The wonderful Cathy Malkasian visited the California College of the Arts yesterday to discuss comics, animation, and the artist's life with students in the Spring Graphic Novel Workshop taught by instructors Matt Silady and Justin Hall, pictured above with Cathy. Matt sent us these photos and reports "It was a great talk and Cathy was kind enough to stay after class to sketch and sign for all the students." Lucky kids! Thanks Matt!
• Review: "Even though Peanuts's peak was sometime back in the sixties these books are still coming out and you know what? They're still good. I keep waiting for a sharp decline in quality to hit but I'm still enjoying seeing Snoopy blissfully living out his fantasies, Charlie Brown being unable to ever be happy, Lucy being a jerk, etc. [...] This book suddenly made me want to go back in time very, very hard. I want to live in Peanuts so bad. Fuck my life. Someone help get me out of this life." – Nick Gazin, Vice
• Review: "Jordan Crane has a sweet skinny line and can draw like no one else. He can draw complicated scenes and it's clear that he never uses a ruler. There's something very friendly and reassuring about his drawing style. Jordan Crane is without a doubt one of the best guys in the alt comix game right now and my only criticism of him is that I wish he turned out more work. Jordan's making the comics that everyone else is trying to make but unlike them, he's succeeding at it." – Nick Gazin, Vice
• Coming Attractions:Library Journal's Martha Cornog spotlights a couple of our August 2011 releases. First, Like a Sniper Lining Up His Shot by Jacques Tardi & Jean-Patrick Manchette: "The fantasy grime of Manchette's noir thrillers may not equal the true-life grime of World War I, but both make pretty darn gripping reading when Tardi gets through with them. It Was the War of the Trenches made numerous 2010 best-of lists, including those of Booklist and Library Journal. Manchette and Tardi's previous collaboration on West Coast Blues didn't do badly either, being nominated for two Eisners. With Sniper, a pro killer wants to nail one last job before retiring to marry his childhood sweetheart. But of course it's no cupcake gig." Second, Cruisin' with the Hound: The Life and Times of Fred Tooté by Spain Rodgriguez: "Here we have tales of the wild 1950s in muscular black and white, some memoir and some just tales, from take-no-prisoners Zap Comix veteran Rodriguez. [...] Expect this one to be adults-only: motorcycles, raunch, and rock 'n' roll and described as the unsentimental and hilarious 'anti-Happy Days.'"
• Commentary:On his blog, our manga editor/translator Matt Thorn weighs in on the damaging legacy left behind by TokyoPop
• Analysis: "Hey, Wait... presents a varied collection of strategies which help express emptiness and lack of meaning; the metaphorical use of silences and visual minimalism are two of these, and will become frequent in the author’s repertory in the following books. Meaninglessness, though, can also be expressed by adopting an aesthetics of visual excess (since both lack and overload can be equally menacing to the production of meaning). In this specific page, this is done at a typographical level." – Greice Schneider, The Comics Grid
• Blood & Thunder: "Why do you continue to publish Maakies? Is it intended to disgust people?" – Kevin Rutkowski, in a Letter to the Editor of The Austin Chronicle
... And by that, I mean, I had threeBurgerville Northwest Cherry Chocolate Milkshakes in the two days we were in Portland, Oregon for the 8th Annual Stumptown Comics Fest. They even put espresso shots in my milkshakes. God bless Burgerville.
The calm before the Stumptown storm!
So, WOW! Thank you so much to everyone who came by our booth at Stumptown this year! Mike and I had a blast! Hate Annual #9 flew off the racks, with Jason's latest Isle of 100,000 Graves also selling out quickly.
We were thrilled to be joined by editor Patrick Rosenkranz. While we weren't able to make his panel on the underground comix movement, we could tell from the fans attending his signing that it must've went great! One fellow came by with a huge stack of Zap Comix in hand, including a rare copy of the first printing of #1!
Speaking of successful panels, T. Edward Bak had several of his attendees dropping by the booth, grabbing fistfuls of Momes! Here he is, showing some of his original artwork. Mike pointed out that you can always tell which issues of Mome T. Edward is in by looking for the black pages on the fore edge! (And yes, we had to consult Google to figure out what the sides of a book are called.)
Mome contributor Jeffrey Brown was signing with our booth neighbors Top Shelf, and leaned over for a chat with T Edward. Note: this happened on the next day from the other picture posted above; it's not like T Edward brought two sets of clothes. He's not Lady Gaga.
[Speaking of Jeffrey, here's one of my favorite overheard quotes of the weekend -- girl, on cellphone: "Hello? Mom, I gotta call you back. I'm standing in front of Jeffrey Brown."]
[My second favorite overheard quote of Stumptown comes from our own Customer Service Representative Ian Burns, who was trying to unload his leftovers from lunch: "It is really hard to give away meat in Portland."]
Speaking of Mome, we're always delighted to have the multi-talented Andrice Arp join us. Not only was she signing copies of Mome (including Volume 15, which features her cover art), but she also brought mini-paintings and a totally awesome flip-book she designed, inspired by the A-ha video for "Take On Me." Yeah, that's right.
And finally, editor Jacques Boyreau joined us, engaging customers with his collection Portable Grindhouse. Jacques is always great to talk movies with, and a former French film critic even stopped by to discuss cult classics! And who's that to the left in the pic above? Why it's Monster Parade artist Ben Catmull!
Ben had his own table this year at Stumptown, featuring his award-winning 2001 comic Paper Theater, and some freakin' insane letterpress prints, both of which you can acquire straight from the gentleman himself.
The biggest buzz of the weekend was over the move from the old location (The Lloyd Center) to the much-larger Oregon Convention Center. And yes, while I missed the windows and nearby park of The Lloyd Center, I've really only got one word: Burgerville.
You can check out lots more pics from our Stumptown adventures on the Fantagraphics Flickr page here. And the fun don't stop, as Mike and I are now gearing up for TCAF! Hope to see you there!
See that incredible logo at the top of this FLOG post? Designed by our one and only Jacob Covey, seen here with his lovely lady, Liz. It's hard to get Covey out these days, so SEATTLE, I HOPE YOU APPRECIATED IT.
I love what Seattle Twist wrote about our own Larry Reid so much, that I just wanna quote it here: "Mister Larry Reid — Seattle's own kulture chaos kingpin, curating/instigating collisions of art and xcitement in this town for the last three decades, and still ready to kick some 'sick-up-the-butt' art establishment attitude for years to come."AMEN.
You can check out more photos -- including some can't-miss shots of Krist Novoselic's shirt -- over at SeattleTwist.com! And if you missed opening night, don't worry, you have until 2014 to view the Nirvana exhibit at the EMP.
• Review: "Erotic, harrowing, graphically violent, and astonishingly grim, Love from the Shadows sees Hernandez plunging ever further into his own heart of darkness. [...] Every line is heavy with sadness, with the desire of the character, and the character within the character, and the artist, and the audience, to escape. But if there’s one message you can draw from Gilbert Hernandez’s comics, it’s that once you enter that cave, there’s no going back. Christ, what a fucking book." – Sean T. Collins, The Comics Journal
• Review: "Clearly Taking Punk to the Masses will appeal first and foremost to fans of Kurt Cobain, Nevermind, and everything Nirvana — but by placing this groundbreaking band within a cultural and historical context it becomes more than just another Nirvana book. In fact, you’ll be surprised at how much more there is between its covers, and the Nirvana artifacts are kept to a minimum. Instead, it tells the tale of underground American punk, the Seattle scene, and the grunge phenomenon. [...] Even if you haven’t had the chance to check out the EMP’s exhibit, ...Taking Punk to the Masses provides an intriguing visual and oral history of the generation that changed music — and the Northwest — for good." – Dan Coxon, CultureMob
• Review: "The undisputed king of the adventure comic strip was Roy Crane. [...] Suddenly faced with a whole new audience and a world newly at war, Crane created a new strip for Hearst, the exploits of a daring Navy pilot named Buz Sawyer, beginning in 1943. The result was one of the greatest adventure strips ever, the first two years of which have been collected in Buz Sawyer: The War in the Pacific. [...] The bright-eyed, steely resolve of Crane's generation shines in every panel, making it a refreshing bit of nostalgia as well as an exemplar of sequential art. [...] For history buffs and comic fans alike, Roy Crane's flyboy provides a great escape from 21st-century cynicism." – John G. Nettles, Flagpole Magazine
• Review: "It's called Popeye, Vol. 4: "Plunder Island"... and it's just as good and thrilling a mixture of low humor, high adventure, running gags, populist sentiment, brawling action, expressive drawing, and unforgettable characters as ever. [...] This is great stuff, and it's just as funny and enthralling as it was in the mid-30s when Segar was spinning it out, day by day, in the funny papers. Someone who can read Popeye and doesn't has no advantages to speak of over the mule, who cannot read Popeye." – Andrew Wheeler, The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent.
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