Veteran cartoonist Jesse Reklaw's new graphic memoir Couch Tag forms a portrait of the artist's offbeat and sometimes troubled life through thematically grouped vignettes.
In this 25-page downloadable excerpt, you'll meet a few of the "13 Cats of My Childhood," see some of the "Toys I Loved" at play, read the beginning of "The Fred Robinson Story" (where the titular "couch tag" comes in), witness games of War and Go Fish from "The Stacked Deck," and get "Lessoned" in life alphabetically.
This 176-page hardcover is due in about 6-8 weeks and you can pre-order your very own copy right here.
"So you probably wanna know something about the artistic development of Crumb during this period… Well, the early ’70s was a bleak period in general… The grim end of the fabulous ’60s and for Robert the big bringdown ‘hangover’ of his first brush with fame, plus dealing with his chaotic messed-up personal life. He was confused, distracted, bitter, and generally in a foul mood. He killed ‘Fritz the Cat’ after the Ralph Bakshi cartoon debacle. He also did a lot of weird visual experimentation, like all those cubist eyeballs ‘n’ stuff, and he wrote some classic long stories like ‘Whiteman Meets Bigfoot.’ I think he did his first long, truly autobiographical story — ‘The Confessions of R. Crumb’ — around this time. That whiny, self-deprecating attitude was encouraged and inspired by me and Terry Zwigoff (two totally self-loathing Jews). For those of you who hate that aspect of Crumb and prefer the more cosmic stuff, or the historical stuff, or the real sicko stuff… you can blame it on me! I encouraged that ‘white boy’ to kvetch on paper." – from the Introduction by Aline Kominsky-Crumb
Volume 8 of the collected works of underground comix legend Robert Crumb brings the series up to 1972. This was an era when fame and fortune were weighing heavily on Crumb, and his reactions to his celebrity produced some of his best and most fascinating strips! This volume includes several classic works, including the solo titles Home Grown (which includes the infamous 22-page sex story "Whiteman Meets Bigfoot"); Big Ass Comics #2 (which includes the controversial "Anal Antics" and "And Now a Word to All You Feminist Women" — not politically correct); Mr. Natural #2 (featuring the continuing adventures of one of Crumb's best-loved characters); and finally Crumb's scathing reaction to the Bakshi/Krantz Fritz the Cat movie and fame in general, People's Comics. This masterpiece includes "The Confessions of R. Crumb," "The R. Crumb $uck$e$$ Story," and "Fritz the Cat, 'Superstar'", wherein Fritz, now a burned-out, overstimulated, callous celebrity, gets his final, fatal comeuppance in the form of an ice pick (long before Fatal Attraction)! Add into the volume the usual slew of Crumb rarities — from The Whole Earth Catalog, Thrilling Murder, Bijou, Surfer Magazine, and Nostalgia Press — as well as another extensive color section, and an introduction by Crumb's missus, Aline Kominsky-Crumb — and you've got a collection that any Crumb fan must have. This volume contains material that sets the tone for the rest of Crumb's career — the retreat from the hurly-burly modern world, the ruralism, the nostalgia, the introspection... and let's not forget the wild weird Crumb sexuality! A must!
1993 Harvey Award Winner, Best Domestic Reprint Project
In these 10 strips, our heroes Easy and his best chum Wash Tubbs are reunited with their old friend Lulu Belle, take off for Guatemala on a bum job lead, and fall in with some shady characters led by the baddest bandit in all of Central America... who happens to be a "saucy and cute" girl, of course! "You betcher pink panties there's gunner be trouble!"
"Yes, there are cannibals, racially insensitive caricatures, cripples (let’s not dress it up with the politically correct terminology), bodily functions, etc. But the glue are the almost Beckettian scripts. or at least Ionescoesque. Rodrigues played with form often…. These are conceptual, writerly, formalist masterpieces.
"I refuse to analyze why, because nothing sucks the joy of out humor more than analyzing it. It’s like explaining a joke, and humor, much like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. That said, Charles Rodrigues created a whole lotta unbeautiful beauty and for that i am eternally grateful."
Fantagraphics is proud to announce the release of the first volume of another great, under-appreciated, quintessentially American cartoonist.
"Black as sin and decay and perversion" is how National Lampoon editor Tony Hendra described the work of Charles Rodrigues. By all accounts, this small, politically conservative, devout Catholic, was a good-natured dumpling of a man. But inside lurked an untapped vein of savage wit that only the National Lampoon saw fit to unleash. Given carte blanche by its young editors, Rodrigues produced a 20-year tsunami of hilarious self-contained comic strips, themed gag spreads, and serials that boggled the mind and challenged all sense of decency and propriety.
In this first-ever collection of his comics, readers are treated to the misadventures of conjoined twins The Aesop Brothers; Sam deGroot, a private detective in an iron lung (whose life actually gets worse when he is sprung from his enclosure); Deirdre Callahan, a girl so hideous that to look upon her causes madness and suicide; and the heartwarming (in relative terms) titular tale of Ray and Joe, the saga of a man and his dead best friend. Also included are his brilliant "biographies" of Marilyn Monroe, Abbie Hoffman, Eugene O'Neill, and others.
Rodrigues rendered his cast of grotesqueries and naïfs in a ragged, unpretty line within dense panels and pages, that perfectly reflects his uniquely bizarre, riotous and repellent world.
Charles Rodrigues may be gone and, if not forgotten, insufficiently remembered, and this collection will rectify at least one of those tragedies.
If you like smart, creative people, Paul Hornschemeier's portrait collection Artists Authors Thinkers Directors is for you — it's chock full of 'em (and by one of 'em). Paul's been filling up his Daily Forlorn sketch blog with their portraits in a variety of styles (pointillist, cubist, blind continuous line, tiny, etc.), and now we're bringing them to you in a collectable little hardcover.
Our downloadable excerpt gives you a few samples from each of the 4 sections (guess what they are), plus Paul's intro and a page of his end notes for the full flavor of the book. It should be available 3-4 weeks before the big gifty holiday, so pre-order now for plenty of wrapping time.
In these 22 downloadable pages you'll see the Table of Contents (spoiler alert: feature-length interviews with Will Elder, Bill Gaines, Al Feldstein, Johnny Craig, Frank Frazetta, Joe Kubert, Harvey Kurtzman, George Evans, Al Jaffee, and John Severin) and read Ted White's introduction and the first third or so of the Will Elder interview, which covers his pre-EC career, with illustrations in color and black & white.
Here we bring you a downloadable excerpt of Chapter 1, "The Queens of Cute," which introduces you to the creators of American icons the Kewpies (also the creator of the first known comic strip by an American woman), the Campbell Kids, and other cherubic characters in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Later chapters take you through the Jazz Age, comics' Golden Age, the heyday of the underground, and up to the present day.
Don't miss this enlightening, entertaining, and essential volume — pre-order today!
In our downloadable preview you'll read the Table of Contents, a chapter introduction, and a sequence of strips wherein that no-good Mortimer Mouse tries to steal Minnie from Mickey by hook or by crook, and later, Mickey, Donald and Goofy do a little DIY home improvement... what could possibly go wrong? Will hilarity ensue? (Spoiler: Yes.)