Alex Toth’s influence on the art of comic books is incalculable. As his generation was the first to grow up with the new 10-cent full-color pamphlets, he came to the medium with a fresh eye, and enough talent and discipline to graphically strip it down its to its bare essentials. His efforts reached fruition at Standard Comics, creating an entire school of imitators and establishing Toth as the “comic book artist’s artist.” Setting the Standard collects the entirety of this highly influential body of work in one substantial volume.
Toth began his professional career at fifteen in 1945 for Heroic Comics, but quickly advanced to superhero work for DC. Responding to the endless criticism of editor Sheldon Mayer and production chief Sol Harrison, the young artist strove toward a technique free of “showoff surface tricks, clutter, and distracting picture elements.” Simply put, he learned “how to tell a story, to the exclusion of all else.”
After falling out with DC in 1952, Toth moved west. He freelanced almost exclusively for Standard over the next two years, contributing classic work for its crime, horror, science fiction, and war titles. But perhaps most revelatory to the reader will be the romance collaborations with writer Kim Ammodt, Toth’s personal favorites. “I came to prefer them for the quieter, more credible, natural human equations they dealt with — emotions, subtleties of gesture, expression, attitude.”
To explain his take on comics, Toth would quote such proverbs as “To add to truth distracts from it,” or “The beauty of the simple thing.” He employed these axioms “to make clear how universal this pursuit of truth, clarity, simplicity, economy, in all the arts and many other disciplines really is — and has been for 6,000 years.” These and other observations regarding the comic book form will be collected in an essay based on Toth’s published and unpublished letters and interviews.
Every page of Setting the Standard is restored to bring Toth’s unsurpassed graphics and page designs into full clarity, making this an essential edition for anyone with an appreciation of the art of graphic storytelling.
Download and read a 38-page PDF excerpt (17.7 MB) with 6 complete stories.
Publishers Weekly presents an exclusive 7-page excerpt from The Armed Garden and Other Stories by David B., in which the creator of the acclaimed Epileptic gives full rein to his fascination with history, magic and gods, not to mention grand battles, in a literate, witty, and absorbing collection of stories.
At Forbes magazine's Booked blog, Vanna Le shares a slideshow of images from Flannery O'Connor: The Cartoons, our collection of the great writer's early graphic work coming in December, saying "The entire collection has just the right amount of charm you would expect from a young and witty O’Connor. But it’s more than just a book for laughs — it offers some insight into O’Connor’s personal life as well as her mockery towards the pretensions of her social environment."
Special double-sized FINAL issue! After 6 years and over 2500 pages of comics, MOME heads into the sunset with an all-star, jam-packed farewell bonanza. Several past MOME favorites return for the swan song, including Kurt Wolfgang, Tom Kaczynski, Joe Kimball, Eleanor Davis, Anders Nilsen, Tim Hensley, Paul Hornschemeier, Gabrielle Bell, and Zak Sally (those covers!). Meanwhile, several newcomers get in just under the wire: Jesse Moynihan, Malachi Ward, James Romberger, Nick Drnaso, Joseph Lambert, Nick Thorburn, Victor Kerlow, and Ignatz Award-winners Jim Rugg and Chuck Forsman! Recent MOME favorites also return, such as Sergio Ponchione, Steven Weissman, Sara Edward-Corbett, Laura Park, Josh Simmons (plus collaborators The Partridge in the Pear Tree and Wendy Chin), Derek Van Gieson (with collaborator Michael Jada), Tim Lane, Nate Neal, Lilli Carré, T. Edward Bak, Dash Shaw, Ted Stearn and Noah Van Sciver. Over 30 artists in all, including a surprise contributor we don't want to give away!
Download and read a 29-page PDF excerpt (13 MB) with a sample page from nearly every artist and story (barring some surprises).
The history of the genre known as Cartoon Advertising is addressed for the first time in the oversized, full-color, 128-page, fully illustrated book Drawing Power. “There are many obscure masterpieces to be found lingering at the intersection of American Commerce and Comic Art,” says co-editor Rick Marschall. Drawing Power covers the years from the Gilded Age and the pioneer illustrated magazines of the 1870s to the 1940s, just before American entry into World War II.
This landmark volume features the work of iconic cartoonists doing work that mostly has been lost to history, by the nature of its in-the-moment splashes. There are examples by Thomas Nast, Joseph Keppler, F Opper, Bud Fisher, George Herriman, John Held, Jr., Charles Dana Gibson, Percy Crosby, Peter Arno, Gluyas Williams, Milton Caniff and over 60 other cartoonists. Generous portfolios are devoted to the substantial work in the genre by R F Outcault, Dr Seuss, cartoon sheet music, and more.
Many famous products and many famous campaigns and slogans – but also forgotten gadgets and outrageous claims – are found in Drawing Power. Dr Scott’s Electric Cigarettes from the 1880s… Yellow Kid cigars… the Campbell Soup Kids… Rose O’Neill’s Jello-O ads… Snap, Crackle, and Pop… Little Orphan Annie’s Ovaltine… Mr Coffee Nerves… they are all here! Other “pitchmen” include Popeye, Mickey Mouse, Barney Google, Walt & Skeezix, and more!
But Drawing Power is not just a fascinating stroll down memory lane. It is a serious look at a significant category of American culture… one that has not been anthologized nor analyzed until now. Drawing Power: A Compendium of Cartoon Advertising is guaranteed not to shrink, even after repeated washings. Smooth, satisfying, easy on the throat. No longer will your friends notice your dishpan hands, once you have read Drawing Power! Buy two today!
During the 1950s, Abe Goodman — brother of Marvel Comics publisher Martin Goodman — was the largest buyer of cartoons in the world. Publishing out of New York City under the Humorama banner, Goodman churned out scores of cheap digest-sized magazines boasting inventive titles like Romp, Stare and Joker that featured hackneyed jokes, cheesecake photos and the publications’ bread and butter, single panel pin-up cartoons.
These magazines were an unlikely proving ground for neophyte gag cartoonists as well as a welcomed alternative to the daily grind of comic book sweatshops. In the 1950s and 1960s, these digests featured the likes of Playboy’s Jack Cole, Archie’s Dan DeCarlo and glamour girl legend Bill Ward. In addition to these three pin-up cartooning luminaries, other notables who contributed included longtime illustrator Jefferson Machamer, Basil Wolverton, MAD’s Dave Berg (“The Lighter Side”), and future syndicated cartoonists George Crenshaw (Belvedere), Bill Hoest (The Lockhorns) and Brad Anderson (Marmaduke). Drawing from private collections of original art and thousands of Humorama digests, editor Alex Chun has once again selected the best of these long out-of-print images and designer Jacob Covey has lovingly "remastered" them in a period-accurate two-color format that duplicates the original experience of these innocently raunchy classics. You'll also find a Foreword and bonus pinup by noted purveyor of comics raunch Howard Chaykin.
Exclusive Savings: Order this volume and get any previous single volume in the Humorama digest series (Dan DeCarlo Vol. 1 or 2, Bill Ward, or Bill Wenzel) for just $10.00 - that's nearly 1/2 off the cover price! Make your selection when placing your order.
Martin Terrier, ice-cold mercenary-turned-contract-killer, has his future all mapped out: He has just executed what he intends to be his final job and is ready to move on to the next phase of his life, which involves discreet retirement accompanied by a long-lost girlfriend. But Terrier’s employers are emphatically not pleased with his decision, old enemies begin to re-emerge, and soon Terrier is forced to once again ply his brutal trade.
Five years after West Coast Blues, his acclaimed adaptation of Jean-Patrick Manchette’s Le Petit bleu de la côte ouest (a.k.a. Three to Kill), Jacques Tardi returns to the world of guns, crime, betrayal and bloodshed with this stunning, grisly, and remarkably faithful interpretation of Manchette’s last completed crime thriller. Manchette himself claimed to have written the novel in an attempt to emulate the ultraviolent, hellbent-for-leather, pitch-black ambiance of Robert Aldrich’s Kiss Me Deadly, and Tardi matches him bullet for bullet and blow for blow. As The Village Voice noted of the original novel (La Position du tireur couché, released in English under the title The Prone Gunman by City Lights in 2001), “Thirty pages before the finale, it’s hard not to wonder how the book could possibly end... But the book does end, in circumstances far worse than you might easily imagine, on a note of extraordinary bleakness.”
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