Copacetic Arrivals: 4Q 2008
all items still available (unless otherwise noted)
ordering info

New for December 2008

KE7Kramers Ergot 7
edited by Sammy Harkham
It's here!  All we can say right now is, "WOW!"  Sammy Harkham, Alvin Buenaventura and their cohorts have raised the bar once again with what must be considered as one of the most singular books in the history of comics.  This volume of Kramers rolls back the hands of time by publishing a book that reproduces that magnificent size of the original Sunday comics of 100 years ago that we have been reacquainted with through the efforts of Sunday Press and their mind-boggling Little Nemo collections.  Team Kramers has connected the dots and realized:  "If they did it then, there's no reason why we can't do it now!"  This volume presents all new work created specifically to be reproduced in the full-up, full-color, big-daddy, 16" x 21" format that will recapture the wonderful amazement of the glory days at the dawn of the comics era.  The equally amazing renaissance that comics is currently undergoing will likely come to be symbolized in some fashion by this very volume.  Kramers Ergot 7 is, without a doubt, one of the most spectacular works of comics ever published.  Measuring a staggering 16" x 21", and containing all new, never before seen work that was commissioned specifically for this giant-size format, we will see today's top comic creators pulling out the stops for this rare chance to produce comics work on this scale. Contributors include Gabrielle Bell, Mat Brinkman, Ivan Brunetti, C.F., Jacob Ciocci, Dan Clowes, Kim Deitch, Jaime Hernandez, Kevin Huizenga, Ben Katchor, Anders Nilsen, John Pham, Frank Santoro, Seth, Adrian Tomine, Chris Ware, Dan Zettwoch and many others.  ¡WOW!
retail price - $125.00   copacetic price - $117.50

Nocturnal Conspiricies: Nineteen Dreams
by David BNnocturnal Conspiracies
David B. is, for our money at least, the most accomplished contemporary European comics creator.  He is the author of Epileptic, a true graphic novel, and one of the greatest yet produced.  Nocturnal Conspiracies is, as its subtitle suggests, a compilation of dreams committed to paper; a dream diary.  Printed in black and white with a single, sparingly used, blue color overlay, the dream chronicles range from four to twelve pages in length, with the majority falling in the six to eight page range.  It bears some characteristics of being a pet project, nurtured for years until the time was ripe.  As such, it is interesting to note motifs and tropes that, evidently, initially arose in his dreams, but that found their way into not only Epileptic, but some of his historical adaptations that have been published in MOME over the past several years, as well.  That said, David B is here in full possession of his mastery of the comics medium.  The pieces are expertly paced models of concise storytelling, as well as haunting evocations of the dream state.  Here's a preview of Dream #17 (just click on the arrow to advance).
retail price - $14.95   copacetic price  - $12.75

The Lagoon

The Lagoon
by Lilli Carré
Yes, this slim hardcover volume has been out for awhile, and we apologize for our delay in bringing it to your attention here.  The Lagoon is Carré's first book length work.  It brings us one family's interaction with a "creature from the Black Lagoon."  A lyrical waking dream in comics that works towards revealing the play of the unconscious in shaping family dynamics.
retail price - $14.99   copacetic price  - $13.50


by Dirk Schwieger
Cleverly packaged to resemble a Moleskine™ sketchbook, Moresukine -- the Japanese pronunciation of Moleskine -- is a series of 26 short pieces drawn in Schwieger's own Moleskine™ sketchbook during his six month stay in Tokyo.  These were all originally posted on his blog. With the exceptions of the first two, in which he set the parameters of his mission, the remainder of these pieces are the result of his blog readers writing him with "assignments" which he then undertook, documented and uploaded to the following week's blog entry.  This is then followed by an appendix in which Schweiters then in turn assigned ten different comics artists -- from France, Germany, Canada and the US -- to meet and converse with a Japanese person in their home city and then document this coversation in comics.  A truly international effort.
retail price - $15.99   copacetic price  - $14.44

Quest for Missing GirlThe Quest for the Missing Girl
by Jiro Taniguchi
A full length graphic novel by the one and only Jiro Taniguchi, author of Copacetic favorites, The Walking Man and The Ice Wanderer.  'Nuff said!  Here's a nice review by David Welsh on Comics Reporter.
retail price - $25.00   copacetic price  - $22.22

Essential DykesThe Essential Dykes to Watch Out For
by Alison Bechdel
Now there's no excuse.  Fence sitters can no longer complain about the format or the price or the confusing order of the previously issued  volumes of Alison Bechdel's seminal strip.  To celebrate it's 25th year, Houghton Mifflin has released this hunky hardcover edition.  Weighing in at 392 pages, it contains a very substantial serving of the extant DTWOF strips, making it much more than your standard "best of" collection.  Even longtime fans of the strip (like us) who own all the individual volumes will be hard pressed to resist this volume.  Format fiends may find that they prefer the balance of the squarish, vertical presentation of the strips as single-pages, over their previous horizontal formatting as side by side two-pagers.  And then there's the irresistible icing on the cake:  the all-new, never-before-seen, 12-page strip that serves as the introduction.  It is the long awaited (at least by us, anyway) "secret origin" of Dykes to Watch Out For, telling the story of Ms. Bechdel's gradual realization and embrace of her latent, long-repressed desire to be a professional cartoonist.  What's that?  You say you're not a lesbian and so why should you read this?  Well, listen up -- here's why:  DTWOF is the best ongoing continuity comic strip of its time.  The characters that populate this volume are pen and ink creations that live, breath and grow in concise single page strips that precisely capture the underlying humanity that we all share and in the process have defined an era.  Yes, it helps if your politics are towards the left of the political spectrum, but even this is not a prerequisite to enjoying the pleasures of this cartoon text (the Norman Rockwell homage of the front cover serving as ample testimony to this fact).  Open yourself up to opportunity and you'll make some new friends. 
retail price - $25.00   copacetic price  - $22.22

Powr Mastrs 2 by CF
Powr Mastrs 2
by C.F.  
FINALLY!  The most asked about sequel of recent memory is here.  Jack Kirby meets Henry Darger in C.F.'s psychedelic saga.  Now, let's all hope the wait won't be as long for #3! 
retail price - $18.00   copacetic price  - $16.00

Travel by YokoyamaTravel
by Yuichi Yokoyama
While perhaps not as hotly awaited as PM2, this year's follow-up to last year's New Engineering  (which was the amazing US debut for Japanese manga magician Yokoyama) is, for our money, the sequel of the year.  Anyone wanting to see truly original, ground-breaking comics work need look no further than this unassuming volume.  It may not seem like much sitting there on the shelf, but once you open it up and let its contents pour out as you pore over its pages you will find yourself taken out of your body and travelling to realms of mind over matter, racing at a pace you didn't know you were capable of.  A very strong rhythmic component was already evident in Yokoyama's work in the short pieces collected in New Engineering.  With Travel, a single piece of almost 200 pages, the rhythm has been intensified and become an indefatiguable beat that gives the impression that it might just be the pulse of the world.   Every motion, no matter how mundane -- from the turning of one's head, to the stubbing out of a cigarette -- is rendered with a dynamism and a sense of urgency that focuses the reader's attention in a startling way and serves to bring alive every instant; "never a dull moment," indeed.  You will go back to this book again and again trying to unlock its mysteries.  This work conveys movement through space in time in sequential images that alchemically reflect the manner in which human consciousness is being reformatted by being enveloped in a landscape composed of ever increasing loads of information that must be processed at ever increasing rates of speed.  This is all the more amazing given that this work is text free and entirely imagematic.  It does, however, come equipped with an introduction by Paul Karasik and an appendix featuring commentary by Yokoyama himself.  Recommended!
retail price - $19.95   copacetic price  - $17.77

New paintings and drawing by BJNew Painting and Drawing
by Ben Jones
Followers of Paper Rad who have been wondering what Ben "B.J." Jones has been up to will find out with this slim but amazing volume full of senses-shattering color vibrations disguised as paintings and astutely wry self-deprecational witticisms disguised as drawings.  You want the zeitgeist?  This is the zeitgeist.  Yes, this too is another fine PictureBox product.
retail price - $20.00   copacetic price  - $17.77

Items from our December 2008 listings may now be purchased online at our new site, HERE.

ordering info

New for November 2008

Or Else 5Or Else #5
by Kevin Huizenga
This issue finds Mr. Huizenga at his most archly wry.  Indeed, we'll go so far as to say that should the day dawn when there is a dictionary of comics, we are wholly confident that the first entry under "arch adj." will be Or Else #5, and that it will be followed by a note stating, "*see wry."  There is more than a smidgeon of despair on hand here as Huizenga confronts America today and does his best to translate it in to comic book form.  There seems to be a deliberate lack of focus to this issue, as though Huizenga is trying to say, "Don't kid yourself into thinking you can get a handle on it.  The world's a mess and all we can hope to do is just hold on."  The overall structure of this issue is an amalgamated parody of contemporary mainstream American print media, from The New Yorker to Time Magazine to academic journals to evangelical religious pamphlets to comic books. There are moments that we got the feeling that Huizenga was angry at himself for making comics when there is so much wrong in the world; that he was attacking himself (and even his friends) for being complicit in the mindlessness of contemporary society.  But it is precisely comics that all of us who visit this page use to help us come to grips with our surroundings, and here Huizenga is as strong as ever.  The centerpiece of this issue is the 24-page "Rumbling," which is, according to the credits, adapted from Centuria: One Hundred Ouroboric Novels by Giorgio Manganelli (translated by Henry Martin).  This story "stars" Glenn Ganges and imagines a religious war -- something along the lines of the current Sunni-Shiite conflict raging in Iraq -- taking place here in the good ol' USA.  It is, evidently, "2B" continued.  The most intellectually stimulating part of the issue is, "Which Sentences Are we Diagramming," which is a fascinating look into a visualization of grammar employing the language of comics.  Not to be missed!
retail price - $4.95  copacetic price - $4.44

Fight or RunFight or Run
by Kevin Huizenga
Yes, you read that correctly:  it's back-to-back Huizenga -- two new releases.  Well, this one's not entirely new.  Fight or Run, published by Buenaventura Press, is a collection of short strips that work to create a sort of comics shorthand for the language of game theory.  The strips that embodied the initial foray into forging this language first appeared a few years back in the Fantagraphics anthology, Blood Orange, which ran for four issues (we should have a few copies still floating around here, if anyone is interested).  We enjoyed those strips at the time, but then forgot about them.  Huizenga, clearly, did not.  He continued to plug in variables and hammer away at the possibilities until it reached critical mass.  The end result on display here is a synthesis of the language of comics, the mind-set engendered by years of video-gaming (which, in turn, is influenced by the history of role-playing games), and the basic principles of logic which leads to a laconic distillation of the decision making process that can be enjoyed for a quick laugh, studied for insights into how to enhance one's own decision making, and pondered over to reflect upon the nature of thought.  Fight or Run is Huizenga's most purely formal work yet.  In some respects, the work here reminds us of a rigorous take on Harvey Kurtzman's seminal "Hey Look!" strips, updated for the 21st century.  On the other hand, it can be seen as taking Brian Chippendale's Ninja, and paring it down to its core essentials.  Whether the reality regarding these comparisons is either, and, or neither, Fight or Run is a success on its own terms and should be considered essential reading for anyone interested in expanding the possibilities open to comics.
retail price - $3.95  copacetic price - $3.55

Sublife by John PhamSublife
by John Pham
The elusive John Pham has re-emerged at last, with his first solo outing in quite a while.  Years in the making, this first volume of Sublife presents "221 Sycamore St."  While approximately half of these strips -- by our reckoning -- originally appeared in MOME a couple years back, they only now receive their proper context in the contrapuntal arrangement they receive here.  The 64-page piece is structured as an interlinked series of vignettes, each focusing on one of the occupants residing at the titular address, which, taken together, provide a compelling -- if dismal -- portrait of urban life.  As an added bonus, the inside front and back covers provide an episode of "Deep Space," featuring Caption Joe Ho and Commander Dave Wallach, that serves as an ironic bracket for "221."  Pham is a singular talent whose work clearly demonstrates that he is on top of current developments in the art and science of comics. He has produced precious little work, but that which he has produced puts him comfortably in the company of his contemporaries such as Jordan Crane, Sammy Harkham, Paul Hornschemeier, Kevin Huizenga and  Anders Nilson, at the same time as showing ample evidence of his having absorbed lessons to be found in the work of Daniel Clowes and Chris Ware.  Sublife is carefully planned, deliberately composed, beautifully drawn and delicately colored in a palette of teal and peach. Pham has marshaled his energies here to show lives of quiet desperation:  lost, drifting, misinformed, deluded or in denial, the characters that populate this southern Californian address are hounded by a reality over which they have no control, but Pham's artistry makes it clear that they serve as reflections of our own lives in this difficult time.
retail price - $8.99  copacetic price - $8.00

Big Q 11
Big Questions #11: Sweetness and Light
by Anders Nilsen
This time around Mr. Nilsen appears to goes heavy on the irony, as the contents of this issue seem to more closely resemble the characteristics  of bitterness and darkness than those of sweetness and light; but appearances can be deceiving; perhaps that's the point here; perhaps it's all in the eye of the beholder; perhaps it's all open to interpretation.  48 pages, seven chapters; a pilot, a sleeping idiot, a bunch of birds and a pack of dogs; heavily labored, detailed pen and ink drawings, rhythmic repetitions punctuated by startling and dramatic images.  What's it all add up to?  That is for Anders to know and you and I to figure out.  Enigmatic, mysterious, obscurely hinting at something just beyond comprehension:  yes, it's the latest -- and, at least so we've heard, the penultimate -- issue of Big Questions.
retail price - $6.95  copacetic price - $6.25

Tamara DreweTamara Drewe
by Posy Simmonds
This large format (9" x 10") full-length work is a true graphic novel.  A follow-up to her excellent Gemma Bovery, which re-imagined Flaubert's Madame Bovary at the same time that it commented on the literary imagination, Tamara Drewe uses Thomas Hardy's Far from the Maddening Crowd as its jumping off point to explore contemporary mores as well as their contemporary representations.  Ms. Simmonds hails from the UK -- where she is far more widely known and respected than here in the US -- and this book was originally serialized in The Guardian UK.  She is one of the most culturally sophisticated and literary cartoonists in the business, capable of weaving into her narrative a wealth of cultural history and a density of literary allusion that are, for the most part, simply off the radar of her peers.  As with Gemma Bovery, Tamara Drewe is a hybrid, combining short blocks of prose exposition with longer stretches of comics story-telling that make the best of both worlds and an equally pleasurable reading experience.  Here's a video composed of an audio interview with Ms. Simmonds explaining her working method and a slideshow of her sketches, roughs and finished artwork for this book.
retail price - $16.95  copacetic price - $15.75

DQ Showcase 5Drawn & Quarterly Showcase 5
by Anneli Furmark, Amanda Vähämäki, and T. Edward Bak
We listed this last month, but in our haste neglected to write it up, a gross oversight on our part, as you will see.. This volume has a special Scandinavian focus, with two of the three comics works originating in the somber lands of the midnight sun.  A melancholy northern mood pervades the entire collection, including its centerpiece, the contribution of the lone North American, T. Edward Bak. The Partisan -- his first fully developed work since Service Industry, the work for which he is best known --  is a complex multi-layered work that (or, at least, so it seems to us) seeks to expiate regret connected to a failed relationship, one in which it was realized too late that the priorities in the relationship weren't what they should have been.  Bak's artwork continues to be inventive and varied, employing bold scratchboard as well as pen and ink and delicate watercolors, each chosen to best express the needs of each particular aspect of the tale.  Preceding The Partisan, is the collection opener, Inland by Anneli Furmark.  This piece is built upon a series of subtle revelations that create a gradual portrait of a set of interlinked relationships.  A deliberate, minimal palette color-codes the action which unfolds in an efficient sequence that establishes a complex interplay of personalities with surprisingly little exposition.  And, finally, there is the grande final, the untitled piece by Amanda Vähämäki.   Born in Tampere, Finland in 1981, Vähämäki has a true gift when it comes to color.  Her keen observation is matched by her finely tuned execution.  It is our considered opinion that never before in the history of comics have the nuances of the widely varying shades in which the sky above appears been better captured than here in this story; all rendered with colored pencils, no less.  It is a highly imaginative tale of a pair of adolescents carving out a new, private world for themselves amidst the public, old world around them.  And while we can't help but focus our praise on Amanda's amazing color-centric talent, this should in no way be interpreted as any sort of slight against any of her other skills.  The characterization on display is quite strong, both in the narrative development and in the physical renderings.  There is a nearly seamless visual integration of the characters into their surroundings that functions on a narrative level as well.  This piece is simply a pleasure to behold.  You will find yourself going back to its pages again and again to bask in their beauty. 
retail price - $19.95   copacetic price - $16.95

by Jiro Kuwata
edited and designed by Chip Kidd
This hefty, oversized softcover book is packed with full color scans of the actual cheap, pulpy, two-color pages of the original 1960s manga volumes in which these stories originally appeared.  This strategy of representation draws the reader 40 years back in time and makes for an in situ reading experience that is very different from that of your standard manga reprint.  To further draw the reader back, the editor and designer, Chip Kidd has included a gallery of Japanese Batman merchandise from the same era.  Together this gives the volume the air of a catalogue for a museum exhibition that uses these Japanese manifestations of an American pop culture icon -- at the height of the Pop Art era, no less -- to portray the relationship between the two countries during this pivotal period in history.  On the one hand there is the cultural hegemony of the US, but on the other, there is the Japanese transformation of American forms -- one that has accelerated of late as manga is now more widely read in the US than superhero comics.  In other words, it's definitely a two-way street.  Read more in Frank Santoro's Publishers Weekly review.
retail price - $29.95  copacetic sale price - $19.95

Peanuts 1969-1970The Complete Peanuts, Volume 10: 1969-1970
by Charles M. Schulz
Yep, the ongoing Fantagraphics project to collect the entire fifty-year run of the one and only Peanuts has now reached the twenty-year mark.  When this series first got underway it seemed a daunting task to collect a fifty year run, but here we are already with twenty years under our belts.  This time around, Snoopy takes center stage; these are the years that cemented his star status, during which his popularity at times eclipsed even that of Charlie Brown himself.  This volume also marks the full fledged introduction of Woodstock as a Peanuts regular.  While he made a few brief appearances in 1967 as "a bird hippie," he became a regular in 1969, and was finally dubbed "Woodstock" on June 22, 1970 (a fact easily determined by consulting the thorough index that appends each and every volume in this series -- a unique feature that we continue to applaud Fantagraphics for instituting). 
retail price - $28.95  copacetic price - $25.00

Peanuts Box 67-70

The Complete Peanuts Box Set 5: 1967-70
by Charles M. Schulz
And, for those of you who wait for the annual box set, your wait is over, for it, too, has arrived.  As always, it contains the two volumes released individually during the year -- these are the exact same volumes, identical in every way -- enclosed in a sturdy and attractive slipcase, yet priced substantially less.  A true value!
retail price - $49.99  copacetic price - $44.44

Popeye 3
Popeye: Let's You and Him Fight

by E.C. Segar
The third volume in Fantagraphics' what-is-sure-to-be-the-definitive complete collected edition is another oversize hardcover volume that presents these national treasures with the respect and attention they so richly deserve.  As with the previous two volumes, the daily continuity strips are presented a week at a time -- six to an oversize page -- while the full color, full page Sunday strips are presented in their own separate section where they can be savored in all their splendor.  Read Frank Santoro's insightful Publishers Weekly review, here.
retail price - $29.95  copacetic price - $25.00

Far From CamelotHal Foster's Prince Valiant: "Far from Camelot"
by Gary Gianni and Mark Schulz
Prince Valiant was and remains Hal Foster's greatest achievement and represents the high-water mark of classical illustration values in comics; it is the standard by which all that followed has been measured against.  It has been over thirty years since Foster retired from the strip.  The strip never ceased running and continued under the capable hands of John Cullen Murphy for over two decades before being turned over to the present artist-writer team of Gary Gianni and Mark Schulz.  Together, these two have reinvigorated this classic and managed to make in uncannily contemporary. "Far from Camelot" collects a full three and a half years of continuity in a delightful, bargain priced full color volume that will appeal to readers of all ages.  Much to our amazement, we've discovered that, apparently, this entire book is previewable online, here.
retail price - $19.95  copacetic price - $17.77

The Lindbergh ChildThe Lindbergh Child: America's Hero and the Crime of the Century
by Rick Geary
Geary, the creator of the widely acclaimed series, A Treasury of Victorian Murder, turns the corner and enters the twentieth century with this in-depth detailing of the headline stealing "crime of the century" which was still young at the time, as the crime took place in the 1930s.
hardcover  retail price - $15.95  copacetic price - $14.44

Bourbon IslandBourbon Island 1730
by Lewis Trondheim and Appollo
A 278 page historical graphic novel by two of Europe's most popular comics creators that provides a rollicking all-ages adventure story.  Published by First Second. 
retail price - $16.95  copacetic price - $15.75

Stray Toasters
by Bill Sienkiewicz
Stray ToastersBack in print at last!  This collects the entirety of the four issue series, originally published by Epic Comics, that turned mainstream comics on its ear when it was originally published nearly twenty years ago.  Following on the heels of his ground-breaking work on Elektra Assassin and Daredevil: Love and War, both written by Frank Miller and both of which were critically as well as commercially successful, Sienkiewicz was given carte blanche for a solo project and Stray Toasters was the result.  Realizing that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity, he really cut loose and pulled out all the stops.  Using his own psyche as a test subject, Sienkiewicz bore deep inside the comic book mind set, and used his massive technical abilities to bring to light what he found there.  He pushed himself to the limit on this project, and, evidently, emptied himself in the process as, while his work occasionally graces a project here or there, he all but retired from comics after completing this landmark work.  Containing a startlingly diverse panoply of formal approaches that mirror the works of so many different artists -- from the far-flung reaches of the worlds of comics, cartoons, illustration and fine art -- that an annotated edition seems called for (anyone out there up for the task?).  Stray Toasters was and remains a hugely influential work (David Mack's entire career consists, more or less, of mining this single work) and still packs a wallop, even today.   All self-respecting students of the history of comics owe it to themselves to at least take a look at this one.  Recommended!
retail price - $24.95  copacetic price - $22.22

by Don Freeman
Out of print for over 50 years, D & Q has returned this classic to the shelves in a boffo hardcover edition.  Skitzy offers readers of today a perfect snapshot of the 1950s.  It is a minimalist, pen & ink pantomime graphic short story that concisely illustrates the American male of the time as being divided between his vital creativity and his domestic security.  The only solution in the 1950s seemed to be the impossible one shown here:  of becoming two different people.  It took the upheavals of the 1960s, primarily the emergence of the modern feminist movement, to start us down the path towards a workable rapprochement of these once seemingly irreconcilable goals.
retail price - $19.95  copacetic price - $17.77

Spirit FemmeThe Spirit: Femme Fatales
by Will Eisner
Before the 1950s, there was -- surprise! -- the 1940s, where the same dilemma of identity choice faced the American male, especially upon returning in droves from fighting the second world war, and discovering a newly empowered female whose taste of (relative) freedom and independence in the males' absence made some of them less enamored of a life of submissive domesticity than before.  This "new" woman was often perceived as a threat to male and so that staple of the noir era, the femme fatale was born (intriguing that this period is so closely associated with terms of French origin, non?)  Thus the choice, for a man, between what kind of life to lead came to be identified with the choice between what kind of woman to desire:  the "good" woman -- here clearly identified as Police Commissioner Dolan's daughter, Ellen -- and the "bad" women, of which there are, invariably, many and whom the Spirit has many a run-in.  This is the second affordable, softcover edition collecting the creme de la creme of Will Eisner's classic series.  Published by DC, this 192 page full color softcover collects 23 frankly fabulous tales.  If you have yet to experience these era-defining comics, this is a good place to start.
retail price - $19.99  copacetic price - $17.77

The Spirit: Volume Two
by Darwyn Cooke
And then there's this:  the second -- and final -- volume collecting Darwyn Cooke's masterful, updated reading of Will Eisner's classic character, that may very well end up being the last word, particularly in the stunning finale, in which Cooke does his best to explode the good girl - bad girl divide and reveal the psychological roots of noir.  As an added bonus, there is also the "Summer Fun" issue that features short takes on The Spirit by a host of of other top talent including Kyle Baker, Gail Simone, Chris Sprouse and Karl Story.
retail price - $24.99  copacetic price - $22.22

Heavy Liquid (new hardcover edition)
by Paul Pope
Long out of print, Heavy Liquid, was Paul Pope's first graphic novel for Vertigo. It details the workings of a world that centers on the ultimate street drug:  Heavy Liquid.  It has now returned in this deluxe hardcover edition complete with bonus extras.
retail price - $39.95  copacetic price - $34.95

Art of Nino
The Art of Alex Nino
edited by Manuel Auad
Most readers of this page probably aren't familiar with the work of this comics master.  Thirty-some years ago,  a posse of Filipino artists burst onto the American comics scene, bringing technical as well as stylistic innovation along with them.  None was held in higher regard than Alex Niño, whose mastery of the ink brush remains unparalleled.  This volume barely scrapes the surface of his massive contributions to the form, but there is more than enough here to whet the appetite of those interested in gaining an appreciation of this comics master.
retail price - $24.95  copacetic price - $22.22

Frankenstein by WrightsonFrankenstein
by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
illustrated by Berni Wrightson
One of the greatest -- and certainly most prophetic -- novels ever written, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley's Frankenstein received its most reverential illustrative treatment by Bernie Wrightson.  The crowning achievement of a storied career, Wrightson's illustrations for Frankenstein occupied the lion's share of his creative powers precisely when they were at their apogee in the late 1970s.  Many of these illustrations initially appeared in a series of beautifully executed limited edition portfolios, but the book project itself was ill-starred.  Originally conceived as being published in multiple editions of increasing deluxivity, climaxing in a hand-bound, hand-tooled leather edition including a one-of-a-kind, hand-drawn original by Wrightson himself, the publisher -- Christopher Enterprises -- went bankrupt before the book even had a chance to go to press.  The project then proceeded to languish for several years in hopes of finding a similarly inclined publisher, before Wrightson finally threw in the towel and went with the only extant offer on the project, and it was  published as an economical softcover edition by Marvel Comics.  While, all things considered, this book was decently designed and well printed, it was, nonetheless, quite a bring down from the original hoped for magnificence.  Well, that Marvel edition has long been out of print, and now Dark Horse Books has stepped up to bring this major work back into print in this heavy duty cloth bound edition.  While this is certainly a handsome edition, the design and printing -- on clay coated stock -- definitely leave something to be desired.  Yet, here it is:  The greatest achievement in classical book illustration of modern times.  The illustrations remain unfailing in their enhancement of the enjoyment and appreciation of the text they serve.  Berni Wrightson's Frankenstein remains a masterpiece in search of its ideal embodiment.  We are confident that it will find it one day.  Meanwhile we will have to be satisfied with this less than perfect, but no less essential, edition.
retail price - $29.95  copacetic price - $26.95

Items from our November 2008 listings may now be purchased online at our new site, HERE.

ordering info

New for October 2008

SPX 2008
First off we have our big haul of one-of-a-kind self-published comics from SPX 2008 (the vast majority of which are copacetically priced under $5.00).  Pittsburgh customers: please stop in and take a look.  Web customers:  don't hesitate to call and ask us for a run down. Don't miss these, as once they're gone, they're gone!

Capacity by  Theo EllsworthCapacity
by Theo Ellsworth
If you ask us what was the highlight of this year's SPX, we won't hesitate to answer that it was the premiere of Theo Ellsworth's collection, Capacity.  This hefty 336 page tome collects all seven issues of Mr. Ellsworth's fantastic self-published series of comics of the same name, (these have been big sellers here at Copacetic, but most, if not all, of them are now out of print) PLUS well over 100 pages of new -- and amazing -- material.  This is a veritable jackpot of a book, and we commend the fine folks at Secret Acres for taking the chance on Theo and publishing it.  It is packed with page after page of the most energetically imaginative pen and ink drawings we've ever seen.  There's a hint of Moebius here, but really, when you get right down to it, this book makes us think that Ellsworth's body, despite residing in the northwest of the USA, has been occupied by a spirit from gothic Europe; probably that of a monkish scribe who produced illuminated manuscripts that contained detailed architectural renderings... and this spirit is pushing itself into our world through Theo's skillful hands, manifesting itself here in these fantastic pages of comics, which, the more you look at them the more they really do seem to start to come alive and enter into the mind and spirit of the reader.   We strongly encourage you to visit to help prepare yourself for the experience.  Theo Ellsworth's talent is clearly working at maximum capacity.
retail price - $15.00  copacetic price - $12.75

Cold Heat Special 8Cold Heat Special #8
by Frank Santoro & Lane Milburn
No, we didn't make a mistake:  Cold Heat Special #8, another SPX 2008 highlight, is already here, despite the fact that #6 & #7 have yet to see print.  That's the world of Cold Heat:  time is non-linear here; temporal warps, shifts and bounces are the norm, so hold on tight.  This time around we have an amazing magazine size (8 1/2" x 11") special with a double silk-screen wrap printed in three colors on heavy duty stock by Pittsburgh's own ace printer, Budai.  Castle travels through a dream-vision to a world of mythological archetypes that sheds an insightful light on our own.  Santoro has found another fine collaborator in Milburn, as their respective strengths forge to create a swirling sense of the porous and shifting border between interior psychological states and the sensory experience of external reality. This special is a special value, so don't delay:  these won't be around long as the print run has been limited to a mere 100 copies.
copacetic price - $8.00

Acme Novelty Library 19Acme Novelty Library 19
by Chris Ware
Any among you who were anxious that Mr. Ware might choose to rest on his laurels and start "coasting" or "phoning it in" will have all their worries laid soundly to rest with this amazing volume.  Yes, this is a continuation of the "Rusty" Brown saga, but right from the start it takes a quite unexpected turn, the full implications of which are not fully apparent until the conclusion of the volume, and even then will likely inspire considerable pondering on the part of the reader.  The level of sophistication and nuance inhering to Ware's narrative strategy reaches new heights in this complex, multi-part and multi-layered work that is at once painfully embarrassing and deeply moving; a disturbing, fascinating and, finally, profound exploration of a callow nature and the genesis of an arrested development.  Ware's mastery of the craft of comics clearly continues to grow as well, and is on full display here, particularly in the beautiful subtleties of the coloring and in the use of page layout to finesse the stories' pacing.  In as much as one of the themes dealt with here is the 20th century American conflation of technology and the fantastic, it might be appropriate to describe Ware as creating a delicately constructed narrative feedback loop to inter-link the stories that constitute Acme Novelty Library 19, and thereby forge a single unified piece that pulses with living complexity, a method that carries with it an echo of Mary Shelly's Frankenstein --  the employment of mechanistic means to create an organic end -- which ushered in the conjunction of science and fiction.  Suffice it to say that Chris Ware's talents continue to astound and amaze. 
retail price - $15.95  copacetic price - $14.44  (Also amazing and astounding is the fact that the price of this issue of Acme Novelty Library is less than that of the last two!)

Best American Comics of 2008The Best American Comics 2008
edited by Lynda Barry
This is a 324 page, nicely produced, hardcover volume that is chock-a-block with great comics.  Starting with the amazing embossed wraparound dustjacket by Eleanor Davis, the book is cover to cover comics that are worth reading.  It leads off with a ten-page introduction by editor Barry, rendered in her new What It Is collage-comics style.  It then proceeds -- in alphabetical order, no less -- with a well-rounded survey of the state of American comics.  Missing from previous volumes in this series was any focus on Ms. Barry's peers in the independent newsweekly world.  That has been smartly rectified this time out with a nice selection of work by fellow pioneer of independent comics syndication, Matt Groening (Life In Hell), along with Alison Bechdel (Dykes To Watch Out For), Derf (The City) and Kaz (Underworld). And that's just the tip of the iceberg.  We've got excerpts from some of the year's best graphic novels -- Salon by Nick Bertozzi, The Saga of the Bloody Benders by Rick Geary, Berlin: Book Two by Jason Lutes, Percy Gloom by Cathy Malkasian and American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang, among others.  Then we've got a one after another super solid short and medium length comics works that show a truly remarkable range.  We have instant classics by established masters like Jaime Hernandez's "Gold Diggers of 1969" from Love and Rockets and Chris Ware's "Thanksgiving Series" from The New Yorker.  Then we have what is probably this collection's signal strength:  new work by new(er) talent:  Graham Annable and Sarah Oleksyk, both from Papercutter; T. Edward Bak and Evan Larson, both from Project: Romantic;  Eleanor Davis and Martin Cendreda, both from MOME; Eric Haven and Michael Kupperman from their own comics, Tales To Demolish and Tales Designed To Thrizzle, respectively; and then self-published works by Lilli Carré, Shawn Cheng and Sara Edward-Corbett, Joseph Lambert, and John Mejias. And there's more!  This one is a winner.  Recommended!
retail price - $22.00
copacetic price - $20.00

>>>¡NEWS FLASH!<<<
Best Comics 2006
We just got our hands on a case of brand new copies of The Best American Comics 2006, the first volume in the series, for a super low price and we are passing the savings on to you!  This too is a smartly designed volume packed to the brim.  It was edited by Harvey Pekar and you can read more about it here.
retail price - $22.00
copacetic super special price - $8.88


Get BOTH volumes -- The Best American Comics 2006 and 2008 -- for an even more amazing price.
combined retail price - $44.00
copacetic super special price - $26.75

Yale Anthology 2Anthology of Graphic Fiction, Cartoons, and True Stories:
Volume Two
edited by Ivan Brunetti
It's too early to say for certain, but this follow-up to Brunetti's already classic 2006 anthology, also published by Yale University Press, might just be even better than its precursor.  One thing's for certain:  Brunetti has held onto -- and further refined -- his editorial vision of arranging the work contained in this volume in an organic sequence, deftly managing to map out the similarities between artists so that each piece flows smoothly into into the other, creating an amazing sense of an innate connectivity between all areas of comics here on display.  This book is a powerful ally in the struggle to bring the light of comics to those poor souls still dwelling in the darkness.  It's the perfect choice to turn on a friend or relative to the joy, beauty and pleasures of our favorite medium.  Hold onto your hats, here's the contributor list:  Dan Clowes, Saul Steinberg, Sammy Harkham, Chris Ware, R. Sikoryak, Michael Kupperman, Drew Friedman, Mark Beyer, Mack White, Jayr Pulga, Renee French, Kim Deitch, Richard Sala, J. Bradley Johnson, Archer Prewit, Anonymous (utility sketchbook), HJ Tuthill, Milt Gross, Bill Holman, Harvey Kurtzman, R.Crumb, Basil Wolverton, Art Spiegelman, Jess, John Hankiewicz, Tim Hensley, Bill Griffith, Richard McGuire, Gilbert Hernandez, Jim Woodring, David Collier, Eugene Teal, Charles Burns, Karl Wirsum, Gary Panter, Paper Rad, Fletcher Hanks, CF, Charles Forbell, Ron Rege, Jr., Winsor McCay, Matthew Thurber, Souther Salazar, Kevin Scalzo, Megan Kelso, James McShane, Laura Park, Vanessa Davis, Onsmith, Joe Matt, Jeffrey Brown, Martin Cendreda, Dave Kiersh, John Porcellino, Carrie Golus/Patrick Welch, Jessica Abel, Cole Johnson, Lynda Barry, Debbie Drechsler, Diane Noomin, Aline Kominsky-Crum, Ariel Bordeaux, Chester Brown, Anders Nilsen, Joe Sacco, Phoebe Gloeckner, Elinore Norflus, Brian Chippendale, Leif Goldberg, David Mazzuchelli, Jerry Moriarty, Ben Katchor, Frank Santoro, Dan Zettwoch, Kevin Huizenga, Harvey Pekar/R.Crumb, Carol Tyler, Maurice Vellekoop, Seth, Adrian Tomine, Jaime Hernandez & David Heatley.  It's simply amazing.  Comics Power!   PLEASE NOTE:  We feel compelled to mention that this volume includes several pieces that contain quite explicit sexual content; and while this content represents only a miniscule fraction of the total, it nevertheless renders this volume fit for ADULTS ONLY.
retail price - $28.00 copacetic price - $25.00

by Art Spiegelman
This volume reissues the seminal, long out-of-print, and highly sought after volume which collected Spiegelman's trailblazing (pre-Maus)1970s work.  These are the thoroughly original, self-aware comics about comics through which he forged a comics of deconstruction.  This, in turn, led him, along with his wife, François Mouly, to pioneer a new comics aesthetics that forefronted comics' formal properties, consciously focused on the mechanics of production and that changed the face of comics in the 1980s: RAW.  And there's more:  this fabulous, oversize harcover volume includes a 20-page introduction in comics form in which Spiegelman takes the logical next step and deconstucts his own comics!  This one is pretty much essential.
retail price - $27.50  copacetic special price - $17.77

American Elf 3American Elf: Book Three
by James Kochalka
Yes, it's true:  two years have passed and here we are ready for another hefty dose of the day-in-day-out life of the burgeoning Kochalka clan.  This volume collects all the daily online diary strips for 2006 & 2007, once again in full color
retail price - $19.99  copacetic price - $17.77

Next up we have the deluge of Drawn & Quarterly; eight -- count 'em -- new books.

against painAgainst Pain
by Ron Regé, Jr.
This book is a gift to the long suffering Rege collector as it assembles all his far flung contributions to other publications such as Kramers Ergot, McSweeney's, The Ganzfeld, Rosetta, and many, many others.  It also includes the out of print stand alone comic, Boys, that was co-created with writer Joan Reidy.  This is an oversize hardcover volume that presents most all of the works as they originally appeared -- whether it was black & white, full color, or Regé's own pastel duotone -- but at a larger size than they have previously been seen, which can - and does - make old work new again.  Regé's work is singular in the intensity of its emotional clout.  He is clearly an artist who has sufffered and who strives to work through his suffering in an attempt to create an artistic catharsis that with be emotionally purgative for his readers as well as for himself. 
retail price - $24.95Aya of Yop City
copacetic price - $22.22

Aya of Yop City
by Abouet & Oubrerie
This is the second of what we hope will be an ongoing series of the adventures of Aya in the Ivory Coast of three decades past.  If you have yet to enjoy the original volume, Aya, you might want to consider starting there.  In either case,
to experience Aya's unique appeal, click here, for a nice PDF preview of Aya of Yop City.
retail price - $19.99 
copacetic price - $17.77

Berlin, Book Two: City of Smoke
by Jason Lutes
The long awaited second book of Berlin, collecting issue #9 - #16 of the series, is at last available. 
retail price - $19.99 
copacetic price - $17.77

The Burma Chronicles
Burma Chronicles

by Guy Delisle
The creator of the widely acclaimed works, Pyongyang and Shenzhen, both of which chronicled his adventures as a French animator in Asia, returns, this time in the wake of his Medicines Sans Frontiers' employed spouse and their child as she is assigned to Burma and Mr. Delisle goes along for the ride -- and, of course, the chance to explore and document yet another Asian locale. 

retail price - $19.99 
copacetic price - $17.77


Jamilti and Other Stories
by Rutu Modan
The author of Exit Wounds returns with this collection of all her extant short work.  While the execution of the material ranges from early work rendered entirely in pencil to her current "paperless" work that is rendered entirely electronically using a Wacom™ tablet and Photoshop™, the material all connects in one way or another with Israael and the Jewish experience.
Get a taste, here
retail price - $19.99 
copacetic  price - $17.77

by Matt Forsythe
Forsythe possesses a highly engaging drawing style that animates these lively pantomime pieces of a girl and her creatures.  This all ages collection is a visual treat.
retail price - $14.95
copacetic price - $12.75

by Colek & Shewchuk
The latest volume in D & Q's Petíte Livres series, Pohadky presents page after page of full color work.
retail price - $16.95
copacetic price - $15.00

Drawn & Quarterly Showcase: Book Five
by Anneli Furmark (Sweden), Amanda Vähämäki (Finland), and T. Edward Bak (United States)
The highlight, for us, of this long delayed fifth volume in D & Q's acclaimed Showcase series, is T. Edward Bak's contribution, his first extended piece since his wonderful Service Industry.  The two Scandinavian contributions are vibrantly colorful and overflowing with energy, making for the most exhuberent Showcase yet!
retail price - $19.99
copacetic price - $17.77

SPX Bonus:  By arrangement with the fine folks at D & Q, we have a good number of individual issues of Jason Lutes's Berlin -- most of the 16 issues released so far are available -- that are yours free for the asking, with a purchase of any of the above books.  First come first served; when they're gone, they're gone.

My Brain Is Hanging Upside DownMy Brain Is Hanging Upside Down
by David Heatley
Heatley's deeply personal -- and deeply weird -- comics mix his dream and waking states to create a unique reading experience.  This book collects the bulk of his previously published work, along with plenty more that was new to us. 
Heatley has hit upon an affecting primitive cartooning voice and his comics can knock you for a loop.  The black and white and full color work that fills this oversize hardcover volume is highly controversial and not for the easily disturbed or upset.  Heatley's artistic method is to dive deep into his own subconscious, where he explores the turbulent emotional seas of sex, race and family roiling in his psyche.   What he turns up includes quite a bit of human weakness:  unhealthy attitudes, unlikeable traits, and downright nastiness that may be nausea inducing, along with moving confrontations with the precipitant fears and disappointments that must be overcome for healing and growth to take place.  Any identification with the material has the potential to force the reader into uncomfortable positions of self-examination, and even those who experience an outright rejection of the material might still find themselves asking, "How did we get here?"
retail price - $24.95  copacetic price - $22.22

Deitch's Pictorama
by Gene, Kim, Simon and Seth Deitch
It's a family affair as dad (Gene) and his three sons jam to their obsessions in this all-new 200 page book that mixes comics and illustrated fiction and that is a truly unique concoction of story, art and imagination.
retail price - $18.99  copacetic price - $17.00

Punk Rock Trailer ParksPunk Rock and Trailer Parks
by Derf
The creator of the long running independent newsweekly strip, The City, has created a pitch perfect tale of the classic days of punk rock.  Set in his home town of Akron, Ohio, in 1980, PR & TP gives us the senior year and then some of high school loser cum small-town-punk-rock-legend, Otto "The Baron" Pizcok.  While the central narrative is entirely fictional, its setting is not, and Derf wryly  captures the mid-Ohio ambience and recreates the hot and heavy scene at the main Akron club -- The Bank -- that was, at least for the time chronicled here, the center of the punk scene.  Plot, pacing, characterization, the supporting cast -- all are spot on.  Punk Rock and Trailer Parks will make for a thoroughly enjoyable read for anyone who likes comics and punk rock and will be a real thrill for anyone who remembers these days. 
retail price - $15.95  copacetic special price - $11.77

Red Rocket 7
by Michael Allred
Red Rocket 7For those of you who like a bit more -- alright, a lot more -- fantasy mixed in with your graphic novels that celebrate the saving grace of Rock, Red Rocket 7 may be the ticket.  For our money, this book is Allred's most interesting work. This is a budget priced reissue of the original series.  It's 200 pages of full color comics that provides the entire original story & covers & bonus material in a "hi sci fi" 7" square-formatted trade paperback.  Originally released in a 10-issue 10" square format comic book series 10 years ago, it (re)tells the dominant (i.e. - Anglo-centric) history of rock 'n' roll as though it were the story of one lone hero, and thereby welds it to the super-hero genre.  Specifically, reading this version of the history of Rock it feels very much as though it were part of the Marvel Universe, in that everything fits together seamlessly, and everything connects to the lead protagonist, which, then causes the reader to pause and reflect how this way of reading history -- that of positioning an identity that stands in for the reader at the center of the action -- has a strong pull, is a sort of siren song:  it's a pleasure to read, but you end up where you started, alone with the music.  Strange, alienating and yet pleasurable, Red Rocket 7 is a synecdoche for something, we're just not sure what...
retail price - $16.99  copacetic price - $15.55

Night of Your LifeThe Night of Your Life

by Jesse Reklaw
In addition to having one of our favorite names, Jesse Reklaw is a talented cartoonist (he won this year's Ignatz Award for Outstanding Mini-Comic).  He has been producing his Slow Wave comic strip for alternative newsweeklies for over ten years now and The Night of Your Life, a bargain-priced 244 page hardcover, is the second Slow Wave collection (We still have a few copies of the first, now out of print, 2000 collection, Dreamtoons, around here somewhere, if anyone is interested).  The premise behind Slow Wave is simple and elegant:  Reklaw solicits dreams from his readers, he picks one a week and converts that dream into a comic strip that is composed of four panels of equal size, two over two; each and every week.  Here are the best of the last eight years.  Learn more at

retail price - $15.95  copacetic price - $14.44Swallow Me Whole

Swallow Me Whole
by Nate Powell
Nate Powell's first graphic novel is one of the more ambitious attempts yet to tackle family dysfunction and mental illness in comics form. 
retail price - $19.95  copacetic price - $17.77

black jack 1
Black Jack, Volume No. 1
by Osamu Tezuka
Vertical continues its amazing run of beautiful new editions of Tezuka's out of print late classics with the first volume of one of Tezuka's most popular series, Black Jack.  These were originally serialized in Shukan Shonen Champion from 1977 to 1983.  The stand out difference of Black Jack is that the format is one of strung together short, complete adventures, rather than one long graphic novel, making the reading experience more closely resemble that of reading American pamphlet comics.  This way you can take bite size reads and stretch the book out over time. Learn more and check out a swell preview, here.
retail price - $16.95  copacetic price - $15.55

Items from our October 2008 listings may now be purchased online at our new site, HERE.

  ordering info

Want to keep going?  There's tons more great stuff here, almost all of which is still in stock.  Check out our New Arrivals Archives:

3Q 2008: July - September, New Arrivals
2Q 2008: April - June, New Arrivals
1Q 2008: January - March, New Arrivals

4Q 2007: October - December, New Arrivals
3Q 2007: July - September, New Arrivals
2Q 2007: April - June, New Arrivals
1Q 2007: January - March, New Arrivals

4Q 2006: October - December, New Arrivals
3Q 2006: July - September, New Arrivals
2Q 2006: April - June, New Arrivals
1Q 2006: January - March, New Arrivals

4Q 2005: October - December, New Arrivals
3Q 2005: July - September, New Arrivals

2Q 2005: April - June, New Arrivals
1Q 2005: January - March, New Arrivals

4Q 2004: October - December, New Arrivals
3Q 2004: July - September, New Arrivals
2Q 2004: April - June, New Arrivals
1Q 2004: January - March, New Arrivals

4Q 2003: October - December, New Arrivals
3Q 2003: July - September, New Arrivals
2Q 2003: April - June, New Arrivals
1Q 2003: January - March, New Arrivals

2002:       January - December New Arrivals

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prices and availability current as of 31 December 2008