Our annual Best of the Year issue includes interviews with critics' faves Lynda Barry, Frank Quitely, Dash Shaw, David Hajdu and Mike Luckovich, as well as Best Picks of 2008 from an all-star lineup including Kim Deitch, Anders Nilsen, Emmanuel Guibert, John Porcellino, Mark Newgarden, Johnny Ryan, Paul Karasik and others. Plus, a first look at C. Tyler's upcoming project You'll Never Know, a gallery of comics from Finland's best young talents, and more.
Cartoonist Basil Wolverton was known for his grotesque drawings, fantastically odd creatures, spaghetti-like hair, smoothly sculpted caricatures and insanely detailed crosshatching. His career in the golden age of comic books lasted from 1938 until 1952, after which his illustrations and caricatures extended into such publications as Life, Pageant and MAD magazines. Stylistically, he has been regarded as one of the spiritual grandfathers of underground and alternative comix.
Less well known and understood is his work for the Worldwide Church of God, headed until 1986 by radio evangelist Herbert Armstrong. From 1953 through 1974, Wolverton, a deeply religious man, was commissioned and later employed by the church to write and illustrate a narrative of the Old Testament (including over 550 illustrations), some 20 apocalyptic illustrations inspired by the Book of Revelations, and dozens of cartoons and humorous illustrations for various Worldwide Church publications.
Compiled and edited by Wolverton’s son, Monte, the 304-page Wolverton Bible includes all of Wolverton’s artwork for the Worldwide Church of God corporation. Recording artist and noted EC authority Grant Geissman (Tales of Terror: The E.C. Companion and Foul Play!: The Art and Artists of the Notorious 1950s E.C. Comics!) provides an insightful foreword, while Monte Wolverton delivers commentary and background in the introduction and in each section. This volume is authorized and commissioned by the Worldwide Church of God and endorsed by the Wolverton family.
Many of the illustrations in this book are regarded as Basil Wolverton’s finest work. Still others have never been published, and some of the humorous drawings printed here rival Wolverton’s work in MAD magazine.
(While supplies last, all orders for The Wolverton Bible will also receive, FREE, a set of 10 Wolvertoons Postcards!)
Sam’s Strip was ahead of its time when it debuted in 1961. Mort Walker and Jerry Dumas’ offbeat creation took the inside joke of breaking the “fourth wall” to a new level, playing with the basic elements of the cartoon form, experimenting with different art styles and featuring famous characters from other strips. Sam and his cartoonist assistant owned and operated the comic strip they inhabited. The Yellow Kid, Jiggs, Krazy Kat, Dagwood, and Charlie Brown were among the many familiar faces who made walk-on appearances. Sam and his assistant discussed the inner workings and hidden secrets of life within the panel borders. This type of self-referential humor, called “metacomics” by scholar Thomas Inge, had been explored previously by Al Capp, Ernie Bushmiller, and Walt Kelly and has been used on a more regular basis by such contemporary cartoonists as Garry Trudeau, Berke Breathed, and Bill Griffith. Sam’s Strip, which never appeared in more than 60 newpapers, was too esoteric for most readers, and was terminated by its creators in 1963. It is considered a cult classic among comic-strip aficionados today.
This collection features the complete 20-month run, almost 510 daily strips, of Sam’s Strip. Mort Walker and Jerry Dumas provide first-hand accounts of the creation of the strip and other rare, behind-the-scenes material, including unpublished sketches, original artwork, photographs and sales brochures. Take a trip beyond the fourth wall and rediscover this unique behind-the-scenes look at the world of comic strip humor.
The Spring 2009 edition of MOME is anchored with Lilli Carré's (The Lagoon) new, 32-page graphic novella, "The Carnival." Gilbert Shelton is back with the second part (of three) of his new graphic novel, "The Last Gig in Shnagrlig," and both Olivier Schrauwen and Laura Park are back with their sophomore Mome efforts. 2008 comics darling Dash Shaw delivers "Scenes from the Abyss," while Mome regulars Derek Van Gieson, Ray Fenwick, Jon Vermilyea, Sara Edward-Corbett, Conor O'Keefe, Émile Bravo, and Josh Simmons all return. To wrap it up, Ben Jones, Frank Santoro, Hernán Migoya and Juaco Vizuete all pop their Mome cherries this issue as well (the former two with a Cold Heat-related story).
The tri-fold signature plate shown above (front and back -- click here and here for better views) that comes with Humbug: Limited Signed Edition is currently winging its way between Jack Davis, Al Jaffee and Arnold Roth as they apply their signatures to it. (While they're hard at work, you can reserve your copy today.)
Harvey Kurtzman changed the face of American humor when he created the legendary MAD comic. As editor and chief writer from its inception in 1952, through its transformation into a slick magazine, and until he left MAD in 1956, he influenced an entire generation of cartoonists, comedians, and filmmakers. In 1962, he co-created the long-running Little Annie Fanny with his long-time artistic partner Will Elder for Playboy, which he continued to produce until his virtual retirement in 1988.
Between MAD and Annie Fanny, Kurtzman’s biographical summaries will note that he created and edited three other magazines, Trump, Humbug, and Help!, but, whereas his MAD and Annie Fanny are readily available in reprint form, his major satirical work in the interim period is virtually unknown. Humbug, which had poor distribution, may be the least known, but to those who treasure the rare original copies, it equals or even exceeds MAD in displaying Kurtzman’s creative genius. Humbug was unique in that it was actually published by the artists who created it: Kurtzman and his cohorts from MAD Will Elder, Jack Davis, and Al Jaffee, were joined by universally acclaimed cartoonist Arnold Roth. With no publisher above them to rein them in, this little band of creators produced some of the most trenchant and engaging satire of American culture ever to appear on American newsstands. At last, the entire run of 11 issues of Humbug is being reprinted in a deluxe format, much of it reproduced from the original art, allowing even owners of the original cheaply-printed issues to experience the full impact for the first time.
Peanuts surges into the 1970s with Schulz at the peak of his powers and influence: a few jokes about Bob Dylan, Women’s Liberation and “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex” (!) aside, these two years are as timeless as Peanuts ever was.
Sally Brown — school phobia, malapropisms, unrequited love for Linus and all — elbows her way to center stage, at least among the humans, and is thus the logical choice for cover girl... and in her honor, the introduction is provided by none other than Broadway, television and film star Kristin (Wicked) Chenoweth, who first rose to Tony-winning fame with her scene-stealing performance as Sally in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.
Two long Summer-camp sequences involve Charlie Brown and Peppermint Patty, who has decided that Charlie Brown is madly in love with her, much to his clueless confusion. Snoopy shows up at camp as well, as does Peppermint Patty’s new permanent sidekick, the one and only Marcie.
The eternally mutable Snoopy mostly shakes off his World War I Flying Ace identity and turns into Joe Cool, college hipster extraordinaire. And in three long sequences he writes a fan letter to his favorite author, Miss Helen Sweetstory, then goes on a journey to meet her, and finally enlists Charlie Brown’s help when her latest opus, “The Six Bunny-Wunnies Freak Out,” falls afoul of censors.
Also, Woodstock attends worm school, falls in love with a worm (perhaps the most doomed unrequited Peanuts love story ever!), and is nearly eaten by the neighbors’ cat... Peppermint Patty is put on trial for another dress code violation and makes a very ill-advised choice in terms of lawyers... Snoopy turns Linus’s blanket into not one but two sportcoats... Lucy hits a home run... and the birth of one Rerun Van Pelt!
344-page black & white 8.5" x 7" hardcover • $28.99
View a photo & video slideshow preview embedded here. Click here if it is not visible, and/or to view it larger in a new window (recommended). And visit the product details page for a downloadable, 17-page PDF preview containing all the strips from January, 1971!
We're pleased to present Grant Geissman's Foreword and Monte Wolverton's Introduction to The Wolverton Bible by Basil Wolverton for your reading enjoyment here on our website. These two pieces both provide valuable biographical context as well as background information on the creation of Wolverton's Bible stories. We hope they entice you to check out the book, which is due imminently.
Now available for preview and pre-order: Supermen! The First Wave of Comic Book Heroes 1936-1941, an indispensable collection of comic book heroes from the best and the brightest of the first generation of the Golden Age, including Jack Cole, Will Eisner, Bill Everett, Lou Fine, Fletcher Hanks, Jack Kirby, Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster, and Basil Wolverton. This book is scheduled to be in stock in late February or early March and in stores approximately 4 weeks later.
View a photo & video slideshow preview embedded here. Click here if it is not visible, and/or to view it larger in a new window (recommended). And visit the product details page for a downloadable, 11-page PDF preview containing an entire story by Will Eisner and Lou Fine starring The Flame!