Monte Schulz's prose novel opens in the spring of 1929, as the 19-year-old consumptive farm boy Alvin Pendergast attends an ill-fated dance marathon he's too sickly to participate in. After a year of his life has been stolen by a sanitarium, Alvin knows he's relapsing, and dreads not only the drudgery of his family's homestead, but a return to the hospital. In this state of mind, an invitation for a late-night slice of pie is too seductive to pass up and before he knows it, Alvin crosses the Mississippi River and finds himself working for a slick con artist named Chester Burke.
Alvin is no match for Chester, who's not merely a con man, but a gangster from Chicago, following the bootleg liquor trade through the small towns of America's middle border. With Alvin in tow, Chester's insouciant disregard for life serves him well as he embarks upon a series of bank robberies and senseless murders. All summer long, Chester assumes the role of a dark angel on Judgment day, cleansing the scrolls of those whose sad fortune had drawn them across his path. Too ill to flee, too morally weak to object, Alvin resigns himself to what seems like certain doom somewhere down the road. Fortunately, Alvin finds another companion on his journey, a lonely, eccentric, and grandiloquent dwarf named Rascal, whose own infirmity binds his and the farm boy's destiny together. Drawn deeper and deeper into Chester's murderous frolic, they come across a curious assortment of characters, from small town businessmen and religious kooks to wayward girls and dance contestants, spiritualists and sideshow freaks. Caught between Chester's villainy and Alvin's own physical deterioration, the young farm boy must make a decision: stick with Chester, who would surely kill him at the slightest hint of betrayal, or muster the courage to stake his life on faith in Rascal's clever plan to save them both. Tired of being afraid, Alvin finally grasps the need not only to outwit the gangster but to find another road to travel. What he discovers about the meaning of home offers a solution to escape and freedom.
This Side of Jordan is a thoroughly American novel told in the voice of a lost generation hurtling toward the Great Depression, and evokes a long ago America of crowded Main Streets and tourist camps, miles of cornfields, rural churches, and musty parlors. It ends on the fairgrounds of a traveling wagon circus that beckons gangster, farm boy, and dwarf toward a startling resolution, and a hard-fought absolution for the two young, frightened collaborators. The narrative of this novel has the momentum of a freight train, but told in the seductive, rhythmic tradition of Southern lyricism reminiscent of Flannery O'Connor and Truman Capote, and filled with vivid, outsized literary characters. If Jim Thompson and Carson McCullers went on a collaborative bender by kidnapping Holden Caulfield, Perry Smith, and Ignatius J. Reilly, they'd have come up with something like This Side of Jordan.
All and Sundry corrals critically-acclaimed author and artist Paul Hornschemeier’s work from the last five years — work previously ungathered, and in many cases never before seen in print.
These works span the globe, from periodicals to museums, including: conceptual drawings and comics of Ulysses S. Grant created for an exhibit in Paris; an award-winning cover exhibited in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London; the seventeen-part serialized tale of divine intervention, non-linearity, and social webs “Huge Suit Visits the People” created for the celebrated German newspaper Frankurter Allgemeine Zeitung; and comic strips for The Wall Street Journal and CNN featuring the unlikely cartoon protagonists of Michael Jackson, Sylvester Stallone as Rambo, and the “gray fox,” Anderson Cooper. In addition to these oddities, All and Sundry collects covers and designs from multiple foreign editions of Paul’s books, ranging from Holland to Korea; recent album art for David Byrne's Luaka Bop record label; a collaboration with celebrated comics humorist Michael Kupperman (Tales Designed to Thrizzle); as well as short, illustrated prose (thus far seen only in the pages of the anthology Mome).
The collection concludes with extensive selections from sketches and sketchbooks, providing an unusual glimpse at the chaotic world of Hornschemeier’s work, before the polishing of lines and colors of the printed page. Here we see how works have developed and what the future holds for still gestating projects.
All and Sundry, perhaps more than any previous collection of Hornschemeier’s work, demonstrates the variety and depth of the artist’s interests and pursuits, and invites an examination of the entirety of his process, from first fevered scrawl to final, pristine brush line.
NOTE: BECAUSE OF OUR CONTRACT WITH THE LICENSOR THIS BOOK CANNOT BE SOLD OUTSIDE OF NORTH AMERICA. IF YOU RESIDE ANYWHERE OTHER THAN THE U.S. OR CANADA PLEASE DO NOT TRY TO ORDER IT FROM OUR WEBSITE; YOUR ORDER WILL NOT BE PROCESSED.
A SAVAGE NOIR THRILLER REUNITING A MASTER CRIME NOVELIST AND A SUPERLATIVE FRENCH CARTOONIST
George Gerfaut, aimless young executive and desultory family man, witnesses a murder and finds himself sucked into a spiral of violence involving an exiled war criminal and two hired assassins. Adapting to the exigencies of his new life on the run with shocking ease, Gerfaut abandons his comfortable middle-class life for several months (including a sojourn in the countryside after an attempt to ride the rails turns spectacularly bad) until, joined with a new ally, he finally returns to settle all accounts... with brutal, bloody interest.
Originally released in 2005, West Coast Blues (Le Petit bleu de la côte ouest) is Tardi’s adaptation of a popular 1976 novel by the French crime writer Jean-Patrick Manchette. (The novel had been previously adapted to film under the more literal title Trois hommes à abattre, and was released in English by the San Francisco-based publisher City Lights under the English version of the same title, 3 to Kill.)
Tardi’s late-period, looser style infuses Manchette’s dark story with a seething, malevolent energy; he doesn’t shy away from the frequently grisly goings-on, while maintaining (particularly in the old-married-couple-style bickering of the two killers who are tracking Gerfaut) the mordant wit that characterizes his best work. This is the kind of graphic novel that Quentin Tarantino would love, and a double shot of Scotch for any fan of unrelenting, uncompromising crime fiction.
What is the squirrel machine? Is it a rodent ensnarement device? A mechanism for concealing one’s guarded harvest? An anachronistic fable? A meaningless diversion?
Set in a fictional 19th Century New England town, the narrative initially details the relationship and maturation of Edmund and William Torpor. But the two brothers quickly elicit the scorn and recrimination of an unamused public when they reveal their musical creations built from strange technologies and scavenged animal carcasses. Driven to seek a concealment for their aberrant activities, they make a startling discovery. Perhaps they will divine the mystery of the squirrel machine.
What is The Squirrel Machine? • An immutably strange and haunting narrative that transcends known logics and presumptive dream-barriers; • A distillation of subconscious beauty and inspired madness; • A dangerous object for the incautious; • A revelation for the undernourished crypto-seeker; • The virgin caress of unconsummated apocalypse; • The unspeakable thing that you always knew.
It’s also the legendary obscurantist cartoonist Hans Rickheit’s most ambitious graphic novel to date. Exquisitely rendered, strange, and hauntingly beautiful, this evocative and enigmatic book will ensure the inquisitive reader a spleenful of cerebral serenity that will require vast quantities of mediocrity to banish from memory.
Dutch artist and designer Femke Hiemstra has a unique style and vision that evokes the work of Robert Williams and Mark Ryden, but with a less cynical worldview that invites the viewer to enter the magic spaces she creates. Rock Candy is the artist’s first retrospective and fully spotlights her talent, whimsy and wit in a deluxe package certain to catapult her to the forefront of the Pop Surrealism movement.
Hiemstra’s paintings and illustrations are united by a meticulous attention to craft that gives life to her dark, lush, fairytale landscapes where inanimate objects come to life and frolic with anthropomorphs of all types. She incorporates mixed media, found objects, typography, and a variety of influences ranging from fireworks packaging to Japanese woodblock prints.
Rock Candy presents Hiemstra’s entire life and career under one cover. In addition to over 100 gorgeous reproductions of her paintings and illustrations, Rock Candy includes photographs and reproductions of her studio, her influences, her family and much more. The book also includes an introduction by Kirsten Anderson, author of Pop Surrealism: The Rise of Underground Art and proprietor of the Roq La Rue Gallery (Seattle, WA), as well as an interview with Hiemstra, statements about the works by the artist, and many other surprises that are certain to make Hiemstra a household name amongst fans of Pop Surrealism.
Set in sun-drenched Cape Town, South Africa, The Red Monkey Double Happiness Book — featuring two full-length stories, “The Leaking Cello Case” and “John Wesley Harding” — is stuffed to the gills with mystery, suspense, action, adventure, conspiracy theories, cool cars, and excellent weed as Dave and his freeloading pal Paul, well-meaning stoners in the tradition of Cheech & Chong and Harold & Kumar, thwart criminal malfeasance even as they ponder the larger questions, such as, “What steps can I personally take to help protect the Earth and the species that inhabit it?” (though most people’s answers to these questions don’t involve sword fights and hovercrafts).
Joe Daly brings a refreshingly original — and utterly hilarious — voice to the comics medium, a dry, deadpan wit anchored in everyday reality combined with unnervingly deranged plots, rendered with a hyper-detailed, half-realistic and half-cartoony Tintin-style crispness.
Prison Pit is an original graphic novel from the pen of Johnny Ryan, best known for his humor comic, Angry Youth Comix. Prison Pit represents a marked departure from AYC or his Blecky Yuckerella weekly comic strip, combining his love for WWE wrestling, Gary Panter’s “Jimbo” comics, and Kentaro Miura’s “Berserk” Manga into a brutal showcase of violence, survival and revenge. Imagine a blend of old-fashioned role playing fantasy games like Dungeons & Dragons crossed with contemporary adult video games like Grand Theft Auto, filtered through Ryan’s sense of humor.
The book begins with C.F. (his full name would be too horrifying to reveal here) being thrown into the Prison Pit, a barren negative-zone populated by intergalactic, violent monster criminals. In this first volume, C.F. gets into a bloody slorge war (a slorge is a giant slug that excretes a steroid-like drug called “fecid” that all the monster men are addicted to) with ultraprisoner Rottweiler Herpes and his henchmen Rabies Bloodbath and Assrat. The ensuing bloodbath is an over-the-top, hyperviolent yet hilarious farce worthy of Ryan’s inspiration, Kentaro Miura.
The Hernandez Brothers are back with the second eye-popping volume of Love and Rockets: New Stories, your annual 100-page dollop of all-new L&R material.
In the concluding 50-page half of Jaime’s outrageous, acclaimed, full-on superhero mash-up “Ti-Girls Adventures,” our protagonist, rookie do-gooder Boot Angel, learns more hard lessons about becoming a superheroine. Eventually, just about the entire cast gets together in a big family reunion that unexpectedly takes place in Maggie’s tiny, messy one-bedroom apartment.
Sandwiched between the concluding chapters of Jaime's story, Gilbert turns in two mind-benders of his own. “Hypnotwist” is Gilbert’s 39-page epic story of a beautiful, leggy redhead’s surreal journey into a night filled with mysterious shady characters, dreamlike violence, and sparkling retro spike heels. But is it real, or something else? For readers trying to parse the truth, Gilbert ups the ante by telling the whole story without using a single word. And "Sad Girl" (previewed in our 2009 Free Comic Book Day offering) is the tale of a disaffected young bombshell actress nicknamed "Killer" and the web of jealousy, gossip, notoriety and mystery that surrounds her.
A UNIQUE TAKE ON THE SUMMER OF LOVE GENERATION, THROUGH THE EYES OF AN ACCLAIMED GRAPHIC NOVELIST AND HER PARTNER, WHO LIVED IT
Bruce Paley turned 18 in 1967 during the Summer of Love, putting him on the front lines of the late-1960s youth movement. Paley’s tumultuous journey took him from being a Jack Kerouac-loving hippie in the 1960s, on the road with his 17-year-old girlfriend, dropping acid at Disneyland, living in a car, and crashing with armed Black Panthers at the infamous 1968 Democratic National Convention, to hanging out at Max’s Kansas City, shooting heroin and cocaine with the likes of rock star Johnny Thunders, and frequenting Times Square’s seedy brothels — a journey that mirrored the changing times as the optimism of the ’60s gave way to the nihilism of the punk years. Over a dozen years, Bruce crossed paths with hippies, violent cops, rednecks, rock stars, and Black Panthers... and ended up a heroin addict for much of the 1970s.
These stories are vividly brought to life in Giraffes in My Hair (A Rock ’N’ Roll Life) by the compelling visual storytelling of Bruce’s partner, the cartoonist Carol Swain.
Swain’s trademark visual approach to comics, typified by exquisitely composed panels that vividly capture both anomie and pathos, is perfectly suited to dramatizing Paley’s life during that confusing, tumultuous period of American history — a life lived in the countercultural margins, amidst personal chaos and social dissolution. Swain’s storytelling rhythms are contemplative and breathes inner life into Paley’s turbulent stories, creating a perceptive prism to view the vast possibilities and endless pitfalls as experienced by a kid growing up in America in the late 1960s and early ’70s.
The second entry in our project to bring the works of French great Jacques Tardi to American audiences, You Are There is a landmark book that pairs Tardi with Barbarella creator Jean-Claude Forest. This satirical masterpiece ushered in the graphic novel era to European comics with an unexpected combination of dark cynicism and playful fantasy. This hardcover edition is now available for pre-order in our online shop, and we've made the entire 19-page first chapter available as a free PDF download. This book is scheduled be in stock and shipping in mid-September, and in stores approximately 4 weeks later (subject to change).