Previews of Fantagraphic Books comics that will be published in July 2006.

Chewing Gum In Church
Steven Weissman
Chewing Gum in Church is the new “Yikes” book by Steven Weissman, starring “Sweet” Chubby Cheeks, Kid Medusa, the Pullapart Boy, Elzie Crisler, Dead Boy, X-Ray Spence and, of course, Li’l Bloody. In a series of one page strips, this cast, having survived enough adventures to fill three mass-market paperbacks, now “settles” into a daily routine of cruelty, failure, jealousy, bitterness, gluttony, sloth, violence, arrogance, and stupidity. But especially stupidity. This is Weissman’s first full-color book, which is hard to imagine for an artist so renowned for his color sense.

104 pages, full-color, 7 1/2” x 7 1/2” paperback $14.95

The Last Lonely Saturday
Jordan Crane
Long out-of-print, Jordan Crane’s first self-published graphic novel is now available in a new edition from Fantagraphics! Largely wordless and cunningly rendered, this little book is sure to touch most folks. In The Last Lonely Saturday, an older man sits at his kitchen table, filled with melancholy. Dishes are piled up in the sink, a full pot of coffee burns on the counter; it’s a quiet scene of existential despair. It quickly becomes clear that the man is a widower, and today is the day to visit his departed wife’s gravesite. Little does he know that what the day holds for him will result in this being his last lonely Saturday. Both sweet and bitter, realistic and fantasic, The Last Lonely Saturday is an evocative, romantic novella, told in a beautiful two-color, red and yellow palette. His economical images waste not a line, and his narrative flows effortlessly from panel to panel in this heartwarming story of love and love lost.

80 pages, two-color, 4 1/8” x 6 3/8” hardcover $8.00

The Left Bank Gang
F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Ezra Pound, and James Joyce walk into a Parisian bar… no, it’s not the beginning of a joke, but the premise of Jason’s unique new graphic novel. Set in 1920s Paris, The Left Bank Gang is a deliciously inventive re-imagining of these four literary figures as not only typical Jason anthropomorphics, but…graphic novelists! Yes, in Jason’s warped world, cartooning is the dominant form of fiction, and not only do these four work literary giants work in the comics medium but they get together to discuss pen vs. brush, chat about the latest graphic novels from Dostoevsky (“I can’t tell any of his characters apart!”) to Faulkner (“Hasn’t he heard of white space? His panels are too crowded!”), and bemoan their erratic careers. With guest appearances by Zelda Fitzgerald and Jean-Paul Sartre, and a few remarkable twists and turns along the way, and you’ve got one of the funniest and most playful graphic novels of the year. Like Jason’s acclaimed Why Are You Doing This?, The Left Bank Gang is rendered in full spectacular color.

48 pages, full-color, 7” x 10” $12.95

An Alphabetical Ballad of Carnality
David Sandlin; Edited and Designed by Monte Beauchamp
This ABC for sinners spotlights creator David's Sandlin's alter ego, recounting his lurid life in rhyming couplets: a "sintamental education" in 26 easy steps, from Adultery to Zealotry. This is the fifth BLAB! storybook, a series showcasing sequential artists from Monte Beauchamp's annual BLAB! anthology. Sandlin’s storybook composes what can best be described as narrative painting, taking advantage of the way in which painting (art) allows the artist to bring together the conscious and the subconscious, the rational and the irrational, the realistic and the dreamlike.

32-page full-color, 10” x 10” hardcover $14.95

Castle Waiting #1
Linda Medley
The award-winning series returns! The first issue of volume II, #1 is a giant oversized issue that includes the last two, long out-of-print self-published issues of Castle Waiting (#s 15 and 16), which began a new storyline, as well as the third chapter, 24 brand new pages, in a 64-page extravaganza, at the low, low price of $5.95! Before deciding on her living quarters in the tower of Castle Waiting, Lady Jain receives a tour from “the Beakster” of every sprite-filled corner. In the counting room, she is transported, through a series of flashbacks, to her childhood. Sister Peace looks for a housewarming gift while Chess gets a shoe repaired. Future issues will be 32 pages for $3.95 every six weeks.

64-page B&W comic $5.95

Fuzz & Pluck in Splitsville #4
Ted Stearn
In this penultimate issue, Fuzz comes up with a way to defeat ferryman Victor's nemesis (a bridge) once and for all - with disastrous consequences. In the machiavellian world of the gladiator games, Pluck is king -until he finally meets his match. Part four of a five part series. Though beloved by artists like Chris Ware and David Mazzucchelli, this might be our most underrated series. Funny, surreal, moving and engrossing.

48 pages $4.95

The Comics Journal #277
30th Anniversary issue! "Where we came from, where we're going": The Comics Journal celebrates its 30th year as the nation's premier trade journal and comic-arts review by examining the last three decades of comics arts and industry history, and offers a look at where the medium may be headed in the next decade, in an oversized special issue guaranteed to give you a new perspective from which to view the artform. News Editor Michael Dean and Managing Editor Dirk Deppey offer a concise history of the comic-book marketplace, from the early days of the Direct Market to the turbulent 1990s and their consequences for today. Executive Editor Gary Groth talks about the aesthetics of the medium with renowned cultural critic Donald Phelps. French cartoonist and controversial L'Association co-founder Jean-Christophe Menu offers a European perspective, and a host of cartoonists (including veteran comic-book creator Kyle Baker, breakout web-cartoonist Chris Onstad and others) and publishers discuss the future of the medium as seen from their vantage points. Plus: Donald Phelps offers an extended look at revered classic comic strip "Barney Google," complete with an extensive collection of daily strips from the series!

250 pages (48 in color!) 8-1/2” x 10-3/4” squarebound magazine $12.95

Niger #1 (Ignatz Series)
Leila Marzocchi
A fascinating ecological fable done in woodcuts, Niger follows the life of a strange new being named “Pupa” born in the depth of a lake. Wandering about the surface among other creatures, she takes refuge in a glass and falls asleep. Some birds, curious for the event, organize themselves to protect this small, weak, creature to allow her to grow up. They call the “Fatmah hand” to ask her to pronounce a Fatwa, intended to discourage the other animals in the wood from threatening the small creature. A superb and thoughtful addition to the “Ignatz” series.

32-page 2-color saddle stitched 8 1/2” x 11", with jacket $7.95

Reflections #1 (Ignatz Series)
Marco Corona
“Chapter One: The Boxing Kangaroo.” In the first new “Ignatz” comic of 2006, acckaimed rising talent Marco Corona transports us into the life of a woman called Miranda. Flashing back to her days as a child visiting her sickly twin brother Riccardo at the seaside hospital with her wise and knowing Gramma, reflecting on and dreaming about her relationship with her loopy mother. As Miranda pads around her house, feeding her cats, Corona’s rich, elegantly stylized art seamlessly moves between past, present, dream and (in Riccardo’s case) hallucination to weave the portrait of a unique woman living a unique story.

32-page 2-color saddle stitched 8 1/2” x 11", with jacket $7.95

Baobab #2 (Ignatz Series)
Close to a century ago, Southern Parador... Two aspiring cartoonists, Celestine and Pilade, vow to use this new medium to create amazing works of fantasy and magic, and talk a retired local newspaper publisher into reviving his paper just for them. But just as he sees his big break and gets ready to launch what will eventually become his signature chaacter, “Morvo,” Celestine falls terribly ill, and even hi s doting sister’s help can’t get him back on track… Igort’s ambitious series (it’s planned to run at least seven or eight issues) traces an alternate history of the very beginnings of the comic strip artform, with subtle nods toward such masters as Winsor McCay and George Herriman (upon whom the Creole Celestine is clearly based). No aficionado of comics’ earliest days can miss this!

32-page 2-color saddle stitched 8 1/2” x 11", with jacket $7.95