"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
The seventh annual volume of Love and Rockets: New Stories, the most important and enduring alternative comics series in the history of the medium, finds Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez writing and drawing at the top of their game. In Jaime's stories, Maggie and Hopey take a road trip and much-needed break from their humdrum domestic lives and travel to visit a "sick friend." And, when the cat's away, Ray visits some old sick friends of his own. Plus Tonta's nutty family! Gilbert offers a veritable suite of stories, including "The Magic Voyage of Aladdin," a sweeping epic of derring-do in which Morgan Le Fey (Fritz) teams up with Aladdin to stop the evil Circle from obtaining the magic lamp; "The Golem Suit," a WWII sci-fi thriller starring "Killer"; and "Daughters and Mothers and Daughters," in which flashbacks to Luba's mother Maria reveal how ugly secrets of the past affect their family today.
Inner City Romance collects every issue of the underground comix series drawn by artist Guy Colwell in the '70s, and in previewing this book, we found some of the parallels with our country's current socio-political climate to be a little too close for comfort.
The 18-page, 4.6 MB downloadable excerpt we've got for you today features the full introduction by comics historian and journalist, Patrick Rosenkranz, followed by the first five pages of Inner City Romance #1.