Fantagraphics Releases For October 2008

by Jeff

Recent Fantagraphics Releases and Upcoming Arrivals as of October 2008.

RECENT FANTAGRAPHICS RELEASES

Ghost World: Special Edition

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By Daniel Clowes

288-page duotone and full-color 7.5″ x 10.75″ hardcover • $39.99 USD

This deluxe new edition of our most popular book ever expands the original graphic novel — which tells the story of two best friends, Enid and Rebecca, facing the prospect of growing up and apart — from 80 pages into a 288 page, behind-the-scenes tour through the making of both the classic book and the subsequent hit film. Including a new introduction and several pages of new strips by Clowes, as well as over 200 pages of “extras”: the Oscar-nominated screenplay by Clowes and Terry Zwigoff, dozens of pages of never-before-collected ephemera, including unused concept drawings, notes, movie posters, foreign edition covers, merchandise, and much more, all annotated by Clowes. Truly lavish, definitive and comprehensive.

Krazy and Ignatz: The Complete Sunday Strips 1935-1944

By George Herriman

600-page 9″ x 12″ full-color hardcover • $95.00 USD

Our second limited-edition deluxe Krazy hardcover (it’s Volume 3, but the second to be published; Volume 1 is still forthcoming) collects the second batch of five Krazy & Ignatz softcover books we have published, comprehensively compiling the years 1935 through 1944, under hard covers. It’s not a slipcase, it’s a single hardcover book. The covers to the original five softcover books are NOT included, but literally everything else is. And yes, we are similarly collecting the years 1916-1924 as those softcover volumes are completed. (Since we get asked this once in a while — even though it’s covered in the first one we did, at the end of the book, ahem — YES, we will go back and reprint the years prior to 1925.) Because of the limited nature of this item, we are not distributing this through traditional bookstores or Diamond distribution. A beautiful, must-have brick of a book for the Ignatz in you (though lobbing it at any unrequited love interests WILL cause serious physical harm — be warned).

Krazy and Ignatz: The Complete Sunday Strips 1925-1934 (2nd Edition)

By George Herriman

600-page 9″ x 12″ black & white hardcover • $75.00 USD

We said we would never reprint it… but popular demand overwhelmed our will! Our second limited-edition printing of this deluxe hardcover (limited to 600 copies this time) compiles the first five Krazy & Ignatz softcover books we published, comprehensively collecting the years 1925 through 1934, under hard covers. Because of the limited nature of this item, we are not distributing this through traditional bookstores or comic shops.

Krazy and Ignatz 1943-1944: “He Nods in Quiescent Siesta”

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By George Herriman

120-page 9″ x 12″ full-color softcover • $19.99 USD

Krazy and Ignatz 1943-1944: “He Nods in Quiescent Siesta” covers the last two years of Herriman’s masterpiece. With this volume, Fantagraphics and its precursor Eclipse have reprinted the entire 29-year run of the Krazy Kat Sundays! Like Charles Schulz, George Herriman was a cartoonist to the very end. Aside from collecting the last masterful year and a half of Krazy Kat, this new volume offers a retrospective look at Herriman’s life at the drawing table, offering many never before seen samples of his original art (which the cartoonist often lovingly hand-colored for friends). Gathered from many scattered collections, these pages testify to Herriman’s invererate passion for drawing. Rounding out the volume are scores of Krazy Kat daily strips also from Herriman’s last years, further testament to the cartoonists vitality. Series editor and veteran comics historian, Bill Blackbeard, also provides a concluding, wide-ranging essay on the life and art of Herriman. More than a simple reprint collection, Krazy and Ignatz 1943-1944 portrays the full range of a cartoonist who remained an artist all his life.

The Complete Peanuts 1969-1970 (Vol. 10)

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By Charles M. Schulz

344-page 8.5″ x 7″ black & white hardcover • $28.99 USD

“WOODSTOCK” PROPELS PEANUTS INTO THE ’70s!

He turns up first as Snoopy’s secretary, then gradually becomes a good friend whom Snoopy helps to fly South… but it’s not until June 22, 1970 that the little bird gains a name, in a perfect salute to the decade that ends with this volume: Woodstock!

In other timely stories, Peppermint Patty runs afoul of her school’s dress code (those sandals!), Lucy declares herself a “New Feminist,” and Snoopy’s return to the Daisy Hill Puppy Farm on a speaking engagement climaxes in a riot and a new love found amidst the teargas (“She had the softest paws…”).

Speaking of Snoopy, this volume falls under the sign of the Great Beagle, as three separate storylines focus on the mysterious sovereign of Beagledom. First Snoopy is summoned by a wrathful G.B. when Frieda submits a complaint about his (Snoopy’s) desultory rabbit-chasing efforts; then, back in the Great one’s good graces, Snoopy is sent on a secret mission; and finally he himself ascends (briefly!) to the mantle of Great Beagledom.

In other news, an exasperated Lucy throws Schroeder’s piano into the maw of the kite-eating tree, with gruesome results… Miss Othmar goes on strike and Linus gets involved… Charlie Brown’s baseball team has an actual (brief) winning streak… Snoopy’s quest to compete in the Oakland ice skating competition is thwarted by his inability to find a partner… Charlie Brown goes to a banquet to meet his hapless baseball hero Joe Shlabotnik… Snoopy is left in the Van Pelt family’s care as Charlie and Sally Brown head out of town for a vacation… and (alas) the Little Red-Haired Girl moves away…

This volume also features a new introduction by renowned illustrator Mo Willems and, as always, gorgeous design by award-winning cartoonist Seth.

The Complete Peanuts 1967-1970 Box Set

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By Charles M. Schulz

two 344-page 8.5″ x 7″ black & white hardcovers in a custom slipcase • $49.99 USD

A boxed set of the ninth and tenth volumes of The Complete Peanuts, designed by the award-winning graphic novelist, Seth. Shipping shrinkwrapped, with volumes 1967-1968 and 1969-1970 packed in a sturdy custom box designed especially for this set, it’s the perfect gift book item.

Complete Peanuts Slipcase For Vol. 9 and 10

$4.99 USD

Even if you purchased the fifth pair of volumes of The Complete Peanuts (1967-1968 and 1969-1970) separately rather than in the two-volume set, you can still have this handsome, durable two-volume slipcase designed by Complete Peanuts series designer Seth. This item is exclusively available directly from Fantagraphics.

Sublife Vol. 1

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By John Pham

64-page 8.25″ x 6.75″ two-color softcover • $8.99 USD

Two white supremacist brothers live in the midst of an “ethnic” urban flood along with a dog they’ve trained as a weapon. A household made up of three renters, a landlord who never leaves her attic bedroom, and her son, who insists on wearing a sheet over his head all the time. A pack of ravenous stray dogs chase a cat down a desolate alleyway. The lonely, grimy silhouette of Los Angeles, ever-present. All these separate threads weave through the first part of “221 Sycamore St.”, an ongoing story about the desperate need for family in two distinct households that share an indelible yet mysterious connection.

Sublife is the engaging new series from emerging talent John Pham (Epoxy, MOME). Similar in format to other great one-man anthology comics before it (Eightball, Acme Novelty Library, Jim), Sublife presents a variety of stories told in a range of styles and voices, all demonstrating a singular vision. Issue one features the first self-contained chapter of “221 Sycamore St.” as well as “Deep Space,” a semi-comical sci-fi journey into “psychopathia infinitus.”

John Pham won the Xeric Grant in 2000 and has been featured in publications such as Giant Robot, The Face, MOME and The Comics Journal.

Castle Waiting Vol. II #12

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By Linda Medley

24-page 6.75″ x 10.25″ black & white comic book • $3.95 USD

This is the long-awaited special all-bowling issue, as Henry, Dayne, Chess, Tolly, Peace and Simon wage an all-out ninepin war… and it turns out one of them has heretofore unsuspected bowling skills! Like all good sports competitions it’s a high-stakes battle to the very last frame. Meanwhile, back in the kitchen, Dinah and Jain pull out more and more dresses from the bottomless trunk and use a not-terribly-resistant Rackham to model them. All this, plus conjectures about what the heck’s going on with the mysterious, elusive, and somewhat sinister Dr. Fell.

Meat Cake #17

nocover Fantagraphics Releases For October 2008

By Dame Darcy

32-page 6.75″ x 10.25″ black & white comic book • $3.95 USD

Just because Dame Darcy is busy with music, dollmaking, and being a reality TV star, that doesn’t mean she’s stopped baking her beloved Meat Cake, and here’s a new issue to prove it! In Meat Cake #17, God is revealed to the Faeiry Sisters — so of course they get into a fight over it. Also, Trixxie Roxx stars in “The Horrors of Fame,” what Darcy describes as “a punk-rock version of those cheesy 1940s romance novels where the girls are going through hyperdrama all the time” — plus more kee-razy neo-Goth fairy-tale madness from one of comics’ true originals!

UPCOMING ARRIVALS COMING SOON

The Comics Journal #293

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200-page b&w/color 7.5″ x 9.5″ squarebound softcover magazine • $11.99 USD

The Journal’s Bob Levin interviews Zap artist S. Clay Wilson, best known for his panoramas of sex and violence involving lesbian bikers, zombie pirates and a Checkered Demon. Alex Robinson, the Harvey-and-Eisner-winning cartoonist, will discuss his graphic novels Box Office Poison, Tricked and Too Cool to Be Forgotten. Our reviews section tackles Ware, Hergé, Huizenga, Spiegelman, Hernandez and more. Plus a cartoon chat with Joe Matt and a special back-to-school section featuring a gallery of undiscovered potential comics masterpieces by the 2008 graduating class of the Center for Cartoon Studies.

Man of Rock: A Biography of Joe Kubert

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By Bill Schelly

220-page 6″ x 9″ black & white softcover • $19.99 USD

Joe Kubert’s extraordinary career spans the history of the comic book in America: he began drawing comics in 1938, just as Superman made his debut in Action Comics #1, and continues to be one of the most vital cartoonists working today, writing and drawing both mainstream comic book characters as well as, more recently, graphic novels of his own conception.

Man of Rock: A Biography of Joe Kubert provides a unique, behind-the-scenes look at the career of one of the most distinctive, dynamic artists in the history of comics. Bill Schelly’s insightful book covers all facets of Kubert’s creative life: artist, writer, innovator, entrepreneur, and educator. It abounds in heretofore unknown details about Kubert’s life and work, and is rich in colorful anecdotes drawn from numerous interviews the author conducted with Kubert’s colleagues, family and friends. Man of Rock: A Biography of Joe Kubert is a full-bodied biography intended to be read and enjoyed by anyone interested in the history of American popular culture.

American Presidents

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By David Levine

128-page 8.5″ x 10″ black & white softcover • $19.99 USD

For more than a half century, David Levine has taken on the most powerful men of the free world with only his pen and a bottle of India ink. That pen has proved to be mightier than the sword as Levine skewered, illuminated, satirized and condemned every president of the 20th century, as well as the most significant presidents from colonial times and the Civil War era. His drawing of Lyndon Johnson revealing a scar in the shape of Vietnam is considered one of the most recognized (and most copied) of the Vietnam era. His devastating wit and delicately cross-hatched drawing have exposed the venality of the Nixon administration, the phoniness of the Reagan years, the duplicity of the Clinton era, and the evil of the Bush cabal. Nine administrations have come and gone during Levine’s tenure, and with a new one on the horizon, the artist remains, unbowed, unfazed, and unrelenting.

Now for the first time, the best of Levine’s five decades of portraits of American Presidents and their administrations are gathered in a comprehensive and visually dynamic book. From John Adams to George Bush; from John Quincy Adams to George W. Bush; from the Great Emancipator to the Great Society, Levine has captured them all, including present day candidates John McCain and Barack Obama.

David Levine is internationally renowned for his incisive caricatures of world figures in literature, politics, and the arts. For 45 years his work appeared in every issue of the New York Review of Books, and his drawings have been reproduced in Time, Newsweek, Esquire, Playboy, The New Yorker, New York Magazine, The Nation, and many other publications. Levine is perhaps the most influential caricaturist of the late twentieth century.

Popeye Vol. 3: “Let’s You And Him Fight!”

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By E.C. Segar

168-page 10.5″ x 14.75″ b&w/color hardcover • $29.99 USD

Our third volume (of six) of the acclaimed hit series collecting the entirety of E.C. Segar’s original Popeye (a.k.a. Thimble Theatre) comic strips features work from 1932 to 1934. In addition to the daily and Sunday strips, this volume will present a true collector’s item: Segar’s never-reprinted two-week “World’s Fair” continuity. In 1933, in addition to the normal daily and Sunday continuities, Segar produced a special, two-week sequence of extra-large strips (two to three tiers each) in which Wimpy and Popeye travel to Chicago to take in the World’s Fair. Olive Oyl is left behind on account of “she ain’t wide-minded,” but Olive has other ideas and follows Popeye to make sure he isn’t flirting with any pretty girls. This sequence has never been republished since its original publication 75 years ago.

This volume also contains two major text pieces: The conclusion of Donald Phelps’s incisive and articulate critical essay on Segar’s work “Real People, Real Theatre,” and Richard Marschall’s insightful analysis of Segar’s continuity and story techniques.

E.C. Segar blended complex narratives, slapstick traditions, brilliant characterization, and an inimitable cartooning style to create the most exciting and profound humor of his era, rivaling the great film comics of his era, such as Charlie Chaplin and the Marx Brothers. Discover this American treasure in this handsomely designed series perfect for all ages.

Hey, Wait… (New Printing)

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By Jason

64-page 7″ x 10″ black & white softcover • $12.95 USD

This superbly evocative graphic novella by the award-winning Norwegian cartoonist Jason (his first appearance in the English language) starts off as a melancholy childhood memoir and then, with a shocking twist midway through, becomes the summary of lives lived, wasted, and lost. (Imagine a version of Stand by Me in which not all of the kids outrace the train.) Like Art Spiegelman did with Maus, Jason utilizes anthropomorphic stylizations to reach deeper, more general truths, and to create elegantly minimalist panels whose emotional depth charge comes as an even greater shock. His sparse dialogue, dark wit, and supremely bold use of “jump-cuts” from one scene to the next (sometimes spanning a number of years) make Hey, Wait… a surprising and engaging debut. Love and Rockets co-creator Gilbert Hernandez calls this one of the best graphic novels ever.

The Left Bank Gang (New Printing)

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By Jason

48-page 7″ x 10″ full-color softcover • $12.95 USD

F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Ezra Pound, and James Joyce walk into a Parisian bar… no, it’s not the beginning of a joke, but the premise of Jason’s unique new graphic novel. Set in 1920s Paris, The Left Bank Gang is a deliciously inventive re-imagining of these four literary figures as not only typical Jason anthropomorphics, but…graphic novelists! Yes, in Jason’s warped world, cartooning is the dominant form of fiction, and not only do these four work literary giants work in the comics medium but they get together to discuss pen vs. brush, chat about the latest graphic novels from Dostoevsky (“I can’t tell any of his characters apart!”) to Faulkner (“Hasn’t he heard of white space? His panels are too crowded!”), and bemoan their erratic careers. With guest appearances by Zelda Fitzgerald and Jean-Paul Sartre, and a few remarkable twists and turns along the way, and you’ve got one of the funniest and most playful graphic novels of the year.

Sshhhh! (New Printing)

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By Jason

120-page 7″ x 10″ black & white softcover • $16.99 USD

From the multiple Eisner and Harvey Award-winning author comes this sharp suite of short tales, ranging from the funny to the terrifying to the surreal to the touching, all told entirely in pantomime. Like Chris Ware, Jason’s clean, deadpan style (featuring animal-headed characters with mask-like faces) hides a wealth of emotion and human complexity, leavened with a wicked wit. Jason’s work has also drawn comparisons to Art Spiegelman for the similar ways both artists utilize anthropomorphic stylizations to reach deeper, more general truths, and to create elegantly minimalist panels whose emotional depth-charge comes as an even greater shock. His dark wit and supremely bold use of “jump-cuts” from one scene to the next are endlessly surprising and exhilarating.

Fuzz & Pluck: Splitsville

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By Ted Stearn

280-page 7″ x 9″ black & white hardcover • $24.99 USD

Ted Stearn’s cult favorite heroes Fuzz and Pluck (a rooster and a bear) return in this hilariously bizarre and charming graphic novel. Fired from his degrading job at the fast food restaurant Lardy’s, Pluck is taken in by Glibbia Honey, the manager for a ragtag team of gladiators. After witnessing the first contest (which involves a badger, a bag of garbage, a mallet, and five rats), Pluck vows that he himself will one day become the champion of this preposterous sport.

Meanwhile, Fuzz is out on his trusty tricycle making another Lardy’s delivery, unaware of Pluck’s career change. He soon finds himself trapped in a bedroom full of clueless stuffed animals. When he finally escapes, he meets a dotty old ferryman determined to beat out his only competition — a bridge. Fuzz takes on the Sysiphean task of helping his friend the ferryman compete with his nemesis.

Meanwhile, back in the Machiavellian world of the gladiator games, Pluck accomplishes his goal — until he finally meets his match. A mad race and tug of war culminates in a fatal convergence that changes everything for our two poor misfits.

The Lagoon

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By Lilli Carré

80-page 7 3/8″ x 9 3/8″ black & white hardcover • $14.99 USD

A family is seduced by the song of the Creature from the Black Lagoon in talented young cartoonist Lilli Carré’s first long-form work, and how each member reacts to the Creature’s siren call in The Lagoon is the crux of the story. For the wise — or pixilated — Grandpa, the song reminds him that, in the time he has left, he must pause to respect, appreciate, and fear nature. The song hints at something that Zoey, the daughter, is too young to fully grasp. And the song lures the sexually frustrated mother, and eventually, her husband, into danger… Carré experimented with nib pens and brushes while drawing this black-and-white graphic novel, giving the art a different feel from her previous, Eisner-and-Harvey-Award-nominated story, Tales of Woodsman Pete. The Lagoon was influenced by the films Creature from the Black Lagoon and Night of the Hunter, but reads more like the gothic, family narratives of Flannery O’Connor or Carson McCullers. Rhythms — Grandpa’s taps, the ticking of a metronome — are punctuated by silences that pace this “sound”-driven story. Older teen and adult readers are invited to imagine the enigmatic Creature’s haunting, ever-shifting tune as it reverberates through weedy waters, eventually escaping the lagoon to creep into windows at night.

Petey & Pussy

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By John Kerschbaum

128-page 6″ x 9″ black & white hardcover • $21.95 USD

LOONEY TUNES MEETS LUIS BUÑUEL IN THIS GRAPHIC NOVEL DEBUT

Petey and Pussy, John Kerschbaum’s new graphic novel, reads very much like a Loony Tunes cartoon — if all of the anthropomorphic animals were kvetching, balding, foul-mouthed misanthropes. Each character is articulate (and, in fact, can speak directly to humans, well enough to order a beer) but still recognizably have the traits associated with their respective species: Pete, the dog, is happy-go-lucky; Pussy, the cat, is self-centered; and Bernie, the bird, is high-strung and constantly a-twitter. Together, they are the pets of a sweet old lady whose obliviousness to the lunacy unfolding around her is second only to her own hygienic repugnance. The Sisyphean struggles of the characters is brought to the fore — the cat is compelled to try and catch the mouse, the bird struggles to escape his cage — as the trio engage in slapstick adventures that are simultaneously given an edge and made hilarious by a twisted combination of mundane realism and insouciant gross-out humor.

Kerschbaum cheerfully includes all the blood and guts that are left out of the cartoons, and lovingly renders his motley crew in a densely textured urban setting. And like the animated cartoons it echoes in an oddly surreal way, when the mayhem dies down, the characters come to the realization that their identities’ are defined by the way they relate to the others, and that one’s opponent might be one’s truest friend when both face a true threat.

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