This Saturday and Sunday, Fantagraphics is proud to table at Toronto Comic Arts Festival. TCAF is held at the Toronto Reference Library (789 Yonge Street) on Saturday May 10th - 9am-5pm, Sunday May 11th - 11am-5pm. Presented by the Toronto Public Library and The Beguiling comic store, this show is FREE to attend saving you those loonies and toonies to pay for great comics. We'll be at tables 119-120 down the main aisle of the library (or if you prefer, the first people to greet you as you prom-walk slowly down the steps from the atrium level).
Friday May 9th: 4:15pm-5:30pm Trina Robbins: The Great Women Cartoonists High Park Ballroom at the Marriott Bloor Yorkville - Trina Robbins is presenting the closing presentation at the Candian Society for the Study of Comics. All participants are welcome to attend and you can register for this special Robbins presentations here. Marriott Bloor Yorkville, located at 80 Bloor Street East (Bloor/Yonge Subway).
Saturday May 10 2:45pm-3:45pm: Spotlight: Trina Robbins
Writing, drawing, publishing, inspiring, Trina Robbins has done it all! Comics' foremost historian on women working in the comics industry, Robbins hasn't just written the book on women and comics-she's written several! Join Trina Robbins as she presents from her newest book, Pretty In Ink, followed by a moderated Q&A with noted journalist Joanna Draper-Carlson. Located at The Marriott Bloor Yorkville*
Sunday May 11 1:30pm-2:30pm: Non-traditional Design Inspiration! Where does inspiration come from? Meet four comics auteurs, each with a design sensibility which draws from across the history of the medium, and far beyond. Darwyn Cooke (Parker), Ed Piskor(Hip Hop Family Tree), Mimi Pond (Over Easy), and Katie Skelly (Operation Margarine) have all produced fantastic new books with unique visual styles and appeal, and they will be joined in a spirited discussion about inspiration and influence with Tom. Located at The Pilot 2nd Floor The Pilot is located half a block from Toronto Reference Library, at 22 Cumberland Street.
2:45pm-3:45pm: Comics Criticism What is the state of comics criticism today, in both the public realm and academia? Join some of the industry's top journalists, critics, and historians as they attempt to discern the current role, and state, of comics criticism. Featuring Trina Robbins(Pretty In Ink), Heidi MacDonald (comicsbeat.com), Tom Spurgeon (comicsreporter.com), Jeet Heer (The Comics Journal), Keith Friedlander (University of Ottawa), and moderator Blake Bell (The Secret History of Marvel Comics). Located at The Marriott Bloor Yorkville*
*The Marriott Bloor Yorkville is located a 10 minute walk from Toronto Reference Library. There are three programming spaces in this venue, all located on "Floor 1", which is accessed by the elevators in the lobby.
Debuts: • Twelve Gems by Lane MilburnSomewhere in the outer cosmos, beyond reckoning or observation, the mysterious Dr. Z has enlisted three space heroes, to search the galaxy for the fabled Twelve Gems of Power: the hulking alien-brawn Furz; the deadly sabre-wielding Venus; and the soft-spoken canine technician, Dogstar. With wall-to-wall humor and action in Lane Milburn's debute graphic novel from Fantagraphics; this is one of the most action-packed and funny books of the year!
empty of meat and their minds empty of how to do their job. As customers arrive, events become increasingly disastrous. A surreal, debut graphic novella of horror and humor with one huge, hanging question. This often hilarious, enigmatic, and uncomfortable book establishes Stechschulte as an exciting new talent.
• Buddy Buys a DumpThe Complete Buddy Bradley Stories from "Hate" Comics Vol. 3 (2000-2013) by Peter BaggeHe's back! Now in his 30s and married with child, onetime slacker hero Buddy Bradley gets a "real" job, shaves his head, dons an eyepatch, quits his "real" job and buys the local dump - because what better place to raise a toddler? Peter Bagge's iconic character is to alternative comics what Homer Simpson has been to television animation over the past quarter-century: a generation-defining slacker and the greatest comedic character of its form and era.
This 32 page floppy comic is a sweet & sour, sad & funny story that follows the adventures of Annie and Verti as they shoot homemade movies for YouTube, guerilla-style, and face some unexpected consequences. What could possibly go wrong? A one-shot dose of humor and melancholy from the creator of New School, BodyWorld, and Bottomless Belly Button.
Summer vacation is here and Tammy Pierce is back with more sometimes ordinary, often humiliating, occasionally poignant, and usually hilarious exploits from the pages of Bust magazine! Her hopes, dreams, agonies, and defeats are brought to vivid, comedic life by Watson's lovingly grotesque drawings, filled with all the eighties essentials - too much mascara, leg warmers with heels, and huge hair, etc.
• Strange Suspense: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 1 (softcover)edited by Blake BellBefore Spider-Man and Dr. Strange, Ditko conjured horrors at his drawing table. Collecting over 200 spectacular full-color pages of pre-Code work from his first 2 years in the industry, edited by Blake Bell. Beginning with Ditko's very first story to Ditko's short stint in the Joe Simon/Jack Kirby studio, to Ditko's eventual encampment at the Charlton Comics operation in 1954, readers will see the initial works of an artist already at a level of craftsmanship that exceeded most of his peers.
So we'll see you there bright and early on Saturday morning. Team Fanta will be represented by Jacq Cohen and me, so come early and come often!
The lecture goes from 6:00 to 8:00 PM. This event is FREE and open to the public, however RSVPs are required, so email
or call 416-979-5000 ext. 7668 today! Refreshments will be served, and books are available for purchase and will be signed by Trina.
When the formulaic constraints, censorious nature, and onerous lack of creator's rights in mainstream comics got to be too much for the brilliant cartoonist Wallace Wood in 1966, he struck out on his own with the self-published witzend. It became a haven for Wood and his fellow professional cartoonist friends where they could produce the kind of personal work that they wanted to do, without regard to commercial demands — and with friends like Frank Frazetta, Al Williamson, Reed Crandall, Ralph Reese, Archie Goodwin, Angelo Torres, Steve Ditko, Harvey Kurtzman, Will Elder, Art Spiegelman, Don Martin, Vaughn Bodé, Jim Steranko, Jeff Jones, Howard Chaykin, Trina Robbins, Bernie Wrightson, and literally dozens more, it was bound to be a great ride! Now, Fantagraphics presents the complete run of witzend in this beautiful slipcased two-volume set with a special introduction by Bill Pearson and a history by Patrick Rosenkranz.
The Rhode Island School for Design is happy to have Janet Hamlin a guest speaker on Wednesday, May 7th in Providence, RI. Hamlin will be talking about her time as the official courtroom artists at the military tribunal of Guantanamo Bay, from 2006 until NOW. RISD is one of the premiere art schools on the East Coast and Hamlin will not only be speaking but giving a drawing demo the next day for the students.
Published in a book called Sketching Guantanamo, Hamlin's drawings and her accompanying text provide rare insight into the military courts of Guantanamo. Guantanamo Bay is one of the most carefully censored trials in recent U.S. history and these sketches are the only visuals the world is allowed to see. The lecture will take place at 4:30PM in the Auditorium at the Chace Center, 20 North Main Street, Providence, RI on Wednesday, May 7th.
New digital comics are out and available to download via comiXology and Sequential! Chill out, download some comics and enjoy them on the go, be you on the way to the beach, the bus home or freaking out at the dentist's office (which you can afford now that you don't have to spend as MUCH money on bookshelves).
Buddy Bradley's back in Buddy Buys a Dumpnbsp;from Peter Bagge! Now in his 30s and married with child, onetime slacker hero Buddy Bradley gets a "real" job, shaves his head, dons an eyepatch, quits his "real" job and buys the local dump - because what better place to raise a toddler? Peter Bagge's iconic character is to alternative comics what Homer Simpson has been to television animation over the past quarter-century: a generation-defining slacker and the greatest comedic character of its form and era. Featuring stories originally published in the comic book series Hate Annual from 2000-2011, as well as an all-new 20-page conclusion to the story arc. Available at comiXology for $14.99!
Volume 2 of Unlovable continues with issue #2 "Dream Date". February of 1989 heats up as Tammy Pierce is building up her shrine of boyfriend-to-be Ken Olsen. Will Tammy give up her Debbie Gibson cassette for a mixtape of The Smiths just because Ken told her to?! Her best friend, Kim, just keeps chain-smoking and judging all the while. These 108 pages by Esther Pearl Watson are only $4.99?! Bestill my heart, comiXology!
Available at Sequential is Jaime Hernandez's The Love Bunglers. After a lifetime of losses, Maggie finds, in the second half, her longtime off and on lover, Ray Dominguez. In taking us through lives, deaths, and near-fatalities, The Love Bunglers encapsulates Maggie's emotional history as it moves from resignation to memories of loss, to sudden violence (a theme in this story), and eventually to love and contentment. Much like John Updike in his four Rabbit novels, Jaime Hernandez has been following his longtime character Maggie around for several decades, all of which has seemed to be building towards this book in particular. $14.99 on the Sequential Comics App.
The comix community celebrates the colorful diversity of our often-marginalized medium this Saturday, May 3 with Free Comic Book Day. In a show of appreciation unique to our industry, publishers and retailers go to great expense to make exclusive editions available at no charge to consumers. The goal is to attract new customers or introduce regular readers to books they might otherwise overlook. With that noble intention in mind, allow us to suggest that Free Comic Book Day in no way prevents patrons from purchasing comics on Saturday.
It would be wonderful to see comic book enthusiasts emulate the example of music fans on Record Store Day, when thousands of people flock to independent record retailers and stock up on product in a remarkable display of affection for their favorite shops. Your local comic book stores deserve similar support. So enjoy the free comic books and remember to purchase a few as well.
Sunday, May 4th • Los Angeles, CA: The Unlovable 3 Launch Party is at 5pm at Skylight Books. Cartoonist Esther Pearl Watson will be there to sign books so you can impress all the hotties at school. (more details)
We've recently had some new blood join our satanic circle in comics and are proud to highlight them. Meet Anna Pederson, badass at large currently at the warehouse who started back in January but was also an intern back in 2012!
What other jobs and experiences have you had in the comics industry? Fantagraphics was my first comic industry initiation when I did a stint as an editorial intern my senior year of college. After moving to New York, I did another internship with the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF), because this industry is a labor of love, and you have to work really hard for free for a while. In NYC I also did my first retail work with Forbidden Planet, which honestly is one of the most informative areas of comic book publishing.
When the West Coast called me back home, I bummed around for a few months on the internet writing reviews for blogs and retailers, until Fanta found me in a ditch and brought me back into the fold.
What was the first comic you read? I think I've been reading newspaper comics since I could read, even the creepy weekday ones that talk about work place sexual harassment (I'm looking at you, For Better or for Worse). But then it was a gradual slippery slope into manga with Toriyama and Otomo, and mostly Vertigo titles, like Hellblazer, by high school. I was always an art fan, so without realizing their comic book ties, I was a fan of people like Moebius, Barry Windsor-Smith, andJack Davis. These dudes expanded my reading and visual tastes for the better.
What was the first comic that made you want to write, react, something? I've always enjoyed comics, but I think I'd be lying to myself if I thought it was anyone but Brandon Graham that made me feel like the worlds he created were visceral, and existed beyond storytelling purposes. I think I got my hands on King City sometime in high school, and I hope this makes him feel old. His street/graffiti, Japanese, Moebius style wraps my head in a blanket and tucks me in at night, while simultaneously fulfilling my need for sexy puns. The best of both worlds if you ask me.
Anna's Brandon Graham tattoo of Earthling J.J. Catingsworth the Third, photo Robin McConnell What can you recommend to Fanta readers? A book I picked up completely at random, but fell completely in love with has been Things Just Get Away From You by Walt Holcome. His whimsical and classic cartooning style often feels like how Pogo would read if all those characters grew up to be slightly dejected about society. But throughout his stories, Holcome hits on distinctly profound moments of love, childhood, and chasing dreams.
But I'm also really really excited for the release of Nijigahara Holograph by Inio Asano. It's everything that drew me into comics; horror, intense detail, magical realism. Love it.
Weirdest Fanta experience so far? I think this place used to be a lot weirder than how I found it. At least according to all the stories I've heard from legacy employees. I do remember once talking about whether or not plants would grow better with the nutrients of menstrual blood. But I'm probably the only one who remembers that, so who's the weird one now?!
I remember that conversation well, Anna. What's your favorite way to wind down? I love to bake. Cookies, pies, etc. Ask Kristy Valenti (Fanta editor) and she'll probably regale you with stories of my pies. I also sing a lot, mostly show tunes. Alienating one coworker at a time listening to Cabaret. Which shouldn't be hard to do since I only have one coworker.
What's your favorite drink? Whiskey. In my experience, if you work in comics you either drink whiskey or nothing at all. So chose wisely.
What projects do you have ahead of you outside of your job? The past couple of years have been spent on a pet project with local artist Josh Heath. It's probably one of those 'will never see the light of day' things, but you can't stop working on it either; quantity creates quality. I still write weekly columns about new comics coming out and why you should buy them, along with awesome preview videos hand made at Zanadu comics. But long term, my dream would be to curate and produce at least one multi-artist book, which is kind of the like the nerd idea of a fantasy team.
What's the best part of comic conventions? Conventions can be stressful, but I honestly love talking to people who are genuinely curious about the books you're trying to sell. They usually have a lot of enthusiasm, and are wiling to let me sell them amazing and weird books that hopefully makes them appreciate the unconventional, and become a reader for life. I sell people what I believe in.
Thanks again for answering the questions, Anna! More to come from the office monkeys soon.
Not pictured: Eric Reynolds, Mike Dean, Preston White, Paul Baresh, Anna Pederson, Larry Reid, TJ, Janice Headley, Dave Holmes, Jacob Covey, Matt Silvie and Dean. Our smooshed spiders-everywhere-in-the-trees-oh-god outtake.
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