Today is the centennial of the birth of William S. Burroughs, and as part of the official "Burroughs @ 100" celebration we're offering limited-time savings on our momentous art book and memoir by artist Malcolm McNeill detailing his troubled collaboration with Burroughs — 25% off each volume, or 1/3 off when you order them together! Author James Reich recently talked to McNeill about Burroughs at the International Times, so go give that a read once you've taken advantage of these deals:
In 1970, William S. Burroughs and artist Malcolm McNeill began a small collaborative project on a comic entitled The Unspeakable Mr. Hart, which appeared in the first four issues of Cyclops, England’s first comics magazine for an adult readership. Soon after, Burroughs and McNeill agreed to collaborate on a book-length meditation on time, power, control, and corruption that evoked the Mayan codices and specifically, the Mayan god of death, Ah Pook. Ah Pook Is Here was to include their character Mr. Hart, but stray from the conventional comics form to explore different juxtapositions of images and words.
Ah Pook was never finished in its intended form. In a 1979 prose collection that included only the words from the collaboration, Ah Pook is Here and Other Texts (Calder, 1979), Burroughs explains in the preface that they envisioned the work to be “one that falls into neither the category of the conventional illustrated book nor that of a comix publication.” Rather, the work was to include “about a hundred pages of artwork with text (thirty in full-color) and about fifty pages of text alone.” The book was conceived as a single painting in which text and images were combined in whatever form seemed appropriate to the narrative. It was conceived as 120 continuous pages that would "fold out." Such a book was, at the time, unprecedented, and no publisher was willing to take a chance and publish a “graphic novel.”
However, Malcolm McNeill created nearly a hundred paintings, illustrations, and sketches for the book, and these, finally, are seeing the light of day in The Lost Art of Ah Pook. (Burroughs’ text will not be included.) McNeill himself is an exemplary craftsman and visionary painter whose images have languished for over 30 years, unseen. Even in a context divorced from the words, they represent a stunning precursor to the graphic novel form to come.
Sara J. Van Ness contributes an historical essay chronicling the long history of Burroughs’ and McNeill’s work together, including its incomplete publishing history with Rolling Stone’s Straight Arrow Press, the excerpt that ran in Rush magazine, and the text that was published without pictures.
Observed While Falling is an account of the personal and creative interaction that defined the collaboration between the writer William S. Burroughs and the artist Malcolm McNeill on the graphic novel Ah Pook Is Here. The memoir chronicles the events that surrounded it, the reasons it was abandoned and the unusual circumstances that brought it back to life. McNeill describes his growing friendship with Burroughs and how their personal relationship affected their creative partnership. The book is written with insight and humor, and is liberally sprinkled with the kind of outré anecdotes one would expect working with a writer as original and eccentric as Burroughs. It confirms Burroughs’ and McNeill’s prescience, the place of Ah Pook in relation to the contemporary graphic novel, and its anticipation of the events surrounding 2012. The book offers new insights into Burroughs’ working methods as well as how the two explored the possibilities of words and images working together to form the ambitious literary hybrid that they didn’t know, at the time, was a harbinger of the 21st century “graphic novel.” McNeill expounds on the lessons of that experience to bring Ah Pook into present time. In light of current events, Ah Pook is unquestionably Here now.
Observed While Falling presents a unique view of the creative process that will be of interest to artists, writers and general readers alike. A perspective evoked by a literary experiment that has endured for forty years and still continues to “happen.”
For those of you who plan on replacing your standalone copies of each book with the box set (since we're not able to offer empty boxes), might we suggest "paying it forward" by donating your duplicate books to a good cause such as your local library, or passing them along as gifts? Share the EC love!
"Pow! Zam! Comics aren't for kids anymore because of Cannon! Cannon is like a punch in the face with a cement-filled giant salami. Ugly description? Wait'll you see Cannon’s ugly mug! And the gals? Wood style, of course! What else do you need?" – Gilbert Hernandez
"I bow to no man in my appreciation for Cannon." – Daniel Gillespie Clowes
Your mission, should you choose to accept it... is CANNON by the legendary Wallace Wood (Mad, EC Comics, Daredevil)! CANNON appeared every week for two and a half years in Overseas Weekly, a newspaper distributed exclusively to U.S. Military bases around the world. Uncensored by commercial editorial restrictions, Wood pulled out all the stops — producing a thrilling and salacious Cold War spy serial run amok with brutal violence and titillating sex all in an effort to boost morale and support our troops!
Meet John Cannon, the perfect agent and America's exploitative answer to James Bond. Initially brainwashed by the terrifying, voluptuous, and always half naked Madame Toy to be "the perfect assassin" for the Red forces, Cannon was eventually rescued and brainwashed (again) by the CIA until he had no emotions whatsoever. Under the employ of our government’s Central Intelligence Agency, Cannon experiences action like no other agent! Undercover and under the covers, Cannon endures nude torture by beautiful women, explosive gunplay, naked catfights, bone-crunching plastic surgery, nudity, Hitler, nihilistic lovemaking, Weasel the spy, naked women, death from above, and more naked women! Take that, 007!
Together with the Wallace Wood Estate, and working from newly unearthed source material, Fantagraphics Books presents the biggest, baddest, best-looking collection of CANNON, ever!
Charlie Brown may not be the best pitcher, batter, or team manager, but his love for the game is boundless, no matter how many home runs he gives up, how many games he loses, how many errors his team makes, or how many times the game is rained out. This delightful gift book features three complete baseball stories starring good ol’ Charlie Brown and his frustrating (and frustrated) teammates Lucy, Linus, Pigpen, Snoopy, and the rest of the gang. Whether it’s at home or on the road, on the mound or off the field, Charlie Brown gives it his all in these funny, touching testaments to his indefatigable spirit.
"This is the cover to my upcoming book HEROES of THE COMICS, designed by the great Jesse Marinoff Reyes. The book comes out in early July and officially debuts at the San Diego Comic Con."
We got a great response to the preliminary cover we showed with Drew's portrait of Siegel & Shuster, but we went with the King, and for good reason, as you can see. Don't worry, Jerry & Joe are still inside the book, along with dozens and dozens more of the titans and pioneers of American comics, all gorgeously and expressively rendered, and accompanied by loving and informative essays by Drew. No comics lover's coffee table will be complete without this beautiful, oversized hardcover.
In the new Previews catalog at your local comic shop you'll find our solicitation for a new 32-page one-shot comic book by Dash Shaw. Cosplayers is a sweet & sour, sad & funny story that follows the adventures of Annie and Verti as they shoot homemade movies for YouTube, guerilla-style, and face some unexpected consequences. Read the first three pages of the story below, ask for it at your local comic shop, and look for it on the racks in April! (We'll be taking orders, too.)
Doctors comes out this October from Fantagraphics Books. It's 96 pages, 6 X 8", full color.
Here's the catalog copy Fanta wrote:
"This new graphic novel from acclaimed cartoonist Dash Shaw (Bottomless Belly Button, BodyWorld, New School) is his most taut book to date. Dr. Cho is the creator of the Charon, a device that allows his staff to enter a dead patient's afterlife by taking the form of a memory in the patient's consciousness, and bring he or she back to life with one catch: the experience is traumatic and the process kills them again soon thereafter. But for some bereaved, the opportunity is priceless. So when Bell is killed in a random accident, her daughter hires Dr. Cho's team to bring her back. But what if Bell didn't want to come back? The dying unconsciously create the afterlife they want, or feel they deserve, in their minds before everything fades to black. Isn't that better than the reality, and no less meaningful than life itself? Part science-fiction thriller, part family drama, part morality play for the 21st Century, and quite possibly Shaw's best book to date."
Welp, there you go. Two new comics from Dash to look forward to this year!
"Glenn's fabulous collection and the stories that go with it is the kinda stuff you can't make up." – Jaime Hernandez
"The Bray Collection is a national treasure, a Fort Knox of astounding pop-culture holdings compiled with uncanny prescience and a singular, infallible eye for both the unassailably great and the otherwise overlooked. Bray and Zwalve have assembled a sum that is possibly greater even than its magnificent parts, and to experience the body of work in its entirety — finding connections, noting omissions, succumbing to the perfection of the vision — is to understand the visual world in a whole new way." – Daniel Clowes
"Glenn Bray is the Great Curator of brilliant, overlooked pop culture, and this wild book is an eye-popping art treasure for us all." – Matt Groening
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