A family is seduced by a mysterious creature's siren song that can be heard emanating from the lagoon after dark in talented young cartoonist Lilli Carré’s first long-form work, and how each member reacts to the song in The Lagoon is the crux of the story. For the wise — or pixilated — Grandpa, the song reminds him that, in the time he has left, he must pause to respect, appreciate, and fear nature. The song hints at something that Zoey, the daughter, is too young to fully grasp. And the song lures the sexually frustrated mother, and eventually, her husband, into danger... Carré experimented with nib pens and brushes while drawing this black-and-white graphic novel, giving the art a different feel from her previous, Eisner-and-Harvey-Award-nominated story, Tales of Woodsman Pete. The Lagoon was influenced by the films Creature from the Black Lagoon and Night of the Hunter, but reads more like the gothic, family narratives of Flannery O’Connor or Carson McCullers. Rhythms — Grandpa’s taps, the ticking of a metronome — are punctuated by silences that pace this “sound”-driven story. Older teen and adult readers are invited to imagine the enigmatic creature’s haunting, ever-shifting tune as it reverberates through weedy waters, eventually escaping the lagoon to creep into windows at night.
Fuzz & Pluck: Splitsville tells the hilariously bizarre adventures of Pluck, an irritable and featherless rooster, and his best pal, the awkwardly unsocialized but lovable teddy bear known as Fuzz. These two usually inseparable and co-dependent misfits find themselves suddenly separated and alone. Pluck vows to establish his place in the world's pecking order by becoming a champion gladiator, while the more demure Fuzz finds himself a POW in a stuffed animal collection, only to escape and befriend a mercurial ferryman who recruits him for an impossible task. These absurdities pile on and eventually converge in a fatal collision course that reunites our heroes.
Fuzz & Pluck is an odd, and unusually original graphic novel, a "funny animal" comic that is surprisingly human. Rich with pathos, wit, farce, existentialism and drama, often cruel, always funny, this superficially ridiculous struggle for survival is an Alice in Wonderland for grown-ups that reaches absurdly delightful heights. As Simpsons creator Matt Groening says, "This epic tale of a hapless li'l bear and his defeathered friend is why I love comics. All hail the peculiar Fuzz & Pluck and their creator, Ted Stearn!"
Ted Stearn is longtime storyboard artist for animation. Fuzz & Pluck is the author's most personal work, showcasing his vivid imagination and meticulous draughtsmanship.
Here's your first glimpse at the feature interviews with Norwegian graphic novelist Jason and Lio cartoonist Mark Tartulli, the special portfolio of cartoonists' holiday cards, the comics section of Barney Google strips, and more that can be found in the upcoming Comics Journal #294. Click this link if the embedded slideshow doesn't appear above, and/or to open it in a new window.
Available tomorrow exclusively at participating comic shops: A Peanuts Halloween, a special 12-page comic produced as a free Halloween trick-or-treat giveaway! This little pamphlet reproduces Great Pumpkin-themed Peanuts strips from the last two volumes of The Complete Peanuts and is notable for being the first time Fantagraphics has presented Sunday Peanuts strips in color! Your local comic shop is the only place to get this nifty little item - be sure to call ahead and confirm availability.
The stupidest, ugliest, stubbliest girl in grade number two returns in the third collection of Johnny Ryan's Blecky Yuckerella: Comics Are for Idiots!Click this link if the embedded slideshow doesn't appear above, and/or to open it in a new window.
Also: other publishers have new stuff coming out from our pals Chris Ware, Gilbert Hernandez and Kevin Huizenga, so this is definitely a good week to hit the shops. As customary, we've got previews of our releases that you can check out at the links above to help maximize your shopping time.
Here's an advance look at John Kerschbaum's brutally funny graphic novel debut Petey & Pussy, starring a pair of kvetching, balding, foul-mouthed anthropomorphic misanthropes. Click this link if the embedded slideshow doesn't appear above, and/or to open it in a new window.
This superbly evocative graphic novella by the award-winning Norwegian cartoonist Jason (his first appearance in the English language) starts off as a melancholy childhood memoir and then, with a shocking twist midway through, becomes the summary of lives lived, wasted, and lost. (Imagine a version of Stand by Me in which not all of the kids outrace the train.) Like Art Spiegelman did with Maus, Jason utilizes anthropomorphic stylizations to reach deeper, more general truths, and to create elegantly minimalist panels whose emotional depth charge comes as an even greater shock. His sparse dialogue, dark wit, and supremely bold use of "jump-cuts" from one scene to the next (sometimes spanning a number of years) make Hey, Wait... a surprising and engaging debut. Love and Rockets co-creator Gilbert Hernandez calls this one of the best graphic novels ever.
F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Ezra Pound, and James Joyce walk into a Parisian bar... no, it's not the beginning of a joke, but the premise of Jason's unique new graphic novel. Set in 1920s Paris, The Left Bank Gang is a deliciously inventive re-imagining of these four literary figures as not only typical Jason anthropomorphics, but...graphic novelists! Yes, in Jason's warped world, cartooning is the dominant form of fiction, and not only do these four work literary giants work in the comics medium but they get together to discuss pen vs. brush, chat about the latest graphic novels from Dostoevsky ("I can't tell any of his characters apart!") to Faulkner ("Hasn't he heard of white space? His panels are too crowded!"), and bemoan their erratic careers. With guest appearances by Zelda Fitzgerald and Jean-Paul Sartre, and a few remarkable twists and turns along the way, and you've got one of the funniest and most playful graphic novels of the year. Like Jason's acclaimed Why Are You Doing This?, The Left Bank Gang is rendered in full spectacular color.
2007 Eisner Award Winner, Best U.S. Edition of International Material