|Johnny Ryan's strange case of Edward Gorey|
|Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Johnny Ryan, john kerschbaum, Edward Gorey, Alexander Theroux||14 Feb 2011 5:19 PM|
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Archive >> February 2011
And more Things to See from the past week:
Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:
• Review: "What Is All This? is a potent, refreshing collection of previously uncollected short stories by Stephen Dixon. Though the music world might label this an 'odds-and-sods' collection, this volume cannot be dismissed so lightly. This? is a book that reminds us fans why we enjoy Dixon’s writing and gives inquiring neophytes an excellent opportunity to sample the kinds of things he has gotten up to over the last five decades." – Darby Dixon, The Quarterly Conversation
• Review: "A la hora de comentar Frank , resulta imprescindible hacer referencia a uno de sus elementos más característicos, que no es otro que el tono surrealista y psicodélico, – incluso psicotrópico o alucinógeno, por momentos – que sale a relucir en cuanto el protagonista interactúa con su entorno. En ese momento, sucede lo imposible y lo inesperado, fruto de la confluencia de 'las incesantes corrientes opuestas de naturaleza y abstracción' que derivan en la mutabilidad absoluta de objetos, animales… y el propio tejido de la realidad – por llamarlo de algún modo –, que se retuerce, cambia y evoluciona de forma sorprendente original y orgánica. Un disfrute para los sentidos, demostración inequívoca de la fecunda imaginación de Woodring..." – David Fernández, Zona Negativa (autotranslation)
• Scene/Profile: At Comics Comics, Frank Santoro talks about his pals John Pham & Jon Vermilyea, their respective bodies of work, hanging out with them in L.A. recently, and prospects in general for the young cartoonist (Photo: Frank & Jon at APE 2009, by yours truly)
Fantagraphics Bookstore is pleased to present Aaron Renier in conversation with Jason Shiga on Wednesday, February 23 at 6:30 PM. Renier will discuss his new graphic novel, The Unsinkable Walker Bean, on the acclaimed First Second imprint. His previous book, Spiral Bound (Top Shelf, 2005), was widely heralded as a book that appealed to sophisticated readers of all ages.
Oakland artist Jason Shiga's award-winning books also attract an all ages readership. In addition to self-published comics, his work has appeared in McSweeney's Quarterly. Shiga's next effort, Empire State, is due later this year from Abrams Comicarts. A limited number of uncorrected proofs of this new graphic novel will be distributed free of charge.
Renier will give a slide presentation followed by a discussion with Shiga on their unique approach to creating comics. A book signing and reception will follow. Admission is free and open to the public.
This event marks the first in a series of "Comix Talks" at Fantagraphics Bookstore featuring discussions with writers, artists, and editors of diverse comics from the Northwest and beyond.
Fantagraphics Bookstore presents the first in a series of "Comix Talks"
Aaron Renier in conversation with Jason Shiga
Wednesday, February 23, 6:30 PM
Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery
* Other People's Publications
For this special Valentine's Day edition of "Down with OPP," I'm spotlighting one of the most romantic books we have in stock at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery: Scenes from an Impending Marriage by Adrian Tomine (Drawn & Quarterly).
I had read an interview with Tomine in ReadyMade magazine a few years ago where he talked about how he'd made this mini-comic for wedding guests. And since my invitation got lost in the mail... (cough, cough -- no, I'm just kidding), the publication of this book meant I could stop trolling eBay for disgruntled wedding guests unloading their copies.
Tomine fans, be forewarned: this book is really, really sweet. Even the artwork strays a bit from what we've come to know from him, with charming homages to Peanuts and The Family Circus both. If you prefer your Tomine tortured, it might be better to dig out your well-read copies of Summer Blonde instead.
But, if any of my friends were getting married, you can bet the bride would be getting a copy of this from me at her bridal shower. From the neat, petite size to the Tiffany Blue cover, it really is tailor-made for gift-giving.
(Of course, the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery has tons of other great gifts, too... cough.)
Scenes from an Impending Marriage, and more anguished Adrian Tomine titles, are currently in stock at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery, 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. See you soon!
Just arrived in our warehouse & ready to ship:
112-page full-color 10.25" x 14" hardcover • $29.99
With this volume, Foster reaches (by common critical consensus) the peak of his drawing and storytelling prowess – a peak at which he will remain for most of the run of this glorious strip.
Almost the entirety of 1941’s strips feature a single ten-month epic entitled “Fights for the Singing Sword,” a globetrotting adventure fueled by Valiant’s obsessive search for his bride-to-be Aleta throughout Northern Africa, with stops in Jerusalem, the Arabic deserts, and, inevitably, a harem which Val must infiltrate. Then finally, in “The Misty Isles” Valiant meets Aleta face to face but upon learning that she has had his crew killed (deservedly so, actually, but still), he flees in anger, vowing never to see her again.
“Homeward Bound,” Valiant continues his travels, with stops in Athens (where he meets the boisterous Viking Boltar, who will become his friend for life), North Africa, and Gaul (where Valiant liberates Gawain), before finally returning to Camelot. But his joyous return is short-lived as an alliance of Picts and Vikings threatens Britain’s security, and thus Valiant must journey forth with, as his ultimate destination, “The Roman Wall.”
The final pages of this volume boast a special feature: a gallery of images that were censored for being too sexy or violent (or subject to other editorial interference) prior to publication, plus another gruesome example of Foster's art being altered for publication, all with commentary by series editor Kim Thompson.
Exclusive Savings: Order Prince Valiant Vols. 1-3 together and save 20% off the combined cover prices!
Just arrived in our warehouse and ready to ship:
168-page black & white/color 10.5" x 14.75" hardcover • $29.99
Remember last volume’s cliffhanger? The penultimate installment of this acclaimed reprinting of E.C. Segar’s masterpiece begins with “Popeye’s Ark: Part Two,” the tale of Popeye’s eventful reign over Spinachovia — a bleak island populated only by men and lacking all “femininity” — even as Olive Oyl controls the country of Olivia (not to mention the men of Spinachovia). Then in “War Clouds,” the two monarchies come tumbling down in a furious battle as Spinachovia is attacked by the tyrannical land-hungry King of Brutia, King Zlobbo!
This volume’s star is Eugene the Jeep, the rare, friendly, leopard-spotted, and magically-endowed little creature. And Segar makes a great addition to the cast in “The Search for Popeye’s Poppa,” when the ever-cantankerous Poopdeck Pappy is tracked and finally, hilariously found; the title of the follow-up story, “Civilizing Poppa,” speaks for itself, as it tells the classic tale of man taming beast as Popeye guides a stubborn Pappy through table manners.
And as in every volume, this year-and-a-half’s worth of full-color Sunday strips are as dazzlingly reproduced as ever. The adventures of Popeye, Olive, Wimpy, Swee’Pea and the gang on the top are complemented with the riotously funny bonus strip “Sappo,” including a somewhat self-referential storyline where the titular character becomes a cartoonist and teaches the craft to his friend, Professor Wotasnozzle.
Just arrived in our warehouse and ready to ship:
420-page black & white 7" x 10" softcover • $28.99
Alex Kalienka is in an awful jam.
Literally, a traffic jam — but figuratively, his whole life is a mess. A dream job turned nightmare at the biggest animation studio in the world. A love affair that is not what he imagined. And possibly someone with a life-threatening grudge against him...
In his first new graphic novel since 2001’s acclaimed Mail Order Bride, Mark Kalesniko compresses an entire life into a single day as the frustrated animator, stewing on a pitiless California freeway, alternately rages, reminisces, fantasizes, and hallucinates — intercut with a series of imagined moments from two generations ago, the Golden Age of animation, when an earlier Alex made his entry into a much different professional world.
Loaded with fascinating insider gossip and historical details on two different eras of animators, skipping seamlessly among the present and several different pasts, reality and fantasy, Freeway is another step forward for a major cartooning talent.
“Kalesniko is an expert at sophisticated, visually efficient narrative renderings of complex emotions. His drawings are spare and cinematic, and each panel underscores the characters’ psychological isolation or another revealing detail.” — Publishers Weekly on Mail Order Bride
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The Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale St., Seattle WA 98108. Tel: 206-658-0110.