This new graphic novel from acclaimed cartoonist Dash Shaw (Bottomless Belly Button, BodyWorld, New School) is his most taut book to date. Dr. Cho is the creator of the Charon, a device that allows his staff to enter a dead patient's afterlife by taking the form of a memory in the patient's consciousness, and bring him or her back to life, with one catch: the experience is traumatic and the process kills them again soon thereafter. But for some bereaved, the opportunity is priceless. So when Bell is killed in a random accident, her daughter hires Dr. Cho's team to bring her back. But what if Bell didn't want to come back? The dying unconsciously create the afterlife they want, or feel they deserve, in their minds before everything fades to black. Isn't that better than the reality, and no less meaningful than life itself? Can unconsciousness coexist with consciousness? Part science-fiction thriller, part family drama, part morality play for the 21st century, and quite possibly Shaw's best book to date.
Acclaimed cartoonist Lucy Knisley (French Milk, Relish) got an opportunity that most only dream of: a travel-expenses-paid trip to Europe and Scandinavia, thanks to a book tour. An Age of License is Knisley's comics travel memoir recounting her charming (and romantic!) adventures. It’s punctuated by whimsical visual devices (such as a "new experiences" funnel); peppered with the cute cats she meets along the way; and, of course, features her hallmark — drawings and descriptions of food that will make your mouth water. But it’s not all kittens and raclette crêpes: Knisley's experiences are colored by anxieties, introspective self-inquiries, and quotidian revelations — about traveling alone in unfamiliar countries, and about her life and career — that many young adults will relate to. An Age of License — which takes its name from a French saying — is an Eat, Pray, Love for the alternative comics fan.
Book 2 covers the early years of 1981-1983, when Hip Hop has made a big transition from the parks and rec rooms to downtown clubs and vinyl records. The performers make moves to separate themselves from the paying customers by dressing more and more flamboyantly until a young group called RUN-DMC comes on the scene to take things back to the streets. This volume covers hits like Afrika Bambaataa’s "Planet Rock," Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five’s "The Message," and the movie Wild Style, and introduces superstars like NWA, The Beastie Boys, Doug E Fresh, KRS One, ICE T, and early Public Enemy. Cameos by Dolemite, LL Cool J, Notorious BIG, and New Kids on the Block(?!)! Featuring an introduction by Wild Style director Charlie Ahearn.
Eleanor Davis's How to Be Happy is the artist's first collection of graphic/literary short stories, and it’s about time. Davis is one of the finest cartoonists of her generation, and has been producing comics since the mid-2000s. Happy represents the best stories she's drawn for such connoisseurial venues as Mome, Nobrow, and Lucky Peach, as well as her own self-publishing and web efforts. Davis achieves a rare, subtle poignancy in her narratives that are at once compelling and elusive, pregnant with mystery and a deeply satisfying emotional resonance. Happy shows the full range of Davis's graphic skills — sketchy drawing, polished pen-and-ink line work, and meticulously designed full-color painted panels — which are always in the service of a narrative that builds to a quietly devastating climax.
Helen is an amateur bird watcher and naturalist who lives in a rural community in Wales. When local farmer Bill tells Helen that a "rare bird" named Emrys killed himself at Cuddig farm, she decides to investigate. One of the dogs at the farm tells her, by way of explanation, that Emrys "had no feathers and couldn’t fly." She plucks an old cosmetic kit from a dumpster and discovers it belonged to Emrys. Inventorying the kit's contents, she finds a spent .12 gauge shotgun shell. Her attempt to learn more about Emrys turns into a journey of self-discovery and ultimately a hard-fought reconciliation with the world — as it is. Carol Swain's Gast is the rare kind of contemporary graphic novel that critics are conjuring when they exult over the promise of the art form — a philosophically mature vision, uniquely executed by an artist wholly in control of her craft. In Gast, Helen's inner life is slowly revealed through a mixture of naturalistic detail and phantasmagoric occurrences.
Before the Amazing Spider-Man, before the mysterious Dr. Strange, before the black-and-white world of the Ayn Rand-inspired Mr. A, the legendary comic book artist Steve Ditko was conjuring all manners of horrors at his drawing table. In his first two years in the industry (1953 and 1954), Ditko drew tales of macabre suspense that were not yet hobbled by the imminent Comics Code Authority (adopted in Oct. 1954). These stories featured graphic bloodshed, dismemberment and blood-curdling acid baths as the ugly end to the lives of the dark and twisted inhabitants of Steve Ditko’s imagination.
Following up on Strange and Stranger: The World of Steve Ditko, Blake Bell’s 2008 best-selling critical retrospective of Ditko’s career, Strange Suspense: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 1 features, for the first time, spectacular full-color reprints of every story from those first two years of his career. Beginning with Ditko’s very first story to Ditko’s short stint in the Joe Simon/Jack Kirby studio, to Ditko’s eventual encampment at the Charlton Comics operation in 1954, readers will see the initial works of an artist already at a level of craftsmanship that exceeded most of his peers. The book also features editor Bell’s insightful introduction, providing historical background and speaking to Ditko's influence and his unique craft.
Hot on the heels of last year’s Vip: The Mad World of Virgil Partch comes this brand new collection of intoxicated insanity! Virgil Partch, tutor to the tanked, scholar of the sloshed, professor to the plastered, and endowed with a scholarship from the School of Advanced Study of Alcoholic Endeavor, flung himself into months-long research of the most arduous kind in order to produce — for our collective betterment — this report on the hangover, and how one may acquire it.
At the height of his career, working in quiet obscurity, Partch pursued his goal quietly and selflessly, often confining himself for long hours without food or sleep in dim, ill-ventilated holes-in-the-walls, doggedly researching, testing, rejecting, seeking no reward but that elusive ideal mixture to satiate one’s palate and wet one’s whistle.
The foamy formula of excess (C2H5OH + homo sapiens) has created a combustible concoction that has long fueled sleepless nights, great passions, artistic achievement, and regretful mornings, but never before has it produced such inspired hilarity. Collecting the top shelf of Vip’s drink-themed artwork including well-known favorites, this new book is sure to delight even the most rigid teetotaler (and perhaps cause them to reconsider). So batten down the hooch and prepare to cast off on the stormy seas of booze with your faithful captain, Virgil Partch!
Disney’s greatest villain steals the spotlight! The vile Phantom Blot — dressed head-to-foot in his ghostly black cloak — is turning Mouseton upside down and leaving a trail of danger and destruction behind! Can Mickey thwart his plans? Our latest book also finds Mickey battling "Mighty Whalehunter" Pegleg Pete on the high seas and meeting a powerful genie! Lovingly restored from Disney's original proof sheets, this volume also includes more than 30 pages of extras! You'll enjoy rare behind-the-scenes art, vintage publicity material, and fascinating commentary by a most-wanted list of Disney scholars. Walt Disney often said that his studio's success "all started with a Mouse" — now it’s time to rediscover the wild, unforgettable personality behind the icon: Floyd Gottfredson's Mickey Mouse. Edited by Disney historian David Gerstein and Gary Groth.
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.