Literally, a traffic jam — but figuratively, his whole life is a mess. A dream job turned nightmare at the biggest animation studio in the world. A love affair that is not what he imagined. And possibly someone with a life-threatening grudge against him...
In his first new graphic novel since 2001’s acclaimed Mail Order Bride, Mark Kalesniko compresses an entire life into a single day as the frustrated animator, stewing on a pitiless California freeway, alternately rages, reminisces, fantasizes, and hallucinates — intercut with a series of imagined moments from two generations ago, the Golden Age of animation, when an earlier Alex made his entry into a much different professional world.
Loaded with fascinating insider gossip and historical details on two different eras of animators, skipping seamlessly among the present and several different pasts, reality and fantasy, Freeway is another step forward for a major cartooning talent.
“Kalesniko is an expert at sophisticated, visually efficient narrative renderings of complex emotions. His drawings are spare and cinematic, and each panel underscores the characters’ psychological isolation or another revealing detail.” — Publishers Weekly on Mail Order Bride
As Fantagraphics’ ambitious plan to reprint every single Sunday Krazy Kat page created by George Herriman for close to three decades (this being the penultimate book) careens toward the finish line, this volume features another three years’ worth of Sunday strips — over 150 little masterpieces by the greatest cartoonist of all time, featuring the greatest comic-strip love triangle of all time: “kat,” “mice” and “pupp.” Each page is a hilarious, poetic masterpiece crackling with verbal wit and graphic brilliance. Those were the days…!
In the introductory essay, editor Bill Blackbeard chronicles Krazy Kat’s ascent from its earliest days as a tiny pendant for Herriman’s earlier strips The Dingbat Family and The Family Upstairs to its own full feature. A second major article in this volume is Bob Callahan’s “Geo. Herriman’s Los Angeles,” a fascinating look at Herriman’s pre-Krazy Kat days as a journalist/illustrator, covering such things as a Mexican bullfight (Herriman was appalled), the opening of a new “bums’ jail” (Herriman’s sympathies were clearly with the vagrants), and UFO sightings — all accompanied by Herriman’s virtuoso cartoons, of course.
As usual, the cover is designed by Chris Ware, featuring a striking two-color look that will set this latest volume apart from the previous eleven.
Tim Kreider's first cartoon collection, The Pain — When Will It End? was one of the few bastions of sanity throughout the awful aberration in American history known as the Bush Administration. The end of his second volume of political cartoons, Why Do They Kill Me?, saw its author in despair over the 2004 election. In this new volume, Twilight of the Assholes, as reality gets ever bleaker, Kreider's humor becomes increasingly apocalyptic, deranged, and hilarious. He juxtaposes the Biblical Christ with His blonde, flag-draped, machine-gun-toting American incarnation in "Jesus vs. Jeezus," proposes a third political party that represents Americans' real values in "The Sex Party," draws the dead Saddam Hussein as a mischievous invisible imp still causing trouble, and envisions the officials of the Bush administration getting their comeuppance in the grisly fashion of Dick Tracy villains. And he finds two cartoons' worth of "Reasons to Look Forward to the Next Terrorist Attack." Also included is his infamous entry into Iran’s Holocaust cartoon contest, "Silver Linings of the Holocaust."
Kreider mocks not only the evil and hapless Bush but the fecklessness of progressives, the imbecile bigotry of radical Islam, and, most of all, the dumb bovine complacency of the American voter. His art has become even more dense with gags and his writing (most recently featured in The New York Times) has never been more astute and devastating. Twilight of the Assholes is an hysterical chronicle of the end of the Era of Darkness, and, believe it or not, a heartening document of one man’s loss and tentative restoration of faith in democracy.
"Tim Kreider is the funniest man alive." — Jenny Boylan (She’s Not There: A Life in Two Genders)
"[Tim Kreider] is to the satirical cartoon what Stanley Kubrick was to cinematic satire." — Mark Crispin Miller (Fooled Again: How the Right Stole the 2004 Election)
"He is funny and crazy and brave enough to proclaim as truths the things the rest of us are too chickenshit to say out loud." — Myla Goldberg (Bee Season)
"These cartoons are extremely, extremely fucking good." – David Foster Wallace
"Kreider's stuff is not all political, but most of what he does packs outrage: at oppressors, bigots, overlords, fools. Not for the squeamish, unless they’re too passive and need a wake-up call." — The New Haven Advocate
With the Great Depression looming and about to define America's next decade, three strong-minded women related by marriage form an uneasy household in the summer of 1929. Forced by her husband Harry to uproot their two small children from Illinois and take up residence in East Texas, Marie Hennessey struggles to find a place not only within her mother-in-law's home but in a Southern town whose troubling unfamiliarities compound her marital woes and homesickness.
Maude Hennessey has little patience for Marie and her children, and even less for her pretty but petulant daughter, Rachel, who fights and flirts with a dashing pilot from New Orleans. Colliding issues of faith and sexual mores, racial proprieties and class distinctions, fuel a constant bickering through the narrow corridors of the house, all three women heedless of the love that has brought them together. Maude seems cold and distant except toward the ladies of her club; Rachel's affection for her doting aviator rises and falls capriciously; and Maude seeks to understand an absent husband, while deciding how to receive her employer's slow seduction.
As summer wears on, the conflicts among these women are exacerbated by a child murder that sends shockwaves of fear and mistrust throughout the community, particularly between the town's white residents and a black shantytown across the river. An ever-increasing sense of dread culminates in the arrival of a terrible storm whose aftermath reveals poignant and unexpected truths these three women living at a time when America was poised on the brink of economic catastrophe.
In The Last Rose of Summer, Monte Schulz has created a story about three women and their interior and exterior lives, each of whom symbolizes quintessential American notions of family, love and community. In so doing, he reminds us all of where we come from and how we got here. With an elegiac voice that evokes an era in its final bloom, and a thoughtful rendering of the public and private contentions that ruled the day, The Last Rose of Summer becomes an instant American classic.
Read the entire first chapter! Download the EXCLUSIVE 38-page PDF excerpt (246 KB).
Roy Crane created the adventure comic strip with Wash Tubbs, and many a superhero owes a debt to Crane’s square-jawed, hard-hitting adventurer Captain Easy. But during World War II, he left the Captain Easy strip to create a more realistic fighting man, a Navy pilot named John Singer Sawyer, who fought in the Pacific Theater from 1943 until V-J Day in 1945.
This book, the first in a series reprinting the Buz Sawyer strip, reprints all of the daily strips published during World War II. Buz serves aboard an aircraft carrier, flies combat missions against the notorious Japanese Zeros, crash lands behind enemy lines, and is captured by a Japanese submarine.
The book also includes a selection of the best of the Sunday strips, which featured Buz Sawyer’s pal and gunner, Rosco Sweeney, presented as fold-out pages.
Everywhere Buz goes, he finds high adventure and beautiful women—in fact, his fellow flyers kid him about his ability to find romance on even the most hostile Pacific island, where he meets a dangerous spy named Sultry (!). And when he goes home on leave, it is only to be caught up in a rivalry between rich heiress Tot Winter and girl-next-door Christy Jameson.
It features some of Crane’s most atmospheric drawing, aided by his expert use of Craftint tones, luscious romance, and exciting action scenes. These stories amply illustrate why Peanuts artist Charles Schulz called Roy Crane “a treasure.”
Also featured in this handsome archival volume: an introductory essay by comics historian Jeet Heer and a selection letters to and from Roy Crane (including one from "Al Toth").
“[Roy Crane] is a treasure. There is still no one around who draws any better.” — Charles Schulz
“Every time I thought I had come up with something that I had thought no one else had done, damn it, I’d find that Crane or Foster had already done it!” — Al Williamson
“Roy Crane did adventure with a beautiful combination of cartooning and storytelling. Every panel was an entertaining panel, with something to look at. When you combine his storytelling ability, with or without balloons, with his action and those great panels, you can’t fail.” — John Severin
The Strange Case of Edward Gorey is the most authentic portrait yet of this truly enigmatic American artist and writer of macabre, ghoulish illustrated books. It is a respectful and insightful consideration not only of the intriguing pen-and-ink drawings but of the inventive, opinionated and eccentric person himself. A balletomane, cat-lover, unbelievably wide reader, collector of many and surprising objects, and mad filmgoer, Gorey had many selves. In this in-depth study of the man he had come to know over thirty years, Alexander Theroux, the novelist who has a literary genius all his own, examines every facet of this mysterious artist who left New York City to live year-round on Cape Cod for the last third of his life where for years, along with producing book after book, he found time to write and direct numerous evening-length entertainments, often featuring his own papier-mâché puppets in an ensemble known as La Theatricule Stoique.
No ordinary account could ever do justice to such an anomalous character, but Theroux with his depth of understanding, keen eye, literary gifts, and astonishing intelligence, never flinches and this loving but analytical account in its sympathy and range of one of America’s most complicated artists is unsparingly brilliant.
“Just read a few weeks ago your book on Gorey and enjoyed it very much.” – Cormac McCarthy, April, 2010
See an exclusive 7-page excerpt from King of the Flies Vol. 2: The Origin of the World at TIME.com – Techland! Introducing the pages, Douglas Wolk says "The first volume of European comics creators Mezzo and Pirus' King of the Flies, subtitled Hallorave, was one of the creepiest graphic novels of 2010... The follow-up, The Origin of the World, comes out soon, and it makes the story's vortex of terror spin even faster — the vibe is somewhere between Charles Burns' Black Hole and Blue Velvet, with a soundtrack of Misfits singles, Stones bootlegs and too-intense techno."
Ships in: January 2011 (subject to change) — this item will be available for order simultaneous with its release to comic shops. Stay tuned for updates.
Jordan Crane continues to display his mastery of adult drama and rollicking all-ages adventure equally in this issue of his acclaimed comic book series. This issue features the second chapters of Jordan's currently-ongoing, as-yet-untitled (as far as we know) stories introduced in the last issue. "Chapter 2: Trash Night" returns to the troubled relationship of Dee and Leo. Tensions continue to mount as Leo's suspicions about Dee reach a boiling point. Meanwhile, Simon & Jack, the boy and cat heroes from Jordan's classic tale The Clouds Above, are joined in their continuing adventure by Simon's intrepid classmate Rosalyn, who runs afoul of the sinister Principal Codswallop while Simon faces peril in the school cafeteria freezer in "Dark Day"!
Preview "Trash Night" (under its original title "Unraveling") and "Dark Day" at Jordan's webcomics site what things do.
He lives day to day and hand to mouth, this shambling lug of a man, wrestling with his demons, picking up work where he can, and drinking himself into oblivion. Until one days his palms begin to bleed… These newfound stigmata lose him his job, and he ends up as part of a traveling carnival, where he even finds love. But his past catches up with him — violently so. Has he lost his last chance at redemption?
This stunning graphic novel, executed in a mad, expressionistic swirl of black lines, is the result of a unique collaboration between the preeminent Italian cartoonist/graphist Lorenzo Mattotti (RAW, The New Yorker, and the graphic novels Fires and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde) and the award-winning Italian screenwriter Claudio Piersanti.
"Wondrous... The reader can feel the main character's pain and redemption through Mattotti's raging fury of intense linework... A moving and thoroughly modern morality play." – Paul Gravett
Special Offer: Add Lorenzo Mattotti's Chimera #1 to your order for just $3.98 — that's 1/2 price! Make your selection with the menu above.
Chimera, with its intricate, hyper-expressive swirls of crisp line work, is a wordless fantasia of birth, death, gods, monsters, and humans, and one of the most astonishing visual narratives you'll ever see.
• Review: "[The Littlest Pirate King]'s an engrossing story which is marred somewhat by another of those inconclusive endings which please some but only irritate me. The story's not really the show here anyway, though there is a lot of intellectual grist to mill in it — the quest to know and understand the whims and whys and wherefores of the divine being but one example. B's art is really something to see here; while cartoonish in a superficial sense, he displays a masterful command of composition and visual whimsy and many pages and panels adopt an expressionistic, almost Escher-like, complexity which thankfully does not hinder reading comprehension but rather enhances and illuminates, like all 'good' art should do. While I do wish it had a more definitive conclusion, this is still a visual treat and well worth checking out." – Johnny Bacardi, Popdose
• Review: "Tyler’s portrait of her family [in You'll Never Know, Book 2: Collateral Damage] is at once warm and unsparing; they have awful moments — drinking, bitterness, just plain cussedness (on everyone’s part — there are no saints here), but they also have the in-jokes and little celebrations that are such an important part of happy family life. She has a good ear for the way daughters talk about their mothers and the goofy humor of her parents’ generation — humor that even in real life, sometimes struck me as papering over something painful. Tyler shifts styles and points of view often, telling old and more recent stories in parallel, focusing on different family members, and changing her drawing and paneling styles to fit the topic." – Brigid Alverson, Robot 6
• Interview: At Bookslut, Sean P. Carroll, who writes "What Is All This?: Uncollected Stories... offers a fascinating perspective on [Dixon's] long dialogue with the short form. ...Dixon’s unmistakable style and experimentalism draws not only on his familiar New York City locale, but also includes unexpected digressions that offer ample evidence why he is one of our foremost practitioners of fiction. It is a masterful tome that exemplifies Dixon’s ability to transform the vagaries of the everyday into a lasting work of art," questions Dixon about the book: "Why did I rewrite all 62 stories? Originally there were about 80. I threw out about 20 of the stories of mine never in book form as not being worth republishing in book form. The 62 I did rewrite or finish, I thought worthy of book form, and I just wanted to either complete them as stories (the incomplete ones) or improve on the ones that had been in magazines."
• Plug: "Jason is still one of the comics medium’s leading artists, with a fantastic knack for visual storytelling before words. Continuing in the hardcover tradition of Almost Silent, What I Did collects three Jason favorites – 'Hey, Wait…' 'Sshhhh!' and 'The Iron Wagon' – into one elegantly bound book that will match perfectly on the shelf with the other omnibus-style compilations Fantagraphics has released for Jason." – Pads & Panels