Samuel C. Gaskin's first book, a collection of gags, stories and drawings, is aimed directly at the adult reader who can appreciate his playful, often risqué riffs on pop culture. The stories and gags in Fatal Faux-Pasinvoke Black Sabbath, Klaus Kinski, the cast of Saved by the Bell, Dinosaur Jr., Sun Ra and Depeche Mode, among others. A delirious, ambitious mash-up of single-panel gags, strips and longer form stories, Fatal Faux-Pas is the definition of youthful exuberance.
96 Pages. Softcover. First Edition. Printed in Canada. ISBN: 978-0-9799609-0-1
You can view a pdf preview here.
Eamon Espey's Wormdye is a collection of interwoven tales that deftly illustrate the fever-pitched anxiety of modern life. With locales as varied as the River Styx, The Vatican, the island of Aegina and the Mitchell Corn Palace, Wormdye follows Marco, Tommy and others as they engage in the human struggle: work, religion, death and human sacrifice. Bleak and darkly funny, Wormdye uses myths and iconographic visuals to evoke a world-view that is both absorbing and upsetting, tragic and triumphant.
128 pages. Black and white. 2008.
A preview can be downloaded here.
Intricate, even exquisite - but never immaculate, Theo Ellsworth’s Capacity is a mind turned inside out. Ellsworth's careful line gives shape to profound and profoundly silly thoughts alike, bringing a visionary, startling new life to the doubts and hopes that are so familiar to everyone.
336 pages. Softcover. Second printing. Printed in Canada. ISBN: 978-0-9799609-2-5
Please note that this the second printing of Capacity. It has a different cover from the first printing but is otherwise identical.
Sorry - this title is sold out.
Download a preview of the book here.
The characters in PS Comics may appear to be large pieces of fruit or talking animals, but they behave just like their human counterparts: they are the drunk acquaintances, annoying coworkers, troubled schoolmates, jealous friends and vindictive roommates that haunt us all. Told with biting humor, the stories in PS Comics are quintessentially human stories about the ongoing struggle to understand one another and connect, despite our individual worries, differences and quirks.
128 pages. 5.5" by 8.0" Color cover with black and white interiors. Compiles most of Minty Lewis's self-published work and includes new material.
A preview can be downloaded here.
Evoking the mystery, treachery and stillness of the woods at night, the stories in John Brodowski's (Kramers Ergot #7) debut collection, Curio Cabinet, are told with lush, wordless visuals. Curio Cabinet's stories chart how characters transcend their lives and situations, for better or worse. Borrowing from familiar sources: horror movies, rock albums and mythology, Brodowski transforms the horrific to the pedantic and the ordinary to the fantastic, defying narrative expectation and allowing the stories to emerge in purely visual terms. Curio Cabinet marks the arrival of a innovative cartoonist whose style and subject matter is already attracting industry accolades.
Dan Nadel, Picturebox publisher writing for the Economist: More Intelligent Life, says:
"Way out in North America, in the countryside past the suburbs, near a forest near a lake, John Brodowski has planted his Curio Cabinet (Secret Acres). Each story in this collection maintains a perfectly reasonable veneer until, for example, an enormous dog paw descends from the heavens and slaps a man out of a car, or a menacing Loch Ness Monster is hailed by a hard-rocking Judas Priest. This is a book in which a doppelganger of the old Friday the 13th villain Jason Vorhees, he of the hockey mask, appears again and again, like a totem, achieving a weirdly peaceful mythos by the end. And yet it all seems so ordinary in Brodowski’s methodical, carefully shaded panels, each unravelling just so, patiently waiting for us to give in to his logic. All of this is to say: I can’t think of a better metaphysical horror comic in recent memory."
144 pages, 6.5 x 8.3 inches
Download a pdf preview here.
Edie Fake's debut graphic novel, Gaylord Phoenix follows the danger-fraught journeys of the gaylord phoenix, a creature willing to sacrifice anything for love and self-knowledge. Fake confronts the reader with violent and unexpected manifestations of sexual connection and romantic possession as the gaylord phoenix searches for his lost love, his origins and his place in the world. Culled from Edie Fake's minicomic series of the same name, Gaylord Phoenix portrays the most human, universal struggle in an epic, majestically rendered world where transformations, magic and sex are part of the everyday fabric of life.
256 pages. Two-color interior with full-color cover.
Download a preview here.
Jason Lutes, author of Berlin and Jar of Fools writes:
“This book will punch, kick and bite its way from your brain to your heart and back again, leaving you dazed and dumfounded in its wake.”
An LA Times Book Prize nominee for Best Graphic Novel, I WillBite You! includes the Best American Comics selection, “Turtle Keep it Steady,” and several new stories, presented in gorgeous two color and full color pages. An economy of line and sophisticated, unusual narrative mark the inimitable style of an artist many have been watching with interest.
As Jim Rugg, Ignatz Award winning and Glyph Award nominated co-creator ofAfrodisiac and Street Angel says:
“I Will Bite You! and Other Stories signals the arrival of Joe Lambert’s whimsical, lively, beautiful and thoughtful voice to comics.”
128 pages. Two-color interiors with a 16 page full-color section.
Download a pdf preview here.
2012, the comic, is truly the end of the world and it features Jackie Chan and vampire sexing, which all the kids are into these days. Featured in Conor Stechschulte's and Closed Caption Comics' anthology, Sock, Sam Gaskin proves the Mayans were right.
The Factual Opinion's Nina Stone writes:
"Gaskin riffs off of a multitude of philosophies and end-of-the-world hypotheses with everyone from Roy Orbision to Nostradamus, from the Hopi Indians to a horny Dracula over to the duo from Rush Hour. (I've left out a bunch of others intentionally because hey, I don't want to totally spoil it for you, right?) It's clever, hilarious, AND he finds a way to tie them all together into one great 2012, end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it scenario...
At first, I felt like I might not be smart enough to review this. But then I realized that it wasn't intelligence that I was thinking about, but the results of my intelligence--meaning I thought that this was a comic worthy of a great review, a review that would make people want to read it and experience it and laugh at it as much as I did. I wanted to be able to write the sort of thing that could compare and contrast it to other artists and comics in ways that would make people want to read along with me.
I figured out what all those feelings meant, eventually. It just meant that I am a Sam Gaskin fan.
And that I think you should be too."
24 pages, 8 x 10 in, Two color.
Download a preview here.
Troop 142 follows a group of campers and counselors at a week-long scout retreat in the woods of New Jersey. It is a story as much about adults as it is adolescents, the blurred line between childhood and manhood, and the consequences of authoritative posturing. Dispensing with idyllic notions, Dawson describes the hilarious and brutal truths about boys and men, the hypocrisy of institutional morality and the resilience of Spam and the human spirit.
268 pages. 6.125" x 8.75"
Download a preview of Troop 142 here.
Sean T. Collins, Attentiondeficitdisorderly, writes:
“I’ve been writing about the similarity between the horrific and the sublime for (God help me) over a decade now, but it's rare for me to come across a comic that makes that connection as frequently and as subtly as John Brodowski’s Curio Cabinet... The message is both troubling and comforting: It implies a connection between the individual horrors we experience and the very fabric of existence, yet it also suggests that perhaps an enlightenment is possible whereby this waking nightmare can be appreciated, if never fully understood. More like this, please.”
Curio Cabinet 5 is a bold and daring change of direction from alt-horror to alt-action, with a cast fit for the Expendables. Can four action icons find peace? What the hell would that peace even look like? There's plenty of guns and ammo in John Brodowski's infrared vision of our best, and bloodiest, heroes on the high octane path to redemption.
32 pages, 12x8in, Two color.
Only Skin is a grim exploration of the hallucinatory and tragic landscape of modern rural America, as seen through the eyes of a pair of orphaned siblings, searching for answers in a world filled with terrible, terrible questions.
272 pages. 6.5 x 9.25.
A pdf preview can be downloaded here.
“This comic is weird and absurd and silly and baffling in the best ways possible. The humor is as strange as they come, but importantly, it does it all with a straight face, there’s no winks to the audience, beyond of course just how silly it all can be. This is the kind of thing that’s right up my alley.”
- Kevin Czap, Comix Cube
Featuring guest appearances from the likes of Sigmund Freud, Scott McCloud and the Hotrod “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, Wayward Girls came to life as a semi-weekly web comic by mysteriously pseudonymous authors working under the moniker Slechtemeisjes. We’ve since uncovered at least one actual name, Michiel Budel, an art school graduate and citizen of Netherlands. This is his first comic, which is shocking considering his skill, and to be expected, because there is simply nothing like Wayward Girls anywhere.
Stitch bound comic. 24 pages. 7" x 10". Full Color.
Weather marks the return of Gabby Schulz's signature comics avatar, Gordon Smalls. It's a bit of a departure for both Gabby and Gordon, being the first time Gabby's ever used any color in a print comic, and what has to be the first occasion in which the normally verbose Gabby and Gordon keep their mouths pretty well shut. Short, hilarious, beautiful and nasty, Weather makes a for a quick read and endless re-reads.
2012. 18 pages. 8" x 10". Full-color.
It seems we didn't learn well enough after the first issue of Wayward Girls because we have returned to scene of the crime with Wayward Girls 2, the latest print edition of Michiel Budel's web comic, Slechtemeisjes. Nominated for Bleeding Cool's "Comic Most Likely to Need Defending by the CBLDF in the Nest Twelve Months" Award and hailed as the "Greatest Comic of all Time" by CBR, Wayward Girls was definitely dangerous. Like most sequels, the volume gets turned up a bit for this one. Wayward Girls 2 is longer, harder and deeper than the first.
“It was surprising news - Budel's talent and vision are undeniable, but it was a little tough to believe that this weird stuff of all things had come due for a luxe treatment by one of alternative comics' most exciting imprints. Holding the eventual printed product was, however, enough to make a believer out of anyone.”
- Matt Seneca, Robot 6
The returning cast includes the likes of Sigmund Freud, Scott McCloud and the Hotrod “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, but we can add the Iron Sheik to the list now.
24 pages. Full color.
The Understanding Monster – Book One, a Lynd Ward Honor Book for Best Graphic Novel, is the first in a series that is a departure for reader and author alike. While maintaining the intimate nature of his debut Capacity, Theo Ellsworth has taken his personal experience to an entirely new reality, exploding with color and energy. Presented in an oversized, full color, hardcover edition that captures the beauty of his hand painted artwork at nearly full size, the Understanding Monster is a wonder to behold.
The New York Times' Douglas Wolk writes:
"There’s also some kind of unusual thought process driving Theo Ellsworth’s The Understanding Monster – Book One — not a disorder, exactly, but imagination turned up to fire hose intensity. Ellsworth fills every bit of every page with grotesque patterns and textures and doodles, and his writing is similarly wild-eyed. Nominally an adventure story involving a mouse, “phantom skeletons” and “toy growth formations,” the book is mostly an urgent (and often very funny) attempt to explain a coocoo-rococo cosmology made up of garbled fragments of role-playing games, “Transformers” episodes, relaxation exercises and horror movies. In one sequence, a character wakes up and exclaims that he dreamed he was a house. “That wasn’t a dream, Izadore,” a voice tells him. “You really are a house. You’re in a room inside yourself.”
72 pages. Hardcover. Full-color.
A preview of the book can be downloaded here.
"Wormdye is perhaps the most unique and truly bizarre graphic novel I have read in years. Eamon Espey creates a world filled with its own mythologies and often shocking imagery. Though not for the easily disturbed, Espey's allegiance to classic comics shines through and the stories are disarmingly funny."
- Large Hearted Boy
Songs of the Abyss is the evolution of Eamon Espey's Wormdye, his debut collection from Secret Acres. Following his obsession with groestque spirituality, Espey delivers ancient Egyptian gods who give birth to biblical giants. Santa Claus is revealed as an agent of the Devil. A scientist performs sadistic experiments in search of enlightenment. All of this is rendered in Espey's inimitable compositions, in black ink and, for the first time, stained glass.
6.5" by 9.5". 168 pages. Black and white.
A preview pdf of Songs of the Abyss can be downloaded here.
Eschew deploys a truly immaculate, almost inhumanly perfect line to depict us at our messiest and most human. Every story takes an unflinching look at the unfortunately familiar stupidity that comprises modern existence. These are those little moments, when no one is looking, that make you laugh out loud to remember, that you would think twice before sharing and that are the building blocks of wisdom.
The second installment of Eschew, first published by Dylan Williams’ Sparkplug Books, was nominated for an Ignatz Award for Outstanding Comic in 2010, and selected for inclusion Best American Comics 2011.
Rod Lott, of Bookgasm writes:
“This black-and-white anthology goes for the absurd, more often than not, starting with “Flying Squirrel,” in which a squirrel indeed flies, but unwittingly so. It’s wordless, save for one laugh-aloud line at the end... And you’re an asshole if you laugh. Like I did.”
40 pages. 5" x 7 1/2". 2013.
You can download a pdf preview here.
The first installment of this visually uncanny series was selected as one of the thirty best mini-comics of the year by The Comics Journal. Expanding on themes of loneliness, ennui and commercialism, Sequential Vacation 2 follows the romantic beach fantasy of a man spending his weekend alone, with all the (way too) close-ups and entrancing textures that are the visual hallmarks of Sar’s comics. All this and a beach barbecue bonus for true believers. Have yourself some quality me-time with Sequential Vacation 2.
32 pages. Black and white. 5" x 6 1/2". 2013.
A pdf preview can be found here.
While both Sleeper Car and The Understanding Monster, which the New York Times’ Douglas Wolk described as “imagination turned up to fire hose intensity,” are works of fiction, Capacity has always been a true story. This latest installment is no exception. As Theo Ellsworth would tell you, everything really happened – in his mind. If you’re familiar with his comics, you know that you’re going to be part of the proceedings as well, or as the Village Voice wrote: “Ellsworth seeks, again and again, to transform the reader into his silent witness and co-conspirator.” He’s done it again with Capacity 8.
40 pages. 6" x 9". Black and white with color cover.
Download a preview here.
Iron Bound is a gritty, authentic account of street gangs and life in the margins of Newark, New Jersey's Ironbound district at the start of the 60's. With all the elements of a noir mystery and a crime drama, it's Leach's insight into human nature and his ability to evoke place and moment that elevates the narrative to a complex examination of the tenuous relationships of people mired in conflict and fear. This edition of Iron Bound comes complete with a flexi-disc record of music written and recorded by the official Iron Bound band, the Newark Wanderers.
8.25" x 7.25". 252 pages. Black and white.
You can view a pdf preview of Iron Bound here.
Exploring both real and imagined places in Chicago's queer history, Memory Palaces is a map, a love letter and a fantasy of the city. There is a mournful quality to walking these streets at night, each house serving as a memorial to what's been lost and what could have been, but this isn't simply a sad story. Every building on the avenues of Memory Palaces has a gate, a door, a point of entry and their brilliant colors are an ecstatic celebration in themselves. Presented in an over-sized, full color format preserving every detail, this edition is an experience not to be missed.
Thea Liberty Nichols of art21 writes:
"Edie Fake’s punk ethos of reciprocity and collaboration extends into his work as a comic, tattoo, and performance artist. His arresting graphic work plays with the fluidity and elasticity of images, which sometimes literally interconnect, as in the continuous sidewalk seen in the foreground of his Memory Palaces series. The looping movement in these drawings exhibits an almost cinematic pacing."
16 pages. 11.5" x 14".
N0te, due to the size of this publication, extra shipping charges apply for this item and it will always ship separately from other books.
A couple of long years ago, Corinne Mucha put together a little comic called "My Every Single Thought," and thus began exploring the strange behaviors of her own broken heart. Get Over It! brings us to the wisdom at the end of the tunnel. With all the great storytelling you'd expect of her, Mucha shamelessly gives us the gory, gooey details. It's both giggle and cringe inducing - or it would be if it weren't so damn relatable.
Zainab Aktar, of Comics and Cola says:
"Corinne Mucha is the bee’s knees. It began with the Ignatz-nominated "The Monkey in the Basement and other Delusions" and continued with "It Doesn't Exist" and "My Every Single Thought." Ostensibly these come under the umbrella of "mini-comics," but where even the best mini-comics often feel slight, Mucha packs so much into these pages, pictures brimming off the edges and words, words, everywhere (an unfashionable and dying art in comics), that you never feel you've read anything other than a full, dense and enriching narrative. Her shining quality is her ability to combine irreverent humor with more serious ruminations in a manner that's honest and contemplative without being overly earnest or preachy. Her mini-comics are one of the best uses of the format I've come across, her narratives layered and rewarding."
104 pages. 6" x 9"
You can download a preview of the book here.
Set in the same universe as Troop 142, Dawson's much acclaimed tale of Boy Scouts gone wild, Angie Bongiolatti puts away childish things and moves into the city. Growing up is hard to do in a society overwhelmed by pre-millennium tension, Y2K bugs, endless war and bursting bubble economies. Angie finds herself stretched thin as the common thread between these newly minted adults.
Eleanor Davis, author of Stinky and How to be Happy, says:
"I love Angie Bongiolatti and its swimming cast of characters, even as I cringe to see myself there: sad and stupid, selfish and small, needing a shower. In a world filled with people who struggle to be good despite being - unattractively, uncomfortably, unacceptably - human, Dawson holds up a gentle and forgiving mirror."
240 pages. 5.5" x 8.5"
A preview of the book can be downloaded here.
Continuing where Book One left off, The Understanding Monster - Book Two follows Pharoah Tellitome, Inspector Gimble, Turtletree, Master Sponko and Minnow on their collective quest to awaken Izadore and re-establish his identity and memory. Constructed with the same lush, intricate visuals as the first volume, the story returns readers to the world of time crystals, “home bodies,” afterlife quests, thought projection resurrection and the ever-majestic Toy Mountain. The Understanding Monster – Book Two delves even deeper into the nature of creativity and imagination, and the tenuous relationship between reality and the subconscious.
Limited numbers of this title will arrive signed and ship with a full-color, ready-to-assemble, foldable character.
A preview can be downloaded here.
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We're back on our Scuttlebutt blog with our Comic Arts Brooklyn report, and our Brooklyn Ale House party report and our Grumpy Bert show report and our year-end report and a tiny, little look ahead to next year. CAB is, for us and lots of other comics people, the start of the holiday season, so we're a little Auld Lang Syne-ish about the show. There were hiccups this time around, and no Cartoon House (see the post for an explanation of that) but CAB still has the best exhibitors at any show, making Brooklyn proud. Speaking of heart-warming, many thanks to the folks at Grumpy Bert. Someone came all the way from Philadelphia just to see Theo and the brand new second book of his Understanding Monster trilogy. That's the kind of amazing that made 2014 our best year ever. We owe everyone a big thank you for reading our books and, really, for reading. You guys are the best. Normally, in our last post of the year, we babble about all the new stuff coming your way. We can't do that anymore. We're joining the likes of Koyama Press and Uncivilized Books and Nobrow at the good distributorship, Consortium. Sure, that's business stuff, but it's a big deal for Secret Acres. Still, we did manage to sneak at least one 2015 comic into this final blathering. Read on...
Comic Arts Brooklyn is today! I'll be signing at the Secret Secret Acres table!
Join us and Theo Ellsworth and everybody else tonight for a gallery show and some Comic Arts Brookyln pre-gaming at Brooklyn’s own Grumpy Bert! You can beat the CAB crowd to the punch and get your very own signed and sketched copy of Theo’s latest, the Understanding Monster Book Two. Book Two picks up where Book One left off, following Pharoah Tellitome, Inspector Gimble, Turtletree, Master Sponko and Minnow on their collective quest to awaken Izadore and re-establish his identity and memory. Get to Grump Bert early enough and you can really lord it over folks: the first ten to arrive get a limited edition Theo print made just for tonight’s show. Of course, there will be free beer and bubbly, too. What more is there to life?