Loosely based on a teenager’s diary from the 1980s found in a gas-station bathroom, Unlovable is the remarkable story of Tammy Pierce, as filtered through the pen of Los Angeles artist Esther Pearl Watson. This second and concluding volume picks up where the first volume left off (winter break) and finishes Tammy’s tragicomic sophomore year of high school in 1985.
Tammy has built a devoted following over the last several years in the pages of Bust magazine, where Unlovable continues to be serialized on the magazine’s back page, and this beautifully produced, dayglo-orange and sparkly pink hardcover presents over 400 pages of her sometimes ordinary, sometimes humiliating, often poignant and always hilarious exploits. Her hopes, dreams, agonies and defeats are brought to vivid, comedic life by Watson’s lovingly grotesque drawings, filled with all the ’80s essentials — too much mascara, leg warmers with heels and huge hair, etc. — as well as timeless teen concerns like acne, dandruff, and the opposite sex (or same sex, in some cases).
Unlovable is about the rawness of trying to figure out who you are in a very public and humiliating way. Unlovable addresses these mysteries of adolescence through Tammy’s naiveté; girls and women in particular will find much that resonates, but men will also relate to Unlovable’s universal humor and wide cast of characters.
In the epic saga that is Unlovable, Tammy finds herself dealing with: tampons, teasing, crushes, The Smiths, tube socks, facial hair, lice, celibacy, fantasy dream proms, gym showers, skid marks, a secret admirer, prank calls, backstabbers, winter ball, barfing, narcs, breakdancing, hot wheels, glamour shots, roller coasters, Halloween costumes, boogers, boys, boy crazy feelings, biker babes, and even some butt cracks. Tammy’s life isn’t pretty, but it is endlessly charming and hilarious.
Almost Silent packages four original Jason graphic novels — three of them out of print since mid-2008 — into one compact, hardcover omnibus collection. (As the title indicates, this volume favors Jason’s pantomime works.)
“You Can’t Get There from Here,” the longest story of the book (and the only one to be printed in color — well, a color), tells the tale of a love triangle involving Frankenstein, Frankenstein’s Monster, and The Monster’s Bride: Jason cleverly alternates between totally silent sequences involving the three characters and scenes in which Frankenstein’s hunchbacked assistant discusses the day’s events with a fellow hunchbacked assistant to another mad scientist. (You didn’t know they had a union?)
“Tell Me Something” is a brisk (271 panels), near-totally-silent (just a few intertitles) graphic novelette about love lost and found again, told with a tricky mixture of forward- and back-flashing narrative. “Meow, Baby” is a collection of Jason’s short stories and gags, and finally, “The Living and the Dead” is a hilariously deadpan (and gory) take on the traditional Romero-style zombie thriller.
All of these yarns star Jason’s patented cast of tight-lipped (or -beaked) bird-, dog-, cat- and wolf-people, and show off his compassion and wry wit. Almost Silent is a perfect starting point for a new reader wanting to know what the fuss is all about, and a handsome, handy, inexpensive collection for the committed Jason fan.
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The multiple Harvey and Eisner Award nominee returns for its fifth year. With this issue, the series has now featured over 2000 pages of comics in its four and half years of existence (2109, to be exact), which may be a record for an English-language alternative comics anthology. This issue's cover is by Nate Neal, who delivers "The Neurotic Nexus of Creation," a 15-page explication of the creative process. MOME 18 also includes the first new comic in several years by Dave Cooper, as well as the MOME debuts of Tim Lane, Ivan Brun, Joe Daly, and Jon Adams. Also returning are MOME stalwarts Lilli Carré, Ben Jones, Frank Santoro, Jon Vermilyea, Nicolas Mahler, Ted Stearn, Renée French, Conor O'Keefe, Derek Van Gieson, and T. Edward Bak.
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World War I, that awful, gaping wound in the history of Europe, has long been an obsession of Jacques Tardi’s. (His very first — rejected — comics story dealt with the subject, as does his most recent work, the two-volume Putain de Guerre.) But It Was the War of the trenches is Tardi’s defining, masterful statement on the subject, a graphic novel that can stand shoulder to shoulder with Erich Maria Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front and Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms.
Tardi is not interested in the national politics, the strategies, or the battles. Like Remarque, he focuses on the day to day of the grunts in the trenches, and, with icy, controlled fury and disgust, with sardonic yet deeply sympathetic narration, he brings that existence alive as no one has before or since. Yet he also delves deeply into the underlying causes of the war, the madness, the cynical political exploitation of patriotism. And in a final, heartbreaking coda, Tardi grimly itemizes the ghastly human cost of the war, and lays out the future 20th century conflicts, all of which seem to spring from this global burst of insanity.
Trenches features some of Tardi’s most stunning artwork. Rendered in an inhabitually lush illustrative style, inspired both by abundant photographic documentation and classic American war comics, augmented by a sophisticated, gorgeous use of Craftint tones, Trenches is somehow simultaneously atypical and a perfect encapsulation of Tardi’s mature style. It is the indisputable centerpiece of Tardi’s oeuvre.
It Was the War of the Trenches has been an object of fascination for North American publishers: RAW published a chapter in the early 1980s, and Drawn and Quarterly magazine serialized a few more in the 1990s. But only a small fraction of Trenches has ever been made available to the English speaking public (in now out of print publications); the Fantagraphics edition, the third in an ongoing collection of the works of this great master, finally remedies this situation.
“‘The war to end all wars’ has become a magisterial comic book to end all comic books. I seldom give blurbs, but this book is an essential classic. Among all of Jacques Tardi's towering achievements as a comics artist, nothing looms larger than this devastating crater of a work. It’s a compulsively readable wail of Existential despair, a kaleidoscope of war’s dehumanizing brutality and of Everyman’s suffering, as well as a deadpan masterpiece of the darkest black humor. The richly composed and obsessively researched drawings — perfectly poised between cartoon and illustration — march to the relentless beats of Tardi’s three horizontal panels per page to dig a hole deep inside your brain. This is one Hell of a book.” —Art Spiegelman
"Tardi’s depiction of the First World War is so impassioned and visceral that it can be compared to the work of the artists who actually served in the trenches." – Joe Sacco
In the rarefied realm of classic cartoon pin-up art, nobody did it better than Jack Cole. With his quirky line drawings and sensual watercolors, Cole, under Hugh Hefner's guiding hand, catapulted to stardom in the 1950s as Playboy's marquee cartoonist, a position he held until his untimely death at the age of 43.
Jack Cole has been justly celebrated as the creator of Plastic Man and an innovative comic book artist of the 1940s (especially in Art Spiegelman and Chip Kidd’s Jack Cole and Plastic Man: Forms Stretched to Their Limits). After finishing his 14-year run on Plastic Man, he found himself looking for something new. According to Cole, his savior was the Humorama line of down-market digest magazines. This girls and gags magazine circuit proved to be the perfect training ground to regain his footing and develop his craft at single panel “gag” cartoons. His ability to render the female form was already without peer. Though he signed his cartoons “Jake,” Cole’s exquisite line drawings and masterful use of ink-wash — a skill he carried over to Playboy — betrayed his pseudonym. In comparison to his contemporaries, however, Cole was probably Humorama’s least prolific artist. Though his images were frequently used for covers, Cole’s cartoons were few and far between, with scarcely a single drawing appearing every five issues.
Along with a foreword by editor Alex Chun, this volume (originally released in a now out-of-print hardcover edition that now fetches high prices on the secondhand market) collects the best of these hidden gems, including several shot from Cole’s stunning original art. Most of these drawings have not seen print elsewhere since their original publication.
"Cole's goddesses were estrogen soufflés who mesmerized the ineffectual saps who lusted after them." – Art Spiegelman
"Jack Cole was a masterful comic book artist who helped define the golden age of his art form." – Village Voice
Newave! is a gigantic collection of the best small press cartoonists to emerge in the 1970s after the first generation of underground cartoonists (such as R. Crumb, Gilbert Shelton, and Art Spiegelman) paved the way. These cartoonists, inspired by the freewheeling creative energy of the underground comix movement, began drawing and printing their own comix. The most popular format was an 8 1/2” x 11” sheet, folded twice, and printed at local, pre-Kinkos print shops on letter-size paper; because of the small size, they were dubbed “mini comix.” As they evolved many different artists, one by one, became interested in this do-it-yourself phenomenon. By the 1980’s they became known as Newave Comix, a term taken from England’s Newave rock ’n’ roll movement. An explosion of do-it-yourself artists emerged. Many talented artists went onto bigger and better things, others have disappeared into the fog never to be heard from again. Inspired by the creative freedom of their underground predecessors and unrestrained by commercial boundaries or editorial edicts, their work was particularly innovative and experimental. Here you will find a group of artists who could not get any attention from the mainstream, who were driven by the inner need to express themselves. This group was a pioneering force that still leaves a wake and an imprint on the alternative comix scene today.
Newave! features over 800 pages of comics (click here to read the full Table of Contents), as well as a historical introduction by editor Michael Dowers (click here to read), and interviews with several of the more prominent artists featured, such as Brad Foster, Artie Romero, Steve Willis, Dennis Worden, Bob X, J.R. Williams, Roger May, Tom Hosier, George Erling, and Bob Vojtko.
“Newave is not about artsploitation. Newave is about ideas. Nothing is taboo. Nothing is censored. No one is told what or what not to draw... Newave is social, political, rebellious, humorous, irreverent, libelous, inane, argumentative, blasé, blatant, belligerent, blasphemous, insane, kinky, ridiculous, absurd, loving, sleazy, and topical. Newave is back talk... Newave is the child of instant printing. Anyone can learn it. Anyone can participate. There are no aristocrats of newave, no comix stars. Newave is communication returned to people. It is out of the control of the mind manipulators...” – Excerpts from Clay Geerdes’ Newave Manifesto, 1983
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(NOTE: For academic/volume discounts on this title, please call toll-free at 1-800-657-1100 or 206-524-1967 outside the U.S.)
Ho Che Anderson’s biography of America’s great civil rights advocate Martin Luther King is both a monumental recreation of his tumultuous public life (and death) and an intimate portrait of the man as politician, friend, lover, husband, and father.
With the triumphant ascendancy of Barack Obama to the Presidency of the United States, Martin Luther King’s advocacy for racial equality and the dignity of all men stands as one of the greatest and most successful achievements toward social justice in the 20th century. Originally published in three volumes (1993-2002), this Special Edition of King includes the original 240 page graphic novel as well many unique and original additions, including an essay by the author on the making of the book, preliminary sketches, pages of the typescript, visual breakdowns, “deleted scenes,” and a prelude about race relations in contemporary America entitled Black Dogs.
Anderson’s biography traces King’s life from his childhood in Atlanta and his education at Booker T. Washington High School, and his centrality to the civil rights movement when, in 1955, he organized the Montgomery Bus Boycott; his founding of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957; his Nobel Prize in 1964; the 1966 March on Washington and his “I Have a Dream” speech; and the tragic moment on April 4, 1968 when he was shot dead on the balcony of the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee. King brings the man, and a singular moment in American history, vividly to life.
Download an EXCLUSIVE 18-page PDF excerpt (7 MB) covering events from 1960-61.
A swell custom-designed case containing the fifth and sixth volumes of Hank Ketcham's Complete Dennis the Menace with strips from the years 1959 through 1962. (Sorry, case is not peanut butter or root beer resistant.)
(Click the following links for more details on the 1959-1960 volume and the 1961-1962 volume, including preview excerpts.)
Hilarious, frightening, mysterious, adorable and utterly bleak, Chocolate Cheeks has arrived to disgust and delight comic-book readers of all ages. “Sweet” Chubby Cheeks and the Pullapart Boy (a 21st Century Frankenstein’s monster for kids) are driving each other crazy. Forced together by their dating parents, these two bitter enemies have alienated — or otherwise disposed of — most of their social circle, leaving them with plenty of quality time for each other. They go camping, start a business, form a band, join a team, try to make some new friends (including icky new characters Crustache and Lumpy Noodle) and engage in a "holy war." Things go from worse to worst, though, when the two boys find a cat — or is it a bird? — one hot summer day in the harrowing 51-page story "Blue Jay" (as previously serialized at Fantagraphics.com).
Steven Weissman, modern master of light tragedy, is at his most horrible with Chocolate Cheeks. Juxtaposing gag-driven, newspaper-fashioned strips that are just gross enough to delight younger readers and sophisticated enough to be appreciated by grown-ups alongside the symbolically rich extended narrative of "Blue Jay," this is the greatest "Yikes" book yet.
344-page black & white 8.5" x 7" hardcover • $28.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-345-3
Ships in: March 2010 (subject to change)
Good grief, Charlie Brown, we're halfway there! That’s right! With this volume, The Complete Peanuts reaches the halfway point of Charles M. Schulz’s astounding half-century run on the greatest comic strip of all time.
These years are especially fecund in terms of new canine characters, as Snoopy is joined by his wandering brother Spike (from Needles), his beloved sister Belle (from Kansas City), and... did you know he had a nephew? In other beagle news, Snoopy breaks his foot and spends six weeks in a cast, deals with his friend Woodstock’s case of the “the vapors,” and gets involved in a heated love triangle with Linus over the girl “Truffles.”
The Complete Peanuts 1975-1976 features several other long stories, including a rare “double track” sequence with two parallel narratives: Peppermint Patty and Snoopy travel to participate in the Powderpuff Derby, while Charlie Brown finally gets to meet his idol Joe Shlabotnik. And Peppermint Patty switches to a private school, but commits the mistake of allowing Snoopy to pick it for her; only after graduation does she realize something’s not quite right!
Plus: A burglary at Peppermint Patty’s house is exacerbated by waterbed problems... Marcie acquires an unwanted suitor... Charlie Brown and Peppermint Patty become desk partners... The talking school building collapses... Lots of tennis jokes... and gags starring Schroeder, Lucy, Franklin, Rerun, Sally, and that vicious cat next door. It’s another two years of Peanuts at its finest! Featuring an introduction by comedian Robert Smigel (Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, Saturday Night Live).
"The Complete Peanuts has framed Charles Schulz’s enduring masterpiece about as well any lifelong fan could’ve hoped." – "The Best Comics of the '00s: The Archives", The A.V. Club
Download an EXCLUSIVE 14-page PDF excerpt (1 MB) containing all the strips from January, 1975!