Saint Cole depicts four days in the life of a twenty-eight-year-old suburbanite named Joe who feels trapped working overtime at a pizza restaurant to support his girlfriend, Nicole, and their infant child. Especially when Nicole invites her troubled mother, Angela, to move into their two-bedroom apartment until she lands on her feet again. Joe reacts to this development by further retreating into alcohol. He thinks he loves Nicole but resents her at the same time. They probably wouldn’t still be with each other if she hadn’t become pregnant. Joe wants out. He’s angry. He’s in a position to act rashly. And he does. This sophomore graphic novel from Noah Van Sciver may seem like a left turn from his critically acclaimed debut graphic novel biography of Abraham Lincoln (The Hypo), yet upon closer reflection, it continues Van Sciver’s interest in pathos and the human condition.
Our tenth volume finds our band of heroes making their way back to the Kingdom of Thule by way of Constantinople and Eastern Russia. Soon they are attacked by a tribe of barbarians who kidnap Aleta for the great Dragada Khan who wants to make her one of his wives. After nearly being killed in battle, Valiant returns to his homeland only to find the threat of hunger hovers over Thule. As Val explores new ways of feeding the kingdom's growing populace, raiders threaten the lives of his family and friends. The volume ends with Val's return to Camelot, a tournament of champions, and the threat of new treachery in Cornwall. This volume also includes an introduction by legendary comics artist Timothy Truman, and a special gallery containing more of Hal Foster's incredible Mountie paintings annotated by comics historian Brian M. Kane.
"I can count on one hand the number of comic artists whose work is as strong… maybe on two or three fingers… It’s a laff riot, what can I tell ya?" – R. Crumb
"Peter Bagge is the funniest cartoonist in existence… The situations Peter creates for his characters are gripping, hilarious and bitingly honest. His drawing style is completely original and would be funny on its own, even without his great stories." – John Kricfalusi
Guy Colwell's Inner City Romance tread new territory for underground comix, filled with stories about prison, black culture, ghetto life, the sex trade, and radical activism. It portrayed the unpleasant realities of life in the inner city, where opportunities were limited and being on the lowest end of the economic ladder meant that one's vision of the American dream was more about survival than lifestyle choices. Readers wondered who Colwell was, whether he was black or white, and how he knew so much about prison. Two years at McNeil Island federal prison for draft refusal provided a personal education for him, as well as his involvement with the San Francisco Good Times underground newspaper, where he became a close observer of the White Panthers, the Symbionese Liberation Army, and anti-war demonstrations. Inner City Romance details Colwell's life on the mean streets. Every issue of Inner City Romance is included in this collection, as well as many of the highly detailed paintings he created at the same time. Colwell recounts in an accompanying text piece, his personal journey to artistic maturity forged by radicalism and frustration.
Here at Fantagraphics headquarters, we're managing to keep our feet dry, plus we've got just-arrived advances of Saint Cole to look forward to! This brand new graphic novel by Noah Van Sciver, author of The Hypo: The Melancholic Young Lincoln, stars a painfully flawed protagonist whose drinking becomes steadily more debilitating with each (rain-soaked) day.
Mel Bowling is the unhappy, out-of-touch creator of a very bad daily comic strip called Freddy Ferret (a cross between Dilbert and Garfield). He spends most of his time listening to Rush Limbaugh and coming up with horrible catchphrases to merchandise, while his "sweatshop" cast of studio assistants grind out all the hard work. Sweatshop is a hilarious situational comedy from acclaimed author Peter Bagge (Buddy Does Seattle, Woman Rebel: The Margaret Sanger Story) that ingeniously incorporates the visual styles of cartoonist guest stars like Stephen DeStefano (Popeye) and Johnny Ryan (Prison Pit) to give voice to Bowling's colorful cast of misfit, aspiring cartoonists (plus a cameo by Neil Gaiman!), all attempting to make it big like their boss, but on their own terms. Originally published as a six-issue series by DC Comics in 2003 that was never collected, this is one of the best and most undervalued works of one of the key voices of his generation.
Any fan of cartoonist Johnny Ryan's work knows how understated and reserved he is. The truly refined nature of his comics deserves an equally classy cover design, and we think that our talented designer Keeli has outdone herself in creating a cover worthy of such stature.
Angry Youth Comix collects all fourteen issues of Ryan's series-of-the-same-name, as well as all the covers and letters pages, into one 424-page volume of absurdist, taboo-tackling humor! Although it's not out until February 2015, you can place your pre-order now.
Our volume of Guy Colwell's collected work has arrived in our office! Interspersed with commentary by Patrick Rosenkranz and filled with stories of radical activism, inner city life, racial tension, and—as one of our office staff noted—"a whole lot of fucking," Inner City Romance will likely make you uncomfortable while keeping you mesmerized page after page.
In addition to every issue of Colwell's Inner City Romance series, this volume has a personal essay by the author, many contextual essays by Rosenkranz to introduce each issue, and full color examples of the paintings Colwell produced in the same era.
"Gilbert Hernandez created some of the most memorable characters in popular fiction." – Los Angeles Magazine
"There's no denying that Beto's comics reflect one of the highest peaks the comics medium has yet achieved." – The A.V. Club
"To lovers of alternative comics, Hernandez is something of a saint…" – The Telegraph
"In a real world, not the screwed-up world we have now, [Gilbert Hernandez] would be considered one of the greatest American storytellers. It's so hard to do funny, tragic, local and epic, and he does all simultaneously, and with great aplomb." – Junot Diaz