Copacetic Arrivals: 1Q 2009
all items still available (unless otherwise noted)
ordering info

New for March 2009

Cold Heat 5/6Cold Heat 5/6
by Frank Santoro and Ben Jones
It's been well over a year since the last issue of Cold Heat appeared, but we're here to tell you that this is one comic book that was worth the wait!!  It's a 48 page double issue printed in the trademarked Cold Heat two-color process employing magenta and blue.  It's comics at their most adventurous and risk-taking, produced by creators who have the experience, skill and training to get to the other side, and, crucially, to take the reader there along with them -- but you'll have to pay close attention and hold on tight as it's quite a trip!  A key to understanding this work is that its true subject is the relationship between the perception of reality and the representation of reality, between the signifier and the signified; how the representation of reality creates a feedback loop which transforms reality in the process.  And there is a special focus on the relationship between subjectivity and perception, particularly on how emotional and chemically altered states of mind alter the perception of events which then alters their representation and is capable of altering their actual outcome as well.  This is a task to which comics are ideally suited and which Frank Santoro has been in the vanguard of exploring.  With this issue he has pushed the furthest yet into this unmapped and only dimly comprehended artistic territory.   Yes, this is one pricey comic book, but the economics of today have forced the publisher into a corner and this is being produced in an extremely small quantity for the True Believers.
retail price - $20.00   copacetic price  - $17.77

Glomp XGlömp X
edited/curated by Tommi Musteri
Straight outta Finland, and now in stock and available for shipping here in the USA.  This is a full color 200+ page hardcover collection of comics that were on display in an accompanying exhibition and that were originally produced, to varying degrees, in three dimensions.  It comes complete with an audio CD that includes an "exclusive soundtrack" composed by Fricara Pacchu, Amon Düde & The Hoop, Kiiskinen and Nuslux.  It's definitely a bit of a cop out to describe Glömp is as "the Finnish Kramers Ergot," but we're going to throw that out there just to help give those who have never heard of it some sort of idea of where to place it on the comics continuum.  The best way to get a better idea is to check out this preview page.  This is the tenth volume of Glömp, and the anthology has been presenting adventurous comics for 12 years now, publishing over 1500 pages of work in the process.  This time around their goal seems to have been to push comics off the page and into the world of three-dimensions and this book is the 2-D record of that attempt.  This volume starts off with a helpful and well thought out introduction by Jelle Hugaerts that traces  the history of comics anthologies, situates anthologies within the history of comics, and analyzes what works and what doesn't in making a successful anthology.   Here's the contributor list:  the amazing Amanda Vähämäki, Anna Sailamaa, Hanneriina Moisseinen, Jan Anderzén, Jarno Ltva-Nikkola, Pauliina Mäkelä, Roope Eronen, Jyrki Heikkinen, Aapo Rapi & Songa Salomäki, Ami Aho, Kaaatri Sipiläinen, Tommi Musturi, Janne Tervamäki, Reijo Kärkkäinen, and Anna Sailamaa.
copacetic price  - out of stock

Now, get ready for another Drawn & Quarterly deluge:  six new releases!
A Drifting LifeA Drifting Life
by Yoshihiro Tatsumi
OK, this is the one you've been waiting for!  Eleven years in the making, a whopping 840 pages in length, A Drifting Life is the graphic memoir of one of the all-time manga greats.  Over the last several years, Drawn and Quarterly has been assiduously releasing Tatsumi's classic gekiga, in which he pioneered a street savvy, morally ambiguous form of comics that thrived on grittier material and was more ambivalent about the post-war boom in Japan.  A Drifting Life chronicles the years 1945 through 1960, during which the author -- who was born in 1935 -- came of age, discovered his artistic talent and entered the competitive (and combative) world of manga.  Personally compelling, narratively engaging, artistically challenging, A Drifiting Life also provides an informative look at the manga industry during the critical post-WWII years.  Not to be missed.  Be sure to take a look at this PDF preview.
retail price - $29.95   copacetic price  - $25.00

The Bun FieldThe Bun Field
by Amanda Vähämäki
We susupect that in Finland, when it rains it pours.  The old adage holds true in the case of the introduction of Ms. Vähämäki's work to the USA.  Six months ago, nothing, now the work of this Finnish artist extraordinaire can be found in Souvlaki Circus, Drawn & Quarterly Showcase 5, Glomp X, The Comics Journal 296, and now in this delicate tale, deftly drawn in pencil.   Somewhat reminiscent of Miyazaki's My Neighbor Totoro, The Bun Field captures the magic of those childhood years in which the projections of personal fantasy freely intermingle with the necessities of reality, and creates a zesty stew of emotions and visions.  Get a taste with this PDF preview.
retail price - $12.95   copacetic special price  - $8.88

Cecil and JordanCecil and Jordan
by Gabrielle Bell
The follow up to last year's Lucky, Cecil and Jordan is the second hardcover collection of Ms. Bell's acutely observed and finely rendered slice-of-life comics.  Amazingly, this 148 page hardcover volume printed in full color, three-color, two-color, and black and white is priced the same as last year's 111 pager that was limited to black and white only.  And that's just the surface reality.  More importantly, the work itself clearly demonstrates Bell's continuing growth as both an artist and storyteller, demonstrating ample lucidity in both form and content.  Almost all the work collected here has seen print in one place or anohter – Bell's own (now discontinued) title, Lucky, MOME, D & Q Showcase, Kramers Ergot, and several one off anthologies – so hardcore fans may have already encountered much of this material.  Only the collection closer, "Helpless," appears here for the first time.  That said, the material here marks Gabrielle Bell as Adrian Tomine's heir apparent at D & Q, and is recommended to all who enjoy insighitful tales of coming of age in America.  Take a moment to read this PDF Preview.
retail price - $19.95   copacetic price  - $17.77

by Diane Obomsawin
A nutty, minimalist comics retelling of the key points in the life of the legendary Kaspar Hauser that "draws on Hauser's own writings and contemporary accounts." Take a look and see what you make of it.
retail price - $12.95   copacetic price  - $11.75

by Pascal Girard
The latest in D & Q's "petites livres" series of small art books, this one is made up of a "series of short autobiographical vignettes that take place after the childhood death of Pascal's younger brother."  The work here is sort of a cross between Jeffrey Brown and Glenn Dakin.  See if you agree.
retail price - $9.95   copacetic price  - $8.95


Baloney:  A Tale in 3 Symphonic Acts
by Pascal Blanchet
Fans of Blanchet's White Rapids will eat this one up, while those unfamiliar with Blanchet's design-heavy comics may find it tougher going.  One thing's for certain, Blanchet's work stands apart from the crowd.  His sweeping and bold design is likely to appeal to fans of RIchard McGuire (a likely influence) as well as Scott Morse.  Definitely worth a look.
retail price - $16.95   copacetic price  - $15.25

The BeatsThe Beats: A Graphic History
by Harvey Pekar & Ed Piskor
with Paul Beuhle, Trina Robbins, Peter Kuper, Mary Fleener, Summer McClinton, et al
The dynamic duo of historical comics, Harvey Pekar and Ed Piskor, are back with The Beats: A Graphic History.   Yes, of course, the unholy trinity of Kerouac, Burroughs and Ginsberg are here, front and center, but this anthological history of the beats ranges far and wide to include the likes of Michael McClure, Robert Duncan, LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka, Charles Olsen, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Diane di Prima, and many others.  While the focus is on the 1950s we are taken back to the early days of the principal actors and up to the present with the reverberations of their work, actions and lives.  It's hard to overstate the impact that these figures had on American culture.  They were the prime movers in consciously breaking out of the conformity that the pressures of the Great Depression and the Second World War placed on Americans, of valuing the rights of the individual over the security of the nation, of the personal over the (re)public, and so inititated the frontline of the biggest battle of the culture wars that continue to rage to this day.  Anyone interested in getting an easily assimilable introduction to the major players in this important cultural movement need look no further.  The authors neglected to provide any sort of bibliography to help readers move on to the literature itself, so we'll help out by hooking you up with The Beat Page, the best spot on the web from which to start  delving into this movement.
retail price - $22.00   copacetic price  - $20.00

HumbugThe Complete Humbug
by Harvey Kurtzman & Co.
What can we say about a book like this one?  It's all here, the entire run of Humbug, the hidden tributary of so much in contemporary comics.  If there is a hidden link in the overall understanding of the history of the development of the comic book form, this might just be it.  Humbug is the talismanic work that links that links the early pioneer days (1935-1955), The Genesis,  of comic books -- aka The Golden Age -- with the Underground comix scene of the 1960s, The Exodus; that links, in other words, "the greatest generation" with their children, "the baby boomers."  Created by Harvey Kurtzman along with fellow Mad Magazine refugees, Will Elder, Arnold Roth, Al Jaffee and Jack Davis, who were frustrated with the commercial limitations and wanted to strike out and capture the zeitgeist in their own fashion unfettered by the commercial considerations of profit-driven publishers.  And thus, alas, the seeds of its demise were sewn with those of its creation:  it's artistic success predicated upon its commercial failure.  At last, the entire run of 11 issues of Humbug is being reprinted in a deluxe, two-volume slip-cased edition, much of it reproduced from the original art!  This release is a long-awaited landmark comics publishing event.
retail price - $60.00   copacetic price  - $50.00

The Wolverton BibleThe Wolverton Bible
by Basil Wolverton
While, from a historical perspective this release is not of the magnitude of the aforementioned Humbug collection, from a purely artistic point of view it might just give it a run for its money.  Compiled and edited by Wolverton’s son, Monte, this 304-page hardcover volume provides excellent quality reproductions of the detailed pen & ink work that represents Wolverton's final, and most sustained, body of work.  The drawings are arranged as closely as possible according to Wolverton's original conception and, unlike most (all?) previous editions presenting this work, each is accompanied by the original caption written by Wolverton.  The Wolverton Bible is printed on flat, bright white stock, and -- for the first time ever under one cover -- includes all of Wolverton’s artwork for the Worldwide Church of God corporation, all of which was produced between 1953 and 1974.  This volume comprises over 550 works illustrating select Old Testament narratives, as well as 20 apocalyptic illustrations inspired by the Book of Revelations, and dozens of cartoons and humorous illustrations for various Worldwide Church publications, most notably The Plain Truth.  Recording artist and noted EC authority Grant Geissman provides an insightful foreword, while Monte Wolverton delivers commentary and background in the introduction and in each section.  Basil Wolverton is one of comics' true originals and we are grateful to have this opportunity to experience these amazing works.  An added bonus to this book being released now is that it gives us a chnace to take in Wolverton's treatment of the Book Of Genesis shortly before R.Crumb's forthcoming treatment, given that Wolverton was one of Crumb's early influences.   
retail price - $24.99   copacetic price  - $22.22

Monolgues for measuring the Density of Black HolesMonologues For Calculating the Density of Black Holes
by Anders Nilsen
400 pages of stream of consciousness cartoon monologues (that have a tendency to lapse into obliquely Socratic dialogues every now and then). This work, while challenging its readers to think while they read, is not without a sense of humor -- bleak though it may be.  It's definitely a tough sell, unless, of course, you're already sold.  Adherents to reader receptivity theory, in which the reader is, at least, an equal partner with the writer in forging a work's meaning, significance and value, will celebrate this release as these monologues are really more appropriately considered dialogues with the reader.  So, put on your inter-comics receivo-trans and start cracking that code.
retail price - $21.99   copacetic special price  - $17.77

edited by Gary Groth and Eric Reynolds
Another fine issue from the recently reenergized MOME.  This issue's standout feature is Lillie Carré's, full-color, 32-page piece (graphic novella?), "The Carnival," that is a dream-like meditation on the desires that flow just below the surface of the quotidian, desires that are constantly struggling to break through, and yet seem always to be mysteriously held back by... what exactly?  "The Carnival" doesn't pretend to give you the answers, but it will help put you in a place where you might find some on your own.  The highlight for us here at Copacetic is an all-new Cold Heat tale by Frank Santoro, Ben Jones and John Vermilyea (who also turns in a solo piece here that has to be one of the most pithy portrayals of the American Way ever penned).  And there's plenty more including the continuation of Gilbert Shelton's multi-part saga which reveals -- among other things -- that he, along with fellow underground comix grandmaster, R. Crumb, is a lifelong Carl Barks fan. Emile Bravo provides a deeply sarcastic satire of American Politics; Ray Fenwick, Laura Park, Dash Shaw, Sara Edward-Corbett, Olivier Schrauwen, Josh Simmons and Conor O'Keefe are all on hand, and are joined by newcomers (to American Comics) Hernán Migoya & Juaco Vizuente; and the entire issue is punctuated by a series of one-pages by Derek Van Gieson.
retail price - $14.95   copacetic price  - $13.50

TCJ 296The Comics Journal #296
Yes, another year has past and it's time once again for the Best of the Year Issue.  Best picks from comics luminaries Kim Deitch, Lynda Barry, Anders Nilsen, John Porcellino and many others complement the Best of 2008 master list compiled out of the all picks.  This issues also features a great bunch of interviews:  Lynda Barry, Dash Shaw, Frank Quitelly, David Hajdu and Mike Luckovich.  R.C. Harvey will fill you in on some great comics that made 2008 "a very good year."  There's nice full clor preview of the first book of C. Tyler's forthcoming book, You'll Never Know. And then there's a whopping 35 page comics section of fine Finnish comics, including an eleven-pager by the one and only Amanda Vähämäki that should whet your appetite for her soon to be released collection, The Bun Field, as well as reminding you that, if you haven't already, you need to get your hands on a copy of Drawn and Quarterly Showcase 5
retail price - $11.99   copacetic price  - $10.75

ED Coatlicue 2Encyclopedia Destructica: Volume Coatlicue 2
edited by Jerome Crooks
Yes, believe it or not, it's yet another handmade-in-Pittsburgh comopendium of culture from the folks at E.D.  This time around we have a fat post-bound volume with (approximately) 80 different covers -- collect them all! (or not)  This book contains work by 29 (count 'em) writers and 18 artists.  In our opinion, this is one of E.D.'s most solid outings.  Editor Crooks has assembled some great local talent including Karl Hendricks, whose story, "Less Than Mick Jagger," has to be considered one of the collection stand-outs.  Other contributors on board who should be familiar to many a Copacetic customer include writers Ed Steck and Wayne Wise, along with artists Tom Scioli and Nils Balls.  This collection runs a whopping 241 pages, is chock-a-block with work by talented people some of whom many of you will doubtless know, is handmade here in Pittsburgh in a limited edition of between 200 and 300 copies (sorry, forgot the exact copy count...240?), and is bargain priced.  How can you say no?
copacetic price  - $10.00

Beanworld Wahoolazuma!
Beanworld: Wahoolazuma!
by Larry Marder
Good grief!  Can it really be true that Beanworl is now 25 years old?  Say it isn't so!  Here in Larry Marder's lively hands, the art and craft of comics is reduced to its bare essentials:  signs and symbols.  Visually simple but deceptively deep, this is a work that works simultaneously on multiple levels and that has, as the back cover blurb succinctly states, "captivated readers from grade school to grad school." 
retail price - $19.95   copacetic price  - $17.77

Sam's StripSam's Strip: The Comic About Comics
by Mort Walker and Jerry Dumas
This 190 page horizontally formatted volume rescues from obscurity a comic strip that is after the heart of the long suffering fans of the daily newspaper comic strip.  Originally published from 1961 through 1963, Sam's Strip takes the standard form of the three - four panel gag strip, but it adds to this another layer.  This layer consists of references to the medium of comics, both the content -- primarily that of the characters that populate the strips which  fill our daily papers and takes the form of walk-on appearances by the likes of Dick Tracy, Charlie Brown, Jiggs, The Yellow Kid and many others -- and the form -- in the taking apart of the mechanics of comics communication.  While this sort of thing is relatively commonplace in the comics pages of today, and has, of course, a precursor in Harvey Kurtzman & Co's work in the original Mad that predates Sam's Strip by a full decade, this work was unique in the funny pages of it's day, and it is collected in its entirety here.
retail price - $22.99   copacetic price  - $20.00

Compete Peanuts 11The Complete Peanuts, Volume 11: 1971 - 1972
by Charles M Schulz
introduction by Kristin Chenoweth
And while we're on the subject of classic comics strips, what better time to remind everyone that the latest volume in the ongoing series collecting the complete Peanuts is now on our shelves.  Sister Sally takes center stage as Peanuts enters its third decade and takes us into the early days of the 1970s.
retail price - $28.95   copacetic price  - $25.00

Items from our March 2009 listings may now be purchased online at our new site, HERE.

ordering info

New for February 2009

The Quest for the Missing Girl by Jiro TaniguchiThe Quest for the Missing Girl
by Jiro Taniguchi
Yet again we present you with an already listed item that we were in such a hurry to bring to your attention that we gave it short shrift.  And so now, in emulation of this fine work's protagonist, Takeshi Shiga, we are coming down from our mountain refuge to set things straight.  This work is as excellent a piece of craftmanship as you are likely to find anywhere in comics today.  Let's just come right out and say it:  Jiro Taniguchi is the man.  Divided into a meticulously planned and expertly paced thirteen chapters, this book presents a classic story arc involving an archetypal man of honor repaying a debt.  The archetype to which Shiga belongs falls into the same category as Wolverine™ and The Punisher™:  that of  the emotionally wounded male unable (or unwilling) to commit to a loving, reciprocal, sexual relationship but ready, willing and able to commit everything to a heroic task to compensate for this lack and close the wound.  Shiga's character, abilities and environs are, however, endowed with a far, far greater degree of verisimilitude than those of any character on display in corporate-owned American comics; not to mention the fact that his actions show him to be possessed of a significantly greater moral acuity and personal virtue.  The narrative follows the well worn path defined by Raymond Chandler some sixty years ago, when he wrote, "down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid" – of the virtuous civilian soldier, personally above reproach, who pushes his way through the morass of a contemporary urban environment, wherein he must make his way over, under, around and/or through a wall of lies – erected by the inevitably corrupt powers-that-be with the self-serving purpose of maintaining their unjust and clearly exploitative control of the society they share with the hero – and thereby reach the truth and bring justice.  The Quest for the Missing Girl is so close to a perfect realization of this particular form that we might want to consider it a material manifestation of its Platonic ideal in comics.  Taniguchi's attention to detail is such that  gaijin readers will receive the added bonus of being taken on what amounts to a guided tour through a cross section of Japan that will provide them with a greater understanding and appreciation of its topography, society and characterWe're not in the business of spoiling the immense reading pleasure afforded by a work such as this, so we will refrain from revealing any of the plot particulars, prefering instead to offer our assurances that you will not be disappointed.  And, while we would be the first to concur that today the term "graphic novel" primarily serves to promote the marketing of comics in bookstores, should this term ever manage to cohere into an actual literary form, we feel confident that The Quest for the Missing Girl will fit the bill.   Anyone wanting to know how it's done need look no further, this is quest's end.
retail price - $25.00   copacetic price  - $22.22

by Esther Pearl Watson
Oh, the pain of it all!  Here it is:  the horror that is high school.  Supposedly based on a diary (found in a gas-station bathroom, no less) dealing with the trials and tribulations of the high school career of one "Tammy Pierce,"  this turbulent tale of teen turmoil that is set in the 1980s delivers to its readers a heaping portion of the unrelenting pain of a self-consciousness that can't turn off, all rendered in a scratchy, messy... splatchy ink line that has a bit of the flavor of Nicole Hollander and Aline Kominsky, but is an indisputably original creation.  A remarkable artistic document of a female coming of age in the image-obsessed America of the Reagan/Bush era, this is a unique work that stands out in the crowd.  A short, squat pink hardcover (complete with green glitter), this book is presented, for the most part, at the rate of one page-filling panel at a time that makes for an up close and personal experience.  This book may be too close for comfort for some, too voyeuristic for others, and, read in the wrong light it may appear depressing, but looked at from the proper angle it is clearly a work of deep empathy -- a long, loving mile walked in another girl's shoes.
retail price - $22.99   copacetic price  - $20.00

Rocky 2Rocky, Volume 2: Strictly Business
by Martin Kellerman
What would happen if a Swedish cartoonist who grew up on a steady diet of R. Crumb and P. Bagge and their cohorts decided he wanted to do an adult remake of Peanuts set in the demi-monde of self-centered, pop-culture obsessed Swedish males and their long suffering female compatriots, all on the loose in the singles-bar scene of Stockholm?  Well, we think you'd have something a lot like Rocky.  Here's the second volume.
retail price - $12.95   copacetic price  - $11.75

Flying destructicate 20082008 Flying Destructicate:
Jonathan Brodsky - Make Your Own Truth
Limited to 200 hand made copies, this item pretty much has to be seen to be fully appreciated.  Put together by Jonathan Brodsky and the folks at Encyclopedia Destructica, it's a hand assembled slipcase containing: a hand bound hardcover book containing work by Brodsky, Alberto Almarza, Josh Atlas, Juliacks, Rick Gribenas and Paus Akid; eight file-folder-art-zines (for lack of a better term) that are hard copy manifestations of power point presentations made by eight different Pittsburgh artists (among them Unicorn Mountain's Curt Gettman) on a wide variety of topics; and a DVD that contains several pieces by Brodsky along with pieces by Almarza and Gribenas.  A limited edition, hand crafted work of multiple media art from Pittsburgh, PA.  Need we say more?
copacetic price  - $25.00

Planet Saturday
Planet Saturday Comics, Volume One
by Monty Kane
Here's another Pittsburgh production, but of an entirely different stripe.  This one involves a real life dad and daughter combo that is written and drawn by the dad in question.  What the reader gets is a diary-like take on parenting that seeks to simultaneously connect with the parent's own inner child at the same time as that of the child being reared.  Makes sense to us, and seems like an approach worthy of elucidation.  Anyone curious to sample this will find a smorgasbord of strips available on line at
retail price - $12.95   copacetic price  - $11.75

Curio Cabinet 4Curio Cabinet #3
Curio Cabinet #4
by John Brodowski
Here are two, new 8 1/2" x 11", pencil-drawn pantomime comics magazines, of 32 and 40 pages respectively, which come to us from rugged Rutland, VT.  The  half-tone reproduction is excellent throughout each of these self-published issues, both of which feature cover-to-cover comics -- all killer, no filler -- and each of which contain several pieces.  All of these are expertly drawn with a great attention to detail which draws the reader into the dream-world they depict, all are pretty darn strange, and some readers may find themselves disturbed.  These comics are very visual and defy encapsulation.  Suffice it for now to say they feature coal mining, aliens, the Loch Ness monster, a giant bear, the grim reaper, a lonely psycho and more.  These comics are definitely not for everyone, but they might be for you. 
#3 - retail price - $4.00   copacetic price  - $3.50
#4 - retail price - $6.00   copacetic price  - $5.00

Snake Oil 3
Snake Oil #1 - 3
by Chuck Forsman
Well, we hate to do this, but here goes:  (Anders Nilsen's Big Questions + Sammy Harkham's Crickets) x Alex Robinson's Box Office Poison =  Chuck Forsman's Snake Oil.  Each self-published issue is 24 pages printed on flat, textured and, respectively, grey, blue and purple stocks and sports a swell hand-silk-screened 2- or 3-color cover.  Definitely worth taking a look, which you can do without leaving the comfort of your current environs by visiting the Snake Oil site/blog.
retail price - $5.00@   copacetic price  - $4.44@

King-Cat 69King-Cat Comics and Stories #69
by John Porcellino
Shame on us for neglecting to bring this to your attention earlier.  Yes, it's another 32 page gem by the zen master of comics and self-publishing.  In this issue we have comics on:  late night driving, haircuts, heavy metal, cats and cat adoption, as well as those magic meditations on nature as only John P. can manage.  Also, those hardy perennials,  'the King-Cat Top 40" and the "Catcalls" letters pages.  Year after year, King-Cat remains one of the great pleasures of comics.  Don't miss it!
copacetic price  - $3.00

Core of Caligula, Episodes 1 - 4
by C. F.
Here's one more "mini comic" that Copacetic regulars have been aware of for quite awhile but that we somehow failed to bring to the attention of readers of this page.  This is an eight-pager with cardstock covers that collects four two-page comics drawn in 2007 & 2008.  Together they form a sketchy, hallucinatory dream narrative that all C. F. fans will find worth their while, and those that are curious to check out his work but aren't yet ready to plunk down for Powr Mastrs might want to take advantage of the low cost entry point this piece represents.
copacetic price  - $2.00

Archie Americana 60s - 2Archie Americana Series: Best of the Sixties, Book 2
by Harry Lucey & others
Please do your best to ignore the cover illustration -- which only proves how clueless the powers that be at Archie Comics are -- and instead focus on the name Harry Lucey.  The evidence of this volume indicates at least the possibility that the fact that they are sitting on a treasure trove of work by one of comics' true geniuses – namely, Harry Lucey – may finally be dawning on the people currently at the helm of Archie Comics; or it might be simply due to the fact they are in possession of such an embarrassment of riches that they simply stumbled onto such a large number of Lucey classics.  Whatever the case may be (and it may very well be the latter as Lucey STILL remains uncredited on all the work he produced for Archie; there's nary a mention of this comics great, even in this collection of which over half is devoted to his work -– Oh, the shame of it!  Even the monstrous Walt Disney Company eventually [after 40 years – but it's been longer than that for Lucey!] relented and allowed Carl Barks to be credited) this volume contains ten – count 'em! – solid Lucey classics from the 1960s.  Lucey is one of the original comic book artist "lifers" -- those who started their career in the original "Golden Age" of comic books in the 1940s and then dedicated their entire professional lives to creating comics.  The arc of his early career was fairly typical and resembled that of many of his peers:  beginning with heroic fantasy and then moving on to crime and romance comics along with the trends of the day; but then he discovered his true calling with Archie.  Starting in the late 1950s and running through to the mid-1970s, Lucey contributed between one and four stories to nearly every issue of the flagship title, Archie Comics, along with plenty of contributions to other titles, and who knows how many classic covers, producing during this 15-year run one of the most engaging and entertaining bodies of work in the history of comics.  In the process Lucey developed a strong, and singular personal style that has won adherents among some of today's most important comics creators -- most notably Jaime Hernandez, who is one of the very few who makes a point of singling out Lucey for praise -- as well as animators.  He originated a vocabulary of body language that stands alone.  And throw away any preconceptions you may have about Archie Comics being uniform in their blandness.  While it is certainly true that much of their output is trivial and boring, and the characters have been embarrassingly compromised on more than one occasion by the publishers' various relationships with the evangelical Christian community, Archie Comics remains one of the most important publishers in the history of comic books and Harry Lucey's work is their greatest legacy... if only they would wake up to this fact (good God, what will it take?)!  Lucey continually experimented with the form, and -- crucially -- he had years of experience under his belt, during which time he not only gained a fully developed set of both story-telling and rendering skills, but from which he came into the possession of a thorough and strong grasp of the medium as a whole.  As a result his experiments continually bore fruit, resulting in the creation of many unique works, most notably in his employment of "direct address."  There are quite a few classic Lucey tales in which Archie, Jughead, Betty and/or Veronica directly address the reader and engage them in a deconstruction of the narrative as -- or sometimes before -- it transpires.  He was also the master of pantomime comics, as this classic posted at The Copacetic Gallery attests.  Anyway... to get to the point:  while this volume we're hawking to you here barely scratches the surface of the work of Harry Lucey and contains none of his very best work, it still makes for the best single volume of Archie Comics currently available and is eminently worth the while of anyone who enjoys comics as well as anyone who wants to learn how to add a little magic to their own comics making efforts.  While we're not 100% certain of this fact -- as duties were often shared at Archie Comics and Lucey may only have a hand in some of these as opposed to being the sole artist (for example, we're pretty sure someone else worked on the last story in the book, "The Line," but it still has enough trademarked Lucey-isms to make us believe he was involved) -- we believe that all the stories in the book are by Lucey (if not soley, then at least in some capacity), except those on pages 12 - 41.  So, dig in!
retail price - $11.95   copacetic price  - $10.75

And, as an added bonus, we presentThe Copacetic Depression Buster Bargain™ #1

TCJ Summer SpecialThe Comics Journal Special Edition: Volume Two
Summer 2002 - the Music Issue
edited by Anne Elizabeth Moore
 What's so great about this book – besides the price – that we're bothering to bring it to your attention despite the fact that it is over six years old?  Well, just for starters, it was the 2003 Harvey Award Winner for the Best Anthology. It's  180 pages in all.  The cover feature spotlight shines on master cartoonist Jim Woodring who turns in the fab cover painting you see here and who is the subject of two essays by Donald Phelps and Kenneth Smith respectively, as well as a new interview.  There are plenty more great features that you can discover by reading the full page listing for this item, but most of all, there are the comics.  There's a lot of nice work here by many of today's top cartoonists, working in both full color and B & W as they are wont to do. The entire spectrum of music is covered here, from classical to ragtime to jazz to rock to folk to punk to avant garde as well as children's music and general pieces on musicality, listening and more.   Hold onto your hats and check out the contributor list:  Gilbert Hernandez, Jaime Hernandez, Chris Ware, Michael Kupperman, James Sturm, Mary Fleener, P. Craig Russell (w/ Lovern Kindzierski), Penny Van Horn, Spain Rodriguez, Ron Regé, Jr., John Porcellino, Jordan Crane, David Collier, Peter Blegvad, Rick Geary, Rick Altergott, Johnny Ryan, Steven Weissman, Megan Kelso, Gerald Jablonski, Ted Jouflas, Roger Langridge, Tim Hensley, Justin Green, Mark Kalesniko, Carol Lay, Sam Henderson, Ho Che Anderson, Phoebe Gloeckner, Tony Millionaire, Frank Stack, Bill Griffith, Arnold Roth, Mark Martin, Ivan Brunetti, John Kerschbaum, Wilfred Santiago, Sherri Flenniken, Mack White, Carol Tyler, Victor Moscoso, and, yes, even R. Crumb, whose submission is an instant classic!  But, most amazing of all is the price, of this, our first Depression Buster Bargain™!
retail price - $22.95   copacetic depression buster bargain price  - $4.44

Items from our February 2009 listings may now be purchased online at our new site, HERE.

ordering info

New for January 2009

Comics Studies ReaderA Comics Studies Reader
edited by Jeet Heer and Kent Worcester
We knew it was only a matter of time until a book like this showed up on our shelves. To anyone interested in getting started in digging deeper into the amazing riches buried beneath the surface of the comics page, Heer and Worcester's A Comics Studies Reader is one of the best shovels money can buy.  Sure to become the default primary source text for many a Comics Studies 101 class -- as well as becoming the go to text for the comics unit in pop culture classes -- CSR is provides a number of different critical approaches to the subject, in the process providing its readers with some valuable interpretive tools.  Following the editors' introduction and Thierry Groensteen's overview essay, "Why Are Comics Still in Search of Cultural Legitimization?", the book is divided into four sections, each of which receives its own editorial intro: Historical Considerations; Craft, Art, Form; Culture, Narrative, Identity; Scrutiny and Evaluation.  While everyone will doubtless have their own ideas about what should constitute a volume such as this, and there are certainly writers whose work we were disappointed not to see included, second guessing is easy.  This is a fine survey of the burgeoning field of critical approaches to comics that serves its primary purpose quite well:  to stimulate the intellects of students and scholars of all stripes and hep the rest of the world to what we've known all along:  comics contain a motherlode of cultural treasures that will amply reward any and all who dedicate themselves to its study.
retail price - $24.95   copacetic price - $22.22

Buck Rogers 1Buck Rogers in the 25th Century:
The Complete Newspaper Dailies: Volume One 1929-1930
by Phil Nowlan and Dick Calkins
introduction by Ron Goulart
This massive, oversize (12" x 9"), horizontally formatted hardcover initiates the collecting of the complete newspaper dailies of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.  It starts off with an introduction by noted science fiction author and long time comics fan, Ron Goulart, that is accompanied by a bunch of swell reproductions of the covers to the early Buck Rogers comics, movie posters, lobby cards and merchandise, along with some early science fiction magazine covers to help put it all in context.  The big shock we got when we started in reading this is that Buck Rogers is from... Pittsburgh, PA!!!
retail price - $39.95   copacetic price  - $34.95

The Big SkinnyThe Big Skinny:
How I Changed My Fattitude
by Carol Lay
Long suffering (anybody out there remember Good Girls?) comics artist Carol Lay does her part to expand the boundaries of comics with this first ever all-comics weight-loss guidebook.  This is a full color, full-size, 196-page work that is filled with Ms. Lay's characteristic wit and good humor and that makes for an engaging, entertaining and educational read.  Billed as a memoir, it combines personal narrative with humorous anecdotes, practical tips and how-to guides, and follows it all up with a fairly comprehensive illustrated reference section that covers calorie charts, menus, and a heaping pile of recipes.  It closes with a handy checklist to help anyone setting out on this particular journey to keep on the path.  It should go without saying (but you know us well enough to know we can't resist) that this will make the perfect gift for any comics fan looking to improve their physical well-being.  Intrigued?  Learn more and get a taste, here.
retail price - $18.00   copacetic price  - $16.25

edited by Gary Goth and Eric Reynolds
The marquee highlight this time around is the first part (of three) to an all-new full-length saga -- "Last Gig in Shnagrlig," (no, that's not a typo) by the one and only Gilbert "Freak Brothers" Shelton.  Other MOME first timers this time around are David "Duplex Planet" Greenberger, Josh "Happy" Simmons, Laura Park and Pic.  They join Dash Shaw, Kurt Wolfgang, TIm Hensley (who contributes a whopping three stories this time out), Nate Neal, T. Ott, Sarah Edward-Corbett, Conor O'Keefe and Derek Van Gieson.  Alienation and absurdity abound, thoughtfully rendered with craft and care.
retail price - $14.99   copacetic price  - $13.50

Wholphin 7Wholphin #7
It would be hard to improve on their own blurb:  "Wholphin No. 7 features a short film by Gus Van Sant based on a William S. Burroughs short story; a face off between American gray squirrels and British red squirrels; a hallucinogenic post-Katrina New Orleans masterpiece; a documentary exploring autism from the animators of Waking Life; an incredibly close look at the sun in its most inactive and gorgeous state; Field Notes from Dimension X, bumper cars, UFOs and more. Issue 7 also includes a special bonus disc containing a highly controversial interactive scientific experiment in retroactive causality, in which the Wholphin audience, just by watching, will help to determine the role of consciousness in the establishment of a physical reality."  Yes, it's another great issue of the "DVD Magazine of Rare and Unseen Short Films."  Wholphin has yet to let us down.  Every issue has been a winner.  We heartily encourage anyone who enjoys intelligent, adventurous, independent films and has yet to check it out, to do so as soon as opportunity and finances permit.  We have all seven issues in stock for our regular discount.  Learn more, watch some previews, and see some exclusive, internet-only short films HERE.
retail price - $19.99   copacetic price  - $17.77

TCJ 295The Comics Journal #295
This time around we have interviews with popular mainstream comics author, Brian K. Vaughan (Runaways, Y the Last Man, etc.) and Italian graphic novelist, Gipi (Garage Band, War Story, etc.).  There are the usual truckload of reviews, among which the highlight is the debut of Frank Santoro as the reviewer for "Minimalism," The Journal's coulmn devoted to reviews of self-published work, in which he gives us his take on ten deserving creations.  This issue's classic comics section is devoted to "The Theorist," an early full-page strip by Charles A. Voight that ran in the original Life humor magazine from 1915 to 1921.  It delineates the mayhem wrought by a man who thinks too much for his own good; it features concise writing, crisp penwork, and a strong understanding on the relationship between delivery, pacing and the punchline; and, hey, whattaya know -- it's funny!
retail price - $11.99   copacetic price  - $10.75

Wizzywig 2Wizzywig 2: Hacker
by Ed Piskor
The youngest old schooler on the block, Pittsburgher Ed Piskor, is back with the second volume of his series chronicling the computer counterculture.  Expect intrigue, suspense, moral dilemmas, crazy late night antics, intimations of drug use, a bunch of brainiacs engaging in anti-authoritarian behaviors and more, all sharply delineated with Piskor's patented persnickety penwork and laid out in his relentless quadruplicate grid.  So confident is Mr. Piskor of the  appeal of this story that, in a fit of generosity, he has loaded the entire first half of this work onto his site, where you can peruse it at will, HERE.
retail price - $15.00   copacetic price  - $12.75

Steve Ditko: Edge of Genius
Alex Toth: Edge of Genius - Volume 2Ditko Edge of Genius
Two more fantastic, 160 page, 8 1/2" x 11", volumes from the one and only Pure Imagination Publishing.  The Ditko volume is especially splendiferous for providing readers with a hefty chunk of Ditko's earliest work -- one (his first) from 1953, and a whopping sixteen from 1954.  These stories originally appeared in the pages of such classic titles as Black Magic, Strange Suspense Stories, This Magazine is Haunted, and The Thing.  Also included in the Ditko volume is a freaky bondage tale Ditko co-created with his studio-mate, Eric Stanton, for the infamous Irving Klaw's Movie Star News (best known for its Bettie Page in bondage photos).  We'd never seen this one before.  Tales of war, adventure, horror and especially romance fill the second Toth volume in the Edge of Genius series.  What can we say about Toth that hasn't been said a thousand times before?  The comics here are the gold standard for layout and storytelling.   Anyone who enjoys fine comics should be sure to read some Alex Toth, and anyone with ambitions to doing comics themselves -- at least those comics that involve storytelling -- pretty much has to get around to studying Toth sooner or later.  The sooner the better, we say.  Edge of Genius - Volume 2 is a great place to start.
retail price - $25.00@  copacetic special price - $19.99@

Beasts2Beasts Book 2
edited and designed by Jacob Covey
The Beasts are back!  Fantagraphics is, we're sure, proud to present the second volume filled with full-page (in some cases, multiple-page) "depictions gathered from diverse authorities, modern and medieval, with varying degrees of reliability."  Here we have another gilt-edged, fancy-pants, hardcover volume featuring another host of amazing talent including Peter Bagge, Blexbolex, Lilli Carré, Brian Chippendale, Eleanor Davis, Kim Deitch, Leif Goldberg, Tomer Hanuka, Jaime Hernandez, Paul Horschemeier, Walt Holcombe, Roger Langridge, John Vermilyea, Laura Weinstein, Jim Woodring, Dan Zettwoch -- who turns in a whopping four-pager -- and plenty more!
retail price - $34.95   copacetic price  - $29.75

Beasts SCBeasts - softcover edition
edited and designed by Jacob Covey
The long out-of-print premiere volume of Beasts now gets a second lease on life in this econmically priced softcover edition.  Page after full-color page of all-new, never-before-seen, far out and freaky beasts created by the likes of Marc Bell, TIm Biskup, Matt Brinkman, Art Chantry, Dave Cooper, Jordan Crane, Renee French, Gilbert Hernandez, James Jean, R. Kikuo Johnson, Tony Millionaire, Ron Regé, Jr., Johnny Ryan, Souther Salazar, and many more -- 90 artists in all!
retail price - $24.99   copacetic price  - $19.99

Retinal DelightsIn the Land of Retinal Delights:
The Juxtapoz Factor
Here's the catalogue that accompanied the landmark exhibit held late last year at the Laguna Art Museum.  Named in honor of the 1968 Robert Williams painting that graces the catalogue cover, and celebrating the trailblazing role of Williams's Juxtapoz magazine in fostering this California-based art movement -- alternately known as Pop Surrealism and Lowbrow Art -- which has grown (more or less) out of the car culture of "Big Daddy" Roth, Von Dutch, and, yes, Robert Williams, who is clearly riding high here, this catalogue is chock full of works in all sorts of mediums including comics, sculpture, photography, prints, and, primarily, painting.  There are insights galore to be gained from the artwork on display here, primarily involving the unintended consequences of America's culture of consumerism and its subsequent spread to Asia.  You can get a bit -- but only a bit -- of an idea what's in store at this Flickr page on the show.
retail price - $29.95   copacetic price  - $26.95

The Cream of Tank GirlThe Cream of Tank Girl
by Jaime Hewlett and Alan Martin
This is a great big and beautiful hardcover volume that will be a guaranteed treat for any and all Tank Girl true believers.  Its primary achievement is to recreate the bonhomie of the good ol' days back at Deadline UK, where Tank Girl was the toast of the town and fun was the word of the hour.  Most if not all of the fabulous Tank Girl covers are here, along with most of the Hewlett work that was produced for its pages that never made it into any of the Tank Girl collections.  Also included are a select scattering of photos carefully calibrated to give readers that "you-are-there" feeling.  And speaking of feelings, a distinct feeling -- almost a  tangy taste -- of "we're never going to grow up and you can't make us" thoroughly permeates the proceedings here.  Bonus material includes a complete storyboard for an unproduced Tank Girl animation by Hewlett, along with the beginnings of what was to be Hewlett and Martin's follow-up to Tank Girl, "The 16s."  This was imagined as a Peanuts-like continuity strip, but it was, alas, not to be, and this volume closes out with a look at what might have been.
retail price - $29.95   copacetic price  - $26.95

1940s PostersEssential Movies of the Decade: Film Posters of the 40s through the '90s
edited by Tony Nourmand & Graham Marsh
This series offers up seven, lushly printed, full color, oversize, 128 page, softcover volumes which together comprise the best collection of movie posters we've ever come across.   Nourmand and Marsh have not only chosen the best movies they've chosen the best posters of the best movies -- and when the situation warrants it, sometimes several different posters for the same film.  The series is notable for not limiting itself to Hollywood films:  there are posters for films from around the world on display here, with a notable weighting --  after Hollywood, of course -- towards the1990s Posters films of Europe, France in particular.  But, not only that, several films get the international treatment whereby we are shown how different countries presented the same film (For example: there are posters from 3 or 4 different countries for the classic Howard Hawks film, To Have and Have Not, starring Bogart & Bacall).  Also, on some occasions we are only shown the poster for a film that was produced outside of the film's home country (for example: the amazing Polish posters for three different Peter Greenaway films, none of which we had ever laid eyes on before).  Best of all, through a special purchase, we are able to offer all seven volumes for less than half of their original price.
retail price - $17.99@  copacetic special price - $8.88@

And while we're at it, here are a couple more great specials that most Copacetic regulars are already familiar with, but that we never got around to listing on this page:

Jazz ABZJazz A•B•Z
by Paul Rogers and Wynton Marsalis
OK, this is not just the perfect gift book for the jazz fan on your list, it is also makes for an ideal gift to give to anyone -- of any age -- who has a love of words and pictures.  This sumptuous hardcover volume has the potential to turn the squarest square into the heppest cat.  Everyone is a jazz fan in the making:  this is just the ticket to inspire them to take a closer look.  Jazz ABZ is a pæn to jazz in art and poetry that simply has to be seen to be believed.  The essence of jazz -- collaboration, composition, and improvisation -- is embodied in this singular tribute to the form.  The overall package is designed to resemble the traditional albums of 78rpm records from back in the day when jazz was king.  Rogers has totally nailed the jazz aesthetic inLouie! these 26 poster-like portraits, each devoted to a giant of jazz. And, thanks to the miracle of the internet, you don't have to take our word for it, as every one of these masterworks is viewable online, HERE, (just scroll down and then click on any thumbnail to enlarge it to the size of the image at right).  Every one of these is accompanied by a truly wonderful jazz-poem portrait by the one and only Wynton Marsalis that really captures these historic figures in surprisingly sophisticated pieces (surprising in that who knew Mr. Marsalis was an accomplished poet?  Not us, that's for sure!) that manage to simultaneously demonstrate a great empathy for the humanity of these jazz champions in the description of their characters and capture the essence of their unique musicality in the equally unique form each of the poems takes.   And we're selling it for 60% off it's original list price!
retail price - $24.95 
copacetic special price - $9.95

Dream StreetDream Street:  W. Eugene Smith's Pittsburgh Photographs
edited by Sam Stephenson
critical essay by Alan Trachtenberg
W. Eugene Smith's Pittsburgh photographs are widely considered to constitute one of the greatest city portraits in the history of photography.  Smith himself saw them as the central, pivotal work of his storied career, despite the fact that his ambitions for it were such that they were never fully realized.  Over the course of three years -- 1955, 56 & 57 -- spent on and off in Pittsburgh, Smith made 17,000 photographs of the city in his attempt to push beyond the limitations of the photo essay and expand the boundries of  the medium of photography to create a grand, unified work of art akin to a symphony or a novel.  Editor Stephenson has distilled the essence of this massive effort into the 175 duotone photographs that fill this 10" x 11" softcover volume.  Many of these will be instantly recognizable to any Pittsburgher as they have been reproduced so often, but they take on added meaning and new life when viewed in the context of the over-arching narrative created by the assemblage collected here, which presents an unmatched portrait of Pittsburgh, PA smack in the middle of the American Century.  Stephenson and Trachtenberg provide biographical and historical contexts that add immensely to the appreciation and comprehension of the work.  This is a work that will be treasured by Pittsburghers, admired by artists, photographers, critics and connoisseurs, and valued by historians for many years to come.
retail price - $29.95  copacetic special price - $11.95

Items from our January 2009 listings may now be purchased online at our new site, HERE.

ordering info

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 2008: October - December, New Arrivals
3Q 2008: July - September, New Arrivals
2Q 2008: April - June, New Arrivals
1Q 2008: January - March, New Arrivals

4Q 2007: October - December, New Arrivals
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4Q 2006: October - December, New Arrivals
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4Q 2005: October - December, New Arrivals
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4Q 2004: October - December, New Arrivals
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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

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prices and availability current as of  31 March 2009