Skip to content

“Cat Suit: Comix Stories by Steve Lafler” new hardcover available now at Kickstarter

My new hardcover title, Cat Suit: Comix Stories by Steve Lafler, is available now!

I’m offering signed copies of the Cat Suit hardcover to readers at Kickstarter, with an opportunity to also get a piece of original art in brush & ink by myself.

I invite you to join me in bringing the Cat Suit hardcover edition to life. Order your signed Cat Suit hardcover via Kickstarter. A big thank you directly from my cartoon cave to you, for your interest and support!

What is it that makes superheroes wear these skintight crazy clothes? Let’s take a look at our hero in Cat Suit. We’ll call him “Steve.” Every time he sparks up a doobie, he finds himself donning his cat suit, and heads into the city. 

To fight crime??? Hell no, he just wants to go clubbing! And he is perplexed when the bar flies want to fight him!

The new volume collects a pair of graphic novellas that track edgy romance, Cat Suit and El Vocho—we get hot cars, cute dresses, and hilarious hijinks. The artist throws in his signature destruction of time and space for good measure—a peak under the hood of reality as we know it. 

Best of all, there’s a bonus story featuring that guy with multiple names: Beezlebub, Old Scratch, Satan, Lucifer, Mephistopheles, el Diablo… they’re all the same guy and he likes to mess with you, right? Or maybe he’s just misunderstood? Could it be he knows something they’re trying to hide from you, some important bit of knowledge and know-how?

El Vocho

The action starts with a fender bender between Rosa’s classic ’63 Impala low rider, and Eddie’s beat up vintage VW Bug. BAM—it’s the spark for an unlikely urban romance.

Can laconic Eddie, the bohemian artist, endure the good-natured jabs from Rosa, the brilliant Latina hottie mechanic/inventor? 

Can they even survive when big oil sends out mobsters in pursuit of Rosa and her clean energy designs?

Cat Suit will also be available at the Permanent Damage Art Comix Show. Silver Sprocket, San Francisco’s superb comix art / graphic novel retailer, host the event at it’s store at 1018 Valencia St. on Saturday, September 24.

The Cat Suit hardcover is shipping to comic shops in November via Lunar Distribution, and will be available to the book trade from Ingram.

Thanks for your interest and support!

P.S. While you’re here, please check out my graphic novel catalog !

Dog Boy: The Elephant in my Back Catalog

The first Dog Boy story came to me in a flash in the winter of 1982–I cut up a bunch of bristol board, sharpened my Prismacolor non-photo blue pencil and, and blasted out an 11-page story as fast as I could draw. I tapped into a rushing stream of ideation and pulled it into comic form over a couple days. I published the results that July in Guts #3, and managed to get Last Gasp and Capital City to distribute, and I was off on a five-year arc that resulted in 17 issues of Dog Boy.

Eventually, I drew a good 500 pages of Dog Boy comics, and compiled a 488-page oversized collection of these early indy comics. Today, you can score a copy of this giant brick of Dog Boy comics for a mere $39.99 + postage, from my store at Lulu.

Here’s a description of the whole Dog Boy experience:

Imagine, if you will, a young man with a penchant for strong coffee, cheap beer and blotter acid (not necessarily in that order) who happens to be outfitted with a big fuzzy Golden Retriever head. This irascible “Dog Boy” is given to bursts of enthusiasm—we find him expounding on everything from socialism to earth-shattering transcendent epiphanies. Well, sometimes we just find him stealing cars.

I published seventeen issues of Dog Boy in the eighties, first with my own Cat-Head Comics label and then with Fantagraphics. I was a young cartoonist at the dawn of the independent/alternative comics movement pushing myself, riding my brush & ink as hard as I could, exploring the nature of reality. 

Trusting my process, I opened himself up to the deep muse, fishing for “the other”, mining for gold that lies deep in the heart of us all. Sure, I fell on my face time & again, but often enough I was amply rewarded for my journeys inside, returning jewel-laden with Dog Boy comix that shined.

Dog Boy is the elephant in the room, as regards my back-catalog of graphic novels. My Complete BugHouse collection is there, along with a bunch of other tasty & weird titles, all of which are available via comic shops, bookstores and distributors. But this monster Dog Boy book is only available from my Lulu store at present. The economics of distribution are such that, the cover price of this deluxe oversize volume would need to be around $75 to feed all the players in the distribution system.

That being the case, I intend to break the Dog Boy material into two separate volumes of around 250 pages each, and sell them through both comic book, and the book trade distribution systems. This will take me awhile–at present I’m drawing a project written by Paul Theroux to be published by Fantagraphics. In the background I’ll chip away at this vision of finding a larger audience for Dog Boy.

In the meanwhile, I invite you to grab existing oversize Doggie Style: Complete Dog Boy and dig in!

Complete BugHouse: Trade Paper Edition at Lunar and Diamond Distributors

STEVE LAFLER HERE, sounding the alarm! The trade paperback edition of BugHouse From the Top: The Complete BugHouse is now available from both Lunar Distribution (Product code 0422CT261) and Diamond Comic Distributors (Item code MAY221324), for July 2022 shipping.

Birdcage Bottom Books is also carrying the trade paper version of BugHouse.

The 406-page book retails for $34, ISBN 9781734108705

A hardcover edition is also available to the book trade for July, from Ingram (ISBN 978-1-7341087-6-7), retail $38.

Domino Books has stock on hand now of the hardcover edition of BugHouse From the Top, drop them an email at the above link, and indeed lose yourself in the stunning DOMINO BOOKS store!

Here’s a quick synopsis of my BugHouse comics:

Tenor saxophone maestro Jimmy Watts leads his talented band of bugs from the swing era into the uncharted maelstrom of Bebop. As he and his bandmates claw their way to the top of the jazz world, they must fight the temptation to be consumed by addiction to the substance known as “Bug Juice”.

Cartoonist Steve Lafler doesn’t back away from the horrors of addiction in creating BugHouse, but the artist’s real game is depicting the joy of music in the language of comics, with his signature fluid brushwork. 

Steve claims he was conscripted to cartooning as a tot—the result of watching reruns of old Max Fleischer animations. The Fleischer cartoons had four-year-old Lafler literally falling into a lush illustrated world, peopled by buggy creatures rapping over swing jazz, dancing all the while.

A panel first BugHouse story, published in Buzzard #8 (1993)

I’m encouraging graphic novel retailers, bookstores, libraries, and “AHT” comix fans everywhere to jump on the train with BugHouse–thanks so much! -STEVE

Visit the Cat Head Comics catalog and treat yourself to many more winning & peculiar graphic novels by Steve Lafler.

Smoke the Tapes

Stephen Beaupre has released his first album, Smoke the Tapes, an amalgam of punk power chords, incandescent rant and improvised hilarity. This tour-de-force socio-political commentary is unrivaled in it’s spontaneous lyricism and piercing witticisms, lobbed at the Reagan eighties writ large. In fact, these recordings hark from that era, emerging now as a sonic masterwork.

Lafler cover art for Smoke the Tapes, scrawled in Sharpie on a beer coaster long ago.

With Smoke the Tapes, we get 25 tracks of Mr. Beaupre, haggling with a variety of 80s archetypes from TV preachers to Jazzercize icons–well, in some cases he inhabits the character, in lieu of bantering with these Reagan era scoundrels.

Lafler banner art for Smoke the Tapes

In the track Tinted Glass, Wide Tires, Beaupre barks his observations on a Reagan-era dupe in his giant pick-up truck in a mock hysterical tone, over an undulating punk guitar drone. Yes, the pitched cultural critique applies to today’s class of giant pick-up truck enthusiasts, and indeed to contemporary manipulation of the masses by cynical politicians, media and corporate consumer hucksters.

Included on Smoke the Tapes are snippets recorded from the TV of Reagan himself, along with various con artists selling their dance moves, diet pills and prayer cloths, sometimes including off-the-cuff comic dialog with Beaupre.

My favorite track just might be Fleas on a Donkey. Imagine William Burroughs doing his cryptic spoken word bit, only filtered through Robin Williams riffing on a donkey. It’s hard to explain, but it never fails to induce hilarity in me, modulating through bursts of guitar modulations and voices, to a crescendo where we meet the central problem: Fleas on a Donkey! Beaupre is a talented wordsmith, carefully crafting through his humorous lens that is part Frank Zappa, part Bugs Bunny.

Interested parties can stream Smoke the Tapes for free. A download cost $7, now that’s a real value kids! Individual tracks cost a buck.

Steve Beaupre and I were the co-publishers of the Buzzard comics anthology in the 90s (he was editor, I was “art director”), and we also collaborated on his classic graphic novel, Forty Hour Man.

Steve Lafler

BugHouse From the Top: The Complete BugHouse hardcover edition is here.

At long last! I’ve put together a hardcover edition of my BugHouse comics, and I’m making it available direct to readers before it ships to the book trade & comic shops this summer.

Signed copies can be had at $45 PPD, with payment via Venmo (@Steven-Lafler) or Paypal (steve.lafler@gmail.com) – Just be sure to zip me an email with your address too, so you actually get your book!

A paperback version of BugHouse From the Top: The Complete BugHouse is available at Amazon for $34. Bear in mind that it will be an unsigned copy, and can ship as of official publication date in July.

Meanwhile, I’ve put together a sneak peek of BugHouse if you like to preview the book. Drop me an email with the phrase “Ebook BugHouse #3 Please” and I’ll send you a complimentary digital copy PDF of BugHouse issue #3 from summer 1995.

BugHouse #3, summer 1995

Here’s a short synopsis of the story:

Tenor saxophone maestro Jimmy Watts leads his talented band of bugs from the swing era into the uncharted maelstrom of Bebop. As he and his band mates claw their way to the top of the jazz world, they must fight the temptation to be consumed by addiction to a substance known as “Bug Juice.”

Inspired by the postwar explosion of Bohemian cultural stylings from artists as diverse as jazz trumpeter Miles Davis and Beat avatar William Burroughs, cartoonist Steve Lafler delivers his indigo-tinged masterwork graphic novel, BugHouse.

I was browsing graphic novels at City Lights Books in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood not too long ago. This enlightened establishment had about the finest collection of graphic novels I’ve ever seen, A wide range of classic and new works, many of them lushly designed hardcovers from Fantagraphics, Drawn & Quarterly and First Second among other publishers. In my mind’s eye I saw a BugHouse hardcover edition on the shelf here, where it belongs. So here it is, you get first crack at it (I still need to drop in on City Lights and present my case to them!)

The plan is to ship BugHouse From the Top: The Complete BugHouse to comic shops and the book trade for summer 2022.

In 2012, CO2 Comics put out a beautiful Hardcover of the complete BugHouse, but it was a Print on Demand title only; the step forward here is to make it available to the comic distributors and the book trade.

Don’t forget to check out the Cat-Head Comics catalog of graphic novels!

Praise for BugHouse:

“I’m going to recommend a graphic novel that is great because it is good, solid and delivers in spades what I most enjoy in a comic book; a comfortable mastery of the form, fun, surprises, a story I can get into and a light touch. In short its the kind of book you can flop down on the couch with of an afternoon, lie back and enjoy.” 
Jim Woodring, commenting on BugHouse for Boing Boing

“I love BugHouse. I’m fond of the little bug-creatures that inhabit it. With his masterful storytelling, Steve Lafler has created an alternate universe. His characters are not particularly cute (well, some of them are), but one can easily emphasize with their meaty human struggles with addiction, love, power, greed, and lust. Check it out!” 

-Phoebe Gloeckner, The Diary of a Teenage Girl

“Many years ago, when I was drawing in gramma and grandpa’s living room on Cape Cod, Uncle Steve asked me if I wanted to see his new cartoon character. He borrowed my blue marker and drew Jimmy Watts holding a saxophone—and the excitement I felt back then as a boy is renewed today at the news of a Complete BugHouse book.”

-Dan Bandit aka GHOSTSHRIMP created and designed the world for Adventure Time

Email Steve with questions & comments

Forty Hour Man: Preorders & Playlist

HEY THERE! Just now, you can order the Forty Hour Man graphic novel for $20 via paypal (steve.lafler@gmail.com) or Venmo (@Steven-Lafler). This is the re-issue of the classic 2006 book by writer Stephen Beaupre, with art by myself.

Retailers can order the book from Ingram, ISBN: 978-1-7341087-8-1

Here is all you need to know about this wonderful book with the universal theme of Shitty Jobs:

Forty Hour Man from Cat Head Comics by Stephen Beaupre with art by Steve Lafler
Author Stephen Beaupre has curated a Forty Hour Man Spotify Playlist to celebrate his hilarious book on the plight of the working stiff.

Title: Forty Hour Man (Stephen Beaupre, writer. Steve Lafler, artist.)

Format: Trade Paper 6″x9″, 248 pages. Color covers, matte finish, B&W interior

Retail: $19.99

ISBN: 978-1-7341087-8-1    The new edition of the 2006 book.
Is it a career, or a series of really lame jobs? Stephen Beaupre (author) and Steve Lafler (cartoonist) pose this timeless question in Forty Hour Man, a hilarious saga of one working stiff’s three-decade journey into the minimum wage heart of the American Dream. It’s all here – from scrubbing a steakhouse floor with a toothbrush to going bust in the Internet boom. Every bad boss. Every crazy co-worker. All the more shocking because it’s true!


Stephen Beaupre discusses Forty Hour Man and his playlist for the book:

“Welcome to the Great Resignation. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers in record numbers are quitting their jobs, lining up to punch out with gusto one last time. Yes, karma seems to be finally catching up with bad bosses and toxic workplaces.

Now that the grand awakening has awakened, this is the perfect time to re-unleash 40 Hour Man — a memoir-esque jam session with maestro Steve Lafler chronicling all of my ridiculous jobs and suspect life choices spanning three decades. All shocking. All true. 

Sure, some people go to the best school, major in business, graduate with honors, buy a business blue button-down and never look back. Not me. I chose a different path. OK, not really a path. More of a blindfolded stagger into the waiting arms of the siren Whatever. 

Still, a life of only left turns doesn’t mean you’re not getting anywhere. Like the embroidery on countless inspirational throw pillows, it’s the journey that matters. And my history of bouncing like a pinball from one odd choice to the next has been punctuated with bliss. 

One bliss-like moment was collaborating with Steve Lafler on this book. Steve and I have been friends for over 30 years and he was never far from these stories, oftentimes even driving the getaway car. So having him as a copilot on this ride, adding his sympatico visual punch to the plotline, was perfect. It turns out this is why I washed dishes in a cowboy uniform. 

Now pour yourself a tall one and turn up this oven-fresh 40 Hour Man playlist.” 

– Stephen Beaupre
Contact: Steve Lafler
CAT HEAD COMICS CATALOG yeah click here to buy some strange & wonderful graphic novels

Cat Head Comics Catalog

Unusual Graphic novels by Steve Lafler, who has maintained his status as a loose cannon on the deck of Alt/Underground comics movement for decades.

1956 Movie Star NEW!
This “what if” take on mid-century Manhattan is the jolly conceit of cartoonist Steve Lafler in 1956 Movie Star—enjoy as you lean into that transcendent Coltrane solo over a martini just past midnight in New York City, smack in the center of 1956. 72 pages, trade paper, $12.99 at Amazon.


1956 Book One: Sweet Sweet Little Ramona
This graphic novella delivers readers to the bright lights and glamor of Manhattan in 1956 with Jack, Susie and Ramona. They cut deals in the Garment District by day and haunt the legendary Jazz Clubs of 52nd St. by night. 54 pages, trade paper, $9.95 at Amazon.


Death Plays a Mean Harmonica
Gertie and Rex get a wild hair and relocate to Oaxaca! Upon arrival in this cultural hub of southern Mexico, our intrepid migrants meet Eduardo, the crafty 1000-year-old Zapotec vampire who prefers chicken blood, El Rey Pelón (the skinny pot-bellied fungus who drives a taxi) and of course Death, who plays a mean harmonica. 144 pages, trade paper, $12.99 at Amazon.


Forty Hour Man
Is it a career, or a series of unforgiving yet hilarious jobs? Stephen Beaupre (author) and Steve Lafler (cartoonist) pose this timeless question in Forty Hour Man, a hilarious saga of one working stiff’s three-decade journey into the minimum wage heart of the American Dream.
$20 venmo @steven-lafler please include your address and the words “Forty Hour Man” / 248 pages, trade paper.


BugHouse Book One
Tenor saxophone maestro Jimmy Watts leads his talented band of bugs from the swing era into the uncharted maelstrom of Bebop. As he and his band mates claw their way to the top of the jazz world, they must fight the temptation to be consumed by addiction to a substance known as “Bug Juice”. 192 pages, trade paper, $15.99 at Amazon.


BugHouse from the Top: The Complete BugHouse
The 406-page BugHouse trade paperback compilation, includes all three volumes of the BugHouse graphic novel trilogy. $34.00 at Amazon (orders begin shipping July 2022, the official publication date.)


Doggie Style: The Complete Dog Boy
Imagine, if you will, a young man with a penchant for strong coffee, cheap beer and blotter acid (not necessarily in that order) who happens to be outfitted with a big fuzzy Golden Retriever head. This irascible “Dog Boy” is given to bursts of enthusiasm—we find him expounding on everything from socialism to earth-shattering transcendent epiphanies. Well, sometimes we just find him stealing cars. 488 page oversize paperback collecting Lafler’s pioneering improvisational comics of the 1980s. $39.99 at Lulu.com


El Vocho: Love at the Twilight of Oil
Rosa the Latina hottie inventor and Eddie the geek artist meet in a fender bender. Tempers flare but sparks fly and they fall in love. Working together, they create the perfect clean energy motor while being tracked by goons working for big oil. 100 pages, trade paper, $12.00 at Lulu.com


Cat Suit
What kind of whack job would put on a mask and a skin-tight suit and head out into the city after midnight? I mean, what is this guy really up to? What pathology, what proclivity are we dealing with here? Is he fighting crime? Hell no, he’s just going clubbing—and he’s frankly perplexed when the bar flies & drunks want to pick a fight with him. 48 pages, trade paper, $6.95 at Lulu.com


Steve Lafler Interview at The Comics Journal published October 2021.

I’m stunned and delighted to report that I made two “Best Graphic Novel” lists for 2021–with two different titles! Ryan Carey’s Four Color Apocalypse names “Death Plays a Mean Harmonica” as #5 on the year, while Henry Chamberlain at Comics Grinder taps “1956 Book One: Sweet Sweet Little Ramona” for his Best of 2021 list.

Thanks for dropping by! I personally guarantee these are goddamn weird & wonderful graphic novels. Click on my name below if you’d like to zip me an email.

Steve Lafler

Contents ©2022 Steve Lafler and Cat Head Comics, all rights reserved.

Steve’s new “1956 Movie Star” Graphic Novel is Here

I’ve launched 1956 Movie Star, my new graphic novella with a successful Kickstarter project, raising $2948 towards the production of the book.

Those who missed the Kickstarter can order the book directly from me via email. Just send your address and indicate if you prefer to pay via Paypal or Venmo. The price of $18 gets you a signed book with an original sketch on the title page.

1956 Movie Star is also available at Amazon.

The story builds on last year’s 1956 Book One narrative—Enter Ramona Lopez and Nikki Garcia, brimming with talent and intent to quit the streets. The two young women are keen to embrace their cultural ambitions. Can Nikki get her novel published? Will Ramona break through to a modeling career?

And of course, here’s Jack Rolfe and Susie Ferrari vying for the promotion to “Chief Buyer” at the McCurdy’s chain of department stores. Can these fashion industry avatars help Ramona & Nikki? More to the point, can Jack and Susie resist jumping into bed together?

1956 Movie Star represents a new stylistic twist in my cartoon work and I’m thrilled to make it available to you.

Comic retailers will be able to order the book from Diamond Comic Distributors in the January Diamond Previews catalog for items shipping in March 2022.

Warm regards,

Steve Lafler

Email Steve today for your copy of 1956 Movie Star!

Movie Star 1956 Graphic Novel – Kickstarter Coming in October.

Greetings! I’ve been messing around with cover ideas for my upcoming graphic novella Movie Star 1956. This is what I’ve got so far, below. OK, I like it. Maybe I’ll add some color to the line art here. I’ll come up with a couple more ideas, trusting the muse to stick a some engaging images in my head.

I’m excited about Movie Star 1956, this title marks a new approach to my graphic storytelling. I’ve employed a lot of research and reference in creating the look of Manhattan in 1956, much more than in the past. I’m hardly going “realistic” as my drawings retain a sort of rubbery cartoon realism. That being said, I’ve really enjoyed capturing the look and feel of a particular time and place in mid-20th century New York City.

I’m a month out from starting a Kickstarter campaign to launch the book (running from Oct. 11 through Halloween.) I’ll be inviting you to order the book via the campaign, and will be offering some nicely priced original artwork, as well as a key title from my back-catalog, the hilarious 40 Hour Man (with writer Stephen Beaupre.)

Best to ya,

Steve

Doggie Style: The Complete Dog Boy Log

Howdy! I’ve been posting about the three graphic novels I’ve published as trade paperbacks this year, but there’s more to the story. In the ’80s and ’90s, I produced more than 500 pages of Dog Boy comics. I’ve collected most of the work in a 488-page volume called Doggie Style: The Complete Dog Boy.

I’m not ready to throw this large beast into the book trade just now, but don’t fret! IT is available as an oversize 8″x11″ art book from my Lulu store for $39.99.

The three titles I’ve shipped into the trade this year (1956 Book One, BugHouse and Death Plays a Mean Harmonica) can be seen at this link.

“Steve Lafler’s comics will have you keeling over backwards with laughter.” – Peter Bagge, Hate comics

I love BugHouse. I’m fond of the little bug-creatures that inhabit it. With his masterful storytelling, Steve Lafler has created an alternate universe. His characters are not particularly cute (well, some of them are), but one can easily emphasize with their meaty human struggles with addiction, love, power, greed, and lust. Check it out! -Phoebe Gloeckner, A Child’s Life

Meanwhile, a RANDOM BONUS! You can check out my band Radio Insecto here for free downloads.