The kind folks at Fantagraphics sent me their Winter 2008 book catalog and, kind soul that I am, I thought I’d take the liberty of sharing its contents with all of you dear Blog@ readers. Here’s a quick, tentative run-down of the company’s upcoming publishing plans, starting with …
The Portable Frank by Jim Woodring. It’s a $17, paperback “best-of” collection of Woodring’s creepy/funny tales of the lovable anthropomorph (at least that’s what they call him) Frank and his friends, for those who couldn’t afford the $40 harcover book. It’s all in black and white though, so I don’t know if that means color tales like Frank in the River are out or if they’re just printing from Woodring’s original pages or what. Introduction by Justin Green.
Love and Rockets: New Stories #1 by the Hernandez Brothers. $15 buys you 112 pages(!) of all new tales by Gilbert, Xamie and Mario in a swanky new book trade format.
The Complete Peanuts 1969-1970 by Charles M. Schulz. Holy Jeezum Crow, we’re up to 1970 already? How’d that happen? Intro is by Mo Willems. And if you missed the 67-68 edition, that’s available with this book as a box set. $28.99 and $49.99, respectively.
Sublife #1 by John Pham. A new, “graphic novel series” from up-and-comer Pham. I believe this will collect most, if not all, of the material that originally appeared in the first few volumes of Mome, which focused on a household of oddball characters, though this volume apparently expands the cast a bit more. $8.99 for 64 pages.
Deitch’s Pictorama by Kim, Seth and Simon Deitch. The Shadowland author bandies together with his brothers to produce a collection of picto-fiction tales (i.e. illustrated short stories) involving golems and drug dealers and autobiography. Introduction is by Gene Deitch, rounding out the family picture nicely. You can see a preview here. $18.99. 184 pages.
Beasts! Book Two, edited by Jacob Covey. It sold so nice they did it twice. Another compendiums of illustrations of ghoulies and ghosties and long-legged beasties. Contributers include Brian Chippendale, Al Columbia, David B., Kim Deitch and Peter Bagge. If you missed out on the first Beasts! book, you’ll be happy to know it’s available now in softcover. $34.99 for the former, $24.99 for the latter.
Mome Spring 2009 and Winter 2009. They’re planning these far in advance aren’t they? Both feature a story by David B., as well as the usual gang. $14.99 each.
Petey & Pussy by John Kerschbaum. A $19.99 hardcover collection of Kerschbaum’s very funny, very disturbing strips about a cat and a dog blessed with human heads and the ability to speak, but nevertheless behave like most cats and dogs do.
Modern Swarte: Joost Comics by Joost Swarte. This was supposed to be out earlier this year, but got delayed. Now it’s here just in time for his appearance at SPX! $30 gets you 120 of Swarte goodness.
The Comics Journal #293-297. Moving quickly now, in order of appearance: Interviews with S. Clay Wilson, Alex Robinson and Jhonen Vasquez; interviews with Jason and Mark Tatulli and a look at Billy DeBeck’s early work; Brian K. Vaughn and Gipi talk comics; the best-of the-year issue; and a huge interview with Mort Walker, plus Jordan Crane. $11.99 each.
The Lagoon by Lilli Carre. The Tales of Woodsman Pete author jumps from Top Shelf to Fanta for her longest work yet (80 pages). $14.99. Her work is very good and you should buy this when it comes out. Look for it at this year’s SPX.
Welcome to Dingburg by Bill Griffith. The latest Zippy the Pinhead collection. $18.99.
Popeye Vol. 3: Let’s You and Him Fight! The third volume collecting E.C. Segar’s masterpiece. Do I really need to explain why this stuff is so awesome anymore? $29.99.
Comics Are For Idiots: A Blecky Yuckerella Collection by Johnny Ryan. Like the title says, it’s the latest collection of Ryan’s grotesque spin-off of Nancy. $11.99.
We Are Not Saints by Kaz. A new collection of Underworld strips, which isn’t something we’ve seen for a while, eh? Or is that just me? $12.99
The Complete Crumb Comics Vol. 11 and 14 by Robert Crumb. Now back in print. $19.99 each. When are those revamped Crumb books, collecting the Hup era and such, going to come out, hmmmm?
Fuzz and Pluck: Splitsville by Ted Stearn. Collecting the recent series of F&P pamphlets. I really liked this series, but then I really like Stearn’s comics in general. Animal arena fighting, a cult of stuffed animals and a talking grapefruit. With wings! $24.99.
The Wolverton Bible by Basil Wolverton. Edited by son Monte (with an introduction by Grant Geissman), this 320-page book collects the art work the well-known Mad artist did for the evangelist Worldwide Church of God, much of which has never been published before. $24.99.
Unlovable by Esther Pearl Watson. Folks more in the know than me have been talking about this strip for some time now. Serialized in Bust (and sampled in the first Best American Comics collection) it’s based off of a teen-age diary that Watson found lying around in a gas station rest room. That basic set-up and the strong word of mouth that this comic has been garnering is enough to pique my curiosity. $19.95.
Blazing Combat by Archie Goodwin, et. al. A $30 hardcover collecting the entirety of Warren Publishing’s attempt to do a EC-like war comic magazine. Ranging from the 18th-century to the then-present day, it’s commentary on the Vietnam War was enough to get several key distributors to drop the title.
Hank Ketcham’s Complete Dennis the Menace (1959-1960) Vol. 5. More weary barbers, irate neighbors and exasperated parents. All for $25.
Sam’s Strip: The Comic About Comics by Mort Walker and Jerry Dumas. Here’s the must-have item for me in this catalog; a complete done-in-one volume containing all of Walker and Dumas’ delightful meta-comic, wherein Sam and his friends constantly acknowledge they’re in a comic strip, with lots of delightful formulist fun, the type that sets my poor heart a-beatin’. $19.99.
Monologues for Calculating the Density of Black Holes by Anders Nilsen. A sequel of sorts to 2006′s Monologues for the Coming Plauge, which was quite different in tone than and style than most of Nilsen’s other works. Perhaps the dictionary definition of “your mileage may vary.” $22.99.
Portable Grindhouse: The Lost Art of the VHS Box, Vol. 1, edited by Jacques Boyreau. Not comics at all, but a wistful look back at the early days of really bad VHS box art. For the cineaste. $19.99.
The Brinkley Girls: The Best of nell Brinkley’s Cartoons from 1913-1940 by Trina Robbins. The nice thing about the current demand for “classic strip” material is it allos publishers to take chances on otherwise unknown or little remembered artists of merit like nell Brinkley. I imagine the audience for her work at this point will be pretty small, but I hope I’m wrong about that. $29.99.
Boody: The Bizarre comics of Boody Rogers, edited by Craig Yoe. Speaking of reprint projects, here’s one that will bring a smile to many fans of goofy golden-age comics, especially those who have experienced the wonder of Rogers’ works either via the Internet or in books like Dan Nadel’s Out of Time. Rogers was a true original and deserves a wider audience. Hopefully this book will provide that opportunity. $19.99.
Supermen! The First Wave of Comic-Book Heroes (1939-41), edited by Greg Sadowski; Introduction by Jonathan Lethem. Inspired no doubt by the success of last year’s Fletcher Hanks collection, this book compiles a variety of early, oddball heroes, including some more of Hanks’ work. $24.99.
Luba by Gilbert Hernandez. A companion coffee-table book to the previous Palomar collection, Luba collects all the non-Palomar material concerning the hammer-wielding matriarch, including Poison River and Luba in America. $39.99.
Mother Come Home by Paul Hornschemeier. A newhardcover edition of Hornschemeier’s breakthrough graphic novel of a father and son attempting to deal with the untimely death of their wife and mother. $22.99.
Drinky Crow’s Maakies Treasury by Tony Millionaire. This $29.99 book collects the “second five years” of Millionaire’s strip, which makes me assume it’s not a necessary item if you’ve been picking up the smaller Maakies books thus far.
A Mess of Everything by Miss Lasko-Gross. A new autobiographical graphic novel from the author of Escape from Special, this time chronicling her high-school years. $16.99.
21 by Wilfred Santiago. The much-anticipated and ballyhooed biography of Roberto Clemente is delayed by a couple of months. Still looks pretty nice though. $14.99.
The Pin-Up Art of Humorama, edited by Alex Chun. Finally, we come to this ode to the girlie cartoon magazine that featured work by such folks as Jack Cole and Dan DeCarlo. Lots of secretaries being chased around desks, if you’re into that sort of thing. $19.99.