X-POSITION: Phoenix, Upstarts & More Tear Up Bowers & Sims' "X-Men '92"
I thought I’d spent the better part of this week looking ahead at what various funnybook publishers have planned for the new year. First up is a look at Fantagraphics Spring/Summer catalog. It’s a doozy of a list …
The Complete Peanuts 1971-1972 by Charles M. Schulz. Sally’s on the cover. Kristen Cheoweth (who played Sally on Broadway) does the introduction. $28.99 hardcover.
Prince Valiant Vol. 1: 1937-1938 by Harold Foster. Fanta is rereleasing this classic comic strip of knights in derring-do in a spiffy new oversized, hardcover version, with high-quality reproduction, superior to the previous releases. $29.99.
Connective Tissue Bob Fingerman. This looks to be an illustrated novella about a female video store clerk who enters a scary hallucinogenic world after ingesting some chemically-altered, meat-flavored candies. I hate it when that happens. $19.99 hardcover.
You’ll Never Know, Book 1: “A Good and Decent Man” by Carol Tyler. Tyler tells the story of her father, a WWII veteran and how his war experiences shaped his life. Tyler has always been one of those cartoonists who garners high praise but not big sales. This could be the book that changes that. $24.99 hardcover.
The Complete Crumb Comics Vol. 4 and The Complete Crumb Comics Vol. 9 by Robert Crumb. Now back in print. $19.99 paperback.
Mome Spring 2009 and Summer 2009. The catalog is vague on details here, but promises work by folks like Laura Park, Nate Neal, Sara Edward-Corbett, Derek Van Gieson, plus returning champions like Al Columbia and Olivier Schrauwen.
“Ho!” by Ivan Brunetti. If I’m reading this right (and there’s a distinct possibility that I’m not), this is a fancier collection of Brunetti’s morally questionable but shamelessly funny “gag” cartoons that originally saw print in “Hee!” and “Haw!” $19.99 hardcover.
The Comics Journal #298 (May) and #299 (July). That magice 300 looms ever closer. No. 298 features interviews with Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon and Perry Bible Fellowship creator Nicholas Gurewitch. In No. 299, Bob Levin tracks down a lost collection of unpublished strips by 190 artists like Jack Kirby, Will Eisner, Harvey Kurtzman and more. Plus, Pearls Before Swine creator Stephan Pastis talks about being a newspaper strip cartoonist.
Rock Candy by Femke Hiemstra. Who is Hiemstra? No idea, but the catalog labels her a “pop surrealist.” This is a colelction of her illustrative work and paintings. $29.99 hardcover.
The Great Anti-War Cartoons, edited by Craig Yoe. Oh, this should be good.
Yoe selects the best, most savage smartassery about war he can find and slams it into one book, featuring work from Robert Crumb, James Montgomery Flagg, George Grosz, Rick Griffin and many more. $19.99 paperback.
Herriman’s Hoomins: The Complete Stumble inn and Us Husbands by George Herriman. Holy shit. Either those Krazy Kat reprints did better for Fanta than I thought, or they’ve just decided to go whole hog. And what a hog. This book will contain the complete run of two of Herriman’s rarely seen strips: the first about a ramshakle hotel (think early-20th century Fawlty Towers); the second a domestic comedy that only ran for about a year. Still, obscure Herriman in print! Who’dathunk? $29.99 hardcover.
Usagi Yojimbo: The Special Edition by Stan Sakai. So while you may still be waiting on the ‘Mazing Man Absolute edition, in the meantime you can spend your hard-earned $100 on this comprehensive 25th anniversary set, collecting the first seven volumes of the series, along with extra materials like a full-color cover gallery. $95 two-volume slipcase hardcover set.
Low Moon by Jason. This guy must be one of the hardest cartoon working today. Anyway, this collects the Western-themed strip he did for the New York Times, as well as some other, brand new short stories. $24 hardcover no less.
Locas II: Maggie, Hopey & Ray by Jaime Hernandez. As with the last Locas coffee-table book, this aims to be an all-inclusive collection, bringing you up to date on what those nutty Hoppers kids have been up to lately. Includes such tales as Ghost of Hoppers and the recent Education of Hopey Glass. $39.99 hardcover.
Abstract Comics: the Anthology, edited by Andrei Molotiu. Secretly, in your heart, you know you were longing for this.208 pages of nothing but non-narrative, non-representational comics done by folks like Moebius, Lewis Trondheim, Gary Panter and a l of folks you’ve never heard of. Sounds really cool. $39.99 hardcover.
Everyone Is Stupid Except for Me and Other Astute Observations by Peter Bagge. Hooray! The hilarious collection of strips Bagge did for Reason magazine are finally collected into one book. And hopefully some of the Suck.com pieces too? Maybe even a Founding Fathers gag? Dare I hope? $16.99 paperback.
You Shall Die By Your Own Evil Creation! by Fletcher Hanks; edited by Paul Karasik. Considering what a surprise hit the last Fletcher Hanks book was, it’s probably not too surprising to see a sequel. According to the pr sheet, this collects every known Hanks story that Planets didn’t get. $24.99 paperback.
The Artist Himself: A Rand Holmes Retrospective by Patrick Rosenkranz. Having soliloquized Greg Irons and Rory Hayes, the honorarium of little-known underground cartoonists continues with this biography of Holmes (known for the Harold Hedd series) and his work. $28.99 paperback.
The Best American Comics Criticism of the 21st Century, edited by Ben Schwartz. Another book you didn’t even know you needed. While the title seems to be jumping the gun a little, this 280 page book highlights interviews and think pieces by folks like Doug Wolk, David Hajdu, R.C. Harvey, Ken Parille, Donald Phelps and, yes, Chris Ware. $19.99 paperback.
The Sweetly Diabolic Art of Jim Flora by Irwin Chusid & Barb Economon. More arty hipster goodness about the man who designed many a record album and picture book. This third volume focuses on mostly heretofore unseen paintings, drawings and sketches. $34.99 paperback.
Like A Dog by Zak Sally. A collection of the former Low bassist’s short story comics, including the first two issues of The Recidivist, now long out of print. As readers of Sammy the Mouse know, this guy is real good, so keep an eye out for it. $22.99 hardcover.
The Red Monkey Double Happiness Book by Joe Daly. The what? This is a new collection of surreal tales by the South African author of Scrublands. I liked that
book quite a bit, so I’m looking forward to this one. $22.99 hardcover.
Tales Designed to Thrizzle: Volume One by Michael Kupperman. Now all can share in the Michael Kupperman goodness, not just those who frequent comic book stores! This 160-page volume collects the first four issues of Kupperman’s hilarious comic. $24.99 hardcover.
Fire & Water: Bill Everett, the Sub-Mariner & the Birth of Marvel Comics by Blake Bell. Having celebrated the glories of Steve Ditko, Bell moves onto another acclaimed Marvel artist. $39.99 hardcover.
Giraffes in My Hair: A Rock N Roll Life by Carol Swain and Bruce Paley. Swain and Paley join forces to tell of the latter’s adventures during the late 60s/early70s hippie movement. $19.99 hardcover.
Captain Easy, Soldier of Fortune: The Complete Sunday Newspaper Strips Vol. 1. You see this? This is gold baby, pure gold. $35 hardcover.
Love and Rockets: New Stories #2 by the Hernandez Brothers. Continuing Jaime’s “Ti-Girls Adventures” superhero tale, while Gilbert provides two new, self-contained stories. Doesn’t look like Mario’s in for this one. $14.99 paperback.
Popeye Vol. 4: “Plunder Island” by E.C. Segar. Oh boy. If you get just one book in the Popeye collection — and I have no goddamn idea why you’d want to limit yourself like that, but let’s just suppose — it should be this one. “Plunder Island,” that’s … that’s just as good as comics get man. $29.99 hardcover.
Skin Deep by Charles Burns. The collection of some of Burns’ early short stories (including “Dog Boy”) is released in paperback. $16.99.