When the formulaic constraints, censorious nature, and onerous lack of creators' rights in mainstream comics got to be too much for the brilliant cartoonist Wallace Wood in 1966, he struck out on his own with the self-published witzend. It became a haven for Wood and his fellow professional cartoonist friends where they could produce the kind of personal work that they wanted to do, without regard to commercial demands — and with friends like Frank Frazetta, Al Williamson, Reed Crandall, Ralph Reese, Archie Goodwin, Angelo Torres, Steve Ditko, Harvey Kurtzman, Will Elder, Art Spiegelman, Don Martin, Vaughn Bodé, Jim Steranko, Jeff Jones, Howard Chaykin, Trina Robbins, Bernie Wrightson, and literally dozens more, it was bound to be a great ride! Now, Fantagraphics presents the complete run of witzend in this beautiful slipcased two-volume set with a special introduction by Bill Pearson and a history by Patrick Rosenkranz.
When Jim and Winston arrive one morning to open their butcher shop, something is wrong. There is no meat in the shop, and they have both completely forgotten how to do their job. What has caused this strange amnesia, and what do they do now? This funny, often discomfiting graphic novella is the debut book from Conor Stechschulte.
Exclusive: Conor has provided us with this limited-edition 4-color screenprint to include as a free bonus in every order while supplies last! Order now and don't miss out!
"Strange Suspense offers page after lurid four-color page of Ditko's weird monsters, rubber-faced crooks, and abstracted landscapes... The book is a white-knuckle trip through Ditko’s fevered imagination." – The A.V. Club
"This book is chock-full of intense faces and monsters and colors. Strong blacks, horror comics, mean revenge, strange surgery…It's all horror comics from before Fredric Wertham illegalized good-time comic books." – Vice
"The tales in this tome are sheer pre-Comics Code Authority horror, complete with stabbings, decapitations, mutilations, and disintegrations. …Ditko's talent jumps off the page and one of the benefits of reading the stories in chronological order is seeing his art evolve and improve." – Rue Morgue
"This exhilarating collection of stories by the comic-book artist who co-created Spider-Man captures all the glorious chills and blood spills from the first two years of his career." – Entertainment Weekly
Resuming our noble undertaking: The long-lost comic strip masterpiece by Crockett Johnson, legendary creator of Harold and the Purple Crayon, collected in full! Barnaby's deft balance of whimsical fantasy, timeless humor, and elegant cartooning will delight readers of all ages.
"A revelation. As in his contemporaneous animated cartoons, this Mickey is a feisty, wisecracking daredevil... Gottfredson’s charmingly old-fashioned drawings accentuate the gags and briskly propel the plotlines." – Gordon Flagg, Booklist
"I have a feeling that [these] book[s], crafted with such obvious care, will earn Gottfredson a new legion of admirers." – Leonard Maltin
"From the beautifully reproduced strips to the densely packed ancillary features, this must be the book that editors David Gerstein and Fantagraphics’ co-founder Gary Groth wanted for years for their own libraries. Their enthusiasm shows in the wonderfully designed package. This book is highly recommended for any Disney fan and fans of America's rich comic strip history." – Rich Clabaugh,Christian Science Monitor
Before the Amazing Spider-Man, before the mysterious Dr. Strange, before the black-and-white world of the Ayn Rand-inspired Mr. A, 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 and 1954), Ditko drew tales of macabre suspense that were not yet hobbled by the imminent Comics Code Authority (adopted in Oct. 1954). 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.
Following up on Strange and Stranger: The World of Steve Ditko, Blake Bell’s 2008 best-selling critical retrospective of Ditko’s career, Strange Suspense: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 1 features, 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 Bell’s insightful introduction, providing historical background and speaking to Ditko's influence and his unique craft.
"I'm so excited by Fantagraphics bringing us a complete version of witzend... That's a bunch of interesting cartoonists doing work at the far frontier of their creative impulses that weren't given that opportunity a whole lot." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
"Witzend is a gem." – iFanboy
"[Witzend's] salient point, that comic artists were entitled to more control and ownership of their own work, would eventually be recognized by the publishers of comic books, but it is hard to argue that witzend itself was a key factor in that development. Like so many other visionary endeavors, it may simply have been ahead of its time." – Rick Spanier
"Wally Wood is one of the best comic book artists that ever lived." – Mark Frauenfelder, Boing Boing
"The minute you looked at his artwork you knew you were looking at a John Severin illustration; it could be no one else. Besides his inimitable style, there was a feeling of total authenticity to whatever he drew, whether it was a Western, a crime story, a superhero saga or a science fiction yarn." – Stan Lee
"All of these books are essential purchases for comics fans… These are the books that best show off how EC took genre stories seriously, striving to create comics that didn't treat readers as naive or ignorant." – Los Angeles Times
"Fantagraphics' current series of handsome hardcovers makes familiar material fresh by focusing on individual artists... it's never been easier to appreciate the contributions of these iconic inkslingers." – Chicago Tribune
"These collections show comics in a pure, unadulterated form. Before the Superhero frenzy, before '60s cynicism, and just before the Comics Code Authority started trimming all the gory and sexy fun from the pages with their seal of approval." – Under the Radar
Hot on the heels of last year’s Vip: The Mad World of Virgil Partch comes this brand new collection of intoxicated insanity! Virgil Partch, tutor to the tanked, scholar of the sloshed, professor to the plastered, and endowed with a scholarship from the School of Advanced Study of Alcoholic Endeavor, flung himself into months-long research of the most arduous kind in order to produce — for our collective betterment — this report on the hangover, and how one may acquire it.
At the height of his career, working in quiet obscurity, Partch pursued his goal quietly and selflessly, often confining himself for long hours without food or sleep in dim, ill-ventilated holes-in-the-walls, doggedly researching, testing, rejecting, seeking no reward but that elusive ideal mixture to satiate one’s palate and wet one’s whistle.
The foamy formula of excess (C2H5OH + homo sapiens) has created a combustible concoction that has long fueled sleepless nights, great passions, artistic achievement, and regretful mornings, but never before has it produced such inspired hilarity. Collecting the top shelf of Vip’s drink-themed artwork including well-known favorites, this new book is sure to delight even the most rigid teetotaler (and perhaps cause them to reconsider). So batten down the hooch and prepare to cast off on the stormy seas of booze with your faithful captain, Virgil Partch!