The biographical 21: The Story of Roberto Clemente is a human drama of courage, faith and dignity, inspired by the life of baseball star Roberto Clemente.
No other baseball player dominated the 1960s like Roberto Clemente and no other Latin American player achieved his numbers. Born in 1924 in Puerto Rico, Clemente excelled in track and field and loved baseball. By the age of 17 he was playing in the PR Winter league. Spotted by the big-league scouts because of his hitting, fielding, and throwing abilities, he joined the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1954. A fierce competitor, within two seasons he was hitting above .300 consistently. He played like a man possessed, fielding superbly, unleashing his rifle arm, and hitting in clutch situations. Despite his aesthetic brilliance, he faced prejudice throughout his career and was given his due only after his unexpected and tragic death in a 1972 plane crash.
Although baseball was his obsession, Clemente never lost sight of his dreams and his greater responsibilities outside the game. This sense of urgency is what came to define him beyond that of a grand athlete. His eventual success and accompanying celebrity gave him the opportunity to engage his conscience in public life. He died when his plane went down in the Caribbean Sea on a relief mission to earthquake-torn Nicaragua that he personally directed.
21 chronicles Clemente’s life from his early days growing up in rural Puerto Rico, the highlights of his career (including the 1960s World Series where he helped the Pirates win its first victory in 33 years, and his 3000th hit in 1972 during the last official at-bat of his life) as well as his private life and public mission off the field.
After his death, Major League Baseball declared September 18 to be “Roberto Clemente Day,” and in 1999, Pittsburgh’s Sixth Street Bridge was renamed the Roberto Clemente Bridge in honor of the greatest Latino ballplayer in history.
Wilfred Santiago captures the grit of Clemente’s rise from his impoverished Puerto Rican childhood, to the majesty of his performance on the field, to his fundamental decency as a human being in a drawing style that combines realistic attention to detail and expressive cartooning.
"Wilfred Santiago's 21 is brilliant and beautiful, challenging and lyrical ... which seems exactly right, as Roberto Clemente was all those things and more." – Rob Neyer, ESPN.com
"A kaleidoscopic look at the life of the great Clemente. Santiago's artwork is superb and the depth of his passion for the subject and incredible preparation comes through on every page." – Steven Goldman, author of Forging Genius: The Making of Casey Stengel and editor of Baseball Prospectus
"I'll admit, being a baseball player often feels like a comic book experience: the costumes, the origins, the battles for great victories and inspiration it conjures in our fellow man. This book captures the essence of one of our sport's greatest heroes, and it does so in a way that engages the imaginations as much as it reveals the heart, ink, color, style, and character; I can think of no better way to share a tale of a true legend." – Dirk Hayhurst, Toronto Blue Jays pitcher and author of The Bullpen Gospels
Download an EXCLUSIVE 18-page PDF excerpt (6.6 MB). See the trailer, get more information, and download wallpapers and buddy icons at 21comix.com.
With this volume, Foster reaches (by common critical consensus) the peak of his drawing and storytelling prowess – a peak at which he will remain for most of the run of this glorious strip.
Almost the entirety of 1941’s strips feature a single ten-month epic entitled “Fights for the Singing Sword,” a globetrotting adventure fueled by Valiant’s obsessive search for his bride-to-be Aleta throughout Northern Africa, with stops in Jerusalem, the Arabic deserts, and, inevitably, a harem which Val must infiltrate. Then finally, in “The Misty Isles” Valiant meets Aleta face to face but upon learning that she has had his crew killed (deservedly so, actually, but still), he flees in anger, vowing never to see her again.
“Homeward Bound,” Valiant continues his travels, with stops in Athens (where he meets the boisterous Viking Boltar, who will become his friend for life), North Africa, and Gaul (where Valiant liberates Gawain), before finally returning to Camelot. But his joyous return is short-lived as an alliance of Picts and Vikings threatens Britain’s security, and thus Valiant must journey forth with, as his ultimate destination, “The Roman Wall.”
The final pages of this volume boast a special feature: a gallery of images that were censored for being too sexy or violent (or subject to other editorial interference) prior to publication, plus another gruesome example of Foster's art being altered for publication, all with commentary by series editor Kim Thompson.
Download an EXCLUSIVE 12-page PDF excerpt which includes Dan Nadel's Foreword and 10 strips (9.5 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.
Remember last volume’s cliffhanger? The penultimate installment of this acclaimed reprinting of E.C. Segar’s masterpiece begins with “Popeye’s Ark: Part Two,” the tale of Popeye’s eventful reign over Spinachovia — a bleak island populated only by men and lacking all “femininity” — even as Olive Oyl controls the country of Olivia (not to mention the men of Spinachovia). Then in “War Clouds,” the two monarchies come tumbling down in a furious battle as Spinachovia is attacked by the tyrannical land-hungry King of Brutia, King Zlobbo!
This volume’s star is Eugene the Jeep, the rare, friendly, leopard-spotted, and magically-endowed little creature. And Segar makes a great addition to the cast in “The Search for Popeye’s Poppa,” when the ever-cantankerous Poopdeck Pappy is tracked and finally, hilariously found; the title of the follow-up story, “Civilizing Poppa,” speaks for itself, as it tells the classic tale of man taming beast as Popeye guides a stubborn Pappy through table manners.
And as in every volume, this year-and-a-half’s worth of full-color Sunday strips are as dazzlingly reproduced as ever. The adventures of Popeye, Olive, Wimpy, Swee’Pea and the gang on the top are complemented with the riotously funny bonus strip “Sappo,” including a somewhat self-referential storyline where the titular character becomes a cartoonist and teaches the craft to his friend, Professor Wotasnozzle.
Download an EXCLUSIVE 15-page PDF excerpt (20 MB) with 10 pages of dailies and 5 pages of Sundays.
Our acclaimed art-comics anthology forges into its 6th year with another diverse and wonderful volume full of returning favorites and a few surprises.
On the cover, a detail from Sara Edward-Corbett's haunting, Gorey-esque tale of nocturnally animate objects. Also in this issue: Steven "Ribs" Weissman's freewheeling, sometimes-satirical, sometimes-deeply-weird webcomic "Barack Hussein Obama" (starring the President of the United States and his associates) makes its print debut; Sergio Ponchione provides another full-color prequel story to his acclaimed series Grotesque (translated from its appearance in Italy's Linus magazine); Josh Simmons is back with more "White Rhinoceros" and one of his unparalleled standalone horror stories; Nate Neal takes us back to the world of his graphic novel The Sanctuary; and we welcome Nick Thorburn, cartoonist and frontman of the acclaimed indie bands Unicorns and Islands.
All this plus: a one-pager from Dash Shaw; a blackly comic fable from Jon Adams; a typically trenchant strip from Tom Kaczynski; new chapters of T. Edward Bak's "Wild Man," Derek Van Gieson's "Devil Doll," and Kurt Wolfgang's "Nothing Eve" serials; a dreamlike tale from Lilli Carré; and more autobiographical vignettes by Nicolas Mahler.
Download an EXCLUSIVE 15-page PDF excerpt (2.4 MB) with pages from every contributor.
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