Back in 1984, a rebellious, 17-year-old, punked-out Ulli Lust set out for a wild hitchhiking trip across Italy, from Naples through Verona and Rome and ending up in Sicily. Twenty-five years later, this talented Austrian cartoonist has looked back at that tumultuous summer and delivered a long, dense, sensitive, and minutely observed autobiographical masterpiece.
Miraculously combining a perfect memory for both emotional and physical detail with the sometimes painful lucidity two and half decades’ distance have brought to her understanding of the events, Lust meticulously shows the who, where, when, and how (specifically, how an often penniless young girl can survive for months on the road) of a sometimes dangerous and sometimes exhilarating journey. Particularly haunting is her portrait of her fellow traveler, the gangly, promiscuous devil-may-care Edi who veers from being her spunky, funny best friend in the world to an out-of-control lunatic with no consideration for anything but her own whims and desires.
Universally considered one of the very finest examples of the new breed of graphic novels coming from Europe, Today Is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life won the 2011 Angoulême “Revelation” prize, and Fantagraphics is proud to bring it to English speaking readers.
We seem to have a habit of posting sneak peeks of this book right after deadly disasters. We promise it's not on purpose.
Given the subject matter, calling our upcoming paperback collection of Charles Forsman's The End of the Fucking World "cute" seems a little weird, but it's partly the tension between wanting to put it in your pocket and being gripped by the harrowing story that gives the work its power.
This highly-anticipated book drops in July (after debuting at CAKE in Chicago in mid-June). We have an excerpt of the first two chapters for you to read right here, and stay tuned for details of an exclusive signed Risograph print you'll be able to get as a pre-order bonus!
The Toronto Comics Arts Festival was amazing, it was a whole corral of Fantagraphics cartoonists visiting Toronto with publicist Jacq Cohen and me to sell sell sell books to the sweetest Canadians. On Friday we stopped at the coolest comic book store, The Beguiling.
Dash Shaw's new floppy comic, 3 New Stories! Plus, Maidenheadlock a crazy screen printed comic.
There was an awesome shop called Honest Ed's full of $1 jeggings and $3 babies. BABIES, guys. It was a hell of deal. Luckily they had cool signage everywhere. If Jacq ever uses the internet for dates, here you go.
We were all lucky enough to enjoy a converstation between Gilbert Hernandez, Tom Spurgeon and Jaime Hernandez about Love and Rockets, alternative comics and more in the Reference Library Friday night.
Andrew and James (yes?) from The Beguiling working the Bros book booth on Friday night. Thank you for being sweethearts and working hard.
Mike Winters, funny comic book man and Kupperman fan, was ready for his first comics show and showed off his cash envelope-bowl. His loonies and toonies smelled faintly of egg salad.
Jaime and Dash Shaw were ready EARLY at 9am to sign books!
Our first cup of coffee was barely over before a Jaime fan bared all to show off his sexy Maggie tattoo. Jaime said "Make sure to get those boxers in the photo" just so you know I'm not objectifying this gentleman.
Then the magical Ulli Lust made her appearance. Leon Avelino of Secret Acres and The Beguiling's Peter Birkmoe showed up but were sadly outdone by the BEST CON FACE EVER. Thank you, Toronto.
Ulli doesn't really spend ANY time on these book signings, right? Man, alive!
Gilbert pretends to act crotchedy with an enthsiastic Peggy Burns from D&Q. Jade and Tracy in the background!
Jaime and I discuss Little League baseball. Gilbert keeps up the act.
Jacq and our former intern, future super cartoonist Sophie Yanow.
Oh geez, they had someone doing 10 minute henna at the front of TCAF show and while so beautiful, all I could think is what happens when someone accidentally rubs the still drying design on some $40 book. Actually, now I think about it that's a great way to get rid of some backstock.
Ulli and Dash signing books: Dash promises he was listening and not drifting back into his new book, New School.
BUT Dash Shaw and I only have to hear the first half of the word 'VOGUE' before hittin' it, so to speak.
One of the Beguiling employees was chuffed to meet Michael Kupperman so they had to pose for a photo. You can tell its nice and early here because of all the butt space people have while walking down the aisles.
Michael draws a commissioned illustration for a fan.
Jacq snapped this photo of Michael at his artist spotlight panel. We wish our cartoonists had more confidence.
Alex from The Beguiling picks up The Armed Garden by his favorite cartoonist, David B. NO, DA-vead Beh, say it right.
Ulli stops to say hi to smart person and comics fan, Gil Roth.
Thanks to Oliver East for tabling next to Fantagraphics all weekend, he is a true pleasure!
ALSO, thank you thank you to anyone who stopped by my comics booth. I put my name in for work and myself and never dreamed I'd get into TCAF with my own comics. Thanks to you, new friends, (and my harried and usually alone tablemate, Lucy Bellwood).
How cool is The Beguiling for buying all your comics (or a goodly amount) after the show? Standing in the line was worth it not to carry your comics back over the border! Hopefully you said thank you to Peter Birkemoe and Chris Butcher at some point.
The after party was at Lee's Palace, an old punk venue that was so gorgeous. The town is full of beautiful facades and interesting buildings.
The Monday after the show we ran around Toronto with whomever was left in town. Like Rutu Modan! Jacq, me and Rutu accidentally ate opposite Robin, Mark P. Hensel (aka William Cardini) and Murilo.
Theo Ellsworth joined us for a visit to the beautiful Taiyo Matsumoto exhibit at the Japan Foundation and we ran into the Matsumoto himself! I've been a fan since Steve Bissette showed me some of his comics and the Ping Pong movie. PLEASE check it out if you haven't already and prepare to be blown away.
This restaurant could be dangerous for someone like me. We were all confused as to what this kid's mouth is doing, why he's pushing his cheeks in, especially when saying the word 'cheese' pulls your mouth wide. You win this one, Toronto.
Thank you, TCAF and The Beguiling, for all the help and love. We had a great time. Ulli mentioned one time how much she loved 'North American enthusiasm' so you made her week!
Portland, get ready for a lot of cool accents in the comics community this weekend as the Rose City hosts the 2013 International Comic Arts Forum!
From Thursday, May 23rd through Saturday, May 25th, you are invited to attend this annual academic conference, featuring Fantagraphics special guests Megan Kelso, Tommi Musturi, and T. Edward Bak!
The entire weekend is jam-packed with wonderful panels, discussions, and papers, but here are a few highlights we thought you'd particularly enjoy! (... 'cause they feature our artists!... )
Thursday, May 23rd
7:30 - 9:00 PM // A Celebration of Finnish Comics at Floating World Comics: Comics illustrator Tommi Musturi, whose work is featured in Kolor Klimax: Nordic Comics Now, and editor Ville Hänninen will discuss their work on Finnish comics at Floating World Comics [ 400 NW Couch Street ]. A pre-talk reception begins at 6:30 PM, with a Q&A to follow the talk.
Friday, May 24th
11:00 AM - 12:30 PM // Women & Politics: Alisia Chase will present “Matrixial Graphics: Motherhood and Politics in Megan Kelso’s Watergate Sue" at the University of Oregon's White Stag Building [ 70 NW Couch Street ].
Saturday, May 25th
11:00 AM - 12:30 PM // Self, Memory, Perception: Josina Robb will present "The Spatiality of Voice: How Joe Sacco’s Palestine Takes Up the Ethos of New Journalism" at the University of Oregon's White Stag Building [ 70 NW Couch Street ].
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM // Roundtable: Comics and the Pacific Northwest: With comics creators Megan Kelso, Greg Rucka, and T. Edward Bak. Moderated by Ben Saunders at the University of Oregon's White Stag Building [ 70 NW Couch Street ].
All these wonderful panels and events are totally FREE! All you gotta do is register online here.
Fantagraphics is proud to present the follow-up to Jacques Tardi's double Eisner Award-winning masterpiece It Was the War of the Trenches, which was hailed by critics as "harrowing and ruthlessly affecting" (NPR), "a masterful and visceral tone poem about war" (Library Journal), and "a cri de coeur that stands out even from Tardi's impressive body of work" (Booklist).
To promote their Fantagraphics book Bosnian Flat Dog, Andersson and fellow Swedish artist Lars Sjunnesson toured the countries of former Yugoslavia with a mummified Marshal Tito in a refrigerator.
Now comes the documentary, Tito on Ice, which takes Super 8 footage of their tour and animates it with cardboard cutouts and garbage and other recycled materials. The result is a surreal trip through the Balkans that is part promotion, part performance art, and part history of Marshal Tito and the dissolution of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s. It’s also about the underground arts and music venues that popped up when the country split apart.
Through it all there is a comics creator’s eye at work: live-action interviews suddenly switch to animation, and more than 50 sets were built for the film, all shot and animated on Super 8 film. Tito on Ice is a joyous trip through the war torn subconscious of an underground artist.
Max will be in town on Sunday night to introduce the film and engage in a Q&A afterwards. Fantagraphics will be on site, selling you copies of Bosnian Flat Dog to get signed. Tito on Ice is screening at the SIFF Cinema Uptown, located at 511 Queen Anne Avenue North. See you there!
In terms of pure fun, Gahan Wilson Sunday Comics is hard to beat. Our wide-format volume, coming late next month, collects the full run of Wilson's little-seen mid-1970s weekly newspaper strip. Each installment contains 5 or so gags in signature Gahanian style — droopy, lumpy and slightly twisted.
Find out what you're in for with our excerpt containing the first 15 strips. View the preview in the embedded reader here (full-screen viewing recommended) or get the PDF directly, and pre-order the book here.
Created 15 years after the completion of his Eisner Award-winning World War I masterwork It Was the War of the Trenches, Tardi's Goddamn This War! is no mere sequel or extension, but a brand new, wholly individual graphic novel that serves as a companion piece to Trenches but can be read entirely on its own.
Vastly different sequentially (eschewing Trenches' splintered narrative, Goddamn is split into six chronological chapters, one for each year of the war), graphically (Tardi deploys his more recent pen-ink-and-watercolor technique, with the bold colors of the early chapters fading into a grimy near-monochrome in the later ones as the war drags on), and narratively (all of Goddamn is told, with insight, dark wit and despair, as a first-person reminiscence/narration by an unnamed soldier), Goddamn This War! shares with Trenches its sustained sense of outrage, pitch-black gallows humor, and impeccably scrupulous historical exactitude.
In fact, Goddamn This War! includes an extensive year-by-year historical text section written by Tardi's frequent World War I research helpmate, the historian and collector Jean-Pierre Verney, including dozens of stunning rare photographs and visual documents from his personal collection.
As you can see, Jason's new graphic novel Lost Cat (coming in July) is presented in the same handsome hardcover format as his story collections Low Moon and Athos in America and the reprint volumes What I Did and Almost Silent. His longest, and dare we say one of his best, works to date deserves no less.
A detective story with multiple mysteries, romantic longing, and a head-spinning finale all delivered in trademark understated Jason style, it's a thrilling, heart-tugging, satisfying read. And there's a cute kitty cat. See for yourself with our free 15-page excerpt, and pre-order yours right here.
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