Coming up on 40 hours without sleep and hoofing it from the 11 arrondissement to the 5th. I'm on my way to the legendary Un Regard Moderne when I spot this little gem:
What if Dan Clowes was born French? We would all be referring to Ghost World as Shake Hair. By the way, Dan tells me Doofus (as played by Jack Black) makes a bicycle-seat-sniffin' cameo in Ghost World II: The Bob Skeetes Story!)
Moving right along...
Rounding the corner I loaf down the typical, rain washed, beautiful, Parisian alley/street and there IT is, out of nowhere, a parting of clouds a ray of pure light...
... the bookstore of my dreams: Un Regard Moderne!
The following photos are of just the storefront.
I keep trying to figure out how Jacques the owner gets these books into the front windows? There are stacks and STACKS of books in the way, and there's no way he's moving all those books just to rearrange the front window display! right? wrong! I went to Un Regard Moderne two days in a row and the window display had changed over night! The only thing I can figure is that Jacques is crawling up on top of the stacks and STACKS of books and using a claw to grab books out and to place books into the display...? Very mysterious.
Here's what you see when you walk inside and look immediately to the left:
There's only room for 3 people and if you ever make it to this dream I advise you take off your jacket and leave your bag outside because there is NO ROOM for both you and your crap.
I spent a lot of time in this heaven of books. It felt so good.
Housewives at Play: French Connection, you wish.
In the foreground here there's an island of books stacked up to my nose (I'm 6 foot 6). The owner usually stands on a foot or two of old, stacked newspapers in the far corner by the Gary Panter and Ninja. While I was trying to navigate this island I knocked over a tall stack of books. Books everywhere. The aisle was so narrow and cramped I couldn't even bend over to pick them all up and some of these books were damaged. I felt so bad. I took that as a sign to leave. I paid for my selections and started back to my hostel picking up a French sandwich on the way.
Owner: Jacques Noël
As you leave Un Regard Moderne this is what you see when you look up. Books stacked from floor to ceiling. Beautiful.
Later at my hostel I layed on my tiny bed in a daze. I was so tired and so excited from visiting Un Regard Moderne... it felt like I'd visited the physical and ideal representation of how I'd like to think my brain looks.
Later that night I woke up with a striking pain in my right shoulder. The same shoulder I knocked over that stack of books with. I was convinced my karma or whatever was fucked. It felt like someone was squatting on my chest and stabbing me with a large knife! I sat up and went through my purchases from Un Regard Moderne and discovered I'd short payed. The next day I went back to Un Regard Moderne and settled up and the exact moment I left the store was the first relief my shoulder felt since the night before! Let that be a lesson to you.
This post comes very late (I'm sick) but at 8pm TONIGHT in LOS ANGELES:
In what should be the final Beasts-related event (I'm tired), the classy joint that is the Secret Headquarters comic shop is hosting a huge bunch of artists kindly marking up books of whatever sort you put in front of them. This is the only joint signing for both Beasts! books and it's a huge and remarkable line-up of confirmed artists. Well worth a visit to the shop if you're anywhere near LA. And who knows, maybe even Richard Sala will surprise us and show up. Anything could happen on Friday the 13th.
Also note: SHQ has on hand literally the very last available copies of the first edition of Beasts Book Two from our distributor's warehouse; Tessar Lo will be there. Derek Albeck can not make it; SHQ have a new record store opening up nearby. Ask them about it!
And in this week's installment of Steven Weissman's in-progress pages from "Blue Jay," an epic 32-page story from Chocolate Cheeks, the next collection of the Yikes! gang's adventures: the tension continues to mount!
And don't forget to catch up on our current 5-day chunk of Martin Kellerman's hilarious Swedish smash-hit Rocky, updated Monday-Friday! This week: Rocky faces success and sickness at Christmastime.
On loan to Buenaventura Press, from January 25th to February 3rd I was in France to attend Festival International de la Bande Dessinée d'Angoulême. My trip to Angoulême was bookended by brief stays in Paris, a city I hadn't visited in 8 1/2 years. Here are some photos I took while I was in France...
I flew to Paris by way of Chicago... Looking back on this photo I genuinely envy The Sleeping Chef of O'Hare Airport, when I landed in Paris I had't slept for over 30 hours and I hadn't a clue as to where I would be staying because I hadn't reserved a room before I left Seattle. (I'll try to only write this only once: the 9 hour difference between Seattle and Paris is NO JOKE.)
From the airport I took the RER and then transfered to the Metro which spat me out into the 11 arrondissement... and this is the first thing I saw. My vision was so blurry from lack of sleep I thought I was seeing things.
From what I could tell by peering through the dusty windows Tête Rock Underground is some kind of comix gallery...? I'm not sure because the place was locked up tight. I took these photos at around 8am on a Monday morning and as anyone who's visited France can attest, things don't really start doing until 10:30 to 11:00 am. Anyway, I meant to come back when they were open but never did.
I went from hotel to hostel to hotel again on a mission to find a place for the night. Every place I went to was either closed (?) or full up and I was beginning to despair... even though I was excited to be in Paris. I stopped for some coffee and to gather my wits. I went to a couple more places and learned how to say "no vacancy" in French.
FINALLY I found a place to rest my bones! (No, not the van...) After I paid the man I started up the narrow stars to my room and Bruce Springsteen's "Born In the USA" started up with me. Say what you will, but Bruce aint my guy, tredging up those stairs to his blue collar anthem made me feel sick. But I digress... So, I'm in my room, dog tired... I know if I go to sleep I'm fucked and after all I am in Paris... Splash some cold water on my face, I head out into the Paris cold to do some exploring!
Now... if I were to tell you this was a comix trip would you believe me? Literally, right around the corner from the hostel where I was staying are the offices for L'Association!
It was still pretty early, the streets were free of people and I wasn't sure if anyone would be in. I walked up to these big red doors and knocked.
This is the first thing you see when you walk into L'Association's space. My immediate thought was "My Gawd! It's French Fantagraphics! Except they're shorter and dressed better!" There was interesting crap piled everywhere!
I got to spy some advance copies of upcoming L'Association titles, such as Spermanga by Pakito B0lino...
Page after page, this book looks amazing and it's all in English!
Here's the proofs for Red Monkey dans John Wesley Harding by the talented Joe Daly. The American edition of this book is due out from Fantagraphics this coming July under the title The Red Monkey Double Happiness Book.
While I was flipping through the proof and sipping some much needed coffee (Merci!) the print run for the book was delivered! just in time for the festival.
It was time for me to go. As I shuffled off I walked past this strange tent. Its rumored that many years ago this tent was once the temporary home of Kim Thompson!
This is what you see as you leave L'Association... I gotta say, it was really inspiring to be so far away from home and to be surround by such nice folks who, like Fantagraphics, are trying to make the world a better place (at least, that's how I see it...).
Revived by coffee and good company I was off to the legendary Un Regard Moderne.
On my way to Un Regard Moderne I spotted this poster for the movie Valkyrie with a V for Vendetta mask placed over Tom Cruise's pensive, Nazi mug.
(The Slide Show will continue soonish with part two.)
Now available for preview and pre-order: Supermen! The First Wave of Comic Book Heroes 1936-1941, an indispensable collection of comic book heroes from the best and the brightest of the first generation of the Golden Age, including Jack Cole, Will Eisner, Bill Everett, Lou Fine, Fletcher Hanks, Jack Kirby, Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster, and Basil Wolverton. This book is scheduled to be in stock in late February or early March and in stores approximately 4 weeks later.
View a photo & video slideshow preview embedded here. Click here if it is not visible, and/or to view it larger in a new window (recommended). And visit the product details page for a downloadable, 11-page PDF preview containing an entire story by Will Eisner and Lou Fine starring The Flame!
Now available for preview and pre-order: Boody. The Bizarre Comics of Boody Rogers, the first-ever collection of Golden Age comic-book visionary Boody Rogers's wacky, weird, wild and sexy yarns, culled from the pages of such forgotten classics as Babe, Darling of the Hills and Sparky Watts. This book is scheduled to be in stock in late February or early March and in stores approximately 4 weeks later.
View a photo & video slideshow preview embedded here. Click here if it is not visible, and/or to view it larger in a new window (recommended). And visit the product details page for a downloadable, 12-page PDF preview containing an entire Sparky Watts story!
Dash Shaw has finished his online serialization of Bodyworld, which you can now read in its entirety, beginning here. Frank Santoro calls it "the most formally inventive comic being made today," and you know, I think he might be right. This is gonna be a Book of the Year candidate whenever it comes out (old hat to Dash by now), and probably a Book of the Decade frontrunner, too.
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