As this fourth volume begins, Prince Valiant, haunted by the lovely Aleta, seeks Merlin’s wise counsel. This brief episode segues into one of Hal Foster’s patented epics, “The Long Voyage to Thule,” which ran for seven straight months and featured Valiant’s return to his birthplace and reunion with his father. Of course, Foster’s astonishingly detailed and evocative depictions of Val’s home- land contribute greatly to this sprawling epic.
After a series of shorter adventures including “The Seductress,” “The Call of the Sea,” and “The Jealous Cripple,” Val finally decides he can stand it no more and sets out to find his long-lost love. Long-time fans know that his quest will eventually be successful, but Foster throws so many obstacles in the way of true love that the saga “The Winning of Aleta” would end up stretching a full year and a half, well into the next volume.
This volume also features the debut of Foster’s charming "The Mediæval Castle" strip, and an introductory essay by Foster scholar Brian M. Kane.
With stunning art reproduced directly from pristine printer’s proofs, Fantagraphics has introduced a new generation to Foster’s masterpiece, while providing long-time fans with the ultimate, definitive version of the strip.
Download and read a 12-page PDF excerpt which includes Brian Kane's Foreword and 9 strips (6.6 MB). Also, read editor Kim Thompson's Afterword from Vol. 1, detailing the production and restoration of these new editions, right here on our website.
eaders who haven't discovered Jim Woodring's Frank stories will find a treat waiting for them in the pages of this book. Since publication in 1991 of the award-winning, epoch-making "Frank in the River," these lusciously hypnotic fables have dazzled cartoon lovers the world over.
Frank is a generic anthropomorph who lives in a world of mysterious and dangerous beauty. Propelled by forces beyond his control, including his own unquenchable curiosity, he finds himself in one bizarre escapade after another, frequently involving the loathsome Manhog or the power-hungry Whim. Luckily, Frank has a protector and ally in the form of his feisty godling companion, Pupshaw.
Frank's adventures are told in a series of nearly wordless cartoon stories that draw readers deep into a hallucinatory mindscape governed by a profound interior logic that raises The Frank Book to a level above fantasy. As Francis Ford Coppola says in his introduction, "The ancient myths and folk tales of all cultures which have been preserved for so many centuries have meaning for us today because the fantastic elements in them are rooted in immutable reality. The Frank stories belong to this class of literature."
"Jim Woodring may be the most important cartoonist of his generation. The Frank stories are masterpieces, each and every one. Read them. Re-read them. Re-re-read them. Every cell in your body will remember this spellbinding, visionary work." – Scott McCloud
"Frank will take you to another world, re-arrange your consciousness and reprogram the inside of your head. It's cheaper than virtual reality, less risky than recreational pharmaceuticals, and more fun than falling asleep." – Neil Gaiman
"Frank, and I say this without a shred of hyperbole, is a work of true genius by one of the all-time greats." – Daniel Clowes
Free Signature Plate: We found a stash of limited-edition signed bookplates left over from a previous edition which we're giving away for no extra charge with purchase of either of these new editions! Supplies are limited and may run out without notice so get yours before they're gone!
Sergio Leone’s retooling of classic westerns for his “spaghetti westerns”… Stieg Larsson’s striking take on the serial killer/mystery thriller in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo… And for that matter ABBA’s fiendishly catchy appropriation of American pop music. Sometimes it takes Europeans to make gold of tuckered-out American tropes.
Add to those instances of inspired global cross-pollination the Spanish cartoonist Martí’s eye-popping The Cabbie, which spins off Martin Scorsese’s sordid urban-justice drama Taxi Driver with a graphic style that unapologetically appropriates and even refines the brutal slabs of black, squashed perspectives, and grotesque approach to human physiognomy (and its ability to withstand punishment) that define Chester Gould’s Dick Tracy.
And as Art Spiegelman (who was the first to publish Martí’s work in English, in RAW magazine) notes in his introduction, while “Gould’s graphic black and white precision and his diagrammatic clarity live on in Martí’s work,” he points out that “more interestingly, perhaps, so does Gould’s depravity.” Indeed, if anything, The Cabbie is even more savage than the legendarily brutal Dick Tracy, with its pimps, whores, petty thieves, corrupt businessmen, all swirling around the ingenuously violent “Cabbie” whose self-administered “upstanding citizen” status entitles him — in his view — to even more shocking acts of violence — especially on his quest for the stolen coffin of his father, which he’s told includes his entire inheritance!
Special Offer: When ordering The Cabbie , you can add Calvario Hills #1, Martí's Ignatz Series comic with a new Cabbie story and more, to your order for just $3.98 — that's 1/2 price! Make your selection when you place your order for The Cabbie.
Prison Pit blends Angry Youth Comix creator Johnny Ryan’s fascination with WWE wrestling, grindhouse cinema, first person action video games, Gary Panter’s “Jimbo” comics, and Kentaro Miura’s “Berserk” Manga into a brutal and often hilarious showcase of violence like no other comic book ever created. Even the lead character’s name, which is only one letter away from “Cannibal Duckface” (hint: “Cannibal” is correct) is unprintable.
Prison Pit is so deranged and twisted that even the author’s plot description, while admirably reflecting the spirit of the book, has to be edited into a sea of asterisks in order to be bearable to normal human beings: “A mysterious new a**hole has descended into the Prison Pit. He’s looking for Cannibal F***face and he wants revenge. Revenge for what? Probably for some f***ed up evil s***. But before he can get his hands on the CanMan he’s got to battle his way through some pretty vicious motherf***ers. S***’s about to get real.”
Well, yes, exactly.
"Hey are you doing any more scary guys made out of tar ripping each other's dicks off? You know why I like those? Because you don't have to read all them stupid words and stuff. Right? Haa ha, hey Johnny wanna come over and play? Ha Ha!" – Tony Millionaire
In this thematically and narratively linked series of one-page stories originally published in the National Lampoon’s “Funny Pages” section throughout the 1970s, the master of the macabre eschewed his usual ghouls, vampires, and end-of-the-world scenarios for a wry, pointed look at growing up normal in the real, yet endlessly weird world.
Watch as our stoic, hunting-cap-wearing protagonist (known only as “The Kid”) copes with illness, disappointment, strange old relatives, the disappointment of Christmas, life-threatening escapades, death, school, the awfulness of camp, and much more — all delineated in Wilson’s roly-poly, sensual, delicately hatched line.
“Nuts” was (partly) collected in a now long-out-of-print volume back in 1979. This new hardcover edition reprints every single “Nuts” story from the Lampoon, rescuing over two dozen pages from oblivion.
If you don’t remember what it was like being a child, this book will bring it all back… for good or for ill!
"Gahan Wilson’s Nuts is the best, most clear-eyed explanation of and memoir about childhood I’ve ever read. Small, cramped, perfect drawings that show children as they are — explorers without a map or a book of instructions in the land of mad giants." —Neil Gaiman
"Here Mister Kupperman," he said, thrusting a manuscript into my hands. "Publish this, and let the world read of my adventures."
My name is Mark Twain, and I write these words to you in the good old days of August 2010. "What's that," you say? "Didn't you die a hundred years ago, you old coot?"... The truth is I never died, but the same old rumors got exaggerated and then a bunch of other stuff happened, so people forgot I was still alive.
And with that preface, the celebrated man of letters — thought to be dead for a hundred years but actually surviving due to a wizard's spell — returns with a sequel to his best-selling autobiography, aided and abetted by humorist and cartoonist Michael Kupperman. From WWI to the Great Depression, WWII to Woodstock, and through the present, Twain details his careers as an ad man, astronaut, hypnotist, Yeti hunter, porn star, drifter, grifter and more, rubbing shoulders and having never-before-told adventures with many major figures of the 20th Century.
Michael Kupperman describes the book further:
"A mix of illustrated writing and comics, this volume follows Twain as he navigates the Twentieth Century and makes his way into the Twenty-First. His adventures are tense, scary, sexy, mischievous, and sometimes embarrassing. Twain spills the dirt on his secret love affairs with Marilyn Monroe and Mame Eisenhower, tells about his spying and private detective work, and dishes about his involvement in film, TV and advertising. The time he took LSD, the day he tried to hypnotize a donut clerk. Where he first met Einstein and how they travelled through time together. How to build your own raft and the life of a hobo. And who really killed JFK…? All this and much, much more."
Download and read a 21-page PDF excerpt (3.2 MB) with the Table of Contents, Foreword, Preface and 5 whole chapters!
Editor Alex Chun and designer Jacob Covey's new collection of vintage girlie cartoons The Pin-Up Art of Humorama wiggles its way into comic shops on Wednesday and PREVIEWSworld offers up a head-turning 5-page sneak peek!
The Man Who Grew His Beard is Belgian cartoonist Olivier Schrauwen’s first American book after having staked a reputation over the last decade as one of Europe’s most talented storytellers. It collects seven short stories, each a head-spinning display of craft and storytelling that mixes early twentieth-century comics influences like Winsor McCay with a thoroughly contemporary voice that provokes and entertains with subversively surreal humor and subtle criticism of twentieth-century tropes and images. The stories themselves, though each stands alone, are intertwined thematically, offering peeks into the minds of semi-autistic, achingly isolated men and their feverish inner worlds and how they interact and contrast with their real environment. Though Schrauwen taps "surrealist" or "absurdist" impulses in his work, you will not read a more careful and precise collection of stories this year.
The stories included are: “Hair Types,” a hilarious piece that on the surface explores the pseudoscientific classification of personality as a function of hair but becomes something more akin to a fable about self-fulfilling prophecy; “Chromo Congo,” a silent story about two men on safari who meet a corpulent and obnoxious hunter; as well as “The Task,” “The Man Who Grew His Beard,” “The Lock,” “The Cave,” and “The Imaginist.”
Though this is Schrauwen’s first U.S. edition of comics, he has wowed American fans with his appearances in the anthology MOME over the last few years, and one of his MOME stories was one of three comics selected for the 2009 edition of Dave Eggers's influential Best American Nonrequired Reading.
“I don’t know much about Olivier Schrauwen, [but I] know that he’s some sort of postmodern comics genius.” — Eisner Award-winning comics critic Tom Spurgeon
Download and read an 11-page PDF excerpt (2.6 MB) with the complete story "The Assignment."