New for March 2008
by Kevin Huizenga
It's been almost a year (more?) since we've seen anything new by Kevin H. (not counting the self-published mini, Sermons #2), so it was with no small trepidation that we cracked open the second issue of Ganges. which is the 27th in the Ignatz series. What surprises will it hold? Well, we certainly don't want to rob you of this experience, so we're not going to go into too much depth here, but we will say this much: This issue has a bipartate structure. The opening section is a bravurra performance on Huizenga's part, in which he takes on a challenge that is dear to many cartoonists of his generation (Brinkman, Chippendale and Paperrad foremost among them): that of portraying the inner vision of the inveterate videogamer. Huizenga ups the ante here by going one step further and attempting to depict the ideational transformations that are brought about by continual gaming. Employing a (nearly)purely visual approach that is in places reminiscent of the work of Jim Woodring and Ron Regé, Jr., he presents his vision in such a way as to imply that these transformations may involve actual organic restructuring -- although this latter implication is somewhat undercut by the conclusion of the piece, which is not so much a story as it is an experiment in visualization. The following part, "Pulverize," which takes up 2/3 of the issue, is a more mundane piece. Another of Huizinga's fictionalized, semi-autobiographical accounts of the type that dominated the first issue of Ganges, it provides an enjoyable, straightforward account of time spent working in a dotcom startup that involved a lot of after hours videogaming. Here, however, it serves the additional (one might even say primary) function of providing the "real world" context -- the objective outer vision -- for the subjective inner vision of the opening pages that precede it. Suffice it to say there's plenty of food for thought here; the only question is, will it be enough to sustain readers until the next Huizenga release?
retail price - $7.95 copacetic price - $6.75
The Ten Cent Plague
by David Hajdu
Here's a cook that any student of the history of comics will be sure to appreciate. Penned by the author of Positively 4th Street (about Dylan & Co. in the Village) and Lushlife, a biography of Pittsburgh's own Billy Strayhorn, this work is a thoroughly researched look at price paid by the people who built the American comics industry when it all came crashing down around them as a result of the witch-hunt mentality of the McCarthy era. While the book shows that it is certainly true that many publishers missed their chance to mitigate the crisis through their lack of response to public outcry, the economic reality was such (hey, it's not easy to make a living on something that sells for a dime and the profit margin is a penny or two per copy) that all they had time for was trying to stay in business. The response of the moral authorities in all levels of government -- but most importantly for the story here being told, at the federal level -- was a merciless take no prisoners approach that shattered the American comics industry and made comic books synonomous with degeneracy for a generation of American parents. HERE's a nice chunky preview excerpt .
retail price - $26.00 copacetic price - $22.22
Kirby: King of Comics
by Mark Evanier
Here it is, the official authorized biography of the King! Yes, of course, this is a lavishly illustrated oversize hardcover edition. Need you even ask? It's author, Mark Evanier was the man closest to Kirby during the last two decades of his life and so was in a position to learn of many personal anecdotes that no other chronicler of Kirby's life would have had access to. That said, Evanier's acccount of Kirby's life is not the thorough, in-depth one that we are all waiting for -- it looks like we'll have to wait a bit longer. From a production and presentation standpoint, however, the creators of this volume have done an excellent job. The quality of the reproductions is top notch and the've made all the right printing decisions -- flat colors on flat, bright, low-reflective, heavyweight white stock. The book is filled with page after amazing page of full size reproductions of original art, as well as luscious reproductions of the comics themselves. This book is a real pleasure to go through. When all is said and done, this must be considered a book that no self-respecting comics fan can be without.
retail price - $40.00 copacetic price - $35.00
by Jeffrey Brown
Mr. Brown takes another step closer to the mainstream with this 352 page collection published by Touchstone, a division of Simon & Schuster. Subtitled, "A Memoir in Slices," this volume consists of a dozen pieces of various lengths, all rendered in his trademarked scratchy pen & ink style. Some of these have seen print before, most notably, the lead off "These Things, These Things," but this collection is mostly new. It's pretty much a "must have" item for all pre-existent Jeffrey Brown fans. It is, however, especially well suited to serve as a jumping on point to those readers who have yet to experience his work. While the story content on display here will be especially appealling to twenty-somethings, Jeffrey Brown is a natural born cartoonist, and his work is unfailingly engaging to anyone who enjoys reading comics.
retail price - $14.00 copacetic price - $12.50
The Complete Peanuts, Volume 9: 1967-68
by Charles M. Schulz
introduction by John Waters(!)
Well, this time around the wonderful world of Peanuts we have 1967 & 1968, two of the most pivotal years in American history, the apogee of "the sixties." The events of these years continue to resonate strongly today, bringing to the fore much of the culture clash that defines our own era. Now's your chance to (re)experience Charlie Brown & Co.'s take on it all. John Waters turns in a surprisingly heartfelt introduction wherein he reveals Lucy as his personal patron Peanut, providing yet another perspective from which to view his films. Firsts on hand in this volume include the introduction of the strip's first African-American, Franklin, along with the less well remembered José Rodriguez. There's plenty more we could say, but really, there's no need: it's Peanuts, it's all good.
retail price - $28.95 copacetic price - $25.00
Barefoot Gen of Hiroshima Volumes 5 & 6
by Keiji Nakazawa
We hope you haven't forgotten about Project Gen's ongoing project to bring the entire ten-volume saga of Hadashi no Gen to an American audience. We certainly hadn't! These two are the volumes we've really been waiting for as they take us into new territory, for the first time presenting material that has never before appeared in English. Here are brief synopses courtesy the publisher, Last Gasp: "Volume Five of the Barefoot Gen story follows Gen's struggles in postwar Japan. The people of Hiroshima face a massive food shortage and horrendous health problems. Gen is in school, but he is forced to choose between making money to support his family or staying in school to be a part of society. The choice is further complicated when his mother becomes sick, and his old friends reappear as part of a street gang. There is no help for his mother, save for the costly medicine procured on the black market. Gen becomes entangled with black market gangs and faces an internal struggle of honor, ethics, and duty to resolve his problems. In Volume Six, Gen fights against a corrupt medical system, the discriminatory practices of his neighbors, and the American presence in postwar Japan. Gen's brother, Koji, has gone away to work in the coal mines, but has since disappeared. To make up for the shortage, he and his friends must resort to more drastic measures, which lands one of the bunch in a juvenile detention center." What's that? You say you haven't even started reading this series yet? Well, don't despair, we still have the first four volumes of this 20th century masterpiece in stock and copacetically priced.
retail price - $14.95@ copacetic price - $12.75@
Arab in America
by Toufic El Rassi
While we're on the subject of comics' ability to show how the world looks through another's eyes, this new 118 page graphic memoir, also published by Last Gasp (which seems to be on a mission to broaden American's perspectives), promises its readers, "The eye-opening story of the life of an average Arab-American struggling with his identity in an increasingly hostile nation." Moving with his family from Beirut to Chicago a year after his birth in 1978, El Rassi is well positioned to illustrate the prejudice and discrimination Arabs and Muslims experience in American society. He recounts his personal experiences after the 9/11 attacks and during the implementation of new security and immigration laws that followed, and gives context to current world events, providing readers with an overview of the modern history of the Middle East, including the Gulf wars. In addition, Arab in America includes several asides that examine the roles American films and news media play in creating negative stereotypes of Arab-Americans, in order to demonstrate how difficult it is to have an Arab identity in a society saturated with anti-Arab images and messages.
retail price - $14.95 copacetic price - $12.75
The Education of Hopey Glass
by Jaime Hernandez
The arrival of a new Love and Rockets collection is always a cause for celebration, and this 128-page hardcover, the 24th volume in the Complete Love and Rockets, collecting material that originally appeared in Love and Rockets v.2 #s 11 - 19, is certainly no exception. The first course here is "Day by Day with Hopey," which gives us Hopey's gradual segue into (gasp!) middle age -- which, of course, involves Maggie along with many other lesser lights, some not seen for quite awhile. This makes for a revelatory reading experience for anyone who's been around since anywhere near the beginning of this 25 year long story; an aspect we touched on in our review of L & R v.2#15. The going gets even heavier -- and tougher and meatier and sexier and scarier and just about any other adjective you can add an -er to -- in the long series of linked pieces, all told from Ray D.'s perspective, that, while giving us several tantalizing glimses of Maggie and Angel (and Doyle!), focus primarily on the adventures of Vivian -- aka "Frogmouth" -- who operates on the razor's edge of rationality, so you never know which way she's going to go, making her an extremely propulsive figure, narratively speaking. A couple quick peeks at "The Angel of Tarzana" along with full-page B & W reproductions of those of Jaime's works that graced the front and back covers of the comics these stories originally appeared in round out this life sustaining collection. Jaime Hernandez is the greatest delineator of character in the history of comics -- his pen and ink lines posses an uncanny transformative power capable of creating cartoon beings that insinuate themselves into the reader's psyche to such a profound degree that they become an integral part of self and identity, weaving themselves into the very fabric of reality -- and he's still in his prime. Long after we're all dead and buried, readers all over the world will still be marveling at the genius that is amply on display here.
retail price - $19.99 copacetic price - $15.99
Cold Heat Special #3
By Frank Santoro & Dash Shaw
While Santoro burns the midnight oil finishing up the Cold Heat graphic novel, he knows Cold Heat fans are jonesing, and so has commisioned an ongoing series of specials. These specials are all limited editions with very low print runs and they won't be reprinted in the graphic novel, so don't miss out! CHS #3 is a collaboration with up and coming comics experimentalist, Dash Shaw (see the latest issue of MOME) that is built around a combination of early Italian renaissance imagery and contemporary urban cityscape. This time out we have a saddle-stapled 16-page horizontally formatted comic book with a wraparound two-color cover that blurs the line between waking and sleeping, dream and reality, drugged and straight, and yesterday and today, as well as between classical fine art and contemporary popular art. In other words, this comic book is not the kind you see every day.
copacetic price - $3.00
by Chris Cornwell
Are you looking for new, fun and smart, visually and intellectually stimulating, hand-made and independently published comics work that's created right here in Pittsburgh, PA? Well, if you are, you've come to the right place. Spunj Baahb is the latest comics conundrum by Copacetic customer Chris Cornwell. It's a 20-page, 8 1/2" x 11" black & white, saddle-stapled comics magazine printed on 28 lb. bright white stock with a two-color hand silk screened cover on sky blue cardstock. Except for two pages of exposition wherein the work's themes are explicitly stated, the narrative unfolds entirely in Cornwell's ever evolving pictograhic language. While cartoon characters such as Sponge-Bob Squarepants™ are commonly understood to represent the communal unconscious of the society that produced it, Spunj Baahb takes it a step further and posits the inner life of the cartoon character itself -- the dream within the dream, if you will -- and does so with much aplomb.
retail price - $5.00 copacetic price - $4.00
by Phillippe Dupuy
This one represents quite a departure for Dupuy. Those who are accustomed to his stylish depictions of French bourgeois life will be in for a surprise. Taking the form of a 200 page hardcover graphic novel; sparse and scratchy in its execution; by turns scary, funny, sad, cute, odd, bizarre and absurd, Haunted is a 200 page self analysis in comics that was nomiated for the 2006 award for Best Comic Book at Angoulême International Comics Festival. Here's a 5-page preview to give you an idea of what we're talking about.
retail price - $24.95 copacetic price - $22.22
Lost Highway (DVD)
directed by David Lynch
The final (major) piece in the puzzle of the Lynchian oeuvre is at last in place. Employing the great American metaphor of driving -- in a highly coded manner that takes one bizarrely twisted turn after another -- Lost Highway shows us the innermost workings of a psyche (in more ways than one, Lynch's own) that failed to successfully navigate the transition from childhood to adulthood and so remains trapped in a state of traumatized adolescence where identity remains in a constant state of transitional flux and the real and the imagined are never far apart. Or something like that. Not to mention the cool soundtrack. Get creeped out, freaked out, wigged out and more!
retail price - $19.99 copacetic price - $17.77
by The B-52s
The first new LP in well over a decade by the band from Athens, GA that brought the party back to music over (good lord! >choke<) thirty years ago. The entire band -- including, once again, Cindy Wilson, who has returned to the fold -- shake their tail feathers as hard as they can and prove that they can still rock the house. They're still tripping the light fantastic in more ways than one and remain dedicated to their ethos of combining an inspired fun-filled kookiness with a stripped down sensuality to preach the gospel of personal liberation. It's hard to believe, but the B-52s are now as old as (and even older than) their own parents were when the band first started out, yet here they are, still at it. You might experience a momentary twinge of awkwardness at the spectacle of fifty-somethings getting down and dirty, but hey -- that's what the B-52s are all about.
retail price - $18.98 copacetic price - $12.77
Items from our March 2008 listings may now be purchased online at our new site, HERE.
New for February 2008
The Spirit #12
by Darwyn Cooke
While Darwyn Cooke originally planned for a two-year stint on The Spirit, circumstances conspired to cut his run short at the halfway mark. The evidence of this final issue -- an exigetical adaptation of Eisner's original Sand Saref story (the same story Frank Miller's upcoming movie is also using as it's core text) -- bears out that this is all it took for Cooke to bore right to the core of not just the character of The Spirit but of the spirit of the noir sensibility itself. Through his masterful employment of Eisner's late style (which Eisner himself used to portray the past; i.e. his own childhood during the depression out of which so many heroes emerged to collectively shake the country out of its torpor) in conjunction with his own, Cooke has managed to delineate how the fatalistic noir sensibility is connected to a personal feeling of discontinuity, particularly the sense of disconnection with childhood self: the "paradise lost" that Denny Colt's pre-sexual relationship with Sand represented. It is the trauma of sexualization (that is metaphorically represented in The Spirit #12 -- as it is in so many other myths -- by the death of the father) that separates childhood from adulthood and it is the "something" that is lost at that moment that the hero (here, The Spirit) is forever trying to recapture; but these attempts are always failures and it is the final resignation to the permanence of this "failure" to regain the "paradise" of unsexualized childhood that colors the noir sensibility. This quest to capture the sense of childhood innocence is amplified by the choice of medium: the fact of the story being told in comic book form implicitly links it to the very childhood innocence that the comic book symbolizes and so transforms this issue into a near perfect symbol of Paradise Lost. The Spirit #12 is not just a tough act to follow, it's impossible.
retail price - $2.99 copacetic special price - $2.69
Fantastic Comics #24
by Allred, Casey, Larson, Rugg, Scioli, Sienkiewicz, Yeates, et al
While it is true that some are acts are indeed impossible to follow, history has shown that the second act will nevertheless often show up and give it a try, like the Monkees taking the stage after Hendrix finished his set -- it was totally pointless, but there they were. Other times there's a bit of a lag, as in this instance: here we have the latest issue of Fantastic Comics... 67 years after the last one! The creators of this encore/homage clearly had a lot of fun reviving these classic characters -- among whom are numbered Capt. Kidd, Yank Wilson, Sub Saunders, Space Smith, Samson and Stardust. There's definitely a bit of a boy's club feel to everything here, but implicit in this clubby atmosphere is the sense of a slumbering tradition being revived. Each of these revivals carry their own unique stamp of respect for the precursors at the same time that they knowingly wink at and/or reconfigure those aspects which are clearly dated. And while we are doubtless somewhat biased, we can't help but single out the contributions of Copacetic customers Jim Rugg and Tom Scioli as counting among the highlights. Anyone with a soft spot for classic old school comic books will have as much fun reading this as the writers and artists did creating it.
retail price - $5.95 copacetic price - $5.35
Reflecting Culture: The Evolution of American Super Heroes
by Gail Stavitsky
w/ contributions by Michael Uslan, Patterson Sims & Twig Johnson
Published by The Montclair Art Museum in Montclair, New Jersey, on the occcasion of the exhibition of the same name that closed in January, this catalogue of the exhibition is the most intelligent yet assembled on the history, function and significance of the comic book super hero yet produced. This 68 page, 8 1/2" x 11 1/4 " volume is filled with crisp, full color, high definition reproductions of a wide range of original art and original editions of comic books from the golden age to the present. Divided into six sections -- "Super Heroes Go To War," "Cold War, Conformity, and Censorship," "Questioning Authority," "American Indian Super Heroes, Diversity and Moral Complexity," and "Super Heroes at Ground Zero" -- each of which is introduced by a concise essay placing the works in the approproriate context. The organization of the exhibit and the insights demonstrated by the essays demonstrate an impressive grasp of the material and left us feeling both grateful that cultural institutions are finally beginning to give more than lip service to the important role that comic books and super heroes have played -- and continue to play -- in the culture and history of America, and impressed yet again by the fact that quality, groundbreaking work can be found in the most unexpected places -- like Montclair, NJ. Take a look at the NY Times review (complete with slideshow), for a little more "color." These catalogues are made available here at a substantial discount off their original price as the result of a special, one-time purchase from the museum. We think it's a price worth taking advantage of.
retail price - $15.00 copacetic special price - $8.88
The Comics Journal #288
Behold! The wonder of the New Format! Yes, it's true: that cornerstone of the world of comics has undergone yet another make over. This time around it has -- more or less -- been subjected to MOME-ization, in that has been shrunk to 7 1/2" x 9 1/2" (which is half way between the old Journal size and that of MOME) while seeing everything else about it upgraded to the MOME format: stiff, glossy covers contain heavy, bright-white paperstock (except for the 44-page full color comics classics section, which is, at least this time out, appropriately printed on heavyweight cream stock), for a heftier and more solid feel, which shows TCJ following the medium in its migration from the ephemeral, rack-displayed and box-stored, magazine format, to the permanent, shelf-friendly, book format. #288, the inaugural issue of this format, features "The Best Comics of 2007," along with interviews galore -- Paul Karasik, Bryan Talbot, Peter Kuper, Cathy Malkasian, Nick Bertozzi, and Joe Sacco interviewing Rutu Modan -- and, wonder of wonders, the comics classics section features 44 pages of that fashion illustrator turned Golden Age comics great, Tarpé Mills, the bulk of which is devoted to her greatest creation, Miss Fury!
retail price - $11.95 copacetic price - $10.00
Angst: The Best of Norwegian Comics
The answer to your question is, "Yes, the comics have been translated into English." Now that we have that over with, we'll let you know that this is a 96 page magazine size collection printed in black & white and full color. Yes, in addition to the cover there are two short Jason pieces of indeterminate age, but it's his peers that you'll be getting to know here, and there's a whole crew for you to be introduced to here, with quite a variety of styles and talents in the dozen pieces by as many (+1) creators that are on display. Broaden your horizons with this comics tour of the land of fjords, Norway!
retail price - $12.00 copacetic price - $12.00 (sorry, no discount on this one)
Maakies with the Wrinkled Knees
by Tony Millionaire
Yes, it's time for another hardcover, super-horizontal, hardback collection of the incredible pen & ink stylings of the comics champion of alcoholic antics, nautical naughtiness and pellucid peccadillos. It's never too late to throw caution to the wind and jump right in.
retail price - $19.95 copacetic price - $17.77
The Bakers: Babies and Kittens
by Kyle Baker
What's cuter than babies? Babies and kittens! The funniest man in comics returns with anther hardcover collection of thinly veiled stories of his family's antics that will deeply resonate to any comics reader suffering through paternity. Any and all Chuck Jones fans will find this book a dream come true with its hi-jinx cartoon style which is deeply indebted to Jones. This is a very funny book. You will laugh.
retail price - $18.99 copacetic price - $17.00
The Book of Other People
edited by Zadie Smith
We've been looking forward to this 300+ page softcover anthology for a long time, and now that we've had a chance to pore through it we feel safe in freely recommending it -- it's a real treat. All the pieces are focused on the process of character creation and formation. The work of 22 of the best contemporary writers of fiction is on hand here -- Edwidge Danticat, Dave Eggers, Jonathan Safran Foer, Andrew Sean Greer, Aleksandar Hemon, A. M. Homes, Nick Hornby, Heidi Julavits, Miranda July, A. L. Kennedy, Hari Kunzu, Jonathan Lethem (whose contribution is sure to be a standout among Copacetic habitués)Toby Litt, David Mitchell, Andrew O'Hagan, ZZ Packer, George Saunders, Posy Simmonds, Adam Thirlwell, Colm Tóibín, Vendela Vida and editor Zadie Smith herself -- along with two of today's top cartoonists, Chris Ware and Dan Clowes, who both turn in amazing, full color stories that are almost worth the price of the anthology all by themselves. And not only that: this book is a "charity anthology", meaning that none of the contributors were paid and that all profits go to a charitable organization -- in this case, 826NYC, "a non-profit organization dedicated to helping children 6 - 18 with their creative and expository writing skills." And then there's the amazing Charles Burns cover. How can you say no? To learn more, read these reviews in the LA Times, NY Times and the UK Independent.
retail price - $15.00 copacetic price - $12.75
Black Hole - softcover edition
by Charles Burns
And, speaking of Charles Burns, those few unfortunate souls among you who strayed and so failed to get a hold of his amazing comics masterwork now have now been given a second -- and less expensive -- chance. Make sure you take it.
retail price - $17.95 copacetic price - $16.25
by Sammy Harkham
The wait is over. It's been well over a year since this series premiered, and we were wondering if it was going to continue, or not. Well, no more! This issue -- which, according to the front cover, features "generals, pregnant teenagers, cartoonists, golems, prophets and boners" -- primarily consists of the second chapter of "Black Death", but there are a half dozen or so additional shorts that are a lot of fun and help make up for the long wait. It's like they say: "You can't rush quality." This work is in the "comics purist" school: every line, from cover to cover, including the credits and even the letters page, is hand drawn.
retail price - $4.95 copacetic price - o/p & o/s (sorry!)
by Ulf K.
Ulf K. is a German artist whom we suspect makes his living as a commercial illustrator, but who has nevertheless been quietly and steadily working away on his comics for two decades now. He has produced a small but very solid body of work that puts him at the front of the ligne claire ranks. This slim attractively produced hardcover volume collects (we believe) all extant appearances of the eponymous character, a minor clerk working in public administration. Ulf K.'s work has a small but loyal fan base that is spread out over Europe and the Americas, a fact that is attested to by the fact that this volume has no less than five publishers: Edition 52 in Germany, Bries in Holland, Dibbuks in Spain, Komika in Sweden and Top Shelf in the USA. The stories herein contained, for those unfamiliar with his work, are in a vein that is (vaguely) like a crossbreed of two other mono-named comics creators: Jason -- in their clear and concise pantomime storytelling -- and Seth -- in their focus on the melancholy of the workaday world (someone should do -- or, more likely, already has done -- a study on what, if any, similarites there are between all the mono-named comics creators); Mr. K.'s work is all his own, however, in its delightful flights of fancy.
retail price - $15.95 copacetic price - $12.75
stories by Lois Gilbert w/Harvey Pekar
art by Gary Dumm and Greg Budgett
40 pages of comics written by Pekar protegé and pal, Lois Gilbert, and illustrated by those American Splendor stalwarts, Dumm and Budgett. If you enjoy the comics of Harvey Pekar, the chances are very good that you'll enjoy this comic as well. We did! Make sure to give it the once over.
retail price - $5.00 copacetic price - $4.50
Insomia #3 (the 25th in the Ignatz series)
by Matt Broersma
Another long wait is ended with this release, the best issue yet in Broersma's Insomnia series.
retail price - $7.95 copacetic price - $6.75
Blue Pills: A Positive Love Story
by Frederik Peeters
This hardcover release was a hit in Europe where it was originally released. It is the personal memoir of the artist relating the story of his relationship with an HIV positive girlfriend and her HIV positive son from a previous relationship. Peeters is a seasoned storyteller and the story flows along with its ink brushed lines of his artwork. The story deals openly with his navigation of the fears and anxieties that accompany the progess of the romance. To learn more, read Derik Badman's in-depth review on Madinkbeard.
retail price - $18.95 copacetic price - $17.00
Paul Goes Fishing
By Michel Rabagliati
Following up on Paul Has a Summer Job and Paul Moves Out, Paul Goes Fishing follows its eponymous (and semi-autobiographical) hero along on the next chapter of his life, including, as you would expect, fishing, as well as family, flashbacks, forays and... fatherhood! 185 pages of solid comics storytelling from this Montreal native who has followed his career as an illustrator with an ever more successful second act as a cartoonist. If you have yet to read one of Rabagliati's comics, there's no better place to start than here.
retail price - $19.95 copacetic price - $17.77
The Al Williamson Reader
The Lou Fine Reader, Volume 2
Wallace Wood's Wayout
Believe it or not, this month brings us three new books from Pure Imagination, the undisputed champion of classic comics reprints. The Al Williamson Reader is a true treasure trove: 23 -- count 'em -- stories that originally ran between 1948 and 1965, spanning the key years of Williamson's long (and still running) career. These stories run the gamut of the classic comics genres, including westerns, horror, science fiction, jungle, suspense and war. And, as for the inkers, well, nothing but the best for Williamson: this collection features the fine pen and brush work of none other than Frank Frazetta, Angelo Torres, John Severin, Wally Wood and, of course, Williamson himself. What a find! The second volume of The Lou Fine Reader contains 14 classic Golden Age tales taken from the pages of Jumbo, Wonderworld, Smash, Crack, Feature and National Comics published between 1939 and 1941. Also included are 24 rare early "Wilton of the West" full page Sunday comics from 1938 (published under the same psuedonym -- Fred Sande -- that Jack Kirby used when penning this strip earlier that same year), and 16 pages -- at 4-up per page -- of his late newspaper strip, "Peter Scratch". And then there's Wally Wood's Wayout. This one's a bit of a departure from the tried and true Pure Imagination format in that it collects not Wood's comics works (some of which have already been collected in Pure Imagination's The Wally Wood Reader), but instead focuses on his science fiction illustration work, all done for Galaxy and If. The bulk of the work on hand here is from the late 1950s, but it extends all the way to 1968. The work is especially notable for its use of ink wash. All of Wood's signature bits are on display here, including his unique sense of humor. This one will primarily be of interest to illustration fans and hardcore Wood collectors, who will be quite happy to add this one to their library -- especially when they discover the super special price we are offering it at -- along with both the Williamson and Fine Readers. These are real values on great classic comics.
retail price - $25.00@ copacetic special price - $19.99@
Lust Caution (DVD)
directed by Ang Lee
w/ Tony Leung, Tang Wei and Joan Chen
Fresh from his Oscar win for Brokeback Mountain, Ang Lee delivers this devastating critique of the folly of entertainers' attempts to involve themselves in politics that is as intense as it is insightful. NC-17; widescreen; 157 minutes.
retail price - $29.98 copacetic price - $24.77
The Darjeeling Limited (DVD)
directed by Wes Anderson
w/ Adrian Brody, Jason Schwartzman & Owen Wilson
While some may complain that this entire film serves as an elaborate set up for the final scene, we have to say that even if this is the case (and we'd have to argue that it's not, as the film certainly has its moments) it's well worth the "sacrifice" of sitting through the picture as its conclusion is a true tour de force and the emotional payoff is huge. Now available at a lower price point.
retail price - $19.98 copacetic price - $17.77
The Personal Best of Monty Python (DVD)
This six-disc box set features the greatest hits of the immortal classic, Monty Python's Flying Circus. The contents of each of the discs was chosen and is introduced by one of the six Pythons and features their personal favorites, which, taken together are sure to encompass a solid majority of anyone's faves, including yours. Want to see for yourself? Here's the complete listing. OK, now that that's over and done with, feast your eyes on our amazing special price below. This is is a perfect opportunity to reacquaint yourself witih this classic, or, better yet, introduce it to someone new.
retail price - $44.95 copacetic super special price - sold out!
Items from our February 2008 listings may now be purchased online at our new site, HERE.
New for January 2008
Let's start things rolling with a double dose of 20th century American political history... comics style!
J. Edgar Hoover: A Graphic Biography
by Rick Geary
Students for a Democratic Society: A Graphic History
by Harvey Pekar and Gary Dumm; edited by Paul Buhle
w/ addditional text by SDS members and addtl. art by Josh Brown, James Cennamo, and others
As these two books are both published by the fine folks at Hill and Wang, and both arrived simultaneously at Copacetic, nestled together in the same box, it was impossible to resist pairing them here -- as they very much represent two sides (namely, the left and the right) of a story: that of post-WW II American politics; specifically of the struggle between those forces arrayed behind national security and those standing up for individual freedom. This was a struggle in which each begat the other, as each was what inspired fear and loathing in the other, each was what the other opposed and was devoted to destroying, until, finally, they cancelled each other out and both were gone... only to be reborn in new forms, as this is, in all likelihood, an eternal struggle. <<+>> Best known for his series of comics documentaries on famous 19th century murders, Rick Geary enters the 20th century with a comics biography of the most famous lawman of them all, J. Edgar Hoover, that manages to cull the essentials and distill them into exactly 100 pages of the precisely rendered comics that are his trademark (as Copacetic customer David Grim has just serendipitously pointed out). Informative and enjoyable, this is a straightforward story that, while minimal in detail, is, almost entirely free of speculation, and thereby skirts salacious material regarding the longtime director of the FBI. Nevertheless, the reader will come away with a solid picture of the man and his times. This much and more can be said of Pekar & Co.'s history of the SDS: a history lesson, a consciousness-raising session, a political roundtable discussion, an artistic jam-sesion -- in its mulitplicity of perspectives, this comics history provides a well-rounded portrait of its subject. One of the most high-profile, widely-active and important political groups of its time, SDS is almost synonomous with leftist politics in the 1960s. The tale told here is complex, multi-faceted, labyrinthine and fascinating. The fact that Pekar's editor on this volume, Paul Buhle, is a well regarded leftist writer and scholar who was the founding editor of the SDS journal, Radical America, is a big plus in bringing together the former SDSers who tell their personal stories alongside Pekar's history. A walloping 26 bonus tales are presented here in all thier graphic glory, including several each by Pekar and Buhle along with those by lesser known figures such as Mark Naison, Penelope Rosemont and many others. Taken together these multiple points of view weave a comics tapestry of the SDS years. The 212 page volume closes out with brief look at the tentative revival that SDS is currently undergoing, illustrated by none other than Pittsburgh's own Ed Piskor (see below)!
J.Edgar: retail price - $16.95 copacetic price - $15.25
SDS: retail price - $22.00 copacetic price - $20.00
Krazy and Ignatz - 1941 - 1942: "A Ragout of Raspberries"
By George Herriman
It's here, the latest -- and, sadly, the next-to-last -- two-year collection of the full color Krazy Kat Sunday pages. That's right, there's 104 full color, full page reproductions of Herriman masterworks laid out one after another, filling this volume that is more than just a book, becoming, during the process of its consumption, a soothing balm for frazzled nerves and a lightener of darkened moods. Edited, as always, by the indefatigable Bill Blackbeard and witih an introduciton by classic comics aficionado, Jeet Heer that is accompanied by some choice Herriman works including a double-page spread of an original watercolor that we guarantee will knock your socks off! Essential.
retail price - $19.95 copacetic price - $15.95
edited by Glenn Head
It took awhile to get this second volume together, but it just goes to show that you can't rush quality. This second 136 page oversize softcover is packed to the gills with comics work from the wrong side of the tracks. Included this time around are extended pieces by Tim Lane, Mary Fleener, Mack White, series editor, Glenn Head, Carol Swain and Dutch artist Tobias Tak. Also on hand are shorter pieces by the likes of David Sandlin, Jonathon Rosen, Stephane Blanquet, Craig Yoe, Christian Northeast, and Mike Wartella. There are also hot new strips by David Lasky, Rick Altergott, Lauren Weinstein, Matti Hagelberg, Danny Hellman, Bob Sikoryak, Michael Kupperman and Chadwick Whitehead and others. And Hotwire delivers in the humor department as well, with a pile o' gag pages by Ivan Brunetti, Johnny Ryan, Doug Allen, Gary Lieb and Sam Henderson. To learn more check out the official Hotwire site. on the lower right hand corner of which you can click onto a nice set of preview pages and so get an idea of what you're in for.
retail price - $22.99 copacetic price - $19.55
The Last Musketeer
It's the new Jason book. It's the standard French-flapped format, full color, 48 softcover . What more do you need to know? Well, how about the fact that this time out Jason takes the classic swashbuckling heroic adventure story and tosses it into the blender with an old school science fiction yarn involving invaders from Mars, pushes frappé and pours out another smooth comics work that goes down easy. Here's what Fanta sez: "Perhaps Jason's loopiest premise: the by-now centuries old musketeer Athos has been reduced to a suavely dressed but useless near-panhandler. All this changes when Martians attack Earth, and suddenly a swashbuckling hero is needed. "
retail price - $12.95 copacetic price - $11.00
Graphic Witness: Four Wordless Graphic Novels
edited by George Walker
This collection brings us back to a fascinating era of wordless novels -- i.e. novels told entirely in pictures -- that had a modest flowering during the first half of the 20th century. These novels tended to emerge from a socialist -- and even, dare we say it, communist -- consciousness and often centered on class struggle and/or the clash between labor and capital. This volume contains four excellent works, each hand crafted by a master of the form between 1918 and 1951: The Passion of a Man by Franz Masereeel; Wild Pilgrimage by Lynd Ward; White Collar by Giacomo Patri; and Southern Cross by Laurence Hyde. Part of the attraction of politically motivated artists to this form, as George Walker explains in his excellent introduction, is the universality of the image -- it does not need to be translated, and can cross cultural barriers in a single bound, as it were, and so communicate the message of human liberation that the creators were eager to impart as widely as possible. Somewhat ironically, these class-conscious works that aimed -- at least in part -- to raise the awareness of the exploitative quality of capitalism and spur the masses into rising up against "the man" were produced by members of more-or-less the middle class and published by companies that put out hardcover volumes priced in dollars that aimed at the middle class, while at the same time just down the street at the comic book publishers, works were being published that sold in huge numbers for a dime and that would ultimately prove to have the greatest impact in shaping the consciousness of the of these very masses that the picture novelists were trying to reach. This is not in any way to knock these works -- they are excellent and show precisely that compassion for the human condition that super hero power fantasies worked so hard -- and, one must add, succcessfully -- to obviate. It is not at all surprising that these works are coming back into vogue at this juncture as the values that they champion are sorely in need at the same time that the public at large is warming to the idea of reading graphic novels, of which, in many respects -- not the least of which in this regard is the enthusiasm of mainstream publishers -- the works collected here may be seen as precursors if not progenitors. This collection definitely warrants a look, and, if you like what you see, it really is a great value when you consider it collects four complete works. The stand out, in our opinion, has to be Lynd Ward's Wild Pilgrimage. Ward is probably the most well known and widely published of the creators collected here, and his work God's Man has been kept in print far longer than any other work in this genre, but Wild Pilgrimage is probably his most intense work.
retail price - $29.95 copacetic price - $26.95
by Shaun Tan
Well, once we're on the topic of wordless picture novels, there's no way we can avoid mentioning Shaun Tan's The Arrival, which is a simply stunning representative of the form. It takes as its subject one of the most appropriate possible topics for exploiting the universalizing capacities of the wordless form: the immigrant experience. A native of Australia who is himself the son of a Malaysian immmigrant, Tan has created a truly unique and wonderful work which is almost magical in how it captures the inherent strangeness of every "new world" to the immigrant who arrives there. While American readers of The Arrival won't be able to help but see a transformed New York City on display here, and certainly The United States is the nation most synonomous with the phrase "the new world", the fact of Tan's Australian citizenship and Malaysian ancestry brings a larger frame to the tale and must, at least in part, be responsibe for its ability to breath fresh life into the immigrant tale. Told entirely in a series of fine pencil drawings, most of which are presented in such a manner as to bring to mind faded snap black & white snap shots. There are, however, quite a few breath-taking full-page and even double-page spreads featuring landscapes, seascapes, cityscapes, and other vistas that will fill readers of all ages with wonder. The Arrival is a one-of-a-kind work that communicates the immigrant experience like no other. This book was originally published for the 2007 holiday season, and its appropriateness as a gift was amply demonstrated by its instant sellout here -- as well as everywhere else -- before we had the chance to bring it to your attention here. Now that it the new printing as at last arrived on our shores (from the printers in Singapore) we are happy to be able to present it at last.
retail price - $19.95 copacetic price - $17.77
MOME 10: Winter/Spring 2008
Yes, it's another fine issue in the ongoing, regularly published comics anthology that consistently publishes some of the most original, challenging and engaiging comics on the market. This time around the obvious highlight is the conclusion of Jim Woodring's The Lute String, which began last issue, a tale that is wonderful in conception as well as masterful in execution and amply demonstrates that Woodring's genius, but there's plenty more to get excited about: The uniquely weird story by up-and-comer Dash Shaw that starts off this issue is his most inventive work yet and will both charm and confuse you; Robert Goodin returns with a swell comics -- as well as comic -- adaptation of a classic Indian fable; also returning is Tom Kaczynski, who is this issue's interview subject as well. And, still with us are a core cadre of MOME regulars: Sophie Crumb, Paul Hornschemeier, Kurt Wolfgang, as well as Tim Hensley, Jeremy Eaton, Émile Bravo and Ray Fenwick (whom everyone is jealous of for his ingenious exploitation of old canvas covered used books). And, finally, we can't leave you without lettnig you know that the one and only John Hankiewicz makes his MOME debut in this issue. For those of you who are already familiar with his work, this notice of his inclusion will provide you with that much more impetus to purchase this issue; but it is those MOME readers among you who are unfamiliar with Hankiewicz: make sure to pay close attention to his contribution, "Success Comes to Westmont, IL" -- if you find yourself intrigued, but you're not sure why, you may want to take a look at his excellent collection, Asthma, published a little while back by Sparkplug Comics, it's a rare gem.
retail price - $14.95 copacetic price - $12.75
Popgun, Volume One
edited by Mark Andrew Smith & Joe Keatinge
444 pages of full color comics by 63 -- count 'em, we did -- contributors fill this freewheeling anthology published by the folks at Image. Popgun is aimed at those among the heroic fantasy reading crowd who are looking to stretch out a bit in their interests, but aren't quite ready yet to go too far afield. The art styles range far and wide, while the subject matter stays relatively close to what you'll find on the racks of your local comic book store, and all of it employs fairly normative narrative techniques and should be readily comprehended, so this is a good choice for mainstream comics readers ready to expose themselves to a wide variety of new -- and not so new -- talent dedicated to having fun with comics.
retail price - $29.99 copacetic price - $26.95
by Mike Allred
Ok, we'll admit it: we have a soft spot for Mike Allred's groovy homage to the super heroic swinging sixties, The Atomics, in which his primary creation, Madman also takes many a turn. It's now all been collected in this single ginchy volume, the cover of which is a bit different from the one pictured here.
retail price - $24.99 copacetic price - $22.22
The Claws Come Out
by Pat Lewis
Did someone say something about "having fun with comics?" Well, Pittsburgh native -- and occasional Copacetic customer -- Pat Lewis knows a thing or two about having a good time in pen and ink, having created and published a string of entertaining minis over the past several years. And with The Claws Come Out, a 152-page hardcover published by IDW, he finally gets his chance to stretch out and show his stuff, which turns out to be a batch of tales -- each introduced by a voluptous vampire hostess -- featuring a bevvy of cute girls battling a series of monsters, zombies and creeps, but all played for laughs. Lewis has spent his years in the self-publishing wilderness perfecting his comic timing and his efforts pay off here. It's an interesting mix and if you have any sort of predilection for this sort of material, you're in for a treat, along with a trick or two.
retail price - $19.95 copacetic price - $17.77
This Book Contains Graphic Language
by Rocco Versaci
Ok, admit it -- you find it hard to believe that anyone with the name Rocco Versaci would be a PhD holding professor of English who specializes in comics; but there you have it and here's his book. This Book Contains Graphic Language is a thoroughly engaging 240 page account of the authors's life long (but for one brief hiatus) involvement with reading comics and how it merged with his studies in literature which is part memoir, part apologia, part polemic and part epistemological exegesis that that taken together makes for an eminently readable work that anyone who shares his interests will find hard to put down. Ranging from Classics Illustrated to American Splendor to EC comics to Eightball and Love and Rockets and much in between, Versaci's enthusiasm for his subject is infectious and will have you pulling out old favorites for a second look as well as heading down to your friendly neghborhood comics retailer to get your hands on some new works with which to expand your horizons.
retail price - $19.95 copacetic price - $17.77
The Complete Jack Kirby: Volume One
This book contians all the extant examples of Kirby's earliest works -- much of which was signed not as Kirby (whose given name was, of course, Jacob Kurtzburg), but by at least a half dozen other aliases ranging from Ted Grey to Fred Sande to Jack Curtis. It was not until the amazing science fiction tale "Solar Legion" that the name Jack Kirby first - and quite fittingly -- saw print. There's an almost incredible variety of material here, and it shows Kirby wearing many different hats. There are daily newspaper strips like the Popeye knock-off, "Socko the Seadog", the pirate strip, "The Black Buccaneer", Ripley's Believe-it-or-not wanna be "Facts You Never Knew" and many others; there are full-page Sunday strips like "The Diary of Dr. Hayward" and "Wilton of the West"; and even editorial cartoons! His style is all over the place in these pieces as Kirby adapts himself each time to the demands of the particular assignment. It was when Kirby started producing work directly for comic books he began to "find his voice" and his emblematic style finally starts to coalesce and take the now iconic Kirby form. So, between the covers of this single volume, lucky readers will be able to witness the forging of the most important talent in the history of comic books, that of Jack "King" Kirby! And, not only that, but you will be guided along the way by a series of informative essays written by the editor and publisher of The Complete Kirby series, noted Kirby Scholar, Greg Theakston; and, as an added bonus -- an interview with "the King" himself. 182 pages in all, and now available at a special Copacetic exclusive price.
retail price - $25.00 copacetic special price - $19.99
The Street: The Complete First Season
This two-disc DVD contains the six, hour-long episodes that comprised the first season of this BBC drama created and written by Jimmmy McGovern. The Street features exceptionally solid performances by a host of talented actors including Jim Broadbent, Timothy Spall, Jane Horrocks and Sue Johnston among many others who are equally talented if less well-known. Each of the six episodes centers on one or more of the families living on a block of townhouses in an outer ring of London. Each is a hard hitting drama that tells a tale of actions and their consequences in no uncertain terms and with a strong moral flavor. If you find current offerings of American television to be crude, exploitative and/or mindless drivel you stand a very good chance of being throroughly engaged by this series. Evidently the hold of American television on its audiences has not loosened much as this series failed to make much of an impact here and as a result we are able to offer this DVD at a discount of over 60% off its retail price. Here's a chance for you to take advantage of your neighbors' lack of taste to get a real bargain on a solid television drama.
retail price - $29.98 copacetic ab fab price - $12.77
Want to keep going? There's tons more great stuff here, almost all of which is still in stock. Check out our New Arrivals Archives:
4Q 2007: October - December, New Arrivals
3Q 2007: July - September, New Arrivals
2Q 2007: April - June, New Arrivals
1Q 2007: January - March, New Arrivals
4Q 2006: October - December, New Arrivals
3Q 2006: July - September, New Arrivals
2Q 2006: April - June, New Arrivals
1Q 2006: January - March, New Arrivals
4Q 2005: October - December, New Arrivals
3Q 2005: July - September, New Arrivals
2Q 2005: April - June, New Arrivals
1Q 2005: January - March, New Arrivals
4Q 2004: October - December, New Arrivals
3Q 2004: July - September, New Arrivals
2Q 2004: April - June, New Arrivals
1Q 2004: January - March, New Arrivals
4Q 2003: October - December, New Arrivals
3Q 2003: July - September, New Arrivals
2Q 2003: April - June, New Arrivals
1Q 2003: January - March, New Arrivals
2002: January - December New Arrivals
last updated 31 March 2008