Art Spiegelman's Picks

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City of Glass

By Paul Auster

Our Price: $16.00
First published in 1985, 'City of Glass' stands as the first installment of Paul Auster's New York Trilogy. Here, it has been brilliantly transformed into a graphic novel that loses none of the nuance of the original. It even gains in effect, due to the collaborative imaginative effort that brings it successfully to this format: 'Machine-like, fitful, alternating between slow and rapid gestures, rigid and yet expressive, as if the operation were out of control, strict, not quite corresponding to the will that lay behind it.' Black-and-white illustration throughout. 144p.
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A series of portraits by the creator of What It Is follows a myopic monkey through her everyday routines of preparing food, waiting for the bus, hogging the remote and associating with her imaginary friend.
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Published in Poland after WWII, this collection of concentration camp stories depicts atrocious war crimes becoming an unremarkable part of a daily routine. Prisoners eat, work, sleep, and fall in love a few yards from where other prisoners are systematically slaughtered. The will to survive overrides compassion, and the line between the normal and abnormal wavers, than vanishes. Borowski, a concentration camp victim himself, understood what human being will do to endure the unendurable. 180p.
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X'ed Out

By Charles Burns

Our Price: $12.00
Drawing inspiration from such diverse influences as Herge and William Burroughs, Charles Burns offers up this dazzling spectral fever-dream - and a comic-book masterpiece. Doug is having a strange night,. A weird buzzing noise on the other side of the wall has woken him up, and there, across the room, next to a huge hole torn out of the bricks, sits his beloved cat, Inky. who died years ago. But who's nonetheless slinking out through the hole, beckoning Doug to follow. Right. Full-color illustrations throughout. 56p.
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For sixty years, Jewish refugees and their descendants have prospered in the Federal District of Sitka, a 'temporary' safe haven created in the wake of the Holocaust and the shocking 1948 collapse of the fledgling state of Israel. The Jews of the Sitka District have created their own little world in the Alaskan panhandle, a vibrant and complex frontier city that moves to the music of Yiddish. But now the District is set to revert to Alaska control, and their dream iscoming to an end. Or is it? Amidst all this, homicide detective Meyer Landsman of the District Police has enough problems without worrying about the upcoming Reversion. What? A murder right under his nose? The chess macher did it? Oy!!
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Ice Haven

By Daniel Clowes

Our Price: $14.40
Originally published in a somewhat different form as part of Daniel Clowes's occasional comic book Eightball, this piece finds Clowes moving beyond the withering satire of his earlier works to a more nuanced style. Readers will wince even as they feel sympathy for the self-deluded characters who reside in Ice Haven. This group of oddballs plays out their stories against the mysterious disappearance of a little boy named David Goldberg, whose possible murder recalls the Leopold and Loeb case. Clowes unfolds the multi-faceted story as a series of brief comics, some drawn in a wildly cartoony style, others in his well-known 20th-centeury style. Color illus. 88p.
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Kim Deitch's sprawling whirligig of a yarn chronicles his investigation into the secrets behind the life and career of a very strange children's show host and his malevolent (in fact, possibly demonic) sidekick. Alines turn out to be involved, as does Abraham Lincoln...and of course Deitch's ever-present protagoni, Waldo the Cat. This publication also includes a definitive essay on Deitch's ever-expanding world; qa full-color fold-out spotlighting over 100 denizens of that world; a brand new epilogue, 'Consider the Beaver'; and more. The ultimate Deitch-travaganza! Black-and-white illustrations throughout. 162p.
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Welcome to the bizarre world of Fletcher Hanks, Super Wizard of the Inkwell, whose legacy is a hailstorm of tales of brutal retribution. Hawks worked for only a few years in the earliest days of the comic book industry (1939-1941). Because he worked in a gutter medium for second-rate publishers in third-rate characters, his work has largely been forgotten. But among aficionados - and Paul Karasik is right at the front of the line - he is legendary. This book collects fifteen of Hanks's stories (perpetrated in the spirit of a deranged, nightmarish vigor) in one volume, hinged to an afterword that illuminates aspects of his immensely sad, yet salvaged-by-creativity life. Color illus. 120p.
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Lengendary cartoonist Lorenzo Mattoitti (Fires, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde) applies his virtuosic pen to novelist and screenwriter Claudio Piersanti's gripping fable of good, evil, sacrifice and ultimate redemption. B&W illus. 190p.
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Exit Wounds

By Rutu Modan

Our Price: $19.95
A debut tour de force from Israeli cartoonist Rutu Modan, winner of the Eisner Award for Best Graphic Novel. 'Her characters' body language and facial expressions, rendered in the gestural 'clear line' style of Herge's Tintin books, are so precisely observed, they practically tell the story by themselves'. The present work is a graphic novel set amid the chaos and despari of the Middle East that somehow, even in that contested place, achieves a kind of radiant calm. It's a love story. But it's a love story that emerges in a region so beset by the agonies of war that simple human affection might seem beside the point. In Modanis hands, it is not. Color illus. 183p.
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Masterpiece Comics

By R. Sikoryak

Our Price: $12.00 - $17.95
This slim but densely sly volume collects twenty years of R. Sikoryak's classic lit/classic comics mashups. Blondie and Dagwood act out Genesis in 'Blonde Eve'; Garfield tempts Jon into a deal with the devil in 'Mephistofield'; and Batman turns into Raskol for a reworking of 'Crime and Punishment.' These retellings linger on the philosophical underpinnings of such tales. Color illus. 65p.
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Cyclopean alien Zig and his best friend, the robotic encyclopedia Wikki, travel to a distant planet in search of a new lifeform to use as a pet, a distant planet called: Earth! There, Zig and Wikki find themselves suprisingly small compared to Earth creatures, and their quest to tame titanic dragonflies, toads, and raccoons is a dangerous one indeed. Full of wildlife facts! (Ages: 4-8).
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This visually stunning and incredibly moving graphic story is hauntingly beautiful. The story of immigration, family, magic, labor and humanity is one of the most original children's stories in recent memory. A classic to be read again and again, this tale has to be seen to be believed. This perfect book speaks in images only, invoking the adage, 'A picture is worth a thousand words.' (Ages: 9 & up).
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A compulsively readable wail of Existential despair, a kaleidoscope of war's dehumanizing brutality and of Everyman's suffering, as well as a deadpan mastgerpiece of the darkest black humor. The richly composed and obsessively researched drawings -perfectly poised between cartoon and illustration - fall to the relentless beats of Jacques Tardi's three horizontal panels per page to dig a hole deep inside the reader's brain. 'This is one Hell of a book.' - Art Spiegelman. Filmography; Bibliography. B&W illus. 122p.
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