* Other People's Publications ** Yeah, You Know Me.
One of the things I like about this writing this column is getting the chance to spotlight some great titles that Fantagraphics didn't publish ourselves. But, I'm especially thrilled when I get to present books that are self-published, like this week's spotlighted comic, Thunder in the Building #2!
Admittedly, I wasn't familiar with local artist Margaret Ashford-Trotter until we started carrying her latest comic, that she published herself with funds from the Xeric Foundation.
Her drawing style reminds me a little of Adrian Tomine, and the storyline was certainly gripping, revolving around a romantic break-up and the terrible secret that becomes revealed in the aftermath... See? You're intrigued, right? It's an impressive early effort from a talented local artist, and I'm already looking forward to seeing what Ashford-Trotter publishes next!
Thunder in the Building #2, and many other local self-published comics, are currently in stock at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery, 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. See you soon!
• Review: "...I can safely say that this graphic novel [Stigmata] offers a different experience (in a good way) from any I have read before. Lorenzo Mattotti's line-based art is a perfect expression of the mystical, sometimes demonic aspects of this tale. Instead of areas of solid black, he uses dense cross-hatching to create dark areas within frames full of swirling lines which suggest both Bruno's unsettled state of mind and also the very fluidity of experience. Scenes and characters appear and disappear out of these dense networks as if from a dense fog, and it all creates a sense that perhaps you don't entirely know what is going on at any time or even what constitutes reality." – Sarah Boslaugh, PLAYBACK:stl
• Profile: At The A.V. Club Chicago, Nicki Yowell profiles Lilli Carré: "Carré’s books and accompanying illustration are almost always from another world. They are a cross between a favorite storybook growing up as a child and the warped comedic sensibility of a favorite uncle. [...] She will table at the Chicago Zine Fest, and she views self-publishing as something that brings 'immediate gratification,' especially on 'a very inspired or caffeinated day.'"
• Plug: "I missed this series [Yeah!] the first time round, so I’m really looking forward to grabbing a copy of this collection. Peter Bagge and Gilbert Hernandez are two of my favourite comic creators, so the idea of the two of them creating something together just blows my mind!" – Edward Kaye, Hypergeek
If you're in Seattle, tune in to the Seattle Channel's Art Zone program tonight at 8 PM as they broadcast a feature on Jim Woodring! Check out a preview clip embedded above. If you miss the premiere airing, don't worry, there's a full schedule of repeats to follow, and/or if you're outside the broadcast area, video will be available online too (in fact, I think the player above might play the full episode after it broadcasts).
Here's a brief video profile from 2008 which introduces you to Eye of the Majestic Creature creator Leslie Stein. In it she discusses her creative processes and her comics inspirations, including Charles Burns and Peter Bagge (the latter of whom she'll be appearing with in NYC very soon — stay tuned for an announcement). It's part of a series of "video portraits" created by the website Etsy to spotlight artists who use the site to sell their wares — here's Leslie's page where you can buy her self-published comics and artwork.
• Review: "Luminous really is the right word for the visuals here [in R.I.P.: Best of 1985-2004]: Their pure-white-on-pure-black construction makes every line and reverse-negative shading — carved out with scalpel precision — practically shine forth from the glossy black and white pages. Like Charles Burns’s inks or Drew Friedman’s stippling, Thomas Ott’s scratchboard work is art to be marveled at as much as read." – Sean T. Collins, The Comics Journal
• Review: "This initial collection is the perfect means of discovering or rediscovering Crane’s second magnum opus — spectacular, enthralling, exotically immediate adventures that influenced generations of modern cartoonists, illustrators, comics creators and storytellers. Buz Sawyer: War in the Pacific ranks as one the greatest strip sequences ever created: stirring, thrilling, funny and moving tale-spinning that is unforgettable, unmissable and utterly irresistible." – Win Wiacek, Now Read This!
• Review: "Deitch is one of the great originals of comics: wordy and discursive, but always compelling, with a detailed pen-and-ink style that incorporates a thousand grotesques while remaining essentially sunny and full of wonders. [...] Simply put, it's lovely to be in a world that not only contains a Kim Deitch, but celebrates him and lets him continue to create stories like [The Search for Smilin' Ed]; his continued career is almost enough to make me believe in his wilder flights of fancy." – Andrew Wheeler, The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent.
• Plug: "Tardi created this sucker in 1974, and it’s amazing how modern and even slightly avant-garde [The Arctic Marauder] looks today. Man, those Frenchies can do some cool comics, can’t they?" – Greg Burgas, Comic Book Resources
• Plug:NME reports on EMP's upcoming Nirvana: Taking Punk to the Masses exhibit and mentions our accompanying Taking Punk to the Masses book
• Plug:Portable Grindhouse is the current Staff Pick of Strand Books' Miguel S.: "A deliciously low brow collection of VHS covers that should be in every artist or movie buff's bookcase. Witness in these pages gloriously smutty, cheesy art from days when one had to rewind your movies before returning them to the video store or face a $2 fine! Nostalgia indeed!"
Renowned Canadian singer-songwriter Bruce Cockburn uses his guest editorship at Magnet magazine to espouse Franco-Belgian comics and Jacques Tardi in particular: "One of my favorites was Tardi’s series about a female private detective in fin-de-siecle Paris named Adèle Blanc-Sec. Fantagraphics has now released some of the Adèle stories in a form worthy of the original editions. They’ve put out other Tardi titles as well. This is exciting, even if I have them at home in French. It’s fun to think of a whole new audience discovering the work of such a great graphic novelist!"
Simon Pegg's Eightball t-shirt is not the only Dan Clowes easter egg in the film Paul (released last weekend in the U.S.) — we're not allowed to reveal the other one but it's hard to miss if you're paying attention. There's also an easter egg-within-the-easter egg which is pretty hilarious if you manage to spot it, though we're not sure if it's visible on screen.
Drew Weingannounced yesterday that his debut graphic novel Set to Sea was named runner-up for the inaugural Lynd Ward Prize, a new award sponsored by the Penn State University Libraries and administered by the Pennsylvania Center for the Book, an affiliate of the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress, presented to the "best graphic novel, fiction or non-fiction, published in the previous calendar year by a living U.S. citizen or resident." We'd been waiting for the official PR to make our announcement, but since Heidi MacDonald has broken the news over at The Beat, anchors aweigh (as it were). Congratulations Drew!
The prize jury also awarded an honor book prize to Drew Weing for Set to Sea, published by Fantagraphics. In this book, small in size but large in vision, the art of storytelling through pure visual image is at its height. Described by jurors as "a small wonder of visual narrative, the book's superbly executed single-panel pages combine iconic cartooning and realistic detail to deliver a quietly moving story that unfolds primarily through image. It epitomizes the whole notion of the graphic novel set forth by Lynd Ward — the illustrations are brilliant and the balance between word and image is spot on. The book encapsulates the power of comics to combine an aesthetic experience with a lovely story with strength and beauty that lies with its simplicity and subtlety." Weing will accept his honor prize at an event co-sponsored by Penn State and the Pennsylvania Humanities Council at 6 pm on May 23 in Foster Auditorium on the Penn State University Park Campus.
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