A woman arrives at an apartment, but her partner can’t get away from work. She is disappointed and settles in for a night alone, but finds a film projector with a reel of film loaded. The film is scratched and blurry, but she can make out a couple making love. When the film burns out, a door is revealed which leads to a misty town square... and a series of fantastical sexual encounters.
But the plot doesn’t really matter. Celluloid is a rare instance (especially among Anglo-Saxons) of a top-flight cartoonist working within erotic — even pornographic, to embrace the word — parameters, with the intent of creating a genuine work of art.
As the artist says: “There are so many comics about violence. I’m not entertained or amused by violence, and I’d rather not have it in my life. Sex, on the other hand, is something the vast majority of us enjoy, yet it rarely seems to be the subject of comics. Pornography is usually bland, repetitive and ugly, and, at most, ‘does the job.’ I always wanted to make a book that is pornographic, but is also, I hope, beautiful, and mysterious, and engages the mind.”
Bringing to bear the astonishing range of illustrative and storytelling skills that have served him so well on his collaborations with Neil Gaiman and such solo projects as the (recently re-released) epic graphic novel Cages, Dave McKean forges into new territory with this unique work of erotica.
We are victims of our own success! Demand for The Comics Journal #301 is greater than we estimated and advance orders for the issue exceeded what we printed, so we have gone immediately back to press for a second printing. Since we couldn't fill all the orders from the first printing and didn't want to short any one segment of the market — comics stores, bookstores, subscribers — we decided to wait until we receive the second shipment before releasing the book, resulting in a 3-4 week delay, pushing the release to early July. It's been delayed so long already, what's another month? The lucky dozens who have managed to buy advance copies from us at MoCCA and TCAF will tell you, it's worth the wait!
This also gives you some extra time to get on board with a money-saving 3-issue subscription, which also gets you access to the online TCJ back-issue archives at TCJ.com!
(Note that this sale is not in effect at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery, but there is always a great selection of TCJ back issues available there for half off in our legendary back room of damaged books!)
128-page black & white 7.5" x 11" softcover • $18.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-413-9
"This is probably the release I’m most excited to see this week." – J. Caleb Mozzocco, Newsarama
"...let me suggest Eye of the Majestic Creature, a lovely little collection of comics by relative newcomer Leslie Stein... I wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked this up, but Stein quickly won me over with her charm and good humor." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6
"Leslie Stein's comics are a blend of the autobiographical and the fantastic, with a wonderfully psychedelic style that binds the two together delightfully. And early entry for one of the best graphic novels of the year." – Benn Ray (Atomic Books), Largehearted Boy
"I was surprised how much I enjoyed my first reading of this very odd series of real-life/fantastically-flavored vignettes from Leslie Anne Mackenzie Stein, although I'm not certain how much of my reaction is "it has a quality" and how much is "it's quality." Not yet, anyway. I'm going to read it again soon." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
And as ever, from Joe McCulloch at The Comics Journal: "CONFLICT OF INTEREST RESERVOIR: ...Adding to the mystery, a whole bunch of Fantagraphics releases imminent to Midtown Comics are not listed — Johnny Ryan, Lewis Trondheim stuff — save for Eye of the Majestic Creature, a 128-page collection of stories by Leslie Stein..."
• Review: "This book [Eye of the Majestic Creature] isn't easy to describe, and that's exactly why I love it. Leslie's surreal, funny style is a welcome addition to comics; her world includes a talking guitar and thrift-shop treasures. Though sometimes it's a compliment for me to say I read a book in one sitting, I'll be honest and say this one took me weeks — and that's because my eyes lingered over the detailed panels for perhaps much longer than the author intended. I envy her worldview, though I'm thrilled to have 128 pages of it." – Whitney Matheson, USA Today Pop Candy
• Interview:The Daily Cross Hatch continues serializing Brian Heater's MoCCA panel conversation with Gahan Wilson: "I fit right in [at the National Lampoon]. The minute I walked in and we started talking, I knew 'this is wonderful!' They would egg you on. You would do something that was distasteful or you would attack something, and they’d say, 'oh, you can do worse than that, can’t you?' That sort of thing."
• Plug: "After decades of continually breaking new ground and pushing the boundaries of music, Lou Reed is still as much of a sonic innovator as he ever was. But in the coming months, the Velvet Underground legend is setting aside that aspect of his career in favor of revisiting a couple points in his illustrious career in some rather interesting ways. ...Reed is... readying a collection of drawings that re-interprets his 2003 concept album, The Raven. The 188-page hardcover book, done as a collaboration with Italian illustrator Lorenzo Mattotti, will add another layer to Reed’s reworking of Edgar Allan Poe’s words by giving the songs 'vivid, abstracted and enigmatic paintings.'" – Chris Coplan, Consequence of Sound
On Monday, June 27 at 7pm, join Lou Reed for a very special reading and question and answer session for his book with Lorenzo Mattotti, The Raven, in the Rare Book Room at the Strand bookstore in New York City. This is a reserve seating event with advance tickets costing $35, which includes a copy of the book, a Strand tote bag, and the chance to meet Lou. Tickets are limited so get yours NOW!
Olympia, WA is a city well-known for its DIY ethos, so it's perfect that the guest of honor at this year's Olympia Comics Festival is Megan Kelso, an artist who self-published her influential mini-comic Girlhero throughout the '90s.
And, it's also appropriate that we will be debuting the reissue of her collection Queen of the Black Black at the festival! YES!
Queen of the Black Black compiles Megan's early Girlhero strips, along with a few other things, into a wonderful redesigned volume. The original limited edition pressing of this came out nearly a decade ago and has been long, gone, out-of-print, people. On a personal note, I'm just overjoyed that Fantagraphics is getting to reprint it. This is a book that NEEDS to be out there.
And there are so many opportunities to hear more about it, and all her books, from Ms. Kelso herself, this Saturday, May 21st!
Not only will Megan be there, but Mome artist (and another DIY champion herself) Andrice Arp will be at the festival. I'm waiting for Olympia to explode from the awesome when Andrice and Megan do their panel.
11:00 AM - 1:00 PM // Capitol Theater [206 5th Ave. SW] Introduction and live music by Spiritual Successor(us) Interview with Paul Chadwick Rick Perry presents a classic animated short Super Fun Contest Interview with Megan Kelso Stand-up comedian Morgan Picton makes comics funny again Why Not Do Some Improv About Comics? Interview with Larry Gonick Unintentionally Funny Comics Closing Remarks
But that's what made the talk so interesting and informative for me. Santiago sat down with local best-selling author Rob Neyer, national baseball editor for SBNation.com, and together, they introduced me to this inspirational athlete, whose accomplishments during his short life extended way beyond the dugout.
Wilfred Santiago talks with Rob Neyer.
Thanks to Rob and Wilfred for the engaging discussion at the store, and thanks to everyone for coming out on a rare sunny Seattle evening to participate and listen! If you live outside of Seattle, or just weren't able to make it for some reason, we've got video of their talk right here! (Please excuse the background noise... Not surprisingly, Steven Jesse Bernstein was talking about this neighborhood in his poem "More Noise Please.")
[On YouTube in two parts here and here, in case the embedded videos don't show above.]
After the talk, our curator Larry Reid turned the radio dial to the Mariners game (we're doing... bad?), and fans of baseball and comic arts lined up to get their books signed by Santiago.
There's more pics to see on the Fantagraphics Flickr page. Wilfred has some more events lined up, and I highly encourage everyone, sports fan or not, to go! We'll keep you posted with future signings and events right here on the Fantagraphics FLOG.
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