|This Friday not in Brooklyn|
|Written by Eric Reynolds | Filed under events, Al Columbia||9 Nov 2009 9:43 AM|
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Archive >> November 2009
Unfortunately, the Al Columbia event at Desert Island this Friday has been cancelled. We apologize for any inconvenience. That said, pick up PIM & FRANCIE this week at Desert Island or your local comic book store / bookstore of choice! It's a killer.
Al signing an issue of Mome:
L to R: Jason Leivian from Floating World Comics in Portland, Al, and comics artists Mike Allred & Matthew Southworth:
Many more photos can be seen here; thanks again to Jonas!
I'm told that Terry Zwigoff and Daniel Clowes' GHOST WORLD film premiered on your local Movies On Demand channel over Halloween weekend. I don't have a local Movies On Demand channel myself, so I'm not really sure how this works but hopefully you can figure it out yourself. If you've never seen it, you owe it to yourself to, and if you have seen it, you know you're probably due for a repeat viewing.
See a slideshow of the entire exhibit (and more photos) here (or just browse here). Mike Allred was there but I missed him; hopefully more photos will turn up and we'll share those when we get them. Much fun was had by all; thanks to everybody who came out, and to Al for making the trip (and for kicking off volume 3 of my Yoda sketchbook). The show's up through December 9, so even if you missed the opening, come on down and check it out. Good pieces remain at very reasonable prices!
Good evening. Time to present our weekly batch of new online strips...
Dan Zettwoch organized a show of art based on movie villians, which sounds great. But more importantly he made this badass poster. OPENS TONIGHT in SAINT LOUIS.
And NEXT WEEK in CHICAGO Jesse LeDoux has a show of paintings at the Rotofugi gallery. I've seen a little of what he's been up to and I would not miss this if I were near that gallery.
Wrapping up another week's worth of Online Commentary & Diversions:
• Bookmark: Presenting the newly redesigned BobFingerman.com
• Feature: At the Washington Post blog Double X, Sasha Watson recounts the emergence of female underground and alternative cartoonists, talking to Trina Robbins, Carol Tyler, and others, with an accompanying slideshow featuring Tyler, Jessica Abel, Lilli Carré and 10 more
• Review: "I really love comics. Reading a collection like Joe Daly's Red Monkey Double Happiness Book, I'm reminded of just why. ... It's drawn like a combination of Tintin, Dilbert, and King of the Hill. It's hilarious, both in terms of the plot and the one-liners. So, like so many other great comics, it's sui generis. ... Daly's plots move at a breezy pace, but his art is sharply detailed, and drawn expertly from a variety of perspective points. The palette is vibrant and fun. ...[T]his is some seriously funny shit." – Byron Kerman, PLAYBACK:stl
• Review: "Rickheit’s artwork [in The Squirrel Machine] is stunning, from the beautifully disgusting instruments to the ornate architecture. It’s like steampunk crossed with the animal-appropriating art of Damien Hirst or Ebony Andrews, with complicated machines adorned with the heads and torsos of unfortunate livestock." – Garrett Martin, The Boston Herald
• Review: "It's like a great adaptation of an old 1990s straight-to-video erotic thriller made unpredictable with a touch of magical realism. Hernandez's strength remains his depictions of women; like Love and Rockets, the female leads of The Troublemakers are both strong and believable, no matter how atypical their situations and dimensions may seem. – Garrett Martin, The Boston Herald (same link as above)
• Review...?: "Prison Pit is un-reviewable; it is what it is... [Johnny] Ryan is one crazy motherfucker, man — and I mean that in the nicest possible way." – Andrew Wheeler, The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent.
• Interview: Graphic Novel Reporter's John Hogan talks to Greg Sadowski, editor of Supermen! and our upcoming series of Golden Age reprints: "Any comic I want to read I can borrow from one of the collectors I know. I don’t need to own them. As you get older, you realize the folly of having too many possessions."
Now available for preview and pre-order following its best-selling debut at APE: Sublife Vol. 2 by John Pham. Continuing the serials "221 Sycamore St." and "Deep Space" from the previous issue, this new installment of the one-man anthology also includes the post-apocalyptic action-adventure tale "The Kid" and a few other one-off short strips. Download an exclusive PDF excerpt of the first 5 pages of "The Kid" right here. This book is scheduled to be in stock and ready to ship sometime later this month and in stores approximately 4 weeks after that (subject to change).
View a photo & video slideshow preview of the book embedded here. Click here if it is not visible, and/or to view it larger in a new window (recommended).
Online Commentary & Diversions, now with more Tonya Harding than ever:
• Review: "Occasionally, there are works of art or literature that defy simple classification. The brain breaks upon them like waves and they give up different secrets with each tide but never all the secrets and never all at once. These creations challenge as much as they entertain and ask for obsession as toll on the road to understanding. The Squirrel Machine by Hans Rickheit is just such an enigma. ... Surreal, gorgeous, and both satisfying and confounding, The Squirrel Machine is a hypnotic, occasionally repulsive, always entertaining, and wildly creative graphic novel. It does not invite rereading so much as demands it, and each encounter reveals new and different details and interpretations. This book is a wonderful mystery, a basket of questions, a wealth of enigmas, and it looks utterly arresting every step of the way." – Christian Zabriskie, Graphic Novel Reporter
• Opinion: At Comics Comics, Dash Shaw has an interesting proposal for colleges that teach comics: "Instead of hiring teachers based on their achievements (and many of the current teachers are geniuses, no doubt about it), hire people who previously worked for many years in a now-defunct house style. Someone who drew Archie for years and is now selling their originals at Comic Con? Hire them."
• Panel: Robot 6 posts a transcript and MP3 of the Critics Roundtable panel from this year's SPX, featuring our own Gary Groth and several other names who will be very familiar to Daily OCD readers
Back in June Fantagraphics Publisher Gary Groth and I were trouble-shooting ideas for packaging "Gahan Wilson: Fifty Years of Playboy Cartoons." Most of the ideas were unfeasible or enough of a gimmick that it felt distracting from the work. (Sure an iron maiden clamshell box is funny but do we really want the case to be that cumbersome?) As we axed ideas, so to speak, I kept returning to this classic gag of a man pressed under glass and was interested in how it echoed the idea that we're capturing the legacy of Gahan Wilson within this boxed set. A little research showed that we could make a slipcase with a plexiglass back so Gary and I agreed on the direction and I called up the legendary cartoonist to pitch him on the idea of drawing a self-portrait version of his old gag.
It turns out Mr. Wilson is a hilarious, engaging man to chat with but there was no convincing him to draw the portrait. He liked the idea just fine but felt that it was somehow impure to use artwork on the case that wasn't from the work inside. As my hopes faded I heard him suggest something I hadn't dared to ask: "If you want to take a picture we could do that." So the next minute I was on the phone to Gary. Would it hurt sales to have the grim visage of a trapped 79-year-old man staring out at the book buyer? Gary didn't care, he loved the idea more than he feared how it would be received. And it certainly wouldn't be ignored. So we had our solution.
The next trick was having no budget (aka Fantagraphics Budget) and the need for a photographer willing to travel out to Gahan's studio to pull off the shoot within a few weeks time. I wasn't optimistic, but remembering the work of Seth Kushner's NYC photos of cartoonists I took a stab at conscripting not just a decent photographer but a truly talented one. Seth generously agreed to our modest arrangement and treked out to Sag Harbor with his camera and a man-sized panel of glass. In no time we had these amazing portraits that nailed the concept. (Plus we ended up with some great unpublished outtakes like this one of Gahan cradling a "baby" skeleton.)
On the production end, Playboy graciously gave us a wide berth on the design-- their only major dictate being the point size and typeface used for the art pages of the book-- so the final piece was just to pull off the tricky production Gary and I were envisioning. Our printer, Imago, worked with me at length on getting everything right and their efforts really completed the book.
In the end, each book has a different Gahan portrait on the back cover so the framed image of the artist can be changed out and displayed on your shelf of honor. The front of the slipcase is pillow embossed (ie: the image is in layered relief, which doesn't photograph well here), the back cover is silkscreened plexiglass, and the book covers are all diecut with morbid icons, with matching tipped-in interior diecut pages.
To top it off, the Special Edition set is shrink-wrapped with a box of miniature reproduction cards sent from Gahan to Hugh Hefner and a glow-in-the-dark letterpress print reminding the owner, day or night, that the end of the world is coming.
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The Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale St., Seattle WA 98108. Tel: 206-658-0110.