In Stores this September: The Lost Work of Will Eisner

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Our wonderful backer friends on Kickstarter already know that The Lost Work of Will Eisner is finishing up its printing process and is coming our way very soon.

Well, it’s also making its way into comic shops and bookstores this September, for all those who missed the initial campaign. We’re excited and honored to be bringing these brand “new” Eisner comics onto the shelves that his work helped build.

Diamond Order Code: JUL161747 

If you want to make sure they’ll have it in stock (for yourself or the greater good!), you can print this and bring it to your local comic shop:

Eisner order BW

The same flyer can be downloaded in color here, especially if you’d like to share it online.

We’ll leave you with a peek at one of the shiny advance copies we’ve been cherishing here ourselves…

Eisner proof photo

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EARLY EISNER UNEARTHED: Locust Moon Kickstarting Collection of Comic Innovator’s Beginnings

(not final cover)

(not final cover)

“It’s like finding the notebooks of the boy Shakespeare.”

This was Locust Moon Press Publisher Josh O’Neill’s awe-struck reaction upon seeing the newly discovered artwork of Will Eisner — his earliest known comics, drawn when he was just a young man finding his voice.

The importance of Will Eisner in the history of comics cannot be overestimated. The restless innovator, pioneer of the graphic novel, and creator of THE SPIRIT spent the bulk of the 20th Century pushing the comics medium forward. But despite endless scholarship on Eisner and his many achievements, little is known about his earliest work — until now.

His very first known comics, never-before-seen strips from his teenage years, have recently been discovered among a collection of 1930s printing plates. The multiple Eisner and Harvey Award-winning Locust Moon Press intends to publish these strips in a definitive edition entitled THE LOST WORK OF WILL EISNER, which will highlight the first origins of one of the forefathers of modern cartooning. They launched a Kickstarter today in an effort to fund the production of this historically vital book.

These remarkable and revelatory comics were lost to history until New Jersey artist and antique collector Joe Getsinger re-discovered them, hidden among an enormous lot of 1930s-era printing plates that he purchased on a lark from a friend at a collectors’ poker game.

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At first Joe didn’t know what he had — but he became fascinated by two strips, UNCLE OTTO by a mysterious Carl Heck, and HARRY KARRY, credited to another unknown artist named Willis B. Rensie. As Getsinger studied the plates and learned more about the provenance of this massive collection, he found that it was linked to Empire Features, a company that provided printing plates to various newspapers for syndication. Eisner & Iger Studios — the partnership between the very young Jerry Iger and Will Eisner to distribute and publish their many fledgling comic books, strips, and magazines — was one of Empire Features’ many customers.

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One day shortly after becoming aware of this connection, Getsinger was looking at a reverse-printed plate and it came to him in a flash: “Rensie” is Eisner backwards. He suddenly knew that what he had here was of extraordinary historical value.

UNCLE OTTO and HARRY KARRY, it turns out, represent the earliest known sequential artwork of Will Eisner — and until now, outside of their titles and a very small smattering of strips salvaged from the few local newspapers that intermittently published them, their contents were almost completely unknown.

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Says Locust Moon creative director Chris Stevens, “In these strips you see Eisner’s imagination expanding, almost in real time. He’s experimenting with the possibilities of serialized storytelling and working through his many influences — there are very distinct E.C. Segar and Alex Raymond phases. By the end of the HARRY KARRY run you see him emerge with a close approximation of the style that brought him success and fame with THE SPIRIT in 1940.”

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In an effort to raise the funds necessary to produce this project, Locust Moon is turning to crowdfunding. This is their first such campaign since their multiple-award-winning sensation LITTLE NEMO: DREAM ANOTHER DREAM lit Kickstarter up and generated over $150,000.

“Will Eisner is the pioneer of the graphic novel and one of the architects of our modern cartooning language,” says Stevens. “This material gives people a chance to see where he started, and how he became what he become. These are the roots of Will Eisner.”

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Locust Moon is seeking $20,000 to fund the publication of a prestige hardcover collecting this unpublished artwork, along with contextual essays and an introduction by historian, publisher, and cartoonist Denis Kitchen. Their Kickstarter campaign is ongoing, and ends on December 10th.

“We want to publish this important document of the genesis of one of the most influential and brilliant cartoonists of all time,” says Locust Moon Editor-in-Chief Andrew Carl. “This book will fill in valuable pieces in Eisner’s biography, and constitute a more complete history of the comics medium.”

“But we can’t do it without you.”

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1576907254/the-lost-work-of-will-eisner

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Will Eisner appeared at 2004 San Diego Comic Con. Photograph by Patty Mooney, Crystal Pyramid Productions, San Diego, California.

Help Get Skyliner in the Air

skyliner cover

An eighty-year-old man, after a humble but well-regarded career as a poster designer & illustrator in Poland and the United States, decides it’s time to try his hand at cartooning. Over the course of almost two years, between his regular dialysis treatments, he completes a 354 page graphic memoir detailing his experiences as a young artist in Poland — dodging the Communist draft, chasing beautiful women, yearning for a better life in an America that only exists in films, jazz songs, and his dreams.

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To save money, he draws it with off-brand SHOUPIE markers that come five-to-a-pack at the dollar store. He gives everything he has to this book. Near the end of his life, he becomes a full-fledged cartoonist. Comics have set his imagination on fire. His book is a singular artistic achievement, a beautifully illustrated story that surges with ardor and kindness and longing, a love letter to the folly of the American dream, a tribute to the music and culture of his adopted home. He calls it SKYLINER. It’s a remembrance. A powerful and unique legacy to leave behind.

Wouldn’t it break your heart if that book never saw print?

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I will admit to some bias here: I have a horse in this race. Ed Krayewski, Andre de Krayewski’s son, has been a friend of mine since he was sixteen. I’ve watched Ed grow from a somewhat annoying kid into a wonderful man with a flourishing career and a lovely wife and a majestic head of hair. I was with Ed through the death of his mother, and his father’s worsening illness. And I’ve watched with admiration for the last few years as Ed, whose greatest virtues are staunchness and devotion, has gently urged Andre on to complete the staggering achievement that is SKYLINER. Ed translated the text from Polish to English, and acted as a stringent editor, bringing a lifelong love of comics storytelling to bear on his father’s unique art style and highly personal story. Ed is single-handedly running this Kickstarter campaign. In the waning years of an exceptional artist’s life, his son became his greatest collaborator in a project that as much as it’s a memoir is a tribute to their bond, and to Ed’s desire to see his father’s memory properly stewarded.

And now, with only days left on the Kickstarter that Ed has flogged within an inch of his life, they still have an awfully long way to go. After two tough years, several hundred SHOUPIE markers that stained Andre’s hands black, small-run pressings of the first few issues, and three weeks of a well-run and well-designed crowdfunding campaign, the money’s still not there.

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If this campaign were to fail, it would be a sin against comics. This project speaks from an utterly authentic and uncompromising place, and is ultimately proof positive of the overwhelming power of this glorious medium: that an accomplished artist who by all rights should be pursuing not much more than bed rest could be so inspired by his first experiences with cartooning that he decides to create a giant graphic novel — that his imagination is so thoroughly captured that he immediately becomes a full-time cartoonist, and even upon completing his immense memoir project continues cranking out short stories and strips (some of which will be published by Locust Moon), exploring and glorying in the possibilities of sequential storytelling, in the power of the page.

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No one is ever going to make a penny off this book — they’re just raising enough money for a very small print run. The goal here is to take a truth that came directly from Andre Krayewski’s heart, press it into ink on paper, and put it in some people’s hands. If you become one of the people who make it happen, you’ll be the proud owner of an beautiful edition rich with story, alive with raw illustration energy, and glowing with love.

Andre and Ed will thank you from the bottom of their hearts. And then, once you receive this remarkable book, you can thank me later.

Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/156390002/andre-krayewskis-skyliner-the-complete-series

The Locust Moon Top 40: August 2014

40. FABLES vol. 20

Willingham & Buckingham’s seemingly-endless saga wends towards its conclusion, out of the darkness of its previous volume and back towards its heroic roots.

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39. REMAINDER by Farel Dalrymple

The tour-de-force cartooning in this WRENCHIES side story would make Moebius proud.

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38. KILL MY MOTHER

Jules Feiffer is one of the true architects of the comics medium — here, in his smoke-wreathed noir debut graphic novel, he shows that he’s still on top of his game.

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37. This D&D Audiobook

Let Ice-T and Dan Harmon (sadly, not doing his impression of Ice-T) and friends read Dungeons and Dragons to you. It’s…something special.

36. MEGAHEX

Simon Hanselmann’s weirdly sociopathic stoner gag strip MEGG, MOGG & OWL, collected here by Fantagraphics, is a stealth delivery system for some terrifyingly dark character studies.

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35. MULTIVERSITY #1

Bucking the shitty MOR trends of DC, shamanic comics mastermind Grant Morrison delivers a brain-blasting metacomic, with gorgeously detailed universes drawn by Ivan Reis. Surprising that the suits are letting the iconoclastic Morrison have this much fun with their precious continuity.

Multiversity-map_1400x1074 Continue reading

The Locust Moon Top 40: July 2014

40. THE WICKED + THE DIVINE

The new Image series from McKelvie & Gillen, a sort of bottomless bonus track to their dark-magic rock opera PHONOGRAM, is one of the most promising series to debut in 2014.

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39. This NSFW Spider-Man Statue

This baffling statue, atop a South Korean shopping mall, gives new meaning to the phrase “web fluid.”

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38. CHARLES SCHULZ’S PEANUTS: ARTIST’S EDITION

This beautifully designed collection of unaltered original Peanuts artwork brings us Charles Schulz’s earliest strips just as he made them — raw, unfiltered, and a little bit mean.

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37. OUTCAST

The world-weary horror of Robert Kirkman’s story is brought to life by the atmospheric, choking tension of Paul Azaceta’s moody, worrisome artwork. A promising debut for what looks to be a truly frightening series.

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36. This Animated Lobster Sculpture

Very lifelike. Keep it far away from butter sauce.

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35. THE LEFTOVERS

This off-beat, darkly funny, sprawlingly intimate HBO series, based on Tom Perotta’s novel of the same title, follows life in a small town in the years following the Rapture.

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Tuesday Tease

This week’s special TUESDAY TEASE goes out in honor of all those who’ve backed, supported, and spread the word of our insane LITTLE NEMO: DREAM ANOTHER DREAM Kickstarter campaign. We’re halfway through, and thanks to all the wonderful comics fans who’ve found us so far, we’ve raised an outright astounding $90,000!

Calvin Reid at Publishers Weekly wrote a great piece on the book & success of the campaign today, for which we unveiled another beautiful page from DREAM ANOTHER DREAM: CRAIG THOMPSON‘s! Craig (Blankets, Habibi) is a pillar of modern American cartooning, and one artist (among many!) that we are absolutely honored to have take part in this project. Here’s his page!

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Now, over on the Kickstarter site, I’ve written a lengthy update to give backers a look behind the scenes at what goes into something like this (and what we get out of it) from a financial standpoint, so go read that if you haven’t yet and are at all interested: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1576907254/little-nemo-dream-another-dream/posts/904343

The ultimate point of that post is to explain and announce our campaign’s brand-new STRETCH GOAL: if our campaign hits $125K before it’s through, we’ll be able to add on some beautiful new stuff to people’s rewards. A big bookmark from FAREL DALRYMPLE, a print of GERHARD’s majestic introduction to Slumberland, and an exclusively crazy 3D print of DENIS KITCHEN’s Little Nemo strip (colored by BOX BROWN)! Take a look:stretch125-bookmarks stretch125-prints

So that’s what we’re shooting for now. And we hope that everyone — current, future, and even never-backers who just care about cool things — will help us keep spreading the word about this book. On social media, in person, over fax and through plastic cup telephones. Let’s make sure everyone hears about this book now, when there’s a chance to get all this awesome stuff with it (if you haven’t seen all the rewards at the Kickstarter page yet, check it out — what’s pictured above is only the tip of the iceberg!).

– Andrew Carl

The Locust Moon Top 40: June 2014 – Nemo Edition

This is the space where we usually spotlight 40 amazing things from the last month — adorable cat videos, cheesy songs we can’t stop listening to, and COMICS COMICS COMICS. For the month of June, we’ve decided to do something a little bit different.

If you’ve been anywhere in our general vicinity or exist within nine degrees of separation from us on Twitter, you are probably by now aware of the epic Kickstarter campaign we’ve launched for our insane, Quixotic, 16″ x 21″ hardcover Winsor McCay tribute LITTLE NEMO: DREAM ANOTHER DREAM. This is one star-studded anthology — maybe the most star-studded comics anthology of all time — and there’s been a lot of press and attention on the big names who’ve come together to pay tribute to our favorite Sunday strip: the Paul Popes, John Cassadays, Michael Allreds, J.H. Williamses (and Yuko Shimizus and Bill Sienkiewiczes and Dean Haspiels and yada genius yada).

So we wanted to use this space to draw attention to 40 artists in DREAM ANOTHER DREAM whose names you may not know yet — cartoonists and illustrators whose work is stunning, beautiful, restlessly inventive, original and bold, but who haven’t yet achieved the name recognition of the people mentioned above. One of the things we love most about LITTLE NEMO: DREAM ANOTHER DREAM is that it combines the biggest artists of its day with the biggest artists of tomorrow. Here, in no particular order, are forty folks you should be hearing a lot about in the next few years.

Note: click on any artist’s name to get to his or her website and see more.

40. RAUL GONZALEZ. Raw and refined. Sweeter than sugar, harder than real deal moonshine.
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39. BODIE CHEWNING is, quite simply, one of the most talented people out there. If only we could get him to draw more than six pages a year…
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38. Master of puppets JENNA TROST charms and creeps in equal measure.
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37. DAVE CHISHOLM slings a pen and a trumpet the exact same way — like he invented the thing, and he’s gonna show you what it can do.
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36. With a precise cartoonist’s eye, KATIE MOODY turns stories upside-down, inside-out and back again.
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35. BISHAKH SOM‘s mind-bending architecture, gentle characters, and inviting colors can keep us staring for hours.
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