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witzend Hardcover – July 8, 2014

18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

witzend is a time capsule from an essential period in history for both the United States and the comic book medium, showing how the seeds of change planted by the counterculture movement took root in art … and collecting the anthology in this elegant package is a wonderful way of paying tribute to its legacy. (Oliver Sava - The A.V. Club)

...[T]his reproduction of witzend serves, on the whole, as an important record of the first flowerings of a more robust, independent comics scene. (Hillary Brown - Paste)

Boxed together in a deluxe two-volume set, here are the irascible voices of a medium far more outré than Hollywood blockbuster movies. (Carlo McCormick - ARTnews)

Witzend was a brilliant comic... It’s a time capsule of what the best creators in the business could produce when they were their own editors. Fantagraphics did a great job restoring and collecting every issue in its original glory in a beautiful 2-volume slipcase. (Cameron Hatheway - Bleeding Cool)

...witzend is... notable for its historical value -- as a place that fostered young artists and encouraged established ones to take chances... (Chris Mautner - Robot 6)

About the Author

Wallace Allan Wood (1927–1981) rebooted Marvel's Daredevil, designing the iconic costume that recently appeared on the smash hit Netflix series. He was one of the best and funniest cartoonists of the earliest iteration of Mad magazine and, thanks to his work on the EC Comics line, he is also widely considered one of America’s greatest science-fiction cartoonists. With his magazine anthology witzend, he helped pioneer underground/independent comics publishing.

Steve Ditko continues to create comics in his studio in New York City.

Will Elder (Hall of Fame, 2003) was also known for a 45-year stint with Cracked magazineand for being one of MAD’s founding artists.

Archie Goodwin was an important comic book writer and editor for Warren, DC, and Marvel. He was born in 1937 and died in 1998.

In addition to his pioneering work on the “serious” EC war comics, Harvey Kurtzman (1924-1993) created the all-time greatest satirical comic (with Mad), the most widely-read adult comic strip (with “Little Annie Fanny” in Playboy), and one of the earliest graphic novels (with the 1959 The Jungle Book).

Art Spiegelman is the Pulitzer-Prize-winning creator of Maus. He's also a groundbreaking editor, whose recent projects include the Toon books line of graphic novels for school libraries, as well as the 1980s seminal comics anthology Raw, which introduced cartoonists like Charles Burns and helped kickstart the alternative comics movement. He's long been associated with the New Yorker.

Al Williamson (b. 1931, d, 2010) was a comics artist best known for his work on EC's Weird Science and Weird Fantasy comics titles (and, later, Creepy and Eerie, comics magazines that featured EC alumni). He also adapted Star Wars into comics, and worked on the newspaper strips Flash Gordon and Secret Agent X-9, both creations of Alex Raymond. He also inked various Marvel superhero comics, and was inducted into the Will Eisner Hall of Fame in 2000.
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Product Details

  • Series: Witzend
  • Hardcover: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics; 1 edition (July 8, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606997440
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606997444
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 2.9 x 12.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #256,216 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Patrick Rosenkranz is an author, photo-journalist, educator, and filmmaker. He is widely recognized as one of the leading scholars of the underground comix movement of the 1960s and 1970s.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Trollbeard on June 21, 2014
Format: Hardcover
When I pulled volume 1 out of the slipcase, I was expecting to find the same image on that book's cover that is on the slipcase. Surprise! Each volume features a BEAUTIFUL, full-color comic cover which is a parody of a 1950s Wood-style horror or sci-fi comic cover! Drawn by Richard Bassford! Witzend Volume 1's faux-underground/'50s comic cover is "Weird But Strange Stories" featuring a nude babe in distress and "Flesh Garden" to the rescue! Volume 2 is, "Gruesome Gory Comics" featuring a tasteful nude Bride of Frankenstein surrounded by an admiring Frank N. Stein (who is about to propose), the Wolfman, and good old Quasimodo, or is that Igor? The images are 10 1/4" x 7 1/8". What do these nifty comic book covers have to do with Witzend and Wally Wood you ask? I am so surprised and thrilled by these 2 beautiful artworks that I could really care less! But for one thing they're drawn in the wonderful Wood-at-his-peak-at-Mad style. Perhaps Richard lifted a few Wood panels to assist in creating these beauties. Whatever! Thank God for Richard Bassford and thank God that Fantagraphics is not afflicted with the prudity that affects some other publishers. That is one GORGEOUS Bride of Frankenstein! Beautiful!!!! In an attempt to find out more about this unknown artistic prodigy, I googled "Richard Bassford", to see if he's a new guy or did he somehow slip under my radar all of these years. I was betting that he was some awesome young up-and-coming new-wave-retro underground artist that Fantagraphics discovered in Seattle who loves Wood. Another surprise! Bassford is no young'un! He was born in 1936, and worked as an assistant to Wood, even helping draw many of the early original T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents books. Anyway, I'd gladly pay another $80 for high quality color prints of these 2 covers.Read more ›
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Julian Compton on June 23, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is as essential volume for fans of the EC scifi artists. The sheer amount of unseen artwork printed here is staggering. The printing is excellent and the art work appears to be shot from the negatives and is clean and clear!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jacob on June 21, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'll try to make this short: the binding & design are both excellent, as is usual with Fantagraphics; the content is, of course, unparalleled. It's defiantly worth the price-- I could go into a long dissertation on how wonderful & diverse the comics are, but Wikipedia can probably explain it better...
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Format: Hardcover
Fantagraphics' Witzend slipcase is a beautiful edition to any book collector or sequential art lover's collection. I'm a Wallace Wood fan who had never previously read Witzend and so I bought this collection sight unseen. I am very impressed with the production quality of this two volume set. The paper is a thick, off-white variety and of a high quality seldom seen in comic collections. In fact, everything about this collection screams quality!

Fantagraphics has really outdone themselves again with the details in this book, from the nice rounded-spines that sit comfortably in your hand while you read to the beautifully designed slipcase that protects the books. I had high expectations from Fantagraphics for this set and I have not been disappointed while paging through page after page of great art from such masters of the form as Frazetta, Gray Morrow, Al Williamson and of course Wallace Wood.

This is perhaps the best bargain I've picked up this year and would recommend you pick up yours before they sell out. You'll appreciate the value this book offers. FIVE STARS!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sym on July 7, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This collection is wonderful in every way. Love was obviously poured into this book when it was originally created, and again when it was collected and reprinted. I'm a fan of Wood, but a bigger fan of this whole cast of creators together. I haven't read every story yet but I'm so excited to have this much material by these legends which I haven't read a million times already. And it's great stuff!!! Thank you FB for bringing material like this back into print in such good quality. Even if the price is high for you, put a few bucks aside a week and make room in your budget for this book. This is top shelf awesome comics! Thanks universe for making a planet where comics like this could be produced and reprinted for me to see.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By John m on June 21, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This 2 volume set has everything for everybody. I'll read it piecemeal so I can savor every little bit. A great piece of history. Thank you Fantagraphics.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Matthew W. Wilson on February 16, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
WoW. Never gets better than this Witzend collection. If you love EC material....this is right up your alley...slipcased as well. Love it.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By B. Cheshire on June 27, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A MUST for any Wally Wood fan. This anthology is hefty to say the least and the reproduction is first rate. It will take me about 18 years to read through this massive collection. Great job Fantagraphics publishing!
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