Stop by Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery today and wish Larry Reid a happy birthday! Larry's been one of the most influential figures in the Seattle counterculture scene for more years than he'd care for us to count, and has been instrumental in the establishment of alternative comix as a respected art form. The man's a giant, I tells ya, and we're privileged to have him on our team.
If you want to make Larry happy today (and to make up for me embarrassing him here), first and foremost, buy lots and lots of comic books, and second, "like" the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery page on Facebook — Larry's been posting there pretty much daily, and even if you're out of the area and can't visit the store he's got great comix recommendations and juicy tidbits to share.
Join us this weekend for the 8th Annual Stumptown Comics Fest in Portland, Oregon! It's their first year at the Oregon Convention Center, and we'll be there Saturday, April 16th and Sunday, April 17th, with some of our amazing artists and editors, and both new books and favorite titles. Marketing maestro Mike Baehr and I are looking forward to seeing everyone!
Get your hands on early copies of these Fantagraphics titles:
And in celebration of the latest issue of Hate Annual, we'll be doing some fun giveaways, thanks to our friends at AmericaWare, who've just debuted a collection of Peter Bagge t-shirts! Just come by the Fantagraphics table for your chance to win a shirt featuring the loveable Lisa! You know you wanna be BAD!
Where can you find us at Stumptown? Why, at booth #304!
And while at Stumptown, be sure to take in some panels featuring Fantagraphics artists and staff!
Saturday, April 16th
11:00-11:45 PM // Process in the Periphery: Natural History and Narrative Explorations in the Biography of Georg Wilhelm Steller: A presentation of artist T Edward Bak's current work-in-progress with an examination of challenges in illustrated historical exposition. (Room A104)
12:00-12:45 PM // Sex, Drugs & Insurrection: The Underground Comix Movement: During the underground comix era artistic freedom was a non-negotiable starting point. Audacity, iconoclasm, and experimentation became the new standards for success. Comics this raw and explicit had never seen print before. This presentation is not for the young or squeamish. Presented by Patrick Rosenkranz (Room A106)
2:00-2:45 PM //Comics as Journalism: Mike Rosen, editor of Oil and Water, moderates a discussion about using comics as a form of journalism, tackling stories in ways that traditional prose journalism doesn't. Join Shannon Wheeler, Sarah Glidden, Matt Bors, and Steve Duin. (Room A105)
3:00-3:45 PM //How To Publicize Your Comic: Fantagraphics Director of Publicity & Promotions, Jacq Cohen, goes over the step-by-step process of creating a publicity plan for a comic and gives pointers on how to promote yourself and your book. (Room A104)
3:00-4:45 PM // Teaching Comics: College-level comics courses are a fairly new phenomenon, but the schools offering them have already met with great success. Join educators Brian Michael Bendis (PSU), Patrick Rosenkranz (PNCA), Trevor Dodge (CCC/PNCA), and Nicole Georges (IPRC) in a panel hosted by Dark Horse executive editor Diana Schutz (PCC) as they share their experiences in the comics classroom and bring you up to date on courses now available nationwide. (Room A106)
Sunday, April 17th
2:00-2:45 PM //Douglas Wolk: Page One: We'll look at some great opening pages of comics, and discuss how they instantly establish a look and feel for what comes after them (including some Fantagraphics titles!). Hosted by critic Douglas Wolk. (Room A104)
6:00-10:00 PM // Stumptown Comics Fest Afterparty: See the Stumptown Cartoonist Show, featuring artwork by Andrice Arp and many, many other artists, at Pony Club Gallery (625 NW Everett Street #105).
• Review: At Comix Cube Kevin Czap praises Steven Weissman's "Barack Hussein Obama" (seen here on our website and in Mome Vol. 21): "It actually reminds me of Wally Gropius in terms of the structure, which is not surprising given its appearance in MOME. One can only hope that the whole thing will get collected, at which point I predict it to be one of my favorite comics ever." (Via The Comics Reporter)
• Review: We almost missed this cartoon review by Casey Scieszka and Steven Weinberg at Unshelved Book Club: "…The Last Musketeer… is the epitome of everything we love about Jason: stunning color palette, insane and absurd plot, humor that sneaks up on you, his signature anthropomorphized animals, and surprisingly serious themes of authority, humanity, death, love, jealousy…"
• Profile: At Examiner.com, Gillian Gaar talks to editor/EMP curator Jacob McMurray about Taking Punk to the Masses: From Nowhere to Nevermind: "The book, as its title suggests, views Nirvana’s success as the culmination of the alternative rock scene that blossomed in America during the 1980s. 'That’s the bigger context in the exhibition as well,' McMurray explains. 'It is the story of Nirvana, but it's couched within what was happening throughout the Northwest, and throughout the US, from the rise of punk rock on. It’s the idea that there needs to be a sort of infrastructure in place for a band like Nirvana to even exist; that without all of these advances that had been happening in the underground by a dozen different bands, Nirvana would have never happened.'"
• Interview:Comic Book Resources' Chris Mautner talks to Gilbert Hernandez about Love from the Shadows and the other "Fritz B-Movie" books: "The Fritz series frees me of any obligation to be a do-gooder cartoonist, something most regular L&R readers probably don't want to hear. I felt straight jacketed with 'Palomar' and the like after a while, really. I have a lot more going on in my imagination than I'm expected to utilize." Further reading: at CBR's Robot 6 blog, Sean T. Collins comments on the interview
• Feature: At the Drawing Words & Writing Pictures blog, Best American Comics series co-editors Jessica Abel & Matt Madden spotlight two stories from Mome Vol. 13 as 2010 Notable Comics: Abel picks Dash Shaw's "Satellite CMYK" — "Dash Shaw just keeps popping up in our 'can’t miss' pile. [...] Beyond being a good story, the formal element of using color (and black and white) as a storytelling tool is very unusual and makes this work a standout." — and Madden picks Josh Simmons's "Jesus Christ": "The storytelling is fluid and dynamic, and Simmons’s ability to convey the enormity of the monster is bracing. Simmons deliberately mixes elements from different mythologies to defy any obvious reading. In the end, all we have before us is this escstatic Kali-Godzilla-Centaur with a halo of fire and a title to provoke us."
Gary Panter will be in Paris for the opening of his art show at Galerie Martel on the 29th of April. On his blog he says "I am excited. I have many friends in France and it has been decades since I was there."
Seattle's Experience Music Project is hosting festivities all weekend to launch their ambitious Nirvana exhibition and companion book Taking Punk to the Masses, published by Fantagraphics in association with EMP. The celebration begins with a private reception, followed by a members preview, this Friday evening with celebrity DJs including Fantagraphics friends Steve Fisk, Mark Pickerel, and Charles Peterson. Activities continue all weekend, including a panel on the origins of grunge at 2:30 on Saturday, with panelists including Peterson and former Fantagraphics frontman Tom Price, moderated by curator and the book's author Jacob McMurray.
The EMP exhibition focuses on Nirvana, while the book takes a broader view of Seattle's grunge counterculture, primarily through artifacts and oral histories provided by many of the principals of the movement. It reads like a chronicle of my misspent youth. (I'm quoted on Page 1 along with Kurt Cobain of Nirvana, Wayne Kramer of the MC5, and Mike McCready of Pearl Jam.) Every page reveals another fascinating step in an evolving punk subculture that would eventually alter the course of popular music worldwide. Who would've guessed at the time? Not me.
It's appropriate that Fantagraphics published this document. Comix played an important role in shaping the attitude and aesthetics of Seattle's grunge movement. I often compare Seattle in the late 80s and early 90s to San Francisco in the mid-60s. Like the hippie movement in the Bay Area, the Northwest had distinctive rock music, poster graphics, and fashion (or anti-fashion) sensibilities. We also had an army of talented and perceptive alternative cartoonists to disseminate the emerging scene, none more influential than Peter Bagge. The book establishes that many Fantagraphics artists, friends and future employees were central to the development of Seattle's domination of the counterculture of the era.
I commissioned this poster by Weirdo and Real Stuff contributor Ashleigh Talbot (formerly Ashleigh Raffloer, AKA Triangle-Slash) for a 1988 show I promoted with the U-Men, a legendary proto-grunge outfit. This bill included famed illustrator Ed Fotheringham's Thrown Ups featuring Mark Arm on drums. Mark and Ed are pictured prominently in Peterson's cover photo for the book. Both Mark and Tom Price of the U-Men would later work for Fantagraphics. Tom is playing guitar with the U-Men on the announcement for Peterson's May 14 show at Fantagraphics Bookstore below.
The Nirvana exhibition at EMP continues through 2014. To supplement the EMP show, Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery will mount an exhibition of seminal work by accomplished Seattle photographer Charles Peterson opening May 14. He will be joined by Peter Bagge signing copies of Hate Annual #9 (featuring Buddy's return to Seattle) and the Yeah! collection. The show will be followed by a concert by Bagge's band Can You Imagine? featuring Steve Fisk on keyboards. You should just move to Seattle. OK?
Get ready to rock! This Saturday, April 16 marks the annual Record Store Day promotion. Our neighbors at Georgetown Records are celebrating with free vinyl, CD samplers and swag from labels like Sub Pop, Epitaph, Decca, and WEA, among many others. To sweeten the deal, Fantagraphics Bookstore & Galleryis adding a free comic book for every customer of Georgetown Records. Get out and support your local independent record store this Saturday and throughout the year.
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