Harvey Kurtzman created MAD, and MAD revolutionized humor in America. Kurtzman's groundwork as the original editor, artist, and sole writer of MAD provided the foundation for one of the greatest publishing successes of the 20th century. But how did Kurtzman invent MAD, and why did he leave it shortly after it burst nova-like onto the American scene? Bill Schelly's heavily researched biography finally and fully answers these question for the first time. Through fresh interviews with Kurtzman's colleagues, friends and family, including Hugh Hefner, Al Feldstein, James Warren, R. Crumb, Jack Davis, Gilbert Shelton, and many others, and an examination of Kurtzman's personal archives, this book tells the true story of one of the 20th century's greatest humorists. His family life, an FBI investigation during the McCarthy Era, his legal battles with William M. Gaines (publisher of MAD), all are revealed for the first time. Rich with anecdotes, from Kurtzman's Brooklyn beginnings to his post-MAD years, when his ceaseless creativity produced more innovations: new magazines, a graphic novel, and "Little Annie Fanny" in Playboy.
Dripping With Fear: The Steve Ditko Archives Volume 5 features another 200-plus meticulously restored, full-color pages from Spider-Man co-creator Steve Ditko in his early prime, at the time working in near anonymity for Charlton Comics in the then-popular horror/suspense genre.
Comics like Tales of The Mysterious Traveler and This Magazine Is Haunted saw an explosion in Ditko’s ingenuity, as he manipulated the traditional comic-book page layout with masterful results.
It was during this time that Ditko and his art-school colleague, the famed fetish artist Eric Stanton, began sharing a studio in Manhattan. The introduction by editor Blake Bell examines Ditko’s stylistic evolution and delves deep into his association with Stanton. Ditko’s secret collaborations with Stanton on his female bondage material remain a highly controversial topic, and Bell’s introduction highlights numerous examples that prove the allegedly shy and private Ditko contributed with wild abandon to these risqué tales of titillation.
This fifth volume stands as the best example yet of the Steve Ditko that would soon begin crafting such iconic classics as Spider-Man and Doctor Strange alongside Stan Lee at Marvel Comics.
Johnny Ryan's utterly unpretentious taboo-tackling is an infectious and hilarious bombardment of political incorrectness, taking full advantage of the medium's absurdist potential for maximum laughs. In an age when the medium is growing up and aspiring to more mature and hoity-toity literary heights, Ryan builds on the visceral tradition that cartooning has had on our collective funny bone for over a century. Now, for the first time, all fourteen issues of Ryan's career-defining comic book series Angry Youth Comix (2000-2008) are collected in one place. All the comics, the covers, and even the contentious letters pages, in one toilet-ready brick shithouse.
In 1953, in conjunction with the fiftieth anniversary of the World Series, legendary cartoonist Willard Mullin created images illustrating one of America's best-loved poems: Ernest Thayer's "Casey at the Bat." These images were then put on a series of drinking glasses that were given away as premiums at various major and minor league ballparks across America. The first set was issued on April 15, 1954, at the very first home game for the modern day Baltimore Orioles.
The illustrations by Mullin were for years thought to have been lost, but were found at an auction in 2002. They have been meticulously reproduced to create this stunning edition of "Casey at the Bat." This edition will include additional Mullin material like the "Fan's Alphabet" from 1953 and the poems "Iron Horse Lou" and "O Brooklyn, My Brooklyn" from 1947. With a preface by Yogi Berra and an essay on the history of both "Casey" and Mullin's images by noted baseball historian Tim Wiles, this edition of "Casey" is the most authentic ever produced. A keepsake for the ages.
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.