When the formulaic constraints, censorious nature, and onerous lack of creators' 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.
Holy cats! It's Friday the 13th, a full moon, and — we've just discovered 2 cartons of Al Columbia's Biologic Show #0 at our warehouse!
Coincidence? I think not.
If you're looking for some good old-fashioned twisted horror and beautiful, depraved artwork, look no further! Disclaimer: Fantagraphics is not responsible for any side effects from reading this comic, to include melting eyeballs, temporary insanity, or the sudden desire to turn on all the lights in your house.
Stories in Biologic Show #0 include "Seymour Sunshine," "Extinction," "Grinding Larry," and a tale of Columbia's waif hero and heroine, Pim and Francie.
Oslo, Norway: The land of my ancestors is hosting the Oslo Comics Expo June 12-14th, featuring special guest, Peter Bagge! The FREE event takes place at the Deichmanske Library at Grunerlokka, a gorgeous public library with a bar! (More details)
Brooklyn, NY: Original art fans will want to head to the Scott Eder Gallery for their opening reception of the "It's About Comics" exhibit, from 6-9 pm. Marvel at original works by Los Bros Hernandez, Woodring, Sala, Crumb, and many more. Can't say no to something you fall in love with? Pieces will be available to purchase! (More details)
Brooklyn, NY: Since you're already in BK, scoot on over to the Jalopy Theatre from 6-8 pm to catch the reception for the opening of the Jim Flora show, featuring work from the book The High Fidelity Art of Jim Flora. Original album covers, proof sheets, and other artifacts to show off his zaney, jazz inspired work. (More details)
Saturday, June 14th
Seattle, WA: The annual Georgetown Carnival is going down this Saturday from Noon-10 pm! Beer gardens, three stages of live music, and the famous Power Tool Races, with an entry by our own Larry Reid. Pop into the Fantagraphics Bookstore and Gallery for a rest, and scope some fantastic reads. The carnival is a perfect opportunity to discover all of the great things Georgetown has to offer: food, drinks, records, books, art and more! (More details)
Don't miss Fantagraphics Bookstore's latest creation in Hazardfactory's world famous Power Tool Races. This thrilling side-by-side spectacle is the centerpiece of Saturday's colorful Georgetown Carnival. Extreme Measures is powered by a DeWalt retractable tape. You'll just have to see it race. The bookstore has entered wicked tools in every race since 2007 and won the top prize in 2011 with the Georgetown Chainsaw Massacre.
The Georgetown Carnival is a festive celebration of the creative diversity of Seattle's oldest neighborhood. Acrobats, aerialists, sideshows, stiltwalkers, interactive arts, carnival games and confections combine to create one of the region's liveliest art fairs. Musical highlights include Tummy, Ancient Warlocks, Mark Pickerel (formerly of Screaming Trees), Vaporland (featuring former Love Battery, Tad, and Fluid members), and more. Then get ready to Rumble with the architect of the Seattle Sound, Jack Endino's Earthworm. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray kicks off the festivities with opening remarks at noon. All free, all day, all ages. See you Saturday in Georgetown!
Wait. I'm not sure that came out right. But whether you need robotic assistance for your spouse, want to learn to recognize criminal fingertalk, or have questions about giant giraffe insurance for the old people in your life, Tales Designed to Thrizzle will provide questionable answers, inappropriate advice, and downright improbable offers.
Gary's acerbic rage-writings of the 80s and 90s are referenced in the article by Paul Constant. Constant asked Gary if he was less angry now but since Fantagraphics started making the comics he wanted to read and are at most bookstores...Constant wrote it best. "that there was always more work to do, but it was clear to everyone that, yes, the century-long fight for the soul of American comics is over, and Gary Groth won."
On October 18, The Stranger will throw a huge, drunken party for all 15 finalists at the Moore Theatre (tickets here), with the Seattle Rock Orchestra and other live performances, and five of the finalists (one from each category) will go home with $5,000 each, no strings attached.
Black is the Color of the radio airwaves this week! Julia Gfrörer and Portland's Ellery Harvey are collaborators in bringing the art of comics off the page and into the performance space, and they're the guests tomorrow Thursday morning (June 12th) from 11:30 to noon on Words & Pictures.
From Words & Pictures: The gothic sensibility of Julia's pen and ink artwork and spare archaic dialogue, in such graphic novels as Black is the Color, bring together historical, mythical, and sensual themes. Lambhouse Letterpress founder Ellery, who has toured the Pacific Northwest with Julia, backs up her artwork with musical soundscapes at such events as Gridlords and Linework NW.
Words & Pictures airs the second Thursday of each month from 11:30am to noon (PDT) on KBOO Radio, 90.7fm. KBOO's real-time webstream is available at via iTunes or Abacast, and on mobile devices through the TuneIn app.
For decades, Jim Flora made some of the grooviest album artwork for Columbia and RCA Victor records, and for the first time all of that high energy art was compiled into one complete anthology with the help of co-archivists and authors Irwin Chusid and Barbara Economon. These ruckusly exuberant drawings, with eye-popping color, and post-cubist influence, are in constant motion. Original copies of some rare Flora album covers, proof sheets, and music artifiacts will be jumpin' off the walls at the Jalopy Theatre and Gallery.
Irwin Chusid will be on hand to sign and sell books amidst some swing and jazz tunes that influenced Flora's art, and vice versa. The FREE reception runs from 6-8 pm, but the art show will continue until August 22nd!
Wow. Jim has arrived in our office, and we can't put it down! Page after page of Jim Woodring's surreal, fantastical drawings await you as you follow the author's eponymous alter-ego through a continually-shifting landscape and delve into his myriad collection of images and prose.
Here is a brief glimpse to whet your appetite before this 'notorious autojournal' hits stores in September. Go here for the 21-page preview and to pre-order your copy. Go on. Delight your senses. You deserve it.
The Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco has featured artwork by many of our caroonists from Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez to a future M.K. Brown show. Currently on exhibit is Pretty In Ink: The Trina Robbins Collection from now until August 24th, 2014 (postcard pictured above). We pulled Andrew Farago, curator at CAM, aside for a few quick questions about the process of getting a show ready.
What do you look for when choosing works from a singular artist/cartoonist? Is it a plan to arrange them visually by era or area (like if they did paintings, cel animation, comics)?
"It depends" is my basic answer for that. If it's a career retrospective, I'll find out if the artist has kept most of her originals or if they've been scattered amongst friends and collectors. Sometimes we'll be focusing on a book that's been recently published, sometimes we'll have our own exhibition catalog in the works. Sometimes I work with a co-curator who's tracked down most of an artist's major works. The fewer sources I'll need to tap into to produce a well-rounded exhibition, the more likely I am to pursue it.
Although that's really more of a technical answer. Before I get into any of that, I make sure that we're focusing on a talented artist whose work will make for a compelling exhibition. I show favoritism to established artists with a substantial body of work, and always prefer to work with the artists directly whenever that's possible. It's incredible getting to collaborate with people likeStan Sakai, Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez, M.K. Brown, Steve Purcell, Eric Drooker, Nina Paley, Jeff Smith, and Dan Piraro, just off the top of my head, when putting together giant solo exhibitions.
Getting art ready for the Pretty in Ink show
Describe the basic layout of the gallery (or if you have a blueprint bird's-eye view of it) and do you aim to have people travel through the show the same way every time? (forgive me, I haven't been before so this question may seem odd)
This particular gallery has two entrances. Visitors will usually enter from the back-right corner entrance, and from there, they'll either wander up to the actual start of the exhibition at the opposite corner of the room, or they'll just start walking through and might end up viewing that particular room a time-and-a-half when passing through. With an exhibition like M.K.'s, which will be more focused on single-panel cartoons than multi-page stories, that won't be an issue for visitors.
Have you ever had an incident where you hung a show and then had to replace/take down art before it opened/while it was open?
Sure. I changed over our Sandman exhibition three times due to late arrivals. The original art for the second issue of Overture wasn't available to us until late March, and I swapped out an entire room to put up the first two issues. Artists and collectors have sometimes sold pieces while they've been on display, to buyers who don't want to wait until the exhibition wraps up before getting their artwork (although that's pretty rare). I don't generally like to change things once a show's up, since that's fairly labor intensive and I don't usually build time for re-hanging into my schedule.
Art matted and framed, ready for a wall
Is work for sale if the creator wishes it to be?
Generally not. We're a museum, so we don't sell art off the walls, but sometimes an artist or collector will ask us to include a note with contact information letting people know that the art's available for purchase through their websites.
How long have you worked at CAM?
I started as a volunteer in the summer of 2000, got hired on as Gallery Manager in the fall of 2001, and eased into the Curator job in 2005. I've worked on a little bit of everything over the years.
Photo by Lani Schreibstein
Are you donation-based? How can people help? Thanks!
There are plenty of ways to support the Cartoon Art Museum. Signing up for an annual membership, making a one-time cash donation (and asking your workplace to match it), donating original artwork, shopping at our bookstore, visiting the Museum, buying books or artwork from us at conventions...Here's a good place to start: http://cartoonart.org/join-support/
Sidenote: the CAM booth at San Diego is a GREAT place to pick up a $10 sketch to support the museum, they feature all sorts of fun cartoonists like Raina Telgemeier, Jeffrey Brown and Sina Grace. Last year, I sketched next to Gene Yang and Zack Giallongo and someone wanted us all to draw Morrissey. What a blast!
Thanks again to Andrew Farago for answering a few questions and carefully, lovingly putting work up on the walls with his crew. If you want to see Pretty In Ink yourself general admission is $8 while students & seniors are $6. Children 6-12 are $4 while WOO-HOO! Members & Children under 6 stroll in through the door for free. Check out Trina Robbin's book Pretty in Ink: North American Women Cartoonists 1896-2013 today.