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New for October 2015

SiSThe Sky in Stereo
by Sacha Mardou
Sacha Mardou is a natural born comics storyteller.  Her pen & ink characters live and breath on the page.  The situations they find themselves in, their reactions to them, and the way it all plays out in the pages of her comics works have a verisimilitude that few other comics creators can match. The Sky in Stereo is her first foray into long form comics (i.e., a graphic novel).  She's been at work on it for a number of years (she and her husband, fellow comics maker, Ted May are also raising a child, who was an infant at the start of Sky in Stereo) and has released two of it's chapters as successful stand-alone comics.  Here in this iteration, we have a graphic-novel length work that weighs in at 180 pages, yet we are still only half way there, as the story is "to be concluded in Book 2."  The two stand-alone comics appear here as chapters two and three of this work, comprising just over half its length. The new work that appears here for the first time are the introduction and first chapter, which follow the protagonist, Iris from the time her mother is "born again" (courtesy some Jehovah's Witnesses) to the time which Iris drops out of the church, and the fourth chapter in which the lingering effects of the microdot that Iris ingested at the start of the third chapter make themselves felt.  Along the way, the reader experiences the streets, businesses and homes of Manchester, England (Mardou's hometown) through Iris's eyes, and almost feels the pavement beneath her feet.  For more perspective on this great work, please see the Copacetic reviews of the first and second issues.  RECOMMENDED!
retail price - $17.95  copacetic price - $15.00

by Sam Alden
Sam Alden's new work is quite a departure.  Long time readers, acculturated to his swift and sure pencil renderings may be startled to open this work and find it filled with super-low-resolution pixel renderings (at least one of his pixel art works has previously seen print, however, in the pages of S! #18).  Upon reflection, however, Lydian can be seen as an extension of the direction Alden was moving into with his last work, Hunter, which was a piece that immersed the reader in a quasi-videogame world.  Both Hunter and Lydian are full color works and both employ constraints:  Hunter is hand drawn with marker, employing the constraint of being a wordless comic; Lydian is dependent on a highly constrained computer rendering that imposes an extreme limit upon the depiction of character expression as a result of being at the limit of pixelation, and thus forces the reader to be highly reliant on the dialogue to infer character actions, expression, moods and emotions.  These two approaches may be seen as the inverse of each other.  Plenty of food for thought, regardless.  Our take away is that Alden is probing the constraints placed on consciousness in the ever more computer-assisted / computer-dependent environment in which he and his peers find themselves, and reporting back in comics form.
retail price - $12.00  copacetic price - $12.00

The Understanding Monster, Book Three

by Theo Ellsworth
The concluding volume of Ellsworth's ambitious cartooned deconstruction of the psyche has arrived!  This is the third in a matched series of full size, full color, hardcover graphic excursions.  Prepare yourself for a trip like no other, as The Understanding Monster turns identity inside-out and then plays out a series of dramas with its component parts... it's pretty difficult to describe actually.  Here is our take on the initial volume in the series.  See you on the other side!
retail price - $21.95  copacetic price - $19.75


Capacity (Deluxe Edition)
by Theo Ellsworth
And, while we're on the subject of Theo Ellsworth, his tour de force of imaginiton is at last back in print in this "deluxe" flexibound edition.  Capacity has been a favorite here at Copacetic since day one and is one of the singular works of 21st century comics. We are excited to be again be able to offer it here at Copacetic, especially so that those who have come to the world of personally expressive, small press comics while this work was unavailable will now have the opportunity to experience the joys of entering into the pen and ink land of Capacity!  Here is our listing of the original release, and here is a preview we just posted to Ello.  Now at a SPECIAL (limited-time-introductory) PRICE!
retail price - $25.00  copacetic price - $20.00

MK35MK34MK36NK37Mini-Kus #35: Birthday

by Theo Ellsworth
What's this?  Another new Theo Ellsworth work?  Yes!  Hot off the Latvian presses, Birthday is a sixteen page, full color mini-comic that celebrates the "intense psychic initiation known as the Inner-Space Birth Ritual."  It is also joined this month by three other Biedriba Grafiskie Stasti releases:  Mini-Kus #34: Limonchick by Mikkel Sommer; Mini-Kus #36: Pages to Pages by Lai Tat Tat Wing  ; Mini-Kus #37: Snake in the Nose by Tommi Matsuri .  Hold onto your hats!
retail price - $5.00@  copacetic price - $5.00@

AoFThe Arab of the Future
by Riad Sattouf
This book made a big splash in France, where it was initially published, becoming a #1 best seller.  It has subsequently gone on to be translated into sixteen languages, including Englsh, and now is belatedly making its North American debut in this attractively produced, French-flapped (naturellement!) edition, with 160 interior pages printed on a nice flat, off-white paper stock which is well suited to the judicious duo-tone color scheme that supports Sattouf's cleanly delineated, highly expressive cartooning.  The tale is a memoir of his early childhood years spent in Libya under Gaddafi and Syria under Assad, Sr., as well as rural France, and it is expertly told.  The likes of Alison Bechdel ("This is a beautiful, funny, and important graphic memoir."), Michel Hazanavicius ("The Arab of the Future is one of those books that transcend their form to become a literary masterpiece." [What, comics masterpiece somehow not good enough?! - ed.]), and Gene Luen Yang, who says it best ("The Arab of the Future is a beautifully cartooned story that is both modern and timeless.  The protagonist is one of the most endearing in comics. An important book, not just as art but as a window into another culture.").  In addition to having the potential to appeal to fans of these creators' works, The Arab of the Future stands a good chance of being appreciated by readers of Marjane Satrapi, Guy Delisle, Joe Sacco, and anyone else who is intrigued by the prospect of experiencing alien cultures in comics form.  This volume will provide North American readers with some serious perspective on their own lives.
retail price - $26.00  copacetic price - $22.75

OMWATTerror Assaulter: O.M.W.O.T. (One Man War On Terror)
by Benjamin Marra
In OMWOT, Ben Marra shows us what can happen when someone (well, someone of the male gender, anyway) who grows up fully immersed in our violence and sex drenched culture never lets go of their inner child.  In 112 blood-soaked pages, cheerfully colored soley in bold swaths of primary colors, Marra presents us with an irony-drenched reading of America today.  It is, figuratively speaking, a Punisher x-over in an issue of G.I. Joe that is a twisted, coded translation of Where the Wild Things Are reimagined as a comic book adaptation of a porn film, created by a team made up of George Saunders (script), Spain Rodriguez (pencils), Paul Gulacy (inks), and edited by Raymond Pettibone.  As Hannah Arendt made it her business to demonstrate the "banality of evil", Benjamin Marra has, by equating the struggle for a parking space at the shopping mall to a terrorist takeover of the USA, shown us the banality of sex and violence.  Adding to the irony, this detailed depiction of a corrupted and debased inner child is for ADULTS ONLY.
retail price - $14.99  copacetic price - $13.75

CotG11Conditions on the Ground
by Kevin Hooyman
Based on the evidence provided by this voluminous volume, Kevin Hooyman likes comics.  He likes to read them; he likes to draw them; he likes to assemble them; he like to publish them.  Comics are good.  Anyone who feels similarly, would do well to pick up this hefty tome and leaf through it; just open it at random and read whatever you find.  Comics about life in all its zany aspects is what this book is about, and comics is how the stories are told, comics that are steeped in the ways of the world and, especially, the world according to comics, and, specifically, the ways of seeing that comics engenders.  The line employed here has something of Gahan WIlson about it, and, naturally enough, because they're comics, the stories have a bit of Kirby about them, specifically, early-sixties, pre-superhero Marvel Kirby.  There's much more informing these comics, as well.  Check them out and see.

Black Rat

by Cole Closser
Cole Closser continues to bring the past to life.  In Black Rat, he weaves a single character through a multiplicity of diverse and distinctive styles originally possessed by an array of artists who have passed on, leaving their work in their wake, to be picked up and carried on in a relay race to the future.  Closser has assembled for this project a rag tag team of comics and manga artists, animators, outsider artists and "the anonymous patients of Dr. G.M. Bacon."  Notable among them are pre-war mangaka, Suiho Tagawa and the early outsider/visionary artist, Charles A.A. Dellschau.  Black Rat takes a comics-centric spin through the back roads of art history.
retail price - $15.00  copacetic price - $13.75

VCVirtual Candle
by HTML Flowers
Created under the Southern Cross and rigorous social order of the Oceanic continent, Virtual Candle is the first collection of HTML Flowers's work to land upon the shores of North America.  Yet, demonstrating that art respects no political or geographic borders, the comics and other work collected in this spiffy softcover edition have been inhabited by the spirit of Providence, RI-based, Paper Rad/Paper Rodeo.  HTML Flowers (playing Naomi Watts to Simon Hanselmann's Nicole Kidman) demonstrates his multifacted talent in the pieces collected here, which include work executed in a variety of media, pencil, pen and ink, colored pencil, watercolor, even, apparantly, tattoos.  A good bet for the adventurous comics reader.
retail price - $15.00  copacetic price - $15.00

by Lizzee Solomon
The latest by Lizzee Solomon has arrived: ¡A LA ORDEN! (NUEVO SIN CLORO). Should this be considered Mutual Paradise #6? Maybe! Regardless, this is in pretty much the same format as the first five issues of MP: digest size, black and white comics with a full color, wraparound, cardstock cover; the difference this time around is that this would have to be considered the "special vacation issue", as this issue is entirely devoted to Ms. Solomon's vacation -- with companion --  to the resort at Cartagena de Indias on the coast of Columbia.  We've posted a brief preview HERE.
retail price - $5.00  copacetic price - $4.50

HM276Heavy Metal #276
by Jack Kirby
In case anyone missed it: there is an alternate edition of the latest Heavy Metal that sports an amazing wraparound cover by JACK KIRBY highlighting the 13 pages of excellent reproductions of vibrant, full-color late-1970s Kirby art within.  These are the spectacular pieces that Jack executed for the proposed Lord of Light film (based on a book series by Roger Zelazny) and/or Science Fiction Land theme park (?!?) that were then hijacked by the CIA to play a crucial part in a ruse to extricate some American prisoners held in Iran that involved scouting for a film location; a ruse which was, in turn, leter turned into the 2012 film Argo.  Crazy, right?  Regardless, the art here is the definition of spectacular. 
retail price - $7.95  copacetic price - $7.95


The Twilight Children #1

by Gilbert Hernandez & Darwyn Cooke, w/Dave Stewart
Gilbert Hernandez and Dawyn Cooke (with no small help from colorist extraordinaire, Dave Stewart) team up to bring us a four issue, full color comic book series that presents a tale of sex and the supernatural, mystery and intrigue, cops & scientists, and children of light and dark, set in a nameless seaside fishing village.  Sign us up!
retail price - $4.99  copacetic price - $4.99

DD-ToTDonald Duck: "Trick or Treat"

by Carl Barks
Yes!  The latest volume in the epic 30-volume Carl Barks Library has arrived (we believe that this is Volume 15, despite it stating that it is Volume 13 on the copyright/indicia page).  This one is perhaps the most riotous volume yet, filled with more fun-filled antics than any other yet published.  This is due in no small part to Fantagraphics' decision to follow the stories that make up Donald Duck No. 26 -- one of the last issues of the actual Donald Duck title
wholly by Barks (Barks of course continued to pen Donald Duck tales for WDC&S for years more, but he more or less transferred from working on Donald Duck to Uncle Scrooge, which was, after all, his own creation) -- which includes the title track "Trick or Treat", with a whopping fourteen consecutive classic 10-pagers!  Originally published in a stretch that ran from late 1952 through 1953, these 10-pagers are filled with the comedic slapstick antics that Barks arguably did better than anyone else in comics, ever, and this volume has some of the best, including the back-to-back masterpieces, "The Hypno-Gun" and "Omelet."  Also on hand here are the classic Barksian philsophical exploration, "Flip Decision" and the neo-classic all-American fable of choice and faith, "Some Heir Over the Rainbow."  Comics don't get any better than this.
retail price - $29.99  copacetic price - $25.75


M Train

by Patti Smith
Patti Smith's hotly anticipated follow up to her sensational Just Kids has arrived.  There are plenty of reviews to read, as Google amply testifies...
retail price - $25.00  copacetic price - $21.75

Items from our October 2015 listings may now be purchased online at our eCommerce site,

New for September 2015

HWThe Collected Hairy Who Publications 1966–1969
by Jim Falconer, Art Green, Gladys Nilsson, Jim Nutt, Suellen Rocca & Karl Wirsum; edited by Dan Nadel
Yes, true believers all knew that this day would one day come, and now it has finally arrived:  The Holy Grail of underground/alternative comics has been carefully collected in a single hardcover volume of high resolution scans.  Here we have replicas of the original Hairy Who art/comic books, each of which served double-duty as an exhibition catalogue for the four group shows of the work of the Chicago Imagists that were presented under the umbrella of The Hairy Who.  Here, with this volume, us mere mortals can at long last gaze upon these long lost (into the tightly locked collections of the few, fortunate cognoscenti that managed to get their mitts on these extremely limited editions published close to fifty years ago.  This volume has been edited by erstwhile PictureBox publisher, Dan Nadel, who has long championed this work.  Nadel also provides and informative essay that will bring readers up to speed.  Take a moment to click through the thumbnails on this preview page provided by the publisher. 
retail price - $50.00  copacetic price - $44.44

OWOut on the Wire
by Jessica Abel
In Out on the Wire, Jessica Abel provides and engaging and in depth look at the world of audio-based, broadcast (radio first and, now, through the internet as well) narrative journalism.  Abel first explored this world in comics way back in 1999, in Radio: An Illustrated Guide, a collaboration with This American Life co-founder and producer, Ira Glass, a healthy excerpt from which is included in this volume as a sort of preamble. Cartooning is both a labor intensive and isolating activity, so it makes sense that those so engaged would find themselves listening to hours of radio.  The hours spent inking and lettering are perfect hors to be listening to the type of stories found on This American Life, and now on podcasts of all stripes. The 200 pages of comics journalism that make up this full size softcover, crisply printed on flat white stock, provide many an anecdote, and lots of colorful personalities, but what really gets Ms. Abel's attention is the process:  How these stories are shaped and brought to life.  In this, it becomes clear through the pages of this thoughtful well constructed work, as it has nowhere else before, that comics and radio have much in common.  So, whether it's comics or radio you're interested in, Out on the Wire has a good chance of floating your boat,  and if you're interested in both, well then, "All Aboard!"
retail price - $17.00  copacetic price - $15.25

SAPStep Aside, Pops
by Kate Beaton
It's the latest collection of Hark! A Vagrant strips by Kate Beaton.  What more do you need to know?  In these pages you will find, Thor, The Enchantress, Black Canary, the Archduke Ferdinand Maximillian, Napoleon Bonaparte, and plenty of other figures imaginary, historical, neither or both.  All played for laffs and presented in outrageously ahistorical fashion; but you already knew that, right?  166 pages.  Hardcover.  Black & white.
retail price - $19.95  copacetic price - $17.77

Sacred Heart
by Liz Suburbia
At last! Sacred Heart is here. Liz Suburbia has long been a staple of the hand-made photocopied, slice-of-punk-rock-life mini-comics scene, and we've been enjoying her comics for years here at Copacetic.  Now her long-in-the-works -- and long-awaited -- 300 page-teenage-punk-rock-coming-of-age graphic novel has arrived, featuring some of the tightest B & W line art this side of Jaime Hernandez.  We posted a quick preview of some interior spreads on Ello, HERE.
retail price - $24.99  copacetic price - $21.75

Grip Grip: The Strange World of Men
by Gilbert Hernandez
Originally released as a five issue limited series from Vertigo Comics back in 2001-2, this story is now at long last being collected.  That this hardcover collection is being released under the auspices of Dark Horse Comics, indicates that Gilbert has ownership of this work despite it being originally published by a subsidiary of Time-Warner.  Good to know.  Grip is a meta-thriller, that both literally and figuratively gets under the skin of the genre.  It's loaded with plenty of sex and violence, secret labs, and dwarves, all presented in fairly straight-up, old-school, comic book style, in glorious black & white.
retail price - $19.99  copacetic price - $17.77

by Theo Ellsworth
YES!  It's an all-new self-published comicszine by the one and only Theo Ellsworth.  This 44-page, digest-size edition is filled with 44 detailed drawings, each of which is an uncanny representation of an interior state of mind, and together which result in a work which truly lives up to its title.  As the reader slowly works their way through these pages, a feeling of gradual release from the constrictions of quotidian contemporaneity flows through the drawings and into consciousness, allowing the reader access to previously hidden layers of reality that were/are there all along.  Quite a relief, indeed. 
retail price - $6.00  copacetic price - $6.00

Street Angel: Ninjatech 
by Jim Rugg & Brian Maruca
Jim Rugg is at his most graphically inventive here in the latest preview issue of Street Angel.  The pages of this self published, small batch edition overflow with dynamic, pulse-pounding, pen & ink energy as Street Angel goes head-to-head with a comic book embodiment of amoral corporate America -- Ninjatech®!  This issue presents its readers with a finely tuned tale of the inevitable clash between the skilled yet struggling individual and faceless, ruthless power, penned by Brian Maruca.  As with the previous two Street Angel preview/ashcan editions, this comic book is another digest-sized, signed and numbered comic book that has been produced in an edition of 300.  Made in Pittsburgh!
retail price - $10.00  copacetic price - $10.00

Mox Nox
by Joan Cornella
Joan Cornellá has been posting his absurd and darkly violent -- yet, somehow, horribly, humorous -- painted pantomime comics online for quite awhile.  Now, Fantagraphics has deemed it fit to collect a batch of these single-page gag strips in this slim hardcover volume, and so provide these darkly delineated sentiments, emanating from España, with an entrée into the physical reality of North America.  You have been warned.
retail price - $14.99  copacetic price - $13.75

Showa, A History of Japan: 1953-1989
by Shigeru Mizuki
It's time to make room on your shelf: the fourth and final volume of Shigeru Mizuki's massive manga history of the Showa era has arrived! Covering the era's final years, 1953 through 1989.  This volume concludes the 2500 page history.  As an added bonus, this volume has a stunning 64 page full color epilogue that wraps up Mizuki's feelings about having lived through the Showa era as well as his hopes at the dawn of the Heisei era.
retail price - $24.95  copacetic price - $21.75

by Jonathan Hennessey, Mike Smith, Aaron McConnell & Tom Orzechowski (!)
The full title of this work is The Comic Book Story of BEER, The World's Favorite Beverage from 7000 BC to Today's Craft Brewing Revolution.  That pretty much says it all.  The 170 pages of this comics history trace Beer from its roots in ancient antiquity, postulating a serendipitous origin, through to the ever more informed approach of the present, along the way charting the ever shifting relationship of Beers to their parent societies. Entertaining and educational, this is an ideal item for the comics reading beer drinker.
retail price - $18.99  copacetic price - $17.00

BtI The Blacker the Ink: Constructions of Black Identity in Comics & Sequential Art
edited by Frances Gateward & John Jennings
This 343 page academic anthology tackles the many ways and manners in which black identity has been constructed in comics.  The essays in this volume range far and wide.   Major black auteurs like Jackie Ormes, Kyle Baker and Aaron McGruder are each discussed in depth (although it appears that Oliver Harrington is, while given due props, not given much critical attention) as are specific works with black themes, like Daddy Cool, Stagger Lee, Bayou, Truth, Aya, as well as Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth and even a specific arc of Unknown Soldier! There is attention paid to black comic book heroes as well, those created by whites as well as blacks -- but with the primary focus being on the latter.  Luke Cage, Black Lightning, Storm, VIxen, Cyborg are here, as are indie creations Ramzee and others.  A special feature focuses on Milestone's Icon by Dwayne McDuffie  & Co.  Surprisingly, little is said about Jack Kirby's black characters, most notably, The Black Panther.  The Pittsburgh Courier gets a well-deserved shout out as a major African-American media outlet and principal source of important cartoons about black life in America.  And there's plenty more!  Anyone interested should cruise over to the Rutgers University Press page devoted to this book, which includes the complete table of contents. 
retail price - $29.95  copacetic price - $27.50

retail price - $28.00  copacetic price - $23.75

by Chrissie Hynde
Chrissie Hynde has gone to pains even within the text of this book to let everyone know she's not a writer.  This book is fairly rough and tumble in the prose department, but, at least here, she isn't making any pretense to be otherwise.  The name of her band is, however, clearly revealed to have been intended as autobiographical, and this can be seen both in new and old light in the pages penned here.  Chrissie Hynde goes the standard memoir route in relating many significant episodes of her life (and, doubtless, as is the norm, leaving many out as well).  While often frustratingly vague as to what actually went down on many an occasion, the memoir rings true in the sense that, as anyone who lived a large portion of their life in chemically altered states of one sort or another knows, it's often difficult to remember exactly what happened, or when, or, especially, what the actual sequence of the events recalled was; or, as is also often the case, the person doing the remembering would simply rather not delve too deeply into certain memories, or maybe not go there at all.  Rather than fill in the blanks with fabrications, she just leaves the manuscript littered with lacunae.  That's rock 'n' roll.
retail price - $26.95  copacetic price - $23.75

Items from our September 2015 listings may now be purchased online at our eCommerce site, HERE.

New for August 2015

AGRGAvant-Garde Graphics in Russia
by Hiroshi Unno and Reiko Harajo
We've been chomping at the bit for years now looking for a nice anthology of Soviet-era graphics produced in Russia during the magic decade 1917-1927.  At last we've found one, but we had to go all the way to Japan to find it!  This elegantly produced 320-page softcover is overflowing with excellent full color reproductions of the glorious works that emanated from the hands, hearts and minds of the true believers that gave their all to the revolution, before being so cruelly betrayed.  Anyone with a passion for works of visual art cannot fail to be energized by the works collected here.  Rodchenko, Stepanova, Kandinsky, Malevich, El Lissitzky, Popova, Goncharova, the Stenberg brothers, and many, many others created works that remain vital today. We posted a propagandistic preview on Ello, HERE.  It is a (semi)bi-lingual edition: yes, most of the book is in Japanese, but there is enough English text to guide readers, and, really, you're here for the images. Once we sell out, who knows when -- or even if -- we'll get more... Don't miss this one!
copacetic price - $39.95

BB17Baron Bean, Year Two: 1917
by George Herriman
And speaking of 1917, year two of Baron Bean picks up right where year one left off, on New Year's Day, 1917.  After a year on Baron Bean, Herriman clearly felt more at home with the characters and set-up that he had established.  Here in the strips collected in this volume he confidently tackles serious questions concerning the relationship of social status to race, ethnicity, religion, career, habitual behavior and many other variables the social worth and merit of which the society of the day takes for granted but which Herriman clearly believes are open to question.  He demonstrates here that so much of what is "taken as given" is merely a façade, and one that is often, if not ususally, poorly constructed, at that.  Herriman takes great joy in knocking these over with with clear cut cartoon gags.  In strip after strip he punctures pomposities of European "airs" of social status and class, revealing them to indeed be built upon the thin air of imaginary ethnic and racial superiorities that time and again are shown to be empty assumptions carrying no weight in the new world of America that he is working to make manifest.  This volume opens with another insightful essay by Jared Gardner, which touches on these themes and places them within the proper historical context.  Great reproduction makes this oversize horizontal volume another treat. 
retail price - $29.95  copacetic price - $27.50

Hip Hop Family Tree, Volume 3

by Ed Piskor
The third volume of Hip Hop Family Tree has arrived!  Ed P has stepped up his game to keep it in line with the improved fortunes of the rappers and hip hoppers whose lives and careers he is chroincling here, in page after massive, Treasury Edition sized page of full color comics rendered in what might, in another era, have been referred to as "The Mighty Marvel Manner!"  Here, in our present day, we will instead say that these pages are suffused with the dynamism that is rooted in the comics of Jack Kirby and those who followed in his wake.  And this dynamism is exactly what is called for in describing and depicting the titanic tales of the Golden Age of Hip Hop that unfold here, featuring the rise of Run DMC, the the founding of Def Jam, the seret origin on LL Cool J and much more!
retail price - $27.99  copacetic price - $23.75


Hip Hop Family Tree #1
by Ed Piskor
What's this?  More Hip Hop Family Tree!? Yes!, the HHFT juggernaut has expanded into the realm of the monthly comic book and is invading comics shops everywhere.   Here we have 24 pages of the classic HHFT strips from the first volume of the book series, repackaged together with an all new Kirbyesque splash page and seven -- count 'em -- pages of detailed notes on the genesis of the series and on the individual strips themselves.  This is, needless to say, a perfect jumping on point for anyone who has yet to sample this epochal series.  As to those of you who have been down since day one, well, we leave it up to you if you want to revisit these strips in their new form and context.  And don't forget:  these comics are Made in Pittsburgh™!
retail price - $3.99  copacetic price - $3.99

L7Lose #7
by Michael DeForge
It's a double dose of DeForge!  FIrst up, we have 52 pages of all new comics.  This issue has Lose moving to color for the first time  -- although it is sparingly embraced for much of the issue, giving it the feeling of a transition.  This issue also marks a departure in other ways.  The bulk of the issue is taken up by the 35 page "Movie Star" which shows DeForge working in an almost Waresian mode.  This story consists of an involved narrative centered on a post-modern urban family drama with plenty of twists.  It features characters and situations which, while far from normative, are recognizably plausible, as opposed to the more hallucinatory mode which the other two, shorter pieces that bookend "Movie Star" adopt and which we have come to associate with DeForge in the past.  It's possible that "Movie Star" may be a bridge piece to his upcoming graphic novel from D & Q, Big Kids (due in January 2016) which is being billed as DeForge's "most straightforward narrative and his most complex work to date."  As always, there is much to engage the mind and senses; plenty of food for thought.
retail price - $10.00  copacetic price - $9.00


by Michael DeForge
And then, with Dressing, we have 14 all NEW stories, presented here for the first time in this hardcover collection.  Full color, black and white and duo-tone.  Alienation in all its forms is the common thread running through these stories.  It is herein employed in satires of social relations, corporate affairs, and government policy, as well as in -- and sometimes simultaneously with -- explorations of the biological underpinnings of human and animal nature(s).
retail price - $19.95  copacetic price - $17.77

Spectral Worlds
by Lane Milburn
Spectral Worlds is Lane Milburn's latest foray into genre mash-up comics.  This full color, 24 page, magazine-size comic book blends occult horror with noir/crime seasoned with a dash of science fiction/fantasy comics to serve up a spicy blend.  Readers may at first wonder what they've stumbled into, as the cover and initial splash pages seem at best tangentially related, but the plural noun of the magazine's title is the key here:  when it comes to the imagination, there is quite clearly more than one world.  In this issue, we pass through several neighboring worlds en route to the final destination, "Organized Grime."  Set in Rotville -- a burg that lives up to its name, in spades! -- and featuring a cast that includes Madame Hellbender, Boss Dross, The Irruminator, Slopjob and the one and only Miverva Mach -- and plenty more besides -- this "creepy crime thriller" is packed with grotesqueries and violent action that lie further down the sleazy alleys explored by the likes of Dick Tracy, Sin City and Street Angel. 
retail price - $8.00  copacetic price - $8.00

by Andy Burkholder
Qviet is a collection of doodlesque, single-page comics primarily focused on imaginings of the body.  Works of this nature are normally of brief duration, and take a unified approach.  Burkholder has held out for a grander vision in Qviet; its voluminous container allowing for experimentation.  Within the 248 pages of this softcover collection just published by Minneapolis-based 2D Cloud, A. (aka Andy/Andrew) Burkholder has applied a widely (and wildly) inventive series of approaches to depicting and delineating human sexual relations, responses, fantasies, daydreams, compulsions, delusions and other imaginings.  Linking all these -- often explicit -- renderings is their implicit relationship to the autonomous drawing impulse.  As such, all the comics on display here can be classified as surrealist in their basis and aims.  Many of Burkholder's strips particularly bring to mind the absurd spirit of René Magritte --  but, here allowed a sexual explicity unimaginable to the 20th century Belgian surrealist.  There is humor here; visual puns and slapstick sequences.  There are also disturbing and unsettling juxtopositions; clean line and dirty line.  Metamorphoses of sexual objects is the dominant trope.  Expect the unexpected.  In sum, readers will emerge from Qviet to likely find themselves seeing, thinking and imagining in unexpected ways and new combinations; in the process re-evaluting their assumptions about the relationship between the pen and the penis... 
retail price - $22.95  copacetic price - $20.00

3 Books
by Blaise Larmee
The inherent voyeurism of the internet age permeates the three books collected here in this 288 page omnibus volume.  Nudes reads like a series of visits to a life drawing class where the models are engaging in sex.  Amateurs is a 21st century fumetti; a series of print-outs from a Skype session with a naked "18 year old on her birthday," with a hand written recording of the thoughts the session inspired scrawled atop the images.  Ice Cream Kisses is a series of narrative, comics-style paintings (some of which are derived from the drawings in Nudes), done somewhat after the manner of Gerhard Richter’s figurative grey paintings, arrayed to create a narrative of incessant desire, in which the text describes the sights that the painting obscures, where looking is at the root of desire and speaking of it is a requisite for both its expression and fulfillment.
retail price - $29.95  copacetic price - $25.75



by Eleanor Davis
Described by Davis as "a goofball battle porn comic" that is intended for an adult audience, Fuckwizards takes the gender-bending of Gilbert Hernandez's Birdland comics splices it together with Jaime's wrestling comics -- like Whoa, Nellie! -- adds a dash of Kevin Huizenga's Fight or Run comics, and then puts her own unmistakable stamp on it all to create a unique 24 page, pencil drawn mini-comic that takes the reader to an internal picture plane in the mind's eye to see what's going on there while the body is engaged in fulfilling sexual desires...
retail price - $5.00  copacetic price - $5.00


My Hot Date
by Noah Van Sciver
Here it is, just in time for the end of summer.   Noah Van Sciver's My Hot Date is 40 full color pages of red hot Arizona angst -- teenage angst, that is.  Set in the Mesa, AZ of the summer of 1998, this comic provides readers with a front row seat to the adventures of 14-year old Noah as he stumbles blindly into life while the adult Noah agonizes offstage.  Embarassment ensues...
retail price - $7.00  copacetic price - $6.30


Derring Do: The True Crime / False Crime Issue

by Josh Bayer, Whit Taylor, Sarah Lautman, et al
This 68 page black and white comix anthology is devoted to all things criminal and provides a wide variety of perspectives in stories ranging from Josh Bayer's "Nixon" to "Stupid Crimes, Stupider Crimnals," by Jeff Weiner to Whit Taylor's "Bad Vibrations" and then back again to Matthew Phelan's "Junk Bond King."  There are plenty more comic book tales of criminality here, twenty in all!  And at this price, it's a steal!
retail price - $5.00  copacetic price - $4.50


Do Not Disturb My Waking Dream #4
by Laura Park
Ms. Park's latest is a 24 page, 2-color risograph filled with a scattered selection of energetic pen and ink comics and cartoons that have been carefully crafted to elicit knowing chuckles as they deliver their finely calibrated doses of bitter-tinged, mordant humor to those on the other side of the page.  Laughing through the pain, with a little help from imaginary lemurs.
retail price - $5.00  copacetic price - $5.00

IYSIf You Steal

by Jason
The latest by the King of Norwegian comics is here!  Jason has been residing in the south of France for the last eight years or so -- and, really, who can blame him?  It gets cold -- and dark! -- up there in Norway.  But, we here at Copacetic are worried about him.  You can take the cartoonist out of Norway, but, from the looks of things, you can't take the Norway out of the cartoonist, and the strain is starting to show.  Jason's comics here are as crisp and clean as ever; he certainly hasn't lost his chops.  But the consciousness that he is laconically delineating in the stories collected in this full color, hardcover volume -- all new to North American readers -- is fragmented and jumbled, occasionally to the point of incoherence.  It's not a coincidence that you can only say ennui in French.  Jason fans -- which we here at Copacetic stalwartly remain -- will nevertheless want to pick up this volume for the sheer cartooning majesty; there's still nobody who can do it like Jason.  Perhaps it's just time for Jason to move on, geographically; perhaps give Barcelona a try...
retail price - $29.99  copacetic price - $25.75


Between the World and Me
by Ta-Nehisi Coates
This has fuelled quite a bit of discussion, and deservedly so.  Perhaps you'd like to join in the conversation....  Prior to the publication of this work, Coates was perhaps best known for his lengthy article in The Atlantic, "The Case for Reparations," which can be read in its entirety, HERE.
retail price - $24.00  copacetic price - $20.00


The Art of Asking
by Amanda Palmer
The opposite pole from Ta-Nahesi Coates may be occupied by Amanda Palmer, who herein morphs her 15 minute TED talk of the same title into a book length memoir to make an in-depth reiteration of her case that the world is her oyster.  Her work too inspires much discussion, but of a decidely different bent...
retail price - $27.00  copacetic price - $24.25

Jack's Book: An Oral Biography of Jack Kerouac

by Barry Gifford & Lawrence Lee
With Jack's Book, Gifford and Lee launched the oral biography as a valid form, and arguably created what remains the gold standard of the form.  Here you have a portrait in the round of the central figure of "the beat generation" (who hated that label) provided by all the other players who were in his circle during the two decades of his writing career.  William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Carolyn Cassady, Gregory Corso, Lawrence Felinghetti, Gary Snyder and many more herein provide thoughtful, forthright recollections of Kerouac, his scene and the times in which they mixed.  Gifford and Lee weave them together into a brilliant pattern and in the process provide an indelible portrait.  This import edition is now available at a special price.  Don't miss it!
retail price - £12.99  copacetic price - $7.77

Items from our August 2015 listings may now be purchased online at our eCommerce site, HERE.

New for July 2015

by Marc Bell
An ALL NEW, self-contained whole by Canadian cartoonist extraordinaire, Marc Bell, Stroppy is a giant-size, full-colour, underground comix classic presented to an unsuspecting [well, not for long] public in the guise of a hardcover graphic novella.  It channels the vigorous populist cartooning energy that can trace its roots back to the classic comics strips – especially the depression-era Popeye by E.C. Segar.  With the advent of the war economy in the late-1930s, this populist energy was sublimated into the national war effort.  While this populist strain of comics did reemerge to a varying degree in some of the post-war, “Atomic Age” comic books, it was not fully reawakened until the disillusionment of the Vietnam War era.  It was then, during the heyday of the underground comix era (roughly 1966-1975), that this same populism reemerged from its generation-long cocoon, metamorphosed and reenergized, and found fresh voice with improved techniques and expanded visual vocabulary.  While much of the work of that period  was  undirected and diffuse, in aggregate there were many discoveries made in the area of organizing information and concepts visually, much of which has failed to be subsequently sustained, and has failed to be successfully incorporated into comics usage.     Enter Marc Bell.  This Ontarian cartoonist/illustrator/collagist/painter has been gradually developing his own unique brand of surrealist/psychedelic comics (aka psychedooolia) over the last two decades.  Bell’s work is notably influenced by the early underground comix  work of R. Crumb, as well as by the Hairy Who and Philip Guston, all of whom also flourished during the same era.  It also has some strong roots in the homegrown Canadian soil of Julie Doucet’s 1980s Dirty Plotte comics, and includes nods to Kim Deitch’s mature works such as Shadowland and Boulevard of Broken Dreams.  These influences (and many more, including those of his contemporary comrades in cartooning, most notably Amy Lockhart and Peter Thompson) have all been fully digested and synthesized into Bell’s mature style.  He has slowly but surely developed and accumulated an original cartoon lexicon in works like Shrimpy and Paul, Hot Potatoe! and Pure Pajamas. These and many other works were undertaken in the spirit of experimentation, allowing Bell to follow his often inscrutable muse and giving his unconscious free reign in constructing a pen and ink world so overflowing with visual stimuli that it makes Richard Scarry’s Busytown books seem positively sluggish by comparison.     Now, at last, in Stroppy, Bell has employed his idiosyncratic arsenal of cartoon creations in the service of a cohesive long form narrative that opens with an incensed populist sentiment that ruthlessly ironizes the blatant inequities imposed by unbridled capitalism, ridiculing both those directing it and those in its thrall.  As the narrative progresses, Bell navigates – and, somewhat surprisingly, mitigates – this antagonistic stance through a zany series of nuanced negotiations between Stroppy & Co. and the agents — and lackeys -- of capitalism and popular culture, creating in the process a work that is very much in the spirit offered by the best of the underground comics era, evinced particularly by Bell’s supreme visual anarchy.     Anyone reading this who is completely unfamiliar with Marc Bell’s work has probably been having difficulty following the discourse here (but we applaud you for sticking with it!).  Any of those so uninitiated, yet finding themselves intrigued by the preceding is encouraged to search out examples online, starting here:  marc bell comics.
retail price - $21.95  copacetic price - $19.75

by Jeremy Baum
Dörfler shows artist and writer Jeremy Baum playing to his strengths in his first work for Fantagraphics Books.  This 96 page oversize hardcover is filled with lush, full color pen and marker drawings which largely hew to the blue and grey spectrum, only occasionally allowing for a dash of red, and entirely eschewing the yellowed bands of the spectrum, from orange to green; making for a cool world, indeed.  And this cool world oscillates between technology and nature (but a nature that may be illusory and/or artificial, a possibility hinted at by the limited color spectrum employed), the controlled ego and the libidinous id, male and female, and in which the latter dominates the depicted diegesis while the former dominates the narrative direction.  While the visual tropes employed here are largely those of science fiction and fantasy – futuristic cityscapes, mysterious technical apparatus, robots, wizards, elves, etc. –  and they are immediately engaged in the service of SF concepts such as inter-dimensional travel that appears to transpire on a physical plane, readers are likely to eventually find themselves immersed in a sensation of having entered into a dream world, where borders between levels of consciousness – subconscious, unconscious, dream-states both night and day, induced or not – are entirely porous and lead to a maze of sexual desires and fantasies and their relations to social power structures' imposition of will through technology.   Jungian / mythological archetypes, nature symbology and more are deployed in strategies of coercion as well as in its resistance.  Manufactured illusions of community which can be – and are –subverted to create actual communities, “mind control” and its usurpation, are encoded in a manner that intimates William Burroughs more than H.P. Lovecraft.  All this is accomplished primarily through visuals.  The text here is minimal and map-like; primarily employed to keep the reader properly oriented.  Dörfler has no real beginning, middle or end, there is no closure, no exit.  It is a souvenir of a visit to a state of mind, one that is very engaged in seeing and being seen, looking and drawing, capturing the fleeting sensation, the stray thought, as it scampers through the mind, and holding onto it long enough to send the necessary signals to the hand to record it  in lines on paper, in comics form.  SPECIAL NOTEA book release party for Dörfler will be held at Copacetic on Saturday, August 8, from 7pm to 9pm.
retail price - $22.99  copacetic price - $20.00

"Worst Behaviour"

by Simon Hanselmann
The hotly awaited TCAF hit, by the Tasmanian Devil, Simon Hanselmann has at last made it to the Copacetic new arrivals table.  Published by Alvin Buenaventura’s Pigeon Press, “Worst Behaviour” is a 56-page graphic novella printed in blue ink on pink paper (shades of the Street Angel “Pink Paper Edition”).  Featuring Hanselmann’s now-iconic antiheroes Megg, Mogg & Owl in a night that begins with bong hits and pizza, moves on to a “creepy fancy” French restaurant to celebrate Owl’s birthday, and then spirals down and out from there, "Worst Behaviour" leaves the reader with the looming question:  is this a night to remember, or a night to forget?
retail price - $12.00  copacetic price - $12.00

Island #1
edited by Brandon Graham
Brandon Graham & Co. have a go at reviving the original spirit of Heavy Metal magazine and splicing in a bit of Manga DNA (Young Magazine, Shonen Jump, etc.).  This hefty -- 112 pages! -- anthology, filled with science fiction comics, some complete in one issue, some continuing, is being published on a monthly schedule, so anyone who finds themselves engaged will have a steady stream of material by to look forward to by a cadre of creators including Michael DeForge, Farel Dalrymple, Malachi Ward and plenty more.  Get a sneak preview in this heavily illustrated interview with Brandon Graham and Emma Ríos, courtesy of the AV Club.  To get the ball rolling, we're offering an into special price on the first issue!
retail price - $7.99  copacetic price - $5.99

FoHFragments of Horror
by Junji Ito
The web image doesnt do justice to the cover of this hardcover collection of Ito's ghoulish and shocking short horror manga, his first in eight years.  The dust jacket incorporates the single best use of spot varnish that we've ever come across.  When you stare at the cover head on, it appears as it does online, but as you lift it up and the light glances it at various angles, a series of ghostly images dance across the cover that fleetingly depict horrific hallucinations -- doubtless those that the cover's central figure -- a clear homage to Munch's "The Scream" -- is helplessly experiencing.  As for the material this cover so cleverly and appropriately contains:  the eight pieces here have all been penned since 2006.  All but the first tale -- a brief eight-pager -- run thirty pages or more.  The stories range from a classic haunted house tale, to a high school biology class gone horribly wrong, to erotic/horrific metamorphoses and plenty more creepiness from the creator of the classics Uzumaki and Gyo
retail price - $17.95  copacetic price - $16.25

Trash Market
by Tadao Tsuge; translated and edited by Ryan Holmberg
Tadeo Tsuge’s Trash Market is the latest volume in the series of classic manga curated by Ryan Holmberg, and the first to be published by Drawn & Quarterly since the untimely demise of PictureBox, the series’ original publisher.  This softcover volume presents six classic Tsuge works from the late-‘60s and early-‘70s all but one originally published in Garo, all appearing here in English translations for the first time: “Up on the Hilltop, Vincent Van Gogh”; “Song of Showa”; “Manhunt”; “Gently Goes the Night”; “ A Tale of Absolute and Utter Nonsense”; and closing out with the title track, “Trash Market”; each story runs approximately 40 pages.  These are followed by a selection of Tsuge’s autobiographical essays of the late-‘90s (also translated by Holmberg).  The volume concludes with an original biographical essay by Holmberg on Tsuge’s life and career, “Portrait of the Artist as a Working Man.” Haunting tales by an outsider survivor. 
retail price - $22.95  copacetic price - $20.00

by Sylvie Rancourt
Written (en français), drawn and self-published by Rancourt in 1985 & 1986, the seven issues collected here in this 352 page softcover edition were originally released in Quebec as Mélody, Danseuse Nue.  An autobiographical tale of her days as a nude dancer five years before, they were created, at least in part, to help her gain both perspective and distance from the events depicted.  The comics both sold respectably on the Quebecois newsstands and garnered positive responses form members of the comics cognoscenti on both sides of the Atlantic, abetted by a mini-comics edition of an English language translation by Jaques Boivin, which led to a subsequent collaboration between Boivin and Rancourt on an English language Melody series published by Kitchen Sink from 1988 to 1995.  Now, at last, for the first time the entire original Melody series has been translated into English (by the widely esteemed Helge Dascher) and is available throughout North America, courtesy of Montreal-based Drawn Quarterly.  Chris Ware introduces this volume with a thoroughly engaging essay that is simultaneously heartfelt and analytical; guiding readers to excellent vantage points from which to view Rancourt’s work in historical, sociological and artistic contexts.  Melody is both an affecting memoir and unique resource, one that serves as a counterpoint to Chester Brown’s Paying for It, also from D & Q.  It won’t be long before we’ll see this pair of works being employed in a university setting; the only question is where:  gender studies? urban studies? sociology? all of the above? 
retail price - $22.95  copacetic price - $20.00

PiUPoetry Is Uselss
by Anders Nilsen
Poetry Is Useless has arrived! Anders Nilsen's new 200+ page hardcover is chock-a-block with plenty of beautiful sketchbook scans mixed together with miscellanea in this sumptuous æsthetic free-for-all. We've only just taken our copies out of the box, and so don't have much to say yet besides, "Wow, nice!", but want to let people know that it's here.  We put together a quick preview, iuncluding eight full spreads, HERE.  Take a moment to feast your eyes...
retail price - $29.95  copacetic price - $25.75


Blubber #1
by Gilbert Hernandez
Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom, Beto-style!  We're definitely not in Kansas anymore in this twisted, SF take on life in the wild and evolutionary perogatives.  Oh, the absurdity of it all!
retail price - $3.99  copacetic price - $3.99


Infinite Bowman

Pat Aulisio
Years in the making, Infinite Bowman is here!  176 pages of scratchy, scrawly, inky, alien-filled space opera that operates in æsthetic space somewhere on the continuum between Josh Bayer and Brian Chippendale.  Also on hand are a down and out 20-something, Black Bart™, jungle warfare, drug use, porno filmmaking, space travel, and even more aliens.
retail price - $15.00  copacetic price - $12.75

The Shark King
by R. Kikuo Johnson
R. Kikuo Johnson is a natural born comicker, if ever there was one.  Every page he draws seems a perfect balance of line, form and color.  It's uncanny.  He seems incapable of putting a line out of place or making a stray mark.  While this Toon Book has been created specifcally for younger readers, the sheer quality of the work on display on each of this work's 36 page's will thrill the perceptual apparatus of any fan of comics and visual story-telling, regardless of their age.  Comics geek note:  There's a bit of a Jesse Marsh / Alex Toth via Steve Rude / Darwyn Cooke hybrid quality here.  Now that this is available in a low-price softcover editoin, there's really no excuse not to check this out (and then perhaps pass it on to a younger reader, and share the joys of good comics).
retail price - $4.95  copacetic price - $4.95


Creepy presents Alex Toth
by Alex Toth
And, speaking of Alex Toth, Creepy presents ALEX TOTH is a magazine size hardcover volume that presents 21 classic Toth tales of terror from the pages of the Warren horror mags, Creepy and Eerie.  Most of this work originates from the 1970s, but there are few earlier pieces from the '60s and later pieces from the '80s to bookend them.  Both was one of the undisputed masters of comics story-telling.  Most of what he drew was intended for color printing, but the work collected here was created for black & white printing, and so provided Toth with the opportunity to create all spatial and shading effects in the original black and white art.  A must for students of the form we say!  Check out what we're talking about by taking a look at these spreads from the book.
retail price - $19.95  copacetic price - $17.77

And here are our top two short story collections for this year's summer reading:

Voices in the Night
by Steven Millhauser
The latest collection of stories by Copacetic fave, Steven Millhauser has arrived.  Not sure what to expect?  Can't wait?  Dive right in now and read the title track, courtesy of The New Yorker Magazine. 
retail price - $25.95  copacetic price - $22.22

American Innovations
by Rivka Galchen
A collection of amazing short stories by the author of Atmospheric Disturbances.  She just keeps getting better...
retail price - $24.00  copacetic price - $20.00

Items from our July 2015 listings may now be purchased online at our eCommerce site, HERE.

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last updated 31 October 2015