The Surreal Within the Everyday: Jim Woodring’s ‘Frank’

Set in a world called “the Unifactor,” Jim Woodring’s wordless Frank recounts the adventures of the title character—a gormless-looking, anthropomorphic, rabbit-like creature with a nature by turns passive and perverse—and his interactions with the Unifactor’s other inhabitants and the world’s beautiful and frightening flora and fauna, given to unpredictable reactions and behaviors…

“The World’s Great Animals Come to Life”: Safari Cards, 1976 – 1986

Safari Cards were an English translation of a set of collectible zoological information facts first devised and published in Switzerland. Original publisher Éditions Rencontre in Lausanne, Switzerland specialized in subscription encyclopedias and other educational toys in the 1950s and ’60s. Intended explicitly from the very beginning to democratize learning and bring the classics of French-language literature to the public…

Fontana Modern Masters Cover Gallery, 1970 – 1984

The Fontana Modern Masters series was conceived in the late 1960s at Scottish publishers William Collins & Company’s Fontana imprint. Fontana Books had spent its first decade publishing inexpensive paperback pulp and detective fiction, priced between two and three shillings. But, in May 1968, revolutionary theory and Situationist praxis caught fire in the streets of Paris, as students plastered walls and barricades with catchy slogans meant to détourne the mainstream postwar advertising culture around which they’d grown up…

‘Science Fiction Monthly’ Cover Gallery, 1974 – 1976

From a merger of its 1961 acquisitions—British publishers Ace Books Ltd. and Four Square Books Ltd—the American Times Mirror Company created the New English Library (NEL) as a sister company to the New American Library. While the latter retained some of the cultural prestige of its original owner, Penguin Books, the NEL was under no such constraints of perceived quality: the publisher was therefore free to specialize in paperback genre fiction…

Judging Dredd: A Brit and a Yank Discuss the Legendary ‘2000 AD’ Strip

By Richard McKenna and K.E. Roberts

I guess we should begin at the beginning. I first got into Judge Dredd and 2000 AD in 1983, when Eagle Comics (founded by Nick Landau) started anthologizing the strip for an American audience. The Eagle editions were in color (I had no idea the original 2000 AD was black and white for many years), and the Dredd comics came with new, mind-bending covers by Brian Bolland. I had been collecting comics pretty obsessively for a few years at that point, but had never seen anything like Dredd…