Published by PictureBox. Text and art by Jon Chandler, Leon Sadler, Stefan Sadler.
Founded in the mid-2000s, Famicon is an English art collective currently composed of 12 members, among them Jon Chandler, Leon Sadler and Stefan Sadler. The collective, an English counterpart to Providence’s Paper Rad, has produced zines, web sites and exhibitions, specializing in an opaque cartoon language that is at once distinctly English and bizarrely universal. The first trade publication from Famicon, DNA Failure is a unique experiment in comics.
Published by PictureBox. Translation by Edward Gauvin.
What are the movies? What effect do they have on us? Why do we love them so much? The influential, award-winning French cartoonist Blutch (born 1967) addresses these questions in a series of interlocking short comics that combine scholarly history with ribald romanticism, and feature a motley cast of actors and characters, including Claudia Cardinale, Jean-Luc Godard, Burt Lancaster, Ava Gardner, Michel Piccoli, Tarzan and Luchino Visconti. Blutch has published over a dozen books since debuting in 1988 in the legendary avant-garde magazine Fluide Glacial: among his books are Mitchum, Peplum and Le Petit Christian, and his illustrations regularly appear in Les Inrockuptibles, Libération and The New Yorker. As much visual essay as graphic novel, a daydream and fantastic meditation on the other art of telling stories with images, So Long, Silver Screen is the finest work yet from an uncontested master of contemporary cartooning, as well as his first full-length work to be published in English. It is designed by famed cartoonist David Mazzucchelli.
The Japanese manga artist Yuichi Yokoyama's latest work, Travel, is a wordless journey into the contemporary Japanese psyche. It takes the not unfamiliar plot backdrop of a train ride and turns it into a psychological meditation on the vehicle's architecture and passengers (rather than focusing on the usual narrative-driven concerns such as destination, distance or landscape). Bookforum has characterized Yokoyama's style thus: "Concerned with phenomena rather than character and narrative, his comics resemble the output of a drafting machine: sequences that present multiple views of an object in action and look like exploded product diagrams. Yokoyama seems to enjoy the resulting images as much for the strange shapes that are generated as for what they reveal." Yokoyama began his career in 1995, and has developed a body of work characterized in part by an omission of dialogue and speech (usually an indispensable part of manga storytelling); he relies instead on the power of his graphics and occasional onomatopoeia. Introduction by noted cartoonist and comics scholar Paul Karasik.
Published by PictureBox. Edited by Chip Kidd, Graham Kolbeins. Introduction by Edmund White. Translation by Anne Ishii.
Violent, visceral and provocative, to say the least, Gengoroh Tagame’s unquestionable talent for story and illustration is already the stuff of legend. His gay BDSM stories are now widely celebrated for both their virtuosic drawing and their unparalleled passion. Produced by a veteran Japanist--Anne Ishii--The Passion of Gengoroh Tagame is a project that began some years ago, when Ishii was translating Chip Kidd’s personal Tagame collection and decided to reach out to him. Inspired by filmmaker Graham Kolbeins’ online work with gay comics, the project took on new ambitious proportions, materializing in this exciting celebration of one of the world’s most poignant erotic artists. This hefty Tagame omnibus includes ten English editions of short stories dating from the late 1990s to 2012. The newest work is an original story commissioned by Kidd himself: Tagame’s very first foray into writing directly for an American reader. Celebrated novelist and biographer Edmund White contributes an introduction to the volume. Gengoroh Tagame (born 1964) is a legend in gay comics throughout the world and in the American underground, where loyal fans have quietly shared foreign-language editions of his groundbreaking work in the outermost edges of bondage and pornography. Beyond the comic book format, Tagame’s original artwork has been exhibited internationally and paired with the works of Tom of Finland. Tagame was also the founding Editor and Art Director of Japan’s most widely circulated gay journal, G-Men.
Powr Mastrs Vol. 2 follows hot on the heels of this elusive artist’s first volume-- in a series of six graphic novels--which was one of last year’s most anticipated debuts. C.F. comes out of the mythic Providence, Rhode Island art and noise scene--his musical alias is Kites. In a recent profile The Comics Reporter observes, “Contrasting sharply with many of his flashier contemporaries, [C.F.’s] primary skill lies in overlooked nuances of comics storytelling, in particular pacing.” His distinctive voice and intricate rendering skills have attracted attention from the groundbreaking comics anthology, Kramers Ergot--he was included in the fourth issue, and featured on the cover of the fifth. Here, C.F.’s epic fantasy--an allegorical tale where power, physical identity and even gender are always in flux--picks up steam: Buell Kazee sneaks down into the cellar of the plex knowe crypt and conjures trouble; Tetradyne Cola takes a nap and dreams of Monica Glass and the lemon sparklers of star studio; members of the Marker clan compare notes on their magical crimes and the witches of Lace Temblor conspire over transmutation night.
The acclaimed British illustrator James Jarvis (born 1970) unveils his first new narrative in five years. This highly anticipated graphic novel follows a beaked artist who travels through a wilderness to arrive at an abandoned city. Wandering the empty streets there, he encounters a mysterious, priestly being who commissions him to decorate a temple to nameless gods. De Profundis might be considered a departure from Jarvis' previous projects; in this book, he has constructed a purely personal narrative with artwork that combines his interest in medieval woodcuts and Dutch De Stjil.
Known for his precise, electrically energized lines and his inspiring visions of alternate worlds, the Providence-based artist, noise musician (under the moniker of Kites) and cult figure C.F. presents his first collection of drawings. Chronicling the development of his otherworldly, iconic vocabulary, Sediment Part is divided into thematic sections that elucidate for his many readers the complex genesis of some of the artist's best-loved creations, and also contains new comics drawn specifically for this book. All images are printed in full color on thick watercolor paper in a French-fold format.
This follow-up to Lauren Weinstein's critically acclaimed and best-selling graphic novel, Girl Stories, traces the life of a celebrated Valkyrie, great-granddaughter of Thor, from her earliest days to her present position as Goddess of War--bored, finally, of determining the outcome of all the Earth's conflicts. Produced in a deluxe, oversized format and featuring both pen-and-ink drawings and etchings, this story is actually Volume One of the continuing adventures of Valkyrie, and it follows the Goddess, who is based on the character that Weinstein plays in her rock band, Flaming Fire, from her isolated planet of vampires, wolves and volcanoes, all the way to our Earth, where she abandons her post and takes up with her lover, the Apache Chief. Vengeance ensues. A favorite with librarians and graphic novel buyers, Weinstein has been included in a variety of important collections, including The Anthology of Graphic Fiction and The Best American Comics.
In this follow-up to his acclaimed graphic novel, Ninja--which was reviewed in such diverse sources as The New York Times, Art Review and The Comics Journal--the co-founder of the legendary Providence underground art and music space, Fort Thunder, gives us an immersive, frenetic reading experience. Originally drawn in 1996 over the pages of a Japanese book catalogue, Brian Chippendale's monumental 350-page graphic novel, Maggots, is reproduced here in a facsimile edition, with every nick and tear in tact. The line work--incredibly dense because Chippendale needed to cover up the Japanese catalogue--nearly vibrates off every page. As for the story, it concerns a group of characters who live in a place called Fort Thunder and wander around discovering little holes in their universe, battle a capitalist landlord, eat peanut butter sandwiches and embark on adventures somewhere between dirt punk and epic, cosmic science fiction. Chippendale's drawings are much like his famed drumming for the noise rock band Lightning Bolt: propulsive, soulful and chaotic. But, like his best songs, Maggots opens up into beautiful visual passages, vistas of temples and flowers--all drawn in scorching black marks that tell a story in their own abstractions. This book has several built-in cult followings.
Available widely for the first time! Legendary underground cartoonist Gary Panter's comics are typically anarchic and fun, but they also delve deeper. Drawn in 1983, printed in 2001 and released here for the first time, Cola Madnes stars Jimbo, Panter's enduring punk everyman, sharing billing with a cast of idiosyncratic characters including Bob War; his calamitous brother, Uncle Garcia; a smart-talking dinosaur and beleaguered guardian in a bathrobe; and Kokomo, a native in an unspecified tropical land colonized by oil companies. The delightfully inane story offers a selection of Panter's themes: Humanity's troubled relationship with nature and technology; the tension between restraint and the uncontrollable urge; family relationships; and Jimbo's endearing, comical self-doubt. Panter's black-and-white "ratty line" drawing style offers great economy while suggesting a broad range of graphic styles, from art brut to bathroom graffiti, and calls to mind the work of legendary cartoonists Jack Kirby and Osamu Tezuka.