"No one could draw a rotted, walking corpse like Graham Ingels." – Donald Vaughan, (Florida) Sun-Sentinel
"I love Ingels …" – George A. Romero
"All of these books are essential purchases for comics fans… These are the books that best show off how EC took genre stories seriously, striving to create comics that didn’t treat readers as naive or ignorant." – Noel Murray, Los Angeles Times
"...I am not only appreciative...but also very impressed. [The books] are spectacular packages of their featured artist and their stories." – Al Feldstein
With his wholesome approach, Jack Kamen stood out amongst the grand-guignol grunge, gritty realism, or futuristic dazzle of his fellow EC cartoonists — but his brilliant editor/writer Al Feldstein found a way to exploit the surface innocence of his style with seemingly nice stories of romance gone horribly wrong, or future fantasies with an unexpectedly brutal twist. And nowhere did Kamen'’s clean-but-lush graphics work better than in the stories he created for EC's science-fiction comics.
The title story, "Zero Hour" (one of three in this book adapted from works by Ray Bradbury), set in a Spielbergian suburban idyll, is particularly well served by Kamen's surface innocence; "A Lesson in Anatomy" works similar magic, with its Mayberry-esque setting veering into alien-invasion terror.
If there was any devil in Kamen, it came out in his loving depiction of the female face and form, and you could see why his hapless heroes were often fatally entranced with them — as in "Punishment Without Crime" (Bradbury again), "He Who Waits!" (a scientist finds an extreme way of rejoining his eight-inch-tall inamorata), and "Miscalculation!" (the lucky recipient of a package from the future literally brews his own harem); even the supercomputer in "Only Human!" proves vulnerable to a beautiful woman's charms.
Zero Hour and Other Stories contains 22 classic EC yarns — plus the usual all-new biographical, historical, and critical essays that have made Fantagraphics' EC Library series the ultimate version of these classics.
Even sixty years after their original release, in a post-Saw-and-Hostel era of explicit horror, EC Comics superstar Graham "Ghastly" Ingels's grisly pages retain the power to shock.
His loving depictions of the endless corruption of flesh and nature made him the go-to guy for stories involving swamps, maniacs, and dismemberment — and all three combined to best effect in one of the standouts of this collection of his stories: "Horror We? How’s Bayou?" — considered the single most spectacularly drawn of all of EC’s horror stories, with a climax that would give body-horror king David Cronenberg nightmares.
Ingels specialized in depicting the unimaginable. If you ever wondered what the vengeful, decaying corpse of an elephant stomping a woman to death would look like, it's in here ("Squash...Anyone?"). Or living rats sewn into the bodies of a tyrannical king and queen ("A Grim Fairy Tale")... or the results of injecting a "poison-pen" letter writer with literal poison and reducing him to, in the words of Al Feldstein's script, a "foul-smelling, oozing pool of putrescence" ("Notes to You!"). One of the two Ray Bradbury adaptations in the book, "There Was an Old Woman" (about a deceased crone who simply refuses to stay dead) provides the closest thing to a note of sweetness that you'll find here — perhaps with the exception of the genuinely romantic "A Little Stranger!" and its loving marriage between a dead vampire and a dead werewolf.
Sucker Bait and Other Stories features 25 classic stories from Tales from the Crypt, Shock SuspenStories, Vault of Horror, and Ingels and his "Old Witch" character's special showcase Haunt of Fear — plus the usual fascinating historical, critical, and biographical material.
"One of the greatest comic strips of all time and a peak in visual splendor and breathtaking adventure, the story of Prince Valiant's 30-plus year odyssey is getting a marvelous presentation in Fantagraphics' series of books…" – The Huffington Post
“Medieval swordplay and adventure have never been as glorious as in Foster’s Sunday-only comic strip. This edition has been reproduced from pristine printer’s proofs to give the gorgeous artwork its crispest version ever.... Prince Valiant is one of the best-drawn comics ever, and this new edition does ample justice to its achievement.” – Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
"If you've never read Prince Valiant at all, I highly implore you to give it a shot with Fantagraphics' current hardcover reprints. They're huge, beautiful — the best these strips have looked since their original publication, if not exceeding them. They're world-spanning adventure comics of the highest order — in a pantheon of titles ranging from Corto Maltese to Kamandi to Tintin." – Joe Keatinge
SPECIAL OFFER: Add Prince Valiant Vol. 9 (coming Spring 2014) or Vols. 9 & 10 (coming Fall 2014) to your pre-order for just $27.99 each, a savings of 20% off the cover price! Use the option menu on the product details page to subscribe.
Our continuing reprinting of Hal Foster's sumptuous epic — still scanned directly from Foster's personal collection of syndicate proofs, providing the most spectacular iteration of this material since its original publication in Sunday newspaper supplements 60 years ago — enters the 1950s with this new volume.
The entire first third consists of the second half of the 15-month-long (!) Roman epic "The Missionaries," which includes a dramatic, life-changing experience for Prince Geoffrey (aka "Arf") at its climax. After a brief stay back in Camelot (where the irrepressible Val and his friend Gawain indulge in some not-very-knightly pranks that end up costing them dearly), the two, accompanied by Arf, are summoned back to Thule, where Aleta presents Val with new twin daughters!
Foster also reintroduces such favorite characters as the piratical Boltar and the Indian princess Tillicum (now an unlikely romantic couple), and the year concludes with the beginning of "Valhalla" (another installment in the ongoing story of the problematic Christianization of the Vikings) — which includes one of Foster's most dramatic and gorgeous splash panels (used here on the cover).
And as a back-up, Prince Valiant Volume 8 includes an article by Foster scholar Brian M. Kane on Foster's near-forgotten "Mounties" ad campaign paintings from the 1930s, along with a number of gorgeous reproductions.
"…Perfect Nonsense: The Chaotic Comics and Goofy Games of George Carlson is a perfect gift for a fan of illustration and golden age comics and humor and absurdism…. This is a lovingly researched retrospective of all of Carlson's work. For all comics scholars this is a MUST HAVE." – Heidi MacDonald, The Beat
"…George Carlson [was] an under-appreciated, largely overlooked cartoonist, illustrator, game designer, and graphic artist extraordinaire who will finally get his due with the forthcoming release of Perfect Nonsense: The Chaotic Comics and Goofy Games of George Carlson…. The spirit of George Carlson’s playful, surreal world can be seen in everything from Pee-wee’s Playhouse to 24-hour comics." – Paul Tumey, The Comics Journal
"...a genyoowine sensibility." – Art Spiegelman
"…[A] master. Carlson… was an old-timer, …drawing funny pictures many years before comic books were invented.... I love nonsense or I probably wouldn't be a comic book fan, where about 90% of everything is nonsense in one way or another. But George Carlson took nonsense to another level…" – Pappy's Golden Age Comics Blogzine
"…[An] incredible artist… Samuel Beckett in a clever plastic disguise." – Harlan Ellison
Perfect Nonsense tells the complete story behind one of the most innovative and under-rated Golden Age artists, classic children's illustrators, and nonsense poets in American history. For more than 50 years, George Carlson created thousands of distinctive and dynamic cartoons, comics, riddles, and games that thrilled both children and adults with their fanciful spirit and nonsensical humor. There has never been a career retrospective of this startling cartoonist and illustrator — until now!
Carlson's inspired cartoons — ranging from the intellectual to the surreal — place him at home with not only acknowledged masters of American humor like George Herriman, S. J. Perelman, Milt Gross, Bill Holman, and Jack Kent, but also globally celebrated absurdists like Beckett, Pirandello, and his life-long inspiration, Lewis Carroll.
Carlson also made his mark as an accomplished designer of more serious themes including magazine covers, political cartoons, advertisements, locomotive and naval illustration, and, most famously, the original book jacket for the first edition of Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind. Now, after more than 15 years of searching, compiling, and conjuring, the incredible depth of George Carlson's artistry and ingenuity finally gets the comprehensive treatment it has so long deserved with copious full color examples of material both exquisite and obscure. Alongside plentiful cartoons, individual drawings, and comics (including Carlson's "ghost" work on Gene Byrnes' Reg'lar Fellers), this edition offers a meticulously researched critical introduction, rare examples of original art and unpublished projects, and a biographical timeline of Carlson's first three decades as a commercial artist drawing on recently unearthed artifacts from the Carlson family estate.
Perfect Nonsense focuses on Carlson's prolific work as a gag cartoonist, children's illustrator, commercial designer, and art instructor from 1907 to just before World War II. Decades before his celebrated Jingle Jangle Comics, Carlson forever altered the nature of children's publishing during his tenure as chief artist and designer for the pioneering children's pulp, John Martin's Book. Carlson turned the magazine itself into a toy, filled with seasonal games, holiday cut-outs, curious crosswords, graphic exercises, puzzles, riddles, rebuses, and more.
As Carlson himself once observed, his early works brim with a unique spirit of happiness and fun. We have not only captured the very best of that spirit in this collection, but also the many secrets behind its legacy. Loaded with wonder and wit, the creations of George L. Carlson will inspire cartoon and comics aficionados, teachers of children's media, scholars of American humor, and anyone interested in the ever-evolving landscapes of image and language.
"Cheers Johnny! Thanks for the knife to the cock!" – Guy Davis
"For those who find filthy, blotchy tactile ink clots, überviolence, or body horror even remotely appealing, you need to buy this and its predecessors immediately." – Slate
"There's no point in trying to explain Prison Pit. You can only experience it to understand it. Start buy buying all of them at once if you haven't yet... It wears its intentional stupidness and violence on its sleeve while also showing off Johnny Ryan's sophisticated sense of composition and black and white ink prettiness." - Nick Gazin, VICE
"Hey are you doing any more scary guys made out of tar ripping each other's dicks off? You know why I like those? Because you don't have to read all them stupid words and stuff. Right? Haa ha, hey Johnny wanna come over and play? Ha Ha!" – Tony Millionaire
"The Prison Pit series has produced some of the best gay erotic comics in recent memory... without consciously setting out to do so. It could easily be subtitled 'A Complex Cycle of Penetration and Regeneration.' Johnny pumps this hyper-masculine orgy of violence and sex so far beyond bursting, it can't help but tip over to the queer side. It is a prison, after all." – Ed Luce (Wuvable Oaf)
"The continuing adventures of Johnny Ryan’s most violent fantasies run amuck, [Prison Pit] is rapidly becoming the comic that I look forward to the way a fat kid looks forward to syrup-encrusted cake. There’s no getting around the hoary old cliche — 'these aren’t for everybody' — so God help you if you can’t figure out a way to enjoy these books." - Tucker Stone, Flavorwire
"Prison Pit is the black metal of comics.... If it doesn't make you sick, you shouldn't be allowed to walk among the public in the first place. If it doesn't make you giddy for the next one, you don't deserve comics." - David Harper, Multiversity Comics
"Like Yokoyama's manga, it's all surface cause & effect & somehow full of weird associations & meanings. It resonates deep." – Sammy Harkham
Prison Pit is Johnny (Angry Youth Comix) Ryan's ongoing taboo-busting sci-fi-prison-planet-body-mutation-splatterfest epic extravaganza, beloved by everyone from the legendary Gary Panter ("GLOREGEFULL!") to Booklist ("Not to be missed").
In the latest installment, our hero Cannibal Fuckface still isn't dead, so the Prison Boss plays what may be his last card: The Holocaust Brothers. But before CF battles the Ho-Bros he's got to destroy his arch-enemy, the seemingly indestructible Slitt, who happens to be the only one who knows how to get the hell out of the Prison Pit.
The author promises: "Every single testicle in the world will explode with rage when Prison Pit 5 is unleashed."
“While most manga about cross-dressing involve lots of shrieking and embarrassment, Wandering Son takes a quieter, more introspective approach.... It’s a very sweet manga with realistic characters — no dead parents or crazy teachers, just ordinary, loving families and supportive friends. This manga is a beautifully produced, hardcover book, and... it’s worth every penny.” — Brigid Alverson, MTV.com
“Wandering Son is meticulously accurate in its details, but universal in its emotions. Gay or not, readers shouldn’t find it too difficult to identify with kids who feel like their bodies and their friends are equally culpable in the worst kind of betrayal, preventing them from realizing the potential they see in themselves.” — Noel Murray, The A.V. Club
SPECIAL OFFER: Add Wandering Son Vol. 7 (coming Summer 2014) or Vols. 7 & 8 (coming Winter 2014/2015) to your pre-order for just $19.99 each, a savings of at least $5 off the cover price! Use the option menu on the product page to make your selection.
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