It seems like the last volume just came out, and already we have advance copies of Shimura Takako's Wandering Son Vol. 6 to show off to you. The series is starting to take up a nice chunk of shelf space! The emotional complexity continues to deepen for our gender-questioning junior high heroes and their quirky cast of friends, rivals, crushes, mentors, teachers, and families.
Meanwhile, Vol. 5 inspired Terry Hong to write on the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center Bookdragon blog: "Sweet and gentle, with just enough angst and worry over changing bodies and emotional alliances. Creator Shimura Takako continues to share an enlightening journey toward maturity in a fluid new world that defies easy labels."
Impatient for it to hit bookstore shelves around New Year's? Pre-order now and you can be among the first to read it — we usually get our stock first!
• Pasadena, CA: The great Jaime Hernandez comes to The Crawford Family Forum for an evening of art, books, and conversation. KPCC FM "Off-Ramp" producer Kevin Ferguson talks with Hernandez about his latest work, how it relates to Love and Rockets, and where his future's taking him. (more info)
• Seattle, WA: Fantagraphics artists Megan Kelso, Roberta Gregory, and David Lasky, along with fellow local artists Colleen Frakes and Stan Shaw will appear at the Seattle Public Library at 7:00 PM to discuss their artistic careers and their contributions to the Graphic Canon anthology! (more info)
"Charles Schulz was an American treasure — an artist, philosopher, and keen observer of human life." — Bill Clinton
"Charles Schulz was an innovative genius of American comics and also the marathon man, drawing strip after four-panel strip, batch after batch, writing the storyboards for the TV specials, year after year, creating a fantasy world that connected to kids as well as adults and all based on powerful iconic characters who express deep feelings of loneliness and resentment and despair. The feeling that everything is against us. The craving for love. An enormous earnestness about doing the right thing. There is not much in Peanuts that is shallow or heedless." — Garrison Keillor
"His drawings were but scribbles, a few lines scarcely more elaborated than children’s stick figures, but his genius was such that with those short few lines he created a panorama of life's experiences as are suffered, or enjoyed, or tolerated by the inhabitants of a cartoon village." — Walter Cronkite
Since their original publication, Peanuts Sundays have almost always been collected and reprinted in black and white, and generations of Peanuts fans have grown up enjoying this iteration of these strips. But many who read Peanuts in their original Sunday papers remain fond of the striking coloring, which makes for a surprisingly different reading experience.
It is for these fans (and for Peanuts fans in general who want to experience this alternate/original version) that we now present a series of larger, Sundays-only Peanuts reprints, which more closely duplicate that delightful, Sunday-morning reading experience and brings a splash of real color to Schulz's cast of colorful characters. Designed as a series of ten massive coffee-table quality books, each one containing a half-decade’s worth of Sunday strips, Peanuts Every Sunday will be a proud addition to any Peanuts fan's bookshelf.
As with most strips, Peanuts showed by far the quickest and richest development in its first decade, and Peanuts Every Sunday: 1952-1955, by compiling every strip from the first four years, offers a fascinating peek at Schulz's evolving creative process. Not only does the graphic side of the strips change drastically, from the strip's initial stiff, ultra-simple stylizations through a period of uncommonly lush, almost Pogo-ishly detailed drawings to something close to the final, elegant Peanuts style we’ve all come to know and love, but several main characters are gradually introduced — oddly enough, usually as infants who would then grow up to full, articulate Peanut-hood! — and then refined: Schroeder, Lucy, and Linus (Sally will make her very first appearance as a baby in our next volume.)
Following in the footsteps of Fantagraphics' acclaimed presentation of the Carl Barks material in Walt Disney's Donald Duck, Peanuts Every Sunday: 1952-1955 has been scrupulously re-colored to match the original syndicate coloring (including some unusual colors for Charlie Brown's trademark zig-zag shirt, before it was officially yellow), and is being printed using the same process of "mellowing" out of tones to avoid the sharp colors that sometimes mar reprints of syndicated strips — allowing readers once again to plunge back into Charles Schulz's marvelous world.
The various plot points and mysteries that Johnny Ryan has been sprinkling between disembowelings, pummelings, severed limbs, freakouts, transmogrifications, defecation, and messed-up genitals over the first four installments of his hit series Prison Pit begin to come together in Book 5.
In our downloadable excerpt, meet the asshole Prison Boss and his dumbshit minions, who witness what they think is the destruction of Cannibal Fuckface. But their premature celebration is interrupted with some bad news.
This book should arrive in time to grab the scythe away from the withered fingers of 2013 and hack baby 2014 into flying gobbets of meat. Pre-order (and get the exclusive "Cool Shit from the Pit" mini-comic) here.
"Being in an Ed Piskor comic is cool enough to freeze hot water." – Fab Five Freddy
"This is the comic of all time." – Biz Markie
"This is the comic I've been waiting 40 years to read." – Harry Allen (Public Enemy Media Assassin)
"If ever a chapter of modern American history were ripe for the Classics Illustrated comic book treatment, it is hip-hop's first decade. Ed Piskor, a talented writer and artist who has long savored the connections between comic books and hip-hop, has now written that chapter in the seductive and entertaining form of Hip Hop Family Tree. He weaves dozens and dozens of individual stories into an unprecedented book-length narrative encapsulating the out-sized drive, creativity, humor and violence that defined hip-hop culture from its gestation in New York's outer boroughs in the early Seventies to its thrilling first steps onto the world stage via records and tv in the early Eighties. ... It's a great great story and Piskor tells it immaculately well." – Bill Adler, co-author, Def Jam: The First 25 Years of the Last Great Record Label
"They say the story of Jesus is the greatest ever told, but JC didn’t steal a DJ mixer during the New York Blackout of '77 or bomb a subway car with Fab 5 Freddy. With his 'Hip Hop Family Tree,' comics artist Ed Piskor delves into the history of hip-hop and gets straight-up biblical, penning a 'who-begat-whom' with a b-boy twist." – Jonathan Zwickel, MTV.com
Will Elder: "Robert Crumb said that he's gotten everything he needed from me. That son of a gun."
William Gaines: "I've never believed in any kind of censorship against anything in any way for anybody nohow."
Al Feldstein: "It was an industry of a few innovators and a lot of followers."
Johnny Craig: "The Code insisted that we put in the last sentence, about how 'he knew in his heart she could not escape, for he wouldn't rest until she was punished.' And that made me angry at the time…"
Frank Frazetta: "I didn't realize you could actually paint for a living and get paid for it, that kind of thing. I just did it for fun. But you did comics to make a buck, see?"
Joe Kubert: "I did the best I could … and for whatever the reason, it just wasn't up to Harvey [Kurtzman]'s expectations, and I just couldn't see myself twisting myself any more than I already had."
Harvey Kurtzman: "I have many friends and acquaintances who literally were on something when they worked and you can see it in their work, which is not necessarily meant as a compliment."
George Evans: "This was the joy of working for Al [Feldstein]. When you brought in the finished art, he would say, 'Oh geez, I never imagined a picture like that."
Al Jaffee: "Haiti had one subscriber. The whole country. One subscriber. And he did not renew. And they had his address because it was mailed to him. So Bill got the whole Mad crew to go down to his house and ask him why he didn't renew."
"John Severin: "I walked down the line there, went up to Stan Lee, pulled out the gun and stuck it at him and I said, 'Stan. I came in for a raise.'"
The Pacific Northwest has become the center of a growing movement of handcrafted small press publishing. “Short Run Small Press Fest” is one of the country’s leading gatherings of self-publishing communities. Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery curator Larry Reid has selected two dozen artists to represent this movement in “Marathon: A Short Run Art Show.” This show of original drawings, prints and publications opens on Saturday, November 9 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM. The exhibition continues through December 11, 2013.
The Marathon title implies the epic effort often required to create a career in comix. To illustrate this concept, Reid has assembled an eclectic mix of emerging artists and accomplished cartoonists with self-publishing backgrounds. The show also acknowledges a new paradigm which affords artists the opportunity to fashion viable professions without the benefit of a major publisher. Fantagraphics Bookstore was an early advocate of the revival of small press media, which was once endangered by the ubiquity of the Internet.
Local artists Eroyn Franklin and Kelly Froh, joined by Fantagraphics Bookstore staffer Janice Headley, will present an expanded version of the annual “Short Run Small Press Fest” on Saturday, November 30 at Washington Hall in Seattle. “Marathon: A Short Run Art Show” provides a preview of festival exhibitors, including Robyn Jordan, Noel Franklin, Mita Mahato, Joe Garber, Fiona Avocado, Scott Travis, Peter Bagge, Tom Neely, Bettina McEntyre, Skill Shot, Max Badger, TBASA, Jim Blanchard, Aron Nels Steinke, Elaine Lin, and more.
The opening reception on Saturday, November 9 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM features musical entertainment by Tummy. This event coincides with the festive Georgetown Art Attack featuring challenging visual and performing arts presentations throughout the historic art community. Fantagraphics Bookstore is located at 1201 S. Vale Street (at Airport Way S.), minutes south of downtown Seattle. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM. Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone 206.658.0110.
MARATHON A Short Run art show curated by Larry Reid.
Featuring Gabrielle Gamboa, Robyn Jordan, Noel Franklin, Coin Op, Mita Mahato, Scott Travis, Joe Garber, Fiona Avocado, Tom Neely, Nate Neal, Elaine Lin, Bettina McEntyre, Skill Shot, TBASA, Reid Psaltis, Bobby Mono, Aron Nels Steinke, Jim Blanchard, Peter Bagge, Kelly Froh, Eroyn Franklin, Max Badger, Shannon Wheeler, and more.
Opening reception Saturday, November 9, 6:00 to 9:00 PM Musical entertainment by TUMMY
A gender-swapped class production of Romeo and Juliet... what could possibly be more fraught for a couple of gender-questioning junior high schoolers? Maybe shopping for underwear for their changing bodies? That's the territory Shimura Takako sends her heroes Nitori-kun and Takatsuki-san into in the new volume of Wandering Son, with their idiosyncratic cast of friends, rivals, mentors, teachers and families adding to the drama, embarrassment and laughs.
In our free downloadable excerpt of the complete first chapter, see what the kids are up to on the first half of their summer vacation. The book should be out right around Christmas or New Year's, and you can pre-order your copy right here.
The lore of the early days of hip hop has become the stuff of myth, so what better way to document this fascinating, epic true story than in another great American mythological medium — the comic book? From exciting young talent and self-proclaimed hip hop nerd Ed Piskor, acclaimed for his hacker graphic novel Wizzywig, comes this explosively entertaining, encyclopedic history of the formative years of the music genre that changed global culture.
Originally serialized on the hugely popular website Boing Boing, Hip Hop Family Tree is now collected in a single volume cleverly presented and packaged in a style mimicking the Marvel comics of the same era. Piskor's exuberant yet controlled cartooning takes you from the parks and rec rooms of the South Bronx to the night clubs, recording studios, and radio stations where the scene started to boom, capturing the flavor of late-1970s New York City in panels bursting with obsessively authentic detail. With a painstaking, vigorous and engaging Ken Burns-meets-Stan Lee approach, the battles and rivalries, the technical innovations, the triumphs and failures are all thoroughly researched and lovingly depicted.
Piskor captures the vivid personalities and magnetic performances of old-school pioneers and early stars like DJ Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, the Funky 4 + 1, Afrika Bambaataa, Kurtis Blow, The Sugarhill Gang, and three kids who would later become RUN-DMC, plus the charismatic players behind the scenes like Russell Simmons, Sylvia Robinson and then-punker Rick Rubin. Piskor also traces graffiti master Fab 5 Freddy's rise in the art world, and Debbie Harry, Keith Haring, The Clash, and other luminaries make cameos as the music and culture begin to penetrate downtown Manhattan and the mainstream at large.
Like the acclaimed hip hop documentaries Style Wars and Scratch, Hip Hop Family Tree is an exciting and essential cultural chronicle and a must for hip hop fans, pop-culture addicts, and anyone who wants to know how it went down back in the day.
Register and Login to receive full member benefits, including members-only special offers, commenting privileges on Flog! The Fantagraphics Blog, newsletters and special announcements via email, and stuff we haven't even thought of yet. Membership is free and spam-free, so Sign Up Today!