Let the chill of the early evening air fill your lungs as you head over to Challengers Comics + Conversationon Sunday, March 22nd to get all* your comics signed by Peter Bagge. His newest book is a collection of the DC comic, Sweatshop, which discusses seedy underbelly of the comic book industry. Originally published as a six-issue series by DC Comics in 2003 this is one of the best and most undervalued works of one of the key voices of his generation. This Sunday evening soiree starts at 6pm.
Sweatshop focuses on the unhappy, out-of-touch cartoonist, Mel Bowling. As the hand behind a very bad daily comic strip called Freddy Ferret (a cross between Dilbert and Garfield), he spends most of his time listening to Rush Limbaugh and coming up with horrible catchphrases to merchandise, while his "sweatshop" cast of studio assistants grind out all the hard work.
Challengers Comics + Conversation was the recipient of the 2013 Will Eisner "Spirit of Comics" Retailer Award and has been open since March 2008 when Patrick Brower and W. Dal Bush first opened up the store. With an engaging set of comic book sellers and a beautiful store, don't you just want to buy a copy of everything? LOOK at those red chairs! Photo by Bookstores of Chicago Tumblr.
Posters by Will Rhodes.
*yeah, we mean all, even those Creepy comics.
Challengers Comics + Conversation 1845 N Western Ave Chicago, IL 60647
"The winner in each of our two categories will be announced April 6; each winner will receive $1,000 and, of course, eternal glory. The shortlists were selected by Slate Book Review editor Dan Kois; the faculty and students at the Center for Cartoon Studies, represented by CCS Fellow Sophie Yanow; and this year's guest judge, cartoonist Paul Karasik."
Praise for previous volumes in The Steve Ditko Archives:
"Even though he'd only been working in comics for a couple of years when he drew these 1956 tales, they already display Ditko's distinctively cockeyed style and his characteristically powerful compositions. […] As Bell remarks in his insightful introduction, what makes Ditko's early work notable is 'the dichotomy between what he was given and what he was able to accomplish.'" – Gordon Flagg, Booklist
"[In] Fantagraphics' second volume of Ditko's portfolio… Ditko moves away from gore to short sci-fi tales, yet his grasp at relaying natural character depth and dramatic heft is evident. His zealous work as the exemplar artist for Charlton Comics showcases his ever-blossoming abilities at setting scenes in stark relief to multi-hued characters. […] This collection single-handedly erases memories of Ditko hacking Transformers coloring books during the ’80s. [Rating] 8/10" – Kyle Lemmon, Under the Radar
"Fantastic… Raw and grotesque and beautifully drawn and presented." – Dave Gibbons
"It’s fascinating to see [Ditko's] nascent style coalescing as he tackles a variety of material, already starting to work out the design genius that would mark much of his work, including – especially! – Dr. Strange and Spider-Man, for the next 20 years." – Steven Grant, Comic Book Resources
Hear ye, hear ye! Fans of Peter Bagge, Hate, the Bradleys and comics history will be happy to hear that a new book has just hit the bookstores: Peter Bagge: Conversations by Kent Worchester and the University Press of Mississippi. Get the quippy and quirky interviews that also include some previously unavailable material! We can add this to Bagge's growing list of publishers carrying his comics and work: Fantagraphics, D&Q, IDW, Dark Horse....
From the University Press of Mississippi description: "For fans of Peter Bagge (b. 1957) and his bracingly satirical writing and drawing, this collection offers the perfect means to track his career choices, work habits, preoccupations, and comedic sensibility from the 1980s onwards. Featuring a lengthy new interview and a great deal of previously unavailable material, this book delivers insightful, gossipy, funny, and occasionally tart conversations with a wide range of interlocutors, from personal friends and zine publishers to comics critics and mainstream journalists. Bagge's wide-ranging career has intersected with the modern history of comics, from underground comix and indie comics to comics journalism and graphic nonfiction; this new compendium of interviews will be a must-have for aficionados of his work.
Bagge's detailed, garrulous, and often grotesquely funny (and discomfiting) work harks back to the underground generation, recalling Robert Crumb and Gilbert Shelton, while also pointing forward to the emergence of alternative comics as a distinct genre. His signature series, the rawly humorous Hate (1990-1998) and his editorship (1983-1986) of the often outrageous Weirdo magazine, founded by Crumb, established Bagge as a leading voice in alternative comics, and his rude, wildly expressive cartooning makes him a counterpoint to the still introspection of recent literary graphic novels. Over the past few decades Bagge has left his mark on a variety of formats and genres. He is a prolific cartoonist, an accomplished musician, and a sometime essayist, editor, and animator. While his creative output encompasses autobiographical comics, graphic nonfiction, magazine illustrations, gag cartoons, minicomics, political commentary, superhero parodies, comic strips, animated videos, and one-page humor pieces, Bagge is best known for creating continuity-based graphic stories that revolve around sharply defined, over-the-top characters. While some writers on comics have lazily branded Bagge as a grunge-era visual satirist, his creative restlessness and expanding body of work make it difficult to confine him within any single genre, cultural niche, or historical moment."
Chicago, IL - "Shop as Independently as You Think" is a handy moto for the progressive Chicago bookstore, Women & Children First. Though they take their name from an adage of weakness, nothing could be more empowering than the books you'll find lining the walls of this Northside store. And on the 20th of March, you'll also find a Lucy Knisley participating in a Q&A session about her newest Fantagraphics release, Displacement: A Travelogue.
Her full color autobiographical journey captures the heartbreak and motivation of caring for your aging family as she accompanies her eldery grandparents on a weeks long cruise. Not to relish on the trials of caregiving, the book is also intersected with tales of her family history; her grandfather at war, and memories of her time growing up with them. Juxtaposed ith the anxiety of being a twentysomething and trying to figure yourself out, Displacement intersects the stages of life we seek to escape and work to avoid.
Drop by Women & Children First on March 20th at 7:30 to posit your own questions and comments on aging, traveling and comics as a medium for autobiography. All of which Lucy tackles like the pro she is!
Women & Children First 5233 N Clark St. Chicago, IL 60640
Ella Woods also wrote a short article on fanzines and how the Michael Jordan epiloque was based off some physical fanzines about music. She poses the question, how does one finish a biography when the subject is still living? If you want to find out, you'll need to read Michael Jordan: Bull on Parade!
"EC Comics' output of crime, horror, and war comics have been reprinted and collected multiple times, but never like in Fantagraphics’ new 'EC Comics Library,' which repackages some of the most influential comics ever published in writer/artist-driven volumes, printed in black and white." – The A.V. Club
"Fantagraphics' current series of handsome hardcovers makes familiar material fresh by focusing on individual artists… it's never been easier to appreciate the contributions of these iconic inkslingers." – Chicago Tribune
"Fantagraphics has been inventing unique ways to publish [this] treasure trove of '40s and '50s crime, horror and war comics." – The Toronto Star
The exceptionally hairy ex-wrestler Oaf lives in San Francisco, taking care of his 27 cats while looking for romance in the City by the Bay. Wuvable Oaf is a unique romance story and artist Ed Luce's debut graphic novel. We are pleased to present this 14-page downloadable excerpt for your perusal, which includes the first chapter of "Oaf's Story" plus the first of Luce's ongoing single-page "Worst Dates Ever" strips.
Wuvable Oaf delivers laughs, sweet romance, and a diverse cast of characters—both human and feline. Look for the book this April, or do one better and pre-order it today!
LOS ANGELES - This April, the one and only Secret Headquartersis hosting an art show and release party featuring watercolor pages from Robert Goodin's most excellent new comic, The Kurdles. The opening reception for the exhibition is on Friday, April 3rd at 7pm. The show will remain up from April 3rd-April 30th.
When Sally the bear gets tossed by her own owner, she finds herself helping a rag-tag group of characters when their house threatens to grow legs and leave! Reminiscent of The Brave Little Toaster or Herge's Tintin, The Kurdles is an all-ages comic spiced up with a teaspoon of strange and is presented in a beautiful, bande dessinnée-size-and-style hardcover.
At LA's hot comic shop, Secret Headquarters, Goodin will be selling original artwork the opening night of the show - FOR ONE NIGHT ONLY! It's too beautiful to believe:
Goodin, an animation industry veteran (American Dad, Rugrats), delivers a timeless classic in his debut graphic novel, introducing an unforgettable and charming cast of characters. Printed in an oversized format to showcase Goodin's stunning, hand-painted artwork, The Kurdles will capture the imagination of both parents and children.
Secret Headquarters 3817 Sunset Blvd Reception: Friday, April 3rd Show up April 3rd-April 30th
"More than worth its price in pure mirth. But there’s more! …This newest issue sees the artist’s signature series move further than ever into straight-up horror/exploitation territory, without losing a lot of ground in comedy. …Fascinating work." – Jog The Blog
"A lot of people’s Top Ten Favorite-est Comics of the Year lists this year will involve comics about Israel or the exquisite sadness of being an Asian man who likes blondes, all that stuff; mine will involve cheeseburger-flavored semen…? I got dropped on my head a lot as a baby." – Abhay Kholsa, The Savage Critics
"The new Angry Youth Comix is finally out and it may be the darkest cartoon we’ve ever seen and also the most hilarious… It also features one of the most honest depictions of the American family dynamic to appear in print, though we can see that aspect maybe getting lost for some readers amid the turd-vines and the synthetic ejaculates." – Vice