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Fantagraphics sent over their list of books debuting at the San Diego Comic-Con later this month, and boy is it packed tighter than my suitcase on vacation day. The publisher will have almost two dozen new books at the show, including the last Mome; new stuff from Michael Kupperman, the Hernandez Bros. and Johnny Ryan; tons of Eurocomics; a Lou Reed/Edgar Allan Poe joint; and more. Check them out:
Love & Rockets New Stories 4 by Los Bros Hernandez: Featuring new stories by Jaime and Gilbert, including new material featuring Maggie set in the present and during her teen years.
Mark Twain’s Autobiography by Michael Kupperman: Probably the one I’ve been looking forward to the most, Kupperman publishes Mark Twain’s “biography” since the day the author/humorist died through last year — including his affair with Marilyn Monroe and his time-traveling adventures with Einstein.
Prison Pit Vol. 3 by Johnny Ryan: More deranged, twisted ultraviolent fun from Ryan.
Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading?, our weekly round-up of … well, what we’ve been reading lately.
Today our special guest is the legendary Gilbert Hernandez. Known best as the co-creator of Love & Rockets, his other works include Sloth, The Troublemakers, Chance in Hell and Yeah! with Peter Bagge (which is being collected by Fantagraphics)
To see what Gilbert and the Robot 6 crew have been reading lately, click below.
One of the biggest pieces of news coming out of this year’s Comic-Con was the announcement by Fantagraphics that they would start reprinting Floyd Gottfredson’s seminal Mickey Mouse comic strips.
But that book is at least a year away. What ever shall we read in the months between now and then? Thankfully, Gary Groth, Kim Thompson and company have the answer, via their lengthy fall/winter catalog, which I’ve taken the liberty of breaking down into bite-sized chunks for the hoi-polloi to peruse. No doubt some of these titles you’re probably well aware of and already expecting. But hopefully there’s one or two surprises in the list.
You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a horror comic in this post-30 Days of Night, post-The Walking Dead age. Meanwhile, there’s a bustling alt-horror … well, “scene” and “movement” probably aren’t the right words, but there are plenty of those comics and cartoonists out there.
But are any of them, y’know, actually scary?
Blogger Curt Purcell of The Groovy Age of Horror has endeavored to answer that question — long a topic of debate among comics readers, many of whom are skeptical that comics really can hang with movies or prose for their sheer power to frighten — by rounding up thoughts on the topic from a variety of horror and comics creators and commentators. These include cartoonists Richard Sala (Peculia) and Josh Simmons (House); CRwM of the provocative horror blog And Now the Screaming Starts; Kimberly Lindbergs of the movie-focused Cinebeats; Karswell of the pre-Comics Code horror-comics blog The Horrors of It All; and (ahem) yours truly. The roundtable was inspired by a post from Richard Cook at The Hooded Utilitarian, so be sure to check that out, too.
Where do you stand on scarybooks?
My Robot 6 associate Tom Bondurant praised Ho Che Anderson‘s Sand & Fury yesterday. It’s just one of the two books that is coming from Fantagraphics and Anderson this year. The other book is the collected edition of Anderson’s (originally released from 1993-2002 in three volumes) biography of Martin Luther King Jr, King. We got a chance recently to discuss both works, via email. And I also was fortunate enough to find out what his creative plans are for the future–and to my surprise, it does not involve graphic novels. Anderson’s two works gave me the opportunity to go in a lot of different directions in this interview, and fortunately he was willing to play along in the discussion. My thanks for his time.
Cat Burglar Black
Written and Illustrated by Richard Sala
First Second; $16.99
I occasionally get some grief from my male friends when they find out I like gothic romance. They hear “romance,” their eyes glaze over, and they immediately want to start talking about something else. No amount of castles, ghosts, malevolent barons, girls in white dresses, or hidden passageways are going to change their minds. As far as they’re concerned, I might as well be talking about Confessions of a Beauty Addict or Better than Chocolate.
But I’m so not and it’s a pity that books like The Castle of Otranto, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, and Northanger Abbey are so easily dismissed. I’m a sucker for any story about a young girl forced to move into a creepy old house with a terrifying owner and at least one locked room she’s not supposed to go into. What’s not awesome about that?
The only thing I don’t like about some of these books is that the heroine ultimately has to be rescued by a guy. Product-of-the-times and all. In Cat Burglar Black, Richard Sala avoids that by making his protagonist an extraordinary thief who can take care of herself, but other than that it’s classic gothic romance.
The gothic horror cartoonist known for such delightfully creepy books as Delphine and Evil Eye has a new art blog up now, which features, among other things, news on his upcoming book from First Second, Cat Burglar Black.