IDW Publishing have gotten really serious with their Artisan Edition line of comic book reprintings. The latest beneficiary? The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, as originally created (of course) by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird. According to IDW, “This book reproduces all the original art to the first issue of one of the most important comic book phenomenons of the last 35 years — The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Scanned directly from the original art, mimicking the experience of the original hand drawn page, and also collecting all the layouts (also hand drawn) by the creators of what has been called this generation’s Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. Rounding out the volume is an extensive gallery of other TMNT images, also scanned directly from the original art.” Look for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Artisan Edition, hitting the shelves this May.
This is an odd one — but what about the world of Jim Woodring isn’t? Back in 2010 the creator of the iconic/weird-and-wordless funny animal comic Frank brought us his first graphic novel, Weathercraft. Now Fantagraphics Books have re-released in a new hardcover format with some additional new artwork. “As it happens, Frank has only a brief supporting appearance in Weathercraft, which actually stars Manhog, Woodring’s pathetic, brutish everyman (or everyhog), who had previously made several appearances in Frank stories (as well as a stunning solo turn in the short story “Gentlemanhog”). After enduring 32 pages of almost incomprehensible suffering, Manhog embarks upon a transformative journey and attains enlightenment. He wants to go to celestial realms but instead altruistically returns to the Unifactor to undo a wrong he has inadvertently brought about: The transformation of the evil politician Whim into a mind-destroying plant-demon who distorts and enslaves Frank and his friends. The new and metaphysically expanded Manhog sets out for a final battle with Whim…” It may or may not make more sense if you pick it up, but it will be very interesting. Check it out over at Fantagraphics.
Bobby London was a member of the infamous Air Pirates collective — a group of underground cartoonists who got together in the late 1960’s to spoof American suburbia and conformity… choosing Disney animation and comics as a symbolic target for their satire. (The Walt Disney Company rewarded them with a lawsuit for their efforts.) Mr. London’s contribution to the project was Dirty Duck, the adventures of a *ahem* foul-mouthed anthropomorphic duck and his put-upon funny animal butler, Weevil. Most of there adventures seemed to involve lots of naked human women… Perhaps why the comic eventually found its way onto the pages of Playboy for many years. Now, IDW/Top Shelf have gathered together more than 300 pages of original full-color Dirty Duck comics into a new hardcover collection. Take a look at their web page to find out more.
Jayro Lantigua is a well-known underground cartoonist. Now he’s had the chance to rise to the level of not-so-small press (that’s how Bleeding Cool puts it) as Creature Entertainment has re-printed his Burnt Comix in a larger format. “A Dog chooses to commit suicide and tries to find a creative way to die. Along the way he encounters obstacles which will further nurture his existential crisis. His quest for death will only lead to an encounter with the ‘Dark Master’, which will shake him and the ‘Alley’ to the core. Death, laughs and debauchery, along with parents dumping on kids dreams, are all in this gut-busting issue of Burnt Comix!” The first black & white issue is on the shelves now.
Years ago, underground cartoonist Hunt Emerson made a name for himself with a comic strip known as Calculus Cat which… well, let’s just say it’s not about a cat who’s good at math. “”Calculus Cat’s home life is locked in an intense, argumentative relationship with his TV set, which bedevils him with commercials for Skweeky Weets – the world’s most asinine breakfast cereal. His ‘job’ is no better. He is forced to run thought the streets sporting his famous grin as The Public shout abuse and throw rubbish. His world is graphic, black and white, jagged, full in, weird, speedy and loud – everything a comic should be.” You heard it here. Long ago there was a compilation of Calculus Cat comics published, but it has long since gone out of print. Now after a successful Kickstarter campaign, Knockabout Comics have released a brand new expanded collection in trade paperback, featuring brand new pages and a collection of Calculus Cat art by the likes of Dave McKean, Gilbert Shelton, John McCrea, Kevin O’Neill, Kate Charlesworth, and Rian Hughes. Find out more over at Previews. The collection is in stores now.