IFC.COM TO PREMIERE ANIMATED WEB SERIES OF DASH SHAW'S NEW BOOK THE UNCLOTHED MAN IN THE 35TH CENTURY A.D.
THE UNCLOTHED MAN IN THE 35th CENTURY A.D., by DASH SHAW, will be promoted at the 2009 Book Expo America in New York City, May 29-31, with an appearance by the author on Friday, May 29, at 1:00PM at the Fantagraphics Booth and 4:00PM in the Autographing Area.
New York, NY - May 27, 2009 -IFC.com announced today that it will premiere an original animated web series based on graphic novelist and comic book artist Dash Shaw's latest book The Unclothed Man in the 35th Century A.D., set for release mid-November, 2009 with the web series following. Shaw's animation has been widely praised for its eclectic style, innovative design and emotional depth.
Each short episode of this five-part web series chronicles Rebel X-6, a man who works for a well-funded anti-droid organization. The fifth episode will provide behind-the-scenes footage of the making of the series. The premiere on IFC.com marks Dash Shaw's first animated series and will be based on a story line he has developed for several years. Seattle's Fantagraphics Books is set to publish a book by the same name and characters.
"Dash Shaw is a known entity in the comic book realm with a cult following. We're excited to bring him, his art and his fans to IFC.com, a platform that recognizes and broadens the reach of up-and-coming, independent content makers," said Craig Parks, vice president of digital media at IFC. "Shaw's work on IFC.com will offer a fresh and completely unique take on the animation genre; the type of approach that defines our brand."
The series features an animated hero, Rebel X-6, and his quest to bring out change in the 35th century A.D.. Rebel X-6 works for an anti-droid organization that opposes the use of droids in all sectors of modern society. An artist guild that opposes the use of droids in art class hires Rebel X-6. They believe living people should model for life drawings. Rebel X-6's assignment is to enter Art School 46 posing as "Model-Droid #343." Model droids appear life-like but do not laugh, cry, swear or exhibit other human shortcomings. His mission is to subvert the school's ban on drawings of real humans by tricking the students into drawing him.
About the Creator Dash Shaw (born April 6, 1983) is a U.S. (Brooklyn, NY) writer and artist of comic books. His comic short stories have appeared in many different anthologies, newspapers and magazines and his graphic novels have received critical acclaim. His breakthrough graphic novel wasBottomless Belly Buttonwhich was named Publishers Weekly best graphic novel of 2008, one of Entertainment Weekly's top ten books of 2008, and one of Amazon.com's top ten graphic novels of the year among many other accolades. The Unclothed Man in the 35th Century A.D. will also collect his acclaimed short stories from Fantagraphics' award-winning anthology MOME, and his next graphic novel, BodyWorld, will be published by Pantheon in Spring 2010.
About IFC Operating under the mantra "always, uncut," IFC (The Independent Film Channel) recommends and creates genre-bending content that indulges the alternative culture obsessions of our influential audience and makes it available across multiple platforms: on-air, online and On Demand. In pursuit of what's new, next and relevant, IFC creates original non-traditional comedies like The Whitest Kids U' Know and Z Rock and irreverent non-fiction such as The IFC Media Project. IFC's original programming airs alongside a comprehensive independent film library of award-winning titles and cult classics, as well as content inspired by music, web, gaming, animation, news, culture and more. IFC broadens the audience for independent culture through its exclusive live coverage of notable film and music events like the Independent Spirit Awards and South by Southwest. The network's On Demand offering, IFC Free, gives audiences the opportunity to watch premieres of all of IFC's original series before they air on the linear network. IFC Media Lab Studios offers financing, professional development and distribution opportunities for aspiring film makers. IFC is a subsidiary of Rainbow Media Holdings LLC.
About Fantagraphics Books Fantagraphics Books ( www.fantagraphics.com ) has been the world's leading publisher of comics and graphic novels since 1976. The work of artists such as R. Crumb, Peter Bagge, Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez, Daniel Clowes, Joe Sacco, Jason, Chris Ware, Dash Shaw and others has continued to gain commercial momentum and critical recognition over the last 20 years by combining the social relevance of the previous generation of underground comix artists, attention to personal and psychologal veracity, and formal experimentation and innovation.
Rainbow Media Holdings LLC Rainbow Media Holdings LLC is a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE: CVC). Rainbow Media is a leading producer of targeted, multi-platform content for global distribution, creating and managing some of the world's most compelling and dynamic entertainment brands, including AMC, IFC, WE tv, Sundance Channel, LIFESKOOL, SPORTSKOOL, and VOOM HD Networks. Through IFC Entertainment, Rainbow Media also owns and manages the following: IFC Films, a leading distribution company for independent film; IFC Productions, a feature film production company that provides financing for select independent film projects; and IFC Center, a three screen, state-of-the-art cinema in the heart of New York's Greenwich Village. Rainbow Media also operates Rainbow Advertising Sales Corporation, its advertising sales company; Rainbow Network Communications, its full service network programming origination and distribution company; and 11 Penn TV, a company that manages Rainbow Media's NYC studios and post-production facilities.
Fantagraphics is on it's way to the Big Apple next week for Book Expo America 2009 (Stand #3422 in the W.W. Norton "pavilion") and we're bringing in tow a slew of previews of new Fall titles as well as hosting several signings:
KIM DEITCH (signing Friday from 2-3:00 in our booth 3422 and 4-4:30 in autograph area table 7)
MICHAEL KUPPERMAN (signing Friday from 12-1:00 in our booth 3422 and 4-4:30 in autograph area table 8)
DASH SHAW (signing Friday from 1-2:00 in our booth 3422 and 4-4:30 in autograph area table 25)
MONTE SCHULZ (signing Saturday from 2:30-3:00 in autograph area table 9)
We'll be promoting our summer and fall lines in particular, with advance previews of books like PIM & FRANCIE by Al Columbia, PRINCE VALIANT by Hal Foster, YOU SHALL DIE BY YOUR OWN EVIL CREATION! by Fletcher Hanks (edited by Paul Karasik), LOVE & ROCKETS NEW STORIES #2 by Gilbert & Jaime Hernandez, YOU ARE THERE and WEST COAST BLUES by Jacques Tardi, RED MONKEY DOUBLE HAPPINESS BOOK by Joe Daly, PRISON PIT by Johnny Ryan, BACKWOODS HUMORIST: THE ART OF NORMAN PETTINGILL, and many more.
BEA isn't open to the public, unfortunately, but if you're an attending bookseller, fellow pubisher, journalist, or otherwise sneaky badge-getter, please stop by and say hello to myself, Jason Miles and Fearless Leader Gary Groth.
"And I pursued, best I can, to get the record I just made to look as beautiful as possible. Tony Millionaire has delivered this very beautiful and intriguing illustration. You know, the hand and hand-ink thing has a refinement you can't get with a computer. It's got the touch of a masterful artist." — Elvis Costello, talking to Newsweek
We sent this press release out this morning, and I thought I should share it with Flog readers as well:
FANTAGRAPHICS BOOKS ANNOUNCES THE ACQUISITION OF THIS SIDE OF JORDAN, A NOVEL BY MONTE SCHULZ
THIS SIDE OF JORDAN, by MONTE SCHULZ, will be unveiled at the 2009 Book Expo America in New York City, May 29-31, with an appearance by the author on Saturday, May 30, at 2:30PM in the Autographing Area.
SEATTLE, WA, MAY 20, 2009 --- This September, Fantagraphics Books is proud to publish This Side of Jordan, by Monte Schulz, only the second original prose novel (following 2007's Laura Warholic by Alexander Theroux) in the company's 33-year history.
This Side of Jordan is a tapestry of American life in the summer before the economic crash of 1929, and a quintessential novel of the rural Midwest offered unexpectedly as a crime thriller. Full of American landscapes and totems, images and notions, foibles and fables, beasts and the blessed, it follows the experiences of 19-year-old tubercular farm boy Alvin Pendergast. The novel begins with an ill-fated dance marathon and a chance encounter with a slick con artist and gangster named Chester Burke. Fearing relapse of his consumption and a return to the sanitarium that had already stolen a year of his life, Alvin imprudently follows Chester across the Mississippi River only to enter a vortex of criminal violence and deceit.
With Alvin in tow, Chester's insouciant disregard for life serves him well during a series of bank robberies and senseless murders, the sociopathic gangster assuming the role of a dark angel on Judgment Day, cleansing the scrolls of those whose sad fortune draws them across his path. Too ill to flee, too morally weak to object, Alvin resigns himself to what seems like certain doom. Fortunately, Alvin finds another companion on the road, a lonely, eccentric, and grandiloquent dwarf named Rascal, whose own infirmity binds their destinies together. Eventually, the young farm boy must make a decision: stick with Chester, who will surely kill him at the slightest hint of betrayal, or muster the courage to stake his life on faith in Rascal's clever plan to save them both.
Monte Schulz is the son of Charles M. Schulz, creator of Peanuts, and in This Side of Jordan one of his ambitions was to recreate the time of his mother's and father's Jazz Age childhood, when America was making the irresistible transition from rural to urban life.
"When I was in my early twenties, and Dad saw that I was developing an interest in writing, he showed me some of the beautiful passages of Thomas Wolfe and John Steinbeck, and lent me his copies of Complete Poems by Carl Sandburg and Edgar Lee Masters' Spoon River Anthology, and Joan Didion's Slouching Towards Bethlehem. He told me the writer's gift is to be able to express for people certain ideas and emotions they cannot express for themselves," says Schulz.
Told in the voice of a lost generation hurtling toward the Great Depression, This Side of Jordan evokes crowded Main Streets and tourist camps, miles of cornfields, rural churches and musty parlors, with the momentum of a freight train, but delivered in the seductive, rhythmic tradition of Southern lyricism reminiscent of Flannery O'Connor and Truman Capote.
Fantagraphics publisher Gary Groth said he was leery when Schulz asked him to read the novel "because, after all, how does the publisher of The Complete Peanuts reject a novel by Charles Schulz's son?" After reading it, however, he was "bowled over by the beauty of the prose and Monte's command over every aspect of the form. It isn't hyperbolic to say that Monte is as good a writer as his father is a cartoonist. That's why we wanted to publish it."
This Side of Jordan is Schulz's second novel. His first, Down by the River, was published by Viking in 1991. Library Journal raved that it compared to Stand by Me and Twin Peaks, and seemed "ready-made for Hollywood." He spent ten years writing Crossing Eden, from which This Side Of Jordan is drawn as the first of three interconnected novels; the second and third, Fields of Eden and The Big Town, will be published in 2010 and 2011. This Side of Jordan will be published as a jacketed hardcover this September by Fantagraphics Books, with a painted cover by noted cartoonist Al Columbia. Schulz will make his first public appearance promoting the novel at the 2009 Book Expo America, signing galleys on Saturday, May 30, at 2:30PM in the convention's autographing area. A West Coast tour will follow in the Fall (dates and locations t.b.a.).
Schulz received his M.A. in American Studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara. He lives in Northern California.
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