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Nre for March 2016

by Daniel Clowes
Clowes has delivered his long threatened science fiction graphic novel.  Within the 178 pages of Patience readers will encounter the arduous travails of a time-travelling drug abuser coming to terms with mortality and the meaning of life as only a time-travelling drug abuser can.  Clowes has, with Patience, taken an approach in crafting its narrative somewhat akin to that of Michael Chabon's in The Yiddish Policeman's Union -- although to entirely different ends -- by starting with the hook and basic plot structure of a whodunnit murder mystery, and then gradually incorporating layer upon layer of interlocking themes, spinning it out into something much more grandiose, until reaching its final epiphany.  Patience weaves a tangled (really tangled) tale of childhood traumas attached to family pathos that nimbly skirts the borders of bathos and tragedy, and that leads inevitably to an anger that is supressed in masochistic resignation, grief and drug abuse until being released in violence, over and over until finally... finding love -- and then starting all over again, sort of; hey, we're talking time travel here.  Ultimately, Patience reads as a highly fraught coming to terms with regret that reaches the conclusion that the only path that leads to its resolution is that of letting go of the past -- even when that past happens to have occurred in the future.  Which, of course, is the nature of regret:  the loss of an imagined alternate future; thus the genius of employing time travel in this capacity.  And there is plenty of reading pleasure to be had along the way, as all is delineated through a deft amalgamation of tropes from old school comic books, science fiction and hardboiled crime fiction. And, amidst all this, Clowes still manages to inject his unique sense of humor; you will laugh.  This is one of those works that, once you've started reading, you really can't put down.  So, what are you waiting for?  This is the new Dan Clowes we're talking about here.  Your patience has been rewarded...
retail price - $29.99  copacetic price - $25.75


Frontier #11: Eleanor Davis

Eleanor Davis delivers another graphic tour de force in "BDSM," her tautly delineated drama of the dialectic between fantasy and reality set in the world of softcore porn that, despite its being rendered in starkly contrasting black and white gradually brings out ever more shades of gray as it works towards a conclusion that suggests an erasure of borders.
retail price - $7.95  copacetic price - $7.50


Mean Girls Club
by Ryan Heshka
In Mean Girls Club, Ryan Heshka presents his readership with an au courant post-WW II noir setting, replete with cars, hairstyles, outfits and attitudes -- all tightly laced to its buxom cast of femme fatales -- that set the stage for a 24-page, French-flappped, black and white and day-glo pink romp through the pysche that features clubs, guns, knives, various poisons and giant insects as well as meta-movies and paper doll fashion cut-outs!  In other words, this one has it all!
retail price - $5.95  copacetic price - $5.95

You Can Did It #2
by Nils Balls, w/Mike Carretta
The second mind-bending, gut-busting issue of the ultimate yinzer beer drinking comic book series has arrived -- all 44 pages of it!  Cigarettes and beer, bar hopping and nights out, health crises, hospitals and human interest, girls, guys, drinking and... donkey ball!  Plus bonus beer comics by local cartoonists.  Made in Pittsburgh, by Pittsburghers, for Pittsburghers; sold in Pittsburgh at a Pittsburgh-friendly price.
retail price - $3.99  copacetic price - $3.99


Abyssal Yawn #2
by Bill Wehmann & Ed Steck
It is time once again to join the writer-artist team of Ed Steck and Bill Wehmann and enter into a 40 page voyage of the continuing full-color, inter-galactic, intra-psychic adventures of Birch Twig and Max as they confront the quasi-reality of Mother Sky in the pages of Abyssal Yawn Part 2!
retail price - $8.00  copacetic price - $8.00


by Mark Beyer
Back in print at last, Mark Beyer's agonized line returns, and as the inaugural volume in the prestigious New York Review's new line, New York Review Comics, no less.  Introduction by Colson Whitehead.
retail price - $15.95  copacetic price - $13.75


Carpet Sweeper Tales
by Julie Doucet
Julie Doucet breaks new creative ground in this collection of "cut-up" comics.  Employing a pair of scissors, an X-acto knife, a glue stick and  a bottle of white-out Ms. Doucet transforms a stack of old Italian fumetti (photo-comics) magazines into an exercise in abstract æsthetics cum social commentary.  Fun!
retail price - $15.95  copacetic price - $13.75

R3R4 Redbird #3 & #4
by Dan Zettwoch
Dan Zettwoch is back!  Redbird #3 is a handmade wonder!  Begininning with a hand-screened cover in white, gold and radioactive green inks, this 32-page, magazine-size collection is packed with Zettwochiana.  Starting off with the story designed to integrate theboyinto the man, "Clint J Murgatroyd presents Famous Places I Have Puked" is 8-pages of gut-wrenching action that finishes of with a "Puke-tographic Map", likely the first of its kind in the annals of comics.  This is followed by "Communications Workers of America," which can be profitably read as a follow-up of sorts to Zettwoch's amazing Tel-Tales, a pair of Red Fall appendi, "The Legend of Forky!" centerfold, the Zettwoch-o-gram-atic "Motor Lodge Creek!", "Lessons I Learned at the State Fair", and closes with what we are informed is but the first installment of "Famous Sorts Which I Invented* (brought to us by Krystal Jackson) *me and my family and neighbors" -- but not before also sharing a classic fromthe Zettwoch vaults, "Mid5outh Miracle5!"  All for a fiver!  How?!? PLUS:  Redbird #4 is a self-described objet d'art.  The entire book has hand pulled screen printing -- in red, naturellement! -- over a laser-printed black line background, this 8-page mini-comics is an ode the "Adult Woodpeckers of Eastern North America" that stands to be equally appreciated by Zettwoch fans and bird watchers alike, but will be a special treat to those long suffering fans of Zettwoch's Cut-Away Comics.
Redbird #3: retail price - $5.00  copacetic price - $5.00
Redbird #4: 
retail price - $3.00  copacetic price - $3.00

Blubber #2
by Gilbert Hernandez
GIlbert shifts the absurdity gear into overdrive in his second Blubber outing. Blubber #2 is a thanatos drenched exploration of human behavior, rituals and religion that strives mightily to highlight and correlate the sexual motivations driving them all, while simlultaneously pointing out their seemingly inevitable drive towards oblivion.  Not for the faint of heart or easily abashed.  In other words, hold onto your hats!
retail price - $3.99  copacetic price - $3.99

Items from our March 2016 listings may now be purchased online at our eCommerce site, HERE.

New for February 2016

by Anne Opotowsky and Angie Hoffmeister
The second volume of Anne Opotowsky & Co.'s Walled City Trilogy has at long last arrived.  Amazingly, this volume is even more substantial than the the first.  This French-flapped oversize softcover volume, published in Australia by Gestalt, contains 456 oversize pages of lushly rendered full color comics.  Nocturne's artist, Angie Hoffmeister makes her graphic novel debut here -- and quite a debut it is!  Seamlessly picking up from where the original artist, Aya Morton left off at the conclusion of His Dream of Skyland, Hoffmeister largely continues the look and feel of the first volume.   Nocturne -- unsurpsingly, given it's title -- has a more subdued color palette than His Dream, but it also has a more fluid line and, overall, manages to maintain a more even narrative flow.  Anyone who enjoyed His Dream of Skyland can, thus be assured that Nocturne is an eminently worthy follow up volume, well worth the wait.  We direct anyone unfamiliar with either of these works to Paul Gravett's heavily illustrated review of His Dream, HERE, as well as this review on Shelf Abuse, that contains a video book preview that gives plenty of peeks at Hoffmeister's art.  Australian import!
retail price - $34.95  copacetic price - $34.95


by Nick Drnaso
Having absorbed the work of Dan Clowes, Adrian Tomine, Charles Burns and Chris Ware, among, of course, many others, Drnaso emerges here with the first substantial synthesis of these approaches to revealing the human -- and, specifically, the American -- condition in this subtley linked and gradually revealing collection of cleanly delineated depictions of the messy interior lives of some superficially bland middle Americans.  Chris Ware has this to day about it:  "Nick Drnaso's Beverly captures such a recognizable, raw feelilng of the "Now" that if it was a film, Drnaso would heralded as a "stunning new directorial voice."  If it was a novel, he would be a "literary sensation."  But Beverly's chilled windowpane views into the fogged American psyche are not the cartoon copies of film or literature.  They're someting completely new.  A debut book by a youmg writer-artist who has not only absorbed buyt advanced beyond the comics which have preceded him.  Beverly is the finest and most electrically complex graphic novel I've read in years, announcing an intelligent, shrewd and disquieting talent not only to comics, but also to writing and visual art.  It will set its barbs in you and not let go."
retail price - $21.95  copacetic price - $19.75

Puke Force
by Brian Chippendale
The hardcover collection of this continuity strip, many pages of which first appeared on is now collected in this messy/glossy, horizontally formatted hardcover from D & Q.  Get ready to do the snake(read)!
retail price - $22.95  copacetic price - $20.00


Big Kids

by Michael DeForge
DeForge's latest has arrived!  This pint-size, 96 page, full color, hardcover graphic novel tackles the youth of today, outside-in and inside-out.  No ever said growing up was easy...
retail price - $16.95  copacetic price - $15.00


Nod Away
by Joshua Cotter
In his latest outing, his first in quite awhile, Josh Cotter steps out into the the world of science fiction comics and finds himself quite at home.  Nod Away integrates some of the innovative graphic elements Cotter pioneered in Driven By Lemons with the strong story-telling skilss that launched his career in Skyscrapers of the Midwest.  
retail price - $24.99  copacetic price - $21.75


The Tipping Point

by Taiyo Matsumoto, Paul Pope, et al
This full color hardcover presents 13 short stories in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the founding of Humanoids.  There's some great work here with stories & art by: Naoki Urasawa, John Cassaday, Boulet, Bastien Vivès, Bob Fingerman, Katsuya Terada, Frederik Peeters, Emmanuel Lepage, Taiyo Matsumoto, Paul Pope, Atsushi Kaneko, Keiichi Koike, Eddie Campbell.
retail price - $29.99  copacetic price - $25.75


The Book of Hope

by Tommi Musturi
This horizontally formatted, 200 page hardcover graphic novel presents ameditative look at Scandinavian life.  The ebb and flow of each day, day after day, as lived in the natural world, as well as, cruacially in the fantasy world as well.
retail price - $34.99  copacetic price - $29.75


Frank in the 3rd Dimension
by Jim Woodring & Charles Barnard
Frank is even trippier now in 3-D!  This edition has been designed as a board book, presumably to evoke a sense of child like wonder (or to be able to withstand being drooled over?).
retail price - $22.99  copacetic price - $20.00


Blades & Lazers: Collected Edition
by Benjamin Marra
Here it is: 40 oversize (9" x 12") glossy pages, printed in metallic pink and blue collecting the complete Blades & Lazers saga by Benjamin Marra.  Page after page of archly ironic deptictions fo classic space fantasy comics tropes that allow you to laugh at yourself for still enjoying this; to have your cake and eat it too!

tail price - $8.00  copacetic price - $8.00


Test Tube
by Carlos Gonzalez
Test Tube ponders in simply weird drawings how artificial life is still life. A surrealist comics update on the Frankenstein (and Bride of Frankenstein).  "Test Tube is a work of genius,  With the power of 1,000,000 VHS tapes ejected from a dream this erotic masterpiece will fuck up your brain forever." -- Matthew Thurber
retail price - $14.95  copacetic price - $12.75


Zap Comix #16
by R. Crumb, Spain Rodriguez, Gilbert Shelton, Victor Moscoso, Robert Williams. et al
The latest --  and likely the last -- collection from the seminal group that really got the Underground Comix ball rolling... nearly a half century ago -- if you can believe it!  This time around in a 96 page squarebound softcover edition.  All New! (well, as long as you don't count it's appearance in last year's $500 Complete Zap Comix)
retail price - $14.99  copacetic price - $13.75


Not Funny Ha-Ha

by Leah Hayes
No need to be coy or beat about the bush here:  this is a comics guide on not only how to go about getting an abortion, but also what it's like, emotionally.  It's designed to extend a helping hand to those who feel alone in what can be a difficult, and possibly devastating time; a pen & ink on paper pal.
retail price - $16.99  copacetic price - $15.00


by Alecos Papadatos, Abraham Kawa & Annie Di Donna
Papadatos & Co.'s followup to their hugely successful Logicomix provides a look at democracy where it all started, in ancient Greece. 

tail price - $27.00  copacetic price - $23.75


Dark Money

by Jane Mayer
You'll need to hold onto your hat as you go through this one, but the revelations will still knock your socks off.  This Review in The Guardian will open the door a crack.
retail price - $29.95  copacetic price - $25.75


Really the Blues

by Mezz Mezzrow & Bernard Wolfe
The definitive account of the early jazz scene -- and much more has at last been brought back into print by The New York Review of Books' imprint.    An unforgettable reading experience that opens new perspectives on American history and cultural life.  RECOMMENDED
retail price - $17.95 copacetic price - $15.25

Items from our February 2016 listings may now be purchased online at our eCommerce site, HERE.

New for January 2016

CDGC Comics Dementia & Girl Crazy
by Gilbert Hernandez
And, to tide you over until the new series arrives, we have TWO new collections from the pen and mind of Gilbert Hernandez!   Enthusiasts, aficionados, completists and collectors will have special reason to celebrate the release of Comics Dementia.  Here, collected in a single volume, we have over 200 pages of GIlbert's wildest and wooliest comics, drawn together from hither and yon in the comics firmament.  Not for the faint of heart or weak of mind, the work here is where Gilbert cuts loose and lets you have it, right in the eyes!  So, hold onto your hats! 64 stories in all!  Then we are presented with a hardcover collection of what we believe – if memory serves – was Gilbert's first solo work away from the comfortable confines of Fantagraphics.  Girl Crazy was originally published as a three issue mini-series by Dark Horse in 1996, who is publishing it again here – twenty years later, if you can believe it!
Comics Dementia: 
retail price - $19.99  copacetic price - $15.99
Girl Crazy:   retail price - $17.99  copacetic price - $16.25

retail price - $8.00  copacetic price - $7.00

U5 Uptight #5
by Jordan Crane
112 pages of new Jordan Crane!?! Yes!  First up is a massive, 52 page installment of the "Keeping Two" saga, by far the longest yet, in which things go from bad to worse -- or do they?  "Keeping Two" is a bit of a self-reflexive work, in that it indicates its awareness that it is providing the reader with a distraction/relief/alternative narrative from/to their own lives by presenting a story in which the central protagonists are distracted from their lives by reading another story, and their experience of reading that story is experienced by the reader of "Keeping Two" as being equivalent in reality to the main "real" story; given an equal weight. Taking this approch implies an equivalency of experience between life as it is lived in the world and as it occurs on the page; both are positioned as equals in the life of the mind.  This is followed by a pitch perfect comics representation of a nightmare,"Wake Up".  This six-page mini-masterpiece, which originally appeared in Monster 2013, is amazingly effective, despite -- or perhaps because of -- its brevity, in capturing the off-kilter, symbol-laden helplessness of the bad dream that the dreamer inevitably struggles to awake from.    Next up is this issue's big surprise:  a 25 page science fiction tale, "The Dark Nothing," done up in black and white and purple tone (this is what the cover provides a taste of).  We don't want to give too much away about this one, but suffice it to say it's a story where things don't go as planned.  It provides a counter narrative to the heroic tales of derring-do that are so associated with space adventure.  This is the story that you don't hear.  In this it has something in common with some of Joseph Conrad's tales of the sea.  The issue wraps up with 26 pages of man-against-nature saga that easily doubles as a man-against-himself, "The Middle Nowhere."   Taking a step back from this story one sees it more as an allegory; intriguingly, an allegory that is open to multiple interpretations.  Looked at from one angle, it appears to be a representation of the moment of death, and the transmigration of a soul.  Looked at from the other side, it appears as though it were the story of an entire life, from the boredom of an isolated childhood through the crisis of adolescence which leads inevitabley to being "trapped" in a marriage before finally escaping either in death, or divorce -- it's up to the reader to decide!  Jordan Crane has been producing Uptight for over a decade now, and this issue is by far the most substantial. Uptight's focus is the unholy trinity of stress, anxiety and despair, yet the comics themselves clearly embody a struggle to overcome these.  For all the darkness that pervade these comics, Crane is on the side of the angels.  In pen and ink he grapples with his personal demons with great finesse and fine craftsmanship.  The work bears an undeniable imprint of Jaime Hernandez's pen and ink mastery, especially in the use of blacks (which one could argue originates with Toth, but let's not go there right now).  Crane is obviously a fan of Japanese comics, and so it is unsurprising that there is also very much of a manga feel to the unfolding of the respective dramas present here.  Jaime and Toth both follow Kirby in searching for the key moment to embody a scene, whereas while Crane strives to achieve this goal as well, he also follows the manga muse in his quest to unpack a moment, to find it in the connection bewteen a series of panels.  The final panel of "The Dark Nothing" can stand as synecdoche of this approach, as a series of dimly connected flashes occuring with near simultaneity on a ring of asteroids in space momentarily shine a light on the mysterious force that connects them, in a way analogous to Crane's intention in illuminating a moment in a closely observed and connected series of panels.  RECOMMENDED!
retail price - $10.00  copacetic price - $9.00

retail price - $5.00  copacetic price - $5.00

retail price - $18.00  copacetic price - $15.00

DDC Ding Dong Circus
by Sasaki Maki; edited by Ryan Holmberg
Ryan Holmberg's series of collections of classic and avant-garde manga that he was producing for PictureBox has made an at least temporary home at Breakdown Press with the release of Ding Dong Circus.  This 256 page risograph collection presents, for the first time in English, the best of Sasaki Maki’s work.  Originally drawn for alt-manga super magazine Garo (with a couple drawn for other contemporaneous manga mags) between 1967 and 1974, the fifteen stories here follow Sasaki’s groundbreaking exploration of collage methods in comics storytelling, weaving through references to R&B, rock ‘n’ roll, the Vietnam War, Andy Warhol, the Summer of Love, the Beatles, British humour, and the wacky world of Japanese consumerism. Ding Dong Circus demonstrates what manga fans already knew: that in Sasaki Maki, Japan can claim not only a pioneer in experimental comics, but one of the world’s masters of Pop Art and a trenchant avant-garde critic of the Sixties.   BONUS:  Maki's autobiographical essay, "Still a Cartoonist", also in English for the first time.   Translator and editor Ryan Holmberg  published an extensive essay about Sasaki at The Comics Journal, which amply demonstrates both Maki's significance and importance as well as Holmberg's critical acumen.  And, we've posted a generous preview of the book on ello, HEREDon't miss this one!
retail price - $26.99  copacetic price - $25.75

II Invisible Ink: My Mother's Secret Love Affair with a Famous Cartoonist
by Bill Griffith
Bill Griffith, widlely heralded as a founding father of Underground comics and the later 20th century pop counter culture, primarily for his star creation, Zippy the Pinhead™,  but also for his pioneering editorial contributions to the important comix anthologies Young Lust and, with Art Spiegelman, Arcade, has here, in the pages of this 200 page graphic memoir, told the story that he has been keeping to himself all these many decades.  This one's got a title -- well, subtitle, anyway -- that pretty much doesn't hold back the punch line; what was the big surprise for the author is fate accompli for all readers going in.  Readers are provided with what may, in hindsight, be costrued to be the key formative event in Bill Griffith's early life.  The reason for this is that there is much more to Invisible Ink that just a tell-all auto-bio comic; by getting this out of the way at the outset, it allows readers to focus on the wider world that is on display here.  The setting is the real star here, not just the physical and concrete, but, espcecially, the cultiural evirons take center stage here in the shaping of a life and mind.  Invisible Ink is a detailed portrait, a vivid recreation, of a time and place that once was but is now no more.  John Kelly has written a detailed review of the work on his Spooky Comics blog, HERE.  SPECIAL NOTE:  Bill Griffith will be a special guest at PIX 2016, on Saturday 2 April 2016.
retail price - $29.99  copacetic price - $25.75

Cheech Wizard's Book of Me
by Vaughn Bode
This heavy-duty, oversize hardcover brings together the entirety of Vaughn Bodé's Cheech Wizard comics along with a nice selection of roughs and sketches, some never before published.  Also included are an additional forty page's of Cheech Wizard related work by Vaughn's son Mark, who very much carries on the tradition.  Nicely designed and printed on heavy flat white stock. 
retail price - $29.99  copacetic price - $25.75


Items from our January 2016 listings may now be purchased online at our eCommerce site, HERE.

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last updated 29 February 2016