In Fantagraphics' ceaseless effort to rediscover every world-class cartoonist in the history of the medium, we turn your attention to a neglected part of the art form — sports cartooning — and to its greatest practitioner — Willard Mullin.
The years 1930-1970 were the Golden Age of both American sports and American comic strips, when giants strode their respective fields — Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Hank Aaron in one, George (Krazy Kat) Herriman, Milton (Steve Canyon) Caniff, Walt (Pogo) Kelly in the other — and Mullin was there, straddling both fields, recording every major player and event in the mid-20th-century history of baseball. Mullin was to baseball players what Bill Mauldin was to soldiers: advocate and critic, investing them with personality, humanity, dignity, and poignancy; Mauldin had Willie & Joe and Mullin had the Brooklyn Bum, his affectionate 1939 character representing the bedraggled figure of the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Willard Mullin's Golden Age of Baseball: Drawings 1934-1972 collects for the first time Mullin's best drawings devoted to baseball — depictions of players like Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, Yogi Berra, and Sandy Koufax, legendary managers like Casey Stengel and George Steinbrenner, and events like Lou Gehrig's emotional retirement speech on July 4, 1939, for which Mullin not only drew a portrait but composed a poem (which he often incorporated into his cartoons). Mullin's fluid line and delicate but vigorous brushwork are shown to beautiful effect, with many drawings reproduced from original art.
See why millions of baseball fans from the '30s to the '70s looked forward to Mullin's cartoons in their daily paper. Mullin was voted "Sports Cartoonist of the Century" upon his retirement by his peers, and his legacy has been summed up by New Yorker cartoonist Bob Staake, who wrote, "Mullin defined the modern sports cartoon by combining representative portraiture, cartoonish doodlery, and editorial commentary — part news account, part personal observation, his cartoons celebrated sport for its entertainment, cultural, and artistic value."
2013 Lambda Literary Award Winner Featuring an introduction by Lana Wachowski (The Matrix, Cloud Atlas)
“... A definitive collection of the greatest LGBT comics created over the last four decades.” — The Advocate
“... A useful, combative and frequently moving chronicle of a culture in perpetual transition; to read it is to watch as an insular demimonde transforms itself, in painful fits and joyful starts, and steps out into a wider monde.” — The New York Times Book Review
“... A striking example of how entwined the history and literature of the gay rights movement have been since the early days of the battle.” — The San Francisco Chronicle
“All of these [comics] hit on concerns and experiences that cut to the heart of the human soul, not just the gay one.” — Publishers Weekly
To take in the action in Georgetown this weekend you may have to navigate a detour. Exit 162 off I-5 is closed for repairs. Use Albro Place exit 161, public transportation or surface street options.
This is the last weekend to visit the temporary Sub Pop Mega Mart across the street from the bookstore. Catch a free DJ set by Shabazz Palaces on Friday evening from 5:00 to 8:00 PM. Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery commemorates the occasion by giving away a free bottle of Sub Pop Soda Pop with every purchase all day long. And don't miss the delightful photography exhibition CP25/SP25 by Charles Peterson next door at All City Coffee.
Escape the city for the wonderful Unknown Music Series in Anacortes this weekend. Visit our table at the small press book fair in Causland Park on Saturday and Sunday and enjoy music by the Hive Dwellers, Karl Blau, Ô Paon, LAKE, the Drink Up Honey, Lori Goldston, and many more. See you there.
Queer cartooning encompasses some of the best and most interesting comics of the last four decades, with creators tackling complex issues of identity and a changing society with intelligence, humor, and imagination. This book celebrates this vibrant artistic underground by gathering together a collection of excellent stories that can be enjoyed by all.
No Straight Lines showcases major names such as Alison Bechdel (whose book Fun Home was named Time Magazine’s 2006 Book of the Year), Howard Cruse (whose groundbreaking Stuck Rubber Baby is now back in print), and Ralf Koenig (one of Europe’s most popular cartoonists), as well as high-profile, crossover creators who have flirted with the world of LGBTQ comics, like legendary NYC artist David Wojnarowicz and media darling and advice columnist Dan Savage. No Straight Lines also spotlights many talented creators who never made it out of the queer comics ghetto, but produced amazing work that deserves wider attention.
Until recently, queer cartooning existed in a parallel universe to the rest of comics, appearing only in gay newspapers and gay bookstores and not in comic book stores, mainstream bookstores or newspapers. The insular nature of the world of queer cartooning, however, created a fascinating artistic scene. LGBT comics have been an uncensored, internal conversation within the queer community, and thus provide a unique window into the hopes, fears, and fantasies of queer people for the last four decades.
These comics have forged their aesthetics from the influences of underground comix, gay erotic art, punk zines, and the biting commentaries of drag queens, bull dykes, and other marginalized queers. They have analyzed their own communities, and their relationship with the broader society. They are smart, funny, and profound. No Straight Lines will be heralded by people interested in comics history, and people invested in LGBT culture will embrace it as a unique and invaluable collection.
You may recall, our own Jim Woodring has teamed up with local beer experts Elysian Brewing Company for a new line of flavors dubbed the Oddland Series! Here's how the collaboration works: Elysian comes up with a kooky flavor, runs it past Jim who sketches an idea; the recipe is tweaked, ingredients secured, and we're off to Oddland!
For the second flavor in the series, the brewers at Elysian present the Oddland Spiced Pear Ale, brewed with pears, Northwest premium 2-row and German Cara-hell malts, bittered with German Northern Brewer and finished with Yakima Cascade and Czech Saaz hops. Cumin and cardamom give it a heady and exotic touch, offsetting a drinkable and refreshing beer of 6.25% alcohol by volume.
Jim's label is also exotic and heady: a buxom songstress sitting on a rock, accompanying herself on a banjo, surrounded by blue alligators and many eyeballs. I'm drunk just looking at it!
Available in stores and on draft beginning July 15th, and at the Oregon Brewers Festival July 24-28 on the Willamette waterfront in Portland.
Scott McCloud came to oooohhh and ahhh over books and ask the most difficult question: what is your favorite comic book of the last year (that also came out in that time)? There are so MANY on the Fantagraphics' tables, no? Come see us at booth 1718.
That's all for now but there's lots more to come! Keep it tuned here and especially to our Twitter feed!
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.
140-page full-color 8.25" x 10.75" hardcover • $24.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-582-2
"any work by the great Jacques Tardi is always worth waiting for…and in my opinion every decent graphic novel collection needs some Tardi in it, he is one of the great masters of the medium, from fantastic adventures (Adele Blanc-Sec) to hard boiled crime (adapting Manchette's prose) to seething, searing indictments of warfare." –Forbidden Planet International
For those of us sitting out Comic-Con this year (boo hoo), it means missing out on some special deals on the convention showroom floor. Well, us stay-at-homes should get to have a little fun too!
Now until Comic-Con ends on Sunday, July 21, an assortment of our already-discounted gift sets of sequential or related books are marked down EVEN MORE, at least an extra 10% off and up to 1/3 off! And after the sale, some of these sets won't be offered anymore, so this may be your LAST CHANCE to get them at a discount! Your choices (while supplies last) include:
The Love and Rockets Companion: 30 Years (and Counting) contains three incredibly in-depth and candid interviews with creators Gilbert, Jaime and Mario Hernandez: one conducted by writer Neil Gaiman (Coraline); one conducted some six years into the comic’s run by longtime L&R publisher Gary Groth; and one conducted by the book’s author, spanning Gilbert’s, Jaime’s and Mario’s careers, and looking to the future of the ongoing series, with a follow-up conversation with Groth. This book has foldout family trees for both Gilbert’s Palomar and Jaime’s Locas storylines; unpublished art; a character glossary (which is handy, considering that Gilbert alone has created 50+ characters!); highlights from the original series’ anarchic letters columns; timelines; and the most wide-ranging Hernandez Brothers bibliography ever compiled, including album and DVD covers, posters and more. The obsessive-yet-accessible detail and high production values make it a must-have for comics collectors, scholars, libraries and old and new fans alike: for those new to the series, it will make jumping in seem less daunting. For longtime fans, it clears up confusion that even those devoted to the groundbreaking alternative comic over its 30-year run can experience, given the sheer amount of material and sophisticated storytelling techniques (such as flashbacks, flash forwards, elliptical narrative and magical realism).
Register and Login to receive full member benefits, including members-only special offers, commenting privileges on Flog! The Fantagraphics Blog, newsletters and special announcements via email, and stuff we haven't even thought of yet. Membership is free and spam-free, so Sign Up Today!