Fables, Hellblazer and more
Fables: The Deluxe Edition, Book 4 (Vertigo): From the Big Bad Wolf to Snow White, Fables imagines all your favorite fairy tale creatures exiled to modern day New York and the magically camouflaged neighborhood of Fabletown. This beautiful hardcover reissue collects two trade paperbacks (War Stories and The Mean Seasons) from the multiple Eisner winner, as well as the graphic novel Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall.
Fables: Super Team (Vertigo): Ozma and Pinnochio assemble a squad of Fables-turned-superheroes for the final showdown with Mr. Dark. With evil descending on Haven, only the F-Men’s combined powers can save the day. This 16th volume is a departure for Bill Willingham’s long-running series.
Hellblazer: The Devil You Know (Vertigo): When Alan Moore gave his blessing to spin-off John Constantine into his own series, the character’s creator handpicked Jamie Delano for the job. This reissued second volume of Delano’s socially conscious horror tales concludes the Liverpudlian mage’s battle with his original demon nemesis, the first Hellblazer Annual, featuring an atypical historical tale involving medieval Britain, and the miniseries The Horrorist with V for Vendetta co-creator David Lloyd.
American Vampire, Vol. 3 (Vertigo): The Vassals of the Morning Star take center stage as Pearl follows husband Henry and the mysterious group of hunters on a mission to WWII-era Japan in search of a new kind of vampire. But of course, Skinner Sweet isn’t far behind. Then Vassals Felicia Book and Cash McCogan go under cover into Nazi-controlled Romania in the spin-off miniseries American Vampire: Survival of the Fittest. This series puts the bite back into vampires. Check it out.
Athos in America (Fantagraphics): Norwegian creator Jason is back with six all new stories, including a prequel of sorts to The Last Musketeer. Despair threatens to overwhelm the creator’s usual tales of longing. In A Cat From Heaven, his characteristic unrequited love story gives way to a somewhat depressing look at a self-absorbed cartoonist named Jason’s bitter relationship. Mercifully, the rest of the collection is a little more playful, from a couple noir parodies to the highlight, Tom Waits on the Moon, in which four solipsistic stories converge in a tragic act.
Action! Mystery! Thrills! (Fantagraphics) This beautifully resurrects all the Golden Age favorites, from superheroes to killer robots to cowboys and occult Nazis. This time capsule collection of cover art spans from 1933-45, from the first comic book, a Proctor & Gamble promotional giveaway with an unknown cover artist, to the birth of icons like Bugs Bunny and Superman. An index in the back gives the fascinating stories behind the covers, while the full-page, color reproductions reveal them for what they are: works of art.
Primarily known for his ghoulish comic strips in Playboy and The New Yorker, Gahan Wilson showed his tender side (kind of) with Nuts (Fantagraphics). Originally a series of one-page vignettes running in National Lampoon, Nuts is presented here in its entirety as a classic warts-and-all reminiscence of childhood, from sick days to family gatherings, the joys of candy to the terrors of the dark basement.
R. Crumb hit it big in the ‘60s alternative Comix scene with his creation of Fritz the Cat (originally conceived as an adolescent). The feline protagonist remained Crumb’s avatar for lambasting American culture until a lackluster film adaptation prompted some divine retribution from his creator. The Life and Death of Fritz the Cat (Fantagraphics) collects all of Fritz’s essential stories.