Fantagraphics February Newsletter – Interviews, New Comics, and More!

Rolling into February with some really exciting new comics releases and a couple of extremely cool virtual events! Read on for all the details.

But first, the news!

February New Releases:

Crashpad by Gary Panter cover
Crashpad by Gary Panter

In 2017, Gary Panter created an art installation, Hippie Trip, inspired by his first visit to a head shop in 1968. It expanded his mind to the possibilities of psychedelic art and music, analog crafts and drug culture. Crashpad is an extension of that installation and a riff on underground comics creators such as Zap’s R. Crumb, Victor Moscoso, Robert Williams, and other icons of that era. An art object itself, it will be reproduced as both a deluxe, oversized hardcover reproducing Panter’s pages at full size on heavy art paper, as full-color facsimiles of the originals. In addition, Crashpad will be printed as an old-fashioned and stapled black-and-white (with color covers) underground comic book, on newsprint, approximately 6″ x 9″, inserted into a sleeve within the hardcover so it can be removed and enjoyed on its own.

Two panels from Crashpad. In the first, one character says to another, who is driving a car, "Well, let's don't do something crazy out here that you'll regret!" In the second, the second character, looking crazed, says, "I don't see how I could regret anything I do."

An image of both sides of the Hypnotwist/Scarlet by Starlight cover by Gilbert Hernandez
Hypnotwist / Scarlet By Starlight by Gilbert Hernandez

In the Eisner Award-winning wordless comic (silent movie?) “Hypnotwist,” Hernandez’s B-movie star Fritz plays a character who doesn’t seem to be going anywhere – until she puts on a pair of glittery pumps. Her wanderings become increasingly surreal as she confronts motherhood, alcoholism, a sinister smiley face, cruelty, and her worst fate. “Killer” cameos! Includes 16 pages of previously unpublished, additional material. “Scarlet by Starlight” is a B movie that’s Star Trek meets Heart of Darkness. “Scientists,” or colonizers, are doing research, surrounded by “primitive” fauna they affectionately nickname or treat like pests. Fritz plays Scarlet, a peaceful, catlike humanoid with a mate and children. When she becomes infatuated with one of the scientists, the fragile web of relationships explodes into violence and death, calling into question who the “advanced, civilized” creatures really are.

Two panels from Scarlet by Starlight/Hypnotwist. In the first, a woman walks into a room. In the second, large, eerie, cartoonish smiling faces look down at her.

The Grande Odalisque by Ruppert & Mulot and Bastien Vivès cover
The Grande Odalisque by Ruppert & Mulot and Bastien Vivès

Alex and Carole, friends since childhood, are now (literal) partners in crime. But the heist – to steal the Ingres painting The Grande Odalisque from the Louvre in Paris – is too much for the duo to handle, so they bring in Clarence, a bureaucrat’s son with a price on his head by a Mexican drug cartel and, more importantly, an arms dealer. Next is Sam, a stunt motorcyclist and boxer by trade, who proves trigger happy with tranquilizer darts. Using soda can smoke bombs, rocket launchers, and hang gliders, Alex, Carole, and Sam set off a set of circumstances that results in a battle with the French Special Forces – and their partnership, which was on the rocks, will never be the same again. Ruppert and Mulot, two of the most innovative comic creators in the world, team up with multiple Angouleme prize winner Bastien Vives to bring you this impossibly funny, violent, and sexy action-packed thriller.

Video by Christina Hwang

NoBody Likes You, Greta Grump by Cathy Malkasian cover
NoBody Likes You, Greta Grump by Cathy Malkasian

Greta is a handful. She rips the heads off her dolls, lashes out at the other kids at her school, and tries her weary parents’ patience. But with the help of a dapper tortoise named NoBody, Greta softens her grumpy ways. Having learned her lesson, Greta must now team up with her new friend Gabby and their shelled companion to solve a strange mystery: Why have the kindhearted denizens of Friendlytown suddenly become so mean? And what can they do to make Friendlytown friendly again? In NoBody Likes You, Greta Grump Eisner Award-nominated cartoonist Cathy Malkasian conjures a fully-realized fantasy world cast with an array of colorful characters including tech whiz cats, ornery gopher librarians, and gangs of squirrels in matching sweater vests. Equal parts high-flying adventure and deeply felt allegory, this middle grade graphic novel is all heart.

A panel showing Greta lying on her bed, talking to NoBody, a small turtle dressed up without a shell. Greta asks, "NoBody, what are you doing?" NoBody replies, "Getting ready to travel." Greta replies, "Why aren't you taking your shell?" NoBody replies, "Because where I am going, my shell will be taking me."

Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse: New Adventures of the Phantom Blot by Paul Murry cover
Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse: New Adventures of the Phantom Blot: Disney Masters Vol. 15 by Paul Murry

The Phantom Blot – a power-crazed supervillain in a ghostly black cloak – is on the loose, and Mickey, Donald, and Uncle Scrooge must assemble to stop him! From terrifying time travel to usurping “The Crown of Tasbah,” the Blot will stop at nothing to turn the world upside down! Classic Disney artist Paul Murry teamed with writers Del Connell and Bob Ogle to create seven comic book issues starring The Blot. In the process, they introduced Goofy’s new secret identity: Super Goof! Will the Blot move too fast for all our heroes?

Two panels from New Adventures of the Phantom Blot. In the first, the Phantom Blot says to a tied-up Mickey, "You got any last words, mouse?" Mickey shouts, "Goofy!" In the second panel, the Phantom blot slams the door shut on the safe containing Mickey and says, "That does it! I try to be nice and he calls me names!" Another character replies, "It doesn't pay, Blot!"

February Events

  • Wednesday, February 17th: Gilbert Hernandez (Hypnotwist/Scarlet by Starlight) Graphic Novel Club – Comix Experience
  • Thursday, February 18th: Santiago García (The Ladies-in-Waiting) with Rebeccea Quinn Teresi – Meadows Museum
  • Thursday, February 25th: Gilbert Hernandez (Hypnotwist) with Marlon James – Strand Bookstore
A graphic showing info for a Hypnotwist/Scarlet by Starlight virtual book launch featuring Gilbert Hernandez and Marlon James at the Strand Bookstore, February 25 at 7 PM Eastern.

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