EXCLUSIVE OFFER: If you order the book direct from Fantagraphics by Monday, August 26, 2013, on August 27 you'll receive a code for a FREE download of the audiobook via email from Local 638 Records, with chapters read by a mind-blowing all-star lineup of music and cultural luminaries. See the full lineup here.
It wasn’t the pounding headache or the all-too familiar taste of blood in my mouth that woke me that morning, but the stink of cat piss. They all have cats. Cats and bad tattoos and mops of dyed black hair that reek of cigarettes and watermelon Bubblicious. They all have ripped fishnets and dark red lips and daddy issues.
This debut novel by Danny Bland follows a pair of musician outsiders who find themselves enmeshed in the drug scene of early ’90s Seattle.
Vulnerable to the high relief of heroin addiction, Bland’s characters — Charlie Hyatt and Carrie Finch — are unapologetic protagonists whose epiphanies are as blinding as their weaknesses. Finch, 21, beautiful and dangerous, drowns out the voices in her head and the consequences of a misled life with electric guitars, booze and petulant misbehavior. Her single abiding faith takes the form of an unlikely savior — ’60s psychedelic musician Roky Erickson.
At the ripe old age of 28, Hyatt attempts to make sense of the cards he has been dealt: a miserable job in a porn shop, a drug habit he cannot afford and the wildly unstable woman he had chosen to love.
Two damaged people can balance a seesaw for a long time, even finding the illusion of safety; but when one gets off unannounced, the other will fall. As Finch finds sobriety, her sanity and her relationship with Hyatt falter until an inevitable event brings the two back together a decade later.
August 21, 2013 – Seattle, WA. Diverse works by accomplished Seattle cartoonists are featured in Fantagraphics Follies at the Bumbershoot arts festival on Saturday, August 31 at 6:00 PM in the Leo K. Theater. This entertaining production, in the format of a late night television talk show, includes Jim Woodring, Ellen Forney, Eroyn Franklin, Kelly Froh and Danny Bland. Music will be provided by Peter Bagge’s Can You Imagine? featuring Steve Fisk. Fantagraphics resident curator Larry Reid will serve as host for the festivities.
Iconoclastic cartoonist Jim Woodring demonstrates his drawing skills with a giant quill pen measuring over 7 feet tall. He’ll create an appropriately oversized drawing over the course of the show. Ellen Forney takes a turn on the couch to discuss her sensational new book Marbles. Eroyn Franklin presents an alluring shadow puppet show, followed by a multimedia comedy act by Kelly Froh. Inspired by Jack Kerouac’s legendary 1959 appearance on the Steve Allen Show, Danny Bland reads from his new Fantagraphics novel In Case We Die, accompanied on piano by Steve Fisk. Musical interludes from Peter Bagge’s captivating pop combo Can You Imagine? and revealing interviews by comix connoisseur Larry Reid promise to make Fantagraphics Follies a lively and colorful event. The show will be followed by a book signing, providing the public an opportunity to meet these extraordinary artists.
Join us on Labor Day weekend at Seattle’s adventurous Bumbershoot arts and music festival. For complete line-up and ticket information, visit: http://bumbershoot.org.
BY CONRAD GROTH – On Thursday, August 22, about thirty people gathered in the Strand's Rare Book Room to hear Samuel "Chip" Delany and Mia Wolff discuss their collaboration on the graphic novella Bread & Wine. For the uninitiated, the comic tells the story of how a novelist's chance encounter with a man who had been living on the streets of New York City for six years led to a loving relationship that continues to this day.
As one might imagine about an author willing to divulge his love story, and an erotically charged one at that, Delany is an open man. More than open. As he recalled with a chuckle at the signing, he has been accused of "promiscuous autobiographizing." However, like his graphic novella, he is never gratuitous. This is because his decision to write about his own story was not merely born of vanity. When asked by an audience member about their decision to graphically depict sex, Wolff, the illustrator and close friend of the author, fielded the question. "I called Chip and asked him if we should put sex in it and he said-" at which point Delany finished her anecdote with an emphatic "Yes!" Delany went on to explain that he considered sex to be a natural and thrilling aspect of his relationship to his partner. He also expressed concern for adolescents who are taught to repress their sexual desires and hoped that his and Wolff's novella would play a small part in chipping away at the taboo of homosexual sex.
Often, as in the above quote, Delany and Wolff would finish each other's sentences. They seemed so comfortable around each other that it came as no surprise that they had met while in their twenties. They described the collaboration process as organic. The original idea came from letters Delany sent to friends describing his ongoing experience with his new lover, Dennis. Encouraged to write out the full story, Delany began to send pages to Wolff (an illustrator who had never before considered drawing a graphic novel), who would sketch and improvise. Soon, Wolff visited the lovers and took pictures for reference and probed for details. The intimate connection between them is evident in their collaboration, which comes together in a beautiful unity of word and image.
Though only two artists showed up at the event, the novella was the product of a trinity. Dennis, wary of crowds, remained home, awaiting Chip's return.
**Special thanks to The Strand's Emily Simpson for arranging the event and Blake Grindon for the photos.
This digital drop Wednesday brings you two comics from two masters, Gilbert Hernandez and Jason. With a same day and date release as the print version, The Children of Palomar is Gilbert Hernandez's much-anticipated return to the small Central American town of Palomar. Originally released as a three-issue magazine series titled New Tales of Old Palomar in the acclaimed international "Ignatz" format, these stories are finally collected into one handsome book. All of these stories deal with the classic characters of Palomar (and stand alone from the series) such as sweet Pipo, her sharp-tongue sister Carmen, sheriff Chelo, and the gang of boys who help start it all: studious Heraclio, tall and fey Israel, disfigured but goodnatured Vicente, and girl-crazy Jesús and Satch.
"As Hernandez matures, he's expanding his style of storytelling into something close to the work of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Harumi Murakami and other creators of haunted landscapes where reality becomes a question of perception rather than a set of objective facts." - San Francisco Chronicle
The new graphic novel, Lost Cat, by Jason is both a playful take on the classic detective story. A detective happens to find a lost cat and finds that he and the woman to whom he returns it have a lot in common. They agree to meet again... but she's disappeared. Isolation and memory intertwine in the longest story by Jason to date.
"Jason is one of the few artists (or writers) who can make existential aches seem droll, but it makes the smiles being provoked feel as honest as the ones we get when standing across from someone who makes the world feel a little less lonely." -David Barry, The National Post
Earlier this year, world-famous cartoonist and filmmaker Max Andersson screened his first feature-length film Tito on Ice at the Seattle International Film Festival. And now, Tito on Ice is taking on Canada with screenings at the Ottawa International Animation Festival in September!
Catch this inventive documentary on Thursday, September 19th and Sunday, September 22nd at the Empire Theatres in the World Exchange Plaza [ 111 Albert Street ].
To promote their Fantagraphics book Bosnian Flat Dog, Andersson and fellow Swedish artist Lars Sjunnesson toured the countries of former Yugoslavia with a mummified Marshal Tito in a refrigerator.
Now comes the documentary, Tito on Ice, which takes Super 8 footage of their tour and animates it with cardboard cutouts and garbage and other recycled materials. The result is a surreal trip through the Balkans that is part promotion, part performance art, and part history of Marshal Tito and the dissolution of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s. It’s also about the underground arts and music venues that popped up when the country split apart.
Through it all there is a comics creator’s eye at work: live-action interviews suddenly switch to animation, and more than 50 sets were built for the film, all shot and animated on Super 8 film. Tito on Ice is a joyous trip through the war torn subconscious of an underground artist.
This week's comic shop shipment is slated to include the following new titles. Read on to see what comics-blog commentators and web-savvy comic shops are saying about them (more to be added as they appear), check out our previews at the links, and contact your local shop to confirm availability.
108-page black & white 8.25" x 10.75" hardcover • $22.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-625-6
"It's an engaging collection of vignettes full of magical realism and compelling characters...evoke[s] comparisons to the short fiction of Jorge Luis Borges or, in the case of the science fiction-styled entries, Ray Bradbury." -Publishers Weekly
176-page full-color 12" x 6.25" hardcover • $29.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-612-6
"Fantagraphics has reprinted the full run of Gahan Wilson's Sunday Comics with their customary attention to detail and gorgeous reproduction... These comics crack me up, especially the weeks that are seemingly endless variations on different themes." -Jason Sacks, Comics Bulletin
216-page black & white 7.25" x 10.25" hardcover • $28.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-659-1
"Feldstein's art has a delightful amount of expressiveness to it and a remarkable amount of subtle beauty - if a word like beauty can be applied to comics that feature strange blob aliens from outer space." -Jason Sacks, Comics Bulletin
We're Friedman fans through and through: we've published several books by Drew, including work in collaboration with his brother Josh, and we're great admirers of their dad Bruce Jay. Now we finally bring the youngest sibling, Kipp, into the fold with Barracuda in the Attic, a memoir of growing up in a family of, and surrounded by, literati, artists, and pop-culture titans, not to mention other colorful characters. Anecdotes ahoy!
We've baited our hook with the complete first chapter for you to read and download for free! The book lands on shelves next month and you can pre-order right here.
Charles Rodrigues took morbid humor to new highs (or lows) in the pages of the National Lampoon and elsewhere, and Ray and Joe: The Story of a Man and His Dead Friend collects his comics for the first time. In addition to the titular serial about post-mortem pals, the "Other Classic Comics" referred to in the subtitle star conjoined twins The Aesop Brothers (seen above); Sam DeGroot, the private eye in an iron lung; the mind-shatteringly ugly Deirdre Callahan; and other saps and miscreants. If you equate "outrageous" and "offensive" with "delightful," these comics will poke you right in your joy sac.
This hardcover volume will befoul shelves starting in October — stay tuned for more looks and info!
Printed by our pals at Desert Island Brooklyn, this tasty tabloid collection packs in over 100 Maakies strips within 28 pages! Burp!
The magnificent Mr. Millionaire tells us on his blog, it's "mostly reprints, but in a form I’ve always wanted. Good old fashioned full page width in a newspaper. Like an old movie re-released in 3D but old-fashioned and better."
Come get yours before we sell out again, 'cause we can't keep these beauties in stock! The Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale Street in Seattle's Georgetown district. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone: (206) 658-0110.
It's back-to-school time for Nitori-kun and Takatsuki-san and they are both in awe of their new classmate. She's pretty, cool, daring, and OK, maybe a little unstable. You'll meet her and reunite with the rest of the gang in the first chapter of Shimura Takako's Wandering Son Vol. 5, which you can read for free and download! This new volume will be arriving in just a few weeks — if you haven't already pre-ordered or taken advantage of our discounted 3-volume subscription, do it now to be among the first to read it!
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