Eye of the Majestic Creature is a collection of semi-autobiographical and fantasy-based comics that combine dry humor, psychedelia, and emotion to show the viewpoint of one person’s world internally and externally. The story follows a young girl, Larrybear, and her talking acoustic guitar Marshmallow on their adventures through the countryside, Chicago, San Francisco and New York. While Larrybear struggles to connect with strangers, her friends, and her family to various degrees of success, her growing population of anthropomorphic friends have adventures of their own.
Larrybear is in a constant struggle between the desire to connect with those around her and to be left to her own devices. You get a glimpse of her past life when she visits her home town of Chicago, trying to relate to old friends who have not matured since high school, as well as her family (which includes her Hippopotamus father and his harem of ex-wives, two brothers, and Salsa-dancing mom). In the present, she moves to New York to find work for a time, resulting in many hilarious and drunken adventures with her new coworkers at a cell phone decorating shop, and her old friend Boris, who shares with her his P.G. Wodehouse books, as well as his “Incredible Hulk” weed. Drawn in shades of gray using the near-deceased practice of stippling, Stein’s imagery draws you into her world for a complete and engrossing experience.
“Leslie Stein’s comics inhabit a charming and semi-autobiographical (in the most ‘semi’ sense of the word) yet surreal, insular world where her best friend and closest confidant is an acoustic guitar. What’s not to relate to?” — Peter Bagge
“Early in the 20th Century, a beautiful cartoonist, Marcel Duchamp, pretended to be a marginally attractive woman and spent considerable time watching dust accumulate. Early in the 21st Century a beautiful cartoonist, Leslie Stein, pretended to be a funky dweeb and spent considerable time counting sand. Catch my drift?” — Gary Panter
• Review: "Does this make Special Exits seem like a downer? Good. It is a downer. It's also funny and touching, and gratifyingly cleareyed about the messy emotions involved in caring for aging parents. [...] It's no spoiler to reveal that Special Exits doesn't have a happy ending. After all, no one gets a happy ending. But thanks to the hard work and loving care of Laura — and some heaven-sent hospice workers — her parents die more gracefully than many. And thanks to the thoughtful writing and art of Joyce Farmer, their lives and deaths will be a comfort to readers beginning to consider the end of their parents' lives — or their own." – Dan Kois, The Washington Post
Michael Kupperman (a.k.a. @MKupperman) will follow you on Twitter for 90 days (maybe more if he likes your tweets, I guess), retweet you once, mention you in a tweet, and draw your portrait if you are a) a UK resident and b) the winner of this eBay auction benefitting the UK's great charity organization (or should I say "organisation") Comic Relief. Cor blimey, guv'nor!
We found out about this event too late to notify you about it in advance, but Drew Friedman had a book release extravaganza for his new book Sideshow Freaks from Blast Books at The Drama Book Shop in NYC last week where he was interviewed on stage by Irwin Chusid, with special guest appearances by Todd Robbins, Larry Storch, and James Taylor (not the singer) and an introduction by the one and only Joe Franklin! The whole thing was captured on video in 6 parts — part 1 is embedded above and here are part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5 and part 6. It can only be described, as Drew does, as "A once in a lifetime get-together!"
"It is astonishing how well Shimura brings things to a slow boil, until the story is bubbling with emotion. You really feel the pain that Shuichi is going through as he deals with the fact that he is, well, you know, a she. There is a real sensitivity to this work that I found extremely appealing. Shimura really captures the awkwardness of it all... The whole book is adorable. This is a great, all ages take on a very difficult to express subject. Shimura’s art has so much life to it and expresses so much emotion that it is just amazing to read."
Yep, yet another way for you to follow us! In additon to Flog, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, etc. we now have a Tumblr blog. We've noticed a bit of a burgeoning community there and it seemed like it might be fun what with the "liking" and "reblogging" and whatnot, so what the heck. We're still getting into the swing of things and learning as we go (and we may yet change our design theme) but I think hopefully we're doing it right so far and we invite you to check it out and maybe follow along.
(I should also note that we're on the brink of having 10,000 followers on Facebook, which is amazing.)
Francophiles and Fantagraphics followers unite! On Saturday, March 12, Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery hosts "Better Tardi Than Never: How France's Greatest Living Cartoonist Took a Mere 32 Years to Break Through to American Audiences." It examines the life's work of Jacques Tardi. Organized by Fantagraphics Books co-publisher, editor, and Tardi translator Kim Thompson, the exhibition includes pages from the artist's earliest English translations in 1977 to the present.
Thompson began translating Tardi in 1983 with an excerpt from It Was the War of the Trenches in RAW #5. He became a tireless advocate of this extraordinary artist, translating and publishing his work in several anthologies until American readers finally caught on. The show includes examples of each Tardi translation to reach American soil, along with a narrative explaining the context.
The reception on Saturday will feature a slide lecture by Kim at 6:30 PM. "You Don't Know Jacques. Tardi: 20 Books in 20 Minutes" looks at the cartoonist's career in France. The event will also feature the world premiere of Fantagraphics' fifth Tardi book, the epic "icepunk" tale The Arctic Marauder, among other surprises.
Fantagraphics Bookstore is located at 1201 S. Vale Street in the heart of Seattle's historic Georgetown district. Phone 206.658.0110. This event coincides with the colorful Georgetown Art Attack featuring visual and performing arts presentations throughout the neighborhood. See you then.
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