The long-awaited collection of James the Stanton’s beloved Gnartoons comics is here! Drink a 40 with a skateboarding dog, light a cop car on fire with a herd of friendly forest critters, and eat a pizza brunch with a bunch of radical dinosaurs. Stanton’s trademark trippy humor wriggles and shines its way through each lushly illustrated comic vignette, now lovingly presented in a deluxe hardcover.

272 full-color pages; 6″ x  9″; SRP: $29.99
ISBN 978-1-945509-41-4; Diamond: JAN221640
Coming Spring 2022

This boisterous collection presenting Stanton’s long-running alt-weekly and online comics offers a heady mix of underground comix experimentation, punk anti-style, and wry observations on the Seattle alternative scene, all seasoned with a dash of MAD Magazine. It’s a trip into a psychedelic world of drunken forest gnomes, jaded cartoon animals, gloopy space aliens, and junkyard hobos. The cast includes the Squatters of Trash Island and the deeply tongue-in-cheek Radical Dinosaurrr Pizza Brunch (“Dinosaurs’ voices sound exactly like wicked guitar solos”). Weird adventures through weirder landscapes are punctuated by drunken arguments and stoned conversations about ephemera. Stanton’s squelchy art, often drenched in eye-gouging colors, shows a strong R. Crumb influence, and much like Crumb, he’s a more disciplined artist than his visual excesses and gross-out humor might suggest at first glance; he plays with optical illusions and fourth wall–breaking visuals, making creatures crawl and sprawl over panels. (One character complains, “These 3D panels can really mess with a cartoon character’s sense of space.”) He’s equally comfortable drawing precise pen-and-ink illustrations of the foliage in the Pacific Northwest and a comic about a punk band carried off by rats. Swarming with monsters and madness, this retrospective captures a volatile talent.

The dense, adroit and textural cartooning of James Stanton, who often signs his work “James the Stanton”, has been a highlight of modern comics over the past decade. Stanton’s voice as artist, colorist and humorist is distinct: friendly, unassuming and deadpan as the visual and verbal curlicues of his work delight and astound the reader.

Frank M. Young, The Comics Journal

“Reading James Stanton’s Gnartoons collection is like finding the most glorious and delicious psychedelic mushroom in the forest and gobbling it straight out of the ground and sinking into a warm moss pit as your body starts to vibrate into the hyper-dimensional universe and lots of disgusting slimy insects climb through the moss tangles and your own be-furred anxiety sweat stew but you don’t mind one bit because your scintillating rainbow sunbeam-lit view of the forest is both hilarious and beautiful.”

Josh Simmons, Black River

I felt like my brain was melting a bit (in a good way) as I read, Gnartoons, and let its extreme weirdness wash over me. Stanton does a fantastic job compiling a wild body of work into this book. I’d highly recommend picking up a copy and preparing yourself for an equally deranged and exciting trip into some strange stuff.

5 out of 5 stars.

David Bitterbaum, Forces of Geek