For day four of our ongoing tour of what awaits comic fans in 2009, we’re taking a look at a new publishing imprint, Abrams ComicArts. Abrams, as you may know, published a number of notable comic-related books last year, but now have set up their own subdivision devoted to the medium. You can learn more about the imprint here.
The Laugh-Out-Loud Cats Sell Out by Adam Koford. I remember thinking when I first saw it that Koford’s appropriation of one of the more annoying Internet trends was one of the more ingenious ideas to come around the pike. It’s good to know I’m not alone in that assessment. Introduction by John Hodgman. $12.95, 150 pages hardcover.
Erotic Comics 2: A Graphic History from the Liberated ‘70s to the Internet by Tim Pilcher with Gene Kannenberg Jr. Well, if you’re going to launch a new book line, launch it with smut! That’s what I always say, at least when no one else is listening. Anyway, this is a sequel to Abrams’ last round-up of comic smut, this time taking a look at the more modern era. Plus, Yaoi! Foreword by Alan Moore, that dirty-minded magician. $29.95 hardcover.
Secret Identity: The Fetish Art of Superman’s Co-Creator Joe Shuster by Craig Yoe.* Again with the smut! You see what happens when you try to make comics for a living? You end up producing S&M porn. Produced when he was down on his luck after leaving DC Comics, this book collects art Schuster did for a series of obscure magazines. Buy the book and learn from Schuster’s mistakes. Don’t say your mother didn’t warn you. Introduction by Stan Lee. $24.95, hardcover.
Underground Classics: The Transformation of Comics into Comix by James Danky and Denis Kitchen. Danky and Kitchen, along with Paul Buhle, jay Lynch, Trina Robbins and Patrick Rosenkranz look at how the underground movement of the 60s and 70s helped make comics become respectable. The emphasis here is on assessing the actual art as well as the historical movement. $29.95 hardcover.
The Art of Harvey Kurtzman: The Mad Genius of Comics by Denis Kitchen and Paul Buhle. One of comics most important and unique geniuses finally gets his due in this 200-page, coffee-table styled biography. Harry Shearer handles the introduction chores. $40 hardcover.
Whatever Happened to the World of Tomorrow? by Brian Fies. The Mom’s Cancer author tackles somewhat more lighthearted fare in this story of a father-son relationship and the changing face of technology from 1939 to 1975. $24.95 hardcover.
The Art of Jaime Hernandez: The Secrets of Life and Death by Todd Hignite. Holy Guacamole. More than 200 illustrations grace 224 pages in this unabashed mash note to one of the finest artists working in comics today. It looks like it not only includes comics work, but also childhood drawings, album covers, sketches and previously unpublished work. Introduction by Alison Bechdel. Oh, and apparently designed by Jordan Crane. $40 hardcover.
I should also note that in the fall, Abrams plans on publishing The TOON Treasury of Funny Comic Books for Kids, a collection of classic children’s comics from the 1940s to the 1960s edited by Francois Mouly and Art Spiegelman. ICv2 has details here.
* When I saw the title of that book, my first, honest thought was, “I bet that’s Craig Yoe’s baby.”
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