Check out Fantagraphics this January
by Glenn Head
No one asks for the childhood they get, and no child ever deserves to go to Chartwell Manor. For Glenn Head, his two years spent at the now-defunct Mendham, NJ, boarding school — run by a serial sexual and emotional abuser of young boys in the early 1970s — left emotional scars in ways that he continues to process. This graphic memoir — a book almost 50 years in the making — tells the story of that experience and then delves with even greater detail into that experience’s reverberations in adulthood, including addiction and other self-destructive behavior. Head tells his story with unsparing honesty, depicting himself as a deeply flawed human struggling to make sense of his childhood. Now in paperback.
by Ho Che Anderson
In the second and concluding volume of Godhead, GH2 picks up from where GH1 ended, with Racer Calhoun and the rest of Cadre Zeus finally learning why they’ve been assembled: to destroy Oceanus, the scientific facility traveling through the Pacific housing the God machine introduced in volume one. They undertake what they hope will be a routine intelligence gathering mission on Oceanus that turns into a desperate fight for survival through the city from which Racer had fled, and leads to a reunion with Carys, the great love of his life.
Finally the cadre are ready to confront Oceanus and put an end to the God machine once and for all. The story’s finale upends the usual narrative expectations and concludes with a somber private epiphany that results in the triumph of human reason over a technocratic/supernatural savior.
Part Boy’s Own adventure genre, part men-on-a-mission yarn, part formal playground through which the author can exercise his restless obsessions, Godhead 2 is the action-based resolution to the psychological drama of the first volume.
James Warren, Empire of Monsters: The Man Behind Creepy, Vampirella, and Famous Monsters
by Bill Schelly
The definitive biography of the visionary publisher of Famous Monsters of Filmland, the magazine that inspired filmmakers Steven Spielberg, George Lucas — now available in paperback.
In Empire of Monsters, the award-winning biographer Bill Schelly digs beneath the hype and myth-making to tell the true story of James Warren, one of the 20th century’s most influential and independent publishers. Featuring numerous eye-opening, often outrageous anecdotes about the colorful, larger-than-life figure, this book covers Warren’s childhood in the slums of south Philadelphia, a traumatic military injury during the Korean War, the hardscrabble origins of Warren Publishing, its great success and ignominious end — as well as his reemergence on the public scene in the 1990s, and the lawsuit to regain ownership of his literary properties.<.p>
For this impeccably researched biography, Schelly offers insight from new interviews with Warren’s colleagues, editors, and friends, augmented by unpublished interviews gathered in past years with Frank Frazetta, Archie Goodwin, Al Williamson, Bill DuBay, Tom Sutton, Bernie Wrightson, Richard Corben, and Warren himself.
Originally published in 2019, Empire of Monsters quickly sold out. Fantagraphics is pleased to make this groundbreaking biography of one of comics’ central historical figures available again in an affordable paperback edition.
Popeye Volume 2: Wimpy & His Hamburgers
by E.C. Segar
The incorrigible Wimpy takes center stage in the second volume of Fantagraphics’ spectacularly packaged comic strip collection, The E.C. Segar Popeye Sundays.
An irresistible alchemy of screwball comedy, tender romance, and rags-to-riches fantasy, Elsie Crisler Segar’s newspaper comic strip, starring Popeye the sailor man, captivated readers of the Roaring Twenties and beyond. Fantagraphics is thrilled to bring Segar’s whimsical world back into print, collecting the complete Popeye Sunday stories in four gorgeous full-color volumes, each packaged in a deluxe vertical slipcase.
Volume one highlighted the mercurial relationship between Popeye and Olive Oyl, while volume two shifts the focus to an even more dynamic connection, between that of J. Wellington Wimpy and his one true object of desire: a delectable hamburger. A notorious chiseler without a penny to his name, Wimpy is forever scheming new ways to bamboozle the local diner out of a mouth-watering morsel of his favorite meal. And the audacious chicaneries Wimpy employs in pursuit of his greatest love are as riotous today as they were when these strips first appeared in the ’30s. Featuring laugh-out-loud gags, sensational slugfests, and an endearing cast of characters, this Wimpy-centric volume of classic Popeye adventures emphatically answers the question: Where’s the beef? Plus, an illustrated appreciation/deconstruction of this legendary comic character by acclaimed cartoonist Kevin Huizenga!
Children of Palomar and Other Tales: A Love and Rockets Book
by Gilbert and Mario Hernandez
This comics omnibus includes the graphic novels Julio’s Day and The Children of Palomar, as well as never-before-collected work by brothers Mario and Gilbert Hernandez, some of which has never been available since its early 2000s run in comic book single issues.
Children of Palomar and Other Tales (the fifteenth volume in our Complete Love and Rockets Library omnibuses and the eighth Gilbert volume) begins with “Me for the Unknown,” uncollected since its original 2001–2004 run in Love and Rockets Vol. II comic books. Written by Mario Hernandez and drawn by Gilbert Hernandez, it traces the Rabelaisian journey of Tagg Lillard. A U.S. citizen with a seemingly perfect life working in Latin America, he escapes a death trap clutching important papers, and an imperious CEO and his manservant pursue him through a land plagued by colonialist/corporate greed. Also collected: one of their joints from 2008, “Chiro el Indio.” In The Children of Palomar suite of short stories (2006–2007; collected in 2013), there are many mysterious visitors, an apparition that haunts childless women, and readers learn how Chelo lost her eye. And in Julio’s Day, which originally ran from 2001–2008 and was collected in 2013, a man’s life—threaded with war, loss, illness, and forbidden love—spans a century.
The Chuckling Whatsit
by Richard Sala
The 1997 magnum opus of the late Richard Sala, master of graphic noir, has been out of print for years and is now available in hardcover for the very first time.
Sala weaves the gothic cartooning traditions of Edward Gorey and Charles Addams with a melodramatic murder mystery involving astrology, ghouls, academia, and outsider art. Part noir, part horror, and part comedy, this labyrinthine tale of intrigue follows an unemployed writer named Broom who becomes ensnared unwittingly in a complex plot involving mysterious outsider artist Emile Jarnac, the shadowy machinations of the Ghoul Appreciation Society Headquarters (GASH), and the enigmatic Mr. Ixnay. Sala’s deadpan delivery makes this ingeniously layered narrative a roller-coaster ride of darkly pure comic suspense. Sala’s drawing style also reveals the influence of everything from Hollywood monster movies and Dick Tracy to German expressionism and Grimm’s fairy tales. It’s a style that’s perfectly suited to the narrative, constantly flirting with Sala’s fascination for the grotesque and lending palpable tension to the gruesome riddle of The Chuckling Whatsit.
The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers In the 21st Century and Other Follies
by Gilbert Shelton and Paul Mavrides
In this collection of hilarious and politically correct short comics, Freewheelin’ Franklin, Phineas, and Fat Freddy form a band; bring home a stray container of plutonium; try to make it through a whole day without getting stoned; and help Phineas through his pregnancy, in “Phineas Gets an Abortion.” (About which, say no more). (Oh, did we say: “politically correct?” Just kidding!)
In the titular title story, the Freak Brothers venture outside on a mission to score a little weed. It is their first encounter with the wonders of the 21st century. (“Still illegal?”) Plus: Fat Freddy’s Cat stars in two solo adventures, including a visit to “Cat Heaven.” Fat Freddy himself stars in a bonanza of satirical sketches skewering such targets as Star Wars, G.I. Joe, and Superman.
The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers in the 21st Century and Other Follies by Gilbert Shelton and Paul Mavrides is the second release in this special series of seven graphic albums. (The series presents all the Freak Brothers’ adventures chronologically, but individual albums will come out in a different order.) The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers comics have sold more than 45 million copies worldwide in 16 languages. The Freak Brothers, the animated series now streaming on Tubi, stars Woody Harrelson, Pete Davidson, John Goodman, and Tiffany Haddish.
The Reddest Rose: Romantic Love from the Ancient Greeks to Reality TV
by Liv Strömquist
The internationally acclaimed activist follows up her satirical work of graphic medicine with this collection of humorous comics essays about how historical and societal shifts have altered — and perhaps destroyed — “romantic love.”
The deceptively simple through-line for Swedish media personality and activist Liv Strömquist’s The Reddest Rose is the question: Why does Leonardo DiCaprio date an endless string of 20-something models? Her answer — in the form of this collection of well-researched, humorous comics essays — tracks how philosophers and artists, from the Ancient Greeks to Beyoncé, conceptualized romantic love. Strömquist’s signature characters, drawn in a flat, blocky style, ask each other questions and offer sharp commentary as they guide readers throughout history and the change in societies’ values, from showing love/loving to getting love/being loved. (Poet Hilda “H.D.” Doolittle — who was so love-stricken by a man taking off his glasses that she believed they viewed dolphins together in another dimension — lends the book its title.) Lord Byron, Socrates, Byung-Chul Han, Ezra Pound, Slavoj Žižek, Lou Andreas-Salomé, Ariadne, and many others have cameos. For the first time in English, in The Reddest Rose, Strömquist wonders: in a rationalist, consumerist world, can romantic love survive?
Prince Valiant Vol. 26: 1987-1988
by Hal Foster, John Cullen Murphy, and Cullen Murphy
Arn takes his wedding vows in a milestone Prince Valiant strip.
The most visually opulent comic strip in the history of the medium celebrates its 50th anniversary with the marriage of Prince Valiant’s son. Val goes in search of a northern spice route, which leads him into adventures among the Balts, the Greeks, the Lapps, and the Chinese. A Trojan Horse deception in reverse nearly wipes out Val’s expedition, and a dreamlike encounter north of Cathay involves Yeti and other strange creatures. Back in Britain, Arn’s bride strikes a blow against chauvinism and liberates the women of the village of Orr to exercise their true potential.