Thin wallets, fat bookshelves: Abrams fall catalog

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.

The Toon Treasury of Classic Children's Comics, edited by Francoise Mouly and Art Spiegelman, introduction by Jon Scieszka. 352 pages, $40. September. Quite likely a strong contender for anthology of the year, with Mouly and Spiegelman presenting work by folks like Jack Cole, CC Beck, Carl Barks, Feiffer, Walt Kelly, Harvey Kurtzman, John Stanley, George Carlson, etc., etc. All killer, no filler.

Manga Kamishibai: The Art of Japanese Paper Theater by Eric P. Nash. Introduction by Frederik L. Schodt. 304 pages, $35. September. Before manga took off, the kids of Japan got their sequential art kicks via kamishibai stories, miniature wooden theaters that would display art while the streetside storyteller would act out the tale. Nash's book hearkens back to this long-lost art form, with lots of rare images and a few full-length stories.

Johnny Cash: I See a Darkness by Reinhard Kleist. 224 pages, $17.95. October. Berlin author Kleist relates Cash's life from his early sessions with Elvis to his comeback in the 1990s. Apparently this is a best-seller in Europe.

The Art of Osamu Tezuka, God of Manga by Helen McCarthy. 272 pages, $40. October. The author of A Beginner's Guide to Anime celebrates the work and life of one of the most significant comics creators evar, with more than 300 images. The book also includes a 45-minute DVD documentary on Tezuka and his career.

25,000 Years of Erotic Freedom by Alan Moore. Edited by Eva Prinz. 96 pages, $22.50. October. Hey new Alan Moore! This isn't comics, however, but a look at the history of porn via Moore, from the Venus of Willendorf to modern day photography (of the smutty kind). Contains a timeline covering major erotic works. You know, for handy reference.

Dread and Superficiality: Woody Allen as a Comic Strip by Stuart Hample. Introduction by R. Buckminster Fuller. 240 pages, $35. November. Did you know there was once an actual Woody Allen comic strip that ran in newspapers? Though it doesn't look like Allen had much to do with it and I assume this ran well before Husbands and Wives hit theaters. Still, this should have some value as a historical curiosity if nothing else.

Boilerplate: History's Mechanical Marvel by Paul Guinan and Anina Bennett. 350 pages, $24.95. October. Again, this isn't comics per se, though Guinan and Bennett are perhaps best known for the series Heartbreakers. Rather, this is the steampunk-meets-Zelig (there's Allen again) about a robot who moves amongst the major movers and shakers of early 20th century history.

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