Susan E. Kirtley discusses Lynda Barry: Girlhood Through the Looking Glass with Cathy Hillenbrand at Fantagraphics Bookstore on Saturday, March 24
The idiosyncratic work of cartoonist Lynda Barry, a Seattle native, is the subject of a new book by Portland author Susan E. Kirtley. Lynda Barry: Girlhood Through the Looking Glass is the first comprehensive critique of this influential American artist. Kirtley will discuss her book with Real Comet Press publisher Cathy Hillenbrand, who published Barry’s first four books, on Saturday, March 24, at 6:00 PM at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery. An informal reception and book signing will follow the discussion. This event coincides with the inaugural Georgetown Music March, featuring free performing arts presentations throughout the historic arts community.
Kirtley’s book examines the influence of Lynda Barry’s youthful experiences on her creative output via personal interviews and rigorous analysis of published work. Kirtley’s thought-provoking conclusions invite readers to reassess Barry’s body of work though the lens of an often-tormented adolescent girl. Kirtley is associate professor of English at Portland State University. Her book is part of the University Press of Mississippi’s Great Comics Artists Series, which includes works on cartoonists such as Chris Ware, Alan Moore, Carl Barks, Jack Kirby, Garry Trudeau, and Walt Kelly.
Real Comet Press is the subject of the current retrospective exhibition at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery. Taking its name from the publisher’s slogan “From Comix to Critique,” it features original art, graphics, and book works by Lynda Barry, Michael Dougan, Art Chantry, and Ruth Hayes. An informal reception and book signing will follow the discussion.
Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale Street (at Airport Way S.) Phone 206.658.0110.
Susan E Kirtley discusses Lynda Barry: Girlhood Through the Looking Glass
Visitors to the Real Comet Press Retrospective at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Galleryon Saturday will be among the first people on the planet to sample the latest Charles Burns-themed beer from Elysian Brewing. The 3rd installment of the 12 Beers of the Apocalypse, offically released on March 21, is a green cardamom ale called Fallout. That's appropriate becuase DJ Russ Fallout will be spinning art damaged punk platters from the 80s in honor of the heyday of Real Comet Press.
We have an amazing array of wonderful artworks, iconic graphics, rare books and long out-of-print comix by the many gifted authors, artists, critics, and cartoonists that helped lay the foundation for Seattle's later ascendence to the forefront of global pop culture. Real Comet Press publisher Cathy Hillenbrand is a goddam civic treasure. Join hosts Michale Dougan, Art Chantry, and Ruth Hayes as we show our appreciation for Cathy's countless contributions to the cultural climate of the region.
Among the many highlights of the Real Comet Press Retrospective opening Saturday, March 10 at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is a rare public appearance by Michael Dougan. This influential cartoonist helped attract an influx of young artists thoughout the 1980s, as Seattle became a beacon of the alternative comix movement. Real Comet Press published his masterful East Texas anthology and the companion poster "The Bigger the Hair, The Closer to God," which, along with Lynda Barry's "Poodle With a Mohawk," became one of the enduring images of the era.
Also appearing will be graphic artist Art Chantry. His early Real Comet Press book of Seattle punk posters, Instant Litter, will be featured in the exhibition. It was prescient of Chantry to appreciate the value of these fugitive artifacts of a music scene that within a decade would influence popular culture on a global scale.
One of the few Real Comet Press publications that will be offered for sale at the retrospective, albeit in limited quantities, is Lynda Barry's first book, Boys + Girls,in the original format designed by Mark Michaelson and Helene Silverman. Publisher Cathy Hillenbrand often employed the gifted art directors of Seattle's Rocket magazine as book designers. Mark and Helene later established stellar careers in New York. (Helene is slated to accompany husband Gary Panter to his appearance at Fantagraphics Boostore later this year upon our publication of Dal Tokyo. Stay tuned.)
Don't miss the amazing exhibition of original art, comix, book works and ephemera, as well as many of the artists, authors and personalitites associated with the seminal stages of Seattle's alternative culture on Saturday, March 10 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM. Should be quite a reunion.
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