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by Molly Barker
Hardcover: 200 pages
City Lights Books
ISBN: 087286328X
A brilliant graphic novel, part Spiegleman, part Gorey. Ms. Barker's landscapes are eerie and dark, reminiscent of Poe. They describe the alienation of the human condition with poetry and beautiful illustrations.
Brian Michael Bendis
by Brian Michael Bendis
Paperback: 120 pages
Image Comics
ISBN: 1582400717
Your government does not want you to read this book!

Imagine that you are a shy, quiet college student. Just an average guy trying to get through each day as best he can. Then your government contacts you. They want you to be part of an experiment in the art of human covert operations. Instead of creating an agent from someone within their own ranks, they want to create an agent from nobody--from scratch- you! 

Loosely based on events in the American intelligence community during the Reagan administration, FIRE tells the unique and powerful story of a young man's journey through the complex world of international intelligence. Fire was Bendis' first major work and helped him attract and develop a new audience for crime graphic novels that he would further challenge in later works such as Jinx, Goldfish, Torso, and Powers.

From the Publisher
Brian Michael Bendis is the EISNER award-winning creator (The Comic Industry's Oscar) of several crime graphic novels published by Image Comics. His other Image works include TORSO, GOLDFISH, JINX, and FIRE. Fortune And Glory, his Hollywood tell all from Oni Press, was given an "A" by Entertainment Weekly. He is also the recipient of the Cleveland Press Excellence in Journalism Award.

Dimensions (in inches): 0.35 x 10.28 x 6.68
Click here for our complete Brian Michael Bendis selection
BLAB Edited by Monte Beauchamp
     & Chris Ware
Click HERE to order BLAB #9
Edited by Monte Beauchamp & Chris Ware
Paperback: 144 pages
Fantagraphics Books
ISBN: 156097284X
"No comics anthology currently in production shows as wide a variety of the medium's potential as BLAB!"
--The Onion
"Neither periodical or book, BLAB! is quite obviously a work of art."
--Comic Buyer's Guide
Two years after the multiple-award winning Blab #8 comes editor Monte Beauchamp's next installment of America's premiere comics anthology. The front and back covers are by Gary Baseman, and you'll find new comics stories by Richard Sala, Doug Allen, Spain, Terry Laban, Peter Kuper, Chris Ware, and others. Plus there are essays on America's first serial killer, Howard Unruh (by Jeffrey Steele), and the cover art of Dell mystery paperbacks (by Beauchamp). The cornerstone of this issue is an amazing 13-page retrospective of the art of Boris Artsybasheff, an expatriate Russian designer/illustrator who created more than 200 covers for Time. His images of war and industry influenced a generation of artists.

From Booklist:
From the modest digest size of its first eight numbers, Blab has evolved into a square, oversize affair. The elaborate ninth edition includes strips from Richard Sala, Spain Rodriguez, Peter Kuper, and Chris Ware (the latter two's stories appear in vibrant color, and they are not the only ones that do). Nearly as impressive are newcomers Archer Prewitt, Brad Johnson, and Peter Hoey, and editor Beauchamp casts his net beyond the comics world to gather work by Tony Fitzpatrick and Christian Northeast. All these artists' contributions are enjoyable, but those of some cartoonists who work in more conventional modes, such as Terry LaBan and Doug Allen, don't particularly benefit from the lavish packaging, careful production, and cutting-edge design. A retrospective of illustrator Boris Artzybasheff's work and a portfolio of vintage Dell paperback mystery bookcover art round out the volume. With the demise of Art (Maus) Spiegelman's Raw, Blab is the leading showcase for contemporary cartoonists; may its new publisher publish it more regularly.

Gordon Flagg
Copyright© 1998, American Library Association. All rights reserved.
BLAB # 10
Click HERE to order BLAB #10
"At its peak, it's like The New Yorker--
for mutants."
--LA Reader
Edited by Monte Beauchamp & Chris Ware
Paperback: 112 pages
Fantagraphics Books
ISBN: 1560973234
"It is, simply, a great book."
--Chicago Tribune Magazine
From Booklist:
Since the demise of the groundbreaking Raw nearly a decade ago, the vaguely annual Blab has become the premier showcase for comics as art. The latest edition features leading names in the field and some promising newcomers. Standouts include Peter Kuper's paean to porn, Al Columbia's vision of the Apocalypse that resembles an old black-and-white Max Fleischer film cartoon, Spain's autobiographical story of a visit to a degenerate carny, Richard Sala's take on German expressionistic film, Pamela Butler's feverishly sexual Red Riding Hood drawings (mature readers only here), and a Rocket Sam tale by Chris Ware, who does more in two pages than most artists can accomplish in an entire graphic novel. Raw mainstay Gary Panter makes his Blab debut with an uncharacteristic, rather inconsequential illustration. But why does editor Beauchamp fill the volume out with mundane essays on boxer Jack Johnson and R & B singer Jackie Wilson? (Drew Friedman's caricature almost redeems the latter, though.) Aside from such prose miscues, the only bad thing about Blab is the long wait between volumes.
Gordon Flagg
Copyright© 1999, American Library Association. All rights reserved.
BLAB #11
by Monte Beauchamp (Editor)
Paperback: 120 pages
Fantagraphics Books
ISBN: 1560974079
America's premier anthology of cutting-edge comics and illustration art is back with its most spectacular volume yet. Sporting all-new covers by acclaimed painter Mark Ryden, Vol. 11 features the return of comics giants Richard Sala, Peter Kuper, Drew Friedman, as well as illustration legends David Goldin and Jonathan Rosen. Newcomers include American Illustration award-winner Greg Clarke and Lou Brooks. With the cream of the crop of comics and illustration talent from around the world, BLAB! is a fan-favorite in both comics circles and the world of graphic design. 
From Booklist 
The latest edition of the roughly annual anthology Blab is always welcome. Originally an elegantly packaged showcase for alternative cartoonists, Blab now includes cutting-edge graphics of all forms. New-to-Blab talents--notably the Clayton brothers and cover painter Mark Ryden, all known for their appearances in the alternative-art magazine Juxtapose --appear alongside Blab regulars, who are among the brightest luminaries in the comics-as-art world. Standout contributions include a droll story by American Illustration Award-winner Greg Clarke, David Goldin's tale of nautical child abuse, and disquieting visual fairy tales from Blanquet and Pamela Butler. Strong contributions from relative traditionalists Richard Sala, Peter Kuper, and Spain Rodriguez prompt regret that Blab has largely turned away from its comic-strip roots. Letdowns include a one-page toss-off from Drew Friedman and an inconsequential prose story by illustrator Lou Brooks (such occasional prose pieces are Blab' s Achilles' heel). Editor Beauchamp's contribution is an assortment of vintage German postcards depicting Krumpus, a Satanic anti-Santa who punishes wicked children. Sharply designed and attractively assembled, Blab belongs in libraries' graphic novel and fine-art collections.
Gordon Flagg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved.
SHORT STRIPS 1980-1995
by Chester Brown
Paperback: 172 pages
Drawn & Quarterly Publications
ISBN: 1896597130
"...a note of pure genius."
--Rain Taxi Review of Books
At last, Chester Brown's short strips have been collected in one edition. Featuring material produced over a fifteen year period, this book contains numerous rare and otherwise impossible to find gems that appeared in long-out-of-print anthologies and early issues of YUMMY FUR. Virtually all of the stages in Brown's development are represented here, along with a comprehensive fourteen-page section of notes.

Chester Brown is one of the greatest comics artist ever and in this book you'll see why. He never fails to confound, delight, shock, nauseate, charm and confound-- and all the while somehow keeping one gnarled claw rooted in the sacred and the other hoof equally grounded in the scatological. This book collects various stories from Brown's acclaimed comic YUMMY FUR and some stories done for now defunct anthology titles, including some of his earliest works. The stories range from sci-fi to horror to religous to autobiographical. Almost all of the stories are superb. But the real value of the book is in the way it shows Chester Brown's growth and development into a master of his artform. Now if only he'd reprint ED THE HAPPY CLOWN... Anyway, THE LITTLE MAN is priceless.

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