I just bought this really cool book in Half Price Books of Berkeley. I've been a big fan of the alternative comics scene since the mid 80's when I picked up the first volume of RAW books edited by Spiegleman and Mouley. This book continues in the RAW vain of presenting cutting edge alternative comics! Ivan has put a lot of the great RAW creators like Spiegleman, Burns, Panter, Beyer, including the 60's underground greats like Crumb, Green and Dietch, as well of a lot of the more modern creators of Alternative comics that I am not so familiar with like Ware, Seth, Woodring, and R. Sikoryak. He then rounds the whole thing off with reprints of some classic comic creators like Schults, Kurtzman, and Herriman. There are way too many greats to list in this short intro!
The first thing that struck me about the book was the striking cover by Seth! It, in itself, is an incredible work of graphic art! First he has chosen 3 colors, black, gray and blue. Then he puts a shine on the main title but prints the rest in this metallic ink that when you hold it just right in the light, it has a dull shine to it! Seth has also illustrated various parts of the cover (the spine, and back cover) with short comics about comics! In one 2 panel strip entitled "The Connoisseur", a richly dressed gentleman in a top hat asks a working class newspaper vendor from a by gone age, "Have you any graphic fiction my good man?" the vendor replies, "Nah, just comic books." to which the the smartly attired gentleman faints with the reply, "My Word!"
It's a wonderful take on the whole comic deconstruction genera in the wonderful style of Spiegleman and McCloud!