We've made a perhaps-overdue update to our online shop, creating a new category called "Vintage Comics" for our collections of early comic book stories. This should make them easier to find all together than in the overarching "Classic" category, which includes newspaper strips, illustration books and other stuff.
What it is:
"Fantagraphics is pleased to present collections of the finest comic book art and artists from the pioneering days of comic books in the middle decades of the 20th Century (and scholarly writing thereon). These lovingly-restored, beautifully-designed tomes present the best and most noteworthy work from the era, in genres ranging from superheroes to horror to crime to romance to humor. These books will hone your appreciation of the exciting and groundbreaking stories and artwork from the early days of comic books — not to mention providing a lot of fun reading!"
The link to the section has a permanent home in our "Browse Shop" menu tab, under the "Interests & Topics" heading (formerly "Interests"). You may notice we made a few other tweaks to that menu as well, mainly shuffling some items around into a (hopefully) more logical configuration. Hope you like it!
FYI: Our warehouse is doing inventory today and tomorrow. This shouldn't disrupt our normal shipping operations too much, although rush orders placed during this time will be delayed slightly, so please keep that in mind when placing an order. Thanks!
Inspired by our recent graphic memoir triumphs You'll Never Know and Special Exits, and prompted by a reader request or two, we've gathered our memoir and autobiographical titles into their own section on our website. (The link can also be found under "Interests" in our "Browse Shop" menu.) Note that these are comics whose main content is autobiographical in nature; you can still find autobiographical strips and stories in other titles found elsewhere. It's also possible we've missed one or two titles, so if you notice any omissions, please let us know.
Our memoir & autobio books are from a diverse group of voices in a variety of styles. Sometimes the names are changed and details dramatized, but these stories based on true life will enthrall, amuse, shock, inspire and/or move you.
It's that time of year, and as with past years for your browsing and shopping reference we have created a handy page of 2010 Critics' Picks, listing books that are being selected by critics, fellow artists, readers and other comics professionals as the Best of 2010. (See also the 2008 and 2009 lists — these lists can also be found under "Award Winners" in our "Browse Shop" navigation tab.) This page will continue expanding as the year winds down and more lists appear. And of course we're noting the critics' selections here in our "Daily OCD" posts on Flog — they're all categorized under the "Best of 2010" tag.
If you're a critic, blogger, pundit and/or enthusiast who's putting together your own Best of 2010 list and need to be reminded which of your favorite Fantagraphics releases were released this year, by all means use our complete and up-to-date 2010 Releases section as your guide. (Note that this list includes multipacks which may contain previous years' releases.)
Here's a cool thing that Ray Fenwick has done: pattern designs for a series of books from Houghton Mifflin in which two of an author's works are bound together as one volume. See them individually on Ray's Flickr.
[A brief meta note: I'm trying a different approach to "Things to See," spotlighting certain things with individual posts, rounding up regularly-featured items in omnibus posts as before, and possibly moving some links to the "Weekend Webcomics" posts. Feedback is welcome.]
A heads-up to all of our mail-order customers: We are currently in the process of packing up our fabled warehouse and relocating our shipping operations to a new facility. Orders are still going out but our shipping staff is a bit overtaxed with the move, so for the next 2 months or so, orders may take longer than usual to arrive — around the high end of the estimated shipping times listed on our shipping information page — with the exception of rush orders, which continue to be processed normally. We'll keep you updated on any other developments which might impact our customers.
The upshot of all of this is that our mail-order operation will be more efficient than ever once we are settled into our new facility. We appreciate your patience and your business!
(Any press people looking for the scoop on the changes to our facilities, please contact Eric Reynolds.)
We missed last week's update, through nobody's fault but my own. Sorry about that!
This week we are changing our approach somewhat. Steven Weissman's Barack Hussein Obama continues as usual but instead of a one-panel teaser we're bringing you the full strip — you'll still need to click through to see it at its original size, though. Plus, starting this week we're bringing you a variety of previously unpublished, unseen or out-of-print strips and stories from some of your favorite Fantagraphics artists! On with the show:
"I'm including the rough as well as the finish because the rough has more charm... This was originally a page I pitched to a business magazine — rhymes with diplingers — on their request. The art director seemed quite shaken by it. "This is just, I don't know, really disturbing," he informed me, his voice shaky with emotion. "We're all a little freaked out." They rejected both it and the more benign, fluffy substitute I proposed — too frightened.
"At that time The New Yorker was regularly shaking me down for comics, and I passed this along to them and, to my amazement, they accepted it for the back page. (This was 2003, before the cartoon caption contest took over). The following thirty or so revisions went smoothly, it was going in, and then — we invaded Iraq. The New Yorker featured an elegaic poem written for the occasion instead, something about how lusty Mars doth trumpet forth, etc. They quickly forgot this page, and it was never printed."
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