In 1970, William S. Burroughs and artist Malcolm McNeill began a small collaborative project on a comic entitled The Unspeakable Mr. Hart, which appeared in the first four issues of Cyclops, England’s first comics magazine for an adult readership. Soon after, Burroughs and McNeill agreed to collaborate on a book-length meditation on time, power, control, and corruption that evoked the Mayan codices and specifically, the Mayan god of death, Ah Pook. Ah Pook Is Here was to include their character Mr. Hart, but stray from the conventional comics form to explore different juxtapositions of images and words.
Ah Pook was never finished in its intended form. In a 1979 prose collection that included only the words from the collaboration, Ah Pook is Here and Other Texts (Calder, 1979), Burroughs explains in the preface that they envisioned the work to be “one that falls into neither the category of the conventional illustrated book nor that of a comix publication.” Rather, the work was to include “about a hundred pages of artwork with text (thirty in full-color) and about fifty pages of text alone.” The book was conceived as a single painting in which text and images were combined in whatever form seemed appropriate to the narrative. It was conceived as 120 continuous pages that would "fold out." Such a book was, at the time, unprecedented, and no publisher was willing to take a chance and publish a “graphic novel.”
However, Malcolm McNeill created nearly a hundred paintings, illustrations, and sketches for the book, and these, finally, are seeing the light of day in The Lost Art of Ah Pook. (Burroughs’ text will not be included.) McNeill himself is an exemplary craftsman and visionary painter whose images have languished for over 30 years, unseen. Even in a context divorced from the words, they represent a stunning precursor to the graphic novel form to come.
Sara J. Van Ness contributes an historical essay chronicling the long history of Burroughs’ and McNeill’s work together, including its incomplete publishing history with Rolling Stone’s Straight Arrow Press, the excerpt that ran in Rush magazine, and the text that was published without pictures.
Observed While Falling is an account of the personal and creative interaction that defined the collaboration between the writer William S. Burroughs and the artist Malcolm McNeill on the graphic novel Ah Pook Is Here. The memoir chronicles the events that surrounded it, the reasons it was abandoned and the unusual circumstances that brought it back to life. McNeill describes his growing friendship with Burroughs and how their personal relationship affected their creative partnership. The book is written with insight and humor, and is liberally sprinkled with the kind of outré anecdotes one would expect working with a writer as original and eccentric as Burroughs. It confirms Burroughs’ and McNeill’s prescience, the place of Ah Pook in relation to the contemporary graphic novel, and its anticipation of the events surrounding 2012. The book offers new insights into Burroughs’ working methods as well as how the two explored the possibilities of words and images working together to form the ambitious literary hybrid that they didn’t know, at the time, was a harbinger of the 21st century “graphic novel.” McNeill expounds on the lessons of that experience to bring Ah Pook into present time. In light of current events, Ah Pook is unquestionably Here now.
Observed While Falling presents a unique view of the creative process that will be of interest to artists, writers and general readers alike. A perspective evoked by a literary experiment that has endured for forty years and still continues to “happen.”
"R. Crumb's writing, a dimension of his comics that usually passes underappreciated, receives a welcome spotlight in these sparsely illustrated letters that exhibit the artist's ear for the American vernacular." — Rain Taxi Review of Books
“I feel that my work is but a feeble expression of something that in itself is vague and doubtful... Sometimes when I probe myself I find that my intentions in art aren’t as sincere as they should be... Subconsciously I want to make myself immortal among men, leave my mark on the earth to compensate for social inadequacy... So I draw.” — R. Crumb, 1961
Spanning the most formative era of his life, from the painful years of adolescence to the fame and fortune of early adulthood, this collection of personal correspondences with two near-lifelong friends sheds light on the artistic development, bitter struggle, and ultimate triumph of the world’s greatest living cartoonist.
Crumb writes about many key events in his life: the dissolution of his first marriage, the pain of being separated from his first child, his troubles with the IRS, and his obsessions with comics, music and women (including his earliest experiences with Aline Kominsky-Crumb, now his wife of over 30 years). An entertaining and revealing look into the mind of a great artist and thinker; this is Crumb’s sketchbook of words, featuring scores of rare art, including entire letters drawn in cartoon form.
In 2000, veteran rock 'n' roller Lou Reed, legendary director Robert Wilson, and a cast of singers and actors premiered Reed's musical POEtry in Hamburg's Thalia Theater.
An ambitious combination of Edgar Allen Poe's poems and stories and Reeds reinterpretations of same (with a few classic Reed songs such as "Perfect Day" and "The Bed" integrated for good measure, POEtry bridged the centuries to provide a unique vision of beauty and horror for the dawning 21st century.
In 2003, Reed released (under the title The Raven) a double CD reprising the musical, featuring an all-star cast of singers and actors including Steve Buscemi, David Bowie, Laurie Anderson. Willem Dafoe, and the Blind Boys of Alabama, as well as an edited single-CD version focusing on the songs.
Now, for the definitive book version compiling the songs, verses and narratives that comprise POEtry/The Raven, Reed has personally commissioned legendary Italian illustrator and cartoonist Lorenzo Mattotti (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Stigmata) to visualize this extraordinary collaboration. Mattotti's vivid, abstracted and enigmatic artwork brings out all the terror and beauty of this centuries-spanning masterwork.
For our edition of this book, we enlisted Grammy Award-nominated designer Jesse LeDoux to create the striking jacket design.
What does it mean to live in America today? If you know there’s no right answer to that question, you’ll want to read Barack Hussein Obama — a book about you; about your country, your family, your president.
Barack Hussein Obama is not a graphic novel. It’s neither a biography nor an experiment, but a whole, fully-realized parallel America, a dada-esque, surrealistic satirical vision that is no more cockeyed than the real thing, its weirdness no more weird, its vision of the world no more terrifying, where the zombie-esque simulacra of Joe Biden and Hillary and Newt and Obama wander, if not exactly through the corridors of power, through an America they made and have to live in, like it or not.
American cartoonist Steven Weissman takes from the lives of the leader of the free world, his friends, his family, his sworn enemies, and gives them a new life that is both withering and oblique, devastating and contemplative, chaotic and pellucid.
Before you lose your will to vote, read Barack Hussein Obama.
In an irreverent twist to the fine art tradition of The Nude, this unique and original collection presents a “stripped” down version of the infamous “Gallery of Rogues” exhibit of cartoonist self-portraits at Ohio State University.
Here you’ll find a cornucopia of cartoonists’ nude self-portraits from the collection of Mark J. Cohen and Rose Marie McDaniel.
The cartoonists inside aren’t afraid to bare all. Here you’ll find: Scott (Dilbert) Adams, Sergio (Mad) Aragonés, Will (The Spirit) Eisner, Will (Mad) Elder, Jules (Village Voice) Feiffer, Al (Mad Fold-Ins) Jaffee, Lynn (For Better Or For Worse) Johnston, Bil (Family Circus) Keane, Russell (Broom-Hilda) Myers, Charles (Peanuts) Schulz, Jeff (Bone) Smith, Art (Maus) Spiegelman, Mort (Beetle Bailey) Walker, Gahan (The New Yorker) Wilson and over 50 more!
Order this or any other Love and Rockets book and receive this FBI•MINI comic shown at left as a FREE bonus! Click here for details. Limit one per customer while supplies last.
How do you follow up a one-two punch like Jaime Hernandez’s stunning two-part masterpiece “The Love Bunglers” from LRNS #3 and #4, which sent Maggie and Ray’s relationship in a startling new direction, as well as providing some mind-blowing revelations about Maggie’s (and her family’s) past?
If you’re Jaime, you deftly move sideways and switch focus to other characters, specifically Ray’s ex, the rambunctious “Frogmouth.” In “Crime Raiders International Mobsters and Executioners,” Tonta, the Frogmouth’s half-sister, comes to visit for a weekend and sees what kind of life the Frog Princess is living with Reno and Borneo — as well as a brand new character or two.
On the other-brother side, Gilbert Hernandez celebrates the 30th anniversary by bringing one of his current characters (“Killer,” granddaughter to the legendary Luba) into the Palomar milieu in a story that showcases a fictionalized “movie” Palomar (starring Fritz as a combination of Luba and Tonantzín), even as it brings back a number of the classic Palomar characters for real. This will be a much-anticipated homecoming for fans of the “classic” Love and Rockets of the 1980s.
Thirty years in, Love and Rockets continues to surprise and delight.
By appropriating and subverting Tintin creator Hergé’s classic “clear line” style, Joost Swarte revitalized European alternative comics in the 1970s with a series of satirical, musically elegant, supremely beautifully drawn short stories — often featuring his innocent, magnificently-quiffed Jopo de Pojo, or his orotund scientist character, Anton Makassar.
Under Swarte’s own exacting supervision, Is That All There Is? will collect virtually all of his alternative comics work from 1972 to date, including the RAW magazine stories that brought him fame among American comics aficionados in the 1980s. Especially great pains will be taken to match Swarte’s superb coloring, which includes stories executed in watercolor, comics printed in retro duotones, fiendishly clever use of Zip-a-Tone screens, and much more. (There’s even a story about how to color comics art using those screens, with Makassar as the teacher.)
Other noteworthy stories include Swarte’s take on an episode from Hergé’s early days, a Fats Domino story, a tribute to the legendary “Upside-Downs” strip, and a story titled simply “Modern Art.”
“I’ve loved Joost Swarte’s perfect cartoons, drawings and designs for decades and it’s nothing short of ridiculous that a comprehensive edition of this brilliant artist’s work has never been available in America until now. Swarte is considered a national treasure in his native Holland, and if you open this book, you’ll understand why.” — Chris Ware
Due to popular demand, in addition to the new softcover edition, we are offering this new hardcover edition at the same increased trim size (and with a new matte cover treatment — see photo above for comparison with First Edition), limited to 500 copies!
Welcome To Big Spring, Texas and The Cavalier Hotel. A place brimming with all manner of colorful characters – horse thieves, roughnecks, shady lawmen, con men, oil barons, gamblers, bootleggers, flappers, dappers, wildcatters, railroad men, drunkards and murderers...
But Frank Hill, the proprietor of The Cavalier, has a new hotel dick (Nick Ford) to keep a sharp eye on folks who may cause trouble. Along with number one son, Sam Hill, The Cavalier should have been easy to patrol and kept duty free of any sort of criminal or unsavory activity.
That is, until Ross Thompson – a slick operator from Chicago — came into their humble abode and turned everything upside down. Not just the hotel, but the whole damn town! Big Spring was a just string of yarn for Mr. Thompson to pull and pull at, until the entire community came unraveled! Now you’ll have to crack open this here book for yourself to find out just how he done it...
When confronted with his girlfriend’s request that they have a child together, Samuel fled that relationship. But now, a year later, when he receives a letter from Alice announcing she is expecting a baby, old emotions flare up and he embarks on a long journey to see Alice again — to re-open, or perhaps close forever, that important chapter of his life. The Crackle of the Frost is the story of what he sees, hears, experiences, and learns during that journey.
In 2011, Fantagraphics presented the extraordinary Stigmata, a stunning display of Mattotti’s whirling, emotional, black and white linework put in the service of a devastating story — as well as his painted illustrations for Lou Reed’s The Raven. The Crackle of the Frost ups the visual ante even on those masterpieces, combining the narrative drive of the former with the lush color illustrations of the latter to create a graphic-novel masterpiece with panel after panel of sumptuous full-color paintings, as if Edward Hopper had suddenly decided to jump into comics.
"Mattotti is a master. It's obvious at one glance. His colors are music one can't help but dance to. Draw in closer, and Zentner's story conjures the psychic and emotional depth of Marguerite Duras and Murakami." – Craig Thompson (Blankets, Habibi)
World War II has ended, and with so many pilots mustered out at the end of the war, jobs for pilots are hard to find, and Buz’s record as a “hot-shot” pilot does not recommend him to commercial airlines. While looking for a job, Buz visits his old alma mater and spends time with glamorous Tot Winter and girl-next-door Christy Jameson. He finally finds the perfect job as a troubleshooter for International Airways, flying to trouble spots all over the world.
He encounters Sultry, the beautiful and dangerous woman he met on a Japanese-held island during the war, with fatal results for a major character in the strip. He travels to the arctic to stop the Mad Baron, an insane ex-Nazi trying to shoot down International Airways planes. And, in the only adventure to combine the daily and Sunday story lines, he teams up with his old pal Roscoe Sweeney to discover a fabulous ancient Mayan treasure. This book reprints the Sunday pages from this adventure in full color for the first time.
In the last adventure in our 2nd volume, Buz is kidnapped and flown to Africa by mysterious assailants. His friend Chili Harrison bets International Airways chief Mr. Wright $200 that even in this desperate situation, Buz will manage to get involved with a pretty girl. Long-time readers of the strip will have no trouble guessing who wins that bet.
Comic strip historian Brian Walker wrote, “Buz Sawyer combined fast-paced adventure stories…with authentically illustrated military equipment and real locations, which Crane researched during trips around the world.”
Roy Crane’s drawing and storytelling skills just get better and better. With this volume’s Buz reprints from 1945 to 1947, Crane hit his stride.
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