|Gary Groth: Stranger Genius Nominee Uncovered|
|Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Things to see, The Stranger, interviews, interview, Gary Groth, awards||11 Jun 2014 5:11 PM|
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Last month we found out one of our founders, Gary Groth, was up for a Genius Award in Literature from local and cool-as-hell alt-weekly paper, The Stranger. This week articles about all the nominees appeared online and in the print version so you can get to know them and their genius.
Gary's acerbic rage-writings of the 80s and 90s are referenced in the article by Paul Constant. Constant asked Gary if he was less angry now but since Fantagraphics started making the comics he wanted to read and are at most bookstores...Constant wrote it best. "that there was always more work to do, but it was clear to everyone that, yes, the century-long fight for the soul of American comics is over, and Gary Groth won."
On October 18, The Stranger will throw a huge, drunken party for all 15 finalists at the Moore Theatre (tickets here), with the Seattle Rock Orchestra and other live performances, and five of the finalists (one from each category) will go home with $5,000 each, no strings attached.
Black is the Color of the radio airwaves this week! Julia Gfrörer and Portland's Ellery Harvey are collaborators in bringing the art of comics off the page and into the performance space, and they're the guests tomorrow Thursday morning (June 12th) from 11:30 to noon on Words & Pictures.
From Words & Pictures: The gothic sensibility of Julia's pen and ink artwork and spare archaic dialogue, in such graphic novels as Black is the Color, bring together historical, mythical, and sensual themes. Lambhouse Letterpress founder Ellery, who has toured the Pacific Northwest with Julia, backs up her artwork with musical soundscapes at such events as Gridlords and Linework NW.
Words & Pictures airs the second Thursday of each month from 11:30am to noon (PDT) on KBOO Radio, 90.7fm. KBOO's real-time webstream is available at via iTunes or Abacast, and on mobile devices through the TuneIn app.
Friday, June 13th
For decades, Jim Flora made some of the grooviest album artwork for Columbia and RCA Victor records, and for the first time all of that high energy art was compiled into one complete anthology with the help of co-archivists and authors Irwin Chusid and Barbara Economon. These ruckusly exuberant drawings, with eye-popping color, and post-cubist influence, are in constant motion. Original copies of some rare Flora album covers, proof sheets, and music artifiacts will be jumpin' off the walls at the Jalopy Theatre and Gallery.
Irwin Chusid will be on hand to sign and sell books amidst some swing and jazz tunes that influenced Flora's art, and vice versa. The FREE reception runs from 6-8 pm, but the art show will continue until August 22nd!
Wow. Jim has arrived in our office, and we can't put it down! Page after page of Jim Woodring's surreal, fantastical drawings await you as you follow the author's eponymous alter-ego through a continually-shifting landscape and delve into his myriad collection of images and prose.
Here is a brief glimpse to whet your appetite before this 'notorious autojournal' hits stores in September. Go here for the 21-page preview and to pre-order your copy. Go on. Delight your senses. You deserve it.
What do you look for when choosing works from a singular artist/cartoonist? Is it a plan to arrange them visually by era or area (like if they did paintings, cel animation, comics)?
"It depends" is my basic answer for that. If it's a career retrospective, I'll find out if the artist has kept most of her originals or if they've been scattered amongst friends and collectors. Sometimes we'll be focusing on a book that's been recently published, sometimes we'll have our own exhibition catalog in the works. Sometimes I work with a co-curator who's tracked down most of an artist's major works. The fewer sources I'll need to tap into to produce a well-rounded exhibition, the more likely I am to pursue it.
Although that's really more of a technical answer. Before I get into any of that, I make sure that we're focusing on a talented artist whose work will make for a compelling exhibition. I show favoritism to established artists with a substantial body of work, and always prefer to work with the artists directly whenever that's possible. It's incredible getting to collaborate with people like Stan Sakai, Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez, M.K. Brown, Steve Purcell, Eric Drooker, Nina Paley, Jeff Smith, and Dan Piraro, just off the top of my head, when putting together giant solo exhibitions.
Getting art ready for the Pretty in Ink show
Describe the basic layout of the gallery (or if you have a blueprint bird's-eye view of it) and do you aim to have people travel through the show the same way every time? (forgive me, I haven't been before so this question may seem odd)
This particular gallery has two entrances. Visitors will usually enter from the back-right corner entrance, and from there, they'll either wander up to the actual start of the exhibition at the opposite corner of the room, or they'll just start walking through and might end up viewing that particular room a time-and-a-half when passing through. With an exhibition like M.K.'s, which will be more focused on single-panel cartoons than multi-page stories, that won't be an issue for visitors.
Have you ever had an incident where you hung a show and then had to replace/take down art before it opened/while it was open?
Sure. I changed over our Sandman exhibition three times due to late arrivals. The original art for the second issue of Overture wasn't available to us until late March, and I swapped out an entire room to put up the first two issues. Artists and collectors have sometimes sold pieces while they've been on display, to buyers who don't want to wait until the exhibition wraps up before getting their artwork (although that's pretty rare). I don't generally like to change things once a show's up, since that's fairly labor intensive and I don't usually build time for re-hanging into my schedule.
Art matted and framed, ready for a wall
Generally not. We're a museum, so we don't sell art off the walls, but sometimes an artist or collector will ask us to include a note with contact information letting people know that the art's available for purchase through their websites.
How long have you worked at CAM?
I started as a volunteer in the summer of 2000, got hired on as Gallery Manager in the fall of 2001, and eased into the Curator job in 2005. I've worked on a little bit of everything over the years.
Photo by Lani Schreibstein
Are you donation-based? How can people help? Thanks!
There are plenty of ways to support the Cartoon Art Museum. Signing up for an annual membership, making a one-time cash donation (and asking your workplace to match it), donating original artwork, shopping at our bookstore, visiting the Museum, buying books or artwork from us at conventions...Here's a good place to start: http://cartoonart.org/join-support/
Sidenote: the CAM booth at San Diego is a GREAT place to pick up a $10 sketch to support the museum, they feature all sorts of fun cartoonists like Raina Telgemeier, Jeffrey Brown and Sina Grace. Last year, I sketched next to Gene Yang and Zack Giallongo and someone wanted us all to draw Morrissey. What a blast!
Thanks again to Andrew Farago for answering a few questions and carefully, lovingly putting work up on the walls with his crew. If you want to see Pretty In Ink yourself general admission is $8 while students & seniors are $6. Children 6-12 are $4 while WOO-HOO! Members & Children under 6 stroll in through the door for free. Check out Trina Robbin's book Pretty in Ink: North American Women Cartoonists 1896-2013 today.
Casey Stengel had a blunderously beautiful career in baseball. From inconsequential outfielder in the '20s, to worst won-lost record as a mangaer of the Dodgers, to winning five consecutive world championships as Yankees manager.
Drew Friedman, hailed as the most prolific portraitist, captured the 1966 Baseball Hall of Fame inductee in his Bronx Bomber blues, and is selling high quality prints in a limited set. The signed and numbered beauties are available from Friedman's fine are website for only $150. A necessitiy for history and baseball buffs.
As a lover of sports and art, you know that we at Fantagraphics love baseball. The summer nights, picnic pastimes, and hometown pride. Because of our big baseball crush, we have a lot of hardball hardcovers to share our love with readers.
Batter Up Charlie Brown collects the best of the blockheads baseball blunders and triumphs, and is the perfect gift for fans young and old.
Willard Mullin's Golden Age of Baseball: Drawings 1934-1972 brings into focus the heartfelt and humorous cartoons of Willard Mullins, who captured decades of players and events with prowess and deft that highlighted a generation of baseball.
If you're looking to expand your super universe of historical cartoons, the new Friedman portrait collection of those who were involved in pioneering and shaping the comic book industry, with forward by Al Jaffee, captures the inspirational worlds of these sequential warriors. Heroes and Comics: Portraits of the Legends of Comics is currently in pre-order, and waiting for you to add it to your collection.
Saturday, June 21
What is Gridlords? No two performances are the same, but in essence, this monthly experimental art show based out of Portland combines various artistic mediums built around a narrative. Mediums in the past have included live music, comic readings, animations, and artist lectures. Seattle is honored to host their first show outside of Portland, and Fantagraphics is honored to watch Mome cartoonist, Andrice Arp's presentation of a film that inspirationaly highlights the creative processes, accompanied by live music, and then followed by a puppetry parable in anticipation of her new comic, Occupation. And that's only one part of the night's line-up.
Other guests for the evening festivities include, Theo Ellsworth, Asher Craw, Daria Tessler, Gridlords founder, Sean Christensen, and more.
(Julia Gfroer performing at Gridlords #21)
According to Short Run, "Tickets are available in two packages: $7 for admission-only, or $20 for admission, plus a bonus fun pack containing the Gridlords anthology, Other Worlds (a $10 value), as well as other comics, original artwork, and more from artists involved in the show." An amazing deal to see the most all emcompasing live art production of the year.
The performance will begin at 7 pm, and takes place at Gallery 1412, located at 1412 18th Ave, between Union and Pike. Spend a beautiful summer evening with us, and witness a comic anthology brought to life before your eyes.
Cartoonist and all around badass, Lane Milburn, will be appearing at Quimby's Bookstore in August for his Twelve Gems launch party. August 30th at 7pm, you better have your intergalatic party hats on or ELSE.
Somewhere in the outer cosmos, beyond reckoning or observation, the mysterious Dr. Z has enlisted three space heroes, Furz, Venus, and Dogstar, to search the galaxy for the fabled Twelve Gems of Power. Milburn's book is is full of wall-to-wall humor and action for science fiction fans, adventure-lovers and connoisseurs of the undergroun comix aesthetic. You do not want to miss this rad cartoonist or his debut Fantagraphics graphic novel!
1854 W. North Ave
Chicago IL 60622
August just keeps looking better and better! Among the dizzyingly beautiful books we're excited to bring to you in two months is best-selling cartoonist Lucy Knisley's newest book, a travelogue documenting her trip throughout Europe in the fall of 2011.
An Age of License follows Lucy as she navigates new countries, new experiences, and new romance, all rendered in an often-whimsical, sometimes stream-of-consciousness style that perfectly captures her moments of introspection between the memories she captures on the road. This part narration, part sketchbook format takes us right into Lucy's thoughts and revelations.
High quality paper stock, full-page color plates, legendary comic creators — that's right, Drew Friedman's finely curated portraits of the comic book pioneers of our time, Heroes of the Comics, is hot off the printers! We are thrilled to give you this sneak peek before its August debut.
Inside, you'll find over 80 lovingly rendered portraits alongside a short essay that summarizes each person's life, work, and contribution to the world of comics. This homage to comic book history is not to be missed — pre-order yours today!
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The Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale St., Seattle WA 98108. Tel: 206-658-0110.