The PopCult Bookshelf
With a very busy week that saw your PopCulteer delivering episode 203 of Radio Free Charleston, as well as launching a new audio version of the show (which can hear again Thursday night at Midnight HERE), there hasn’t been much time to read. So today we’re just going to look at three new releases from one of our favorite publishers of comics and graphic novels, Fantagraphics.
The home of Love and Rockets, Eightball, and much of Peter Bagge’s work also has an impressive program to reprint classic comics and comic strips, and they’ve just put out three great collections. You can order these from your local bookstore, or directly from Fantagraphics.
Pogo – The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips Vol. 3: “Evidence to the Contrary”
It’s in this 368-page volume (featuring another two years’ worth of Pogo strips) that we meet one of Walt Kelly’s boldest political caricatures. Folks across America had little trouble equating the insidious wildcat Simple J. Malarkey with the ascendant anti-Communist senator, Joseph McCarthy. The subject was sensitive enough that by the following year a Providence, Rhode Island newspaper threatened to drop the strip if Malarkey’s face were to appear in it again. Kelly’s response? He had Malarkey appear again but put a bag over the character’s head for his next appearance. Ergo, his face did not appear. (Typical of Kelly’s layers of verbal wit, the character Malarkey was hiding from was a “Rhode Island Red” hen, referencing both the source of his need to conceal Malarkey and the underlying political controversy.) The entirety of these sequences can be found in this book.
The Complete Peanuts 1991-1994 Gift Box Set (Vols. 21-22)
Two volumes with custom slipcase; designed by Seth
A boxed set of the twenty-first and twenty-second volumes of The Complete Peanuts, designed by the award-winning graphic novelist, Seth. Shipping shrinkwrapped, with volumes 1991-1992 and 1993-1994 packed in a sturdy custom box designed especially for this set, it’s the perfect gift book item.
Walt Disney’s Uncle Scrooge: The Seven Cities of Gold (The Complete Carl Barks Disney Library Vol. 14)
Uncle Scrooge takes Donald and the nephews on a perilous trek in search of the fabled seven cities of gold! This is the Scrooge story famous for providing Steven Spielberg and George Lucas with inspiration for parts of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Speaking of gold and movies, James Bond fans might recognize in “The Mysterious Stone Ray” a gimmick that was later used in Goldfinger — Uncle Scrooge’s pores fill with gold dust from his money bin. It makes him ill so he goes on vacation, which turns into a rescue mission for a sailor stranded on an island with some very mysterious baddies. Also, Scrooge decides to run for Treasurer of Duckburg, but it seems the only way to get votes is to spend a lot of money. (Sound familiar?) And you know what Uncle Scrooge thinks of that! Carl Barks delivers another superb collection of clever plot twists, laugh-out-loud comedy, and all-around cartooning brilliance. You can download a 22-page preview HERE