Thank you so much to everyone who made it out to The Strand last night as our own Gary Groth chatted with the legendary cartoonist Jack Davis! If you missed out, or you're just MAD for more, you're in luck!
In his first solo exhibition at the gallery, the iconic artist will present a collection of his ingenious drawings from across his half-century long career. Included are watercolors used on the cover of Time and TV Guide; comic book pages from MAD; Davis' famously gnarled football illustrations; and a rogue's gallery of cowboys, hunters and frustrated politicians. Plus, there will be a surprise or two from his classic Bill Gaines' 1950's EC ComicsThe Crypt of Terror and Two-Fisted Tales. This exhibition offers a rare glimpse into the process and career trajectory one of America's greatest visual commentators.
500 Portraits collects for the first time over two decades of portrait work by the beloved and award-winning creator of Drinky Crow’s Maakies, Sock Monkey and Billy Hazelnuts. Tony Millionaire’s gorgeous fountain pen illustrations, which mingle naturalistic detail with strong doses of the fanciful and grotesque, include the famous (Bob Dylan), the infamous (Abu Ghraib soldier/model Lynndie England), the fictional (Yoda), the animal kingdom (a cockroach), and everything in between. Literary figures (Hemingway), literary characters (Don Quixote & Sancho Panza), Hollywood legends (Steven Spielberg), comics icons (Hergé) and historical figures (Hitler) also figure prominently.
Millionaire’s impeccable linework resembles that of Johnny Gruelle (creator of Raggedy Ann and Andy), whom he cites as one of his main sources of inspiration along with Ernest Shepard and "all those freaks from the '20s and '30s who did the newspaper strips."
Many of these 500 portraits were created for The Believer, the magazine founded by Dave Eggers that Millionaire has helped define visually with his signature portraits of interview subjects in every issue since the magazine started. But it also includes dozens if not hundreds of illustrations from various other publications, including The New York Times, The New Yorker, Ephemera Press Historical Maps, The Wall Street Journal, and others.
“I think Tony Millionaire can only do important things.” — Dave Eggers
• Review: "In an historical moment when a cross-section of the population is waking up to the reality of brutal inequalities and the limited set of levers by which that might be expected to change, being reminded of past permutations of those same societal ills may prove hopeful or unbearable. It's hard to say. Either way, these are effective comics. The Road to Wigan Pier never manages the dead-on power inherent in much of Sacco's best work, but it's certainly worth any comics fan's time." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
• Review: "...[I]t is thrilling to see such a vital, and nearly forgotten, work of comics coming back into print, cleaned up and reorganized and ready to surprise a new generation of former kids.... Nuts is one of the best works, and one of the few single book-length works, by one of our time's best and most idiosyncratic cartoonists -- ...it is for everyone who really remembers how terrible and lonely and infuriating it can be to be a child." – Andrew Wheeler, The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent.
• Plugs:Robot 6's ongoing "Holiday Gift-Giving Guide" survey of comics creators rolls on, with Joey Weiser suggesting "For the comic strip enthusiast: Mickey Mouse by Floyd Gottfredson – Super engaging strips that are full of life and very funny. I’m very glad that Fantagraphics is publishing these." Caanan Grall also recommends "Fantagraphics’s Floyd Gottfriedson Mickey Mouse and Carl Barks Donald Duck libraries."
• Plug:Heroes Aren't Hard to Find's Andy Mansell rounds up some gift ideas for their upcoming holiday sale this weekend, including Gahan Wilson: Fifty Years of Playboy Cartoons: "This is one of the best books of the past year (or so). Gahan Wilson is the true heir apparent to New Yorker comic weirdo Charles Addams. His comics are twisted, macabre, beautifully rendered and above all–laugh out loud funny. This 3 volume set belongs in every serious comic fan’s library."
Library Journal has named two of our releases to their top-10 Best Books of 2011: Graphic Novels list!
21: The Story of Roberto Clemente by Wilfred Santiago: "The Puerto Rican slugger overcame family poverty, racial prejudice, and the language barrier to become the 1966 National League’s Most Valuable Player. Santiago superbly captures the kinetic excitement of baseball as well as Clemente’s skill and warm humanity on and off the diamond."
The Arctic Marauder by Jacques Tardi: "An eccentric steampunk parody of turn-of-the-century pulp, beautifully rendered with amazing scratchboard art that mimics the look of engravings. Tardi favors the puckish over the grim, for a surprising sf comedy involving mad scientists, sea monsters, and weird machines."
Comics Alliance kicks off their Holiday Gift Guide this year with a preview and recommendation of Walt Disney’s Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes. CA's Chris Sims says "with its beautiful design, interesting bonus material and masterful all-ages storytelling, it’s one of the few comics that I can wholeheartedly recommend to anyone.... The hardcover's packed full of feature-length stories, shorts, and even one-page gag strips, with the blend adventure and comedy that made Carl Barks so legendary -- and it's even got one of the craziest Christmas stories I've ever read -- all wrapped up in Fantagraphics' usual incredible design. It's hands-down one of the best gifts of the year..." Who are we to disagree!
I have yet to see the movie, but I'm guessing J. Edgar Hoover's obsession with Pogo didn't make the cut. Walt Kelly regularly poked fun at powerful political figures, but apparently the Pogo parody of the FBI director drove him around the bend. According to documents released under the Freedom of Information Act, Hoover ordered Bureau cryptographers to decipher the secret Okefenokee code. Remind me now. Who was the cartoon character here?
A delightful example of this historically significant strip line will be on view at Fantagraphics Bookstore in "Playing Possum: The Pogo Art of Walt Kelly" opening December 10. The original works will be offered for sale at remarkably affordable prices. The "J. Edgar" strip, measuring 19.5 by 6.5 inches, is only $575. For additional information on these wonderful works, call curator Larry Reid at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery. 206.658.0110.
Join our own Tony Millionaire at the third annual Feral House/Process Media Winter Solstice Celebration on Saturday, December 10th in Los Angeles!
Tony will be a guest among a whole host of amazing artists, authors, directors, and more. He'll be signing copies of his gorgeous new collection 500 Portraits, and according to his Twitter account, he'll be selling some original artwork, too! Just in time for the holiday shopping season!
So, make plans now to join Tony from 6:00 - 8:00 PM at the La Luz de Jesus Gallery [ 4633 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles ].
We are proud and pleased to be publishing our first Nicolas Mahler book (a full-color hardcover, no less) this coming April: ANGELMAN. As a special blog bonus, we will serialize the first quarter of the book with the rest of our weekly digital comics, beginning this Friday... at the end of which, you will be so absorbed in Angelman's travails that you will have no choice but to pick up the book. Enjoy! Here is the title page of the book, to further whet your appetite.
Between this and Jaime Hernandez's GOD AND SCIENCE, Fantagraphics' 2012 goal will be to remind everyone that the super-hero comics genre isn't completely played out.
There is so much goodness in this new issue: there's an appearance from our old friends Snake ‘n’ Bacon! It's the debut of Quincy, M.E.! There's even a photocomic starring comedian Julie Klausner! And there's even more thrizzle to be had!
So, get your copy and get it signed by Mr. Kupperman himself! The fun starts at 8:00 PM at Bergen Street Comics [ 470 Bergen Street, Brooklyn ]!
We're excited to announce that satirical illustrator Steve Brodner is part of an exhibit currently showing at the SVA Visual Arts Gallery in NYC. Tonight, Thursday, December 1st, they'll be celebrating with a reception from 6:00 to 8:00 PM!
Titled "Being American," this collection was curated by Francis Di Tommaso who says, “The twenty artists in this show have twenty stories to tell about the experience of being American today. Though many would not normally exhibit in the same venue — the work of some is almost never seen outside of the printed page — they all have immediately accessible and also exquisitely nuanced commentaries to make on American culture.”
That's one of Steve's pieces in the show above, and you can check out his blog to see a few more, or check them out in person if you live in New York City! The exhibit runs through December 21st.
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