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.
Weathercraft by Jim Woodring. Gloryoski, here's a brand new Frank story by Woodring in -- how many years has it been exactly? No matter, I'm sure this will be one of the more hotly anticipated items of 2010, even if it focuses more on the brutish Manhog than it does Frank. $19.99 hardcover.
Penny Century: A Love and Rockets Book by Jaime Hernandez. Collects the "Whoa Nellie" and "Penny Century" comics in the new, squarebound format. Those comics were originally published in the more traditional rectangular format, so I'll be curious to see if they're be somehow reformatted for this new collection. $18.99 paperback.
The Book of Mister Natural by Robert Crumb. Another reprint, this one collecting all the various tales starring Crumb's new-age charlatan/sage, from the 1960s to the 80s, though I don't think it collects any of the tales from the 90s era Mystic Funnies. $19.99 hardcover.
It Was the War of the Trenches by Jacques Tardi. The third in the Tardi American Release program and quite possibly the best of the bunch yet. Certainly it's the one that's gotten the most clamor over the years and the top -- World War I -- seems to fit Tardi's hard boiled-style rather well. Expect a good deal of buzz. $24.99 hardcover
Catalog No. 315: Burlesque Paraphernalia and Side Degree Specialties and Costumes, edited by Gary Groth. Introduction by Charles Schneider. Now this is a decided oddity. It's a reprinting of a 1930s catalog of items designed solely for fraternity initiations. Branding irons, trick chairs and goat-shaped tricycles abound. For those with an interest in historical oddities, to be sure. $22.99 paperback.
The Complete Peanuts: 1975-1976 by Charles M. Schulz. Introduction by Robert Smigel. Frida is on the cover. Was Frida a big character in the 70s? I didn't think so, but she made it to the cover at any rate. That's more than Peppermint Patty or Marcie can say at this point. $28.99 hardcover.
Blazing Combat by Archie Goodwin et. al. Another does of Warren's anti-war comic. This time offered to you in paperback. $19.99.
What Is All This? by Stephen Dixon. Not comics at all but a collection of short stories by Dixon. Fanta's really jumping into the prose game lately. $29.99 hardcover.
Artichoke Tales by Megan Kelso. I remember enjoying the first few chapters of this story -- about two warring elfin tribes -- quite a bit when Kelso released them as minicomics several years ago. It's nice to see the entire story finally completed. $22.99 hardcover.
Prince Valiant Vol. 2: 1939-1940 by Hal Foster. More tales of knightly derring-do with the occasional spurting of blood. I'm completely hooked on this series now, so you rest assured I'll be picking this up. $29.99 hardcover
Dungeon Quest Book One by Joe Daly. Speaking of fantasy and derring do, here's a new ongoing rpg-type comic from the author of the Red Monkey Double Happiness Book. Expect surreal humor. $12.99 paperback.
Mome Vol. 19 and 20. The anthology continues apace. Vol. 20 comes out in August. $14.99 each.
Meatcake by Dame Darcy. Darcy fans will want to take note of this new trade collection, which expands upon the previous book to include more recent stories, including a collaboration with Alan Moore. $22.99 paperback.
Willie and Joe: Back Home by Bill Mauldin. Hot off the success (well, critical success at any rate) of the first Willie and Joe collection comes this second book, focused on cartoons Mauldin did with the pair struggling to make it through the early postwar years. $29.99 hardcover.
Wally Gropius by Tim Hensley. If you've been following Hensley's story of the world's richest teen-ager in Mome, then you'll know why I'm excited about the collected release. Love that cover too. $18.99 hardcover.
Freeway by Mark Kalesniko. Oh wow, a new graphic novel from Kalesniko, who hasn't done any comics work since 2001's Mail Order Bride. That was a really good book, so I'm looking forward to this new one, which continues the story of his dog-faced protagonist, Alex. $28.99 paperback.
The Antic Cartoon Art of T.S. Sullivant by T.S. Sullivant. Edited by Robert C. Harvey. I'm always fascinated by turn-of-the-century cartoonists, and Sullivant's supposed to be one of the greats. Should be good. $24.99 paperback.
Lucky in Love: A Poor Man's History by George Chieffet and Stephen DeStefano. Wow, it's like old-home week. DeStefano pretty much abandoned comics for animation after working on comics like Instant Piano. Now he's back and he's brought a friend, to tell a story about a young man coming of age during World War II. $19.99 hardcover.
Billy Hazelnuts and the Crazy Bird by Tony Millionaire. I think this was supposed to come out earlier this year but somehow got delayed. That's alright, for Millionaire, I can wait. $19.99 hardcover.
Four Color Fear: Forgotten Horror Comics of the 1950s, edited by Greg Sadowski and John Benson. The first book in Fanta's big deal with historian Sadowski arrives, looking at the more gruesome comics of yesteryear that didn't have an EC label on the cover. $29.99 paperback.
Set to Sea by Drew Weing. Weing's Webcomic about a poet who ends up getting shanghied aboard a clipper ship sees print. $16.99 hardcover.
Too Soon? Celebrity Portraits by Drew Friedman. In case you're wondering about the significance of the title, click on the link to check out that cover image. Yeesh. $29.99 hardcover.
From Shadow to Light: The Life & Art of Mort Meskin by Steven Brower. I know next to nothing about Meskin and his work, but I'm always willing to learn. $39.99 hardcover.
Nancy is Happy: Complete Dailies 1942-1945 by Ernie Bushmiller. Introduction by Daniel Clowes. And here's the big comic strip reprint project of the year, compiling four years of classic Nancy jokes. $24.99 paperback.
How to Read Nancy by Paul Karasik and Mark Newgarden. Tied into that comes a deluxe version of this essay on how and why you should care about Bushmiller's strip. I've yet to read it, but I understand it's one of the more potent pieces of comics criticism out there. $12.99 paperback.
Werewolves of Montpellier by Jason. A new Jason story is always welcome, even if I'm a bit confused as to why lycanthropy should be a problem in a universe where everyone is an anthropomorphic animal of one sort or another. $12.99 paperback.
RIP, M.D. by Mitch Schauer and Mike Vosburg. Fantagraphics enters the animation tie-in market with this book, a collaboration with the animation studio Lincoln Butterfield. It's about a little boy who offers medical help to desperate monsters. $12.99 paperback.
Roy Crane's Buz Sawyer Vol. 1: The War in the Pacific by Roy Crane. OK, I take it back -- this is the big comic strip reprint project of the year, a big, rousing, action-adventure that's maybe not as seminal or influential as Crane's earlier Captain Easy, but still pretty nifty nevertheless. $35 hardcover.
Krazy and Ignatz 1919-1921: "A Kind, Benevolent and Amiable Brick" by George Herriman. OK, I take it back again -- oh, never mind. Not quite done yet with their compilation of Krazy Sunday strips, Fanta goes back in time to the early years to gather the material that was originally collected by the late Eclipse Comics, back in the day. $24.99 paperback.
Destroy All Movies!!!: The Complete Guide to Punks on Film by Zack Carlson and Bryan Connolly. Just about every film from the past 30 years that's featured punk rockers and/or punk rock in some form is commented on and annotated in this new book, from Repo Man to Valley Girl. $39.99 paperback.