Funeral of the Heart is Leah Hayes' stylistic tour-de-force and graphic novel debut, featuring a series of short stories by Hayes and illustrated entirely using the otherworldly medium of scratchboard. Hayes creates a world of unease and ambiguity populated by obsessive characters, forlorn animals, and mysterious, inanimate objects; odd occurrences, unnerving deaths and unconventional but genuine love bind these characters and their stories together. In "The Bathroom," a middle-aged couple discover a mysterious tunnel in their poolhouse after a neighbor's child accidentally drowns in their pool — leading to an immaculate bathroom and another drowning. In "The Needle," two sisters suffer the death of their grandmother as well as her possible resurrection at the hands of the woman with the needle.
The stories are hand lettered and juxtaposed against stark, highly stylized, graphically powerful, black and white images. Stories with titles like "The Bathroom," "The Needle," and "The Hair" sound innocuous, but they aren't fables that should be read to one's children — unless your children enjoy being made uneasy by beautiful things.
A stand-alone graphic novel from the "Locas" universe. It starts with a barely-glimpsed slaying ("Life Through Whispers") and ends with a funeral ("Male Torso Found in L.A. River"). Even though (or perhaps because) he's still carrying the torch for Maggie, Ray diligently pursues the dangerous and annoying "Frogmouth," aspiring actress and full-time train wreck, from seedy bars and back alleys through comic book conventions... all the way to the ultimate, and unexpected, consummation. Meanwhile, Hopey spends an eventful week during which she undergoes a couple of major life changes, both personal and professional... and for that matter cosmetic. New characters include Hopey's long-suffering on-the-side squeeze Grace; Maggie's new roommate, the sweet-natured jockette "Angel of Tarzana;" and the live-wire would-be gangsta Elmer — while such classic Love and Rockets characters as the hard-living Doyle, the aging but still-rocking Terry, and the mysterious super-heroine Alarma pop up in the margins... As does Maggie, well off stage but visible as Ray's resentful ex, Angel's roommate, and (forever and still) Hopey's best friend.
Fantagraphics Books is proud to re-release one of the most powerful and moving books in its distinguished publishing history: Debbie Drechsler's first collection of short comic stories, Daddy's Girl. Originally published in 1995 and distributed only to comic book specialty stores, Daddy's Girl was ahead of its time: Drechsler's account of her abuse at the hands of her father, told from the point of view of an adolescent, is one of the most searingly honest, empathetic, and profoundly disturbing uses of the comics medium in its history. Drechsler's meticulous brush lines gather into heavy textures that suggest the claustrophobic tension of the environment that threatens her pre-teen and adolescent female protagonists. Characters such as Lily, who can't escape her father's abuse, and Franny, a girl whose desire to be accepted leads her into dangerous territory, struggle not to be visually and emotionally overwhelmed. Central to this quasi-memoir is Lily's relationship to her father — a confused jumble of fear, trepidation, and love.
Jordan Crane's all-ages classic is in paperback for the first time! This gorgeously packaged (yet affordable) children's fantasy has become an instant classic since its original hardcover release in 2005, becoming a perennial bestseller for Fantagraphics in three hardcover printings. This paperback edition — a first — includes five new pages not included previously!
On their way through the city to school, Simon and his cat Jack keep taking shortcuts that lead them through fantasy worlds of wooden monsters and insatiable appetites, just for starters. Will they make back home safely? This is undoubtedly one of the more handsome and unique packages in recent memory, with a brilliant graphic novel inside that justifies its elegant format. The Clouds Above calls to mind everything from Where the Wild Things Are to The Wizard of Oz to The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, with its depiction of a fantastic world that lurks just around the corner from reality and that only children believe exists.
"THE FUN NEVER STOPS!" WITH DREW FRIEDMAN AT FANTAGRAPHICS BOOKSTORE & GALLERY IN SEATTLE, OPENING MARCH 27.
Drew Friedman is among the most notorious illustrators and cartoonists in America. According to Entertainment Weekly, “He holds a marvelously warped lens up to crusty politicians and debauched celebrities. A good-natured misanthrope with an obsessive style and a sardonic tongue, Drew Friedman is one of the country’s sharper political artists.” Friedman will appear in Seattle for the first time at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery for a book signing and exhibition of his original artwork on Thursday, March 27 from 5:00 to 8:00 PM.
“The Fun Never Stops!” exhibition features 17 portraits meticulously rendered in Friedman’s singular style. Included are political figures such as “McCain as Popeye,” “John Kerry’s Inauguration,” and “Really Rich Rudy” as well as pop culture icons like Frank Sinatra, Woody Allen, and Alfred E. Newman. In addition, Fantagraphics Books produced a limited edition silkscreen print featuring George W. Bush as Slim Pickens in the apocalyptic finale to “Dr. Strangelove.” Friedman’s portraits are alternately savage satires or reverential renderings – and frequently both, as in his series of “Old Jewish Comedians,” recently published in two volumes by Fantagraphics Books.
“The Fun Never Stops!” begins with a reception for the artist on Thursday, March 27 from 5:00 to 8:00 PM. Admission is free to the public of all ages. The exhibition continues though May 6, 2008. Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale Street (at the corner of Airport Way S.) in Seattle’s historic Georgetown industrial arts district. Open daily 11:30 until 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone: 206.658.0110.
DREW FRIEDMAN: THE FUN NEVER STOPS! March 27 – May 6, 2008. Opening Reception and Book signing Thursday, March 27, 5:00 – 8:00 PM
When I heard the news of Dave Stevens' passing this week, at the much too young age of 52, the first two people I thought about were my pals Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez. I knew they were close to Dave so I sent them my condolences. Gilbert wrote me the following email, which I thought some of Dave's fans might enjoy, so he kindly consented to let me share it. R.I.P., Mr. Stevens.
Dave was always Dave. No matter where I saw him, at the premiere of THE ROCKETEER in Hollywood, or when he was mobbed by fans at GLAMOURCON, he would turn his head to me and ask "what do ya think? " Jaime and I met Dave at his studio in 1984. It was next to a gas station that was later used in David Lynch's LOST HIGHWAY. The studio that Dave shared with Bill Stout and Richard Hescox was a matress outlet by then. Right away we hit it off having similar interests, most notably the subject of curvy women. That's one thing he never outgrew. God bless him.
He was neurotic as any perfectionist when it came to finishing an art project, but when he delivered, he delivered. One of the few pieces of original art I own and cherish is the one he did for GIRL CRAZY #1, and not because he did it for free, either. Actually, he refused payment for it because he said he did it for fun. That was Dave and he lived for fun. That's the way I like it.
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