|Charles Burns on The Sound of Young America|
|Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Charles Burns, audio||3 Nov 2009 10:23 PM|
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Archive >> November 2009
Scheduled to arrive in comics shops across the country this week: Like a Dog by Zak Sally. This hardcover one-man anthology (not entirely accurate: there are two collaborative pieces in there) collects the first two issues of Sally's Eisner-nominated self-published series Recidivist along with short stories from Mome and elsewhere. Our usual battery of previews & reviews can be found here; check with your local shop to confirm availability because your time is valuable and gas is still pretty expensive.
Congratulations to Sergio Ponchione, whose Fantagraphics/Coconino "Ignatz" series Grotesque won the Gran Guinigi prize for Best Series at the 2009 Lucca Comics & Games festival! See photos of the ceremony and read Sergio's reaction to the award at his blog (translated).
Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:
• Review: "Reproducing unfinished roughs, penciled-in and scribbled-out dialogue, half-inked panels, torn-up and taped-together pages, even cropping what look like finished comics so that you can't see the whole thing, Columbia and his partners in the production of this book, Paul Baresh and Adam Grano, have produced a fractured masterpiece, a glimpse of the forbidden, an objet d'art noir. ... The horror of Columbia's sickly-cute Pim & Francie vignettes--a zombie story, a serial-killer story, a witch-in-the-woods story, a haunted-forest story, a trio of chase sequences--is extraordinarily effective. ... [T]hese scary stories and disturbing images are all so gorgeously awful that they appear to have corrupted the book itself... — an inherently horrific object. Bravo." – Sean T. Collins
• Review: "...[I]n these pages [of The Troublemakers] lies a challenging, meticulously crafted story of grifters in the middle of a con. Not surprisingly, [Gilbert] Hernandez populates his story with some thoroughly grounded and intriguing figures, but what’s fascinating about the plot is how it criss-crossed over on itself so that not only do the characters remain unaware of who’s conning who but so does the reader. The plot is an intricately woven web of lies and truths, and it’s peppered, of course, with Hernandez’s trademark touch of raw sexuality. Fans of such crime comics as Criminal and 100 Bullets would be well advised to give this graphic novel a chance; they won’t be disappointed. ... [Rating] 9/10" – Don MacPherson, Eye on Comics [Ed. note: I get a big "attack site" warning at that link, so click at your own risk]
• Review: "...[W]ith their crashing planes, erupting volcanoes, boil-stricken sufferers, and monstrous whirlwinds[,] Wolverton’s literalist depictions of Revelation are powerful, shocking, and above all grotesquely beautiful. ... Though Wolverton’s approach to [the Old Testament] stories was somewhat more matter-of-fact than his apocalyptic panoramas, there is still a passion for the bizarre evident in the Bible Story illustrations. ... Wolverton’s Bible illustrations sit on the border between sacred and profane, and that unique placement is what gives them such power." – Gabriel Mckee, Religion Dispatches (hat tip: Kevin Church)
• Review: "...'The Hasty Smear of My Smile'..., which ran as a backup feature in the final issue of Peter Bagge’s Hate (#30) , is a mini-masterpiece. It’s a capsule version of [Alan] Moore’s considerable skill, the epitome of everything that makes him fascinating as a writer." – Marc Sobel, Comic Book Galaxy
• Opinion: Future Comics Journal blogger Noah Berlatsky of The Hooded Utilitarian offers a critical counterpoint to Jeet Heer's previous comments on the Journal
The landscape for literature in Seattle took a major turn for the uglier yesterday when news leaked that the venerable indie bookstore Bailey/Coy, a mainstay on Seattle's Capitol Hill for 26 years, would be closing at the end of the month. This might be the single most alarming sign I've seen yet in regard to the future of independent bookstores and publishers. If the most literate neighborhood in the most literate city in the country can't support a great store like Bailey/Coy, it makes me think we're all doomed. We will greatly miss B/C, a longtime supporter of Fantagraphics and home to numerous Fanta events over the last 19 years or so. One of the only downsides to opening up our own retail space almost three years ago is that I haven't had the opportunity to work with B/C owner Michael Wells as much as I'd like the last few years, but I've always been grateful that he's never been nothing but encouraging and enthusiastic about us opening our own space. He's one of the true class acts in this racket and his store's closing will make the culture of Capitol Hill and Seattle that much less vibrant. If you're in Seattle, go do some early Christmas shopping at B/C, as the store will shut its doors at the end of this month.
Above image: One of the handbills for one of the seemingly dozens of successful Ellen Forney events that B/C hosted over the years.
To promote their blockbuster show "Michelangelo Public & Private" the Seattle Art Museum dug up this miniature Michelangelo and dropped it off at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery last week. We took him on a little tour of Georgetown on Halloween day, where he enjoyed a spooky threesome with GHOST WORLD beauties Enid and Rebecca. Check out his continuing adventures at "Little David's Travelogue."
Jim Flora Art now has the super-popular, iconic Flora Mambo for Cats LP cover image in a new smaller (7" x 7"), affordable ($25) open edition giclee print. (The 20" x 20" limited edition silkscreen version is almost sold out.) Don't you just love their little mustaches? Makes a great combo gift along with any of our 3 Jim Flora art books.
Kristy Valenti recently purged duplicate copies of coveted back issues from The Comics Journal archive, now available in limited quantities at Fantagraphics Bookstore. Among the many gems on sale at cover price: The endearingly fannish #37 from December 1977 featuring the breathless headline Star Wars: The Movie! The Comic! The Photos! Issue #53's infamous interview with sci-fi writer Harlan Ellison, and a revealing interview with mid-career Daniel Clowes in issue #235.
This treasure trove of news, reviews, and essential interviews includes everything from Lynda Barry, Berke Breathed, Carl Barks, and the Bros to Crumb, Kirby, Kurtzman, Miller, Moore and more! Look for these and other new offerings at Al Columbia's PIM & FRANCIE book signing this Saturday.
Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale St. only minutes south of downtown Seattle. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sunday until 5:00 PM. Phone 206.658.0110. See you all soon.
Join us at the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo (CAKE), June 15-16, 2013, in Chicago, IL. Click here for details!
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The Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale St., Seattle WA 98108. Tel: 206-658-0110.