Copacetic Gifts for Less

Here's our special selection of low-priced gift items.

In a hurry?  Jump ahead:


  portraits from life
Portraits from Life
(copacetic favorite)
by David Collier
This book presents the strongest of David Collier's work and is one of our perennial best-sellers here at Copacetic.  It is filled with extremely engaging stories of the lives of
minor, obscure and offbeat Canadian figures.  Some of these are full fledged biographies, such as the fascinating account of Humphrey Osmond, the Canadian scientist who was an early researcher into psychotropic drugs and reputedly coined the term "psychedelic."  Then there's the life story of Ethel Catherwood, the Olympic high jumper known as the Saskatchewan Lily, who ended up infamous and reclusive.  A more tightly focused tale is that of "Grey Owl," an enigmatic British man who managed to convince those he came into contact with in the Canadian north that he was a North American Indian.  The acme of the collection is the tale of David Midgaard, a Saskatchewan man arrested as a teenager and imprisoned for decades for a rape and murder he didn't commit.  This is a gripping tale told in the inimitable Collier fashion, wherein he weaves his own life into the tale of another, and so really makes it hit home hard.  The stories in this volume were key to pioneering the comics journalism movement.  They amply illustrate why the most notable of the new comics journalists, Joe Sacco once said, "I don't think there's a cartoonist whose every new work I approach with such anticipation as David Collier."
retail price - $12.95 - copacetic ¡SALE! price - $6.95

summer of loveThe Summer of Love

by Debbie Drechsler
The Summer of Love is a poignant rite-of-passage graphic novel that lays bare  -- in pen and ink on paper -- one soul as it navigates the roiling waters of the transition from girl to woman, revealing the angst, lust, love and confusion produced
by the raging hormones of adolescence.  The entire book is beautifully printed in two colors:  a flat olive and a light mahogany, that work together serve to provide a unique reading experience -- no black ink anywhere!  Peggy Orenstein, the author of Schoolgirls: Young Women, Self Esteem, and the Confidence Gap, has this to say:  "Debbie Drechsler's is one of the most authentic, profound voices of female culture in any medium.  Summer of Love perfectly captures the daily anxieties and mundane traumas of coming of age in the suburbs."
144 pages • two-color
retail price - $16.95 
- copacetic ¡SALE! price - $6.95

by Rick Geary
Though he is better known now as the creator of a series of Victorian murder mysteries, back in the day Rick Geary was (more or less) the Richard Brautigan of comics.  He pioneered the genre of short, off-kilter stories that, by virtue of their peculiar slant on the events they portray, continue to provide readers with fresh perspectives on the mundane.  The stories contained in Housebound are, on average, over twenty years old, but they are as unique now as they were when he first laid Rapidiograph pen to paper. Quirky, entertaining and fun, this book is a one-of-a-kind* treasure, and now it's a bargain to boot!
retail price - $11.95  - copacetic ¡SALE! price - $4.95

*(well, truthfully, it is one of two:  the companion volume, At Home with Rick Geary, is every bit as wonderful, but is, sadly, long out of print and tough to find)

Truer than True Romance
by Jeanne Martinet w/ the aid of the classic DC romance comics bullpen

This book is a very funny send-up of the classic DC romance comics (from the late '50s through the  '60s, along with one or two from the '70s thrown in for good measure).  The real thrill for many, however, will be just to gape at the classic comics art.  This is some of the stuff that got immortalized by Roy Lichtenstein in his giant ben-day dotted canvas blow-ups of archetypical panels. It's given the deluxe treatment here in this high quality 8" x 11" collection.  There's some great art here.  While purists will doubtless object, the added layer of the dialogue being rewritten to reflect contemporary sensibilities without in any way altering the actual visual narrative of the images and their arrangement make the revisiting of these classic comics a multi-faceted pleasure.  It's fun to follow the new narrative unfold within the classic conventions.  A great Valentine's Day gift.  With the price now 50% off of retail! it's not as extravagent as you might think.
retail price - $19.95 copacetic price - $9.95

To check it out it more detail, including a few sample pages, visit the DC hosted hype page.

Golem's Mighty SwingThe Golem’s Mighty Swing
by James Sturm
The capstone to Sturm's Americana Trilogy, The Golem's Mighty Swing is his longest sustained work to date.  Set in the 1920s, it tells the story of the barnstorming baseball team, the Stars of David who travel the country trying to make a living playing the game that they love, but they're having a hard time at it so they decide to add the "Golem" to the team.  It's a story of the early days of baseball, life in these United States, ethnic identity and the melting pot, and more.  The work offers the best of both worlds:  there's a lot to dig your intellectual teeth into, and it's an engaging read. Time Magazine named it the best graphic novel of 2001.  Bonus Fact:  author, James Sturm currently heads the first ever institute of higher learning devoted solely to the study of all things comics:  The Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, Vermont.
retail price - $16.95 - copacetic ¡SALE! price - $6.95

From Girls to Grrrlz: A History of Women's Comics from Teens to Zines
by Trina Robbins
This is a nicely produced oversize survey by the grand dame of women's comics, Trina Robbins.   It's jam packed with full color illustrations, and covers the history of women and comics --
as characters in as well as creators of -- from the 1940s through the 1990s.   This book makes for a nice gift as it is a great introduction for someone who is only casually aware of the relationship betwen women and comics but would like to learn more.  We've had this book in stock since it's initial publication.  We are highlighting it now, because, as the result of a one time special purchase, we are now able to offer it for 2/3 off the retail price!  While supplies last.
retail price - $17.95  copacetic price - $5.95 ¡SPECIAL PRICE!

Conversation 1Conversation
by James Kochalka and Craig Thompson
From  Kochalka and Thompson comes... the ideal stocking stuffer for the indy comics fan!  It's their first ever collaboration, and it's an interesting one.  In forty-eight 5" x 5" pages -- each co-written and co-drawn by both Kochalka and Thompson --  Conversation discovers yet another use for comics:  that of carrying on the classical form of the dialogue, in the tradition of Socrates and Confucius.  While the level of the dialogue in Conversation might not quite reach the hallowed heights of the founders of the form, it nevertheless represents a successful translation of the form's essentials, and provides a glimpse of what comics can  bring to the table.  Recommended!
retail price - $4.95  copacetic price - $3.95

Watching the Days Become Years
by Jeff Levine
Those looking for the heir apparent to Pekar’s legacy should definitely catch up with Jeff Levine. Watching Days is his first new work in five years, and is worth a look.  It's deifinitely a bit on the melancholy side, but then, for some, the holidays are a melancholy time...
retail price - $4.50 copacetic price - $3.85

And for the greatest value in self-published comics in America today, look no further than these fine pieces from Dan Zettwoch.  All of which are nearly sold out, never to be reprinted at these amazing prices again. 

A Story About Collectin’!
By Dan Zettwoch
48 pages; 5 1/2” x 7”; photo-copied, with silk-screened heavy-stock jacketZettwoch is a dedicated eccentric who is willing to put his pen to paper in defense of his view.  The quirks in his narrative style both construct and reflect the quirks in the characters it serves to represent.  A Story About Collectin’! is an elliptical tale that attempts to situate the collector in the world.
copacetic price - $3.00

Redbird Brand Comics & Stories #1
by Dan Zettwoch

Dan Zettwoch has an intuitive grasp of the innate idea of the comic book as an objective realization of the uniquely American character of mind that has been brought into being by the century long free reign of mass production driven market forces.  In Redbird he has consummately constituted his highly idiosyncratic vision.
copacetic price - $2.00


Servants of the Map
by Andrea Barrett
This is an engrossing and fascinating collection of linked stories that link -- albeit in an oblique and unexpected fashion -- not only to each other but, in a round about way, to her novel, Voyage of the Narwhal and her novella, Ship Fever as well.  Andrea Barrett is the most consistently engaging writer of fiction that centers on the history of scientific themes -- usually science that is itself related in some way to that most historical branch of science evolution:  paleontology, genetics, etc. These brand new copies of the original hardcover edition of her latest work are a great value.
retail - $24.95 • copacetic ¡SALE! price - $5.95

Chicago Stories
by Aaron Cometbus
Chicago CometbusHis first new release in quite awhile, Chicago Stories is a nifty little 48 page tome (that, yes, also  makes for yet another item that will snugly fill a bit of hung hosiery) composed of eleven short stories culled from the pages of later issues of Cometbus  with Chicago as their focal point.  This one represents a bit of a format departure for  Mr. Cometbus, as the contents are (gasp!) typeset, plus there's a color wraparound cover by Megan Kelso and illustrated chapter headings by Frank Sirk. We get the feeling that this book gives a good indication of the direction Aaron's headed in, and it looks good to us.  A perfect companion to a good, cheap cup of coffee.
copacetic price - $3.00

Mixed Reviews
by Aaron Cometbus
Well, speak of the devil!  Here he is, back with a follow-up volume to last year's well received (and now out of print -- although we still have a few, as you can see above) Chicago Stories.  This one has the same square-bound, pocket-size format but weighs in with an extra twenty pages -- 68 in total -- for the same price.  Not only that, but these pieces have not appeared in Cometbus, but instead are a mixture of new, never-before-published work and rareties culled from sources as diverse as the Philadelphia Independent and Maximum RocknRoll.  This time around we have ten pieces (three of which are super short) that, as the title intimates, are reviews... of sorts.  What's actually being reviewed, as with all the best writing, is life itself, and the quality thereof, as it can be located and isolated with certain people, at various places and times, in particular objects and products.  Casting this, the widest of nets, Aaron shares his catch:  reviews of coffee, a thirtieth birthday, a restaurant (tangentially, at best), NYC, the NYC life, love at the library, the inherent integrity of being a punk, and more.  Another volume perfectly suited to a life in the back pocket of your pants, by the guy who should know.
copacetic price - $3.00

Kafka Americana
By Jonathan Lethem and Carter Scholz
Official hype:  "Previously published only in a signed, limited edition, Kafka Americana has achieved cult status. In this act of literary appropriation that is by turns witty, affectionate, and shameless, the author of Motherless Brooklyn and the co-author of Palimpsests seize a helpless Kafka by the lapels and thrust him into the cultural wreckage of 20th-century America. In one of five tales, Hollywood welcomes Kafka as scriptwriter for Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life, with appropriately morbid results. "The Amount to Carry" transports the legal secretary of the Workman's Accident Insurance Institute to a conference with fellow insurance executives Wallace Stevens and Charles Ives, to muse on what can and can't be insured. "K for Fake" brings together Orson Welles, Jerry Lewis, and Rod Serling in a kangaroo trial in which Kafka faces fraudulent charges. Taking modernism's presiding genius for a joyride, the authors portray an absurd, ominous world that Kafka might have invented but could never have survived. "
retail price - $11.00 copacetic price - $3.95

The Copacetic Comics Company wholehaeartedly embraces and endorses the fiction of Steven Millhauser.  His works stands at the pinnacle of both craft and intelligence.  We have been fortunate to secure a large quantity of his work in import editions that we can offer you at very affordable prices.   Want to get someone a great book, get one of these:

The King in the Tree (his latest) hardcover 
copacetic price - $4.95
Enchanted Night  copacetic price - $3.95
The Knife Thrower and Other Stories 
copacetic price - $3.95
In the Penny Arcade copacetic price - $3.95
Martin Dressler copacetic price - $4.95

And, we'd like to single this one out as being of special interest:

Little Kingdoms
by Stephen Millhauser
The lead story in this collection of three novellas by America's reigning master of the form, "The Little Kingdom of J. Franklin Payne" is an amazing tour de force for which the life and work of Winsor McCay serves as a springboard into a hallucinatory trip inside the mind of a powerful and obsessive creativity. We believe that this work stands to be especially appreciated by comics aficionados, and as we just secured a large quantity of the UK edition at a special price (and as the US edition is now, while not, technically, out of print, available only in a print-on-demand edition) we felt it was appropriate to bring it to our customers attention at this time.  The two additional novellas that fill out this volume are every bit as original, unique and intense:  "The Princecss, the Dwarf and the Dungeon" is a magnificent deconstruction of the fairy tale that reveals its origins and functions -- social as well as psychological; and "Catalogue of the Exhibition: The Art of Edmund Moorash (1810 - 1846)" is one of the most singular works in the annals of fiction -- a turbulently romantic tale presented in the form of, as the title has it, the catalogue for an exhibition of paintings.  Recommended!
copacetic price - $3.95

The Wishbones
by Tom Perrotta
This Harvard professor's rock 'n' roll novel of 1997 presents characters and dilemmas that are vaguely similar to that of Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity (which was published two years earlier) -- rock-guy(s) being dragged kicking and screaming into adulthood  --  but on this side of the Atlantic (New Jersey, to be exact) and playing in a bar-band-turned-wedding-band (the titular Wishbones) rather than working in a record/CD store.  The Wishbones are not as cool as the High Fidelity folks, and they're a bit more earthy (i.e. there's more sex), but they're every bit as well defined and delineated.  There's a bit  more wish-fulfillment fantasy going on here as well (as the title/band-name broadly hints at).  On top of this (or maybe, beneath it) the book works hard to de-mythologize the "rock life,"  showing how it's mostly just another job -- albeit one much more accommodating to fantasy.  It's a very readable book -- it's over before you know it -- and has much to recommend it, if its sounds to the taste of someone your shopping for.
retail price - $22.95 copacetic price - $4.95

Winner of the National Book Award
by Jincy Willett
A tale of Gothic horror disguised as a wicked black comedy, this, the first novel by long suffering woman of wit, Jincy Willet is one of the most readable books in recent memory and is a real winner (although not of the National Book Award).  It tells the tale of two sisters who represent opposite poles in the approach to living -- one, a sensualist who yeilds to all temptation and biological drives, the other, an ascetic who lives a life of the mind through books and self-restraint -- who then become involved in a love triangle with the same man, a man "with the face of a Nazi and the eyes of a Jew."  Clearly, this is a book rife with conflicts, inner, outer and otherwise, yet it nevertheless manages to be an extremely entertaining read.  Recommended.
retail price - $24.95 • copacetic ¡SALE! price - $4.95

And, if you really want to save, good books don't come any cheaper than those that compose the  Dover Thrift Edition series, where you'll find over one hundred of the greatest novels ever written, side by side with a very healthy serving of the classics of the Western Canon along with a growing selection from the East all at prices so low that you might be tempted to think we're putting you on.  Turn some one on to a classic... for less!

The Way of Chaung Tzu
"read" and with an introduction by Thomas Merton
Speaking of the Orient and the Occident, this book represents one of the best available sytheses of the two grand traditions.  The writings of Chuang Tzu are the most rigorous classic articulations of Taoist thought, which had its beginnings with the Tao Te Ching, attributed to Lao Tzu.  Taoism is, perhaps, the system of thought second only to Confucianism in defining the history and culture of Chinese civilization.  In Merton's "readings" (which are his interpretations based on an assemblage of the then [1965] best available Western translations by China scholars), these brief but powerful texts become quite accessible to Western thought.  Thomas Merton -- whose name at least should be familiar to Pittsburgh area residents through the work of the much lauded Thomas Merton Center -- was a Trappist monk and an important author in his own right, as his eloquent introduction to this volume makes abundantly clear.  Merton's translation manages to successfully pull Chaung Tzu's thought through the difficult east/west mind-barrier and present contemporary American readers with 2500 year old writing that often seems uncannily appropriate to the tenor of our times.  His introduction draws our attention to surprising parallels between these writings and those of the New Testament that, if more widely appreciated, could go a long way towards deepening the dialogue between east and west that, because of the spectacular growth of the  Chinese economy and its integration into the global economy, becomes of more importance with each passing day.  The Way of Chuang Tzu is a tastfully designed compact sturdy clothbound hardcover edition from the Shambala Library that is printed and bound in Germany, and comes with its own sewn in bookmark.  A book that's suitable for a lifetime's worth of consultation that's built to last.  We recently discovered a cache of these that we can offer at a great low price.  Give the gift of eternal wisdom.  We give his volume our highest recommendatoin.
retail price - $16.95 • copacetic ¡SALE! price - $8.95

These represent just a sampling of the many excellent books that we have available at greatly reduced prices.  Many more can be found on our Copacetic Specials page, and even more can be found in our store location -- just ask at the desk.


The Proper Introduction
The latest -- and least expensive --  from the greatest promulgator of the classic popular music of the 20th century, Proper Records.  More great music in a great package at a great price.  Each disc is fully packed, containing 20 - 30 tracks and running 75 - 79 minutes, and comes in an attractive tri-fold pack complete with an illustrated booklet that includes a complete track by track discography.  Check it out!
copacetic price - $6.97@ OR even better:  4/$23.95!

And if you want to give the taste of Pittsburgh, then here's a trio of great (and cheap) choices:

Outlaw Writers Tour (CD)
The Deliberate Strangers w/ Chuck Kinder & Lee Maynard
Seven new tunes recorded live on 8/14/03 at The Empty Glass in Charleston, WV by Pittsburgh's own intrepid musical explorers into the haunted spirits of the hills known as Appalachia, The Deliberate Strangers, along with two lengthy live readings, one each by Kinder and Maynard, writers whose lives and works are also rooted in this region that is both geographical and spiritual.  Despite the low budget nature of this particular venture, the recording quality on this disc is excellent.  It just goes to show that if you put modest technology in the hands of someone who knows what they're doing, you can get great results.  This disc represents a rare opportunity to experience as well as support homegrown culture with a quite modest expenditure.
copacetic price - $6.00

Straight Outta Squirrel Hill - Yakov Chodosh (CD)
Think of this as a two sided LP:  with side one featuring American jazz (mostly) & pop tunes -- standards as well as obscurities -- and side two featuring Jewish tunes -- standards, Israeli, and, yes, originals --  all performed by Yakov accompanying himself on piano.  Recorded in Aspinwall!  15 tracks total, all for a modest price tag.  MP3 samples and more available at
copacetic price - $6.00

Master Mechanic Compilation CD -  A Copacetic Comics Company exclusive!   Fast approaching their tenth anniversary, Master Mechanic is “Pittsburgh’s best-kept secret.”  Or at least so says The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Music Critic, Ed Masley. And this CD is copacetically priced at only $5.00, so no aficianado of the Pittsburgh indie music scene need be without! To learn more about Master Mechanic, click here to visit their website. copacetic price - $5.00


My Neighbor, Totoro
This animated classic directed by the greatest living master of feature length animated films, Hayao Miyazaki, is one of the best films ever made for younger children.  It brings to life as no other film has, that magic period in a child's life where the line between fact and fantasy is so porous that the imagination moves freely between the two realms as though it were one amorphous whole; a truly delightful film. (G) 1993
copacetic price - $8.88

Waking Life
Directed by Richard Linklater, this is a one of a kind film thatwas shot entirely with small, hand held digital cameras, edited on Mac G4 computers using standard editing software, and then hand
animated using a custom animation program and Wacom tablets.  This film is a meditation on the relationship between the unconscious and unconscious realms, between dream life and waking life. (R) 2001
copacetic price - $8.88

The Misfits
directed byh John Houston
screenplay by Arthur Miller
starring Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe, Montgomery Clift and Thelma Ritter
This is a great film, that is mystifyingly under appreciated.  It may very well be the film that best  captures the death of the American Dream as it once was and was never to be again.  It is the last film of Both Gable and Monroe. (not rated) 1961
copacetic price - $8.88

A Life Less Ordinary
The last in the "Scottish Trilogy" of films starring Ewan McGregor and produced, written and directed by the team of Andrew MacDonald, John Hodge and Danny Boyle, this is the only one set in America and features Cameron Diaz and Holly Hunter at her best.  It is a fun adventure comedy -- in which frustrated loser McGregor kidnaps heiress Diaz only to have her turn the tables --  at the same time that it is a filmic essay on the metaphysical relationship between Hollywood and Heaven. (R) 1997
copacetic price - $8.88

Earth Girls Are Easy
The only Hollywood feature from acclaimed British director, Julien Temple, Earth Girls is a quirky, original and totally eighties look at California that features Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis in their best co-starring roles, early -- and hilarious -- performances by Damon Wayans and Jim Carrey, and inroduced Julie Brown, who also co-wrote the script.  This one-of-a-kind film is jam-packed with hilarious set-pieces and whacky musical numbers that can be watched over and over again. (PG)  1988
copacetic price - $8.88


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prices and availability current as of 1 March 2006