As seen in the pages of Previews, these are the books and comics slated for release by Fantagraphics Books in December, 2009. Please note that all details, including cover art, prices, specs, contents, and release dates are preliminary and subject to change.
KING: THE SPECIAL EDITION
by Ho Che Anderson
6.625 x 9.75, HC, 288 pages, Full Color, $34.99
Ho Che Anderson spent over 10 years researching, writing, and drawing King, a monumental graphic biography that liberates Martin Luther King Jr. from the saintly, one-dimensional, hagiographic image so relevant in pop culture. Here is King – father, husband, politician, deal broker, idealist, pragmatist, inspiration to millions – brought to vivid, flesh-and-blood life. Out of print since 2006, King is our most-requested reprint. In recognition of the advances made in American social equality that has made it possible to elect America’s first black President, and in time to celebrate Martin Luther King Day (January 26, 2010), Fantagraphics Books is publishing King: The Special Edition, a newly designed volume that includes the original 240 page graphic biography, as well as nearly a hundred additional pages of “extras,” including: “Black Dogs,” a 14 page prelude to King, a dialogue between a young black couple expecting a child, living in LA in the aftermath of the Rodney King upheaval; excerpts from the diary and notebook the author kept when researching and writing King, with interstitial notes written specifically for this volume; preparatory sketches, discarded images and pages, an interview with the author, and excerpts from the draft of the script; an epilogue titled “Assassin,” written and drawn for this new edition, in which Anderson explores the question of whether James Earl Ray actually shot King.
NEWAVE! THE UNDERGROUND MINI COMIX OF THE 1980’S
by various artists; edited by Michael Dowers
5 x 7, HC, 892 pages, Color/B&W, $24.99
A GIGANTIC collection of the best SMALL press cartoonists to emerge in the 1970s after the first generation of underground cartoonists (such as R. Crumb, Gilbert Shelton and Art Spiegelman) paved the way. These cartoonists, inspired by the freewheeling creative energy of the underground comix movement, began drawing and printing their own comix. The most popular format was an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper, folded twice, and printed at a local, pre-Kinkos print shop; because of the small size, they were dubbed “mini comix.” Just a few of the BIG talents included herein: Dan Clowes! Rick Geary! Mary Fleener! XNO! Jim Blanchard! Sam Henderson! J.R. Williams! Steve Willis! Doug Allen! Gary Leib! Mack White! and many! many! many! MORE! Inspired by the creative freedom of their underground predecessors and unrestrained by commercial boundaries or editorial edicts, their work was particulary innovative and experimental. Here you will find a group of artists who could not get any attention from the mainstream, who were driven by the inner need to express themselves. This group was a pioneering force that still leaves a wake and an imprint on the alternative comix scene today.
HANK KETCHAM’S COMPLETE DENNIS THE MENACE 1961-1962
by Hank Ketcham
5.5 x 6.25, HC, 672 pages, B&W, $24.99
Dennis vaults into the 1960s with his anarchic spirit still intact. As always, this book is a series of unrelated panel gags (with the exception of one week-long story involving Dennis’ mild-mannered Grandpa), but what gags! Ack! Cough! cough! Hank Ketcham is legendary for being one of the most exquisitely skilled cartoonists of all time, and each and every panel is a small masterpiece of design and draftsmanship. This volume of The Menace features Dennis’ long-suffering parents, the Wilsons, his dog Ruff, his best pal Joey, his nemesis Margaret, and a seemingly endless parade of babysitters, as well as hapless shopowners, policemen and teachers, and family friends, all of whom come to realize that it’s Dennis’ world… they just live in it!
HANK KETCHAM’S COMPLETE DENNIS THE MENACE 1959-1962 BOX SET
by Hank Ketcham
5.5 x 6.25, HC, 1,344 pages, B&W, $39.99
A swell custom-designed case containing the fifth and sixth volumes of Hank Ketcham’s Complete Dennis the Menace from the year 1959 through 1962. (Sorry, case is not peanut butter or root beer resistant.)
THE COMPLETE CRUMB COMICS VOLUME 12: “WE’RE LIVIN’ IN THE LAP O’ LUXURY!”
by R. Crumb
8.5 x 11, SC, 136 pages, B&W/Color, $19.99
Back in print after a several-year absence, the 12th volume of The Complete Crumb spotlights Crumb’s first collaborations with national treasure Harvey Pekar, which appeared in the legendary American Splendor. This collection also includes a skeptical report-in-comics on an aerospace symposium (commissioned by CoEvolution Quarterly, it comes off like one of Michael Moore’s cocky documentary films), Crumb’s encounter with an interviewer from High Times magazine, an evocative period piece featuring 1930s jazz musicians, another of Crumb’s collaborative “jams” with Aline Kominsky, and everything else that’s established R. Crumb as the master catoonist of his time! Makes a great gift and doubles as an evocative educational tool, teaching our youth what it means to be American (from the guy that moved to France)!
by Jordan Crane
24-page B&W Comic Book, $2.75
This holiday season the esteemed cartoonist Jordan Crane stuffs your stocking with Uptight #4. Picking up where Uptight #3 left off, the master of moods, Mister Crane, ends “Vicissitude” and dives into the next chapter of his new, atmospheric, graphic-novel-masterpiece-in-the-making. But wait there’s more! “Keeping Two” returns! The melancholic-pop medley for the ages is delivered by Master Crane, as only the cartoonist crooner can do! Wrap it all up with a stunning, to-be-framed, full color cover and you have your self a fine, refined, and defined read for the season! Remember, Uptight #4, for when the mood strikes right, you know where to go… for the standard!
by Steven Weissman
7.5 x 7.5, SC, 120 pages, Full Color, $16.99
Hilarious, frightening, mysterious, adorable, and utterly bleak, Chocolate Cheeks has arrived to disgust and delight comic book readers of all ages. “Sweet” Chubby Cheeks and the Pullapart Boy (a 21st Century child of Frankenstein’s monster) are driving each other key-razy! Forced together by their dating parents, these two bitter enemies have alienated — or otherwise disposed of — most of their social circle, leaving them with plenty of quality time for each other. They go camping, start a business, form a band, join a team, try to make some new friends and engage in a “holy war.” Things go from worse to worst, though, when the two boys find a cat — or is it a bird??? — one hot, summer day. Blending such influences as Charles Schulz’s Peanuts, Universal Monsters, Hal Roach’s The Little Rascals and the noir stylings of Jim Thompson — Steven Weissman has created a unique, personal world replete with superior content and major drawing chops to that of the typical, humdrum comic book fare. His work is a treasure to our industry. Think Archie with fangs… or Little Lulu with blood and guts and existential dread. BOO!
Click here to download a print-quality PDF of our 2-page spread from the October 2009 issue of Previews, with listings for December 2009. (4.8 MB)