Seattle, WA - Yikes! How many people can one comic book shop fit into their rafters? And how many more signs can they put on their door to let you know that this place is where it's at on Thursday? Arcane Comics in the Ballard neighborhood is kicking off ECCC with a who's who lineup of guests and fans. Some of these oh so special comic celebs are Ed Piskor and Ed Luce! Piskor has just wrapped Hip Hop Family Tree Vol 3, and Mr. Luce is debuting the super-sized, and super awe inspiring Wuvable Oaf collection in beautiful hardcover. Other faces you might want to see here will be Farel Dalrymple, Simon Roy, Alexis Ziritt, and Nick Pitarra (just to name a few). Head on over at 6 PM where you come for the comics, and stay for the Don Lucho's foodtruck! (More Details)
Friday, March 27th
Seattle, WA - It's finally here. The little Seattle comic show that could. In just over a decade the Emerald City Comicon has grown into the third largest comic convention in the U.S, and boasts the largest artist's alley. We're set up at the best table you'll ever see, with the best creators you'll ever meet. Today some of those creators include: Lucy Knisley, Ed Luce, Don Rosa and Ed Piskor. For our full signing schedule and breakdown of panels, check out (More Details)
NYC - Continuing his NYC tour, Jiraiya will be stopping by Buearu of General Services - Queer Division for a talk and signing beginning at 7 PM. Hosted by the LGBT Community Center, The Buearu is a cultural center, bookstore, and event space that strives to protect and foster community. The Massive team fits right in to that ethos as they draw attention to and celebrate the life changing genre of gay manga, that's captured in the Massive anthology. (More Details)
Saturday, March 28th
Seattle, WA - If that beautiful Frank and Becky guidebook cover doesn't get you to come to the Washington State Convention Center for the second day of Emerald City Comicon, then what hope do we have for humanity? Oh yeah, the amazing lineup of guests and panels and books we're hosting at the Fantagraphics table! With new releases like Wuvable Oaf and the Angry Youth Comix collection that are bound to astound, you're out of excuses as to why you shouldn't get your tookis to booth 308. (More Details)
NYC - There's a Jiraiya double whammy today! First, he and designer Chip Kidd give a presentation at the SVA ampitheatre with a live Q&A followed by a signing. The SVA has kickstarted many careers, and is the perfect setting for this free and open to the public event as they discuss Jiraiya's photo-realistic work, beginning at 3 PM. Please, no photography. Can't make it to the SVA? No problem! All around cool clothing/fashion/accessory store Opening Ceremony will continue their tradition of being stewards of travel when they host Jiraiya for a reception and signing of Massive. The artist behind many of the clothing items sold by Massive, Jiraiya's notable products are right at home with Opening Ceremony. Stop by between 6-7 PM for your last chance to meet the man beofre he travels back to Japan. (More Details)
Sunday, March 29th
Seattle, WA - Today is your last chance to fangirl/boy out on our lovely creators here at ECCC. On deck for Sunday includes signings at the Fantagraphics booth 308 with: Knisley, Piskor, and Rosa, and FOUR different panels where you can find Fanta artists and staffers alike sharing their well-spring of knowledge on the comics biz. These panels cover topics from cartooning school, to turning your passion into a career, and how to run your own freelance business successfully! (spoiler: it involves a lot of finance spreadsheeting). Get the dates and times to your future here (More Details)
Los Angeles - ONE Archives Foundation is the largest repository of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ) in the world. Which makes it the perfect setting for the first stop of the MASSIVE tour featuring Jiraiya! His work adorns the cover of the recently released hit anthology, Massive: Gay Erotic Manga and the Men Who Make It. Jiraiya just happens to be one of those men, and is heading the U.S. for his very first international tour. ONE Archives is his first stop, and the Massive crew featuring Anne Ishii, Graham Kolbeins, and Chip Kidd will kick things off at 7 PM with a talk followed by a Q&A presentation. (More Details)
Wednesday, March 18th
Los Angeles, again - Couldn't make it out to see Jiraiya last night? Get to to The Secret Headquarters by 6 PM for a talk and signing of those shrink-wrap beatuy books. Jiraiya is a man who enjoys his privacy, and respectfully requests that photos taken at these events do not feature his face. Which makes these nights even more special, because these memories are just for you!
Thursday, March 19th
Los Angeles, the last stop - Unless you want to drive up the coast to San Francisco tomorrow, tonight is your last chance to catch Jiraiya in Los Angeles. The wonderful non-profit group, Tom of Finland Foundation will be hosting the Massive talk with a reception to follow, kicking off at 7 PM. There, you'll have a chance to meet the artist, editor and designer of the book, as well as purchse limited edition glicee prints. Tom of Finland does great work in the preservation of erotic art, and we're thrilled to see them host such a legend of erotic manga art.
Friday, March 20th
Los Angeles, CA - Never has a book been so simultaneously gorgeous and gross; fun and filthy; entertaining and...icky? Intrigued yet? We thought so. Meet Johnny Ryan the mind and the man behind one of the most audacious comic series of the past decade, Angry Youth Comix. And tonight, you can buy them all in a beautifully designed hardcover that collects all forteen issues for the first time! Come to The Secret Headquarters at 7 PM for pure titlation, and the opportunity to snag one of the posters for the Angry Youth extravaganza! (More Details)
Chicago, IL - Esteemed indpendent bookstore, Women & Children First, is welcoming local Chicago cartoonist Lucy Knisley to their store for and great book signing and Q&A event that highlights not one, but TWO of her latest titles: An Age of License and Displacement. The juxtaposing narratives that feature the high and lows of aging and traveling, make for an thought-provoking evening. Tonight's event begins at 7:30 PM, and goes until we're done having fun (which is probably never). (More Details)
San Francisco, CA - Jiraiya's back! And in San Fran! Party hardy this Friday at California College of the Arts, with a talk + Q&A that will be moderated by Justin Hall, editor of the 2012 anthology, No Straight Lines. Join us in the Writer's Studio at 7:30 PM; you don't want to miss such a great meeting of the minds!
Saturday, March 21st
New York, NY - Beautiful Bergen Street Comics is hosting the explosive release of The Revenger by Chuck Forsman! With acclaimed released like The End of the Fucking World, and Celebrated Summer, the anticipation over this comic has been huge, if you like action and justice you don't want to miss this. From the Oily Comics website: "Revenger is about a woman who doesn't take any shit. She roams a crumbling United States in the 1980s helping the beaten and exploited even their odds." Get to Bergen Street by 7:30 PM, or you'll be sorry. (More Details)
Sunday, March 22nd
Chicago, IL - We've been keeping Pete Bagge all to ourselves here in Seattle, so we're letting Chicago have him for a night while he signs copies of his newest release, Sweatshop, at the wonderful Challenger's Comics. Sweatshop collects a 6-part series done for DC in 2003 about a cartoonist named Mel Bowling, and his cast of studio assistants. End (or kick off) your weekend right by meeting up with pals new and old at Challengers, starting at 6 PM! (More Details)
The award-winning and timeless collection of Love and Rockets stories gathered into the gorgeous book, Palomar by Gilbert Hernandez, was published more than a decade ago. But controversy at a high school library in New Mexico has given new life into the continuing dicussion, and sometimes battle, that surrounds comics when they attempt to break new ground and tackle themes which require context and analysis.
As Jen Vaughn pointed out in our original posting of the challenged book, one mother of a 14-year-old who had checked out the offending text from Rio Rancho High School library, took to the local TV station, KOAT, to report that she had found pages upon pages of "child pornography pictures and child abuse pictures". She demanded that there be an investigation to find out how the book was allowed into the library in the first place.
Since KOAT's initial "reporting" of the book's content, several outstanding organizations have come to its defense. The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, a First Amendment protection group, has teamed up with the Kids' Right to Read Project, and sent a letter to the Superintendent of Rio Rancho calling on the school to uphold it's own preported standards of procedure when it comes to a book's challenge. Additionally, the letter points out the obvious merits that the book carries within its pages, which have been lauded by numerous publications like The Times of London and Publisher's Weekly over the years for Hernandez's elastic realism approach to familial drama that immediately invokes comparison to writers such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
Today, Greg Matiasevich at Multiversity posted an interview with Fantagraphics' Associate Publisher, Eric Reynolds, and CBLDF Executive Director, Charles Brownstein to get their reactions to Palomar being pulled from the shelves as it awaits a formal review from the school. When asked about why the removal of such a book is important, Reynolds replies:
"I don’t much care whether Palomar is in one particular library or not, but I do care about one rogue parent bypassing appropriate channels to remove it, instead escalating via a media that was all too enthusiastic in egregiously mischaracterizing the content of the work, fueling community outrage with flat-out falsehoods. It’s unproductive for everyone involved."
As Matiasevich points out, products based on comic books dominates our entertainment culture in the form of movies and TV shows, but too often the art form that these products were built off of is easily called out by those with little understanding of the medium itself, and shamefully erased from the hands of potential readers through public defamation. Brownstein and the CBLDF continue to take up these battles because "comics have a legitimate place in contemporary libraries and schools, but are more vulnerable to attack that other kinds of books because images are easier to take out of context and because there is still a diminishing, but lingering stigma that the medium is of low value."
Numerous titles have proven that assumption wrong over the years, but it's important to remember no one deserves to have stories or art taken from their hands due to the opinion of one person. Palomar is awaiting its fate at the Rio Rancho High School library, and the CBLDF will be standing by to update on their final decision.
Chicago, IL - "Shop as Independently as You Think" is a handy moto for the progressive Chicago bookstore, Women & Children First. Though they take their name from an adage of weakness, nothing could be more empowering than the books you'll find lining the walls of this Northside store. And on the 20th of March, you'll also find a Lucy Knisley participating in a Q&A session about her newest Fantagraphics release, Displacement: A Travelogue.
Her full color autobiographical journey captures the heartbreak and motivation of caring for your aging family as she accompanies her eldery grandparents on a weeks long cruise. Not to relish on the trials of caregiving, the book is also intersected with tales of her family history; her grandfather at war, and memories of her time growing up with them. Juxtaposed ith the anxiety of being a twentysomething and trying to figure yourself out, Displacement intersects the stages of life we seek to escape and work to avoid.
Drop by Women & Children First on March 20th at 7:30 to posit your own questions and comments on aging, traveling and comics as a medium for autobiography. All of which Lucy tackles like the pro she is!
Women & Children First 5233 N Clark St. Chicago, IL 60640
If you've never been to a PechaKucha event, prepare yourself for a whirlwind of informative speakers, engaging content, and new perspectives on a wide variety of content. 20 images are shown for 20 seconds each while presenters talk about corresponding topics. The format of has gone global, and PKN Seattle never disappoints.
Seattle, as many readers are probably aware, has a deep and rich history of being what many consider to be the birthing ground of alternative comics in the 1970's with creators like Charles Burns, Matt Groening, and Lynda Barry. With remarks from their contemporaries, and from those who have been influenced by them, like Max Clotfelter, Tom Van Deusen, and Kelly Froh, this event is a must go to for any fan of the history of comics, art, and Washington State.
Los Angeles, CA - TheGabba Galley of Los Angeles is happily hosting "Curate This", a show with over 20 of L.A.'s most unique talents. Among them is Mark Todd, who is showing several new original paintings along side people like Steven Wolkoff, and Peggy Zask. Known for his work in Blab!, Mark Todd is also the inspiring co-creator of the hilariously informative, Whatcha Mean, What's a Zine? with the beloved Esther Pearl Watson, cartoonist of Unlovable. They've since colaborated on other comics where individually drawn characters battle each other on the same page.
Todd's crude cartooning style is a brought to life with humor in every inch of his work. Similarly his paintings have movement and life that is underscored by his ability to tell a story through expressions and brilliantly conceived imagery.
This currated show runs from Feb. 28th - March 14th, with a special opening reception kicking off the event this Saturday night (the 28th) from 7 - 11 pm. People to see, art to admire, and the perfect way to kick off your Saturday night!
New York, NY - It's new comics day! Though Massive, a beast of a comics anthology, isn't exactly new, it's exactly perfect. Making it even more perfect is your chance to pick it up at Kinokuniya NYC and meet editor Anne Ishii and designer Chip Kidd! They'll be giving a presentation and following it up with a Q&A session plus signing. There's no shortage of knowledge on gay manga at this event, and you'll be able to wow your friends with the knowledge that'll seep into your brain when you read Massive: Gay Erotic Manga and the Men Who Make It. Tonight's presentaion starts at 6 PM, it's FREE, and goodies will be given away to the first 20 people. Don't miss it! (More Details)
Friday, February 27th
San Francisco, CA - But speaking of new comics, Inner City Romanceis brand spanking new today, and even has that fresh baby smell. Underground cartoonist, Guy Colwell, will be in conversation with Bob Levin at Pegasus Bookstore, giving history and context to the groundbreaking series that was forged through heartfelt observation and real experiences of Colwell's life on the streets of San Fran, and in prison. The book collects Inner City Romance in it's entirety, along with a text piece of Colwell's life and artistic journey. Get the word from the source this Friday at 7 PM, with a signing to follow. (More Details)
Denver, CO - TONIGHT! Hang out at Kilgore Books with the hometown hero, Noah Van Sciver as he signs copies of his newest graphic novel, Saint Cole! A story that follows the every-day woes of feeling trapped; by your job, money, responsibilities, and loved ones. Experiences that almost everyone has felt as some point in their lives. How does our main character live with it? You'll have to pick up a copy to find out! This is the newest Fantagraphics release since Van Sciver's freshman novel, The Hypo: The Melancholic Young Lincoln, a biographical look at one of America's most interesting historical figures, young Abraham Lincoln. Come to Kilgore from 6-8 PM to celebrate the work, the man, and comics! (More Details)
Chicago, IL - Also tonight! The second of Lucy Knisley's Fantagraphics release, Displacement, will bring her to Challenger's Comics in her current home of Chicago for a release party and all aroud good time! You may have first heard of Lucy through her NYT's Bestseller, Relish; but she has since put out the travelogue, An Age of License, and now Displacement. A heart warming, and often heart breaking story of Lucy as she accompanies her aging and ailing grandparents on a cruise, intersected with journal entries from her grandfather during his military service. A Q&A about the book, with a signing to follow, begins at 7 PM. Don't let subzero temperature bring you down Chicago, come out and party! (More Details)
Saturday, February 21st
Los Angeles, CA - Beginning today is the VIP opening to a new and extensive exhibit at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery called Slang Aesthetics! featuring over 20 new paintings by the premiere surrealist and underground artist, Robert Williams. Carefully curated by Andrew Hosner and Gary Pressman, this exceptional art showing is also celebrating the 20th anniversary of Juxtapoz Magainze, founded by Williams himself. This portion of the exhibit will feature work by numerous contributors to Juxtapoz over the years. The exhibit opens to the public on Feb. 22nd, and will continue until April 19th, with additional programming throughout the exhibit's run, check out LA MAG for programming details, and the invitation only opening night. If you're local, or just passing through LA, do yourself a favor and see.this.show! (More Details)
Copenhagen, Denmark - Cities all over the world have vibrant hip hop scenes that are as diverse as the music itself, and Denmark is no exception. Unique to Denmark though is an extremely strong comics scene that incorporates the history and technique of graphic storytelling into their exceptional higher learning programs. Which is why it makes beautiful sense that a top tier cartoonist and hip hop historian, Ed Piskor will be teaching for several weeks at The Animation Workshop in their Graphic Storytelling BA program. He just finished the third volume of Hip Hop Family Tree, so there's no shortage of material and knowledge to be dropped on these young minds.
To finish up his Danish travels abroad, Piskor will roll out of town in stylish thunder with a live conversation and drawing battle with some of Denmarks heavyweight cartoonist talents. On February 28th, find yourself a spot on the Ideal Bar in downtown Copenhagen where local rapper, hip hop lecturer and writer, Peter Aagaard will interview Piskor in front of an audience. But wait, there's more! Stick around while DJ's crank up the beats and Piskor puts lines to paper against local talents Stine Spedsbjerg, Erik Petri, and Palle Schmidt, who you might recognize from his work on American comics like Thomas Alsop, and art for Ghostface Killah's 12 Reasons to Die.
A competition combination of hip hop and comics is hard to beat; catch up with your boy Ed Piskor on February 28th, from 6-10 pm (or 18:00 to 22:00 if you're telling time abroad).
Los Angeles - Get ready for a powerhouse exhibit, LA. A new exhibition of works by Robert Williams will be on display for SLANG Aesthetics! presented in conjunction with 20 Years Under the Influence of Juxtapoz Magazine, opening at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery on February 22nd. The godfather of surrealist art and underground cartooning, Robert Williams will be unveiling 25 new oil paintings to celebrate his breadth of work as an artist as and the founder of Juxtapoz Magazine, celebrating an accomplished 20 years of print. This will be his first LA exhibit in over a decade, and is being presented in conjuction with the beat of a book, The Complete Zap Comix.
The work of Williams and of others in Zap has been seen and felt in some of the biggest cartoonists of the past several decades. And Juxtapoz, continues a tradition of shedding light on influential and new artists spanning as many artistic genres that you can shake a stick at. Juxtapoz will feature the work of nearly 100 artists that have been selected because of their cultural influence on other, and how you can see the continuation of shared artistic motivation.
Curated by Andrew Hosner of Thinkspace and Gary Pressman of Copro Gallery, the show will open on February 22nd, and run until April 19th. There is a special VIP Preview Reception on the 21st, an RSVP to