Advancements in modern technology have rendered the art of the prank phone call to be something of an anachronism. Which is a shame, and all the more reason why I'm rooting for this kickstarter to succeed. Never forget. Once upon a time, Park Grubbs was legendary, if mostly known only via tenth-generation cassette tapes shared through the mail by weirdos and misfits. Longtime Daniel Clowes fans will remember Grubbs as the esteemed winner of the "Eightball Prank Call Contest" (surely the Oscar of prank phone call awards). One of the kickstarter rewards is a signed print from longtime Grubbs co-conspirator / Fantagraphics friend and author Jim Blanchard, who will also appear in the film, I hear.
Just watch this. It's called "Nightmare," by The Francies. Written and Directed by Al Columbia. What else do you really need to know? Al has plenty of well-deserved fans for his visual art, but he's a helluva musician and filmmaker, too.
As work progresses on our long-awaited third volume of Ernie Bushmiller's NANCY (titled NANCY LOVES SLUGGO, and collecting the years 1949 through 1951), we belatedly realize that we are missing a half-dozen strips needed for this volume.
So we are sending out the plea to NANCY collectors: If you have clippings for any of the following NANCY dailies, we would love to hear from you. (For that matter, we are also including dates for two strips that were omitted from our previous volume, which we will run in Vol. 3 if they can be found).
(Note: We know it's possible to find scans of these strips online. We are looking for original print sources: newspaper clippings, or, even better, proof sheets, or, best of all, original art.)
Contact editor Eric Reynolds at reynolds at fantagraphics dot com -- and be sure to pass on this plea to anyone else you think might have contacts, message boards, what have you. NANCY fans unite!
London • Valentine's Day 2014 SEQUENTIAL, the graphic novel storefront and reader app focused on literary graphic novels, has announced that it is releasing titles by legendary art comics and graphic novel publisher Fantagraphics Books. The first tranche of titles, released on Valentine's Day, includes essential work from Fantagraphics flagship title Love and Rockets in the form of Jaime Hernandez's seminal Locas series, which tells the tales of Maggie and Hopey and a unique cast of characters.
Fantagraphics associate publisher Eric Reynolds said, "SEQUENTIAL's efforts to curate a quality selection of non-mainstream digital comics and graphic novels is something that we can get behind; we're delighted to have our titles available on their app."
SEQUENTIAL was released in August 2013 and is focused on book format art comics and literary graphic novels. It strongly rejects including superhero fare and has been offering titles from UK publishers Jonathan Cape, Knockabout, Myriad Editions, SelfMadeHero and Blank Slate Books. It has recently started adding major US-based graphic novel publishers to its list.
SEQUENTIAL founder Russell Willis said, "We are really thrilled to be able to add Fantagraphics titles to the app. When we started out we were driven by a vision of including the best work in the world, untainted by superheroes, and having comics and graphic novels from Fantagraphics available on SEQUENTIAL is a key part of making that vision a reality."
The first tranche of titles includes Locas #1, #2 and #3 (Maggie the Mechanic, The Girl from H.O.P.P.E.R.S. and Perla La Loca) by Jaime Hernandez, Hip Hop Family Tree by Ed Piskor, The Left Bank Gang and I Killed Adolf Hitler by Jason, and TEOTFW by Charles Forsman. Work by Gilbert Hernandez and other Fantagraphics favourites will follow shortly.
In addition the app features the work of Alan Moore, Brian Bolland, David Lloyd, Eddie Campbell, Ellen Lindner, Hunt Emerson, Isabel Greenberg, Nick Abadzis, Rutu Modan, Winshluss and many, many more.
We are currently accepting applications for a Junior Design position. This is a full-time, hourly position in our office (telecommuters need not apply). If you don't currently live in Seattle, you must be willing to relocate.
• Thorough InDesign and Photoshop knowledge required. Any other programs are a plus. • Strong layout and typography sensibilities. • Detail oriented -- both in your work and in your ability to track change requests and stay on top of deadlines. • Work well independently as well as with the various personalities of editors, artists, and authors, taking in and utilizing feedback. • Ability to design interesting, unique solutions that respect and adhere to the vision of the artists we package.
The primary role as a Junior Designer will be doing book production, meaning you will be laying out templated books and occasionally creating original designs. You will also design ads (print and web), postcards, posters, etc. You will need to be a nimble designer, capable of solutions on a quick turnaround and able to maintain a steady workload. You will be responsible for sending press ready files to printers, so pre-press skills are a plus.
The right candidate could be anyone who is technically sound and enjoys production work. Knowledge of comics is helpful but it needn't be an obsession.
Interested parties email resumé and samples (or links to same) to
I'm going into this hoping that less is more and that a little convention report goes a long way with most folks. I know that's true of myself. I have yet to meet a comic book convention that I want to read more about than, say, WWI, despite how many con reports endeavor to prove me wrong.
What I'm really saying is, I didn't take as many pics as I should, especially as the weekend wore on.
I flew down Friday afternoon, this time attended by my girls (wifey Rhea and 5YO child unit Clem), which was a rare treat for me. It wouldn't be APE without a kickoff party at the "offices" of the House that Ron Turner Built, a.k.a Last Gasp, so we began there. In a vast warehouse of thousands of filthy, filthy books (I mean that most affectionately), my little girl zoomed in on this book like she was a dog working for the DEA and this was a brick of high grade hash that someone abandoned hastily during a raid of the premises:
BOO: THE LIFE OF THE WORLD'S CUTEST DOG features back cover endorsements from Nicky Hilton, Khloé Kardashian, cuteoverload.com and "Facebook Fan." Of course we bought it for her. Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if Gary Groth had had a daughter.
I could have spent the rest of the weekend taking pictures at Last Gasp. It is one of my favorite places in the world. It gives me MAJOR WORKPLACE ENVY. Fantagraphics is a wonderful place but we don't have Binky Brown's coffin on the wall (although our inventory manager, Martin Bland, has a very similar Jack-in-theBox):
Anyway, the always totally awesome Kristine Anstine showed Clem the toy section while Mommy and Daddy enjoyed the party a bit more...
Kristine, however, continued to take orders throughout the party because she's a PRO (take note: this will come up again later).
Before we took leave, the great Ron Turner himself gave us a tour of his "private stash". I love and respect Ron immensely and really admire the empire he's built. His collection of cool shit is nonpareil.
From Last Gasp, we kept on truckin' (hyuk) to Mission Comics for onetime MOME contributor Malachi Ward's exhibition. Which was great, but you'll have to take my word for it, because I'd had two IPAs by that point and forgot to take any more photographs.
APE kicked off on Saturday morning at 11AM after a couple hours of set up. This will be my own little "panic room" for the next 36 hours or so:
Here is our first customer of the day, Brian Herrick, a fine cartoonist in his own right, with equally exceptional taste. I believe he is the first person in the world to take home a copy of Julia Gfrörer's BLACK IS THE COLOR. With great power comes great responsibility, Brian. I was so excited for you I couldn't hold the camera straight.
Remember when I mentioned Kristine Anstine being a true PRO? Well, here's another. APE Special Guest Bill Griffith dutifully worked on not one but two ZIPPY dailies behind our booth all weekend, in those rare moments that no one was asking him if he was having fun yet. Now that's a pro. Always working. I asked Bill if he ever got tired of drawing (something I've heard more than once from cartoonists who have been at it a lot less time than him). He matter-of-factly and without missing a beat answered, "No."
Can you tell I'm running out of steam? I'm thinking of trying to get a blurb from cuteoverload.com for this one:
Here is a picture of Alec Longsteth, followed by a picture of Mario Hernandez. Excellent gentlemen, each. Mario is always one of the people I look forward to seeing most at APE. He had the prettiest fingernails at the show this year.
Here is my APE stash. I didn't get a chance to do any proper shopping this year, but thanks to generosity of many of my fellow exhibitors, I managed to come home with an impressive haul.
Which reminds me, did anyone else notice the spine of this month's issue of THE BELIEVER?:
There were so many old friends at APE that I didn't get a chance to take a photo of, like Jim Blanchard, J.R. Williams, Pat Moriarity, and Renée French. I was too busy closing deals. ABC! ALWAYS BE CLOSING. What can I say? I, too, am a PRO.
Anyway, let me leave you with this cuteoverload.com-worthy piece by Graham Chaffee:
FANTAGRAPHICS BOOKS TO PUBLISH IN CASE WE DIE, A NOVEL BY DANNY BLAND
SEATTLE, WA 1/23/13 -- Fantagraphics Books is proud to announce the forthcoming summer 2013 publication of In Case We Die, the first novel by longtime Seattle music figure Danny Bland, which follows a pair of addict outsiders who find themselves locked in the palpable, dizzy grunge-rock drug scene of '90s Seattle. The book will also be supported by a unique audiobook project from Seattle's Local638Records.
It wasn't the pounding headache or the all-too familiar taste of blood in my mouth that woke me that morning, but the stink of cat piss. They all have cats. Cats and bad tattoos and mops of dyed black hair that reek of cigarettes and watermelon Bubblicious. They all have ripped fishnets and dark red lips and Daddy issues.
Both love story and horror story, In Case We Die is a semi-autobiographical and visceral story of love, crime, addiction, redemption and revenge. Bland, a 25-year veteran musician (The Dwarves, Cat Butt, Best Kissers In the World) and road manager (Dave Alvin and the Blasters, The Supersuckers) and longtime Seattlite, brings his own experience to a harrowing tour through Seattle's darkest underground.
"When I first read a draft of In Case We Die, I did it purely as a favor to Rachel [Flotard, proprietor of Local638]," said Fantagraphics Associate Publisher and acquiring editor Eric Reynolds. "Rachel is hard to say no to. But I read it and loved it and actually tried to convince Danny to get an agent, and sell it to a big NY house who could land him a big movie deal. I actively discouraged him from thinking about Fantagraphics. But Danny told me all the reasons he thought that would be a bad idea, and I knew we were kindred spirits. He's shown great faith in us packaging the book he envisions and I'm proud to make that happen, because it's a book I'll be particularly proud of not just as a publisher, but as a Seattlite. It's a quintessentially Seattle novel."
Vulnerable to the high relief of heroin addiction, Bland's characters — Charlie Hyatt and Carrie Finch — are beloved, unapologetic protagonists whose epiphanies are as blinding as their weaknesses. Finch, 21, beautiful and dangerous, drowns out the voices in her head and the consequences of a misled life with electric guitar, booze and petulant misbehavior. Her single abiding faith takes the form of an unlikely savior — 60s psychedelic musician Roky Erikson. At the ripe old age of 28, Hyatt attempts to make sense of the cards he has been dealt; a miserable job, a drug habit he cannot afford and the wildly unstable woman he had chosen to love.
In Case We Die will also exist as a remarkable audio book project to be released by Local638Records [ http://www.local638records.com ]. An exclusive roster of legendary artists, musicians, actors and friends have lent their support and donated their talent by reading and recording chapters of the book including Dave Alvin (Blasters, Knitters), Greg Dulli (Afghan Whigs, Twilight Singers), Duff McKagan (Guns & Roses), Donal Logue (Sons of Anarchy, American Splendor), Blag Dahlia (Dwarves), Wayne Kramer (MC5), Eddie Spaghetti (Supersuckers), John Doe (X, Knitters), Jacob Pitts (actor, Justified), Damien Echols (West Memphis Three), Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees, Queens of the Stone Age), Rob Delaney (comic, Twitter superstar), Lou Beach (author, artist), Steve Earle (singer, songwriter, actor), Mark Boone Jr. (Sons of Anarchy), Amiee Mann (singer, songwriter, actress), Marc Maron (WTF podcast), John Sinclair (White Panther Party, MC5 manager), Lew Temple (The Devil's Rejects, The Walking Dead), Mark Arm (Mudhoney) and others t.b.a., with a portion of the proceeds benefitting MusicCares, a non-profit organization helping musicians and roadies gain sobriety and obtain medical care.
Two damaged people can balance a seesaw for a long time, even finding the illusion of safety; but when one gets off unannounced, the other will fall. As Finch finds sobriety, her sanity and her relationship with Hyatt falter until an inevitable event brings the two back together a decade later.
In Case We Die will premiere in Seattle this July with a number of local events t.b.a. promoting the release, with a wide release in August.
"Our anti-hero is floating in a tiny lifeboat made of heroin, graveyard shifts & rock music. His companions are two fabulous women; a bombshell who robs banks & a beautifully pale rock violinist who can barely dodge suicide. ICWD is much funnier & more satisfying than any other junkie rock'n'roll tragedy." – John Doe (X)
"Bland is a brutally funny and bravely honest writer. A perfect guide through the bloodshot streets and desperate bedrooms of the underground wilderness." – Dave Alvin (Blasters)
"In Case We Die is a poetic and elegant journey ... straight to the gutter." – Wayne Kramer (MC5)
"A great piece of work — full of filth and heart." - Steve Earle
"A suitably Peckinpah finale. Bravo. It has been like a traveling dream state and sometimes familiar look into the abyss." – Greg Dulli (Afghan Whigs)
"I am a believer in what Bland has to say. He writes with eloquence, candor, darkness, and humor....the good stuff!" – Duff McKagan (Guns N' Roses)
"In Case We Die is a riveting, funny and sometimes tragic story that I couldn't stop reading. It's a tale as beautiful as it is brutal. Addiction, love and music in the seedy underworld of rainy Seattle in the 1990's … the prose are so vivid I had to pinch myself to make sure i wasn't back there again. Danny is a modern Charles Bukowski." – Mike McCready (Pearl Jam)