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Harvey Kurtzman's The Grasshopper and the Ant HC


Harvey Kurtzman's The Grasshopper and the Ant HC
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    Harvey Kurtzman's The Grasshopper and the Ant
     "Harvey Kurtzman, the inventor of MAD, was 90% Workaholic Ant and 10% pure Anarchist Grasshopper. The result was a 100% Cool Cat who composed comix with Duke Ellington's grace, Dizzy Gillespie's wit and Charlie Parker's originality. Dig it!"
    ---Art Spiegelman


    In 1960 the late comics genius Harvey Kurtzman created a marvelous beatnik take on the ancient Æsop fable. The comic story, in many ways, reflected his own attraction to the beat movement and his internal ant vs. grasshopper struggle. The only previous appearance of this poignant story was over forty years ago in Esquire magazine, where the panels were reproduced small and blurry. The story remained forgotten and unknown, even to most Kurtzman fans.

    Created at what was arguably the peak of his brilliant career, The Grasshopper and the Ant is remarkable in several respects. Kurtzman's best known work (MAD, Little Annie Fanny, Goodman Beaver, etc.) was collaborative. These often magnificent collaborations were with other first rank geniuses such as Will Elder, Jack Davis and Wally Wood. But Kurtzman fans nonetheless yearned for more of his madcap solo work, like Hey Look! and Jungle Book. When working alone there was seldom color in his creations. The powerful E.C. war stories that Kurtzman wrote and illustrated himself in the early '50s were in color, but it was a flat mechanical color on newsprint. Kurtzman's infrequent solo work almost always, of economic necessity, appeared in black & white. Thus the revelation here.

    "Imagine the acerbic satire and the bold, fluid lines of Kurtzman's seminal 1959 Jungle Book, but painted in vivid watercolor, and you have the exceptional Grasshopper and Ant," said publisher Denis Kitchen.

    Roger Price, Kurtzman's friend, fellow cartoonist ("Droodles") and a publisher (Price-Stern) praised the original appearance of The Grasshopper and the Ant in a letter to Kurtzman in 1960: "The use of color with seasonal change [is] very original and effective. Your drawing is just great. But," Price complained, "I still am bothered ...by plain old simple legibility. I have to concentrate pretty carefully to get everything... I don't mean the legibility of ideas but actual legibility of printing. Would like to see it clearer, as what you are saying is too good to be missed because the words sometimes run too close together. This, of course, is... a problem of space which you cannot help." Price's plea for a proper printing and format would go unanswered for more than four decades.

    Now Denis Kitchen Publishing, with the cooperation of Kurtzman's widow Adele, brings you the complete rediscovered gem in an 8.25" square 80 page hardcover format, with smythesewn binding and dust jacket. Individual panels are sharply reproduced the full size of the original art, printed on a matte stock with spot varnishes throughout.

    The introduction by Denis Kitchen places the story in Kurtzman's life and career perspective. The book is designed by former Kitchen Sink Press Art Director Evan Metcalf, now at DC Comics. The logo is by Peter Poplaski.

    The Grasshopper and The Ant is the first book from Kitchen since the demise of his longtime publishing company, Kitchen Sink Press (1969-1999), which previously published several other book collections by Harvey Kurtzman.

    "I am absolutely not jumping back into the business with both feet," cautioned the gun shy Kitchen, who said he still had nightmares about investors, lawyers and deadlines, in that order. "I have my hands full with other projects," he said, "But I do want to to publish two or three nice books a year, like this one, on my own terms."

    "I just hope to God I don't have one foot in a tar baby," he added ruefully.

    SAMPLE PAGES:
    (Click HERE to see more pages.)
     
     
     
     Free Kurtzman Pinback Buttons!
    If you order directly from us you will receive a FREE BONUS!
    Two 1.25" pinback buttons featuring art by Harvey Kurtzman will be included with every carefully packed book we ship.
     
     Retailers: The Grasshopper and the Ant is available wholesale from FM International, Inc. (Madison WI), Diamond Comic Distributors (Timonium MD), Red Route (London), Het Raadsel (Amsterdam) and Last Gasp (San Francisco). Please contact us if you have difficulty ordering the book from any of these suppliers.

    << Previous Product                      Next Product >>

    Harvey Kurtzman's The Grasshopper and the Ant HC
    Harvey Kurtzman's The Grasshopper and the Ant
     "Harvey Kurtzman, the inventor of MAD, was 90% Workaholic Ant and 10% pure Anarchist Grasshopper. The result was a 100% Cool Cat who composed comix with Duke Ellington's grace, Dizzy Gillespie's wit and Charlie Parker's originality. Dig it!"
    ---Art Spiegelman


    In 1960 the late comics genius Harvey Kurtzman created a marvelous beatnik take on the ancient Æsop fable. The comic story, in many ways, reflected his own attraction to the beat movement and his internal ant vs. grasshopper struggle. The only previous appearance of this poignant story was over forty years ago in Esquire magazine, where the panels were reproduced small and blurry. The story remained forgotten and unknown, even to most Kurtzman fans.

    Created at what was arguably the peak of his brilliant career, The Grasshopper and the Ant is remarkable in several respects. Kurtzman's best known work (MAD, Little Annie Fanny, Goodman Beaver, etc.) was collaborative. These often magnificent collaborations were with other first rank geniuses such as Will Elder, Jack Davis and Wally Wood. But Kurtzman fans nonetheless yearned for more of his madcap solo work, like Hey Look! and Jungle Book. When working alone there was seldom color in his creations. The powerful E.C. war stories that Kurtzman wrote and illustrated himself in the early '50s were in color, but it was a flat mechanical color on newsprint. Kurtzman's infrequent solo work almost always, of economic necessity, appeared in black & white. Thus the revelation here.

    "Imagine the acerbic satire and the bold, fluid lines of Kurtzman's seminal 1959 Jungle Book, but painted in vivid watercolor, and you have the exceptional Grasshopper and Ant," said publisher Denis Kitchen.

    Roger Price, Kurtzman's friend, fellow cartoonist ("Droodles") and a publisher (Price-Stern) praised the original appearance of The Grasshopper and the Ant in a letter to Kurtzman in 1960: "The use of color with seasonal change [is] very original and effective. Your drawing is just great. But," Price complained, "I still am bothered ...by plain old simple legibility. I have to concentrate pretty carefully to get everything... I don't mean the legibility of ideas but actual legibility of printing. Would like to see it clearer, as what you are saying is too good to be missed because the words sometimes run too close together. This, of course, is... a problem of space which you cannot help." Price's plea for a proper printing and format would go unanswered for more than four decades.

    Now Denis Kitchen Publishing, with the cooperation of Kurtzman's widow Adele, brings you the complete rediscovered gem in an 8.25" square 80 page hardcover format, with smythesewn binding and dust jacket. Individual panels are sharply reproduced the full size of the original art, printed on a matte stock with spot varnishes throughout.

    The introduction by Denis Kitchen places the story in Kurtzman's life and career perspective. The book is designed by former Kitchen Sink Press Art Director Evan Metcalf, now at DC Comics. The logo is by Peter Poplaski.

    The Grasshopper and The Ant is the first book from Kitchen since the demise of his longtime publishing company, Kitchen Sink Press (1969-1999), which previously published several other book collections by Harvey Kurtzman.

    "I am absolutely not jumping back into the business with both feet," cautioned the gun shy Kitchen, who said he still had nightmares about investors, lawyers and deadlines, in that order. "I have my hands full with other projects," he said, "But I do want to to publish two or three nice books a year, like this one, on my own terms."

    "I just hope to God I don't have one foot in a tar baby," he added ruefully.

    SAMPLE PAGES:
    (Click HERE to see more pages.)
     
     
     
     Free Kurtzman Pinback Buttons!
    If you order directly from us you will receive a FREE BONUS!
    Two 1.25" pinback buttons featuring art by Harvey Kurtzman will be included with every carefully packed book we ship.
     
     Retailers: The Grasshopper and the Ant is available wholesale from FM International, Inc. (Madison WI), Diamond Comic Distributors (Timonium MD), Red Route (London), Het Raadsel (Amsterdam) and Last Gasp (San Francisco). Please contact us if you have difficulty ordering the book from any of these suppliers.
    $25.00