Copacetic Arrivals: 4Q 2011
all items still available (unless otherwise noted)
ordering info

New for December 2011

SGM1Study Group Magazine, Issue 1
edited by Zack Soto
Anyone on the prowl for a new comics anthology to sink their teeth into since the demise of MOME is sure to be pleased by the promising first issue of Study Group Magazine currently beckoning from the Copacetic central display table.  Rising from the fertile loam of the Portland, OR comics scene, it is edited and published by Zack Soto and features some delectable work from some of the freshest talents chosen from among the current crop of comics creators, including Malachi Ward, Aidan Koch, Michael DeForge, Chris Cilla and cover artist, Eleanor Davis, who is also the subject of an interview and who provides a nice transition for MOME readers, as her story was one of the highlights of MOME's last issue.  Study Group Magazine's format is a tall vertical format (
8 1/2" x 12") printed in deep sepia against a light purple and deep yellow duo-tone color scheme that reminds us somewhat of the NoBrow aesthetic.  A highlight of this issue is an excellent, in-depth, heavily illustrated – with character studies, thumbnails, layouts, and finished pages – 17 page interview cum essay with Craig Thompson conducted and assembled by Milo George that focuses on his approaches to making comics in general and the creation of Habibi in specific, as well as providing valuable insight into his career and development as an artist. In addition, there is an appreciation of European comics wunderkind Brecht Evens by Greice Schneider that provides some food for thought.  Did we mention that it is a numbered addition of 1000 copies? that DeForge's contribution is an instant cartoon classic that will burrow deep within your subconscious mind and take up residence?  All in all an auspicious debut. 
retail price - $12.00  copacetic price - $10.00

TeenieTeenie Harris, Photographer: Image, Memory, History
by Cheryl Finley, Laurence Glasco and Joe W. Trotter
Teenie Harris's star keeps burning brighter and brighter, and is now shining high in a massive show of his work currently on display at The Carnegie Museum of Art here in Pittsburgh through April 7, 2012. 
Teenie Harris, Photographer: Image, Memory, History is the catalogue to that show and it goes a long way to revealing the amazing social, cultural and spiritual riches of Pittsburgh's African-American community.  Anyone wondering what makes Pittsburgh special can find a large part of their answer of display right here.  Anyone who can, should attend this show – there's still plenty of time to make it.  Those who can't should consider picking up a copy of the catalogue, as it does a great job of presenting it, with 100 full-page plates and another hundred supporting images along with a trio of excellent in-depth essays that situate and contextualize Harris's life and work.  The printing and presentation is uniformly excellent and the book is a joy.  At the very least, everyone should spend some time at the Carnegie's Teenie Harris Archives; it's a wonderful resource. 
retail price - $24.99  copacetic price - $24.99

BFF ABlast Furnace Funnies
by Frank Santoro
And while we're on the topic of great Pittsburgh-themed work on display at The Carnegie Museum of Art, we are excited to at last be able to offer for sale copies of Frank Santoro's 16-page
tabloid newspaper comics work that was part of his exhibit at the 2011 Pittsburgh Biennial.  In a signature Santoro move, Blast Furnace Funnies is a work of "High" (i.e., museum quality) art executed in the lowest of the "Low" art forms (a disposable newspaper); employing ephemerality to evoke eternity, he has here worked (in a form that often ends up) in the gutter to reach for the stars.  The originals for all 16 pages of Blast Furnace Funnies wereBFF B exhibited at The Carnegie alongside of a giant stack of the newspapers we're offering here, and they really stood out on the walls for the wide tonal range displayed on each page; from wispy grays to solid blacks, from strong straight lines to streaks, curves, scribbles and blurs, each page contained marks made to match the mood.  The color scheme of the newspaper itself is a duo-tone of varying saturations, consisting of yellow and magenta, that yields a surprising variety of hues, suggested and actual.  The message that Blast Furnace Funnies has to deliver is a meditation on the relationship between the here and now and the past and gone that is, critically, played out in parallel on the scales of the personal and the historical.  The narrative works to convey how we use our sense of the historical to understand our own lives – and even more, to suggest that, at the end of the day, all we really have are our own personal histories; that perhaps the ultimate function of the history that we learn from books and at school is to help us come to grips with existence.  We all live in a relentless forward motion, each moment is here and then it is gone, replaced by the next and never to be physically experienced again.  The memory of each moment is, however, in the context of an individual's own life – and, like "historical" events – always there.  The personal is the historical.  Memory is history.  Pittsburgh is Pompeii. 
copacetic price - $8.00

robotoBuilding a Better Robot: 10 Years of the Mr. Roboto Project
Text by Andy Mulkerin; created by Andy Mulkerin, Mike Q. Roth and Missy Wright; w/ Dan Bidwa and Arthur Daniel Allen
You want local? We got local.  Building a Better Robot is a made in Pittsburgh book (and DVD!) that chronicles a made in Pittsburgh project that has become a fixture on the Pittsburgh scene:  Mr. Roboto.  This 8" square format book runs for 192 pages and contains at least that number of black and white photos by a host of scene documentarians – notably Shawn Brackbill – as well as a full-length DVD containing, according to its creators, "37 songs by Pittsburgh bands that either helped define the Mr. Roboto Project or were themselves highly defined by Roboto.  In addition, the DVD contains video of some of these bands performing at the first Roboto space.  It also has a digital and searchable version of the Roboto show list, and extra images, including show fliers." 
retail price - $20.00  copacetic price - $20.00

sky dream

His Dream of the Skyland

by Anne Opotowsky and Aya Morton
Wow!  This book came out of nowhere.  Nearly 300 pages in length,
this oversize softcover is the product of a pair of Americans that has been issued by Gestalt Publishing of Australia and beautifully printed in Singapore on heavy, flat white stock.  Written by Anne Opotowsky and fabulously rendered by Aya Morton in a unique water color fashion, employing an asian-inflected brushwork style with a muted, limited palette that excludes black line and hews to blue (do yourself a favor and check out these page samples).  Set in early 20th century Hong Kong, specifically the Kowloon area, it follows the adventures of a young man, Song, as he sets out to explore the possibilities life has to offer.  Believe it or not, this mammoth tome is only the first volume of the Walled City Trilogy! 
retail price - $32.99  copacetic price - $29.75


Tales Designed to Thrizzle #7
by Michael Kupperman
It's nutty, it's goofy, it's thrizzly, it's in color, it has fumetti(!), and it's here!
retail price - $4.95  copacetic price - $4.50


Curio Cabinet #5

by John Brodowski
A long awaited new issue of this unclassifiable series if finally here.  The first four issues were self-published by Brodowski before being collected into a trade by the fine folks at Secret Acres, who have now assumed publishing duties on the series as well.  Secret Acres has put their weight behind this issue and as a result it has vastly improved production values.  Brodowski's work is surreal, presenting dreamlike narratives pulsating with an elusive intuitive internal logic that while palpable, remain ever just beyond the reader's grasp.  This issue features four stories, each of which confronts an often violent and/or militaristic masculinity from a particular – what can only be termed "Brodowskian" – angle. 
retail price - $7.95  copacetic price - $7.50

Bell1Bell 2
Diary, L.A. Diary & San Diego Diary
by Gabrielle Bell
This trio of diary comics continues in the vein of Bell's Drawn and Quarterly collections, and present a series of great slice-of-life comics that are sure to appeal to all of her fans and are well worth checking out by anyone interested in diary comics.  Each of these roughly digest size publications features a cardstock cover and is jam packed with 20-26 pages of comics. 
retail price - $4.00  copacetic price - $4.00


The Collected John G. Miller: 1990-1999
by John G. Miller
The comics contained in this 8" x 12" 162 page softcover import collection emanating from the UK are straight up genre comics drawn in an ultra high contrast fashion with a punky lo-fi edge.   Maintaining a common touch throughout, Miller mocks authority in any and all forms.  The stories are formulaic, but full of deconstructive twists and turns that result in the normal results being turned on their heads.  Youthful exhuberence triumphs over rules and rigidity. Silly and adolescent, yes – but also winkingly knowing and fun!
retail price - £12.99  copacetic price - $20.00


Milk and Cheese: Dairy Product Gone Bad
by Evan Dorkin
O, the mayhem! the brutality! the sheer unadulterated violence! the carnage!
the lunacy! the unbridled ferocity in the service of adolescent petulance! and, most of all, the gut-busting laughs that all this will mercilessly shake out of the reader!  All this can now be yours in this massive, durable, oversize, 240 page hardcover volume that collects it all in one place to have and hold forever more – all for a shockingly low price (that will be sure to spike higher should this treasure go out of print; so don't delay).
retail price - $19.99  copacetic price - $18.88

Figure Drawing For All It's Worth
by Andrew Loomis
This long lost classic is now back in print AT LAST!  One of the most – many would say THE most – respected, admired and sought after How To Draw Books of the 20th century is now once again available in this wonderful facsimile edition.  The publishers, Titan Books (who have been on quite a roll lately, we must say!) wisely refrained from tinkering with the original and have republished it in its original form.  Any and all artists who aspire to verisimiltude in their drawing of their fellow humans – or even those who wish to learn the rules only so they can more effectively break them – should give this one some very serious consideration.
retail price - $39.99  copacetic price - $35.00


Drawing the Head & Hands

by Andrew Loomis
Here's the first of Loomis's companion volumes to Figure Drawing For All It's Worth.  Anyone who was rewarded by their interactions with that  classic volume will likely be wanting to make this one their next installment of the Loomis lessons.
retail price - $39.99  copacetic price - $35.00

Items from our December 2011 listings may now be purchased online at our new site, HERE.

New for November 2011

Barks1Donald Duck: "Lost in the Andes"

by Carl Barks
Over the past decade, probably the single biggest frustration we've experienced here at The Copacetic Comics Company was the inability to offer customers the opportunity to experience the magic of Carl Barks in book form. This frustration was then exponentially magnified by the fact that at any given moment, nearly the entire body of work of the comics creator who was measurably the most widely read and putatively the most beloved in the history of American comic books was out of print!  The influence
on American culture of the Disney duck comic books Carl Barks wrote, penciled, inked and lettered for roughly a quarter century is incalculably large.  George Lucas and Steven Spielberg are just two of the literally millions of baby-boomers who grew up reading the comics of Carl Barks and who felt the imprint of Barks's wide-ranging spirit of adventure and pomposity-puncturing sense of humor; R. Crumb's entire sensibility is grounded in Barks; and this is just the tiniest tip of the iceberg – most of all was the influence that the millions upon millions of childhood hours spent reading works that were both wildly entertaining and subtly subversive had on the generation that came of age in the 60s.  Carl Barks is one of the true titans of comic books, one of the very few who can hold their own with the likes of Jack Kirby, Will Eisner, Harvey Kurtzman and R. Crumb.  Now, at last, well over a decade since Gladstone Publishing's incarnation of the Barks oeuvre went out of print, his collected works will once again become available for North American readers (his works have been in print in parts of Europe; elsewhere?) in what – based on the evidence of the first volume – is sure to be the most outstanding edition ever produced.  Rather than potentially put off novice Barks readers by starting the series right at the 1942 beginning of Barks's tenure on Donald Duck, Fantagraphics has launched the series with a period that is both one of the most popular and critically heralded (think Duke Ellington's Blanton-Webster era band):  the stretch in 1948 and 1949 that contains this volume's "title track," Lost in the Andes, as well as the equally classic March of Comics giveaway, Race to the South Seas, along with two other "feature length" tales, nine consecutive (and classic) 10-pagers, and a sizable helping of one-page gag strips, which, taken together, give a good idea of the tremendous range and quality of his work.  An eight page introduction by Donald Ault, the English-speaking world's foremost Barks authority, starts off the collection, and it concludes with twenty pages of notes on the stories by a bevy of Barks scholars including The Comics Journal's Rich Kreiner.  So, thank you Gary Groth, Kim Thompson and Eric Reynolds, for undertaking to edit and publish the The Carl Barks Library.  Thank you Jacob Covey and Tony Ong, for your excellent design.  Thank you Rich Tommaso and Paul Baresh, for, respectively, your superb coloring and production.  Thank you Donald Ault and the host of other fine Barks scholars for your thoughtful contributions to aid in the understanding of and provide context for the work presented here.  And, of course, most of all, thank you Carl Barks for producing one of the greatest bodies of work in the history of comics.  Doubters among you may want to take a moment to read this generous 17-page PDF preview, but bear in mind that the experience simply won't be nearly as satisfying as that provided by the print edition.
retail price - $24.99  copacetic price - $19.99

BlabberEverything, Volume 1: Blabber Blabber Blabber Blabber
by Lynda Barry
Having, in What It Is and Picture This, given us her latest and greatest, Lynda Barry now takes us back to her (artistic) beginnings – the years 1978-1983 – and gives us a guided tour from her current, older and wiser vantage point.  It pretty much goes without saying that  all Lynda Barry fans will find this volume a treasure.  In addition to including the entirety of her first published (and looong out of print) book collection, Girls + Boys, Blabber Blabber collects over 100 pages worth of her earliest comics work
in book form for the first time!  The format of this, the first volume of Drawn & Quarterly's "Everything Lynda Barry" series, preserves that of What It Is and Picture This, and it seems likely that subsequent volumes of the series will continue to do so as well.  The archival work is presented here cocooned in a design that is a product of her current sensibility and that includes comics 'n' collage introductions and annotations produced specifically for this volume.  As a result, the entire feel of this book is very much a piece with those preceding it and allows new arrivals to the world of Lynda Barry to feel right at home.  And, in a moment of copacetic synchronicity, the opening epigraph to this work is taken from Gahan Wilson's classic of childhood angst, Nuts, the re-release of which we celebrated in last month's listing (see below).  To wit:  "The hardest part about growing up was trying to figure out what was growing up and what wasn't, and you were never sure at any point whether or not you got it right."
retail price - $24.95  copacetic price - $22.50

SFSomeday Funnies
edited by Michel Choquette; introduction by Robert Greenfield; foreword by Jeet Heer
Well, here's something you don't see everyday:  a comics anthology that has been completed but unable to find a publisher for nearly forty years, finally being published!  As readers of The Comics Journal #299 the cover feature of which was an in-depth article on the history of this volume – already know, this volume had reached a legendary/mythical status.  Robert Greenfield's introduction squarely situates the work contained in this volume as a document of "The Sixties," While comics critic/historian Jeet Heer's foreword provides ample context and background for the comics work the book contains as well as a chronology of its epic 40-year journey from inception to publication.  We've barely dipped out toes in this majorly oversize – 11" x 17" – 216 page, full color hardcover volume containing 120 comic strips by 169 creators, so we're not going to say much about the contents at this time, but we will provide you with some of the contributors, and let you do the math:  Jack Kirby, Will Eisner, C.C. Beck, Wallace Wood, Harvey Kurtzman, Arnold Roth, Don Martin, Gahan Wilson, Bobby London, Trina Robbins, Vaughn Bodé,
Steve Englehart, Archie Goodwin, Denny O'Neil, Ralph Reese, Alan Weiss, Herb Trimpe, Frank Zappa, Harlan Ellison, William S. Burroughs, Roy Thomas, Barry Smith (before he added Windsor) Guido Crepax, Ralph Steadman, Leo & Diane Dillon, Walter & Louise Simonson, Justin Green, Bill Griffith, Red Grooms, Russ Heath, Jay Kinney, Denis Kitchen, (a very young) Art Spiegelman, (also very young) Stan Mack, Ever Meulen,  Joost Swarte, Tom Wolfe,  Federico Fellini, and many, many more!  Also included is a "92-drawing take on Choquette's travels by Michael Fog" that parallels and brackets the comics the volumes contains.  Surprisingly (at least to us), the intent to create an interweaving bracketing tale was a component of the original volume's conception, and blank spaces were deliberately left in many of the pages at Choquette's instruction. 
retail price - $55.00  copacetic price - $45.00

Color Engineering

by Yuichi Yokoyama
This one is a challenging excursion into the mental landscape, so you'll need some quality alone time, perhaps with some choice trance instrumentals blasting in your headphones blocking out any extraneous distractions, to take the trip that is Color Engineering.  We strongly recommend that you make your first run through solely focused on the visuals:  ignore the text and the translations – just take in the images as they build, one on the next; feel the rhythm.  Only after you have completed this journey, and have absorbed it, should you pay any attention to the text and notes.  Our quick formulaic take away is:
∫ f (Yuichi Yokoyama's Color Engineering) dx = F (Jennifer Bartlett's Rhapsody) - F (Jack Kirby's The Eternals).  In other words:  prepare yourself.  When you have finished the journey, you will doubtless come back with your own ideas.
retail price - $35.00  copacetic price - $35.00

18001-800 Mice
by Matthew Thurber
This swellegant hardcover volumes collects all five issues of the 1-800-Mice comic book series that has many longtime readers here at Copacetic; but that's not all!  Those lollygaggers among you who have been putting off their partaking of this fine work are rewarded for delaying your gratification with
an all-new, never-before-seen concluding chapter that appears here for the first time (the rest of us longtime devotees would have probably bought this book anyway, but now there's simply no getting around it).  We'd say more, but anything we might have to say seems superfluous after reading these testimonials:  "Mr. Thurber has invested everything in his demented opus, and the payoff is rich with big laughs and a palpable sense that his world of mice and man-tree love persists far beyond the borders of its panels." -- Daniel Clowes  • " Matthew Thurber uses the lowly conventions of the comic-book to express the narrative freedom of the unconscious mind.  He has singlehandedly revived the surrealist program of revolutionary politics through dreamwork.  What more can you ask for in a comic-book?" – Ben Katchor • Bonus:  comes complete with an illustrated dramatis personae, to help you keep track of the massive cast of characters!
retail price - $22.95     copacetic price - $19.75

GICGovernment Issue Comics
edited, compiled and annotated by Richard L Graham
Government Issue Comics provides readers with a 300 page overview of over sixty years of government sponsored comics.  The numerous and various branches of
the US government managed, unsurprisingly, to recruit some of the top comics talent of its time, and in these pages you will find work by Will Eisner, Milton Caniff, Al Capp, Joe Kubert and Kurt Schaffenberger – and Charles Schulz, Walt Kelly, Chic Young and George McManus (and Al Wiseman!), along with a host of anonymous unknowns, all working on behalf of educating their fellow citizens on a (very) wide array of issues.  Richard Graham, an associate professor and media services librarian at the University of Nebraska has put together a broad survey of this massive but under-appreciated aspect of comics history.  It is organized into four categories:  military; economics and employment; civil defense, safety and health; and landscapes and lifestyles.  Each of these sections begins with an introductory essay by Graham that puts the comics in context.  Readers with Q-Code readers will, in theory, be able to access a large online archive of these comics by scanning the digital access code at the end of the book (or, go here and download PDF files of some of the complete comics and start reading now; just scroll down...).   Yes, history can be fun!
retail price - $29.95  copacetic SALE price - $17.77

crimeSimon & Kirby Crime
by Jack Kirby; w/ Joe Simon
Kirby fans (and everyone else, for that matter), hold onto your hats!  Kirby's work here is the most dynamic and powerful work of the first half of his career, the
two decades prior to his launching the Marvel Age of Comics – some might even say – of his entire career– and will knock your socks off!  Clear your mind of any preconceptions and prepare yourself for the dynamic action of Headline Comics, Justice Traps the Guilty and more.  While certainly not complete, Simon & Kirby Crime provides a very healthy portion of the classic crime comics produced by Jack Kirby with Joe Simon from 1947 through 1955.  These are great stories with art that really puts you back in the day, providing an uncanny sense of the seamy side of post-WWII life.  But most of all, it is the amazing daring of Kirby's art here that will impress.  The level of pure formal abstraction, the way he breaks down pages – splashes (and double-page splashes) as well as his riffs on the standard six-panel grid – and, especially, what he manages to accomplish within each panel – the incredible bravura compositions and black placements that are at times so intense as to seem to almost prefigure Franz Kline and Robert Motherwell – this is what astonishes.  Yes, the paper stock of this volume, while flat, is a tad too reflective, and, yes, the colors are as a result a bit too bright to accurately capture the darker tone of the original comics, but these are mere quibbles next to the work itself on display here.  Really, they're that good.  Do yourself a favor and get your mitts on this one. 
tail price - $49.95  copacetic price - $44.44

pogo 1Pogo: The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips, Volume One: Through the Wild Blue Yonder
by Walt Kelley; forward by Jimmy Breslin; introduction by Steve Thompson
Tis the season of classic comics reprints, for sure!  First we have the complete Carl Barks Library getting under way, then we have the Simon and Kirby Crime, and now we have the first volume in Pogo: The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips.  (Intriguingly, the material collected in all three of these books centers on the year 1949; hmmm... seems worth pondering.)  This project has long been in development, and more than once delayed, but it realy is here, and it looks like it was worth the wait!  What we have here is a massive, 290 page, oversize, horizontally formatted hardcover with an embossed cloth cover and a lush wraparound dustjacket.  It collects the daily strip from it's start on May 16, 1949 through to the end of 1950, as well as the Sunday pages from their start on January 29, 1950 through to the end of that year, with the Sundays in fantastic full color, scanned from the original pages and then "lovingly and painstakingly restored by hand and computer."  And, as if that wasn't enough, as an added bonus we also get the complete  "beta" version of the strip that ran in the New York Star from October 4, 1948 through January 28, 1949. 
retail price - $39.99  copacetic price - $35.00

The Frank Book - softcover
by Jim Woodring
One of the classic colletions of contemporary comics is now back in print in this softcover edition.  This edition appears to be identical in size and contents and reproductive quality with the original out of print hardcover edition.  The 350 pages of wordless comics, both in startling black and white and luscious cartoon color, will transport readers into a vivid realm that is part waking dream part parallel universe in which natural laws are clearly in effect but off kilter.  Woodring has continued to visit this realm in a series of works, including this year's Congress of the Animals and last year's WeathercraftThe Frank Book is where it all begins – representing the initial voyage of discovery to this previously uncharted region – and remains the essential volume  that belongs in every self-respecting comics reader's library.  Dan Clowes states, "Frank, and I say this without a shred of hyperbole, is a work of true genius by one of the all-time greats."
retail price - $34.99  copacetic price - $29.75


The Book of Human Insects
by Osamu Tezuka
Here is the latest in Vertical's excellent run of Tezuka's late-career, mature graphic novels. This story contained in this 364 page stand-alone hardcover edition was originally published in 1970 and 1971.  The Book of Human Insects ranges far and wide:  from New York City to Tokyo, from the world of design to the world of entomology, from backrooms to boardrooms, from science to sex.  A work of transformation and metamophosis full of cartooned caricatures and detailed renderings; another trademark Tezuka.
retail price - $21.95  copacetic price - $20.00

Nursery Rhyme Comics
edited by Chris Duffy
This 115 page, full-size, full color collection of 50 "timeless rhymes" includes all the favorites and then some.  What makes this one different?  What makes it stand out from the crowd?  What makes it mind-bogglingly amazing?  The list of artists who created the 50 works that fill this volumedoes, that's what.  It is practically a "who's who" of contemporary cartoonists that stretches around the block.  We're only going to give you a baker's dozen here, just to whet your appetite:  Gilbert & Jaime Hernandez (each contributing their own comics nursery rhyme), Theo Ellsworth, James Sturm, Jordan Crane, Eleanor Davis, Patrick McDonnell, Kate Beaton, Craig Thompson, Lilli Carré, Tony Millionaire, Roz Chast, Gahan Wilson... we think you get the idea. This is pretty much a guaranteed gift success story if a comics fan is involved in any capacity:  whether you're giving or getting, this one has it all.  And it is practically a Platonic ideal as a gift designed to sprout a love of comics in a new reader.          
retail price - $19.95  copacetic price - $17.77

R1Retrofit ComicsR3R2
Philadelphia's Box Brown is on a mission to save t
he monthly 32-page comic book from extinction, and so has launched Retrofit Comics to do precisely that.  We just want to let customers know that Copacetic has signed up and will be stocking all issues as they are published, and the first three are now on the stands, here at Copacetic and around the world!  Believe it or not, there are books already scheduled clear through January of 2013, so there's plenty more to look forward to.  Here's what we have so far:
#1) Fungus by James Kochalka
#2) Drag Bandits by Colleen Frakes and Betsy Swardlick
#3) Bowman by Pat Auliso
                                retail price - $5.00@  copacetic price - $4.00@


Add Toner

by Aaron Cometbus
A sequel of sorts to his perennial collection, Despite EverythingAdd Toner picks up where that volume left off and collects the "highlights" (according to Aaron's introductory essay) of Cometbus issues #44 through #48 – which must be close to everything, as it's 368 pages.  It also contains, an addendum, "8 Out of 10 Days," which is "a conglomeration of books, that for one reason or another were never released," complete with an all new essay contextualizing them.
retail price - $12.00  copacetic price - $11.00

PKD-EThe Exegesis of Philip K. Dick
by Philip K. Dick; edited by Pamela Jackson & Jonathan Lethem
Philip Dick had a very certain kind of mind.  You either relate to him or you don't.  It was a mind that turned ever increasingly in on itself during a lengthy career that began in 1954 with turning out science fiction stories and novels at a frantic pace and ending with a sort of quasi-relgious mysticism attempting to ground itself in hard science. 
To say Dick lived life on the edge is putting it mildly, and in February and March of 1974 he experienced a multi-episode revelation that changed the course of his life for its remaining eight years, and The Exegesis is, more or less, his attempt to understand it.  The Exegesis is an investigation of the process of thought itself and so involves being self-aware and self-watching as the investigation proceeds knowing that the investigation ultimately transpires in the mind and so must itself be investigated at the same time that it proceeds.  Dick believed that it is precisely this delicate oroborosian, mobius strip highwire balancing act of consciousness watching itself which germinates the seed of discovery.  It is fascinating and frustrating in equal measure as Dick spent years pouring his thoughts out onto thousands upon thousands of pages (the introduction states that the unedited total length of The Exegesis is an estimated two million words).  Thus what we have in this published volume is only a sampling of the whole, but it is a sampling that is the result of (thirty!) years of work by the people best suited for the job, and so brings you, the reader, the best possible version that could be presented in under 1000 pages.  Hardy souls, prepare to venture forth!
retail price - $40.00  copacetic price - $35.00

ecstasyThe Ecstasy of Influence
by Jonathan Lethem
Lethem is alone among contemporary novelists in his devotion to writing long form essays and short form reviews that bring the full force of both his critical acumen and his phosphorescent prose stylings to bear on subjects that other writers of his stature might feel compelled to shed having at last reached the Empyrean heights of world class fame and critical renown that
a MacArthur prize-winning author such has Lethem has now reached.  But no!  Lethem remains ever true to his roots, and is the champion of the importance and lasting value of an intelligent American popular culture rooted in arts and literatures of all stripes, including comics and science fiction (foremost among which might be his devotion to Philip K. Dick; see immediately above), movies and music, novels and paintings, and more.  The Ecstasy of Influence is the collection of these writings that we've all been waiting for.  Seventy-nine engaging pieces of sterling prose celebrating culture and the individual's identity-forming interactions with it that will leave every one of its readers wiser and more self-aware.  
retail price - $27.95  copacetic price - $25.00

Items from our November 2011 listings may now be purchased online at our new site, HERE.

New for October 2011

G4Ganges #4
by Kevin Huizenga
Here's the one Copacetic customers have been ringing the phone off the hook about.  And not without reason.  Each issue of Ganges has managed to make something new with the comics form.  Huizenga pretty much picks up here where #3 left off – it may very well be the very same evening, diegetically speaking – and continues exploring the twilight zone of consciousness that lies between waking and sleeping, where memory and fantasy mix with all kinds of thought:  this time around, from list-making to self-analysis to pondering the nature and meaning of being and time and space and... well, you get the idea.  Ever the innovator, Huizenga has here incorporated the unique Ignatz format into the body of the work by making the extended French-flaps serve as a novel form of "infinity cover" – using them to create a "hall of mirrors" effect that provides the sense that the work continues ad infinitum in either direction, both forward and backward, in time and space.  There are many major intellectual riffs being explored on these pages, which are more densely packed with ideas than any other comic book on the market.  Foremost among them here is the compositional dynamic created by playing off the innate tension between the utopianism of the collecting/hoarding impulse and the harsh reality of mortality.  This modulates seamlessly back and forth between rock solid ruminations on temporal scales – geological, historical and personal – and the human urge to collect and organize time itself in modular units.  All of which folds back in on itself in dealing with the quandaries presented by memory storage and retrieval systems, both organic and technical.  These are heady comics, but let there be no mistake, they are still comics,
and a sense playfulness suffuses all:  Huizenga is a master craftsman – all the aforementioned is made possible by the combination of his stone cold grasp of the fundamentals of the medium with his relentless explorative urge.  In keeping with the comics tradition, there are many lighthearted asides, comical juxtapositions and flat-out fun cartooning interwoven through the main themes that provide many a mirthful moment.  Notable are the various confusions and misconceptions that result from the semi-conscious state and, especially, the delicious yet not unfriendly skewering of the often overblown philosophizing of continental intellectuals of the 20th century, particularly Jean Paul Sartre and Martin Heidegger and their intellectual progeny - Jean Baudrillard and Jacques Derrida come to mind.  A comic book to remember. 
retail price - $7.95  copacetic price - $7.50

DRThe Death-Ray
by Daniel Clowes
2011 PEN Center USA Literary Award Winner, Daniel Clowes originally wrote and drew this work a few years back for what remains the last issue (#23) of his epoch-making comics book series, Eightball.  Here in this laminated, oversize, full color hardcover edition from Drawn & Quarterly it is represented in a "revised" version.  We have not yet had the opportunity to do a page by page comparison between the two versions of the story (sadly due to our inability to locate our copy of the issue of Eightball in question), but are confident that the story will continue to pack the same wallop that it did back when it first appeared – especially to those readers who are encountering it here for the first time.  We remember well when Clowes first announced that he was working on "a superhero story set in the 1970s" and he stated that his doing so was "a sure sign that I have lost my mind" (or something along those lines).  Yet, for all that, when it arrived on the stands, it was another Certified Clowes Classic™.  And here it is again for all those who weren't there the first time around – and for those who were, as well.
retail price - $19.99  copacetic price - $17.77

BAC2011The Best American Comics 2011
edited by Alison Bechdel
This year's volume gets off to a good start with Bechdel's own illustrated introduction wherein, in addition to introducing the work that follows she meanders autobiographically and waxes philosophical in and about comics.  It must mean something that this year's volume is the first in which there was a substantial amount of work that we here at Copacetic were not previously familiar with.  It seems that we can no longer keep up with all the deserving work out there.  As it doesn't feel like we're reading any less, the only conclusion to draw is that there's even more good work out there than we can keep up with.  A good sign, indeed!  The contributor list includes the essential work by those key artists whose work over the past year it is the first and foremost responsibility annual "best of" collection to present: Jaime Hernandez, Chris Ware, Joe Sacco, three of the best cartoonists of our times, did some of the best work of their career over the past year, and it is duly represented by excerpts here.  Dash Shaw's Bodyworld also receives a massive excerpt here (second in length only to Sacco's), and there are about a half dozen additional excerpts, most notably from Kevin Huizenga, Jeff Smith and Ken Dahl.  Then there are the short pieces, from all over, many of which – for the first time, as we noted – were new to us.  Included under this category are David Lasky and Mairead Case's "Soixante Neuf," Michael DeForge's "Queen," (how did we miss this one?), cover artist Jillian Tamaki's "Domestic Men of Mystery," Eric Orner's "Weekends Abroad" and Angie Wang's sumptuous "Flower Mecha."  Other great short pieces that we had already read and were glad to see here, include stories by Gabrielle Bell, John Pham, Joey Alison Sayers (from Papercutter, our favorite comic book anthology series), Noah Van Sciver, the webcomics sensation Kate Beaton and Paul Pope.  And we can't leave without mentioning the six-page "Anatomy of a Pratfall" by Peter and Maria Hoey from their self-published comic book series, Coin-Op.  This is a strongly Joost Swarte-inflected piece that would have been at home in Raw Magazine back in the day; it also reminds us, in its complexity, of some of Michel Gondry's more adventurous music videos.  We weren't hep to Coin-Op before reading this year's Best American.  Now we are; that's the idea.

retail price - $25.00  copacetic price - $22.75

Hark! A Vagrant

by Kate Beaton

Beaton's phenomenally popular webcomic series gets the deluxe Drawn & Quarterly treatment in this 166 page hardcover volume.  Beaton had previously self-published a chunk of earlier strips in Never Learn Anything from History, but this volume is quite an improvement both production quality-wise and value-wise.  The Nova Scotian Beaton gives history and literature (as well as popular culture of various eras) a fun, and feminist (post-feminist?), spin by situating it squarely in contemporary internet-connected consciousness and letting it rip.  Worlds collide as traditional linear temporality collapses in on itself when we project ourselves into the past and claim history for the present; and it's all good.
retail price - $19.95  copacetic price - $17.77


Cartoon Picayune #2
edited by Josh Kramer
36 pages of feature news stories in comics form.  This time around we have the second half of editor Kramer's story of high school ski jumpers, "Fly By Night"; Pittsburgher Bill Volk provides a tale of Pittsburgh (and post-Pittsburgh) brewing in "'Arn: A Brief History of Iron City Beer"; Josh Kramer is back again with "School's In for the Summer," a tale of – if you can believe it – a day camp school-of-rock; and then the issue closes out with a piece by
Center for Cartoon Studies founder and director, James Sturm and Katherine Roy, "Honk and Wave," that follows Vermont gubernatorial candidate, Matt Dunne around for a day of his election campaign.  A small press comics innovation!
retail price - $3.00  copacetic price - $3.00


by Brian Ralph
After years spent in the small press comics wilderness, Brian Ralph finally makes it onto bookstore shelves everywhere with this handsome, finely crafted (embossed!) hardcover volume from Drawn & Quarterly that collects the three softcover volumes orginally published by indy stalwart, Bodega Press.  A co-founder of the Providence, RI-based art collective, Fort Thunder, Ralph made his mark with the (now out of print) wordless graphic novel, Cave-In, published by Highwater Books.  Daybreak employs a formally unique hybrid of second-person and direct address that it would be hard to pull off in any medium other than comics to tell a tale of post-apocalyptic zombies that puts the reader right in the thick of it.
retail price - $21.95  copacetic price - $19.75


The Great Northern Brotherhood of Canadian Cartoonists (aka
The G.N.B. Double C)
by Seth
And speaking of finely crafted books from Drawn & Quarterly, here's the latest from the cartoonist who more than anyone else is responsible for what might be considered the D&Q "house style", whose conscious integration of book design as a formal element into the structure, significance and meaning of his comics works may very well be his most lasting contribution to the medium.  The GNBCC is a follow-up to his first "sketchbook" graphic novel, Wimbledon Green.  Not exactly a sequel, it is set in the same quasi-fictional/semi-factual world and (re)creates an unequalled sense of Canadian comics cameraderie.  Complete with exhaustive index and reproductions of Seth's cardboard constructions.
retail price - $24.95  copacetic price - $22.75

The Man Who Grew His Beard
by Olivier Schrauwen
Readers who discovered Flemish cartoonist Olivier Schrauwen's work in MOME, and, especially, those who will be coming across it for the first time here, are in for a real treat in this, his first English language collection.  Copacetic customers interested in, drawn towards and/or especially engaged by comics such as those by Christopher "C.F." Forgues, Yuichi Yokoyama and the like that are published primarily by PictureBox in the U.S. should be pleased to discover that Fantagraphics has entered the fray here by providing this collection of work that adds significantly to this continuum of comics that work to explore the mental mechanics of thought and memory and their inextricable relationship with visualization.  Get an idea of what we're talking about here, by feasting your eyes on this PDF preview of "The Assignment".
retail price - $19.99  copacetic price - $17.77

Lucey!The Best of Harry Lucey, Volume One
by Harry Lucey; introduction by (the one and only) Jaime Hernandez
First off, we'd like to nominate this book as the single most overdue volume in the history of comics.  It may not win, but it will certainly be a contender.  If there is one single artist that comics readers need to increase their consciousness of, it's Harry Lucey.  Any comic book reader over forty is almost certainly already familiar with Lucey's work as he pencilled hundreds of stories for Archie Comics, including the majority of its flagship title for fifteen years.  So, anyone who read a few Archie Comics from before 1975 – or any of the ubiquitous Archie Digests that were seemingly everywhere through at least the 1980s – has read at least a few Harry Lucey stories – but there is no way they would have known it:  because LUCEY NEVER GOT ANY CREDIT – until, finally, now.  With all due respect to Bob Montana, Dan DeCarlo and all the other fine artists who worked for Archie Comics over the past seventy years, Harry Lucey was the best comics artist who ever worked for Archie and his work is their greatest legacy.  While this volume does not come close to presenting "The Best" of Lucey's work, the fact that it is subtitled "Volume One" fills us with hope that, when taken together with an ever expanding series of subsequent volumes, it will ultimately live up to it's title.
retail price - $24.99  copacetic price - $22.75

by Gahan Wilson; introduction by (none other than) Gary Groth
Back in the day at the shop that was the precursor to The Copacetic Comics Company there was a book that was always out on the shelves bearing the label, "Funniest Book at BEM."  That book was the original Nuts collection that was published way back in 1979, and has been long out of print.  Now, thanks to the fine folks at Fantagraphics (aka Gary Groth and Kim Thompson) we now have this, the finest distillation of childhood angst, anxiety, fear, pain, suffering, disappointment, disillusion, fleeting joys, idle pleasures, and just about any other childhood emotion you can lay your finger on and draw, back in print in a hardcover "complete" collection.  Nuts originally ran in the glory days of National Lampoon.  We respectfully request that anyone not familiar with this work do themselves the favor of checking out this PDF preview
retail price - $19.99  copacetic price - $17.77

Freddy Stories
by Melissa Mendes
And while on the subject of comics about childhood, Ms. Mendes has, with Freddy Stories, produced a collection of vignettes of life as seen and experienced from a child's perspective which are simply spot on, and demonstrate an abundance of sympathy for the condition of child consciousness.  Accurately recreating a child's state of mind and world view is especially difficult to manage in any medium, but comics' formal qualities have seemed to have provided creators with a toolkit well adapted for exactly this job.  Even so, the vast majority of comics deptictions of childhood are mawkish, simpering, sentimental and just plain wrong.  Here, in what is – sadly – one of the last books that will be funded by the Xeric Foundation, Center for Cartoon Studies graduate Melissa Mendes gets it right, and has produced a work that truly captures one of the most elusive of artistic subjects – the child mind.  See what we're talking by taking a look at this excerpt of the first few pages.
retail price - $10.00  copacetic price - $9.00

jptndThe Next Day
written by Paul Peterson & Jason Gilmore, drawn by John Porcellino
"Constructed from intimate interviews with survivors of near-fatal suicide attempts," The Next Day takes us into the minds of four individuals who attempted suicide and lived to tell the tale, and asks the question, "What if they had waited just one more day?"  Certainly, the decision of the authors to bring in John Porcellino to illustrate this work was the single most important one they made, as only Porcellino's minimal, understated line could work here; anyone else's work would have risked pushing the material into the maudlin realm.  Obviously, this is not a book for everyone, but it's good that it's now out there for anyone.  Delve deeper into this book by reading The Comics Journal review.
retail price - $16.95  copacetic price - $15.00

by Nick Maandag
And, speaking of John Porcellino, he personally recommended that we carry this book; and of course we readily obliged.  Also recommending this work by this Torontonian is fellow Canadian cartoonist, Seth, who states:  "Streakers is that rare creation – a work whose subject matter is unexpected, unasked for, and probably unwanted (!)... and yet, one that is both funny and genuinely affecting.  I certainly laughed plenty while readin it.  It's a very funny book.  But I also felt strangely moved by these unpleasant creeps.  I was in their corner cheering them on the whole time.  Against all odds, Streakers is surely the book of the year!"
retail price - $7.00  copacetic price - $7.00

They Still Do Make 'Em Like They Used To Department
Here are three brand spankin' new records (well, CDs...) by four seasoned musicians who also happen to be amazing vocalists and excellent songwriters, and who have between them over a century of experience doing what they do best.  The music on these discs offers ample evidence that all have continued to hone their craft.  Timeless tunes that will have you tapping your toes and cranking your
cranium.  So, without further ado:

by Joe Henry
copacetic price - $16.75

Paley & Francis
by Reid Paley and "Black Francis"
copacetic price - $13.75

Bad As Me
by Tom Waits
copacetic price - $12.99

(Bad As Me  – deluxe two-disc edition w/hardcover booklet)
copacetic price - $21.99

lrLightning Rods
by Helen DeWitt
Wow!  While we had never completely given up hope that there would ever be a follw up to Helen DeWitt's brilliant debut, The Last Samurai (NOT to be confused with the Tom Cruise vehicle of the same name that came out years later, to which it bears no relation), we had come pretty close.  So we were nearly bowled over with surprise by our discovery of the impending release of Lightning Rods, which has now just arrived on our shelves.  We imagine that most – and hope all – of our customers who have had the opportunity to read The Last Samurai will share our excitement. 
retail price - $24.95  copacetic price - $22.22

by Tom McCarthy
And, while we're on the subject of follow-ups to spectacular debut novels, Tom McCarthy's follow up to his one-of-a-kind debut, Remainder, is now in paperback.  As we have yet to find the time in our busy schedule to devote the uninterrupted attention that a novel like this deserves, we will have to leave it to the likes of this year's recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for literature, Jennifer Egan, to recommend this work.  She wrote in The New York Times Book Review that C is "a tour de force... An intellectually provacative novel that unfurls like a brooding phosphorescent dream."  And, to help you put it in context, The Washington Post reviewer states that with C, "McCarthy reignites the literary pyrotechnics of Perec, Calvino, Joyce and Sebald.  Words are celebrated in vocabularic feats... [He] has produced something truly original."
retail price - $15.00  copacetic price - $12.75

WOWe Others: New and Selected Stories
by Steven Millhauser
Long-time Copacetic customers are well aware of how highly esteemed Mr. Millhauser is within our walls.  Millhauser has painstakingly crafted a voice in writing, an approach to the material, and a fictional method that combined to create a new and potent force in literature that has produced truly remarkable works that have definitely shaped the post-'60s literature since first dawning in the 1972 novel Edwin Mullhouse.  Here we have seven new stories together with selections from four of his previously published story collections that we have been persistently touting here for the past decade.  We would like to assure anyone reading this who has yet to succumb to our persuasions that this fine volume will provide an excellent entry point to one of the most singular, pleasurable and uncanny bodies of work they are likely to ever come across.  Long-time readers of Millhauser will, of course, perhaps feel a slight irritation at having to buy stories they already own, but this irritation will pass away within moments of opening the pages of this book, replaced by thankfulness and wonder.
retail price - $27.95  copacetic price - $25.00



by Haruki Murakami
Yes, the "big book" of the year is here... and everywhere else, we know.  But we're not going to let that stop us from putting it out on the new arrivals table here at Copacetic.  The reviews are pouring in at such a torrential pace that we suspect that before all is said and done their combined word count will surpass even that of the novel itself, which is Murakami's most substantial yet, with the US edition clocking in at whoppin' 925 pages.  If you're looking for a book to get you through the long cold winter ahead, this may very well be your ticket.
retail price - $30.50  copacetic price - $25.00

Steve Jobs
by Walter Isaacson
The death of Steve Jobs must certainly mark the end of an era.  What exactly that era will be defined as it is surely far too soon to tell, but we have to start somewhere, and this book, somewhat freakishly released almost exactly coincident with Jobs's passing, may very well be the best place to start.  Why anyone would want to buy this particular book from The Copacetic Comics Company when they could purchase it at any bookstore in the known world we would not venture to guess, but we feel duty bound to offer anyone so inclined the opportunity to do so.
retail price - $35.00  copacetic price - $28.00

Items from our October 2011 listings may now be purchased online at our new site, HERE.

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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:

3Q 2011: July - September, New Arrivals
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prices and availability current as of  31 December 2011