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Eric Reynolds's Blog
Description:
CEF: Chief Executive Flogger

Jim Hanley's Needs Your Patronage
Written by Eric Reynolds | Filed under Untagged  17 Aug 2011 10:01 PM

I don't think I've taken a trip to New York City in the last ten years without making a stop at Jim Hanley's Universe. I wish I could stop by tomorrow. If you're near one, they could use your patronage. Preferably in the form of Fantagraphics books, but that's up to you...

Needs More Borgnine Gravy
Written by Eric Reynolds | Filed under Adventures in Slumberland 16 Aug 2011 1:33 PM
I walked into Gary's office to ask him if he'd sent Johnny Ryan a contract for Prison Pit yet. He said he had. I asked him what Johnny's advance was. "Seven dollars," he replied. I was mortified. Gary stated that he meant to offer "seventy dollars" but when he wrote up the contract, he mis-typed and liked how it looked so much he decided to go with it. I suggested that perhaps $7 was more insulting than no advance at all. He laughed. I pleaded with him to reconsider. He wasn't having any of it. Suddenly, a large hawk landed outside Gary's window on the office driveway. We were captivated by its beauty. Someone opened the front door and the hawk casually walked into Gary's office. Its presence made me nervous. The hawk sensed my fear; it leapt onto my shoulders and began slashing and pecking me. Gary laughed uproariously. I woke up sweaty and mad at him. Where was Ernest Borgnine when I needed him most?
METALHAUS!!!
Written by Eric Reynolds | Filed under Jacques Boyreauevents 5 Aug 2011 9:58 AM

  

METALHAUS returns to Seattle's Northwest Film Forum  for another night of Punk Pricks, Metal Maniacs, and New Wave Hookers. Don't even try to categorize this designer mess-up of VHS flotsam, hipster kitsch, and remastered live shows from seminal provocateurs like David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Blondie, Roxy Music, P.I.L., The Clash, and, oh yeah, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Twisted Sister, AC/DC. Special Guest Appearance by Killbot. METALHAUS is sponsored by Fantagraphics Books and Ninkasi Brewing Company. Curated by Jacques Boyreau , Darren Aboulafia, and Tim Colley.

To "quote" Benjamin Marra:

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Leslie Stein's new comic
Written by Eric Reynolds | Filed under Leslie Stein 5 Aug 2011 9:34 AM

Leslie Stein has just published a new issue  of her wonderful comic book series, EYE OF THE MAJESTIC CREATURE. The first four issues were recently collected by Fantagraphics , and this is her first new issue since that book came out. Here's a description from the Etsy listing: 

Eye of the Majestic Creature #5: "Sister Carrie"

Larrybear has moved back to New York after having lived in the countryside. She finds herself employed at a dress shop run by an absentee boss in the East Village, and living with her old friend Seashell in an infested Brooklyn apartment. Of course, Marshmallow and her anthropomorphic friends are there too, but being magical they are not allowed to leave the house. Not that this stops Marshmallow, who is becoming increasingly depressed and drinking way too much.

On a nice winter day, roaming around Manhattan, Larry finds herself drawn to the Visionary Arts Museum, and is amazed to find they are having a retrospective of Victorian Sand Counters. Inspired, Larry begins to count sand seriously, but in a world where this is largely a forgotten art form, where can it possibly take her?

Quotes throughout by Theodore Dreiser, from his fantastic 1900 book Sister Carrie.

48 pages, color cover and back cover, black and white insides, Newsprint

I love this series. Buy this now! 

Leslie will be making appearances in late Sept./early Oct. on the west coast, including APE, so stay tuned for more info.  

Fantagraphics to Publish The Complete ZAP® Comix
Written by Eric Reynolds | Filed under ZapVictor MoscosospainRobert WilliamsRobert CrumbGilbert SheltonComing Attractions 23 Jul 2011 3:00 PM

Fantagraphics Books President and Co-Publisher Gary Groth announced today at Comic-Con International that the Seattle-based publisher has entered into an agreement to publish The Complete ZAP Comix in Fall of 2012.

ZAP remains the best-known and most influential underground comic of all-time, and in many ways is Ground Zero for the entire field of underground, alternative, literary and art comics that exists today. Created by Robert Crumb, it was one of the defining events in the counterculture of the 1960s and singlehandedly launched the “underground comix” era.

ZAP took comics from children to adults, crushing The Comics Code Authority in the process,” proclaimed ZAP artist Victor Moscoso.

The Complete ZAP Comix will be published as a two-volume, slipcased hardcover set, printed slightly larger than the original comics, and shot from the original negatives to the comic books, ensuring the finest reproduction ever seen of the material. It will also include the rarely-seen ZAM, a one-shot mini-comic/jam spinoff of ZAP from 1974, as well as other supplementary features, interviews with the artists, and other surprises.

ZAP may be the most significant series in the history of American comics,” said Fantagraphics President and Co-Publisher Gary Groth. “Its cultural preeminence is the result of artistic merit, not collectibility or economics and that sets it apart from most comics series that have achieved this level of public awareness or notoriety. The artists that Crumb invited into ZAP each proved to be a stylistic virtuoso with a unique point of view and an uncompromising vision. ZAP was the vanguard of a movement that segued into the alternative comics of the ’80s and the graphic novels of the ’00s. We couldn’t be prouder to collect this landmark series in its entirety in a beautifully packaged two-volume set.”

Originally printed by Beat writer Charles Plymell in an edition of around 3,500 copies, ZAP #1 was the first title published by the late Don Donahue under the Apex Novelties imprint, and was infamously sold on the streets of Haight-Ashbury out of a baby stroller pushed by Crumb’s ex-wife, Dana. Over time, the series’ 16 issues have sold millions of copies.

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201107/zap1cvr.jpg

Although R. Crumb had initially created ZAP as a showcase for his own work, the success of the first issue led him to open up the pages of subsequent issues to several other artists. He invited his peers S. Clay Wilson, Robert Williams, “Spain” Rodriguez, Gilbert Shelton, Victor Moscoso and Rick Griffin to join him, effectively creating an artists’ collective that has remained mostly constant in the subsequent decades; when Rick Griffin died in 1991, the artist Paul Mavrides was invited to join the group.

“Fantagraphics’ The Complete ZAP Comix, as designed by Victor Moscoso, will be a classy item for the bookshelves of underground comics fans — those who can afford it, that is,” said ZAP artist Gilbert Shelton. “I imagine most of the original readers wish they still had their copy of the first edition of ZAP #1, which sells for over ten thousand dollars now, if in perfect condition. But part of the secret of the success of underground comix was that they were cheaply produced and turned yellow and fell apart quickly, and also that they were borrowed and never returned by one’s friends, thereby forcing you to buy another copy. This will not happen with the new collected edition, which will be produced under the most rigorous of quality control.”

“Much as the effect EC’s MAD had on the mid-20th Century, ZAP was equally influential and disruptive to cultural mores at the end of the 20th Century, but without the hindrance of the old comic book code that cramped graphic novel expression for 40 years,” said ZAP artist Robert Williams. “I’m very pleased that Fantagraphics will release this long-awaited compendium of ZAP Comix.”

“When Robert Crumb started ZAP in 1968, no one had any idea that it would still be alive 45 years later,” Shelton added. “This exercise in anarchy — there were never any rules, restrictions, or editorial policy — is still the flagship of the underground comics movement. I tried, and failed, to get my fellow ZAPsters to correct their spelling errors, but they would not be subjected to such editorial tyranny. I also wanted to let other artists into the group, but it was decided to restrict the number of contributors to seven. So be it. Spell free or die, I now say.”

Fantagraphics will be publishing the The Complete ZAP Comix in Fall of 2012.

The Complete ZAP Comix
By: R. Crumb, S. Clay Wilson, Robert Williams, Spain Rodriguez,
Gilbert Shelton, Victor Moscoso, Rick Griffin, & Paul Mavrides
Release Date: Fall 2012
Page Count: 800 PP
Black & White • Two-Volume, Slipcased Hardcover Set

ZAP is a registered trademark of Zap Comix.




R.I.P., Lloyd Llewellyn
Written by Eric Reynolds | Filed under Daniel Clowes 11 Jul 2011 9:35 AM
I didn't realize he'd been working at the ACME Market all these years. 
Comix Anthologies are Alive & Well
Written by Eric Reynolds | Filed under MomeIvan Brunetti 5 Jul 2011 11:40 AM

As we approach the release of the 22nd and final volume of MOME, this weekend I happened to read four recent tomes that assured me that the anthology format is alive and well, present company excepted. BLACK EYE is a remarkably well-curated and lovingly packaged book by editor Ryan Standfest, featuring a host of top notch cartoonists including some MOME regulars including Al Columbia, Olivier Schrawuen, Robert Goodin, Lilli Carré, and many others. SMOKE SIGNALS is the awesome tabloid newspaper produced by Gabe Fowler of Brooklyn's Desert Island Comics; it continues to get better and better and would be worth it for new Gerald Jablonski comics alone, but there's a slew of other great stuff as well (I particularly enjoyed seeing a great, new one-pager by Marcellus Hall). LINEWORK is a relatively new endeavor, the official anthology of the cartooning students of Columbia College in Chicago, as overseen by faculty advisor Ivan Brunetti. One of the students, Nick Drnaso, also contributes to the final volume of MOME. I recommend all three of these titles to anyone eager to explore the nooks and crannies of the contemporary comix scene. 

The Iconography of Conor O'Keefe
Written by Eric Reynolds | Filed under MomeConor OKeefe 5 Jul 2011 10:13 AM

Comics fans know Conor O'Keefe best for his contributions to MOME, but his primary artistic focus is as a painter of iconography in his adopted home of the Republic of Georgia. Check out his new website devoted to these paintings. 

Happy Birthday to Me
Written by Eric Reynolds | Filed under Peter Bagge 5 Jul 2011 9:48 AM

It was my birthday a couple of weeks ago, the big four-zero, and I thought I'd share this awesome little card given to me by my old pals, Peter & Joanne Bagge. Pete drew it, and in true Bagge tradition, Joanne colored it: 

  

Welcome, Maren Covey!
Written by Eric Reynolds | Filed under staff 28 Jun 2011 12:14 PM

  

On behalf of everyone at Fantagraphics, let me be the first to congratulate our own Jacob Covey and his beautiful wife, Liz, on the birth of their new baby daughter, Maren, who joined the ranks of the world yesterday morning. Mom, baby, and even daddy and big sister Freya are doing well. Much love from your Fantagraphics family, Coveys.