Fantagraphics is proud to present a major new book by Gary Panter. Songy of Paradise is an inspired interpretation of John Milton’s retelling of the story of Jesus being tempted by Satan after being baptized by John the Baptist and fasting for forty days and nights in the Judaean Desert. Panter’s version doesn’t rely on Milton’s words, but faithfully follows the structure of Milton’s Paradise Regained, with one notable exception: Jesus has been replaced by a hillbilly, Songy, who is on a vision quest before being tempted by a chimeric Satan figure.
Gary Panter is one of America’s preeminent artists, designers, and cartoonists, whose work defined the L.A. punk scene and the vibrant look of the television show Pee-wee’s Playhouse. Songy of Paradise presents Panter’s singular vision in an ornate, hardcover format that does justice to Panter’s densely packed pages, with a stunning two-color stamping on cloth covers. It will be an art object, a brilliant literary experiment, and the most eye-popping graphic novel of 2017.
"Songy, besides giving Milton a jab in the ribs, can be read as a guide to some of the forces and obsessions that have shaped Mr. Panter’s art, including: dinosaurs, religion, psychedelia, rural Texas and comics themselves." — The New York Times
"Gary Panter, a prolific cartoonist who emerged in the eighties as the leading proponent of punk comics, has long been interested in blending mystical fantasy and literature to create wryly irreverent comics." — The New Yorker
"Underground comics legend Panter, a veteran of the L.A. punk scene in the ’70s, reimagines John Milton’s Paradise Regained in this breathtakingly original graphic novel." — Los Angeles Times
"Songy in Paradise is as serious as it is goofball, as awesome (in the original meaning) as it is entertaining, as much of a tribute to Milton’s vision as it is a testament to Panter’s own." — Paste
"This years-in-the-making project from art-comix legend Panter puts John Milton’s Paradise Regained through a scratchy, surreal mindwarp." — Boston Globe
"In just a few dozen pages, punk-comics pioneer Gary Panter offers up one of the most visually gripping and emotionally soaring pieces of his career. ... Songy serves as a primer for newbies and a treat for connoisseurs of his idiosyncratic takes on the classics of the Western canon." — Vulture
Interviews with Gary Panter: