Thin Wallets, Fat Bookshelves: A look at Fantagraphics’ fall/winter catalog
OK, I know Fantagraphics has been posting pages from their new fall and winter catalog, but I thought it might be useful to run through their upcoming titles anyway, if only to have them all listed here in one easy to link-to post.
All and Sundry: Uncollected Works 2004-2009 by Paul Hornschemeier. 128 pages, $22.99 hardcover. As the title says it’s a compendium of Hornschemeier’s short works, most of which haven’t been in print, at least in the US, up till now. Hornschemeier seems to do better with short pieces than with longer narratives (Mother Come Home being the exception) so this should be quite good.
The Complete Peanuts 1973-74 by Charles M. Schulz. 344 pages, $28.99 hardcover. Billie Jean King wrote the introduction for this one, which is a perfect choice. This also contains what is quite possibly the best extended run Schulz ever did, the one where Charlie Brown gets a baseball rash on the back of his head.
Strange Suspense: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 1, edited by Blake Bell. 224 pages, $39.99 hardcover. On the heels of Bell’s bio comes this collection of Ditko’s early, pre-code work, comprising his first two years in the industry. Folks like Dan Clowes and Gilbert Hernandez round out the book with essays about Ditko’s influence.
The Classic Pin-Up Art of Jack Cole, edited by Alex Chun. 104 pages, $18.99, softcover. A collection of Cole’s gag cartoons for Humorama, now in paperback.
From Wonderland with Love: Danish Comics in the Third Millennium, edited by Steffen P. Maarup. 176 pages, $29.99 paperback. I’m always curious to see how other countries and cultures play with the medium, so I’ll very likely be getting this at some point.
You Are There by Jacques Tardi and Jean-Claude Forest. 192 pages, $26.99 hardcover.
West Coast Blues by Jacues Tardi and Jean-Patrick Manchette, 80 pages, $18.99 hardcover. The opening salvo in Fanta’s attempt to re-introduce Tardi to North American readers. Will it take this time?
This Side of Jordan by Monte Schulz. 304 pages, $22.99 hardcover. Not comics in any way, shape or form, but a prose novel by Charles Schulz’s eldest son, about a young farm boy who falls in with a nasty con man circa 1929. Monte told me a little about this book when I interviewed him way back when, and I’m really curious to see how it reads.
Prison Pit Book One by Johnny Ryan. 120 pages, $12.99 paperback. Ryan moves out of his comfort zone a wee bit to tell this grand guginol story of a brutal criminal transferred to a planet populated with violent, intergalactic monsters. Sounds plenty gruesome.
Gahan Wilson: 50 Years of Playboy Cartoons, introduction by Neil Gaiman and Hugh Hefner. 1,056 pages, $125 three-volume slipcased hardcover set. Ah, now here’s the crown jewel in the catalog — a massive, comprehensive collection of the macabre master’s seminal work for Playboy. No one does black humor better, save for perhaps Charles Addams. Save your pennies for this one kids.
Conceptual Realism: In the Service of the Hypothetical by Robert Williams. 80 pages, $24.99 paperback or $49.99 hardcover. A collection of new paintings from high-low artist Williams, a tie-in to his upcoming exhibition at the Tony Shafrazi Gallery in New York City.
The Squirrel Machine by Hans Rickheit. A surreal, disturbing graphic novel about two brothers who make musical instruments out of animal carcasses. Fantagraphics seems to be hoping this is the book that makes Rickheit’s name.
Mome Vol. 17 and 18, edited by Gary Groth and Eric Reynolds, $14.99 each, softcover. The acclaimed anthology continues unabated.
Chocolate Cheeks by Steven Weissman. 120 pages, $16.99 paperback. More “Yikes” shenanigans.
Pim & Francie: In the Golden Bear Days by Al Columbia. 240 pages, $28.99 hardcover. Good lord, do you know how long it’s been since we’ve had an actual standalone collection of Columbia’s work? I’m not sure either, but it’s been awhile. This collects every story he’s done about the adorable moppets Pim and Francie, and all the horrible, horrible things that happen to them. I’m really, really excited about this one.
Portable Grindhouse: The Lost Art of the VHS Box, Vol. 1, edited by Jacques Boyreau. 256 pages, $19.99 paperback. Wasn’t this supposed to come out earlier this year? No matter, here’s a loving look at the covers to all those dreadful direct to video movies that your mother wouldn’t let you rent from the corner store back in the day. The covers were always better anyway.
Willie and Joe: The WWII Years by Bill Mauldin, edited by Todd DePastino. 700 pages, $45 2-volume slipcased hardcover. The fact that they cut price on this seminal collection worries me a bit — did it not do well the first time around? Still, if you’ve been avoiding this because of the high price, you no longer have any excuses.
The Definitive Prince Valiant Companion by Brian M. Kane. 160 pages, $24.99 softcover, $39.99 hardcover. A reprinting of what is being billed as the “holy grail for collectors of the series.” Apparently it’s been out of print for a decade. Huh.
Basil Wolverton’s Culture Corner by Basil Wolverton. 160 pages, $22.99 hardcover. Following the Wolverton Bible comes this collection of the artist’s little-seen satirical self-help comic strips.
The Unclothed Man in the 35th Century A.D. by Dash Shaw. 104 pages, $19.99 hardcover. I was wondering when someone was going to publish all of Shaw’s awesome sci-fi stories. Now I know. It also collects a series of storyboards Shaw did for a series of original IFC shorts he did that will debut around the same time the book hits.
Sublife Vol. 2 by John Pham. 48 pages, $7.99 paperback. Pham’s series of interconnected stories continues.
King: The Special Edition by Ho Che Anderson. 288 pages, $34.99 hardcover. I’m not the biggest fan of Anderson’s biography of the civil rights leader, but I’m somewhat in the minority, so this extra-special version makes good publishing sense. Features author notes, sketches and an all-new epilogue, specially drawn for this edition.
Newave! The Underground Mini Comix of the 1980s, edited by Michael Dowers. 750 pages, $22.99. Between the death of the underground and the birth of the alt-comix movement was the early mini-comics scene. Featuring early work by folks like Rick Geary, Fred Hembeck, Dan Clowes, Mary Fleener, Mack White and lots of other folks you’ve never heard of before. Color me intrigued.
Complete Crumb Comics Vol. 7 and 12. $19.99 each, softcover. Now back in print.
Hank Ketcham’s Complete Dennis the Menace 1961-62 by Hank Ketcham. 672 pages, $24.99 hardcover. The fifth volume in the ongoing series.
Krazy and Ignatz 1916-18: Love in a Kestle or Love in a Hut by George Herriman. 160 pages, $24.99 paperback. Fanta doubles back to the early years of Herriman’s poetic strip to collect the material that had initially been collected by Eclipse.
Hotwire Comics #3, edited by Glenn Head. 136 pages, $22.99 paperback. The latest entry in Head’s edgy anthology, featuring work by Johnny Ryan, Doug Allen, Craig Yoe, Michael Kupperman, Sam Henderson and more.
Almost Silent by Jason. 300 pages, $24.99 hardcover. Collecting four of Jason’s wordless stories — You Can’t Get There From Here, Tell Me Something, The Living and the Dead and Meow Baby. If you haven’t read these books yet, that’s a pretty good deal.
Unlovable Vol. 2 by Esther Pearl Watson. 416 pages, $22.99 hardcover. Tammy Pierce’s sad-sack teen-age life continues to unspool, comics-style.
Bella Donna: The Pin-Up Girls of Kremos, edited by Craig Yoe. 96 pages, $19.99 paperback. Cheesecake art from an Italian master, heretofore unheard of in these parts.
Norman Pettingill: Backwoods Humorist, edited by Johnny Ryan and Gary Groth; introduction by Robert Crumb. 144 pages, $24.99 hardcover. I have never heard of Pettingill before — apparently he’s a true outsider artist, creating an odd and chaotic series of postcards and cartoons lampooning backwoods life. The catalog images certainly look like nothing I’ve seen before. Could be interesting.
King of the Flies Vol. 1: Hallorave by Pirus and Mezzo. 64 pages, $18.99 hardcover. Your Eurocomics entry of the month. Flies is a horror/noir trilogy about a ne’er do well teen and his bad relationiship with his dad, among other things. Certainly the art, done in a lush, hyperdetailed style, is intriguing.
Scream Queen: Sand and Fury by Ho Che Anderson. 144 pages, $16.99. I’m not sure if this book contains the original Scream Queen story or if it’s all-new material. Regardless, I seem to remember enjoying Anderson’s horror-tinged tale, so I’ll probably check this out.
The High Soft Lisp by Gilbert Hernandez. 144 pages, $16.99 paperback. Hernandez’s sorrowful tale of Rosalba “Fritz” Martinez, originally serialized in the second Love and Rockets series, is collected in trade here. Really good stuff folks.
Temperance by Cathy Malkasian. 240 pages, $22.99 hardcover. Malkasian follows up her critically acclaimed Percy Gloom with a story of an amnesiac war hero who’s kept in a state of ignorance by his wife, fearful of the society outside that wants to make him into an icon.
The Search for Smilin’ Ed by Kim Deitch. 144 pages, $16.99 paperback. Originally serialized in Zero Zero (remember that?), Ed concerns the serach for a long-missing children’s TV host.