Axel-In-Charge: Extending "Secret Wars," Excitement for a "Totally Awesome Hulk"
Fantagraphics sent their spring catalog in the mail the other day and, good-hearted soul that I am, I thought I’d take the time to run through it and share its secrets with the rest of the Internet, as it’s chock full of notable graphic novels, comic strip collections and other interesting material. That’s just how I roll.
• IDW has announced the street dates for a couple of publishing ventures recently, including the their two Archie collections. The Best of Dan DeCarlo Vol. 1 will hit stores in May, while The Classic Newspaper Comics Vol. 1 will arrive in June.
More notably, the company also announced they would be collecting and releasing Trevor Von Eeden’s The Original Johnson, about the life of boxer Jack Johnson, in December. In his recent interview with The Comics Journal, Von Eeden had discussed contract disputes he had been having with co-publisher ComicMix about the work so it’s nice to book being completed and in print form.
• According to a press release that seems to be going around town, Fantagraphics and Supermen! editor (and former Fanta employee) Greg Sadowski will be working together on a series of seven collections of Golden Age comics. They are: Setting The Standard: Alex Toth at Standard Comics 1952-54, The Road To Plastic Man: The Golden Age Comics of Jack Cole 1937-41, Away From Home: EC Artists at Other Companies, Creeping Death From Neptune: Basil Wolverton’s Sci-Fi and Horror Comics 1938-55 and The Comic Book Frankenstein: The Monster According to Dick Briefer. That’s a pretty amazing line-up. I’m especially excited for that Briefer book.
• Fantagraphics reveals that Peter Bagge has a new Hate Annual lined up to come out next year and shares the cover image. I thought Bagge had completely given up on these, so this is very good news indeed. More Buddy Bradley! Whoo!
• While we’re talking about Fanta, it’s worth noting that Joseph Lambert of Turtle, Keep It Steady fame will be joining the Mome family. In related news, Derek van Gleason posts some teaser images of his ongoing story in that anthology.
• Alan David Doane has published an e-book of his interviews with various cartoonists and comics industry folk, including Charles Burns, Chester Brown, Seth, Dave Sim, Howard Chaykin, Mark Millar and more. You can download a copy of the book here.
• Cinebook, which translates and publishes a number of French comics for the U.S., such as Lucky Luke, has acquired the rights to the XIII series and will start releasing volumes in May of next year, with a book coming out every two months.
• Jeffrey Brown is working on a sequel to his Cat Getting Out of a Bag book. This one will be tentatively called Cat Walks.The first book was also apparently popular enough to warrant a series of tie-in postcards and journals.
• Secret Asian Man cartoonist Tak Toyoshima is moving his strip from a daily to a weekly strip, which was its original incarnation.
• That Freak Brothers Omnibus that came out last year must have done pretty well, because Knockabout Comics has announced Fat Freddy’s Cat Omnibus. Clocking in at 368 pages, cost $29.99 and will be available in North American stores early next month. Need a little bit more background? Here’s the press release:
Fat Freddy’s Cat began life as a footnote strip to the Freak Brothers and later appeared in many comics of his own. He is often to be found sleeping on the unfortunate Fat Freddy’s head. His constant battles with the never ending army of roaches out for world domination drive him to distraction, as does Fat Freddy’s never-ending failure to feed him or empty his kitty litter box. As a result of this, his main hobbies seem to be shredding Fat Freddy’s water bed and any other items he can sink his claws into, and finding places to leave surprise poop packages for Freddy to discover. This cat has variously gone travelling to Mexico, saved the world from alien invasion, and worked as a government agent in Washington trying to save the world from the “hee hee hee” drug. He has 3 nephews of unknown origin. He tends to regard the Freak Brothers with a fair bit of contempt, but despite the odd separation he always seems to hook back up with his inept roomies.
• Tom Spurgeon pulls back the curtain on the table of contents for this year’s Best American Comics collection, edited by Charles Burns. That’s a pretty impressive line-up.
Hey, we’re still in the midst of summer, but that’s no reason not to start thinking about what comics will be coming out next year! That seems to be the case with book publisher Farrar Straus Giroux, who decided to send out their winter 2010 catalog out to press and retailers the other week.
Now, as you may know, FSG distributes Drawn & Quarterly’s titles, and owns the Hill and Wang imprint, which releases a couple of comic-related nonfiction books every year, so this gives me the oppportunity to find out what’s coming down the pike from these two publishers and share my findings with you.
Are you ready? Let’s begin.
Three items of note. First of all, Viz will be publishing a new collection of essays, interviews, memoirs and manga by the one and only Hayao Miyazaki. Entitled Starting Point: 1979-1996, the book goes on sale Aug. 4.
The book will cover the first-half of Miyazaki’s legendary career, during which he rose from humble beginnings to create some of the most seminal animated features ever made, including Nausica Of The Valley Of The Wind, Castle In The Sky, My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service and Porco Rosso, as well as his launch of Studio Ghibli. A fitting introduction is offered by John Lasseter, the Chief Creative Officer at Pixar and Walt Disney. Ponyo is Miyazaki’s newest feature film and will be released by Walt Disney in North America this August.
• Ladies and gentlemen, Dwayne McDuffie has an announcement:
The very first Milestone comic will finally be collected, 17 years after its original publication. HARDWARE: THE MAN IN THE MACHINE will reprint Hardware #1-8, featuring the character’s origin, and first adventure. The Direct Market (comic book store) release date hasn’t been announced yet, but it tends to be about a month earlier than in the general market.
• In other news, Archaia announced plans to start a new $9.95 hardcover line of books, where one graphic novel will be released each quarter at that low price. The plan kicks off in August with the release of The Engineer: Konstrukt.
• Fantagraphics co-publisher Kim Thompson says the Norewegian artist Jason’s next project will be a repackaging of his previous books in the new Low Moon format. The first book, Almost Silent, will collect You Can’t Get There From Here, The Living and the Dead, Tell Me Something and Meow Baby! The next book, What I Did, will tentatively collect The Iron Wagon, Shhhhh and Hey Wait. Thompson also adds that Jason is working on a new graphic novel, Werewolves of Montpellier, which will be out in summer of 2010.
• I mentioned awhile back that Charles Burns was the editor for this year’s edition of The Best American Comics series from HoughtonMifflin. It looks like Michael Kupperman is handling the cover chores on that book as well.
• In case you missed it: Archaia is partnering up with Henson Studios to make comics based on the Fraggle Rock, Labryinth and Mirrormask franchises.
• In case you missed it part II: Movie producer and comic book author Jeff Katz has started a new entertainment company, American Originals, that will publish comic books, among other things
• Broken Frontier reveals that Drawn and Quarterly will be publishing an English version of Brecht Evens’ The Wrong Place early next year.
• Save your mana points now: Wizards of the Coast will release their first ever Magic: The Gathering graphic novel, Path of the Planeswalker, in October.
• Hey, Osamu Tezuka’s Swallowing the Earth is now on sale at Akadot Retail, though it looks like you might pay for the privilege of being a first-buyer.
• Wondering what’s up with the Graphic NYC book? The authors of the photo book of Big Apple cartoonists spill the beans on their publishing plans.
One of the joys of doing this semi-regular feature, scouring through catalogs, is every so often you come across a real jewel, or at least something that makes you sit up and take notice. For example, looking through HarperCollins’s fall/winter line-up I discovered some rather interesting titles and one real notable graphic novel amidst the plethora of manga spin-offs. To wit:
• Can nothing stop Craig Yoe? The Modern Arf, Boody and Secret Identity editor and author is apparently getting his own imprint, entitled YOE! Books, and courtesy of IDW. The first book released will be the hardcover Art of Steve Ditko.
• Same Hat blogger Ryan Sands reveals that he and Evan Hayden will be adapting Suehiro Maruo’s The Strange Tale of Panorama Island for Last Gasp. The manga won the New Artist Prize at the Annual Osamu Tezuka Cultural Prize earlier this year. Sands and Hayden previously translated Tokyo Zombie for the company. Island will be released in spring 2010. You can read Ryan’s description of the book here.
• Heidi MacDonald notes that up and coming cartoonist Alexa Kitchen, daughter of publisher and cartoonist Denis Kitchen, will have a book out from Hyperion this fall entitled Grown-Ups Are Dumb! (No Offense).
• Del Rey has picked up the rights to two Kodansha manga series: Samurai Deeper Kyo and Wild@Heart. Tokyopop originally published the first 34 volumes of the former series. Del Rey will release an omnibus edition of volumes 35 and 36 in December. Wild@Heart will be released in January.
• Brooklyn artist Jason Fraspin is working on a comic about WWII pilot Ben Steeple and has a preview over at his blog.
The art book publisher Abrams came out of the gate running this year with their new Comicarts imprint, which featured titles like Craig Yoe’s discovery of naughty Joe Schuster art, Secret Identity. What delights will the offer for the second half of the year? How about a new book by Alan Moore? Yes, it’s true; click on the link to find out more.
Are we six months into 2009 already? Indeed, we are, which means various publishers are sending out their fall and winter catalogs, chock full of impressive books, comics and graphic novels that will be making their way to our local stores in only a few months.
I’ve already covered a few book publishers and some big indie companies like Fantagraphics. Today, we’re taking a look at what the Macmillan imprint First Second has in store for the second half of the year. Join me, won’t you?
The children’s book publisher Candlewick Press has released their fall/winter catalog and it appears they’re stepping up their entry into the land of graphic novels with a slew of interesting titles. Let’s take a look, shall we?
Vermonia: Quest for the Silver Tiger by YoYo. 208 pages, $9.99 paperback. No, it’s not the late 80s-era rapper (though how cool would that be?) but a Japanese manga studio spinning a yarn about a group of friends who find themselves adrift in an alternate magical dimension. Hmmm, where have I heard that scenario before? Continue Reading »
* Remember that Strangers in Paradise Omnibus I mentioned awhile back? Apparently you can pre-order it now:
Abstract Studio is pre-selling this very limited definitive edition on line, before its debut at the San Diego Comic-Con. The complete SIP story is contained in two 1,100 page hardcovers with dust jackets and a bonus color cover gallery hardcover with dust jacket all in a gorgeous slipcase! This mammoth collection is only $159.95! Shipping in the continental US is $15.00 via FedEx but if you are attending the San Diego Comic-Con you can pre-purchase your copy and pick it up there! All other orders will be shipped the first week in August.
* Nonfiction prose publisher Hill and Wang announced they’re going to expand their graphic novel offerings.
* Also from ICv2: “DMF and Bleach Studios will launch a series of comics based on the Storm Hawks animated series this summer.” Apparently this is a show on the Cartoon Network? I never turn on my TV anymore.
* Missed it: NBM will publish The Big Kahn by Neil Kleid and Nicolas Cinquegrani this fall:
Rabbi David Kahn has lived a forty-year lie: he is not, nor has he ever been, Jewish. At his funeral, the “rabbi’s” grifter brother reveals the truth to Kahn’s family and his entire congregation. Author and Xeric Award winner Neil Kleid and artist Nicolas Cinquegrani explore a family secret that forces the nature of faith into question.
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.