Even sixty years after their original release, in a post-Saw-and-Hostel era of explicit horror, EC Comics superstar Graham "Ghastly" Ingels's grisly pages retain the power to shock.
His loving depictions of the endless corruption of flesh and nature made him the go-to guy for stories involving swamps, maniacs, and dismemberment — and all three combined to best effect in one of the standouts of this collection of his stories: "Horror We? How’s Bayou?" — considered the single most spectacularly drawn of all of EC’s horror stories, with a climax that would give body-horror king David Cronenberg nightmares.
Ingels specialized in depicting the unimaginable. If you ever wondered what the vengeful, decaying corpse of an elephant stomping a woman to death would look like, it's in here ("Squash...Anyone?"). Or living rats sewn into the bodies of a tyrannical king and queen ("A Grim Fairy Tale")... or the results of injecting a "poison-pen" letter writer with literal poison and reducing him to, in the words of Al Feldstein's script, a "foul-smelling, oozing pool of putrescence" ("Notes to You!"). One of the two Ray Bradbury adaptations in the book, "There Was an Old Woman" (about a deceased crone who simply refuses to stay dead) provides the closest thing to a note of sweetness that you'll find here — perhaps with the exception of the genuinely romantic "A Little Stranger!" and its loving marriage between a dead vampire and a dead werewolf.
Sucker Bait and Other Stories features 25 classic stories from Tales from the Crypt, Shock SuspenStories, Vault of Horror, and Ingels and his "Old Witch" character's special showcase Haunt of Fear — plus the usual fascinating historical, critical, and biographical material.
SPECIAL OFFER: Add Prince Valiant Vol. 9 (coming Spring 2014) or Vols. 9 & 10 (coming Fall 2014) to your pre-order for just $27.99 each, a savings of 20% off the cover price! Use the option menu on the product details page to subscribe.
Our continuing reprinting of Hal Foster's sumptuous epic — still scanned directly from Foster's personal collection of syndicate proofs, providing the most spectacular iteration of this material since its original publication in Sunday newspaper supplements 60 years ago — enters the 1950s with this new volume.
The entire first third consists of the second half of the 15-month-long (!) Roman epic "The Missionaries," which includes a dramatic, life-changing experience for Prince Geoffrey (aka "Arf") at its climax. After a brief stay back in Camelot (where the irrepressible Val and his friend Gawain indulge in some not-very-knightly pranks that end up costing them dearly), the two, accompanied by Arf, are summoned back to Thule, where Aleta presents Val with new twin daughters!
Foster also reintroduces such favorite characters as the piratical Boltar and the Indian princess Tillicum (now an unlikely romantic couple), and the year concludes with the beginning of "Valhalla" (another installment in the ongoing story of the problematic Christianization of the Vikings) — which includes one of Foster's most dramatic and gorgeous splash panels (used here on the cover).
And as a back-up, Prince Valiant Volume 8 includes an article by Foster scholar Brian M. Kane on Foster's near-forgotten "Mounties" ad campaign paintings from the 1930s, along with a number of gorgeous reproductions.
Perfect Nonsense tells the complete story behind one of the most innovative and under-rated Golden Age artists, classic children's illustrators, and nonsense poets in American history. For more than 50 years, George Carlson created thousands of distinctive and dynamic cartoons, comics, riddles, and games that thrilled both children and adults with their fanciful spirit and nonsensical humor. There has never been a career retrospective of this startling cartoonist and illustrator — until now!
Carlson's inspired cartoons — ranging from the intellectual to the surreal — place him at home with not only acknowledged masters of American humor like George Herriman, S. J. Perelman, Milt Gross, Bill Holman, and Jack Kent, but also globally celebrated absurdists like Beckett, Pirandello, and his life-long inspiration, Lewis Carroll.
Carlson also made his mark as an accomplished designer of more serious themes including magazine covers, political cartoons, advertisements, locomotive and naval illustration, and, most famously, the original book jacket for the first edition of Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind. Now, after more than 15 years of searching, compiling, and conjuring, the incredible depth of George Carlson's artistry and ingenuity finally gets the comprehensive treatment it has so long deserved with copious full color examples of material both exquisite and obscure. Alongside plentiful cartoons, individual drawings, and comics (including Carlson's "ghost" work on Gene Byrnes' Reg'lar Fellers), this edition offers a meticulously researched critical introduction, rare examples of original art and unpublished projects, and a biographical timeline of Carlson's first three decades as a commercial artist drawing on recently unearthed artifacts from the Carlson family estate.
Perfect Nonsense focuses on Carlson's prolific work as a gag cartoonist, children's illustrator, commercial designer, and art instructor from 1907 to just before World War II. Decades before his celebrated Jingle Jangle Comics, Carlson forever altered the nature of children's publishing during his tenure as chief artist and designer for the pioneering children's pulp, John Martin's Book. Carlson turned the magazine itself into a toy, filled with seasonal games, holiday cut-outs, curious crosswords, graphic exercises, puzzles, riddles, rebuses, and more.
As Carlson himself once observed, his early works brim with a unique spirit of happiness and fun. We have not only captured the very best of that spirit in this collection, but also the many secrets behind its legacy. Loaded with wonder and wit, the creations of George L. Carlson will inspire cartoon and comics aficionados, teachers of children's media, scholars of American humor, and anyone interested in the ever-evolving landscapes of image and language.
Prison Pit is Johnny (Angry Youth Comix) Ryan's ongoing taboo-busting sci-fi-prison-planet-body-mutation-splatterfest epic extravaganza, beloved by everyone from the legendary Gary Panter ("GLOREGEFULL!") to Booklist ("Not to be missed").
In the latest installment, our hero Cannibal Fuckface still isn't dead, so the Prison Boss plays what may be his last card: The Holocaust Brothers. But before CF battles the Ho-Bros he's got to destroy his arch-enemy, the seemingly indestructible Slitt, who happens to be the only one who knows how to get the hell out of the Prison Pit.
The author promises: "Every single testicle in the world will explode with rage when Prison Pit 5 is unleashed."
SPECIAL OFFER: Add Wandering Son Vol. 7 (coming Summer 2014) or Vols. 7 & 8 (coming Winter 2014/2015) to your pre-order for just $19.99 each, a savings of at least $5 off the cover price! Use the option menu on the product page to make your selection.
Shimura Takako's sensitive and charming series about two middle schoolers wrestling with their gender identities continues, with more role-reversal play fun this time around.
The success of their performance of The Rose of Versailles in the fifth grade — in which the boys played the women and the girls played the men — inspires our protagonists to put on another gender-bending play for the junior-high school festival. This time they do a riff on Romeo and Juliet, with generous helpings of fantasy and mystery. Nitori-kun and Chiba-san write the script together, but Chiba-san has an agenda: She wants to play Romeo, with Nitori-kun in the role of Juliet. But Nitori-kun wants Takatsuki-san to play Romeo...
With her usual prickliness, Chiba-san forces Nitori-kun to confront a question he's been avoiding. Are his feelings for Takatsuki-san those of a boy for a girl, a girl for a girl, or a girl for a boy? But you know what they say of the best laid plans of mice and men: The cast is to be decided by fate, with names drawn randomly.
Meanwhile, Maho plans a trip to the beach with her boyfriend, but her parents send Nitori-kun along as an unwilling chaperone. Faced with unwanted changes to their growing bodies, Takatsuki-san discovers the wonders of "breast binders," and Nitori-kun explores the limits of his ability to "pass."
This original graphic novella is a funny and moving story of escalating humor and tension between two disaffected teens, Mike and Wolf, who take a spontaneous summer road trip after dropping acid. As the stark black and white of Forsman's cartooning indicates, however, this is not a psychedelic, Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby kind of trip. Instead of the escapism they crave from their fragile home lives, the LSD only heightens their sense of ennui, exacerbates their fears about the world they're about to enter as adults, and creates doubts about everything they think they know.
Though it's not entirely what they bargained for, will Mike and Wolf look back on their adventure as part of the "celebrated summer" of their never-to-be-recaptured youth, or a carelessly wasted part of the best years of their lives? Or both?
Veteran alternative cartoonist Jesse Reklaw, creator of the long-running weekly comic strip Slow Wave, delivers this tragicomic graphic memoir, his first long-form work. Presented as a series of comic novellas that together comprise a thoughtful, sometimes dark and often hilarious memoir about childhood, family, death, mental illness, sex and drug use, the entire book is told through cleverly inviting conceits like cat histories and card games.
The graphic novel is told in five parts: In "Thirteen Cats" (featured in The Best American Comics), Reklaw discovers coping mechanisms that mimic his family pets; "Toys I Love" relates the author's pre-pubescent brushes with deviant sexual activity, and the way innocence converges with real sexual trauma; "The Fred Robinson Story" tells the story of Reklaw's period stalking perfect strangers; "The Stacked Deck," in which hereditary influences towards criminal behavior, drug use and depression are explored via card games the author played with his family; and "Lessoned," a family history of mental illness.
In the fourth volume of Fantagraphics' Captain Easy series, our eponymous hero and his loyal sidekick Wash Tubbs answer a newspaper ad that they don’t know is years out of date, and wind up stranded in Guatemala with a busted landing gear and only five dollars to their name. Whoops! They need all their wits and ingenuity to get them out of this fix. Which they manage to do by the skin of their teeth, only to stumble onto a lost city in the jungle. Lost cities in the jungle are never good news, and so it is with our two boisterous heroes. Against all odds, they extricate themselves from this dastardly peril and head for home on a ship carrying tigers (Roy Crane loved to draw tigers). They’re out of danger, right? Wrong! What kind of a Captain Easy adventure would this be without our boys getting stranded on a desert island and encountering the beautiful but savage Wolf Girl (Crane loved to draw Wolf Girls!)?
Don’t miss the last volume of Fantagraphics' glorious reprint of Roy Crane's full color Captain Easy Sunday pages.
Black is the Color begins with a 17th century sailor abandoned at sea by his shipmates, and as it progresses he endures, and eventually succumbs to, both his lingering death sentence and the advances of a cruel and amorous mermaid. The narrative also explores the experiences of the loved ones he leaves behind, on his ship and at home on land, as well as of the mermaids who jadedly witness his destruction. At the heart of the story lie the dubious value of maintaining dignity to the detriment of intimacy, and the erotic potential of the worst case scenario.
Julia Gfrörer's delicate drawing style perfectly complements the period era of Black Is the Color, bringing the lyricism and romanticism of Gfrörer's prose to the fore. Black Is the Color is a book as seductive as the sirens it depicts.
A self-portrait through one hundred portraits, Artists Authors Thinkers Directors explores cartoonist Paul Hornschemeier's sketchbook renderings of those who shaped his (and many others') artistic views.
Culled from his drawing blog — The Daily Forlorn, one of Tumblr's featured illustration blogs — these portraits are as stylistically varied as the subjects they portray. A scrawled, single line drawing of Lenny Bruce shares space with a triangular Werner Heisenberg. A monochromatic, stippled Stanley Kubrick stares intently at a muppet-headed Frank Oz. Each turn of the page offers a new take on a familiar face.
In the afterword, Hornschemeier includes brief notes on each portrait and that creator's particular work or insight that spoke specifically to him. And in that specificity, much of what is universally affecting in each creator shines through.
Hornschemeier's graphic novels hop from one aesthetic to the next, varying the line and color quality to depict his narrative's mood. He plays with the language of comics. In these portraits we can clearly see him hard at experimentation, adding to his vocabulary.
BONUS: The first four pre-orders we get for this book will also receive So-So Heroes, Paul's portfolio of 30 colorful, witty postcards, for FREE courtesy of Chronicle Books! It's an oddball collection of misfits, monsters, and utterly curious characters, all involved in hilariously insignificant adventures. Each image is rich with Hornschemeier's signature wit and visual flair. Order now!