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Comment: Crisp, clean, unread hardcover with light shelfwear to the boards, no dust jacket as issued with a publisher's mark to one edge - Nice!
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Kramers Ergot 8 Hardcover – January 31, 2012

2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

The book is a beautiful object, a love note to good printing and care for materials, with soft cloth you want to rub against your cheek and a three-color foil stamp in black, neon orange, and gold. It's the kind of book printers send out as a sample to show what they can do. Its contents, on the other hand, and I believe the contrast is intentional, seem designed to make you so uncomfortable that the resulting feeling is about half an inch away from nausea.
This book has plenty of good reads, but it will also make you very uncomfortable. That impact, however, is a rare one from any artform, and it feels like something new and important. (Hilllary Brown Paste Magazine)

Every few years a comics compilation arrives for those of us who like our stories sans superheroes and a little cutting-edge.
I own three previous Kramers books, and all of them feature some of my favorite artists, along with several up-and-comers. This time around, editor Sammy Harkham chose creators that "reflect a more specific and unified aesthetic space of discipline, sophistication, and quiet power." (Whitney Matheson USA Today)

Eight installments in (and now on its third publisher), Kramers Ergot is sometimes discussed as if it's merely a report card on the state of alternative comics, as if the table of contents is all that requires our attention. Ergot 8 looks to shake that foundation a bit, opening as it does with the most bewilderingly aggressive tract Harkham's discovered thus far. From there, the book does take on a bit of a laundry-list quality - there's Johnny Ryan, there's Ben Jones, there's Frank Santoro, Gabrielle Bell, all of your big dogs, they've come for your bones - but don't let the brevity trick you into thinking there's not something of substance going on. There's a method to the madness, and by the anthology's weird, atonal closer, you'll be laughing (or wryly grimacing, at the least) right along with it. (Tucker Stone Flavorwire)

In a reduction in size from the massively oversized previous issue, which is comprised of mostly single "broadsheet" comics pages by over 50 artists, KE 8 takes the form of a compact hardcover that focuses on short but mostly multipage visual progressions and graphic stories by eighteen contributors. These display a widely divergent range of visual styles, which are unified in their narrative content by irony and ambiguity. (James Romberger Publisher's Weekly)

Despite featuring a much smaller roster than previous volumes in the series, and despite a much less "noisy" visual aesthetic than that which has characterized the series since its phone book-sized fourth volume caused a sensation upon its release at the MoCCA Festival in 2003, Kramers Ergot 8 has an intensity that's tough to shake.
A cheekily provocative introductory essay from musician Ian Svenonius and a massive selection of racy reprinted Oh, Wicked Wanda! comics from the pages of Penthouse prove perplexing - but it's a good perplexing, because it forces the reader to consider just how fingernails-on-a-chalkboard effective the rest of the volume is at discomfiting them. (Sean T. Collins Robot 6)
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Product Details

  • Series: Kramers Ergot
  • Hardcover: 232 pages
  • Publisher: PictureBox (January 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984589279
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984589272
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,496,228 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Much hype has excited readers for the newest installment in the Kramers Ergot underground comics anthology. A swift correction from the oversized and overpriced Kramers Ergot 7, which suffered from a limited print run, the 8th anthology flaunts its nice compact size and beautiful production values. What about the content? Most comics anthologies are a mixed bag and Kramers Ergot 8 is no exception.
I like to think of myself as a fan of indie comics. However, this anthology is painful to read. Nonsensical stories, scraggly art and horrid designs are rampant throughout this. Many people will argue that these comics are a rebellion of the comics form, a sort of "anti-comic" that are great because they don't follow the norm. Lots of artists try too hard to be abstract and "alternative" and ultimately fail. This can be done well but can be the downfall of many comics.
One or two stories in this collection stand out from the rest. The Half Men is a straight forward sci-fi story. It's nothing spectacular but compared to the rest, it is astounding. However, three mediocre comics don't make up for the failure that is the whole.
EDIT: Apparently, "The Half Men" is a story from 1956 redrawn by a new artist. [....]
The majority of the stories are not fulfilling and seem to have no point other than to show off how "alternative" the artists' styles are. And by "alternative" I mean they are crude and adhere to no artistic formula. The stories themselves feel pointless.

Kramers Ergot 8 has been highly lauded by Picturebox and praised as a return to what KE is all about. However, this collection is embarrassing.
Also, it may be an attempt to retain the individual comics' "integrity" but it seems as though no editing process took place at all.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ok, I have three volumes of Kramers Ergo, the over-sized number 7, number 6, and number 5. The over-sized one is outstanding. Really worth the price I paid. Numbers 5 and 6 both have stories worth looking at again, along with lots of chaff. Number 8 is ALL chaff. A really weak offering. Artists that I actually like, Gary Panter, Kevin Huizenga, Chris Cilla, Gabrielle Bell, Sammy Harkam and Dash Shaw, offer us really lame, dull stories that don't really say anything or wow me on a design level. The Wicked Wanda reprints were unreadable. The rest, just as unreadable or unlookable or whatever. Nothing there for me. Oh, I did enjoy the opening essay.

The production quality of the book is outstanding, but I would rather read a good story that is xeroxed on a worn out machine than pointless, ugly stories in a beautifully bound book.

Don't waste your money on this one.

Sammy, we need better from you.
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Format: Hardcover
Kramer's Ergot established itself as the most important comics anthology of the millennium, particularly Volumes 5, 6 and 7. Volume 7 is the legendary over-sized 16 x 21-inch hardcover, borrowing the format introduced by Sunday Press for their equally ground-breaking centenary reprints of the original 'Little Nemo in Slumberland' pages. Reproducing the exact dimensions of the fin-de-siècle broadsheets, these archival facsimiles were a revelation for McCay fans new and old; Kramers Ergot creator-editor-contributor Sammy Harkham had the idea to allow some of the world's most brilliant and cutting edge cartoonists a chance to create work in the same massive tabloid scale, a challenge that yielded brilliant results. Volumes 5 and 6 were both produced as 10 x 11.5-inch flexi-bound books with vinyl covers, and were both around 350-pages long. They share the same high-quality materials and design as Volume 7, and feature a rich and diverse assortment of avant garde artists working at their peak.

Volume 8 faced a couple of serious problems. Firstly, it was released by Picturebox instead of Buenaventura Press; Picturebox is an excellent indie publisher, but previous instalments benefitted from the creative input of co-editor and publisher Alvin Buenaventura. In his absence, the eighth outing experienced a quality decline on every level. Secondly, Kramer's Ergot faced a clear navigational crisis. Having made its name as a consistently surprising and ambitious anthology, the question of where to go after releasing a book as stunning as Volume 7 became a serious one. No matter what they did, it would seem like a regression... so they didn't bother to try. It's not as bad as other reviewers have made it out to be -- at least IMO, for what it's worth -- but it doesn't stand up to past volumes.
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