“Flora was one of those rare beasts: a killer illustrator/designer who could trigger powerful brain-invasive joy with thought-provoking art and unexpected design.” — Gary Panter
“There was one Flora cover in the record cabinet when I was growing up, and I was almost afraid to play it — maybe because the art came from a mad party in the Twilight Zone, or because nothing in the grooves could possibly have the energy and crazy glee of the cover. These manic little masterpieces belong framed on the wall in the Flora wing of a modern art museum.” — James Lileks
“Jim Flora is the missing link between graphic art and typography. No artist is better at juggling forms and the spaces between. He created an idiosyncratic artistic language, and he spoke a variety of artistic dialects as well.” — Joost Swarte
“I grew up in a household with these records. This book beautifully presents Flora’s album illustrations as stand-alone works of art. Flora’s designs speak directly to the excitement of music.” — Georgia Hubley (Yo La Tengo)
“Flora’s art is as fresh, appealing, and entertaining as when he was producing it — seemingly by the tons. His work shouts that the Cubists left off too soon. In the 1950s and ’60s, magazines and LP sleeves were splashed with his stylized designs, color, and playful figures. If tattoos were as popular then as now, people would’ve been covered from pate to toes with Flora.” — Arnold Roth
Since the 2004 publication of The Mischievous Art of Jim Flora, the once-forgotten illustrator has gained recognition as one of the foremost pioneers of a raucous, cartoonish style of commercial art that defines the Mid-Century aesthetic. Two follow-up volumes, The Curiously Sinister Art... (2007) and The Sweetly Diabolic Art... (2009), captured Flora's largely unseen fine art works, spotlighting a variety of themes such as architecture, cats and dogs, science, cars, trains — and the occasional swerve toward gratuitous violence.
But one of Flora's sustaining loves was music. His 1940s Columbia and 1950s RCA Victor record covers, in which legendary musicians were routinely afflicted with mutant skin tints and bonus limbs, are considered classics of outlandish post-Cubist caricature. During this period Flora also produced an enormous amount of promotional ephemera, including new release monthlies, trade booklets, ads, and point-of-sale novelties.
The now out-of-print Mischievous Art featured Flora’s known album covers. (No complete discography existed.) Since that book’s publication, more covers have been found, as well as rough drafts and unused designs. So Flora co-archivists/authors Irwin Chusid and Barbara Economon have compiled a complete collection of Flora covers (including recent discoveries) and unpublished sketches in one volume, augmented by music images not included in previous volumes. The High Fidelity Art of Jim Flora is the definitive anthology of the maestro's visual compositions, reflecting jazz, classical, and Latin music.
Regarding his jam-packed canvases Flora once said he "couldn't stand a static space." There’s nothing static about the images in The High Fidelity Art: they wail, dance, bounce, and swing from the chandeliers. Flora had a knack for grooving with a paintbrush, making art to which you can tap your toes and snap your fingers.
Here's your first sneak peek at a printed copy of the new annual issue of Love and Rockets: New Stories! 50 pages of new Gilbert! 50 pages of new Jaime! What else do you need to know?? "When can I see more?" Okay, read a 10-page excerpt here, and be on the lookout for more previews. "When can I get it?" Pre-order your copy at the same place and be among the first to read it in late September or so; pick up a copy and get it signed by Jaime at Autoptic in Minneapolis; or wait until October when it's in stores — the choice is yours! "What happens in it?" That would be telling! But there's more Killer, more Palomar, more Tonta, more Frogmouth, more Fritz film fantasy... and wrasslin'!
That's right, just BEST. Okay, okay, the alt-weekly newspaper actually sang our praises as the Best Local Publisher. Brian Miller mentions some of our heavy-hitter cartoonists and that "Among an important sector of literate Americans who favor comics and graphic novels, the name [Fantagraphics] is as recognizable as Boeing or Starbucks. Which is not to say it's ever gone corporate, or ever will."
"Anyone with a love for fantasy art can only marvel at [Foster's] ability to capture both the gritty down-to-earth feeling of the times as well as those sweeping moments that kindle our sense of wonder.... These books are wonderful — rich and comprehensive..." – Charles de Lint, Fantasy & Science Fiction
“A witch named Horrit once prophesied that Val would never know contentment, but fans of the strip will find it here.” – Vanity Fair
“Prince Valiant opens up a world that I wanted to stay in — a wide-eyed early 20th century approach to fantasy with a now-vanished sincerity and wholesomeness. It’s an all too rare pleasure in comics.” – Dan Nadel, Comics Comics
“Medieval swordplay and adventure have never been as glorious as in Foster’s Sunday-only comic strip.... Prince Valiant is one of the best-drawn comics ever, and this new edition does ample justice to its achievement.” – Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
"Fantagraphics' Prince Valiant reprints are handsome packages, indeed. ...Hal Foster's art virtually leaps off the page, alive with detail and vigor." – John Petty, Comics Buyer's Guide
The 2013 Harvey Award Nominations list more than a few Fantagraphics' titles! Here's a peak at their covers and click on any to find out more information if for some reason they aren't already on your bookshelves!
Final ballots are due to the Harvey Awards by Monday, August 19, 2013. Full submission instructions can be found on the final ballot. Voting is open to anyone professionally involved in a creative capacity within the comics field. Final ballots are available at www.harveyawards.org. Those who prefer paper ballots may e-mail
Eye of the Majestic Creature Vol. 2 is the second book collecting Leslie Stein's loose, funny and charming autobiographical narratives that combine idiosyncratic fantasy and stark reality. Larrybear, our hero, has moved from the countryside to the city, where she finds work as a shop girl. Quotes from Theodore Dreiser's Sister Carrie are sprinkled throughout the story to add humor and poignancy. Stein then takes us back to a childhood in the '80s filled with odd experiences including joining a rock band with older people, sitting in on her mother's AA groups, and the mystery of the disappearing gumballs. Finally, a fun story in which Larrybear and her new friend Poppin the Flower go on a strange trip to see his father. Let us not forget that Marshmallow, Ping-Ping and Mimolette, Larry's walking and talking instruments, have adventures all their own.
Stein's gorgeous cartooning, highlighted by incredibly detailed stippling, and her dry sense of humor combine to make one of the most unique and immersive narrative experiences in comics.
For the first time, the entire spectrum of four-plus decades of queer cartooning is collected under one cover. Featuring groundbreaking crossover successes like Alison Bechdel, Howard Cruse, Ellen Forney, Dan Savage and David Wojnarowicz, as well as international superstars like Ralf König and Nazario and dozens of others cartoonists who have rarely been read outside the greater queer community. Editor Justin Hall has assembled an invaluable piece of comics history and LGBTQ culture.
Join us at Fantagraphics Bookstore this Saturday, August 10 as we welcome two extraordinary young cartoonists to Seattle. Josh Simmons and Ben Catmull will appear from 6:00 to 9:00 PM to sign copies of recent publications from Fantagraphics Books. This'll be great fun!
Ghosts and Ruins is Ben Catmull's follow-up to his wildly popular debut Monster Parade. Josh Simmons’ recent collection of short stories, The Furry Trap, similarly explores a sinister world of undiluted horror. Simmons will also sign copies of earlier graphic novels House and Jessica Farm as well as his equally compelling minicomics.
This event coincides with the festive Georgetown Art Attack. Don’t miss the return of the Trailer Park Trannies drag show at the Georgetown Trailer Park Mall along with other colorful attractions throughout the historic industrial arts corridor.
Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale Street, minutes south of downtown Seattle. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone 206.658.0110. See you all soon.
Naughty, the new novel by Monte Schulz, is a fictionalization of a sordid and sensational true crime story. Combining the best aspects of pulp noir and literary fiction, Schulz weaves a vivid and compelling tale of sociopathy, seduction, deceit and murder, and the ensuing courtroom drama, all dressed in authentic Eisenhower-era detail. The lurid jacket paintings are by artist Debbie Faas. The book is due on shelves in October; see here for more info and stay tuned for more previews between now and then!
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