Don’t miss Free Comic Book Day this Saturday, May 5. Fantagraphics is offering two stellar titles for comics enthusiasts of all ages: Donald Duck Family Comics by Carl Barks and Crockett Johnson’s Barnaby and Mr. O’Malley. The first 50 visitors to Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery in Seattle will also receive a coveted copy of Unseen Peanuts from 2007. No matter where you live, get out and show some love to your local comics shops.
Artist Dan Schultz dropped by Fantagraphics Bookstore store last week anxiously awaiting the arrival of Dungeon Quest Book 3 by Joe Daly. (Soon, Dan. Soon.) While discussing his enthusiasm for the comic, he conjures up a picture of his amazing Millennium Boy action figure fashioned from plastic. Then he pulls up an equally awesome array of original pop art. Remarkable. Really. Keep an eye out for this guy.
Things have been hectic around here and they're only going to get hecticer. Here are the advances and sample copies that have arrived at the office since the last sneak-peek update a few weeks ago, some of which have already been spotted out in public making their debuts during our current convention gauntlet and all of which should be available between now and July.
Filmmaker Helene Christensen took it upon herself to create this marvelous short video about Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery, largely shot back in February during our Jack Davis tribute exhibit. Its primary star is, of course, our own Larry Reid, with additional interviews with Gary Groth, Jim Woodring, Frank Santoro and others, and there's also a clip of Jack Davis's video chat at the tribute exhibit opening. Lots more familiar faces make appearances too — maybe you're in it!
• Interview (Video):VICE's Rocco Castoro: "Johnny Ryan has been filling the back page of VICE magazine with twisted comics for the past ten years. Not to toot our own horn here, but it's fair to say that his strips are some of the funniest and grossest being published anywhere right now. We sat down with Johnny at his house in LA to discuss how he got started, his feelings towards R. Crumb, and how he used to barely give a shit about the work he submitted to us."
• Interview: At Stumptown, our pal Gavin Lees sat down for a chat with the great Stan Sakai on assignment for Bleeding Cool: "My abilities as a storyteller have matured over the years, I hope, and if you look at the early years of Usagi, you can see a huge difference in the character. His proportions have changed — at the beginning, he was maybe three-heads high, now he’s more like five-heads. So, he’s gotten sleeker and he’s not as cuddly any more. That may be because I’ve concentrated on more dramatic stories, rather than humorous, as the series went on. Most of the changes are unconscious on my part, though, just myself maturing as an artist and a storyteller."
This summer's release of Flannery O'Connor: The Cartoons is fast approaching, and The Paris Review teases the book with a selection of artwork and an excerpt of editor Kelly Gerald's Afterword, "The Habit of Art," about how O'Connor's experience with drawing and its emphasis on visual observation informed her writing.
And look, your first glimpse of the physical book!
The newest addition to our marketing staff, Jen Vaughn, underwent her baptism by fire at this past weekend's MoCCA Fest, and she writes about her experience for her freelance writing gig at The Beat (whose Heidi MacDonald took the photo of Jen above). What's it like to "graduate" from having your own table as a self-publisher to being behind the table for a big, fancy-pants publisher like us? Jen's got the perspective, with photos a-plenty (ooo, Daniel Johnston!).
It's a quiet week for events. I think most of us are either recovering from Stumptown and MoCCA, or gearing up for TCAF!
Friday, May 4th
• Toronto, ON: It's the opening night of Gabriella Giandelli: A Toronto Retrospective at the Italian Cultural Institute! Over 80 original drawings will be on display. More information about this wonderful (and free!) event is coming to the FLOG later this week.
• Toronto, ON: The Italian Cultural Institute hosts another wonderful event with Gabriella Giandelli and music composer Marco Cappelli. The two will engage in a conversation on their artist careers and the influence that music has on comics. More details are coming soon to the FLOG!
Ain't no party like a Fantagraphics party 'cause a Fantagraphics party don't stop, and WE DON'T EVER STOP. We are now taking this party across the border for the 2012 Toronto Comic Arts Festival in Canada!
Join us this weekend, Saturday, May 5th and Sunday, May 6th, at the Toronto Reference Library. I love selling books in a library. Here are the debuts we'll be bringing that you will NOT find on the reshelving cart! (Unless we have to borrow it from Ab again.)
10:00–11:00 AM // International Perspectives Comics creators from around the world come together in this panel to showcase the similarity and differences of their approaches to the comics medium. With Jose-Louis Bocquet, Gabriella Giandelli, Tom Gauld, Jason, Hugues Micol, and Olivier Schrauwen. Moderator: Caitlin McGurk. (High Park Ballroom, located in the The Marriott Bloor Yorkville.)
3:15–5:00 PM // The Adventure Time Mega-Panel! Who doesn’t love adventures? TCAF presents: Adventure Time creators doing what they do best: making crazy-delightful comics about the series they work on. Don’t miss this fun-filled live drawing session, accompanied by Q&A and general discussion. With Pendleton Ward, Ryan North, Bob Flynn, Andy Ristiano, Michael DeForge, Steve Wolfhard, and Jesse Moynihan. (High Park Ballroom, located in the The Marriott Bloor Yorkville.)
SUNDAY, MAY 6th
11:30 AM– 1:00 PM // Thoughts on Panel Layout This panel looks at the nitty gritty of layouts around the world—where and how scene breaks happen (middle of page, end of page, fade out, formulas for transition), panel shapes and page structures (even grids, angled, borderless), “camera” angles and staging, frequency of certain types of panels (all-text, scenery only, etc), trying to figure out patterns that would be useful to clarify for creators. We’ll talk about individual creators as interesting or notable examples, and look at a big spread of works from every market. With Bryan Lee O’Malley, Jesse Moynihan, Kim Hoang, Aaron Diaz, Emily Carroll, and Francis Manapul. Moderator: Angie Wang (1st Floor: Learning Center 1)
The Toronto Reference Library is located at 789 Yonge Street. The closest major intersection is Yonge & Bloor. The closest subway station is Yonge/Bloor Station.
Five years before his breakthrough as the co-creator of Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, and other classic super-heroes for Marvel Comics in the early 1960s, Steve Ditko, inspired by the freedom he found at the laissez-faire Charlton Comics, was turning out some of the best work of his career.
Mysterious Traveler, which collects stories from (among others) Tales of the Mysterious Traveler and This Magazine Is Haunted, reprints over 210 full-color pages of Ditko in his early prime. These are stories that have never been properly reprinted until now — thrilling stories of suspense, mystery, haunted houses, and unsuspecting victims.
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