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Category >> reviews

Daily OCD Extra: November's Book Reviews
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under reviewsKim DeitchJim Woodring 28 Oct 2013 3:10 PM
Next month's issue of Booklist will include reviews of two recent releases by Fantagraphics creators, excerpted below:
 
Katherine Whaley  
 
 
"The yarn Deitch spins around that outrageous premise includes surprisingly less of the supernatural and many more words than usual, which wrap around the panels and are carefully chosen to project the heroine's personality-that of a smart but unpretentious woman who once had an utterly fantastic adventure. Even more riveting than Deitch's other spellbinders." –Ray Olson 
 
Fran  
 
 
"the heightened emotional stakes are new: Frank's followers have watched him shrug off violent treatment with the resilience of a Warner Bros. cartoon character, but the loss of Fran seems more devastating than the worst punishment he's received at the hands of the devilish Whim."
–Gordon Flagg 
Daily OCD Extras: Booklist Reviews
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under reviewsJasonGilbert HernandezFloyd GottfredsonDisneyDaily OCDBill GriffithAnders Nilsen 17 Oct 2013 3:30 PM
The last month's issue of Booklist reviewed recent releases by Fantagraphics creators, excerpted below: 
Lost Cat
"…maybe the most romantic mystery scenario his lean, animal-headed personae have ever performed...Delicious...heartwarming, too." –Ray Olson 

"The high-spirited, adventure-seeking mouse in these vintage strips-a far cry from today's bland, domesticated version-makes it clear why Mickey captivated Depression-era
America." –Gordon Flagg 

The Children of Palomar  
"Hernandez's absence from Palomar hasn't dimmed his ability to bring its beloved characters to vivid life, and his visual approach, a skillful blend of cartooning and illustration, remains as distinctive and acute as ever. Fans who have missed Palomar will relish the chance to return there once again." –Gordon Flagg, Booklist  

The Dingburg Diaries  
"…just as in our world, there's more to life than consumption, such as breakfast and odd proclamations ("From now on all eyeglasses will be rectangular") from enigmatic locations, or possibly people. You can never really be sure. More than a bit like the surrealism of real life, but everyone wears a muumuu." –Ray Olson, Booklist

The End  
"[The End is] as intelligently written and beautifully drawn-whether simply or intricately-as anything else this front-runner in his generation of comics artists has done. The last piece ends in blank-paneled silence, bringing to mind Wittgenstein's famous proposition, "What we cannot speak about, we must pass over in silence." –Ray Olson, Booklist
 



















Daily OCD Extra: Booklist's June Reviews
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under reviewsPeter BaggeJack DavisGraham ChaffeeEC ComicsAl Feldstein 23 May 2013 11:15 AM

This month's issue of Booklist reviewed three recent releases by Fantagraphics creators, excerpted below:

Peter Bagge's Other Stuff

Peter Bagge's Other Stuff by Peter Bagge et al.

"The pleasing hodgepodge includes multipart sequences featuring Bagge creations like hipster wannabe Lovey and clueless suburbanites Chet and Bunny Leeway (resurrected from Bagge’s 1980s series, Neat Stuff); Bagge-scripted stories drawn by other alt-comics titans, including R. Crumb, Daniel Clowes, Adrian Tomine, and Gilbert and Jamie Hernandez as well as a story scripted by Alan Moore…While his rubbery, exaggerated visual style may be one-note (as effective and appealing as that single note might be), this diverse assortment of work, nearly all of it top-notch, shows that Bagge has plenty of arrows in his artistic quiver." –Gordon Flagg

Good Dog

Good Dog by Graham Chaffee

"Chaffee’s artwork is bold and straightforward, and he imbues each dog with its own personality while avoiding excessive anthropomorphizing. The natural audience for this work is, of course, dog lovers, but you don’t have to be a caninophile to appreciate Chaffee’s remarkable ability to get inside the mind of man’s best friend." –Gordon Flagg 

'Tain't The Meat

'Tain't the Meat... It's the Humanity! and Other Stories (The EC Comics Library)
by Jack Davis  & Al Feldstein

"…while other EC artists were moodier or spookier, Jack Davis’ stories stood out for their distinctly cartoony tinge, leavening the terror with a mocking humor…they remain entertaining six decades later, or as the Crypt-Keeper would put it, “There’s no ghoul like an old ghoul.” –Gordon Flagg

Daily OCD Extra: Booklist's May Reviews
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under reviewsJames RombergerGilbert HernandezDavid WojnarowiczBarnaby 2 May 2013 12:15 PM

This month's issue of Booklist reviewed three recent releases by Fantagraphics creators, excerpted below:

Barnaby

Barnaby Vol. 1 by Crockett Johnson, edited by Eric Reynolds & Philip Nel (Starred Review)

"…his paramount creation was the celebrated if obscure newspaper strip Barnaby, which, from its distinct visual look (minimalist, Thurberesque drawings; typeset word balloons) to its wry, understated humor, was unlike anything else ever to hit the comics page…There have been sporadic reprintings, but this effort, the initial installment in a five-volume series, is the first to collect it in its entirety. Even Mr. O'Malley couldn't conjure up a more welcome endeavor." – Gordon Flagg

 

Julio's Day

Julio's Day by Gilbert Hernandez

"Because day in it means a lifetime (like what we mean by saying, "in Grandma's day"), the title of this spare graphic novel denotes an entire century… For lengthy stretches of his story, he's unspeaking, in the background, nowhere around as we watch the more dramatic lives of friends and family flare in bizarre illness and death, in madness and violence, and in love, at home more than in the wars and wanderings they are called to. All along, he lives with his mother, the still center of a century-long family storm that Hernandez's mastery of comics somehow makes somberly beautiful." –Ray Olson

7 Miles a Second

7 Miles a Second by  David Wajnarowicz, James Romberger and Marguerite Van Cook

"This welcome reissue publishes the work to its originally intended large page size and restores the original watercolors…The gritty yet gaudy artwork by Romberger, a friend of Wojnarowicz's who worked closely with him on the project, convincingly conveys the seedy milieu of Wojnarowicz's younger years as well as his later rage and frustration as he awaits his death, with the expressionistic colors ratcheting up the nightmarish intensity. Two decades on, Times Square is cleaned up and the AIDS crisis in America is largely contained; but Wojnarowicz's defiant cri de coeur retains its harsh potency." – Gordon Flagg

Daily OCD Extra: Booklist's March Review
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under reviewsGreg SadowskiDaily OCDB Krigstein 26 Mar 2013 9:48 AM

This month's issue of Booklist reviewed a recent releases by Fantagraphics creators, excerpted below: 

Messages in a Bottle

Messages in a Bottle: Comic Book Stories by B. Krigstein
edited by Greg Sadowski

"…best known for his stories for the legendary EC Comics—8 of which are included here—Krigstein also produced remarkable work…in genres ranging from crime and horror to war and westerns.… Although Krigstein was a masterful illustrator…capable of varying his style to suit the demands of the story, his genius lay in how he broke down the scripts, using multiple, subdivided panels to audaciously manipulate time.…Krigstein’s thoughtful, intelligent approach to telling a story should be an eye-opener to readers of today’s mainstream comic books, which increasingly rely on huge panels filled with vacuous excitement and overblown rendering."

– Gordon Flagg

Daily OCD Extra: next month's review with a star for Heads or Tails
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under reviewsLilli CarréDaily OCD 6 Dec 2012 3:06 PM

In this January's issue of Booklist you can find a review of our recent releases, excerpted below:

Heads or Tails

Heads or Tails by Lilli Carré: "Most of these stories are concerned with alternatives—overlapping realities, different explanations of a single phenomenon, evolving contradictions. . . As a graphic artist, Carré carries forward the design tradition that stems from the gossamer surrealism of Cocteau; as a verbal artist, she may be the most successful prose poet going. . . Her Wanda Gag-meets-Gene Deitch drawing style and new-weirdness literary bent make her work acutely interesting to both read and scrutinize." — Ray Olson (Starred Review)

The Bizarre Art of F**king
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under reviewsmiscJacques BoyreauDaily OCD 20 Nov 2012 3:27 PM

 Bizarre Magazine

Bizarre Magazine recently ran an article by Stephen Daultrey featuring some primo "JUICY" posters from our arty porn poster book Sexytime, edited by Jacques Boyreau and Peter Van Horne. Seeking to celebrate "the age of trashy porn with tales of enemas, garage lube, balcony wanking" and Sexytime, Daultrey and Boyreau's words effectively magic a nostalgia within the reader that I didn't think possible.

quote

 The 1960s brought on such a world that "Grindhouse movie producers had begun competing about who could up the filth factor," Boyreau points out. This pushed the crazitude of poster art to a higher level, porny and punny. Think enemas, pumps and dumps.

Juice
Daultrey laments the availibility of VHS tapes and internet porn meant a lessening need for "suggestive and sometimes absurd posters [that] made the films even more trendy and often operated as standalone works of art that were almost entirely autonomous from the fuck films they promoted."  Sexytime quote

But that's the beauty of the posters seen in Sexytime says Boyreau, "They activated their own post-porn, personal narratives. They're much like how Impressionist paintings or religious, symbolic paintings can induce visionary relationships between body and soul."

Mothers are Forever

To read more, pick up the next Bizarre Magazine for the full article and buy a copy of Sexytime. That one at the library has at least '69 holds' on it and is smelling a wee bit ripe.

Sexytime Cover

Daily OCD Extra: November 2012 Book Review
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under reviewsLewis TrondheimDaily OCD 31 Oct 2012 12:28 PM

This month's issue of Booklist reviewed a recent releases by Fantagraphics creators, excerpted below: 

Ralph Azham Volume 1: Why Would You Lie to Someone You Love?

Ralph Azham Volume 1: "Why Lie to Someone You Love." by Lewis Trondheim

Ian Chipman writes, ". . . Now, English readers can dig into another fantasy series populated by [Trondheim's] distinctive anthropomorphized animals and distinguished by equal parts cutting humor and bizarre plot twists. . . What seems like a good, old-fashioned unlikely-hero tale in the making actually turns out to be more complex and slippery, as Ralph’s past gets sliced in bit by bit as we gradually learn about the world he inhabits, all leading to a blindsiding reveal and a tantalizing finish. Trondheim’s cartooning is as saucy and quirky as ever in this first of six volumes that promises more endearing oddities to come."

Detail of Ralph Azham

Daily OCD Extra: June 2012 Booklist reviews
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under reviewsHans RickheitGabriella GiandelliDaily OCD 19 Jun 2012 5:11 PM

This month's issue of Booklist reviewed two recent releases by Fantagraphics creators, excerpted below:

Folly

Folly: The Consequences of Indiscretion by Hans Rickheit: "Here are early stories by the graphic novelist whose work... comes closer than any other’s (except Nate Powell’s) to the prose stories of Zoran Živkovi, Andrew Crumey, Kelly Link, Ray Vukcevich, Theodora Goss, Benjamin Rosenbaum, and other practitioners of what’s been called slipstream fiction. They feature people, animals, and flesh-and-machine hybrids in all stages of development and dissolution, from fetus and pupa to suppurating near-corpse to skeleton . . . Among their protagonists, a bear-headed man in a long coat and high boots and identical teen sisters Cochlea and Eustachia, who wear only black masks and very short-skirted tops, recur often. Rescued from their original appearances in Rickheit’s slim, stapled-together Chrome Fetus Comics, these stories are less polished than his current stuff . . . but fully developed in every other aspect of his puzzling, engrossing, and disturbing storytelling." — Ray Olson

Interiorae

Interiorae by Gabriella Giandelli: "A large and (mostly) invisible rabbit looks over the affairs of various tenants in a modern apartment building: an elderly woman dying in one apartment, a couple entrenched in unhappiness and unfaithfulness in another, young schoolgirl friends in a third, and a happy group of ghosts in a fourth . . . the rabbit as harbinger of change [leaps] from panel to panel, view to view, addressing the reader enough to keep the outsider engaged in asking what might happen to whom next. The images are gorgeously penciled and inked, with coloring to note moods and approaching climaxes and denouements in the various tales. The rabbit’s own identity — or power — finds explanation in an Algonquin tale found in an open book on a bed in one scene; figuring out who is the Boss in the basement, sometimes referenced by the rabbit, takes more digging. Beautifully rendered art and sweetly told, serious stories." — Francisca Goldsmith

Daily OCD: 6/12/12
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Steve DitkoSignificant ObjectsreviewsNoah Van SciverNo Straight LinesJustin HallJaime HernandezinterviewsHans RickheitGabriella GiandelliFlannery OConnorDaily OCD 12 Jun 2012 7:00 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Interiorae

• Interview: On the National Post, Nathalie Atkinson interviews Gabriella Giandelli on her graphic novel, Interiorae., and the retrospective exhibit at the Italian Cultural Institute. Giandelli states, "There are some stories where it would be possible to have the soundtrack of what you listened to during the work for every page of the story. Or sometimes the song is inside my work — nobody knows but for me it’s there."

Review: The Weekly Crisis solves the weekly dilemma for you with a "buy it" verdict for Gabriella Giandelli's Interiorae. Taylor Pithers says, "Giandelli also weaves magic on the way the other characters speak. There is a certain rhythmic beauty to the dialogue that gives the whole book a feeling of quiet, almost as if everyone is speaking in soft tones."

 Folly

Review: The Boston Phoenix gets a slap in the face from Hans Rickheit and asks for more. In the review of Folly: The Consequences of Indiscretion, S.I. Rosenbaum says, "It's as if other masters of visual bodyhorror — Cronenberg, Burns, Dan Clowes, Tarsem Singh — are weird by choice. Rickheit, it seems, just can't help it. There's a conviction to his creepiness, a compulsive nature even in his early draftsmanship."

Eric Reynolds and Noah Van Sciver

Commentary: BEA was last week and Publishers Weekly couldn't get enough of Associate Publisher Eric Reynolds and new book, The Hypo by Noah Van Sciver. Heidi MacDonald and Calvin Reid teamed up to cover the event: "Eric Reynolds said it was a good show for the house, noting that all the galleys for Van Sciver books were taken and there was “huge interest” in Fantagraphics titles, like the Flannery O’Connor: The Cartoons."

 God and Science

•Review: The Comics Bulletin reviewed God and Science: Return of the Ti-Girls by Jaime Hernandez. In the wake of near-universal criticism for super hero comics, Jason Sacks gives an angsty-yet-positive review: "[God and Science] is indeed very indy and quirky and idiosyncratic and personal and uncompromising as any of Jaime's comics."

 No Straight Lines

Plug: The blog for CAKE (Chicago Alternative Comics Expo) mentioned the our newest collection, No Straight Lines.  "LGBTQ cartooning has been one of the most vibrant artistic and countercultural movements of the past 40 years, tackling complex issues of identity and changing social mores with intelligence, humor, and an irreverent imagination. No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics . . . is the most definitive collection to date of this material, showcasing the spectrum from lesbian underground comix, to gay newspaper strips, to bi punk zines, to trans webcomics." Debuting this weekend at Cake in Chicago, you can find editor, Justin Hall, at table 76.

 Mysterious Traveler: Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 3

Review: A short-and-sweet review on Scripp News popped up today. Andrew A. Smith tips his hat to Mysterious Traveler: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 3. " . . .despite the stultifying constriction of the draconian Comics Code of 1954, Ditko managed a remarkable body of work in both volume and content. Even more amazing is his accelerated learning curve, which shoots straight up from first page to last."

 Significant Objects

Commentary: Alt-weekly The Austin Chronicle writer Kimberley Jones mentions receiving Significant Objects: 100 Extraordinary Stories about Ordinary Things. "Maybe those kitty saucers and crumb sweepers will have to leg-wrestle Cary Grant for space in tomorrow night's REM picture show."

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