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Fanta News
Jordan Crane, Shag & Bagge at Fantagraphics in May Print
Written by Larry Reid   
Wednesday, 30 April 2008

THREE BRILLIANT ART STARS SHINE ON CONSECUTIVE SATURDAYS IN MAY AT FANTAGRAPHICS BOOKSTORE & GALLERY!

Jordan Crane on May 10, Peter Bagge on May 17, and SHAG on May 24

Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery springs into action in May with a succession of events featuring three of the country’s most celebrated cartoonists and remarkable illustrators. The public of all ages is invited to join us in an exciting series of exhibitions featuring Jordan Crane on May 10, Peter Bagge on May 17, and SHAG on May 24.

Los Angles artist Jordan Crane’s evocative and bittersweet meditations on the human condition in comics and illustration have gained him an enthusiastic following among art aficionados of all ages. His economical narrative observations have been published by Seattle-based Fantagraphics Books, including two issues of the comic book series Uptight, and graphic novels The Last Lonely Saturday and The Clouds Above, recently issued in trade paperback. His exhibition opening Saturday, May 10 includes exquisite limited edition prints and original artwork from his comics. The reception, from 6:00 to 9:00 PM, serves as the after-party for exhibitors and guests of the Emerald City Comicon, where Crane is among the featured artists. The opening also coincides with the lively Georgetown Second Saturday Art Attack, featuring art, music and more at over 30 locations throughout the enchanting Georgetown neighborhood.

Seattle’s Peter Bagge is one of the most accomplished and admired cartoonists in the world. On Saturday, May 17 from 6:00 – 9:00 PM, Fantagraphics Bookstore will host the launch party for a line of skateboards and related product produced by Seattle-based Manik Skateboards. On display will be the debut of skateboard decks drawn from the pages of his landmark comic HATE. Bagge’s grunge-era imagery is ideally suited to the skateboarding subculture. At once hilarious and poignant, Bagge’s work of this era went beyond satire, and helped fashion both the attitudes and aesthetics of Seattle’s only significant indigenous youth movement. In the opinion of Fantagraphics Books’ resident curator Larry Reid, “Peter Bagge’s HATE is the most fully conceived and executed comic book series ever published.” These delightful boards remain as funny and compelling as his comics of the 1990s.

SHAG (Josh Agle), of Santa Ana, CA, is the Andy Warhol of the new millennium. His distinctive artwork is characterized by a deceptively simple fluid line quality and contemporary interpretations of mid-century Americana. His work is simultaneously fresh and familiar, drawing on oddities of American popular culture both past and present. SHAG’s imagery resonates with audiences worldwide, and over the course of the last decade he has become a cottage industry – certainly one of the most prolific and successful artists working today. For good reason. The exhibition opening and book signing on Saturday, May 24 from 6:00 – 9:00 PM will feature work from his new book, SHAG: A to Z, published by Fantagraphics Books, natch. The book is comprised of 26 original paintings corresponding to the letters of the alphabet. Each piece is accompanied by a short verse extolling the pleasures of a hedonistic lifestyle and the virtues of overindulgence. Join us in welcoming this extraordinary artist.

Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale Street in Seattle’s Georgetown district. Open daily, 11:30 – 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone: 206.658.0110. A selection of imagery in a variety of formats is available for publication. For additional information, please contact Larry Reid.

LISTING INFORMATION

Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery

Jordan Crane
Book signing and art show
Saturday, May 10, 6:00 – 9:00 PM
(Emerald City Comicon after-party)
Exhibition continues through May 21

Peter Bagge
Manik Skateboard launch party
Saturday, May 17, 6:00 – 9:00 PM

SHAG: A to Z
Book signing and art show
Saturday, May 24, 6:00 – 9:00 PM
Exhibition continues through June 25

Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery
1201 S. Vale Street. (at Airport Way S.)
Seattle, WA 98108
206.658.0110
Open daily 11:30 – 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM

Download the press release: Microsoft Word (34.5 KB)
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 30 April 2008 )
 
Steve Ditko at MoCCA Festival?!? Print
Written by Eric Reynolds   
Tuesday, 22 April 2008

“STRANGE & STRANGER: THE WORLD OF STEVE DITKO” to debut at the MOCCA Art Festival (June 7/8th).

Strange and Stranger - The World of Steve Ditko by Blake Bell

Fantagraphics Books is proud to announce that Strange and Stranger: The World of Steve Ditko – the first critical retrospective of Steve Ditko, the co-creator and original artist of the Amazing Spider-Man – will make its much-anticipated debut on Saturday June 7th, 2008 at the MoCCA Comics Art Festival. The author, Blake Bell, will be on hand both days at MoCCA to sign copies of the book and will debut his slide show presentation on Ditko’s work as part of the festival’s programming. As well, a bookstore signing event at Jim Hanley’s Universe will take place during the festival weekend.

In addition to updates, teasers, and media news on Bell’s Steve Ditko web site at www.ditko.comics.org, readers will be able to keep abreast of updates on the book’s Facebook and MySpace pages, as well as multiple radio and print appearances. For example, Wizard magazine will be running a 6-page feature, excerpting from the Amazing Spider-Man chapter, in its July issue – out in early June). Also, beginning tomorrow, the book’s Introduction will be posted on www.fantagraphics.com, with an additional excerpt being made available to Fantagraphics’ 20/20 Club members.

Available in comic-book stores nation-wide in mid-June, and in mainstream book stores in early July, the book will explode many of the myths of Ditko’s career, as well as present reams of rare and unpublished Ditko artwork. All at once, the book functions as a biography of the artist, and an examination of his work (spotlighting over 300 images) with commentary on what makes Ditko one of history’s greatest sequential storytellers from the author and some of comics most skilled and articulate comic creators.

2008 will mark the year when Steve Ditko fans the world over will have the opportunity to celebrate the artist’s 50-plus year career with this definitive volume from Blake Bell and Fantagraphics Books. A selection of images in a variety of formats is available for publication. For additional information, contact Eric Reynolds.

TITLE INFORMATION:
Strange & Stranger: The World of Steve Ditko
By Blake Bell
$39.99 Hardcover
220 pages, full-color, 9” x 12”
Diamond order code: MAR08 3707
ISBN 978-1-56097-921-0
PUBLICATION DATE: June 2008

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 22 April 2008 )
 
Drew Friedman at Rocketship in Brooklyn on May 16 Print
Written by Eric Reynolds   
Monday, 14 April 2008

DREW FRIEDMAN ART SHOW AND BOOK SIGNING
AT ROCKETSHIP IN BROOKLYN MAY 16!

WHO: Drew Friedman
WHAT: Opening reception and book signing
WHERE: Rocketship
208 Smith St., Brooklyn, NY 11201 • 718.797.1348
WHEN: Friday, May 16, 8PM

“Drew Friedman isn't just a brilliant artist. He takes you to a place. He takes you back in time. He makes you smell the stale cigarettes and cold brisket and you say thank you for the pleasure.” — Sarah Silverman

Join cartoonist DREW FRIEDMAN for a special exhibition of original art and objects, along with a book signing in conjunction with the release of More Old Jewish Comedians.

Drew Friedman is among the most notorious illustrators and cartoonists in America. According to Entertainment Weekly, “He holds a marvelously warped lens up to crusty politicians and debauched celebrities. A good-natured misanthrope with an obsessive style and a sardonic tongue, Drew Friedman is one of the country’s sharper political artists.” Friedman will appear in New York for the first time since his legendary Friar’s Club Book-warming in March (as written about by Lillian Ross in The New Yorker’s “Talk of the Town”) for a book signing and exhibition of his original artwork on Friday, May 16 at 8:00 PM.

Friedman’s illustrious career has included comics work published in Art Spiegelman’s RAW, R. Crumb’s Weirdo and MAD Magazine, and frequent illustrations in National Lampoon, The New York Times, The New York Observer, among countless other publications. He was the recipient of the 2001 Reuben Award for newspaper illustration (and is a nominee for the same award this year). Friedman’s work has been collected by Seattle’s Fantagraphics Books in The Fun Never Stops!: An Anthology of Comic Art 1991 - 2006, Old Jewish Comedians, More Old Jewish Comedians, and Warts and All.

More Old Jewish Comedians is the sequel to 2006's wildly popular Old Jewish Comedians, and has earned raves from Jerry Lewis, Howard Stern, Jimmy Kimmel, Sarah Silverman, The Believer, Entertainment Weekly and many others. The book includes the famous (Woody Allen, Joan Rivers, Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Soupy Sales, etc.), the less-famous (Jerry Stiller, Zeppo & Gummo Marx, Larry Storch, Zero Mostel, etc.) and the largely unknown (Molly Picon, Herbie Faye, Jan Murray, etc.). The Reuben Award-winning Friedman presents a thorough visual history of the 20th Century's greatest Borscht-Belt comedians in 34 full-page, liver-spotted portraits.

A reception for the artist will begin on Friday, May 16 at 8:00PM. Admission is free to the public of all ages. The exhibition continues though June 4, 2008.

A selection of images in a variety of formats is available for publication. For additional information, contact Eric Reynolds.

MORE OLD JEWISH COMEDIANS
By Drew Friedman; Introduction by Larry Gelbart
$16.99 Hardcover • 36 pp., black-and-white, 10” x 10”
ISBN 978-1-56097-914-2
www.fantagraphics.com

Download the press release: Microsoft Word (432.5 KB), PDF (391 KB)
Last Updated ( Thursday, 17 April 2008 )
 
Bob Levin Debuts Most Outrageous at Bay Area Events Print
Written by Eric Reynolds   
Tuesday, 08 April 2008

Bob Levin

You are invited to two exciting Bay Area events featuring acclaimed Berkeley author Bob Levin, whose new book, Most Outrageous, details the unsettling story of the life of Hustler cartoonist Dwaine Tinsley, creator of "Chester the Molester." When Larry Flynt's Superstar was accused of sexually abusing his teenaged daughter for five years, the prosecution brought in hundreds of Tinsley's cartoons as evidence. Levin details this unprecedented case, and Tinsley's family life, with unquestionable sophistication, exhaustive journalistic research, and humanity.

WHO: Bob Levin
WHAT: Most Outrageous Book Release Party, with author reading & signing as well as hors d'ouevres and no host bar
WHERE: Chester's Bayview Café
WHERE: 1508 Walnut St.
WHERE: Berkeley, CA 94709
WHERE: (510) 849-9995
WHEN: Friday, May 16, 7-9 PM

WHO: Bob Levin
WHAT: Most Outrageous author reading and signing
WHERE: Comic Relief of Berkeley
WHERE: 2026 Shattuck Ave.
WHERE: Berkeley, CA 94704
WHERE: (510) 843-5002
WHEN: Sunday, June 1, 6 PM

ANNOUNCING BOB LEVIN'S MOST OUTRAGEOUS

Most Outrageous by Bob Levin

In May 1989, Dwaine Tinsley stood at the summit of an unlikely career. The product of a broken, trailer-trash marriage, he was a high school dropout who had decided to become a professional cartoonist while serving a six-year sentence in a Maryland prison for burglary. As cartoon editor for Larry Flynt's notorious Hustler magazine, he had assembled a staff of pen-and-Wite-Out-wielding Lenny Bruces whose unprecedentedly offensive socio-sexual cartoons had spearheaded that publication's fight against the forces of censorship and repression that sought to overthrow the political and cultural gains of the 1960s. His primary personal contribution - spawned amidst a national hysteria that saw a plague of child sexual abuse arising everywhere from pre-school staffs to satanic sects - was "Chester the Molester," a hulking middle-aged man who craved pre-pubescent girls.

And then Tinsley's teenage daughter accused him of sexually violating her over the course of five years. And the prosecution in his ensuing criminal trial cast several storage boxes full of his cartoons against him. Most Outrageous is the story of the trial of Dwaine Tinsley as well as the story of Tinsley's family life.

Bob Levin's writings have established him as one of the most thought-provoking chroniclers of cartoonists today. Most Outrageous carries his search for the work and lives of the most inflammatory creators in the field onto new, unsettling ground, and Levin navigates this difficult subject with sophistication and grace.

Levin, an author and attorney, lives in Berkeley, California, with his wife and frequent collaborator, Adele. He is a long time contributing writer to The Comics Journal and the author of The Pirates & the Mouse: Disney's War Against the Counterculture, hailed by critics as "masterful," "passionate," "elegant," "charming" (twice), "thoughtful," and "hilarious."

"If good criticism is that which prompts and cultivates a reader's interest in the subject at hand, no matter their prior prejudice, Levin is an unassailably great critic. The studied enthusiasm and clarity of his essays suggests that he may be the best comics critic writing today." - Rain Taxi

MOST OUTRAGEOUS:
THE TRIALS AND TRESPASSES OF DWAINE TINSLEY AND CHESTER THE MOLESTER

By Bob Levin

$19.99 Paperback Original
200 pages, illustrated, 6" x 9"
ISBN: 978-1-56097-919-7
CATEGORY: JOURNALISM
PUB DATE: JUNE 17, 2008

A selection of images in a variety of formats (and ratings) is available for publication. For additional information contact Eric Reynolds.

Download the press release: Microsoft Word (540 KB), PDF (1.8 MB)
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 08 April 2008 )
 
Jules Feiffer Debuts Explainers at the Strand on May 15 Print
Written by Eric Reynolds   
Monday, 07 April 2008

Jules Feiffer Debuts Explainers at the Strand on May 15

You are invited to the world premiere of Jules Feiffer's long-awaited collection, Explainers, featuring the complete first decade of his legendary and groundbreaking comic strip, Sick, Sick, Sick (and later redubbed Feiffer), from the Village Voice. Feiffer will read from the book and answer questions before signing copies of the deluxe hardcover collection.

"Samuel Johnson said he hoped God would think he had made good of his God-given talents. Jules Feiffer need have no dread of such an audit... What has made his services so welcome for so many years now is his possession, in addition to high intelligence, of something no hypocrite or egomaniac could claim, which is a human sense of humor." - Kurt Vonnegut

WHO: Jules Feiffer
WHAT: Explainers: The Complete Village Voice Strips 1956-66
World premiere book release reading and signing
WHERE: THE STRAND
828 Broadway at 12th St. (Union Square)
New York, NY 10003-4805
212.473.1452
WHEN: Thursday, May 15, 7PM

This event is free and open to the public.

ANNOUNCING EXPLAINERS: THE COMPLETE VILLAGE VOICE STRIPS 1956-1966

Explainers by Jules Feiffer

In 1956, a relatively unknown cartoonist by the name of Jules Feiffer started contributing a strip to the only alternative weekly published in the US, a small radical newspaper called The Village Voice. His strip tackled just about every issue, private and public, that affected the sentient American: relationships, sexuality, love, family, parents, children, psychoanalysis, neuroses, presidents, politicians, media, race, class, labor, religion, foreign policy, war, and one or two other existential questions. It was the first time that the American public had been subjected to a weekly dose of comics that so uncompromisingly and wittily confronted individuals' private fears and society's public transgressions. Explainers is the first of four volumes collecting Feiffer's entire run of weekly strips from The Village Voice. This deluxe hardcover edition contains approximately 500 strips originally published between 1956 and 1966 in a brick-like landscape format, reproduced better than ever and with a lengthy introduction and interview with Feiffer by Fantagraphics Publisher Gary Groth.

ABOUT JULES FEIFFER

Jules Feiffer

Jules Feiffer was born in 1929 in New York City. He attended the Art Students League and Pratt Institute, and served an apprenticeship assisting Will Eisner on his syndicated Spirit comic from 1947 to 1951. In 1949 he was allotted a page for his own strip, Clifford. In 1951 Feiffer was drafted into the army, an experience that would change his outlook radically, and when he was discharged he became determined to incorporate his personal convictions in his cartoons.

In 1956 he began contributing a weekly strip called Sick, Sick, Sick to the Village Voice and over the next several years Feiffer's notoriety steadily grew. His strip was picked up by the prestigious London Observer. He became a regular contributor to Playboy, and later The New Yorker. In 1959, the weekly strip, redubbed Feiffer, was nationally syndicated by the Hall Syndicate. An animated cartoon based on his story Munro received an Academy Award in 1961. Also that year, Second City founder Paul Sills commissioned Feiffer to write a one-act play called "Crawling Arnold." The theater rapidly became Feiffer's second love. His award-winning plays include: Little Murders; Knock, Knock; The White House Murder Case; Grown-Ups; and several revues based on his strips. His screenplay for Carnal Knowledge is a landmark of the 1970s. He has written two acclaimed novels, Harry the Rat with Women and Ackroyd, created one of the very first graphic novels (Tantrum), and authored the landmark book of comics criticism, The Great Comic Book Heroes. In recent years, he has become a popular children's book author; his Flies On the Ceiling is considered a classic. He lives in New York, NY.

EXPLAINERS By Jules Feiffer
THE COMPLETE VILLAGE VOICE STRIPS 1956-1966

$28.99 Hardcover • 568 pages, 9 1/2" x 5 1/2"
ISBN: 978-1-56097-835-0 • PUB DATE: MAY 28, 2008

A selection of images in a variety of formats (and ratings) is available for publication. For additional information contact Eric Reynolds.

Download the press release: Microsoft Word (1.0 MB), PDF (2.1 MB)
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 08 April 2008 )
 
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