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
Black is the Color begins with a 17th century sailor abandoned at sea by his shipmates, and as it progresses he endures, and eventually succumbs to, both his lingering death sentence and the advances of a cruel and amorous mermaid. The narrative also explores the experiences of the loved ones he leaves behind, on his ship and at home on land, as well as of the mermaids who jadedly witness his destruction. At the heart of the story lie the dubious value of maintaining dignity to the detriment of intimacy, and the erotic potential of the worst case scenario.
Julia Gfrörer's delicate drawing style perfectly complements the period era of Black Is the Color, bringing the lyricism and romanticism of Gfrörer's prose to the fore. Black Is the Color is a book as seductive as the sirens it depicts.
"[Hornschemeier's] art encompass[es] many different styles, from richly layered classical surrealism to densely structured and primary color-heavy McSweeney's-style illustrations. But taken together, the work exhibits an instantly recognizable and distinctive panache." – Publishers Weekly
"Hornschemeier's style is every style. ...a formidable creative." – Byron Kerman, PLAYBACK:stl
"Paul avoids the hammering sentimentality and labored connect-all-the-dots obviousness of too much contemporary work, in any media." – Jonathan Lethem
A self-portrait through one hundred portraits, Artists Authors Thinkers Directors explores cartoonist Paul Hornschemeier's sketchbook renderings of those who shaped his (and many others') artistic views.
Culled from his drawing blog — The Daily Forlorn, one of Tumblr's featured illustration blogs — these portraits are as stylistically varied as the subjects they portray. A scrawled, single line drawing of Lenny Bruce shares space with a triangular Werner Heisenberg. A monochromatic, stippled Stanley Kubrick stares intently at a muppet-headed Frank Oz. Each turn of the page offers a new take on a familiar face.
In the afterword, Hornschemeier includes brief notes on each portrait and that creator's particular work or insight that spoke specifically to him. And in that specificity, much of what is universally affecting in each creator shines through.
Hornschemeier's graphic novels hop from one aesthetic to the next, varying the line and color quality to depict his narrative's mood. He plays with the language of comics. In these portraits we can clearly see him hard at experimentation, adding to his vocabulary.
BONUS: The first four pre-orders we get for this book will also receive So-So Heroes, Paul's portfolio of 30 colorful, witty postcards, for FREE courtesy of Chronicle Books! It's an oddball collection of misfits, monsters, and utterly curious characters, all involved in hilariously insignificant adventures. Each image is rich with Hornschemeier's signature wit and visual flair. Order now!
"Trina Robbins is one of the icons of the underground comix generation, a cartoonist and creative person always pushing forward in ways that have influenced and inspired her peers and admirers. She has become in the decades since an equally valuable advocate for the recognition of great female cartoonists." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
"A critical work, painstaking, impressive, funny, and moving in the way it shines a tender light on the most anonymous practitioners of the most anonymous art form of the twentieth century — but above all, a pleasure to get lost in. The universe is grateful to Trina Robbins for this book." – Michael Chabon (about The Great Woman Cartoonists)
"I was one of the legion of young girls who adored Wonder Woman back in the 1940s, and am one of the legion of admirers of Neil Gaiman's Death in the 1990s. In between I seemed to have missed a number of fascinating woman superheroes. But thanks to Trina Robbins's wonderful readable book, I now know where to look." – Jane Yolen (about The Great Women Superheroes)
"A Century of Women Cartoonists is eye-opening, inspiring, retroactive of yet another piece of women's history — and funny! So who was it that said feminists have no sense of humor?" – Robin Morgan (about A Century of Women Cartoonists)
With the 1896 publication of Rose O’Neill’s comic strip The Old Subscriber Calls, in Truth Magazine, American women entered the field of comics, and they never left it.
But, you might not know that reading most of the comics histories out there. Trina Robbins has spent the last thirty years recording the accomplishments of a century of women cartoonists, and Pretty in Ink is her ultimate book, a revised, updated and rewritten history of women cartoonists, with more color illustrations than ever before, and with some startling new discoveries (such as a Native American woman cartoonist from the 1940s who was also a Corporal in the women's army, and the revelation that a cartoonist included in all of Robbins's previous histories was a man!)
In the pages of Pretty in Ink you’ll find new photos and correspondence from cartoonists Ethel Hays and Edwina Dumm, and the true story of Golden Age comic book star Lily Renee, as intriguing as the comics she drew. Although the comics profession was dominated by men, there were far more women working in the profession throughout the 20th century than other histories indicate, and they have flourished in the 21st. Robbins not only documents the increasing relevance of women throughout the 20th century, with mainstream creators such as Ramona Fradon and Dale Messick and alternative cartoonists such as Lynda Barry, Carol Tyler, and Phoebe Gloeckner, but the latest generation of women cartoonists — Megan Kelso, Cathy Malkasian, Linda Medley, and Lilli Carré, among many others. Robbins is the preeminent historian of women comic artists; forget her previous histories: Pretty in Ink is her most comprehensive volume to date.
"Charles Schulz was an American treasure — an artist, philosopher, and keen observer of human life." — Bill Clinton
"Charles Schulz was an innovative genius of American comics and also the marathon man, drawing strip after four-panel strip, batch after batch, writing the storyboards for the TV specials, year after year, creating a fantasy world that connected to kids as well as adults and all based on powerful iconic characters who express deep feelings of loneliness and resentment and despair. The feeling that everything is against us. The craving for love. An enormous earnestness about doing the right thing. There is not much in Peanuts that is shallow or heedless." — Garrison Keillor
"His drawings were but scribbles, a few lines scarcely more elaborated than children’s stick figures, but his genius was such that with those short few lines he created a panorama of life's experiences as are suffered, or enjoyed, or tolerated by the inhabitants of a cartoon village." — Walter Cronkite
Since their original publication, Peanuts Sundays have almost always been collected and reprinted in black and white, and generations of Peanuts fans have grown up enjoying this iteration of these strips. But many who read Peanuts in their original Sunday papers remain fond of the striking coloring, which makes for a surprisingly different reading experience.
It is for these fans (and for Peanuts fans in general who want to experience this alternate/original version) that we now present a series of larger, Sundays-only Peanuts reprints, which more closely duplicate that delightful, Sunday-morning reading experience and brings a splash of real color to Schulz's cast of colorful characters. Designed as a series of ten massive coffee-table quality books, each one containing a half-decade’s worth of Sunday strips, Peanuts Every Sunday will be a proud addition to any Peanuts fan's bookshelf.
As with most strips, Peanuts showed by far the quickest and richest development in its first decade, and Peanuts Every Sunday: 1952-1955, by compiling every strip from the first four years, offers a fascinating peek at Schulz's evolving creative process. Not only does the graphic side of the strips change drastically, from the strip's initial stiff, ultra-simple stylizations through a period of uncommonly lush, almost Pogo-ishly detailed drawings to something close to the final, elegant Peanuts style we’ve all come to know and love, but several main characters are gradually introduced — oddly enough, usually as infants who would then grow up to full, articulate Peanut-hood! — and then refined: Schroeder, Lucy, and Linus (Sally will make her very first appearance as a baby in our next volume.)
Following in the footsteps of Fantagraphics' acclaimed presentation of the Carl Barks material in Walt Disney's Donald Duck, Peanuts Every Sunday: 1952-1955 has been scrupulously re-colored to match the original syndicate coloring (including some unusual colors for Charlie Brown's trademark zig-zag shirt, before it was officially yellow), and is being printed using the same process of "mellowing" out of tones to avoid the sharp colors that sometimes mar reprints of syndicated strips — allowing readers once again to plunge back into Charles Schulz's marvelous world.
The various plot points and mysteries that Johnny Ryan has been sprinkling between disembowelings, pummelings, severed limbs, freakouts, transmogrifications, defecation, and messed-up genitals over the first four installments of his hit series Prison Pit begin to come together in Book 5.
In our downloadable excerpt, meet the asshole Prison Boss and his dumbshit minions, who witness what they think is the destruction of Cannibal Fuckface. But their premature celebration is interrupted with some bad news.
This book should arrive in time to grab the scythe away from the withered fingers of 2013 and hack baby 2014 into flying gobbets of meat. Pre-order (and get the exclusive "Cool Shit from the Pit" mini-comic) here.