Book Fairs and Comic-Cons
Anne and I will be exhibiting at several book fairs between now and the end of the year. First up is Sacramento this weekend, September 12. Then the Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair on October 10 and 11. The Golden Gate Park Book Fair in San Francisco on October 25. Admission is free.
Next is The 7th Annual Houston Book Fair on November 7th followed by The Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair November 13-15. Last for the year will be the December 5-6 Pasadena Book Fair.
At each fair we bring a moderately priced selection of out of print and rare items: illustrated and children's books, art books, pulps, Golden Age and Silver Age comics, pop-culture and comics-related books, prints, original artwork, vintage paperbacks and more. I hope to see you at one of these shows. Next year our first two big shows are the San Francisco Antiquarian Book Fair February 6-7 and then our favorite Wonder-Con, this time moved to early April, the 2nd to the 4th!
New Favorite Books
I spent the last two days editing the new items that have just been rolling in here. There are several that I really enjoy and am taking home for myself. I thought I'd briefly share some of these with you. You can find them all on our website.
Alphonse Mucha - I was dismayed with the last Mucha volume suddely went out of print. But now we have a new and much larger volume, which just may be the most comprehensive book on Mucha yet. At $65 it's still quite a deal for a large, heavy volume of 356 full color pages.
Jia Lu - This is awonderfully talented Asian woman who paints, well, mostly Asian women. We handled her first book in 2002 and it was extremely popular--we even devoted a catalog cover to it. I'm considering doing the same with one of these two new books--I think a lot of her art. In the most basic aspects, her choice of subjects reminds me of Michael Parkes. Her subjects are often partially nude, they are usually lovely, sensual women, and the costuming and details are exotic and gorgeous. Transcendent is a revised edition (with higher resolution and color depth) of her first 2002 book, now long out of print, which covers her art up until that date. Illuminated collects her work from 2002 to 2009.
Walton Ford Pancha Tantra - Tashen, the bargain-priced German publisher, first introduced this book as a deluxe edition at $1200. We were astonished to be selling copies at a fair clip, although not because we didn't love the artwork. Ford works in mural-size and draws unusual animals with the skill of a veteran painter but the humor and oddity that is entirely his own. The deluxe edition eventually went to $1800 and sold out! This new edition is a massive, huge book and I'm so pleased to be able to take one home for myself. If we don't show you enough examples of his art, here is a link to Google Images where you can see much more.
Vintage Calendars - This publisher, new to us, is taking calendars one step farther along. These are oversized, with quality wire bindings. Each page is perforated so you can remove and save it each month. Even better, each one starts in September so you get four more full months. Tired of your old calendar. Here's a new one that can go up today. I really like all for of these. The Vintage DC Comics has some of DC's best World War II covers. Vintage Marvel has 16 of the most iconic covers of the 1960s by Kirby, Wood, Ditko and others. Vintage Norma Jean has 16 absolutely delightful, warm images of a teen-aged Marilyn Monroe. Two or three feature her in a demure swimsuit, so there is no nudity at all. The others are classic beautiful girl poses, like you'd find on vintage magazines and even romance comics of the late 1940s and early 1950s. Last, the Vintage Mad calendar features Kelly Freas and Norman Mingo covers that are lots of fun.
Atlas Era Black Knight and Yellow Claw - Someone at Marvel is really doing a service for us comics fans. These "Atlas Era" collections are really a lot of fun to read, they feature great artwork, and they are pretty tought and expensive comics if you are a collector. This new volume collects one of Joe Maneely's favorite projects, The Black Knight. Apparently in the 1950s knighthood was popular. There were big budget films; Prince Valiant finally made it to the screen; DC Comics devoted the first 25 or so issues of The Brave and the Bold to the Shining Knight (along with Joe Kubert's Viking Prince and Robin Hood). The Black Knight was one of Marvel's best titles, a "costumed" hero with a secret identity but set in a realistic medieval world.
The Yellow Claw is a direct rip-off of the every popular Sax Rhomer series of Fu Manchu titles. Nonetheless, it's a fun title combining adventure and the appeal of the "yellow menace." Along with Jack Kirby, the origin story is drawn by Joe Maneely, and John Severin and Bill Everett contributed covers to #2-4, the last issue. What an all-star lineup!
The new Eerie Archives volume 2 continues this fine series of reprints of the Warren magazines. I've been astonished at what wonderful artwork was coming from artists like Angelo Torres, one of the true all-stars of the creators, Reed Crandall, Alex Toth, Johnny Craig, Neal Adams. The creators run the gamut for the best EC vets to newcomers like Adams. Ditko continues to contribute work that is among his best outside of Spider-Man. After some anemic stories in the earliest Creepy issues, powerhouse editor Archie Goodwin took over almost all of the writing and his deliveries an astounding high average of horror stories and unique twists, issue after issue. And of course, here are the earliest Frazetta paintings, done for the Eerie covers, that were the very beginning of Frazetta's rise to being the most acclaimed fantasy painter ever.
The Toon Treasury of Classic Children's Comics - My good buddy Craig Yoe (Modern Art, Secret Identity, Clean Cartoonists Dirty Drawings) was all set to put out a collection of his favorite 1940s kid's stories when the publisher said they already had one in the works--edited by Art Spiegelman and Francoise Mouly. I hope Craig will do his own, since there's a BIG world of wild and wacky stories out there to choose from. This impressive volume, offering 60 complete one-pages and stories, is a wonderful start, the first to reveal two decades of fantasy for all ages. Here is Carl Barks, Walt Kelly, Dick Briefer's Frankensten, Little Archie, Uncle Scooge, Sugar and Spike, Melvin Monster, Supermouse, Little Lulu and Tubby...it's fun to read, as I did over the past few days, knowing that each story represents some hand-picked by the editors.
It's divided into chapters: Hey Kids; Funny Animals; Fantasyland; Storytime; and Weird and Wacky. But it's funny how each one overlaps into the others, since comics humor was almost entirely funny animal at the time, and fantasy, and, pretty darned weird and wacky. There's rare gems by Sheldon Mayer, Harvey Kurtzman's first Hey Look one-pagers, Jack Cole, Dr. Seuss, John Stanley, Dave Berg, the brillant George Carlson's Jingle Jangle stories so highly priased by Harlan Ellison...the list goes on and on. The early Pogo stories are great fun. And one of my favorite kid titles, Dell's Fairy Tale Parade by Walt Kelly, is well represented with several stories and covers.
It's a don't-miss-this item and a PERFECT book to give to or share with any youngsters. These have been carefully selected so they are all-ages. If my kids were still kids, this would be under the tree for them this year. At least a copy or two will be going to grandkids, nieces and nephews.