Seattle, WA: Fantagraphics Books, 2001. Joe Sacco (cover art). First Edition. Outsize softcover. USED - Very Good. Creases from reading to both front and back cover. Light scuffing to wrap. Light creasing to corners. Head of spine is slightly worn. Clean, unmarked, tight. B/W and colour illustrations. 30.5 x 30.5 cm. 156 pp. Item #13694
For 25 years, the Comics Journal has been the foremost--frankly, the only--regular source of serious criticism of the medium. In commemoration, the journal launches a series of oversize editions, aimed at "the intellectually curious passerby" as well as hardcore comics fans and set to emerge twice yearly, with this compilation of a dozen thoughtful essays, critiques, and interviews and a portfolio of comic strips. Among the former are a lengthy interview with comics journalist Joe Sacco (Safe Area Gorazde, 2000); critical evaluations of early-twentieth-century cartoonist T. S. Sullivant and the classic newspaper strip "Smoky Stover"; and assessments of the current state of mainstream and alternative comics. The strips, many of them in full color and all on the theme "Cartoonists and Cartooning," are even more impressive. Contributors include 40 leading alternative-comics artists, such as R. Crumb, Charles Burns, Art Spiegelman, Gary Panter, Jessica Abel, Peter Bagge, Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez, and Bill Griffith. This may be the year's best collection of and on comics--unless its successor surpasses it some six months hence. (Gordon Flagg).