The Uncivilized Books Lab is proud to announce that we’re partnering with cartoonist Erik Johnson to bring to life his infinite loop comic, Kozmo-Knot. He’s been working on this unique object for 10 years! We we saw Erik’s prototype, we knew we had to help out! Here’s a little about the project:
Kozmo-Knot is the story of a spaceman and a caveman, a campfire and a blaster, a rocket ship, asteroid, a rocky off-world landscape. It’s a kinetic pantomime that takes a reader on a far away journey, then right back where they started … to begin again.
But really, you should check out the project via it’s Kickstarter page, there’s loads more info there! Help us bring this unique object to life! For even more Kozmo-Knot related art and sketches check out this Tumblr.
What is Uncivilized Books Lab? It’s a new label for something we’re already doing: hand made books and comics. Even though we’ve entered the mass market book world with our Graphic Novels a couple of years ago, we still love making comics by hand. It’s how we started out! It allows us to work with different formats, and artist that we might otherwise not be able to work with. We can nurture new ongoing projects like Derek Van Gieson’s Eel Mansions, or do a series of idiosyncratic architecture zines like the Structures series. It our research and development laboratory. And, frankly, it’s loads of fun to do! Even more soon!
Now shipping! Gabrielle Bell’s new book Truth is Fragmentary: Travelogues & Diaries. Get it from your fave brick & mortar store, your fave online retailer, or us! Order here.
We debuted Caitlin Skaalrud’s Houses of the Holy last weekend at CAKE. It’s now available to everyone! Did you know that Caitlin had previously published this as part of her own Talk Weird Press? And that Houses of the Holy was #2 on Rob Clough’s 2013 Best Mini Comic List over at High Low Comics? No? Well, now you know!
We’ll have lots more from Caitlin soon. In the meantime get your copy here!
Aaaaaaand we’re off to TCAF! We’re going to be at table 123 with: TCAF special guest Gabrielle Bell (and her brand new book Truth is Fragmentary!), Sophie Yanow, Sam Alden, Kevin Huizenga, Peter Wartman, and Tom Kaczynski! We’re going to be on a bunch of panels (see details):
10, 10am-11am: TCAF Debut Books Spotlight!
In this exciting panel, join some of the most unique and important young authors in comics—who all happen to have new graphic novels debuting at TCAF! Featuring Sam Alden (It Never Happened Again), Gabrielle Bell (Truth is Fragmentary), Jon Chad (The Bad-ventures of Bobo Backslack), and Pascal Girard (Petty Theft). Moderated by Johanna Draper Carlson, comicsworthreading.com.
SUNDAY MAY 11
11:15-12:15pm: The New Small Press
Notable small-press publishers Koyama Press, Secret Acres, Uncivilized Books, and Nobrow Press represent a fine roster of award-winning and upcoming talent from all over the world, and have produced truly beautiful books! Now, come take a peek behind the curtain as they banter about their selection process, the risks and rewards of running a book business, and gaining traction in a marketplace dominated by big publishers. Moderated by Evan Munday (Open Book Toronto).
12:15pm-1:15pm: Spotlight: Gabrielle Bell
Gabrielle Bell’s work has drawn acclaim for it’s boldness, subtle humour, and effortless surrealism. Now Bell has turned her attention to travel, both the destinations and the spaces between. Join TCAF Featured Guest Gabrielle Bell and journalist Heidi MacDonald for a spirited discussion of Bell’s career and her new work.
It should be a blast! See you there!
Eel Mansions 5 finally arrives after debuting at MoCCA! Here’s what Derek Van Gieson has in store:
Infamous cartoonist Janet Planet, plots to kill her golden goose, the negative orphans continue their prepubescent existentialisms, records store guys do their thing, government agents Bert and Chee Chee continue their adventures in hell, and Satanist Wuppeteer, Armistead Fowler’s past further unfolds. Plus, Milk City, Tales of Abstraction House, and Doomin!
And he didn’t even mention this amazing multi-page Demon vs. Air Force battle! (see below) Get your copy here. Oh and don’t forget we have subscriptions available for the budget conscious.
You can’t keep a good comic down. We were impressed with Alex Holden’s (who’s currently touring with the Higgins Waterproof Black Magic Band.) comic back when it was published as part of the Syncopated Anthology. We always thought it deserved a life of it’s own. Now it does as West Side Improvements: A Brief History of the Freedom Tunnel (1937-1995). West Side Improvements traces the history of the tunnel running under Riverside Park in New York City. Originally created by Robert Moses to conceal freight train tracks, the tunnel was eventually abandoned and became a living space for hundreds of homeless people, as documented in the film Dark Days. While most journalistic attention on the tunnel has focused on the homeless population, West Side Improvements instead focuses on the history of the many works of art lining the walls of the tunnel by graffiti writer Chris “Freedom” Pape. The comic now comes with lots of extra materials, photos, drawings, notes that couldn’t be part of the original anthology.
The comic debuted at the MoCCA festival and now we finally have enough copies to get them to everyone. Order yours here.
Sophie Yanow was interviewed about War of Streets and Houses by Sarah Goodyear over at The Atlantic Cities site. It’s a really great read especially if you’re interested in Architecture & Urbanism. Here’s a taste:
Your book deals with the tension between two different kinds of freedom: the kind we find in the culture of a city and the kind we find in nature.
That’s an interesting dichotomy to establish. In the city there’s the freedom to find other folks like me (queer folks, artists), and to establish various communities. There are enough different types of people that we can live without constant scrutiny from people that have known us since childhood, or from people that disapprove of our lifestyles. However, public life in the city is scrutinized, and people are policed and surveilled.
Nature is complex in a way that is calming; it’s a different kind of sensory overload and provides a different kind of “cover” than the city. But it can be isolating.
Read the rest here. We’re really proud of this one!
They are finally here! We have copies of Ed vs. Yummy Fur Or, What Happens When a Serial Comic Becomes a Graphic Novel by Brian Evenson (yes THE Brian Evenson). It’s the first of a series of books on comics. We’re really proud of this one!
Check out an excerpt on The Comics Journal. From the introduction:
The idea for this book started just a few days after Drawn & Quarterly’s 2012 re-release of Ed the Happy Clown. More specifically, it started when I picked up that book in the bookstore and noticed the subtitle:“a graphic-novel”. Chester Brown’s name was in all-caps, the title too was all-caps, which drew my attention to the fact that the subtitle seemed deliberately lowercase. Part of me felt this was simply just a matter of typography, a choice made to distinguish between title and subtitle. But another part of me believed—and still believes—that there are no accidents, and that it is these small, seemingly random choices that accumulate into the larger distinctions that end up shaping not only a book but an entire genre.
Standing there in Modern Times, I found myself wondering what made a ‘graphic-novel’ different from a ‘Graphic Novel’? It seemed a question of simple arithmetic: the subtraction of capitalization and the addition of a hyphen. The first gesture strips away a level of formatting, going against common title capitalization guidelines. The second adds a piece of formatting we wouldn’t expect to be there, a hyphen, and which isn’t there in any other use of the phrase “graphic novel” that I can remember. Both seem incredibly small things. But it is of such small things that greater effects are both built and sustained.
Speaking of Wile E. Coyote falling off cliffs in his Road Runner cartoons, Chuck Jones talks about how the effectiveness of a gesture can come down to a single frame of film. “When the Coyote fell off, I knew he had to go exactly eighteen frames into the distance and then disappear for fourteen frames before he hit.” “It seemed to me that thirteen frames didn’t work in terms of humor, and neither did fifteen frames. Fourteen frames got a laugh.” So, the humor of the Coyote’s landing depends on the camera staying with his disappearance exactly the right amount of time instead of letting it go 1/24th of a second too early or 1/24th of a second too late. 1/24th of a second is a length of time twice as fast as what the eye can process as a separate image—it can’t actually be seen as an image but only as part of a motion. But that imperceptible difference is still what the humor of Wile E. Coyote’s fall depends on.
Why lowercase, then? And what does the hyphen do? Are these choices arbitrary or can they tell us something about Ed the Happy Clown? Can we gain anything from interrogating them closely?
The preorders started shipping already. Get your copy here.
We got a couple of Eisner Awards nominations!
David B.’s Incidents in the Night Book One is now ALSO (it was an L.A. Times Book Prize finalist as well) nominated for the Eisner Awards in the Best U.S. Edition of International Material category! Big congratulations to David B. and the other nominees! We’re extending the sale on this book (20% off!) in light of this announcement.
Also, our publisher/editor-in-chief/art director/accountant/cartoonist AKA the guy who runs Uncivilized Books AKA Tom Kaczynski, garnered an Eisner nomination for Best Publication Design for Beta Testing the Apocalypse. You can get his book from Fantagraphics, or you can get a signed copy from direct us.
Congratulations to both!