When the formulaic constraints, censorious nature, and onerous lack of creator's rights in mainstream comics got to be too much for the brilliant cartoonist Wallace Wood in 1966, he struck out on his own with the self-published witzend. It became a haven for Wood and his fellow professional cartoonist friends where they could produce the kind of personal work that they wanted to do, without regard to commercial demands — and with friends like Frank Frazetta, Al Williamson, Reed Crandall, Ralph Reese, Archie Goodwin, Angelo Torres, Steve Ditko, Harvey Kurtzman, Will Elder, Art Spiegelman, Don Martin, Vaughn Bodé, Jim Steranko, Jeff Jones, Howard Chaykin, Trina Robbins, Bernie Wrightson, and literally dozens more, it was bound to be a great ride! Now, Fantagraphics presents the complete run of witzend in this beautiful slipcased two-volume set with a special introduction by Bill Pearson and a history by Patrick Rosenkranz.
How did a nervous, creative kid from a normal family in Nebraska grow up to make some of the most outrageous, transgressive, Id-ful comics ever put to paper? You'll find the answer — and the comics — in Pirates in the Heartland, the first book in our 3-volume biography and retrospective of S. Clay Wilson by Patrick Rosenkranz. Wilson, of course, is a member of the Zap Comix collective and creator of the Checkered Demon; Rosenkranz is one of the preeminent authorities on underground comix and the author of the definitive history of the genre, Rebel Visions. Their mighty powers combine in this essential series that takes an unflinching look at the man and his work.
In our downloadable excerpt, read about Wilson's childhood in the heartland, see some of his youthful artwork, and read some of his earliest underground comix stories with, yes, pirates. Expected availability is in about 8 weeks, give or take;pre-sale is on now!
The team of Harvey Kurtzman and John Severin was one of the most fruitful collaborations in the history of comics. The work they did combines the taut emotional and psychological insights of Stephen Crane with a verisimilitude so gritty that it seems as if they are reporting from the scene. Together with inker and friend Will Elder, whose own obsession for detail perfectly heightened the impact of every line, they produced 34 war stories — emotionally draining and dramatically eloquent — in just under three years. This book collects them all. Settings include: the Roman empire; the Revolutionary War; the American-Indian Wars; the Alamo; the Civil War; World War I (in the trenches and in the air); World War II (in the Pacific and in Europe, including the D-Day invasion); and the Korean War.
"The minute you looked at his artwork you knew you were looking at a John Severin illustration; it could be no one else. Besides his inimitable style, there was a feeling of total authenticity to whatever he drew, whether it was a Western, a crime story, a superhero saga or a science fiction yarn." – Stan Lee
"Charles Schulz was an innovative genius of American comics and also the marathon man, drawing strip after strip, writing the storyboards for the TV specials, creating a fantasy world that connected kids as well as adults, and all based on powerful iconic characters who express deep feelings of loneliness and resentment and despair." — Garrison Keillor, from his introduction
"All of these books are essential purchases for comics fans… These are the books that best show off how EC took genre stories seriously, striving to create comics that didn't treat readers as naive or ignorant." – Los Angeles Times
"Fantagraphics' current series of handsome hardcovers makes familiar material fresh by focusing on individual artists... it's never been easier to appreciate the contributions of these iconic inkslingers." – Chicago Tribune
"...I am not only appreciative...but also very impressed. [The books] are spectacular packages of their featured artist and their stories." – Al Feldstein
"These collections show comics in a pure, unadulterated form. Before the Superhero frenzy, before '60s cynicism, and just before the Comics Code Authority started trimming all the gory and sexy fun from the pages with their seal of approval." – Under the Radar
"Charles Schulz was an American treasure — an artist, philosopher, and keen observer of human life." – Bill Clinton
"The Complete Peanuts has framed Charles Schulz’s enduring masterpiece about as well any lifelong fan could’ve hoped." – "The Best Comics of the '00s: The Archives," The A.V. Club
"The Complete Peanuts confronts us afresh with what a brilliant, truly modern and totally weird idea it was to create a comic strip about a chronically depressed child..." – TIME
"Fantagraphics has won numerous awards for this series and they deserve them all for creating such a wonderful archive of this American treasure. This series is a must have for any Peanuts fan and can be enjoyed by the whole family. I wouldn't miss a volume." – The Christian Science Monitor
"Fantagraphics' heroic project (designed with subtle, quiet beauty by the caroonist called Seth) enables us to glimpse the moment when 'good ol' Charlie Brown' could say with frowning vehemence, 'The rest of this day can’t possibly hold any good for me!'... [Grade:] A” – Entertainment Weekly
The long-lost comic strip masterpiece by Crockett Johnson, legendary children's book author (Harold and the Purple Crayon, The Carrot Seed), collected in full and designed by graphic novelist and Barnaby superfan Daniel Clowes (Ghost World, Wilson).
Vol. 2 collects the years 1944-1945 of five-year-old Barnaby Baxter and his Fairy Godfather J.J. O'Malley's misadventures. The cigar-chomping, bumbling con-artist and fast-talker O'Malley takes Barnaby on a trip to D.C. to serve his term in Congress, and introduces Launcelot McSnoyd, the invisible leprechaun and fellow member of the Elves, Leprechauns, Gnomes, and the Little Men's Chowder and Marching Society. Also, Gus the Ghost and O'Malley follow the Baxters to their seaside cottage, enlisting Barnaby to join them on a treasure hunt. Plus Wall St., Ermine hunters, soap salesmen and more!
Adored by all ages, Barnaby's deft balance of fantasy, timeless humor and elegant cartooning will delight even the most sophisticated reader, much as it did in its original run, attracting fans as diverse as Dorothy Parker, Charles Schulz, W.C. Fields, Gardner Rea, Milton Caniff, Rockwell Kent and Louis Untermeyer.
The potent combination of Ed Piskor's deft cartooning skills and deep obsession for endlessly rich true-life subject matter has rocketed Hip Hop Family Tree off the shelves and onto the New York Times best-seller and 2014 Eisner Award nomination lists. (The fresh packaging and all-around general coolness don't hurt either.) Get ready for another dose of knowledge this summer, when Vol. 2: 1981-1983 drops.
Episodes in our downloadable preview: beatboxing pioneer Doug E. Fresh is introduced; the story of Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde's hit "Genius Rap"; a famous pro baseball star threatens Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five backstage; the origin of the hip hop staple "Apache" riff; how party records inspired Too Short; the roots of the Rick Rubin/Beastie Boys connection; another popular riff makes a hit for T Ski Valley; Ice-T makes a smashing debut; "Beyond Words," the seminal graffiti-based art show curated by Fab Five Freddy; and punk impresario Malcolm McLaren's introduction to hip hop.
Eleanor Davis won the Russ Manning Most Promising Newcomer award at the 2009 Eisners, and her illustration work won her a Gold Medal from the Society of Illustrators last year, further cementing her status as a major young creator. Now, we present How to Be Happy, the eagerly awaited collection of Davis's comics going back to 2007, coming this Summer.
Our downloadable preview includes portions of the stunning painted stories "In Our Eden" and Best American Comics selection "Nita Goes Home," plus a couple of Davis's looser but no less impactful sketchbook strips. Everyone will be talking about How to Be Happy when it comes out in July or early August; make sure you're part of the conversation by pre-ordering your copy today.