At his blog, cartoonist/animator Stephen DeStefano has a sneak peek at his artwork for the upcoming graphic novel written by George Chieffet, Lucky in Love, to be published by Fantagraphics in summer 2010. Stephen's worked on everything from 'Mazing Man to The Venture Bros., which makes him a-ok in my book.
The second issue of hard-boiled detective comic STUMPTOWN opens with the female protagonist flirting with a physician. When Seattle-based illustrator Matthew Southworth needed a model, he turned to an unwitting Eric Reynolds.
Southworth explains his choice of Reynolds as the inspiration for the fictional character: "I thought he should be handsome, patient, and friendly and for some reason, Eric Reynolds popped in my head. This despite the fact that we'd never met! Now that I know him a little, I realize he is indeed handsome, patient, and friendly, but he's not a doctor. No matter what he says. You have been warned."
Matthew Southworth will be a guest at the fabulous 3rd Anniversary celebration of Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery on Saturday, December 12. He'll join an amazing group of artists including Peter Bagge, Jim Blanchard, Jacques Boyreau, Dame Darcy, Femke Hiemstra, Paul Hornschemeier, Scott Musgrove, Jay Ryan, Jim Woodring, and more. Watch this space for updates!
FANTAGRAPHICS BOOKS ANNOUNCES THE ACQUISITION OF STEPHEN DIXON'S WHAT IS ALL THIS?, A COLLECTION OF MODERN FICTION
SEATTLE, WA, NOV. 20, 2009 --- Fantagraphics Books is proud to announce the acquisition of What Is All This?, a 900-page collection of previously uncollected short fiction by two-time National Book Award Nominee (1991, 1995) Stephen Dixon. The collection will be published in May, 2010 and mark the third entry in Fantagraphics burgeoning line of literary fiction, following Alexander Theroux's Laura Warholic (2007) and Monte Schulz's This Side of Jordan (2009). Along with Theroux, Dixon is the second National Book Award nominated-author to publish new fiction through Fantagraphics.
"Stephen Dixon is one of the great secret masters - too secret. I return again and again to his stories for writerly inspiration, moral support and comic relief at moments of personal misery, and, several times, in a spirit of outright plagiaristic necessity: borrowing a jumpstart from a few lines of Dixon has been a real problem-solver in my own short fiction. Please read him, you." - Jonathan Lethem
Dixon is one of the most acclaimed authors of short stories in the history of American letters. He has published previously through acclaimed independent literary presses like McSweeney's and Melville House, as well as corporate houses like Henry Holt. His work, characterized by mordant humor and a frank attention to human sexuality, has earned him a Guggenheim Fellowship, the American Academy Institute of Arts and Letters Prize for Fiction, the O. Henry Award, and the Pushcart Prize. Fantagraphics Books is proud to present his latest volume of short stories, a massive collection of vintage Dixon, eschewing the modernism and quasi-autobiography of his I-trilogy and instead treating readers to a pared-down, crystalline style more reminiscent of Hemingway.
"Dixon is one of the few writers whose new work I will put everything aside to read, which is to say he is in the company of Alice Munro, Lorrie Moore, and Lydia Davis.... Put aside whatever you're reading, and read him." - J. Robert Lennon
"This is our third book of prose fiction -after Alex Theroux's Laura Warholic and Monte Schulz's This Side of Jordan- and readers may notice that the common denominator among these books is that language itself serves as the animating literary force," says acquiring editor and Fantagraphics co-publisher Gary Groth. "Dixon's finely chiseled sentences cut to the quick of people's lives. None of these stories have been collected in any book; they have appeared in a wide variety of literary journals over almost 40 years and Dixon has entirely rewritten all of them. Dixon admirers will be cheered to learn that these stories comprise a wholly original work."
Centrally concerning himself with the American condition, Dixon explores in What Is All This? obsessions of body image, the increasingly polarized political landscape, sex -in all its incarnations- and the gloriously pointless minutiae of modern life, from bus rides to tying shoelaces. Using the canvas of his native New York (with one significant exception that affords Dixon the opportunity to create a furiously political fable) he astutely captures the edgy madness that infects the city through the neuroses of his narrators with a style that owes as much to Neo-Reaist cinema as it does to modern literature. What Is All This? will be published in hardcover, designed by Fantagraphics award-winning Art Director Jacob Covey. "Stephen Dixon is one of the few writers who completely challenged, then changed how I think about writing and reading," says Covey. "He was the first writer I recognized as making Art that was as viscerally relevant as painting or music. Designing a book for someone who was so formative to me is one of the rarest and most intimidating opportunities I can imagine."
"I have read a lot of Dixon's writing. If I didn't like his writing I would not have read so many things of his." - Tao Lin
Stephen Dixon was born in 1936 in New York City. He graduated from the City College of New York in 1958 and is a former faculty member of Johns Hopkins University. In his early 20s, he worked as a journalist in radio, interviewing such monumental figures as John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, and Nikita Khrushchev. His witty, keenly observed narratives and sharply hewn prose have appeared in every major market magazine from Harper's to Playboy and have earned him two National Book Award nominations -for his novels Frog and Interstate. He still hammers out his fiction on a vintage typewriter.
Fantagraphics Books has been the world's leading publisher of comics and graphic novels since 1976, with titles by Robert Crumb, Charles M. Schulz, Joe Sacco, Daniel Clowes, Chris Ware and many others. In 2007, the company launched its prose division, beginning with novels by Alexander Theroux (Laura Warholic) and Jules Feiffer (a reissue of the noted artist's 1963 novel, Harry, the Rat with Women).
Now available for preview and pre-order: The Great Anti-War Cartoons, edited by Craig Yoe. This book collects over 4 centuries of the best protest art, spanning the globe and the political spectrum. Images of outrage, irony, despair and hope prove that the pen is indeed mightier than the sword. Download an exclusive 10-page PDF excerpt containing the entire first chapter, "Planet War," right here. This book is scheduled to be in stock and ready to ship sometime in the next week or two and in stores shortly 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).
• List: Graphic Novel Reporter begins their Best of 2009 survey of educators and comics pros; so far A Mess of Everything by Miss Lasko-Gross ("Lasko-Gross’ words and pictures felt incredibly authentic") and Luba by Gilbert Hernandez have been named
• Review: "Rolling in like a slow, fuzzed-out guitar line from an Orange-brand amp, The Red Monkey Double Happiness Booklives up to the good vibes promised in its title. ... Having recently finished Thomas Pynchon's Inherent Vice and Jonathan Lethem's Chronic City, I couldn't help but consider The Red Monkey Double Happiness Book as a distant third-cousin to those titles. ...The Red Monkey Double Happiness Book is a weekend read, best consumed with your feet propped up, opposable digits or not." – Alex Carr, Omnivoracious (Amazon.com)
• Review: "Paul Hornschemeier excels at a sort of cryptic-cute comic that is better read than described. It's a blend of darkness and sharply delineated perfectionism that, whether he likes it or not, sometimes brings to mind his Chicago contemporary Chris Ware What he knows, though, is that he can go places Ware can't — Hornschemeier's style is every style. ... His diversity of styles is most apparent in All and Sundry: Uncollected Work 2004-2009... It's just a stew of stuff that, like the best sketchbooks, offers an intimate invitation to spy on the ramblings of a formidable creative." – Byron Kerman, PLAYBACK:stl
• Review: "For being a company that puts out the reprints of one of the safest comics of all time, Peanuts, Fantagraphics sure lives on the edge of the comics medium, particularly in the realm of anthologies. Blab! is just such an anthology, featuring a variety of visual quirks that hover closer to straight up art pieces than comics work, but still do not seem out of place with the more narrative pieces that slide between the pictorial pages. ...[T]here's probably someone for everyone in Blab!, if you take the time to look." – Panel Patter
• Review: "Richard Sala’s reinvention of Snow White is a sparkling macabre gem. The 2-color art glows in handsome sepia that is pitch perfect for this delightfully demented tale of a strange land. Sala populates Delphine with cast of horror carnival rejects that is diverse enough to both excite and confound the imagination. This issue [#3]’s creepy locales: dark tunnels, a creepy house, and a gloomy castle are the true stars of this chapter. They make this scary tale an absolute winner. ...[Grade] A" – Leroy Douresseaux, Comic Book Bin
• Reviewer: A new book review from Laura Warholic author Alexander Theroux for The Wall Street Journal, this time of an interesting-sounding collection of "literary invective" called Poison Pens
• Plug: "I grew up in the video age and I’m still in awe of the technology that first allowed me to watch thousands of movies in the privacy of my own home. Call me sentimental and nostalgic, but when I first got wind of Jacques Boyreau’s upcoming book Portable Grindhouse: The Lost Art of the VHS Box it made me giddy with excitement." – Kimberly Lindbergs, Cinebeats
Long before Low Brow caught on, Fantagraphics Books published LOOSE TEETH, a pop surrealist masterpiece by Brian Sendelbach and Scott Musgrove. The only drawback to the comic book was that it was 10 years ahead of its time.
Sendelbach continues to pursue a successful career in comics, while Scott Musgrove has become one of the most highly regarded painters in the Low Brow movement. His alluring renderings of crypto-zoological creatures can be found in THE LATE FAUNA OF EARLY NORTH AMERICA: THE ART OF SCOTT MUSGROVE. Fans of Fantagraphics BEASTS! franchise will find this book fascinating.
Scott Musgrove will be available to sign copies of the book as a guest at the wild 3rd Anniversary celebration at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery on Saturday, December 12. He'll join Peter Bagge, Jim Blanchard, Dame Darcy, Femke Hiemstra, Paul Hornschemeier, Jay Ryan, Jim Woodring, and more. Watch this space for updates!
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