Our store has been graced with two notable new comic book anthologies. Like all anthologies, these books showcase the talents of a variety of artists, but these anthologies differ a bit from popular comic anthologies like Flight and Dark Horse Presents in that both of these new ones have strong, distinctive overarching themes.
They are The Someday Funnies
from Abrams Comicsart and Nelson
, published by Blank Slate Books.
The Someday Funnies
This coffetable hardcover book, edited and masterminded by Michel Choquette involves an amazing, historic collection of cartoons and comic strips all commissioned and created in the 1970s, reflecting on the previous decade, the 1960s. As remarkable as this may already sound, it becomes moreso once noted that none
of this is reprint material. All entries were solicited by Choquette himself, who asked hundreds to contribute to this project. Collected here are the 169 artists who responded. Only now, after all these decades, has it finally seen print.
The international list of artists and writers involved in this is mind-boggling. Comic luminaries like Will Eisner, Jack Kirby, Don Martin, Barry Windsor-Smith, Wally Wood, Gahan Wilson, Harvey Kurtzman, Art Spiegelman, Russ Heath, Gray Morrow, Denny O'Neil, C.C. Beck, and Dick Giordano are joined by authors and artists not normally associated with comics like Frank Zappa, Fedirico Fellini, Tom Wolfe, Harlan Ellison, William S. Burroughs, and Pete Townshend.
Readers can soak themselves into this fascinating zeitgeist hot tub and feel like they've bore witness to an amazing piece of not just comic history, but cultural history.
Nelson is a more recent work, but no less fascinating. British comic writer and artist Rob Davis envisioned a project uniting 54 different British comic creators, all teaming up to tell the story of a single character. Each new cartoonist takes up the baton from the previous to chronicle a single day in the life of Nel Baker, ranging from the day of her birth in 1968 to her adulthood today. As Kenny Penman, Publisher of Blank Slate puts it "When 54 artists are set on a task to create a narrative comic, you hope for linearity. One author takes up and follows, another's ideas in creating a coherent storyline. Along the way you will have unpredictable collisions. Accidents resulting in heat and innovation born of brilliant mistakes and unexpected connections. It is as if, on some molecular level, the creators have found themselves bound by a single atomic-beating heart created by their passion, their intelligence, their many beloved influences and their craft."
Notable creators include Paul Grist, Andi Watson, Rian Hughes, Warren Pleece, Duncan Fegredo, Roger Langridge, and Phillip Bond, but you'll find yourself admiring many other names familiar or not in this tour-de-force.
Check these out if you can. This is comics art at its finest.