Following up on last week's post about the Usagi Yojimbo plush toy from Dark Horse, our own Jacob Covey alerted me to this series of polystone statues of Usagi characters soon to be available from RokuToys. They have exclusive editions with some nifty features — the interchangeable horn on Gennosuke is a particularly nice touch. Jacob says and I agree, "It's nice to see so much Usagi product getting made lately."
Seattle's great Northwest Film Forum will be screening the documentary NEW BROW from Jan. 15 thru Jan. 17. View the trailer here. The film features a number of folks close to Fantagraphics' heart, notably Robert Williams and our own Larry Reid.
January 3, 2010 – SEATTLE, WA. The Georgetown Art Attack welcomes the New Year with a celebration of contemporary art and entertainment on Saturday, January 9 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM. Please join us to toast one of Seattle’s most colorful and diverse creative communities.
Among the presentations on January 9: The 2nd Anniversary of Seattle Uncorked at Georgetown Studios with an array of wines from 18-20 wineries from Family Wineries of Washington, live music by The Pink Torpedoes, and Street Skillet Food dispensing fare outdoors from their vintage Airstream kitchen; An exhibition by Rick Simpson, Ninjagrl Nicole Linde, Kate Protage, Brad Strain and CASH from the Twilight Artist Collective at the Stables; Richard Olmstead and Dave Ryan present politically themed artworks at Calamity Jane’s; “Without a Net: 10 Year Trapeze Art Studio Retrospective” featuring Justin Smith, Cait Willis, Tracy Lang, Mark Taylor, Mike Regan, Jason Huntley, Lisanne Coen, Olger Palma, Martha Dunham, Dan Abrams, Mark Adam, Frank Junk, India Nagy, Carol Mallet Adelman, Don Farrel, Jazz-minh Moore, Sharon Sanborn, Emily Wilkins, Brain Shaw, Shelley Higman and John Ohannesian at Georgetown Art Center; Frida/Georgetown Tile Works present "Cambrian Explosion", an exhibition of mixed media paintings by French artist Elisabeth Vedrine; Fantagraphics 2010 Preview exhibition at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery; Georgetown Limited Art Gallery open house with music by ACHE and Summersetmombackery; lots of exotic shopping and the usual dining and imbibing at some of Seattle’s liveliest establishments.
The Georgetown Second Saturday Art Attack is a monthly promotion of the Georgetown Merchants’ Association. For more information contact Art Attack coordinator Larry Reid or visit: www.georgetownartattack.com
One of the funnest parts of editing the CRITTERS anthology lo these many years ago (1985 to 1990 if you're counting -- gah, two, two and a half decades ago!) was working on the great "Gnuff" stories by my old buddy Freddy Milton. I was always sorry that there was not enough demand for these charming, neo-Barksian adventures to graduate to their own books, and of course by now those original CRITTERS comics are nigh impossible for find.
Well, thank God for the internet! Freddy, who is now a respectable retired gentleman of leisure (although he still cartoons up a storm), has been amusing himself by combining the original CRITTERS translations with color art files done for the Danish edition, and if you go here you can read the entire 46-page epic "introductory" "Gnuff" story -- as Freddy points out not the first one he did, but the earliest in the Gnuff chronology and the first to be printed in CRITTERS.
Freddy has also put up the only "Gnuff" story to be printed in full color in English, "Double Star" from the out of print USAGI YOJIMBO COLOR SPECIAL #1. Lettered by Bill Spicer, incidentally.
As if that weren't enough, Freddy has commissioned another old buddy of mine, Dwight Decker (who actually translated most of the CRITTERS "Gnuff" stories back when) to translate a classic Woody Woodpecker story of his, "Happy Water," and that can be found here -- and here's yet another Woody story, "The Coming of the Blot."
In fact, if you go to the main page and cruise down the menu bar you'll see a huge amount of great stuff, including (down toward the bottom) video interviews with Freddy and Daan Jippes in English.
For those of you unfamiliar with Freddy's work, he hit upon a pretty great racket: He'd do stories for European Disney and/or Woody Woodpecker, keep the copyrights for the work itself but not the characters, so he was able to later convert, say, a Woody Woodpecker story to a Gnuff story. If I remember correctly one particular story he did was re-purposed something like three additional times, changing characters from ducks to woodpeckers to dinosaurs (and as needed removing or adding one of the three kids, as Donald had three dependents and Woody and Gnuff only two).
I always thought Freddy's work was absolutely charming and felt bad that none of it has been available to English-speaking fans for many years. Well, now there's three full graphic novel length stories available for your reading pleasure, and for free. Enjoy!
It's a new year and we've got a hangover. No, not an alcohol-induced one — a hangover of past years' books in our warehouse taking up room that we need for our incredible slate of 2010 releases. Help us blow them out by taking 20% OFF everything on our website (including our already-discounted clearance items) starting now through January 8, 2010! Just use the coupon code HANGOVER when you check out and you'll receive 20% off everything in your order. (If you prefer to shop by phone, just mention this offer when you call — 1-800-657-1100 or 206-524-1967 outside the U.S. — next Monday-Friday.) 20/20 Club members get a double discount of 36%, so join up if you haven't already. Shop shop shop!
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