The opening reception for the Taking Punk to the Masses exhibition on May 14 was a stellar affair - a reunion of misfits and miscreants from Seattle's grunge era together with a new generation of counterculture mavens. The show documents Seattle's grunge scene in its formative period from 1983 - 1985. I often equate Seattle's youth culture in the mid-80s to San Francisco's hippie movement in the mid-60s. Both had a singular music style, provocative graphics, and an anti-fashion sensibility. Beyond that, these movements benefited from a community of gifted cartoonists that disseminated unfiltered observations. Fitting, then, that Peter Bagge was the special guest at the event on the occasion of the release of Hate Annual # 9 and the Yeah! collection.
It's remarkable how Peterson's early works display sophisticated formal qualities while capturing the energy of the era. The halo of light in many of the candid concert shots is used to stunning effect. Also evident is the advent of his signature cinematic approach to still photography.
Comix enthusiast Bruce Pavitt's Sub Pop fanzine of the early-80s featured the work of cartoonists like Lynda Barry and Charles Burns. His commitment to the emerging "Seattle Sound' in this period led to the phenomenal success of bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden, Mudhoney and others — all of whom released early recordings on his fledgling Sub Pop record label.
Notable horror writer Wilum Hopfrog Pugmire, editor of seminal Seattle zine Punk Lust, pictured here between low brow art collectors Marlow Harris and Jo David.
A rare public appearance by Art Chantry, perhaps the most influential graphic designer of his generation. He helped develop the aesthetics associated with grunge.
Look at this line up of kickass kuties: artist Lisa Petrucci, tattooist Sunny Buick visiting from Paris, and their art dealer extraordinaire Kirsten Anderson of Roq la Rue.
Among all the action this Saturday night at the Taking Punk to Georgetown party, gifted Seattle cartoonist Matthew Southworth will be signing copies of Stumptown. This new collection, written by Greg Rucka, is a hard boiled thriller set in Portland, focusing on a character named Dex — (short for Dexedrine). Southworth will trade pen for guitar at the after-concert where he's reformed the Capillaries, featuring similarly multi-talented Stranger art director Aaron Huffman with Aaron Brown. They'll be joined at Buddy & Jay's Scrap Metal Empiorium by Peter Bagge and Steve Fisk's Can You Imagine? and Wormburner, from Hoboken, New Jersey, appropriately enough.
Peterson will display 14 exceptional pieces from 1980s Seattle punk underground, the era that gave birth to grunge. This period also gave rise to Peterson's signature cinematic style of still photography. He'll be joined by legendary cartoonist Peter Bagge signing copies of the recently released Hate Annual #9 comic and Yeah! collection. Adding to the atmosphere, Georgetown Records hosts a related installation of vintage Seattle punk posters, records, and ephemera recreating a mom-and-pop punk rock emporium circa 1988 Seattle. Russ Battaglia of Fallout Records & Skateboards fame will play vintage vinyl of the grunge era. Spread the word. This'll be a fun one.
Following the opening, join us next door at Buddy & Jay's Scrap Metal Emporium (also known as the Mix) for pop supergroup Can You Imagine? (featuring Peter Bagge, Steve Fisk, et al.), Hoboken, NJ's Wormburner, and the recently reunited Capillaries (Matt Southworth, Aaron Huffman, and Aaron Brown) playing all your old favorites. See you there!
Says Warlock Darren Chase, "The Superwizard single features two songs inspired by the comic books of yesteryear. The title track is a rock n roll tribute to Fletcher Hanks' mighty hero of the early 1940's, The Super Wizard Stardust. Thrill to the heavy sounds of Superwizard as Ancient Warlocks take you on a mission to stop the fiends bent on wrecking civilization! This pressing is on black vinyl with silkscreen cover art. It's limited to 300 hand numbered copies in three different sleeve colors. Grab yours before the supervultures snatch 'em all up!"
Darren will be on hand to sign copies and I'm sure we can convince DJ Russ to give it a spin during the Taking Punk to the Masses bash on Saturday from 6:00 to 9:00 PM.
Join us in Georgetown this weekend for non-stop action. Friday is the boisterous Honk Fest West festival featuring dozens of eccentric marching bands from all over the country. Chaotic cacophony throughout the entire neighborhood. Note: South Vale Street will close Friday evening in front of Fantagraphics Bookstore for the festivities, but drop in for a sneak preview of Charles Peterson's Taking Punk to the Masses show and visit Martin, Tina and Russ while they transform Georgetown Records into a mom and pop punk rock emporium circa 1988 in preparation for the next night's blowout!
Don't miss a minute - get a room! Stay and play all weekend at the friendly and affordable Georgetown Inn, located one block from the action. The historic Georgetown neighborhood is only 5 minutes south of downtown Seattle and 15 minutes north of Seattle Tacoma International Airport.
Pick up a copy of this and other goodies including Drawn & Quarterly's Free Comic Book Day offering John Stanley's Summer Fun, featuring the further adventures of Tubby, Nancy, Sluggo and other characters on Saturday from 11:30 to 8:00 PM at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery. Support local comic book stores everywhere. Buy comix!
Drop by our bookstore on Wednesday for an extraordinary event. Wilfred Santiago will discuss his recent graphic novel biography of Roberto Clemente with sports journalist, bestselling author, and comics aficionado Rob Neyer.
21: The Story of Roberto Clemente documents the unlikely career of the Pittsburgh Pirates legend and his inspirational rise from the barrios of Puerto Rico to the highest levels of our national pastime. Over the course of his storied career, Clemente overcame the racial discrimination of the era to win awards in nearly every category, including the World Series MVP in 1971.
For all his staggering athletic accomplishments, it was his unflinching humanitarianism that cemented Clemente into our culture's consciousness. Major League Baseball honors the player that best exemplifies his commitment to public service with the Roberto Clemente Award. Santiago's sensitive portrayal of this amazing story is rendered seamlessly with cinematic verve.
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