29 Books Recommended by Art Spiegelman


Art Spiegelman is an American cartoonist, editor, and comics advocate best known for his graphic novel Maus. His work as co-editor on the comics magazines …

1. A Humument: A Treated Victorian Novel by Tom Phillips


In the mid-1960s, inspired by William Burroughs’s ‘cut-up’ writing technique, artist Tom Phillips bought an obscure Victorian novel — W.H. Mallock’s 1892 novel, ‘A Human Document,’ and commenced to cutting and pasting the extant text, treating the pages with gouache and ink, isolating the words that interested him while scoring out unwanted words or painting over them. The result was ‘A Humument,’ and the first version appeared in 1970. This fourth edition incorporates revisions and reworkings — over a hundred pages are replaced by new versions. 368 color illustrations. 384p.

2. Benny and Penny In the Big No-No! by Toon Books

Two young mice suspect their new neighbor has stolen their garden pail in this Toon Book graphic novel. (Ages: 4+).


3. Captain Easy, Soldier of Fortune: The Complete Sunday Newspaper Strips by Roy Crane


With Wash Tubbs, Roy Crane created the American adventure comic strip. But his greatest creation was the CAPTAIN EASY Sunday page. Commencing with this volume, Fantagraphics is reprinting the complete run of Roy Crane’s CAPTAIN EASY in four volumes. In this first installment, Captain Easy visits a lost city, battles pirates, dons a diving suit in search of sunken treasure. And everywhere he goes, he finds beautiful women, or beautiful women find him. All of the pages in this book, with one exception, are from color scans of Sunday pages printed in newspapers. The one exception is the strip for October 6, 1935, where no color newspaper page could be found. That page has been hand colored in-house from a scan of a page in a newspaper that ran the strip in black and white. Color illus. 132p.

4. City of Glass by Paul Auster


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.

5. Dreams of the Rarebit Fiend by Winsor McCay

A reprinting of the first edition of the pioneering comic book provides insight into the history of the cartoon and the character of turn-of-the-century America


6. Footnotes in Gaza by Joe Sacco


Rafah, a town at the bottommost tip of the Gaza Strip, has long been a notorious flashpoint in the bitter Middle East conflict. Buried deep in the archives is one bloody incident, in 1956, that left 111 Palestinians shot dead by Israeli soldiers. In a quest to get to the heart of what happened, Joe Sacco immerses himself in the daily life of Rafah and the neighboring town of Khan Younis, uncovering Gaza past and present. As in Palestine and Safe Area Goradze, his unique visual journalism renders a contested landscape in brilliant, meticulous detail. Spanning fifty years, moving fluidly between one war and the next, Sacco’s most ambitious work to date transforms a critical conflict into an intimate and immediate experience. Illustrations throughout. 432p.

7. George Grosz: An Autobiography by George Grosz


This acclaimed autobiography by one of the twentieth century’s greatest satirical artists is as much a graphic portrait of Germany in chaos after the Treaty of Versailles as it is a memoir of a remarkable artist’s development. Grosz’s account of a world gone mad is as acute and provocative as the art that depicts it, and this translation of a work long out of print restores the spontaneity, humor, and energy of the author’s German text. It also includes a chapter on Grosz’s experience in the Soviet Union — omitted from the original English-language edition — as well as more writings about his twenty-year self-imposed exile in America, and a fable written in English.

8. Graphic Women: Life Narrative and Contemporary Comics by Hillary L. Chute

Gender and Culture Series


9. Krazy & Ignatz 1916–1918: ‘Love In a Kestle or Love In a Hut’: Covering the Full-Page Comic Strips, 1916–1918 by George Herriman

This volume presents the first three years’ Sundays of George Herriman’s masterpiece, featuring his immortal triangle of ‘kat,’ ‘mice,’ and ‘pupp’. In addition to these newly restored stripsthe book includes intriguing biographical material about Herriman by series editor Bill Blackbeard and a portfolio of never-before-reprinted pre-Krazy Kat Herriman strips including some early sightings of Pre-Krazy Kat (felines) — plus some special surprises. Color/b&w illus.


10. Krazy & Ignatz 1919–1921: A Kind, Benevolent and Amiable Brick by George Herriman

This volume features another three years’ worth of Sunday strips — over 150 little masterpieces, featuring the greatest comnic-stip lovre triangle of all time: ‘kat,’ ‘mice’ and ‘pupp.’ Each page is a hilarious, poetic masterpiece crackling with verbal wit and graphic brilliance. B&W cartoons and other illustrations. 176p.


11. Lint #20, The Acme Novelty Library by Chris Ware

In keeping with his goal of issuing a volume of his occasionally lauded ACME series once every new autumn, volume 20 finds cartoonist Chris Ware continuing his “Rusty Brown” graphic novel experiment.


12. Masterpiece Comics by R. Sikoryak


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.

13. Original Art of Basil Wolverton: From the Collection of Glenn Bray by Basil Wolverton


Wolverton’s work predates by decades many of the more acerbic comics of the ’60s underground comix era, including those of r. Crumb, and is revered for his graphic lunacy and his matchless facility with pen and ink. His influence is evident not only in Crumb’s now canonized cmoics, but also in contemporary graphic novels by Ben Friedman, Gary Panter, Charles burns and Peter Bagge. This book, made up of the comic artist Glen Bray’s collection of Wolverton’s rare original art, some of it previously unpubished, provides welcome evidence of his range. Illus. 200p.

14. Passionella: And Other Stories by Jules Feiffer

(The Collected Works, Volume IV). This volume collects Feiffer’s finest extended graphic narratives of the late ’50s and early ’60s. Its centerpiece, ‘Passionella,’ a retelling of Cinderella set in modern Hollywood, concerns a chimney sweep whose fairy godmother transforms her into the ‘mysterious exotic bewitching temptress’ — and movie star — Passionella. B&W illustrations throughout. 180p.


15. Picture This: The Near-Sighted Monkey Book by Lynda Barry

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.


16. Saul Steinberg: Illuminations by Saul Steinberg


Published on the occasion of the exhibition @Morgan Library, NYC, Nov.30.2006-Mar.4.20 07. Though best known for his barbed and brilliant art for The New Yorker, Saul Steinberg (1914–1999) did much more. He executed public murals, designed fabrics & stage sets, was an inventive collagist and printmaker, and turned his magic touch to the fields of painting, sculpture, advertising, and even wartime propaganda. This is the first retrospective of his total oeuvre. Previously unseen sketches, documents, & printed matter illustrate the essay, career chronology, & entries for 120 objects featured in this considerable publication. Illus., 170 color/135 b&w. 272p.

17. Silly Lilly in What Will I Be Today? (Toon Books) by Toon Books

Silly Lilly tries out a new job every day of the week, from acrobat to vampire.


18. Six Novels In Woodcuts by Lynd Ward

Includes: Gods’ Man, Madman’s Drum, Wild Pilgrimage, Prelude to a Million Years, Song Without Words, Vertigo. Cracked slip cover.


19. The Arrival by Shaun Tan

Although saddened at having to leave the family he loves, the immigrant is certain that moving to the new land is the right thing to do and so ventures off to a strange land to begin a life that will hopefully reap the rewards he seeks through his sacrifice, hard work, and determination.


20. The Art of Harvey Kurtzman: The Mad Genius of Comics by Denis Kitchen


Harvey Kurtzman had a Midas touch for talent — discovering Robert Crumb, giving Gloria Steinem her first job in publishing — but was himself an astonishingly talented and influential artist, writer, editor, & satirist. the creator of MAD and Playboy’s ‘Little Annie Fanny’ was called, ‘One of the most important figures in post-WWII America’ by the New York Times. The first and only authorized celebration of this ‘Master of American Comics’ is the definitive book. It includes hundreds of never-before-seen illustrations, paintings, pencil sketches, newly discovered lost E.C. Comics layouts, color compositions, vintage photos, and more! 256p.

21. The Cardboard Valise by Ben Katchor


From the author of The Jew of New York; Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer; The Beauty Supply District; and several works of musical theater in collaboration with the composer Mark Mulcahy. In this winsomely , haunting graphic novel, an overstuffed suitcase becomes a ripe, comic metaphor for modern life. Set in a world tilted about 45 degrees away from reality, Katchor’s story follows a number of characters through their quirky obsessions, each of which highlights a uniquely curious take on modernity. A hunt in the ‘Saccharine Mountains’ turns a BLT into a tongue-in-cheek metaphor (‘the lettuce symbolizes the cost of living’), while the citizens of ‘Outer Canthus’ each undergo a symbolic funeral at the age of 47 (the dead do not live for very long), after which they are ‘allowed to shed the burden of responsibility.’ In the slurry of sketchy and gray-tongued surrealism, the titular valise stands out with a certain haunting magic: a cheap and disposable thing that contains multiples. Once its contents are unleashed upon the world, — who know what could happen! Cutout valise handles make this a definite carry-with, one-of-a-kind experience. Illustrated throughout. 128p.

22. The Disappearance of Childhood by Neil Postman


From the vogue for nubile models to the explosion in the juvenile crime rate, this modern classic of social history and media traces the precipitous decline of childhood in America today — and the corresponding threat to the notion of adulthood. Neil Postman, author of Technopoly, suggests that chldhood is a relatively recent invention, which came into being as the new medium of print imposed divisions between children and adults. But now these divisions are eroding under the barrage of television, which turns the adult secrets of sex and violence into popular entertainment and pitches both news and advertising at the intellectual level of ten-year-olds. Originally published in 1982. Notes, Bibliography, Index. 177p.

23. The Drowned and the Saved by Primo Levi

By the end of his life, Primo Levi had become increasingly convinced that the lessons of the Holocaust were destined to be lost as it took a place among the routine atrocities of history. This book is a dark meditation on the meaning of the Nazi extermination after the passing of forty years. 203p.


24. The Left Bank Gang by Jason

An illustrated alternate-world tale in which graphic novels are a dominant form of fiction traces the careers of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Ezra Pound, and James Joyce, who meet in a Parisian bar to discuss the particulars of their work, the achievements of graphic giants Dostoevsky and Faulkner, and the recommendations of such contemporaries as Gertrude Stein. Original.


25. The New York Trilogy: City of Glass; Ghosts; The Locked Room by Paul Auster


Three novels form Paul Auster’s acclaimed trilogy: City of Glass — As a result of a strange phone call in the middle of the night, Quinn, a writer of detective stories, becomes enmeshed in a case more puzzling than any he might have written; Ghosts — Blue, a student of Brown, has been hired by White to spy on Black. From a window of a rented room on Orange Street, Blue stalks his subject, who is staring out of his window; The Locked Room -Fanshawe has disappeared, leaving behind his wife and baby and a cache of extraordinary novels, plays, and poems. What happened? DON’T MISS IT! 308P.

26. The Wild Party: The Lost Classic by Joseph Moncure March by Joseph Moncure March

Spiegelman’s sinister and wild b&w drawings give charged new life to Joseph March’s poem fable of dark Prohibition-era morality. A lost classic from 1928, ‘It’s the book that made me want to be a writer.’ — William Burroughs. 119p. Pap.


27. The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon


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!!

28. You Can’t Win by Jack Black


Jack Black’s autobiography was a bestseller and went through five printings in the late 1920’s. It has led a mostly subterranean existence since then — best known as William S. Burroughs’s favorite book. It’s an amazing journey into a hobo underworld: freight hopping around the still wide open West at the turn of the 20th century, becoming a member of the “yegg” (criminal) brotherhood and a highwayman, learning the outlaw philosophy from Foot-and-a-half George and the Sanctimonious Kid, getting hooked on opium, passing through hobo jungles, hop joints and penitentiaries. This new edition also includes an Afterword that tells some of what became of Black after he wore out the outlaw life and washed up in San Francisco, wrote this book and reinvented himself. 279p.

29. Zig and Wikki In Something Ate My Homework by Toon Books


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).


Source: http://www.strandbooks.com

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Categories: Book Recommendations, Literature & Fiction

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