Re/Read is a periodic feature by Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery curator Larry Reid that examines backlist books you may have missed or are worthy of another read. I recently had a conversation with Fantagraphics editorial assistant (and Yeti Press publisher) R. J. Casey where we discussed our mutual admiration for pioneering small press publisher, musician, educator, and cartoonist Zak Sally. I was reminded of my fondness for his wildly entertaining and enlightening anthology, Like a Dog.
Zak Sally is a modern Renaissance artist. A former member of indie rock band Low, he is also proprietor of the adventurous La Mano press in Minneapolis, publishing his own work as well as other emerging and established cartoonists. Like a Dog collects the first two issues of his self-published Recidivist comix, album covers, illustrations, short stories, and related ephemera. Among the many highlights from Recidivist is an atmospheric account of a Low appearance in “Dresden.” Another great Recidivist story, “At the Gallows,” chronicles the persecution of Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Perhaps my favorite is a piece reprinted from Comic Art Magazine called “The Man Who Killed Wally Wood.” In this true story, Sally documents an encounter with Wood’s last publisher, and imagines his role in the tragic death of this important artist. (The Life and Legend of Wallace Wood is the focus of our next exhibition at the bookstore opening Saturday, January 14.)
The book concludes with a remarkably revealing narrative of Sally’s career up to that point. It provides uncommon insight into the personal and professional challenges involved in his creative process. Whether you’re unfamiliar with this amazing artist or already a fan, Like a Dog is a priceless treasure.