As seen in the pages of Previews, these are the books and comics slated for release by Fantagraphics Books in March, 2010. Please note that all details, including cover art, prices, specs, contents, and release dates are preliminary and subject to change.
IT WAS THE WAR OF THE TRENCHES
by Jacques Tardi
128 pgs / BW / 7.75 x 10.5 / HC / $24.99
World War I, that awful, gaping wound in the history of Europe, has long been an obsession of Jacques Tardi’s. It Was the War of the Trenches is Tardi’s defining, masterful statement on the subject, a graphic novel that can stand shoulder to shoulder with Erich Maria Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front and Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms. Tardi is not interested in the national politics, the strategies, or the battles. Like Remarque, he focuses on the day to day of the grunts in the trenches, and, with icy, controlled fury and disgust, with sardonic yet deeply sympathetic narration, he brings that existence alive as no one has before or since. Yet he also delves deeply into the underlying causes of the war, the madness, the cynical political exploitation of patriotism. And in a final, heartbreaking coda, Tardi grimly itemizes the ghastly human cost of the war, and lays out the future 20th century confl icts, all of which seem to spring from this global burst of insanity. Trenches features some of Tardi’s most stunning artwork. Rendered in an inhabitually lush illustrative style, inspired both by abundant photographic documentation and classic American war comics, augmented by a sophisticated, gorgeous use of Craftint tones, Trenches is somehow simultaneously atypical and a perfect encapsulation of Tardi’s mature style. It is the indisputable centerpiece of Tardi’s oeuvre.
OUR GANG VOL. 4
by Walt Kelly
Cover by Jeff Smith
112 pgs / FULL COLOR / 7 x 10 / SC / $14.99
Created in 1946 and 1947, these stories show Walt Kelly refining the style that would serve him so well for his later masterpiece — Pogo. Much of this fourth volume is taken up with an extended four-part cycle of stories –- almost a graphic novel, really! — in which Froggie and the Gang (including Julip the Goat) ship out with Professor Gravy on his showboat for an engagement downriver, which results in a series of action-packed adventures involving fisticuffs, gunfire, fireworks, and horse thieves!
THE COMPLETE PEANUTS 1975-1976 (VOL. 13)
by Charles M. Schulz
344 pgs / BW / 8.5 x 7 / HC / $28.99
With this volume, The Complete Peanuts reaches the halfway point! Snoopy is joined by his wandering brother Spike (from Needles), his beloved sister Belle (from Kansas City), and… did you know he had a nephew? In other beagle news, Snoopy breaks his foot and spends six weeks in a cast, deals with his friend Woodstock’s case of the “the vapors,” and gets involved in a heated love triangle with Linus over the girl “Truffles.” It’s another two years of Peanuts at its finest, featuring an introduction by comedian Robert Smigel (Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, Saturday Night Live).
THE BOOK OF MR. NATURAL
by Robert Crumb
112 pgs / BW / 8 x 10.5 / HC / $19.99
Finally available in hardcover, this best-selling (in its softcover incarnation) collection features over 120 pages of vintage Crumb comics starring the whitebearded, diminutive sage-cum-charlatan, ranging from charming, free-wheeling early ’70s stories to the disturbing, controversial ’90s stories (as seen in the movie Crumb), including the entire 40-page “Mr. Natural and Devil Girl” epic. Find out why Mr. Natural is probably the most famous underground character of all time!
KRAZY AND IGNATZ 1916-1918
by George Herriman
Designed by Chris Ware
176 pgs / BW / 9 x 12 / SC / $24.99
When Fantagraphics launched its collection of Krazy Kat Sunday strips back in 2002, we picked up with the 10th and 11th years of the legendary strip (1925-1926) because another publisher had already collected the first nine during the 1980s and 1990s. But now, with that publisher long gone and their Krazy Kat collections fetching record prices (some over $100!) among collectors, it’s time to go back and get every one of these masterpieces back in print — re-scanned and re-retouched from original tearsheets, using 21st century digital resources. Fantagraphics will be collecting these first nine years of Sundays into three volumes comprising three years apiece, starting with the very first Sundays from 1916 through 1918, and incorporating all the added features from the first edition.
HATE ANNUAL #8
by Peter Bagge
32 pgs / FULL COLOR / Comic Book / $4.95
Hate Annual #8 features a whopping new 20 page Buddy Bradley story where Lisa (everyone’s favorite psycho!) makes her first foray into show biz and gets way more than she bargained for! This issue of P. Bagge’s annual Hate also features 5 biographies of scientists you’ve never heard of! — other than maybe Walter Reed, who’s well known only for that hell of a hospital named after him, and not for the handy yet forgotten fact that he discovered how malaria is spread… All that and many other odds and ends from hither and tither. Why love when you can Hate!
by Tim Lane
168 pgs / BW / 7 x 9.5 / SC / $18.99
Now in paperback, this is a debut collection of short stories united by their exploration of the great American mythological drama. Tim Lane’s characters exist on the margins of society—alienated, floating in the void between hope and despair. Visually reminiscent of Al Feldstein and Charles Burns, Lane’s idiosyncratic and tense realism weaves between comic absurdity, nightmarish naturalism, chemical hallucination, and ecstatic terror. Lane’s America is a haunted Coney Island, made up of lost characters haplessly shooting themselves in the face, and hopping freight trains in search of Elvis.
THE CLASSIC PIN-UP ART OF JACK COLE
by Jack Cole; edited by Alex Chun
104 pgs / BW and COLOR / 7.25 x 10.24 / SC / $18.99
By popular demand: Now in softcover! After finishing his legendary 14-year run on Plastic Man, Jack Cole found himself looking for something new. Cole’s savior was the Humorama line of down-market digest magazines. The girls and gags magazine circuit proved to be the perfect training ground for Cole to regain his footing and develop his craft at single panel “gag” cartoons. Due to his superior skills it wasn’t long before Cole received a phone call from Hugh Hefner. Under Hef’s guiding hand, Cole became Playboy’s marquee cartoonist, a position he held until his untimely death at the age of 43. Watch your customers stand firm as they peruse this definitive and classy collection.
THE CULTURE CORNER
by Basil Wolverton
160 pgs / FULL COLOR / 9 x 6.75 / HC / $22.99
Did you ever wonder how to stop brooding if your ears are protruding? Or how to indulge yourself and snore without being a bore? Or for the masochists among you, how to sit on a tack? Or something as simple as how to get out of bed gracefully? Or something more challenging like how to boot a fly off your snoot? Or, if you’re the violent type, what’s the best way to kick someone in the teeth? If you’re mystified by these conundrums, then we’ve got the remedy: The Culture Corner by cartooning Mad-man Basil Wolverton, an indispensable guide to solving life’s most worrisome and disconcerting social quandaries. This essential and complete collection is the first time these rare comic strip tutorials have been reprinted since their original publication over 60 years ago! This quality publication also contains Wolverton’s original pencil versions of each strip; carefully preserved, these doodle-drafts demonstrate a looser, more spontaneous interpretation of each finished strip. Don’t get left on your cleft!
Click here to download a print-quality PDF of our 2-page spread from the January 2010 issue of Previews, with listings for March 2010. (6 MB)