Queer cartooning encompasses some of the best and most interesting comics of the last four decades, with creators tackling complex issues of identity and a changing society with intelligence, humor, and imagination. This book celebrates this vibrant artistic underground by gathering together a collection of excellent stories that can be enjoyed by all.
No Straight Lines showcases major names such as Alison Bechdel (whose book Fun Home was named Time Magazine’s 2006 Book of the Year), Howard Cruse (whose groundbreaking Stuck Rubber Baby is now back in print), and Ralf Koenig (one of Europe’s most popular cartoonists), as well as high-profile, crossover creators who have flirted with the world of LGBTQ comics, like legendary NYC artist David Wojnarowicz and media darling and advice columnist Dan Savage. No Straight Lines also spotlights many talented creators who never made it out of the queer comics ghetto, but produced amazing work that deserves wider attention.
Until recently, queer cartooning existed in a parallel universe to the rest of comics, appearing only in gay newspapers and gay bookstores and not in comic book stores, mainstream bookstores or newspapers. The insular nature of the world of queer cartooning, however, created a fascinating artistic scene. LGBT comics have been an uncensored, internal conversation within the queer community, and thus provide a unique window into the hopes, fears, and fantasies of queer people for the last four decades.
These comics have forged their aesthetics from the influences of underground comix, gay erotic art, punk zines, and the biting commentaries of drag queens, bull dykes, and other marginalized queers. They have analyzed their own communities, and their relationship with the broader society. They are smart, funny, and profound. No Straight Lines will be heralded by people interested in comics history, and people invested in LGBT culture will embrace it as a unique and invaluable collection.
A detective is walking down the street. It is raining. He sees a "Lost Cat" poster. A minute later he sees the cat from the photo. He picks it up and goes back to the poster. He calls the number. A woman answers. He turns up at her place and gives her the cat. She invites him in from the rain for a cup of coffee. They talk and find out they have a lot in common: both are divorced and living alone.
Some days later he invites her out for a dinner. She accepts. He shows up at the agreed time. She doesn't. He calls her home and knocks on her door. No answer. He asks the neighbors. They haven't seen her. She has disappeared. He makes some phone calls and investigates, but can't find her. He gets a new client and has to start working on a new case. In his head he continues their conversation...
Lost Cat, the new graphic novel by Jason, is both a playful take on the classic detective story, and a story about how difficult it is to find a sister spirit, someone you feel a real connection to — and what do you do if you lose that person?
When Al Columbia is not drawing chilling comics or making home-made flame throwers (they can shoot as far as fifteen feet!), he's with his band cooking up something cool. The music video "Black Bikini" was filmed on location at 'Plum Island.' Columbia has about eight songs ready for his new album called Journey to Death Island, which will be out from Psychopop Records in the near distant future. Give it a listen, maybe even a shimmy and shake.
Read Ghost World and other Clowes classics in a whole new way! Ken Parille and a passel of great comics thinkers provide critical and contextual insight into the artist and his hugely influential work. News of this book prompted The Comics Reporter's Tom Spurgeon to comment, "Ken Parille's stuff is routinely pretty great... Count me in." It's a must for all Clowes fans and serious comics readers.
This is a story about a girl, born at the beginning of the 20th century. She grows up in a small river town in upstate New York. One day the mysterious Charles Varnay, an eccentric who dresses in the style of an 18th century dandy, comes to town, his sole companion a remarkably intelligent dog named Rousseau. Varnay wants to star Katherine in a movie serial he plans to make, called The Goddess of Enlightenment.
Katherine is rather put off when she discovers that he expects her to appear nude in this film. But even more strange is the film’s subject matter: It has to do with seven metal urns that Varnay claims are actual recordings of the voice of Jesus Christ which, he says, contain an urgent message that the modern world needs to hear!
Varnay also claims that his dog, Rousseau, is the product of experiments he has been making in advanced selective breeding. He’s eager to continue these experiments with human subjects; Katherine realizes that he’s expecting her to be a part of this, and it worries her...
The Amazing, Enlightening and Absolutely True Adventures of Katherine Whaley is a full-length graphic novel created in a striking "widescreen" landscape format that allows Deitch to give full rein to his astonishing graphics.
Eye of the Majestic Creature Vol. 2 is the second book collecting Leslie Stein's loose, funny and charming autobiographical narratives that combine idiosyncratic fantasy and stark reality. Larrybear, our hero, has moved from the countryside to the city, where she finds work as a shop girl. Quotes from Theodore Dreiser's Sister Carrie are sprinkled throughout the story to add humor and poignancy. Stein then takes us back to a childhood in the '80s filled with odd experiences including joining a rock band with older people, sitting in on her mother's AA groups, and the mystery of the disappearing gumballs. Finally, a fun story in which Larrybear and her new friend Poppin the Flower go on a strange trip to see his father. Let us not forget that Marshmallow, Ping-Ping and Mimolette, Larry's walking and talking instruments, have adventures all their own.
Stein's gorgeous cartooning, highlighted by incredibly detailed stippling, and her dry sense of humor combine to make one of the most unique and immersive narrative experiences in comics.
Written by black, gay science-fiction writer, professor, and theorist Samuel R. Delany, and drawn by artist/martial arts instructor Mia Wolff, Bread & Wine is a graphic autobiography that flashes back to the unlikely story of how Delany befriended Dennis, and how they became an enduring couple — Delany, a professor at Philadelphia’s Temple University, Dennis, an intelligent man living on the streets.
For casual readers and fans, Bread & Wine is a moving, sexually charged love story, with visuals informed by Wolff's professional physical pursuits. Her black-and-white pen-and-ink work not only expressionistically represents the characters' "body language" and the bustling New York setting, but is also filled with impish art references and visual puns. The scholarly potential for the book, based on the poem "Bread and Wine" by the German lyric poet Friedrich Holderlin, not only encompasses queer, African-American, and graphic novel studies, but also exploration in the literary and paraliterary academic fields.
This edition includes an introduction by Watchmen writer Alan Moore, commentary by the book’s protagonists, Delany and Dennis, and a new interview with Delany and Wolff.
Created 15 years after the completion of his Eisner Award-winning World War I masterwork It Was the War of the Trenches, Tardi's Goddamn This War! is no mere sequel or extension, but a brand new, wholly individual graphic novel that serves as a companion piece to Trenches but can be read entirely on its own.
Vastly different sequentially (eschewing Trenches' splintered narrative, Goddamn is split into six chronological chapters, one for each year of the war), graphically (Tardi deploys his more recent pen-ink-and-watercolor technique, with the bold colors of the early chapters fading into a grimy near-monochrome in the later ones as the war drags on), and narratively (all of Goddamn is told, with insight, dark wit and despair, as a first-person reminiscence/narration by an unnamed soldier), Goddamn This War! shares with Trenches its sustained sense of outrage, pitch-black gallows humor, and impeccably scrupulous historical exactitude.
In fact, Goddamn This War! includes an extensive year-by-year historical text section written by Tardi's frequent World War I research helpmate, the historian and collector Jean-Pierre Verney, including dozens of stunning rare photographs and visual documents from his personal collection.
For almost two decades, Tony Millionaire's Maakies has been one of the best and most popular weekly comic strips in America, running in over a dozen of the largest U.S. weekly newspapers including The Village Voice, L.A Weekly, Chicago Reader, and Seattle's The Stranger. (It was also a short-lived Adult Swim animated series, The Drinky Crow Show, in 2008.)
As written and drawn by renaissance lush-cum-degenerate Millionaire, Maakies features the comical adventures of a drunken crow on the high seas, blending vaudeville-style humor (with plenty of bodily fluids and grievous bodily harm) and a breathtakingly beautiful line that harkens back to the glory days of the American comic strip. Green Eggs and Maakies is our eighth collection and features yet another two years' worth of Maakies in a beautiful, deluxe, landscape hardcover format that complements the strip’s elegant and classical style.
"In his surrealist impulse and draftsman’s brio, Millionaire is the closest thing we have to George Herriman of Krazy Kat." — John Hodgman, The New York Times
"Tricking brains and blowing minds has been Millionaire's modus operandi for years, which is why his existential antihero Drinky Crow spends a good amount of time trying to destroy his own." – Wired
Comprising a full two and a half years' worth of dailies and full-color Sundays, The Dingburg Diaries is the third Zippy book featuring tales of "Dingburg, the City Inhabited Entirely by Pinheads" — Zippy’s home town. There’s even a long series of "Historical Dingburg" strips, chronicling the pinhead population through the years, from 1840, when Dingburg’s "Town Fool" accidentally invented disco, to 1958 when Dingburg Beatniks flourished in the town’s Bohemian neighborhood. Like, Yowl, man.
God also has his own chapter (and verse). In the guise of a clip art "authority figure," he dispenses unwanted advice and conditional love upon the citizens of Dingburg. His tendency to cross-dress reaches new heights when he appears in a performance of "Swine Lake," wearing a tutu. Sacrilegious, yet sensitive.
There are large chunks of Mr. The Toad, Zerbina, Little Zippy and the rest of Griffith's cast of characters throughout this expanded collection. Published in a larger 8" by 10" format, The Dingburg Diaries also features a big color section, showcasing Griffith's inventive palette. There are parodies of the paintings of Edward Hopper and Film Noir, and "Griffy’s Top Ten List On Comics and Their Creation," a semi-serious mini-tutorial on everything (well, ten things) he’s learned in over forty years at the drawing board.
"Contemporary readers of Bill Griffith’s comic strip, Zippy the Pinhead, know with certainty that the illustrator is one of the most accomplished draftsmen working in comics today, his talents on a par with those of Robert Crumb. His art — nuanced shading; economical linework; evocative textures; fidelity to dress, gesture, expression, architecture, automotive design, and the thousand and one other accoutrements of modern life — is an unfailing daily marvel, especially considering the speed and regularity at which the strip is produced.” – Paul Di Filippo, Barnes & Noble Review
"If you're already a fan, you'll love this new collection. If you're not afraid to dip into Zippy's unique style of humor, philosophy and social critique, this book may make you a fan." – S.C. Ringgenberg, Heavy Metal
"I am so thankful for these collections... they're so good I wonder if Griffith isn't in the middle of one of those late-period renaissances that sometimes grip strip cartoonists, where everything kind of comes together in a considered fashion that's somehow more vital than the dozen or so years of comics that precede it." – The Comics Reporter