A new volume in our EC Comics Library series beams your way next month: Zero Hour and Other Stories, drawn by Jack Kamen and mostly scripted by Al Feldstein, with 22 pulpy sci-fi & suspense shockers full of Cold War paranoia, barely-suppressed sexual urges, desperation, alien invaders, bioengineering gone wrong, mass extinctions, lovelorn automatons, and man's folly in the face of technology he can't fully understand or control.
In our downloadable excerpt you'll find the haunting title story, adapted from a story by Ray Bradbury, sandwiched between the ultimate self-loathing tale "The Parallel" and the teleportational "Hot-Rod!"
SPECIAL OFFER: Add Wandering Son Vol. 7 (coming Summer 2014) or Vols. 7 & 8 (coming Winter 2014/2015) to your pre-order for just $19.99 each, a savings of at least $5 off the cover price! Use the option menu on the product page to make your selection.
Shimura Takako's sensitive and charming series about two middle schoolers wrestling with their gender identities continues, with more role-reversal play fun this time around.
The success of their performance of The Rose of Versailles in the fifth grade — in which the boys played the women and the girls played the men — inspires our protagonists to put on another gender-bending play for the junior-high school festival. This time they do a riff on Romeo and Juliet, with generous helpings of fantasy and mystery. Nitori-kun and Chiba-san write the script together, but Chiba-san has an agenda: She wants to play Romeo, with Nitori-kun in the role of Juliet. But Nitori-kun wants Takatsuki-san to play Romeo...
With her usual prickliness, Chiba-san forces Nitori-kun to confront a question he's been avoiding. Are his feelings for Takatsuki-san those of a boy for a girl, a girl for a girl, or a girl for a boy? But you know what they say of the best laid plans of mice and men: The cast is to be decided by fate, with names drawn randomly.
Meanwhile, Maho plans a trip to the beach with her boyfriend, but her parents send Nitori-kun along as an unwilling chaperone. Faced with unwanted changes to their growing bodies, Takatsuki-san discovers the wonders of "breast binders," and Nitori-kun explores the limits of his ability to "pass."
"Isolated and longing to connect, Chuck Forsman's Wolf reminds me of other great characters like Charlie Brown and Holden Caulfield. Celebrated Summer is a primal scream drawn in a casual, hypnotic monotone. Few comics are this soulful. Few cartoonists can make work this assured." – James Sturm
"I love the spare elegance of Chuck’s storytelling style. I also love, in this book in particular, his relaxed approach to examining the lives of his characters." – Chester Brown
"…Forsman is one of the strongest and most vital young cartoonists currently putting pen to paper — not to mention one of the most fully, uniquely realized." – The A.V. Club
This original graphic novella is a funny and moving story of escalating humor and tension between two disaffected teens, Mike and Wolf, who take a spontaneous summer road trip after dropping acid. As the stark black and white of Forsman's cartooning indicates, however, this is not a psychedelic, Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby kind of trip. Instead of the escapism they crave from their fragile home lives, the LSD only heightens their sense of ennui, exacerbates their fears about the world they're about to enter as adults, and creates doubts about everything they think they know.
Though it's not entirely what they bargained for, will Mike and Wolf look back on their adventure as part of the "celebrated summer" of their never-to-be-recaptured youth, or a carelessly wasted part of the best years of their lives? Or both?
Veteran alternative cartoonist Jesse Reklaw, creator of the long-running weekly comic strip Slow Wave, delivers this tragicomic graphic memoir, his first long-form work. Presented as a series of comic novellas that together comprise a thoughtful, sometimes dark and often hilarious memoir about childhood, family, death, mental illness, sex and drug use, the entire book is told through cleverly inviting conceits like cat histories and card games.
The graphic novel is told in five parts: In "Thirteen Cats" (featured in The Best American Comics), Reklaw discovers coping mechanisms that mimic his family pets; "Toys I Love" relates the author's pre-pubescent brushes with deviant sexual activity, and the way innocence converges with real sexual trauma; "The Fred Robinson Story" tells the story of Reklaw's period stalking perfect strangers; "The Stacked Deck," in which hereditary influences towards criminal behavior, drug use and depression are explored via card games the author played with his family; and "Lessoned," a family history of mental illness.
“Crane’s art is stunning, combining simple cartoony figures with richly detailed backgrounds in clever, colorful layouts. It isn’t even necessary to read the dialogue or captions to follow the action; just scan Crane’s dynamic lines, which make every panel look like a unique work of pop art. [Grade:] A-.” – The A.V. Club
"Though he was one of the genre’s pioneers, Roy Crane’s Captain Easy is arguably the most idiosyncratic of all the adventure strips. But it’s this blend of loud slapstick, young-boys-styled adventure and blatant sex appeal that make Captain Easy such a winning, fun strip to read." – Robot 6
"...[O]ne of comics' purest entertainments... Combining cartoony figure drawing and considerable humor with rousing adventure, Captain Easy, Soldier of Fortune: The Complete Sunday Newspaper Strips... exceeds even Steven Spielberg's Indiana Jones films in exuberant action and breathless pace." – St. Louis Post-Dispatch
In the fourth volume of Fantagraphics' Captain Easy series, our eponymous hero and his loyal sidekick Wash Tubbs answer a newspaper ad that they don’t know is years out of date, and wind up stranded in Guatemala with a busted landing gear and only five dollars to their name. Whoops! They need all their wits and ingenuity to get them out of this fix. Which they manage to do by the skin of their teeth, only to stumble onto a lost city in the jungle. Lost cities in the jungle are never good news, and so it is with our two boisterous heroes. Against all odds, they extricate themselves from this dastardly peril and head for home on a ship carrying tigers (Roy Crane loved to draw tigers). They’re out of danger, right? Wrong! What kind of a Captain Easy adventure would this be without our boys getting stranded on a desert island and encountering the beautiful but savage Wolf Girl (Crane loved to draw Wolf Girls!)?
Don’t miss the last volume of Fantagraphics' glorious reprint of Roy Crane's full color Captain Easy Sunday pages.
Embedded here and in downloadable form is a substantial smattering of pages from our upcoming book Perfect Nonsense: The Chaotic Comics and Goofy Games of George Carlson. The most amazing early 20th century illustrator, comics artist, and creator of absurd whimsy you've probably never heard of, Carlson is finally getting his due in this beautiful and hefty volume. Our excerpt includes portions from throughout the book to give you a sampling of his gorgeous and delightful work for various media. One look and you're certain to fall in love! Pre-order now for projected delivery in mid-to-late January.
"Beautiful. Gfrörer has a light touch in finding the yearning and humor amongst life's hard luck and even harder truths. A genuinely romantic and sensitive book." – Sammy Harkham
"Julia Gfrörer is amongst the most promising artist/authors of her generation. Her work is spare and elegant, yet the hand of the artist is always evident in her line. Her characters inhabit cold or desolate environments, often on the brink of inanition or beyond, yet still yearning to love and be loved. Do not be misled by this artist's sylphlike appearance and those great carrot-colored ramparts at her ear. Gfrörer is a powerhouse. Learn to spell her name." – Phoebe Gloeckner
"No one is wedding horror's darkness to an equally black, equally lacerating emotional palette as effectively as Julia Gfrörer.... When coupled with her delicate linework, the fragile physicality of her characters, and her explicit and non-idealized depictions of sex, the effect is gripping and even in our mundane world, ominously familiar." – Sean T. Collins
"Julia Gfrörer’s Black Is the Color... is sublimely weird. Or weirdly sublime — probably both." – Nick Abadzis