It's that time of year again! When sad boys and girls wait outside their mailbox for a letter, or constantly refresh their email for that higher mail number. Maybe it's someone waiting for a fresh-cut bouquet of flowers or (if you're like me and flowers are like giving someone a small pet to take care of) a box of chocolates.
Maybe it's knowing others just suffer in the same universal waiting game, even though the waiting is what makes the receiving that much more delightful. Fear not. for Powell's City of Books in Portland, OR has the front of the store display packed to the gills with Valentine's Day appropriate candy and of course, A Valentine for Charlie Brownby Charles M. Schulz.
So get a copy for loved one as a gentle reminder of the anxiety such holidays give us and that they are loved. Or for yourself and revel, you swine, in someone else's quiet pain! Love, Fantagraphics.
Milan, Italy - Antonio Colombo Arte Contemporanea of Milan is hosting two American artists for its upcoming show entitled, "Family Lexicon", Esther Pearl Watson and Fred Stonehouse. Titled as such, the show sets out to explore personal symbolism and meanings that are born out of our families history and narrative. The exhibit will run from February 5th - March 21st 2015 with an opening reception on Feb. 5th, you know, if you happen to be in the Milan area, which we all wish we were.
Juxtaposed against the strong Catholic icons of Stonehouse's paintings, Watson showcases her ossilating world between Texas and Italy in her distinctive style. From the gallery:
"Esther Pearl Watson's confessional and distinctly naive paintings draw on the years of her very peculiar adolescence, spent on the road between Italy and Texas, in the orbit of her father, an inventory of flying saucers made of cars' motors and scrap parts. Her memories unracel in teh background of sleepy small town and infinite Texas prairies, whose skies are always dominated by the strangely comforting presence of space shuttles: these are the double emlem of the relationship with her father, the first inspiring figure of her life, and with her own young daughter, who has learned since she was a child to associate Esther to her UFOs."
Creator of the fan favorite series, Unlovable, Esther Pearl Watson can pack a hilarious and poignant punch on every panel of Tammy Pierce's life. These books are a perfect companion for anyone remembering their own most hellish awkward middle school years, but you're left laughing and glad that you've escaped (relatively) unharmed.
If you find yourself roaming the streets of Milan in the next month, stop in at the Colombo Arte Contemporanea and peep these brand new paintings!
FEBRUARY 13th - At the book release party you won't want to miss next Friday, February 13th local comic book legend and raconteur, Peter Bagge, will be signing at Arcane Comics at 6pm. His newest book is a collection of the DC comic, Sweatshop, which discusses seedy underbelly of the comic book industry. Originally published as a six-issue series by DC Comics in 2003 this is one of the best and most undervalued works of one of the key voices of his generation.
Sweatshop focuses on the unhappy, out-of-touch cartoonist, Mel Bowling. As the hand behind a very bad daily comic strip called Freddy Ferret (a cross between Dilbert and Garfield), he spends most of his time listening to Rush Limbaugh and coming up with horrible catchphrases to merchandise, while his "sweatshop" cast of studio assistants grind out all the hard work.
Arcane Comics is located in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle. Wet your whistle on some Hilliard's beer while at the shop and enjoy flipping through the well-indexed floppy comics (they have some serious signage going on). Invite your friends via Facebook so no one misses out!
"I can count on one hand the number of comic artists whose work is as strong... maybe on two or three fingers... It's a laff riot, what can I tell ya?" - R. Crumb
(photo by James Brooks)
Arcane Comics 5809 15th Avenue Northwest Seattle, WA 98107 206.781.4875
Alexander Theroux is an award-winning writer whose notable achievements include the Lannan Literary Award for Fiction, the Clifton Fadimon Medal for Fiction, a Fulbright Grant, and a Guggenheim Fellowship.
MILLENNIUM COURT ARTS CENTRE JANUARY 23rd - FEBRUARY 28th 2015
Curated by Ben Crothers Currently on display: YOUNG ADULT (or, a daring, urgent, malfunctioning age) exposes and investigates youth culture gone wrong. Fun, boredom, alcohol, sex, parties, drugs, gangs, violence and death collide in an array of video, photography, comic books and literature which straddles both sides of the Atlantic, exploring young adulthood in the UK and the United States, from Belfast and Manchester to New York and North Carolina. Featuring works by seminal cartoonists such as Daniel Clowes and Gilbert Hernandez in addition to the next generation of Charles Forsman and Noah Van Sciver, this show is a must see for the comics fan in the United Kingdom.
Focusing on work made about teenagers and twenty-somethings, YOUNG ADULT depicts those who seek solace in places where they perhaps should not, taking extreme measures to postpone adulthood and the difficulties which await them. Referred to as Millennials, Generation Y, "boomerang kids", and the "Peter Pan generation", their youth no longer presents hope and promise for the future, but rather crippling uncertainty. Numbing themselves to a reality for which they were never prepared (despite, or indeed because of, their comfortable upbringings and college educations), rites of passage into adulthood are rejected as today's young adults hurtle towards it, with potentially devastating consequences.
Here some young adults flip through some of the comics on display after seeing artwork:
Whether presenting fact or fiction, the artists and writers featured within the exhibition all recognise the complex problems facing young adults in contemporary society. Some may blur or distort the truth, but even escapism ultimately leads back to reality. The traditional process of growing up seems to have gone off course as contemporary youths face issues and challenges that did not exist, or were unacknowledged, in previous generations. Young people are going back to school for lack of better options, travelling the world, avoiding commitments, competing for unpaid internships, and remain unattached to romantic partners or permanent homes - in other words, forestalling the beginning of what many would consider "adult life".
Frat boys under the influence of drugs and alcohol, teenage vandals, and internet-addicted, jobless graduates suffering from ennui are yet to find their place in the world, passively drifting through life or desperately seeking some form of respite, whether it is healthy or ultimately all the more damaging.
Ian Charlesworth / Daniel Clowes / Brian Finke / Charles Forsman / Gilbert Hernandez / Dave Kiersh / Tao Lin / Michael Lucid / Mardou / Rebecca McIlwaine / Alasdair McLellan / Ryan Moffett / Erin Patrice O'Brien / Francis Pienaar / Noah Van Sciver / Charlie White
GLUMBA SKZX Ex Elettrofonica, Rome January 13th - March 7th, 2015
Curated by Ben Crothers
Currently on display at Ex Elettrofonica, you'll find some seemingly insignificant objects, concepts and situations are challenged and disrupted in GLUMBA SKZX, through which the chance encounter is celebrated and the purposeless, banal and irrelevant are re-presented in highly imaginative ways.
The exhibiting artists reinterpret and re-evaluate pre-existing material and explore elements of everyday life which may often be overlooked: reimagining water as a luxurious, decadent beauty product (Adham Faramawy); purposefully enacting a series of common mistakes (Michael Hanna); video-recording a small wooden crate's journey through the postal delivery system (Shiro Masuyama); writing and illustrating a comics series based on a teenager's diary found in a gas-station bathroom (Esther Pearl Watson); expensively documenting items of low value (Theo Simpson); creating sculptures from childhood toys and household objects (Ben Craig); inventing a fictional gang based on an encounter on the New York subway (Fiona Larkin); photographing a fleeting moment in which the aesthetic cross-associations between a dog and a plastic garden chair became apparent (Locky Morris); and drawing inspiration from a children's book to create an adult-themed comic strip about a witch, her cat boyfriend, and an anthropomorphic owl (Simon Hanselmann).
GLUMBA SKZX embraces humour and the absurd in a multi-sensory environment in which photography, video and sculpture are exhibited alongside comic books, toys and second-hand clothing, which demand our attention and consideration just as much as the more readily acceptable forms of contemporary art on display. Audiences are urged to reconsider that which would not ordinarily be exhibited in a contemporary art gallery, faced with misspelt tattoos, playful canines, plastic banana holders, and a drug-addicted witch. Like the exhibition title itself, meaning often lies where one may not expect, taking us by surprise, making us smile, and changing our perspective.
Featuring works by: Ben Craig; Adham Faramawy; Michael Hanna; Simon Hanselmann; Fiona Larkin; Shiro Masuyama; Locky Morris; Theo Simpson; and Esther Pearl Watson.
Read more about the exhibit here in the ATP Diary (in Italian and French).
Vicolo Sant'Onofrio 10-11 ROMA Hours: From Tuesday to Friday 16.00 - 20.00 Saturday by appointment Sunday and Monday closed