New for June 2008
Cold Heat Special #4
by Frank Santoro & Jim Rugg
This time around we have a16-page tabloid newspaper comic book filled with further far out fables featuring Cassandra -- aka Castle -- cavorting with chaos. Santoro and Rugg employ the large (22" x 17", when opened) "canvas" of the tabloid format to excellent effect, creating a feast for the eyes with finely rendered dramatic imagery that ranges from psychedlicized fast food bathroom interiors to landscapes of the rolling hills of (what appears to be) western PA, all in the service of a tale of temporal displacement that demonstrates that the past is still here, all around us, and that travelling through time is a simple matter of opening a door or two. There may be some side effects, however...
retail price - $3.00 copacetic price - $2.50
The Goddess of War
by Lauren Weinstein
Also from PictureBox, this gigantic (10" x 15") comic book is the first installment of an epic fantasy that incorporates South and North American Indian history and lore, twentieth century European conflicts and surrealistic science fiction with a contemporary, urban art comics aesthetic to forge a modern mythology of war, and has fun doing it.
retail price - $12.95 copacetic price - $11.00
We Lost the War but Not the Battle
by Michel Gondry (!)
This straight-up 32-page full color comic book by the famed French Filmmaker, Michel Gondry, rounds out this month's PictureBox trifecta. Perhaps the zaniest war comic ever produced, Gondry pits four former draft evading slackers against a hoard of communist babes intent on taking over France in this over the top satire that conflates the battle between the sexes, the war on communism and modern America-centric militarism to create a comic book that has a surprisingly large amount in common with the old-school underground comics of yore.
retail price - $5.99 copacetic price - $5.00
Strange and Stranger: The World of Steve Ditko
by Blake Bell
Here it is, (many) years in the making: the long-awaited all-in-one work -- biography, appreciation and coffee-table art book -- on the one and only "sturdy" Steve Ditko. While best known as co-creator of Spider-Man, his career began in 1953 and spans five decades filled with unique, original and widely influential contributions to the medium of comics. Fans of his work pretty much have no choice but to rush out and purchase this book immediately or risk losing their hard-earned credentials, but this 200+ page, oversize hardcover volume that is filled cover to cover with amazing full color and B & W art will also serve as an excellent entry point to any and all looking to gain a further appreciation of this amazingly talented and highly eccentric creator.
retail price - $39.99 copacetic price - $33.99
by Hope Larson
A brand new 170 page young adult graphic novel by the award winning creator of Salamander Dream and Gray Horses. The setting is a summer camp, where the protagonist, Abby, returns to find that old friends have changed over the past year, but there's a new girl who brings many changes of her own to Abby's summer and therein lies the story. Great summer read for tween & teenage girls. Learn more about the story, look at some samples from Hope Larson's portfolio, and read a sneak preview here.
retail price - $9.99 copacetic price - $8.88
Dororo, Volume 2
by Osamu Tezuka
The classic late-period Tezuka tale continues in this nicely put together volume. The publisher of this series -- and many other excellent Tezuka works -- Vertical, Inc., is head and shoulders above other American purveyors of manga when it comes to packaging and production (only the European manga publisher, Ponent Mon, can lay any kind of claim to doing a better job). So sit back and enjoy.
retail price - $13.95 copacetic price - $12.50
Pocket Full of Rain
A lot of you may have wondered, as we did, when Hey, Wait! was first released in the US, "Hey, wait a minute -- who is this guy Jason, and how did he appear, seemingly out of nowhere, with this fully developed style?" Well, Pocket Full of Rain at long last provides US readers with the answer. Here are the works that Jason produced leading up to his US debut, but that had never before been published here until now. Pocket Full of Rain contains over 120 pages of comics, along with a 16-page color section of covers and illustrations -- almost all of which was originally published in his native Norway during the 1990s. This is the work that show us Jason's development as an artist. Jason fans will find this an engaging and possibly even fascinating collection, and students of comics will find this a volume worthy of study, so if you are among the latter, make sure to take a look.
retail price - $19.99 copacetic price - $16.95
by Samuel C. Gaskin
96 pages of extreme goofiness printed in purple ink, answers the question, "What is a Fatal Faux-Pas?" Nothing is sacred, except maybe a sense of the absurdity of life. If your favorite comics are Tales To Demolish, Tales Designed to Thrizzle, anything by Paper Rad and/or Matthew Thurber, then this might just be for you. Immersion in popular culture is recommended for full comprehension, appreciation and enjoyment of this product. The first release (001) from rookie publisher, Secret Acres (see below for the second).
retail price - $10.00 copacetic price - $8.50
by Eamon Espey
Brand-spanking new publisher, Secret Acres, brings us Wormdye, a 128-page, 6 5/8" x 9 1/2", B & W collection of Eamon Espey's self-published series of the same name (some issues of which we have had on sale here at Copacetic over the past few years). Coming on strong, like a mutant offspring of Kim Deitch, Gary Panter, Charles Burns and Rory Hayes who spent all his spare time studying ancient arts from around the world, Eamon Espey is an engaging new talent. His work gathers strength and intensity from being bundled together -- taken all at once, it packs a wallop of weirdness. Ancient eras and distant cultures freely mix with contemporary comics sensibilities producing a manic hurly burly that will provide its readers with a unique and unsettling experience.
retail price - $13.00 copacetic price - $10.95
by Colleen Frakes
A fun-filled fable told entirely in textless pantomime comics about a man, his mother, and his imagination, as he fills his days waiting for the real thing to come along. This 80-page, 5" x 8", B & W, squarebound volume is by a Xeric grant-winning recent graduate of The Center for Cartoon Studies.
retail price - $7.00 copacetic special price - $4.95
by Blaise Larmee
A beautifully produced 16-page, full color work of wonder and loss delicately rendered in pen and ink and watercolor. While the narrative thread here just barely coheres, it shows an artist full of promise whose future work we look forward to seeing. Take a look, here.
retail price - $7.00 copacetic price - $6.00
edited by Dave Eggers
This time out we have a tripartate, slipcased edition, thus: a 196-page softcover fiction anthology featuring the writings of Larry Smith, Jim Shepard, Ashlee Adams, Liz Mandrell, Mikel Jollett and Stephen King that sports a swell, architectronic wraparound cover and interior illustrations by Scott Teplin; a 72-page horizontally formatted collection of "Art" cartoons by the likes of Jean Michel Basquiat, Kenneth Koch, Raymond Pettibone, David Shrigley, Jeffrey Brown, Paul Hornschemeier, Leonard Cohen, David Mamet and others, in full color and black & white; an 80-page sketchbook executed between March 12 and May 26, 2007 by Art Spiegelman, titled "Autophobia," which Spiegelman created to overcome his "fear of drawing."
retail price - $24.00 copacetic price - $21.50
by Rivka Galchen
In her debut novel, Atmospheric Disturbances, Rivka Galchen has attempted to create a romantic, even sentimental, take on the works of P.K. Dick. J.G. Ballard, (early)Thomas Pynchon and (to a degree) William Burroughs, authors who created obsessive -- some might say delusional -- renderings of the altered states that contemporary consciousness takes when overloaded with raw data, cultural and/or scientific input, technological stimulus, education, or some combination of any or all of these,and wove them into intricate tapestries filled with complex patterns the meanings of which have been ceaselessly debated. Galchen enters this essentially masculine debate specifically to ask the reader to step outside of it and consider how it might be impacted by gender. She coaxes readers to her point of view through the device of employing a masculine first-person voice to tell a tale in which the authorial sympathies are clearly more aligned with the feminine perspectives on the the events as they unfold. The book provides an important -- some might say essential -- proviso to the literary creation of the modern mind. Check out the book's very own website, where you can absorb some of its flavor while you read an extract from the novel, an interview with the author, and more.
retail price - $24.00 copacetic special price - $22.22
Sheena: Queen of the Jungle
by Matt Baker, Will Eisner, Bob Powell and others
A dozen never-before-reprinted, classic Sheena tales are herein collected. All the stories were originally published in Jumbo Comics, almost all during the 1940s. As an added bonus, you get to read one of the stories as it was truncated and rescripted -- or "censored" as the editor and/or publisher of this collection have it -- for republication in Sheena #12 in 1951. This collection is assembled with care. The entire volume is reproduced in full color from high quality scans of the stories as they originally appeared (as well as the original covers and many original advertisements from the same issues that the stories appeared in, which together help to provide the proper ambience for that "you are there" feeling), to insure that your reading experience will be the closest possible approximation to that of actually reading the original comics (which would cost a small fortune to purchase). If classic jungle comics are your thing, then this is a no-brainer. And remember, Sheena Is a Punk Rocker.
retail price - $18.99 copacetic price - $17.00
OMAC: One Man Army Corps
by Jack Kirby
Even the U.S. Army has based it's philosophy on Kirby's (We will freely admit that this is pure conjecture on our part, but hey: "Be an Army of One", "One Man Army Corps" -- coincidence or co-optation? You decide!). Anyway, this full color hardcover volume collects the entirety of the original 8-issue series that Kirby created in 1974. OMAC features some of Kirby's most mind-boggling (not to mention prophetic) science fiction concepts melded to non-stop action. This is a work that can be appreciated on just about any level you can think of and represents Kirby's last hurrah at DC in the 70s before jumping back to Marvel to reinvigorate Captain America, The Black Panther and more. OMAC!
retail price - $24.99 copacetic price - $22.22
When You Are Engulfed in Flames
by David Sedaris
22 new pieces by David Sedaris, are herein collected for the first time. Readers of Naked, Me Talk Pretty One Day, and Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim now having something to look forward to.
retail price - $25.99 copacetic price - $22.22
Skyscrapers of the Midwest
by Joshua W Cotter
All four issues of the highly praised series that focused its creative energies on overcoming the difficulties of childhood and adolescence though comics are at last collected along with 32 bonus pages of sketchbook drawings -- and more -- in this nicely put together 282 page hardcover volume published by AdHouse Books.
retail price - $19.95 copacetic price - $17.77
Jessica Farm #1
by Josh Simmons
96 pages that depict a morning in the life of the titular character -- Christmas morning -- and which, if we are to believe the artist's afterword, took eight years to draw. While the artwork is very spatially oriented and creates a solid sense of place, one is best off assuming that the "true" location of the places depicted here is the imagination. Crazy fun that is all topped off by the fact that it ends with a cliffhanger that -- we are told -- we will have to wait until 2016 to find out what happens next!
retail price - $14.95 copacetic special price - $9.95
A counter-culture zine of comics and more that is still going strong. This issue features a front cover and five sketchbook pages by R. Crumb, a swell 4-page comics-bio of that beatnikita, Diane di Prima by Harvey Pekar and Mary Fleener, a selection of fine pen and ink drawings along with commentary by their creator, William Crook, Jr., Bill Griffith's 3-panel revelation of "How I Got My Start in the Comics Business!!" a back cover and more by Cristoph Mueller, and a "Sunday" page by Jay Lynch and Pittsburgh's own Ed Piskor describing an afternoon with the one and only Chester Gould. Plus plenty more!
retail price - $6.95 copacetic price - $6.25
Items from our June 2008 listings may now be purchased online at our new site, HERE.
New for May 2008
What It Is
by Lynda Barry
It's here! What It is, the long awaited, all new, 208 page hardcover volume of heuristic metacomix by the one and only Lynda Barry, is both a beautiful and inspiring work of art and an insightful exploration of the creative process. Her first new work since her 2002 masterpiece, 100 Demons, What It Is uses the language of comics to probe the secrets of creativity itself, which leads her deep into the caverns of philosophy, where, ever the intrepid explorer, Ms. Barry undertakes an especially thorough excavation of the cave of epistemology. There in the murky darkness she discovers that memory and imagination blur and merge amidst the stalactites and stalagmites of our respective genetic heritages before condensing and collecting in placid prehistoric pools to mix with the ancient amoebas; in the process dissolving time itself. The past, present and future come together -- an instant and an eternity stand as one in the revelation that it all starts with... The Image! Lynda Barry, long considered among the major contemporary comics creators, has, with What It Is, taken comics to a new place and created a work that can stand shoulder to shoulder in the pantheon with those created by Frida Kahlo, Jean Michel Basquiat, and Hayao Miyazaki, to name but a few of her new peers. This book is full of surprises and delight. There's really only one thing to say about this book: "YES!!!" If you still need convincing, then feast your eyes on this amazing (lucky)13-page preview and/or read our full length review.
retail price - $24.95 copacetic special intro price - $19.99
Bottomless Belly Button
by Dash Shaw
Weighing in at 700+ pages, we're pretty sure this one surpasses Craig Thompson's Blankets as the longest unserialized graphic novel ever published in the US. Just think: over 700 pages of far out and freaky graphic storytelling that you've never laid eyes on before -- and neither had we... until we sat down (after getting together a solid supply of food and drink to sustain us) and read this hefty tome. Where to start? Well, first off is the fact that the book took over two years to draw, is divided into three sections (each of which you are advised by the author to take a break after reading -- although we have to admit that we ignored this warning and plowed straight through), is printed in brown ink on 6" x 9" white paper, and tells the tale of the Loony family, in particular Peter Loony. It begins with the line, "There are many types of sand." Some 700 pages later the urge to compare this book to Blankets was, at least for us, irresisitable. Like Blankets, Bottomless Belly Button is also a deeply personal work of catharsis that takes the form of a long, involved book that tells the tale of an introverted artist struggling with the emotional baggage he has been weighed down with by his family and who, in his effort to move ahead, gets involved with an extroverted, more sexually experienced girl. But, while the general narrative arc of these two works may have much in common, the specifics are different in almost every particular. The setting here is a hot and sunny beach, the exact opposite of the icy cold snowy north woods of Blankets. The sexual episodes in BBB are presented as being (at least somewhat) perverse and unsettling, as opposed to the rhapsodic and fulfilling scenes of sexual congress in Blankets. BBB is intellectual and analytical where Blankets is lyrical and expressive. The crucial difference lies in the attention given to the other family members. In BBB, while the protagonist is alienated from his family from the word go, the family itself is given much, much more attention here than in Blankets, with each family member being given a fully fleshed out portrait and their own set of challenges. While the protagonist may be alienated from his family, the creator of this work, Dash Shaw, certainly has quite a bit of empathy for all actors in his drama, and as a result the reader comes away from BBB with a surprisingly strong sense of each member of the supporting cast and, crucially, how they all fit together as a family. In the final analysis, BBB is more about probing the mystery of the family than it is a rite of passage tale, and so, really, is not so much like Blankets after all.
retail price - $29.99 copacetic price - $26.95
Amor Y Cohetes
by Gilbert, Jaime & Mario Hernandez What It Is
It's hard to believe, but with this volume, the seventh in the new format, the repackaging of the first volume of Love and Rockets is now complete! While the first six volumes gave us the massive mythologies of Hoppers and Palomar, this issue collects all the odds 'n' ends and bric á brac that the fertile imaginations of los Bros unleashed when they were kicking back; as well as the story that started it all back in Love and Rockets #1, Gilbert Hernandez's BEM. Let us rhapsodize for a moment: It was with BEM that Gilbert Hernandez -- comics' own St. George -- slew the dragon of derivative, formulaic heroic fantasy comics by ripping out its heart and laying it bare. BEM demonstrates once and for all that the success of the formula is based on keeping fear alive, that the hero and the villain are, unwittingly perhaps, complicit in an illicit pact to keep the reader enthralled with the eternal recurrence of evil. BEM pulls back the curtain and reveals formulaic heroic fantasy comics as Ouroboric circles devoid of any real hope, real progress or real growth; promising salvation but delivering the damnation of addiction with an empty formula expertly designed to keep readers coming back for more with the dangled promise of the imminent unveiling of a mystery that not only is there no intent to deliver on, but as BEM finally and brilliantly reveals, there is not even the capacity or ability on the part of the danglers to do so in the first place for the simple reason that the creators of this formula are themselves as equally trapped within it by their fealty to the profit motive -- unable to see outside the borders of their own fear and need and so drawing in the hordes to feed their own cravings (Love and Rockets: it's not just a comic book series, it's a hermeneutics.). We'll be the first to admit that anyone coming to this story now, over 25 years after the fact -- and especially those who were never themselves in the thrall of superhero comics in the first place -- will have a hard time fully appreciating the importance of this story, but that's no reason not to try. The revelation of BEM cleared the way for a whole new approach to comics: the way that Love and Rockets went on to pioneer. Comics have never been the same since.
retail price - $16.99 copacetic price - $13.55
MOME, Volume 11: Summer 2008
Speaking of "a whole new approach to comics," what better fits this description than MOME? To any readers who might have felt a creeping worry that MOME wouldn't be able to keep it up, that there simply wasn't enough high calibre new work being produced to keep MOME floating on its lofty plane, let us be first to say that these fears can be laid to rest with this issue, which is arguably the best yet. It starts off with a new Al Columbia piece that (finally) lives up to the promise of his outsized rep. "5:45 A.M." is a story which shows us that, yes, God is in the details. In a mere eight, actionless panels -- more or less a tableaux nature morte -- Columbia manages to quite successfully share with us his own dark lord. "Einmal Ist Keinmal" by this issue's cover artist, Killoffer, follows. A variation on his singular masterwork, 676 Apparitions of Killoffer, "EIK" will give you plenty to ponder while you pore over its seductive linework. Nate Neal is up next with "The 5 Simple Cosmic Do Dats" wherein he deftly manages the fairly astounding party trick of grafting his own left-leaning post-punk tendencies onto a synthetic hybridization of the aesthetics of Kim Deitch and the narrative techniqes of Dan Clowes to create that wonder of wonders: an entertaining work that is both funny and smart. You might find yourself scratching your head at first while working through this one, but keep going -- or better yet, start over and try again -- this one has more going on in it than first meets the eye. Four panels of "Truth Bear" by Ray Fenwick (who doubles as this issue's [quite engaging] interview subject) follow. Eleanor Davis serves up an irresisitable visual treat , "The 10,000 Rescues," and then we have seven pages of fun with the future of the wonderful world of Art in "The Galactic Funnels," courtesy Dash Shaw, before plunging into John Hankiewicz's personal gift to Copacetic -- a five-page story that combines his own totally unique approach to narrative with a brief episode in the life of the one and only Anita O'Day! (Thank you, John.) Then it's Emile Bravo's turn to wow us with his four-page assembly of signs & meaning which deftly deconstructs the quandary of globalization, "A Question of Human Resources." Newcomer, Conor O'Keefe brings a novel approach to his two pieces, combining an old-old-school Sunday page design sense (we suspect he may have spent some time curled up with Art Out of Time) with a very contemporary sensibility. We look forward to watching his talent develop (and we hope that it continues to do so in the pages of MOME). And then there's the topper: "Million Year Boom," by Tom Kaczynski will knock your socks off. It is probably the first succcessful translation of the Ballardian (as in J.G. Ballard) narrative approach to science fiction yet achieved in comics form. This deeply creepy tale brings us face to face with a world where major corporate leaders so deeply internalize their own marketing messages and stock market hype that they become untethered from consensus reality and move into the ambiguous landscapes of delusion, paranoia and insanity that were so successfully mined by Ballard (and, to be fair, by many others, most notably Philip K Dick; but none so well as Ballard, who is most convincingly evoked here). While the influence of Clowes is certainly evident in Kaczynski's work, he has created a wholly original synthesis here. This issue is rounded out with contributions by MOME regulars Andrice Arp, Paul Hornschemeier and Kurt Wolfgang. Encore! Encore!
retail price - $14.95 copacetic price - $12.75
by Gary Panter
The definitive monograph on the one and only Gary Panter is here. Published by PictureBox, "This monumental, slipcased set is split into two 344-page volumes. The first is a comprehensive monograph featuring over 700 images of paintings, drawings, sculptures, posters and comics, alongside essays by Robert Storr, Mike Kelley, Edwin Pouncey, Richard Klein, Richard Gehr, Karrie Jacobs and Byron Coley, as well a substantial commentary by the artist himself. The second volume features a selection from Panter’s sketchbooks–the site of some of his most audacious work–most of which has never been published in any form."
retail price - $95.00 copacetic price - $77.77
by Jules Feiffer
OK, this is the one we've been waiting for. It all starts here. Jules Feiffer is the founding father of the alternative newsweekly comic strip. He walked into the offices of the Village Voice at some point during the first year of its operations and pitched an idea for a continuing comic strip. The editors took him up on it and for the next forty years Feiffer turned in a strip nearly every week, ALL of which will be collected by Fantagraphics in four fat volumes, each collecting a decade's worth of strips. This 546 page volume is the first. Feiffer reinvented the comic strip for the then nascent "Alt." crowd that had The Village as it's ground zero. These strips seem amazingly contemporary even today. Try saying that about any other 50 year old comic strip (well, not counting Peanuts, which is, evidently, timeless). Feiffer created the template, and pretty much owned it for twenty years. Once the punk rock generation clawed their way into the newsweeklies Feiffer's way became ubiquitous, and cartoonists the likes of Matt Groening, Lynda Barry, Mark Stamaty and Stan Mack spread the gospel. The comics contained in The Explainers are smart and funny and made a vital contribution to the development of American comics.
retail price - $28.99 copacetic price - $25.00
edited by Craig Yoe
It's time for another oversize collection of "the unholy marriage of comics + art" as defined by editor Yoe. The highlight this time around is the opening salvo: 31 of today's top cartoonists each complete an installment of "Draw Your Own Conclusion," a series originally created in the late 1920s by old-school-comics-master, Milt Gross, as a contest wherein readers sent in their version of the last panel, and the winner received $25 (a lot, in those days) and saw their conclusion see print. This time around we're all winners as the responders whose conclusions see print range from R. Crumb, Art Spiegelman and Kaz to Xaime Hernandez, Pete Bagge and Ivan Brunetti to Mike Mignola and Sergio Aragonés to Patrick McDonnell and Bill Griffith to Jules Feiffer and Matt Groening to Mort Walker and Bil Keane... and more! There's also a hefty dose of Gross's full-page full-color Sunday pages from the same period. There's plenty more on hand here including color scans of the original art for a seven-page Bob Powell pre-code horror story.
retail price - $19.99 copacetic price - $17.77
Maps and Legends
by Michael Chabon
The first non-fiction collection by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Kavalier & Clay ranges from autobiographical essays (growing up in the then experimental community of Columbia, MD) to book reviews (Cormac McCarthy's The Road, for one) to artist appreciations (Howard Chaykin, Will Eisner, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) to Judaism (Golems anyone?) and then back to memoirs (writing Mysteries of Pittsburgh, childhood encounters with literature). We can pretty much guarantee that any and all readers who are enamored of Chabon's fiction will take great pleasure in reading this volume, as the same discerning intelligence is on ample display here in sentences and paragraphs that are as finely crafted as any he has written and that will leave each reader with greater appreciations of and deeper insights into all the covered topics. And then there's the way fab, three tier, Jordan Crane dustjacket.
retail price - $24.00 copacetic price - $22.22
The Yiddish Policemen's Union
by Michael Chabon
Oh, yeah -- we should mention that this fine novel, wherein Mr. Chabon grafts his own set of concerns -- faith, family, father and failure -- on top of a straight, down and dirty hard-boiled detective story with sterling results, is now available in s fine, french-flapped softcover edition for all those of you who were unable, for whatever reason, to obtain a copy of the hardcover.
retail price - $15.95 copacetic price - $14.44
Dig!!! Lazurus, Dig!!! (CD)
by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
A finely crafted old school rock album filled with hard-driving songs populated by angst-ridden characters that strain to shed some light on the state of things while simultaneously rocking out. Grinding guitars and whining keyboards glide over a solid rhythm while Cave drones on. While this is certainly not up to the level of Abattoir Blues -- his masterpiece, in our opinion -- it's a finely crafted piece of work that gives ample evidence that Cave & Co. are still on a roll, and is certainly worth a listen (you'll have to click around a bit to find it, but the whole album is [or, at least was] up for your listening pleasure).
retail price - $17.98 copacetic price - $16.17
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (DVD)
directed by Julian Schnabel
Where to begin with a film like this? Well, for starters, this film single-handedly renewed our faith in the existence of a cinema of redemption, of the sort we had thought had long ago passed from this earth. The viewing of this film reveals a complex signification system constructed of layer upon layer upon layer of meaning-generating signs, symbols and referents and designed to address the core theme of communication and those inter-personal relations that most closely -- at least, in Schnabel's view -- inhere to it. These the film differentiates as inter-generational familial relations -- particularly the father-son relation -- along with its corallary, gender relations; the relation between self-interest and self-sacrifice, which can, in turn, be further parsed to the relation between self-expression and submission; which leads, finally, to the relationship between art and religion. These themes are explored to such a depth as to reveal their shared roots. At the end we discover that the essence of life is a struggle to communicate our being in the face of mortality, and that the cinema is -- when properly employed -- a powerful language in this struggle, one that is, in fact -- as powerfully demonstrated by this film -- capable of redeeming the life led in its service.
retail price - $29.99 copacetic price - $25.75
Dororo, Volume One
by Osamu Tezuka
Hard to believe, but here's yet another late sixties masterwork by the one and only Tezuka, published by Vertical. This time around the publisher, Vertical, has opted for the original righit-to-left Japanese page order; in other words, unlike the other Vertical editions of Tezuka's work (Buddha, MW, etc.) this one reads "back" to "front." This is the first of three volumes. Get a nice preview, here.
retail price - $13.95 copacetic price - $12.75
Speed Racer: Mach GO GO GO
by Tatsuo Yoshida & Co.
Just in time for the Wachowski Bros. full-length (2 1/2 hours!) CGI-intensive feature film, DMP has put together a complete edition of the original Speed Racer manga from back in the day. It's a slip-cased edition composed of two hardcover volumes that will be sure to rev up the emotional engines of Speed Racer fans (you know who you are). Read this, for a fairly thorough accounting of its merits, a nice photo of the actual item and a general meditation on all things Speed Racer.
retail price - $39.95 copacetic price - $33.33
Little Nothings: The Curse of the Umbrella
by Lewis Trondheim
Fully cognizant adult funny animals walk and talk through the streets and across the skies of Europe, searching for meaning and beauty in this 120 page graphic novel that is confidently rendered in pen and ink and sensitively colored in watercolor by one of the most popular of contemporary European comics artists.
retail price - $14.95 copacetic price - $13.50
by Cyril Pedrosa
Hey, this one's a beaut. :01 (First Second, to you) made all the right choices to emphasize the aesthetic pleasures in this fine 268 page graphic novel by reknowned (at least in France) French artist Cyril Pedrosa. All we have to say is that if dramatic narratives, cinematic storytelling and great ink brush work are your thing, then this is for you! Not sure, check out this preview.
retail price - $15.99 copacetic price - $14.44
by Joann Sfar
Vampires. Little vampires. A cute li'l blood-sucker doing his thing in a big book full of full color comics. Little vampire, little vampire, won't you come out and play? What more can be said, which is more or less a sort of follow up (prequel?) to Sfar's earlier Vampire Loves, which presents the gambollings of a moody adolescent vampire. It seems the world just can't get enough of vampires. Here's the comic that dares to ask the question, "Can vampires be cute?" To help you decide the answer, here's a preview. It's cute!
retail price - $13.95 copacetic price - $12.75
by Jessica Abel, Gabe Soria and Warren Pleece
:01 seems intent on moving in on Vertigo's turf with this one. A tall tale of walking on the wild side with twenty-something, surfer-duding, night-clerking, goth-rocking (and not-so-cute -- what a difference fifteen or twenty years makes, huh?) vampires. Might be good, let's check out this bloodless preview and see what we think. Hmm, looks a bit like Ghost World meets a PG-13 version of Howard Chaykin's Black Kiss. Vampires. It looks like there's no getting away from them. Why are we not surprised?
retail price - $19.95 copacetic price - $17.77
Items from our May 2008 listings may now be purchased online at our new site, HERE.
New for April 2008
Thoreau at Walden
by John Porcellino
Thoreau & Porcellino: a perfect match if there ever was one! We have nothing but good things to say about this, the third volume in the Center of Cartoon Studies series of American Biography in Comics. Printed in brown and black ink, this new hardcover book is a fantastic intro to the life and works of Henry David Thoreau and makes for a transporting read. Porcellino had extracted the key quotes from Walden (along with a few from Civil Disobedience, for good measure) and then given them plenty of space to breath in the reader's mind, as the gently paced visuals flow across the page and work to capture the deliberate and gradual rhythms of Thoreau's day to day existence, which is to say real life, as it is lived: the practical realization of his philosophy, in comics.
retail price - $16.99 copacetic price - $14.44
The James Brown Reader: 50 Years of Writing About the Godfather of Soul
edited by Nelson George and Alan Leeds
Talk about contrasts! Henry David Thoreau and James Brown may very well be the alpha and omega of American culture -- everything else will fit in between these two giants. Here's your first chance to follow the life and career of James Brown as it happened. This entire volume is all from original source material penned as history was made, beginning with an unsigned Variety review of a 1959 show at the Apollo through to a lengthy 2006 appreciation of his life by Jonathan Lethem for Rolling Stone, The James Brown Reader presents the most multi-faceted single-volume view of its subject yet. And, co-editor Alan Leeds is a Pittsburgh homie. A must!
retail price - $17.00 copacetic price - $15.00
Hall of Best Knowledge
by Ray Fenwick
A book like no other, HoBK is very tough to concisely describe, but we'll give it the old college try: It is a meditation on ideas concerning knowledge; specifically on what constitutes authority in the realm of knowledge, and how this authority is represented. It is -- whether consciously so or not is open to debate -- an examination of the perception that an innate authority lies in manuscripts -- literally "writing by hand" -- the medium through which all traditional knowledge was stored and distributed during the millenia preceding Gutenberg's invention of movable type and the printing press which ushered in the era of print (which era, we hasten to add, is now coming to a close -- what better time to revisit its precursor?). Fenwick employs walls of irony and sarcasm to seal off the reader into chamber of darkness wherein he lights a single candle and everything is illuminated.
retail price - $19.95 copacetic price - $17.77
by Jason Miles
Whew, this one's another toughie. This is an 11" x 15" handmade narrative portfolio. Limited to 500 copies, (hand?) printed on heavy flat white stock, with hand-scored cardboard covers, Dead Ringers is a graphic meditation on death and personal mortality that employs stasis as its central metaphor. Learn more, here.
retail price - $14.00 copacetic price - $12.00
The Rabbi's Cat 2
by Joann Sfar
Hey, here's a swell surprise: another fine hardcover edition continuing the series of elegantly eloquent tales set among the Jewish diaspora in the French inflected culture of northern Africa, centered in Algiers, and taking place during the more innocent days of the 1930s. The eternal mysteries of love, faith, ritual and nature are probed with a delicate and nuanced touch in the 130, lush, full color pages of this hardcover volume. A real treat. Get a nice sneak preview, here.
retail price - $22.95 copacetic price - $20.00
Another fine issue of this perky peppy anthology published in Portland, Oregon by Tugboat Press. This time around we have an epic of 8th grade outsiders by MK Reed and Jonathan Hill followed by a one-pager by Aron Nels Steinke and a striking adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's "The Sheperdess and the Chimney Sweep" by Andy Hartzell, who has clearly built on the momentum of his successful Fox Bunny Fox and turned in his finest work to date here. We can't wait for the next issue!
retail price - $4.00 copacetic price - $3.50
Welcome to the Dahl House:
Alienation, Incarceration and Inebreation in the New American Rome
by Ken Dahl
Are you worried that things are going just a little too good? Need to be brought down a notch from your giddy heights of blissful contentment? No? Didn't think so. But, if you were, then Welcome to the Dahl House would be the ticket. The harsh world view on display here in this finely crafted compendium make the comics of Chris Ware and Ivan Brunetti seem the work of dewy-eyed optimists by comparison. And, it's priced on the assumption that you're broke, so you can actually afford it!
retail price - $7.00 copacetic price - $6.25
Wordless Books: the Original Graphic Novels
written and edited by David A. Beronä w/ introduction by Peter Kuper
Lynn Ward, Franz Masereel, Milt Gross and Laurence Hyde -- they're all here along with several of their lesser known cohorts in this lavishly produced survey of the picture novel that flourished in the first half of the twentieth century. High quality, full page reproductions abound, all are accompanied by historical and crictical essays that help put the works in context. Also full color scans of the volumes themselves. This volume is a great primer to this important area, and a work of art in itself!
retail price - $35.00 copacetic price - $29.75
A People's History of American Empire
by Howard Zinn • adapted by David Wagner & Paul Buhle with art by Mike Konopacki
This 272 page, 8 1/2" x 11" volume provides a graphic interpretation of the key points of Howard Zinn's seminal, alternative reading of American history, A People's History of The United States. If you' haven't been able to find the time to read Zinn's opus, this volume just might be the ticket. We used to say that A People's History will teach you a whole different American history from what you learned in school, but this book (and/or the material it introduced) has now begun to be introduced into curriculums, as well as bits and pieces being disseminated through the culture at large through the mainstream media, so maybe you've already been introduced to some of the events and perspectives delineated here, but nothing beats getting the big picture, and that's what this book is intent on delivering. In any event, if you're not familiar with Zinn's work and you enjoy history in comics form, then you owe it to yourself to check this out.
hardcover - retail price - $17.00 copacetic price - $15.00
softcover - retail price - $30.00 copacetic price - $25.00
Wholphin No. 5
The fifth issue of the "DVD Magazine of Rare and Unseen Short FIlms" has arrived. Documentaries, short fiction films and animations from Africa, Spain, Canada, the UK and (primarily) right here in the USA. Spend a day with the Sudanese Liberation Army, see drunk bees, watch Spanish science fiction, experience a herion addicted carnival monkey (don't worry, it's an animation), be outraged at the treatment of American Indians and enjoy the 20 minute adaptation of Michael Chabon's short story, "House Hunting," directed by Amy Lippman and featuring Paul Rudd & Zooey Deschanel; along with much more -- all of which you won't be seeing anywhere else (at least for now). Get the whole story -- and the chance to watch tons of web-only short films -- here.
retail price - $19.95 copacetic price - $17.77
Other new arrivals include:
More Old Jewish Comedians
by Drew Friedman
retail price - $16.99 copacetic price - $15.00
Kaput & Zösky
by Lewis Trondgein w/Eric Cartier
Great hi-jinx fun for kids of all ages. Full color.
retail price - $13.95 copacetic price - $12.75
Funeral of the Heart
by Leah Hayes
Dark (very dark, like, black) musings from the author of Holy Moley.
retail price - $14.95 copacetic price - $12.75
by Debbie Dreschler
This landmark comics work of the hell and purgatory of childhood and adolescence is now back in print in this finely crafted hardcover edition.
retail price - $14.95 copacetic price - $12.75
M: A Graphic Novel based on the Film by Fritz Lang
by Jon J Muth
Here's a deluxe, expanded, hardcover collection of the 1990 series.
retail price - $24.95 copacetic price - $22.22
One Hundred and Forty-Five Stories in a Small Box
• How the Water Feels to the Fishes by Dave Eggers
• Hard to Admit and Harder to Escape by Sarah Manguso
• Minor Robberies by Deb Olin Unferth
These three hardcover books are snugly enclosed together in an illustrated (by Jacob Magraw-Mickelson) slipcase and bring you together the 145 short (generally very short) stories of the overarching title; from the fine folks at McSweeney's.
retail price - $25.00 copacetic price - $21.25
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:
1Q 2008: January - March, New Arrivals
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 30 June 2008