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September 5, 2017

Bundled Extra: The Still Reasonably New Fantagraphics Print Catalog Is Out, And I've Looked At It


By Tom Spurgeon

Very few publications about comics have changed as fundamentally as the Fantagraphics catalog. Fantagraphics leveraged its ethos of keeping everything in print into a reasonably thriving mail-order business in the 1990s and into the 2000s. I don't think direct sales are as much of an absolute lifeline now as they were then, and in fact Fanta ceded much of its day to day warehousing of material to Diamond years and years ago. The catalog in the mid-2000s made the shift to a kind of book imprint catalog of the kind that booksellers might pick up at a BEA or that might be dropped into their hands.

These catalogs are better than other mentions, though, like an citation, because they provide some inner discipline to the imprints as kind of a promise between them and their distributors. An on-line listing indicates intent to have a book out at some point, while a print catalog gives you an idea as to how a whole line is ready to go release-wise.

Here are a few books planned for the next several months.

* Angels And Magpies: The Love And Rockets Library Vol. 13 (January, 260 pages, $19.99) is Jaime's "Ti-Girls" and "Love Bunglers" material in a format for the work I like very much: readable paperbacks.

* Now #2 (January, 128 pages, $9.99) from editor Eric Reynolds will introduce Roberta Scomparsa and feature a cover by Robert Beatty.

* a "graphic novel treatise" from the great Eleanor Davis called Why Art? (February, 200 pages, $14.99).

* a short-story collection from the great visual talent Blutch revolving around jazz music called Total Jazz (February, 96 pages, $19.99).

* a collection of horror comics from the soul-destroying pen of the cartoonist Josh Simmons, including a bunch of collaborations. It's called Flayed Corpse (March, 180 pages, $24.99).

* long overdue returns to comics from Ho Che Anderson, with the science fiction book Godhead (February, 192 pages, $24.99) and Dave Cooper (whoa!), with Mudbite (March, 72 page, $19.99), a new work starring his Eddy Table character).

* a first graphic novel length work from Nicole Hollander in memoir form called When We All Ate Wonderbread (March, 160 pages, $29.99).

* works from Europe such as Manule Fior's collection of shorts Blackbird Days (April, 104 pages, $24.99); a collection from the master Andre Franquin called Die Laughing (April, 72 pages, $19.99) which should make happy the ghost of Kim Thompson; a straight up literary long-form work from Gipi called Land Of The Sons (April, 288 pages, $29.99).

* Kramers Ergot Vol. 10 is 120 pages, due in April and features a contribution from Robert Crumb.

* finally, the second volume of My Favorite Thing Is Monsters is due in April after being shifted from Fall 2017. That's going to be 304 pages, and as anticipated as thoroughly as any comics published over the last ten years.

That looks like a great start to the year, along with the expected continuation of Disney and EC series. It is a really good time to be a comics reader.
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink

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