Virgil Partch burst onto the pages of the nation’s magazines with his captivating cartoons virtually overnight. His irreverent observations inspired a new breed of post-war comedians and cartoonists. Known by his signature, “Vip,” his work adorned books, advertisements, album covers, beer cans, cocktail napkins, and other accoutrements of mid-century American culture. The show at Fantagraphics Bookstore will demonstrate the diverse range of Partch’s appealing aesthetic.
The opening this Saturday coincides with the festive Georgetown Art Attack, featuring colorful visual and performing arts presentations throughout the historic arts community. Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale, only minutes south of downtown Seattle. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone 206.658.0110.
Mark your calendars for Saturday, February 22 when we host a signing by talented young cartoonist Gregory Benton followed by an in-store session with original Fleetwood Mac guitarist and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Jeremy Spencer.
Conor Stechschulte's debut book The Amateurs is off at the printer. Dig the beautiful watercolor cover art... the comical silhouettes... the sparkling river... the taint of gore... What could have happened? Pre-order the book (out in May) and find out...
Fantagraphics and comiXology continue to bring you the thrills and chills via techonological frills with Sucker Bait and Other Stories illustrated by the amazing Graham Ingels (written by Al Feldstein). 25 classic horror stories involving swamps, maniacs, and dismemberment by the artist so good at gruesome, grisly depictions of the endless corruption of flesh and nature he earned the nickname "Ghastly."
And as with our other EC comics, you can also try out a few stories for just 99 cents! That's not EVEN a dollar like the picture states below (but let's get real, pennies are worthless -- unless you've got NINETY-NINE!). Try out one of three stories drawn by Ghastly Ingels:
Today is the centennial of the birth of William S. Burroughs, and as part of the official "Burroughs @ 100" celebration we're offering limited-time savings on our momentous art book and memoir by artist Malcolm McNeill detailing his troubled collaboration with Burroughs — 25% off each volume, or 1/3 off when you order them together! Author James Reich recently talked to McNeill about Burroughs at the International Times, so go give that a read once you've taken advantage of these deals:
In 1970, William S. Burroughs and artist Malcolm McNeill began a small collaborative project on a comic entitled The Unspeakable Mr. Hart, which appeared in the first four issues of Cyclops, England’s first comics magazine for an adult readership. Soon after, Burroughs and McNeill agreed to collaborate on a book-length meditation on time, power, control, and corruption that evoked the Mayan codices and specifically, the Mayan god of death, Ah Pook. Ah Pook Is Here was to include their character Mr. Hart, but stray from the conventional comics form to explore different juxtapositions of images and words.
Ah Pook was never finished in its intended form. In a 1979 prose collection that included only the words from the collaboration, Ah Pook is Here and Other Texts (Calder, 1979), Burroughs explains in the preface that they envisioned the work to be “one that falls into neither the category of the conventional illustrated book nor that of a comix publication.” Rather, the work was to include “about a hundred pages of artwork with text (thirty in full-color) and about fifty pages of text alone.” The book was conceived as a single painting in which text and images were combined in whatever form seemed appropriate to the narrative. It was conceived as 120 continuous pages that would "fold out." Such a book was, at the time, unprecedented, and no publisher was willing to take a chance and publish a “graphic novel.”
However, Malcolm McNeill created nearly a hundred paintings, illustrations, and sketches for the book, and these, finally, are seeing the light of day in The Lost Art of Ah Pook. (Burroughs’ text will not be included.) McNeill himself is an exemplary craftsman and visionary painter whose images have languished for over 30 years, unseen. Even in a context divorced from the words, they represent a stunning precursor to the graphic novel form to come.
Sara J. Van Ness contributes an historical essay chronicling the long history of Burroughs’ and McNeill’s work together, including its incomplete publishing history with Rolling Stone’s Straight Arrow Press, the excerpt that ran in Rush magazine, and the text that was published without pictures.
Observed While Falling is an account of the personal and creative interaction that defined the collaboration between the writer William S. Burroughs and the artist Malcolm McNeill on the graphic novel Ah Pook Is Here. The memoir chronicles the events that surrounded it, the reasons it was abandoned and the unusual circumstances that brought it back to life. McNeill describes his growing friendship with Burroughs and how their personal relationship affected their creative partnership. The book is written with insight and humor, and is liberally sprinkled with the kind of outré anecdotes one would expect working with a writer as original and eccentric as Burroughs. It confirms Burroughs’ and McNeill’s prescience, the place of Ah Pook in relation to the contemporary graphic novel, and its anticipation of the events surrounding 2012. The book offers new insights into Burroughs’ working methods as well as how the two explored the possibilities of words and images working together to form the ambitious literary hybrid that they didn’t know, at the time, was a harbinger of the 21st century “graphic novel.” McNeill expounds on the lessons of that experience to bring Ah Pook into present time. In light of current events, Ah Pook is unquestionably Here now.
Observed While Falling presents a unique view of the creative process that will be of interest to artists, writers and general readers alike. A perspective evoked by a literary experiment that has endured for forty years and still continues to “happen.”
Visitors to the Gregory Benton signing onSaturday, February 22 are in for an unforgettable evening as Fantagraphics Bookstore and Georgetown Records host an in-store performance by celebrated blues musician Jeremy Spencer. An original member of Fleetwood Mac, Spencer was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. He played on the band's timeless early hits like "Black Magic Woman," "Albatross," "Oh Well," and countless others. He frequently fronted Fleetwood Mac, channeling legends like Elmore James and Elvis during their raucous live shows. Check out vintage Jeremy Spencer in Paris on New Year's Eve 1968.
Spencer will play songs from his recent International Record Store Day release Bend in the Road and the forthcoming Coventry Blue LP in advance of his show at the Columbia City Theater the following day. He's also an accomplished illustrator and cartoonist, as seen in his portraits of former band mates Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, and fellow blues guitarist Eric Clapton below. Spencer's original artwork will be on display for the occasion. Don't miss this amazing evening of art, comix, and music.
Join him at the appropriately-named Revolution Books in Los Angeles at 3:00 PM!
He'll be joined by special guest Rickey Vincent, author of Party Music: The Inside Story of the Black Panthers' Band and How Black Power Transformed Soul Music (Chicago Review Press). Together, they'll examine the culture and politics of the Black Power era of the late 1960s, as these books explore the relationship of soul music to the Black Power movement from the vantage point of the musicians and black revolutionaries themselves.
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.
For those of you who plan on replacing your standalone copies of each book with the box set (since we're not able to offer empty boxes), might we suggest "paying it forward" by donating your duplicate books to a good cause such as your local library, or passing them along as gifts? Share the EC love!
"Pow! Zam! Comics aren't for kids anymore because of Cannon! Cannon is like a punch in the face with a cement-filled giant salami. Ugly description? Wait'll you see Cannon’s ugly mug! And the gals? Wood style, of course! What else do you need?" – Gilbert Hernandez
"I bow to no man in my appreciation for Cannon." – Daniel Gillespie Clowes
• Portland, OR: And Portland, don't miss the opening reception for Julia Gfrörer's exhibit Play Dead at Floating World Comics, showcasing the original art to her exquisite book, Black is the Color! If you haven't picked this up yet, now is the time: she might even draw a gorgeous mermaid for you! (more info)
• Brussels, BE: Hot off an exciting weekend at Angoulême, Charles Forsman, Mome-veteran Joseph Lambert, and our pal Alec Longstreth will be signing at the Librairie Multi BD from 4:00 to 6:30 PM! (more info)
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