Stephen Dixon, one of America’s great literary treasures, has completed his first novel in five years. His Wife Leaves Him is as achingly simple as its title: A man, Martin, thinks about the loss of his wife, Gwen. In Dixon's hands, however, this straightforward premise becomes a work of such complexity that it no longer appears to be words on pages so much as life itself. Dixon, like all great writers, captures consciousness. Stories matter here, and the writer understands how people tell them and why they go on retelling them, for stories, finally, may be all that Martin has of Gwen. Reminders of their shared past, some painful, some hilarious, others blissful and sensual, appear and reappear in the present. Stories made from memories merge with dreams of an impossible future they'll never get to share. Memories and details grow fuzzy, get corrected, and then wriggle away, out of reach again. Martin holds all these stories dear. They leaven grief so that he may again experience some joy. Story by story then, he accounts for himself, good and bad, moments of grace, occasions for disappointment, promises and arguments. From these things are their lives made. In His Wife Leaves Him, Stephen Dixon has achieved nothing short of the resurrection of a life through words.
When asked to describe his latest work, the author said that "it's about a bunch of nouns: love, guilt, sickness, death, remorse, loss, family, matrimony, sex, children, parenting, aging, mistakes, incidents, minutiae, birth, music, writing, jobs, affairs, memory, remembering, reminiscences, forgetting, repression, dreams, reverie, nightmares, meeting, dating, conceiving, imagining, delaying, loving."
His Wife Leaves Him is Dixon's most important and ambitious novel, his tenderest and funniest writing to date, and the stylistic and thematic summation of his writing life.
Stephen Dixon was born in 1936 in New York City. He graduated from the City College of New York in 1958 and is a retired faculty member of Johns Hopkins University. He is also a two time National Book Award nominee — for his novels Frog and Interstate. He still hammers out his fiction on a vintage typewriter.
Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery hosts two of the country’s most accomplished young cartoonists on Saturday, August 10. Josh Simmons and Ben Catmull will appear from 6:00 to 9:00 PM to sign copies of recent publications from Fantagraphics Books.
Ghosts and Ruins is Ben Catmull's follow-up to his wildly popular debut Monster Parade. With a rendering style suggestive of Edward Gorey's gothic masterworks, Catmull ingeniously imagines haunted dwellings and the circumstances of their otherworldly occupants. Ghosts and Ruins provides a perfect complement of exquisite art and enchanting narrative. Josh Simmons’ recent collection of short stories similarly explores a sinister world of undiluted horror. By turns macabre and malevolent, The Furry Trap follows in the footsteps of his gripping graphic novel Jessica Farm. Simmons will also sign copies of his equally compelling minicomcs Habit, Training, and Flayed Corpse.
This event coincides with the festive Georgetown Art Attack. Don’t miss the return of the Trailer Park Trannies drag show at the Georgetown Trailer Park Mall along with other colorful attractions throughout the historic industrial arts corridor.
Ben Catmull and Josh Simmons book signing Saturday, August 10, 6:00 to 9:00 PM Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery 1201 S. Vale Street, Seattle, WA 98108 Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM 206.658.0110 | www.facebook.com/fantagraphicsbookstore
Fantagraphics and comiXology introduce a new cartoonist to the digital comics realm: South African Joe Daly! If mystery and comedy are what you crave, you'll want to download The Red Monkey Double Happiness Book by Joe Daly. Set in sun-drenched Cape Town, South Africa, this book features two full-length stories, "The Leaking Cello Case" and "John Wesley Harding," rife with mystery, suspense, action, adventure, conspiracy theories, cool cars and excellent weed. Daly brings a refreshingly original -- and utterly hilarious -- voice to the comics medium, a dry, deadpan wit anchored in everyday reality combined with unnervingly deranged plots, rendered with a hyper-detailed, half-realistic and half-cartoony Tintin-style crispness.
"Working... in a comic realist mode reminiscent of, say, the old TV series The Rockford Files (Daly's Cape Town looks a lot like shorefront Southern California), Daly couldn't be any more entertaining. His visual-narrative skills are impeccable, his ear for naturally funny dialogue nothing short of astounding." - Ray Olson, Booklist
"[The Red Monkey Double Happiness Book] is basically Hergé by way of The Big Lebowski with a little bit of Repo Man thrown in for good measure.... very funny..." -- Chris Mautner, Robot 6
On Sunday, September 15th, come enjoy an exhibit of Willard Mullin's legendary sports cartoons, along with a discussion and book signing with authors Hal Bock and Michael Powers. The discussion and signing will run from 3:00 to 4:30 PM.
The Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center is located on the campus of Montclair State University at 8 Yogi Berra Drive, appropriately enough! To RSVP or purchase a book, call (973) 655-2378.
"As Hernandez matures, he's expanding his style of storytelling into something close to the work of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Harumi Murakami and other creators of haunted landscapes where reality becomes a question of perception rather than a set of objective facts." – San Francisco Chronicle
"Some of Gilbert's loveliest art ever." – The Comics Reporter
"This may be Gilbert Hernandez's best work so far. Minimal without seeming spare and a huge argument for the 'comics as literature' thing having some traction." – Kevin Church
"You don't need to know the backstory of Love and Rockets to love these [stories]... (In fact, this is a pretty good introduction to Beto's world, and it's mostly kid-friendly to boot.) ...[The Children of Palomar] gives proof that the cartoonist's universe is as weird, wonderful, and expansive as any community cooked up by William Faulkner or Wendell Berry." – Quiet Bubble
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.
240-page black & white/color 9.25" x 12.25" hardcover • $35.00 ISBN: 978-1-60699-639-3
"student sports fans (in this case, baseball fans specifically) can leverage their outside-of-school literacies to comprehend and appreciate the sophisticated cartoons and high-level text in Willard Mullin’s Golden Age of Baseball." –Peter Gutierrez, School Library Journal
"…this Willard Mullin book has a lot of beautiful cartooning in it." –Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
Order this or any other Love and Rockets book and receive this FBI•MINI comic shown here as a FREE bonus! Click here for details. Limit one per customer while supplies last.
The Children of Palomar is Gilbert Hernandez's much-anticipated return to the small Central American town of Palomar, more than a decade after his last "Heartbreak Soup" story. Originally released as a three-issue magazine series titled New Tales of Old Palomar in the acclaimed international "Ignatz" format, these stories are finally collected into one handsome book.
All of these stories deal with the classic characters of Palomar such as sweet Pipo, her sharp-tongue sister Carmen, sheriff Chelo, and the gang of boys who help start it all: studious Heraclio, tall and fey Israel, disfigured but goodnatured Vicente, and girl-crazy Jesús and Satch.
In the first story, mysterious, fast-moving thieves are stealing food from wherever they can grab it; Sheriff Chelo and some citizens do their best to solve this mystery, but nobody seems to be able to catch these bandits in action until Pipo puts her soccer-trained legs to work and goes after them herself. In the second, Gato, Soledad, Guero, Pintor, and Arturo go exploring a bottomless chasm and come face to face with... well, we won’t spoil the surprise. The third and last story focuses on one of Palomar’s most beloved characters, the gorgeous but troubled Tonantzín: Everybody in Palomar seems to take the supernatural with a grain of salt, but young Tonantzín is determined to uncover the mystery of the laughing baby that only appears to her, haunting her daily life. What is the baby’s link to the giant stone idols that stand outside the small town...?
So we missed the deadline to give the new issue of Love and Rockets: New Stories its traditional Comic-Con debut in San Diego. Instead we're planning on it to debut at the Autoptic festival in Minneapolis, with Jaime there to sign copies. And we can at least give you this glimpse at the final cover art (don't let the setting and the hammer fool you; it's not Luba, but her granddaughter "Killer") and tease you with 10 pages of the contents — 5 from Jaime and 5 from Gilbert. Gilbert's "Killer" begins to delve into her family's twisted history, in Palomar and beyond. It's a tangled skein that ties in to Gilbert's next "Fritz B-Movie" graphic novel, Maria M. Book 1. And on Jaime's side it's more mystery and hijinks with hapless high-schooler Tonta and her weird new friend "the Gorgon," both introduced last issue. The rest will be revealed when the book hits shelves in October — pre-order now and you can be among the first to read it!
All board, Richmond, Virginia! Dash Shaw is coming your way August 8th with his animation presentation. Bring your well-loved copies of Bottomless Belly Button and buy a brand-spankin' new copy of New School for Dash to sign. Velocity Comics is the place to be! The boat to the mysterious island in New School is leaving the dock soon so make sure you're on time Thursday, August 8th.
Velocity Comics is located at 819A W Broad St Richmond, VA 23220.
OH MAN! Are you kidding me?! During the recent Sub Pop Silver Jubilee, the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery was thrilled enough to host a day of events celebrating comics and our role in Sub Pop's history. But to have the store captured on film by world-renowned photographer Charles Peterson himself?! Holy hell!!!
(And, it goes without saying, all photos are copyright Charles Peterson, so be cool, for real.)
Here Charles takes a crowd shot during our panel with him, Peter Bagge, Danny Bland, and Sub Pop founder Bruce Pavitt. It's like one of his classic Nirvana crowd shots, but y'know, with books! (And nice Love & Rockets t-shirt, dude-to-the-left!)
Shortly after the panel concluded, Danny took the mic again for a reading of his forthcoming novel In Case We Die, which takes place in Seattle during the '90s. Sure were a lot of ladies at this reading...
Danny read a passage of the first time the book's unapologetic protagonists, Charlie Hyatt and Carrie Finch, try heroin. I couldn't help but notice a few audience members cringing at how descriptive his words were!
Musician Greg Dulli, frontman for Afghan Whigs, The Gutter Twins, and more, also took the mic for a reading. I believe his passage began with the sentence, "Her tits looked amazing."
Another great portrait by Peterson -- of course, he's only capable of great photography, amiright?
You can check out the full-set of Peterson's photos from Sub Pop Silver Jubilee at his website here. Thank you, Charles, for capturing us in your beautiful iconic style -- what an honor!
If you're in Seattle, drop by All-City Coffee to see the exhibit CP25/SP25, featuring 25 arresting images by Peterson commemorating 25 years of the Sub Pop phenomenon. And hey, you can purchase some of those photos next door at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery, which has our own Sub Pop exhibit up through August 7th.
Our store is 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.
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