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American and British Masters

Book Collection

This collection is a perfect introduction to four of the greatest cartoonists and graphic novelists of the English-speaking world. On the American side are two New York artists who became early innovators of the form. Abner Dean, a commercial illustrator by career, subverted the single-panel cartoons of the age in the service of surrealism and satire. In What Am I Doing Here? (first published in 1947), his protagonist wanders a strange, nihilistic world where clothes have become obsolete. William Gropper, a left-wing painter and political cartoonist, produced Alay-Oop—a wordless, poetic lost classic of the graphic novel—in 1930. Set in the city, it explores the complex relationship between a singer and two trapeze artists. “The story gains in depth on repeated viewing,” writes Art Spiegelman, “and each viewing is a delight.”

The New World collects short stories, a novella, and a graphic novel by the Welsh cult-favorite comics artist Chris Reynolds, who sets his work on an alien-inhabited Earth far in the future. Selected, edited, and designed by the celebrated cartoonist Seth, this handsome hardcover is a gateway to an uncharted universe layered with meaning and mystery. And fans of British humor will rejoice in Almost Completely Baxter, a compendium of absurdist single-panel comics juxtaposed with delightfully unexpected captions. The book draws the very best from across Glen Baxter’s long career—which none other than Edward Gorey said “betrays all the ominous symptoms of genius.”