"They were all there, the pimps, the fags, the whores, the curious, the alcoholic, the weird of the late '50s... blues lovers, Canadian bikers, thrill seekers, junkies, insomniacs, hepcats..." So begins "Down at the Kitty Kat," one of the 20-plus never-before-collected memoirs and yarns by Spain, one of the original gang of Zap Comix provocateurs. Although he's best known for his two-fisted tales of the chopper-riding Trashman, Spain's blunt graphic style and uncompromising gift for caricature, rendered in eye-punishing slabs of black and white, work equally well for more subtle fare -- such as these memoirs of his misspent youth.
For $17.99, you can read this newly-inducted Eisner Hall of Fame cartoonists' work on life, hogs, and the fifties on your world of tomorrow devices.
"Rodriguez was a kind of incorrigible rebellious type. . . when abstract expressionism with its two-dimensionality principle was dogma—he was into three-dimensionality, in spades—and his blue-collar employment in Buffalo area manufactories, where the curriculum was the much more interesting subject to him of simmering socioeconomic class warfare." -Jack Foran, ArtVoice
"Spain Rodriguez is one of the legends of the original underground comics wave, and he tells his own origin story in Cruisin’ with the Hound: The Life and Times of Fred Tooté, a collection of short stories about coming of age in Buffalo in the ’50s and ’60s. ...Cruisin’ with the Hound... gives a real flavor both of Rodriguez’s work — which was so different in its point of view than the other underground comics of the late ’60s and early ’70s — and from whence it came." – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club
Fantagraphics and comiXology continues the line of exquisite Richard Sala comics with Delphine. A mysterious traveler gets off the train in a small village surrounded by a thick sinister forest. He is searching for Delphine, who vanished with only a scrawled-out address on a scrap of paper as a trace.
Richard Sala takes the tale of Snow White and stands it on its head, retelling it from Prince Charming's perspective (the unnamed traveler) in a contemporary setting. This twisted tale includes all the elements of terror from the original fairy tale, with none of the insipid saccharine coating of the Disney animated adaptation: Yes, there will be blood. At comiXology or a local comic book store today.
"I've long admired the gothy work of cartoonist Richard Sala. He delicately balances the line between horror and humor as few can. His latest graphic novel, Delphine, is his darkest effort to date." –Mark Frauenfelder, BoingBoing
Wednesday just got weirder with a side of thrizzle with another hit from Fantagraphics available at comiXology. Michael Kupperman's second all-comics collection of surreal slapstick and crazy non-sequitur goofiness Tales Designed to Thrizzle Volume 2! Including an a full issue's worth of never-before-published, brand new Thrizzle material and a newly colored version of issue #5! Featuring: America's favorite mustachioed physicist/writer double team of Twain and Einstein (solving new crimes and barreling through exciting new adventures), the crime-fighting team of Snake and Bacon ("Sssssssssssss!") in Reservoir Dogs 2, the crusty Quincy M.E., and the true story of the first lunar landing, guest starring Woodward & Bernstein, Lt. Columbo and... Quincy again??... in "Moon 69."
For $19.99 get this and more PLUS a little office favorite called "Murder, She Goat." Download a copy from comiXology today or head over to your local comic store for more laughs and guffaws from Michael Kupperman.
"It has become cliche to say I laughed until I cried, but when I'm done reading one of these underground comics my shirt is literally soaking wet. This guy may have one of the best comedy brains on the planet right now."-- Conan O'Brien, Entertainment Weekly "Must List"
Today Fantagraphics and comiXology present Happy Hour in America issues 1-4 by Tim Lane. Featuring installments of Belligerent Piano, Folktales and experimental comics reminiscent of that old-timey newspaper comic strip. Lane's characters drive a cool highway until they gotta stop for gas and a quick diner breakfast but pulse and threaten to suck you into your tablet. If your shave kit consists of Brylcreem, burglarly and murder then these tales might mirror some hard-knocks in your life. Originally distributed through John Porcellino's Spit and Half Distribution, these tricked-up juke box and train-jumpin' tales can be yours for $2.99 a piece.
“Tim Lane’s stories resonate with a dramatic intensity and emotional life that’s genuinely rare in comics today. Heartache, hope, loss and redemption — all in their naked glory on every page. And his drawing is phenomenal!” – Glenn Head
“Fans of postmodern pulp auteur Charles Burns would do well to seek out Lane’s comics. What I love about Lane’s work is his eye for grotesquerie and surrealism combined with incredible precision of line.” – Illo Watch
Fantagraphics and comiXology are ready to show you something fit for a kid or any fan of Gilbert Hernandez! The Adventures of Venus is super-affordable little book collects all the previously uncollected “Venus” stories from Measles in which Luba’s niece creates and collects comic books, walks through a scary forest, plays soccer, schemes to get the cute boy she likes, laments the snowlessness of a California Christmas, catches measles, and travels to a distant planet (OK, the last one may be a dream). Plus a new story done just for this book!
Pick up this lovely little read at comiXology today and continue to read the Palomar series about Venus, Luba and the rest of the family.
"I love that this graphic novel is full of characters from different cultures with different appearances. Venus and her sister live with their bodybuilder-like mom and no dad, Venus's rival, Gilda Gonzalez, is Hispanic and her crush, Yoshio, is Asian. It's refreshing to see all these different types of people together and getting along normally." – Sheena McNeil, Sequential Tart
FINALLY! Jim Woodring and his throbbing universe lead character Frank into the digital realm at comiXology. Weathercraft is Woodring's first full-length graphic novel set in the world of his most beloved character, Frank -- indeed, Woodring's first graphic novel, period! -- and it features the same hypnotically-gorgeous linework and mystical iconography. As it happens, Frank has only a brief supporting appearance in Weathercraft, which actually stars Manhog, Woodring's pathetic, brutish everyman (or everyhog). What happens when we are stretched to our limit? Will we come out the other end a changed person (or hog)?
A 2010 Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, Weathercraft is not to be missed. Head over to comiXology now and get yourself a one-way ticket.
"It’s always darkest before the dawn, and the psychedelic body-horror of Jim Woodring has never been darker than it gets here. His hapless, villainous Manhog is made to suffer like you’ve seen few comics characters suffer before in any style or genre…only to emerge enlightened and overjoyed on the other side in a final act that feels like that first breath of fresh cool air after you’ve hidden your head under the covers in terror for minutes on end." – Sean T. Collins, Comic Book Resources
"Merely calling Jim Woodring’s comics surreal is selling them short. …Woodring’s vivid draftsmanship and narrative linearity operate just as easily as parable, gospel, and even slapstick. …Weathercraft… pushes his iconography and storytelling into new areas of grotesquerie and revelation, all without his characters uttering a word." – Jason Heller, The A.V. Club
Fantagraphics and comiXology release R. Kikuo Johnson's debut graphic novel, Night Fisher , which tells the intimate tale of young teens verging into the alien territory of adulthood.
The setting? First-rate prep school, S.U.V., and a dream house in the heights: This was the island paradise handed to Loren Foster when he moved to Hawaii with his father six years ago. Now, with the end of high school just around the corner, his best friend, Shane, has grown distant. The rumors say it's hard drugs, and Loren suspects that Shane has left him behind for a new group of friends. What sets Johnson's drama apart is the naturalistic ease with which he explores the relationships of his characters. It is at once an unsentimental portrait of that most awkward period between adolescence and young adulthood and that rarest of things: a mature depiction of immature lives.
Visually, Johnson captures the languid tropical climate and strip mall tackiness of Hawaii in a rich chiaroscuro style reminiscent of Milton Caniff combined with the sensual ink work of Paul Pope or Jessica Abel. You can purchase this 145 page beauty over at comiXology today.
"Johnson's debut is not only remarkably assured but astonishingly fresh, one that refuses to trade in the usual hoary high-school cliches... Panels are shuffled together with a cinematic flair that highlights the florid emotions of adolescence far better than any battery of melodrama could. A dark, grand, sweeping dream of a book." – Kirkus Review
"The gritty coming-of-age story also delivers strong plot and dialog like a fistful of poi." – Book Collector
A home with a drawbridge awaits you, troubled merchant or peasant. Fantagraphics and comiXology release the fairy tale with a twist, Castle Waiting by Linda Medley, for digital download or 'magical reading'! Castle Waiting is the story of an isolated, abandoned castle, and the eccentric inhabitants who bring it back to life. A fable for modern times, it is a fairy tale that’s not about rescuing the princess, saving the kingdom, or fighting the ultimate war between Good and Evil — but about being a hero in your own home.
Linda Medley lavishly illustrates Castle Waiting in a classic visual style reminiscent of Arthur Rackham and William Heath Robinson. Blending elements from a variety of sources — fairy tales, folklore, nursery rhymes — Medley tells the story of the everyday lives of fantastic characters with humor, intelligence, and insight into human nature. Castle Waiting can be read on multiple levels and can be enjoyed by readers of all ages.For those in need for Middle-earth style immersion, look no further than Medley's beautiful and complex world. 460 pages of magic are available at comiXology.
"Castle Waiting creates a vibrant fantasy world not unlike The Lord of the Rings' Middle-earth but with a focus on the lives of women. Gorgeously illustrated in black and white, the book combines Christian and mythological imagery, including a bearded female saint, Rumpelstiltskin and various animal-headed characters. Fun to read and look at, Castle Waiting will enthrall fantasy readers of both genders." – Time
"Medley’s big book ranks with Jeff Smith’s Bone as a nearly-all-ages graphic-novel triumph." – Booklist "Core Collection: Graphic Women"
The 30th anniversary Love and Rockets celebration continues with this third of three volumes. Perla La Loca collects the adventures of the spunky Maggie; her annoying, pixie-ish best friend and sometime lover Hopey; and their circle of friends. As usual, Jaime Hernandez spotlights a wide range of headstrong female characters found in previous volumes Maggie the Mechanic and The Girl from H.O.P.P.E.R.S.
Perla begins with the "Wigwam Bam" story, arguably Jaime Hernandez's definitive statement on the post-punk culture (what a good song too!). As Maggie, Hopey, and the rest of the Locas prowl Los Angeles, the East Coast, and parts in between trying to recapture the carefree spirit of those early days. "Wigwam Bam" brings us up to date on all the members of Jaime's extensive cast of characters and then drops a narrative bomb on Hopey (and us) in the very last pages. Split up from Hopey yet again, Maggie bounces back and forth between a one-laundromat town in Texas (the "Chester Square" that serves as the title of two of the strongest stories in the book), where she has to contend with both her own inner demons and a murderous hooker, and Camp Vicki, where she has to fend off her aunt Vicki's attempts to make her a professional wrestler and the unwanted advances of the amorous wrestling champ-to-be, Gina.
"'Wigwam Bam' [is] one of the medium's all-time high points..." – The Onion A.V. Club
"For a relatively inexpensive introduction to the joys of Jaime's good stuff, ...I recommend Perla la Loca, a paperback reprint of a 1990-1996 sequence that kicks off with the fantastic ensemble tragicomedy 'Wigwam Bam,' throws in a bunch of wrestling and decline-and-fall-of-punk business that he draws with obvious, infectious relish, and ends with the mistaken-identity tour de force 'Bob Richardson.'" – Douglas Wolk, TIME/Techland
Is this happy-go-lucky holiday season getting on your nerves? Are increasingly sentimental anthropomorphic animals for the flippin' birds? Johnny Ryan is here to serve you. This week comiXology and Fantagraphics released Angry Youth Comix issues #11-14 for you to enjoy in the midst of madness. In addition to the sex, violence and scatological filth on display, Angry Youth Comix delivers equal opportunity antagonism toward every race, gender, sexual orientation, political persuasion and religion, as well as jokes about international and humanitarian tragedies, in abundance. That being said, it is only available via the filthy filthy web so buy it and read it on your computer instead of going to that meeting.
$1.99 is the crazy amount of money for the eyeball tickling guffaws you'll emit when reading Angry Youth Comix. Head over to comiXology now to download. Then you'll get to find out exactly what happens to Loady McGee, Sinus O'Gynus and Blubbina LaQuiche.
"Let me tell you something: In this increasingly cynical world of happily self-imposed isolation and sneering judgement, one graphicish novella, with pixie-like tickles, appears through the misty mist to take us all by the hand gently unto the night. You hold in your hand that very thing. Johnny Ryan's Angry Youth Comix. Now go away." – David Cross