Here's the full skinny from our pals at the Beguiling (almost certainly Canada's finest source for comics and graphic novels):
The Beguiling specialty bookstore is proud to present two great graphic novel events this June, appealing to the vast breadth of graphic novel aficionados in the city of Toronto! The first event features acclaimed Norwegian cartoonist JASON-currently serializing his newest work in The New York Times Magazine-as he comes to Toronto to launch his new work POCKET FULL OF RAIN. RAIN is a collection of early works by Jason, defying genre and style and showing his development into the internationally acclaimed author he is today. Jason will be interviewed on his life and career in an audio/visual presentation by The Beguiling's Peter Birkemoe at The Central, located directly adjacent to The Beguiling, on Tuesday June 10th at 8PM.
Then, the following week, The Beguiling will be working with The Toronto Public Library and The Merril Collection to officially launch THE WORLD OF STEVE DITKO, the first-ever biography of the reclusive co-creator of SPIDER-MAN! Toronto author and comics historian Blake Bell has exhaustively researched the life and career of Ditko, and it's on every page of this lavishly illustrated book. Bell will be on hand to launch the book with an audio/visual presentation of Ditko's artistic career on Wednesday, June 18th at 7PM at the Lillian H. Smith Library, 239 College St. (at Spadina).
In addition to the book launch and presentation, we are proud to announce that U.K. television and radio personality Jonathan Ross, who debuted his hour-long "IN SEARCH OF STEVE DITKO" documentary on the BBC last September, has granted us the rights to show the documentary at the Toronto event! This will be the first official screening in Canada, and attendees will get to view it for free!
Pitchfork spills the early beans on our very own Zak Sally's forthcoming debut solo LP and previews a track with a free streaming and downloadable MP3. And a picture of Zak in a gorilla suit. We are excited. This track rocks. Zak's band features members of Steelpole Bathtub and Cows, who also comprised his Wipers cover band, which you may recall from the videos we posted last fall when they played Zak's book release party for Sammy the Mouse #1. And did we mention Sammy #2 will debut at Comic-Con this summer?
He was last seen headed down for the Book Expo in Los Angeles from Seattle. He never showed up at the con. Instead, the guy pictured above was working our booth all weekend. We don't know who he is. If you know Jason and have any information on his whereabouts, please contact Fantagraphics. Here is a recent photo of him from our Christmas party last Dec. (with Jacob Covey on the right):
This multifaceted anthology collects over 25 stories from the first decade of Jason's career, including his remarkable calling card, the novella-length thriller "Pocket Full of Rain," which has never before been published in English. Like a number of his initial stories, "Pocket" is actually drawn with realistic human beings instead of blank-faced animal characters — a true revelation for Jason fans. In fact, this book showcases three distinct styles: his earliest "realistic" drawing style (used to unsettling effect in some particularly creepy stories), an intermediate "bighead" cartoony style that still features humans (used for both humor and drama), and the "funny-animal" style he's now best known for.
The book reveals a young cartoonist experimenting with styles, working through his obsessions (love, loneliness, film, Hemingway) and paying tribute to his cartooning heroes (Wolverton, Moebius, Pratt). Also, croquet-playing nuns, sentient cacti, autobiographical drunken escapades, lists of people who deserve to die, and a color gallery featuring God cheating at Trivial Pursuit.
This freshly reprinted volume contains Crumb classics Dirty Laundry #2 (the ground-breaking Crumb/Kominsky jam), the last of the Arcade strips, full-cover covers for books, comics and LPs, and Crumb’s complete 40-page epic Mr. Natural serial from the pages of the Village Voice. In it, our hero, having given up on the "wise man" business, has sent away all his students and lives a quiet life. But during a particularly arduous meditation, he wrestles with the Devil, and at last achieves total enlightenment.
He's locked up in a nut house right away, of course.
Thus endeth the Age of Aquarius.
Other classic stories include "I Once Lived the Life of a Millionaire" (the Snoid vs. The Revolution) and "Josephine and the Cross-Eyed Quadroon" (which covers just about all the bases, political incorrectness-wise).
This Saturday and Sunday, June 7 & 8, Fantagraphics will be in NYC for the 2008 MoCCA Arts Festival, one of our favorite shows of the year, and we'll be bringing along a slew of new stuff and hosting round-the-clock signings. We're also sponsoring two events over the weekend, on Friday and Saturday nights. Here's your handy-dandy guide to all things Fantagraphics at MoCCA. You can be sure I'll post this again as we get closer, too.
At the con itself, we'll be hosting signings all weekend. These times are subject to change slightly, but should be about 99% final as of today:
SATURDAY 11:00 Drew Friedman 12:00 Blake Bell & Miss Lasko-Gross 1:00 Jason & Dash Shaw 2:00 Jason & Dash Shaw 3:00 Ted Stearn & Paul Hornschemeier 4:00 Kim Deitch & Michael Kupperman
11:00 Leah Hayes 12:00 Jason & Dash Shaw 1:00 Jason & Dash Shaw 2:00 Blake Bell & Paul Hornschemeier 3:00 Kim Deitch & Michael Kupperman 4:00 Miss Lasko-Gross & Ted Stearn
There will be many other Fantagraphics artists in attendance at the show as well, manning their own tables, including Craig Yoe, Glenn Head, Jessica Abel, David Heatley, Tom Kaczynski, Gary Panter, and others.
Amongst the new and newish titles we will have at the show:
The Bottomless Belly Button by Dash Shaw The Comics Journal #290edited by Gary Groth Explainers by Jules Feiffer Pocket Full of Rain by Jason Amor Y Cohetes by the Hernandez Brothers Mome Vol. 11 by various artists The Number by Thomas Ott Strange & Stranger: The World of Steve Ditko by Blake Bell
We are pleased to announce that the FREE signed bookplates that we offered along with selected books in our last Ultimate Catalog are now available to customers on our website! Bookplates are available with over 50 of our most popular titles, from cartoonists like Peter Bagge, Charles Burns, Dan Clowes, Kim Deitch, the Brothers Hernandez, Tony Millionaire, Joe Sacco, Jim Woodring and many more! Click here for the complete selection!
The bookplates are uniquely designed for each book (that's the plate for The Frank Book above), and each bookplate is printed on acid-free cardstock and hand-signed by the author. Note that you must select the option to include the signature plate before adding the item to your shopping cart.
NOTE: Signature plates are VERY limited in quantity and available only WHILE SUPPLIES LAST. If the bookplate option displays for a particular book, signature plates are still available for that book as of the previous business day; however, in the event that we run out, signature plates will not be backordered. Bookplates are NOT available separately from their respective books.
UPDATE: Gary was kind enough to send me a few stills from the piece, and also tells me that this animation is the first of four created for the Times. Each piece is about a minute long, and is a very personal take on different parts of NY. The original score is by NY based jazz genius Michael Hashim. So stay tuned to the NYTimes.com for more!