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Fanta News
Fantagraphics Publication Dates for April-May 2008 Print
Written by Eric Reynolds   
Monday, 25 February 2008

These are release dates to the bookstore market. Release dates in the direct-sales (comic book store) market may occur a couple of weeks earlier. Dates are not final and subject to change; please direct press inquiries to Eric Reynolds.




  • Hank Ketcham's Complete Dennis the Menace Vol. 1 softcover edition
  • Rebel Visions softcover edition by Patrick Rosenkranz
  • The Bottomless Bellybutton by Dash Shaw
  • Comic Arf ed. by Craig Yoe
  • Explainers by Jules Feiffer


  • Our Gang Vol. 3 by Walt Kelly
  • Town of Mirrors by Robert Pollard
  • Mome Vol. 11 ed. by Gary Groth & Eric Reynolds
  • Amor Y Cohetes by Los Bros. Hernandez

More information on upcoming Fantagraphics Books releases can be found on our Retail Solicitations page for May 2008.

Last Updated ( Monday, 25 February 2008 )
Leah Hayes Hits New York & Austin with New Book & CD Print
Written by Eric Reynolds   
Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Presenting FUNERAL OF THE HEART, the new graphic novel by LEAH HAYES and Scary Mansion’s debut CD, EVERY JOKE IS HALF THE TRUTH.

WHO: Leah Hayes
WHAT: Art Exhibition and Book Signing
WHERE: Rocketship
WHERE: 208 Smith St.
WHERE: Brooklyn, NY 11201
WHERE: 718.797.1348 tel.
WHEN: Friday, March 7, 8PM

WHO: Leah Hayes & Scary Mansion
WHAT: South By Southwest Music Festival Showcase
WHERE: The Hideout
WHERE: 617 Congress Ave.
WHERE: Austin, TX 78701
WHERE: 512.443.3688 tel.
WHEN: Wed., March 12, 10PM

WHO: Leah Hayes & Scary Mansion
WHAT: In-Store Music Performance and Book Signing
WHERE: Austin Books
WHERE: 5002 N. Lamar Blvd.
WHERE: Austin, TX 78751
WHERE: 512.454.4197 tel.
WHEN: Saturday, March 15, 7PM

To say that Leah Hayes is poised for greatness would be underselling how much she’s already accomplished in her 26 years. Massachusetts-bred Hayes attended art school in New York before moving to France where she played in a band called Satan’s Fingers, collaborating with David Ivar from underground pop legends Herman Dune. Growing up playing piano and guitar, Hayes also took up the Thunderstick, an Appalachian instrument similar in tone to the banjo. Her collection of ballpoint pen notebook illustrations Holy Moly was published by Fantagraphics in 2004 and her first graphic novel, Funeral of the Heart, will be published in April, 2008.

Funeral of the Heart is Leah Hayes’ stylistic tour-de-force and graphic novel debut, featuring a series of short stories by Hayes and illustrated entirely using the otherworldly medium of scratchboard. Hayes creates a world of unease and ambiguity populated by obsessive characters, forlorn animals, and mysterious, inanimate objects; odd occurrences, unnerving deaths and unconventional but genuine love bind these characters and their stories together. In “The Bathroom,” a middle-aged couple discover a mysterious tunnel in their pool house after a neighbor’s child accidentally drowns in their pool — leading to an immaculate bathroom and another drowning. In “The Needle,” two sisters suffer the death of their grandmother as well as her possible resurrection at the hands of the woman with the needle.

The stories are hand lettered and juxtaposed against stark, highly stylized, graphically powerful, black and white images. Stories with titles like “The Bathroom,” “The Needle,” and “The Hair” may sound innocuous, but they aren’t fables that should be read to one’s children — unless your children enjoy being made uneasy by beautiful things.

Hayes’ artwork has appeared in the New York Times, Punk Planet, and most recently on the cover of McSweeney’s #24. Based in Williamsburg, Hayes has toured as a solo act alongside Kyp Malone and sings on the TV On the Radio’s “Snakes and Martyrs” from the band’s Return to Cookie Mountain album.

Hayes currently performs with her group, Scary Mansion, featuring Ben Shapiro (The Fugue) on drums and Bradley Banks (with whom Hayes plays in Francophile band La Laque) on bass. Their debut CD, Every Joke Is Half the Truth, is out now from Zum Records. Working with producer Kyle Fischer (Rainer Maria) over an extended six-month period and opening up the sound of the Thunderstick, the resulting tracks alternate between sparse intimate tones and near claustrophobic layers of feedback, all with an attention to the needs of the songs. Hayes’ lyrical approach mines themes of alienation and romantic snafus, embodied in characters litigious, predatory, and straw-filled.

By Leah Hayes
$14.95 Paperback Original
120 pages, black-and-white, 8” x 10”
ISBN: 978-1-56097-888-6
PUB DATE: APRIL 30, 2008

By Scary Mansion
Format: CD
Catalog: ZUM023
Zum Records

Download the press release (PDF format)

Announcing Love and Rockets Vol. III Print
Written by Eric Reynolds   
Thursday, 15 November 2007


Seattle, WA — After 25 years of being published in a traditional saddle-stitched magazine format released three or more times a year — first in the magazine-sized VOLUME I (50 issues, 1982-1996) and then in the comic book sized VOLUME II (20 issues, 2000-2007) — the award-winning LOVE AND ROCKETS comic book series will go on hiatus effective immediately and return next summer in its third incarnation, as a series of all-original, graphic novel-length releases.

Each annual volume will comprise at least 100 pages of all-new comics, split evenly between its creators, Gilbert, Jaime (and sometimes Mario) Hernandez. (The 21st issue of Volume 2, announced in #20, will now become part of Vol. III #1.)

"This new format will allow the Bros. to present longer stories without having to chop them down into bite-size pieces," said Fantagraphics publisher Gary Groth. "In today's graphic novel-oriented world, readers (and cartoonists) are increasingly impatient with this sort of serialization, especially in the case of L&R where, because of the split nature of the book, each artist has only 15 pages."

"This is a pretty exciting prospect, creative-wise," Gilbert Hernandez agrees. "I've enjoyed working in the New Tales of Palomar format [Gilbert's three-issue solo series published under the Ignatz imprint from Fantagraphics], where I don't have to worry about editing 24 page stories to 14 or 12 pages any more. I've got 50 pages to go wild with in Vol. III, #1. Later I might do a whole 50 page story in one issue, and return some of the Palomar characters in long single pieces. I planned to stop with the Palomar characters, but only because of the serializing problem; now it's a different game. I am very, very inspired here!"

In-progress Love and Rockets Vol. III pages by Gilbert:

Aside from the creative advantages of the new format, 2007's highly successful repackaging of Love and Rockets Volume I into seven smaller, thicker books (the seventh, Amor Y Cohetes, will be released in June 2008) revealed a large untapped audience for Love and Rockets that was not being reached with the comic books, which were exclusively available in the direct sales market. "We wanted to be able to reach those readers who aren't near a comics shop with, specifically, the new LR material," says Fantagraphics sales director Greg Zura — "and we wanted it to be available through and similar on-line book-selling services. Moving to a 'spine' format gives us this option."

"We discovered with The ACME Novelty Library that opening up the periodical to the book trade doesn't inhibit sales in the direct market," said Fantagraphics Director of Publicity Eric Reynolds. "If anything, it breaks the audience wide open."

This does not mean that each volume is entirely self-contained; for instance, Jaime's first big story will actually be a two-parter extending across the first two issues of L&R Volume III. "I'm really excited about this format," says Jaime Hernandez. "It works perfectly with the current story I'm working on. I was afraid the story's length would turn some readers off running for six chapters in the old format."

In-progress pages from Jaime's "The Search for Penny Century":

Fantagraphics confirmed that the stories published in Volume III will eventually be collected into logical graphic novels/collections, most likely in the same format as the "smaller, thicker" series of collections that debuted earlier this year.

The first volume of LOVE & ROCKETS Vol. III will premiere in San Diego in July 2008, with the general release scheduled for August. Cover price: $14.99.

SEE ALSO: How to Read Love and Rockets

Love and Rockets Collections:

Love and Rockets Library (Palomar & Luba Book 1): Heartbreak Soup [New Printing Pre-Order]
Love and Rockets Library (Palomar & Luba Book 1): Heartbreak Soup [New Printing Pre-Order]
Price: $18.99
Love and Rockets Library (Locas Book 1): Maggie the Mechanic [New Printing]
Love and Rockets Library (Locas Book 1): Maggie the Mechanic [New Printing]
Price: $18.99
Love and Rockets Library (Palomar & Luba Book 2): Human Diastrophism
Love and Rockets Library (Palomar & Luba Book 2): Human Diastrophism
Price: $14.95
Love and Rockets Library (Locas Book 2): The Girl from H.O.P.P.E.R.S. [New Printing]
Love and Rockets Library (Locas Book 2): The Girl from H.O.P.P.E.R.S. [New Printing]
Price: $19.99
Love and Rockets Library (Palomar & Luba Book 3): Beyond Palomar
Love and Rockets Library (Palomar & Luba Book 3): Beyond Palomar
Price: $16.95
Love and Rockets Library (Locas Book 3): Perla La Loca [New Printing Pre-Order]
Love and Rockets Library (Locas Book 3): Perla La Loca [New Printing Pre-Order]
Price: $18.99
Last Updated ( Friday, 30 November 2007 )
Robert Pollard Art Book & Exhibition Print
Written by Eric Reynolds   
Tuesday, 13 November 2007



Robert Pollard: Town of Mirrors

On the eve of his first solo visual art exhibition in New York City, Fantagraphics Books is proud to announce the release in June 2008 of TOWN OF MIRRORS: THE REASSEMBLED IMAGERY OF ROBERT POLLARD, a coffee-table collection of artwork and lyrics from the celebrated front man of Dayton, OH's legendary GUIDED BY VOICES.

Robert Pollard is one of the most influential artists of his generation (SPIN magazine recently named Pollard one of "The Top 50 Rock & Roll Front Men of All-Time"), and although he is primarily known for his career in music, he is also a lifelong visual artist; Pollard has created virtually all of the covers for the dozens of records he has released over the last two decades, working mostly in the medium of collage.

Town of Mirrors collects the very best of Pollard's visual art and lyrics/poetry, featuring over 130 of Pollard's favorite collages, hand-picked by the artist, as well as around 20 new collages produced exclusively for this collection. Town of Mirrors is the first and most comprehensive collection of Pollard's visual art ever released. Pollard's collages are the visual equivalent of his poetic and imagistic lyrics, surreal and reminiscent of the collages of artists ranging from Jack Kirby to Winston Smith. The book features an introduction by Rick Moody (The Ice Storm), an avowed Pollard fan.

On Dec. 9 & 10, STUDIO DANTE in New York City will debut the first-ever solo show of Pollard's art, "Do the Collage." The exhibition will consist of more than 50 collages that date from 1990 through 2007. Using collage elements from 1930s-60s era magazines, pamphlets and found obscure pictoral paperbacks as his primary tool, he portrays allegorical personas and hallucinogenic-type environments to create small, almost random synapses of unmistakable compositions with sardonic titles, each serving as a story unto itself. The Artist's media utilizes the archetypes of the working class, becoming pawn deities and martyrs found within the strata of near fantasy religion and the collective unconscious.

"Do The Collage" is being hosted by two close friends of Pollard: visual artist Todd DiCiurcio and actor Michael Imperioli (The Sopranos), who, along with his wife Victoria are the Artistic Directors of Studio Dante.

Under the artistic leadership of Michael & Victoria Imperioli, Studio Dante is a not-for-profit, off-broadway theatre conceived and built to house progressive new plays in a setting inspired by the grand architecture and design of traditional 19th Century venues. Studio Dante is located at 257 29th Street (between 7th and 8th Avenue) in Manhattan. Opening night is Sunday December 9th from 6 PM to 10 PM and the exhibit will continue thru Monday, December 10th from 12 Noon to 10 PM.

ROBERT POLLARD was a fourth grade schoolteacher until 1994, when Guided by Voices first broke into the national consciousness with the release of the album Bee Thousand. With over 900 songs registered to his name with BMI, Pollard is among the most prolific songwriters of his time. In 2006 Paste Magazine listed him as the 78th greatest songwriter of all-time.

By Robert Pollard; Introduction by Rick Moody
$29.95 Hardcover
136 pages, full-color, 10" x 10"
ISBN 978-1-56097-924-1

"One of the all-time greatest rock stars in Western history." - The Believer

Last Updated ( Thursday, 15 November 2007 )
Ditko book news and happy 80th! Print
Written by Eric Reynolds   
Friday, 02 November 2007

It's Steve Ditko's 80th birthday today, and we'd like to take the opportunity to make the following announcement:


Strange and Stranger - The World of Steve Ditko by Blake Bell

Fantagraphics Books is proud to announce the June 2008 release of the first critical retrospective of Steve Ditko, the co-creator and original artist of the Amazing Spider-Man.

In the wake of the astonishing success of Sam Raimi's three Spider-Man movies, Steve Ditko's status as a driving force behind the pop culture icon has been revealed to an audience the world over. But, in the context of Steve Ditko's 50-year career in comics, his creative involvement with Spider-Man is merely the tip of the iceberg.

Ditko is known amongst the cartooning cognoscenti as one of the supreme visual stylists in the history of comics, as well as the most fiercely independent cartoonist of his generation. From his earliest days in the 1950s, working for the notorious low-budget Charlton Comics (the Roger Corman Productions of the comics industry), Steve Ditko broke every convention in comics, with his innovative special designs and imaginatively hallucinatory landscapes of Dr. Strange, the almost plebian earthiness of The Amazing Spider-Man, and his black-and-white views on morality and justice through his uncompromising vigilante of the late 1960s, Mr. A (inspired by the work of Atlas Shrugged author and Objectivist philosopher, Ayn Rand).

Why will this book appeal to such a broad readership, to those who may not even be comic-book, or Steve Ditko, fans? "For the non-comic-book reader," says author Blake Bell (author and essayist for the Marvel Comics' line of Ditko-related Omnibus reprint projects), "we tell the narrative of Steve Ditko, the artist, from humble beginnings in Johnstown Pennsylvania; to the dizzying heights of co-creating Spider-Man; to the spectacular Howard Roark-like determination, and tribulations, in bringing his personal and philosophical vision to a recalcitrant audience. There's a fantastic, dramatic storyline running through Ditko's career; the artist having walked away from the Spider-Man franchise (and the billions it was to generate) as it was reaching the height of its popularity. What price did Ditko pay, and what was the impact on his work?"

Comic-book fans have also been waiting for a definitive examination of Ditko the artist; a chance to have the entire artistic scope of his career in one volume. "Fans of Ditko, and comic art, will not be able to put the book down," says Bell, "as we explode many of the myths surrounding key moments in Ditko's career, as well as present reams of rare and unpublished Ditko artwork. For the comic art scholar, we also break down the "hows" of Steve Ditko as a great sequential storyteller, dissecting his work in depth for the first time, also with analysis and commentary by some of the most skilled and articulate comic creators of the day."

While Steve Ditko himself remains absent for the World Wide Web (minus a summer back in 2001, when Bell himself worked for Ditko as his official web site designer), Strange & Stranger will assault the 'Net with similar intensity to that of the creator himself.

In addition to updates to Bell's unofficial Steve Ditko web site at, readers will be able to keep abreast of updates with pages on Facebook, MySpace, and a dedicated feature page at the Fantagraphics web site, found through the portal and launching soon. This will have a web log offering on-going commentary on the process of creating the book, with commentary by Bell and others. It will also publish commentary by professional comic-book creators on Ditko's career and artwork, and feature artwork that won't make it into the book. As the book speeds to its June 2008 release date, teasers, convention appearances by Bell, as well as book store signings will be featured on the site.

2008 will mark the year when Steve Ditko fans the world over will have the opportunity to celebrate the artist's 50-plus year career with this definitive volume from Blake Bell and Fantagraphics Books.

Strange & Stranger: The World of Steve Ditko
By Blake Bell
$39.99 Hardcover
220 pages, full-color, 9" x 12"
ISBN 978-1-56097-921-0

Last Updated ( Monday, 31 March 2008 )
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