comiXology and Fantagraphics bring another classic cartoonist to the digital screen in Weird Horrors & Daring Adventures: The Joe Kurbert Archives Vol. 1. Joe Kubert sealed his reputation as one of the greatest American comicbook cartoonists of all time with the four-color adventures of Sgt. Rock of Easy Company, Enemy Ace, and Tarzan, all done for DC Comics during the 1960s and 1970s (themselves already the subject of archival editions)... but he had been working in comics since the 1940s. In fact, young Kubert produced an exciting, significant body of work as a freelance artist for a variety of comic book publishers in the postwar era, in a glorious variety of non-super hero genres: horror, crime, science fiction, western, romance, humor, and more. For the first time since the printe edition, 33 of the best of these stories have been collected in one full-color volume, with a special emphasis on horror and crime.
Drawn in the pre-Comics Code era, they are more thrilling, violent and sexy (by contemporary standards) than much of his later work. And just the titles of the comic books from which these stories are taken are wonderfully evocative of a bygone era of four-color fun: Cowpuncher, Abbott and Costello Comics, Three Stooges, Eerie, Planet Comics, Meet Miss Pepper, Strange Terrors, Green Hornet Comics, Whack, Jesse James, Out of This World, Crime Does Not Pay, Weird Thrillers, Police Lineup, and Hollywood Confessions. With an extensive set of historical notes and an essay by the book's editor Bill Schelly, author of the Art of Joe Kubert art book and Man of Rock Kubert biography. For $24.99, this thick volume of comics takes up no space on your shelf but will no doubt fill your brain with images, keeping you up until the wee hours.
"Schelly and the always sterling Fantagraphics production team do a nice job of preserving the look and feel of these comics…the master cartoonist was equally at home doing broad humor as intense action/adventure as well as lighter, Archie-style teen humor."–Jason Sacks, Comics Bulletin
"Best known for Sgt. Rock, Tarzan, and Hawkman in the 1960s and 70s, this anthology of Kubert's 1940s work reveals his versatility in a variety of genres, including horror, humor, and romance." -Mark Frauenfelder, Boing Boing
The book that has been sold-out twice in a row comes to you, dear reader, in digital form. Four Color Fear: Forgotten Horror Comics of the 1950s. The finest non-EC horror covers and stories of the pre-code era by artist perennials Jack Cole, Reed Crandall, George Evans, Frank Frazetta, Jack Katz, Al Williamson, Basil Wolverton, and Wallace Wood, collected in a robust and affordable volume. And by volume, we mean four. This book is SO BIG, SO HUGE that we had to break it up into four parts: CMYK for the printing colors Cyan (blue), Magenta, Yellow and Black or parts one, two, three, four.
Editors John Benson and Greg Sadowski have sifted through hundreds of rare books to cherry-pick the most compelling scripts and art, and they provide extensive background notes on the artists, writers, and companies involved in their creation. Digital restoration has been performed with subtlety and restraint, mainly to correct registration and printing errors, with every effort made to retain the flavor of the original comics, and to provide the reader the experience of finding a most delightful read in their dusty, creaky attic. Each part is only 6.99 for 80-something pages bound to terrify and keep you up all night long, glowing from your tablets thanks to comiXology.
"[Its] a wonderfully creepy hurtle through the exuberant, cheerfully gross and icky horror comics that prevailed in the golden, pre-Comics-Code era. ...[T]he art is brilliant: indistinct piles of slimy viscera, purple-green zombies, skull-faced vampires and demons, Satan in a dozen guises, witches and occult symbols, creatures from the eleven hells of the darkest mythos of the human spirit." – Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing
Finally, the sold-out first volme of the Ditko Archives is here in digital reading glory via comiXology, Strange Suspense. Before the Amazing Spider-Man and mysterious 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 and1954), Ditko drew tales of macabre suspense that were not yet hobbled by the Comics Code Authority. 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: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 1features, 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 Blake Bell's insightful introduction, providing historical background and speaking to Ditko's influence and his unique craft.
Enjoy this 238 page masterpiece on your reading tablets, anywhere, anytime.
"Fantastic... Raw and grotesque and beautifully drawn and presented." –Dave Gibbons
Wilfred Santiago's baseball biography comic is ready to read on the way to your next away game at comiXology. 21: The Story of Roberto Clemente follows Clemente's life from his early days growing up in rural Puerto Rico, the highlights of his career (including the 1960s World Series where he helped the Pirates win its first victory in 33 years, and his 3000th hit in 1972 during the last official at-bat of his life) as well as his private life and public mission off the field.
Named one of Library Journal's Best Books 2011: Graphic Novels, one of Booklist's Top 10 Graphic Novels: 2012 (for 2011 books), one of ALA/YALSA's Great Graphic Novels for Teens 2012, 21 is a great book for teens, adults and baseball fans all around. 179 pages of the struggle and success of a immigrant baseball player achieving the American dream can be yours. Batter up!
"...21: The Story of Roberto Clemente... is drawn with a jagged whimsy that gets at the sudden sharpness of a baseball game's action, the frenzy that comes from out of nowhere to temporarily replace the long, slow stretches of waiting, scratching, spitting and eyeballing opponents that are endemic to the sport…Comic books bring a different kind of narrative that's not possible in any other medium — not books, not movies.'" – Julia Keller, Chicago Tribune
"Santiago evokes the world Clemente lived in, from the dusty Puerto Rican streets where he played baseball with bottle caps and tree branches to his years as a perennial All-Star. The art is scratchy and abstract when it’s dealing with home and homesickness, and then hardens into the stuff of superhero comics whenever Clemente steps to the plate." – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club
The Year of Gilbert Hernandez begins with a bang with Julio's Day, now available via comiXology. Or truth be told it begins in the year 1900, with the scream of a newborn. It ends, 100 pages later, in the year 2000, with the death rattle of a 100-year-old man. The infant and the old man are both Julio, and Julio's Day (originally serialized in Love and Rockets Vol. II but never completed until now) is Hernandez's latest graphic novel, a masterpiece of elliptical, emotional storytelling that traces one life - indeed, one century in a human life - through a series of carefully crafted, consistently surprising and enthralling vignettes.
This singular, standalone story released this week both digitally and in print will help cement Gilbert Hernandez's position as one of the strongest and most original cartoonists of this, or any other, century. And you can read it anyway via your tablets thanks to comiXology.
"A haunting performance and about as perfect a literary work as I've read in years. Hernandez accomplishes in 100 pages what most novelists only dream of — rendering the closeted phlegmatic Julio in all his confounding complexity and in the process creating an unflinching biography of a community, a country and a century. A masterpiece." – Junot Díaz
Fantagraphics is proud to announce Spacehawk, the whole space shebang by Basil Wolverton is available for digital delight on comiXology. Spacehawk had but one mission in life: to protect the innocent throughout the Solar System, and to punish the guilty. Every story from Spacehawk’s intergalactic debut in 1940 to his final, Nazi-crushing adventure in 1942.
Basil Wolverton is one of the greatest, most idiosyncratic talents in comic book history. Though he is best known for his humorous grotesqueries in MAD magazine, it is his science-fiction character Spacehawk that Wolverton fans have most often demanded be collected. While Spacehawk is the closest thing to a colorfully-costumed, conventional action hero Wolverton ever created, the strip is infused with Wolverton’s quintessential weirdness: controlled, organic artwork of strangely repulsive aliens and monsters and bizarre planets, and stories of gruesome retribution that bring to mind Wolverton’s peer, Fletcher Hanks. Spacehawk had no secret identity, no fixed base of operations beyond his spaceship, and no sidekicks or love interests. Only his mission. Your mission is to read this book!
"What you read [Spacehawk] 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." -Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing
"Basil Wolverton rises to the occasion and gives the reader a detailed and hilarious look at megalomania while throwing in some fantastic aerial fight scenes…Fantagraphics Publishing brings Wolverton’s art to the reader in as detailed and perfect a form as possible. Each wave of space, every geometric shape and all the incredibly ugly aliens look better than they ever have in their entire lives." –Mark Squirek, New York Journal of Books
Wednesday is here yet again and we have a new digital release through comiXology just for you. A visionary work of comic art for all-ages: Portable Frank. Readers who haven't discovered Jim Woodring's Frank stories have a colossal treat waiting for them in this all-ages gem collecting the character's greatest adventures.
Frank is a unique, visionary comic, exquisitely drawn and so fully realized that adults and children alike find themselves drawn deeply into Woodring's hallucinatory mindscape. The stories, almost entirely wordless, unravel like a good puzzle, rewarding re-reading, providing an experience as immersive as that first love affair, that first samadhi, or that first breath. Simply put, the world of Frank must be experienced to be understood. For all its mystery, the world of Frank is a simple, delightful, mesmerizig example of world-building at its most fanciful, surely to delight parents and children alike, for only $14.99 at comiXology.
"The ancient myths and folk tales of all cultures which have been preserved for so many centuries have meaning for us today because the fantastic elements in them are rooted in immutable reality. The Frank stories belong to this class of literature." – Francis Ford Coppola
"Jim Woodring may be the most important cartoonist of his generation. The Frank stories are masterpieces, each and every one. Read them. Re-read them. Re-re-read them. Every cell in your body will remember this spellbinding, visionary work." – Scott McCloud
Since Fantagraphics and comiXology shook hands that fateful weekend last summer, the hits just keep a-galloping through the gate. Here are the books we have kickin' around in our digital stable ready to be rode hard, combed down and fed oats (in the form of your high-star ratings).
Here's a run-down of the digital comics we currently have available to read on your tablets, iPads, eReaders, myPads, ThinkTouches and more. Click on titles to be taken to their page at comiXology.
Memoirs of the artist's misspent youth. Raunchy, hilarious, and often violent as hell, an unsentimentally nostalgic trip to half a century ago — the anti- Happy Days, set to a true rock ’n’ roll beat. - See more at: http://www.fantagraphics.com/index.php?keyword=cruisin%27+with+the+hound&search_type=titles&Search=Search&Itemid=62&option=com_virtuemart&page=shop.browse#sthash.zYJMZj3B.dpuf7 Miles a Second by David Wojnarowicz, James Romberger and Marguerite Van Cook.
Note that most of these books are available at your local comic book store or our website in print form but we know you have to save that shelf space. Every Wednesday we have 1-2 new digital releases, sometimes same-day releases as the book. Buy a book for yourself or someone you love today.
Fantagraphics and comiXology continue to roll out the beautiful Jason classics with Werewolves of Montpellier. A faux werewolf-cum-burglar named Sven runs afoul of a real society of werewolves who don't take kindly to the pretender. So while Sven spends his days playing chess and poker with his friends, sketching his way through his picturesque chosen hometown, and coping with romantic dilemmas — both his and those of his best friend, the Breakfast-at-Tiffany’s-obsessed Audrey, who has girl troubles of her own — little does he realize that a genuine threat to his life, and for that matter his humanity, is closing in on him.
This lycanthropic thriller, a romantic comedy, and an existential drama – basically, your typical Jason book – can be yours digitally for only $9.99. Beware the full moon!
"What elevates Werewolves of Montpellier into the top rank of Jason’s work is the way he manages to dovetail the story’s genre elements with the emotional narrative. ... Overall, this is a pitch-perfect, expertly-crafted story by an artist who is clearly working in his comfort zone. It’s remarkable to see a creator go to the same well so many times and yet continue to produce nuanced and powerful variations on the same themes." – Rob Clough, The Comics Journal
"Werewolves [of Montpellier] has an artsy feel, but also plenty of humor, even in (or especially in) its more dramatic moments. [...] But it’s mostly the subtle characterizations that still bring the greatest amount of personality out of his creatures that look like animals, but act so much like humans. [...] Overall, it’s another great book from Fantagraphics in the Jason catalog. It doesn’t shake the foundation of his style, but it does try a few new ideas and tells another fun story." – William Jones, Graphic Novel Reporter
Fantagraphics with comiXology releases Oil and Waterthe gripping collaboration between Steve Duin and Shannon Wheeler. This devastating look at the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history follows ten Oregonians to the Gulf Coast to gather first-person accounts of the destructive impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
In this 144-page graphic novel — written by Steve Duin, a columnist for The Oregonian, and illustrated by Eisner-winning New Yorker cartoonist Shannon Wheeler — readers will tour the shark-pocked beach at Grand Isle with the local head of Homeland Security; step aboard the crabbing boat of a 20-year-old Mississippian who works 16-hour days and spends his nights dreaming of M.I.T.; enter the “Hot Zone” where volunteers work desperately to save brown pelicans drenched in British petroleum; and hear shrimpers, Vietnamese and good ol’ boys alike, describe what happens to their livelihood when 200 million gallons of oil flood the scene. The readers’ perspective on what hope and what mission remains along a ravaged coastline, and one awash in both seafood and oil, will be changed as irrevocably as that of these ten Oregonians.
For $17.99, read the true-life story of volunteers who worked (and are still working) in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. And take the bus or walk to work!
"A powerful eco-report, Oil and Water also manages to be a report on the gap between classes that isn’t about who has what, but rather about what 'having' means to different groups of Americans.... The large black-and-white images are realistic and create individual characteristics for the cast; its smudged texture is an excellent vehicle for the intrusion of oil on beaches, birds, livelihoods, and prospects for the future. Quick to read, but of lasting weight for readers from either side of the divide." – Francisca Goldsmith, School Library Journal
"A lot of our goals had to do with keeping the environmental disaster on the radar nationally, saying 'This is something that what we did that's a travesty,' basically, and 'How do we keep paying attention to it so it gets cleaned up and never happens again?' It's a big deal." –Jason Sacks, Comics Bulletin