"…[An] essential purchase for any collection that values comic-strip reprints … [T]he inventive wordplay, idiosyncratic swamp patter, and goofy slapstick are all in full effect right from the start, as is the broad cast of loony critters that would eventually number upwards of 500 distinct characters. Due to run 12 volumes, this collection completes the holy trifecta, along with Charles Schulz’ Peanuts and George Herriman’s Krazy Kat, of comic strips whose influence cannot be overstated." – Ian Chipman, Booklist
"…[T]here’s simply no denying Kelly’s mastery: he evokes full characters with nothing but a few choice words, and the sprightliness of his visual style is all fun here, laying the groundwork for what would become profoundly subversive later. The included essays, as is usually the case for Fantagraphics reissues, absolutely nail the context and import of the strip, too. I just don’t think you can say you love comics and not have this around." – David Berry, National Post
"The book is lovingly made and the strips presented with care and pleasure. But is it any good? Oh yes. It’s funny and charming, bursting with witty wordplay and vivid characters you love immediately…. In short, read Pogo and you can immediately see it slide into the pop cultural matrix and how it drew upon the work that came earlier, moved forward the art form of comic strips and influenced artists after it for generations to come. But most of all you’ll laugh…" – Michael Giltz, The Huffington Post
"Like the similarly peripatetic cartoonist Ben Katchor, she draws from, and at, unusual angles, beckoning the eye to travel across the story-world’s space to unusual nooks and crannies, dirty floors and empty skies." – Sean T. Collins, The Comics Journal
"It would be easy to dismiss Megahex as another stoner comic. But there’s so much lurking beneath the seemingly superficial surfaces – questions about friendship, loyalty, love, drug addiction, sexual identity, and hopelessness." – Gareth Branwyn, BoingBoing
A boxed set of the twenty-first and twenty-second volumes of The Complete Peanuts, designed by the award-winning graphic novelist, Seth. Shipping shrinkwrapped, with volumes 1991-1992 and 1993-1994 packed in a sturdy custom box designed especially for this set, it's the perfect gift book item.
Even the most devoted Peanuts fan will be surprised by revisiting Schulz's last decade of work. Schulz's cartooning has never been more expressive, and his sense of humor never more unencumbered by formula or tradition. In one sequence, the gang waits... and waits... for a school bus that never comes. Another shockingly showcases Charlie Brown hitting a game-winning home run — off Roy Hobbs's great-granddaughter? Then, Linus lobbies the White House to nominate Snoopy for a Supreme Court seat (it would go to Ruth Bader Ginsburg). Woodstock discovers his long-lost grandfather's diary, detailing a hard life in captivity (birdcage). Snoopy lands in the hospital with pneumonia, and all three of his brothers — Andy, Spike, and Olaf — come pay their respects. This is the 22nd volume (of 25) of the bestselling series collecting every single one of the 18,000-plus strips created by Schulz from 1950-2000.
Mark your calendars for Saturday, November 29 at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery as we celebrate the publication of Sub Pop USA from Brooklyn publisher Bazillion Points. Longtime Seattle residents remember the humble beginnings of the legendary record label as a fanzine, cassette compilation, and broadsheet column by visionary indie music impresario Bruce Pavitt. His early efforts soon brought national attention to bands like Big Black, Sonic Youth, and the Wipers, while laying the foundation for an international pop culture phenomenon that gave us music by Nirvana, Soundgarden, Mudhoney, and more. This collection of the first 8 years of Sub Pop includes art by Charles Burns, Lynda Barry, and Charles Peterson, with forewords from Fantagraphics curator and former Sub Pop contributor Larry Reid and K Records founder and Beat Happening front man Calvin Johnson, who will play music at the book launch event. Make plans now to spend the Thanksgiving holiday weekend at Fantagraphics bookstore. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone 206.658.0110.
The central character of Set to Sea is a big lug and an aspiring poet who runs up tabs at the local bars by day and haunts the docks by night, writing paeans to the seafaring life. When he gets shanghaied aboard a clipper bound for Hong Kong, he finds the sailor's life a bit rougher than his romantic nautical fantasies, but he learns to live — and love — a Conradian life on the sea, all the while writing poetry about pirates, bad food, unceremonious funerals, foreign ports, and unexpected epiphanies. By the end of his life, he's found satisfaction in living a life of adventure and finding a receptive and appreciative readership. What more could one ask for? Set to Sea is part rollicking adventure, part maritime ballad told in visual rhyme. Every page is a single panel, every panel is a stunning illustration, every illustration a part of a larger whole that tells a story in the deft language of cartooning.
On Saturday night, founder and co-publisher Gary Groth received the Genius Award in Literature from Seattle alt-weekly paper, The Stranger. (Photo above by Kelly O. of The Stranger). His competition was fierce but the force of the movement he created when he founded Fantagraphics with Mike Catron and soldiered on with Kim Thompson created a form of comics so prevalent. Paul Constant interviews Groth yet again after the event on comics at the Stranger's Slog: "Pop culture has become so stupefyingly banal that it's caught up with comics. It's kind of terrifying when you think about it," states Groth in reference to the multiple superhero movies, TV shows and comics popping up from here as far as the eye can see. Picture below by Short Run.
Associate Publisher Eric Reynolds was present at the Stranger Awards and commented, "It was a great night for Fantagraphics and for Seattle, and even though Gary's been completely insufferable since Saturday night, going on and on about 'genius this' and 'genius that,' blah blah blah, we're extremely proud of the big lug."
Eric, Kelly O. and Gary
Yes, indeed, we are so proud of Gary and happy to be a part of the everchanging landscape of comics, graphic novels and just damn good storytelling. VIVA COMICS and VIVA GROTH!
DETROIT! Let's grease the wheels and get on down to the Jazz Cafe. Author Pat Thomas will be in Detroit on Wednesday, October 29th from 7:00pm-9:30pm at the Jazz Cafe at Music Hall, reading from his book, Listen Whitey! The Sights and Sounds of Black Power 1965-1975 plus spinning rare "Black Power" recordings and showing unusual photos from the era. ML Liebler presents a special Detroit Tonight Live featuring Thomas that will also include special guests: poets Diane DeCillis & Dawn McDuffie plus fiction writer Brian Smith along with The Good Shepherd Poetry Blues Band.
Thomas is also working a new book coming out next year called Invitation to Openness, a book of previously unpublished jazz photos of the 1960s and '70s by Les McCann. So feel free to ask him about it!
Jazz Cafe at Music Hall 350 Madison St Detroit, MI 48226 (313) 887-8500
This weekend is THE Texas Book Festival in the heart of the state, Austin, on the grounds of the State Capital. Tim Lane of The Lonesome Go and Abandoned Cars will also be in attendence and holding court. Lane is known for his dense cartooning of American legends and dusty Route 66 tales. Stark washes of white and black pools of ink draw readers to the page while the mystery and mayhem leave them fraught with distress at each page turn. Here's were you can find Lane during the festival:
Saturday, October 25th
Foxing Quarterly and Fantagraphics LitCrawl with Tim Lane - 9:30 PM
The Volstead Lounge at Hotel Vegas. Just like with Lane's signing at The Phoenix, he'll be doing recordings of Jackie's Blues so if you are an earnest musician of any instrument come out to jam or do a solo recording for his project.
Sunday, October 26th
On Comics Panel- 11:15 AM - 12:00 PM Beautiful, and at times haunting, pen-and-ink illustrations clash with the Great American Mythological Drama in Tim Lane's new collection, The Lonesome Go. Moderated by Danithan Mejia.
Location: Capitol Extension Room E2.028
Immediately after Lane's panel you'll find him at the book signing tent signing The Lonesome Go. So please enjoy this free festival on the grounds of the capital and enjoy all the delicious food Austin has to offer whether it's the ever-present Torchy's Tacos, Aster's Ethiopian, or that beautiful white bean chili at the Texas Chili Parlor (mere steps from the Texas Book Festival.
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