• 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
King of the Flies Vol. 1: Hallorave was named one of Amazon's Top 10 Graphic Novels of 2010. Now, here is the second installment in Mezzo and Pirus’s creepily sexy suburban soap opera — a French Twin Peaks graphic novel as written by Stephen King and drawn by Charles Burns.
Eric the fly-head-wearing teenager is back (as well as his hapless mother and her “fiancé”), as are not-quite-ingénue Marie, the worldly Sal, Denis the drug dealer and his now one-handed father, and of course the loopy retro bowling thug Ringo... plus several new cast members, including one who died at the very beginning of the first volume and has now returned to roam the earth.
Once again, the story is told through a series of seemingly unrelated short stories which eventually become intricately braided into one sprawling tale of a community haunted by obsession, rage, regret and despair — in sum, a graphic novel for the 21st century.
King of the Flies is designed as a trilogy of albums, which will combine to form a single graphic novel of stunning intricacy and intensity. (The concluding chapter will appear in late 2011/early 2012.)
Download an EXCLUSIVE 7-page PDF excerpt containing the entire first chapter (2.3 MB).
Thus begins the fourth and final collection of comic strips starring the stupidest, ugliest, stubbliest girl in grade number two. Blecky and her "pals" are back and so are the fountains of blood, urine, and other bodily fluids (not to mention profanity) in these riotously hilarious, eye-poppingly offensive four-panel gag strips. Co-starring the usual cast of Blecky's weirdo friends and enemies, plus douching robots, the Christmas barbarian, the world's most bad-ass Easter basket, the Spamfs, 69-11, sexy murder hunks, ass worship, glory holes, the Pizzazooka, Dizzy the herpes-sniffing dog, Sir Oreo Monocle and oh so much more. Over 100 pages of ridiculous absurdity, over-the-top grossouts, and scathing satire that could only come from the mind and pen of Johnny Ryan.
The second book from Ray Fenwick, author of 2008’s acclaimed Hall of Best Knowledge. In Mascots, a collection of impressionistic stories combine to create a wildly absurd — yet vaguely familiar — parallel world. Like Fenwick’s previous work, the acclaimed Hall of Best Knowledge (one of Booklist’s “Top Ten Graphic Novels of 2008”), Mascots is driven by lettering and language, part art and part comics, this time taking the form of bright, full color paintings on found book covers. These paintings can be experienced individually, each on their own terms, but together they reveal a surreal world that captures the mood of our times with manic energy.
See a nice juicy 10-page excerpt from Usagi Yojimbo: The Special Edition by Stan Sakai at Comics Alliance, whose David Brothers writes "Usagi Yojimbo: The Special Edition... is a release worth paying attention to. It often flies under the radar, but Stan Sakai's Usagi Yojimbo has been one of the most consistently well-written and well-drawn comics over the past twenty-five years. Sakai has created a long-running series that doesn't need jumping on points or events to tell good stories. He simply creates classic tales, month-in, month-out."
At The Beat, Heidi MacDonald says "On the occasion of Veterans Day, what better book to preview than the extraordinary Lucky in Love by George Chieffet and Stephen DeStefano." Agreed! Check out an exclusive 7-page excerpt of the book over there.
Created in 1984 as a supporting character for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Stan Sakai’s Usagi Yojimbo has vaulted to the very forefront of iconic modern comics characters and is a perennial favorite amongst young boys and adult fans. Usagi Yojimbo chronicles the action-packed wanderings of a masterless samurai (a “ronin”) in feudal Japan — as told with funny-animals. (If PIXAR and the late Akira Kurosawa were to collaborate on a movie, it might very well look like this.)
For the first ten years of his career, the battling bunny was published by Fantagraphics Books. In honor of his 25th anniversary, Fantagraphics is releasing a deluxe slipcase set collecting the seven first Usagi books. With over 1000 pages of story, this is the complete, definitive, early Usagi. This Special Edition will also be brimming with extra material, including a complete full-color gallery of the more than 50 Usagi covers from that period (never-before-collected); preparatory sketches, including Sakai’s original first draft of the “Samurai” story; two “non-canon” Usagi stories by Sakai co-starring the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (with whom Usagi also shared screen time in the TMNT TV series); the rare behind-the-scenes "How I Draw Usagi Yojimbo" strip; Introductions by Stan Sakai and Stan Lee; and a feature-length, career-spanning interview with Sakai.
Download an EXCLUSIVE 31-page PDF excerpt (2.9 MB) containing the first 3 parts of the origin flashback story "Samurai"!