Surrounded by the ornate, retro, proto-splatter horror graphics of Jack Davis and Graham Ingels and the slick, futuristic sci-fi stylings of Wally Wood and Al Williamson, EC Comics superstar Johnny Craig stood out in the 1950s with his elegant, crisp, contemporary graphic style. And nowhere did this style work more beautifully than in the dozens of superb crime and horror comics he wrote and drew for EC, mostly for the two comics he also edited, Crime SuspenStories and The Vault of Horror. (Craig was the only EC artist to habitually write his own material for the entire length of EC's run.)
Featuring murderous husbands and wives, executioners, thieving surgeons, vengeful sword-swallowers, time bombs, private dicks, vampires, werewolves, and ghouls, the 23 stories in this book comprise a perfect encapsulation of the very best and darkest kind of noir and horror writing, stunningly executed (in more than one sense of the word) by one of the great cartoonists of his (or any) era. And all in seven or eight pages per story!
Fall Guy For Murder and Other Stories is once again, as are the other EC Comics Library releases, supplemented with several fascinating essays and informative historical notes on the stories.
Al Feldstein is best known as the main writer/editor of the EC comics line during the first half of the 1950s — and then the editor of Mad Magazine for the first three decades of its existence.
But what many don’t know or remember is that Feldstein was also an accomplished and distinctive cartoonist, whose comics (which he both wrote and drew, a relative rarity in those days) adorned the pages of many of those selfsame EC comics. His powerfully composed, meticulously inked pages, often featuring grotesque creatures or scenes of ghastly destruction (and some of the greatest stiffly handsome/beautiful specimens of 1950s humanity ever put to paper), were a vital part of the allure of these classic comics.
Feldstein's contributions to the first year and a half of EC’s two SF titles, Weird Science and Weird Fantasy — comprising 16 classic O. Henry-style shock-ending stories with such evocative, vintage title as "'Things' From Outer Space." "The Flying Saucer Invasion," "Spawn of Venus," "Destruction of the Earth," and "Am I Man or Machine?" — are collected in their integrity in this volume, along with a handful of bonus stories drawn by a few of Feldstein's oft-overlooked collaborators, including Graham Ingels, George Roussos, George Olesen, Max Elkan and Sid Check. This volume also boasts a new interview with Feldstein about his years at EC, focusing in particular in his work on these science fiction titles that were the company’s pride and joy (and were killed a few years later by the Comics Code).
LOCAL 638 RECORDS AND FANTAGRAPHICS TEAM UP TO PRESENT DANNY BLAND'S NOVEL IN CASE WE DIE; AUDIOBOOK READ BY AIMEE MANN, DUFF McKAGAN, MARC MARON, MIKE McCREADY, MARK ARM, MARK LANEGAN, MORE!BLAND ANNOUNCES BOOK TOUR!<-p>
Fantagraphics Books and Local 638 Records are proud to announce the September 2013 release of In Case We Die, the first novel by Danny Bland, in hardcover and audiobook. Bland, a 25-year veteran of Seattle’s music scene (The Dwarves, Cat Butt, Best Kissers In the World) brings his own experience to the depiction of a harrowing tour through Seattle's darkest underground. Both love story and horror story, In Case We Die is a semi-autobiographical and visceral story of crime, addiction, redemption and revenge.
In Case We Die‘s audiobook is read by an incredible team of legendary artists,
musicians, actors and comedians, all of whom have lent their support and donated their talent and time. Readers include Duff McKagan (Guns & Roses), Mike McCready (Pearl Jam), Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees, Queens of the Stone Age), Steve Earle, Aimee Mann, Mark Arm (Mudhoney), Marc Maron (WTF With Marc Maron) and many others . A portion of the proceeds will benefit MusiCares, a stellar non-profit that assists musicians and music business workers to obtain medical care and human services.
The audiobook is over seven hours in length.
Available digitally and also CD format (1 disc - mp3 for car stereos).
BOOK TOUR – more dates TBA
* surprise guests from the audiobook will read with Danny in select cities
August 31 – Bumbershoot – “Fantagraphics Follies” – Seattle, WA
September 9 – Powell’s Books – Portland, OR
September 11 – Booksmith – San Francisco, CA
September 14 – Book Soup – Los Angeles, CA with Dave Alvin, Wayne Kramer, Lew Temple
September 18 – Changing Hands – Tempe, AZ
September 21 – The Regulator – Durham, NC
September 24 – Atomic Books – Baltimore, MD
September 25 – The Random Tea Room – Philadelphia, PA
September 26 – Manitobas – NYC – 7pm
September 30 – Barnes & Noble – Peabody, MA with Damien Echols
October 1 – Bookcourt – Brooklyn, NY 7pm
October 2 – Quimby’s – Chicago, IL
October 14 – Elliott Bay Books – Seattle, WA
“Our anti-hero is floating in a tiny lifeboat made of heroin, graveyard shifts & rock music. His companions are two fabulous women; a bombshell who robs banks & a beautifully pale rock violinist who can barely dodge suicide. ICWD is much funnier & more satisfying than any other junkie rock’n'roll tragedy.” – John Doe (X)
“Bland is a brutally funny and bravely honest writer. A perfect guide through the bloodshot streets and desperate bedrooms of the underground wilderness.” – Dave Alvin (Blasters)
“In Case We Die is a poetic and elegant journey … straight to the gutter.” – Wayne Kramer (MC5)
“A great piece of work — full of filth and heart.” – Steve Earle
“A suitably Peckinpah finale. Bravo. It has been like a traveling dream state and sometimes familiar look into the abyss.” – Greg Dulli (Afghan Whigs)
“I am a believer in what Bland has to say. He writes with eloquence, candor, darkness, and humor….the good stuff!” – Duff McKagan (Guns ‘N’ Roses)
Danny Bland is one of the most interesting people I’ve ever known. Beneath a crusty, punk rock exterior lies one of the biggest hearts I’ve ever seen. This book? It’s the literary version of Danny Bland.” – Damien Echols (West Memphis Three)
Inspired by a real-life incident — getting his tie caught in a moving Moviola editing machine — Gene Deitch, cartoonist, animator, memoirist, renaissance man, created Nudnik, his Everyman character, a cross between Candide and Godot.
The star of 12 Paramount-produced animated shorts that ran in theatres as an opening to the main movie in 1964 and 1965, Nudnik was one of Deitch's most creatively personal and commercially successful creations in a long career of innovative and successful work, including the award-winning animated versions of Jules Feiffer’s Munro and Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are.
Nudnik is the well-intentioned, kind, cheerful, but bumbling naïf, inspired by and reflecting such archetypal characters as Jackie Gleason's Poor Soul, Charlie Chaplin's Tramp, and Charles Schulz's Charlie Brown. He never gets a break, can't do anything right, but somehow muddles through, dignity more or less intact.
Nudnik Revealed! finally collects all of Deitch's original drawings, sketches, model sheets, storyboards, and color "set-ups" that he drew during the Nudnik production season of '64-'65, all reproduced from original art, showcasing his lively pencil line and his slick, authoritative pen and ink work. Deitch, a born storyteller and one of the great raconteurs of comics and animation, accompanies the copious examples of art with a running commentary — by turns, funny, spirited, and chock full of historical insights.
Since the 2004 publication of The Mischievous Art of Jim Flora, the once-forgotten illustrator has gained recognition as one of the foremost pioneers of a raucous, cartoonish style of commercial art that defines the Mid-Century aesthetic. Two follow-up volumes, The Curiously Sinister Art... (2007) and The Sweetly Diabolic Art... (2009), captured Flora's largely unseen fine art works, spotlighting a variety of themes such as architecture, cats and dogs, science, cars, trains — and the occasional swerve toward gratuitous violence.
But one of Flora's sustaining loves was music. His 1940s Columbia and 1950s RCA Victor record covers, in which legendary musicians were routinely afflicted with mutant skin tints and bonus limbs, are considered classics of outlandish post-Cubist caricature. During this period Flora also produced an enormous amount of promotional ephemera, including new release monthlies, trade booklets, ads, and point-of-sale novelties.
The now out-of-print Mischievous Art featured Flora’s known album covers. (No complete discography existed.) Since that book’s publication, more covers have been found, as well as rough drafts and unused designs. So Flora co-archivists/authors Irwin Chusid and Barbara Economon have compiled a complete collection of Flora covers (including recent discoveries) and unpublished sketches in one volume, augmented by music images not included in previous volumes. The High Fidelity Art of Jim Flora is the definitive anthology of the maestro's visual compositions, reflecting jazz, classical, and Latin music.
Regarding his jam-packed canvases Flora once said he "couldn't stand a static space." There’s nothing static about the images in The High Fidelity Art: they wail, dance, bounce, and swing from the chandeliers. Flora had a knack for grooving with a paintbrush, making art to which you can tap your toes and snap your fingers.
You might think that birth of Prince Valiant's son Arn at the end of the previous volume would have slowed down Val's adventuring, but you would be wrong. After the baby has been christened, Valiant and Gawain are dispatched to investigate reports of black magic in Wales, ending up in pitched battle at the aptly-named Castle Illwynde. Then it's off to Scotland to battle the Picts, and then home yet again for Val to visit his growing boy.
Valiant now enters the 1950s: The Thule winter is hard and bleak, and a prince who has designs on Aleta must be dealt with. Then it's another epic-length story, "The Missionaries," in which Val and several of his fellow knights and crew travel to Rome on a quest for teachers who might bring Christianity to Thule. The story also features an escape through the Alps, far too many red-headed girls, and a tragic, life-changing event for the young squire Geoffrey (a.k.a. "Arf"). And Foster charmingly ends the book with "The Prince Arn Story," a three-week sequence narrated by the toddler.
Prince Valiant Volume 7, once again shot from stunningly crisp and colorful original printer's proofs from Foster's original collection, also features the usual wealth of supplements, including another brace of rarely-seen Foster art, and an introduction by the recently-anointed artist of the ongoing Prince Valiant strip, Thomas Yeates.
EXCLUSIVE OFFER: If you pre-order the book direct from Fantagraphics, when the book is released you'll receive a code for a FREE download of the audiobook via email from Local 638 Records, with chapters read by a mind-blowing all-star lineup of music and cultural luminaries. See the full lineup here.
"It wasn’t the pounding headache or the all too familiar taste of blood in my mouth that woke me that morning, but the stink of cat piss. They all have cats. Cats and bad tattoos and mops of dyed black hair that reek of cigarettes and watermelon Bubblicious." This debut novel by veteran Seattle musician Danny Bland follows a pair of outsiders who find themselves locked in the palpable, dizzy grunge-rock scene of early-'90s Seattle.
Vulnerable to the high relief of heroin addiction, Bland’s characters — Charlie Hyatt and Carrie Finch — are unapologetic protagonists whose epiphanies are as blinding as their weaknesses. Finch, 21, beautiful and dangerous, drowns out the voices in her head and the consequences of a misled life with electric guitars, booze and petulant misbehavior. Her single abiding faith takes the form of an unlikely savior — '60s psychedelic musician Roky Erikson.
At the ripe old age of 28, Hyatt attempts to make sense of the cards he has been dealt: a miserable job in a porn shop, a drug habit he cannot afford and the wildly unstable woman he had chosen to love.
Two damaged people can balance a seesaw for a long time, even finding the illusion of safety; but when one gets off unannounced, the other will fall. As Finch finds sobriety, her sanity and her relationship with Hyatt falter until an inevitable event brings the two back together a decade later.
Stephen Dixon, one of America’s great literary treasures, has completed his first novel in five years. His Wife Leaves Him is as achingly simple as its title: A man, Martin, thinks about the loss of his wife, Gwen. In Dixon's hands, however, this straightforward premise becomes a work of such complexity that it no longer appears to be words on pages so much as life itself. Dixon, like all great writers, captures consciousness. Stories matter here, and the writer understands how people tell them and why they go on retelling them, for stories, finally, may be all that Martin has of Gwen. Reminders of their shared past, some painful, some hilarious, others blissful and sensual, appear and reappear in the present. Stories made from memories merge with dreams of an impossible future they'll never get to share. Memories and details grow fuzzy, get corrected, and then wriggle away, out of reach again. Martin holds all these stories dear. They leaven grief so that he may again experience some joy. Story by story then, he accounts for himself, good and bad, moments of grace, occasions for disappointment, promises and arguments. From these things are their lives made. In His Wife Leaves Him, Stephen Dixon has achieved nothing short of the resurrection of a life through words.
When asked to describe his latest work, the author said that "it's about a bunch of nouns: love, guilt, sickness, death, remorse, loss, family, matrimony, sex, children, parenting, aging, mistakes, incidents, minutiae, birth, music, writing, jobs, affairs, memory, remembering, reminiscences, forgetting, repression, dreams, reverie, nightmares, meeting, dating, conceiving, imagining, delaying, loving."
His Wife Leaves Him is Dixon's most important and ambitious novel, his tenderest and funniest writing to date, and the stylistic and thematic summation of his writing life.
Stephen Dixon was born in 1936 in New York City. He graduated from the City College of New York in 1958 and is a retired faculty member of Johns Hopkins University. He is also a two time National Book Award nominee — for his novels Frog and Interstate. He still hammers out his fiction on a vintage typewriter.
Order this or any other Love and Rockets book and receive this FBI•MINI comic shown here as a FREE bonus! Click here for details. Limit one per customer while supplies last.
The Children of Palomar is Gilbert Hernandez's much-anticipated return to the small Central American town of Palomar, more than a decade after his last "Heartbreak Soup" story. Originally released as a three-issue magazine series titled New Tales of Old Palomar in the acclaimed international "Ignatz" format, these stories are finally collected into one handsome book.
All of these stories deal with the classic characters of Palomar such as sweet Pipo, her sharp-tongue sister Carmen, sheriff Chelo, and the gang of boys who help start it all: studious Heraclio, tall and fey Israel, disfigured but goodnatured Vicente, and girl-crazy Jesús and Satch.
In the first story, mysterious, fast-moving thieves are stealing food from wherever they can grab it; Sheriff Chelo and some citizens do their best to solve this mystery, but nobody seems to be able to catch these bandits in action until Pipo puts her soccer-trained legs to work and goes after them herself. In the second, Gato, Soledad, Guero, Pintor, and Arturo go exploring a bottomless chasm and come face to face with... well, we won’t spoil the surprise. The third and last story focuses on one of Palomar’s most beloved characters, the gorgeous but troubled Tonantzín: Everybody in Palomar seems to take the supernatural with a grain of salt, but young Tonantzín is determined to uncover the mystery of the laughing baby that only appears to her, haunting her daily life. What is the baby’s link to the giant stone idols that stand outside the small town...?
Who doesn't love a good ghost story? This gorgeous, coffee-table art book is a compendium of old, forgotten haunted houses imagined by artist Ben Catmull, along with the stories and rumors of who haunts them, and why. Each spread features a different haunted house, lovingly and exquisitely rendered in scratchboard on masonite, with a short, nightmare-inducing description of each scene.
In "Drowned Shelley," for example:
A chorus of frogs surrounds the house where young Shelley was drowned headfirst in the bathtub by her drunken stepfather. Say her name 13 times while looking in the pond and she will drown you in your sleep. Say her name the wrong number of times while looking in the pond, and she will leave hair in your breakfast dishes. Say her name 13 times while not looking in the pond, and she will watch you when you clip your toenails. Mispronounce her name 13 times while looking anywhere near the pond, and she will kick you somewhere delicate at the stroke of midnight.
Catmull's images are evocative, haunting masterpieces that never tread in graphic imagery, choosing instead to suggest horrors far more frightening than what they explicitly depict. With just the right touch of humor to balance the terror, Ghosts and Ruins is sure to please fans of Edward Gorey or Tim Burton, and makes a perfect gift book for the ghost story fan in your house.