Gary Panter: Cola Madnes (Hardcover)
Available widely for the first time Legendary underground cartoonist Gary Panter's comics are typically anarchic and fun, but they also delve deeper. Drawn in 1983, printed in 2001 and released here for the first time, "Cola Madnes" stars Jimbo, Panter's enduring punk everyman, sharing billing with a cast of idiosyncratic characters including Bob War; his calamitous brother, Uncle Garcia; a smart-talking dinosaur and beleaguered guardian in a bathrobe; and Kokomo, a native in an unspecified tropical land colonized by oil companies. The delightfully inane story offers a selection of Panter's themes: Humanity's troubled relationship with nature and technology; the tension between restraint and the uncontrollable urge; family relationships; and Jimbo's endearing, comical self-doubt. Panter's black-and-white "ratty line" drawing style offers great economy while suggesting a broad range of graphic styles, from "art brut" to bathroom graffiti, and calls to mind the work of legendary cartoonists Jack Kirby and Osamu Tezuka.