I first crossed paths with Charles Burns in the mid-70s, when we both attended a small college in rural Washington State. I later learned that Burns wasn't entirely comfortable in an art school attended by eccentric Charles Manson enthusiasts and Symbionese Liberation Army sympathizers. By contrast, I had finally found my people. Burns soon departed for the greener pastures of The Evergreen State College, where he joined talented young artists Lynda Barry and Matt Groening.
Upon graduating in 1978, I opened the experimental Rosco Louie gallery in the tony Pioneer Square section of Seattle. I was privileged to give both Lynda Barry and Charles Burns their first gallery shows. Burns later served as soundman at Rosco Louie for a performance by San Francisco band Pink Section, which included his then-girlfriend, fashion designer Carol Detwieler. He in turn designed the cover for the 1982 Sub Pop 7 cassette compilation, which included my wife's band, Little Bears From Bangkok. At the same time we were both frequent contributors to Seattle music monthly, The Rocket.
As Burns migrated to the East Coast, we both continued our association with Sub Pop. In 1988, Burns illustrated the stunning cover to the momentous Sub Pop 200 LP. Shortly thereafter, I promoted a Tad, Mudhoney, and Nirvana show at my alternative space, the Center on Contemporary Art, which found Kurt sporting a Burns tee shirt. (As seen in Charles Peterson's photo above.) On a subsequent Seattle visit in 1993, I accompanied Burns to a secret Tad and Nirvana show at a small downtown venue, where he was received as a rock star himself.
Throughout my tenure at Fantagraphics Books, I've continued to encounter Charles Burns, a pleasure that will repeat itself this evening when Burns appears at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery to present his new graphic novel, Sugar Skull. Please join me in welcoming this immensely influential artist back to his hometown.
"'The war to end all wars' has become a magisterial comic book to end all comic books. I seldom give blurbs, but this book is an essential classic. Among all of Jacques Tardi's towering achievements as a comics artist, nothing looms larger than this devastating crater of a work. It’s a compulsively readable wail of Existential despair, a kaleidoscope of war’s dehumanizing brutality and of Everyman’s suffering, as well as a deadpan masterpiece of the darkest black humor. The richly composed and obsessively researched drawings — perfectly poised between cartoon and illustration — march to the relentless beats of Tardi’s three horizontal panels per page to dig a hole deep inside your brain. This is one Hell of a book." – Art Spiegelman
"Tardi's depiction of the First World War is so impassioned and visceral that it can be compared to the work of the artists who actually served in the trenches." – Joe Sacco
"French master Tardi gives an infantry-level view of World War I's meat-grinder carnage in grim vignettes that primarily keep tight, telling focus on the stories of individual soldiers. …[It Was the War of the Trenches] deserves a place on the top shelf of graphic lit.” – Cliff Froehlich, St. Louis Post-Dipatch
Praise for Goddamn This War!
"As brutal and horrific as the Great War itself, this book rivals All Quiet on the Western Front when it comes to the insane idiocy of the conflict." – Max Brooks
Drew Weing's graphic novel debut Set to Sea, which follows the adventures of a poet who ends up seabound aboard a pirate ship, is a mere month away from its upcoming paperback release. We've got a 12-page, 1.1 MB excerpt you can download and read while you wait. Want to pre-order your copy now? Step right this way!
Excerpts for each book are available at their respective listing pages, and we'll have an unboxing video preview to whet your appetite for this box set—a perfect gift for any Carl Barks fan. Until then, check out the box set page, where you can pre-order your copy for an October delivery.
Have you heard? Art Spiegelman is coming to Seattle, and he's bringing an entourage! Along with musical accompaniment by jazz composer Phillip Johnston and his sextet, Spiegelman will be presenting his new work, "Shaping Thought!" as well as images and stories that have influenced him, at the Moore Theatre on Sunday, October 12th as part of his WORDLESS! tour. This is not a show you'll want to miss. To that end, Fantagraphics has partnered with The Seattle Theatre Group to give away two tickets to one lucky fan.
Here's how to enter: It's simple. Take a picture of yourself—or your favorite furry companion—with a copy of Maus in hand (any version, either volume). Send it in to us at
with the Subject: "Wordless Contest" to receive one entry for the giveaway. One entry per e-mail address, please! The contest will run from Thursday, September 18 through 12 noon PST on Friday, October 3rd.
By entering this giveaway, you're agreeing to let us use your image submission on our website and social media networks.
We've been using the Latin alphabet since roughly 700 B.C., but as a language, and an art form, it's continuously evolving. Niko Vassilakis has been astutly aware of it's possibilies as an aural, oral, and ocular medium, and seeks to combine all those senses familiar with words and the alphabet into a visual display of poetry.
EC Comics fans, rest easy! Here is the cover art for the next book in our highly regarded EC Comics Library series, Aces High. In this eleventh volume, we highlight cartoonist George Evans and his spectacular aviation-themed artwork, along with plenty of his crime and horror stories, written by himself, Harvey Kurtzman, Al Feldstein, et al.
A suite of related short mysteries and thrills, all depicted in Sala's trademark colorful watercolor washes and sharp, detailed line-work. Rising from the crumbling pages of some forgotten (and nonexistent) pulp magazine comes the diabolical villain Super-Enigmatix. Following in the bloody footsteps of master criminals such as Fantomas, Fu Manchu, or Professor Moriarty, Super-Enigmatix is ruthless, cunning, and thoroughly evil. His only goal is to spread fear and cause chaos — but does he want to destroy civilization, or save it? Not even his loyal army of female commandos can guess his real motives, or his true identity. Will he fall at the hands of the unhinged music professor turned homicidal fiend who calls himself Phantasmiac? Or Quadrummando, the Undead Shaman? And who is the Cardinal?
"Shirt-sleeves rolled up, bent over drawing boards, puffing on cigarettes, the heroes of the remarkable artist Drew Friedman’s new book aren’t super ones, they’re the (mostly) guys who created Batman, Spider-Man, Plastic Man, and many others." – Ken Tucker, Playboy
"Every name comes with a face attached, and Piskor’s nimble, deceptively goofy artwork imbues those faces with emotional life — hope, enthusiasm, fuming rage, determination." – Alex Pappademas, Grantland
"Using his compelling artistry — which builds on Mr. Piskor’s love of superhero comic artists as well as famed independent artists like Robert Crumb — he shows us how characters like Fab Five Freddy, a graffiti artist who early on sees the links between hip-hop, break-dancing and graffiti, and helps foster hip-hop’s growth." – Sean D. Hamill, Pittsburgh News
"Combining two decidedly-American art forms: the comic book and hip-hop into one cohesive work seems like a no-brainer. Maybe it just took a cartoonist as passionate and talented as Piskor to pull it off." – Louie Pearlman, REBEAT
"Simon Hanselmann is the prolific artist behind the sensational Megg and Mogg. The series has taken off, with much of his work now translated into French and Spanish, and more languages under way." – Sophie Yanow, The Comics Journal
"Fertig pays appropriate and articulate tribute to these films in his introduction and summarizes the appeal of each one in tightly-written tributes at the back of the book. This would make a great gift for any movie lover." – Leonard Maltin, IndieWire