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

February 28, 2022

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 ( – 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.

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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

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