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Fantagraphics Year-End Sale!

One of my favorite holiday traditions is the end-of-the-year, inventory-tax-dodge blowout sales.  And Fantagraphics is having one until Friday!  

Pick up books by such ladies as Jessica Abel, Nell Brinkley, Debbie Dreschler, Mary Fleener, Ellen Forney, Leah Hayes, Megan Kelso, Miss Lasko-Gross, Cathy Malkasian, Carol Swain, Carol Tyler, and Penny Van Horn at a deep discount!

Jessica Abel

Soundtrack: Short Stories 1990-1996

Soundtrack collects the best of Jessica Abel’s self-published Artbabe series, one of the most exciting comic books to emerge in the late-1990s…

Mirror, Window: An Artbabe Collection

Mirror, Window is the first book collection by Jessica Abel, one of the most exciting young cartoonists to emerge in the late 1990s. Collecting the first four issues of her Artbabe series from Fantagraphics and more, Mirror, Window proves Abel to be one of the brightest lights in comix to watch as we proceed into the next century…Her intuitive ear for dialogue and characterization have made Artbabe a hit amongst people of all ages, especially women….Mirror, Window collects several short stories focusing on the infinite ways that regret, insecurity and euphoria manifest in relationships.

Nell Brinkley

The Brinkley Girls: The Best of Nell Brinkley’s Cartoons 1913-1940

For over thirty years Nell Brinkley’s beautiful girls pirouetted, waltzed, Charlestoned, vamped and shimmied their way through the pages of William Randolph Hearst’s newspapers, captivating the American public with their innocent sexuality. This sumptuously designed oversized hardcover collects Brinkley’s breathtakingly spectacular, exquisitely colored full page art from 1913 to 1940. Here are her earliest silent movie serial-inspired adventure series, “Golden Eyes and Her Hero, Bill;” her almost too romantic series, “Betty and Billy and Their Love Through the Ages;” her snappy flapper comics from the 1920s; her 1937 pulp magazine-inspired “Heroines of Today.” Included are photos of Nell, reproductions of her hitherto unpublished paintings, and an informative introduction by the book’s editor, Trina Robbins.

Debbie Dreschler

Daddy’s Girl

Originally published in 1995 and distributed only to comic book specialty stores, Daddy’s Girl was ahead of its time: Drechsler’s account of her abuse at the hands of her father, told from the point of view of an adolescent, is one of the most searingly honest, empathetic, and profoundly disturbing uses of the comics medium in its history. Drechsler’s meticulous brush lines gather into heavy textures that suggest the claustrophobic tension of the environment that threatens her pre-teen and adolescent female protagonists. Characters such as Lily, who can’t escape her father’s abuse, and Franny, a girl whose desire to be accepted leads her into dangerous territory, struggle not to be visually and emotionally overwhelmed. Central to this quasi-memoir is Lily’s relationship to her father — a confused jumble of fear, trepidation, and love.

Mary Fleener

Life of the Party

The ultimate collection of Mary Fleener’s groundbreaking Drawn & Quarterly series Slutburger in book form! Mary recounts tales of rock n’ roll, southern California life, strange phantasms, and more in the pages of Life of the Party. Fleener’s trademark neo-cubist cartooning (“cubismo”) and her unique perspective on life in Southern California, from hippie art student, to gigging musician on the lesbian bar circuit, to surfer, make Life of the Party a striking and singular comic experience.

Ellen Forney

I Love Led Zeppelin

I Love Led Zeppelin is a long-awaited collection of strips by the Harvey and Eisner Award-nominated cartoonist Ellen Forney….Her strips are characterized by bold, sensual brushstrokes and striking images of powerful, butt-kicking women…Several of Forney’s strips fall into the “How-To” category, although this is not your standard advice column fare: topics range from the practical (“How to Tip Your Server”) to the whimsical (“How to Twirl Your Tassles in Opposite Directions”) to the fascinating but hopefully never-needed (“How to Sew On an Amputated Finger”).

Leah Hayes

Funeral of the Heart

Funeral of the Heart is Leah Hayes’ stylistic tour-de-force and graphic novel debut, featuring a series of short stories by Hayes and illustrated entirely using the otherworldly medium of scratchboard. Hayes creates a world of unease and ambiguity populated by obsessive characters, forlorn animals, and mysterious, inanimate objects; odd occurrences, unnerving deaths and unconventional but genuine love bind these characters and their stories together. 

Megan Kelso

Artichoke Tales

Artichoke Tales is a coming-of-age story about a young girl named Brigitte whose family is caught between the two warring sides of a civil war, a graphic novel that takes place in a world that echoes our own, but whose people have artichoke leaves instead of hair….Kelso’s visual storytelling, uniquely combining delicate linework with rhythmic, musical page compositions, creates a dramatic tension between intimate, ruminative character studies and the unflinching depiction of the consequences of war and carnage, lending cohesion and resonance to a generational epic.

Miss Lasko-Gross

A Mess of Everything

[S]elf-effacing non-conformist Melissa is now in high school, where the stakes are higher as she copes with an anxiety-induced drug habit and an anorexic best friend. Melissa finds herself negotiating the kinds of everyday problems facing young adults today — such as alienating her friends with her uncomfortable honesty and accidentally breaking her best guy friend’s heart. Eventually, her woes cause her to nearly flunk out of school, and by the end of the book Melissa faces the choice that we all do at some point: to take the risk and pursue her dreams or settle for a safer, more secure routine…A Mess of Everything is an intense, honest, and funny memoir that holds appeal for anyone who is navigating, or who has ever grappled with, these issues. She expresses the awkward naïveté and inexperience of a young girl with the keen insights of a mature artist.

Cathy Malkasian

Percy Gloom

Humorous and bewitching at the same time, Percy Gloom is a unique gem of a story. The story begins with our hero bravely striking out on his own for the first time, leaving his mother’s house to apply for his dream job as a cautionary writer for the Safely-Now Corporation. In the process, he uncovers an unreal world of secret societies, benevolent families, and bureaucratic security. Lazy-eyed Percy Gloom fights to overcome the loss of his wife, Lila, to a truth-pointing, lotharian cult leader. Approached by his doctor to help protect some special people and given advice by some talking goats, Percy comes to terms with his place in the gloomy world and finds himself reaching enlightenment (literally). Percy Gloom is an absurd but hopeful fable for these strange times we live in.

Carol Swain


Foodboy

Foodboy is about loss and hope, friendship, faith, and bonds that are tested when the paths of two boyhood friends diverge. Gareth and Ross live in a small Welsh village; when Ross ends up alienated from society and living in a near-feral state after an encounter with a visiting troupe of Evangelists, it falls to Gareth to try to help him. 

Carol Tyler

Late Bloomer

This new book presents the biggest, richest and most delightful collection of Tyler’s work to date featuring many new and previously unpublished works. In “Migrant Mother,” Tyler tells the grueling story of a cross-country trip with the flu and her terrible-twos toddler using her trademark combination of rueful humor and empathy. The full-color “Just A Bad Seed” is a meditation on a problem child who might not be such a problem after all, while “The Return of Mrs. Kite” chronicles a family crisis — how her widowed grandmother fell in with a beau of questionable character. “Gone” (also in full color) is a stirring meditation on all kinds of loss, and “Why I’m A-gin’ Southern Men” is a classic rant that dissects that particular breed of male — or at least a certain subspecies of “ex”es — with pitiless wit. Other stories include “Sweet Miss Lee” (a reminiscence of an immigrant roommate and her fate), “There’s Something Wrong with a Perfect Lawn” (a tale of suburban obsessiveness), “Little Crosshatch Mind” (where artistic impulses come from), and “Uncovered Property” (discovering the power of sexuality at an early age). Tyler works equally well in delicately crisp black-and-white penstrokes and lushly watercolored paintings (this book features over 30 pages of her stunning full-color work). All told, the three-dozen stories here cement Tyler’s reputation as a cartoonist to be reckoned with.

You’ll Never Know Book 1: A Good and Decent Man

You’ll Never Know is the first graphic novel from C. Tyler… [and] tells the story of the 50-something author’s relationship with her World War II veteran father, and how his war experience shaped her childhood and affected her relationships in adulthood….You’ll Never Know makes full use of Tyler’s virtuosity as a cartoonist: stunningly rendered in detailed inks and subtle watercolors, it plunges the reader headlong into the diverse locales: her father’s wartime experiences and courtship, her own childhood and adolescence, and contemporary life. The unique landscape format, and the lush variety of design choices and rendering techniques, make perusing You’ll Never Know like reading a family album — but one with a strong, compelling, sharply told story.

Penny Van Horn

Recipe for Disaster

"The secret was revealed to me by Carl Jung, and was further illuminated by Sigmund Freud, Herman Hesse, Patti Smith, David Bowie, and Sylvia Plath. Laugh if you must at this cast of characters, but at this ripe intersection in my life, their combination became my personal recipe for disaster…" So begins Van Horn’s amazing graphic novella, a collection of short stories and vignettes, mostly autobiographical, part mystical exploration, depicting incidents from the author’s life, as well as those of her friends, neighbors and relatives. The title story is an intense autobiographical account of her nervous breakdown which is alternately riotous and terrifying. Van Horn uses her trademark painstaking scratchboard style (as seen in Weirdo and Twisted Sisters) for every page, giving the book a shockingly intense visual look.

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