Comics are at their core a form of community, and nothing expresses this better than the comics anthology.  Right from the beginning of the comic book format, with the Iger-Eisner studio, artists grouped together and formed communities whose work bore recognizable group traits.   Practically all the comics of the golden age of comics (1935 - 1954) were anthologies, featuring four or more stories by different artists.   During this period, most artists tended to group around specific publishers, producing work to order. Marvel, DC, Fawcett, Fiction House, Quality and many other publishers all had "house styles."  This trend found its apex in the comics produced by EC, where the mammoth talents of Wally Wood, Al Williamson, Al Feldstein, Bill Elder, Graham Ingels, Johnny Craig, Jack Davis and Harvey Kurtzman, among others, worked to produce a stunning body of work of uniformly high quality. 

These artist communities were, however, all driven by the publisher and profit was always in the driver's seat.  The dawn of the era of
creator-driven comics anthologies took place in the underground comics community of the 60s and early 70s.  While Zap Comix is the title most recalled today, there were literally dozens of others where former comics geeks turned revolutionaries proved yet again that the pen is indeed mightier than the sword in comics such as Bijou, Gothic Blimp Works, Slow Death, Wimmen's Comix, Young Lust and many others.  As the spirit of the sixties waned one last critical anthology appeared:  Arcade.  Bringing together R. Crumb and art spiegelman, along with Bill Griffith and other stalwarts, Arcade provided the critical transition to a more self-aware comics tradition that appeared in the 80s.  

Two of the most important artists' communities of the 80s formed around art spiegelman & Francois Mouly's Raw and Robert Crumb, Peter Bagge & Aline Kominsky's Weirdo, spawning a host of other smaller, lesser known anthology-based communities (such as, for example, Pittsburgh's Transformer).  Also during the 1980s, two publishers emerged as nexus points around which artists' communities formed:  first, and most importantly, was Fantagraphics, powered by the revolutionary approach to comics embodied in Gilbert & Jaime Hernandez's Love and Rockets; second was Drawn & Quarterly, which existed at first solely as the eponymous anthology title.  The difference between these publisher centered artists' communities and those of previous eras was that all work was creator owned, and the role of publisher was placed on an equal or subordinate footing to that of the creator -- a mirror image of the traditional relationship.  As the 80s gave way to the 90s, more and more comics devotees found themselves inspired to make comics of their own, and the anthology comic format proved to be the format of choice for the burgeoning ranks of self-publishing newcomers, allowing creators to pool their resources into a single item that stood a better chance of appealing to a wider readership through its inclusion of a variety of talents.  Over the last ten years, countless self-published and small press comics anthologies have seen print, many with very low print runs -- in the hundreds, or dozens of copies.  And now, of course, self-published comics are proliferating on the web as well, giving a new and larger meaning to the term "comics anthology."  As a result of all this activity a broad array of comics creators -- representing a comprehensive cross-section of American culture, and world culture, as well -- are publishing a greater number of comics anthologies with a broader variety of subjects, themes and styles than at any time in history. 

The purpose of this page is to showcase a selection of the most engaging, entertaining, intelligent, intriguing and important comics anthologies of the twenty-first century. 

Let's take a look!

•this listing proceeds in alphabetical order•

Actus Dead HerringActus presents Dead Herring Comics
Those of you who have been sitting on the fence about Actus can finally get off it as they have finally hit the nail on the head with this one. It's a 120 page oversize (9" x 12") softcover in the tradition of Raw and the D & Q Annuals, with a pinch of the old Mad Magazine Super Specials thrown in in the form of six detachable posters.  It's mostly full color, but there are several B & W pieces as well.  Worthy of special note is the six pages of full color "In the Shadow of No Towers" strips by Art Spiegelman, and the first english language interview we've ever seen with Japanese manga master, Suehiro Maruo.  The rest of the issue is filled with contributions from the regular Actus gang, most if not all of whom are based in Israel and Europe; and it really isn't hype when we say that this issue represents their best work so far.  Definitely worth a look.
2004 • 120 pages • full color
retail price - $24.95  copacetic price - $19.95

Brunetti Yale Anth.An Anthology of Graphic Fiction, Cartoons, and True Stories
edited by Ivan Brunetti
Published by Yale University Press, this awesome anthology is a worthy successor to McSweeney's 13 as the must have -- and, therefore, must give --  comics collection of the foreseeable future.  This volume, bearing the imprimatur of Yale and possessed of an admirable heft, both intellectual and æsthetic as well as physical, is the ideal gift to give to that person (or those persons) who you've always wanted to convert to The Way of Comics.  Editor, Brunetti goes all out to offer us a canonical assemblage with the 400 pages of comics here on display.  One
where it is the form itself that is always at the heart of the work represented.  The work we find here -- while, of course, being comics -- is also, at some level, telling us something about comics, and this latter value-added feature can be attributed in no small part to Brunetti's editorial approach in assembling this work, which he clearly views as an organic whole.  Each artist represented in this collection has a distinct and original approach to the medium that embodies their personal interaction with the comics form as well as with -- and this is where this anthology is unique -- each other piece in the book.  This book is organized around the principal of association.  The pieces are grouped in clusters that are related in a wide variety of ways, from the form and content of the work to the geographic region and ethnicity of the creators.  Brunetti tips his hand right at the outset by starting with the raw, unbridled, free-associative works of Marc Bell, Sam Henderson, Mark Newgarden, Kaz, Tony Millionaire and Bill Griffith (who all, with the exception of Bell, have NYC connections as well).  This approach yields many surprising and unexpected connections as well as much that that proceeds in due course.
2006 • B&W & color • hardcover • 400 pages
retail price - $28.00  copacetic price - $25.00


A Dark Horse Collection edited by Diana Schutz
A solid collection of autobiographical shorts by: Sergio Aragonés, Gabriel Bá, Eddie Campbell, Paul Cahdwick, Farel Dalrymplel, Richard, Soutt, Will Eisner, Paul Hornschemeier, Hason Lutes, Linda Medley, Metaphrog, Frank Miller, Fábio Moon, Bill Morriso, Arnold Pander, Diana Schurz, Stan Sakai, William Stout and Matt Wagner.  They're all good!
2004 • 104 pages • B & W
retail price - $14.95  copacetic price - $13.45

Best American Comics 2006
edited by Harvey Pekar and Anne Elizabeth Moore
This volume marks the first time that comics joins the well established "Best American Series."  It is a surprisingly well produced
Best Comics 2006book -- surprising in that it's from Houghton Mifflin, a major NY publisher, whose eyes are usually more closely set on the bottom line -- that contains a good cross-section of work published in North America in 2004 and 2005 and functions as a fine follow-up -- as a yearbook does to an encyclopedia (for those of you old enough to know what we're talking about) -- to both McSweeney's #13 -- which is clearly its inspiration -- and the just-released Brunetti edited anthology reviewed above.  This collection spans the generations, including new work from old-timers Kim Deitch, Gilbert Shelton and Robert Crumb, middle-agers Jaime Hernandez, Lynda Barry and Joe Sacco, and youngins' Anders Nilsen, Rebecca Dart and Jesse Reklaw, whose story, "13 Cats of My Childhood," we singled out for praise in our 2005 SPX report, when it appeared in it's original form as Couch Tag #2, stating at the time, "It is one of the best comics at this year's SPX... and deserving of a much wider audience than it will be able to find in this form."  So, suffice it to say that we're quite happy to see it included here in this anthology.  By far the longest piece included in this 320 page anthology, practically a graphic novella, "La Rubia Loca," by Justin Hall -- another SPX attending self-publisher --  is an engrossing story about a bunch of hippie slackers stuck on a bus tour through Mexico with a crazy woman.  And keep in mind that these are just the highlights, there's plenty more. 
2006 • full color • hardcover • 320 pages
retail price - $22.00  copacetic price - $19.80

Blurred VisionBlurred Vision: New Narrative Art
"Get yer fresh, pipin' hot New Yawk Aht comics here, straight out of the oven.  Get 'em while their hot, we got 'em right here."  Yes, what we have here is a new art gang anthology of comics from the denizens (and their compatriots) of New York City and its environs.  It's cleanly designed and sharply printed.  It's 100 8 1/2" x 11" black and white pages printed on bright white paper, squarebound with a full color cover, and the contributor list reads thusly:  Eve Englezos and Josh Moutry, Toc Fetch, K. Thor Jensen, D. Dominick Lombardi, Matt Madden, Kevin Mutch, Hans Rickheit, Dash Shaw, Bishakh Som, Karl Stevens and Karl Sunshine.  There's a far ranging array of material here, with the brilliant draughtmanship of Toc Fetch's 22-page contribution being the clear standout.  Delve deeper with this online preview.  What's it all about?  Their closing epigraph says it best: "In a factory culture world where everything feels like collaboration, and where there are few particular voices and visions for one to universally identify with, it is good to know there is still one art form -- one universe -- where the individual artist can reign supreme as genius.  Comics are the most under-exploited medium in fine arts, and I have always felt their greatest potential is in the realm of poetry.  Words and pictures can resonate in magical ways, thus creating in their confluence a third way  that inspires the spirit even as it challenges the intellect." -- Michael Teague. 
retail price - $14.95  copacetic price - $11.95

Blurred Vision #2, #3 & #4 are also now available for the same price.

The Bush Junta

edited by Mack White and Gary Groth
If you're looking for a collection of contemporary, politically-oriented comics from the left, this is it.  Yes, some are diatribes, and some are screeds, but there is a lot of good comics work here by the likes of Penny Van Horn, Carol Swain, Seth Tobocman, Lloyd Dangle, Peter Kuper, Ralph Steadman and Mr. White himself, along with a bevy of contributors from around the country and Europe.
2004 • 220 pages • B & W
retail price - $18.95 
copacetic sale price - $15.00

The Comics Journal Special Edition • Winter 2004
Volume Four: Cartoonists on the Shock of Recognition
The fourth in Fantagraphics' ongoing series of giant (12" x 12") full color special editions of their flagship title.  This one features "Conversations Among Four Generations of Cartoonists: Al Hirschfeld, Jules Feiffer, Art Spiegelman and Chris Ware," pieces on Lyonel Feininger, Phoebe Gloeckner, Ben Katchor and Bill Mauldin, plus 70 pages of comics focusing on the theme of "The Shock of Recognition" by many of today's top comics creators including, Gilbert & Jaime Hernandez, Spain Rodriguez, Ho Che Anderson, Bill Griffith, Igort, Megan Kelso, Carol Swain, Rick Geary, Hideshi Hino, Mary Fleener and many others.
retail price - $22.95  copacetic price - $18.35

Dignifying Science: Stories About Women Scientists
written by Jim Ottaviani illustrated by Donna Barr, Mary Fleener, Ramona
Fradon. Stephanie Gladden, Roberta GRegory, Lea Hernandez, Carla Speed McNeil, Linda Medley, Marie Severin, Jen Sorensen and Anne Timmons.
This is an excellent and totally unique anthoology of comics.  The lives of a distinguished group of important women scientists and their contributions to science are communicated as only comics can: quickly and powerfully. The artists really rise to the occasion here, turning in some truly great work.  The women scientists featured are Hedy Lamarr (yes, the actress -- who knew she was also a scientist?), Lise Meitner, Rosiland Franklin, Barbara McClintock, Biruté Galdikas and, briefly, Marie Curie and Emmy Noether. 1999 • 144 pages • B & W
retail price - $16.95  copacetic price - $14.40

DQ3Drawn & Quarterly Anthology • Volume Three
- oversize softcover
edited by Chris Oliveros

Leading off with elegantly drawn covers and endpapers by Chris Ware in homage to Frank King's "Gasoline Alley," this oversized 10th anniversary publication from Drawn & Quarterly is overflowing with top-flight graphic art and storytelling, revealing "a fine editorial taste as well as an outstanding design sense" (San Francisco Chronicle Book Review). It includes a 55-page full color "Monsieur Jean" story by New Yorker artists Dupuy & Berberian, a focus on Italian cartoonist Franco Matticchio, and a fourteen-page sampling of Seth's color sketchbook portraits.  French cartoonist Blutch provides a brief history of boxing in "Fist To Fist," and a few of Harry Mayerovitch's shadow-egos appear in an excerpt from The Other One. Here too are stories by Pentti Otsamo, Jason Little, and Quebecois cartoonist Michel Rabagliati, who relates a boy's discovery of the magical Linotype machine. The centerpiece of this edition is an archival feature focusing on "Gasoline Alley" that richly reproduces 30 full-color Sunday strips from the 1920s and 30s, with a rare commentary by Frank King himself.  The piece that makes this volume a must have for any card carrying member of the comics cognoscenti is  RAW alumni, R. Sikoryak's masterpiece "Dostoyevsky Comics," which manages to simultaneously deconstruct both Bob Kane's Batman and Russian literature.  This story simply has to be seen to be believed.  It is a pitch perfect adaptation of Dostoyevsky's novel, Crime and Punishment as a 1950s issue of Detective Comics, with Batman as Raskolnikov! This single story is worth the price of the entire anthology.  Really. 
176 pages • oversize (10" x 13") • full color
retail price - $24.95 - copacetic price - $24.95 - now o/p

DQ4Drawn & Quarterly Anthology • Volume Four  - oversize softcover
edited by Chris Oliveros

The fourth volume of this excellent anthology series provides an international roundup of graphic storytelling, showcasing the 54-page "The Adventures of Hergé", by French cartoonist/author team Stanislas, Bocquet and Fromental—a meticulously researched, beautifully told biography of the creator of "Tintin." Miriam Katin explores terrifying childhood memories in Hungary during the time of the Soviet invasion of 1956, and French cartoonist Blutch provides another brutal look at the unsavory history of boxing. Other highlights include the dreamlike "The Bleeding Tree," by Swiss cartoonist Nicolas Robel; a color strip by Ron Regé Jr.; and the return of R. Sikoryak, with his retelling of "The Scarlet Letter" enacted by Little Lulu and Tubby in an uncanny replication of John Stanley's deceptively simple style. The Archive section presents another 30-page overview of Frank King's "Gasoline Alley" Sunday pages in color, focusing on the early years of the strip from 1922 through 1925, as well as an impressive 20-page "poster gallery" of Harry Mayerovitch's stunning World War Two posters for the Canadian Film Board. Steven Guarnaccia provides the covers and endpapers.  It's cover to cover quality!
160 pages • oversize (10" x 13") • full color
retail price - $24.95 - copacetic price - $24.95 - now o/p

D & Q 5Drawn & Quarterly Anthology • Volume Five  - oversize softcover -
edited by Chris Oliveros

Amazing but true: The 2004 edition of D&Q's sumptuous oversize annual of North American (with the accent on Canadian), European and Asian comics is included in this amazing sale.  Beautifully produced as always, this issue features covers and end papers and a graphic novella by DuPuy and Berberian, a short work by long ignored Japanese master, Yoshihiro Tatsumi, “Kept,” a Michel Rabagliati short featuring Paul, and -- going three for three -- another twisted comics adaptation of a literary classic by that master of all styles, R. Sikoryak.  This time out it's
”The Crypt of Bronte” as an EC horror comic (looks to us like he was going for Jack Davis in particular); what can we say -- this guy has it down.  Of special interest for jaded know-it-alls is the massive 75 page retrospective on the unknown (at least to us) Canadian artist, Albert Chartier.  This retrospective presents a truly rare opportunity to simultaneously discover and then plunge right into a whole new bit of artistic terrain.  Reader’s of Seth’s It’s a Good Life If You Don’t Weaken will relate.  Another successful year for the D&Q's flagship title!
192 pages • oversize (10 " x 13") • full color
retail price - $29.95  copacetic price - $24.95

Flight: Volume One
This full color anthology was one of the hits of this year's San Diego Con.  It presents 24 brand new stories, all in full color and all dealing in one way or another with flight.  A host of writers and artists are show off their strengths here, including current and former Pittsburghers, Neil Babra and Bill Mudron, along with many other fine talents.  The highlights are the submissions of Derek Kirk Kim, Jen Wang, Kazu Kibuishi and Jacob Magraw-Mickelson, all of whom turn in excellent, original pieces.  The surprise here is that this book is published by Image.  Our hats are off to them:  this book should go a long way towards bridging the gap between the traditional heroic fantasy comics that still dominate the racks of most comics shops and the growing ranks of more creatively adventurous comics work that is seeping in from the edges, in traditional book stores as well as comics shops.  Not only that, it is international in scope as well, linking Asian, European and American styles and traditions. This book offers up a well-rounded snapshot of this historical moment in comics history. 
2004 • 160 pages (?) • full color
retail price - $19.95  copacetic price - $17.95

Flight v.2Flight: Volume Two
edited by Kazu Kibuishi
This massive sequel to last year's well received Flight anthology weighs in at a hopping 432 full color pages!  You're definitely getting your money's worth on this one.  This hefty tome containing thirty-three pieces of the mind being freed and the heart taking flight is the production of a diverse cross-section of the up and coming generation of cartoonists who are working hard to expand the realm of graphic fantasy -- as well as break out of it altogether.  It includes
stand out work by Hope Larson, Becky Cloonan, Rad Sechrist and Pittsburgh's own Neil Babra; an interesting early piece (from 2001) by Doug TenNapel; a new four-page cosmic gag-strip by Jeff Smith; and twenty-seven more graphic experiences.  Flight 2 accomplishes the relatively rare feat of outshining its celebrated precursor. 
retail price - $24.95  copacetic price - $22.45

The Ganzfeld no.3
The Ganzfeld is a true one-of-a-kind publication and #3 is by far the best issue yet.  It shouldn't really be under the comics listing, but as it is truly uncategorizable, this is as good a spot as any.  The editors once again bring together a unique group of designers, illustrators, cartoonists, and artists in a coherent, strongly designed format. It features a unique collaboration between Rick Moody and Fred Tomaselli; a new picture story by designer Geoff McFetridge, and even an illustrated essay by Alfred Hitchcock. Lengthy comics and picture stories are contributed by an international group, Renée French, Ron Rege, Jr., Blexbolex, Brian Ralph.  The major highlight of the book is Peter Blegvad's contribution:  a highly innovative piece that is a stellar work of genius. Really, it's that good.  No one compares to Blegvad.  He's in a class by himself here.  (If you aren't familiar with Peter Blegvad's work, do yourself a favor and check out The Book of Leviathan.) The Ganzfeld #3 also puts the spotlight on history: profiles include the inventor of the Macy's Parade Balloons; a special 40-page section devoted to the art collective The Hairy Who, and articles on Bruegel and deep space photography. Also: humorous picture stories on color theory, where we go when we die, and the lost genre of blank books. And much more, all bound together and accentuated by impeccable graphic design.

Edited/Published/Designed by Peter Buchanan-Smith and Dan Nadel
Published by Monday Morning
ISBN 0-9713670-1-9
2003; 8 x 9.65", paperback; 208 pages, 160/color, 48/black and white.
retail price - $24.95 copacetic special  price- $11.77

The Ganzfeld No. 4: Art History?
Two years in the making, the latest issue of the Ganzfeld is finally on our shelves!  It starts out with a wraparound cover and end papers by the high priestess of Canadian comics, Julie Doucet, and doesn't let up .  After the lead off introductions by editor, Dan Nadel and artist extraordinaire, Peter Blegvad, the book is divided up into four sections of approximately equal length.  In the first, Art Ganzfeld 4History, you'll discover a lot that you hadn't know that you needed to know but will be glad to learn, including the secret history of the enigmatic cover art for Led Zeppelin's Presence that's always been a nagging question mark lurking in a back alley of your consciousness ever since you first saw it back in 1976.  Next up is Drawings, by the recognized hepsters Gary Panter and Mark Newgarden, as well as others whose art you are far less likely to have previously come into contact with; but now will!  Artists on Art is an intriguing, highly engaging and fairly unique feature which presents artists on art in art:  David Sandlin's 18-page, lushly colored piece on H.C. Westermann is a tour de force of admiration, while Marc Bell's Ph.D.-thesis-in-comics-form provides a fresh, delightful and direct access to the work of Philip Guston that will be much appreciated by many.  And then, finally, there's the Comics.  This section starts off,  semi-miraculously, with a six-page walking tour of Pittsburgh, both real and dreamed -- as a place on the map and as a state of mind -- by peripatetic former resident, Frank Santoro, and continues with fine work by Paper Rad, Leif Goldberg, Ted Stearn, Matthew Thurber, Jim Drain, Mark Newgarden, and a wild and wooly journey to the center of the mind by "C.F."  The centerpiece is the amazing 22-page, "Ganmodoki," a piece from the late, surrealist period of Japanese manga legend, Shigeru Sugiura.  And there you have it.
retail price -  $29.95  copacetic price - $26.95

Happy Endings
This is a Dark Horse Maverick™ publication edited by Diana Schutz.  She brought together a really broad selection of some surprisingly good work here: from Brian Michael Bendis, Sam Keith, Mike Mignola and Frank Miller on the one hand to Farel Dalrymple, Jason Hall & Matt Kindt, James Kochalka, Peter Kuper, Harvey Pekar, Joe Sacco and Craig Thompson on the other, with plenty more in between -- all coming to terms with the idea of a "happy ending."
2002 • 96 pages • B & W
retail price - $9.95 copacetic price - $8.95

edited by Graham Annable
introduction by Sam Henderson
Page after page of pure dumb fun.  It's the classic short form of comics as interpreted by the komic kids of today.  Laugh to the tune of 55 different pieces by a dozen artists.
2003 • 128 pages • B & W
retail price - $12.95 copacetic price - $11.65

Hi-Horse Omnibus
edited by Arey, Arp, Riley & Som
24 pieces by a host of fine talent including Gabrielle Bell, Androce Arp, Lark Pien, Martin Cendrera, Thein Pham, Jesse Reklaw, Cole Johnson, Zack Soto, and Dan Zettwoch! The work produced for this anthology ranges all over the map in terms of content and style, but the artists are united in their commitment to produce original comics of high quality.  This is a good one.
2004 • 112 pages • B & W
retail price - $11.95 copacetic price - $10.75

edited by Glenn Head
Hotwire is a giant oversize celebration of the real and true comicbook.  In the words of editor Head:  "HOTWIRE doesn't believe that comics need to be elevated out of the "gutter" or put on a pedestal to be art.  HOTWIRE believes that comics with great style and cool stories are already art, and no critic, museum, or journal can change that; not one whit.  An individual cartoon-voice, and a goofball worldview that is the artist's own... that is the onlly requirement.  An unsuspecting reader with hungry eyeballs looking for a taste, could complete the picture."  Hotwire pretty much features the who's who of comics practitioners who adhere to this credo (and some who probably don't quite):  Doug Allen, Max Anderson, Johnny Ryan, R. Sikoryak, David Lasky, Tony Millionaire, Onsmith, Mats!?, Carol Swain. Sam Henderson, Michael Kupperman, Matt Madden, Ivan Brunetti, Tim Lane, Mack White, Rick Altergott, Mr. Head himself, and quite a few others fill up 136 pages of good, not-so-clean fun, in full color and black and white.
2006 • 136 pages • B & W and full color • oversize softcover
retail price - $19.95  copacetic price - sold out... However -

Hotwire #2 is now available copacetic price - $16.95

Japan as viewed by 17 creatorsJapan as Viewed by 17 Creators
edited by Frédéric Boilet
Our friends at Fanfare/Ponent Mon -- who brought us that understated masterpiece, The Walking Man -- now bring us a fresh treat.  Initiated by the powers that be at the French Institutes and Alliances in Japan, who, along with the French Embassy, bankrolled the visits of nine French comics creators to Japan in order that they be inspired to create eight of the works we have here.  The other half -- eight more pieces -- were supplied by Japanese natives (one of whom, the editor, Frédéric Boilet, is a French ex-pat residing in Japan).  Together, these sixteen pieces provide a kaliedoscope of views of Japan today; and not just Tokyo.  This project was designed with a geographically broad view:  the entire country, from the southern tip at Amakusa to the northern metropolis of Sapporo, is on display here.  Creators include manga master Jiro Taniguchi (author of the aforementioned masterwork, The Walking Man), Joann Sfar, of The Rabbi's Cat fame, François Schuiten & Benoît Peeters, Kan Takahama, Fabrice Neaud, Little Fish, Aurélia Aurita and nine others.  This is an excellent anthology of comics work at the same time as it is an engaging cultural survey.  Of equal interest to readers of contemporary comics work and students of Japan, this is a sure fire must have for anyone who is both.
2006 • B & W • softcover • 256 pages
retail price - $25.00  copacetic price - $22.22

Kramers Ergot 4

edited by Sammy Harkham
Our supply of this one has finally been exhausted, but we kept it on the list becasue it's worth keeping an eye out for.

2003 • retail price - $24.95 copacetic price - unfortunately... SOLD OUT!

KE5Kramers Ergot 5
edited by Sammy Harkham
Well, it's here.  And what is the verdict?  Success!  KE5 is, in every way, a suitable successor to KE4.  We feel quite confident in stating that everyone who enjoyed and/or appreciated KE4 will get at least as much out of KE5.  Not only that, we'll go a step further and proclaim that many of those readers who were intrigued by KE4, but found it a bit "too out there" for their tastes, have an excellent chance of finding that KE5 -- with its addition of stand-out work by Gabrielle Bell, Kevin Huizenga, Chris Ware, and Dan Zettwoch -- has much to offer them, and represents a broader spectrum of comics than its predecessor.  In addition, any fans of autobiographical comics may find that they have finally met their match in David Heatley's massive/micro magnum opus.
2004 • full color • flexi-cover • 320 pages
retail price - $34.95 
copacetic price - $31.45

KE 6Kramers Ergot 6
Edited, as always, by Sammy Harkham -- this time around with an assist by co-publisher Alvin Buenaventura -- this now seemingly biennial publication continues to live up to the promise made with the fourth and fifth volumes.  Anyone interested in the more adventurous reaches of contemporary comics is sure to grateful to receive  this.  The format follows that of the last volume:  a flat matte finish (this time sans texture) flexi cover fixed to
a sturdy Smythe sewn binding that holds the contents firmly in place.  And what contents!  Many of those talents that readers have come to associate with Kramers Ergot are here again, and have submitted work that is as engaging as ever.  Sammy Harkham, C.F., Paper Rad, Marc Bell, Souther Salazar, Ron Regé, Jr., Matthew Thurber, Dan Zettwoch and Elvis Studio are joined by Vanessa Davis, Tom Gaud, Martin Cendreda, Bald Eagles and a handful of others.  Also,  KE Alum Gary Panter finds himself under the same covers as former fellow Raw artist, Jerry Moriarty, who is given plenty of space to present his idiosyncratic Hopperesque visions for the first time (we've seen) in many years.  In addition, with this issue Kramers Ergot adds a curatorial component to its offerings for the first time, as readers are given a rare look at two great historical figures of the comics world:  we get a healthy sampling of a late sketchbook by the Dutch comics artist, Marc Smeets, which is preceded by "an incomplete appreciation" by Chris Ware; and an amazing reproduction of the early and highly influential manga, Norakuro by Suiho Tagawa.  Kramers Ergot is, once again, the sine qua non for anyone involved in the contemporary comics scene. 
2006 • full color • flexi-cover • 320 pages
retail price - $34.95  copacetic price - $29.75

McSweeney's 13McSweeney's 13 - The Comics Issue
edited by Chris Ware
This book is without question the best single volume introduction to the wonderful world of contemporary comics.  Featuring work by the who's who of progressive comics:   Lynda Barry, Jeffrey Brown, Ivan Brunetti, Charles Burns, Chester Brown, Dan Clowes, David Collier, R. Crumb, Kim Deitch, Julie Doucet, Debbie Drechsler, David Heatly, Jaime and Gilberto Hernandez, Ben Katchor, Joe Matt, Richard McGuire, Mark Newgarden, Gary Panter, John Porcellino, Archer Prewitt, Ron Rege, Joe Sacco, Richard Sala, Seth, Art Spiegelman, Adrian Tomine and, of course, Chris Ware, himself, this volume is a surpassing value.  In addition to all this contemporary work, there are selections of classic and archival work sprinkled throughout: Rodolphe Töpfler, Bud Fisher, George Herriman and Charles Schulz.  In addition there is a critical appreciation of comics from John Updike, and nostalgiac/elegiac remembrances of comics related experiences by Glen David Gold, Malachi Cohen, and Chip Kidd.
2004 • 264 pages • full color • hardcover w/giant fold-out dustjacket & 2 mini-comic inserts!

retail price - $24.00  copacetic price - $20.00

edited by Gary Groth and Eric Reynolds
It's here, the leading contender for best new comics anthology of 2005.  Filled with swell new comics by the likes of Andrice Arp, Gabrielle Bell,
Jeffrey Brown, Sophie Crumb, David Heatly, Paul Hornschemeier, John Pham, Kurt Wolfgang and more.  Solid, engaging work by many of the best of the latest generation of comics creators, nicely packaged in a well printed edition that is currently scheduled to continue on a semi-annual basis.  Looks like it's off to an excellent start!  2005 • 144 pages • B&W & full color
retail price - $14.95 copacetic price - $14.95 (now o/p, but we still have a few)



NOW AVAILABLE, the second issue of the most engaging regularly published comics anthology currently on the market.  This issue continues to meet the high standards set by the first issue and includes the entire roster of contributors.  Recommended! 

2005 • 144 pages •
B&W & full color
retail price - $14.95  copacetic price - $12.70

edited by Gary Groth and Eric Reynolds
Well, the undisputed highlight of this issue is an all-new 36-page piece by David B. (Epileptic) titled "The Armed Garden", a lushly illuminated chronicle of a myth that grew up around a historical event that transpired toward the end of the middle ages.  It's quite a treat.   Along side of this is a line-up up the ususal MOME suspects:
Andrice Arp, Gabrielle Bell, Jonathan Bennett, Jeffrey Brown, Martin Cendreda, David Heatly, Anders Nilsen, and Kurt Wolfgang, who is the interviewee this time around. (Concerned MOME devotees may be assured that both John Pham and Paul Hornschemeier will return in the next issue) R. Kikuo Johnson (Night Fisher) takes a bow in this issue with a series of three-panel strips featuring "Cher Shimura."  MOME is fast becoming the official "little literary magazine" of the comics world.  If you've read an issue already, you know what we're talking about; if you haven't, this is a good time to find out for yourself. 
2006 • 144 pages • B&W & full color
retail price - $14.95 copacetic price - $12.70

edited by Gary Groth and Eric Reynolds
Another great issue of the comics anthology you can't afford to miss is now on our shelves.  The highlight of this issue is another wonderful mythical/historical comics novella by David B., "The Veiled Prophet."  Also on offer are a great new story by Martin Cendreda, "La Brea Woman" that shows him moving in a new direction.  And the gang's all here:  John Pham returns to 221 Sycamore Avenue to provide the cover along with the dream landscape of a high school teacher and his family; Sophie Crumb returns with more tales of street urchins on drugs, Jonathan Bennet and Gabrielle Bell take deft turns at depicting urban melancholy
; Jeffrey Brown steps out of his comfort zone and turns in an atypical (and metaphorical) tale of existential angst; and David Heatly, Paul Hornschemier, Anders Nilsen, Kurt Wolfgang and R. Kikuo Johnson each do their thing and do it well, rounding out another issue where everything is good!

2006 • 144 pages • B&W & full color
retail price - $14.95  copacetic price - $12.70

MOME #5 to the present (#12 as of this writing) are all available HERE.

Sparkplug Comics
featuring the work of:

An excellent anthology:  good work well produced at a quite reasonable price.   Edited and published by Dylan Williams and Ben Catmull, Orchid is a collection of adaptations of Victorian horror stories written between 1800 and 1920.  The Kevin Huizenga story -- an adaptation of Sheridan le Fanu's "Green Tea" that weighs in at 32 pages -- is excellent and worth the prie of the collection all by itself.
2003 • 116 pages • B & W

retail price - $8.00
   copacetic price - $6.80

This 192-page “Spatial Robotic Anthology” printed in black, white and metallic blue is the brain child of Chris Pitzer.  It looks cool and and has a nice feel.   It could be a winner for a techie comics fan.  It features covers and endpapers by Dave Cooper that enclose 23 stories and 3 portfolios by a wide variety of artists that have turned in stories that run the gamut from Paul Rivoche’s high-tech science fiction yarn, “Robot in the Rain,” that wouldn’t look out of place in a 1970s Warren magazine, to Jeffrey Brown’s, “A Different Place Then,” which simply uses the theme of robots as a tissue-thin pretext for getting on with his personal obsession: failed relationships.  Paul Hornschemeier is credited with being ”tech liason,” and his ten-page story, “We Were Not Made for This World,” sits nicely at the exact middle of the spectrum.  And, finally, John Pham says it all with his excellent ”Robot Dad."
2003 • 192 pages • duo-tone

retail price - $16.95 copacetic price - o/p & o/s (SORRY!)

Project Superior
Project Superior
edited by Chris Pitzer
This is the first great new anthology of the 2005.  This sequal to Project Telstar is chock-a-block with meta-super tales by the best and brightest of the new voices in comics.  We'll have more to say once we get a chance to give it the once over, but for now, you can read this rave review on 4th Rail.
2005 • 288 pages • duo-tone, tri-tone & full color
retail price - $19.95 
copacetic price - o/p & o/s (SORRY!)

Project: RomanticProject: Romantic
edited by Chris Pitzer
This is the final installment of the "Project Trilogy" which provides the
up-and-coming generation of cartoonists to work with traditional comics themes.   Inititated by Project: Telstar, which dealt with science fiction themes with a focus on robots, and continued by Project: Superior, which had super heroics as its unifying theme, this time around, as the title suggests, the same generation of cartoonists is given a chance to tackle the romance comics genre.  As with the first two anthologies, the works assembled here bear little semblance to their generic progentiors in the mainstream comics of yore, a guided tour of which we are given in the introductory essay by Bill Boichel (which is currently available online as a downloadable .pdf).  "True" romance seems mostly a thing of the past in the stories that follow, which here primarily focus on -- at best -- snatching a moment of happiness with a fellow being.  Many of the pieces center on unrequited love, heartbreak, romantic disaster, murder, mayhem and confusion.  Sometimes it's played for laughs and sometimes for tears.  Exceptions include Aaron Renier's "Reflectors and Rutabegas," which comes closest to being a traditional romance, and McGovern & Leandri's Dr. Id story, which employs a 1960s-Dr.-Strange-as-sex-therapist narrative that is certainly traditional in its form, if not in its content.  As with all AdHouse Books, the production values are excellent and the quality of the artwork is uniformly high.  Stand-outs for us include the contributions of Paul Rivoche, Hope Larson, Roger Petersen and Junko Mizuno, but doubtless every reader of this anthology will find their own favorites.  And there's no way we can avoid singling out Robert Goodin's contribution:  if there were an award for excellence in the service of perversion, this one would have the comics category all wrapped up.
2006 • 256 pages • softcover • full color
retail price - $19.95  copacetic price - $17.77

Roadstrips: A Graphic Journey Across America
edited by Pete Friedrich
RoadstripsMr. Friedrich has managed to assemble quite an impressive group of talent for this collection of comics travelogues.  This 90% full color volume is divided into five geographic regions and is surprisingly rich.  It's better than you might think -- this was clearly a theme that resonated with the contributors, all of whom turned in inspired work.  Here's how it breaks down.  The east coast is covered by intrepid stay-at-homers Jessica Abel, Peter Kuper, Keith Knight and Doug Allen and is introduced by Ganzfeld-guy, Dan Nadel.  We're guided through the midwest territories by John Porcellino, Pete Friedrich, C. Tyler, Matt Kindt, Pat Redding Scanlon and Terry LaBan.  Next, we head to the west coast with Phoebe Gloeckner, Martin Cendreda, Gilbert Hernandez, Roberta Gregory, Lloyd Dangle and Mary Fleener.  Up to the Pacific northwest we share the sights with Peter Bagge, Megan Kelso and Jeremy Eaton.  And we close out our sojurn with a journey through the south with Richard Sala, Brian Biggs, Rich Tommaso and Mack White, all lovingly introduced by one of America's best writers, Chris Offutt (to anyone who hasn't read Kentucky Straight:  you're missing out on something well worth your while, to be sure).
2005 • 128 pages • softcover • full color
retail price -  $22.95  copacetic price - $20.00

Alternative Comics
edited by Ng Suat Tong
This is the first volume of one of the best anthology series going.  Don't let the overtly sleazy Dave Cooper cover at left give you the wrong idea:  there's plenty of top flight talent -- check out the list below -- doing all sorts of comics here.  Recommended!
featuring the work of:
* M. S. Bastian (of the Swiss avant-garde Mutanten group)
* Marc Bell (The Expo anthology, Exclaim! and Vice magazines)
* Nick Bertozzi (Boswash, The Masochists, Rubber Necker)
* Ivan Brunetti (Schizo, Haw)
* David Choe (Slow Jams, Non)
* David Collier (Collier’s, Just the Facts)
* Greg Cook (Catch as Catch Can)
* Dave Cooper (Weasel, Crumple)
* Renee French (Marbles in My Underpants, The Soap Lady)
* Tom Hart (The Sands, Hutch Owen, Triple Dare)
* Michael Kupperman (Snake N Bacon)
* Ulf K. (The Man on the Moon, Tango with Death)
* David Lasky (Boom Boom, Urban Hipster, Ulysses)
* Lat (Kampung Boy, Town Boy)
* Matt Madden (Black Candy, Odds Off, A Fine Mess)
* Miriam Katin (Monkeysuit, Drawn & Quarterly)
* Megan Kelso  (Queen of the Black Black, Girl Hero)
   Her contribution is chapter two of the Ignatz Award winning Artichoke Tales 
* James Kochalka (Sketchbook Diaries, Monkey vs. Robot, Fantastic Butterflies, etc.)
* John Porcellino (King Cat, Perfect Example)
* Ron Regé Jr. (Skibber Bee Bye, Drawn & Quarterly)
* Tobias Schalken (Eiland)
* Katja Tukiainen (New Thing)
* Stefan J. H. van Dinther (Eiland)
* Sara Varon (Dreamland Burns)
* Danijel Zezelj (The Corinthian, Air Mexico, WWIII Illustrated)
2003 • 192 pages • B & W and duo-tone• french flap cover with endpapers
retail price - $19.95
copacetic price - $16.95

Rosetta 2Rosetta 2:  A Comics Anthology
edited by Ng Suat Tong
For readers of McSweeney's 13 looking to cast a wider net, this might be the ticket; and to lure you in, we're offering a super-low, take-a-chance, introductory-incentive-price on this great 264 page anthology (with 48 pages in full color) that's one of the best out there.  There are some exceptional new works premiering here, including a beautifully rendered mythological fable by Craig Thompson; a very interesting (think early Spiegelman) Matt Madden that is quite probably his most challenging work to date; a Jason Lutes piece that is his first non-Berlin work in quite awhile (and it's quite good); R. Sikoryak's take on the funny pages (which is very, very funny); two short pieces by Paul Pope; a nifty Jason; and a truly amazing breakthrough piece from Michael Kupperman.  In addition to this, there's a great deal of work from Europe, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.  All between covers by Peter Kuper and Megan Kelso. 
2004 • 264 pages • B & W, duo-tone and full color
retail price - $19.95  copacetic price - $16.95

Comics About Love, Treachery, Mothers and Monsters

edited by Megan Kelso
Better late -- and slightly flawed -- than never; that's what we say about this new 224 page anthology of contemporary comics by women from Soft Skull Press.  As a result of an imaging software mix-up, the half-tones on several of the stories do not appear as they were intended, and while, yes, this does impact the æsthetic experience of the affected pieces, you can still enjoy and appreciate them; and please bear in mind that this problem affected only a minority -- less than a third -- of the pieces presented here.  OK, now that we have that out of the way, let's just say that Scheherazade is the best all X chromosome anthology that's come our way in quite awhile, and not one that you should pass by.  To the best of our knowledge none of the stories here have been seen before, making for a rare opportunity to really take a good long look at a solid batch of new work.  Here's who you'll cross paths with if you venture forth: Andrice Arp, Gabrielle Bell, Ariel Bordeaux, Shary Boyle, Isabel Carvalho, Robyn Chapman, Allison Cole, Leela Corman, Eleanor Davis, Vanessa Davis, Jennifer DayDreamer, Ellen Forney, Garbrielle Gamboa, Megan Kelso, Ellen Lindner, Amy Lockhart, J. Manix, Nikki McClure (cover),Sophie McMillan, Lark Pien, Ariel Schrag, Kelly
Seda, Sara Varon, and Lauren Weinstein.
2005 • 224 pages • printed in purple ink
retail price - $19.95  copacetic price - $16.95

A professionally produces squarebound anthology from the UK, featuring eight different stories by eight different artists each of which contains -- and must visually embody -- a single sentence of text.  Fun and clever. 
2002 • 72 pages • B & W

retail price - $12.50 copacetic price - $10.00

SPX Anthology 2002
•>The Biography Issue
Lots of great stories about great people by the top self publishing cartoonists of the day. 48 biographical tales by the likes of Chris Pitzer, Joel Priddy, Diana Tamblyn, Laurenn McCubbin, Matt Kindt, R. Sikoryak, David Lasky & Deborah Siegal, Jimm Ottavian & Rachel Hartman and plenty more.

2002 • over 200 pages • B & W

retail price - $9.95
   copacetic price - $9.95


SPX 2003

The SPX 2003 Anthology
•> The Travel Issue
44 pieces by this year's crop of self publishing comic-bookers all deal in one way or another with travel.  Contributors include:  Adam Sacks, Bryan O'Malley, Dan Hernandez, Sharon Furgason, Metaphrog, Josh Neufeld, Miriam , Katin, Justin Hall, R. Sikoryak, Joel Priddy and many more.  And, of course, the one and only Jaime Hernandez, who did the cover at right.

2003 • 290 pages • B & W
retail price - $9.95

copacetic price - $9.95


spx 2004 anthology2004 SPX  Anthology
This year's theme is -- surprise -- WAR.  The anthology runs 192 pages and contains 27 pieces by a self-publishing authors including Jeff Smith, Drew Weing, Justin Hall, Winston Rowntree, Bruce Mutard, Diana Yee, a one-pager by Megan Kelso & Ron Rege,  and twenty more.  The wars covered in this anthology include  the Crusades, the first and second World Wars (and specifically the Holocaust), and the Vietnam War, as well as, of course, the current conflict.  In addition, there are some pieces on war in general and some fables dealing with war as well.  As per ususal, all proceeds from this book benefit the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.
2004 • 192 pages • B & W
retail price - $9.95
copacetic price - $7.95

2005 SPX Anthology
Edited by Brian Ralph
This one looks like a winner!  We'll say more once we've givin it the once over.

SPX 2005contributors:

    •      Kevin Sherry
    •      Allison Cole and Eric Paul
    •      Jordan Crane
    •      Federico Reggiani and Angel Mosquito
    •      Rina Ayuyang
    •      Kaz Strzepek
    •      Matt Rota
    •      Max Estes
    •      Peter Hamlin
    •      Jeff Sharp
    •      Dave Lapp
    •      Sara Varon
    •      Greg Cook
    •      Melody Nadia Shickley
    •      Bendik Kaltenborn and Kristoffer Kjolberg
    •      Leif Goldberg
    •      Sindre W. Goksoyr
    •      Scott Morse
    •      Martin Cendreda
    •      Damien Jay
    •      Jesse Reklaw
    •      N. U. Bertozzi
    •      Luke Ramsey
    •      Joe Derry
    •      Brendan Burford
    •      C. Cilla
    •      Jennifer Janviere
    •      Jim Rugg and Brian Maruca
    •      Brian Chippendale
    •      Scott Campbell
    •      Ben Jones
    •      Jeff Czekaj
    •      Marc Bell / Peter Thompson
    •      Vinh Ngo
    •      Maris Wicks

retail price - $12.95
copacetic price - $10.00

Top Shelf #5
This series edited by Brett Warnock has been running for over a decade and is well worth looking into.  There are many early works by now familiar creators, along with rare outings by lesser lights that rarely got a chance to shine.  Each volume is an excellent value.  This issue includes the work of Frankie Sirk of Hobo Mojo Productions, Dylan Williams, Dave Lasky, James Kochalka (a one-pager), Jennifer Daydreamer, and many others.  The highlight is the excellent "Closing Time," by Rich Tommaso.
1997 • 80 pages • B & W
retail price - $6.95 copacetic price - $5.55

Top Shelf #6
Another super deal, this issue features plenty of really prime early work by the likes of Pete Sickman-Garner, Matt Madden, Frankie Sirk, James Kochalka, Craig Thompson, Marc Bell, Warren Craighead and many more.  This is a great place to see what these guys' early work looked like.
1998 • 80 pages • B & W
retail price - $6.95 copacetic price - $5.55

Top Shelf on Parade (#7)
More fabulous early outings here by Ron Rege, Jr., Jason Little & Myla Goldberg, Shannon Wheeler, Pat Moriarty, Dean Haspiel, Fawn G., Sam Henderson, Rich Tommaso and more.
1999 • 96 pages • B & W, 16 pages Duo-Tone (Blue) & 16 pages Duo-Tone (yellow)
retail price - $6.95 copacetic price - $5.55

Top Shelf Under the Big Top (#8) 
Brett takes it to the next level with this one.  A big 176 pages, including 16 pages in full color by the Israeli comics collective, Actus Tragicus , and lots of duo-tone, Top Shelf Under the Big Top ranges far and wide.  Highlights include a 32-page multi-part epic comic-within-a-comic by Josh Simmons, "Operation Blue Dream" by Mack White and "Standard Deviation" by Jeff Johnson.  There's also more early work by Craig Thompson, Dylan Williams, Jeff Levine,  Marc Bell, Dean Haspiel, Matt Madden and more!
2000 • 176 pages • B & W, duo-tone & full color
retail price - $14.95 copacetic sale price - $7.95 (supplies are limited at this price)

Top Shelf Big QuestionsTop Shelf Asks the Big Questions (#9)
This 336 page anthology has a little bit of everything.  Highlights include a Peanuts tribute featuring Ivan Brunetti, Chris Ware, and Seth, among others; a 40-page supplement of Swiss comics; a full-color story by Alan Moore and Melinda Gibbee that was originally done for one of the ABC titles, but DC refused to run it;  and our personal favorite, the 22-page mini-epic, “The Screen Door Slams” by Kevin Quigley.  Also included is work by James Kochalka, Renee French, Jason, Mack White (this one is a lot of fun!), and many, many others.  Full color French-fold covers by Tomer Hanuka.  Without a doubt the best ever issue of the Top Shelf series of anthologies.
2003 • 336 pages • B & W, duo-tone and full color
retail price - $24.95 copacetic price - $19.95

Typewriter #6
edited and published by David Youngblood
One of the highlights of the 2003 SPX, and one of the best anthologies of the year, this160 page squarebound volume features a lot of great work by a lot of great people like Souther Salazar, Sammy Harkham, Josh Simmons, Kurt Wolfgang, Farel Dalrymple, Dylan Williams, Marc Bell, Paul Hornschemeier, Nick Bertozzi, and Pittsburgh's own Jim Rugg, among many others!  The concept with this issue is that each story must begin with the sentence that the previous story ended with.  This is one of the best out there: small press, community building, unique, original and good.
 2003 • 160 pages • B & W

retail price - $10.00 copacetic sale price - $7.77

Unicorn Mountain 2Unicorn Mountain, Volume 2
edited by Curt Gettman
As the cover states, this is a compendium of comics, writing and music.  This time around Unicorn Mountain is a chunky 206-page squarebound squareformat anthology printed in umber ink on flat white paper of (mostly) Pittsburgh culture that contains an eclectic 21-track CD, all for less than the prie of the average stand-alone CD!  Made possible in part by a grant from the seemingly omnipresent Sprout Fund, this issue is a big step up from the first issue.  Highlights include "Thousands of Mistakes" by Frank Santoro, "Niran and Theola" by Curt Gettman and Owl Kahol Systems (a pseudonym for a local comics artist), "Like Lace" by JULIACKS, "Rock & You" by Paulette Poullet, a two-page untitled piece by Brian Maruca and Jim Rugg of Street Angel fame, and a fistful of untitled illustrations by Paper Rad.  The material on the CD ranges far and wide and includes new tunes by Modey Lemon, Oneida, Ex-Models, Elf Power and Pink Mountaintops.  The Karl Hendricks Rock Band's "The Last Uncompromising Hardcore Band" will have you tapping your toes and singing along before you even realize it. 
retail price - $15.00  copacetic price - $12.00

You Aint No DancerYou Ain't No Dancer
an anthology edited by Ed Brisson
We close out our list with what might be the best value of all.  You Ain't No Dancer features almost two dozen short pieces by a host of talented comics creators like Pittsburgh ex-pat Neil Babra, Jeffrey Brown, Hope Larson, Jim Mahfood, Bryan Lee O'Malley, Drew Weing, and many others; the cover at left is by the one and only Dave Cooper. 
Ranging in length from one to seven pages -- with most weighing in at four to six pages -- these stories run the gamut from giddy and goofy to serious and sad to cute and heartfelt, and more.  If you want to get a taste of what's happening with the up and coming generation of comics creators, this might be the best place to start.  Check out the complete list of contributors HERE.
2005 • 100 pages • B & W
retail price - $5.95
copacetic price - $5.00

Well, that's it for now, but check back in a while to see what's new in the wonderful world of comics anthologies!

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prices and availability current as of 1 January 2009