so don't delay!

First Look: Pogo Vol. 2: Bona Fide Balderdash & Vols. 1-2 Box Set by Walt Kelly
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Walt KellyComing Attractions 3 Oct 2012 3:29 PM

Pogo - The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips Vol. 2: Bona Fide Balderdash

Pogo Vol. 1-2 Box Set

We are happy to reveal these first glimpses of Pogo - The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips Vol. 2: "Bona Fide Balderdash" by Walt Kelly and the Pogo Vol. 1-2 Box Set! (Another, "CGI" view of the box set is below.) And that's not all we have to share! Check out a big 34-page excerpt from Vol. 2 including the detailed Table of Contents, 16 pages of dailies, 5 Sunday pages, and incidental artwork right here. These pics are of advance copies; these megillahs will be arriving in 4-6 weeks, though why not pre-order yours right now? (And yes, box set slipcases WILL be available one way or another — details forthcoming!)

Pogo Vol. 1-2 Box Set

DAILY OCD 9/24/12
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Walt KellyRoger LangridgeRob WalkerNoah Van SciverMichael KuppermanLove and RocketsLos Bros HernandezLorenzo MattottiLilli CarréJustin HallJoshua GlennJohnny RyanJaime HernandezJacques TardiGilbert HernandezGary PanterEd PiskorDaniel ClowesDaily OCD 24 Sep 2012 5:20 PM

The furtherest-traveled Bethesda-sent postcard of Online Commentaries & Diversions:

The Hypo

• Review: NPR's Glen Weldon looks at The Hypo by Noah Van Sciver. "Although The Hypo is painstakingly researched, the book is no dry accretion of biographical detail. That's because Van Sciver approach's is so deeply, palpably personal, even idiosyncratic. . . Inspiring? No. But achingly familiar, relatably human and — most of all — profoundly real."

• Interview: Comic Book Resources and Ryan Ingram pulled Noah Van Sciver aside to talk about The Hypo. Van Sciver says, "My reason for spending so much time working on The Hypo was an honest to god interest in the subject of depression and the struggles Lincoln was going through at that time. Probably nobody else would have done this book."

• Review: We Got Reviews looks at Noah Van Sciver's The Hypo. Chad Parenteau closes it beautifully states," In The Hypo, Van Sciver proves in these pages that you can bring an almost mythic figure of the past to modern day terms while still making that figure heroic."

• Plug: Large-Hearted Boy got his mitts on The Hypo by Noah Van Sciver: "I've been looking forward to this book for what feels like two years now. . . It's a side of Lincoln rarely revealed, beautifully illustrated, and wonderfully told."

• Commentary: Rob Clough of the Comics Journal and High-Low made sure to organize some Noah Van Sciver within the Library of Congress mini-comic collection: "Everything's coming up Noah these days, with an Ignatz nomination for The Death of Elijah Lovejoy and the release of his Abraham Lincoln book The Hypo from Fantagraphics." Clough also comments on Jaime and Gilbert's Ignatz awards, "I dubbed Jaime Hernandez the King of SPX after he took home three extremely well-deserved Ignatz awards. After getting shafted by the other major comics awards shows, it was great to see him relishing this moment."

 Love and Rockets: New Stories #5

• Commentary: Tom Spurgeon says a bunch of nice stuff about the Hernandez Brothers, Noah Van Sciver on the Comics Reporter. "Los Bros had a steady line of admirers at the show, which was really encouraging to me. They had good solo panels, too -- Frank Santoro talked to Jaime and got him to choke up a bit, and Sean T. Collins talked to Gilbert and applied to that conversation the benefit of reading the holy shit out of all of Gilbert's work sometime in the last year. . . I enjoyed that Abraham Lincoln book of [Noah's]."

• Commentary: The Beat loves on all creators, great and small including the Hernandez Brothers

• Plug (video): Junot Diaz talks about the Hernandez Brothers in Vol. 1 Brooklyn.

• Plug: Best photo EVER of Gilbert, Jaime and Frank Santoro

• Commentary (audio): The podcasts Hideous Energy attends not only SPX but the Politics and Prose signing for the Hernandez Brothers . The hosts have a frighteningly good time at SPX despite the trials and tribulations of their hotel room at Red Roof Inn.

The Adventures of Venus

• Review: The School Library Journal dissects The Adventures of Venus by Gilbert Hernandez and includes some questions to ask when using it in an English or literature class: ". . . while certainly young readers should appreciate many aspects of the book, some of its content may land as so idiosyncratic (albeit playfully so) as to inaccessible. And that’s actually a good thing."

Heads or Tails

• Review: The Chicago Reader enjoys Lilli Carré's Heads or Tails. Noah Bertlasky compares,"Eschewing the autobiographical meaning-through-trauma tradition of Maus, the pop art goofiness of Fort Thunder, or the sex and drug spewing of underground artists like R. Crumb, Carré specializes in surreal narratives and exquisite design.. . . Reading this, it's easy to forget there was ever a time comics were viewed as separate from art."

 Prison Pit 4

• Plug: Alex Pardee of Juxtapoz picks Johnny Ryan as his dude du jour and demands you read Prison Pit #4 and all previous volumes."I'm pretty sure the words 'Johnny Ryan' mean 'Fuck You' in Elvish or Klingon. . . Lucky for us, Johnny Ryan doesn't give a Russell Brand about pissing anyone off. . . amassing a huge cult following based solely around brilliantly conveyed hemorrhoid jokes, hitler bashing, and 'shit-fucking-shit'. . ."

 No Straight Lines

• Plug: Claire Donnor of comiXology focuses on No Straight Lines, edited by Justin Hall. "Besides offering an exciting array of new and rare talent, this volume presents a very refreshing change from the familiar straight male fantasizing that has traditionally dominated the indie and underground scenes."

 The Crack Of the Frost

• Review: The North Adams Transcript reviews Mattotti and Zentner's The Crackle of the Frost. John Seven writes, "What the words cannot portray, the images do, the real psychological landscape that Samuel's confused analysis grapples with, and a testament to the power that can be born of the collusion between the literary and the illustrative in the best examples of graphic storytelling."

 Dal Tokyo

• Review: Carter Scholz returns to The Comics Journal to pen a review of Dal Tokyo by Gary Panter, "So think of it as a comic strip, a periodic commitment. A blog before and after its time, a day book spanning three pitiless decades. Each strip of the first series is time-stamped, by hand, to the minute, testimony to Panter’s living and working and recording in the here-and-now of it."

 Significant Objects

• Interview: Editor of Significant Objects, Rob Walker, speaks on the Future Tense show on the 'Post-Authentic' Show.

Ghost World

• Interview: Max Robinson of City Paper interviews Dan Clowes and about the continuing success of Ghost World: "I’m heartened that it seems to live on. It’s about teenage girls from another world, really; [they] don’t text, don’t have cell phones, don’t have computers. It’s really about the olden days and yet it seems like the whole new readership of teenagers seems to take to it every year."

• Review: Pop Matters talks about Daniel Clowes. Features editor Josh Indar says, "This is why I love Dan Clowes. He’s the only comic artist I’ve read who can do this to me, to pull me so completely into his world that, just as the old lady said, I start seeing reality through the lens of his work."

New York Mon Amour

• Review: Nick Gazin's Comic Book Love-In #72 on Vice includes Jacques Tardi's New York Mon Amour. "Many of the comics they're publishing have never been translated into English before so it is a big, big deal that they are providing this service to all American lovers of comics. . . The art's great and it captures what New York in the early 80s was."

Pogo Vol. 1

• Review: LA Review of Books looks at Walt Kelly's Pogo The Complete Syndicated Strips Vol. 1: "Through the Wild Blue Wonder" and its satirical edge. F.X. Feeney says,"Walt Kelly seems never to have troubled himself with either the notion [of genius] or the word: he simply put it into effect, day after day, for a quarter-century. Anyone who thinks political cartooning is stale need only take a closer look at these two bodies of work."

Fred the Clown

• Interview: Print Mag interviews the indeliable Roger Langridge on comics, acting and life. It's worth reading yourself for the gorgeous panels full of exquisite details. Langridge says, "It's a fascinating world, theater."

Ed Piskor

• Interview: Chris Auman of Reglar Wiglar interviews Ed Piskor on his previous book and upcoming Hip Hop Family Tree. "I grew up surrounded by hip hop. I feel like the fact that I even learned to draw was shaped by a hip hop mentality."

Michael Kupperman

• Plug: Michael Kupperman is now posting comics up at Huffington Post!

Occasionally a finger on the camera slips and reporters or other publishers accidentally take a picture of the people working on publishing the books, rather than our wide array of talented artists and authors. Here are some nice things people said about us and some semi-nice photos of Gary, Kim, Eric, Jacq and Jen: Tom Spurgeon at Comics Reporter, Chris Mautner on Robot 6 and Comic Book Resources, artist Nick Abadzis, Charles Brownstein at CBLDF, Heidi MacDonald at The BEAT.


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